Sunday, 25 November 2012

The week that ended ...25 November 2012

This week has been another reasonable busy week. At the beginning of the week I attend the Places Committee meeting that I sit on. Nothing to much to report from that meeting.

Tuesday saw the planning committee meeting and pass two different applications for two more takeaways in Standish. Both of these takeaways will be sited on the former ATS site on Market Street. I was against this for a number of reasons.

  • We have enough takeaways in Standish and I think the residents of Standish have a good choice to choose from and two more pizzas or kebab shops will not make the village centre any better.

  • Also since the closure of ATS the council have installed a zebra crossing on the road in front of the site. With vehicles accessing the parking spaces that will no doubt be in front of the shops it will make it a reality that residents on the crossing will be placed in more danger and this crossing was there to stop this.

It is a great site and it is a shame that no other business thought it was suitable for them to rent or buy.

Later in the week I was sent an email from Morris Homes indicating that they intend to put in a planning application for 250 new homes on the former site of the Golf Course along with what they are calling state of the art leisure facility's. This is a great worry for a number of reasons.

We have just had the core strategy and it was deemed that the  site was not needed for house building but yet the developer still goes ahead with the application.  Another worry about this story is the fact that at the beginning of the year it was this developer and this site that was being discussed with the Council about moving the pitches from Ashfield to this site. The Council once rumbled said they had stopped talks with the developer about the proposals, although I had been told that the Council where meeting with the developers off site so no one could gain the minutes of the meeting under the FOI rules. I smell a rat here.

On Tuesday the developer is holding a consultation at the Owls on Rectory Lane where residents can go and see the plans. We are asking residents to turn up at 6.30 and we will all turn up together and go on mass to show the level of support that we want to stop this ridiculous application. I hope to see many of you there.

Finally had a busy surgery yesterday at the Library. This is for an hour but yet again because of the number of residents I had to extend this the surgery by 30 mins so I could see everyone and I would like to thank those that waited patiently. The concerns where from the house building mentioned above through to anti social behaviour to people wanting to apply for some of my brighter borough funding.

Sunday, 11 November 2012

The week that ended 11 November 2012.

The week started with the Council finally getting a phone installed into my home. It only took 6 months to do. The new number is 01257 423212.

On Wednesday we had the Full Council meeting. The important issue of the meeting was ratifying the Core Strategy. It was good that the Council agreed and backed the residents of Standish for not allowing the 2500 houses to be built in Standish. The Labour Cllr for Standish Emma McGurrin agreed but said she wanted more Council houses in Standish, which seeing as we said we didn't want any more mass housing building going on in Standish that she now wants to build more Council houses. I disagree as we do not need any more houses in Standish.

Another issue was that Labour spoke for nearly 45 minutes calling the Tories for the new benefit cuts that are coming in. What Labour did not say was that Wigan Council is working in partnership with the Tory led Coalition Government on these cuts and bringing in the new cuts 6 month earlier than other Council's, as Wigan Council have volunteered to be a pilot for the scheme. Labour went quiet when I raised this and they didn't know what to say. During the 45 min rants Labour Cllr Hunt compared the Tories to the Nazi's, which to me is a disgrace. People might not agree with the policies of the Government but to compare them to the Nazi's is a disgraceful act, especially given that at the end of the week we had Remembrance Sunday.

Also I seconded a motion to have the Council meeting recorded and put on the Council website. This, I believe would help residents see what their local cllr says, does and how they vote. Labour voted for the motion and then realised that they had done a mistake and then asked for the vote again. I believe this is against the rules and the vote should stand. They just keep making it up as they go along.

I have been helping some residents who want to turn a piece of waste land into allotments. Wigan Council want to turn this into more Council housing, so I guess this is why Labour Cllr Emma McGurrin wants more Council houses. I think it is a shame that the Council want yet more houses. These Council houses, if built, will not be used for residents in Standish but for people out of the area. So often the Council just take out of Standish and very rarely gives back and I think it would be a great opportunity to let these residents have some allotments on the waste land rather than Council houses.

I held my bi-weekly surgery at the Library on Saturday morning and I had to extend it by 20 minutes as there a number of residents turned up over various issues, including two letting me know that some youths tried to set fire to the new equipment at Ashfield. We are asking for more patrols from the PCSO and the police to keep an eye on this as this new equipment is a great asset to the area and for the Children of Standish.

Myself and Cllr George Fairhurst are working on a new play facility in Standish and there was a meeting with some officials from the Council this week who do not seem to be against the idea so we are hopeful that we can get this agreed soon.

Finally, I was honoured to lay the wreath  on behalf of the Council at Standish today. It was great to see the large turnout from residents attending the walk and service at the cenotaph and remembering our service men and women, past and present.

Saturday, 3 November 2012

Phone now installed.

After 184 days Wigan Council have finally got a phone line installed. Council phone number is 01257 42 32 12.

Any issues please ring me on the number above or email me .

If it takes Wigan Council this long to put a phone in then no wonder Wigan is in the mess it is in!

Thursday, 1 November 2012

The month that was October 2012.

The Core strategy is still an important issue in October and the report came out from the Council that over 2000 residents in Standish where against the idea of building the 2500 houses in Standish under the Core Strategy proposal. Now this report has been drawn up it will be voted on in November's meeting of the Council, which I suspect will get voted through OK. The issue then is when the planning inspectorate comes to Wigan and views the report that he supports the report and does not change it, which he can.So yes we have won round one but there will be another fight later. That will not mean any more letters or petitions but putting all our points across which we told the Council. I will be in them discussions and fighting for Standish.

With the financial situation that we are all in the Council is no different and they too are looking at ways at saving money. There are many jobs being lost are in the front line services. I believe that there are other areas that the Council should be looking at first.

One area the Council are looking at is the depot in Sovereign Road, Hindley Depot and a depot in Leigh and putting them in the old Asda Warehouse in Ince. This will cost the Council £3 million to purchase and then there are the rehousing costs, which will cost millions too. The possible sale of these 3 sites plus any savings will take decades to save unless the Council are going to get rid of more jobs from these 3 depots, which will result in loss of more services.

On the last point the Council are proposing to service all street gullies in the borough with just one vehicle. There are 61500 gullies in the borough and that means the housing estates will only see the vehicle once every 4 or 5 years, which is unacceptable.

There are rumours that the old Langtree Garage in Standish is being turned into a McDonalds fast food restaurant. I have asked the Council who say they are unaware of this and McDonalds have not responded to my email. So we will watch the situation carefully.

There is a planning meeting on the 13th of November to vote on whether to allow the old ATS garage to be turned into 2, yes 2 more takeaways. Standish does not need any more takeaways and I am Cllr George Fairhurst have objected to this application.

Also Standish traffic lights give us concerns as motorists are still turning where they should not and jumping the red lights and we are committed to having a camera on these lights.