G7 Speaker's conference coming to Chorley's Astley Hall
What is the speakers' summit?
The UK Speaker of the House of Commons is to welcome seven of the world's most important politicians to the North-West of England later this year for the annual G7 Speakers' conference.
Traditionally held in the local area of the host Speaker, the conference will take place on 17-19 September 2021, with Sir Lindsay Hoyle saying he could think of 'no better place in the country than his constituency of Chorley' in which to host his international counterparts.
Chorley, famous for its historic markets, and proud home to a golden post box in honour of Olympic Champion Bradley Wiggins' London 2012 Olympic Gold Medal, will welcome Speakers and Presiding Officers representing Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the USA and European Parliament to their first face-to-face meeting since the pandemic began.
Those attending will include: Nancy Pelosi, Speaker of the US House of Representatives; Richard Ferrand, the President of the French National Assembly; Roberto Fico, President of the Italian Chamber of Deputies; David Sassoli, President of the EU Parliament, and representatives from Germany, Canada and Japan. The theme of the Speakers' G7 is 'Secure versus Open Parliaments?'
Launching the G7 at Astley Hall, Chorley, Sir Lindsay said: 'With so many of our parliaments having experience of terrorist attacks and our Members facing threats, abuse and hostility from armchair trolls on social media, now is the time for us to join together to discuss how we can tackle such forces of evil.
'How do we balance public access to Parliaments as well keeping Members and staff safe? Amid this climate, how do our communities raise their voices and get them heard nationally and internationally on these and other issues? These are all massively important topics for our countries.
What to expect
Local road closures will be in place on 18 and 19 September around the town centre and the area around Astley Hall will close from 15 September to allow for the exciting G7 event.
Local road closures:
There will be some closures and restrictions from:
· 10am to 6pm Saturday 18 September 2021
· 8.30am - 1pm Sunday 19 September 2021
These will in effect close Union Street from the library to the Town Hall and the roads surrounding the Buzz Bingo site (see attached graphic). There will be no access down Market Street from the Town Hall.
The closures will be clearly signposted with diversions in place.
Astley Park access:
Area around Astley Hall will be fenced off with barriers erected from 4.30pm on Wednesday 15 September. All other public access to the park will be unchanged with people able to walk from the town centre to Astley Village and vice versa.
Businesses in and around Astley Hall will close at 4.30pm on Wednesday 15 September and will reopen to public at 1pm on Sunday 19 September.
Hallgate car park will be closed from Wednesday 15 September until Sunday to accommodate the event but all other park car parks will be open.
A mobile police station and team will be in the park if people need them.
Message from the council
Councillor Peter Wilson, Deputy leader of Chorley Council, said: "This will be the first time ever that Chorley has hosted an international conference. We are deeply honoured that our local MP, who is also Speaker of the House of Commons, has chosen Astley Hall as the venue for the Speakers' G7.
'We believe the hall is the jewel in our crown and we are so proud that we will be able to show Speakers from across the world this special part of our heritage.'
"Of course, an event on this scale does not come without some minor disruption and as such there will be some road closures around the centre and the area around Astley Hall will be closed off to the public.
"We ask you all to be patient with this and encourage you to get into the spirit of the weekend and be proud to see Chorley on the world stage!
Message from Sir Lindsay Hoyle MP
'I look forward to welcoming my counterparts to one of the most beautiful parts of the UK - to the town where I was born and brought up - to Lancashire and the North-West.
'I hope to offer the Speakers and Presiding Officers the chance to sample the best of Lancashire hospitality, from Morecambe Bay shrimps to Lancashire creamy, crumbly and tasty cheeses and beautiful scenery at Hoghton Tower, Rivington and Duxbury Woods, in person and not via Zoom!'
The UK is hosting a number of summits as president of the G7, with the Speakers' conference - which includes Presiding Officers of the G7 and the President of the European Parliament - traditionally being held in the host Speaker's local area or constituency.
The Speakers' conference is a chance for figureheads to come together to exchange experiences, opinions and information, primarily on parliamentary matters, such as the role of parliaments and the organisation of parliamentary functions in a rapidly changing world.