A NEW award for young people in Westhoughton could be introduced.

Cllr Christopher Peacock has asked for Westhoughton Town Council to debate at its July 28 meeting whether a long-standing rule barring young people from being nominated for civic awards should be scrapped.

Currently, nominees must demonstrate 20 years of service to the town to be considered.

Cllr Peacock backed down and instead asked for the council to debate the prospect of introducing a separate award for youngsters who serve their community at a future meeting.

He said: “A lot of young people leave Westhoughton after finishing school and we want to encourage them to return later in life, perhaps when they are starting families.

“I think we should introduce a young person’s civic award for someone who does not have that experience behind them.”

Cllr Collette Harkin opposed the move on the grounds that the civic award should be special and be limited to just one a year. But she was outvoted and the issue will be discussed at the next meeting of Westhoughton Town Council on August 18.

The council has also set a date by which all nominations for this year’s civic awards must be made.

Serving councillors will not be considered and ex-councillors must declare their intention never to seek re-election.

By September 22, all nominations must be sent to Christine Morris, Westhoughton Town Council, Town Hall, Market Street, Westhoughton, BL5 3AW or to westhoughtontc@tiscali.co.uk