Agenda and minutes

Venue: Pensby Primary School, Greenbank Drive, Pensby, Wirral CH61 5UE

Contact: Tracey Smith  Consultation Manager 0151 691 8026

No. Item


Welcome and Introductions


The Chair, Councillor Andrew Hodson welcomed the Forum members and62 members of the public to the Heswall, Pensby & Thingwall Area Forum held at Pensby Primary School, Pensby.


The Minutes having been read were agreed as a true record.


There were no matters arising raised at the meeting.  Tracey Smith has responded to any individual items raised prior to this meeting.




Neighbourhood Plan Update on Your Family and Your Economy


Tracey Smith gave an update and feedback on the Neighbourhood Plans.


The areas in the consultation process included:

Your Economy

Your Health

Your Family

Your Neighbourhood


Tracey’s update focused on ‘Your Family’ and ‘Your Neighbourhood’.  An information handout was available for people to read.


Some of the points raised were:


Finding Employment


  • Not enough jobs in the area, not knowing where to get information about jobs, a lack of skills and qualifications.  A need to tackle the benefits system as it often pays more than working and expensive child care.
  • More information given on where to find jobs.  Not all people have access to the internet.  Information is required in libraries, One Stop Shops and Children’s Centres.  Try to make the Job Centres less intimidating.
  • Provide either free or less expensive childcare.  Also provide better transport within the area to enable people to get work.


Training and Skills


  • Need to organise training schemes, provide advice and training to assist those who genuinely want it.  Offer training courses at a reasonable cost or provide local ‘back to work’ or how to retrain courses free.
  • Encourage and give incentives to local businesses to offer work experience and part time work to young people.  Have work experience projects for people on job seekers allowance, so they can get experience of recent work
  • Encourage apprenticeships within the Council and provide coaching  to improve self esteem and provide advice and training through secondary education.  Volunteering is also a good opportunity to gain experience.


What is the Council doing to help?


  • The Council has invested in improving people’s skills, including the apprenticeship scheme, which has supported well in excess of 300 local people.  There are free courses available which include specific courses on CV writing and Interview Skills.  More information is available on line or by telephone 0151 630 3486.
  • The Council has also invested in the Connexions Service for young people to get free impartial advice through One Stop Shops and other Council facilities.
  • Help can be provided for childcare through the Family Information Service –  or 0800 085 8743.  It can help parents find affordable childcare locally and also provide financial advice.
  • The Council are also encouraging local businesses to come to the area.
  • Helping businesses succeed and create jobs for local people is a big priority for the Council.
  • For more details see handout


Services for Children and Young People


  • More after school learning facilities, a better quality of education especially around road safety and personal responsibility and parent education
  • More recreational facilities and team building for teenagers along with more places for them to go.  More after school activities and in school holidays and evenings.
  • More free facilities for young people and teenagers
  • Youth Clubs that are in the area need to be open at the weekend and in the evenings and offer a safe environment with good facilities and sports activities.
  • Improve playgrounds as current facilities are poor.


Services for Older People



Road Safety Update - 20 mile per hour zones


Jim Lester explained about the new scheme of introducing 20mph zones in residential areas around Wirral.


There is a map to view and also cards with the plans on.  There is a slight discrepancy on the card plans.  They will need to be amended.  There is £1.1m funding which was agreed at Cabinet in April 2012.  This will be spent over a 2 year process.


The area will be split into 132 zones.  The traffic department are assessing where the 20mph will be.  A sign will be placed at the end of the roads. 

The first stage will be implemented this autumn and the 2nd stage next year.


  1.  Will the zones be time zoned?
  1.  It will be 24 hour.


  1.  Will it be just signs or will there be speed bumps or chicanes and how   are they going to enforce the 20mph speed limits.

A.  There will only be signs at the end of the roads.  If there are repeated  reports of speeding, then there will be officers with speed guns issuing spot penalties.


  1. Could you clarify if these limits are enforceable?
  1. Yes they are enforceable.


  1. Have there been any accidents on these roads?
  1. None reported, but there is a speed issue on some residential roads.


  1. Will Pensby Road be included in the 20mph limit?
  1. It will only be residential roads, so Pensby Road will not be included.


  1. There is a concern that there are too many signs on the roads.
  1. Aware of this problem but it is for a safety measure.


This is an excellent idea to get speed limits reduced.  This is moving in the right direction.


Jim Lester asked for everyone to complete the cards with everyone views one them.




Partner Updates


Western Link


Diane Owen and Claire Duffy from Western Link Electricity gave a brief presentation on the renewable electricity cable which is to be routed through Wirral from Scotland to Wales.  There has been a consultation process with residents over the last year discussing the route.  A newsletter is available for people to see the route of the cable and plans for the area.  These newsletters will be posted out to residents affected by the cable route.


