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Now Wirral is hoping to become a city

WIRRAL Council is considering mounting a bid to have the borough recognised as a city.

WIRRAL Council is considering mounting a bid to have the borough recognised as a city.

Council leaders feel a successful bid would raise the profile of the borough and take it out of shadow of neighbouring Liverpool and Chester.

Four new cities are to be created next year, one in England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales, to mark the Queen's Jubilee.

Warrington is also considering submitting a bid after it was unsuccessful in the last bidding process.

If Wirral is successful, the area will change its name from the Metropolitan Borough of Wirral to the City of Wirral Council.

Although the new status does not give Wirral any additional powers, council leader Steve Foulkes believes it will play a key role in promoting the area.

He confirmed last night that he is now talking with the other political parties and interested groups prior to a final decision being made on the bid. He said: "We are saying to people is that Wirral exists as a great place to live, with superb business opportunities and leisure facilities.

"I believe city status is an honour which would raise the profile of the area in so many ways.

"It is, however, important for us to consult with all parties which have an involvement in promoting Wirral, together with the other political parties and MPs."

Coun Foulkes claims Wirral deserves city status because of its diversity.

He added: "We are a unique opportunity waiting to be fulfilled.

"Wirral has a tremendous history boasting many world firsts, including the first public park, the first tram service and we were also the first local authority to launch the One Stop Shops. Wirral has been at the forefront of so many things which we have not had credit for.

"We want to shout loud and clear about what a great place Wirral is and come out of the shadow of Liverpool and Chester.

"We have as much, if not more to offer, than anywhere else in the country. Wirral would be a city of contrasts, with its industry, countryside and seaside."

The borough is the eighth largest metropolitan authority in the country with a population of 327,000.

But despite this, Coun Foulkes still believes there will be " tough competition."

He said: "It is not something which is going to be easy.

"I see this as the start of a long campaign for Wirral to put itself on the map."

City status is sparingly bestowed. Only 17 such awards were made during the last century.

All bids for this latest round have to be submitted by October 12.


David Holmes
Chief News Reporter
David Norbury
Mike Fuller
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