Liverpool City Council crack down on issue of pavement parking

An investigation made by the Liverpool ECHO highlighted the rise in pavement parking across the Merseyside region, and how the ‘selfish actions’ of drivers were impacting on residential areas.

Liverpool City Council have started a campaign to crack down on people who are blocking the way for pedestrians.

Cllr pam
Cllr Pam Thomas, who is a wheelchair user, is campaigning to keep pavements for people © Pam Thomas / Twitter

Cllr Pam Thomas was announced as the new Inclusive and Accessible City cabinet role at a Council Meeting in September

She said: “I have had to weave in and out of oncoming traffic because there were cars parked where they shouldn’t be. It really is that dangerous for some people to be able to just cross a road.

“Often, even if I am able to get on a high pavement, I have to get off again because of vehicles in the way.”

The West Derby councillor, who is also a wheelchair user, highlighted her experience of finding it impossible to move because parked cars made it impossible for her to use the pavement.

She said: “There are plenty of other pedestrians with needs for additional space, such as people with visual impairments or mothers with prams who also struggle on a daily basis because of this problem.”

Councillor Steve Munby, Cabinet member for highways, said: “Pavement parking makes life extremely difficult for wheelchair users, parents using buggies and prams and puts pedestrians in danger.

“Our ambition is to eventually be able to cover all areas of the city where there are issues, but we want to trial it in some areas and then gradually build up so we aren’t spreading ourselves too thinly.”

The worst affected areas in the city were highlighted as…

  • Riverside
  • St Michaels
  • Greenbank
  • Kensington
  • Old Swan
  • West Derby

He added: “It’s important to stress that we won’t be targeting those narrow terraced streets where pavement parking is required to maintain access for emergency service vehicles, such as fire engines.”

The campaign has begun gathering a massive amount of support from people who face the struggle of navigating around cars parked on Liverpool footpaths on a daily basis.

Sarah Johnson, a local mother, said: “I often need to weave in and out of the road to avoid these parked cars. It’s not easy with a twin buggy either.

“I think it is very disrespectful of these drivers to be taking up the pavement and potentially putting lives at risk.”

Below are just a few examples of pavement parking in West Derby village, highlighted as a significant problem when Cllr Thomas agreed to be interviewed on the subject.

Now, taking action herself, Pam often takes to the streets of her own ward to give drivers a gentle reminder of who the pavement is intended for.

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DISCLAIMER: It was advised, where visible, to obscure the number plates of the cars pictured in this article in case the drivers were unaware of the law or were parking on the pavement due to a genuine emergency. (All Photos © Andrew Nuttall)

Shops on Walton’s County Road given new urban look by local residents

Shop fronts in Liverpool that were looking somewhat drab have been given a new lease of life after a lick of paint by members of the community.

Walton residents have decided to inject a bit of colour into the sombre-looking shop shutters that line up along County Road.

The development has been organised through local community group, Love Walton CIC, who commissioned the work on the shutters out to Zap Graffiti in February this year.

Kieran Gorman, from Zap Graffiti, said: “We are a Liverpool-based art studio who have been promoting graffiti as a positive art form across the UK since 1995.

“It was great to be contacted by the community of Walton who thought this would brighten up their area and get our message out at the same time.“

Sitting in the shadow of Goodison Park, County Road is home to an eclectic range of independent shops, bars, and cafes and, of the 46 shutters that have been painted, each mural designed by the street artists as part of the scheme cleverly relates to what the business inside does.

Project coordinator Maureen Delahunty-Kehoe said: “We wanted something striking and visual that would really make an impact when you came down the road and the shops were shut.

“We were price-matched by Councillor Roy Gladden as part of the project, whereby the shops only had to pay for half of the materials needed to paint their shutters and they paid the rest.

“It was really nice to be able to have council backing, as it showed they believed in us as a project.”

county road
County Road, in Walton, received a new lease of life in the form of urban graffiti on shop shutters Pictures © Andrew Nuttall

This artistic scheme aims to bring back the life to the area and what some local residents are calling ‘a shopping area in decline’.

Walton resident, and keen shopper, Theresa Bloome said: “I think areas like Liverpool ONE have taken interest away from smaller, independent places like County Road.

“Hopefully these colourful and interesting pieces of art will give people something to talk about when they come to the area to shop.”

This isn’t the first time that street art has graced the L4 postcode, as the former Ethel Austin store it’s a host to an amazing mural of a woman with multi-coloured hair, painted by street artist Whoam Irony earlier this year.

Another resident Esther McBride, who lives just off County Road on Croyland Street, said: “I’ve lived on this street for quite a few years and I’ve definitely noticed a drop in the number of people coming here to shop.

“This new artwork isn’t going to be to everyone’s taste but it’s definitely something unique to the area and much better than plain old shop shutters.”

The shutters were only the start of Maureen’s big clean-up for the area, as she now plans to get the local schools involved in the building of a virtual garden on Hale Road in the next few weeks.

Ms. Delahunty-Kehoe said: “I decided to get the schools that were nearby involved in this clean-up so that the kids were aware of their surroundings and would ultimately have a bit of pride in their area, knowing that they can make a difference.”


Below picture gallery © Andrew Nuttall

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Wirral woman devastated and feels her family isn’t welcome in Britain anymore after Brexit result announced

The shock result of the referendum vote in June 2016, which now places the country on the road to leaving the European Union, and brought about fierce debates and, for some, forced about some life-changing decisions.

Originally from Nuremburg in Germany, Wirral resident Wibke Hott came to the UK almost 20 years ago as a student and has lived in Merseyside ever since.

