Wigan Borough Environment & Heritage Network

Meeting minutes

10.00 a.m. 14th July 2014 Greenslate Community Farm

Avis Freeman (Leigh Soroptimists), John O'Neill (Greenheart), Glenys McClellan & Marge Harrop (Leigh Family History Society), Allan Roberts (Wigan RSPB), Peter Goodwin (Tradition Films), Kath Godfrey (Conservation Volunteers), Tom Price (Civic Trust)

Geoff Jones (Astley Green Colliery Museum), Mary Pennington (Wigan Archaeology Society), Richard Sivill (Atherton Heritage), (Leigh Family History Society), Neil Forshaw (George Formby Society), David Shallcross (Leigh Ornithological Society), Ken Barston (Stubshaw Cross Residents Group), Peter Taylor (Civic Trust), Jan Johnston (LENDF), Dave Wilson (Leigh Ornithological Society), Lynda Jackson (WLCT).

Avis Freeman chaired the meeting and welcomed everyone present.

Tour of Greenslate Community Farm:

Most of the day was taken up with tour of the community farm and all its facilities. This project is one of the successful applicants to the Community Investment Fund and is a prime example of how the neighbourhood groups will need to adapt if public services, as we are accustomed to having them, are to remain.

This project, only running for a year or so, already has over 30 community allotments producing large quantities of organic vegetables, rescue hens producing eggs, pigs producing pork, a wild flower meadow for bees, a care farm to help people with learning disabilities, children's clubs, a woodland area being developed in conjunction with Wildlife Trust, dale ponies being trained for agricultural use, several acres being developed to produce wholesale organic vegetables to feed the community, and more.

Its governance structure, under the Industrial and Provident Societies Act 1965, defines it as 'company for the benefit of the community' and as such is able to issues shares. These shares cannot be traded on the stock exchange for personal benefit but can be redeemed from the company on request. Avis Freeman and Peter Goodwin decided to buy a £25 share in the community farm and it was decided that Environment & Heritage Network would also buy a share.

Minutes of Last Meeting: True and accurate - passed.

Matters Arising:

An action meeting re Leigh Spinners has occurred.
Members Reports:

Most given verbally.

Tom Price provided the following written report:

Foremost on our agenda at the present is the consideration of 11 nominations for our Malcolm Forest Civic Trust Award. Any of these nominations that conform to our specific guidelines can win an award in the year of its nomination. Some nominations selected for this years awards and why they have been selected are:

Mesnes Park:
A delightful transformation by WLCT to a once rundown and somewhat neglected town centre leisure facility, brought back to its former glory with the re-introduction of the Pelham Fountain, the Lodge refurbishment and added conference centre plus the replaced Boer War Memorial, now the Park is once again a source pleasure for Wigan's inhabitants.

Brock Mill Farm:
Transformed from a derelict 200 year old farmhouse to a smartly renovated modern dwelling, rebuilt to contain all its old world charm with the stone flag flooring, exposed original beams and sympathetically finished stonework, this Building is a credit to its new owners. The stepped landscaping at the front marrying into the surrounding woodland completes a well thought out picturesque project.

Standish Health Centre:
A new rear section to this building of red brickwork blends well with the front of the building, made from sawn sandstone blocks and a modern type entrance fronting the main road. It sits well within its environment and is a pleasure to behold. This is a well thought-out architectural accomplishment.

Other Business:

John O'Neil gave an update on progress with the Waterloo Monument and reported that the WLT will retain sport and fitness as a core issue. Environment and Heritage will come back to Council.

Next Meeting:

September 1st Museum of Wigan Life starting at 10.30.