SPARKS are flying over a community event which is being advertised using the Labour Party logo.
The Standish Activities Team (SAT) has organised a firework display to be held at Standish Cricket Ground on Green Lane this Friday.
However, on its promotional posters and tickets organisers have used the Labour Party logo which has caused concern about the political motive attached to the community event among other councillors.
The matter was raised with the council by Standish resident and Shevington parish councillor Gareth Fairhurst.
Wigan Council has confirmed a mistake has been made and it has launched an investigation.
Coun Fairhurst said: “The Standish Activities Team was formed by Labour councillors and members. They are organising a firework display at Standish Cricket Club. I have no problem with that but when you look at the tickets and posters it is clearly marked with the Labour logo which easily identifies it as a Labour event.
“Again I have no problem, but Wigan Council officers have helped promote this and to use the Labour logo is against council rules and regulations.
“I would ask that the council does a due diligence check on the matter as the council has either been hoodwinked into helping and funding this or is instrumental in helping promoting it. This is clearly against protocol and needs to be stopped.”
In response, Standish councillor Emma McGurrin (Labour) said that while the matter is being investigated, there is no political motivation behind Friday’s event.
She said: “SAT is not a political body and no the money raised would not come to Labour. It would go to SAT, the CC and the next Prince’s Trust team to run in December in Standish.”
Under rules set out by the Department for Communities and Local Government, councils are supposed to be fair handed and not back a particular political party in terms of publicising events.
Wigan Council says an investigation is now under way.
Donna Hall, deputy chief executive of Wigan Council, said: “This is an initiative for the community, not a party political event, and as such the Labour motif should not have been placed on any of the literature promoting it.
“It is contrary to the council’s rules and regulations to use events such as these for the promotion of party political messages. We have spoken with Coun McGurrin about this issue and an investigation is ongoing.”