Monday, 7 November 2016

The Climb for Our Pride

My eldest son plays for the great Wigan St Pats Under 15 Rugby team and as well as a great team and bunch of people, they do some other great work. Yesterday, Sunday 6 November 2016, a number of players, parents and supporters climbed Mount Snowdon. That in itself is a great challenge but none of expected the torrid weather conditions that we went with the steep hard climb.

OUR PRIDE

The reason that the players, parents and supporters did this was for a great cause - Our Pride. Our Pride was set up in 2011 and was set up to support families with children with Down Syndrome. They offer support, advice and most of all friendship. They help take families away on trips and make some great memories. Currently the group are also working on creating a family pack for families that may be pending diagnosis. This was one of the reasons that the group was started because the lady who did start this didn't know where to turn when she got this news. For me she is using her knowledge and others to support others and their group grows from strength to strength.

THE CLIMB

There was just over 30 people that braved the climb. The weather at the bottom wasn't to bad but we had seen on the weather forecast there may be a bit of snow on top and a bit of wind. At the bottom of the climb none of us expected that even the road at the start of the climb would be so hard and steep. After a short while we turned off the road and went on to the track that goes up to the summit. There were stories that it would get easier in a bit. But apart from a small section later on in the walk where the track went more slight, it was all pretty much a hard slog.

Wow, what a view an hour in.
When we had been walking for about an hour we looked behind and saw this great view. Wow. We were so looking forward to the views once we got to the top if this was now. A little while later the cold came in and the heavy rain. Then it started to play on people's mental ability, as well as their physical abilities. I knew that I was not in the best of shape, especially as I had a serious operation on my spine last year and then further  complications too at the end of last year. Some of the team where flying up and full credit in their ability to do that, just goes and demonstrates the fitness these lads have.

If I break the trek up into 3 sections the 2nd of these was very uneven under foot and steep too. This is where it really got to us, How much longer could this go on for? I am pretty sure this is what we thought on this section. Once you got to the end of this section you go under the 2nd railway bridge and turn right and then climb up to the level of the train track.

BANG! What on earth! Although it had been heavy rain and a bit slushy before now we were in a full blown blizzard. A couple of people had to turn round but full credit for them to getting this point - an achievement in itself. One of the other walkers coming down said to climb on to the railway track and walk that way. The train had stopped working 2 weeks ago and because of the snow it would have been hard to follow the track but following the railway track would be more even under foot and also we had something to follow.

ANOTHER 10 MINUTES

Following the railway track in the blizzard was hard going and the only thing in our favour was the fierce wind was blowing on our backs. As we battled and braved the elements we asked climbers coming down how much further? The answer every time - 10 more minutes, you are nearly there. We must have climbed for a further 30 - 40 minutes but everyone would say 10 more minutes. It got to the point where we stopped asking, mind you the number of people coming down was going fewer too. At one point I hit the wall, so to speak, and had it not been for the fact my lad was up at the top and I wanted to make sure he was OK and the other lads with me helping me, I seriously thought about turning around. The conditions in this storm were you couldn't see much in front of you and then another couple walking near us shouted that the closed train station was near. We nearly had done it. Soon enough there it was a dark structure in the blizzard, the train station. Then we looked up and saw the last steps up to the stone on the summit. We raced up to the stone - took some pics and then wasted no time in getting back down.
The stone at the Summit.

DOWN DOESN'T MEAN EASY

So normally going down means easy. Not this time. The conditions under foot was much more harder and also the snow was deeper. We came back down the first of the 3 sections following the railway track. There were 2 issues.
These were the conditions at the top section 
At this point in the blizzard I was thinking
what had I agree to 
The steep slippy descent and the snow blizzard was hitting us in the face. Some of us have described the snow and hail hitting us was like pellet gun bullets hitting us and I can confirm this. Man when would this end?
Any one that has done this climb will confirm that even without this weather the descent pulls on your legs and ankles. Sure enough though once we got to the first train bridge where we climbed down to go back on the normal trail down the snow just stopped. How could this be? I was a gentleman called Paul and he said he was going to get some of his hot drink. Great news to me let's stop for a bit. I got some drink out of my pack and we both couldn't believe that once you go under this bridge it seemed to be a different country, in terms of the weather conditions.

