Tuesday, 31 March 2015

I have been rumbled.......

I started this blog years ago. It was a way of communicating with people. I knew that not everybody bought the papers. I knew it was impractical to print a leaflet every week with what things I had been doing, things that were coming up and things that mattered.

At first I was unsure if people read it then I realised that there is a tool to look at numbers of readers. I was averaging up to about 1000 hits per month. Not knowing if this was good or bad I carried on. 

I think the first time I was stopped about the blog was when I was out with friends one night years ago. A man approached me towards the end of the night in an old drinking haunt, the dog and partridge, and asked if I was that Cllr that did that blog? I went on and said yes. The gentleman shock my hand and said please to meet you. He went on to explain that he lived in Standish and also a soldier who was recently back from Afghanistan and how he, and others, would read my blog over there. We exchanged some more words and then at the end I thanked him for coming over and saying Hi.

Over the years the blog has grown and reaches now up to 9000 hits per month but it's the people who comment on it that I know it is worth it. We have just recently just done a newsletter for the ward and when I have met people and said some of the things happening a lot say, I know - I read it on your blog. Cllr George Fairhurst gets the same response, we read about it on Gareth'sblog.

Also a feature on the blog is where people can leave comments. Prior to comments appearing online they are checked for foul and inappropriate language. I get the usual political apponents name calling me, bless - hi Neil . Also it is another way for people to send messages and just recently someone sent a comment in and said they follow the blog, and have done for some time, and if a certain film was my favourite? The reason they ask is because I have periodically slip a line or two into my blogs over the years from the film. The answer to them, yes it is one of my favourite. You also asked something else. Please get back in touch with your details and I will answer the other question and thanks for the support.

Monday, 30 March 2015

And we're off........

Over the time of this parliament there has been numerous things going on but one thing that has changed is the time a parliament lasts. Historically, it was always left to the sitting Prime Minster to decide when they called the General Election. But in this parliament a new law came in, The Fix-Term Parliaments Act 2011. This now makes the term of our parliament to last 5 years. This law was agreed as part of the coalition between the Conservative and Lib Dems.

As part of that law all MP's ended being a MP last night. Currently, we have none as Country. The Prime Minister has now asked the Queen to call an election, an constitutional process and formality. David Cameron will stay as the Prime Minister, but does not have the letters MP after his name, nor does anyone else because at midnight last night under the new law all MP's were no longer MP's at midnight last night.

The Queen will keep her ministers in their posts as the Country still needs to be run while we have this election.

So now what? Carnage! People will get asked to support a political party or candidate but do the majority of people already know this. Can views change? Polls suggest another coalition. Does that mean people don't want one party to run the Country? Have they been happy over the last 5 yrs at a coalition Government? Probably not. Nobody votes for two or more parties. 

Currently a lot of Scottish issues are decided in the Scottish parliament but English MP's can't vote for them but yet Scottish MP's can vote for ones that effect English law. Now if some of the polls are to be trusted and the SNP get a lot of MP's and are able to prop up Labour then the English will be run by Scottish MP's. This will probably, in my opinion, start the separatist issue off again and the English will push to get rid of Scotland. SNP get their way even though the SNP were defeated in the in out vote. So it would be probably be best for those that voted to stay in the UK in Scotland not to vote for SNP, because if they do become the King Makers of the next parliament then there could be a back lash from England being run by Scotland. 

One thing that is a fact - uncertainty will be the norm now for the next 38 days. Hopefully after that we can have certainty, but we can't be certain of that nether. 

Saturday, 28 March 2015

Parents get an apology from Wigan Council

Last year many parents in Standish and wider afield came aware that some parents had concerns on safeguarding in Woodfold school and also how their disabled child was being treated. Trying to evidence and get to the bottom of it the parents put a recording device in the child's wheelchair and then recorded what they did, if anything. When they listened back to the recordings they were heart broken and hearing their child cry and scream and the teacher assistant in the play ground did nothing for them.

In the correct manner they raised it with the school and the head, Gill Lloyd - who has recent retired. The parents got no where and then their raised their concerns with the Local Education Authority, Wigan Council. Yet again Wigan Council completed made it up as they went along and treated the parents with no regards whats so ever. At one point the parents wrote to myself as their local Cllr for help and when they got no answer they quiet rightly gave me an ear bashing. When I said that I had no email and looked into the matter Wigan Council had deliberately intercepted the email so it did not arrive in my Cllrs inbox and I would not become aware of the matter. Disgusting!

Then when the parents complained and got nowhere they raised it with the ombudsman. The report from the panel that heard the complaint completely proves that the Parents where quiet right to raise their concerns and once they did the Council should have followed their own procedures and law. Yet again in a typical hash manner fashion that is Wigan Council they did what they wanted the truth to come out and justice for the parents and this child.

Now a report by the panel has been sent to the parents and Wigan Council with their findings and it proves and vindicates the actions of the parents. Now the Council has had to apologise to the parents concerned and admit their did not follow their own procedures and they got it wrong. Fundamentally got it wrong. The Council has had to admit that they will in future follow the correct procedure and retain staff so they know about safeguarding.

What's disappointing to me is that the parents first of all had to go to the extremes that they did, including putting the recordings online to prove their case as they felt they were getting a raw deal and being made out to be the bad guys and more importantly that this child has had so much disruption.

If a parent, any parent, they need to know that they can raise it and that the correct procedure will be done and followed. It seem the council and the Head didn't want the bad PR that would come. But what is important is not protecting a reputation but the children that go to those schools. Our children. After all they are the most precise things in our lives.

Wigan Council should not only apologise in private but in public too as their actions left a little vulnerable child out of the education whilst this was all going on.

