Another busy week. I went on a site visit to support residents on a planning matter. This is an application for houses to built in basically a back garden. The main concern is that the development is surrounded by bungalows, so these houses would be out of character and overpowering. The residents are not just saying, "we don't want anything to built", but they don't want anything overpowering and also fits in with the area. I fully support their views and now we have put the case to the Council's planning Dept, we shall see if they agree.
Tyldesley Call in
I also attended the Places meeting, that I sit on. The main business was a call in, which I supported. A call in is where a number of Councillors can collectively question a decision that the Cabinet has agreed. This particular one was about Tyldesley's new road layout. The local Councillors had concerns that the proposals where not safe and also that the consultation had not been carried out correctly.
They had a number of other concerns too. The three ward Councillors are 2 Lib Dems and one Labour. The presentation was done by Lib Dem Cllr Paul Valentine. I have to say his presentation was the best I have ever seen and he had put much thought into it. I am not sure if he does this for a living but it was done brilliantly.
I proposed to send the decision back to Cabinet to be relooked at. Conservative Cllr James Grundy supported my proposal. Unfortunately all the Labour Cllrs on the committee voted top let the decision stand.
New Works Dept
The new works depot is the old Asda George warehouse in Ince. The Council,s idea is to shut and sell off all three of the old sites then add £2.5 million to them funds which will pay for the site. Given the Council has no money, supposedly, they sure are finding a lot of cash from somewhere.
I fully understand about consolidation and that might make sense to save money but to add £2.5 million to the funds of the disposed three old sites is crazy. I knew something was amiss. When I dug it came out that the Council are looking to run this site as a business and from April they will be trying to find work all over the northwest. This is crazy! The Council should be looking after Wigan's interest, not running a business. The evidence is clear they can't do this. It was only a few years ago that they lost over £500k on the pop concerts at Haigh Hall ,in one year. The Council should let business's be run by private companies and not by them.
Wigan Culture Leisure Trust
Wigan culture and leisure trust are a company that is owned by the Council. They run and operate all the leisure facilities for the Council, including Parks and Library's. They where set up as a separate company because they could save VAT, and here is me thinking that Labour opposed people using loopholes to avoid paying tax! The fact remains they are making a mess and losing money hand over fist and so the Council are now bringing in Consultants to tell the trust how to operate better and also move things into the hands of private companies. I firmly believe things like Library's and Parks should remain in the hands of the Council for the interest of Residents of Wigan.
I proposed that if we need consultants to advise on how to better run services then the facilities should be brought back in house and done that way. By doing this in this manner would mean we save vast amounts of money. Labour voted to let more and more private companies come in to run these facilities over the next years. More examples of Labour selling off the family silver.
After months of opposing the idea of having any more mass housing on green open spaces in Standish, the Government's planning inspector has come back with his initial thoughts. In the draft proposal he is thinking of allowing 1000 houses to be built on green open spaces in Standish. Both Cllr George Fairhurst and myself will be meeting the head of planning to see how we can fight these draft proposals? The first thing is the Council has to write back to the Government's planning inspector with their thoughts on his proposal.
What is worrying is Standish Labour Cllr Emma McGurrin has now come out and publically stated she has been helping the developers to get more houses in Standish. She should be run out of office next year, when she is up for re-election. She is meant to work for the residents of Standish not the developers!
Once we know more how we can fight this proposal we will be calling a public meeting. Here is how the Wigan Evening Post reported the story. Have a read.
Wish FM also carried the story and did an interview with myself.
Compromise From Council.
The Council where looking to put double yellow lines all down the Preston Road , on both sides, near Standish High. The reason behind this was the Lollipop lady was having safety issues with cars parking, mainly at night, to pick their children up. The scheme, had it been carried out, would have meant all the other times residents would not have been able to park when they came home from work. After much work with residents, the Council has now come back with a compromise, this is a single yellow lines and to stop parking between the hours of 8am to 9am and 3pm -4pm. This will mean greater safety for children and the lollipop lady but will not restrict residents, living in the area, that much. Residents are happy with the compromise from the Council but thought the process could have been handled much better. I agree!