Thursday, 30 December 2010

Sportsman Dinner

We, Wigan Independent Conservatives are holding a fund raising dinner with Guest Speaker Rugby League Legend, Alex Murphy.

The dinner will be at Ashfield House, Standish on Friday 4th February 2010 at 7.30 for a 8pm start.

The dinner consists of a three course meal, starter is Vegetable Soup, Main Meal Roast Dinner and a choice of desserts.

Price is £22.50 per ticket. Why not get your friends and have a great night out.

Tuesday, 28 December 2010

Back leaflet dropping.

Now the snow is slowly disappearing been out doing some more leaflets drops. Great response as more residents have now contacted me to sign the petition.

Friday, 24 December 2010

Merry Chrstmas

Can I wish all the readers out there of this blog a Merry Xmas and hope you have a good New Year.

Wednesday, 22 December 2010

New Parish Council says that the decision for no by election is not down to cosy?

In the Wigan Evening post early this week Shevington Parish Council Chairman John Ball said that the decision was not down to just cost is crazy. I was at the meeting and the only reason mention was the cost and no other reason was given.

But we all know the real reason Labour lost the last by election in a big way and they were not going to let Wigan Independents get any more seats. It was a clear act of how to be anti Democratic.

Friday, 17 December 2010

Last Night Full Council meeting

At last night there was a number of issues.

First the room was packed out. Never have I seen so many people go there and other cllrs said that too never saw anything like it. Good to see that interest is growing in the PC and all it's do

The first thing to comment on is that the two cllrs that quit last month, we had to decide what to do with their seats. I said that we should go for a by election but all the other councillors said no and they decided to leave the seat open till the May elections. What is worth reporting at this point is that yet another Councillor resigned. So the Shevington PC is down to 6 cllrs rather than the standard 9.

More to follow.

Tuesday, 14 December 2010

Is Shevington Library ear marked for closure?

As we all know Wigan Council has to save £55 million this year and one of the millions that needs to be cut is from the library budget. The budget is currently £4 million and it needs to go to nearer £3 million. Muted around is the real prospect of closing library's and it has been suggested that either Standish or Shevington could close and then residents from the other area travel to the next area to access that library.

What council officials will probably not understand fully is the easy access to both and also the fact that a lot of elderly residents go there and to travel to the other area might not be easy if they do not drive.

District Cllr Debbie Fairhurst has suggested ways of cutting Councillors perks and that would save 3/4 of the money needed to be saved and that would help save library's around the borough.

Labour has said no decisions have yet been made but with the budget only weeks away now they must be close to knowing the full impact and what cuts they are going to make.

Friday, 3 December 2010

Last night General Meeting

At last night Shevington Parish Council meeting of the general purpose meeting (what a name) tensions rose high and the disgraceful way in which the meetings continued and got worse.

I asked for standing orders to me moved so that I could ask for an urgent item, the vice chairman refused to simply hear what it was I wanted to add.

Then I raised that I could not formally complain about the clerk with her disgraceful manner, tone and behaviour towards myself and how I can not complain with out a chairman. The Council have now agreed that the position of Chairman be looked at first at the next meeting and hopefully once this is done I can move this complaint and ask for an investigation to be carried out. One of the things that the clerk said was what I was saying was "fiction." No way should an officer of the council ever say this to an elected member and this is just yet again another example of her behaviour towards myself. Another point was that the contents of our emails between us to prove the way that she acts but she said if I published the emails then she would sue me. I hope she has a lot of money because to sue someone, even with a cast iron case you need a huge pot of money.

Then I raised a number of items on the finance report all again ignored and I asked for them to be put on the minutes. One worrying thing is that they have been buying chemicals from someone. I simply asked if the person that they were buying from had the appropriate licence to sell the chemicals. The response was, "we presume so." Here we have a council that just simply does not know the first thing how to do the basics and if they do not know how to do the basics like this then how are they expected to run more complicated issues.

One thing that I did raise and ask for was the draft financial report that was going to be voted on in January be disclosed on the website and ask the public to send in their comments and opinion before we vote. This would open up the way the PC works and this was agreed.

Thursday, 2 December 2010

New Leaflet out soon

The parish Council has now issued their new leaflet, well I say new. Same as the first leaflet but with a couple of new items.

I have now signed off the proof for my own leaflet which is out any day soon. If the Parish Council liked the first leaflet that I did they will love this leaflet.

Also tonight there is a general purpose meeting of the Parish Council and I have no idea what one of those is as surely that is a full parish council meeting. They seem to make meetings names up for the sake of it.

I have also had meetings with other residents in the area about the elections next year. We need 9 people to stand for the parish council elections and the good news is we have more than nine names now so we are holding meetings with all concerned to move forward but what is encouraging is everyone concerned said if they are not the candidate they will do the leaflet delivers .

If you want to get involved or have any issues please contact myself and I will be more than happy to help.

Saturday, 27 November 2010

Recent Parish Council meeting

This week saw another full council meeting. Much of the same really but some progress was made.

Also the chairman and another cllr both resigned saying this was down to personal reasons, residents have emailed me and said that they jumped before being pushed. But what will the Parish Council do now. Will they allow a by election or will they not. One of the parish Councillor said that they do not need a by election but could have some people just co oped on. This just smacks democracy in the face. Democracy has a price!

My new leaflet is just about ready from the printers and that will be coming out in the next few days. If the Parish Council liked the last leaflet they will love this.

In this modern day and age we need open and transparent democracy so that residents throughout the area feel comfortable that they can be confident that they have a council that does not hide things and do things in the right and correct manner.

Wednesday, 10 November 2010

PMQ Labour score a point.

No I think it is fair to say that I am not a big Labour fan but at today PMQ's where the duty leaders where speaking the Labour MP Harriet Harman ask the Lib Dem leader that during the general election he said that it was his mission to end tuition fees and asked him how it was going? Given that the Lib Dems have now agreed to increase tuition fees this was high;y embarrassing for Nick Clegg.

What gets me is I against higher tuition fees and one answer is to get rid of the mickey mouse courses. Things like green keeping is just one example. This kind of course should be an apprentice type of job. Surely they do not need to go uni for 3 - 4 yrs to learn how to row and cut grass etc.

Once the mickey mouse course are gone then look if the budget is on track or in tuition fees need to be charged at all.

Monday, 1 November 2010

This disgusts me.

In tomorrows Daily Telegraph it is being reported the the British Government is to concede and give prisoners the vote at the next General Election. This is because of an European ruling and if the Government does not bring this in it could cost of tens of millions of pounds in compensation, they say.

The Lib dems were in favor of this a few years ago. This is complete barmy. Yet again the left wing goody goody Europeans are telling us what to do.

To make it is quite simple you go back to Europe and say we are not enforcing this ridiculous bill. If you insist we will put it to the people of the UK if they want to stay in Europe. Given that we are one of two net contributors in Europe, they need our money more than we need their laws. It really is about time what ever party is in power that they force our laws in Europe rather than being pushed around by these Europeans.

Friday, 22 October 2010

Review of last night Parish Council meeting.

Last night saw my second full council meeting of Shevington Parish Council. It was not as heated as the first meeting, see previous blog for that review, but it still had its moment.

The fact is in my opinion the council has been run like a closed shop with no transparency or openness. They don't seem to vote just simply let things go through on the nod. This is wrong and I continue to say that they should vote and I will continue to have my vote recorded accordingly. This is not to be disruptive but to show the resiodents of the Parsih how I voted on issues so they know what I am doing on their behalf and how I vote.

I strongly objected to another newsletter going out where, in my opinion, they try to mislead residents on a number of issues.

On the back page it asks residents what they think to a number of "projects". I asked at a previous meeting that they include whether residents want a referendum or not. I stated that yet again my opinion is not included and it seems that the Parish Council are of the mind just to try and ignore me. They said that they did not include referendum as they are talking about projects and the referendum would not be a project. But they have put other as title "e". I feel that if residents put referendum on other then the Parish Council will not accept this.

Also yet again jobs where agreed with out going out to tender or the tendering process was not carried out properly.

I objected also to a number of other issues and asked for the minutes to be amended which some parts where.

Most surprising was the Vice Chairman seem not to like the scrutiny that I bring to the meetings where by I ask question and probe on issues and he walked out saying he has better things to do with his time. Also Cllr King threatened to walk too but he was asked not to go as the Parish Council needed him. I would suggest that some of the other Councillors would have felt isolated but I will not give in and I will continue to fight this non democratic closed shop called Shevington Parish Council.

Wednesday, 6 October 2010

Council pays for Councillors Legal Insurance.

I hear that the Council has taken out an insurance policy for ALL councillors to access if they need it. This is for the likes of a Councillor is being sued or investigated then this cover can kick in and the Councillor can employ a barrister and legal team to defend them ,guilty or not.

This was talked about a number of years ago whilst I was a councillor and it was rejected on the basis that with the high number of cllrs reporting each other that this insurance would cost to much.

Also there is the access and who's pays that too, as I hear it is the Council.

