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Getting Wigan back to work
Thursday 14th January, 2010

Getting Wigan back to work
Wigan Council teams in action during the cold spell.

Armies of Wigan Council staff have been helping people across the borough beat the ‘big freeze’.

From gritting the roads and keeping town centres clear of snow through to looking after vulnerable members of the community, working hard to get schools back open through to keeping council offices open to the public, there’s plenty being done to make sure life in the borough goes on.

Highways teams have been working hard to keep pavements in Wigan, Leigh, Ashton and more clear for pedestrians.
Crews have also been working with local contractors to clear schools, day care centres and car parks.
Seven pallets of grit salt have been ordered to support schools that need it, which can be delivered to the school playground with the offer of extra man power of mobile caretakers to help.

Meanwhile for those that did open, the council catering arm Metrofresh, was on hand to offer a hot meal to all pupils who braved to winter weather.

Metrofresh has also been helping some very worthy causes over the cold snap because with many schools closed cancelled almost 500 loaves of bread have been donated to The Brick on Hallgate, The Salvation Army, Wigan Mission and Queens Hall on Market Street.

Wigan Leisure and Culture Trust staff worked hard to ensure services and centres remained open throughout last week’s big freeze. Libraries did operate some reduced hours initially but the majority were operating as normal by Thursday.

Hindley Leisure Centre closed on Wednesday but the remainder opened as usual and all were fully operational by Thursday.

Parks, cemeteries and crematorium services remained open throughout the week.
Mobile caretakers have also hit the road to clear snow and ice at Eatherstone day centre. And drivers who are usually responsible for delivering school meals have been busy clearing the car park by the Orrell office so that Metrofresh staff can park safely. This car park is also used by the day nursery and Orrell library visitors.

Council waste collection teams have also been out and about at the beginning of the week doing all they can to resume collections following the treacherous conditions.

Wigan Council Chief Executive Joyce Redfearn says: “This has been a difficult and testing time not just for Wigan but for the country and I think it is fair to say that our teams have risen to the challenges we have faced.

“I would like to personally thank colleagues across the council for their support and dedication during this time.
“Of course many members of the community have not only been appreciative of our actions but have also been doing all they can to help and it is really heart-warming to see so many pulling together and thinking of others.

“It typifies the sort of selfless, friendly community spirit that our borough is rightly known for.”

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