Council staff set for TV return

The everyday behind-the-scenes workings of Wigan Council are set to return to TV screens with another series of Call the Council.

The BBC daytime show, which is featuring Wigan for a second time, will start airing later this month for three weeks.

Call the Council - narrated by Bolton born broadcaster Mark Radcliffe - has been welcomed by town hall bosses as an accurate portrayal of the council’s services.

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The reception for the first series to feature Wigan, aired last year, came in stark contrast to the one-off ITV documentary Don’t Blame the Council which leader Lord Smith has passed off as a “deliberate distortion” by the filmmakers after staff were viewed making disparaging comments about the authority and displayed a poor work ethic.

Call the Council’s return though has been hotly anticipated with Lord Smith giving it a rave review at the recent meeting of the full council.

Donna Hall, chief executive of Wigan Council, said: “I can’t wait to see our dedicated staff on the big screen again, giving viewers a true reflection of what we do here at Wigan Council.

“I’m so proud of our staff whose commitment and enthusiasm for helping others and making Wigan borough a better place is clear to see throughout the series.

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“We have some fantastic staff and brilliant stories to tell and I can’t wait to share that with our residents. Thank you again to the BBC for doing a brilliant job in capturing it.”

The 15-part series will follow “a range of characters from departments rarely given access to, such as licensing, environmental health and bereavement services,” the council has said.

It will also give an insight into how Wigan is coping with its dwindling budgets, with £60m worth of savings having to be found by 2019.

The cameras will follow officers as they carry out recycling, restaurant inspections, bin collections and servicing street lights.

Call the Council returns on Monday March 21 and will air from 11am to 11.45am.