Wigan Council to debate bin policy U-turn

Coun Maiden launches his bin campaign
Coun Maiden launches his bin campaign

Calls for a return to fortnightly bin collections and a town centre funding bid will be heard by Wigan’s full council today.

Newly-elected independents Paul Maiden and Stuart Gerrard are hoping to make their mark in the chamber with respective motions.

Coun Maiden has launched a petition for the town hall to relax its three-weekly bin rota for part of the year. His motion says returning to a two-week collection schedule for black bins (non-recyclables) from June to August, and for green bins (garden and food waste) between April and August, will “cut down on environmental issues.”

He has asked officers to prepare a feasibility report for the cabinet to consider. The council introduced its three-week rota in 2017 in a bid to improve recycling rates and avoid costly landfill charges.

Officers say recycling levels have since risen from 43 to 50 per cent.

Meanwhile Coun Gerrard is calling on the council to provide more funding to improve Atherton town centre. “As well as the draft Atherton masterplan, we need to support our town centre and invest in it to make it once again a focal point and community hub for its residents,” his motion reads.

He has called on the council to agree to “set aside a fund, so we can halt the decline. This would in turn benefit the community, the council itself and employment opportunities for residents.”

Work is progressing on the planned overhaul of Atherton’s former town hall into a multi-purpose venue.

But after the town missed out on Greater Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham’s Town Centre Challenge funding, Coun Gerrard is looking for guarantees that any ambitions are matched by cold hard cash.

Coun Gerrard said: “The masterplan is all well and good and it’s a good move by the council. But this goes back to somethig I’ve raised when I was chairman of Atherton Residents Association.

“The masterplan at the moment is just a Christmas wish list and there is no definite funding attached to it and no timescale for when we are hoping to put these ideas in place.

“We need a similar pot of money to the ones given out to Wigan and Leigh already.”

Further discussions have already been staged, earlier this year, by Mr Burnham for Leigh’s Town Centre Challenge work, involving a number of key private and public sector agencies, developers and community groups.

Not only is the project destined to transform the town centre but there are hopes that around 1,000 extra homes will be created for Leigh.

The town hall says an economic masterplan for Atherton and Tyldesley is in the process of being drawn up and should be ready before the end of the year.