Wigan Borough Environment & Heritage Network

Meeting minutes

Minutes of the meeting held on Monday 18th December 2006 at the Wigan History Shop


Tom Price and Peter Taylor from Wigan Civic Trust were welcomed to meeting. John O'Neill and Ray Hutchinson had requested that Civic Trust be approached and asked to participate in the development of heritage related strategies for Wigan Borough.

Jason Kennedy, Council's new conservation officer, was also welcomed to the meeting.


Joe Taylor (Billinge History & Heritage Society), Peter Guy (Gin Pit Village), Emma Scott (Community Empowerment Programme), John O'Neill (Wigan MBC), Ray Hutchinson (Wigan Parish Church), Peter Taylor & Tom Price (Civic Trust), Philip Butler, John Hesketh & Michael Walker (Wigan Leisure & Culture Trust), Jason Kennedy (Conservation Officer).


John Wogan (Wigan Family History Society), Glenys McClellan (Leigh FHS/Wigan Registry Office), Barbara Rhodes (Aspull & Heigh Historical Society), Max Finney (Over 50s Forum), Fred Holcroft (Winstanley), Tom Glover (Wigan Archaeological Society), Carol Littler (Local History Researcher) Tony Hilton (NW Catholic History Society, Friends of Wigan Boer War Memorial), Irene Nicholson (Gin Pit Village)

Fred Holcroft has had a slight stroke and will be resting from his community commitments for the time being. We all wish him well and a speedy recovery.

Tom Glover wished it to be known that excavations in Ince were proving fruitful but did not want the exact location of the site to be published at present.

It was noted that the close proximity to Christmas made attendance at this meeting somewhat difficult but as important matters needed attention, the attendance of those present was greatly appreciated.

Minutes of the last meeting:

Accepted as True and Accurate

Matters Arising:

Wigan Borough Heritage Network now has a website at www.wiganheritage.com designed by Kevin Sutton from Wigan & Leigh CVS. Members are invited to make contributions to the content of this website. Heritage Network is able to maintain and amend the website as required.

Philip Butler will explore the possibility of displaying a gallery of thumbnails of photographs that can be purchased from the archives.

Peter Taylor spoke about the Memorial Trophy for Ashton Arts Festival, mentioned by Glenys McClellan. He corrected the entry to read that the trophy was not 'lost' as mentioned, that more trophies from The Ashton Arts Festival were stored by him and the correct name of the trophy was 'The Alf Hughes' Memorial Trophy.


A draft constitution had been circulated for comment and input prior to the meeting. After further consideration, it was decided that the constitution be accepted for Wigan Borough Heritage Network. An interim management committee was elected until the AGM. John O'Neil will act as the elected member for Wigan MBC and Philip Butler will act as representative for Wigan L&CT. Ray Hutchinson, & Tom Price will act as community representatives together with Joe Taylor, who will act as chair and secretary and Peter Guy, who will act as treasurer.

A clause in the constitution enables the constitution to be modified and amended as required.

Heritage Network, Cultural Partnership and related matters:

At the Cultural Partnership executive meeting, December 4th, Michael Walker presented the paper proposing a Heritage Sub Group to the Cultural Partnership, to address the concerns of all stakeholders in ensuring that the 'voice' of Heritage is heard by the Cultural Partnership, while ensuring that this voice is fully representative of all those involved in the celebration and promotion of heritage in Wigan.

The Cultural Partnership Execute, who supported the initiative and congratulated the Heritage related organisations for their input and commitment, welcomed this proposal.

The stage is now set for attention to be focused on Heritage related issues across the Borough, starting early next year and continuing into the foreseeable future.

Building Conservation Strategy:

Jason Kennedy reported on the progress made in developing the building conservation strategy, which should be ready for consultation by February. Heritage Network will assist with the consultation process. Civic Trust is an organisation particularly interested with building conservation.

Jason distributed a Character Appraisal for Green Hill Conservation Area and a Comments Form.

John O'Neill spoke about the commendable thoroughness of the Conservation Area report for Standish, which can be downloaded from the Council website.

Township/CEP approach to Heritage Visioning:

Emma Scott outlined a proposed strategy to involve residents in identifying items of heritage significance. The Borough Wide Community Network is considering holding its meetings for the coming year in the individual Townships, in sequence with the Township Forum meetings, with a quiz and a short presentation about heritage as a topic. John Hesketh spoke about the need to align heritage mapping/visioning work led by CEP with front-line activity proposed in the Cultural Partnership Work Programme for 2007.

It was agreed that L&CT and Community Empowerment Programme would meet January 4th to discuss tactics and report back to the members.

Next Meeting: Monday 5th February 11 am at the History Shop.

Meeting dates for the rest of 2007 are as follows (all 11am at Wigan's History Shop Library Street).
12th March, 30th April, 11th June, 23rd July, 3rd September, 15th October, 3rd December 2007.