There’s never a good time to get a flat tyre. Most local garages will repair a puncture but once the repair is done, can you be sure it’s still road safe?
When Wigan Council’s Trading Standards Officers visited 28 traders to advise them how tyre repairs should be carried out, 11 of them (almost 40 per cent) were not aware of the requirement to fill all puncture holes.
For further information regarding tyre safety, please visit Tyresafe (external link)
You can find a list of reputable traders (including mechanics) on Wigan Council’s website – Wigan Council - Good Trader and search for ‘Good Trader’.
Need some fun... get on your bike
SUMMER’S here and what better time to enjoy the great outdoors than a lovely cycle ride?
And if you’re going out and about, two wheels can be better than four!
After long days studying at school many young people can’t wait to get out of the house for a bike ride.
It’s great fun, but it’s also important to stay road safe.
That’s why Wigan Council is offering free Bikeability training for children aged 10 and up this summer holiday.
The courses are run by accredited trainers from Cycle Experience. Those who complete the course will learn how to ride safely on the road and negotiate road junctions, roundabouts and other obstacles.
The courses consist of four sessions and participants must complete all sessions to gain the Bikeability Level 2 qualification.
Further courses will be held at schools across the borough in the next year.
To take part, all you’ll need is a roadworthy bike and a cycle helmet. If you don’t have a helmet, you will be loaned one for the duration of the course along with a high visibility waistcoat.
If you are interested in signing up for a Bikeability course in the borough this summer, please call Wigan Council on 01942 488250.
18-26 June is National Bike Week, visit Bike Week (external link) for details.
How friendly faces offer help at home
A CARING voice or a friendly face really can make all the difference when you’re living alone.
Now older people who live alone in Leigh can benefit from exactly this kind of support thanks to the caring actions of a group of dedicated volunteers.
The British Red Cross is expanding its Dawn Patrol service to cover Leigh after it has proved a big success in other parts of the borough.
Launched in 2008 in Wigan, the free service involves local Red Cross volunteers making a daily phone call to, or visiting older people who are living alone to check they are warm, safe and well. Volunteers also provide care in the home where needed such as assistance with shopping, washing up or helping people to get to appointments.
Steve Jones, Dawn Patrol service coordinator at the British Red Cross, said: “Dawn Patrol has already proved successful in most parts of Wigan, where local volunteers have helped look out for older and vulnerable people in their community, so we are delighted that the service has now been extended to cover Leigh as well.”
The British Red Cross is always looking for volunteers who would like to get involved in helping their local community.
If you would like to use the service or get involved as a volunteer contact Steve Jones on 01204 369 628 or email Steve Jones
Connexions bucks trend on youth unemployed
YOUTH unemployment may be on the rise nationally but thanks to Connexions, Wigan is bucking the trend.
The young people’s information, advice and guidance service is boasting its lowest ever figures for the number of young people aged 16 to 18 years who are not in education, employment or training.
Just 6.6 per cent of young people in our borough are now classed as unemployed, which compares to a nationally set target of 6.8 per cent.
Not only that, more school leavers than ever before are now moving into learning, especially further education.
The Wigan and Leigh Connexions service has achieved the fifth best figures nationwide for the September Guarantee. This is the offer of further learning to all school-leavers.
Wigan Council's Cabinet Member for Children and Young People, Cllr Susan Loudon, congratulated the borough’s Connexions service for a ‘wonderful achievement’.
“The team at Connexions should be very proud,” says Cllr Loudon. “Providing opportunities for our young people has never been more important. It is also reassuring to know that our young people are motivated and determined to take up the opportunities that are offered to them.”
Connexions service manager Elaine Dann adds: “We have worked together with our partners to exceed the targets set for us by the government. The team has worked hard to help our young people realise their potential by going into jobs and training.”
For more information on Wigan Borough’s Connexions Service visit Connexions
Council cuts red tape on grant aid applications
Wigan Council is cutting red tape to help community groups and organisations apply for grants.
There will now be just one scheme to apply to, a single set of criteria for applications to meet, and only one application form.
Groups and organisations must be able to provide evidence why they feel their project or service is needed and explain how the grant will make a difference.
Under the new scheme, the council will periodically highlight priority issues that it would like to see addressed.
Applications which address these will be given priority consideration.
Wigan Council’s Efficiency Champion Ged Bretherton says: “When resources are scarce we must make every penny count towards achieving things that we know will benefit Wigan and its residents.”
The new arrangements will enable the council to award grants to a wider range of groups and organisations, as the single scheme and criteria can be more flexible about responding to what the community needs.
Cllr Bretherton adds: “Under the previous system there were 13 different schemes, each with their own specific criteria.
“We have made it easier for people to apply for a grant because there is now only form for them to fill in. We have also created one single set of criteria for all grants, and created a
‘fast-track’ system for grants under £1,500. Groups who apply for small amounts of money and satisfy all the criteria should have their money within 4 weeks.”
For more information on the new Wigan Council Grant Aid Scheme you can call 01942 486256 or email Grant Applications
Solar panels a ray of good news for borough
ENERGY conservation is an issue that should concern us all.
And now council housing chiefs have found a ray of hope in the ongoing campaign to introduce more renewable forms of power, which could have benefits for the whole borough.
Working in partnership with Npower, Wigan and Leigh Housing has installed solar panels on the roofs of eight south facing homes as a trial project with very encouraging results. The panels produce electricity in an environmentally friendly way and tenants are also benefitting from lower bills. On average annual electricity bills are being cut by £100 thanks to the solar panels and the sun doesn’t even have to be shining for it to work.