I hear that there are currently 10 Councillors being investigated, some are warranted and some or just something and nothing and spats between cllrs but yet the tax payers have to pick the bill up. This can;'t be fair!

I have been investigated now a number of times and I always represented myself and never had any action taken against me. So why the change of heart from the Council with this costly expense when they should be reducing costs.

Friday, 1 October 2010

First Parish Meeting

Well I was not expecting much at my first meeting in way of good hospitality. After having years on Wigan Council and seeing how bad it can get I did not think I would witness worse, I did not think it was possible. But it was !

The unelected cllr J Malony used his position as chairman to attack my election campaign and call my leaflet. His wife was obviously upset that I did not deliver a leaflet at thier house on purpose and she wanted to know why.

The Chairman, Labour supporter, Cllr J Malony said at the beginning of the meeting that we should all be polite and courteous, which I fully agree with and then launched into a tirade of abuse on myself, like I care what he thinks.

I was call son by Cllr J Malony wife rather than the courteous title of Cllr which you are meant to use. Cllr John Ball said I was talking out of ( my backside) but he did not use that word and the Chairman allowed this to go on.

On the matter of finance the new auditor of the Parish Council have said that when giving out contracts they should go out to tender first and not be given to some one like has been the case. I asked the Chairman in all the yrs that he was on the Council did he not think going out to tender when using tax payers money was correct - he said no!

Repeatedly they interrupted me when I was speaking and the Chairman allowed this just to go an demonstrate his political alliance to all the other Labour Supporting Cllrs.

The chairman made a point that I did not live in the Ward and all other Cllr did - oops I guess he forgot about Cllr Mike Crosby who likes outside the ward and further away than me. and he said that the contractor gave excellent service and then I asked about why the bowling green was a mess and the teams had to go and use the other bowling greens if it was so good.

If they think that they can name call, try to bully, harass and intimidate me then they obviously do not know me. Next May will be interesting but the time between now and then will be more so I fight fire with fire. I genuinely went with any open mind of trying to working with these people for the better of the residents of the Parish but they are hell bent in not doing this. I guesss they are worried and scared that next May the residents of Shevington will have a choice and with our nine candidates in place we are ready.

I know the Labour Cllrs ready this blog so the message is time ticking. May is coming very soon.

Thursday, 23 September 2010

Parish Council said that I can't vote on my own motion!

I have sent two resolutions into for the next Council meeting.

The first is to say we should reverse the 46.5% increase in the Parish Council Tax.

The second is that the Parish Council should ask Wigan Council to hold a referendum.

However he Parish Council have said because I have said what my opinion is I have to leave the room and I can not vote on my own motion.

Anyone who puts a motion or resolution saying this or that will obviously vote for their motion, as only an idiot will vote against their own motion.

Also they have come up with that I will need a seconder for my resolution, so I guess I will not get heard after all that. But it is clear they have put out their stall and this might be a tough ride for them.

Saturday, 18 September 2010

Shevington Parish Council By Election.

Last Thursday was the by election for the West Ward of Shevington Parish Council. The results were

Jim Dewey - independent - 97
Gareth Fairhurst - Shevington Independent Conservative - 211 - elected.
Spoilt papers - 2.


It was a great result not only for me but the residents of Appley Bridge (West Ward) and Shevington as a whole as the clear message of having a referendum is growing louder.

A Big Thank you for all those that helped.

Monday, 13 September 2010

Fortnightly Rubbish Collection

Wigan Council are looking to introduce another Wheelie Bin, a Blue Bin. This will be to hold papers, card, magazines etc. Residents used to have just one Wheelie Bin, which was 240 Litres in capacity. However with now Green Bins, Brown Bins and now Blue Bins coming that will been each household can hold 960 rather than the original 240 Litres.



With all the bins being collected fortnightly with the exception of the black bins as soon as the bins are in place the Council will soon think that we have accepted fortnightly collection and just say that they are bring the black bins in line with all the other bins.



Unless we stop this soon fortnightly or even monthly collections will be in place.

Friday, 10 September 2010

Labour and the Tories refused residents of Shevington to have a referendum.

At Wednesday night Full Council meeting of Wigan Council there was a vote whether to let residents of Shevington have a referendum, but both the Labour and the Tories voted against this. With that in mind that means that they both must agree with the massive hike in Parish Council Tax of 46.5% increase in this year increase.

Wigan Independent Councillor Debbie Fairhurst is continuing to fight for the resident to have their voice heard and to have a referendum.

I have made it a commitment too, if elected on to the Parish Council that I will fight and call for the Parish Council themselves to have a referendum.

Monday, 6 September 2010

How can the Cllrs of Shevington Parish Council justify themselves?

The Shevington Parish Councillors have increased the parish council tax by more than 46%. They have not said why they need to increase this by so much and they said they will not as they do not need to justify themselves. I disagree.

But what is a worry is the Parish Council has over £140 000 in their bank account. Why do they need this massive increase with so much money in their bank account?

I think they need to come clean with their hidden agenda and if elected I will make sure they are held to account and more open and transparent.

A vote for me is a vote for open, transparent and accountable representation.

Wednesday, 25 August 2010

Bt Election for Shevington Parish Council.

A casual seat as become available on Shevington Parish Council. An election has been called for on the 16th September 2010.

Many know me in the area and there are big problems with the Parish Council a number of residents have come to me and asked me to stand. I have told them that the Parish Councillors are up for election next May and they know this but as the next election in Wigan Central is only next May the residents have asked me to stand. I put this to the group and they all agree that this would be a good idea.

With Labour or the Tories not bothering to stand this can only be seen as they are not bothered about the Parish Council or the people of Shevington.

The Parish Council have put up the Parish Council Tax up by over 46% this year and the only people to fight this are residents, Cllr Debbie Fairhurst, who is calling for a referendum and myself. Now some might try and say he is standing for a body that they want to get rid of, Why? The answer is that I believe that the people of Shevington should have a say whether they want a Parish Council or not.

Another issue that residents find hard about the Parish Council is that it is not open or transparent and this needs to change. If elected I will be fighting for this to happen asap as well as asking the Parish Council to hold a referendum on whether the residents want the Parish Council or not. I believe that that is the right and decent thing that they should do for the residents of Shevington.

Sunday, 1 August 2010

Hard Times ahead

I guess we all know that hard times are ahead and that at the last general election the two main parties had different ideas on how to tackle this.

The question many are now asking is are the Tories going to far? With bus drivers waiting till 20 October to see how much the public transport grants will be cut by they could be made redundant and bus services cut.

Wigan Council have announced up to 800 people being made redundant, I wonder is the real figure or is it the case that Labour are making more redundant to blame the tories.

With money going to be tight I am speaking to more and more saying that they may have to give up work as they can't afford to keep paying high fuel prices and wages going down in real terms, as all other costs are going up too, like food etc.

What every happens and no matter who fault it is you can better that time are going to get harder and I would predict going back into recession. This will be known as a double dip. I hope I am wrong but the second dip might be harder than the first but might be needed to get this debt down.

I wonder if there is nothing that can be put in place to stop ANY government putting us in this debt every again.

Tuesday, 27 July 2010

Wigan Council do secret deal.

On Wigan Lane two beautiful houses where demolished over 15 mths ago. After a number of letters from the Council to say that these houses were not to be knocked down the developer just did what he wanted.

At the beginning the Council agreed with myself and said that Legal action would be appropriate and it is not often that me and the Council agree but we did and that was good.

Now a secret deal has been done behind closed doors where the owner will not be prosecuted but will build 5 detached homes instead. Whilst it is a good thing that after 15 mths of neglect the site will be cleaned up it should never have taken this long to be done.

The Council did a fantastic job of making if the developer knocked the houses down they could get a good prosecution and then they back down. Just proves that they are all talk but no action to these developers, which is a shame after the Council did a good job on enforcement on the homes in Standish by Wain Homes.

Tuesday, 20 July 2010

Council to make 800 redundant

It has been announced that Wigan Council has admitted finally that due to financial conditions that they are looking to loss up to 800 jobs. They have not ruled out compulsory redundancy's. What I wonder and have asked, is out of the 800 how many of these people will be people on salary's over £50 000. I would guess that this is not going to be many and the fact that it will be lower paid officers of the Council who will suffer.

It also raises questions of the number of days that senior officers spend time working for Wigan Council. An example is the Chief Executive, who is a highly qualified person, but has spent a number of days working in London for the Civil Servants, and whilst the taxpayers of Wigan did not pick up the bill for her expenses they did not pick up her wages bill which is £200 000 a year approx.

Whilst I am sure that this could be part of her CPD and could help further her career the wages that Wigan Taxpayers pay her is significant and she does need to make sure that all her time is for Wigan unless she does this kind of work on holiday leave.

This is not a criticism on her as any one will look after their own interest first it is up to her employers, The Councillors should make sure that all senior officers devote all paid time to Wigan Taxpayers, surely that is not to much to ask.

Monday, 19 July 2010

Have your say

Wigan Council is under going a review on parish councils and townships. It is important that you have your say. I know the are a large number of residents in Shevington that do not want to have the Parish Council and there is a petition going round at present on this.

