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Local Life - Wigan - March 2018

Wigan's FREE local lifestyle magazine.

8 Glimmer of hope?

8 Glimmer of hope? Locals left shocked following the closure of Shopmobility Wigan and Leigh have been given a glimmer of hope. The service, which started in 1986, closed last month. However, Wigan Council said it is looking whether a similar service could be provided. Shopmobility Wigan & Leigh had been through a tough time since Wigan Council cut its £100,000 a year support package to the charity in 2011. And despite staff agreeing to take a pay cut, Shopmobility was running at a loss and bosses have now “reluctantly” decided to close for good. Focus Insolvency Group, based in Appley Bridge, has asked to manage the closure of the charity. A statement from Shopmobility Wigan and Leigh said: “The Trustees of Shopmobility have reluctantly decided that the service will have to cease trading in Wigan and Leigh as the funding available to secure its continuation no longer exists. “Since 2011, dedicated staff and volunteers have worked to raise additional funds by means of operating two retail outlets, establishing cafes in their offices, using eBay to sell specific items, marketing more aids and adaptations to the public and working long hours in the two offices. Staff have also worked for lower rates of pay than when £10 OFF* any colours with Lauren, Mandy & Barry * On production of this advert; offer expires 17/03/2018 Every Generation Please book appointments on 01942 223 129 Every Generation, 259 Orrell Road, Orrell WN5 8NB Beautifully furnished Stone Cottage Holiday Let – sleeps up to 4 Situated near Sedbergh, in the Yorkshire Dales, and also within easy reach of the Lake District Children & pets welcome Call 01942 216 058 / 07792445257 E-mail janemillthrop@yahoo.co.uk www.millthropcottage.co.uk

9 the council operated the scheme in order to assist in the financing of the charity. “However, despite these efforts the dropping off of sales through the shops, inflation applying to utility costs and prospective increases in salary and pension costs this Spring means that expenditure is exceeding income, with no realistic prospect of this trend reversing. “While the directors regret the need for closure, the requirement on them to trade responsibly under company and charity law means that there is no alternative to this course of action. The remaining funds in the charity should enable it to close via a Creditors Voluntary Liquidation, which will ensure that staff salaries, notice and redundancy monies are paid out. “With the realisation of the assets of the company along with remaining funds all outstanding debts should be cleared.” Cllr David Molyneux said the council is now looking at whether a similar service could be provided in the wake of Shopmobility’s demise. “Although the provision of mobility scooters is not a service the council are required to provide, we do recognise its importance in helping to make our centres accessible for all. “We are working with mobility scooter providers in both Wigan and Leigh to see whether this service can be provided in a different way. “We will ensure our residents are notified once arrangements are confirmed. “

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