Any electricity generated that is not used by the householder can be sold back to the energy supplier. The money made by producing electricity will be used to cover the costs of installing solar panels and re-investing in other properties.
Wigan Council’s Cabinet Member for Efficiency Cllr Ged Bretherton, says: “As part of an overall energy strategy, we are currently trying to find ways of installing solar panels for many more council homes.
“These solar panels work even on cloudy days and the clean electricity produced reduces the tenants electricity bills. Petrol and home fuel bills are rocketing up so we are now capturing energy from the sun to generate clean, low cost electricity.”
Walk, Run, Cycle but always be healthy!
A HOST of activities to encourage residents to get healthy have been organised this summer by the borough’s Cultural Partnership.
As Borough Life went to print a festival of walking was taking place at Haigh Country Park in every conceivable form from Nordic Walking to Power Walking to a challenging 10K Bluebell Walk.
Other events organised by the Cultural Partnership this summer include:
- Sunday 12 June – a unique opportunity to cycle round the Three Sisters Race Circuit – the day will include Time Trials; Family Cycle Routes; Charity Raffle and much more. Cycles are available to borrow on the day – booking essential – 01942 488481.
- Sunday 17 July – Leigh Sports Village 10k Run, starts at 10am. To register your place for the run visit Legacy Event (external link)
- Sunday 25 September – Haigh Country Park 10k Run starting at 9.30am and a 5k Family Run starting at 12 noon. To register your place for the run visit Run 4 a Life (external link)
Wigan’s Cultural Partnership is a body made up of individuals from the public, private and voluntary sector dedicated to improving the lives of individuals and communities by increasing the accessibility of cultural resources and developing recreational facilities.
To find out more visit Wigan Leisure and Culture Trust (external link)
Fond memories of a movie Classic
FILM BUFF: Matthew Elliott
Leigh author and movie fan Matthew Elliott is eager for the new multiplex to open.
He remembers the old Classic Cinema: “In the Classic's heyday queues for particularly popular films ran down the street. The longest I recall was for Jaws in 1975, which ran all the way round the building! The queue for the original Batman in 1989 was particularly long, but this was the very first 12 certificate film, and many youngsters were turned away, which caused the line to move pretty quickly.
“Quite a lot of parents took their kids to see Return of the Musketeers instead, boosting its box-office revenues more than it deserved.
“The Classic was a single-screen cinema until 1978, when it was renovated and re-opened to coincide with the release of Superman.
“There are two particular images of the Classic that stay with me after all these years - one is of hot dogs in brine, before the invention of those roller devices. Hot dogs have never tasted the same since.
“The other is of an exceptionally large poster for the 1979 film Mad Max. Seeing Mel Gibson pointing his gun at me on every single visit used to quite unnerve me.”
Didn’t they do well!
Winning Team: Celebrating litter-picking success are Wigan Athletic stars Jugo Rodallega, Franco Di Santo, Ronnie Stam, Steve Gohouri, Conor Sammon, Steven Caldwell and Gary Caldwell with the clean-team from St John Fisher High School and members of the council's Environmental Education, Cleansing and Neighbourhood teams.
SCHOOL children from across Wigan Borough have scored a real winner with their campaign to clean-up the school run.
With help from the council’s Eco Schools, Cleansing and Neighbourhood teams, pupils took ownership of the areas surrounding their schools with a planned programme of litter-picks.
And the results were stunning! More than 240 children collected 280 bags of rubbish from around their schools.
The pupils and the council even managed to pull off a late substitution in the shape of stars from Wigan Athletic, who have come out in support of the young people’s efforts.
A group of 13 young litter-pickers from St John Fisher High School took part in one of the events.
During the clean-up that followed the pupils managed to collect a whopping 30 bags full of litter. As a thank-you the team were invited to Wigan Athletic’s training ground to meet some of the players.
Wigan Athletic manager Roberto Martinez said: “Everyone knows that you play better when you play as a team and when it comes to clearing litter it looks like Wigan Borough has a great one.”
‘Fete’ lends a hand in Shevington
EVERY year Shevington Gardening Club organises a show.
Flowers, vegetables and all manner of produce are proudly displayed, with prizes for the best.
Now in its 27th year, the event is promising to be an extra special one this year.
The Gardening Club has joined forces with Shevington Community Association to organise the first Shevington and District Summer Fete.
Ted Unwin from the Gardening Club says: “Local groups and organisations have been asked to take part in the Fete and we have had a terrific response. It's a chance for everyone to support local groups, showcase their activities and raise funds.”
Groups taking part so far include the Fire Brigade, who will be bringing along an engine, the St John Ambulance Brigade, Guide Dogs for the Blind and the Police who will be giving a security demonstration. There will also be a craft fair.
The Fete and Flower Show will take place on Saturday 6 August in and around Shevington Methodist Hall and Shevington Youth Club, look out for the sign-posts.
The Fete and Craft Fair will run all day (10am to 4pm) The Flower Show timetable will be:
- Staging – 9am till noon
- Judging – noon till 2pm
- Public viewing – 2pm onwards.
The show will be followed by an auction of produce. Refreshments will be available on site throughout the day. For more information about the Fete email Shevington and District Fete 2011 or Marlaine
Exhibiting at the show is for members only, but you may enrol on the day of the show, by taking a half year’s membership, which will run until January.
For information about the show email Ted Unwin or phone 01257 255171, or ring Eileen on 01257 402097.