Monday, 5 December 2016

CCTV now live at Winstanley Shops

Following a spate of incidents involving gangs of youths and working alongside the owners of the shopping precinct, CCTV is now installed and connected to the Central Watch Monitoring System.

If you are a victim of anti-social behaviour (ASB) please report the matter to the Police on Tel 101. We understand the anger and frustration that many people feel when they or their homes have been subjected to ASB.

By reporting every incident, it assists us as your ward councillors to make representation for a greater share of resources to tackle this issue.

Greater Manchester Spatial Framework (GMSF)

Following the two public meetings held last month, we would like to encourage residents to object to the proposals contained in the GMSF to remove green belt status from land at Junction 25 of the M6.

This can be done st the GMSF website here

Suggestions on the content of objection letters can be viewed at The M6 South of Wigan Action Group website but include;

1. Loss of Greenbelt - the proposal does not warrant the removal of greenbelt status nor do any exceptional circumstances apply.
2. Impact on Air Quality and Noise Pollution
3. Impact on local traffic network
4. Impact on local services eg Schools, NHS

Please take a look at the suggested templates but try and re-word them in your own style and submit no later than 5pm on Friday, 23rd December 2016.

Remember - Once it's gone, it's gone forever.

Save Winstanley's Greenbelt!

Tuesday, 8 November 2016

Greater Manchester Spatial Framework

Makerfield MP, Yvonne Fovargue has today launched a campaign calling for the retention of greenbelt status on land identified in the Greater Manchester Spatial Framework (GMSF) as suitable for ‘industry and warehousing’.

The land in question is located at Junction 25 of the M6 motorway in the wards of Bryn and Winstanley.

Ms Fovargue successfully led a campaign with the support of residents to retain the current greenbelt status of the land in the early part of the current decade when the then emerging Wigan Council Core Strategy sought to remove greenbelt status. A Government Independent Inspector in early 2013 confirmed that the site would remain in greenbelt up to 2026. Wigan Council adopted the amended Core Strategy later that year.

Ms Fovargue has called a public meeting for Tuesday, 15th November at St Aidan’s Social Centre, Winstanley commencing at 7pm. 

The GMSF identifies the potential for Wigan to provide over 1.2million sq metres of ‘industrial and warehousing’ floorspace as part of a 8.1million sq metres indicative capacity for the Greater Manchester region.

Yvonne Fovargue MP said, “This proposal will give rise to the loss of open space and urban sprawl that will see Winstanley, Goose Green and Ashton/Bryn merge together.

“Brown field sites should be prioritised for development and we need a GMSF plan which reflects this.

“There is no doubt that residents living in the vicinity of the site will shudder at the thought of huge warehouses with HGVs clogging up an already busy A49 corridor that struggles to cope with current traffic loads and the impact on air quality.

“I am not prepared to see the communities I represent subjected to this proposal and I am calling on residents to join me in the fight to protect our greenbelt.”

As your local ward councillors we urge residents to support the campaign. Please confirm your attendance by email including your name and address.

Wednesday, 18 May 2016

Clapgate Lane Post Office

Post Office Ltd have confirmed that plans to modernise Clapgate Lane PO will go ahead as previously advised with the new look Post Office opening on Thursday, 9th June.

This will mean that the branch will be closed for refurbishment on Tues, 7th June from 5.30pm onwards.

Alternative provision will be available at Winstanley Post Office and Hawkley Post Office during the closure period.

When the branch re-opens the opening hours will be Mon-Sat 6am-10pm & Sun 7am-10pm.

Tuesday, 10 May 2016

Local Election 2016

Results from the Borough wide local elections held on Thursday, 5th May can be viewed here.

Cllr Paul Kenny would like to extend his thanks for the support of local residents as he secured 1,350 votes, an increased majority of 460 on a turnout higher than 2012 when these particular elections were last contested.