The rest of the climb down was slow and steady and we did up and down in four and a half hours. Not bad I think for the climb and those conditions.

No doubt we all complained at some point about the climb and the conditions but it was a great achievement for everyone. It was another great team building exercise but most importantly it was all for a great cause. Early indications are that we raised about £2,000 for Our Pride.

WELL DONE TO EVERYONE  




Saturday, 29 October 2016

Dodgy Ray digs the hole deeper.


So I wrote after the last local election about how the Tory Cllr Ray Whittingham was dodgy and how his campaign was paid for a developer and then he went straight on to the planning committee. Well a number of residents have commented have said how fishy this smells.

So I reported the matter to Wigan Council. Here is the original story. So the Council said they carried out a so called investigation. I say so called because it was either a cover up to help him or because they are incompetence to carry out anything proper.

They said that Dodgy Ray told them that the developer didn't pay him but the local Conservative Party and then they paid his election expenses. Wrong! How can I say this because I have checked the Electoral Commission website and looked at if the developer gave money to the local Conservatives and guess what? He didn't! That or they have not declared it to them which would bring their accounts into question. Mind you with his dodgy son as his agent and is an accountant too that wouldn't surprise me. So rather than just coming clean when they were caught out they have lied to try and cover their dodgy matter up and got caught again!!!

It is simply now that an independent investigator needs to take over the investigation. I have now written to the Council to demand this. If they do not then I will report this to the local ombudsman to look at the matter.

One serious thing that has occurred as well as something dodgy is because I raised the matter and informed the Council, they - the Council, didn't want to put two planning matters for Standish before the committee as this could have serious consequences for them. I have now learnt that the developer has put the applications before the Tory's Planning Inspector to hear. The probability is he will pass them and then that really will keep the flood gates open for Standish as I hear that there are a number of developers waiting for the outcome of those hearing.

Here you can see why the Corruption of this Tory Cllr in Standish has now cost people of Standish as well as him gaining himself financially.

Wednesday, 26 October 2016

Standish Independents Cllrs Save Fireworks Night

Cllr George and Debbie Fairhurst with Committee and player Ian Stewardson at the Club 
With Bonfire night soon approaching many residents will no doubt be going to a bonfire. One of the most popular in Standish over recent years was down at the Crown and with this being closed that is not an option.

Earlier in the year Standish Cricket Club asked the Tory Cllr Whittingham to pay for a community display with Standish Brighter borough Money. He refused to do this but as soon as the Standish Independents Cllrs were asked then they stepped up to the plate and agreed to fund the fireworks with theirs.

This will take place on Friday 4th November 2016 at 7.45 but the gates open at 6.30 and there are other attractions going on their too.

Cllr Debbie Fairhurst said, this is Standish Residents money and we are happy to support this request. Fireworks can be dangerous if people are left to their own devices and I believe in organised events as a parent. With that in mind I believe this would be great for children and families to see at the Cricket club."

Cllr George Fairhurst said, " The Cricket Club is a well used facility and whilst they obviously couldn't have a bonfire I believe that Standish Residents will be able to see a great Community Fireworks in a friendly and safe environment. By supporting the club it helps keep the residents supporting it and also the club supporting local events too. This works hand in hand with each other.".



Sunday, 23 October 2016

What's happening to Standish Village Centre?

So I have learnt that there are a number of businesses up for sale in the Village.

First is La Mamma restaurant. I hear a price tag of £260,000, if there are any takers? Next across the road is Posh Frocks. There is a note in there shop window saying everything is up for sale - business and stock. Finally the computer shop has closed too and that will be a juice and snack bar.

All these businesses are in close proximity to each other and I guess parking will be an issue for all business. I heard from another shop keeper saying he is looking to move out the village centre too due to the car parking.

I came up with a solution but Wigan Council would not engage with the land owners. Standish Village Centre is dying and Wigan Council are doing nothing but giving us more houses. They need to act on this problem.

