Tuesday, 31 December 2013

Turned out nice again. Will Johnny Deep visit Wigan?

Years ago I championed the cause of getting a George Formby Statue in Wigan George's home town. However, Labour and the Labour Leader Cllr Peter Smith were not impressed and didn't want it/ Even when I announced it in the Council Chamber that I think it was a good idea Labour Leader Cllr Peter Smith said, "We don't need to be reminded of that cloth cap idiot."

However, we, George Formby Society, Gerry Mawdsley and myself, battled on and we were able to secure the location, which was kindly donated by the Grand Arcade. So now we have the statue and it is a great attraction and talking point. Even today when I visited the Grand Arcade a granddad took a picture with his grand children and wife by George's side. We have also had Frank Skinner visiting the Statue, as he is a big fan too.

Now it is rumoured that George has another big fan - Johnny Depp. It is being strongly muted that he is looking to do a movie about George. I hear that he has the northern accent down to a tee and that he is honing his Ukulele skills.

I think it is time now that Labour and Leader of the Council apologise for their earlier comments about George, as I bet you bottom dollar they will try and cash in on it and we'll see in the Council's publication, Borough Life, the leader saying what a great thing it is, should it happen.

As for my comments, "I am thrilled that George's name and one of Hollywood biggest movie star's Johnny Depp in the same sentence. I know the President of the George Formby, Jerry Mawdsley is over the moon. All those years ago I knew that George was a big star in his day and still is - it is a shame the Council tried to block the statue.

If the rumour is true I am sure that Johnny will visit the home town and come to see the statue as well.

New Year's message

It's now officially the last day of 2013.. To reflect upon the year, many good things have happened and a few sad things too. Try not to dwell on the bad/sad and remember the good... I hope 2014 is a positive one for you all and let me wish you a happy new year when it arrives in 24 hours time as no doubt the internet will crash just like the phone networks will. Not like we have a new year every year is it..

Friday, 27 December 2013

Idea about changes to double time charges from Taxi's.

There is always talk about double time charges from Taxi drivers over the Christmas and New Year period.

One side of the argument it is a rip off and they are just cashing in on the period and the other side saying other people get paid double time so why not us. To be honest I think that both sides have a point and I think there is a solution.

To explain I will use a recent example of a taxi from Wigan to Standish. The normal fare is £10 and last night it was double so it was £20. So I can see why people think that this is steep. But surely it is fair that the driver of the taxi to get double time like other professions.

So here is my solution. Out of the £10 fare 40% of that is the wage part of the fare. This is £4. The other £6 is for petrol and other associated running costs. So it is unfair to ask a customer to pay double for the petrol, as that doesn't cost the taxi company double at the pumps. So double the wage part of the fare. This was £4 so that will make it £8 and then keep the £6 for the running cost the same, as there is no extra charge for the taxi company.

Under this solution the fare would be £14 instead of the £20 but still allows the driver to get double time. I believe this is a solution and I will be writing to the Council to ask about this proposal and if we can bring this in and be a leading Council in this area.

Tuesday, 24 December 2013

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year

To All

Can I take this opportunity of wishing you all a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. I hope Santa brings you all that you are hoping for.

All the best

Cllr Gareth Fairhurst

Monday, 23 December 2013

NHS - I don't understand people at times

As many of you who read my blog, or follow me, you will know I have recently had a major operation a few weeks ago and since then I have been back and forth in and out of hospital and I have just come back out of hospital after a few days in because of some complications that I am experiencing.

Just before I left tonight a young lad in his early 20's came in and he was in some serious pain. The doctor on the ward said he would need an operation in the morning to resolve the issue and then he would be in hospital for a few days after that, for a recovery period.

This kid kicked off because he would miss Christmas, which no one wants to be in hospital on Christmas Day, but then when the doctor asked what he wanted, as he could emphasise with him about Christmas but said he was in some serious pain which need to be dealt with. The lad answered, whilst raising his voice a bit about having the operation done right there and then, so he could get out for Christmas.

Here's the thing - he had had this pain for over a week and left it till now to go into hospital. Had he gone to his GP first he might have been able to get some treatment that didn't need an operation, he may have been sent to the hospital if he couldn't. I know most have said when we are in pain we will leave it for a day or two to see if it goes. But then to wait till two days before Christmas and trying to demand to have the operation there and then is ridiculous.

My point about this is not only did he wait so long but the tone and manner he was speaking with the doctor. His family was with him and trying to reason with him. If it had been me I would have said operation tomorrow and then stay in for 48 hours or you can leave now - especially whilst you are speaking to me like that when I am trying to help you.

On a slightly lighter note when you go into hospital they ask you standard questions like do you smoke and do you drink etc. I always smile when it comes to the drink question. 99.99% always say either no or only occasionally and not very much. They must think the doctors are daft.