RESULT

Paul Kenny - Labour & Co-operative 1350
Andrew Collinson - UKIP 890
Jean Peet - Conservative 334
Steven Hayes - Green 229

Spoilt Ballot papers 5

Turnout 31.5%

Tuesday, 26 April 2016

Heritage Day to commemorate World War I

Celebrate the heritage of Wigan Borough this bank holiday with a trip to Trencherfield Mill. The popular Heritage Day returns this year thanks to £4,750 from Wigan Council’s World War One Community Grant Scheme.

Visitors to the event will be able to view proposals for the '4 Our Forces' facility, which looks set to be built next to the mill. The project, being developed by Wigan Council and Wigan Sea Cadets, will provide somewhere for local and regional cadets to meet, whilst also being a central point for Armed Forces families to access a range of services including advice about housing and employment, education and health and well-being.

Other attractions on the day include stalls, a fun fair, classic cars, Punch and Judy, and the world-famous Trencherfield Mill steam engine in action. There will be music from Chockinfeckle and the Pemberton Old Wigan DW Brass Band. Kittywake will be offering canal trips to visitors.

Pegasus, WiganSTEAM, SKILS CIC Buzz Pod, the British Legion and the Trencherfield Mill Residents’ Association will all be attending.

The event takes place on Monday 2nd May between 11am-4pm.

There is a charge of £2 per adult and £1 per child (family ticket £5) to gain entry to the mill building. This includes a visit to the steam engine. Veterans and serving members of the Armed Forces presenting ID can attend the event free.

Ten per cent of ticket sales will be donated to the Sea Cadets to mark The Battle of Jutland centenary. Jutland was the most pivotal naval engagement of World War One, with 6,000 British personnel lost.

More than 3,400 Wigan Borough residents lost their lives in World War One. The council has dedicated £250,000 to support World War One centenary commemorations.

Election leaflet

You can view Cllr Paul Kenny's election leaflet delivered to over 4,400 households in Goose Green, Highfield, Marus Bridge and Winstanley here.

Tuesday, 19 April 2016

Latest Planning Applications

You can view the latest planning applications submitted to Wigan Council here.

The major application for a pub/restaurant at Smithy Brook Road has received planning permission. The decision notice can be viewed here.

Friday, 8 April 2016

Billinge Road & St Matthew's Close

A proposal to introduce a Traffic Order in the vicinity of Billinge Rd/St Matthew's Close is currently being consulted on.

The Notice and Plan gives details of the proposed scheme.

Comments or objections about the scheme can be submitted in writing to the Assistant Director - Legal, Town Hall, Library Street, Wigan, WN1 1YN. Any comments or objections should be received by no later than 3 May 2016 quoting the reference RD/LS/SEC/CL48.152.

Tory Local Government cuts hit northern towns like Wigan the hardest.

Friday, 1 April 2016

Work to commence on new play area for Gayton Close

Cllr Paul Kenny at
the Gayton Close site
Work will soon commence on Gayton Close to provide a new play area for young children.

The £45,000 play area will incorporate a number of play features for young children and has been developed with the help and support of local residents.

It is hoped that work will be completed as quickly as possible so that the play area can be enjoyed over the summer months by local youngsters.

The funding stream is via S106 proceeds. When planning permission for new housing sites is granted, a legal agreement (through a S106 agreement) is signed to require a financial contribution to be made for the provision of new or improved open space or play space.

It is this funding that also saw the surface refurbished last year at St Aidans play area. Further works are planned to improve the open space at several sites near the Smithy Brook minewater treatment area to include tree management, tree planting and path provision. This work is currently at the design and consultation stage.

Wednesday, 30 March 2016

On a mission to warn of common 'Celtic Curse' blood condition

Thanks to the Wigan Evening Post.
Genetic Haemochromatosis (GH) is an inherited disorder which causes the body to absorb too much iron from our diet. GH is sometimes called The Celtic Curse, because of the fact that it is more prevalent in the Celtic countries. The gene flaws can be traced back to the Vikings.

Excess iron gradually accumulates, usually in the liver, joints, heart, pancreas and other endocrine glands, causing serious tissue damage.

