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The METROPOLITAN BOROUGH OF WIGAN is a metropolitan borough of Greater Manchester
Greater Manchester
, in North West England
England
. It is named after its largest component town and former county borough , Wigan
Wigan
and includes the towns and villages of Leigh , part of Ashton-in-Makerfield , Ince-in-Makerfield
Ince-in-Makerfield
, Hindley , Orrell , Standish , Atherton , Tyldesley
Tyldesley
, Golborne , Lowton , Billinge , Astley , Haigh and Aspull . The borough was formed in 1974 and is an amalgamation of several former local government districts and parishes. The borough has three civil parishes and lies directly to the west of the City of Salford and southwest of the Metropolitan Borough of Bolton . The local authority is Wigan
Wigan
Metropolitan Borough Council .

CONTENTS

* 1 History * 2 Geography

* 3 Governance

* 3.1 Local government * 3.2 Townships and wards * 3.3 Parishes * 3.4 Parliamentary * 3.5 Coat of arms

* 4 Demography

* 4.1 Population change

* 5 Transport * 6 Twinning * 7 See also

* 8 References

* 8.1 Notes * 8.2 Bibliography

* 9 External links

HISTORY

Wigan
Wigan
metropolitan borough was created on 1 April 1974 by the Local Government Act 1972 . It was formed from the former county borough of Wigan
Wigan
along with other local government units from the administrative county of Lancashire
Lancashire
. These were the Municipal Borough of Leigh , the urban districts of Abram, Aspull, Atherton , Hindley , Ince-in-Makerfield, Orrell , Standish and Tyldesley
Tyldesley
. Ashton-in-Makerfield except for the parish of Seneley Green , the Golborne Urban District except for the parish of Culcheth and Glazebury in Warrington, the Higher End part of Billinge and Winstanley Urban District and the civil parishes of Haigh , Shevington and Worthington from the Wigan
Wigan
Rural District were included.

Before its creation, the name Wigan-Leigh was used in the Redcliffe-Maud Report . It was suggested that the new metropolitan borough be named Makerfield . However both names were rejected by a vote of 12 to 2. According to an opinion poll in 2003, 26% of 299 residents surveyed felt they belonged "very strongly" or "fairly strongly" (4% very strongly) to Greater Manchester, 64% (28% very strongly) to the borough of Wigan, and 63% (31% very strongly) to Lancashire.

The metropolitan borough was created from a highly industrialised area of Lancashire
Lancashire
that was part of the Lancashire
Lancashire
Coalfield and had an important textile industry.

GEOGRAPHY

Wigan
Wigan
borough covers an area of 77 square miles (200 km2) and is the 9th largest metropolitan borough, out of 36, in England. The borough is the most north western in Greater Manchester. Within Greater Manchester, it borders the Metropolitan Borough of Bolton to the north-east and east, and the City of Salford
City of Salford
to the east. Outwith Greater Manchester, in the south it borders Warrington
Warrington
(a unitary authority in Cheshire
Cheshire
); to the south-west it borders the Metropolitan Borough of St Helens in Merseyside
Merseyside
. To the west it borders the West Lancashire
Lancashire
borough, and to the north it borders the Chorley borough, both in Lancashire
Lancashire
.

Wigan
Wigan
has seven Local Nature Reserves : including Wigan
Wigan
Flashes LNR, Borsdane Wood LNR, between Hindley and Aspull, Greenslate Water Meadows LNR within Orrell Water Park in Orrell, Low Hall LNR between Hindley and Platt Bridge, Pennington Flash LNR, Kirkless LNR at Ince and Three Sisters LNR, Ashton-In-Makerfield.

GOVERNANCE

LOCAL GOVERNMENT

See also: Mayor of Wigan
Wigan
and Mayoress of Wigan
Wigan

For 12 years after the county was created in 1974, the borough had a two-tier system of local government , and Wigan
Wigan
Council shared power with the Greater Manchester
Greater Manchester
County Council . The county council was abolished in 1986 by the Local Government Act 1985 . In April 2011 the Greater Manchester
Greater Manchester
Combined Authority became the top tier of local government within Greater Manchester
Greater Manchester
covering ten boroughs including Wigan.

The first elections to the borough council were held on 10 May 1973. The Metropolitan Borough Council is divided into 25 wards, each of which elects three councillors. Elections are by third, with one councillor from each ward up for re-election in each election year. The borough council has a leader and cabinet system. The current leader is Peter Smith , who sits in the House of Lords
House of Lords
as a Labour Party life peer with the title, Lord Smith of Leigh. He became leader in 1991. The council rejected the idea of a directly-elected mayor following a consultation in 2001.

