Wigan Borough Environment & Heritage Network

Meeting minutes

Minutes of the meeting held on Monday 12th June at the Wigan History Shop.

Present: Joe Taylor (Billinge History & Heritage Society), John Wogan & Tony Haslam (Wigan Family History Society), Philip Butler (Wigan Leisure and Culture Trust / History Shop), Michael Kennedy & Derek Briscoe (Golborne History Society), Tom Glover (Wigan Archaeological Society), Cllr John and Barbara O'Neill (Wigan Council)
Norma Ackers, (Leigh Local History Society), Rev Ray Hutchinson (Wigan Parish Church), Lynn Kay (Community Engagement Team)

Apologies: Geoff and Marion Brown, Pat Grimshaw, Irene Nicholson, Peter Guy, Wigan & Leigh Community Empowerment Programme

Minutes of the last meeting:

The minuets of the last meeting were discussed point-by-point and accepted as true and accurate.

Matter Arising:

Since the last meeting contact has been made with the Leisure and Culture Trust about the mapping of points of heritage interest in the Billinge/Orrell Ward. This exercise is seen as a pilot that might be extended to cover the Borough. Philip Butler explained that this particular ward was chosen due to the presence of a flourishing history society, which is not the case in all wards of the Borough. The mapping of the entire Borough could be a project for this group could work in partnership with and to help facilitate.

Aims and Objectives:

Several people for various groups had input into the drafting of a set of aims and objectives for the Wigan Borough Heritage Network. After further discussion it was decided unanimously that that the following should be accepted.

Wigan Borough Heritage Network


To provide a forum where persons and community based organisations, concerned with archaeology, history and heritage matters throughout the Wigan Borough, are able meet on a regular basis, to exchange news, views and aspirations

To promote interest in and maintain appreciation of the archaeology, history and heritage of the entire Wigan Borough, its culture, buildings and natural environment, by whatever means are within the capabilities of the Wigan Borough Heritage Network


To support, promote and resource members and member organisations in achieving the aims of the Wigan Borough Heritage Network

To identify and map all points of heritage significance throughout the Wigan Borough and to devise strategies to preserve them for future generations

To work in partnership with relevant Wigan Council Departments and Wigan Leisure & Culture Trust in matters concerning archaeology, heritage and history

To provide community representation on the LSP and relevant thematic partnerships


At this stage it was decided that Wigan Borough Heritage Network dose not need a constitution but should the need arise in the future, a suitable constitution will be drafted.

Reports From Members:

Derek and Michael reported on the present difficulties in maintaining their group in Golborne due to lack of an adequate facility for holding meetings and the need for equipment. Billinge History/Heritage Society will forward them a constitution to adapt and accept so that they will be eligible for funding.

John Wogan and Tony Haslam reported that a website had dramatically increased interest in Wigan family history.

Rev Ray Hutchinson explained that, due to clearance, there are many items of heritage significance at Wigan Parish Church that need to be found new homes. Philip Butler was keen to assist in this matter.

Tom Glover highlighted his group's need to acquire more modern equipment. This problem might be solved by a funding application and support to apply for funding was offered. Tom expressed concern that Wigan Council use Manchester Archaeology Society for consultation in preference to Wigan Archaeology Society. It was pointed out that one of the objectives of Wigan Borough Heritage Network is to work in partnership with relevant Wigan Council Departments.

Cllr O'Neil spoke about the various strategies Council adopt for Heritage issues and how Wigan Borough Heritage Network could be used to recourse the relevant networks by providing community input and representation. At this moment in time, the Planning Department has a vacancy for a Conservation Officer. Cllr O'Neill suggested that matters relating to conservation could, for the time being, be channelled through him.

Joe Taylor distributed a Heritage DVD that has been produced by a group in Moss Bank with funding from Heritage Lottery. A list of speakers can be emailed to interested parties.

Partnership Support Officer:

Lynn Kay explained how the many community and voluntary groups throughout the Borough are linked and brought into the decision making process through the Wigan Borough Partnership. Lynn gave a brief overview on the structure of the Wigan Borough Partnership which is the Local Strategic Partnership for Wigan Borough. The Wigan Borough Partnership is responsible for the Community Plan (copies of this will be made available to members) and spoke about the 7 Thematic Partnerships, that each deal with specific key issues:
· Health & Social Care Partnership
· Economic Partnership
· Children Young Peoples Partnership
· Community Safety Partnership
· Housing Partnership
· Environment & Development Partnership
· Cultural Partnership

Lynn also spoke about the 10 Township Forums - Each of the borough's 10 Township areas has a Forum that works to develop local partnerships, making services more effective by getting local people involved in their own communities and working on local issues.

Lynn agreed to provide information to the group on local grant funding and also provide more information on the Township Forums and their local action plans.

Next Meeting:

Monday 17th July 11 a.m. at Wigan History Shop