Tuesday, 22 July 2014

Finally.......

Finally Wigan Council and Labour have turned down a planning application for 250 houses in Standish. This was after much battling from the 3 Standish Independents, Save Standish and residents. The application that I am talking about is from Persimmon homes for another 250 houses on the Golf Course. Obviously they have already got 250 houses on that site and they wanted to increase it to 500.

Labour Cllr John Hilton said that the Fairhurst family are always against these houses developments,  of course we are - we have always said that and we are always consistent, unlike him as he has said that he has worked with this developer in the past. If there is not a conflict of interest here I don't know what is and I have reported that to the Council to investigate it but they fail to investigate the fact that a Labour Cllr on the planning committee said he has worked with a developer and then for the phrase one he proposed to pass that application.

The reason why the Council have agreed with us is on the Core Strategy. Obviously I would expect the developer to appeal the application refusal let's see if the council fight that appeal!

Monday, 21 July 2014

Standish Sports Camp @ Standish High


Calling all 6 - 14 yr olds. This Wednesday (23 July ) is the first of this years' summer sports camp at Standish High.

The time for the sports camp is from 10am till 3pm and is free. All you need is a pack lunch. During the day you will be able to do

Tennis
Football
Dance
Basketball
Netball
Badminton
and more .

The sports camp will also be on 6th, 13th and 20 August so come along and enjoy the activities.

If you want more information contact Cllr Debbie Fairhurst on 01257 42 32 12.
Both boys and girls are welcome.

Sunday, 20 July 2014

Woodfold Primary School Situation

A few months ago some parents (Mr and Mrs Kay) removed their children from Woodfold Primary School in Standish because of a safeguarding issue. What triggered their concerns off I am unsure but they took the unprecedented step of secretly recording the staff that dealt with their child that had disabilities. They did this by putting a recording device on his wheelchair. Obviously the tape has not only picked up staff talking but also other children around that child as the recording device was on all the time.



After Mr and Mrs Kay listened back to the tape they were shocked and upset at the treatment their child received and passed the tape on to the police. Before the Police could listen to the tape the parents asked for the recording back, so I am lead to be believed. Mr and Mrs Kay obviously alerted the local Council about their concerns, which I would think most of us would.



For some reason, rightly or wrongly, Mr and Mrs Kay felt that the Council and school have not followed the correct procedure and not done a diligent investigation. I was informed of the situation when the parents contacted me and asked why I had not responded to their emails. When I said that I have not received the emails it became clear and confirmed after I contacted the Council that for some reason that the Council were blocking their emails and putting them into a holding area, including ones to myself. I was deeply concerned about this because ALL residents should be able to contact their Cllrs without interference's. I was assured that this matter as been resolved and the emails have been unblocked to myself.



Some weeks ago I spoke with the Council depts about the matter and I was again assured that the following week that an inter agency meeting was taking place and then the Council would be speaking with Mr and Mrs Kay and trying to resolve the matter for all concerned. After that I heard nothing and presumed that it had concluded.



Then there were some tweets to me saying I had no concerns about the issue. I engaged with Mr and Mrs Kay to try and find out what had happened. Since most of us have had a leaflet through our doors informing us about the situation and parents of the school have had a letter and email from the school. These two latest communications have alerted us all to the issue.



Some parents support Mr and Mrs Kay and some are against. Yesterday we had a number of concerned parents who tell us there is a strong up-swell of  strong feeling that their child(ren) have been secretly recorded. Now I can see their concerns but I don't think that Mr and Mrs Kay are interested in this but more the treatment that they say their child suffered but not withstanding that I can see why some parents would be upset if their child voice had been recorded by accident. I have been accused of supporting the parents and not others. All I can say is as a Cllr we have to be unbiased and we support things that are right and not wrong.


From my point I will be speaking with the Council on the matter this coming week on the safeguarding on behalf of the parents that have concerns and see how we can go forward with that part of the matter. Secondly I will also be speaking to the Council on the legalities that the parents have raised in today's surgery on the issue of their children being recorded.



I also believe that the parents that came to see us today are to raise some kind of campaign to ask Mrs Kay to resign as a parent governor. This is because she is a parent governor on the school. As I said yesterday there are no legal actions to remove her as a Governor unless she is sentenced to three months. So I do believe that the parent can remain as a governor till the end of her office in 2 years time. I have looked at this before as another parent Governor has said to other parents on the playground I donn't talk governors business on the playground. To me that is wrong. They are there as a Parent Governor and not for their own ego. In my opinion had the Governors been more open and let a parent governor do a newsletter to parents on what school governors are doing then that could have prevented some of all of this but the school governors at the school are obsessed with keeping things secret rather than being open and transparent.



My opinion is if some parents go and get a campaign against Mr and Mrs Kay who have the safe guarding issues then that may make things worse and I would suggest that they let the Local Authority carry out the work that they need to do. If the police need to be involved the authority and/ or the parents will surely bring them in. It is up to parents what they want to do and if they want to take sides but for me it should not be about sides but how we can resolve the matter as the children are the ones we should be concerned about not parents fighting against each other but I fully understand that both sides feel strongly about their issues and may well carry out the actions that they feel is correct.

