Community leaders’ message to arsonists

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ARSONISTS are still targeting a Wigan neighbourhood, despite pleas from community leaders for them to stop.

Ward councillors Paul and Jeanette Prescott have issued a fresh plea to residents to keep their plastic bins locked away after youths continue to set fire to them in the Worsley Green and Pemberton areas.

In the most recent incident, a blue plastic wheelie bin was burnt out in Baldwin Street, Pemberton.

Only last month, charred remains were left on the grassed area at the junction of Cotswold Avenue and New Street, in Worsley Green, and nearby Barton Street in Pemberton.

Coun Paul Prescott said: “We are concerned about the danger that is involved and we hear all the time of stories where houses nearby catch fire as a result.

“We also have to consider the huge amount of cost.

“We have had to send someone out to collect the bin and it will have to be replaced out of someone’s own pocket if it was a private residential bin, or from the tax payer if it was council-owned.

“This is a huge waste of time and someone could get hurt.”

The councillors also warned about residents ensuring correct waste was put in the bins,

Coun Jeanette Prescott said: “We noticed that this blue bin had plastic bags in it and so council teams that empty the waste will not take it away. This just invites trouble.

“So we are urging people not to leave plastic bags in the blue bins. People should use it for paper and card only.”

Couns Jeanette and Paul Prescott are now working with Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service (GMFRS) and the police to tackle the issue.

Wigan Borough Manager Steve Sheridan said: “GMFRS take all fires, including bin fires, seriously, but these fires can be a waste of the service’s resources and can cause disruption to the residents and scar the local community.

“Residents are encouraged to place and return bins on the collection day and secure them so they are not victims of fire setters.”