Socialist Party
| Print

11 October 2017

Don't wreck our rec! Campaigning to save green space in Standish

Shari Holden, Merseyside Socialist Party

Standish is a former pit village on the outskirts of Wigan, where for some months now residents have been campaigning against proposals to put a car park on the local recreation ground, which was bequeathed to Standish in 1923 for the purpose of a children's playground.

Over the years it has been used by local children for play, football games and by groups such as the Cubs and Brownies.

The car park proposal has come from the local 'neighbourhood forum', misleadingly calling itself Standish Voice, an organisation that many residents believe is more concerned with promoting the interests of local businesses, rather than ordinary residents.

One of the main functions of a neighbourhood forum is to produce a neighbourhood plan, detailing the use of land in the area.

Although Standish Voice is technically open to all Standish residents, at times it behaves in a thoroughly undemocratic manner, and has expelled at least three people with no notification, hearing or appeal. All three have been prominent in campaigning against the car park proposal!


The results of at least one consultation exercise conducted by Standish Voice have never been published, presumably because they did not endorse the aims of Standish Voice.

In response to the threat, a 'Don't wreck our rec' group has been formed, which has organised a public meeting, a petition, Saturday street stalls, and has lobbied Standish Voice, Wigan council and the Wigan Labour MP, Lisa Nandy. Organisations like Sport England have also been contacted in order to get advice, and to alert them to the threat to the recreation ground.

This excellent example of local campaigning has put pressure on Standish Voice, to the extent that they have now published the draft neighbourhood plan for public consultation, which has dropped the car park proposal, in favour of putting a park on the recreation ground.

However, elsewhere in the plan it seems to suggest that the car park proposal could be revived in the future. Future campaigning will therefore focus on welcoming this climb down, while alerting people to the continuing threat, in order to encourage a robust response to the consultation, making it clear that the recreation ground must remain a green space.

Join the Socialist Party
Subscribe to Socialist Party publications
Donate to the Socialist Party
Socialist Party Facebook page
Socialist Party on Twitter
Visit us on Youtube


triangle20 Jun Save our NHS

triangle20 Jun Rolls Royce: fight all job cuts!

triangle20 Jun Desperate divisions in Tories - Corbyn and unions must act

triangle20 Jun 1000 issues of the Socialist: A vital weapon standing in proud...

triangle13 Jun No to Trump and Tory racism

triangle13 Jun Civil service pay strike ballot: vote yes!

triangle13 Jun How can we fight for trade unions that fight for women?

More ...


triangle26 Jun Manchester Socialist Party: Who are the 'alt-right' and how do we stop them?

triangle27 Jun Harrogate NSSN: Fight austerity in Harrogate

triangle27 Jun Salford Socialist Party: The abortion rights victory in Ireland

triangle27 Jun Caerphilly & RCT Socialist Party: What is fascism and how can we fight it?


Phone our national office on 020 8988 8777


Locate your nearest Socialist Party branch Text your name and postcode to 07761 818 206

Regional Socialist Party organisers:

Eastern: 0798 202 1969

East Mids: 0773 797 8057

London: 020 8988 8786

North East: 0784 114 4890

North West 07769 611 320

South East: 020 8988 8777

South West: 07759 796 478

Southern: 07833 681910

Wales: 07935 391 947

West Mids: 02476 555 620

Yorkshire: 0114 264 6551


What we Stand For

About the Socialist Party

Our 2015 election manifesto

Joining the Socialist Party - what will it mean for you


Alphabetical listing

June 2018

May 2018

April 2018

March 2018

February 2018

January 2018