A RETIRED police inspector, a scout leader and a group which fights discrimination have been crowned community champions.

They are winners in the Made in Bury: Council Community Awards, announced at the annual council meeting at Bury Town Hall.

Andrew Taylor received the Outstanding Contribution to a Township accolade, while POG (Proud of Gayness) won the Young Persons’ Group Outstanding Community award, and Christine Taylor, from Greenmount, was named Volunteer of the Year.

They each received certificates from the outgoing Mayor of Bury, Cllr Sharon Briggs.

After he retired from the police Mr Taylor worked for Rivers/Contour Housing as a manager on the Hillock Estate in Whitefield.

Lib Dem councillor Tim Pickstone said: “He was instrumental in the setting up of the Hollins Village Community Association in 2002 along with his wife Pam and also helped establish the Hillock and Oakgate Residents Association.

"He is secretary of the HUSH (Hollins, Unsworth and Sunnybank Homewatch) Association which has expanded under his and Len Lotts’ stewardship to include the whole of the Whitefield area and is now called the Whitefield and Unsworth Homewatch Association.”

Mr Taylor also established the Hollins Vale Local Nature Reserve, actively promoting the Hollins Go Wild day, and planned the Bury Divisional Homewatch conference.

Covering the whole borough and meeting once a year, it allows networking, guest speaker inputs and the sharing of best practice.

Cllr Pickstone added: “Andrew’s vision is for this work to expand to cover the whole of the Greater Manchester Police area.”

POG helps fight discrimination to ensure Bury is a more inclusive place for young lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people.

Labour council leader Cllr Mike Connolly said: “The young people of POG have been a vibrant part of Bury's community for many years. They have been instrumental in organising The Walking Rainbow and thus raising the profile of Bury’s LGBT community.”

Christine Taylor has been a pillar of her community for many years, including being a Scout leader, warden of the local community centre, a committee member of Tottington District Civic Society, as well as an active member of the Greenmount Village Community.

Conservative group leader Cllr Iain Gartside said: “She organises a monthly jumble sale in aid of the community centre, organises walking tours and has researched and written material about the history of the area. Her overall co-operative attitude has been an inspiration to many.”