Tuesday, 30 June 2009

College buildings to yet more flats

Wigan Council planning committee have given approval for a planning application to turn the old college buildings on Bridgeman Terrace, Wigan. I objected to this application has we do not need more flats in Wigan. With more and more of these flats getting repossessed and laying empty the demand for these type of homes are not required to the number that Wigan have. With more and more lenders with tight lending criteria for new build flats even if they were obtaining money on them is harder than if some one were buying a house. So why does Wigan Council continually allow these to be built only to lay empty.

At the planning committee Wigan Independent Conservatives Councillor George Fairhurst said that this would cause gridlock round Wigan with people having two cars per unit if they were sold like the developer says. He also said that there was no demand for these type of dwellings and recommended that the committee refuse the application. Labour voted this through.

Mayor goes into hiding!!

Just when you think Wigan Council and labour could get any worse well think again. The Mayor, a person who is meant to be Wigan's first citizen has decided that his programme of events should not be published so people of Wigan , including councillors would not know where the Mayor is or what he is doing. What a joke! I have written to Wigan Council complaining of this. Wigan Council state that this has been done for security reason. But yet the Queen publishes her movements before events. If it is good enough for the Queen it should be good enough for anyone else.

I will be raising this at the next Full Council meeting. It will be interesting to see what they have to say. I was going to publish a picture of the Mayor unfortunately I could not find him to take a picture.....lol.

Friday, 26 June 2009

Planning Committee a joke?

Whilst discussing the meeting of the planning committee with the mesnes conservation action group a common theme was coming through that they all seem to think that the Labour members had dicided the out come before they even got to the meeting.

In the morning they had been to see the mesnes park on a site visit. Whilst the officers of the Council was explaining the application and where things were some of the Labour Councillors just went off on a walk about with out listening to the points. How could they come to an informed decision.

Next the controversial decision that husband and wife duo Labour Councillor Paul and Jeanette Prescott sit on the committee together. Whilst members of the opposition wanted to speak Cllr Jeanette Prescott said move to the vote and then Paul did without the members of the opposition being able to speak. Was this a planned decision?

The Mesnes Area Conservation Action Group members that attended that Wigan Independent Councillor George Fairhurst asked some very questions and was the only one that moved to reject the application.

Tuesday, 23 June 2009

Councillor door knocking

I have taken being a councillor back to it's root. This last week I have been knocking on doors listening to the people and finding out what is important to them. What seems to be a reoccurring theme is that they want their councillors to work for them and make sure that they work for them. They are not bothered about party politics at a local level.

I have heard about a few more issues which I will be working to resolve for them and hopefully this will be sooner rather than later.

Labour and Tories vote together to ruin Mesnes Road

At today's meeting of the planning committee phrase one of the planning application. This is the start of the end of Mesnes Park. They will ruin this Victorian park. I will be meeting with the action group tomorrow's night to look at the next stage to see what they think and what they want to do next.

Now that the first part of the application is through Labour have to show their hands if they want their new entrance and make a new car park within the park. I believe that a car park should not be in a park. By doing this you turn the park into a car park and I do not know of anyone visiting a car park for a family picnic or to have fun.

Council refuse special meeting

With Labour refusing to stop the possible closure of Montrose school. I asked for a special meeting but Labour feel that it is not important to discuss this. Therefore I will be moving a motion at the next Council meeting. I have new information but yet Labour do not want to know they want to continue to rail road their closures of yet more schools.

I will continue to fight this all the way and continue to keep going.

Tuesday, 16 June 2009

Special Council Meeting

Now the Council are looking to close Montrose Special School. The Council are looking to go for a formal consultation to close the school. With that in mind I am calling for a special council meeting to discuss this matter. I have now got the right number of supporting councillors and I am hand delivering the requisition to the Mayor tonight.

If he does not call a special meeting then I will ask the Chief Executive of Wigan Council to call this. This matter is important as new evidence as come to light and we need the right decision for these children. This is not a matter that can be taken lightly.

Monday, 15 June 2009

Is it a Million or more?