But click on the link below no matter which area you live in and have your say in your area.

http://www.wigan.gov.uk/Services/CouncilDemocracy/CommunityGovernance/TellUsYourViews.htm

Saturday, 17 July 2010

Wigan Council agree to pay Cllr Cadman for over 12 months on full pay.

As many will know Cllr Henry Cadman, the Conservative Councillor for Wigan Central had a stroke at the beginning of March. Whilst I am sure you will all agree that we wish him a speedy recovery I heard that he is now in a full time home. His Council phone and laptop have been returned to the Council.

Under normal rules a Council is on full pay for six months then if they have not recovered or attended any more meetings there is a by election. However the Council found a loop hole that said that if Full Council agree before the six months they can extend this to any time they like. They have now extended this in reality to next May 2011, which means that Cllr Cadman will have been on full pay for 14 months. The Councillors all except that he will not be returning but yet allow him to continue on full pay for another 9 months after his full 6 months pay runs out. But the Council are looking to cut cost and cutting over time and making people redundant and here is a man who is not able to do his job but gets 15 months full pay.

Also that means that there are only two Councillors for the Wigan Central Ward for 15 months but yet the residents are paying for three and whilst I am sure the residents would not be concerned over this for the normally allowed 6 months I think they are for 15 months. But the Councillors allowing Cllr Cadman to stay on whilst ill says that they think that the Ward, which is one of the most diverse Wards can mange with just two Councillors. So why not cut all Wards to Two Councillors and that will save over £300 000.

Tuesday, 13 July 2010

Labour Councillor banned from Labour club.

It is reported that Labour Councillor, Emma McGurrin has been banned from a Wigan Labour Club. Apparently she had a disagreement in Whelley Labour Club with another member. She was asked to leave and then been banned.

She has said that she was banned some time ago, but if that was true why did she go in the club? This is not the first time she has been in the middle of controversy as she stood for the Makerfield Labour Candidate but lost and when she did she said that the vote was rigged.

This latest incident is being blamed on jealousy as she is claiming that she has turned her life around and other don't like it. If this is what turned around looks like I wouldn't want to see what it was like before!

Cllr Robert Bleaklet Suspended for 6 Months

Yesterday Liberal Democrat Cllr Robert Bleakley was suspended as a Cllr for 6 mths, I hear. This was due to not showing respect to an officer of Wigan Council. Whilst I do not know the full facts of the case I know Robert to be hard working as a Councillor and is likely and well respected in his respective Ward of Tydlesley.


He will be suspended for 6 months I am not sure if he will appeal this or take it on the chin but he will be able to return in 6 months time and no by election will be needed. Whilst I am sure that Robert is glad that no lengthy ban has been imposed at least he can take comfort that he can return after the ban.


What is interesting is the fact that this has all stemmed from a flippant comment and some one did not like it. The hearing yesterday was heard at Kilhey Court Standish all at the tax payers cost and I wonder what this has all cost and was it really worth it?

Monday, 12 July 2010

Ex Councillor Bill Wilkes Dies

It is sad to repotr that Ex Cllr Bill Wilkes died over the Weekend. Bill was elected the same time as muself and also kicked off the same time too. He was first elected as cap Cllr but left a few years ago to join the independents.

Bill had been ill for some time and our thought are with his family at this time.

Friday, 9 July 2010

Residents need to stand together not with politicians!

As my time as Councillor and also not a Councillor I have been involved with many many different times of resident groups. What I like about some of these are the fact that local residents want a direct influence in their local community and want to make a positive contribution.

What is always a bad idea is when local Councillors, MP's and want to be politicians want to get on their committees are infiltrate these kind of group. They was even a leaked document from a labour a few years ago sending a clear message to their supports to infiltrate these kind of groups along with others.

Whilst the residents need the support of their local officials it is always a good idea to keep the two types of people separated for obvious reasons. The residents should run the groups and seek guidance and support from who they deem fit but not get the politicians on the committees as this can lead to disaster. What any candidate or political minded person should do, in my humble opinion, is be honest with the group and maybe say ,"I want to make a positive contribution to the local area as well but I am a political minded person with ties to one party or another." It does not matter which party they belong to so long as they are honest about the motives and that way all can work together in a positive way knowing that there are no hidden agendas.

I have seen a number of residents groups fail because for one reason or another because they have been infiltrated and I hope that all groups now and in the future say non political for their own sake.

Thursday, 1 July 2010

Cameron backs Boys and Girls Club

I said some time ago that David Cameron has agreed to open the Boys and Girls Club. The Tories in Wigan has said they were leading the opposition against this. Now what the real question is, where the Tories saying the truth in the election are where they saying anything to get votes, even though they had been exposed in their lies.

With the Village Green application now been concluded the club is getting to be more of a reality and the field will be lost for ever and the Tories were in favour of destroying this field all along.

Thursday, 24 June 2010

Cameron shows that Tories are in favour of building on the Mesnes Playing Field.

At yesterdays prime minister question time out new MP for Wigan asked a question on Wigan. The prime minister said that he was in favour of the new boys and girls club and he had visited the site.

Now thats what I said the Tories position was in the elections and they said that were the leaders in opposing this. This means that the local Tories were lying in the election are the Tories are split on the issue. Either way not looking good.

Friday, 18 June 2010

Labour MP with egg on face.

I know on the blog I discuss local issues really as the blog was set up as a Councillors page when I was the Councillor for Wigan Central. However yesterday saw a heated exchange of word in the commons. The chief secretary to the treasury, Danny Alexander, was discussing somethings that will be cut and Labour attacked with vigour. But Danny kept his cool and simply mention that the Labour should not be blaming the current government but their own as after all it was Labour who left the note in the draw to say their was no money left.

Good come back all quiet on the Labour Benches. I guess it is important that Labour understand that they did leave the country in the mess that it is in today.

Tuesday, 15 June 2010

Comments Error

I know a few people have commented on the blog. There seems to be an error where the comments are being approved but for some reason not being published. It might be me in some way but blogger has change some items so I might be missing something.

Please keep leaving the comments and I will look into the issue to try and resolve it asap.

Thank you

Gareth

Monday, 14 June 2010

Wigan Council and CCTV's

Wigan Borough is one that has a large number of CCTV in the borough. So much so that there has even been TV programmes made on this. But there is an increasing number of occasions where by the cameras pick crime up but because the imagoes are so bad in quality they either can't pick up faces or identify people are to poor to use in court.

This then begs the question if the Council spends a large number of its revenues on these things and they seem to be serving no purpose why continue with them. Either pay for something that can be used and get value for money or save the money and get more police on the street. There's a thought!

Thursday, 10 June 2010

When should there be By Elections?

An interesting issue is currently be discussed and that's when should there be by elections?

Currently Wigan Central has one of their Councillors ill. They have had a stroke at the beginning of March and since then resigned being the Mayor but did not as a Councillor, which was a clear sign that hopefully they were getting better and able to return in the near future. However, I have heard that he is now being transferred to a nursing home on Wigan Lane. Whilst I am sure all will hope he gets better soon the reality is that he has had his Council Phone returned to the Council. So that looks like a clear sign that he is unable to return to his duty's or wishes to step down, which both are a shame. But currently he still is receiving his full income, I presume, and now the Ward has only having two Councillors to contact.

At the next Council Meeting the Councillors will be discussing what to do with this seat whether to have a by election or to allow him to stay on till he is up for re election which is May 2012. If there is a realistic chance of coming back to his duty's fine but when it looks so clearly that they will not be able to and still allowed to get tax payers money for over 18 months it is simply ridiculous.

I hope Henry gets back soon but will be interesting to see which way the Councillors vote on the night.

Wednesday, 9 June 2010

New Labour Councillor no show - except in the local paper

I was wondering how long it would take the newly elected Labour Councillor to go into the press. And so he has now gone in saying he wants a new crossing on Parsons Walk. He says it is very dangerous crossing here and with the boys and girls Club coming to a crossing is needed even more. He firstly should be against this ridiculous idea of a boys and girls club. If this goes ahead I here that the PM David Cameron is opening it up. But yet the Tories say they are against the club but yet their leader is opening the club up.

But back to George I have been contacted now by two residents over issues that they have contacted him for help with and he has not even bothered to return phone calls and emails. This is just typical from George he will be in the paper over this and that but ask for help and he wouldn't do a thing.

Now I know some people might think that this post is being written in anger has he won, but its is not it just goes to show what type of person he is and I said this all along.

I wonder if the work that he does or not do will help the candidate next May at the next local election.

Tuesday, 8 June 2010

Government New policy on admissions and discharge

I hear that the Health Secretary is looking to change the way discharges and admissions are paid. Currently if some one is discharged from Hospital and then re admitted then the hospital gets funding. I was informed of this whilst a Councillor and raised this with the Council and the PCT but they both said that this does not happen and they do not discharge just to get beds.

A number of staff kept me informed of this and I raised it correctly but the pct said it was not the case. Now the Government has said this kind of practise should stop and pct or hospitals should not get more money and I agree.

I hope this improves the quality of care and will watch the developments with interest.

