OPPOSITION members will be hoping to attract support on three motions tabled for full council next week – calling for a re-think on the route of HS2, extra support for mental health and plans for a new civic centre.

The first authority meeting of 2019 will see independent representatives Steve Jones and Stuart Gerrard address the chamber, followed by a motion from the Conservative group.

Cllr Kath Houlton and opposition leader, Cllr Michael Winstanley, will urge the town hall to consider supporting an alternative to current HS2 plans that is also backed by Warrington Council.

Their motion highlights that under the current blueprint, most trains travelling on a new route through the borough will not stop at Wigan North Western.

This includes HS2 services to London, which will follow the new route that leaves the West Coast Main Line (WCML) at Bamfurlong and will run through Lowton and Golborne.

Other HS2 services will pick up passengers at Wigan, but will then use the WCML before joining the high-speed network at Crewe.

The only service stopping at Wigan North Western and travelling on the new route through Lowton will be an hourly link to a new station in Birmingham.

Campaigners say that represents an unfair return given the disruption for borough residents during the construction phase.

Instead, the council should "support the alternative proposal to upgrade the West Coast main line from Crewe to Wigan" – a plan proposed by Warrington and local resident groups, and could result in axing the Lowton line.

“This council would have the benefit of actually increasing the possible number of HS2 services via Wigan, whilst protecting the communities of Lowton and Golborne from the destructive consequences of the current proposals,” the motion reads.

HS2 bosses have said they are encouraging residents to take part in the ongoing consultation process.

Cllr Jones, who represents Bryn ward, is proposing the local authority set up a cross party working group to help residents with mental health problems.

The motion has been seconded by fellow independent Cllr Andrew Collinson and states the new body should "in particular, (help) those suffering with depression, who may not have family and friends to help them through the hard time and face isolation".

Meanwhile, Atherton Independent Network (AIN) representative Cllr Stuart Gerrard will suggest the town hall launches a feasibility study on plans to build a new civic venue in his ward.

The facility would "support community cohesion and events, reduce isolation for residents and (provide) a dedicated centre for our town’s youth".

It has been seconded by ward and independent network colleague Cllr Jamie Hodgkinson.