Contract with residents kicks off new era


WIGAN Council has launched its “informal contract” with residents to help it cope with dwindling budgets due to central government cuts.

Bosses have pledged a council tax freeze for 2014/15 and in return are urging the public to volunteer in the community, increase recycling rates and use services online.

Deputy leader David Molyneux said: “We simply can’t do what we used to do - or do things in the way we used to do them.

“We must recognise the traditional role of councils is changing. It’s no longer just about providing services.

“It’s about working with communities and other organisations. It’s about achieving our goals – and the goals of our residents – in new ways.

“We have to be smarter, think differently and make savings wherever we can. It’s about doing more with less and ensuring we spend our diminished budget as effectively as possible.

“That way we can protect frontline services.”

Volunteers at community run centre Sunshine House in Scholes have voiced their support for the project.

Director Barbara Nettleton said: “I think the deal the council is seeking with residents is a great idea as it holds both parties to account.

“Councils have less money and fewer resources and the resources they have need to be invested wisely within our communities.

“We know residents are proud of Scholes and are supportive of the increase in activity at the centre. We’ve seen our volunteer base increase and footfall treble.”

The deal is part of budget proposals to be discussed at Full Council on Wednesday.