Friday, 30 August 2013

Syria - my thoughts

So with another conflict on the horizon the debate is should we intervene or not?

It is obvious that many don't want us to get involved with another conflict, especially after the lies that we were told over Iraq and the duration of the Afgan War. And for those reasons you can see why people are hesitant to get involved.

However, just because we were told lies over the reasons to go to War in Iraq because of the Dodgy Dossier that shouldn't mean that we shy away from conflict on the fear that the Government is lying to us or they don't know the full facts. In the case of Syria we have seen the evidence that chemical weapons are being used. Last night's vote was only to ask Parliament to vote on the principle of war, should it be needed. It wasn't a vote to take us to war. Given that Prime Minister had agreed a second vote to go to war would happen after more proof had been collated from the UN inspectors then that was a fair thing to do.

Now with Parliament voting no war this send s a signal to Syria that chemical weapons can be used and the British Parliament is not going to bother to stop that. Labour have played with politics last night and if chemical weapons are used again in Syria it is because of Labour that the British will not stop them attacks - which is a disgrace!

We would only do air strikes on targets where they make or store chemical weapons - no troops on the ground.

For the record I was in favour of the Afgan War as that was a clear security issue, had we not gone after Bin Laden, Iraq was completely different and I was strongly against going into Iraq as there was no proof, not like Syria!

Thursday, 29 August 2013

Ramp Riders

Over the summer holidays both Cllr George Fairhurst and myself funded and organised some events at St Maries Primary School.

These were BMX and Skateboard ramps. These events were held most Wednesday and we had loads of Children turn up to the events have some great fun. We had some amazing stunt being done - next Tony Hawks could have started here.

We look forward to holding these events next year and we are now planning some events for later in the year too.

Wednesday, 28 August 2013

Save Standish meeting last night

Last night was Save Standish meeting, which was held at the Unity Club.

At the meeting we updated people where we are at. The main points:-
  • The Council are looking to adopt a weak Core Strategy plan, which allows approx. 1000 houses in the next 5 years. Then more possibly after that.
  • There is no plan to improve the traffic infrastructure in Standish.
  • Out of the £3,000,000 that will be raised because of these house in Standish, the Council will only keep £330,000 in Standish. The other 85% will be spent in other places in Wigan Borough. Yet again another example of Labour stealing money off Standish for their areas of Deprivation!
  • After the approx. 1000 houses have been built in Standish if developers don't build in other areas of Wigan then this plan allows them to come back and have look to build more houses in Standish.
Residents were left bewildered why the Council will not stick up for the residents of Standish? If some developer wanted to demolish Marsh Green I am sure Labour would be upset then! Yet more arrogance from Labour and this Council.

Residents have decided to:-
  • Hold a protest outside the Town Hall on the 11 Sept 2013. That day is the Full Council at 7pm and residents will be lobbying Councillors to stick up for Standish
  • Some will then go up into the Public Gallery to view the proceedings and hear the debate.
Please come along to the demo on the 11th. We are asking people to get there for 6.20/6.30 as Councillors will be arriving then. Even if you don't want to stay for the meeting if you can give up 40 minutes to show your disgust at this idea.

Legal Challenge

We now have our legal team looking at this Core Strategy to see if there is a legal challenge we can start against the Council's Core Strategy. Keep looking at the blog and more will follow on that soon.

Thank you for the support.

Sunday, 25 August 2013

The Week that ended.....25 August 2013

So at the end of last week the Government planning inspector's report was published here  With the residents meeting on Tuesday, more details about that here, it was a busy week preparing to get to grips with the detail of the report and speak with Council officials about the report too. This is an important issue for residents and we don't want any more mass houses estates in Standish never mind several. I hope to see you at the meeting.

Another big issue this week was the fact the Labour and the Council have decided to use tax payers money to train Cllrs on how to use and write their own blogs. What a waste of tax payers money! It is inconceivable to think that any sensible person would think this is a) acceptable and b) what tax payers would want their money being used on, especially when so many people are losing their jobs in the Council. Here is the full story. What is so interesting about this issue is that since I have been blogging since 2009 Labour have called me for blogging and now here they are following my lead, yet again, now they know how successful it is.

Another issue that has annoyed not only me but others in the community too is the fact that the Council have laid off thousands of people and now it has been disclosed that the Council has paid out £2.5m in overtime. It is normal that O/T is paid at time and half, so the time that has racked up the £2.5m could have been lower by the Council had they not laid so many off . This would mean a saving of nearly £1m but also the saving of people's jobs too. Just another example of this Labour Controlled Council not caring about people.

