Monday, 24 December 2012

The Year that was 2012

The year started off with delivering a leaflet across the Ward of Standish. It is never a great idea to deliver 5000 leaflets in the wet and cold but it was important to update people with the work that Cllr George Fairhurst had been carrying out, espically the work to Save the Library.

One of the first things that we campaigned for in 2012 was getting rid of those horrid "Welcome to Wigan Council sign". Thankfully after being elected I put a motion to the Council and shortly after those signs where removed.
Horrid Signs.

In March we learnt that Wigan Council where in discussions with a developer, Morris Homes, about moving the football pitches at Ashfield to the former site of the Old Golf Course on Rectory Lane, Standish. This would then allow the developers to build on Ashfield. This prompted a quick response from myself to get a campaign up and running to inform people about this and Save Ashfield. Whilst I informed residents of this, Labour and Wigan Council denied all what I was saying, so I published all the files that I had gotten from Wigan Council under the Freedom of Information Act plus some minutes from Labour about the discussions.

Ashfield was a huge challenge in March and April which was made worse because at the same time we had the Election Campaign running as well. I know some might say that they are one of the same thing but there was some work being carried out separately. One of those pieces of work was I put in a Village Green application for Ashfield playing fields. This was all new to me and I had to learn about this matter whilst carrying out the election campaign.

I was overwhelmed by the huge support I received from residents in the local elections and won quite overwhelmingly, which is always nice.

Giving my Victory Speech on the Election Night (1am).

Getting set up as a Cllr on Wigan Council was challenging in some ways including the fact that it took them 6 months to install a phone line in my house for residents to contact me should they wish. Also the huge domination on Wigan Council by Labour highlighted that used the position to influence officers of the Council and unfortunately I have had to put in a number of complaints about officers acting unbiasedly and treating all Councillors the same.

During the Summer I suppotr Cllr George Fairhurst in getting football sessions, skateboarding and bike ramps organised during the summer whilst children where off school and to give them something to do. These were very popular and we will be organising them again in the next summer holidays.

Later in the year the Council started to consult on the Core Strategy and we started another campaign to highlight this issue and again the residents come through and fight the cause and this time we won the support of the Council and next year the planning inspectorate will come to Wigan and hopefully agree that there should not be any developments on the three sites being considered, the Old Golf Site, the land opposite and the Line behind Standish High School. We will keep you updated on this matter.

In terms of Ashfield it was later in the year that we learnt that Wigan Council were the only people to object to the Village Green application. If they had no desires to sell it then why have they objected? They say now that they are not looking to sell it and the Developers and the Council have now said that all discussions in the plans have now stopped.

At the end of the year Morris Homes held a consultation on putting a planning application in for the Old Golf Site regardless of the fact that the Council are proposing not to allow any developments on the site. Also Himor the owners of Bradley Hall Trading Estate are looking to put a planning application in for that site. We have told both parties that we will oppose their applications.

Another contentious in Standish are Takeaways. Standish has a great choice and many think there are to many already so when the former site had a planning application for another TWO more takeaways we objected. Unfortunately Labour voted them through with not one of them objecting to the applications.

One thing that is encouraging is the surgery we hold each Saturday morning in Standish Library are well attended and many residents come to us for help. Some of the issues have been residents with mental health issues that needed help to residents wanting areas cleaned up. Also I have helped residents with some flooding issues. Also I have been helping residents get some allotments which I will be continuing in 2013.

One of the new things that I got this year was a new bus stop opposite St Wildfrids C of E School as there was not one there but there was one for the other direction. This has just been installed and the residents that came to my surgery all them months ago have said they are pleased with the result.

All in all a busy year and it sure looks like another busy next year. One thing you can be assured on is that both Cllr George Fairhurst and myself will be working throughout the year for residents.

I would like to thank this opportunity of thank you all for your support throughout the year and I hope you have a Happy Christmas and a Great New Year.

Sunday, 2 December 2012

The Week that ended......2 December 2012.

This week there has only been one topic that many residents have been talking about and that is the developers looking to build hundreds of houses on the site of the Old Golf Course.

Tuesday of this week saw the developer Persimmon homes hold a consultation at the Owls Restaurant in Standish and we asked many residents to tun up at 6.30pm on mass to show a unity voice to the developer. This happened. Persimmon Homes said they where going to put an application in regardless of what we thought, so I am not sure why they had a consultation if they had made their minds up. But one thing they said was that they intend to build another 600 houses in phrase two if they can win phrase one.

I asked the developers to send through a link to view the plans and they said they would but to date no link has been sent.

Another thing I can't understand Persimmon doing was not to answer questions. Surely a consultation is just that. But when residents where getting frustrated at no answers a Director of Persimmon Homes called the Police and asked them to attend. They where about to close the meeting over an hour early and thought residents would not be happy. This was over the top and what was surprising the police sent two officers to attend. I hope Persimmon pick up the Bill for the Police attending.

Residents want a meeting of a plan of action and Cllr George Fairhurst and myself have now organised one to be held on the 10th December 2012 @ 7.30pm at the Unity Club. Hope to see as many of you there.

We are having thousands of leaflets of printed and will be doing a deliver to as many homes as possible.