PROTECTING the health of all of our residents has been at the forefront of our plans throughout this year, brought into even sharper focus by the effects of the pandemic.

As we approach what will undoubtedly be a winter season with many challenges, I am pleased to say our first virtual health festival – Wellfest – proved to be a great success.

With different workshops and Q+A sessions spread over a week, it included a wide range of information to help your physical wellbeing and had a particular focus on mental health.

We know how important this is and the resources produced as part of Wellfest will remain available for residents.

As we enter the festive season, we have again had to change our usual plans but we will be delivering a Frost Fest Virtual Christmas event to be streamed across our channels on Saturday, November 21.

We hope that it will spread some festive cheer and I would like to remind everyone to support our borough economy and shop local where you can.

Looking ahead to next year, the one-year countdown has started for the Rugby League World Cup and the public ballot opened for tickets.

The tournament coming to Leigh is such a fantastic opportunity for the entire borough and the excitement will continue to mount throughout the coming months.

It’s a key event in our calendar and it’s certainly something for us all to look forward to – including the next generation of athletes that we’re hoping to inspire.

It is now a week since the country entered its second lockdown and it is clear that there is still some way to go as we continue to tackle this virus.

The borough’s latest figures remain at a high level and I will continue to emphasise that we can all do our bit by following public health guidelines.

In addition to keeping to the three 3Ws; wash your hands, watch your distance and wear a face covering, please follow the national restrictions; stay at home as much as possible and do not mix with other households.

In doing so, we can help to lessen the burden on the NHS at what is traditionally the time of the year when their resources are placed under significant strain.

We will continue to support all of our residents and in particular those who are clinically vulnerable and the business community affected by closures, as best we can.

Visit for the health resources made available as part of the festival.