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Another word in your ear, Lord Smith?
Friday 14th September, 2012

Following the success of the recent Leader Listens session, local people are now being offered more opportunities to put their questions face to face to the man in charge.

Lord Peter Smith, Leader of Wigan Council, plans to hold further public meetings after welcoming local people to the initial drop-in session at Wigan Town Hall last month. And now a follow-up Leader Listens session is scheduled to take place during this year’s Local Democracy Week, a national annual campaign which aims to encourage more people to engage in local politics and to use their vote.

The Leader will be available at the event at the Wigan Life Centre from 4.30pm to 7.00pm on Thursday 18th October and is keen for people to come along and share their personal comments, questions and suggestions.
Further drop-in sessions across the borough are also being planned for later in the year , with a session scheduled to take place in Leigh during November.

Feedback from the previous event on 22nd August was overwhelmingly positive, with members of the public discussing a number of issues with the Leader, ranging from concerns around road safety measures to questions about the council’s Core Strategy for housing.

Perhaps you have a burning question about local services? An idea which offers greater value for money to local taxpayers? Or suggestions based on your recent experience as a service user? If you have something to share with the Leader of Wigan Council, now is the time to book your seat.

Lord Smith said: “I was delighted that so many local people took the time to meet me in person. I certainly found the discussions thought-provoking and I hope the session gave those who came along a greater sense of how local people can genuinely influence the way in which local services are delivered.

“I look forward to inviting more people to share their thoughts. I cannot stress enough how valuable it is to hear the views and perspectives of local residents directly. It gives greater insight and helps to inform policy by feeding into the decision-making process.”

Donna Hall, Wigan Council Chief Executive said: “Access and accountability are two of the cornerstones of the democratic process so it is all the more appropriate for the Leader to be hosting this follow-up session during Local Democracy Week.

“This is an ideal way for the public to meet their elected leader and to chat informally about the issues which affect them most.

“Clearly given the popularity of the previous meeting, it is a platform which has hit a chord will local residents and one which is likely to be rolled out, giving even more people direct access to one of the borough’s primary policy-makers and influencers.”

People who wish to book a session with the Leader are invited to call Paula Clisham on 01942 827282. Places are limited so book early. Alternatively, submit your questions online by emailing haveyoursay@wigan.gov.uk

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