BIRKENHEAD'S MP has drawn-up a five-point masterplan to breathe new life into the area with the help of ideas from the town's residents.

Frank Field believes the programme would qualify to draw significant investment from the Government’s "Stronger Towns Fund."

Mr Field has written to new secretary of state for housing, communities, and local government Robert Jenrick setting out the programmes which local people have named as their top priorities and for which extra funding would be most valued.

Mr Field said: "When the Government announced it was setting up the Stronger Towns Fund I was determined both for Birkenhead to be at the front of the queue for new investment, as well as for residents’ views to shape the contents of our investment proposal."

The five key subjects are:

JobsBirkenhead’s unemployment rate now stands at 8%. Emergency funding is required, which community organisations could use as a wage subsidy to create new jobs and provide work placements, open to people who are currently unemployed, to help move the town towards full employment.

Youth servicesfunding to guarantee the longer-term viability of Birkenhead’s youth clubs would enable them to provide more services for young people across the town.

Street lightingtoo many streets have been left without functioning lights for months, despite being reported to the council, leaving residents feeling unsafe after dark. While the council is due to replace each light within two years, additional investment could help to speed up this process and give Birkenhead a large reserve stock of high-quality bulbs.

Empty buildingsfunding to regenerate derelict buildings, such as the old Central Hotel, and to refurbish other buildings that are falling into disrepair, would add to the stock for housing, fledgling businesses, or community initiatives.

Clean environmentfunding for a rapid response team to deal with fly-tipping, and for additional staff in Birkenhead’s parks and green spaces, would help to preserve our local environment.

Mr Field added: "From the feedback I received five clear priorities emerged – creating more jobs, safeguarding the future of our youth services, quickly upgrading all of our street lights with decent bulbs, bringing empty or dilapidated buildings back into use, and maintaining the cleanliness and tidiness of our streets, back entries and green spaces.

"I’ve relayed these views to the secretary of state and will continue pushing for an investment programme which delivers on all five fronts."

Earlier this year the Government announced the  £1.6 billion Stronger Towns Fund which would be "targeted at towns to create new jobs, help train local people and boost growth."

£281m of the fund was "notionally" earmarked for the Northwest - the highest sum for any English region.

One billion pounds of the fund was to be allocated using a needs-based formula with the remaining £600m available through a competitive process.

The formula is based on a combination of productivity, income, skills, deprivation metrics and proportion of the population living in towns. 

This targets those places with economies that are performing relatively less well to the England average whose residents are living on lower incomes, and where larger proportions of the population have low skill attainment.