Thursday, 30 April 2009

Overview of Full Council

Well a bit late with today's blog but it was Full Council meeting last night. Well well well the Tory's seem more split than ever. With a really good motion from Tory Cllr Grund. There is no point to say that the Council should scrap Borough Life Magazine. This was something I called for last November as it cost hundreds of thousands of pounds. No problem supporting this motion but Labour picked up on the fact that I had called for it to be scrapped and the Tory Leader had said to a meeting that it was a good magazine and well worth the money. It is good to see some of the Tory Councillors still are putting the people of Wigan First it is a shame other Tory Councillors do not do this but put themselves first.

Labour had said what good things they are doing and the Tory Leader agreed, What planet is he on? Obviously he is making sure he keeps as much money on outside bodies as possible. The fact that Wigan Council boasted about free swimming for everybody, but yet Labour have closed Wigan Pool and Ashton Baths. There is no point giving something that they cannot have. This is just pure spin and how the Tory's can say that Labour are doing a good job is beyond me. Tory Cllr Thompson, even said in the local paper that he was going to challenge this in the Council Chamber. Not one word did he speak. Some might say that it is sheer opportunism propaganda that the Tory's are doing. All talk and no action. Mind you he thinks no will know this as the Council Chamber meetings are not recorded.
Labour did the usual thing of talking the meeting out so I could not discuss my motions that I put to Council. Both the Tory's and Labour voted against having CCTV in the Council Chamber. This would have given the people of Wigan more access to view what their Councillor is doing for them and which way they voted. It just goes to show that Both the Tory's and Labour do not want the people of Wigan to know which way they vote. But they both still want the free food, drink and trips.
Again both the Tory's and Labour vote for Building Schools for future. This was a bit of a surprise because the Conservatives have said that they would scrap this as soon as they get in. Just showing that the local Tories are in bed with Labour and looking after themselves.

Finally the Tories had a dig at my latest leaflet which I out out saying what I have done, I wonder why they do not put leaflets out apart from election time. Maybe because they do nothing except for propping up Labour

Wednesday, 29 April 2009

Bin the Council !

As you can see it is a bust time at the moment and normally I put a new post on each day put there are a few stories backing up now and I have had an extraordinary day. I resident in my Ward as emailed me this morning. The emailed showed that the resident has been in contact with the Council over her bin and rubbish not being collected. The emailed showed that the resident had contacted the Council Then the Council said Sorry we will get someone out to collect the rubbish, please leave it out, as we can not tell you when we will be out. The a few days later the resident again the Council to say that the rubbish had still not been collected. Again another apology from the Council. Next thing it is time for the next week bin collection. Instead of the collecting the rubbish they put a yellow sticker on the bin to say not to over fill the bin or put bags at the side of the bin. Well you can imagine this has to be the last straw. What an outrage! Let's not forget this is a service that we pay for. If thew Council say they will collect the rubbish and do not and will collect again and they still don't then give you a notice it is a clear disgusting act. With this kind of service not unusual, if you see previous posts, it may be time to say it is time to, "Bin the Council!" If the Council cannot provide a service and stick promises that they give like leave your rubbish out and we will collect and then still do not it clearly has to be time to ask is the Council capable to provide this service.

Cllr Gareth Fairhurst said today,
" The time has come when residents say enough is enough and ask responsible
questions about the level of service that is being provided, or not as the case
seems to be, a reliable refuse service. The Council has to look at
itself and view if it can or cannot provide a service it gets paid via
Council Tax. Why the bin men cannot simply pick up the rubbish and put it
in the bin wagon god only knows. If the service is struggling then the
Council and it's staff should go that extra mile."
The Environment Agency are planning to build a dam in the River Douglas in the area of Douglas Valley. The Environment Agency say this is important to stop flooding, at certain times. What I feel the Environment Agency has not looked at is if there is any other part of the River they can build this that would not damage so much wildlife for a start. With the mass inconvenient to the residents of the area, that do not normally suffer from flooding, this is an area of concern for myself.

