Council in two TV documentaries

Mark Calvert with Louisa Bibby and Helen Baskett from Wigan Council's anti-social behaviour team
Mark Calvert with Louisa Bibby and Helen Baskett from Wigan Council's anti-social behaviour team

VIEWERS will get a double glimpse of the workings of Wigan Council in TWO separate TV shows to be aired in the coming weeks.

The authority has been closely followed by independent company Special Edition Films for a one-off documentary Don’t Blame the Council to be aired on June 23. It focuses on its pioneering Deal in Action which encourages residents to take more responsibility for their communities and certain roles the council previously ran, so saving much-needed cash and in turn freezes council tax.

Film crews have captured residents’ litter-picking, road-sweeping and painting, and the work of the super-depot’s staff, which houses most of its services. A council spokesman said: “This documentary shines a light on the teams based at the council’s super depot who have been working hard to become even more efficient and try new ways to grow our income that will help protect vital public services by offsetting government cutbacks to local authorities.

“We have deliberately been very open with the film crew because we want to be up front with people about the challenges we face and give viewers a unique insight into the pressures of working in an environment where we constantly strive to provide maximum value of money to council tax payers. Not all of the content is pretty, it is the reality of working in environmental services, but what shines through is the determination we have to make our innovative plans work and how important it is that everyone living and working in the borough plays their part too.”

Meanwhile, staff are eagerly waiting for the air date of Call The Council on BBC One. Cameras filmed a variety of the council’s 4,000 staff over six months for a taste of more than 700 different services provided across the borough.

The council will be featured for the whole series, with another in the pipeline.

It is expected to be screened towards the end of this month. Don’t Blame The Council airs on Tuesday June 23 on ITV1 at 9pm.