Agenda and minutes

Venue: Birkenhead Sixth Form College, Park Road West, Claughton Village, CH43 8SQ

Contact: Michelle Gray  Area Forum Co-ordinator

No. Item


Welcome, Introductions and Apologies


The Chair, Councillor Denise Roberts, welcomed forum members and  16  members of the public to the Bidston & Claughton Area Forum meeting being held at Birkenhead Sixth Form College, Claughton, Birkenhead.  A loop system was installed for anyone with a hearing impairment. 


Apologies noted from John Webb, Director of Adult Social Services and Jean McIntosh, Community Representative and Councillor Jim Crabtree



Minutes and Matters Arising from Previous Forum - June 2009


The minutes of the Area Forum meeting of 12 February 2009 were agreed a true record.


Under Item 2 Results of the Funds for You bid should be known in November. 


Under Item 4 – it was noted that the petition had resulted in action to reduce speed limit and more road signs had been put in.  Councillor Harry Smith had done a lot of work around that.  Councillor Smith report that further measures would be progressed and that residents would be informed of them in the near future. 


Councillor Foulkes queried whether a bid had been made to the Funds for You funding pot (formally Community Initiatives Funding) from the Allotments? Michelle Gray said she would look into this and discuss with Don Charlton at the end of the meeting. 


A member of the public raised the issue of the overgrown allotments in Thistleton Avenue/Sumner Road and asked whether anything could be done to address this.  General feeling was that there was a shortage of allotments but this would not appear to be the case.  Councillor George Davies referred to Friends of the Park who had put bid in for 26 allotment plots on Ashville Road site.  There had been no take up again and we need to pursue that.


Minute Decision


Resolved that:  Minutes of the Forum held on 12 February 2009 be agreed.



Age Concern

Information given on a wide range of services and activities run by Age Concern Wirral which exist to respond to a whole spectrum of needs and interests for the residents of Wirral who are aged 50 and over.


Pat Lloyd, Information Officer from Age Concern, attended to provide an update on the services offered by their organisation.  They provided services on Wirral for people age 50 and over.  They were also dealing with people in their 90’s and the fastest growing age group in Wirral is the over 80’s age group.  Services have grown rapidly in the last few years. 


The Information and Advice Service provided information and advice to older people and helped to maximize people’s income.  They worked closely with health professionals and received referrals from GPs, community nurses etc.  One of latest projects was Bereavement Support funded by NHS Wirral.  There were numerous care services run from Devonshire Centre, Park Road North, including a Dementia Centre.  Wirral was one of the worst areas for Early Onset Dementia.  The Centre is very much activity based and provided support and respite to carers.  Other services were luncheon clubs and day care for people who are socially isolated and a Befriending Services was recently launched.  This included both visiting and phone-line befriending services. 


There were currently 80 paid staff and 350 volunteers.  HQ was based in Market Street, with offices also in the Lauries Centre, Pensall House, Harvest Court and outreach surgeries throughout the Borough including GP practices and One Stop Shops.  Age Concern also run a busy home visiting service


Income generation was through insurance/charity shops and many fund raising activities.  This enabled them to run other free services such as positive ageing activities like Tai Chi, Dance classes, art etc.


Questions/Comments from the Forum:


Councillor Harry Smith asked whether Age Concern were putting pressure on the Government to get Attendance Allowance to also include mobility.

Pat confirmed they had, however the proposals in the new Green Paper were to abandon Attendance Allowance. 


Councillor McLachlan took the opportunity to thank Age Concern for the range of services they provided.  As a ward councilllor she had signposted people who come to surgeries, who had feedback that they had been able to access whatever service they had been trying to get.  Also Elder Abuse campaign has been a very good campaign.  Age Concern provided an excellent service in Wirral.


A member of the public asked about the national increase in early onset dementia.  He felt the biggest way of improving it was by socializing, which Age Concern were helping people to do.  Was there any data as to why Wirral was a hotspot.  Work was being done on this.  It could be that we have better services to detect and identify people with dementia.  Wirral does have a slightly higher percentage of older population.


The Chair asked where Age Concern got all their volunteers from and Pat confirmed it was largely word of mouth.


A member of the audience asked whether they had a problem reaching some groups such as ethnic minorities?  Pat confirmed they have worked with Wirral Change and BME leaders.  They were being reached, however it was harder.


Minute Decision


Resolved:  To thank the  ...  view the full minutes text for item 3.


