Talk about spring cleaning!
An entire Wigan community has been helping to sweep, brush, pick and tidy in a bid to make a brighter future.
And the results for the new look Higher Folds speak for themselves.
Residents, council officers and a whole host of organisations and volunteers are celebrating the success of a series of events around the area and promise that there will be more to follow.
The process started with an intensive series of consultations with the community and visits to the two local schools; St Gabriel’s and Higher Folds Primary.
The council’s champion for neighbourhood services, Cllr Kevin Anderson, explains:
“Colleagues from many local agencies got together to get more information about local concerns such as anti-social behaviour, drugs, tipping and we have had results too.
“Illegal door-to-door sales of cigarettes and alcohol have been addressed and forwarded to HM Revenue and Customs. Illegal vehicles have also been seized and we have been able to work with the Benefits Agency on some cases too.”
Jackie Farrington, chair of Higher Folds Residents Association was delighted at the way things came together.
“It was good to see all the agencies working very hard getting things done. It would be nice if the residents respected all the hard work that went into it and kept the area tidy."
The clean up took many forms. Litter picks with residents and children, grot spot tidy-ups netted a whopping 105 tons of rubbish. And as well as environmental works, many local concerns were addressed:
- 12 young people caught truanting: education welfare officers are working with these people and their families.
- Four warrants issued by the police for controlled drugs and stolen property
- 10 further arrest warrants from police and enforcement officers.
- Two off-road bikes and riders were stopped and cautioned.
- 50 contact cards were issued as a result of youths being involved in anti-social behaviour.
- Six premises received safety warnings from the Fire and Rescue Service
- 11 visits to properties with rubbish in their gardens to inform tenants they were breaching their tenancies
- Three court warning letters were issued to tenants
One of the highlights was a football match. Local youngsters versus the multi-agency team.
A satisfying 3-2 to the away side.
Shirley Johnson, the council’s community improvement co-ordinator, adds:
“The result is even better, a community more united and cleaner than ever before. There were so many really positive outcomes from the events. Activities led by residents, such as the craft activities, bouncy castle, face painting, quizzes and buffets were all really well attended. Thank you everyone for helping to brighten Higher Folds and bring the community together.”