Birkenhead’s MP seeks significant investment in redevelopment and jobs programmes
Frank Field MP has written to the new Secretary of State for Housing, Communities, and Local Government with a proposal which would see Birkenhead draw down significant investment from the Government’s Stronger Towns Fund.
In his letter, Frank sets out the programmes which local residents have named as their top priorities, and for which extra funding would be most valued:
- Jobs – Birkenhead’s
unemployment rate now stands at 8%. Emergency funding is required, which
community organisations could use as a wage subsidy to create new jobs and
provide work placements, open to people who are currently unemployed, to
help move the town towards full employment.
- Youth services – funding to guarantee the longer-term viability of Birkenhead’s youth clubs would enable them to provide more services for young people across the town.
- Street lighting – too many streets have been left without functioning lights for months, despite being reported to the council, leaving residents feeling unsafe after dark. While the council is due to replace each light within two years, additional investment could help to speed up this process and give Birkenhead a large reserve stock of high-quality bulbs.
- Empty buildings – funding to regenerate derelict buildings, such as the old Central Hotel, and to refurbish other buildings that are falling into disrepair, would add to the stock for housing, fledgling businesses, or community initiatives.
- Clean environment – funding for a rapid response team to deal with fly tipping, and for additional staff in Birkenhead’s parks and green spaces, would help to preserve our local environment.
Frank comments: ‘When the Government announced that it was setting up the Stronger Towns Fund, I was determined both for Birkenhead to be at the front of the queue for new investment, as well as for residents’ views to shape the contents of our investment proposal. From the feedback I received, five clear priorities emerged – creating more jobs, safeguarding the future of our youth services, quickly upgrading all of our street lights with decent bulbs, bringing empty or dilapidated buildings back into use, and maintaining the cleanliness and tidiness of our streets, back entries and green spaces. I’ve relayed these views to the Secretary of State and will continue pushing for an investment programme which delivers on all five fronts.’