LIFE has been like a fairy tale in Wirral over the last few months ... Grimm.

While researchers have revealed that we no longer tell our children fairy stories, ironically here on our pretty peninsular we have been watching a story of a decidedly un-magical Kingdom unfold.

Once upon a time, the borough's burghers, led by a cabinet full of barren hard-ups, welcomed in a mysterious army of litter enforcement officers.

Remember The Wombles - meet The Shambles.

They wore scary black uniforms and charm-free armour.

They scared the living daylight out of many Wirralians with their deadly fixed penalty notices.

Before they arrived, ordinary townsfolk could walk the streets freely, without fear of being fined for accidentally dropping litter or cigarette butts.

Decent citizens were duly responsible for cleaning up messes created by their four-legged friends.

Some even volunteered, cleaning up the borough's beaches and so couldn't understand why this band of municipal Munchkins had arrived to ironically become real-life blots on the landscape.

Alas with the council coffers in need of more 'grouts' these strangers with a cunning plan seemed to be the answer.

But like the baddies from Pantoland they set about making lives a daily misery for many.

It was bound to end in tears when news from abroad (Liverpool) revealed they had made this unpleasant Litterarteri disappear for good.

The Wirral residents decided it was time to give them the brush off too, while mentally brandishing metaphorical flaming pitchforks as seen in Hammer Horror films.

They consulted oracles from hard-hitting bloggers to local and national media.

Matters took a turn for the better when the wizard of multi-media broadcasting - Eamonn Holmes urged on his Talk Radio show that

WBC should, like Dick Whittington, turn and think again about their heavy-handed approach.

And so the burghers decided to terminate the contract by 'mutual consent' - clearly some fairy tales are far-fetched.

The upside is that there is a moral here.

Residents, victims of foul play, small businesses and even visitors now hold their collective breaths for an apology.

There are still ongoing remnants of Kingdom's reign to be mopped up.

Happily, there will still be questions asked tonight at the environment overview and scrutiny committee meeting and there's the extraordinary council meeting on Monday at 5pm.

For now 'people power' has won the war.

To quote those reforming minstrels The Who - "we won't get fooled again."

"Alone we are stong . . . Together we are stronger," say the inspirational Wirral Against Litter Police.

Now that's a magical thought ... and one every councillor should take very seriously as May 3 comes into view and the electorate sprinkle lashings of fairy dust of their very own in the ballot boxes.


OSCAR-award winning star Christopher Cross had the Midas touch.

But whatever happened to him?

The good news for his fans is he's coming to Merseyside.

The Texan musician was famous in the '80s and then seemed to vanish.

Christopher, who had global hits including Arthur's Theme and Sailing, won five Grammy awards.

Now he makes an Atlantic crossing on November 6 to the Philharmonic Hall.

Christopher was once told by an air stewardess while handing over his boarding pass that there used to be 'a famous star called Christopher Cross but he had 'passed on.'

To prove that he is very much alive he now has a wine named after him.

Cheers Chris - you are getting better with age.


TEARS really are souvenirs this week.

Sir Ken Dodd died on March 11, 2018 and many of us still cannot believe he's gone.

But his legacy lives on with his face smiling down from the sides of buses in St Helens.

Maybe Merseyrail could dedicate one of their super new trains to him.

By Jove, how comforting it would be as we look at the cancellation board to see Doddy's toothy grin gracing our rolling stock.

Doddy touched everyone as a book called Absent Friends features poems and anecdotes written entirely by the people he held dear - his fans - lovingly edited by his wife Lady Anne.

Comedian John Martin, like me, knew Ken for more than three decades and has written a moving foreword.

He simply says writing jokes for the grand master mirth-maker was like mixing paint for Van Gogh.


SENSITIVE Singer-songwriter Glen Tilbrook has managed to stay at the top of his profession because he genuinely cares about his fans.

He once invited the whole audience at a gig to a pub after an intimate solo concert.

Now that certainly beats a selfie.

But it's not just his loyal followers that Glen cares about - but those who are finding if hard to make ends meet.

Glen, who co-wrote all of Squeeze's greatest hits with Chris Difford, is making a difference in other ways.

He asks those who attend his shows to donate items or money as he supports the Trussell Trust Foodbank network.

His admirable actions boosting food donations add an extra significance to the classic Squeeze song - Labelled with Love.


And finally ...

The World Wide Web is spreading hate and misinformation and is on a 'downward plunge to a dysfunctional future', says its creator today.

A fascinating documentary on its 30th anniversary will be screened on March 19.

But, I ask, what has the internet really done for me?

I will miss the programme when it is aired - then again, I can always watch it on I-Player ...

Peter Grant