Wigan Borough Heritage Network

Minutes of the meeting held on Friday 16th March 2007 at the Wigan History Shop

Present:

Joe Taylor (Billinge History/Heritage Society), Peter Guy (Gin Pit Village), Emma Scott (Community
Empowerment Programme), Tom Price (Civic Trust), Philip Butler, John Hesketh (L&CT), Jason
Kennedy (Conservation Officer), David Heyes (Planning Department), Max Finney (Over 50s Forum),
Glenys McClellan & Margery Harrop (Leigh FHS/Wigan Registry Office), John O'Neill (Wigan MBC),

Apologies:

Barbara Rhodes (Aspull & Heigh Historical Society), Michael Walker (L&CT), Tom Glover (Wigan
Archaeological Society), Tony Haslam (Wigan Family & LHS), Peter Taylor (Civic Trust), Peter
Goodwin (Mirabilis Media), Ray Hutchinson (Wigan Parish Church), Fred Holcroft (Winstanley),
Ray Hutchinson (Wigan Parish Church), Carol Littler (Local History Researcher) Tony Hilton (NW
Catholic History Society, Friends of Wigan Boer War Memorial), Irene Nicholson (Gin Pit Village)

Tom Price reported that Fred Holcroft's condition has relapsed somewhat - we all wish him well and a
speedy recovery

Welcome: David Heyes and Margery Harrop, attending Heritage Network for the first time

Minutes of Last Meeting: Accepted as true and accurate

Matters Arising:

Philip Butler reported that an article concerning the Heritage Network for Past Forward is well underway

Glenys McClellan explained that after a meeting with the Director of Leisure, when revised opening
hours had been announced, she had contact the newspapers to stop the publication of her copy letter.
Unfortunately one newspaper had gone ahead and published it. The Leigh FHS had sent letters of thanks
to the Director of Leisure, the MPs, Councillors and the Chief Executive in acknowledgment of their
support.


Conservation Officer:

Jason Kennedy reported that the new Borough Conservation Strategy would be finished soon. The
Conservation Area Plan for Green Hill is now ready for approval by Cabinet. He has had a meeting with
the diocese regarding Wigan Hall. In view of the demands made by the Olympic Committee on Heritage
Lottery funding (figures?) there will be large cutbacks for heritage projects.

Address Manager:

David Heyes spoke about the constraints and demands faced by his department in allocating names to
new streets eventuating from development. He circulated guidance notes and application forms for
street names and postal addresses. The conservation officer, Jason Kennedy, raised the issue of cast-iron
nameplates being replaced with aluminium nameplates in conservation areas. David will liaise with
Jason over the possibility of policy improvements for a specific type of street nameplate to be
recommended to for all new developments within conservation areas. David will email the Heritage at
the same time he consults local councillors on new street names. The Heritage Network then has 14 days
to raise any appropriate objections. All objections will be considered against current policies and will
also require the submission of alternatives. Email or telephone is the preferred method of objection. The
Heritage Network is free to submit street name proposals to the address manager for any potential new
development where new street names have not been allocated.


Heritage Network Representation on Partnerships:

John Hesketh reported that – as per the Chair's request of the week prior to this meeting - he had spoken
with Lynn Kay (the Council's Partnership Support Officer) about the prospect of Heritage Network
representation on thematic partnerships other than the Cultural Partnership. She advised that while in
strategic terms good cases might be made for joining-up with the likes of the Environment and
Development Partnership, currently community representatives were elected for co-option through the
Borough-wide Community Network – supported by the Community Empowerment Programme.
After some discussion the Network agreed that - through CEP - they should write to Wigan Borough
Partnership requesting a review of the procedure that enables representation on the thematic
partnerships, making their case as to why they considered the present arrangements unsatisfactory.

Progress with the Funding Application:

Joe reminded the group that after his initial conversation with Tsenno Vattev (Cultural Voluntary Sector
Funding Officer) on the Network's aspirations to develop a DVD that would bring local people's history
of the Borough to life, it had been agreed at the last meeting that links should be established with the
Education Department in Children & Young People's Services before proceeding. If the DVD were to
succeed and impact, ensuring its curricular relevance was key he said. With John Hesketh he would meet
Joyce Holden (Secondary Curriculum Consultant) on Tuesday 20th March and take the funding strategy
and associated bids from there – drawing on the advice and support of Tsenno as required.

Max Finney noted his positive support for the project, but asked whether there might be synergy/worth
in linking with the Over 50's Heritage Project - Our Legacy, documenting Township histories across the
Borough through a digital archive of photographs, posters, postcards, press cuttings, memorabilia,
personal diaries and so forth. Joe Taylor agreed to meet with him after the meeting to discuss the same.

Townships/CEP Approach to Heritage Visioning:

Emma Scott coordinator for CEP, noted that the first meeting of the Borough Wide Community Network
at Leigh had held a successful discussion around what heritage meant to local people and the notes of
this were to be sent to Philip and Joe for their respective records.

Emma reported that the last BWCN meeting in Tyldesley was poorly attended and that an appraisal of
whether this approach is working will take place after the next BWCN meeting in Atherton. Heritage in
Tyldesley will now be discussed at the Tyldesley Community Planning Group at their AGM on 12th
April.

If and when the Heritage Network funding application is successful, Glenys and Margery might suggest
an appropriate organisation in Leigh to identify items of heritage significance.

Members Reports: The member organisations present gave brief updates as to their current activities

Other Business:

Glenys had a copy of the CD produced by Leigh Family History Society of St. John's Abram
Monumental Inscriptions. This can be obtained from the Publications Officer, Liverpool & SW Lancs
FHS, 9 Manor Road, Lymm, WA13 0AY or by email:- publications@liverpool-genealogy.org.uk
Price £5.65. A hardback version will be presented to the Church and a copy of the CD deposited at the
History Shop.

Next Meeting: 11a.m. History Shop Moday 30th April