Friday, 19 December 2014

Forth coming Roadworks in Standish

I am introducing a road work post within the blog. This will hopefully help keep you informed when they are coming so you can take alternative routes if you need to.

The first one to tell you in on Preston Rd near to Ludlow Street. This will take place between the 5 - January 2015. Temporary traffic lights will be installed when the works will be carried out. These are at off peak times. the work is being carried out by United utilities.

The second one to tell you about is being carried out by BT and they are one the same day as the above, 5 - 7 January 2015 at off peak times. These will be near the junction of Chorley Rd and Red Rock. Again Temporary lights will be installed.

Hope you find this new section useful over the coming weeks and months. I know it would be better with no road works before any one says that :-). As they say don't shoot the messenger. :-)

Boars Head petrol station incident update

I have seen on numerous posts about an incident that happened last night, Thursday 18/12/14. Allegedly a man was refused to be served for wearing a help the hero T-Shirt. Given the seriousness of that I have visited the station today and been told, by a member of staff that openly admitting not being on duty last night - so he said this is what he has heard.

The version of events from the petrol station, at the minute, is that a man asked for cigarettes and he was asked for ID. He did not have any, therefore he was refused to be served cigarettes because he had no ID. The owners have said if a time is given to them they will review the CCTV.

If this version of event is true then if someone has no ID then the shop worker can refuse to serve them. Now I know some may say that he was asked for ID because he was wearing the T-Shirt, that is something we wouldn't know unless we see the CCTV and see if the person does look young.

I hope we can get a time and review this matter.

Tuesday, 16 December 2014

Parents concerned on children Education

I think it is great that we have 3 great primary schools in Standish. I think we have a wonderful choice from all demographics. Just recently Woodfold regained their outstanding status from Ofsted. However, parents are coming in increasing numbers and commenting to me about the situation at Woodfold primary School. This is because of the strange situation when the head teacher handed in her resignation at the beginning of the school year. This then meant that the governors had to try and get a head teacher to start at the beginning of the year 2015.

I think many will be aware of the parents that recently raised safeguarding issues at  the school and many will have seen the Youtube video with the distraught child in the play ground and/ or seen the leaflets that the parents have passed out. I do believe that all of us would do the same if we had the same safeguarding concerns like those that parents.

Many parents feel that the situation with the parents have put in have probably made the head teacher come to the decision to resign at the beginning of the educational year  rather than at the end of the year, which most head teachers would do if and when they retire.

Moving on it is very disappointing for many parents now that the Governors have failed to appoint a head teacher and the Governors have now appointed a temp head until they can hopefully get a full time head teacher for the start at the next education year. Many parents are concerned that the education will suffer as the school have a temp head teacher. I think many parents will share my liking for the temp head, parentsas a person and teacher parents want direction and leadership and not for things to be put on hold for 6 months. The fact that the governors can't get enough applicants to apply for an outstanding school does raise some concerns, as you would think many would jump at the opportunity. Questions would and need to be ask why are they not? We can only hope, and it is again disappointing that we have to hope for children's education, that the education of the children at Woodfold Primary School, Standish will continue at the high level that we have come to appreciate and love.    

On a positive note I, as a parent myself, went to Key Stage Christmas performance and the teachers have done a great job in putting the show on and it was fantastic to see that they have finally gone with a traditional show.

Tuesday, 9 December 2014

Confident Council Meeting - Ashfield, Haigh Hall and Libraries


So last night I attended the Confident Council meeting, whatever that name means. Many people ask and I have no clue, it’s just some subliminal nonsense that is meant for some stupid marketing ploy. On the agenda was Wigan and leisure Trust (WLCT). This organisation is historical a company that was set up by Wigan Council to pay less tax and they have the cheek to call celebrity’s that use tax loop holes when they do it themselves and have done for years.
Moving on the Council initially only wanted to talk and discuss Library’s and Haigh Hall. Two great topics that need discussing but given that the organisation, (WLCT), look after all leisure and open spaces! Radar should be picking up as Ashfield is an open space that is looked after by (WLCT).

Libraries
On the first issue of Library’s it was important to use an example that I have was recently when I was signing out of the Library on a Saturday Morning a father came in with his daughter who was about 5 or 6. He encouraged her to approach the lady assistant and ask if they had any books on Rupert the Bear. The librarian said that they don’t have any of those books in. The disappointment on that little girl was so heart wrenching. Her dad asked if she wanted to look for another book, which she didn’t and they left. It can be hard enough to get children to read but when they are keen like this then we should be able to help. If it was a book that no one has heard of, fair enough but these are children’s classic. We have asked if we can buy the Library a set of the Children’s Classic. We were told we couldn’t because if we did they would go to any Library. As Cllr’s we wanted the Library to have a set of classic and the Council don’t allow this – crazy!

