Jubilee mugs quandry

Will Wigan's schoolchildren receive a mug to celebrate the Queen's Jubilee?
Will Wigan's schoolchildren receive a mug to celebrate the Queen's Jubilee?

A DECISION is soon to be made on whether commemorative mugs will be handed out to the borough’s school children to mark the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee.

Other North West authorities, including Fleetwood’s, have confirmed that they will be giving out the mugs as a memento of the historic day in June, but Wigan’s executive is yet to make a decision.

In 2002 at the Golden Jubilee, children across the borough were able to remember the day with a mug, which many will still have today.

For that event the mugs were funded by councillors from their Brighter Borough funds, but it is not yet known how the mugs would be funded if they were to get the go ahead.

Locally, opinion is split as there are some who say that in a time of such savage cuts across the country where money is spent should be decided on a priority basis and handing out Jubilee cups is a luxury Wigan Council can’t afford.

But there are those whose opinions are the polar opposite, saying that something should be done for local children to mark the historic occasion.

One such person is Coun Gary Wilkes, leader of the Independent opposition.

He said: “It would be a huge disappointment if this council did not provide schoolchildren with commemorative mugs.

“The council seems to find thousands of pounds to fund the Borough Life magazine but there is a question about whether or not it will be able to find a few hundred pounds to fund these mugs, which show and promote our allegiance to the Queen.

“Wigan and Leigh has a fantastic history of supporting the Crown.

“What message would not providing mugs for the momentous occasion show to our Royal Family?

“I would find it a disgrace if this was completely overlooked.

“I still have in my possession the silver commemorative coin which was given to schoolchildren in back 1977 to celebrate the Silver Jubilee.

“What will today’s schoolchildren have to remember this summer’s events, which is going to be a memorable occasion for us all?”

Council leader Lord Smith said that the executive had not yet ruled out offering commemorative cups to children across the borough.

He said: “The council has not made a decision on whether to provide mugs or not as local committees are deciding how best to celebrate the Queen’s achievement of serving the country and its people for 60 years.

“For example we are lighting beacons in both Wigan and Leigh.

“If schools wish to provide children with mugs, then the council will help with funding.”

There will be numerous other events going on across the borough to mark the Jubilee including events at Leigh Civic Square as well as Wigan town centre on June 4 and both events culminate in the lighting of beacons.