Friday, 4 June 2010

Another Data Blunder

On the front page of this week's Wigan Observer the story is Wigan Council just throwing out people personal data in a unlocked bin. This was identified by a resident.

This is not the first time Wigan Council has lost data in recent years and one of the last times was where by 33 000 children's details were stolen because some one downloaded the information on the laptop and left it out at night.

Surely the Information Commissioner must be getting pretty sick of these blunders from the Council and I will be writing for to them saying how many times does this need to go on before some one takes action.

Why has not one been sacked or resigned over the matter. Had this been a private or plc company the chief executive would have gone no question. If the Chief Executive does not know or can not control this questions must be asked. Some one has to be accountable. I mention the Chief Executive as there seems to be blamed who does these problems, so some one must be accountable like I say.

Now if the Labour Cabinet keep getting these blunders and the Chief Executive are not to blame why are they not taking action top resolve these issues?

Heads must Roll!

Thursday, 3 June 2010

Childrens human rights

I have been contacted and asked to help with a new campaign. An interesting concept. Where a couple split up and they have children it is so often the case where parents go to court to get access but what happens if one of the parents walks away and does not want to see the children. Does the child have a right to take their parent to court to say I want to see you?

So long as safety and emotional issues are taken into consideration are the first priority then so long as those are met why should a child not have a right to say you as my parent can not simply walk away.

An interesting idea and one that I think as merit in the idea and hope to see more about this and how it develops

Thursday, 27 May 2010

New Controlled Zone In Swinley - Need to re think

Swinley has been a controlled zone for some time now. The Council says that this was because residents could not park in the own area as people would park there and walk into the town or to the Hospital. So the Council acted and came up with the controlled zones.

Now they are re doing the controlled zones and breaking them up into smaller areas but this creates so much problems for local residents. Like the parents not being allowed to take their children to the local school, Woodfield etc.

What the Council should be doing is working with the local residents listen to their concerns and then devise a plan that can be beneficial for them. That way the new system would work for the community and people that it is meant to work for plus the Council represents the residents.

Thursday, 20 May 2010

Prediction come true.

On the 10th I predicted that Cllr Michael Winstanley would be the next Mayor. That was voted on yesterday. I also said that he would choose Cllr Judith Atherton to be his Mayoress. In my opinion knowing what story will be coming out about her late in this year this will undoubtedly bring the office of the Mayor into disrupt. The Mayor knows about the story and has done nothing about it so he will be implicated too. It will be interesting to see if he survives that scandal or brings the office into disrupt.

In my opinion I think he would have been wiser to choose Cllr Jean Peet for his deputy, I think she would have brought some fine qualities to the role and enhanced his Mayoral year.

Time will tell if he has chosen wisely.

Tuesday, 18 May 2010

Interesting results

I have read with interest the other day when Labour lost the General Election, they did this by losing 100 seats aprox but gaining 4 times that in local Council seats. You would not think that would be the same results of two elections held on the same day.

I guess if you analysed that, places like Wigan would be a good reason why that is. Whilst over the years Labour Voters have been dismayed at the Labour Government they simply did not come out before and vote but as soon as they know the Labour Government is going to go out they come out to try and save them and vote at the General elections in places like Wigan hoping that a massive turnout would save them.

My theory is simply a view at this point but I don't think to far away from what happened. It will be interesting what happens at next year local elections to see if the above trend was a one off because of the General Election or is a new trend.

Friday, 14 May 2010

New Government

This new alliance between the Tories and Lib Dems is starting how people can work together for the better of the population. Surely that can't be a bad thing and with the chemistry that Clegg and Cameron have seems to say that it has got off to a good start.



I hope that this continues and we do get the MP's working for the good of the Country rather than themselves. I know people are wrighting them off already but surely being negative is only going to have a negative effect for the country. I for one hope that we get positive results out of what has happened nationally.

Thursday, 13 May 2010

What should happen to Cllrs who claimed mileage allowance and don't drive.

It was reported some time ago now some local Councillors had been claiming mileage allowance when they do not drive and do not have a car. But yet they seem to get away with this. Surely this is fraud. I repotred the matter to the police who said that it is up to the Council to report the matter to the police. Why this is I am not sure.

I hope these cases have been referred to the Standards Board for England to be investigated.

Wednesday, 12 May 2010

New phone number for party.

Whilst might be down and out I am not, for some reason. If any one wants to get hold of me you can leave a message on the blog or email me at garethfairhurst@gmail.com or we now have an office number for any of our councillors or candidates. This 0845 900 2882.

Monday, 10 May 2010

prediction

I hear that mike winstaney is to be the new mayor for Wigan. I also hear the judith atherton is to be his mayoress. I hear that mike is worried about his seat next year and seems to think this will help his chances. I wonder if they will be any scandal.

Sunday, 9 May 2010

Out but not down.

At last Thursday election I was not successful in getting re elected. It is clear from the results across the borough that people that only come out at General Elections came out and voted locally as they did nationally. This was always the plan, I guess from the PM, when he called the election on the same day as the local.

I will be still active in the Ward and I will be standing again at the next local election for Wigan Central.

What is encouraging is the people that have come forward to help out next time and new candidates that want to get involved.

A big thanks to all the candidates, helpers with leaflets and all the people that voted for me. Thank you.

Tuesday, 4 May 2010

One big final push.

Any candidate from any party that has done a big hard fighting campaign will be feeling tired today, I guess. I know I am. With the final leaflets going out as I write I will be going shortly to join them and then once that has concluded it will go into the final push with some secret weapons coming out.

There are so many variables in this years local election and general elections anything can go and it will be a fight to the end.

Thank you for all the help and support from all the helpers delivering leaflets, fund raising and just supporting for us in other ways.

Good luck to all our Candidates and espically sitting Cllr Angela Bland who has had a fantastic campaign and response.

Full List of all Wigan Independent candidates

Cllr Gareth Fairhurst - Wigan Central
Cllr Angela Bland - Shevington with Lower Ground
Neil Dunlop - Standish with Langtree
Andrew Lomax - Wigan West
Paula Thompson - Qrrell
Ian Bland - Aspull New Springs and Whelley
Elaine Brown - Leigh South.

Friday, 30 April 2010

Election update

With one week to go for the Election I can say what a fantastic reaction I have had.

In all parts of the Ward, Whitley, Swinley and Scholes some really good responses. I like to thank all those that I have met but it is not over yet. With just a couple of streets left now for the 2nd leaflet to go out, which I have posted on the blog, I have now getting the 3rd leaflet coming from the printers coming very soon.

At the Last Full Council it was clear that the Tories were "Rattled" because of the campaign that I have put out. But to be fair I think the Tories campaign is a disgrace. All that they have put out is just photo copy type a4 leaflets that quite frankly says nothing. The Tories have mass resources but yet this is the type of campaign that they do.

I have tried to put out a good colourful campaign and it is really good that residents in Swinley and Whitley have come out and asked if they can help with the next leaflet and get involved. This is good that people are obviously responding positively and also want to get involved in the Election but what happens after and join and help our party.

With that I am now going doing more leaflets and also got a meeting with senior officers over some major issues that are going on and I will post the results soon.

Monday, 26 April 2010

David Cameron to open New boys and Girls club.

The Conservatives in Wigan say that they are against the proposed boys and girls club on Mesnes field and they have been leading the Way. The local residents do not recognise this as they have only seen one councillor doing anything against this, which is myself.

But what is interesting is that David Cameron is reportedly agreed to open the Centre should it open. So here's the question. How can the Conservatives be against the proposed development only to have their leader open it? Or is it a case that they say one thing, do nothing and mean another!

Yet more proof that there is only ONE councillor fighting to save mesnes Playing Field and the Mesnes Conservation Area Action Group are only backing one councillor and that is me.

The Torys should come clean and tell the truth!

2nd Leaflet drop

Over the weekend saw the launch of the 2nd leaflet drop, which is 1st of the main leaflets. On Saturday saw all of Scholes and Whelley covered and yesterday saw a massive effect by helpers to do ALL of Swinley so a big thank you there to all the helpers.

Some might be reading this and thinking about is this important, but to get 5000 leaflets out in a short space of time is a massive effort. I have had 2 of the 4 leaflets out now and we have another 2 leaflets to come out and we will have a short time to get them out. It really is hard work but hopefully worth it.

Saturday, 24 April 2010

Tory Candidate propose to go for people in Swinley to be taxed for having two cars.

At a recent residents meeting the topic was parking in Swinley. The Tory Candidate said that people with TWO or more cars should be taxed more for taking up more spaces on the road. This is bizarre. This is a person who says that he has lived in Swinley all his life and know what people want. When I speak to residents in the area being taxed more is not something they want.

If I am re elected I will make sure that the Tory or has he likes to be known, the official conservative candidate, ( why is there an unofficially one? Would not be the first time the torys fall out between themselves.)idea of taxing residents in Swinley more. The Tory's are out of touch.

A vote for Gareth would be a vote for lower tax not higher taxes.

Saturday, 17 April 2010

Support for Gareth goes sky high!!!