GH is one of the most common genetic disorders. Surveys have shown that as many as 1 in 200 people could be at risk of developing iron overload.

Simple and effective treatment is available, but if excess iron is not removed irreversible damage can occur, especially in the liver. Diagnosis can be confirmed by a simple blood test and/or genetic test. Early diagnosis and treatment preserves normal life expectancy and quality of life.

Winstanley Ward representative Cllr Paul Kenny was advised to take the gene test for GH in 2011 following contact with his mother from a distant relative in the USA. This led to a positive result and several months of regular fortnightly venesections where a pint of blood was removed to reduce the iron overload in his blood.

Prior to diagnosis Paul had never heard of the condition despite several aching joints in his fingers which he put down to RSI from working at a keyboard during the working day.

Iron levels are now under control and Cllr Kenny considers himself to be ‘very lucky’. He continues to give blood via donation and receives a regular check-up at The Thomas Linacre Centre where his blood iron levels, Liver and Kidney functions are monitored.

Cllr Paul Kenny said, “Like many people, I put my joint pain in my hands down to RSI as I work in front of a keyboard all day."

"When my Mum got the call from our USA relative, I took the gene test and was found to have GH. Blood tests confirmed my iron levels were high and I immediately began sessions to remove blood and lower the iron levels."

"I now have to give blood once every 12 weeks but the pain in my joints disappeared very quickly and I was soon completely back to myself."

"I feel very lucky to have been diagnosed when I was. It has meant that I have averted serious liver disease and possible heart failure. Because, once you’ve had a diagnosis of haemochromatosis, the treatment is straightforward."

"Through the gene test many of my extended family – aunts, uncles and cousins have also been confirmed as having GH so my advice is that if you have any symptons associated with GH then it is worth getting yourself checked out.”

Monday, 28 March 2016

4 Our Forces

Cllr Paul Kenny pictured with dignatories and
veterans at the Trenchefield Mill site
Wigan Borough’s armed forces facility, 4 Our Forces, has received another £400,000 cash injection and is likely to be built on the land next to Trencherfield Mill, it has been confirmed.

The build is a collaborative project between Wigan Council and Wigan Sea Cadets and will be a facility for the local and regional cadets to meet, whilst also being a central point for armed forces families to access a range of services including advice about housing and employment, education, health and well-being support and much more.

The council has already committed £500,000 but the project has now received an extra £400,000 from the Ministry of Defence to go towards the build and services, including an outreach vehicle, which will be deployed across the borough.

Lord Peter Smith, leader of Wigan Council said, “4 Our Forces will be a fantastic resource for Wigan and there will be services benefitting everybody from mental health advice to a cafĂ© for the public to enjoy.

“In addition, this ideal site will also help to lift the Wigan Pier Quarter and kick-start the regeneration process that we believe will increase the borough’s profile as a place to invest, live, work and visit.

“By offering a specialised service to this community of residents, we hope to ensure that everybody is given all of the support they need as finding this support isn’t always as straight forward for armed forces families.”

Steps are now being taken to discuss the look of the building, with the poppy flower currently an idea for the architecture theme. Other factors for the building are also being discussed with the armed forces and wider community, including a design and layout that would be sympathetic to those with particular needs.

Twenty-four existing sites from privately owned land, privately owned buildings and council owned property were initially considered for the site.

This was narrowed down to 12 but all sites were eventually dismissed due to cost effectiveness, footfall, location and other factors, meaning the land next to Trencherfield Mill proved a firm favourite and will be the winning location subject to feasibility.

Cllr Paul Kenny, cabinet lead on the Armed Forces said, “There’s a huge armed forces community in Wigan, so there’s a strong demand for these specialist services and Wigan Council is passionate about supporting our armed forces families. We have been working hard in submitting our funding applications and are delighted that we have received support from the Ministry of Defence.

“By building this vital resource in the Wigan Pier Quarter, the project will benefit from a variety of factors such as a central location, travel links and parking.

