REVEALED: Wigan's most peculiar polling stations

A fire station, a book shop and a care home are not usually places members of the public would gather for politics.

But come May 5 there will be many voters in Wigan frequenting them.

Quite peculiarly, these three places are being used as polling stations for the local elections 2022 in the borough.

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The polls open this Thursday, May 5, and voters will be able to attend centres to exercise their legal right from 7am until 10pm.

Hindley Fire Station
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If you vote in person, you should have received a polling card instructing you where to vote.

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The majority of places used for polling stations are schools, community centres, churches or village halls, but here we are focusing on the more quirky places to vote in Wigan.

Hindley Green:

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Book-Cycle, based on Orrell Road

Among a list of schools and parish halls, Hindley Green has also listed Hindley Fire Station as a polling station.

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Still used as an active station, the fact people willing be heading down there to vote may catch some residents by surprise.

Based on Borsdane Avenue, the fire station is one of four in the borough used for emergency call outs.

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None of the other three stations at Atherton, Leigh or Wigan are used as polling stations.

Leigh South:

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Etherstone Day Centre in Leigh is a care home that provides services for older people in Wigan.

It is designed to give carers a break from their duties during the day and not a place you would expect nearby residents to be going to cast their vote in the local elections.

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The Neild Gardens site will not only be providing hot meals, medication and care to vulnerable adults on May 5, but it will be a place for people to take part in democracy.

Orrell:

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Book-Cycle, based on Orrell Road, is a UK-based, volunteer-run charity which seeks to empower children worldwide through the provision of free books and educational resources.

Their three main aims are to advance education by improving literacy, planting more trees to help reforest Britain and help promote self-sustainability.

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It is not uncommon to see charitable locations used as polling stations, but this is not one a voter in Orrell would first expect to be on the list.

Formerly home to Orrell Library before it moved to the new Abraham Guest High School several years ago, it is one of four polling stations in the ward.

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Heading into the election, Labour control 57 seats in Wigan Council, Conservative and Shevington Alliance hold nine, and the Independent Alliance hold seven. Labour will hope to maintain or increase their majority this time.

Joanne Roney OBE, Returning Officer for Manchester said: “We don’t want anyone who wants to vote to miss out and are keen to ensure that those who are voting in person are aware of polling day arrangements.

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“Your poll card will show which polling station you need to vote at, or you can check our website. You will only be able to vote in person at this polling station.

“But if you’re already registered to vote, you don’t need to have your poll card with you.”