Sunday, 31 August 2014

Ashya King Story. Hardest decision they must have had to make.

So in the news this week was the issue of young Ashya King being taken out of hospital and taken abroad. The media reports that I saw was shocking thinking why would someone do this when if your child is ill you would want them in the hospital.

Then we found out that the parents have been arrested and the boy taken into hospital and you think thank god that little boy is getting medical treatment.

However, the father of the young has given a interview via YouTube, here is the link to that clip. In the clip the father says that when his son was in hospital the two doctors looking after his son said that they wanted to give him a radiotherapy. When the father asked for this other treatment they said it was not suitable. They went on to say that if the father questions their decisions they would get a protective order and they would not be allowed to see their son. For any parent that must have been hard and how he kept his cool under that kind of environment I don't know.

So they decided that they had second property in Spain and they could sell that and then pay for the treatment in Prague. The father says he was in contact with that centre so you see that he was not neglecting their son but just trying to use another form of treatment.

Now the authorities are involved that sale would not be allowed to go through and the funds to pay for the treatment of this little boy is stopped for the time being.

I have done a little research into this condition and the treatment the father wanted to have and there is a mother case in the UK where parents were told the same but were able to go to America and have the treatment that this father is wanting, the results seem brilliant . Here is that story.

I for one am a little sad that when I saw the News reports that I thought that this was a neglect case but you can only go of the information being given. Now that I have heard the other side, as they say there is always two sides to every story, I feel sad first of all for the Ashya King who is not getting the treatment that his parents feel would give him the best chance to survive. secondly I feel sorry for the parents being told that if they question doctors then the doctors would get a protective order on. Whilst I fully support them kind of orders where there is a genuine case of needing to protecting the child they should not be abused just because the parents want an alternative or at least to discuss alternatives. It is a hard situation and one can only hope the police get the legality sorted one way or another so that Ashya can get the treatment that he needs rather than the whole thing being rapped up in red tape.

As a parent I feel for the parents and my heart goes out to them because at the moment they are in a police station answering questions rather than being with their son. I hope it can be resolved speedily.


Saturday, 30 August 2014

First clip inside Town Hall

So many will know for years I have been fighting to allow video cameras in the Town Hall to record meetings. Labour have always resisted this and even went to the extraordinary step of banning recordings. However the coalition government have now made it law that recordings can be taken.

The Chief Executive complained to the Standards Committee in the Town Hall that I called her a liar and she was political biased. This last week saw the hearing take place. Previously I have commented on the fact that it was unlawful but this post is to show you hope the Chief Executive dodged the crucial question. After all if you complain that someone has called you a liar you would expect that question to be asked.


Many people have commented to me saying that if the complain was about me calling her a liar then why would she not answer the question?

Obviously there is over 5 hours of footage and I am sure you all have more important things to do but I thought in the interest of open and transparency I show you how the crucial bit was answered.    

Wednesday, 27 August 2014

Labour controlled Quango at it again.

So the Labour controlled Quango have met today to look at two allegation that I breached the code of conduct as a Cllr. This is a code when a Cllr is acting in their official capacity as a Cllr. Obviously I am a person that use the internet and social media extensively, like this blog. Any reasonable minded person would think when they read my blog they are reading my opinion, it even says at the side these are my opinion.

Next the Council said that I accused the Chief executive of being politically biased towards Labour and then she was concerned I said she had lied.

So the first point is in my run up to the election in 2012 she wrote a letter that was in a Labour Leaflet saying I wasn't telling the truth over Ashfield. She said there was no discussions with a developer. Yet i got the information under the freedom of information. In fact here have a look for yourself. Here are their emails where the director of planning discusses the matter at length and even met with them to discuss their plans. I will let you decide who is telling the truth on the matter.

Then there was the issue of lies. I was emailed a link from an anonymous person a website. The headline is Donna Hall rocker or fibber? In the link, which is here , there is a BBC player where she says that she was actually in a band called Chumbawamba. Then after it became clear she wasn't in the band she states just for the record I was never in the band but you can hear her she was in the band. So I guess this proves she told a lie. So when it came today and I was able to ask her questions about the allegations I asked have you have told a lie, to which she wouldn't answer the question, saying it was appropriate. Hello given that we are looking at your allegation that I said you lied it is absolutely pertinent and central to the issue.

So then it comes to what I said was it wrong? Given that the emails prove that the Council had extensive talks and discussions about Ashfield proves my first point. Given the band link it is clear she got caught out there too.

