A PETITION has been launched to take Leigh, Atherton, Tyldesley, Astley, Lowton, Golborne and Hindley Green out of the Wigan borough.

The petition states that these ‘places are losing their identity and heritage to Wigan’ and has already been signed by 73 people.

It reads: “The people should support the petition to restore pride in their towns especially Leigh with its long noble heritage, it is a shadow of its former self since it came under Wigan’s rule in 1974.

“If the support for my petition is vast Wigan Met will have to listen and take heed. Then we can sell our towns on a fairer basis that is the difference this will make.”

Lord Peter Smith, leader of Wigan Council, said: “The borough was set up over 40 years ago by Act of Parliament. The only way it can be changed is by a new Act of Parliament so organising a petition to send to the council is a complete waste of time.

“The cuts in local services putting more pressure on councils the government is encouraging much more cooperation and joint work.

“Anyone, who like me is a proud Leyther, should put their energies into supporting local people."

Some of those that have signed have commented on why they believe the area should be independent of Wigan Council.

Graham Lloyd, from Leigh, said: “What was once a thriving prosperous Lancashire town has been reduced to a shadow of its former self. The heartbeat has to be put back into the town so the recovery can begin.”

While Stewart McGarrie also from Leigh said: “Too long has the upkeep of Leigh been affected detrimentally by the government of Wigan Council. Give us our towns back and watch what can be done, when you care about your heritage.”

To view the petition, visit www.change.org/en-GB/petitions/the-residents-of-leigh-lancashire-and-surrounding-towns-sign-a-petition-to-take-leigh-atherton-tyldesley-astley-lowton-golborne-and-hindley-green-out-of-wigan-metro.