|Meet the Mayor
Mayor Winstanley on one of his first official duties, as Sunday train services into Wigan via Atherton return after decades.
He’s our youngest ever Mayor, but he’s Wigan through and through.
Cllr Mike Winstanley has become the new Mayor of Wigan. Aged 39 and born and bred in the borough, he says he’s full of energy and excitement to take on the busy schedule of First Citizen.
“I am really enjoying the duties and role of Mayor,” says Cllr Winstanley. “It is an honour to represent my own constituents in Orrell – and now I am privileged to do so as Mayor for the entire borough as well.”
Cllr Winstanley has supported a number of health-based charities in the past. During his Mayoral year, there’s extra poignancy about the work he’ll be doing to improve the profile of stroke charities, because it was the incapacity of Mayor-elect Cllr Henry Cadman which meant Cllr Winstanley assumed the role this year in his place.
“It’s right and proper for me to pay tribute to the work of the outgoing Mayor and Mayoress, Cllrs Mark and Karen Aldred, for their busy and distinguished year in office,” says Cllr Winstanley, “but I have also sent my best wishes to Cllr Cadman, whose ill health has prevented him from taking up the post of Mayor as expected.”
Cllr Winstanley has represented Orrell for ten years, and lives down the road in Ashton, where he was born in 1971 and a pupil both at St John Southworth R.C Primary School (now called St Wilfrid’s R.C. Primary) and St Edmund Arrowsmith R.C. High School. He left school in 1987 with ‘O’ Level and CSE qualifications. Cllr Winstanley studied at St Helens Technical College and went on to work for the health authority, enjoying a varied career including being a transport manager, which he obtained a professional qualification. He is now employed as a Senior Data Analyst with St Helens & Knowsley Hospitals NHS Trust at Whiston Hospital.
Cllr Winstanley is a keen sports fan. He enjoys most sports but is passionate about Rugby League and has been a season ticket holder with Wigan Warriors for the last 20 years. He is also an enthusiastic supporter of horse racing and promises to resume his tour of every racecourse in Great Britain once his Mayoral year is over. As well as being a member of various council committees, he also holds posts as vice chair of governors at two schools in Orrell.
Cllr Winstanley’s Mayoress is Cllr Judith Atherton who represents the Standish with Langtree Ward. The Deputy Mayor is Cllr Joy Birch who represents the Douglas Ward.
Cllr Winstanley says: “I originally got involved in politics because I cared about the local community and I wanted to improve things and make a difference. Being a councillor for the last 10 years has enabled me to do this and to give people a voice that would not be heard normally. It is really satisfying working with the local community when you put any differences to one side and achieve positive results for the benefit of everyone.”
The Mayor-making ceremony in Wigan Town Hall was watched by the full council, as well as the family and friends of Cllrs Winstanley, Atherton and Birch and senior officers of the authority. Tributes and commendations for the new incumbent and the outgoing Mayor were led by their proposers and seconders and also by members of the various political parties represented on Wigan Council.
Mayor Winstanley told the assembled politicians and guests: “My theme for the year will be to promote our borough as a great place to live and work, and the best place for businesses to invest.”
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.