The Leader Column
By Peter Smith
Leader, Wigan Council
In a big organisation like Wigan Council, knowing who to contact when you
need one of our services isn’t always easy. And for anyone at work during
the week, it’s even harder. That’s why we’ve published a
full A-Z directory of our services which you should receive with this edition
of Borough Life.
At the same time, we’re taking steps to make it possible for people to
get in touch with us outside the usual working week. We want to be an easy
to contact, accessible organisation…and we want you to tell us if we’re
The news that Wigan is a four star council – and one of just a handful
to be judged excellent for the fourth year running – is not some piece
of vague PR spin.
It’s a judgement based on a really tough assessment by an independent
national watchdog, the Audit Commission.
I hope it will be good news for local people because it shows that, overall,
the council is providing high quality services – and using your hard-earned
council tax efficiently to do so.
It’s almost a cliché nowadays that more people need to use public
But for that to happen, our buses and trains need to be a more attractive
alternative for motorists.
That’s why the decision by the Greater Manchester Passenger Transport
Authority to make off-peak local buses and trains free to anyone over 60 is
It should directly improve the quality of life for thousands of our
older residents, and indirectly benefit many more by cutting traffic
pollution and congestion.
As Borough Life went to press, Wigan was buzzing in anticipation of
first ever soccer cup final.
By the time you read this issue you will know the result – but whatever
happened in Cardiff won’t have taken anything away from the fact that
the club’s success this season has been a remarkable boost to the town
and the whole borough.
It has put Wigan back on the national and international map, and the
continuing good publicity will doubtless lead to more interest from
people who want to invest in our borough. Well done, Latics!
40,000 homes added to green recycling rounds.
The popular green waste home collection service is being extended.
The council has been monitoring the initial trial to 40,000 properties around
They cut three million square metres of grass a week, look after 4,000 trees and tend to an amazing 300,000 square metres of shrubbery...
When he's not helping his team to premiership glory, Latics star Matt Jackson likes nothing better than burying his nose in a good book...
It’s finally official….Wallace and Gromit, the world-famous
plasticine animated models created by Nick Park, DO live in Wigan.
When Eric Winstanley suffered an injury at home that left him unable
to work he suddenly found he had a lot of time on his hands.
Never one to sit idle, Eric, who hails from Ashton-in-Makerfield,
was keen to put this time to good use. So when a friend suggested
he could research his family tree...
Wigan Council is on a ‘ceaseless quest to learn from the best and
move from being excellent to outstanding’, according to chief executive
Squirrel Nutkin is alive and living in Wigan! A small colony of rare red squirrels, discovered in privately owned woods in Winstanley, is believed to be the only population in the whole of Greater Manchester...
It’s been described as a voyage of personal discovery, an opportunity
to face up to new and exciting challenges – and to overcome them.
Preparation for life.
The Duke of Edinburgh’s Awards are nothing new...
You’ve worked hard all year, spent what seems like half your
entire waking life in a traffic jam and put up with 364 days of rain
for good measure...
Thousands of Wigan households are dicing with death simply because
they haven’t got round to fitting a smoke alarm, according to
local fire chiefs...
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It’s just four years old...but already the Words literary festival
has become an essential event in the local calendar...
The UK’s drugs and alcohol problems are well documented, and
the social and economic costs are colossal...
College in pole position as sports village work starts.
Bulldozers have moved in to start work on building the very first stage
of Leigh Sports Village...