Tuesday, 13 September 2016

Parliamentary Boundary Changes 2018

You may have seen or heard on the news that the next timetabled General Election in 2020 will see a  the number of MP's reduced Parliamentary Seats. The reason for this is some MP's seats have more than others. So in effect some votes in one seat are worth up to 3 times as much as other areas. That can't be fair.

So the Government are trying to change it so each and every vote is valued the same. Labour are kicking off with this saying it is not fair. The main reason being that they have the most to lose in terms of Mp's seats. They claim that claim that since the cut fate, 1 December  another 2 million voters registered for the EU Referendum and now believe because they registered after the  cut date that the numbers should be re-crunched. You can faintly see their argument but there has to be a cut off and it is more likely that the 2 million voters only registered because of the EU referendum and not both. However, saying that one should not assume but Labour should have campaigned for people to register before the 1 December 2015. It is not like they can't say they didn't know as this has been planned for some time.

The 3 seats for the Wigan areas will all remain under the proposal so we will still have 3 MP's. For me one vote being equal to another vote has to be the right way to go!

Friday, 9 September 2016

School Lane/ Green Lane Junction Box



So here we are back again after the holidays and business as usual is happening for people. Kids back in school - parents settling back into normal routine and things are getting back to normal, inc this blog.

Many things have happened over the summer but issues are still there for residents. One such issue is for residents in the Green Lane area and they have constantly had the misery of trying to get out of Green Lane onto School Lane.

The issue is at peak times people wanting to turn right have had difficulties because drivers coming from St Maries Church direction have blocked the box junction and that has then prevented drivers getting out of Green Lane. If then there are drivers wanting to turn left behind them that has then impacted on them because they can't move. Many times the lights go on green and drivers cannot move.

Now in there wisdom Wigan Council have put up large yellow signs saying do not enter the box. I can see why they have done this as they do not want drivers blocking up the box junction put my first thought when I saw these signs was they are not correct. For example you can come from St. Maries direction want to turn right into Green Lane and if your exit is clear but oncoming traffic prevents you carrying out your turn then you can in fact enter the box and wait till a safe gap comes. This signs stops people doing what the highway code says.

Removing the signs will not cure the problem either as because people will carry on doing what they are doing, in fact the signs legally do not stop people from carrying on anyway as there is no enforcement action that can be taken for those that enter the box junction. So we need to come up with a solution.


The Standish Independents Cllrs have been in contact with the council and have said to them that the lights at the main cross roads need to clear some traffic just prior to the Green Lane Lights going onto green as this will allow some space to be created and then allow those cars out. Wigan Council Highway's team are looking at this and will be working on a solution that works and this is yet great work by Cllr Debbie and George Fairhurst. Keep watching as hopefully we can get a solution soon, although Wigan council highway team did say it is all down to the shear weight of traffic in Standish - but still they allow more planning applications to go though.

Thursday, 11 August 2016

Another Rugby Star from Wigan

Dan scoring the winning try. Photo is copyright and permission gained from EPA

Wigan has a long history of making Rugby Stars and still it goes on. The latest Rugby Star from Wigan is Dan Bibby, who last night scored the winning try in the Quarter Final's of the Rugby 7's in the Olympics.

It is rare to get a 0 - 0 score at the end of normal time but that what happened with team GB and Argentina. The game was full of drama and both teams could have won at various time but they both slipped up. As it is being reported Dangerous Dan saw a gap and went for it. All he could think was, "Don't drop the ball." He didn't and went to score the try and took Team GB to the semi Final's tonight. But straight after that is the play off for 3rd and 4th and then the final so it will be a tough night for them all but I know Dan is raring to go.

Here is a youtube clip of the highlights from the game and Dan's try. As you will see England got a man with a yellow card and both teams missed a kick to win the game, hence Dan coming to their rescue and getting the winning try.

I have been a family friend for years and first met Dan when he was small. In fact he took the mick out of my drivers arm..lol. I have spoken with the family and they will be watching a hoping for them to progress, like we all are.

Good Luck Dan and the Team.