Chorley G7 Speakers' Summit: Road closures, Astley Park access and all you need to know
Chorley residents have once again been warned about changes in and around Astley Hall this weekend as part of the G7 Speakers’ Summit.
Several roads, a section of the Astley Park and some park-based businesses will close in preparation for the three-day event which begins formally on Friday evening.
Measures came into place on Wednesday as political heavyweights join Chorley MP and Commons Speaker Sir Lindsay Hoyle in his hometown.
Some town centre routes will be blocked off between 10am and 6pm on Saturday and from 8.30am until 1pm on Sunday – Union Street, from the library to the Town Hall and the roads surrounding the Buzz Bingo site. There will also be no access down Market Street from the Town Hall.
Can I access the park while the summit is on?
The area around Astley Hall has been fenced off since Wednesday. All other public access to the park will be unchanged, with people able to walk in both directions from the town centre to Astley Village and the play area remaining open.
Businesses in and around Astley Hall are closed and reopen to the public at 1pm on Sunday. Hallgate car park will be closed for the same period, but all other car parks for Astley Park will remain open.
The parts of the park closed include the Walled Garden, Hall and Coach House and lawns at the front of the main hall.
All litter bins have also been removed with those visiting the park asked to take their rubbish home.
Why are there so many police around?
Residents can expect a highly visible police presence in the park across the weekend as officers are working closely with Parliament, the Speaker’s Office and other partners to facilitate a safe and secure event. A mobile police station and team will be based in the park.
Remind me, why have they all come to Chorley?
The G7 Speakers’ Summit will see the town’s MP and Commons Speaker Sir Lindsay Hoyle welcome his counterparts from countries including the United States, Germany and Japan to the constituency he has represented for nearly 25 years.
The UK is the current holder of the G7 presidency and staged the main annual summit of the organisation’s presidents and prime ministers in Cornwall earlier this month.
However, the parliamentary speakers of each of the member countries also meet up each year – and will be doing so at Astley Hall this weekend - when they will be discussing how to maintain open yet secure parliaments.
The event traditionally takes place in the host speaker’s home area, but there was an expectation this year that the conference – which was held online in 2020 because of the pandemic – might instead be held in London. That was until the Speaker of the US House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi, stepped in.
“[She] asked me, ‘Why can’t we go to your district? We always go to London, we want to get outside London’ – and of course there’s nowhere better than Chorley,” says Sir Lindsay.
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