Sunday, 27 July 2014

Ed Miliband PR stunt

In today's media it is being reported that the Labour Party Leader Ed Miliband has said he wants to shake Prime Minister's questions up and get the public to ask the questions.

First thought is why would a leader of a national party would want to give up air time? One thought that he realises that he is not effective when he does it so by trying to get others to do it then it gets him of the hook. The second thought could be he wants to give the public a chance to grill the PM but what would that achieve? Would the member of the public asking the questions be satisfied that they have been able to hold the PM to account? If the leader of the opposition wants this then what would be the point of having him because if he got his way the public would be holding the PM to account.

Thirdly doesn't the public already hold their politicians to account, or at least have the chance at the ballot box?

Finally it has been reported that the Labour Leader of Wigan Council, who is also a Lord in the House of Lords doesn't not believe in being open and transparent because when an opposition Cllr (me) sent a tweet whilst in a Council meeting he called the police to get me out of the meeting. When parliament heard about this and now are going to make this against the law and then at another meeting because a Cllr was recording the meeting the Labour Leader voted through the whole meeting without discussion.

So if Ed Miliband is genuine about this then he surely has to get his own house in order first and tell his MP's, Lords and team to follow his suggestion. If he doesn't, which I don't believe he will then all this is just a Labour PR stunt in my opinion.

The week that ended......27 July '14

What a busy week! The first week of some students summer holidays and some last week at school as some schools now break up at different times. But what a week to start the summer holidays off - what great weather.

As for the old politics this week that has been busy too. On Monday the "Get Fairhurst Committee" o sorry the Labour Quango Standards Committee met to have another go at me - bless - they just don't like being challenged and they have now to me overstep and misused their powers to an unbelievable level and their response if you don't like it take us to court, thinking that no one will so they get away. However, this time they may not be so lucky as i have now had enough of the illegal actions, in my opinion, so I have sent the file of to my legal team how are now looking at their actions and we will respond in the appropriate way. People on Twitter have said Labour simply doesn't like a) being beaten and b) challenged. How true those people are!

On Tuesday we had some success finally in the area of housing because Persimmon planning application for another 250 houses on the former golf course site has been turned down. Here is that story in full. Whilst it is good news that finally we have won the second one, the first being Wainhomes withdrawing another application for 100 houses behind the Langham Rd estate, we are expecting that Persimmon will appeal to the Government planning inspector. Should they do this we will be demanding a public inquiry and that to be held in Standish so residents can go, listen, talk and see the dealings and evidence of the hearing. Once we know more on that we will obviously let you know so keep watching this blog for more news on that.  

Wednesday saw the first Summer sports camp which was a great success and the children (ages between 6- 14) all enjoyed it and said they will be coming back to the next sessions and bring their friends. The next session is on 6 August as Cllr Debbie Fairhurst, who is organising this summer camp, was unable to get the school this coming week. So week off this coming week and then we are back on the 6th August. For the story and what activities click here.

I had a reasonably busy surgery with some issues over cars parking and blocking pavements and planning issues. Obviously I will be dealing with them this week and getting back to those people.

On the matter of Woodfold, original story here, I have now heard that more leaflets are being distributed in Wigan and it is obvious that the parents and supporters feel very strongly about the matter, which i guess any and all parents who had safeguarding issues would. In terms of the parent s that came to our surgery last week the Council have confirmed that there is little the Council can do with regards the recordings but if you feel strongly about it you can ask the parents not to record again or take out your own injunction against future recordings but the Council can't take action against the parents for this. The have said that they have written to YouTube to ask for the recordings to be removed. We will see if YouTube does this.

OK just after 7.30 better get ready for the start of the day and doing some jobs like cutting the grass and hopefully the weather will be nice again. I hope you all have a great Sunday and back to work tomorrow.

Friday, 25 July 2014

Update on housing

On a recent blog post someone left a suggestion and request on one of the comments. This was to update the table that I placed on the blog a few months ago with all the housing applications and where they were up to.  Here is the original story.

So I have just updated the table and here is the updated version with which housing applications have been passed, declined and pending.







As you can see there is only one more application pending. Also you can see that we have been able to get one application turned down, Golf Course phrase two, however the developer can still appeal that decision and if that happens we will let you know.

Also we have been able to get another application withdrawn. Probably on the grounds that it wasn't go to get through although sometimes withdrawn applications come back in so again we will be watching and will let you know if Wainhomes try it on again.

Tuesday, 22 July 2014

Finally.......

Finally Wigan Council and Labour have turned down a planning application for 250 houses in Standish. This was after much battling from the 3 Standish Independents, Save Standish and residents. The application that I am talking about is from Persimmon homes for another 250 houses on the Golf Course. Obviously they have already got 250 houses on that site and they wanted to increase it to 500.

Labour Cllr John Hilton said that the Fairhurst family are always against these houses developments,  of course we are - we have always said that and we are always consistent, unlike him as he has said that he has worked with this developer in the past. If there is not a conflict of interest here I don't know what is and I have reported that to the Council to investigate it but they fail to investigate the fact that a Labour Cllr on the planning committee said he has worked with a developer and then for the phrase one he proposed to pass that application.

