Wigan Borough Environment & Heritage Network

Meeting minutes

27th September 2010 Tudor House 10.30am

The Chair welcomed attendees and noted apologies.

Present - John O'Neill (Chair) (Greenheart Partnership Board); Ken Barston (Stubshaw Cross Residents Group); Neil Forshaw (George Formby Society); Jackie Roberts (Bridleways); Jan Johnston (Hesketh Meadows Action Group); Vincent France (Atherton); Peter Goodwin (Mirabilis Media); Joe Taylor (Billinge History/Heritage Society) Brian Parr (Discovery Group): Peter Taylor & Tom Price (Wigan Civic Trust); Dave Wilson (Leigh Ornithological Society); Avis Freeman (ETNA), Rachel Bryant, (Heritage Services), Mary Pennington (Wigan Archaeological Society); Brian Parr (Discovery Group)

Apologies Richard Sivill (Atherton Heritage); Glenys McClellan & Margaret Harrop (Leigh & District Family History Society); Geoff Jones (Astley Green Colliery Museum);
Simon Martin (Lancashire Local History Federation); David Shallcross & Tony Bishop (Leigh Ornithological Society);


· The Wigan Central Area Action Plan Issues Questionnaire was distributed -
· WLCT's webpage 'What's On' can be used to promote member group meetings
· Edition 55 of Past Forward is now out - articles from members welcome.
· The bird depicted on the Wigan Council coat of arms is a sparrow hawk, originally from the Leigh Council coat of arms and that of Atherton UDC crest.
· A committee established to see what can be done to save grad 2 listed building Winstanley Hall, one of the few remaining Tudor buildings still standing in the borough, is still to report its findings.
· Contact Damiean Jenkinson 01942 488299 re Green Pennant awards.

Minutes of Last Meeting: Accepted as true and accurate.

Matters Arising:

· If anyone wants to get involved in planning our Celebration Evening in Spring let the secretary know
· Dave Wilson reported problems at Bickershaw North where they are looking for volunteers.
· Tom Price reported that the advertising for Heritage Open days was not the best and more time is needed for next year. Venues such as churches would benefit by having a guide or an A4 sheet of information available.
· The PCT will be included on the Greenheart Board for as long as the PCT lasts.

Budgetary Issues:

There are still small grants available via Council. Anne Roberts is the person to contact. Monies are available via Section 106 agreements. The relevant planning officer should be contacted. Township Forums have budgets that can be used for environment related work. Brighter Borough money is available from local councillors. Small parcels of unused public land could be utilised and developed for local projects.

Community Partnership Heritage Sub-Group Meeting:

This meeting wasn't held due to unforeseen circumstances - it will be rearranged. The agenda includes the Heritage Capital Strategy Progress being made on: Haigh Windmill, Leigh Sports Village Moat, Kirkess Iron & Steel Works Site, the Boar War Memorial in Mesnes Park, Haigh Estate, Lightshaw Meadows and phase 2 of the Mesnes Park Restoration.

Discovery Group Presentation:

Brain Parr gave an excellent presentation concerning recent work undertaken by this group on behalf of WL&CT in Menses Park to locate the original pumping mechanism, so far with limited success. They have involved volunteers interested in archaeology, including school children and the disabled, for the first time.

Greenheart DVD:

Peter Goodwin showed the DVD he produced recently with rugby league commentator Phil Clarke about the Greenheart Project.

It is heartening to observe that the higher echelons are staring to realise that the real value of the borough lies in its unique natural heritage and this could a principal selling point for marketing Wigan.

Any Other Business:

The secretary reported that at the last Encompass meeting a majority of those attending had requested that the discussion be kept in-house.

Moved Jan Johnson seconded Avis Freeman that Environment & Heritage Network withdraws from Encompass - passed unanimously.

Avis Freeman reported that Heritage Open Day was particularly good at Leigh Parish Church where people from St Helens and Bolton attended plus a camera crew from English Heritage

Next Meeting 8th th November Tudor House Hindley

Tony Bishop, Leigh Ornithological Society, to give a presentation.

Steve Thompson, Environmental Services to present to the Wigan Central Areal Plan