Top award for former leader of Wigan Council

The former leader of Wigan Council has received a lifetime achievement award for his efforts to improve the borough.

Wednesday, 6th November 2019, 1:17 pm
Lord Peter Smith, right, collects his award from LGiU chairman Coun Michael Payne

Lord Peter Smith was given the honour at the 2019 Cllr Achievement Awards, held in Westminster.

He was elected to the council in 1978, served as leader from 1991 to 2018 and continues to represent Leigh West as a councillor.

Lord Smith was honoured for his commitment to improve the borough, including being a driving force behind The Deal, setting up the Believe In Leigh fund and attracting large-scale cultural and sporting events.

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He also worked on a regional stage through the Greater Manchester Combined Authority, which saw a devolution deal to take control of powers and budgets from Whitehall in 2014.

The Cllr Awards, run by the Local Government Information Unit (LGiU) and CCLA, is the only national awards ceremony to honour the work of councillors.

Nearly 250 nominations were received, a record for the awards.

Jonathan Carr-West, chief executive of LGiU, said: “As we mark the 10th anniversary of the awards, we reflect on the incredible contributions that this year’s winners have made, but also the efforts of the hundreds of councillors we have showcased for their achievements in the past.

“These councillors deliver in increasingly challenging and hostile times alongside severe budget constraints. And, despite all of that and more, their determination and resolve has left their communities safer, stronger and healthier, thanks to their efforts. Their work often goes unrecognised and that is why it is so important that we honour them.

“I would like to extend my most sincere congratulations to Lord Smith and thank him for his commitment to local government.”