Wigan Council strikes again!!!

You can't make it up but this morning a couple of residents emailed me about the Council putting a turn right sign at Standish traffic lights when it is a no right turn. And it's not like they can't say we forgot or we didn't realise because they put the Turn right diversion sign under the NO right turn. No wonder drivers are getting confused but on a serious note if someone does turn right, which I have witnessed one doing, then the green light is on for people crossing Market Street so whilst it might be funny this stupidity of Wigan Council it is actually dangerous.

Have a look at the pics



They have done the same thing from Coppull to Standish with a turn left under the no left turn. You simply couldn't make this up.


I have been on to the Council on the matter and hopefully they will resolve it before it gets busy.

Friday, 18 July 2014

Belgium Trip

Last weeks' post on the week that was.. I mentioned that I was off to Belgium with students from Standish High. The trip was by the music students from the school. There were all different kinds of different groups/ students that went on the trip from the school orchestra, school choir through to the rock band.

All the students played extremely well. The students played a couple of concerts in Ostend and Ypres. All the the students took part in the concerts. The school Orchestra opened up the concerts and then soloist and other groups went and then the concerts were concluded by the rock band who had members from students from the last year of the school. Most of these are going on to do Music at A-Level at college and I wish them well.

I always knew that the students were good and well behaved students. However, I think when you take 41 children with ages ranging from ages 12 - 16 you expect one or two little hick-ups. The students behavior was exemplary. Local residents that watched the concerts commented on not only how good the music he students were but also well behaved, respectful and polite. I think this is testament to their parents, Standish High, the staff and most importantly to themselves.

This trip was the first trip by the music dept from the school and I know the music dept are planning a musical next year so hopefully you all will get chance to go and watch them.

From me I would like to thank the school for inviting me and the students for letting me go along and I know we all have some great memory's of the trip.

Sunday, 13 July 2014

The week that ended.....13 July '14

So with the World Cup playing I must say that this world cup has been the best for years. Whilst I know England did poorly I think many have enjoyed the world cup. I predicted Chile and Mexico having good run and to me they did, certainly in the group stages. Argentina was always one of my favorites for the final.

So back to the business in hand on the old politics front it has been quite a busy week. I attended my first Audit Scrutiny Committee this week and it was well run and well mannered about from Labour Cllr McLoughlin throwing in a random comment in which I am sure none us know why or what he was talking about.

One thing that I raised was the fact that in the report it said the high number of complaints against Cllrs is not only costing the Council money but also putting a serious strain on resources. I know that I have an interest in as Labour and their hack are always complaining about me...bless....but if they are to continue then the system should be outsourced to a law firm that speacialises in that field because not only will the Council get first class advice but it would be hard for the Cllr to complain about the outcome rather than now it is just a Labour Quango court. Also the main area would be that resources would not be stretched.

Another item I brought up was there was a program seriously help back because one person was off work on long term sick. No one either could or did move it forward and it put the Council at a risk. This shouldn't happen and I am pleased that the Committee agreed that this was a concern and an update will be coming in a future meeting on this.

The main area of concern for residents was the bins not being collected on Thursday. I wrote to the Council as I thought it was not only unfair but wrong that the Council was not going to collect the following day, only collect the bins on the normal time in two weeks and not with extra rubbish. As a fully qualified HGV driver I offered to the Council to drive a bin wagon over the weekend on one day to collect the rubbish in Standish. Instead the Council have said this wouldn't be needed but they have decided that they will pick up extra bin bags on the day of the next collection. This will be done by a caged vehicle before the bin wagon comes along. People are still aggrieved that they have to go to the tip themselves or leave it in bags for another 2 weeks, and I can see why too.

For the week coming up I am going to Belgium with Standish high school music students. As a former musician who played with the Wigan Jazz Orchestra, and numerous other bands and orchestra in Wigan I will be able to help out. one thing that I have seen and witnessed is the great musicians that Standish High is producing. I trained and played along side the head of music Mr Turner at Leigh Music college and the Wigan Youth Symphony Orchestra respectively. I am sure the children will be great ambassadors for the School and Standish. I will try and post things on Twitter and Facebook if I am able to get a signal.

With that all done I better go and pack and get the old trumpet ready for the morning.  

Saturday, 12 July 2014

Tuesday meeting is not us

I have had a number of people in the surgery, in the village, telephoning and emailing me asking if it is us that is organising this meeting in the Unity Club on Tuesday.


Just to confirm we are not the ones organising the meeting and the meeting is a new group that is being formed out of SABLR, Stop Almond Brook Link Road.


Many have asked if the neighbourhood forum is what the ex labour Cllr Emma McGurrin was campaigning on and if she is involved. I don't believe she is involved but I think it could be the same thing what she was proposing, but not 100% sure so it could be slightly different.


I do not know too much about these kind of forums and I think if the residents want one then it would be the first in Wigan, although there are others in the Country.