In April of this year came the news that the Co-Op store based in New Ferry was set to close. Following the announcement, I joined the residents and shop owners of New Ferry to protest at the shutting down of this store which was central to the town.
This, along with the closure of the Lloyds branch on Bebington Road, came as a massive blow to the community and since the Co-Op closed its doors over the summer for the last time the building has remained empty and unused.
Since the announcement of the closure I have been in ongoing contact with the Wirral Borough Council, developers, and representatives of supermarkets and community groups to try and find someone to take advantage of this space in order to ensure it does not fall into ruin. The future of this building depends on a plan which is led by the Council, and I have urged them to explore what possibilities there are in order for this to happen. And I will continue to work with the local councillors to ensure this situation does not continue any longer than necessary.
I have been working with a strategy group to form plans to make the most of Bebington Youth Centre based in New Ferry so that we can take a holistic approach to New Ferry and make sure that we are making the most of all we have to offer here. I am also pleased about the meetings that have started in New Ferry to bring local people together to help the town. The meetings have formed New Ferry Town Team so that there can be a coordinated approach to looking at how to move New Ferry forward.
New Ferry has a number of empty shops and the closure of such a big space in the town just compounds all the challenges the area is already facing. A resolution to combat the hole left by the closure of the Co-Op needs to be found as soon as possible, and I will continue to lobby the council till one is found.
This is an urgent matter for our town centre and I implore the local authority to do everything in its power to find a solution. Residents and business owners in the area deserve better than seeing empty and unused buildings blighting the area.