A sign of the times as new row erupts

Atherton town centre
Atherton town centre

A BOROUGH community is locked in a new battle to retain its individuality.

Atherton - which has fought and failed to achieve a town council status independent of the borough council - is now in dispute with town hall chiefs over what can and cannot go onto the proposed design of a sign welcoming shoppers.

The town’s Business Partnership and ward independent councillors had requested a “traditional” heritage sign, envisaging gold lettering on a black background and the former UDC Atherton town crest at the top.

But, to their anger, Wigan Council has forbidden use of the crest, insisting instead that it should contain the official blue and green borough logo instead.

Atherton independent councillor Norman Bradbury said: “Atherton street signs already have the Wigan borough logo on them and it is time to tell the council that enough is enough and that our local identities will not be destroyed to help it get its City Status dream for Wigan.

“We want to know why the council is so determined to destroy any remaining vestige of pride in our historic towns.”

But Atherton Labour councillor Susan Loudon said that Coun Bradbury was “trying to mislead the public again”.

She said: “All signs need to have the Wigan logo on them somewhere but why the sign cannot have both the Atherton Crest and the logo on I don’t know, perhaps it is the way they were asked.

“There will be a cost to these signs. Coun Bradbury will need to let me know who is paying for them to be made and erected.”

A council spokesman said that it was preparing a response for the Business Partnership request.