£750,000 investment for safer streets in Wigan
The University of Salford is to partner with Wigan Council on a £750,000 project to tackle neighbourhood and environmental crime and anti-social behaviour.
Wigan Council led the successful bid, on behalf of the Place and Community Safety Partnership, to the government’s Safer Streets Fund and has secured £745,518 which will be spent on a package of new measures to reduce crime in Scholes Village, and the Woodcock Drive area of Platt Bridge.
The measures include a £150,000 funding pot to support community group projects beneficial to the area, as well as tackling fly tipping, improvements to CCTV and widening the reach of the council’s Safety of Women at night scheme.
The council and its partners will deliver these changes by engaging directly with the community in a meaningful and sustainable way, including working closer with social housing estates, particularly in relation to environmental issues.
Councillor Kevin Anderson, cabinet member for police, crime and civil contingencies, said: “We are absolutely committed to tackling anti-social behaviour across our borough. To secure this funding is huge step and it will enable us to bring about real and visible change for residents.
“This wouldn’t have been possible without the contribution made by the Place and Community Safety Partnership and local councillors. We want residents to see that we are taking their concerns extremely seriously and are committed to working with them to ensure they feel safe and secure in the place they live.”
The University of Salford is a key partner in the bid and will be assisting with new approaches to community empowerment and developing community researcher roles to ensure the work is influenced by and embedded in the local community.
Dr Cathy Ure, Lecturer in Public Health at the university, said: “This builds on from our previous successful work with Greater Manchester local authorities around asset-based community development. We look forward to supporting the initiative to engage meaningfully with communities and support local people to influence the development of the project.”
During the council’s Big Listening Festival last year, more than 1,000 residents expressed their views on community safety. The Woodcock Drive area of Platt Bridge, and the high-rise and low-rise blocks and surrounding areas of Scholes Village were identified as priority areas following resident feedback and concerns over community safety and incidents of violent crime.
The Safer Streets bid was a key part of the response, with the Place and Community Safety Partnership exploring a range of different measures aimed at tackling ASB, housing, environmental issues and community cohesion.
Councillior Anderson added: “Our Deal 2030 Strategy sets out a vision for our borough, where people feel safe, can thrive and lead fulfilled lives. We want to create safe communities that care for each other and to do that we are committed to engaging with residents to address the issues that matter most to them.
“Our Big Listening Festival of 2021 gave us a clear steer on where support was needed most and I look forward to seeing the many positive changes as a result of this funding.”
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