Community Engagement "What's Been Happening in your Area" pdf icon PDF 1 MB


NHS Wirral – Marie Armitage, Director of Public Health and Dr Abhi Mantgani, Medical Director


Dr Mantgani updated the Forum on St Catherine’s Health Centre which was now going for final approval to the Strategic Health Authority, the project should start end of this year.  There was a new walk in centre at Eastham Clinic to deal with minor injuries so people don’t have to go to travel to Arrowe Park Hospital or Victoria Central Health Centre.  Also started a scheme in Birkenhead for a Drop-In Centre, which would be nurse-led with support by doctors and would be open Mon-Thurs until 8am and Friday until 6.30pmHealth check leaflets were available for people in the 40-74 age group to receive their health check to identify people who are at high risk of cardio vascular disease/diabetes, etc.  We would also send health trainers to go to hard to reach population to do these checks.  The Health Centre on Laird Street now has a new builder and building expected to be opened in February.


Marie Armitage encouraged anybody who normally had the seasonal flu jab to go along this year.  She then briefed on the expected rise in swine flue over the winter.  Certain people would be entitled to have a swine flu injection including the over 65’s with other health conditions.  Marie encouraged use of the vaccine as the risk of spreading was significant.


Confirmation was given that work on Townfield Lane Surgery would restart and it should be ready in 12-14 months. 


A member of the audience asked about whether it might be possible for humans to get Cat flu.  Marie would some research on that.


The Chair thanked Maria and Abhi on behalf of the Forum.


Wirral University Teaching Hospital – Joyce Magennis


Joyce updated on the major issue of controlling infection and reducing incidence of MRSA and Clostridium Difficile which was still a priority for the Trust and gave an update of the improving stats. 


Updates on standards, including being named for the third year running one of the country’s Top 40 performing hospitals by an independent benchmarking company, were given. 


Details of provision of new services were highlighted, including a major capital investment for Women and Children at Arrowe Park Hospital, this being due for completion in Spring 2011.


Joyce also briefed on the new easy-to-use website and encouraged everyone to use this facility. 


Full details of Joyce’s update can be found on pages 12-13 of the forum papers.


A member of the audience referred to some discussion at Planning committee about the possibility of moving the bus stop nearer the hospital.  Joyce could take back to the Estates Office.  They are looking at changing the direction of the traffic and when that happens could move the stop.


Councillor George Davies referred to the comprehensive wrap-around for the Wirral News this week, which covers all this information.  The Forum noted that 40% of Arrowe Park Hospital, within 2 or 3 years, would have single rooms  ...  view the full minutes text for item 4.


Public Question Time


Residents in Thistleton Avenue were raising concern with regard to this being the only side road through to Claughton Village.  Lorries with heavy loads were coming through this narrow street and a car had already been damaged.  Was there any way the traffic flow could be reversed? 

Following a discussion it was agreed the Forum would feed through this request via Technical Services.


A member of the audience handed in a petition, with 160 signatures asking for road safety measures in Boundary Road and a further petition on behalf of residents in Hoylake Road for similar measures.  He was submitting this to Bidston ward councillors. 


Query around Solway street demolition raising concerns has nothing been done to sort out the community safety concerns.  Councillor Davies confirmed he had been contacted on numerous occasions by residents in the area.  A meeting was coming up with Wirral Partnership Homes.


Councillor Smith said that traffic calming measures would not be introduced if some of houses going to be demolished.


Councillor Foulkes referred to traffic near schools parking indiscriminately on people’s driveways.  The next traffic management plan would help to address that.  We were engaging with schools for a management plan strategy to deal with traffic restrictions.  Councillors Foulkes, Davies and Roberts would be working with community and police and Technical Services.  Gary Cummings from Streetscene confirmed that a manager from Technical Services had met with neighbours around safer routes to school.  They would try and approach this problem from all angles. 


Point raised about decision to change brown bin day in Thistle Avenue which meant  2 bins to put out now on a Friday.  Confirmed this would have been a joint decision made by Technical Services and Biffa.  Anyone struggling to put out their bins could apply to go on the Assisted List.  A suggestion of labelling such bins was made and Gary Cummings would take this back.



Date of Future Meetings

Tuesday 2 February, 2010



The Chair thanked people for attending and Sixth Form College for the use of the venue.  People were invited to look around the display stands and take away any literature they would like.


The next Area Forum would take place on Tuesday 2 February 2010.