Call for summit to discuss problems at derelict Wigan mill targeted by arsonists

A Wigan councillor is calling for an urgent meeting to discuss what can be done at a derelict mill plagued by fires and anti-social behaviour.

By Gaynor Clarke
Saturday, 21st May 2022, 3:45 pm

Pagefield Mill in Swinley has fallen into disrepair in recent years and become a magnet for people starting fires, climbing up a tall chimney, throwing tiles off the roof and other nuisance behaviour.

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Monday's fire at Pagefield Mill

A large fire was started deliberately at the mill on Monday, with firefighters spending two hours tackling the blaze.

Wigan Central councillor George Davies has been in touch with residents about the problems over the years and is demanding that something is now done.

He said: “We need action. Let’s get things sorted once and for all and get the protection for our residents.”

Efforts have been made over the years to stop people getting onto the site, with fencing erected, underground tunnels blocked and dangerous buildings demolished.

Coun George Davies

But Coun Davies thinks more is needed and wants a meeting with council officers, emergency services and residents to discuss it.

He also wants to find out if the owner of the building is aware of the issues and what action they plan to take.

Coun Davies said: “We do need protection for the residents who live there – that’s the main priority, the protection and safety of our residents.

"It’s not fair what they have been going through for the last 10 years or more.

“I’m calling a meeting with our council officers and emergency services and a couple of residents and hopefully we will be able to do something.”

David Proctor, the council’s acting assistant director for growth and housing, said: “We are currently exploring the powers and options available to us and are working closely with partner agencies, including the police and the owner of the site, to prevent anyone getting hurt. The installation of additional CCTV cameras in the surrounding area will also support with the identification of those entering the site.

“We would like to stress that accessing the site is strictly prohibited and any unauthorised person doing so is trespassing and putting themselves at risk of serious injury should any accident occur.”