After the result was announced, she and her husband Graham, who is British, decided to leave. In the summer, they will pack up their life in Wallasey and take their six-year-old daughter, Josie, and three cats to Germany.

Screen Shot 2017-12-20 at 19.45.41
Wibke Hott and her family, who are leaving the UK after the Brexit result © Wibke Hott

She said: “When the result to leave came in, I cried.

“All of a sudden there was this feeling of ‘oh my gosh, I really cannot stay here’.”

In the referendum last summer, Liverpool was one of the minority of cities across the UK that voted in favour of staying in the European Union, with 58% of local voters backing the ‘Remain’ campaign. 51% of Wirral residents shared this view.

The qualified psychotherapist took the opportunity to voice her opinions on the matter when BBC Question Time arrived in Wallasey prior to the public taking to the polls.

An infuriated Wibke found herself regularly shouting at the television in the lead-up to the Brexit vote and to have the opportunity to voice these opinions to the political world after the vote was not one she was willing to pass over.

Her husband, Graham, said: “She’s watching the programme most times anyway and you can see how it gets her in such a state of rage.

“With it being held just round the corner from the house there was no way she wasn’t going to be in that audience.”

YouTube: Andrew Nuttall (Video Extract © BBC Question Time)

Following her appearance on the programme, the mother-of-one received almost 200 social media messages from complete strangers about the issue and its implications for the future.

These came from Brits living abroad or fellow EU citizens, who praised the German national for voicing what so many of them were struggling to come to terms with.

Despite her pleas, a nation had spoken.

With a majority of 52% of voters supported the campaign for the country to end its 43-year-long relationship with the EU.

Wallasey MP, and leading Labour Remain campaigner, Angela Eagle said: “I was devastated by the result of the EU referendum.

Wallasey MP Angela Eagle expressed her views on Brexit after the ‘Remain’ campaign failed © Angela Eagle / Twitter

“Too many of our supporters were taken in by right-wing arguments and the case to remain in the EU was made with half-hearted ambivalene rather than full-throated clarity.”

The move for the family across the English Channel will no doubt be an emotional one, filled with tears for all involved.

The mother-of-one said: “The move will really affect our daughter most of all, and for her to have to leave behind her British grandmother and cousins is going to absolute crush her.”

The family recently spent time in Germany over the Christmas period, where the idea of moving there was first introduced to Josie.

The six-year-old, who is currently being home educated, was introduced to other children at a German school where the move was planned.

Wibke said: “Once we took Josie to that school her whole attitude about the move changed. She loved the attention of being ‘the foreigner’ and all the questions that the children had about England.

She also expressed how their window of opportunity was small, but convenient, as German children typically start school at around six to seven-years-old.

Wibke said that the familiy’s story is not really interesting and that they decided to leave before anything really happened with regard to Brexit, it was the decision of the public which made up her mind.

She said: “Some people who are EU nationals may feel completely trapped as a result of this decision. For us, we are fortunate that this window of opportunity presented itself.

“It saddens me to leave, but in my heart I know that I simply cannot stay any longer.”

Linksview Community Centre in Woolton combats loneliness in the run up to Christmas

A Woolton community group, run entirely by volunteers, is working to combat loneliness amongst the area’s elderly residents and people with special needs.

The group were decorating stars this week to hang on their Christmas trees at their weekly meeting in Linksview Community Centre.

Organiser, Janet Keefe, said: “Me and my husband Michael started the group called ‘Include Me’ which is a community interest group.

“We are tackling issues of isolation in our local community of Woolton.”

The ‘Include Me’ group come together and chat over a cup of tea in a bid to tackle a fast-growing issue in the community. Despite being common in later years, social isolation can strike at any age.

The ‘Include Me’ group come together and chat over a cup of tea in a bid to tackle a fast-growing issue in the community. Picture © Andrew Nuttall

Having a group in place where local people can meet and form lasting friendships, is important to tackling this crisis.

The former tour operator said: “When we were abroad, my husband and I found that some people in our tour groups didn’t know anybody but wanted to be with other people otherwise they’d never get a holiday.

“We would hear some quite sad stories, maybe a partner had passed away, they’d had no children of their own or maybe their children had moved away, and we decided to do something about it for people at home who must feel the same.”

The group relies entirely on volunteers and donations to continue doing what it does in the Woolton community.

A small group of volunteers help Janet to run the afternoon club, serving refreshments and providing company to those in the group.

One volunteer, June Carr, said: “I volunteer here with my friend Linda. We started two years ago and we’ve been here ever since.

“I met Janet through church and when I found out she ran this group, I had to get involved. Janet is brilliant with the group and she’s got the patience of a saint.”

One group member, Irene Shaw, has made friends for life as a result of ‘Include Me’.

She said: “After I had just lost my husband I wanted a bit of company which is the reason why I joined the group.

Mrs. Shaw said that a few of the other women in the group regularly go out to town together shopping and are part of another breakfast club.

“The group really helped to boost my confidence in terms of socialising and, now, we’re all mixing with a lot of people.”

As well as making friends over various arts and crafts, the group take monthly outings, with their most recent visit to Norton Priory in Runcorn.

The group meets every Wednesday at the Linksview Community Centre in Woolton Village. Picture © Andrew Nuttall

The group has received various high-profile visitors including the Lord Mayor of Liverpool, Roz Gladden, and Councillor Erica Kemp joined them for Christmas celebration last year.

The ‘Include Me’ group meets every Wednesday morning between 10am and noon at the Linksview Community Centre in Woolton.