With support for my election at the local election growing. Now it has gone sky high! This is a picture of one of the new banners for my election on the high rise flats in Scholes Wigan. Wonder where the next one will pop up?

Friday, 16 April 2010

Wigan Independent Conservatives set trend.

When we left the main Tory party and set up a local party, Wigan Independent Conservatives we did this just because we wanted to stick to local issue as main stream national party politics should not get in the way at a local level.

However what we did not realise was our thoughts would be emulated across the Country and there are now a number of Independents across the country and more being set up. I have had calls for months now from London, the south Coast, Bromsgrove, Sheffield and Lancaster. We have helped these set up and setting up and it just goes to show more and more want to keep national politics out at a local level.

In a press release Cllr gareth Fairhurst said, " It is great that our ideas and thoughts are more and more common in this day and age and shows that a new era is coming and that is local issues matter more than national party politics. If this continues we will have Independent Conservatives all over the country and Wigan was the birth place."

Thursday, 15 April 2010

Confused about the elections?

This year when you go to vote it will be slightly different. This is because the General Election is on the same day as the Local Election. So you will be given two different colour ballot papers. One will be for who you want to be your local councillor, who will be represent you in Wigan Town Hall. The other paper will be for the person who you want to represent you at the Houses of Commons. They would be your MP.

Now if you vote for a Labour candidate in the General Election you don't have to vote for a Labour Candidate at the Local Election. This is just an example you don't have to even vote at both elections. You can vote just for the local Councillor or just the MP you want.

Don't be fooled by this strategic move. Use you vote wisely. Vote for a candidate that works for you and not a national party at the local election.

Vote Gareth Fairhurst

Sunday, 11 April 2010

Big Thank You.

Today saw the big launch of my first leaflet of four. Wow what a team. After 11 hours of hard work we managed to do the whole of Whelley and 95% of Swinley in one day. Great work team.

A big thanks. We even had time to go over and help the Shevington team out which has now not only put us ahead of schedule in Wigan Central Ward but Shevington Too.

Thursday, 8 April 2010

Will turn out be low?

My first election flyer came out yesterday, quick out of the blocks, but whilst out in the area that I was in an elderly lady said that I could keep my flyer. I asked her if it was a case that she did not like me or was voting for some one else. She then said something quite sad. I have always voted and with all the scandals with expenses I am not going to vote for the first time in my life.

What a shame that the people that create these scandals make us all look bad. In my view that is why ALL people should be exposed. I know the Labour Cllr who can not drive and claimed expenses paid the money back but she brought us all into disrepute but then you have the Tory Cllr that has done the same and they have not paid the money back. The sooner that bit is resolved the better then it is up to the Police and Standards Committee what punishment they get. I know what I would do to them. Red Card!

Wednesday, 7 April 2010

Fire Fighters need our support

My thoughts are with the families of the two firefighters who lost thier lives in Southampton over night.

Whilst this might not have happened in Wigan there are 5 high rise flats in my Ward and the bravery the firefighters show when tackling fires shows how much we should appreciate them.

Tuesday, 6 April 2010

Sometimes you just need to relax.

Whilst not only a councillor but am the party leader to I have been running round over the last few weeks with not only my Council duties but making sure that all the other candidates are in place and election material is done and sent to the printers.

So over the weekend I decided that with being so busy and it was going to get worse I would have a family weekend. Fantastic. A few outings and some quality time it suddenly came to me that I had not got my nominations papers filled in for me. With these being to be in for later this week I thought I would be running round. With a few quick calls I set out and got the papers signed which took all of 40 mins from leaving home to getting back home. But it was so interesting that people rang in saying that I had been to so and so house to get the papers signed and if I wanted I could go there and they would sign. It was really nice to know that there is m ore support out there than what I first thought. So thanks to all those that signed and wanted to sign.

But what came to me was if I had not relaxed would I have remembered, I hope I would. So if you are running round like I know many people are with their lives that just try and relax. It does help as I found out.

Friday, 2 April 2010

Charles Street bay to be removed as a priority

I have been campaigning to get the single parking bay on Charles Street North side removed. You can see from previous posts on this blog that this is such a small issue in the grand scheme of things but important to local residents.

The Council are conducting a full survey in Swinley and this will take time to conclude. With any changes there are costs and rightly so the Council wanted to do all the changes at the same time to keep cost down. I would agree with this but have asked for the bay to be removed as a priority as I feel it is a hazard and the Council now agree that they can remove it as a priority. Good results but there is a bit further to go with making the area better for the future with maybe some enhancements.

I will keep working with the residents to get the best results for them.

Labour join the Torys in watching this Blog.

I have learnt today that senior Labour figures are watching this blog and running tell tales to the Council. Someone has told me something today that they knew of a letter from the Council to myself. They would have only known about this if they had been close to the source so yet confirmation that the Tory's, Labour and even the senior officials of the Council are taking an interest in this blog.

Whilst some of you that may not know the significance on this but it shows and demonstrates that they are keen to learn of what I am doing and getting involved with. They do this to try and trip me up to get me removed of the Council which they all continue to do.

If they want to get me out why not listen to the people of Wigan and work for them and get their trust back. But they think that that the smear campaign that they are planning is the answer.

No wonders the majority of people do not trust politicians and do not vote.

Thursday, 1 April 2010

Wow - what a leaflet!

I have just completed the design of the first leaflet out of the four that I plan over the election period. And I am biased but it is good. I am not just saying that as I know the Tory's watch this site and try and find out things. Maybe they should concentrated on themselves rather than worrying about others.

But back to the point I am very impressed and when it goes to the printers and get them delivered I hope that the residents appreciate the time that I have put in and once the delivery is complete I will post on the site two. I guess by that time I will be delivering leaflet two.

It is a big thing to get 5000 leaflets out each week and I thank the helpers that have agreed to help, with out them I would not be able to do it but today I have had confirmation of some exciting new opportunity for me in this election and will share shortly.

I guess from next week once the deadlines has been and gone for nomination papers we will be in the full swing but I do have a big surprise in week 4 of the election but again can't share at this moment due to the obvious reasons, hi to the tory's again.

If any one wants to help get involved please feel free to contact myself.

Wednesday, 31 March 2010

Busy Times

Yesterday was yet another a busy day. With most of the day taken up with doing something for one of our candidates, sorry can't say yet, but the morning started with a meeting with the Chief Executive of Wigan and Leigh Homes over a serious issue. What was good was we have worked out what we need to do and resolve the issue and I will be contacting the residents concern with an update.

Whilst I am one of, if not the most critic of Wigan Council but when you work with people on issues and they want to help like the chief executive of WLAH does then it shows that elected members and the council can work things out and resolve issues.

The day finished with the AGM of Shevington Conservative Club where I am on the committee. Good to see that the club looks like in good hands and that in this difficult times like now, a small club like this can not only survive but thrive hopefully.

Saturday, 27 March 2010

Cllr Gareth Fairhurst Interview by BBC

Today I was asked to go to the George Formby Statue in the Grand Arcade. This was a cause I champion from the start and got going. I was very lucky to get the support from others including the George Formby Society.

The BBC are doing a new programme on George and it is being hosted by Frank Skinner who is a big fan of George. So I was interview at the statue today. The programme is possibly going out later this year or early next year. So looking forward to seeing that.

Friday, 26 March 2010

Brighter Borough funding for St Michaels Church/ Church Hall.

I have been contacted by a lady from St Michaels church. They are after having some new signage and notice boards putting up and wanted to have some funding from Brighter Borough. I have spoken with the lady now and agreed to pay them £1000 to cover all the costs for these signs and notice boards and hopefully they will be useful to them.

Thursday, 25 March 2010

Victory over billboard.

The new Lidl store in Standish had a billboard advertising. This was against planning rules as they did not have have planning permission. I got on to the Council and even though frustrated during the process I did a press release as I simply had had enough. Before the story could hit the headlines the billboard was pulled down.

Whilst this is a victory I find if frustrating the amount of red tape you have to go through. What the Council needs to be is more efficient in processes and quicker at responses that need to be done. Simple things can remain simple if dealt with speedily and quickly rather than letting them mushroom into big issue.

Friday, 19 March 2010

Crossing to be improved

Last April I started a campaign to improve the crossing outside the Brockett House. http://garethfairhurst.blogspot.com/2009/04/crossing-needed.html

I have been speaking with the Council on this matter and now had a site visit with an officer from the Council. After discussions we have agreed that the footpath on the opposite side to the Brockett will be built out up to the cycle lane, which should be removed in my opinion as none uses it, and then the Council will build the corner out on the Junction with Swinley Lane.. Then put rails on the path to stop any taxi's parking on the road. What was interesting was when we were on the site visit a van pulled up and parked across the crossing so it really was quite easy to demonstrate the danger and that was at 9.30 in the morning never mind at weekend and when children are coming home from school. Also elderly residents will benefit who live behind the brockett and danesway and go to the shop on the opposite side oif the road.

The Council say that these improvements will be in by summer of this year.