Wigan Council has said that the cost of Councillor's expenses is more than a million pound. Cllr Gareth Fairhurst thinks that it is more than likely that this figure is more than double this figure. With Councillors taking degrees and other courses on the taxpayers money and also many councillors signing up to the pension scheme as well that all these figures if disclosed would be more than double.

I think that this is a disgrace when many people cannot afford to go to university to get degrees we have greedy Councillors getting free degrees. They say that this is so that if and when they get kicked out of office they can prove to would be employers what they have achieved over the last years etc.

Also with many Councillors taking up the pension scheme this would double the money that the Council says Councillors cost the Taxpayers.

Thursday, 11 June 2009


Last night saw me rushing round to a couple of residents meeting. The first being the Swinley Residents Group that are organising a community safety day in July. This will be at Penson Street Centre and it seems the group have got a lot going on with a climbing wall and the Rock bus coming with face painting too. It is good that they are doing this whilst trying to get more people involved with themselves also promoting community awareness on safety. Go along and have a look.

Secondly it was over to the weekly Mesnes Conservation Group that was talking about the Mesnes Park restoration that the Leisure trust are trying to do. Whats seems odd to me is why the Council and Leisure trust do not be more open and want to work with people. They always seem to be we are right you are wrong go away attitude. I am working for this to change and will continue to support the group and residents on this matter.

Wednesday, 10 June 2009

Developer shows disregard for area

Developers have shown some high disregard over the years in Wigan over recent years but now a developer is showing more of a high disregard in one of it's developments on Wigan Road. As many of you know Wigan Road near Boars Head has been destroyed over the last few years with many developers buying the larger properties of Wigan only to knock them down to build flats. When they start the building work the developers normally screen the developments of. These have often been of plain white boards or they might have pictures of the new design that is currently being built on that site.

But now in Wigan Road a developer has screened their site off with bright pink plain boards. Not only are these boards hideous but they are unwelcome. I have written to the Council over this matter and to see what can be done in this area.

Tuesday, 9 June 2009

Alley Way needs to closed off

Last year Wigan Council drug unit was re located to the Coops buildings at Dorning Street, Wigan. As part of the deal Wigan Council was going to ask the owners of the BT building to put a new fence round the BT building and also have a CCTV camera at the corner of Dorning street to view the Coops building but also could view the street down to the alley way that leads to Spring Gardens. This alley has caused a number of problems over the years for local residents. The issue is it is not a proper alley the land is owned by the owners of the BT building and can fence it off very easily. But have not.

The alley way is suffering from people doing drugs and drink and is close to the Deanery High School. I have contacted the Council to get this resolved and they have written to the owners to get this resolved. I am waiting their response but this needs to be resolved sooner rather than later to make sure we resolve the anti social behaviour in this alley way.

Monday, 8 June 2009

Junction need looking at

Many drivers will know that more roads are needed to be built. Standish, Shevington, Orrell and Wigan all suffer because drivers cannot get where they want to be. Drivers going to Wigan coming from the North come of at Junction 27 and travel through Standish and Shevington. The roads cannot cope. The same can be said coming from the south and theycome off at junction 26 and travel through Orrell and Pemberton.

One major road that needs to be look at is either a new junction between Junction 27 and Junction 26. This could run behind Heinz factory and come out at Martland Mill. This would ease lorry's of local roads and get them to the industrial units quicker. It would also benefit the football and rugby teams as the supporters will come off there too and again ease local roads including Saddle Junction.

Also a major headache is coming of the Junction south bound on the M6 to go onto the M58. There is often miles of queues for this and if a new junction is made a sweeping slip road could be made too to run straight from the M6 to the M58. Again easing roads.

All this investment would bring more business into Wigan and help and it would help the environment as cars and lorry's would not be sitting there with their cars in idle gear.

We have refer this to the Council and will continue to fight for this as the benefits to Wigan are massive.

Friday, 5 June 2009

Partial Victory on Cycle Lanes

At Wednesday Night's Environment Committee the issue of bike lanes came up and how the Council wanted to do more of them. I raised the issue about how when I was on my bike the other day riding down Wigan Lane when you get to the Cherry Garden the cycle lane goes on to the pavement and then goes back on to the road later down. I said this was ridiculous. When I was at school the police came in and did a cycling course. That informed us how we should ride and they set basic test.