The reason why the Council have agreed with us is on the Core Strategy. Obviously I would expect the developer to appeal the application refusal let's see if the council fight that appeal!

Monday, 21 July 2014

Standish Sports Camp @ Standish High


Calling all 6 - 14 yr olds. This Wednesday (23 July ) is the first of this years' summer sports camp at Standish High.

The time for the sports camp is from 10am till 3pm and is free. All you need is a pack lunch. During the day you will be able to do

Tennis
Football
Dance
Basketball
Netball
Badminton
and more .

The sports camp will also be on 6th, 13th and 20 August so come along and enjoy the activities.

If you want more information contact Cllr Debbie Fairhurst on 01257 42 32 12.
Both boys and girls are welcome.

Sunday, 20 July 2014

Woodfold Primary School Situation

A few months ago some parents (Mr and Mrs Kay) removed their children from Woodfold Primary School in Standish because of a safeguarding issue. What triggered their concerns off I am unsure but they took the unprecedented step of secretly recording the staff that dealt with their child that had disabilities. They did this by putting a recording device on his wheelchair. Obviously the tape has not only picked up staff talking but also other children around that child as the recording device was on all the time.



After Mr and Mrs Kay listened back to the tape they were shocked and upset at the treatment their child received and passed the tape on to the police. Before the Police could listen to the tape the parents asked for the recording back, so I am lead to be believed. Mr and Mrs Kay obviously alerted the local Council about their concerns, which I would think most of us would.



For some reason, rightly or wrongly, Mr and Mrs Kay felt that the Council and school have not followed the correct procedure and not done a diligent investigation. I was informed of the situation when the parents contacted me and asked why I had not responded to their emails. When I said that I have not received the emails it became clear and confirmed after I contacted the Council that for some reason that the Council were blocking their emails and putting them into a holding area, including ones to myself. I was deeply concerned about this because ALL residents should be able to contact their Cllrs without interference's. I was assured that this matter as been resolved and the emails have been unblocked to myself.



Some weeks ago I spoke with the Council depts about the matter and I was again assured that the following week that an inter agency meeting was taking place and then the Council would be speaking with Mr and Mrs Kay and trying to resolve the matter for all concerned. After that I heard nothing and presumed that it had concluded.



Then there were some tweets to me saying I had no concerns about the issue. I engaged with Mr and Mrs Kay to try and find out what had happened. Since most of us have had a leaflet through our doors informing us about the situation and parents of the school have had a letter and email from the school. These two latest communications have alerted us all to the issue.



Some parents support Mr and Mrs Kay and some are against. Yesterday we had a number of concerned parents who tell us there is a strong up-swell of  strong feeling that their child(ren) have been secretly recorded. Now I can see their concerns but I don't think that Mr and Mrs Kay are interested in this but more the treatment that they say their child suffered but not withstanding that I can see why some parents would be upset if their child voice had been recorded by accident. I have been accused of supporting the parents and not others. All I can say is as a Cllr we have to be unbiased and we support things that are right and not wrong.


From my point I will be speaking with the Council on the matter this coming week on the safeguarding on behalf of the parents that have concerns and see how we can go forward with that part of the matter. Secondly I will also be speaking to the Council on the legalities that the parents have raised in today's surgery on the issue of their children being recorded.



I also believe that the parents that came to see us today are to raise some kind of campaign to ask Mrs Kay to resign as a parent governor. This is because she is a parent governor on the school. As I said yesterday there are no legal actions to remove her as a Governor unless she is sentenced to three months. So I do believe that the parent can remain as a governor till the end of her office in 2 years time. I have looked at this before as another parent Governor has said to other parents on the playground I donn't talk governors business on the playground. To me that is wrong. They are there as a Parent Governor and not for their own ego. In my opinion had the Governors been more open and let a parent governor do a newsletter to parents on what school governors are doing then that could have prevented some of all of this but the school governors at the school are obsessed with keeping things secret rather than being open and transparent.



My opinion is if some parents go and get a campaign against Mr and Mrs Kay who have the safe guarding issues then that may make things worse and I would suggest that they let the Local Authority carry out the work that they need to do. If the police need to be involved the authority and/ or the parents will surely bring them in. It is up to parents what they want to do and if they want to take sides but for me it should not be about sides but how we can resolve the matter as the children are the ones we should be concerned about not parents fighting against each other but I fully understand that both sides feel strongly about their issues and may well carry out the actions that they feel is correct.

Wigan Council strikes again!!!

You can't make it up but this morning a couple of residents emailed me about the Council putting a turn right sign at Standish traffic lights when it is a no right turn. And it's not like they can't say we forgot or we didn't realise because they put the Turn right diversion sign under the NO right turn. No wonder drivers are getting confused but on a serious note if someone does turn right, which I have witnessed one doing, then the green light is on for people crossing Market Street so whilst it might be funny this stupidity of Wigan Council it is actually dangerous.

Have a look at the pics



They have done the same thing from Coppull to Standish with a turn left under the no left turn. You simply couldn't make this up.


I have been on to the Council on the matter and hopefully they will resolve it before it gets busy.