Thursday, 18 March 2010

Point proven

I was speaking with some residents this morning when a Labour Cllr came in. They looked a bit concerned and I said whats the matter. They replied that the police officer for the area was not working today or tomorrow and back on at the weekend. They said that this was ridiculous.

I would agree with this but what is very interesting was that we had a meeting of the full Council last week and Labour said there were more police on the streets and everything was okay. Well clearly that is not the case by the admission from their own councillor.

After a lengthy conversation they agreed that I was right at the Council meeting but could not say that because they cannot voted against the party but surely as councillors they should be able to. Goes to show and demonstrate that national party politics do not work at a local level.

Tuesday, 16 March 2010

Very Busy Times

As well as a Councillor for Wigan Central I am the leader of the party. Part of my duties with that is to leader the party but to work out who is standing where, interview the people that have asked to stand for us and then work out who is getting what in the elections.

I have now got all candidates interviewed and most have been successful although two have not been at this time and they may stand as independent or help out and have another go next year. I guess the time will prove whether we made the right choice. It is interesting because others think they know where I am going to stand and what I am going to do but I am really impressed with what I have planned this year. Each year I always try and get a better campaign than the last one I did and I think the best campaign was for my wife back in 2008 when she stood in Shevington. But this year I have taken the whole campaign to another level and hopefully people will go wow I like this, I,m voting for him. Time will tell again I guess.

With Council I am awaiting on some emails to come back and then I can get on with some projects that I have been working on and I can finalise them before March is out. Then April really will be all go.

If you have any queries or want help don't be afraid to ask I know a number of you have emailed me with jobs so keep them coming.

Monday, 15 March 2010

Another Fence issue.

A resident spoke at a resident meeting about fencing the grass area outside Mabs Cross House. I have said that I will pay for the fence with some of my brighter borough money and I have now contacted the relevant dept to ask if they approve of the work and then I can get the job ordered.

I have also seen the block of flats at the side of Mabs Cross and they too have a piece of land like this and I have said I will do the same there too to keep the area in keeping and consistent with each other.

Friday, 12 March 2010

Suspicious Disappearance of officer!

Jason Kennedy is the Conservation Officer on Wigan Council He is one of the officers that has to look at the proposed boys and girls club. When I called the issue in to be looked at on the o and s committee I asked him to attend as a witness as I wanted him to answer some questions. He was told by the Council NOT TO attend. Now after learning that he was recommending to REFUSE the application he has been suspended, allegedly, on the grounds of time sheets or something. If the Council want to investigate time sheets lets start with the top is what I say. But the fact the has recommending this and then suspended raises serious questions.

I have written to the Chief Executive to ask for all the documents that he wrote and all his work that he did on the issue to see exactly what he was saying.

After reading the Tory leaflet that they are "leading the way" on this issue they have apparently done nothing, nothing new there then. The Mesnes Conservation Area Action Group have said that they cannot believe the lies that torys have said in the leaflet. But I can. They have none little I won't to say nothing but little and they have certainly not lead the campaign and I guess the letter in the paper from the resident group will clearly demonstrate this.

Wednesday, 10 March 2010

Fly Tipping

I had a call from residents on a bit of fly tipping. I went round to the area concerned and did a site visit with the residents who thought it was quick that I was there within half an hour. After the visit I contacted the relevant dept and asked them to clean it up as we where able to establish that it was in fact a contract for the Council that had done this. Also whilst I was there I suggested that we did a litter pick in the area and resident where keen to take this up so again the council are organising this very soon. Once this has been done we are then looking to make the area a bit more picturesque, which residenty like the idea of this and I have left them to come up with what they would like. I am visiting the residents later this week to see how things are going.

Sunday, 7 March 2010

Labour Back Cllr Gareth Fairhurst Initiative!


Back in April last year some of you may remember I said that a new crossing was needed on Mesnes Road. For those that are not aware or can not remember I have put a link to my page last April so you can read the original story. ://garethfairhurst.blogspot.com/2009/04/crossing-needed.html

Now Labour Candidate has come out and said that one is needed. Just proving that I have been on top of issues that need addressing the Ward. Mind you this would not be the first time George Davies has jumped on a band wagon. But if he wants to back my initiative that is fine my me the more support the better as this will help get the road a safe crossing.

Watch my post in the near future about George's history in the Council. You could not make it up but it is important that you see him for who he is.

Saturday, 6 March 2010

Supporting the Campaign to scrap the tax.

The people of Shevington have to pay an additional tax to the Parish Council. This year they have increased this by 46.5%. Now Cllr Debbie Fairhurst is proposing to collect enough names to call for a referendum where the people of Shevington can scrap this tax.

I support this campaign as the Parish Council is just another level of bureaucracy. The people of Shevington do not get anything extra than other residents in the borough so why should they pay more.

Thursday, 4 March 2010

Budget Night

At last night Full Council the next year's budget was discussed and voted on. The rise is small say Labour but this is due to a special deal the Council did with the Government for extra help. Call me a cynic but this is an election year.

The Tories said that they would cut the tax but did not say where or give suggestions neither. I guess we can all say we will cut but unless we say how and where will people believe or trust them.

For myself I voted against the Council Tax rise and said they could get rid of borough life magazine that costs £140 000 a year. This is done by a printer outside of Wigan. The media team as a budget of nearly £800 000 do we really need a press office that size. Also in the Council has 71 position that pay over £50 000 .

Also stop ALL FREE FOOD AND DRINK TO COUNCILLORS and also get rid of Townships this will also save money.

These are just the start of what I believe should happen.

Monday, 1 March 2010

Clean up ordered.

Whilst out and about in the Whelley I noticed the disgusting state of the footpaths with regards dog muck, litter and other general muck. I have now asked the cleaning team in Wigan Council to do a sweep of the area and to clean the paths.

They have said they will send a team out now to do this and will contact me once this has been done. Hopefully it will be in the very near future so we can clean up the area for the residents.

Sunday, 28 February 2010

New Leaflet out.

Friday evening saw the delievery of my latest newsletter. I have started distributing it this weekend, with parts of Swinley and Whelley. I will try and upload a pdf copy on the blog. Hopefully this will be delivered by the end of next weekend. If you have not had your copy by then please let me know and I will send you a spare one.

Already had a phone call from a resident in Swinley saying that she is very impressed. A lot of hard work goes into these leaflet so it is always good to hear comments from people.

Friday, 26 February 2010

Grit Bins Ordered.

I have sent in the locations for the grit bins were they meet the Council Criteria. I will hopefully get this approved as soon as possible so that we can get them in situ before to long.

Whilst we might have been caught out this year hopefully by having these bins we will not get caught out again.

The grit in the bins are for the streets that they will be located on.

Thursday, 25 February 2010

Election Law should be changed!

I hear on the grapevine that a Tory Councillor is looking to move to Bury St Edmunds. But they are putting themselves forward for a councillor in Wigan. They can do this as they will qualify for living in the borough for the last 12 months....or should I say they have been on the voters role for 12 months, which might not be the same.

However, I believe that when you sign up to stand you should actually agree to some kind of commitment. If this person gets in then they will only have to turn up to one meeting every 6 months and get their full allowance. Not bad work if you can get it.

This is not the first time this kind of thing has happened in 2008 Cllr Philip Thompson, Camden Council moved to America and still claimed his money. Quite ironic that his name should be Cllr Thompson.....

I will be writing to the electoral commission to voice my concerns and to see if they can look into this.

Wednesday, 24 February 2010

Should the Major get a new car?

With the council do cuts all over the place it does seem strange that the Council should be getting a new car for the Major. Is this really the right way to spend tax payers money at this difficult time and if we did not do this what other services could be saved or increased by using this money better?

With the budget meeting next week I am sure this will feature in the meeting and lets see what happens.

Tuesday, 23 February 2010

Scholes issues

After yesterday the two incidents that people wanted to speak to me about were about anti social behaviour and then issues with leases.

I have arranged for a visit to one of the people concerned tonight to start the process of and get all the details. The second person they have said they will email all the details to me in the next day or two.

Anti social behaviour is so common in the high rise flats with noise that this proves that the wrong type of people in there soon cause a nuisance in there for the rest of the residents quite easily.

Monday, 22 February 2010

Scholes Issues.

I have been contacted today by two people independently of each other on the high rise flats in scholes. I have arranged to contact them both this evening as this seems quite strange that two people would do this on the same day unless there were some major issues.

Scholes residents have a hard time of the Council and they seem to have an up hill battle to get fair treatment for what ever reason.

Hopefully what ever it is I will be able to help sooner rather than later. I will keep you all updated on these events too.

New Website.

As a leader of the local Wigan Independent Conservatives and a Councillor I am keen to use as much new technology as possible in communicating with the public. This is because I believe the more we communicate with people the more people are likely to get involved in voting. With rates of turn out so low I believe that we need to use as much as possible rather than just say at election vote for me or us etc.

So I have been learning how to do websites and I am please to say that this should be up and running next month. Hopefully with the blog, face book, websites and leaflets we can maximise the message of what we are and what we are about and get more people interested in voting in Wigan.

It is just a basic website nothing fancy but it is another medium that we will be using.

