INDEPENDENT Lib Dem councillor Ed Cunliffe has joined the controlling Labour Group on Wirral Council.

The councillor for Prenton confirmed the switch in parties yesterday. An official announcement is expected at the next full meeting of the council.

Coun Cunliffe, who lives in Pensby, had become disillusioned with the Lib Dems locally and was impressed with New Labour and the Wirral Labour Group. He is due for re-election as a councillor in May 1999 and was once a Labour councillor in St Helens.

Phil Gilchrist, Leader of Wirral Lib Dems - the smallest group on the council - said Coun Cunliffe obviously felt more comfortable with the controlling Labour Group rather than in opposition. However, he was elected as a Lib Dem, said Coun Gilchrist, adding that his group would remain both critical and constructive in opposition by questioning the policies of both Labour and Conservative.

NEWLY wed Guy Rewell, aged 28, of Quarry Avenue, Bebington, died when his Vauxhall Cavalier was involved in a three-car pile-up in North Wales.

NEW BRIGHTON rescue services were involved when a balloon from 12 Quays was forced to land on a sandbank between Eastham and Garston. Wind and threatening clouds prevented most of the balloons taking off ,but there was a big balloon finale at 12 Quays on Saturday night.

THURSTASTON Scouts are trying to raise money to replace stolen canoeing equipment in time for their Summer camp. Their trailer with eight kayak canoes was stolen while they were attending a camp near Ormskirk.

THIEVES have stolen a 25ft flag pole from the garden of a house in Bebington - an appeal for its return went out yesterday morning on Radio Merseyside.

BOWL a maiden over or strike out in aid of charity this Sunday (June 21).

Riverside Bowl, New Brighton, is donating the use of two lanes between 12noon and 6pm to the British Red Cross Wallasey Centre.

Everyone is welcome - just make up a team of four or six people and telephone 201-0207 to book a playing time.

On Saturday (June 20) a coffee morning is being held at the Wallasey Centre at 97 Wallasey Road (10am). Attractions will include home-made cakes, marmalade, plants, bring and buy and a raffle.

MUSIC and song will be the order of the day at a concert being organised by the North Wirral Branch of the NSPCC and featuring the Merseyside Police Band, with Church Drive Primary School Choir and Grove Street Primary School Choir.

The event takes place at the Gladstone Theatre, Port Sunlight, on Wednesday, June 24, at 7.30pm. Tickets, adults £3.50 and children £1, telephone 334-1995. All proceeds in aid of the NSPCC.

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