Pledge to create new neighbourhood plan

Coun Keith Cunliffe
Coun Keith Cunliffe

A residents’ group and Wigan Council will work together to create a new plan allowing residents to have their say on Leigh’s future.

The Leigh Neighbourhood Forum will meet with town hall officers and councillors to work on a new plan after the initial proposals for withdrawn.

By working together in the spirit of partnership, we can achieve far more than we can apart.

Coun Keith Cunliffe

The forum initially wanted the Neighbourhood Plan to cover the whole of Leigh and the local authority suggested a much smaller area concentrating on just the town centre and immediate surroundings.

Following an intervention by cabinet member Coun Keith Cunliffe both these ideas are now off the table and all sides will meet to create a new plan and find a way forward.

Forum chairman Ged Tyrrell said: “We welcome this as an extremely positive step from the council, since agreement with them on the content of the proposed plan is vital.

“We are an independent, non-political group trying our best to represent the people but working with the council is critical in agreeing on the content of the proposed plan and the area it covers so that it embraces and enhances the existing council policies as we move forwards to deliver the best possible results for our area.”

Coun Cunliffe, portfolio holder for adult social care, said: “We were very keen to work with local residents and members of the Leigh Neighbourhood Forum. We’re pleased to have come to an agreement with LNF and look forward to working with them to develop the plan.

“By working together in the spirit of partnership, we can achieve far more than we can apart. It’s a real opportunity to engage with the residents of Leigh.”

Neighbourhood plans allow residents to have a direct say on issues such as bringing economic growth to the town, where new housing and business developments should go and what infrastructure construction companies should create.

The Leigh forum also wants to improve the town centre and the historic canal network but wants everyone, including those living on the outskirts, to get a say.

Residents will be able to comment on planning applications to get the right deal for their community while still allowing the council to meet its wider strategies.