Tuesday, 15 April 2014

Labour split

It has been no secret the mess Labour are in, in Standish. Labour Cllr Emma McGurrin has caused numerous issues for Labour and recently after a lengthy battle have now they have chosen a new candidate to fight this years' local election. Now Labour Cllr Emma McGurrin has decided to register a new party called Wigan real Labour. The thing is rather than it being just her on her own , the chairman of the Standish branch has also quit the Labour Party because of the way Labour hs treated their own Councillor. Together along with Cllr Bob Brierley from Hindley Green they have formed the new Party, so this year there will probably be two labour candidates on the ballot paper.

We know the people of Standish want a team that fight for them and not between themselves, like Labour are doing so I ope you can support our candidate.

Thursday, 10 April 2014

Calling out Lisa Nandy....

It has been brought to my attention that Wigan MP, Lisa Nandy has been calling me andCllr George Fairhurst liars over the issue of houses in Standish. She has said that it isn't true about Ashfield. Well she is 2 years behind the times, bless her. That was a story I broke 2 yrs ago and on that issue, this year we will be having a public inquiry about the issue, I guess she really doesn't know the state of play there.

Nor does she know what is happening about houses in Standish. Aprox 12 months ago she started a petition to save Standish Greenbelt land, unfortunately that was never under threat it was green open spaces that was. She did nothing. She hasn't even objected to the houses in Standish.

So here it is, Save Standish are holding a public meeting in a couple of weeks and here is a public invite for Labour MP Lisa Nandy to attend and I will go head to head with her and we will let the public ask any questions on the houses in Standish and we'll let them decide who is telling the truth, at least I know where Standish is. I believe she has been to Palestine more times than Standish.

Wednesday, 9 April 2014

Labour choose Candidate finally for Standish

...Breaking News...Breaking News...Breaking News...Breaking News...Breaking News...Breaking News...

Labour have finally got rid of Emma McGurrin as their candidate and now they have got a woman called Deborah Parkinson. They have offered her two years as being the candidate as they are not expected to win this year and they are hoping that residents will be confused next year when it is the General Election. Mind you after the mistake that residents did voting Emma in when it was a general election they have learnt the lesson and they wouldn't be making that mistake again, in my opinion.

Candidates are expected to be from ourselves, Standish Independents, Labour, Conservative and UKIP..

After the massive win 2 years ago we will be fighting hard to keep the trust of the residents and after all both myself and Cllr George Fairhurst have been working hard for years.

Tuesday, 1 April 2014

Goodbye George...

It is with sadness and also disbelief that I have to report that after years of battling to get a George Formby statue in Wigan and then getting it we now have to say goodbye.

Grand Arcade new owners, a company named Flair Polo have announced that due to health and safety concerns the Bronze Statue of George Formby has had to be moved as it is too dangerous to be  in a public area,
The statue is a really a victim of its own success, so many people travelled to Grand Arcade in Wigan then crowded around it to marvel at the expertly made Bronze, first unveiled in 2007. A spokesperson for Flair Polo said
We are very sorry it has come to this but our first priority is the health and safety of the Wigan people, Georges Statue is so popular that thousand make the journey from all parts of the globe just to gaze on this wonderful monument.

I will be writing to the Chief Executive of Flair Polo with my disgust and asking for this statue to be reinstated. 

The picture is the removal of the statue on March 21 after the shopping centre had closed.

Thursday, 20 March 2014

Another 250 houses in Standish.

...Breaking News...Breaking News....Breaking News...

I have learnt to day that Persimmon Homes are coming to put another planning application for another 250 houses on the Golf Course. That is on top of the other 250 houses that they had passed by Wigan Council for Phrase one. The area for the Golf Course is allowed 500 houses, which the Council has put on is now rapidly exceeding that. It is a disgrace that the council are looking to put 500 houses on the area in the first place. They promised the people of Standish that there would be only 500. Now they have passed 400 in just a few months and the 500 were meant to be over 5 years. In fact the Council said that on all three sites in the core strategy there would be 1000 houses. However I learnt last night that the Council canpass 1200 houses on the three sites.  Do I trust the Council? Not one bit. The Council did not tell the Ward Councillors about this. I had to learn about it unofficially, if you like and then ask the Council about it which they confirmed it. What the Council should do is open up and tell the people everything what they are doing and talking to developers about and not have secret meetings about major developments in the area.

The Council say that they have asked the developer not to put this application in. The Council shouldn't worry and ask nor beg for developers not to put any applications in. Tell them put it in and we will refuse it. If you have to ask then there is a worry that the Council are going to let the extra 200 houses go to some one else.

Here is the website for the extra 250 houses here.

I will let you know more as soon as I get it but this is another one that we will have to fight as the Council are letting the developers get their own way.

For an update on all the planning applications for houses in Standish, below is a list. So much for the council saying there will only be 1000 houses in Standish. We are more than double that and as you can see not ONE has been refused.

Tuesday, 18 March 2014

Wigan Council pass more houses for Standish

Today Wigan Council passed a planning application for another 150 houses on Rectory Lane, opposite the golf course. I know that I have mentioned numerous times about the traffic and other obvious issues with allowing these houses but now the Council has broken it's own policy. Here's how.