“Also, by having a more central and engaging base for Wigan Sea Cadets, we are investing in our young people, giving them a fantastic opportunity to learn new life skills, which also coincides with the council’s Deal for Children and Young People.”

Wednesday, 16 March 2016

Winstanley Rose

The latest edition of the Winstanley Rose delivered to over 4000 households free of charge can be viewed here.

Friday, 11 March 2016

Blue Bin contamination costs council tax payers £40,000


Nappies and leftover pizza are costing Wigan Borough council tax-payers thousands of pounds – because householders are putting them in the wrong bin.

In the past two months the cost to the taxpayer has been £40,000 as 19 wagon loads of blue bin recycling have been rejected because of contamination.

Through The Deal, by residents recycling more and recycling right, the council can keep council tax low.

It costs Wigan Council up to £2,000 for each contaminated load.

The blue bin is used to recycle paper and cardboard only but Wigan Council is finding the wrong items are more frequently being put in the bin, with nappies and leftover pizza being the biggest culprit.

Blue bins containing contamination will be labelled with a red contamination sticker. The stickers will give the reason why the bin has not been collected.

Residents can be issued with a section 46 notice for having contaminated bins after which a fixed penalty notice can be issued.

Cllr Clive Morgan is encouraging residents to help reduce contamination. Nappies should be placed in the black bin and all food should be placed in the green bin. Magazines can be placed in the blue bin but please remove plastic wrapping.

Help and advice can be given to residents who are unsure or confused what goes in what bin by contacting the council on 01942 404364  or visit here for more details.

Tuesday, 8 March 2016

Update

Wigan Council will be undertaking footway resurfacing works from Culcross Avenue to Pemberton Road (even side only)  between Monday 7 March 2016 and Friday 18 March 2016.

To undertake these works safely temporary traffic signals will be in operation at off peak hours.

The highway grass verges near Hope Children’s Centre on Highfield Grange Avenue have been churned up as a result of the recent heavy rainfall and inappropriate parking. Following a site inspection an order has now been issued to repair the vehicle over ride damage. To prevent further damage bollards are to be installed along this verge.

We have written to all the vehicle contractors that drop off children at the school requesting they refrain from driving over the verges in future.

Monday, 7 March 2016

Veterans' Lunch

Cllr Paul Kenny co-hosted a Veterans' Lunch on Saturday, 5th March with Worsley Mesnes ward member, Cllr Phil Kelly.

Over 60 veterans attended on the day along with local MP, Yvonne Fovargue, Cllr Clive Morgan and Cllr Marie Morgan.

A buffet was served courtesy of the kind sponsorship of the Wigan branch of Unite the Union.

Thanks to the staff of St Matthew's Parish Hall for their help and assistance.

You can view more pictures of the lunch on Facebook.

Monday, 29 February 2016

Beat It Team

The Beat It Team were in our area recently to target 'grot spots' that are notified to us by residents or areas that we have reported on our regular walkabouts in the ward.

You can view the report back here.

Residents called on to help make roads safer

Residents in Goose Green, Highfield, Marus Bridge and Winstanley are being asked for their help to make the roads safer as a Community Speed Watch scheme is launched.

The borough-wide scheme by Wigan Council aims to address speeding concerns and promote safer driving.

The initiative, which has the support of Greater Manchester Police, will allow volunteers to borrow equipment for an agreed time period to monitor the speed of motorists and they will be able to collect data about how fast cars are travelling on the roads.

Data collected by Community Speed Watch volunteers will be reviewed by the council who will then decide whether interventions such as temporary speed warning signs are required in the area.

For 30 mph areas with persistent speed problems the data will be passed on to Greater Manchester Police to make them aware of residents’ concerns.

The scheme is not designed to act as an enforcement exercise to prosecute specific motorists but to reduce speeds and to improve road safety.

Volunteers who sign up will receive a full toolkit and formal training from the council to ensure they are safe at all times.

The scheme follows the rollout of the 20mph scheme, which aims to improve safety on the borough’s roads and encourage residents, particularly children and young people, to walk, and cycle without fear of speeding traffic.