The Metropolitan Borough of Wigan
Wigan
is traditionally a Labour stronghold - the council has been Labour Party-controlled since its creation. The local elections in 1998 resulted in a council with only 2 non-Labour members.

Labour had a majority with 43 seats at the 2006 election. The second largest party was the local Community Action Party which had 15 seats. Community Action first contested Wigan
Wigan
elections in 2002, and won 18 seats in the 2004 election following the re-warding - their councilors are for wards in the middle of the borough, between Wigan
Wigan
and Leigh. The Conservative Party had nine seats, and the Liberal Democrats eight.

At the 2008 elections Labour was the largest party with 41 seats out of a total of 75, the Conservative Party had 14 seats, Community Action Party 8 seats, Independent 7 seats, Liberal Democrats 4 seats and one was vacant.

As of November 2010 (after May elections), Labour was the largest party with 51 seats out of a total of 75, the Conservative Party had 8 seats, 7 Independent, Community Action Party 4 seats and Liberal Democrats seats (1 member currently suspended) and the 'Independent Conservative' members with 2 seats.

As of June 2011 (after May elections), Labour continued to be the largest party with 58 seats out of 75, the Independent Councillor group with 8 seats form the official opposition, the Conservative Party had 5 seats, the Liberal Democrats hold 2 seats, Community Action Party 1 seat and 1 Independent councillor.

In May 2012 (post 2012 Local Elections) the composition of the council was Labour 63 (+5), Others 9 (-1), Liberal Democrats 2 (No change)and Conservatives 1 ( -4).

Presently in September 2016, the Council's political composition is: Labour 65, Standish Independents 2, Wigan
Wigan
Independent 2, Independent 1, and Conservatives 5.

The council uses Wigan
Wigan
Town Hall as its main headquarters. Leigh Town Hall is used as a secondary base.

TOWNSHIPS AND WARDS

The borough is divided into 25 electoral wards, each of which elect three councillors. The present wards were adopted in 2003, following a review by the Boundary Commission, the previous review took place in 1979. The borough was formerly divided in 24 wards. Wigan
Wigan
Council has divided the borough into ten areas by the name of townships , with a Township Manager and a Township Forum each.

TOWNSHIPS WARDS

Ashton-in-Makerfield / Bryn Ashton; Bryn

Atherton Atherton

Hindley / Abram Abram; Hindley; Hindley Green

Leigh Atherleigh; Leigh North; Leigh South; Leigh West

Lowton / Golborne Golborne and Lowton West; Lowton East

Orrell / Higher End / Winstanley Orrell; Winstanley;

Standish / Aspull / Shevington
Shevington
Aspull-New Springs-Whelley; Shevington
Shevington
with Lower Ground; Standish with Langtree

Tyldesley
Tyldesley
/ Astley Astley- Mosley Common ; Tyldesley

Wigan
Wigan
North Ince-in-Makerfield
Ince-in-Makerfield
; Wigan
Wigan
Central; Wigan
Wigan
West

Wigan
Wigan
South Douglas; Pemberton ; Worsley Mesnes

PARISHES

The borough has three civil parishes: Haigh, Shevington
Shevington
and Worthington. The rest of the borough is an unparished area . Ecclesiastical parishes in the west of the borough are part of the Anglican
Anglican
Diocese of Liverpool
Liverpool
and the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Liverpool
Liverpool
, Anglican
Anglican
parishes in the east of the Metropolitan Borough are part of the Diocese of Manchester
Manchester
and the northern section part of the Diocese of Blackburn
Diocese of Blackburn
.

PARLIAMENTARY

The Wigan
Wigan
Metropolitan Borough is currently covered by four parliamentary constituencies, Wigan
Wigan
, Makerfield , Leigh , and Bolton West .(Atherton is the only Wigan
Wigan
ward included in Bolton
Bolton
West, with the rest of the constituency made up of wards from Bolton
Bolton
Borough). New constituency boundaries recommended by the Boundary Commission for the 2010 UK election
2010 UK election
saw the link to Salford broken by the removal of Wigan
Wigan
areas from the Worsley constituency. This resulted in the Worsley constituency wards of Tyldesley
Tyldesley
and Astley- Mosley Common being placed in the Leigh Constituency with the Atherton ward becoming part of Bolton
Bolton
West. Makerfield is the only constituency to have returned Labour MPs continuously since 1906.

COAT OF ARMS

Wigan
Wigan
council's new coat of arms is based on various elements from the arms of the councils of its predecessor districts.

