WHEN two mayors go to war ...

Liverpool and Manchester are becoming a formidable double act.

Andy Burnham has hit the ground running as Mayor of Greater Manchester while Steve Rotheram, his counterpart as Liverpool City Region's Mayor, is making his mark holding the metaphorical political umbrella over six boroughs - including Wirral.

Already the soccer-mad pair; Evertonian Andy and LFC fan Steve have raised money for the homeless with a charity football match featuring Robbie Fowler in Steve's X1 and Gary Neville in Andy's.

Now, as the new football season arrives, these two local strikers can put a real kick into George Osborne's Northern Powerhouse concept which has always seemed to be just a virtual reality sales pitch.

I have met both these politicians when they were MPs and admired their sterling work in the ongoing Hillsborough justice campaign.

Now, they are using their considerable clout to demand the Government does something about the Northern Rail chaos by sending in a trouble-shooter.

The rivalry between Manchester and Liverpool grew during the Industrial Revolution, when dark satanic mills sprang up on the nation's green and pleasant land.

Two voices are better than one when piercing the Westminster bubble.

Granted, it's only over a year since the mayors were elected but both are passionate about making devolution work for every resident in their respective areas.


BY GUM! Here's something to chew on.

At last a sticky problem is being tackled by supermarket chain Iceland with their revolutionary plastic-free gum.

They have come up with environment friendly Simply Gum, which has biodegradable ingredients that won’t leave a mess on our towns and pavements.

While we make great emphasis on fining people for dropping cigarettes and litter, it is the chewing gum deposits that cause real problems.

Discarded ugly gum is what I call "street acne" and it costs a fortune to remove.

Local councils are believed to fork out £60m a year dis-lodging the horrendous stuff from an estimated 95 per cent of pavements in the UK.

And yet all this could be avoided if chewers took more care and deposited their gum in a bin it is not - as my brother, who worked for NASA, said it's not rocket science.


NOW this is science at its best – essential home gadgetry.

It is one of the great domestic curses of the twentieth century along with misplaced front door keys and odd socks kidnapped by washing machines.

Every day the cry goes out: "where's the remote control?"

Now innovators are developing TVs that pick up on voice commands.

They let you change channels by simply shouting at the TV screen.

Usually the remote is found down the back of the sofa or, as I once discovered, in the fridge (but that's another story).

TVs will be programmed to find favourite movies by quoting lines such as the Terminator's "Haste la vista, baby."

For now, I'm stuck with the wandering remote.

As they say in Casablanca "here's looking at you, kid."


WIRRAL's wonder band The Coral release their long-awaited new album Move Through the Dawn on Friday and judging by the superb singles released they are right on track.

Fellow Wirralian Simon Rimmer is a firm fan loving the group's output on his Facebook.

Their latest video is a homage to seaside holidays and no doubt it was inspired by growing up in Wirral.

The five-piece will be playing the Leasowe Castle on September 1 as part of the Skeleton Coast festival.

The Coral's coming home.


CASTLES will be everywhere this weekend thanks to something Wirral is famous for – family days out.

In New Brighton there is the Sand Sculpture challenge when buckets and spades are at the ready on New Brighton beach.

Over in West Kirby ... have we got Norse for you.

A pop-up Viking fort is being created out of cardboard as part of the Liverpool City Region's Lost Castles arts project.

I look forward to see a Viking stave church in Ashton Park, West Kirby.

The area is thought to have been a Viking state in its own right with its own borders and customs - years before Brexit.

It is being made by volunteers on Saturday and toppled on Sunday midday.

But before then it's a living history lesson with falconry birds from the Cheshire falconry winging in.


NEVER work with animals or children is the famous quote from the legendary WC Fields.

Paul O'Grady has happily ignored such advice.

As Blind Date shows, he also works very well with adults.

His dog shows are rating winners and now his latest heartwarming documentary is bound to tug at the heart strings.

Tonight ITV launch Little Heroes, a six-parter about Great Ormond Street hospital.

It reveals that the kids thought of Paul as a Mary Poppins-styled character.

It's a far cry from the now defrocked Lily Savage.

I shall continue my campaign to see him knighted for going that extra mile.

As for Little Heroes – have the tissues handy.

Peter Grant