On the political bias bit I had gotten into an email exchange prior to the election and I asked her if she was a member of the Labour Party Hierarchy and she answer in an email that she was the chief executive. Surely that would prove that she is biased. To be honest i am pretty sure given that the emails where getting heated that she didn't ready my emails and probably thought that I was talking about the Council, which is different to a political party.

So was the investigation fair? Not a chance to be fair someone who is carrying out an investigation has to say at the start of the process is this allegation true or not. However when I asked the question why was I not interviewed as part of the process she said she didn't need too. I ask how many times or when did she think I was not guilty of these allegations? answer - never! so therefore the investigator had a preconceived conclusion and I was never going to get a fair go at it.

When I pointed out that one of the issues was the weekend after I was elected she said that was fine, however, what she didn't know was that you are only a Cllr four days after the election by law. So therefore if I wasn't even a Cllr by law then I wasn't under the code of conduct.

So we come to was this investigation not only fair but competent? I would argue not given that it was carried out by a qualified accountant in internal audit and works for the Council. Given that the boss of the organisation was the complainant do you think she could have gone against her? The person should never have been put under that pressure and an external investigator should have been appointed. However last time an external investigator was used for when the chief executive complained about me they said and concluded that I was not guilty. So I guess the Council wanted to make sure that they got the answer they wanted an appointed an employee of the council.

So they find me guilty and have decided that they will publish this on the Council website and in the press. Don't they know that people know that the Council are biased towards Labour because it is controlled by Labour. Even one of the panel members on today's hearing said there opposition feel this is the case too but yet still Labour said I was guilty - crazy you could't make it up.

Some good news this was the first meeting that I taped on my camcorder so got it all on tape. Given that it is nearly 5 hours long I will edit the best bits and post on here at a later time.

Sunday, 24 August 2014

The week that ended.....24 Aug '14

Wow what a week, busy as ever. It has been a lot colder and wetter this week :-(.

Confident Council
The week began with me attending the Confident Council scrutiny meeting at the Town Hall, I had the Young Alice Wilcock continue to shadow me - as part as her award she is working towards. The meeting was OK and we had numerous discussions. One that got me was when we were discussing the amount of sick days for staff and then Labour Cllr Walker said, " It was OK for staff to have sick days when they want one." Really reality check is needed here. Sick days are there for when someone is sick and for me, having seen these now there are trends when sick days are happening in numbers. We only get the snap shot but this needs to be looked at. And before Labour starts shouting, look Fairhurst is having a go at our staff, I would say the vast amount of staff do their best and don't abuse sick days but when there is a clear trend the Council need to put things in place to control it. That includes supporting staff! Also we we able to meet and discuss a number of groups that had been successful in funding for their groups. It was good to hear what some of these do and how they make a different.

Confident Places
Wednesday saw me attend the Confident Places meeting which discusses houses and things like that. It was a heavy agenda and a lot to go through. I think we got to or certainly close to the 3 hour guillotine of 3 hours. The meeting is always topical at the moment as one may guess. The housing allocation plans were discussed, as ever I asked numerous questions about Standish and the Council have said at this time, note the caveat here - at this time, they have all the houses for Standish. I just wish they would say Standish is now full and no more houses but they won't call me cynical but I guess we will here more in the future. Lowton Cllr James Grundy made some good comments about trying to connect Leigh with a train station in Leigh as part of HS3. Whilst we are on about train stations I think it is poignant to mention that I raised, again why Standish cannot have a train station? In the past I have been told it will cost too much and that it will slow the high speeds trains down but yet the Council are looking to give Golborne a Train Station which is smaller than Standish and is also on the same line so why will it not slow the high speeds train there? Call me cynical again but I am sure Leigh MP Andy Burnham lives there. I guess he is fighting for a train station there unlike our MP Lisa Nandy who never comes to Standish. Last time she mentioned that she wants to Save Standish Green belt. When it was pointed out that the greenbelt was never under threat it was green open land, which is different to Greenbelt land she disappeared. I wonder if Lisa Nandy would support our call for a train station for Standish? During the meeting it was discussed how to improve King Street. Well so not to go on to long if you allow strip joints on there like Wigan Council has done then expect it to become the area that is seedy. Not rocket science Labour! On this matter too the Labour Chairman allowed Alice Wilcock to ask a couple of questions, which was good of him and some interesting points and questions were asked from her too. Often people ring me up and tip me off with things I was tipped off to go and have a look at the expenses forms for the candidates for the last local election. No before anyone says you can't claim these off the taxpayers it is a form to say what you spent, on what and where the money came from. Interesting that Ex Labour Cllr Emma McGurrin has not returned one to the Town Hall which all candidates have too by law. Wonder if Labour have reported her? I know they would if it had been me. Also it is clear that Labour were trying to do a campaign spending over £700. However what was interesting that the Tory's that came second obviously knew they weren't going to win only spent £40. I bet Labour are upset that the Tories spent considerably less and beat them who had spent over £700.

