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School's Out!
Monday 15th February, 2010

Hurray! It’s half term week and there’s five days of extra fun ahead for the borough’s schoolchildren.

But, if you’re an adult responsible for keeping the kids amused, a week’s worth of entertaining can seem a very long time, and for some, the prospect of kids out of school is a worry in itself.

That’s why the council and its partners in the community have arranged a whole raft of events and activities to keep the little ‘uns happy. From family orienteering at Haigh Hall to bulb planting at Pennington Hall park, half term promises to be full of fun.

And if your £1m investment in play areas has seen brand new parks at locations such as Three Sisters Recreation Area in Bryn, Astley Street in Tyldesley and Leigh Street in Golborne.

Cllr Susan Loudon, Cabinet Champion for Young People, says: ”Agencies across the borough are working for, and with, young people, organising and funding a range of positive activities which are designed to motivate them, divert them away from anti-social behaviour and develop their skills - in a safe and stimulating environment. Parents can do their bit as well by ensuring they know where their children are and who they are with.”

And for those residents who are concerned about what young people will get up to if they have nothing to do but cause mischief - don’t automatically jump to the wrong conclusion!

According to the council’s Youth Offending Team, there’s been a significant and consistent reduction in the number of young people entering the criminal justice system for the first time across the borough.

“There was a staggering 43 per cent fall in the summer months of 2009 compared to 2008,” says Graham Doubleday from the Council’s Youth Offending Team.

“Initiatives such as Operation Staysafe are proving hugely successful. The scheme involves police and council officers visiting places used by groups of young people on a Friday and Saturday night, and targeting those hot spots where there’s a risk of anti-social behaviour. We confiscate alcohol, give advice on substance misuse, ensure young people remain safe, and encourage them to take part in positive activities such as the increasingly popular X Zones, Midnight Leagues or Nowt2Do…?.”

“For most families and kids, half term is a fun relief from the normal school day,” adds Cllr Loudon. “And there’s a whole range of events just one click away at the council and Leisure Trust’s websites. We’re reaching out to more and more people, and investment such as new play facilities and events will help to continue the trend of good relations in our communities.”

Find out what’s on by logging on to Wigan Leisure & Culture Trust’s website:

www.wlct.org/Leisure/Events/ataglance.htm

or by visiting The Linc Online, the website by and for young people in Wigan Borough:

www.wlct.org/Culture/linconline/woft.htm


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