Monday, 15 February 2010

Welcome to Andy Lomax.

Today confirms that Andrew Lomax will be standing for our party at the next local election on May 6 for the Wigan West Ward.

I am delighted that Andrew has decided to stand for us. He will be an excellent candidate for the Wigan West Ward and I predict that this safe Labour seat could now fall with his hard work and grit that he is showing.

Andrew runs the Save Wigan Campaign and is passionate about Wigan and saving Wigan. It is refreshing to see some one like Andrew stand and I am sure there will be more to follow.

Friday, 12 February 2010

New Budget.

We had our group pre budget meeting last night and there were some interesting things that were coming out of it.

What seems to be the case is the Controlling group has been running our savings down and we are getting low in reserves only to say, I suspect next year we need a big rise and blame the tories, after they get in power.

More details will come out over the next weeks.

Tuesday, 9 February 2010

Issues whilst Door Knocking

Whilst out last night knocking on doors and introducing myself like I do twice a week a number of issues came up.

The state of the roads which I have already mentioned in previous blogs.

The state of the foot paths, in the sense that an area gets dug up and that part just gets repaired. After a few occasions of this the footpath as a whole looks like a mess as when looking down it just looks like it is just patched up all over the place.

Speeding cars in Danesway. Residents have said that they were looking to contact myself to find out if this is possible. I have raised this now with the post code to see if this is possible.

The neighbouring property, which is the same size and type, is paying less council tax. I explained that there is a process for challenging this and appealing. I have arranged to call back down to the resident at the weekend and I will also post this on the blog and facebook page.

A number of different issues but all, with the except of one, were pleased that I knocked and introduced myself and had asked if there were issues. Good Night work.

I will post updates on these matters as they come up.

Monday, 8 February 2010

What do people want from their Council and councillors?

Whilst local councillors are running round saying this and that it is always in my thoughts that is this what people want. Or are they wanting something else or to raise an issue which they believe would need to be given more priority.

Also what do people want from their local council and what are they are wanting them to look at or do for them.

Why nor email me with any issues that you think need to be looked at or if you have any issues, queries or questions.

Email me on gareth.fairhurst@wigan.gov.uk

Sunday, 7 February 2010

General Election date

Whilst I am bemused why Gordon Brown does not say when the General Election date is, it seems that there is a serious debate on when the date is. With a number of newspaper one minute saying that it will be on the same day as the local elections and then some say that it will be called early and then the reason why I am not sure if actually this helps or hinders the voters. Are they feeling involved and have some kind of new element to look at rather than which party to vote for, as they will probably have made their mind up already this new angle gives a new interest to the whole thing or is it just putting people off thinking I am sick of it all and I wish we could get on with it.

For me I am certainly interested in the debate and reasons why. The answer will any one get the answer? No! It will be called when it is called and we can't change that, although this to me is a new interesting angle and debate on the issue.

After all that I still think it will be on the same day as the Local Elections - 6 May 2010.

Friday, 5 February 2010

Update

Was in London all yesterday on Council business and it was an early start and late finish. Sorry I can't to much about this yet but once I am able to I will let you all know.

I have been awake since 4.30am for some reason, so I have been working on a new leaflet which hopefully will be out in the next week or so. This will be another edition of my in touch magazine.

I have also been looking at preparation on the local election in May.

There was also an article in yesterday Wigan Evening Post about the Tory Councillor Peter Thompson and not being in any meetings from 6 September 2009 till 26 January 2010.

Monday, 1 February 2010

Council lose more personal data!

The Council has confirmed that a number of staff details have been lost. The data was put onto a usb memory stick and this has gone missing. The details were being transferred from Stockport back to Wigan when lost, so they have no idea of where it could be.

With the embarrassment of losing over 33000 children's details this is yet another situation where the question must be asked which is if the Council should be allowed to hold data, given their track record?

I have written to the chief executive with some serious questions and comments and I await her reply. The question is who's details will be lost next?

Wednesday, 27 January 2010

Tory Councillor back after nearly 5 mths away from meetings - WITH PAY!

Tory Councillor Peter Thomspon as hit the headlines recently for his business failing. I feel that that is a personal matter, although I am concerned about staff not being paid. But what a number of resident s have asked me is if he has been picking up his money from the Council for these months that he has not been doing anything? If this is the case it is deeply worrying that he has been getting paid and not paying staff and doing nothing for the Council as a local representative.

I do not want to jump to conclusions as he might not have collected his money so I have asked him the questions on behalf of the residents and will report back once he has informed us.

Tuesday, 26 January 2010

Whats happening at the moment.

No mayor things to report today. The Mesnes Field is a major ongoing issue and I guess this will continue to run for some time yet.

There have been some burglary's in the Danesway area with people stealing lead of people's roof's and I have asked the police for comments on this, waiting their response.

I have been also helping some people with Council Tax issue and also a drainage problem too.

If you do have any questions or queries please feel free to email me as some people have done now via the link on this blog.

Thanks

Friday, 22 January 2010

Bus Route 640 /641

I have had a number of residents asking for a new bus route that would travel from the cherry gardens, that might not be the starting point but travel to there, and then down Spencer Road to Robin Park and Asda. That way people from Whitley can catch the bus to Asda and and Robin Park rather than using the Car.

I have now been told that this will not happen but there is some slightly good news. I was unaware that the bus service 640/ 641 that travel through Whitley and then on to Wigan does not stop at Wigan it continues out to Newton and then up to Orrell. The 641 is the route back.

I have put a link on here for the residents that might also be interested in this service to view and see if it is useful for them.

http://www.gmpte.com/upload/routemaps/640_641_26892.pdf

Thursday, 21 January 2010

FillThatHole.org.uk

With all the bad weather potholes are a nightmare at the moment. On a previous post I said that this would be a problem in the future after the weather as gone. There are lots of holes everywhere and the government have launched a new site, FillThatHole.org.uk.

This site is a place where you can report potholes and road hazards. It has show league tables and other information and news as well.

There is a link to the site below;

http://www.fillthathole.org.uk/

Wednesday, 20 January 2010

Update for residents.

As a local councillor I always try to update the residents with issues that I might be helping with and to day after an issue has been resolved, in the sense that the alley way between Romney Way and Westfield Grove. I printed out 100 letters to residents to say that this has now been done and delivered them this morning to inform he residents.

I have a meeting with residents later tonight in Wigan after work so all go today.

Tuesday, 19 January 2010

Wigan Tories in Trouble - Again!

Since the 9 Sept of last year Tory Councillor Peter Thompson has not been seen at a Council Meeting. I believe that his marriage has broken down and that is a shame as there are children involved and also his business as failed too. Times are hard and business will fail but what seems to have happened creditors are keen to contact Cllr Thompson over monies owed but they cannot find him. What has this all got to do with me or you? Well it is my understanding that he has been collecting his allowance from the Council as a councillor on the Council but not doing anything for it, including attending meetings. I feel that if he has to go away from the area or can not attend to his public duties it would only be right that he does not collect his money from the Council.

I will be asking the Council what, if anything they can do, and hopefully the Tory Councillors group can make him pay the money back. This is a kind of theft in my eyes. What about yours?

Monday, 18 January 2010

New Logo for the Party

When I, and three other Conservative Councillors left the Tories nearly two year ago we decided the fist thing that we need to do was not to just rush off and to find our feet on our own and make sure we continue putting our residents matter first. That is what we did and then we formed our our political party to stand under.

Today we can reveal our new logo. We have been working on this for some time and are really happy about it. It represents people coming together, i.e communities coming together, their representatives and residents coming together.

What do you think?

Friday, 15 January 2010

Trees Cut Down at last

The residents of Regency Court have had some great news this week trees that where blighting their lives have been cut down. After many months of complaining about these trees that where growing to tall and cutting out light and branches growing over their balcony the now are much happy about the situation.

The trees where on Council land but for months the Council have insisted that the land that they where on was land that was leased to Upper Morris Street Club. The club kept saying this was not the case and the lines had to be looked at for which and where the land that was leased to them was. The Council last week accepted that the trees where, like Upper Morris Street had said, were not on the land that they leased but still remained on Council owned and maintained land. I asked the Council to do this at the earliest opportunity as the hold was the Council's fault and this was completed last week, even though the weather was quite severe.

I plan to get the area now tidied up. The residents are now really happy the issue has been resolved and looking forward to their new light and open space.

Thursday, 14 January 2010

Tory's score a home goal at last night council meeting.

At last night Council meeting Labour agreed to sign up to the 10 10 campaign. This is fundamentally looking at reducing carbon emissions by 10% The Tory's said that this was a nonsense as there was no real way of knowing what the 10% equates too.

However the Tory Leader said that Climate change was not happening and it was basically a load of rubbish and we should all just get one with it. What's strange about this is the Tory logo has been replaced by a tree and go green. David Cameron first big speech as new leader of the Tory Party was about tackling climate change. He even cycles to the houses of commons, all be it with his car behind him with his shoes and briefcase in it. Well riding his bike is good for the pr stunt anyway.