With any project of this size there are many technical areas of concern to. Whilst I do not claim to be any kind of expert in this field I have had a look at the plans and it raises a large number of questions and concerns, which I have passed on to the Planning Dept.

I am surprised that Labour are in support with this project and the Tories have not said anything about this project. I will be fighting this proposal all the way and I have asked for this application to go before the Planning Committee, where I will be speaking against this planning application.

Tuesday, 28 April 2009

Crossing Needed!

I am calling for Wigan Council to install a pedestrian crossing on Mesnes Road outside the Brockett Public House. There are a number of reasons why this crossing is much needed in this location to protect residents and pedestrians alike.
Mesnes Road is a long straight where cars a notorious for speeding. By having a Pedestrian crossing there this will help to lower the risk of some one having an accident.
More importantly though when people that visit the pub and then call for a taxi they travel up from Wigan and they cannot not park outside the pub so they do a u-turn and then park outside the shop opposite the Brockett. By doing this they block the island crossing that is currently there. This makes crossing the road even harder than what it is.

With this in mind I have asked Wigan Council to look at putting in a pedestrian here to make the crossing safer. A survey was survey was carried out last week and Wigan Council are now looking at the results.

Sunday, 26 April 2009

Supporting the team

As the Group leader for the Wigan Independent Conservatives I not only do my own Ward work, which is important but I also support the other Councillors in the group, all I can. On Saturday 25th April 2009 I was pleased to go and support Cllr Debbie Fairhurst and Cllr Angela Bland opening the new children's section at Shevington Library.

The two mention Councillors are both the Ward Councillors for the Shevington with Lower Ground Ward and both get involved with as much as they can and it is testament that they were both asked by the Council Library Service to go and help do the new opening.

Not like your typical Councillors they did not just turn up and help cut the ribbon and leave they both spent the day and organised a colouring Competitions for the Children. They did this for two age group and donated prizes with their own money. They also got children throughout the morning cutting out Shields and colouring them in as well. As it had just gone past St George's Day they thought this would help to celebrate St George's Day.

Friday, 24 April 2009

New Party For Wigan

I am pleased to announce that after months of sorting out we have a new polictical party in Wigan The WIGAN INDEPENDENT CONSERVATIVES !
When I and three other left the main Conservative Party last May we weren't bothered about we wanted to get back to the grass roots and continue our hard work for the people in our Wards. Although other parties asked us to join them we felt it was best to have time out of that and consider things in a cold light of day, so to speak rather than in the heat of the moment and get it wrong. It was really refreshing that when we were thining of what to do to move forward people were asking us if they could stand for us or just get involved. This was good but in real terms we were just four independent Councillors in a group on Wigan Council. So we asked the people and took the decision to register a party name with the independent unbiased governing body, The Electoral Commission. After months of working with them we finally had our name. Wigan Independent Conservative.

We have our first meeting next week and it seem that it is all going well with the number of people interested in either coming to the monthly meetings or to joing the Party.

And what do the Conservative Party in Wigan say, We will get our lawyers on you for using the word Conservative. What they must understand is that Electoral Commission are unbiased and are the key to democracy in England. It seems they do not like this so I guess we will just need them to sulk about it!
With my Birthday today and the launch of the Party it looks like it will be a double toast tonight.

Thursday, 23 April 2009

Happy St George's Day

Well on the 23 April there is only one thing to write about and that is St George's Day.

What is really a shame is that we do not celebrate it like other patrons saints day. The Irish celebrate St Patrick's Day and the Scots St Andrews Day but we do nothing. No bank holiday no celebrations. I have put the flags out last night and got them flying high.
We should be proud to English and there is nothing wrong with that. It drives me mad when I hear people say that if we celebrate we would offend other religions.
So come on join in, fly the flag, be proud and let's all celebrate St George's Day.

Wednesday, 22 April 2009

Councillors need to be watched!

