What all the parties and independent candidates standing in Wigan's local elections have to say

One third of the seats at Wigan Council are up for grabs at the local elections today as well as the role of Greater Manchester mayor.

Thursday, 6th May 2021, 10:56 am

At least one councillor will be elected in each of the 25 wards in the borough.

Labour currently have a majority at the council with 57 councillors in total.

The Independent Network – made up of eight councillors in Atherton, Bryn, Hindley and Hindley Green – became the main opposition group in March.

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St Francis's Church, Kitt Green, open for polling

The Conservatives currently have seven councillors, but had held eight seats until Orrell councillor Richard Clayton died last year, leaving one seat vacant.

There are two independent councillors who are still not part of any group.

This year, there are 97 candidates from nine parties competing for 26 seats.

There are nine recognised parties running in Wigan including the Liberal Democrats, Leigh, Atherton & Tyldesley Together, UKIP and Reform UK.

Wigan Investment Centre open for polling

Conservative and Labour candidates will be standing in every council ward, with two candidates from each in Orrell where there are two seats available.

There are eight independent candidates, although some have been working with the Independent Network who have a further three candidates standing.

The Local Democracy Reporting Service asked all the parties, political groups and independent candidates standing in Wigan for a statement setting out their pledges and what they hope to achieve in the city if they are elected.

Labour Party

Council leader David Molyneux said the Labour Party’s pledges are:

Lowest council tax in Greater Manchester

A cleaner greener borough

Free Weekend parking in all our town centres

Continued investment in our highways

Creating 100 apprentices within the council

Invest in and support our communities

We will be putting extra support into our communities and businesses has we come out of Covid

We will be investing in all our residents health and wellbeing because of the stress that the last 12 months has impacted on us all

Conservative Party

Conservative group leader Michael Winstanley said: “On Thursday, residents across the whole of the borough of Wigan, including Makerfield and Leigh will have an opportunity to elect a Conservative councillor in their ward.

“This election is about focusing on the priorities that will help us all build back better from the terrible pandemic that has affected so many of our residents in many different ways.

“The Conservative Party in Wigan have set out a six point plan which will do just that:

Invest in all our town and district centres

Protect our Green spaces

Upgrade our local infrastructure

Clean up our towns and district centres

Create a more accessible council with services not exclusively online

Fix our broken roads and pavements

“Labour have taken the people of Wigan for granted for far too long and now is the time to make that positive change to Conservative councillors who will put the community first.”

Independent Network

Independent Network group leader Stuart Gerrard said: “On Thursday, you have the chance to vote for an Independent candidate in your ward, this will give you a strong voice on the council who doesn’t have to toe the party line and will work tirelessly during their term to get things done.

“We have seen how just a few Independents can change the narrative by getting Investment into neglected town centres and improving parks and greenspaces, be tough on anti-social behaviour and improve neighbourhoods.

“We need to grow all our towns as one and equally invest in them to make our borough successful.

“If you put your trust in us and give us the mandate to deliver investment and improvements to your towns, parks and green-spaces as well as getting tough on anti-social behaviour, see less greenbelt land built on and more on brown belt with the correct infrastructure to support it. Then please Vote Independent on May 6th.”

Liberal Democrats

Leigh annd Makerfield Liberal Democrats chair Sharron Honey said: “Here at Wigan, Leigh and Makerfield Liberal Democrats, we believe that effective opposition is critical, and Lib Dem councillors will provide that.

“Acting as a counter-balance to the other parties who’ve had their own way for too long. We stand for a fairer, greener society.

“Where carers aren’t forgotten, but supported. We stand for honesty and integrity in politics, with local people representing you – the local voters.

“We believe in local issues being resolved at local level. We stand for inclusivity, diversity, and will advocate and stand for voters regardless of their usual political choices.

“A Lib Dem councillor will be a breath of fresh air. Asking the right questions – until we get an answer that makes sense. Vote a better way on 6th May.

“Make a difference, make your voice heard – Vote Lib Dem.

“And remember: if it matters to you, it matters to us.”

Leigh, Atherton and Tyldesley Together

Leigh, Atherton and Tyldesley Together party leader Jayson Lomax-Hargreaves said: “Leigh, Atherton & Tyldesley Together is a Hyper-Local Party, whose focus is on localism.

