Standish Voice is a group of local people who are working to ensure Standish is a great place in which to live and work.
Standish Voice has been designated as a Neighbourhood Forum, a statutory body which has given us the power to create a Neighbourhood Plan for the whole village and which has now been adopted.
We used the views of Standish people to shape the Neighbourhood Plan. The Neighbourhood Plan can influence how the village will look over the next generation.
After our own consultation, an EGM of Standish Voice members agreed to support the Final Draft Plan. Wigan Council carried out a round of statutory consultation and then a Planning Examiner reviewed the plan and asked for modifications before the Final Plan was completed.
The Final Plan was written and was put to a vote of people in Standish in a referendum on Thursday, July 18, 2019. The result was 94.5% voted Yes to adopt it in a 30.4% turnout.
To use an interactive tool which can explain the highlights of the plan, click here
See more information about the Neighbourhood Plan in its own section on this website.
We also want to be a positive voice for Standish and help to bring the community closer together by organising and publicising local activities, events and campaigns.
Together we can make Standish a place to be proud of!
Standish Voice was designated as the Neighbourhood Forum for Standish in 2015. Designation lasts for five years. To read details of our submission to Wigan Council to be a Neighbourhood Forum and the Neighbourhood Area we cover, click here
The Forum and Area was re-designated for another five years, beginning in 2020 and ending on May 14, 2025. You can read the documents relating to this here
Please join us and speak up for Standish. To register your interest please click here to sign up to be a member of Standish Voice, which is free of charge, to receive regular updates – or keep in touch via Facebook and Twitter.
School Lane widening proposal
Standish Voice has joined with the three Standish village councillors to oppose Wigan Council’s proposal to widen School Lane.
The scheme, which would cost £1.6m, has been put forward as part of a number of infrastructure projects which would use money given to the local authority by the developers who are involved in the huge housebuilding programme across Standish.
The council says the scheme, which would see an extra lane for traffic doing towards the crossroad lights from Green Lane down to Quakers Place, will speed up traffic going through the crossroads. But we think this will have a minimal effect and be hugely outweighed by negative impacts.
The council’s own consultation on projects in Standish shows 61% of people are unhappy with the scheme (see image above, click to enlarge) – yet the local authority seems intent to plough on with it and impose it on our village.
We are against the road widening scheme, which is pictured in a council plan here, because it:
• Will increase the amount of traffic using Standish as a cut through to other areas, including Wigan and the M61
• Will bring more housebuilding development to Standish due to an increase in capacity at the crossroads
• Removes green areas and trees and has a hugely detrimental impact on residents living on the road
• Worsens emissions in the centre of Standish where the problem of exhaust pollution is over the legal limit and one of the worst in the borough
• Increases health and safety dangers to pedestrians, including children walking school
• Ruins the character of Standish at that entrance to the village
• Will only have minimal impact on congestion for a large amount of money (up to £1.6m), which could be better spent on other projects in Standish
• Reduces parking provision by taking away spaces
• Will hinder the progress of emergency vehicles when there are three lanes of standing traffic
• Perpetuates the image of Standish as a congested village centre, which damages trade and its reputation as a good place to live in
We will be building the campaign to persuade the council that the money which would be used for it should be used to improve the centre of Standish to make it a more pleasant place to shop and work in, including better pavements, street furniture and other enhancements to the Conservation Area.
You can read a press article about it, including a statement from Standish Voice, by clicking here.
Standish Coronavirus Help
Standish’s Coronavirus support scheme, which has helped vulnerable people isolating in their homes for the past 18 months, has been wound down.
Standish Coronavirus Help (SCH) was running since the first weekend of the lockdown when Standish Voice and the village’s three councillors – Adam Marsh, Debbie Parkinson and Ray Whittingham – formed the organisation to support those who did not want to leave their homes due to being severely at risk from COVID-19.
The group quickly assembled an army of volunteers from across Standish – with around 140 signed up to help their neighbours and ran a successful crowdfunder campaign which, combined with a grant from Wigan Council, paid for the running of the scheme.
During the year and a half, hundreds of shopping payments have gone through SCH’s books and many other small acts of kindness have been arranged, from medicine pick-ups and drop-offs, helpers calling round just for a chat with those who could not leave their homes, and tradesmen being arranged for work to be carried out – sometimes free of charge.
SCH also arranged for the people it looked after to receive gifts of tulips in spring and poinsettias at Christmas and organised a festive hot meal for them in a partnership with a local pub. Food parcels were also sent round at the start of the pandemic and a 24-hour, 7 day a week helpline – manned free of charge by Standish company SMARTstrat – was set up so people could ring with problems.