Well last night the papers arrived for the next full Council meeting which will be taking place next Wednesday. As many will probably be aware there is a public gallery in the Town Hall so members of the public can come and view what happens at the Council meetings. What a sham! Anybody I know that have come to view the proceedings have all left with nothing more than utter disgust.

The Public Gallery only as a small number of seats and whilst they may not be full ever meeting there are times when there is not enough seats. Take the Mere Oaks Campaign. There was a queue outside for if and when anyone left the next one could go in. I put a motion to Full Council that the Council should have installed CCTV and then the footage put on the Council website so that members of the public could view from the comfort of their homes and view part or all of the meeting. Labour voted down the motion.

With next week meeting I have put the motion in again as this needs to happen. Labour keep saying that this Council is a 4 star Council and outstanding. Well if anyone that gave these stars out viewed the proceeding they would quickly retract them and slap a hazard warning on the Council.
Whilst Politicians will be Politicians they is no need to be rude or insulting. Let me give you a couple of examples. At the last Council meeting the Leader of Wigan Council Lord Peter Smith, (Sounds Posh) referred an opposition Councillor to being like a Chimpanzee at a zoo throwing paper out. And another Opposition Councillor, who had just left the Labour Party, as only fit to make bacon butties for bus drivers. I believe that he used to work in a burger van or cafe or something like that. Does this really sound like a Four Star Council are simply a place where 5 year old would be able to debate things better? The Council is in a mess and the actions of some need questioning and whilst they think they can hide behind closed doors it is time for all to see how their Councillor acts, votes and also what they speak about, if at all, in the Council.
Cllr Gareth Fairhurst recently said,
" It cost about £50 000 to feed and water the Councillors for their free drink
and it would cost about £20 000 to have CCTV installed and uploaded on the
website for the members of Wigan to view their Councillors and what they do."

Tuesday, 21 April 2009

Wigan NHS Kick out OAP's

Cllr Gareth Fairhurst has learnt that Wigan NHS Foundation trust have a policy of kicking out patients out of Hospital that would have normally been admitted to a Ward. Elderly Patients are being targeted each day to free up more beds as the Wigan NHS Foundation Trust has a shortage. Since Whelley Hospital closed last year Wigan has lost bed space and each day at approx noon the managers meet to make sure the staff have freed up enough beds. It is just like a sales meeting where by the sales manager would meet to make sure the sales force know what targets they need to achieve that day.

The patients would normally been admitted and some would have gone to Whelley Hospital but now that has closed there is no where for them to go and the Trust needs the beds. It is now normal that patients are freed one day and admitted a day or two later. The trust does not mind this as the patient is treated as a new patient with a new illness, therefore attracting more money for the trust. It seems to Cllr Gareth Fairhurst that all Wigan NHS Foundation Trust is bothered about is money and the well being of the patients is secondary, at best.

Cllr Gareth Fairhurst said,
" When Labour announced to close Whelley Hospital I stated in the Council
Chamber that all this was for was for money and not the patients and it
that my nightmares have come true. When will Labour learn that they
should be
looking after patients and people. It is time Labour started to do
this! Labour does not care for the residents of Wigan just themselves."

Monday, 20 April 2009

Wigan Council say £7000 to much for a life!

I have been involved with trying to get some kind of road calming on Eccleston Street. This is a street in Wigan that is a one way street and usually has cars parked on both sides from the residents. Because it is a narrow street and one way the cars are racing down the street.

The street has a number of elderly residents plus young children living on it. And with visibility very much reduced due to the cars parked then an accident is very possible. To reduce this a number of residents have asked me to help try and reduce the risk by way of slowing the cars down on the street. I have contacted Wigan Council to see what measures are available to the street and out of these options which would be best. The response is that speed humps are really the only option and after doing a survey, which I requested, they have come back and said that it would cost £7000 to do the scheme and therefore to expensive as they do not ave the money to do this. One of the reasons why Wigan Council will not do the scheme is the way that they organise which schemes to do is to look at where have the most accidents been over the last 3 years. On this street there have been none so it does not come anywhere near top of the list. I would argue that whilst black spots are important to deal with we should also look at areas where there is a high risk factor.

