Lord Smith; a remarkable individual who leaves a lasting legacy

Lord Smith; a remarkable individual who leaves a lasting legacy

I must start this month’s column by marking the incredibly sad passing of my predecessor as leader of the council, Lord Peter Smith.

In addition to having the honour of serving alongside him we were also friends for more than four decades. He was a remarkable individual in many ways.

A fierce champion for Wigan Borough and Leigh, in particular, he leaves a significant and lasting legacy through his long and dedicated career as a public servant.

We will miss his experience and wisdom within the corridors of the town hall and I will personally miss our friendship.

Our thoughts continue to be with his family and friends at this time and the flags at Wigan and Leigh town halls have been flying at half mast as a sign of respect.

The announcement last week that the Rugby League World Cup has been postponed is extremely disappointing, but understandable given the circumstances.

As rugby league fans – and with our borough one of the heartlands of the game – we all want the tournament to go ahead with the best players in the world competing.

As a host location, we remain committed to supporting the delivery of the tournament and will continue to work closely with the organisers to see how we can move forward to 2022.

On a more positive note, it has been fantastic to see our borough athletes competing in the Olympics over the past few weeks and a special mention must be reserved for Keely Hodgkinson.

They will have all provided inspiration for our next generation and several will have many more opportunities for medals in the future.

I’m sure everyone will join me in watching the Paralympics in the coming days.

This week has also seen the start of an important consultation that sets out housing, infrastructure and jobs plans across the majority of Greater Manchester for decades.

Places for Everyone, which has evolved from the previous GM Spatial Framework proposals, shares many of its goals with the aims of our own Recovery Strategy.

It’s important therefore that as many of you as possible have your say in the consultation period, which lasts until early October.

The consultation is the final stage in the preparation of the plan before it is ready to be submitted to the Secretary of State.

You can take part here (external link)

Posted on Friday 13th August 2021

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