Summer Camp
So this week saw the last of the sport camp that Cllr Debbie Fairhurst started this year. This is because she knew that as a mum children want things to do and parents want a break so she tried this camp programme . It was good to see a record number of children turn out and attend and I know that the event will be happening again next year. What was also a good suprise for those that attended was they got a free latics ball and free tickets to go and watch the Latics game, yesterday, Good win for them too. So I guess when our critics say all you Standish Independents do is complain about houses it proves them wrong. The houses are the biggest issue for sure but we put back, support and help our community and the events that Cllr George Fairhurst and Cllr Debbie Fairhurst have done this summer helps proves this. As for me I am working on the news for Ashfield that will be announced in soon, so keep tune and have a happy bank holiday I better go and start my DIY :-( .

Sunday, 17 August 2014

The week that ended....17 August '14

So the end of another week, summer holidays will soon be over, kids going back to school, traffic on the roads getting busy again and then the colder weather :-( . But on a happier note it's the weekend.

OK, so what have I been up too this week? Well, it has been a quieter week than normal. I have been dealing with some minor issues but no doubt major issues to them. This includes anti social behavior, grot spots and other issues. When it is quieter like this I can get chance to catch up on some hobby stuff, like putting more of my ooo's of tunes on my new ipod.

Today I will be preparing for meetings coming up this next week as it is a busy one. I have Confident Council scrutiny and Confident Places meeting this week. Also we have some massive news on Ashfield Park Village Green coming real soon too so please keep visiting back, you wouldn't want to miss this. This will be taking some time up this week too.

Also this week we had some sad news when Robin Williams passing away, sad as he was my first hero when I was younger in Mark and Mindy, then he was great in Good Morning Vietnam and Aladdin, along with some others, but these two are my favorite RW films.

Finally, result week for students doing A and AS levels and B-Tec. Some great results have been achieved, not least by my twin nephews Liam and Luke, who are off to different universities. Also Alice Wilcock, who is the young lady shadowing me for a few weeks for an award, achieved some great results too. Well done to all the students and I wish you well in your next steps. For any students that didn't get what they where hoping for - don't panic there is always help, you only need to ask.

Breaking News

O well I will get back to the music but news just in as sit here and I am writing this blog but I am learning that the second fire engine at Wigan Fire station has been taken off both Friday and Saturday nights. I simply can't believe it! For all those that follow the blog you will know my frustration with this situation but it is clear more and more residents lives are being put at risk. I really do worry that a time will come when we need a fire engine up here and there won't be one, then something really does hit the fan. The inquest for the old gentleman that died in Standish on Pepper Lane is coming up soon and I hope they address what happened that night because the truth needs to be told - lives are too important!

Enjoy the rest of your weekend and as Adrian Cronauer (Robin Williams character in Good Morning Vietnam) "Gooooooooood bye from me, I'm history, I'm out of here.
RIP Robin Williams.



Sunday, 10 August 2014

Decide did they or didn't they?

So the Council have said repeatedly and have again just recently said they have never discussed building on Ashfield. Rather than me try and say this and that I simply am posting the proof to let you decide if the developers ask for a meeting. Let you decide if the developers ask about if the Council own the land and the Council confirm. See if the two sides meet to discuss the matter and see if the council say it's a good idea.

Have a look here for the doc

I would read the emails from the bottom up as that is the order of the email trial.

The week that ended.....10 Aug '14

I guess the first thing to say was, and I know a few people have messaged me and said where was last week's "The week that ended... 3 Aug '14". Sorry it was mad last weekend so didn't get chance but I will cover that week in this post.

So the previous week say Labour try Big Brother to try and get opposition Cllrs like me, bless. they did this my allowing ONLY them to video the cllrs meeting and guess who the video record was pointing at? :-) Yeah you guess yours truly :-). Labour was hoping for a reaction I had been tipped off because they would not allow us to tape them. However we decided not to react and see what happened. The meeting was flat and nothing much said apart from Labour saying what a naughty boy I had been by exposing them. They really do need to learn that challenge will be oncoming from me and trying to intimidate me with pointing a video camera at me wouldn't matte to me. Why? I stand by everything I say and do!

Then at the back end of the previous week and into this week this Labour controlled Council pushed out a leaflet with some facts, but very little on it about housing in Standish. In the main it said it's all the Tory's fault. I wonder if these Labour lot play cards? Because when they are dealt their hand they have to manage it rather than just blaming the dealing for giving them a bad hand. The old saying if you can't stand the heat get out the kitchen.