Haigh Hall
So the Council announced in the paper that Haigh Hall was going to be leased to a Hotel Chain and it will be turned into a 30 bedroom Hotel. The Council said it was a £30 Million deal. People thought this how much the investment would cost. But this is the figure is how much the Council will be brought back in to the local economy. They don’t say how many years this figure would take to happen, so for me there’s the first question.
The Council say this is a great deal. The cost to Wigan Taxpayers is about 50/50 with the hotel chain. This is about £5m - £6m. The second question is of course the private sector does not want to have 100% of the risk but does 50/50 represent a fair deal for both? Second question! Next is how long will the lease be for the hotel group? Another way is how long will they have the hotel for? The Council say this has not been worked out. So how on earth can a deal be good and considered to be fair when a crucial element like term of lease has not been agreed. If it is for 1 year then we are putting a lot of risk in because what happens after a year. But if the term is for 100 years then that would be too long and we would not be getting value for money. So you can see why it is crucial that this is answered. The Council must know approximate what length they are considering. I hear in the corridors of power is 5 – 10 years that are being looked at. Yes the Council need to have space and items would need to be kept confidential for commercial reasons and so they don’t hinder negotiations, however elected members from all parties need to be kept informed. But the Council refuse to recognise the democracy system that we have in this country, This should change!
One thing that I am worried about is that the Hotel chain will want to have as much as possible. One  area that they can manage out Wigan Residents is to change the pricing on the Car Park. The Council confirmed last night that pricing is being looked at and some areas will be reserved for the Hotel and also they could be a price for a short stay and a price for a long stay. If the price is to high then people will simply not go and the Hotel gets a better deal. This is a real issue for the Council to stop people going without saying you are not allowed in.
I have asked for all the details that the Council has on this so I am able to see if this is a fair deal for the people of Standish, that I represent, and also the other residents of Wigan too. This could be a good and fair deal but we need to know and understand it for ourselves.
Another example that the Council does not recognise the democracy system that we have in this system is that I have heard Labour Cllr’s had a private meeting on this issue and were told about it. I hear that some opposition Cllrs heard a bit about it but those that do scrutinise and challenge were simply left out.

Ashfield
 OK so here we are at a topic close to not only my heart but most of the residents of Standish. The situation is that in 2012 Persimmon homes asked to move the football pitches to the Gold Course. Then they could build houses on Ashfield. The Council have since tried to retract all the information that is openly available in the public. The worry here is the Council want ALL sites to be self-funding so they do not cost the Council money. They also recognise that some parks may suffer. If the Council want to try and tell us a lie is here. They know that Standish won’t and can’t have and accommodate two large parks, Ashfield and the new development at the Golf course. So one of them should and has to go. If the council allowed and asked Persimmon Homes to forget the football pitches at the Golf Course I maybe I will then start to believe them that they don’t want the pitches at Ashfield for houses.  
What is important to understand is that there is a field in Bryn that has Village Green Status on it. I asked with the Council to a model of zero subsidiaries to parks how that park will work in Bryn. The Council simply didn’t have the answer. An answer that needs to be answered!

As you can tell this is just a snippet of the meeting but some important points that as Cllrs we need to address for residents.

Thursday, 4 December 2014

Labour Cllr found guilty

Today a former Labour Councillor for Standish was found guilty of falsely claiming expenses. There were a total of 8 charges. When found guilty she was told that she will be sentenced in the New Year. A source close to the former Labour Cllr's camp said that she has been warned by her own legal team to look at 12 months imprisonment.

Emma is the last person to represent Labour in Standish and previously I had reported her to the Standards Committee because she had publicly said that she had been working with developers to get houses on Green Open spaces in Standish. This was whilst she was on the planning committee. It turned out that she had been offered hospitality at high profile political dinners by developers. She was also found guilty of that too.

This is proof for me that Labour don't care about Standish. How on earth did they select her to be a candidate in the first place? Why did they dump her on Standish when she lived in Ince?

One thing for sure she won't be turning up in Standish any time soon and certainly not welcome for all the harm that she has done to the area. For Labour they should apologise to the residents of Standish for having such a disgrace of a person as their Cllr for the area!

Emma is not the first Labour Cllr to be jail that is connected to Standish. Former Labour Cllr Joe Shaw was found guilty of having indecent pictures of children on his computer and processing a gun and ammunition without a licence.



Thursday, 27 November 2014

Wigan Council does deal on Haigh Hall

Wigan Council has done a deal with Contessa Hotel. The Hall will remain owned by Wigan Council but the Hotel group will make it a 30 bedroom Hotel complex with Spa and Fitness facilities. The Council says it will boost the economy by £30 million and attract 500,000 visitors per year. Other claims are that the Council will love for you to believe is that it will save the Council £8m over the next 10 years. However, the £12m deal means that at least £4m is coming from you the taxpayers over the next 18 months. So straight away before we need to dig the saving by Wigan Council is only £4m because to save £8m over 10 years we have to pay £4m in a year.

