Plans for a new council depot, bringing together teams from three separate sites, moved a step closer this week following approval by Wigan Council’s planning committee.
A deal has been agreed to bring back to life a disused former Asda warehouse in Ince. The project will also bring together teams from a range of council operations into one new ‘hub’ helping to improve services, reduce the council’s carbon footprint and save an estimated £1 million per year in maintenance, transport and other running costs.
The council and its partners currently operate three main depots for core services such as waste collection, storage and maintenance of the vehicle fleet, highways department and Leigh Building Services. These depots are located at: Sovereign Road, Wigan; Christopher Street, Ince and the Towns Yard, Hindley.
Terry Dunn, Director for the Environment at Wigan Council says that the old sites have come to the end of their useful lives:
“This is an example of how we can work innovatively to reduce costs and improve performance at the same time. The current situation of having three separate sites that all require significant investment is untenable. If we had chosen to retain the existing sites we would have had to have spent in excess of £1 million per year in maintenance costs, just to keep them in their current condition.”
Salt of the earth: the barn has proved its worth in recent winters and is easily transferrable to the new site.
Cllr Kevin Anderson is the council’s cabinet lead for the environment responsible for cleansing, waste and highways. He says: “This project means a disused depot facility can be brought back to life. It is a much better option than spending significant sums on a brand new site. As well as saving money, the new depot will also ensure that 1,500 staff have much more suitable working conditions. Crucially, residents will get a more effective response to public issues by us bringing similar services under one roof. And as for the sites we would vacate, I am pleased that we are developing detailed plans for their future which will be to the advantage of the local economy.”
The works will cost £3m and pay for itself within 4 years. The new depot will be operating by the middle of 2013.
The full list of services to be relocated to the new depot includes:
- Highway Services - providing highway maintenance and drainage and winter maintenance
- Waste Collection and Management teams
- Leigh Building Services
- Vehicle maintenance
- Street Lighting
- Storage areas already sited across the three depots and some from the now redundant Frog Lane site such as Trading Standards and Pest control
- Heritage collection storage area