CALLS by Wirral's Conservative councillors to relocate the kennels from Corporation Road to a more appropriate location have received cross-party supports.

The current kennels are not fit for purpose and offer no grassed area or a run around area that is large enough for dogs that have been abandoned, neglected or abused.

The call for relocation was made by Conservative Councillor for Wallasey, Lesley Rennie, and received support of all councillors.

Following the vote, Cllr Rennie has written to the Council's chief executive, Paul Satoor, to request an urgent meeting with the staff and volunteers at the kennels to start the process of finding new premises.

Cllr Rennie said: "I'm pleased that all parties recognise the importance of the work of the amazing Friends at the kennels.

"We need to start work to find more suitable premises. The Friends do a fantastic job; saving the council money and, more important, saving the lives of so many dogs."

Colin Clayton, assistant director for community services, said: "Since 2014, the council has worked in partnership with a group of outstanding volunteers to care for the borough’s lost or stray dog population in Wirral.

"Over the past five years, the Friends of Birkenhead Kennels have shown great commitment to the animals they care for, the results of which can be plainly seen in the dramatically improved welfare, increased rehoming rate and decreased stray population across the borough.

"Thanks to the group, increased staffing levels mean that the animals benefit from greater environmental and social nourishment, as walking sessions and play time have greatly increased.

"This is something that, without our volunteers, our environmental teams would struggle to provide at such a high standard due to space constraints at the current site.

"Working closely on a day to day basis with the council’s statutory dog warden, the volunteers have received training to better support the service, and some have even gone on to start their own businesses and organisations working for the welfare of animals.

"I take my hat off to the friends, they continue to provide a much-needed service that has seen massive strides in the welfare of the animals requiring this care.

"The council provides an annual grant of £97,000 to the group to deliver their services and, more recently, our environmental teams also saw the installation of a new heating system and improved flooring within the kennels.

"Our dog warden and environmental teams will continue to support the friends group in this partnership and, while an appropriate new location has not yet been found within the borough, our staff continue to keep this in mind when we look at assets owned by the council."

Sam Simpson, trustee and volunteer manager at Birkenhead Kennels, said recently: "Since being in partnership with the Council we have formed a great working relationship which has only enhanced the charity and the welfare of the dogs in Wirral which come into the kennels.

"We hope this partnership continues long into the future."