A NEW campaign has been launched to boost Wigan jobs, tourism and the economy by granting City Status to the borough.
The town’s Community Action Party (CAP) have now lodged an e-petition on the Government’s Number 10 website which will automatically trigger a Parliamentary debate if it is able to attract sufficient support over the next 12 months.
It includes a clause that a future Wigan City Council succeeding the Metro must also be streamlined by two thirds to have just one councillor per ward, saving £2m per annum,
Deputy leader Michael Moulding claimed that Wigan already has the “attributes” of a potential City.
He said: “They are attracted to invest in cities because of their importance in terms of population and location. “Wigan’s regional importance between the Greater Manchester region and Lancashire makes Wigan regionally important.
“It would attract regeneration monies not just from government but from business who primarily focus on regeneration initiatives in cities.
“The best example, Liverpool, is right on our doorstep because it has benefited enormously from being a City in terms of tourism and grant support.
“The petition states: ‘That government and HM Queen, at the earliest opportunity, grants City Status to the Metropolitan Borough of Wigan.
‘That a new Wigan City Council is given all powers to control its affairs of local government.
‘Wigan’s size, ancient history, population, Lancashire roots, rugby and football are all reasons to grant City Status.
“That government and HM Queen, at the earliest opportunity, grants “City Status” to the Metropolitan Borough of Wigan.
‘That a “new” Wigan City Council is given all powers to control its affairs of local government.’
‘The economic benefits of City Status to the borough of Wigan from both the private sector and government are massive and would bring a sense of civic pride to its people.
‘We ask government to reduce the number of councillor’s in Wigan by two-thirds leaving one working Councillor per ward.
‘This two-thirds reduction would save the taxpayers of the Borough anything up to £2 millions per annum.”
Council leader Lord Smith said: “There is no chance of this getting numbers to have debate in Parliament and no chance of changing the law just for Wigan. “CAP need to come up with something a lot better to get over the disastrous by election showing in Pemberton.“
The Government e-petition, titled Wigan Metropolitan Borough Council, is available to sign at epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/50086