Snub for town in Olympic torch bid

Celebrations for the Olympic Torch which will pass through Chorley
Celebrations for the Olympic Torch which will pass through Chorley

Leyland has been snubbed in the journey of the Olympic Flame around the UK.

The iconic flame will complete a 70-day journey around the UK to the Olympic Stadium ahead of the London Games - and neighbouring Chorley, Euxton and Croston have been included on the route.

But Leyland has missed out of a list of over 1,000 villages, towns and cities to act as hosts.

South Ribble Council had written to organisers to ask that it be included.

Phil Hammond, Cabinet member at South Ribble Borough Counci, said he was disappointed by the decision but still excited by the prospect of next year’s Games.

“The countdown to the Games is very much on in South Ribble,” he said. “Thousands of people will take part in a packed and exciting programme of sporting events and activities in the borough between now and the start of the Games.

“Naturally we are a little disappointed that the Olympic Torch will not be making its way through South Ribble but we are, like millions of people across Britain, will be focussing on the Games themselves and the legacy of sports activitives that they foster.”

South Ribble MP Lorraine Fullbrook said she was pleased the torch would be coming to Croston, which comes under her constituency following a boundsary change.

She said: “It will be a great moment for Croston.”

Local schools in South Ribble can get involved through ‘Get Set for the Olympic Torch Relay’ through www.london2012.com/getset.

The resource is available to all schools once they sign up to provide them with teacher resources to aid learning about history of Olympic Torch Relays, the design of London 2012 Torch Relay and the design of the torch itself.

Thousands of people are expected to line the streets of Chorley, Euxton and Croston to welcome the torchbearers and news that it will travel through the towns has been welcomed by town leaders.

The arrival of the flame will mark a weekend of local celebrations coinciding with the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee bank holiday weekend.

Chorley Council leader Coun Peter Goldsworthy, said: “The council wrote to the London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games (LOCOG) earlier this year to encourage them to include the borough on the Torch Relay Route and we are delighted they have chosen Chorley and Euxton.

“This will be a great moment for Chorley. Watching the Olympic Flame pass through your street or a road in your town is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, and we are really pleased that people will get that opportunity on June 1.

“It will be a momentous occasion and will certainly put Chorley and Euxton on the map. We will give the Olympic Torchbearers and the flame an incredible welcome and would like everyone across the borough to line the streets as we celebrate the torchbearers achievements and the flame’s arrival.”