An issue that is on the increase in Standish, is anti social behaviour. Over the last few weeks we have been asked more and more to help residents resolve anti social behaviour issues. This is something that is not acceptable and we are working hard to eradicate this issue. If you experience this please get in touch so we can stamp this out.

Finally a big well done to all Students that got their GCSE results this week and also to Wigan Warriors for winning the Challenge cup for a record 19 times.

Anti Social Behaviour

Anti Social behaviour is on the rise. Over the last few weeks it is an issue that we are getting more and more complaints about. We are dealing with several issues of anti social ranging from low level to very serious. Some of the examples are noisy neighbours to serious criminal damage to property and threats to life.  

We are taking all these issues seriously and working with the Council and other stakeholders to not only reduce this but stop it altogether, and if that means eviction for people out of their houses, so be it.

If you are experiencing anti social behaviour please get in touch so we can see if there is a trend and also so we can help you, you don't need to suffer in silence. Also we are noticing that in some cases it is the same person causing the anti social behaviour.

I will be getting some log sheets in the next few days for people to log any anti social behaviour on so if you need or want any of these, again please get in touch. 

Well Done to Wigan Warriors

Just got back from a long day out at Wembley watching Wigan Warriors in the Challenge Cup Final against Hull FC.

Well done to Wigan Warriors for a great result and bringing the cup home.

Saturday, 24 August 2013

Good Luck to Warriors

Later today Wigan Warriors will take on Hull for the Challenge Cup Final at Wembley.

I am setting off at 7am and Good Luck to the Warriors and hope all the other fans have a great day too.

Hopefully the cup will be travelling up the M6 on Sunday and Wigan will be the first town to win both the FA cup and Challenge Cup in the same year.

Friday, 23 August 2013


Yesterday thousands of students got their GCSE results. I have seen from family and friends their great achievements and I wanted to say a big well done to all those that got their results yesterday.

For some that might not have got the results that they desired, don't worry work out what you are going to do and go for it.

This year all those that are 16 have to stay in education until they are 17, which is new.

Good Luck for the future!

Thursday, 22 August 2013

Labour follows Cllr Gareth Fairhurst lead.....AGAIN!

One of the first things that I noticed when I first got into politics back in 2001 was the poor quality of the political leaflets. Cheap black and white photocopy paper with poor quality pictures that you couldn't make out was not the answer. So over time I have improved the leaflets. The first thing I did was start with a two colour glossy leaflet up to the first ever A3 full colour glossy leaflet in Wigan in 2007. Labour learnt that one of the reasons I and other candidates in my party were getting votes was because people read our leaflets and that was because of the great quality. Labour followed.

Back in 2009 I decided to enter the digital age by writing a blog. Initially I wanted to do a blog post a day but quickly learned that was too much for people so I started a series on the blog, "The week that ended...." This was so people could see what I have been up to during that week. This is a popular blog that has gown in numbers over time. I also do ad hoc blogs on issues too during the week. The Wigan Evening Post wrote about back in 2009, the story is here. Back then I even challenged other Cllrs to get up to date and do blogs but not many did. And those that did soon stopped.


But now Wigan Council and Labour have realised how popular my blog have become (5000 hits per month), even though they keep complaining about it :-), and are now set to employ an external company to train Cllrs how to write and do blogs.

I say - "What a complete waste of taxpayers money!" Yes blogs can be useful but Cllrs should be able to do them by themselves, or ask another Cllr how to do it if they don't know how. It is simple to do and a quick Google shows you many different ways to do them too and taxpayers of Wigan shouldn't be expected to pay for this.

I suspect another reason for this is that it is another tick box exercise for the Council to get awarded some top council by some quango or other! Another slap backing exercise where labour says what a great council we are, when reality is they are just wasting taxpayers money again and not serving the people that they should!


  • Over 400 posts on it to date.
  • My blog gets 5000 hits per month.
  • My blog has nearly 50000 hits to date.
  • Myblog and myself has been covered by digital marketing expert David Meerman Scott. See article here.

Tuesday, 20 August 2013

10K Run for M.E.

Many of people in the Wigan area know about the 10k run that is being organised in Join Jack campaign name. Many might even be doing the run.

Last May, nearing a milestone of a certain age, I thought about doing the run just to prove to myself that getting close to that number doesn't mean too much. However, the thing with myself I suffer from a back problem and I didn't want to admit that I couldn't run that distance. So I decided to join the run.

I was approached by Sue Capstick, who runs the Bridgeman Centre, to see if I will do it to help raise money for M.E. Research that is taking place at Wrightington. After listening to her at what they are trying to achieve I agreed that I would do it for their cause.