Cllr Gareth Fairhurst added,
" Looking at the 3 year accident history is important but looking at the bigger
picture and looking at the risk factor is a must too. For example there
have probably been no accidents in the street over the last 3 years because
there have been no small children in the street. Now that there are small
children living there raises the risk for an accident. For Wigan Council to
say that they do not see this as a priority and it is not cost effective to do
this scheme is ridiculous. I am sure there are others streets like this but
Wigan Council just does not seem to care about these risk to the residents of

Friday, 17 April 2009

Where are the bin men?

One of the most complained about service at the moment is the Bin Collection Service that collect the green bins. Wigan Council seem to constantly get this area in a mess for some reasons. It may be because they keep changing the time scale of collection from a 2 week service to a monthly service and then back to a 2 week service. It may be because there was a bank holiday and the bin men have come a day late, which normally happens. But when you get notice from the Council that says even though there was a bank holiday on Monday to still put your bin out on the same day as usual and you do what happens? That's right the bin service that collect the green bins does not come to collect the waste. I was contacted by a number of residents this week about this and I rang the Council to try and find out when will the bins be collected and why have they not been emptied. In true Wigan Council style I have not had a response and I guess Wigan Council have not even apologise to the residents.
Cllr Gareth Fairhurst,
" This kind of response and service is not good enough. If Wigan Council say
they are going to collect your bins on Wednesday and then do not. You would
think that Wigan Council would know why the bins have not been collected and
when things go wrong they would put things right and apologise. After all the
people of Wigan are paying for a service the least Wigan Council could do is
provide the service that they get paid for."

Thursday, 16 April 2009

Alley Gates For Eccleston Street and Upper Diccinson Street

Early on in the year residents of Eccleston Street contact me one Friday afternoon, about the anti social behaviour that was going on in the alley way behind the houses of Eccleston Street, Upper Dicconson street and Dicconson Terrace. The final straw was when the car that was used in the Barclay's bank robbery was dumped in the alley way and set alight. Whilst this last kind of behaviour is not the norm it was clear that the residents had had enough. I went down within 36 hours of being contacted to have a look at the problem. It was soon apparent that the residents lives was being blighted with anti social behaviour. With Drug needles, beer cans and bottles and also gas canisters you soon got a picture of the type of behaviour that was going on. I agreed to help with the idea of having alley gates put up to stop this kind of behaviour that was going on. I also agreed to fund the project with my brighter borough fund so that we could get the project up and running as fast as possible.

I am please to announce that after consultation with all residents in the area that the green light as been given for the project to go ahead. The alley ways are being measured up and the gates made and will soon be going in and this will help the residents of the area to enjoy a better quality of life.

Cllr Gareth Fairhurst said,
" I am only to pleased to help the residents. I have kept the residents informed
as much as I could over the process and where the process is up to. The
residents had had enough and it was quite clear when I did a site visit that
something needed to be done. The residents have been understanding in this
process and I am glad they have the result what they all wanted."

Wednesday, 15 April 2009

Tesco Trolleys litter the River Douglas

A major path way and local river are being polluted by Tesco Trolleys. At the bottom of the Douglas Valley runs the river Douglas. The river Douglas runs pass Tesco Superstore in Wigan. This is the site of the old Wigan Rugby League Ground Central, Central Park.

One of the downside to this site is that there seems to be a constant flow of Tesco Trolleys in the River Douglas. The only Flow should be the flow of water. These Trolleys are not only unsightly to the area but also pollute the river unless removed quickly.
I have had a number of complaints about this and rightly so. I have written to Wigan Council asking them to sort this out. I have also been into Tesco to voice my concerns with them.

