31 Jul 2009

Life begins at 20

This chart paints a shocking picture. It shows the pedestrian casualty statistics in Wirral compared with the national trend (2008 national data is yet to be released).

This country already has a poor record on pedestrian road safety compared with our European peers. However, Wirral is worse again and I find this completely unacceptable.

Our Council needs to do a lot more and has been rightly criticised by the government for not doing enough.

One simple and cost effective measure which is being introduced elsewhere is a 20 mph speed limit on residential roads. Below 20mph any collision is unlikely to result in a fatality but above this speed the risk of death increases exponentially.

What do you think? The poll top right is your chance to express a view.

Thanks to Living Streets Wirral for providing the data:

25 Jul 2009

Pierhead Housing

A recent survey highlighted some problems with the flats on Gertrude Street owned by Pierhead Housing.

I'm glad to say there has been a swift response to my enquiry and the necessary repairs have now been carried out.

Around the corner I have also reported the partly-blocked drains on Duncan Street to Streetscene.

16 Jul 2009

flytipping on Castle Street

I'm glad to see that the flytipped rubbish pictured on Castle Street/Church Street has now been cleared.

It is hardly surprising but it seems clear to me that since ERIC charges were reintroduced in April, instances of flytipping have increased.

While everyone appreciates that Council finances are stretched, a policy that adds to overstretched clearly has cost implications that will at least partially offset any increase in revenues from ERIC charges. On top of that there is the increased aggravation for residents whose lives are blighted by flytipping.

A free to user ERIC service has got to be part of any sensible Council strategy to deal with bulky waste and the sooner it comes back the better.

good news on cycling

Reading the latest minutes from the Council Cycle Forum I am pleased to see that Merseyrail have some funding available and propose to put in cycle storage facilities at Birkenhead Central Station.
Also, Merseytravel has applied for funding for cycle training which will be offered to all schools.
Let's hope the funding application is successful and we can see more kids cycling safely. I know the Sustrans Bike-it scheme has been a great success at several schools across Wirral.

4 Jul 2009

Activity report for June

Welcome to my activity report for the month of June. Our latest ward newsletter is currently being delivered and includes a special focus on housing renewal. If you haven’t had yours yet you can download a pdf copy here.

With the long evenings there have been plenty of opportunities to get out and about and meet residents. Many thanks to those in the Price Street area and around Mersey and Victoria parks who completed our residents’ survey over recent weeks. As usual there has been plenty to follow-up on. Already there are positive outcomes to report including:

Cleaned-up graffiti on the former butcher’s shop on Saint Anne Street
Fixed street light on Price Street at the top of Europa Boulevard
Flytipped rubbish in the alleyway behind Town Road was promptly cleared

Other issues are still outstanding, however. Several residents on Price Street are unhappy about the repair service provided by Wirral Partnership Homes. I have phoned and emailed WPH and have been promised an early response. I have also reported the broken street signs on Birchwood Avenue and Saint Laurence Drive.

On Well Lane and Downham Road there is great concern about speeding traffic. I will be writing to both the Council and local police to request that they give this issue a higher priority and take steps to improve road safety. Sadly, Wirral has a very poor record on child road safety. You can read more about this on the local Living Streets website. This is something that simply isn’t getting sufficient attention and I will have more to say on this in our next ward newsletter. If you are concerned about safety on roads near you, do let me know.

You may also be interested in the community funding that has been allocated to local Area Forums to address issues of particular concern to residents. This could be road safety, local environment, youth services or adult learning for example. In total £250,000 is available so if there is a local improvement you would like to see you can fill in a brief application form here or email me for a copy. I would be very interested to hear from anyone interested in making a bid and potentially helping to round-up further supporters.

It is pleasing to note that as I get to know people across the ward they are approaching me in increasing numbers for assistance. Recently, I was very pleased by the prompt response from Servite Homes to fix an urgent problem for a resident on Rodney Street. I’ve also been contacted about and reported the broken street lights on Whitford Road and the serious water leak behind Rosedale Road.

Finally, I have written about the extremely low voter turnout in our ward on my blog. It sank to a new low of just 16% for the recent Euro elections, the second lowest turnout in the whole of Wirral. If you were unable to vote on the day or are afraid of missing out in future you may want to apply for a postal vote. If so, let me know and I will send you a form.