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Wigan Council approve plans for new £3million depot hub in ‘cost-cutting’ exercise

By Henry Vaughan 

Plans for a new £3million depot were given the green light by Wigan Council chiefs earlier this week, in an attempt to save money and unite services.

The plans will bring together workers from three different sites and a range of council services to one new ‘hub’ at a former disused ASDA warehouse in Ince.

Council bosses hope the new depot will improve services, reduce their carbon footprint and save an estimated £1million per year in maintenance, transport and running costs.

Terry Dunn, Director for the Environment at Wigan Council said: “This is an example of how we can work innovatively to reduce costs and improve performance at the same time.

 “The current situation of having three separate sites that all require significant investment is untenable.

“If we had chosen to retain the existing sites we would have had to have spent in excess of £1million per year in maintenance costs, just to keep them in their current condition.”

The council and its partners currently operate three main depots for services including waste collection, storage and repair of vehicles, highway department and Leigh building services.

The aging depots are located at Sovereign Road, Wigan, Christopher Street, Ince and the Towns Yard, Hindley – their 1500 staff will be relocated to the new site.

Councillor Kevin Anderson, the council’s cabinet lead for the environment responsible for cleansing, waste and highways said: “This project means a disused depot facility can be brought back to life.

“It is a much better option than spending significant sums on a brand new site.

“As well as saving money, the new depot will also ensure that our teams have more suitable working conditions.

“And as for the sites we would vacate, I am pleased that we are developing detailed plans for their future which will be to the advantage of the local economy.”

But some have doubts that the savings made will be sufficient to recoup costs.

Councillor Gareth Fairhurst, Standish with Langtree Ward, said: “I am not against the idea of the council combining three depots into one on the grounds of saving money, but spending £3million to save pennies is not worth it.

“The council will not reclaim this money over 4 years, it will take a lot longer and therefore it is probably not worth doing.”

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