DEMOGRAPHY

With a population of around 300,000, Wigan
Wigan
is the second most populous borough of Greater Manchester, after Manchester
Manchester
. It has one of the lowest ethnic minority populations, with the 2001 census reporting 98.7% of the population as white. Unemployment is around the average for England
England
and Wales. Approximately 9.5% of the population was recorded as being permanently sick or disabled compared to a national average of 5.5%.

POPULATION CHANGE

The table details the population change since 1801, including the percentage change since the last available census data. Although the Metropolitan Borough of Wigan
Wigan
has existed since 1974, figures have been generated by combining data from the towns, villages, and civil parishes that became constituent parts of the borough.

POPULATION GROWTH IN WIGAN SINCE 1801

YEAR 1801 1811 1821 1831 1841 1851 1861 1871 1881 1891 1901 1911 1921 1931 1941 1951 1961 1971 1981 1991 2001

POPULATION 41,413 50,464 60,760 69,400 78,349 93,271 120,001 146,732 173,462 212,665 239,399 269,503 267,754 266,040 266,436 266,839 284,309 302,929 307,721 310,866 301,415

% CHANGE – +21.9 +20.4 +14.2 +12.9 +19.0 +28.7 +22.3 +18.2 +22.6 +12.6 +12.6 −0.6 −0.6 +0.1 +0.2 +6.5 +6.5 +1.6 +1.0 −3.0

Source: Vision of Britain

The population of the borough has remained roughly static since the 1970s at around 300,000, second to Manchester
Manchester
within Greater Manchester.

The ONS identify the Wigan
Wigan
Urban Area as the western part of the district and Skelmersdale and Upholland in West Lancashire
Lancashire
, with a population of 166,840. It considers the east of the borough, Hindley, Leigh, Astley, Atherton and Tyldesley
Tyldesley
to be part of the Greater Manchester
Manchester
Urban Area . Ashton-in-Makerfield, Aspull, Golborne and Shevington
Shevington
are identified as standalone urban areas. However the entirety of the borough forms part of the Manchester
Manchester
Larger Urban Zone

TRANSPORT

Public transport
Public transport
in Wigan
Wigan
MBC is co-ordinated by Transport for Greater Manchester
Greater Manchester
(TfGM). The borough is served by an extensive bus network with most services operated by Stagecoach Manchester
Manchester
, Arriva North West First Greater Manchester
Greater Manchester
and Diamond Bus North West . Wigan town centre is the main hub of the bus network with a large bus station. Leigh is a secondary hub also with a bus station. Services operate from the bus stations to Bolton, Manchester, The Trafford Centre, St Helens and Chorley, as well as local inter-urban routes, with three high frequency services between Wigan
Wigan
and Leigh bus stations, operated by Stagecoach Manchester.

Several railway lines cross the borough. Wigan
Wigan
Wallgate railway station is served by Northern trains on the Manchester
Manchester
to Southport and Kirkby
Kirkby
lines. There are services to stations towards Manchester, serving all city centre stations including Manchester
Manchester
Victoria and Manchester
Manchester
Piccadilly via two routes: one through Bolton
Bolton
and one via Atherton , with connections to other local and national destinations. Wigan
Wigan
North Western railway station is on the West Coast Mainline served by Northern and Virgin Trains . There are services to Liverpool Lime Street , Blackpool
Blackpool
North , London Euston , Birmingham, Glasgow and Edinburgh. Other stations in the borough are Atherton , Hag Fold, Bryn , Gathurst , Hindley , Ince , Orrell , and Pemberton . Appley Bridge railway station just outside the border with West Lancashire
Lancashire
is managed by TfGM and serves the far north-western part of the borough. There is a campaign for Golborne railway station to be re-opened.

Leigh is one of the largest towns in the UK without a railway station. Westleigh station, on the Bolton
Bolton
and Leigh Railway , closed in 1954. Leigh and Tyldesley
Tyldesley
stations on the Tyldesley
Tyldesley
Loopline were closed in 1969. There are proposals to use the line of the railway via Tyldesley
Tyldesley
towards Manchester
Manchester
as a guided busway but this not universally popular.

The Leeds and Liverpool
Liverpool
and Bridgewater canals meet in Leigh town centre. The M6 motorway
M6 motorway
crosses the west of the borough, and serves Ashton-in-Makerfield at junctions 23 and 24 (north only) and 25 (south only), Wigan
Wigan
at junction 25 (south only), Wigan/Orrell at junction 26 and Standish junction 27. The M58 motorway , to Liverpool
Liverpool
, terminates at junction 26 of the M6 near Orrell. The dual carriageway A580 East Lancashire
Lancashire
Road linking Liverpool
Liverpool
to Manchester
Manchester
crosses the south of the borough.

