‘Minefield’ of lager cans near Wigan school sparks worry

Wigan councillors are on a mission to stop the grounds of a derelict building, which lies just yards away from a school, being used as a “drinking den”.
Councillors Lawrence Hunt and George Davies outside the former telephone exchangeCouncillors Lawrence Hunt and George Davies outside the former telephone exchange
Councillors Lawrence Hunt and George Davies outside the former telephone exchange

George Davies and Lawrence Hunt say the grounds of the former British Telecom exchange building, in Dorning Street, has become “a minefield of lager cans and vodka bottles”, as well as dozens of cans of energy drinks, recently.

Coun Davies, who represents Wigan Central, said: “The grounds of the old British Telecom Building have become a minefield of lager cans and vodka bottles.”

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“At the back of the building, which comes into the little estate at Spring Gardens, there must be over 2,000 lager cans, as well as the usual rubbish dumping.

“It looks like people are going into the little den at the back of the empty building.

Youngsters are getting into the ground, people are going into the grounds and drinking. It needs fencing off.”

He added: “This land is only yards away from the small estate of Spring Gardens and 100 yards from the Deanery High school.

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“It must also be put as a high security risk as youngsters are able to roam round the back entrance to this empty building.”

Coun Hunt said: “I totally agree with my fellow colleague, a big clean up is needed, but a new safety fence and warning signs are needed to be put into place to keep away these undesirables.”

Both councillors said they had reported the issue to the town hall’s clean-up team, with a request to treat the issue as a matter of urgency.

For decades, the building was home to British Telecom’s telephone exchange.

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It employed call handlers as far back as 1928 and, at its height, the centre was handling more than 20,000 calls each week, before it closed in 1992.

The centre was due to close in October 1993, but improvements in technology, and reduced demand for the service meant the end of an era was brought forward by a year, leaving the building and its grounds out of use.

Street cleaning issues on roads and pavements including heavy littering, spillages and dumping of unwanted materials on public land can be reported to the council at wigan.gov.uk or by using the council’s Report It app.

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