Plans announced to tackle drugs and anti-social behaviour in Wigan community
Anti-social behaviour and the taking and selling of illegal drugs in a Wigan community were spotlighted at a town hall meeting.
Councillors, residents, town hall officers and the police all met to discuss problems in Swinley and work out how they could be tackled.
Wigan Central elected representative Coun Michael McLoughlin has asked for two previous ideas to be revived to solve the local issues.
He wants CCTV installed along Standishgate and Wigan Lane and called for the Cumulative Impact Policy (CIP) covering Wigan town centre, which imposes draconian hurdles on anyone looking to create new drinking venues, to be extended to the Swinley nightlife hotspots.
A car park off Wigan Lane will also be spruced up to curb illicit activity and a damaged bench will be replaced despite widespread fears it is a site for drug dealing.
Coun McLoughlin said: “We’re reconsidering installing CCTV and I hope they do because I think it will be worthwhile.
“I also want the CIP extended to cover both Wigan Lane and Standishgate and Mesnes Road.
“There must be about 30 fast food outlets already in the area.
“They tend to do business late at night and some of the customers can be unruly.
“We’ve also recently had buildings being changed into bars or takeaways and there are applications for more.
“We’ve got too many and we don’t need any more.
“The biggest issue though is the drug dealing, that has got people really annoyed.
“I think part of the problem is better policing of the town centre is that problems have dispersed to areas like Swinley.
“I am pleased the bench on Wigan Lane will be brought back.
“We shouldn’t be defeated by vandalism or take it away just because some people are misusing it.
“We also agreed the overgrown vegetation on the car park will be cut to stop people doing things they shouldn’t.”
Wigan Council has now pledged to work with other organisations to deal with the problems raised.
Will Blandamer, assistant director for partnership safeguarding and reform, said: “We are aware of the concerns from residents in the area and will be working closely with partners in the police and with the schools to address some of the issues.
“Safeguarding our children and young people is a top priority for us and we are taking this issue very seriously.
“We will continue to work with residents and councillors and keep them updated with any actions we are taking.”