TWINNING

The Metropolitan Borough of Wigan
Wigan
has one twin town in France.

COUNTRY

PLACE

COUNTY / DISTRICT / REGION / STATE ORIGINALLY TWINNED WITH DATE

France

ANGERS

Pays de la Loire
Pays de la Loire
Metropolitan Borough of Wigan 1988

SEE ALSO

* Greater Manchester
Greater Manchester
portal

* Wigan
Wigan
Council election 1998 * Wigan
Wigan
Council election 2000 * Wigan
Wigan
Council election 2002 * Wigan
Wigan
Council election 2003 * Wigan
Wigan
Council election 2004

REFERENCES

NOTES

* ^ https://www.wigan.gov.uk/Council/Mayoralty/About-the-Mayor.aspx * ^ Check Browser Settings * ^ A B Local Government Act 1972. 1972 c. 60. HMSO. * ^ Local Government (Successor Parishes) Order 1973. 1973/1110. HMSO. * ^ Clark 1973 , p. 101. * ^ "MORI local government and identity opinion poll December 2003 - February 2004" (PDF). The Boundary Committee for England. Retrieved 2007-02-11. * ^ "Three major parties find cause for satisfaction in local election results despite low poll". The Times. 1973-05-12. * ^ "Constitution: Part 9". Wigan
Wigan
Metropolitan Borough Council. * ^ "Borough rejects elected mayor" (Press release). Wigan Metropolitan Borough Council. 2001-06-15. Retrieved 2001-06-15. * ^ A B "Local elections: Wigan". London: BBC News. 2006-05-04. Retrieved 2007-02-11. * ^ "Labour licks wounds after polls". London: BBC News. 2004-06-11. Retrieved 2004-06-11. * ^ "Summary of seats 2008". Wigan
Wigan
MBC. Retrieved 2010-03-01. * ^ http://democracy.wigan.gov.uk/mgUserInfo.aspx?UID=173 * ^ http://webarchive.nationalarchives.gov.uk/20121008013113/http://www.wigan.gov.uk/Services/CouncilDemocracy/CouncillorsMPsMEPs/CompositionoftheCouncil.htm * ^ "21st century Town Hall" (Press release). Wigan
Wigan
Metropolitan Borough Council. 2006-08-07. Retrieved 2007-02-11. * ^ "Makeover for Leigh Town Hall" (Press release). 2006-06-13. Retrieved 2007-02-11. * ^ Final recommendations on the future electoral arrangements for Wigan
Wigan
(PDF). Boundary Committee. September 2003. Retrieved 2007-02-11.

* ^ "New Wigan
Wigan
Wards Map". Wigan
Wigan
Metropolitan Borough Council. * ^ "Townships". Wigan
Wigan
Metropolitan Borough Council. Retrieved 2006-11-06. * ^ "Greater Manchester: New Constituency Boundaries". Martin Baxter. Retrieved 2007-02-11. * ^ "Safe Seats analysis". Electoral Reform Society. 2005-04-28. Retrieved 2007-02-11. * ^ "Census 2001 - Profiles - Wigan". Office for National Statistics. Retrieved 2007-02-11. * ^ " Wigan
Wigan
District: total population". Vision of Britain. Retrieved on 20 December 2008. * ^ " Wigan
Wigan
District population". Vision of Britain. University of Portsmouth. Retrieved 2007-02-11. * ^ "Table KS01 Usual Resident population". Office for National Statistics. Archived from the original (XLS (Excel spreadsheet)) on 2004-07-23. Retrieved 2007-02-11. * ^ " Wigan
Wigan
Wallgate". National Rail. Retrieved 2010-03-01. * ^ " Wigan
Wigan
North Western". National Rail. Retrieved 2010-03-01. * ^ "WestLeigh Station". Disused Stations. Subterranea Britanica. Retrieved 2010-03-01. * ^ "Pennington Station". Disused Stations. Subterranea Britanica. Retrieved 2007-02-11. * ^ "Leigh Salford Manchester
Manchester
Busway Project" (PDF). brtuk.org. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2013-05-20. Retrieved 2009-09-29. * ^ "Busway, off the rails". Leigh Journal. Retrieved 2009-09-29. * ^ "Town Twinning". Wigan
Wigan
Metropolitan Borough Council. Archived from the original on 2012-10-09. Retrieved 2007-02-11.

BIBLIOGRAPHY

* Clark, David M. (1973). " Greater Manchester
Greater Manchester
Votes: A Guide to the New Metropolitan Authorities". Redrose.

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