There are enough empty properties in Birkenhead to house all those families in urgent need of a new home.

An inquiry by the town's MP and ward councillors has discovered there are 1,800 such properties - and the same number of families in priority need on the housing waiting list.

A proposal is now being submitted to Wirral Council by Frank Field and councillor Paul Doughty and Vicky Nowa of Oxton’s Labour Team.

The three are writing to town hall leader Cllr Phil Davies asking him to host a summit aimed of returning as many of these homes as possible to use.

Mr Field said: "Lots of local residents report to me that they are having to wait years to move up the housing list.

"As things stand Birkenhead simply does not have enough suitable homes to meet the town’s needs.

"What better way therefore to start the New Year than to set a mission of returning 1,800 empty homes to use so that all those in priority need can be housed within the next year or two?

"This could be the last Christmas with people in urgent need not being housed properly." 

Councillor Doughty said: "1,800 families could be given a real boost if the council were able to return as many of Birkenhead’s empty homes as possible to use.

"Of course there are factors like the number of rooms required to meet each family’s needs that will muddy the waters to some extent, and likewise with access, but I’m asking for the council to meet these challenges head on so we can help families who desperately need a new home."

Councillor George Davies, cabinet member for housing, said: "I give my absolute assurance that Birkenhead will get its fair share of homes being brought back into use."