Q.  Why can’t the cable be routed under the River Dee, rather than through Wirral?

A.  The River Dee is a protected area and on investigation of this idea, it was found that the sea bed moves too much.  This means that if the cable became uncovered then this would prove to be a risk to people.  The cables also have to be set below a certain level.


Q.  How do you get the cable from Wirral to Wales.

A.  It will be a drill that directs it under the Dee.


Q.  Did you consider the Wirral Way?

A.  Yes, this was considered.  Unfortunately at certain points it is not wide enough for the machinery and cable drums.


Q.  What advantage to Wirral residents is this cable?

A.  It will be fed into the network at Connahs Quay, which is all part of the National Grid.  There have been talks with Community Groups on benefits for the area.


Q.  Will you re-instate road surfaces and ensure that they are to a high standard?

A.  Working along with the Council, the surface will be re-laid at a high standard.


Q.  How long will the works take to complete?

A.  The contractors have been recently appointed for the design work.  Work will start 2013 and aim to be completed 2015.


Q.  What about the archaeological site? 

A.  There is an Environmental Appraisal which is available to view on the website.  There will be no impact to any archaeological areas.


Q.  The A540 will be affected and Thingwall corner is a very busy part of the road.  What provision is there if this area will be disrupted?

A.  No roads will be closed, maybe temporarily when a lorry arrives with the cables.  The drilling will be done under the trees and the roads.  More consultations will take place before any actual work starts.


Q.  If any areas are affected and roads not completed, how can residents contact the company?

A.  There will be a helpline for people to contact if they have any issues or concerns.


Merseyside Police


Mick Blease reported on the following:


In this Area:

  • There has been a slight raise in burglary dwellings.  5 in the last month.
  • A reduction in car crime – 19 reduced to 10 in the last year.
  • This side of Wirral is a safe environment.
  • Forgery and fraud is increasing, for example: People driving off at petrol stations, fraudulent claims (3 prosecutions) and also shop lifting.
  • Olympics – Some resources will be leaving  ...  view the full minutes text for item 4.


Public Question Time


Q.  When will it become public knowledge about the appointment of a Police Crime Commissioner?

A.  This is independent from the police.  Apparently there will be a public vote in November.  No more information available at present.


Q.  There is some difficulty getting through to Street Scene.

A.  Jim Lester will take this back and report back.


Q.  Mr Paul Larkin thanked the members of this Forum for the help in the funding for his shop in Pensby.  The company gives affordable help to families and carers with various needs, particularly Dementia.  The company name is Inter-Niche and it is at 523 Pensby Road, open 10am – 6pm Monday to Saturday.  There are leaflets available for anyone interested.


Q.  There is concern for the proposed new opening hours for libraries.  Not everyone is happy about them.

A.  There has been a library consultation and amongst the proposals it suggests to open some libraries on a Wednesday but this would lose the late night opening for others.  Pensby and Irby would close at 5pm or 6pm and West Kirby would remain open until 7.30pm.


Q.  People prefer the late opening for the local libraries in this area, particularly working people.

A.  There was a show of hands on who would prefer the opening hours to remain as they are.  The majority showed they would prefer the 7.30pm.  Councillor Don McCubbin will take this information back to the library meetings.


Q.  What is happening over the lack of Senior Officers in the Council.

A.  The Council Leader, Phil Davies explained that Jim Willkie, Chief Executive has been granted Early Voluntary Retirement.  Mr Dave Green is on sick leave and the council is looking for someone to cover his role whilst he is off.


Q.  Old Wood Road, Pensby is full of pot holes and is horrendous.  Is the Council going to do something about it?

A.  It will be reported back to Street Scene and report back.


Q.  The verges are a mess outside Bargain Booze from when the Lorries park on them when delivering stock.

A.  The plan is to put bollards on verges to stop people parking on them.


Q.  Is it illegal to park on pavements and verges?

A.  Lorries are allowed when they are loading or unloading.  A maximum of 20 minutes and someone has to be in the vehicle.


Q.  The Council has spent money putting up signs on roads to stop vehicles parking.  However, some are hidden in trees. (360 Pensby Road).  The signs need moving or the trees cut back.

A.  This will be passed onto Street Scene.


Q.  Is there any chance that a pedestrian crossing be put on Pensby Road?

A.  There is a problem on this road due to the fact of so many driveways.  This has been researched but unfortunately it’s not a possibility.


Q.  There is a problem crossing the road by the Tesco Express.

A.  The Road Safety Team is doing a hazard  ...  view the full minutes text for item 5.





Wednesday 17th October 2012  at 6.30pm

Heswall United Reform Church. Telegraph Road Heswall