“Our aims are to push community cohesion, bring about huge change in the political and community spheres.

“We want to see communities have a bigger say in developments and create Greater Manchester’s greenest borough with urban greenheart thinking at its centre.

“We also want to see a strong focus on community investment, with focus on youth and early learning centres, along with veterans hubs and elderly services.

“We also feel there should be a referendum for the eastern half of Wigan Borough to break away and become its own Borough.

“We want to a see stronger police presence in our borough. We also feel the Greater Manchester mayor is a ‘job for the boys.’ We oppose the mayoral precept. We want devolution to filter further down to local councils.”

Reform UK

Tyldesley candidate James Fish said: “After living and working in the area for the last 25 years I have seen how the area has changed and developed, but what I have not seen is much spending in the area from the Labour council.

“I want to see Tyldesley and the surrounding area flourish like it once did with local business thriving and having a safe environment for everyone.

“My main areas I want to focus on are:

Reopen Tyldesley Library and make it into a community hub

Make Astley Street park safer for residents and more community friendly

Tackling anti- social behaviour in the area

Improvement in our roads tackling congestion and pollution and resurfacing

“I will do everything in my power if I am elected to make sure the good people of Tyldesley are represented in the council chamber and the council realise there is more to this borough than Wigan and Leigh.”

UKIP

Ince candidate Jordan Gaskell said: “I’d like to restore the Ince ward’s faith in Democracy and show people that true public servants still exist.

“It’s time Ince got a councillor who helps all year round like I already do and not just appear at election time.

“I offer a grassroots approach to Ince by participating in the the small, but essential local issue fix ups such as cleaning up green spaces, repairing pot holes and ensuring the core essentials are delivered to people before engaging in ludicrous vanity projects.

“I offer full time day-to-day service to the ward rain or shine with no excuses.

“I will ensure the ward is repaired and properly maintained afterwards and not just left to decay until the next election.”

Shevington Independents and Standish Independents

Gareth Fairhurst is standing in Shevington with Lower Ground for Shevington Independents. Debbie Fairhurst is the Standish Independents candidate in Standish. If elected, they would work together as one political group.

The Local Democracy Reporting Service had not received a statement as requested from either candidate or their parties in time for publication.

Independent candidates

There are nine independent candidates standing in the borough this year.

Tyldesley candidate Antonino Panebianco said: “I am an ordinary citizen like everybody else in our town, I do not have any political background.

“But, what is better between having a political background and having an honest and great desire to improve our community?

“In the end, I’m a perfectly normal person like everybody in our community, my motive in this venture is to try to improve the connection between our community and the council, to improve our Tyldesley.

“I’m a parent and what I would like is a better place for my little ones – and I think that this is the greatest credentials that anyone can have.

“But apart from this, I have a personal background as a manager in hospitality for several years and I have a degree in business and marketing obtained in Italy, and I’m currently completing a Law degree at Liverpool John Moore University.”

Leigh East candidate Trevor Barton said: “During the recent pandemic crisis, I have frequently heard people comment that we should all be working together to solve problems.

“It is a commonly held view that party politics have sometimes been divisive and unhelpful – this is why I am standing as the Independent councillor and am committed to projects that help the whole community as opposed to party dogma and policies.

“I am passionate about the area and will address the council chamber in Wigan on behalf of our town’s residents, organisations and businesses on all the issues that affect our community.

“I will be pressing for the council meetings to be held regularly throughout the borough and particularly at the newly developed (and soon to be opened) Leigh Town Hall.

“As regards liaison with the council, I will in the main adopt the role of a critical friend.”

Susan Spibey, who will appear on the ballot in Golborne and Lowton West as an independent candidate says she is working with the Independent Network.

The other independent candidates standing to be a councillor in Wigan are:

David Bowker (Abram)

John Hulme (Aspull New Springs Whelley)

Alan Baines (Hindley)

Bob Brierley (Hindley Green)

Danny Cooke (Worsley Mesnes)

The Local Democracy Reporting Service has attempted to contact these candidates, but did not receive a response from them before publication.

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