The hotel chain will put in £6m to renovate the hall. What the Council doesn't say is how long the lease of the building is. For example if it is for 10 years that could be fine because the savings that the Council would like us to believe is for a 10 year period. However, if the deal for the hotel is 25 years then what is the cost to taxpayers over the last 15 years?

The total funding is £12m and we know £6m is from the hotel chain and £4m from the Council. The other £2m is a mystery. The Council says that Wigan Leisure Trist will find or fund that, but yet that is owned by the Council meaning we as taxpayers could be funding this even further than what the Council are telling us. Again if this is the case then the savings will reduce to just £2m over 10 years.

I am not a socialist but equally not a capitalist neither and I believe there are some things the Council should be looking after and the jewel in the crown is one. Until the Council give FULL disclosure on ALL the details then we will not know whether this is a good deal or not for Wigan but Labour can''t blame for privatisation, as they seem to do it as well and more so, in some cases!


One question that needs asking - why did Labour and the Council let it get into such a state!


Are Labour Hypocrites?

With the goings on with Dave Whelan and now being charged by the FA for his comments, Labour have now said that the Tory's should hand back all the donations that he has given them. This amounts to about £1.5m.

Obviously Labour want to try and give them the best chance in next years' General Election but are they shooting themselves in the foot?

They are trying to say that the Conservative Party should not have anything to do with Dave Whelan suggesting, to me anyway , that should the PM not give the money back he is therefore condone Dave Whelan comments but if he wants to wants to condemn the comments then he should give the money back. However, what the Labour MP, Karl Turner, doesn't realise is that Labour controlled Council, Wigan Council, Gave Dave Whelan the freedom of the borough. Therefore will the Labour MP be writing to Labour Council Leader, Peter Smith, asking him to remove the freedom of the borough award because if the Labour MP wants to put the condone or condemn the comments the same need to be applied to Wigan Council and Labour. That is unless they are hypocrites!

Here is a link to the award for Dave Whelan by Wigan Labour Controlled Council. http://www.wigan.gov.uk/Council/Mayoralty/Honorary-Freemen.aspx

My Opinion

For my knowledge I bet that the Wigan Council Labour Leader will not be thanking this MP for this stunt that he has done as I believe this is what Labour are trying . Trying to score some points on this issue without and working through the whole picture. Dave Whelan, like him or not, has a lot of dealings with the Council and probably the Council need him more than he needs them so therefore I bet Wigan Council will not take back the Freedom award and if they don't then they can't expect the Tories to give back the money that he has given them.

Sunday, 23 November 2014

The Week that ended....23 Nov '14

This week has been a big week for Wigan. With comments that Dave Whelan, Wigan Athletic Chairman, made. I have read a few things about it including someone even suggesting that there could be 20,000 racist in Wigan. Nutters!!! Where on earth do these people get these figure from? How can anyone know or even suggest this? Nonsense and all because in a busy day of interviews Dave Whelan made some comments that may have been taken out of context. Me and Dave have crossed swords on a couple of occasions and I'm not on his Christmas Card list but one thing he isn't is a racist, in my opinion. For my bit the comments have been taken out of context and blown way out of proportion. Would I say them things? No, but I understand what he was trying say. I even saw one Football pundit last night say it might be a generation issue and he was in the wrong generation and DW is out of touch with this what is and isn't allowed in this generation. I would to love to interview that pundit and ask what he thought was allowed. Why all the fuss? To sell more newspapers. Knowing a little of DW, I am sure he hired the new manager on the grounds of his ability to get Latics out of the trouble that they are in and not because he agreed with somethings that he may have said in the past. What a crazy world we live in. Some of you will remember I posted a video some time ago and the Left Wing Lones jumped on that saying it was racist when the vast majority of people just saw what it was -funny!

Ashfield

OK, back to normal business. Ashfield has taken a large amount of time this week and this will be the norm for a little while. This week I sent out all the witness questionnaires and emails out to all those that requested them at the Save Ashfield meeting.

We will be getting the wristbands out in shops and pubs in Standish soon and the poster has been designed now and they will be going out this week so grab them whilst you can. Also I will be arrange the first meeting of the newly formed committee and working out and through the work.

Preparation for meetings  

I have been sent some council meetings papers that are coming up in the next week or two. One thing I noticed is that the Council are going to look to give a bonus for 100% attendance. Makes my blood boil. The vast number of staff do not take the Mikey and work hard. But one thing that I always discuss is the high sick rate that the Council has and you can see a trend too. Yes the Council has to try and resolve it and the carrott is better than the stick but when someone gets a job they agree to take a pay at  X and work for so many days at Y. Now with the Council saying if you turn up for all the days we ask you will get a bonus sends out the wrong message. What it says is you take this job and you can take time off too. Sick pay is important and I, for one know about this personally, but sick pay and the ability to take off for being sick is there for a reason - you are sick and need the time off and if you are not sick you should be in work.