I guess the message in this post is if someone is trying to help you they can only if you are willing to help yourself and work WITH them.

Thursday, 19 December 2013

Wigan Council's dodgy deal.

For many years I have called Wigan Council corrupt. Labour have always denied this and said I am wrong saying this. Yet a report by the Local Government Ombudsman has now confirmed another case where Wigan Council has been called.

Here is the link to the report.

The Council has to pay £500 to a member of the public who wanted to tender for the land and wasn't allowed too. Also a Labour Cllr has been found guilty of leaking emails about the land to another group.

Wonder how Labour try and spin this one out? Simple truth is they have been caught out again. Surely someone should go over the matter.

Sunday, 15 December 2013

Labour and nimbyism

Some Labour Cllrs have said that Standish residents are just Nimby's that do not want building in their back yard but we are OK with it in someone else's.

However it has been stated that when the Council were asked to look for another 2500 houses then the Council could have quite easily put 100 houses in each of the 25 wards that make up the Borough but Labour didn't want that.

The approximate 1000 houses that are being considered for Standish are all on Green open spaces, an important point for later in this post.

However this week European Metal Recycling asked the Council for planning permission in Ince on an industrial estate. However Labour said that the steel being unloaded would be noisy so they refused the application. This company would have brought new jobs to the area. I mean surely that's what Labour want - Jobs in an industrial park. Or maybe they don't Keep people down, keep them on benefits will suit their needs for them to keep voting Labour. Heaven forbid to try and give someone aspiration! They also said they had 40 objections letters.

Well in Standish we gave the Council thousands of objections to the thousands of houses being proposed but they did nothing there. Just demonstrates yet again how Labour play politics with people's lives. Yet another disgrace! 

Wednesday, 11 December 2013

Wigan Council - Housing is a priority in Standish

After all the hot air from the Council saying that they don't want houses in Standish there is an article in today's Wigan Evening Post on the allotment story below this post and the Council now say that housing is a priority in Standish.

Just goes to show that residents of Standish have been lied to yet again by Wigan Council.  Is it time that Standish breaks away from Wigan?  I wonder where they would get all their money from then?

Friday, 6 December 2013

Wigan Council look to cash in with more houses in Standish

With the shenanigans that has been going on over the last 18 months or so with the mass housing developments in Standish Wigan Council has now decided that they too want to cash in on it.

There is some land behind Wigan Rd and off Longridge Avenue which is meant to be play area. Some years ago the Council removed all the play equipment so they could put some huts and cabins on the land whilst they did the Council housing up in the area. They promised to put the equipment back. However they didn't! Then they have let the land go and now looking to sell it to a developer for houses.

However the residents, which include Wigan Warriors coach Shaun Wane, formed a group years ago to turn the land into allotments and all the plots had been taken up. But Wigan Council will not allow them to do this saying they need to do the right thing by the taxpayers and sell it for the highest price, which means houses. At first they did not say why they could not do the allotments, they kept running them around.

Cllr Gareth Fairhurst said, " This is a disgrace. It was only a few months ago the Council was saying we don't want houses in Standish and he they are cashing in with their greed. They say they need to get the highest price for taxpayers well what about doing the right thing for the taxpayers? This would mean allowing allotments for Standish and not yet more houses. This demonstrates that Wigan Council don't care about Standish with the exception of squeezing as much money out of it as possible."

Last year the Council did look at build some council houses on the site but decided against this in favour of selling it to a developer.

What a disgrace!

Thursday, 5 December 2013

Retirement age going up......AGAIN!!!!

In the 2011 Autumn statement by the Chancellor George Osborne he announced that retirement will be going up to 67. Whilst some may have thought this was bad and it was wrong I think most thought this was OK, as it was only 2 extra years plus people are living longer and also people like to go to work.

However, it is widely expected that the retirement age will go up again today in the Autumn Statement by the Chancellor George Osborne. It is again expect to raised to the age of 70 years of age.

My question would be are we now expected to accepted the retirement age to raise ever 2 years under this Chancellor? If so why are NI not reducing for people. I say this last part because the pension will be the same , if not less and if you are working 5 yrs longer you will only get the same, so in reality people have longer to pay in which should mean lower NI contributions.  

Sunday, 1 December 2013

Energy Debate

With so much debate going on at this time about energy, I am surprised that millions of barrels of oil are being transported from the North Sea to South Korea, Chile, Canada. Four very large oil tankers took 6 million barrels of oil from the North Sea to South Korea last month. This is due to the fact they want to get away from their dependency on oil from the Middle East.

Yet, we, in this Country are also importing oil from other parts of the world and one reason I have heard why we pay so much for our energy is because of transporting that energy. My simple question would be why are we paying for transporting oil when their is energy and oil on our door step? Surely if we used this oil in the North Sea rather than selling it to the other side of the world that would lower our energy bills, which are becoming a problem for a number of people.