If a pedestrian is struck by a vehicle travelling at 20mph slight injuries are possible, but if this speed is increased to 30mph the injuries will be more severe and at 40mph the pedestrian may be killed.

Most roads in the borough can be monitored as part of the scheme but the council will confirm the suitability of each chosen road when someone has signed up.

You can sign up to help make the borough’s roads safer by emailing traffic@wigan.gov.uk or calling 01942 489309.

Wednesday, 24 February 2016

Goose Green Post Office

Post Office have written to your local Labour Team to advise us that across the Post Office network there is an established programme of investment and transformation in local branches.

Goose Green Post Office is now earmarked for modernisation.

This is good news for our local post office and follows similar projects across the Borough. During the works when the Clapgate Lane location is closed post office services will still be available at Winstanley Post Office on Holmes House Ave.

Subject to the outcome of discussions with the current operator the modernised Clapgate Lane post office will be open Mon-Sat 0600-2200 & Sun 0700-2200. Goose Green Post Office will close for a period of up to 7 days during May or June to allow for work to be completed.

Friday, 19 February 2016

Apprenticeships flourishing in Wigan Borough

More than 15,000 people have started apprenticeships in Wigan Borough over the past seven years – the second highest take up in Greater Manchester.

As part of this, Wigan Council has helped more than 200 businesses access apprentices and supported over 200 apprentices within its organisation since 2012.

Cllr Paul Kenny said, “These figures should be celebrated as apprenticeships are making a real difference to the lives of so many young people, bringing opportunities for them to access work and gain qualifications at the same time.

“This is really good news not only for the local economy but also that of the wider Greater Manchester region, and we will be building on this work as part of our plans to boost employment and training as part of the Deal for the Future.”

The council has invested £3m into apprenticeship programmes since 2012. They include the council’s internal programme and the Business Apprenticeship Programme, which offers grants to local businesses to help them take on new apprentices.

A further £1m was pledged for the Confident Futures scheme, which provides young people not in employment, education or training (NEETS) with work experience and classroom learning over a six week period, followed by work placement opportunities and further learning through traineeships or apprenticeships.

For more information about apprenticeships visit here.

Tuesday, 16 February 2016

Apply Now for WWI Event Funding

Community groups in Wigan Borough are being urged to apply for funding to support events commemorating World War One.

Wigan Council’s World War One Community Grant Scheme is available to anyone planning an event in 2016 which links to events during The Great War, including the Battle of the Somme and the Battle of Jutland.

Between 2014 and 2018, the council has pledged £250,000 to mark the centenary of the First World War.

Groups can bid for funding towards their project and the council is encouraging the community to get involved in raising awareness about this pivotal time in our history.

The money from the Wigan Council run scheme will be shared between groups and organisations.

Anyone interested should submit their applications no later than Friday 4th March. A panel will be considering bids shortly after the deadline date.

Cllr Paul Kenny, lead member for the Armed Forces said, “It’s so important that we remember this extremely prominent time in our history and by providing this funding, we are coming together as a community to deliver memorable events that residents of all ages can learn from."

Over previous years there has been a good response from communities who have worked together to embrace such commemorations and we hope to receive even more interest this year in order to raise awareness and leave a lasting impression."

Organisations wishing to submit an application should be able to show how their scheme will either help raise awareness about World War One history, benefit armed forces families, get the community involved or leave a lasting legacy for future generations thereby meeting the aims of the armed forces community covenant.

The application forms should be completed by Friday 4th March.

Friday, 12 February 2016

Disability sport gets £100,000 boost

Disability sport in Wigan Borough is set to benefit from a boost of nearly £100,000.

The Spirit of 2012 funding will be used to develop three hubs offering a range of activities, and to train staff and volunteers to support sessions.

The money has been allocated following a successful consortium bid led by the English Federation of Disability Sport. Wigan Borough is one of only 10 local authority areas in the country to receive the funding.