I was supported by a number of other Councillors and as a result the Director of that Dept said he would get involved personally and re look at all lanes with the issue of taking the cycling Lanes of the pavement.

I also raised that with more and more cycle lanes the actual roads are getting narrower, which in my opinion creates more of a hazards.

Thursday, 4 June 2009

Fire Works at Enviorment Committee

At last night Environment Committee fireweorks flew when Labour got their new poodle to try and do their dirty works. Many times Labour have tried to stop Cllr Gareth Fairhurst in a number of ways last night at the new meeting Tory Councillor Richard Clayton told Cllr Gareth Fairhurst to shut his laptop up. This was as he was the only one with a laptop. At these meetings reports are printed out and circulated but Cllr Gareth Fairhurst has gone paperless 12 months ago. Cllr Clayton got a firm No from Cllr Gareth Fairhurst saying that this how he works and given that we where at a environment committee maybe others should follow suit. After a length discussion including Labour Cllr Turnock complaining about my power supply lead saying that she could fall over it, not sure how you can do this when you are sat down. But after 15 minutes of discussion and after legal advice Cllr Gareth Fairhurst won the argument and carried on with his laptop use.

This just demonstrates that not only can Labour not win the argument with Cllr Gareth Fairhurst but now the Tories are cannot neither and are just going down the route of personal attacks for the sack of it. What was the point of starting an argument for the best part of 15 20 minutes over some one using a Laptop rather than paper reports? In my opinion the were more important things to discuss.

Wednesday, 3 June 2009

River Douglas path needs a clean up

The path at the side of the River Douglas needs a clean up. With graffiti on bridges and under growth now growing over the sides and blocking the paths or making harder for people to walk past. Also a residents points out about the litter and if there was litter bins down the path then this would help resolve the problem. With that in mind I have pledge to get the side of the River Douglas cleaned up. This area that I talk about is near Tesco. I have battled for Tesco to get rid of the Trolly's in the River Dougy. Now I will get the graffiti cleaned up and hedges and trees cut back. I will also get bins located in a number of locations along the path. These will be metal ins so and not the rubber bins that have been set on fire previously.

Tuesday, 2 June 2009

Council not helping

I have always said that in a large number of cases Wigan Council does not help people. One of the people I am helping at the moment is \some one that had a piece of land at the side of their home. This land became notorious for dumping on and also was left to become overgrown and looking a mess. The residents contacted the Council to ask to tidy it up they said it was not their land but the people complaining about. So they set a foot to clean the area up and fence it off to make sure people did not dump on it no longer. They spent a lot of time and money on this so that it was a whole lot nicer than what it was. Then once all the work was complete pop up Wigan Council legal dept saying that they did not own the land but it was the property of Wigan Council and they had to take down the fence and return the land to how it was.

After going back and forward for 12 months I have helped broker a deal where by the residents leave the land as it is and they lease the land of the Council. This was all agreed and just as they were about to sign the lease another letter turned up from the planning dept saying that they had to pay a hefty fee and get planning permission or return the land back to how it was. Did no one in Wigan Council think of this in the last 12 months while we were sorting this out?

One of the things that I say Wigan Council should do is to communicate between depts better.

Monday, 1 June 2009

House Demolished

Last Week two houses on Wigan Lane were demolished. These houses had been empty for some years and had been given permission to be knocked down to make way for flats. However shortly after that Wigan Council put the area into a conservation area. This now meant the they could not knock down the houses without permission.

The previous owner was obviously frustrated by this and sold the houses and the new owner has now just knocked the houses down. I have written to to the Council and said that I am sick of these people that do work, that is not allowed, at the Weekend, knowing that the Council is shut. This is underhanded and I have therefore asked the Council to make an example of this person and go for the full hit an hit him with the maximum penalty and if he has any more applications in we refuse to work with him on the grounds of un trust worthiness or lack of it.

I have confirmation the legal department at Wigan Council are now looking into this and will get back to me once they have more news on this.

No one is above the law or the planning regulations. It is not often I agree with the planning department but on this occasion we need to send out a strong message.