What Labour did was mention this where the main party is saying one thing and the Tory's in Wigan another. Sounds like a split party to me!

I have put a link below for anyone wanting to know about the 10:10 campaign

http://www.1010uk.org/

What is even more surprising is the the Tory party I have just found out actually strong support this very campaign that the Tory's are a split party.

He is what the shadow energy secretary, Greg Clark, had to say: "Conservatives strongly support this campaign. Once again it shows how voluntary action can show the way, proving that a low-carbon future is an essential, achievable and urgent priority." Source The Guardian. Link:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2009/sep/02/10-10-campaign-tory-frontbench

Another quote is, " The pledge comes as the Conservative party throws its weight behind the 10:10 campaign"

Source: http://www.treehugger.com/files/2009/12/uk-conservatives-10-10-campaign.php

Press Release of Mesnes Conservation Area Action Group. on last full council.

Last night i attended the Full Council Meeting at Wigan Town Hall, And what i witnessed was a total lack of Transparency in the Cabinets Decision Making Process regarding the proposed Mesnes Field Development, With a complete disregard to the views and input through debate from the majority of its rank-and-file Councillors who haven't got a clue on what's being discussed and decided in their name at the top table. The correct and proper place for this discussion was last nights Full Council Meeting, which was denied. Pre-Determined Commitments have already been made on behalf of this Council by the Cabinet Clique unbeknown to the rest of the council, and when Concerned Councillors request an Open Debate on this issue which is in the Publics Interest, Its then Suppressed and Stifled by the Council Leaders Iron Like Grip over his majority Quaking-in-their-Boots-Flock with his ability to subdue by personal influence. You wouldn't have believed that this sort of thing would go on in the Mother of all Democracies', people thought that this type of Government was confined to the history books and was more akin to the Eastern Bloc, Pre-war Europe or a Third World Banana Republic and not a Four Star Council of 2010. Democracy is Dead and Dictatorship Rules in Wigan O.K. Kind regards Ian Bryant...on behalf of the Mesnes Conservation Area Action Group

Last Night Full Council

Well what can I say? Where do I start? Farce could be a good start I guess. I put a motion to the meeting over the boys and girls club. This was just simply to discuss the issue and talk about the use of the field. As soon as the item came up the Labour Leader of the Council jumped up and asked not to debate the motion. I was asked by the Mayor if I agreed, No way. We then had a 10 minute debate on whether we should debate the debate, bizarre.

What does the leader of the Council have to hide? What is he not telling Council or the people of Wigan. Why will he not be open and transparent. And how many times have we heard Labour say they need to listen more to the people.

The Tories at last supported me on the issue but for what reason? Cllr Peet Tory councillor said we should debate the issue because there were people in the gallery. The residents after the meeting said something interesting. If we we not in the gallery would she have asked to discuss the item? Interesting just shows that they Tories are scared to and if it were not for the residents they feel that they would have not gone with me.

I will be looking at other options and will report once we know what is next.

Wednesday, 13 January 2010

Theft on the Rise

With the credit crunch money is tight everywhere and one area that is picking up is theft. I have heard of a number of cases now where people have been broken into and had goods stolen and cars broken into. Another crime that is on the increase is people going on people's roof's and stealing the lead from there.

I have written to the police and ask for stats and what they are looking to do in a proactive way to reduce crime in Wigan and how many people have been caught and put before the courts or about to go before the courts.

By safe and make sure that all doors are locked, one of the burglary's was through an unlocked back door at night, and if you have intruder alarms fit make sure they are on.

Tuesday, 12 January 2010

Bins for collection again

The Council have said that they are now going to try and resume normal bin collection from now. They say that if they can not get down your street or estate they will send another smaller vehicle that is in the area at the same time down to collect 2 bin bags.

Good news that they are resuming normal service, although I know some of you will not like that as normal service means that you do not get your bins collected or missed for what ever reason.

My only worry which I have asked the Council for clarity is if you live alone or have all your rubbish in the bin will the bin men go into the bin for the two bags or do people have to leave the bins out plus 2 bags. And finally if they do leave the bin out with 2 bags of rubbish will the bin men collect all the rubbish there.

As soon as I get an answer I will post on the blog.

Monday, 11 January 2010

Romney Way alley

I know the weather have been quite severe at the moment and I can give the Council a hard time at times but, although, there was a delay the Council have resurfaced the alley way as promised last year at the beginning of this year.

I have kept the residents up to date with things and I have now had kind comments thanking me for my help in the matter and how it will make it easier for the elderly people that walk through that they are less fearful of falling now, which is good news.

I will get a picture at the weekend and up load for all to see.

It is not always the big issues that people want but the little ones too so here it proves that little things are also important as the big issues I may tackle.

Friday, 8 January 2010

Councillor Call for Action - Mesnes Playing Field

Over the continuing issue of Mesnes Playing Field I have asked the Council to start a Councillor Call for action. This is new legislation were by a local Councillor can have more power, the words of the Government, and resolve issue.

I met with Council officials today who say that they will not allow a scrutiny on the matter as it will be resolved once and for all in the Planning Application and /or Village Green Application.

I asked what is the point of this new legislation and it was said, not in so many words, as yet more red tape. and there is always ways to resolve issues without doing this process. So with that in mind it looks clear that Wigan Council have yet again decided their own rules on this and are ignoring Government legislation. The question there is did this Government just introduce this legislation to say what they have done or is it Wigan Council looking at which laws they want to act on and which they do not.

State of the roads after the event.

Whilst I know that the Council is concentrating on the ice and snow at present I have notice that where the ice or snow as cleared there are now large pot holes appearing. I am not expert but think this is due to the fact that the snow is getting in the cracks on the road and when it is freezing they break the tarmac off the road. This is what could be making the roads bad in terms of pot holes. I have sent an email asking about this theory and asking if they are going to or have started thinking about this and how they will be repairing them once the weather has gone.

Thursday, 7 January 2010

Driving Tips if you get stuck.

With all this severe weather that we are having I am hearing some tips if you get stuck driving.

First one, try an take a spade or shovel in the boot of the car where possible. It might be obvious but you would be surprised.

Second hint, keep card board in the boot as well as if you get stuck you can place this under the wheels and once the wheels touch the cardboard you will start moving forward. I hear if you have no cardboard car mats works as well.

Third hint, if you are stopped and trying to move try to set off in 2nd gear and move off slowly. Once moving keep the revs high.

For some more professional advice here is a web link as well.

http://www.iam.org.uk/driving_tips/winterweatherdrivingadvicefromtheiam.html

Tuesday, 5 January 2010

Grit Bins Ordered

There have been many request for grit bins. With demand high as you can probably imagine. The Council criteria is the bins can be installed near school, on dangerous corners or on streets with hills.

I have spoken with the Council and have now had two requests being looked at. The council cannot say they will 100% installed the bins until there have looked at the sites but initial agreements have been agreed. One on Ravenwood on the Whitley School old estate and one outside or near woodfield school. These bins will be able to be used for the streets that they service and hopefully people will not steal the grit out of these bins for their drives. The grit will be for the streets as I say.
The bins are now on order but could take up to 3 weeks to be delivered and installed. If the weather has gone or ended by then at least they will be installed for next winter if needed. I do not like being reactive, I would prefer proactive but I think it is safe to say no one thought this would be like it is.


If you think your street need or could benefit from a grit bin please let me know.

Monday, 4 January 2010

Dangerous Roads

With this winter being so bad many if not all the side roads have been left ungritted and many people have said that Council should do this. The Council had said that they were not running out and had planned for it but I have just seen on the TV that they are running low.

I have asked the Council for some grit bins and grit for residents estate and streets. I have agreed to pay for these out of my brighter borough. Whilst i might not get them in time at least they will be there if needed in the future. But I will be trying to get these in place asap so that they might help.

The difficult is were the bins will go and which residents will spread the grit around. So some planning needed.

Saturday, 2 January 2010

Allotments

Whilst door knocking I have been to help with regards some residents getting an allotment. What I hear is there is a big waiting list for these not just in Wigan but across the Country which is a big surprise to me.

I have promised to help these residents and will be looking into this next week once the Council opens. It is a surprise what might crop up whilst knocking on doors.

Door Knocking Resumes

Today saw the start of my door knocking on doors. This has gone well. I have knocked on about 120 doors and the response as gone well with people asking about why I left the Tory Party and they fully understand and think it is good that I am free to vote for the people of Wigan rather than party lines.

I will continue this tomorrow afternoon as well.

One of the biggest thing that people have been asking about is grit and it does seem that the rumour is true that the Council ran out out of grit despite all the warnings that met office has been saying. I am looking to put things in place to stop this happening again.

Friday, 1 January 2010

Happy New Year

Wishing you all a happy new year and all the best for the coming year. Hopefully it will be a good year for you all.

Cllr Gareth Fairhurst

Work over xmas.

Over the festive period I have been dealing with a number of issues. Roads not being gritted to people wanting allotments. On going issues that I am dealing with are people that have issues with Wigan and Leigh Housing.

I will be continuing with these issues once the Council opens up next week and will hopefully resolve them.