Cllr Paul Kenny, Cabinet member for leisure, said: “This is excellent news that will make a real difference to the lives of people with disabilities, as well as introducing new activities to the wider community."

“We want to provide inclusive activities to encourage all residents to become more active and healthy as part of The Deal, and these hubs will welcome everyone, offering an opportunity for people to make new friends, try new sports and improve their wellbeing.”

The hubs will be developed at Howe Bridge Leisure Centre, Hindley Leisure Centre and Wigan Youth Zone.

Leisure partner Inspiring healthy lifestyles will offer a variety of activities including dance, boxing and yoga, plus bespoke sessions on climbing walls, the skate park and soft play area at Howe Bridge.

Working with GreaterSport, County Sports Partnership for Greater Manchester, a pilot scheme being carried out at Hindley Leisure Centre has already proven a success. This pilot has been delivered since October 2015 and has already engaged 10 new families in inclusive family activities.

Yvonne Harrison, CEO of GreaterSport said: “Following a round of consultation with disabled people to understand their needs better, we have worked closely with local partners, including Wigan, to ensure our contribution to the EFDS UK Get Out and Get Active bid was strong.  This level of local insight really helped the Greater Manchester contribution to stand out and I am delighted to hear the application was a success.

“The pilot in Wigan is already proving successful and GreaterSport are looking forward to working with Wigan to use The Spirit of 2012 funding, to help change the lives of people through sport and physical activity.”

Monday, 8 February 2016

Planning application submitted for new Wigan Bus Station

Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM) has submitted a planning application to build a new, state-of-the-art bus station in Wigan Town Centre.

The plans for the new bus station include a single, covered concourse building, improved waiting areas, cycle parking and improved access to and from the town centre. The new facility would be built on the same site as the existing bus station and will provide a more attractive and welcoming gateway to the town.

The submission of the planning application follows the public consultation exercise that ran from 23 November until 19 December 2015, during which time the outline designs for the new facility were shared with councillors, members of the public and local businesses.

Throughout the four week consultation nearly 200 responses were received online, by post or at one of the seven public events held within the town centre.

More details are available in the public consultation report for Wigan Bus Station published on TfGM’s website.      

Delivered by TfGM, funding for the Wigan Bus Station development is being supported by central government through the Greater Manchester Local Growth Deal Programme.

Subject to planning permission being granted, the intention would be for work to start on site in 2017 with the new station being open for use by the end of 2018.

Thursday, 4 February 2016

Traffic Order Proposal along Tan House Drive

Local residents have expressed concerns about the high level of on-street parking outside Winstanley Community Primary School during school drop off and pick up times to the possible detriment to highway safety.

The Council are therefore launching a consultation on a proposal to introduce a Traffic Order to restrict parking on Tan House Drive in the vicinity of the school.

You can read the associated documents at the links below;

1. Notice of Proposals
2. The Existing Plan
3. The Proposed Plan 
4. Letter to Residents

If you wish to object to all or part of the order then the the closing date is 1st March 2016. We would also suggest that if you support the order then you also communicate this to the council.

Tuesday, 2 February 2016

New Shelter at Holmes House Ave bus stop.

A new bus stop has recently been installed at Holmes House Ave near to the mini roundabout at Tan House Drive.

The new shelter follows representation by your Labour Team and will soon be followed by permanent stops along the near 1 mile stretch of road from the Poacher Pub to St Aidan's Social Club.

TfGM will be working with Wigan Council on this now that the locations have been finalised following public consultation.

Cllr Paul Kenny said, "It is good for bus users that the 631/632 service now takes in the new estates and that permanent bus stops are to soon be introduced along Tan House Drive and Holmes House Ave."


Wednesday, 27 January 2016

Monday, 25 January 2016

Join Holocaust Memorial Day commemorations

People across the borough are being asked to join together to remember the millions of people killed in the Holocaust, Nazi persecution and subsequent genocides across the world.

Two events are taking place to mark Holocaust Memorial Day on Wednesday 27 January; at Leigh Town Hall from 12.30pm-1.30pm and at the Museum of Wigan Life from 2.30pm-3.30pm.