The last people being helped through the scheme have now organised shopping to be dropped off in private arrangements, but the group stresses that it can restart its activities if lockdowns are ordered again.
A spokesman said: “Standish Coronavirus Help has been a hugely successful operation, with many hundreds of shopping trips being carried out for the vulnerable in our village and delivered by kind-hearted people in their community.
“We have had a rollercoaster ride organising it with highs of the wonderful feedback from those we have helped to the despair of having some of those people pass away during that time.
“The scheme has been something positive and uplifting out of a situation that was obviously terribly depressing and challenging for everyone.
“We would like to thank the many volunteers across Standish – some of whom were not called upon – who came forward to help those in need. We are incredibly grateful, too, to SMARTstrat, which has operated the helpline at its own expense for a year and a half – it was a lifeline to many people.
“Lots of people have been involved in organising the support group but it was successfully led by Councillor Adam Marsh and Standish Voice Treasurer Karen Bliss must be thanked for processing hundreds of payments which went from those we helped, through us and on to the volunteers for shopping trips – which kept everyone safe from anything untoward.
“Standish Coronavirus Help has been wound down but can spring back up again if needed in the future – and many of the friendships built up across the community will last for a lifetime.”
Standish Voice committee meetings are returning to normal, in public, after being paused for 18 months due to the pandemic.
They are usually held monthly, typically on the third or sometimes the fourth Tuesday of the month at 7.45pm, in a private room at Alberts restaurant, on School Lane. All people who live or work in Standish are welcome to attend.
Our next meeting is on Tuesday, November 16th.
Our AGM is held in January.
STANDISH CHRISTMAS MARKET
It is with great sadness that Standish Voice and the Standish Christmas Market Committee announce that this December’s Standish Christmas Market will be postponed until 2022.
We have monitored the COVID-19 situation closely over the past months, studied the rules on mass events, and liaised with the colleagues we work with on the Market from St Wilfrid’s Church and the Friends of Standish Library.
The Government guidelines for mass gatherings includes minimising transmission of Coronavirus, which is something we could not guarantee.
As the Market attracts around 5,000 people and is a free, public event, we would be unable to organise the checking of people’s vaccination status or recent COVID test history.
We must also consider the safety of our 60 to 70 volunteers who help to run the Market on the day, Government advice of mask wearing in crowded places, and the inability to guarantee the enforcement of social distancing.
We are also aware of predictions of an increase in COVID-19 in the winter months and the chance of new restrictions being imposed at short notice which could jeopardise us financially and put future Markets in doubt.
While this will come as a great disappointment to many people, we hope you understand the reasoning behind this decision.
We will be organising a virtual event as last year, which we hope people will join in with and are looking into the possibility of a small scale celebration of our Christmas Tree lights being switched on.
We will be planning Standish Christmas Market 2022 from early in the New Year – volunteers wishing to join us will be very welcome.
For photos of previous Markets, see our Standish Christmas Market page http://www.standishvoice.co.uk/christmas-market/ or follow Standish Christmas Market Facebook page.
COUNCIL 106 FUNDING CONSULTATION
Thank-you to everyone who took part in Wigan Council’s consultation on the 106 contribution infrastructure schemes for Standish.
Standish Voice has submitted its response and you can read it by clicking here.
Standish Voice has joined with Nettl of Wigan design and marketing agency to create a new website that promotes our local businesses during Coronavirus.
It is an easy-to-use website that is totally free of charge for businesses and residents to advertising new opening hours, delivery options or services.
There is also an appeal to raise money for Standish charity My Life and an associated Facebook page, Support Standish, which aims to promote our local businesses.
You can see the website by clicking here.
Standish Neighbourhood Plan was officially adopted after 94.5% of people voted for it in a referendum in July, 2019.
The turnout was 30.4% – thanks to everyone who voted.
STANDISH ON TV
BBC1’s Sunday Politics visited Standish to talk to local people about the referendum and interviewed Standish Voice chair Gill Foster. To see the feature, click here
THE LINE CYCLEWAY CAMPAIGN
We are working with Wigan Council to improve the non-road transport network around Standish, including better footpaths and cycle paths.
We worked with Wigan Council to upgrade The Line, which has been turned from a muddy track into a modern, shared use route for walkers, cyclists and horse riders.
The former mineral line is now very popular and we are continuing to work with the council and others to landscape the route and improve other footpaths and bridleways in the village.
For full information on the project, click here
There are more policies to improve footpaths, bridleways, including the proposed Standish Loop in the draft Standish Neighbourhood Plan.