Cabinet recommend against further action for Atherton Town Council

The Bolton News: Those in support of the proposal braved the rain before the meeting Those in support of the proposal braved the rain before the meeting

CABINET members will recommend to the full council that no further action should be taken to create an Atherton Town Council.

Feedback from a Community Governance Review was considered at a meeting of cabinet members on Thursday, December 12, who will make their recommendation to the full council before a final decision is made.

Out of the 246,440 Wigan Borough residents who were invited to respond to the consultation, 1,082 responded in favour of a parish or town council in Atherton when the results were revealed on December 3.

Wigan Council Cabinet member for service transformation, Clr Terry Halliwell, said: “The consultation was open to all borough residents for six weeks. The low volume of responses suggests that the majority of residents do not feel strongly either way as to whether or not the new parish council should be created.

“Cabinet members have chosen not to recommend a stage two consultation but to take no further action. A fundamental consideration was that the first stage of the consultation did not demonstrate a clear wish for a parish or town council for Atherton. My view is that it doesn’t and I therefore recommend that no further action is taken.”

Those in favour of the town council marched through Wigan to try and spoke to councillors to try gain support for the proposal prior to the meeting.

Clr Norman Bradbury, a supporter of the plan and an independent representative for Atherton, said: “The fully online consultation disenfranchised at least 65 per cent of residents particularly the elderly, who didn’t have access to a computer.

"Despite all this there was nearly a 500 per cent increase in responses from Atherton, Atherleigh, and Tyldesley compared with 2010.

“They said that Atherton would never get a High School, or a Sixth Form College, but we did. They now say Atherton will never get a town council, just watch this space and see what we get.”

The cabinet’s recommendation will go to full council for consideration on January 15.

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