The site of a closed primary school has been earmarked for adult care facilities as councillors propose to develop services for the vulnerable on the disused land.
The three ward councillors for Shevington with Lower Ground Ward, Coun Mike Crosby, Paul Collins and Damian Edwardson have requested meetings with officers and portfolio holder Coun Keith Cunliffe to discuss the future of the site on Miles Lane Shevington following the closure of Shevington Community Primary School.
Despite protests from community groups and local councillors, campaigns were unsuccessful due to “severe financial constraints within the school budget” and a low numbers of pupils predicted to attend the school, and closure was announced earlier this year.
Councillor Mike Crosby said “My colleagues and I have held many discussions about this and have made it clear that whilst the consultation was under way and during the period after the decision was made to close the school.
“We would not allow any discussions on any plans or proposals for the future of the site as our priority was to ensure that the needs of the children mattered most during this difficult transition period.
“It is with great regret that we have lost one of our amazing schools and we would like to thank all of the children, staff and members of the community who have worked together to help ensure the best possible outcome for all involved during these difficult circumstances.
“My ward colleagues and I feel now is the time to look at the future of the site and we will be putting our demand to officers and the council to evaluate the possibility of utilising the site for services for vulnerable adults with provision to incorporate other complementary services that will ensure we both exploit local amenities and meet local needs.”
The councillors have looked closely at the most recent figures which depict a rapid increase in the borough’s ageing population, which was one of the reasons given for closing the school.
Wigan Council is already taking action to try and meet the needs for vulnerable adults, with a particular focus on specialist care needs for those suffering from dementia and other life-limiting illnesses.
Coun Crosby said: “The councillors believe that there should be a combination of accommodation to meet the special needs of vulnerable adults, which should include sheltered housing and state- of-the-art facilities for specialist care for residents with cognitive, sensory and mobility needs, whilst at the same time incorporating supporting activities across the site to enrich the quality of life the residents.
“Heritage should also be a factor in any proposals and the history of the school and the site should be incorporated in the design and the facilities.
“We are hoping to begin discussions with officers to outline a path forward for the site at the earliest opportunity and are demanding that it is feedback from the local community that should shape the future of the site.
“We will provide feedback to the community following any discussions about any future proposals.”