A storyteller sharing their experience of being involved with the Wigan Deal initiative as part of the EUARENAS project.

Hi. Um, and I feel like my experience of the deal is frustrating. Um, I found myself when I hear it banded about all the time like Like it's become this big, amazing thing to do. And I I as a resident, I just find it really hypocritical because, you know, on the one hand, we have pledges that were supposed to be looking after green spaces and making environments better and then planning at the same time like they'll literally be an environmental part about what good work we're doing on Twitter feed

And then and then the They're digging up the fields at the back and putting a car park on where our kids go and play football. Or they've cut down 30 trees in the middle of the town centre. You know, in the middle of the dual carriageway so they can make way for a bicycle scheme and it's like it feels like it's always pretending to give with one hand but taken away with the other

And I remember at the time when the deal was first coming out, I, um I worked for Wigan Council, and every single member of staff had to be become these workshops and they've converted. What was the old Civic Park building? Um, they converted the whole of the upstairs bit. And you you literally went on this experience and you have to book a slot and everybody had to go through it

So you went through and there was loads like displays up that you went through. And then you went into a room where there was a a big screen put up, and they were talking about all these new behaviours that we needed to be setting examples to as employers and as residents about, you know, the environment and the way we treat each other and and all the rest of it. And then they give us, like popcorn and pop in like plastic tubs

And then he just went in the normal recycling. And I was like, I I remember coming out with, like, how does that make any sense like you're just banging on about it like, Oh, we need to do this and this. And then you give us plastic throw away stuff that we just throw away with the normal and and to me, I feel like that kind of set the tone

Um, I don't work for the council anymore, but, um, I feel like it's all kind of shiny on the surface and underneath it when you get the it, there's nothing underneath the substance. So, like when they do, you know we got to fill in a resident server. That was about, um, it basically said, Would you rather get your bins empted every three weeks or not have any lollipop ladies? And that was as bland as the resident survey was

So I I feel like they're dressing it up with all those cuts. There's some brilliant people that work in the account, so but all that glitters is not gold, and it's frustrating. That's my experience of the deal frustrating


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