The Council's core strategy says to build 200 houses for the next 5 years in Standish. The Council have now passed 450 houses to be built and once passed the developers can build the following day, if they wanted. The Council argue that if they only pass 200 houses then if that developer falls short and can't not deliver then their plan would be out. So they have to allow more just to take up any slack. I see their argument to some degree but now the Council are passing applications for year 3.

So why is this going on? In my opinion and what I hear that after 300 houses have been built there will be to much houses and the market in Standish will be saturated so the developers are all trying to get in first.

What is interesting is the Labour Council, John Hilton, who previously has said he has worked with the developer on the Golf Course site says that the development in Standish is a good one, however he proposed to refuse 9 houses in Aspull near to where he lives. The reason is that these 9 houses would create a traffic issue. What and he thinks another 4000 cars in Standish won't? What a crazy mad man.

I do believe now that a legal challenge can be re-looked at on the grounds that the Council are breaking their own policy.  Also on a serious note is that the planning application today was for Himor which has Mr W Ainscough as their MD and he sits on a company board for Wigan Council. When I have asked what controls they put in place to safe guard any conflict of interest or potential conflict of interest, the Council say they put none in. That does seem strange to me that they have no controls or governance in place for this and I will be asking more on this relationship.

Thursday, 13 March 2014

The week that ended.... 9 March '14

This week has been a very busy one. Firstly it started with the election packs coming out for candidates for the local elections in May. we have collected ours for our candidates which we will be fielding. I remember in 2001 when I first decided to run as Councillor and I had no idea what to do to get on the ballot paper. If there is anyone who was like me back in 2001 to get on the ballot paper and in the race go to the Town Hall and ask for the elections office and ask for a pack for the ward you are interested in. Once you get that you need 10 people in that Ward to support your nomination by simply signing the nomination paper and bang you are in the race, subject to you putting it back in on time.

Wednesday saw the Full Council meeting which was discussing the budget. Whilst it is good that the Council have decided not to raise the Council Tax for next year I do believe that they could have done more to either cut the Council Tax or spend more on areas of concerns. Whilst the big issues always get the headlines one things that do not do get to people. One big issues is pot holes. The Council are looking to spend £500 000 on these in the next year. That is crazy! Another area is Library's. The other week I was coming out of my weekly surgery at the Library when a young girl, probably about 4 or 5 asking for a Rupert the Bear book and they had none. Not a one! I do believe that catching and encouraging youngsters to read is a thing to do and when they want children's classics then the Library should have them.

Whilst talking about Library's it is important to say that years ago the Council set up something called Wigan Leisure and Culture Trust. This was so the Council didn't have to pay VAT on some items. Now didn't Labour call famous people for dodging tax? Anyway what is important is the Council gives money to this organisation which is owned by the Council to run their Leisure services and they too can charge for things to get more of an income but yet they do not have to disclose hardly any Financial information. This was the organisations that wasted over £500 000 on pop concerts at Haigh Hall that flopped. I would sack these people that continuously waste Wigan Taxpayers money without any accountability.

During the meeting there was an item about an opposition Cllr who had been found guilty by a Labour Quango. The complaint was about he did a stupid thing were he used a legitimate email and turned it into an email saying that a Council officer favoured the  Labour Councillors over opposition. it was stupid. When the Council heard the allegation it was so poorly done that they spotted it straight away. The Council say that if this had been proven the officer concerned would have been sacked. That never would have happened as he hadn't done it and the fake email was so poorly done it was easy to spot. However, the Council reported him to the Police and splattered all over the press. The police decided that there was not enough evidence so did not take it any further. The Council and it seems the Chief executive are incensed and one Labour Councillor said that they should ask questions on the police and the Crown. what a disgrace, just because they don't like their decision. Labour, the Council and the Chief Executive should respect their decision.

About the Chief Executive and respecting peoples decisions, since the Full Council meeting she has publically told people to vote Labour by saying that the complaints are costing the Council a huge amounts of money. These complaints are made by a small number of opposition Councillors and people shouldn't vote for them. The thing is the Chief Executive shouldn't get involved in politics! Then she should't be telling people how to vote and who to vote for. Finally, she should also respect whoever the public vote for in an election. She wrote in the press that the two previous Chief Executives had the same problem but yet in their combine years as Chief Executive's they never put ONE complainant in against any Councillors and this, to me, proves how they could work impartially. In 2012 the Chief Executive issued a letter to Labour for their leaflet saying that I was telling lies on Ashfield. One, I had the emails from Council officers proving that they met with developers on the matter and the head of the planning saying it was a good idea. They simply think by trying to lie and say it is not true people will not believe them. I remember when I said about Mere Oaks closing and Labour said in a leaflet that it was not true and I was lying. Anyone seen Mere Oaks laterly? O sorry it was closed and closed displacing all the students and replaced by houses. In the running battle of emails between me and the Chief Executive in 2012 I accused her of being a Labour member and part of their hierarchy. Here is what I said, "you are not only a Labour Party member but also a member of the hierarchy". Her response was, "You are right though that I am part of the hierarchy as Chief Executive." It is about time that officers stayed as officers and didn't get involved in politics and stayed as public servants rather than trying to medal in politics. What interests me is have Labour asked her to try and discredit opposition Councillors for them or does she do it on her own back to try and impress Labour by saying look at what I do for you. To me she is out of her depths Labour should have hired a Chief Executive with much experience at big Councils, like the two previous Chief Executives.