Judges bowled over by
'Birkenhead In Bloom'
ENVIRONMENTAL projects in Birkenhead
have swept the board at a regional awards ceremony. No fewer than 16
Birkenhead community schemes came home with accolades from the 2016 North West
In Bloom awards, which were hosted by the Royal Horticultural Society in
Residents, councillors and representatives of a variety of agencies attended the
ceremony to collect their awards. Each project had to show how it fared against
a range of criteria, including planting, community involvement, sustainability,
biodiversity and recycling.
The projects were all led by residents, supported by council teams including
housing, waste and recycling and the Birkenhead Constituency staff, Magenta
Housing and other social housing associations and many more organisations.
Each scheme made their areas cleaner and smarter, with planting and painting
being done where needed. Engagement days took place involving residents and
children and ongoing maintenance has been taking place to keep areas tidy.
The winning projects included:- 1 in Beechwood involving residents, councillors,
3 local schools, Liverpool Housing Trust, Big Local and Wirral Council that
transformed the centre of the estate, with new beautiful beds, additional
hanging baskets, and planters, planting of beech trees, food shares, fun days,
painting the local shop units, pruning and replanting the local area. Some
residents commented that they had never seen Beechwood look so good.
Oxton in Bloom was awarded the trophy as an outstanding project. The judges were
overwhelmed with the hanging baskets in Oxton and the partnership between the
community and the retailers.
'All Things Bright and Beautiful'
project run by YMCA and Wirral Methodist Housing Association. They secured £10K
from Tesco and engaged young people from local schools to do some planting.
Residents of the YMCA also planted up and watered hanging baskets and planters
along Whetstone Lane and Borough Road. Their project was fantastic and added
colour and life to a busy arterial Road in Birkenhead.
Cllr George Davies, Chair of the Birkenhead Constituency Committee, said:-
"This has been a fantastic example of residents coming together, supported by
local organisations and the local authority, to make improvements in their
neighbourhood. Their hard work, lovingly undertaken, to improve their
neighbourhoods was rewarded with 15 awards and a Special Cup in the outstanding
section. I hope this will inspire more residents to get involved with the
Birkenhead in Bloom project. It has certainly inspired me to think what I can do
in my neighbourhood!"
One of the judges, Alan Hulme from the Royal Horticultural Society, said:-
"When I came to judge Wirral and Birkenhead earlier this year it was the
first time I had visited and I was inspired to visit again. Not only was I
impressed with the community engagement in the area, but also the partnership
working between organisations and the underpinning support provided by
Birkenhead Constituency Team for all 15 projects in the area.
Although it was the 1st time most of them had entered the RHS North West in
Bloom competition, the motivation and enthusiasm of the people involved has got
them off to an impressive start. I hope I will be able to judge Wirral and
Birkenhead again and will certainly be watching with great interest as I'm sure
the entries will go from strength to strength."
executive disciplinary hearings
SOUTHPORT and Ormskirk
Hospital NHS Trust has confirmed that the disciplinary hearings in respect of
allegations against the former Director of Human Resources, Sharon Partington,
and the former Chief Operating Officer, Sheilah Finnegan, have now concluded.
Ms Partington resigned and Mrs Finnegan retired from the Trust's employment
prior to the conclusion of the disciplinary process. However, due to the nature
of the allegations and their seniority, the Trust was obliged to complete the
disciplinary process, asking the disciplinary panels to consider what, if any
action, would have been taken if the individuals had remained employed by the
Following Ms Partington's disciplinary hearing, it was determined that the
former Director of Human Resources would have been dismissed as a consequence of
gross misconduct had she remained in employment. Ms Partington has the right of
appeal against the decision.
The decision follows the outcome of a disciplinary hearing which reviewed 8
allegations of misconduct. The disciplinary panel found evidence on 6 counts of
misconduct, 1 of which amounted to gross misconduct.
The independent disciplinary panel considered three allegations of misconduct
against Mrs Finnegan and determined that the allegations were not proven. The
disciplinary panel recommended that had Ms Finnegan remained in employment no
disciplinary sanction would have been imposed on her.
The disciplinary panel hearing the allegations against Mrs Finnegan did note
that the case involved serious matters arising from whistleblowing complaints.
The panel noted that the Trust:- "had no option, but to instigate a thorough
investigation" under the relevant policy and then to refer the outcome of
the investigation to a disciplinary hearing.
The panels' recommendations have been fully accepted by the Trust Board.
Trust Chair, Mrs Sue Musson, said:- "The overriding objective for the
Trust has been to handle this very serious and complex matter appropriately and
fairly. I want to thank the panels for conducting the hearings and reviewing all
the evidence so diligently. With the conclusion of these hearings, the four
disciplinary cases involving Trust senior staff are now complete (subject to
appeal). The Board continues to focus on our key priority, delivering high
quality, sustainable healthcare services to our local population.
I would like, again, to acknowledge the bravery of the individuals who came
forward and spoke out about their concerns. Following this difficult time for
everyone concerned, the Trust now has an opportunity to focus on the future".
across Southport for foster care campaign
PEOPLE across Southport
are being called on to switch off their lights for one minute on Thursday, 24
November 2016, at 8.30pm, as part of a campaign to raise awareness of the need for more
foster carers in the North West of England.
Children's charity CANW (Child Action Northwest) is hoping to turn the lights
out right across the North West to symbolise the light and love missing from the
lives of more than 1200 children in care across the region.
CANW, which provides foster care, targeted youth support and emotional health
services in the borough, is asking Southport residents to film themselves taking
part in the event and post their videos on social media to show their support.
Statistics show that more than 1200 new foster families are needed in the North
West this year alone; more than in any other region in the country, and almost
as many as Yorkshire, Humberside and the North East, put together.
It's hoped the light switch off, which symbolises the light and love missing
from the lives of more than 1200 children in care across the region, will
encourage people to think about whether they could be a foster carer.
The event is being supported by some of the region's best loved buildings and
local churches including the Liver Building, Port of Liverpool, the Blackpool
Tower and the dome of intuTrafford centre.
Sue Cotton, CEO of CANW said:- "Last year our 1200 Lights campaign turned
out the lights on some landmark buildings in the North West, and we're delighted
that many more, including Carlisle Cathedral, Bolton Football Club and the Port
of Liverpool Building have agreed to join us for this year's event. But we
also want everyone at home to join in and turn out their lights for one minute
to show their support. We've set up the hashtag #1200Lights on Twitter and
Facebook, and are asking people to turn off their lights on 24th November to
pledge their support. We're hoping people will film their pledge and post the
video on social media so we'll be able to see the lights switch off right across
The lights switch off, which is timed for 8.30pm on Thursday 24 November will
coincide with the climax of a fundraising concert at Blackburn Cathedral, which
will fall into darkness as the final note is sung.
To find out more about how to join in the #1200lights switch off, can be found