Since that day I have done very little and to be honest was thinking of pulling out due to my back problem. However a few days a go (24 before the race) I decided I would go for it. So I am now in training. I know what you are saying, "he'll never do it!" - and with my delicate frame that is not made for running you could well be right. However, I tried to do 3 miles the other day and nearly killed myself and did this in 36 mins.

Will you sponsor?

So with that I am asking if you would like to sponsor me? I am looking to try and raise £100 and if I don't I guess it could be a good excuse to pull out as my friends don't want to put me through the pain :-).

To sponsor me just email me at

Let's see if I can pull it off and the pain that I am going to have to go through as I have left it late.

Thank you for your support.


Monday, 19 August 2013

Residents Meeting on Core Strategy

Now that the Government planning inspector has responded to the Council about their core strategy we have called a public meeting for next Tuesday 27 August 2013 at 7.30pm. The location is the usual Unity club in Cross Street and we thank them once again for their support.

It is clear that this will be a popular meeting so we advised to get there sooner rather than later.

At the meeting we hope to deliver the meaning to the report to residents and to Standish. Both myself and Cllr George Fairhurst will have met Council Officials by that time and we hopefully will have our legal opinion too back on what we can do going forward.

Look forward to seeing you there

Thursday, 15 August 2013

Breaking Story - Planning Inspectors report in

The long awaited planning inspectors report is now in. We are currently working our way through this and reviewing it's content.

For those that are interested click here to see the report.

Obviously we will be calling a residents meeting very shortly.

Wednesday, 14 August 2013

Come dine with me

The hit TV show Come Dine with me are on the look out for people to join in the TV show. They are filming in the Wigan Area at the beginning of Sept, so not much time.

They are interested in any interesting men but that does not stop anyone from applying.

If you are interested please email @

 Good luck and I look forward to seeing you on the TV soon.

Sunday, 11 August 2013

The week that ended......11 August 2013.

One of the most asked question to me when people see me out and about is the housing issue over or when will we here more. The report on whether houses will be built in Standish is likely to come out about the 20th August, so not long to wait. As soon as I hear I will post it on here. This is the core strategy report for the whole council.

Some time soon we have found out that the Council are looking to change the sequence Here is the full story. What the Council are looking to do is make it safer for when people are crossing as there are a large number of people turning right and left where they shouldn't be. After the last disaster we will see if this works but the modelling that the Council has done says that this should work. Time will tell!

During the week I had a resident contact me who had some major issues which involved to some major anti social behaviour and housing issues. After I met with the resident I could see that not only was there some major concerns but they were finding this difficult to handle, and I could see why too. I immediately contact Wigan and Leigh Housing and to fair to them they were brilliant. I know I criticise the Council but when they get it right they should get praise for it. Here is the full story. The dept put an action plan together and have pulled out all the stops for the priority issues and working through the other stuff now too. This does show that the Council can get it right and hopefully others will learn from this.

A few weeks ago residents and myself had some major concerns over safety on the crossing opposite the new Domino's pizza shop. The original issue article is here. This story is one of the most popular on my blog. Now finally new bollards have been installed outside the shop and a new railing has been installed next to the crossing. This will stop cars and vans crossing the pavement to get to the front of the shop. It may not stop motorbikes but we will monitor that situation. This week I wrote a post about the situation and another great result for residents of Standish here.

Another issue that many of residents have commented to me on was the Council official who sent an email out about redundancy's and then said he was off on his jollies. This was completely  inappropriate and whilst I have always found Terry to be helpful I do see why other Council find this hurtful and inappropriate and it will be up to the Executive of the Council for any action. Let's see if they get it right!

Finally I have given the blog a bit of a makeover. This includes a new bright colour scheme but also shows which posts are popular. No surprise that Saving Ashfield is top of the list. Also on the blog is an easy contact form if you want to contact me. Hope you like the new look and features.

For those with children I hope the summer holidays are going well and next Wednesday we will have the ramp riders again at St Marie's primary school. I will post more tomorrow about that.

Saturday, 10 August 2013

Labour think they should shout louder to win

Today Labour's MP Andy Burnham said that Labour should shout louder or risk losing the next election. After the Labour Government maybe the first thing Labour should do is apologise to the Country for getting it in the mess that they did.

Then they need to look at issues that effect people's every day life rather than trying to find new sound bites for the media.

If Labour want to continue saying the same message ( which is we have no idea ) then shouting it louder will only make the defeat larger.

Domino's Barrier - great result!