But rather concerning is that they just lie and push out mis-information. In the letter/ leaflet they give a figure for housing in Standish. That is wrong. That figure is for house building in the core strategy elements and there are other development that are going on i Standish which makes the figure higher than what they say. I updated the total figure on my blog on 25th July 2014. Here is that link to see the total figure with planning applications. The information on here came from Wigan Council own website.

So that deals with the mis-information, ow for the lies. It says in the FAQ section, Has the Council discussed building on Ashfield? The answer no at no time. This makes me smile because later today I will publish the email trial between the developer and the Council where they start off with the idea, then arrange a meeting between the director of the planning and the developer. Rather then me trying to persuade you that the Council are yet again still lying on this matter check back on the blog and read the emails and you decide if the Council are right that they have never discussed building on Ashfield.

So why the change? Basically in my opinion the council head guys are all from outside Wigan. I mean the Director of the Planning lives over in South Yorkshire so when developers ask him about building on a field in Standish does he have the historic knowledge and significant of that area? No. And when yours truly kicked off about it. They should just come clean about it and if they have genuinely got it wrong to think about building on Ashfield say we got it wrong but we get the message loud and clear and we will now not ever build on Ashfield. Instead they say no it's all lies that we even  discussed it never mind met with developers. Don't forget to check back in the blog to see the proof that the Council met, discussed and agreed that in principle it was a good idea.

OK back to this week. Monday I attended the WW1 service at the cenotaph outside the Globe at 10.20pm. There was a lot of people turned out and after that we all went back to St Wilfrid's Church for another service there. Again the church was packed and I saw an old friend that was in hospital at the same time I was in back last year and it's good to see you are doing well Eddie.

Tuesday I attend Wigan Youth parliament. I had agreed, along with other Cllrs, to allow a young person from the group to shadow us so they can gain an award that they are doing and one element is to shadow a Cllr. The lucky or unlucky person, depending on how you want to look at it :-) , was a young lady called Alice. I told her when I do things I do it all in so I would let her know where and when i am and if she wants to attend she can. Man she is keen, which is great to see such enthusiastic young people about politics. Gives me some hope.

Wednesday I learnt that the second fire engine was off the watch a number of times this week which I was not happy with given that back in Feb I was told by HQ that it wouldn't be happening again. More on this later. I put something on my social network and Greater Manchester Fire service agreed to meet which i am grateful for. I met them later in the week and Alice attended. In the meeting it was discussed my concerns that only having one fire engine to cover from Ashton to Standish is not good enough for me. The fire service point of view it is because of the strikes that are being carried out. Yes I know there are strikes going on but I would have hoped that they could have brought a spare man, because that was all they were short for that second engine, from another area. When I asked this the response was why are people lives better in Standish than another area? Which is not what I was saying because previously Fire HQ had told me backin Feb that for the service to modernise they had to move fire engines and staff round so why not on this occasion? I can fully understand the difficulties that the fire service are going through, I can understand the fire crews problems but I do feel that there are internal politics between the staff and the management going on here which need resolving rather than having a stand off because how I see it is here we, the public are stuck in the middle, and we have a far greater risk of dying in a fire whilst the internal politics go on. I just hope that the two sides can see through the stand off and try and work things out because the sooner they do the risk of us dying in a fire will reduce and that is what we pay our taxes for.

Thursday I attended the Audit committee and I must say this is one of the better workings within the council . All pull together, regardless of party politics. during the meeting I proposed to introduce a new control into the Council's systems and this was agreed. Also I made some more suggestion that were also taken on board. As for other members the chair, Labour Cllr Sweeney did another great job of chairing the meeting. Also Labour Cllr Joel Haddley had a good meeting interjecting. See I can praise Labour too. Again I had Alice attend too. Hope she is finding them interesting.

Also this week the law has been changed to allow any, yes anyone, to video or record, tweet or post from Council meetings. So when the Labour Dictator gets the police to take me out like he did a couple of meeting s ago the tide has now turned and next council meeting I will have a big surprise for him. Smile for the cameras :-)

Surgery was quite this week so it was a good chance to explain to Alice where I am up to with Ashfield as the Village Green public hearing is being arranged as we speak.

Also this week i have been dealing with residents issue that matter to them, including a dangerous wall that is needed to be repaired quickly and some anti social behavior. this week too we had the Beat it team in so I will be going round to those area this week to have a look at those jobs.

Gee, just seen how much I have written for this week, well I will let you go and get a cuppa and put your feet up.