The METROPOLITAN BOROUGH OF WIGAN is a metropolitan borough of
Greater Manchester , in North West
England . It is named after its
largest component town and former county borough ,
Wigan and includes
the towns and villages of Leigh , part of
Ince-in-Makerfield , Hindley , Orrell , Standish , Atherton ,
Lowton , Billinge , Astley , Haigh and
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
Wigan Metropolitan Borough Council .
* 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
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 along with other local government units from the administrative
Lancashire . These were the
Municipal Borough of Leigh ,
the urban districts of Abram, Aspull, Atherton , Hindley ,
Ince-in-Makerfield, Orrell , Standish and
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 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
The metropolitan borough was created from a highly industrialised
Lancashire that was part of the
Lancashire Coalfield and had
an important textile industry.
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 (a unitary
Cheshire ); to the south-west it borders the Metropolitan
Borough of St Helens in
Merseyside . To the west it borders the West
Lancashire borough, and to the north it borders the Chorley borough,
Wigan has seven Local Nature Reserves : including
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.
See also: Mayor of
Wigan and Mayoress of
For 12 years after the county was created in 1974, the borough had a
two-tier system of local government , and
Wigan Council shared power
Greater Manchester County Council . The county council was
abolished in 1986 by the
Local Government Act 1985 . In April 2011 the
Greater Manchester Combined Authority became the top tier of local
Greater Manchester covering ten boroughs including
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 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 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 and Leigh.
The Conservative Party had nine seats, and the Liberal Democrats
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 Independent 2, Independent
1, and Conservatives 5.
The council uses
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.
has divided the borough into ten areas by the name of townships , with
a Township Manager and a Township Forum each.
Hindley / Abram
Atherleigh; Leigh North; Leigh South; Leigh West
Higher End / Winstanley
Shevington with Lower Ground; Standish
Tyldesley / Astley
Mosley Common ; Tyldesley
Douglas; Pemberton ;
The borough has three civil parishes: Haigh,
Worthington. The rest of the borough is an unparished area .
Ecclesiastical parishes in the west of the borough are part of the
Anglican Diocese of
Liverpool and the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of
Anglican parishes in the east of the Metropolitan Borough
are part of the Diocese of
Manchester and the northern section part of
Diocese of Blackburn
Diocese of Blackburn .
Wigan Metropolitan Borough is currently covered by four
Makerfield , Leigh , and Bolton
West .(Atherton is the only
Wigan ward included in
Bolton West, with
the rest of the constituency made up of wards from
New constituency boundaries recommended by the Boundary Commission for
2010 UK election
2010 UK election saw the link to Salford broken by the removal of
Wigan areas from the
Worsley constituency. This resulted in the
Worsley constituency wards of
Tyldesley and Astley-
Mosley Common being
placed in the Leigh Constituency with the Atherton ward becoming part
Makerfield is the only constituency to have returned
Labour MPs continuously since 1906.
COAT OF ARMS
Wigan council's new coat of arms is based on various elements from
the arms of the councils of its predecessor districts.
With a population of around 300,000,
Wigan is the second most
populous borough of Greater Manchester, after
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
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%.
The table details the population change since 1801, including the
percentage change since the last available census data. Although the
Metropolitan Borough of
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
Source: Vision of Britain
The population of the borough has remained roughly static since the
1970s at around 300,000, second to
Manchester within Greater
The ONS identify the
Wigan Urban Area as the western part of the
district and Skelmersdale and Upholland in West
Lancashire , with a
population of 166,840. It considers the east of the borough, Hindley,
Leigh, Astley, Atherton and
Tyldesley to be part of the Greater
Manchester Urban Area . Ashton-in-Makerfield, Aspull,
Shevington are identified as standalone urban areas. However the
entirety of the borough forms part of the
Manchester Larger Urban Zone
Public transport in
Wigan MBC is co-ordinated by Transport for
Greater Manchester (TfGM). The borough is served by an extensive bus
network with most services operated by Stagecoach
Manchester , Arriva
North West First
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 and Leigh bus
stations, operated by Stagecoach Manchester.
Several railway lines cross the borough.
Wigan Wallgate railway
station is served by Northern trains on the
Manchester to Southport
Kirkby lines. There are services to stations towards Manchester,
serving all city centre stations including
Manchester Victoria and
Manchester Piccadilly via two routes: one through
Bolton and one via
Atherton , with connections to other local and national destinations.
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 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
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 and Leigh Railway , closed
in 1954. Leigh and
Tyldesley stations on the
Tyldesley Loopline were
closed in 1969. There are proposals to use the line of the railway
Manchester as a guided busway but this not
The Leeds and
Liverpool and Bridgewater canals meet in Leigh town
M6 motorway crosses the west of the borough, and serves
Ashton-in-Makerfield at junctions 23 and 24 (north only) and 25 (south
Wigan at junction 25 (south only), Wigan/Orrell at junction 26
and Standish junction 27. The
M58 motorway , to
Liverpool , terminates
at junction 26 of the M6 near Orrell. The dual carriageway A580 East
Lancashire Road linking
Manchester crosses the south of
The Metropolitan Borough of
Wigan has one twin town in France.
COUNTY / DISTRICT / REGION / STATE
ORIGINALLY TWINNED WITH
Pays de la Loire
Pays de la Loire
Metropolitan Borough of Wigan
Greater Manchester portal
Wigan Council election 1998
Wigan Council election 2000
Wigan Council election 2002
Wigan Council election 2003
Wigan Council election 2004
* ^ 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.
* ^ Clark 1973 , p. 101.
* ^ "MORI local government and identity opinion poll December 2003
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* ^ "Three major parties find cause for satisfaction in local
election results despite low poll". The Times. 1973-05-12.
* ^ "Constitution: Part 9".
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* ^ "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.
* ^ "Labour licks wounds after polls". London: BBC News.
2004-06-11. Retrieved 2004-06-11.
* ^ "Summary of seats 2008".
Wigan MBC. Retrieved 2010-03-01.
* ^ http://democracy.wigan.gov.uk/mgUserInfo.aspx?UID=173
* ^ "21st century Town Hall" (Press release).
Borough Council. 2006-08-07. Retrieved 2007-02-11.
* ^ "Makeover for Leigh Town Hall" (Press release). 2006-06-13.
* ^ Final recommendations on the future electoral arrangements for
Wigan (PDF). Boundary Committee. September 2003. Retrieved 2007-02-11.
* ^ "New
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Wigan Metropolitan Borough Council.
* ^ "Townships".
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Baxter. Retrieved 2007-02-11.
* ^ "Safe Seats analysis". Electoral Reform Society. 2005-04-28.
* ^ "Census 2001 - Profiles - Wigan". Office for National
Statistics. Retrieved 2007-02-11.
* ^ "
Wigan District: total population". Vision of Britain.
Retrieved on 20 December 2008.
* ^ "
Wigan District population". Vision of Britain. University of
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* ^ "
Wigan Wallgate". National Rail. Retrieved 2010-03-01.
* ^ "
Wigan North Western". National Rail. Retrieved 2010-03-01.
* ^ "WestLeigh Station". Disused Stations. Subterranea Britanica.
* ^ "Pennington Station". Disused Stations. Subterranea Britanica.
* ^ "Leigh Salford
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 Metropolitan Borough Council. Archived
from the original on 2012-10-09. Retrieved 2007-02-11.
* Clark, David M. (1973). "
Greater Manchester Votes: A Guide to the
New Metropolitan Authorities". Redrose.