Whilst I am pleased that the parents have been vindicated I wish I could, hand on heart say that Wigan Council would do things different next time. Knowing how this council is run in this fast food, slick ass, persian bizarre manner that we have all become accustom to, I can't say that things will have change. Heads should have rolled here. Have people jumped before they were pushed? Possibly. Have people lower down the chain of command been made scapegoats? Possible. But either way it is wrong because if it is the former then people have gone with a their reputations in tact to go somewhere else and then it happens to a child where they have gone. Or if it is the latter then that is equally wrong as the top is always who is, or should be accountable.

I have post some links below to the original story below.



Business turns against Labour for Election.

Labour have now got a new enemy for the election - Big Business. The Financial Times have interviewed 20 chairmen or Chief Executive's from the FT100. companies. These companies are the largest companies of the stock market in the UK.

In the main these business leaders are worried if Labour gets elected and then are propped up by the SNP. The words that they say is that a socialist and separatist agenda would be a serious concern, then that would become a concern. Should that happen that would then mean that business's might not come to the UK or leave the UK.

When Scotland had the referendum for "in out" we saw how much, towards the end, that Big Business's came out and said stay in the UK, and that was the outcome. So if Big Business now start to come out and campaign against Labour because of the link up between Labour and the SNP that could effect the chances of labour getting elected.

What's the answer? The only answer is that Labour must not allow the SNP to take their seats in Scotland. If the polls started showing that the SNP would have no influence then that could stop big business campaigning against Labour. Also if the Conservative pulled away in the polls that too could stop the big business's getting involved.

On the SNP they lost the referendum but yet Labour have allowed them to take Scotland by storm. For me this is because Labour took their eye of the ball and just looked at Westminster.

Back to the issue on big business getting involved the issue of the SNP having a say in Westminster would mean that they will not only back the Conservatives but also they will help fund the Tories, which again would be a problem for Labour if the Tories got even more more to campaign harder than them.

Friday, 27 March 2015

Drug Raid on house in Standish.

This morning I am hearing that Police raided a house near Ashfield. It is being reported that there were police and they brought out about 40 - 50 cannabis plants. We believe the Police made a number of arrests too.

I wouldn't name the person for legal reasons but also I believe it is the policy of GMP to destroy any growing equipment on site.

Scene of the Raid earlier today.
I am a firm believe in hitting drug dealers and suppliers hard and go after their assets. I have asked the police for a comment on the matter and awaiting one from them. As soon as we get it we will update you.

Drugs as been a growing problem  in Standish and we have been noticing a higher rate of people dealing and these have been passed over to the police. On the clean up we noticed near Standish High school wraps as they are called near the corner of the back field and reported that.

As always any information on drug users and dealers in Standish please let the police know.

Wigan West Facebook page says 3 adults arrest and large number of plants. Also 3 people have been released on bail pending further inquiry's.

Tuesday, 24 March 2015

Car Parking in Standish

Since the launch of the new Aldi store in Standish, many residents have been contacting us over the fact that the signs say that the car park is for customers only.

Historically residents have used it and there have been talk that there is a covenant on saying that when Gateway opened the Car park on the right was for non customers. I have spoken to someone close to the talks at that time and it was the case that when Gateway was first proposed then the local business's objected to it. To reduce the objection Gateway said that non customers could use it. However, this doesn't seem to have been put in writing.

So we are now in the area where we don't want to be and not able to use the car park. However, after many residents contacted us and Standish Independents Cllr George Fairhurst, who first spoke with Aldi regional office last November 10th, got on the phone with the regional office again and told them of the issues and Aldi have kindly said that they will allow non customers to park for up to 90 mins as well as their customers. I guess many people will call in and do some shopping there and it will help their business too.

It's good that Aldi have said this will be the case and as long as this is not abused then we shouldn't have any problems and as a Community we can all work together.

Thank you goes to Cllr George Fairhurst who first thought about the issue last November and secured the parking with Aldi and now they have confirmed in an email to him this afternoon the position. Great to know that he, as well as the other two Standish Independents Cllrs are working hard for Standish.

Hopefully this clears up the situation.

Saturday, 21 March 2015

The Big Spring Clean. The Line, Standish.

Today the Standish Independent Cllrs organised in Standish the Spring clean that Wigan Council and Keep Britain Tidy started.

This was were the Council asked the ward Cllrs in each of the 25 wards to organise a big spring clean in their respective wards. Not being a political issue most wards, I understand, took part and Cllrs from most Wards did something in their area.

For us we decided to do a litter pick along the Line starting off at Almond Brook Hotel and walking down the Line to wards School Lane end. I have to say how disappointed I was with the amount of Litter along the route. Because of the shear volume of litter and the number of volunteers we were only able to get to half way down the side of Standish High School. After 3.5 hours we called it a day and I want to say a big huge thank you to Ray, John, Doris, TJ and Hannah who turned up and worked incredibly hard to make a dent in it.

I wanted to say in my report that we picked up everything but the kitchen sink but as you can see from the pictures someone had even dumped one of those along the line with a chair.

Something that was asked was can we have bins along the route and that way we would not have to do this. Because this is a dirty path where no vehicles come along the Council vans would not be able to get there. However, I do believe that there could be a number of strategic places where bins could be placed near or next to a road so that the council operatives could service the bins. We, as your ward Cllrs, will be speaking with the Council to try and get these.

Going forward it may be a case that we organise another litter pick to try and start where we finished and move along and try and get to the School Lane end. As many dog walkers, bike riders and resident discussed may things with us along the way and it was great to meet them too,
Mr Ray Chan - true Gentleman and truly nice guy

Should you want to get involved in the next litter pick please let me know.

Once again Big Thank you to the helpers, Bitchell Skips and Wigan Council for making this happen.

Skip with litter that we collected along the Line - chair and sink as well.