Thursday, 18 September 2014

Scotland's voting

So at last the day has come where Scotland is given the chance to vote for independence. What is strange to me in all of this is the fact that all of three leaders of the 3 main political party's have said if Scotland votes no then they will get more powers for their parliament. Isn't that independence if they can do things on their own? What is also strange is the fact that all 3 leaders say we are all equal in this union but yet Scotland gets more power than you can imagine. I believe that under the current formula that each Scot gets £1200 more than we do in England. The people of Scotland don't pay for prescriptions or tuition fees. This last point is interesting because it was Labour's Scottish MP's that pushed through charging for University Fees in England when it doesn't even effect them as the people in Scotland don't pay. This is called the West Lothian question.

To me if we are all equal then we either all should not pay for things like tuition fees and prescriptions or we all do. It is as simple as that. If the Scottish Nationalist think they be better off then I hope Scotland votes yes and let's see how they cope with out our funding from England.

Back bench MP's from all the 3 main party are getting upset, if you believe some reports, that Scotland get special treats and they should be treated like us - I so agree with that. Scotland should vote whether they want to stay in the union because they want to or not. They should not vote on bribes from England like free prescriptions and free tuition fees.

Sunday, 7 September 2014

Thought of the week...7 Aug '14

This week has been a quiet one in terms of meetings. I have been dealing with a number of residents issue including anti social behavior, which seems to be on the increase in Standish, and other matters that concern the residents personally and I will be working on.

What seems to have been a popular post was my thought on the Ashya King story and many [people emailed and told me to my face that they thought it as a good post. So with that in mind and with there not too much to report on the week that ended... thread I thought I would do a thought of the week series and this will include some issues that residents are making to me.

The first one that is relevant to Standish is that we have a new business in the Village, which is always good, however, this is a tattoo parlor and whilst it may be popular with some people to have a tattoo some think that it brings the area down and gives the wrong impression what Standish is. A more serious concern is the name of the place called Holy Trinity Tattoo. This business is situated on Preston Road opposite Lidl. With many people in Standish going to church, belonging to a church or simply respecting the church they feel that this name is inappropriate and I would tend to agree. Whilst I am happy for business to be able to work with interference I do believe that there should be some things that government, national or local, can do to make sure communities are respected. I will be writing to the Business and Council on the matter and see if there can be some solution to the issue of the name.

A growing concern is that the lareg Coop, formerly known as Somerfields is closing this month and it will be closed for approx 6 months, and then reopen as a Aldi. Again whilst choice is important many people believe that having two lower end supermarkets is not the right image for Standish (what do I hear Labour calling us? snobs ). I would agree again that business are appropriate for the area and if people of Standish do not shop at both then one of them will close if that happens maybe another higher end superamrket will come into the area. What is interesting is that I have learnt that Lidl wanted to go into Shevington first and they think that most people from Shevington come to shop there over from people Standish. Interesting that they couldn't find the space in Shevington.

So are these comments just a few on the streets about the image of Standish? It is interesting that on a recent survey that we are currently running, see other post on the blog for that, nearly 5% complain of not having a good quality supermarket.

Whilst on that survey it is probably a good point to raise some other results coming through. On a positive 65% think they are quite or extremely safe in Standish but 10% think they are either not safe or only slightly safe. 45% are worried about the houses that are being imposed on us but 61% are concerned with the traffic issue. To date this Labour controlled Council has not said one improvement that they will to address the traffic in Standish. Typical grab the money from all these houses promise us the earth and yet again fail to deliver. 75% of people who have taken part so far have said Wigan Council do not do  a good job for Standish. Now it wasn't that long ago that the Labour Leader Cllr peter smith said that 99.9% of people in Wigan are happy with the Council. I tweeted that he better come to Standish because they weren't there. Finally on Ashfield question 70% people believe us over Ashfield even after the Council have spent thousands with more lies about Ashfields. Don't they know that we have seen the emails that I have shared over the internet?

In summary I wounder if people do feel that Labour are running Standish into the ground, that would help them politically as of the last election they came third and if they can help run down the area they would have a better chance of winning because many residents have or thinking of moving out the area because of what it is becoming. Not just my thoughts but let me share one of them comments from the survey
This will sound snobbish but.... Standish has gone down. I've lived here for all of my 52 years and it now does not have the same glitter. It's now no different to any other place in Wigan. When i was younger if you told any one you lived in Standish they used to say 'ooooo Stannndddiiishhh' Not now.it's now seen as a car park with lots of mid range houses and a place that has a big drug problem.   
Food for thoughts that people are thinking of this now. For me Labour mustn't be allowed to get away with this and one thing I can assure people that the 3 Standish Independents will be fighting the destruction of Standish!

Finally I would like to thank the many many residents that have phone, emailed or said to me in the streets that they welcome the camera footage and they are fully behind me in the quest for ripping off the doors of the Town Hall and making it more transparent. On the Standards case that the two clips show it is clear the Chief Executive has not come out in good light with you. Many have said if she complained about me calling her a liar why wouldn't she answer the simple question and why would she think that this line of questioning is inappropiate and/or bizarre when that is her complaint? Also I love the comment one gentleman said to me in the Coop yesterday,, after viewing those two clips on Donna Hall I know who are happy. I asked who? He said the people of Chorley for getting rid of her. Some interesting comments but from me a big thank you for the huge support and there will be a big announcement very soon on this matter.

Wednesday, 3 September 2014

Chief Executive on political biased

In the recent compliant against myself from the Chief Executive there were two parts to it. The first part was that I called her a liar, which I did. Here is the first clip from the meeting showing that she wouldn't answer the first part on whether she was or wasn't a liar. Make your own mind up on why she wouldn't answer.

The second part however was that I said, in my opinion that she was political biased. At the standards hearing you can see on the clip that a Cllr who sits on the committee even says that the view from opposition benches is that she is biased. Looks like it is not just me then that thinks this. In the clip you can hear Chief Executive saying that she was never aware of this. Here is a news article from the Wigan Evening Post showing that opposition Cllrs met to discuss the matter some time ago. Given the article has the Chief Executive's face on it you would have thought someone in the Town Hall would have said something. Also given that the motion was tabled, but withdrawn, at the last minute she would have been aware of that.

On the second clip you can see that she is very uncomfortable being questioned in this way and watch how she signals something to the monitoring officer, to which he starts writing. I hear a complaint has been made against the Cllr for asking the question. Surely the committee can us all, including me and the Chief Executive questions that they feel are relevant. Whether we both agree with them is irrelevant because it is the committee asking those questions and not us.



Monday, 1 September 2014

Quick Survey for Standish residents

So we are trying out surveying what residents think in Standish. I know many people visit the site from other areas and don't worry there will be more survey's that you can take part in. But if you live in Standish please  take the time to fill out the survey.  You do not need to give any personal details.

Thanks

Create your free online surveys with SurveyMonkey , the world's leading questionnaire tool.


Many have filled it in already and some interesting outcomes are coming through. we will share the results once we end the survey.

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.