If you read this blog you will have seen the post about the mess at Domino's with regards parking. Here is the link, if you missed it.

Now we finally have a new barrier erected and this is great news for people's safety on the crossing. Now that the bollards are up and the new railing this will stop cars going over the crossing and pavement.

A great result and I thank the Council for helping us to resolve the matter.

Thursday, 8 August 2013

Praise for Wigan & Leigh housing

If you are a regular visitor to the blog you will know I can be critical of the Council numerous times but I will also give praise where praise is due.

Yesterday I had a resident contact me over a very serious issue that they where having. For sensitive reasons I cannot go into details. I was off work yesterday so went and visited the resident to see and hear about all the issues.

I contacted Wigan & Leigh Housing and they immediately set into action with a call back within minutes and then an action plan was drawn up, that included numerous parts of the dept. The result of all that a number of the issues have been address and also the other issues are being worked.

Hopefully we can get the situation resolved as soon as possible, given the seriousness, and I do think at this time that they will.

Wednesday, 7 August 2013

Standish Crossroads changes to light squence

It is well highlighted that there is a major congestion at the traffic lights in the centre of Standish. We have had two deaths over time at this area and it has been a problem that the Council would like to address.

Some time ago the Council introduced an all stop for traffic. This allowed the pedestrians crossings to go on green, so this was safer for them. However this brought large delays to the road traffic. This was because of the changes in the number of sequences. Currently, there are four sequences, The first is the on from Preston Road, Second is the one from High Street, Third from school Lane and then finally the fourth from Market Street. So when the Council introduced the fifth one, the all red, this was what created the back log.

So this wasn't the answer, so they completed a traffic survey and some more modelling. The result is  some time in the future the Council will try a new set off sequences. These will be, first from Preston Rd, Second from High Str, Third will be Market St and School Lane together and the fourth will be an all red. This will allow safer crossing for people.

The Council are confident that it will not effect the movement of traffic. I have asked that if the Council are going to a=carry this trial out to start it before the school's go back. This will allow people to get used to the sequences. 

Monday, 5 August 2013

The Week that ended......4 August 2013

Where is the year going? Can't believe that we are in August already.

The week started on Monday night with the meeting of the Health and Social care Scrutiny Committee. The committee heard from Andrew Foster, the head of Head of Wigan Leigh Wrightington NHS Foundation. At the committee we heard about the Council making all their play areas smoke free. This is something I strongly agree with but I had concerns that people would simply walk round to the other side of the fence and lean onto the fence and still smoke. This would defeat the purpose of the policy. They said there was not much they can do. So I suggested, subject still allowing parents to be able to see their children, to have the smoke free zone set back away from the play area fence. This would solve the issue I had. The comment was welcomed and taken on board and I believe this will feed back into the relevant committee and we'll see if this will feature of part of the policy, should the policy be brought in.

Wednesday saw Standish 4 Youth hold the BMX ramp event. This was on at St Maries Primary School. We had over 30 children attend the event and they where able to either bring their own bikes and/ scooters or use the ones provided. Great times had by all. At night was the Confident Places Scrutiny Committee meeting. This was relevant quiet and not to much to report from here.

Thursday was an incredible busy day. Starting with a meeting at the town hall in the morning. Then a quick dash into work (Manchester), although I am currently off I had to nip in for something, then back to Wigan for another meeting at 5pm in the Life Centre to meet with Council officers over the issue of the Cross Roads in Standish. (Keep watching - More to follow on this soon.)

Then at night I attended the Standish Community Centre committee meeting. If anyone needs a room to hire then check out the community centre as this could fit your requirements. Then after the meeting I visited some residents who had some issues

Friday, 2 August 2013

Daniel Pelka

I am sure we have all heard the story of little Daniel Pelka and, whilst I normally keep the blog to local issues, I feel that I am so disgusted by this case I wanted to put my thoughts out there. However, after hearing about this story I am completely disgusted, as I am sure everyone else is.

For me surely this has to open the debate about the death penalty as people that do this kind of crime should pay with their lives. I understand that some murder cases are less clear and maybe life for them kind of sentences may be correct but evil like this is should be killed.

What is also worrying here is that the teachers noticed that he was getting thinner and also he was stealing food. So they locked up the food. To me I think sacking these teachers would be appropriate as they saw the signs but not only did nothing to help him but made his situation worse by locking up the food. This proves that they saw the warning signs and did not act.

My opinions might be controversial, they might be harsh but I believe that they are appropriate. One thing is that we are seeing is these kind of murders who are not only murders but evil. Surely we should rid the world and our country of evil?

Here is a news link from the BBC here.