Mayor of Wigan Borough, Cllr Susan Loudon, said: “It is important that communities come together to remember the Holocaust and other atrocities and to educate future generations about the causes and consequences of genocide.

“By continuing to raise awareness, we can help to promote a better, more positive future, and I would ask residents to play their part and where possible come along to one of the commemoration events.”

The theme of this year’s event is Don’t Stand By. A number of dignitaries will take part including Aukje Clegg OBE, whose family hid Jewish children and British pilots from the Nazis in Holland during World War Two; Mayor of Wigan Borough Cllr Susan Loudon and Cabinet Member for Resources Cllr Paul Kenny. Pupils from St Catherine’s Primary School will also be speaking.

Keith Trencher, President of Wigan Rotary Club, which helped to organise the event, said: “It is vital we all come together to remember not only the atrocities committed during the Second World War, but also the many other genocides, which have taken place and which are still taking place across the world even today.”

If you would like to find out more about the events, please contact 01942 828128. Holocaust Memorial Day is a national commemoration, with events taking place across the country.

Tuesday, 19 January 2016

Christmas Veterans' Lunch

Yvonne Fovargue MP hosted her Christmas Veterans' Lunch at St Peter's Pavilion, Hindley on Sat, 12th December.

180 guests tucked into a 3 course traditional Christmas Dinner.

Over 30 veterans from our area attended and a selection of pictures from the lunch can be viewed here.

Friday, 15 January 2016

Planning Application

You can view the latest planning applications submitted to Wigan Council here.

One application of note is A/15/81712 Touchwood Restaurants. Vacant Land adjacent to Smithy Brook Road. The construction of a Public House/Restaurant, with ancillary parking, landscaping and access.

New medical welfare service supports the armed forces

The service will provide medical welfare support to serving military men and women and veterans who are accessing medical care across the borough in hospital or in community based health centres.

The Defence Medical Welfare Service (DMWS) is an independent charity which has delivered specialist welfare support to serving, veterans and families since the Second World War.

Thanks to funding received from the Government’s Libor funding in 2014, DMWS extended its services to the North West and has been working with Wigan Council and Wrightington Wigan and Leigh NHS Trust to develop a unique partnership to provide a fully integrated service in Wigan.

By working in partnership with NHS Trusts, health services, council services and the voluntary sector, the project will ensure that as many members of the armed forces community as possible get the support they need.

The project will identify serving or ex-forces and their families and trigger a referral to DMWS Welfare Officers who will identify help and support that they may require.

This includes providing advocacy, practical and emotional support, referrals to other organisations for specialised support and, for serving regulars and reservists, provide a key link to their military unit.

Cllr Paul Kenny said, "As part of its commitment to the Armed Forces Covenant, Wigan Council is working with a range of partners to ensure that when people come into contact with the council they are asked if they or a member of their family have ever served in the armed forces."

"By asking the question the individual can be informed of and directed to a range of support and services they may be entitled to."

There’s an estimated 22,000 armed forces personnel and their families living in Wigan Borough. Anyone can refer to DMWS including GPs, hospital staff, services, organisations, families or self-referral.

For referrals please contact DMWS Wigan Welfare Officer on 07841 920659 during office hours or for out of hours support, the 24/7 North West Duty Welfare Officer on 07715 43 66 71.

Wednesday, 13 January 2016

Marus Bridge Traffic Light System

Courtesy of the Wigan Evening Post 13th Jan 2016
The physical works are now completed and the new traffic light system has been operating since just before Christmas.

Over the next week the lights will be linked to a smart system that will react to traffic flows. Today's Wigan Evening Post has carried this story.

Cllr Paul Kenny said, "Works of this nature will always inconvenience people and despite some difficulties during the construction phase, the works proceeded and were completed on schedule."

"I know that at present journey times can be longer particularly at rush hour but we should begin to see the benefits of the new system once it has bedded in and also a safer road environment."