Volunteers praised for cleaning up neglected street

John Gredecki with Selwyn Street residents Jean Rigby and Carol and Arthur Bate in the renovated alleyway
John Gredecki with Selwyn Street residents Jean Rigby and Carol and Arthur Bate in the renovated alleyway
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Residents are jubilant after a massive clean-up effort to transform an alley blighted by anti-social behaviour proved to be a huge success.

Community project the Leigh Neighbours spearheaded efforts to turn around the area on Selwyn Street which had previously suffered from fly-tipping, littering and dog fouling.

Young people from the Prince’s Trust worked for 10 days to clear up the alley, much of the graft taking place in tough wintry conditions.

Leigh Neighbours also arranged for officers from Wigan Council’s environmental team to install signs warning the perpetrators of environmental crime they would face consequences.

Long-term residents Carol and Arthur Bate, together with their neighbours Mandy Mulcrowe and Jean Rigby, have battled for years to stay on top of the issues that made their back alley a no-go area and are understandably thrilled with the results of the makeover.

They said: “It was difficult to know where to start, given the scale of the problem, and we felt totally overwhelmed at times.

“But, now that the alleyway is cleared, the litter has been removed and the planters installed, it’s going to be so much easier to stay on top of.

“The planters look great and come summer, when the flowers are in full bloom, the alleyway will be transformed.

“We can’t thank Leigh Neighbours, Wigan Council and of course the wonderful students of the Prince’s Trust Team Programme enough.

“They worked so hard and cared so much; they are a credit to themselves and great ambassadors for young people.”

Leigh Neighbours has invested in a variety of planters for the alleyway including a seated area, as well as hanging baskets, plants and compost.

More improvements could be on the way too as council officers have also agreed to speak with the owners of some adjoining barren wasteland on Leigh Road, which is unused for the vast majority of the year and has been known to be a target for environmental anti-social behaviour.

John Gredecki of Leigh Neighbours said: “This project goes to show how working in partnership can achieve great results, especially when a passion to make a difference is added to the mix.

“I hope all the residents of Selwyn Street see the value of what’s been achieved and pull together by showing respect for their neighbours and pride in their community.”