Message from the Leader of Wigan Council, Councillor David Molyneux

Covid-19 update
There has been a change to the way the number of Covid-19 cases are measured in the UK.

Cases definition now includes multiple infection episodes.

From 31 January, UK Health Security Agency COVID-19 case reporting has changed to an episode-based definition which includes possible reinfections.

Previously, only initial infections were included, but with the increase in reinfection rates with the Omicron variant, the methodology has been changed.  

Now any positive tests more than 90 days after a previous positive test are included as a new infection episode.

This means we are currently unable to provide the weekly ward breakdown data.
Our Joint Intelligence Unit are still planning to produce a ‘lighter’ weekly tracker, as they work through these changes to the way data is reported.

The Covid tracker for Wigan Borough shows:The rate of new cases in Wigan is 815 per 100,000.The Office of National Statistics survey data suggests around 1 in 20 people in residential households in England has Covid-19, with positive cases decreasing nationally, and in most regions, including the North West.

There have been more reinfections among COVID-19 Infection Survey participants in the last month, since Omicron became the dominant variant, than in the previous 18 months.

Wigan Borough has the fifth highest rate of new cases in Greater Manchester for the latest complete week (22-28 January). Wigan currently has the 3rd highest total rate in GM.Wigan Borough is currently ranked 268th in England.

The over-60s weekly incidence rate for Wigan is the fourth highest of the 10 Greater Manchester areas.

Wigan is higher than the Greater Manchester and lower than the North West average for rate of new cases in the latest 7 days.

As at 1st February, there were 53 COVID-positive patients in Wrightington, Wigan and Leigh hospitals, a decrease from this time last week.
Click here to read the full tracker
There have now been 645,371 Covid-19 vaccinations given out across the borough.
You can now visit one of the borough’s walk-in clinics for your booster jab if you need it.

You can also book an appointment at one of the regional vaccination centres through the NHS website.

Information about the walk-in vaccination clinics are detailed below:
Click here to book an appointment online
National Apprenticeship Week
Next week is National Apprenticeship Week (7th-13th February) and we’re hosting a business breakfast event with Wigan & Leigh College to give local businesses the chance to find out what support is available around hiring apprentices.
Find out more here
New developments in Leigh
This week has seen the start of two exciting new developments in Leigh.
At Leigh Sports Village, work on the new Youth Hub, a building for young people that will feature activity spaces, quiet spaces, kitchen, and access to gym and sports facilities, has begun. The facility is being developed following consultation with local young people and is due to open later this year.
A £2.4m project to deliver a new visitor’s centre and facilities at Pennington Flash Nature Reserve has also been announced with developments set to get underway in March.
Funding support for community groups
Community groups hoping to launch a project that benefits Wigan Borough have an opportunity to get a helping hand through Wigan Council’s crowdfunding scheme.
The scheme sees Wigan Council at the ready to match funds of up to £1,000 or 25% of a project.
Anyone launching a project aimed at benefitting the people of Wigan Borough can take advantage of the offer by setting out their funding goals on any of the major crowdfunding platforms, including JustGiving and GoFundMe. Once a project has been launched, support can be applied for through the council’s website.
If you are looking for advice on how to get the best results, you can attend one of our bi-weekly Funding Friday events. The next one is due to be held on February 18 at Leigh Library between 10am and 12.30pm. After that on March 4 at Shevington Library between 1pm and 3.30pm.
Click here to find out more
Community Safety Fund offers support to groups tackling anti-social behaviour
Don’t miss your chance to apply for funding through our Community Safety Fund.

The fund has already awarded almost £100,000 to voluntary and community organisations which aim to increase and promote community safety within Wigan Borough.

To qualify, groups should demonstrate how they will increase or promote community safety within the local community and have a positive long-term impact.

You should also be able to offer evidence to support the need for the project and show how it helps to prevent anti-social behaviour and reduce crime.

Applications for funding are open until the end of February.
Click here to find out more
Clean Air Zone – Joint Statement with Government
A joint statement from Jo Churchill, Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State at the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, Andy Burnham, Mayor of Greater Manchester and Cllr Andrew Western, GMCA portfolio lead for clean air:
“We met last week and have had further robust and constructive discussions today to find a solution.” Air quality is one of our biggest health challenges and we are all completely committed to tackling it.m”We have agreed to a short time-limited pause. We will work together to deliver, by the middle of the year, a plan for clean air for Greater Manchester, one that is fair to the businesses and residents of the city-region. “We will deliver improved air quality as soon as possible, not losing ambition but ensuring we take into account the pandemic, global supply chain challenges, improvements already baked into retrofits and the scope as previously laid out. “We will now work jointly to meet the Greater Manchester and Government requirements on clean air, as soon as possible, and no later than 2026.”