Cllr Gareth Fairhurst said,

" I have been to Tesco and spoken with them about this issue and asked them to
look at this area of concern, including asking if they cannot use the trolleys
where you pay a £1 when you get the trolley and then get the £1 when you return
it to the correct area. I have stated I am happy to work with Tesco to resolve
this issue but also I will be constantly monitoring this area."

Tuesday, 14 April 2009

Save The 612 Bus Route

Cllr Gareth Fairhurst is working alongside Cllr Debbie Fairhurst to save the bus route 612. This bus route runs from Wigan Bus Station to Wrightington Hospital. From the 19 th April 2009 the day service operated by First Bus will stop to run. This will be taking away a much needed service where by Staff and visitors use this service but now will find it hard to get from Wigan Bus Station to Wrightington Hospital. The bus runs from Wigan Bus Station to Wrightington Hospital via Standish Lower Ground, Shevington and Appley Bridge.

Cllr Gareth Fairhurst said, " This bus servicde is a vital service which is much needed for both Staff and Hospital Visitors. Without this sevice people are going to really struggle and this effects peopla from Wigan, Shevington and Appley Bridge. I have written to the GMPTE along side with Cllr Debbie Fairhurst to try and keep this service running."

Monday, 13 April 2009

Free Swimming For Wigan?

Labour recently introduced free swimming for people in Wigan. They even got Keith Chegwin to launch this in the New Grand Shopping Centre. What Labour failed to inform Keith Chegwin was that just a few hundred yards away was Wigan International Pool and it was shut!

What does Labour think that this spin does is show the desperation in trying to get any news out trying to say that Labour are doing something. The only thing that Labour are doing at present is destroying Wigan. With more and more things closing when will Wigan get some good news?

Cllr Gareth Fairhurst said,

"I cannot believe that Labour think that they can keep getting away with spin.
Noone believes in this no morea nd it is becoming more obvious that no one
believes in Labour no more. Fancy announcing free swimming for people but not
having a swimming baths in Wigan. And Wigan will not have a swimming baths for
some time. And with more and more time going by there is less likely to be
another pool in Wigan as more and more projects are going by the waste side."`

Sunday, 12 April 2009

Prisoners to get the Vote

Prisoners To Get the Right To Vote!
It is outrageous to even think that prisoners could get any kind of benefits or privileges of any kind. But the government is responding to pressure from the EU and looking at giving prisoners the right to vote. Is this Government Mad? Where and when will common sense come back to the shores of Britain? It is about time this Government stands up to the EU and says that they, the government rule this Country and not the EU. But this Labour Government is to weak in this area and I do not see the Conservative Party saying that we can have a referendum on the EU when they get in power.

I believe that the time is now right for a sensible debate of what involvement we have in the EU, if any. I believe that any Government of this Country should be putting our interests first rather than lining their pockets with the money and benefits from the ‘Gravy Train.’

What Party Do I represent?

One question people will want to know, if they do not know already, is what party do I represent on Wigan Council. I am an independent Councillor, which means that I do not belong to any party. On the Council I, with three other Councillors have formed a group on the Council called the Independent Conservative Group. The reason for this is we were all members of the Conservative Party but we felt that Party Politics were getting in the way. At a local level Party Politics should not get in the way of what is right for the people of Wigan and whilst the Labour Group do not come up with many good ideas sometimes they do bring up some and then to be told you cannot vote for that is crazy. So we set up the Independent Conservative Group so that we can still represent our Conservative Beliefs without being told which way to go.

Cllr Gareth Fairhurst said,
"We have been independent of the main Conservative Party now for nearly a year
and I cannot believe the support we have had. It just goes to show people of Wof
Wigan are not interested in Party Politics but Councillors working for them
rather than a Party."

Cllr Gareth Fairhurst

Today Cllr Gareth Fairhurst has taken up the new technical age and started a blog to help communicate with the people of Wigan, who said an old dog can not learn new tricks. Well 34 is not that old, I hope.