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A Bouquet for the Borough
Friday 6th November, 2009

A Bouquet for the Borough
In Bloom prize winners.

Wigan Borough’s flowers have been the talk of the northwest once again.

The annual Northwest in Bloom Awards Ceremony, held last week in Southport, saw five prizes coming to the borough. Council environmental bosses have praised the efforts of local communities, businesses and volunteers for their eco work this year.

Over the summer, judges visited the borough to speak to local groups and see schemes supported by the council, Wigan & Leigh Housing and others. They looked closely at cleaning and greening projects as well as the floral displays and new tree planting.

The council’s deputy leader and environment champion, Cllr David Molyneux attended the ceremony with representatives from the local groups. He said: “These awards are testament to the efforts of dozens of individuals, who give their own time to improve their community. We should be really proud of them and what they have achieved.”

They brought back to the borough a clutch of prizes:

  • A merit for Orrell in Bloom in the neighbourhood category

  • An outstanding award for Ashton Town Green residents’ association in the neighbourhood category

  • The Howe Bridgers in Atherton received both runners up and a commendation in the large village category

  • Regional joint runner up for Wigan Council in the large metropolitan category

The council became involved with In Bloom following its highly popular campaign to plant millions of daffodils, crocuses and other flowers along routes in and around the borough. This work linked in with numerous existing local projects, including Wigan and Leigh Housing’s own garden competition, and the work of volunteers in individual communities. The borough has won an award each year it has entered, often against towns such as Chester and Southport.

This year, residents groups entered in greater number than before. Cllr Molyneux paid tribute to locals from Atherton and Orrell, Gin Pit, Standish and Shevington, as well as the achievements of Wigan allotments, Whelley Scouts and local businesses like Gallimore’s and Moss Bank Nurseries.

Cllr Molyneux and the Mayor of Wigan, Cllr Mark Aldred, welcomed to the town hall the volunteers who have worked with the council this year.

The Mayor said: “We all have a part to play in making our communities attractive places to live and work. I’d like to thank everyone for their civic pride and their incredible work – Wigan Borough can hold its own against tough competition and show a wide audience that ours is officially a clean, green borough.”

Some of this year’s projects which attracted the interest of the judges included green flag parks, eco schools, community allotments, alley gating projects, public art, attractive ‘gateway’ floral displays and new community gardens.

The council’s Borough in Bloom co-ordinator, Damian Jenkinson, adds: “I’d love to hear from you if you can help or want to do something to make a positive difference in your street or village. Call me on 01942 488299 and perhaps next year you might win a Northwest in Bloom Award.”


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