Boundary sign U-turn

Set to be replaced
Set to be replaced
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PUBLIC outcry has forced town hall chiefs into a U-turn over their unpopular boundary markers.

Just months after several signs appeared around the borough saying Welcome to Wigan Council, the authority is looking to replace them.

Both it and the Evening Post had received complaints from locals about the confusing wording.

One said: “When you drive into Standish off the motorway you aren’t entering Wigan Council, you’re entering a town or borough. What a pompous, misleading and pointless sign.”

Folk had also joked that the council had taken the old signage - which proclaimed for being home to both Premiership and Super League teams - prematurely because they had wrongly predicted that Wigan Athletic were about to be relegated.

The plan now is to replace the signs with new ones stating Welcome to Wigan Borough. Sponsorship is being sought and the current street furniture will be used nearer to local authority property.

A council spokesman said: “The boundary signs, currently displaying the council logo were only replaced when either damaged or worn. After listening to feedback there are now plans to replace the current signage. The council is exploring opportunities for private sector sponsorship.

“The current signs, once replaced, will be re-used at council buildings across the borough.”

No indication was given as to how much the newest signs would cost as it would depend on how much is raised through sponsorship.

Coun Gareth Fairhurst, who was due to propose a motion at the latest full council meeting for the reinstatement of the old signs, has criticised the council’s initial decision.

He said: “This (the decision to erect the council logo signs) has been one of the most stupid decisions the council has made. The people are up in arms about it. They (the council) have wasted a whole lot of money, how many more thousands are going to be wasted?”

The independent representative for Standish with Langtree was unable to raise the motion as he was ordered not to be heard by Mayor Myra Whiteside earlier in the meeting.

But he told the Evening Post: “Talk about cut-backs, the old signs were fine. They weren’t offensive, they didn’t insult anyone. Just put them back up. We need to save money.”

The Welcome to Wigan Council signs had cost around £600 but a town hall spokesman said the cash was being found “in-house”, as and when the signs needed replacing.

Wigan Council chief executive, Donna Hall, said in April that the new designs were “trying to raise the profile and the image of Wigan.”

The signs with the council logo were expected to have at least a 10 to 15-year life expectancy.