|Mayors Everywhere! Civic Day brings top dignitaries to Wigan
The visiting Mayors visit Wigan Parish Church gardens as part of their tour from Mayoral Officer Jim Benson
What’s the collective noun for a group of First Citizens?
There were mayors everywhere – and a High Sheriff too - this week as the top men and women from across Greater Manchester visited the borough on Civic Day.
Cllrs Mark and Karen Aldred, the Mayor and Mayoress of Wigan, were joined by 14 top dignitaries from the Association of Greater Manchester Authorities. And as he nears the end of a busy term of office, Mayor Aldred was keen to show off the borough to his distinguished guests.
“I’ve loved having the chance to represent the borough for the last twelve months,” Cllr Aldred said. “There is so much to be proud of – our stunning new and restored buildings, our flower-filled town centres and lovely countryside, but mostly the generous, big hearted and friendly folk of Leigh, Wigan and all our communities.”
Mayor Aldred shared stories of amazing fundraisers and helpful community leaders with his opposite numbers. They were impressed with the way locals chatted with the visitors at venues such as Wigan’s Galleries and Grand Arcade shopping centre. And the Worshipful group were excited by Leigh’s brand new Sports Village where there is free swimming for everyone, a state of the art gym and top quality football and rugby facilities.
Mayor Aldred says that he tells other Mayors that the sun always shines on Wigan, and true to form, the day didn’t let him down as the visitors explored the Parish Church gardens.
Also on the itinerary for the day, a trip into the area’s past and the fascinating Astley Colliery Museum. Cllr Aldred’s guests were so impressed that they pledged to return soon for a longer and more detailed visit to the preserved pit head site which forms a dramatic landmark and reminder of a bygone age.
The role of the Mayor, which is non-political, is to fly the flag for the borough. Each year, the First Citizen undertakes several hundred official functions, visits and engagements which promote the area to visitors, encouraging investment and thanking the work of the great many community spirited residents and charities across the borough.
Next year, the visiting Mayors, Lord Mayors and High Sheriffs will be treated to one of the biggest local civic innovations in the region – a visit to the brand new Wigan Life Centre, currently being built in the centre of town which will provide state of the art access to public services.
So, what’s that collective noun? Mayor Aldred jokes that it’s a ‘Chain Gang’ but after the Civic Visit Day to Wigan Borough, it is surely a Delight of Mayors.