Wigan Borough Environment & Heritage Network

Meeting minutes

Minutes of the meeting held on Friday 15 June 2007 at the Wigan History Shop


John O'Neil (councillor), Phillip Butler (Heritage Services), Max Finney (Friends of Wigan Heritage/Over 50s forum), Emma Scott (Community Empowerment Programme), John Hesketh (WLCT), Barbara Rhodes (Aspull History Society), Tom Price (Civic Trust)


Joe Taylor (Billinge History/Heritage Society), Michael Walker (L&CT), Peter Taylor, Peter Guy

Minutes of Last Meeting: Accepted as true and accurate

Matters Arising:

Fred Holcroft has passed away. There is a need to find a site for a plaque to commemorate him - could it be located at the new Wigan Pier centre? Action - Joe Taylor to ensure wording proposed by Tom to be passed to the craftsman for the plaque.
Action before this: Joe to discuss with Fred's family whether they would wish this to happen and how the funds will be made available for the memorial plaque?

Max asked a question regarding what has happened to the plaque for the Wigan Grammar School - comes up every year at grammar school reunion. Action - Philip to chase this issue.

Tom suggested that the network should consider honouring other local celebrities such as Gerard Rickard - painter, etc.

Feedback regarding a proposed name for a road 'Glass House Road' - this was thought to be inappropriate because in army slang it means 'prison'. Max has replied to this effect.

The Cultural Partnership Convention, held at Ince Public Hall went very well and the venue was a good location. Jenny Moriarty (Belfast) was the heritage speaker, members are waiting for a report back on the facilitated work
Action: John Hesketh to deal with this.

Other issues
John O'Neil stated that it is important that the heritage network gets involved in BLINT list because it is a crucial part of the Unity Development Plan and therefore gives a measure of position to buildings that are threatened by development.
Some suggested sites were mentioned:
Swinly Road and Swinley Lane corner wall (part of old Swinley Hall Estate) - should go on the list.
Reference to Mabs Cross and Woodfield schools

Related activity - Swinley Residents Association - participating in a project is to clean and tidy up Tyldesley Memorial - adjust height of description, floodlight etc.

To get copies of previous UDP documents you need to speak to Jason.
Current - Conservation Area Reviews - one just out for Shevington and one already out for Wigan Lane.

Press release re-inviting Wigan Town Centre Eastern fringes by Council including former police station, pool and libraries will be available on Wednesdays - Planners plans 28/6/07. Plans available at History Shop *John Busher* is the new planning officer involved tel. 10.30am-3pm, tel. 404243.

Debate still ongoing about development of old town hall, WMBC not happy yet with current proposals.

Greenheart Regional Park - communities that fringe park will be involved its design. Links to tourism and heritage - Jo'N welcomed comments and to ensure they make maximum use of Greenheart Park.
Emma Scott requested that comments are that are fed through to Jo'N and to ensure ETNA and Environmental Services.

Biodiversity Strategy is just published, Wildlife already in UDP (Kingfishers)
Action: John O'Neil to pass e-copies to Emma to distribute to ETNA, etc.
Action - Wigan Heritage Network to write to John O'Neil to formally request to bring maps.

Suggestion to Joe that the network keeps an eye on officers stealing the limelight. Over 50's did a lot of work on the production of a DVD with Angers delegation.
Action: Joe to discuss with Max/Tom further.

Canon Sharples School at Whelley - Civic Trust had a very good visit. Education could utilise site for Heritage Awards. Series of wiers etc. Iron oxide @ top from mine rocks and is cleaned by reed beds, clean at bottom, similar project at Winstanley.
Planning Department had suggested Interpretation Boards not up, although hands-on education in class doing well. Planning Department could dig up from archives and there's a VV leaflet about intentions (last 3-4 years).
Over 50's could work with Civic Trust to develop something there.
Action: Peter & Max to discuss

Representation & Heritage sub-group issues
Additional members from Heritage Network needed for the CEP steering group (Encompass)
Action: Anyone interested in helping to steer the Community Empowerment Programme to contact Emma - Tel: 01942 686238

At a previous meeting, Michael presented the structure and aims of the Heritage sub-group. The first meeting has been held and Max, Joe, Tom and Emma - minutes were requested before responding on a number of issues for group to consider in future.

Any Other Business:
AGM Friends of Mesnes Park was to be held the following week.

Max mentioned that St Joseph's Church in Caroline Street - it has a window missing and pigeons are going in and possibly causing damage (belongs to Liverpool Catholic Arch Diocese).
(St Jude's - Canon McNally might deal with it)
Action: Andrew Heathman from CEP team to take up with faith network members.

Max passes on his apologies for next meeting.

Date of Next meeting: 23 July at 11am at the History Shop.