It also can have a negative effect on some people. If money is tight and they are genuinely sick they may not take the time off so they can get the bonus but that could lead to their health deteriorating and then they have to take longer off work later. We need a caring Council for staff but not one that does thing for the wrong reasons. If someone is genuinely sick we need to allow them to get better but equally if someone is swing the lead then difficult conversations are needed to be had.

Asylum Seekers and Health Scare.

A little while ago my attention was drawn to the fact that Asylum seekers where living in the Britannia Hotel at Almond Brook. Also there were rumors that TB  was rife in there too. This week I had some residents in the Surgery also wanting to know more about this issue.

I heard back just on Friday that there are 39 Asylum Seekers living tin the Hotel. Out of those there are 4 family units. I have been told that there is no serious health scare for the public to worry about as TB only is an issue if a prolong period of time is spent with people that has it. On the grounds of my limited information on TB I know this not to be true and therefore I am questioning the information that the Authority is telling me. I do not believe that this situation is one that we as a community should not have to have. I have also learnt that the authority have now instructed a private company to find them private dwellings to live in. Shocking the money some people make out of us the hard working tax payers!




  

Saturday, 15 November 2014

The Week ending....16 Nov '14

What a big week this has been. So much going on this week.

Ashfield Campaign

The week started with the Ashfield Campaign meeting at the Unity Club on Tuesday. This was the first public meeting since the restart of the Village Green.

As we know the inspector overseeing the application has now given both parties, me - the Applicant and Wigan Council - as the objector, directions to how we proceed toward the public inquiry that will take place possibly in the early part of next year.

First of all if you feel that you want to help and you have or do use Ashfield Park then please fill in a witness statement. Here is one for you to download and print and complete.



Fill in the form as best you can and with as much detail as you can. Mark on the map on the last page where your house is or was also please sign the back of the map, as this is important. Once you have completed it please drop it in at our cllrs surgery or contact us and I wil arrange to collect it. Or you can send it to

Save Ashfield Park Campaign
31 Littleton Grove
Standish
Wigan
WN6 0LL

These witness statements will then all be put in the bundles that we will present to the inspector to demonstrate the wide use that people have used Ashfield for. This is crucial!

Also it is hard to understand what people want to do to help. so we have create a form that you can fill out and email it back to me. You can email it back to info@saveashfieldpark.co.uk .

Below is the form if you want to help in any way.



On the form you will see that we are asking for people to pledge to the fund. What we are not after at this time is the money just the pledge. That way should we fail to hit either of our targets then we will not have collected the money.

The first target is £1500 which is to pay for a barrister that specialises in these matter to put together our Legal Summary for the evidence bundles that again will be presented to the Village Green Public Inquiry. We currently at this point have over £300 so on our way.

The other target is people are asking for a barrister to represent us at the public inquiry. This will go on for several days, if not a week. Hiring a barrister for this amount of time is costly. The target is £10,000. I seriously didn't think this was even dreamable but people have put up some pledges already. One person kindly pledged £1,000. But then someone said that there are aprox 7000 houses in Standish and if 500 houses, less than 9% pledged just £20 then we would hit the target. when it is said like that it so is possible to hit that, I believe.

Wristbands

So there is a lot going on there and to try and raise the profile of the campaign we are selling wristbands for £1. These will show the support we have and also raise the profile of the campaign. If you want one of these please keep your eyes open for the posters in some of the shops or contact me and I will get one to you.





Full Council meeting


Wednesday night saw the meeting of the Full Council. As Wigan Town Hall had been deemed unsafe we had to use Leigh Town Hall chamber, which was a tight fit but proved workable. To be fair given that there was a large number of residents about the East Lancs Bus Lane there it was probably fitting that it was held that side of the borough.

Unfortunately the pantomime goes on with the Council making the rules as they go.  One Cllr for Hindley was deemed to have swore to another Labour Cllr was silenced for the rest of the meeting. that means he was no longer able to contribute to any debates- if we have any. However, the Cllr never swore and I was sat in front of him. Other Opposition Cllrs also did not heard him, in fact it was all the opposition who agreed that he did not. When I challenged the Mayor she said that she had been told that he had swore. So I guess if she had to be told she also did not hear him swear but she still did not allow him to speak again. That's democracy for you in Wigan.

I am absolutly shocked at how the residents of Tydlesley and Atherton are being treated over the lack of consultation and there is now a strong sense of if they will not listen then they will back a candidate in next year's local election. I have been contacted to ask if I would be willing to talk to them and help - which I am and I guess that meeting will take place in the coming week(s).The less Labour Cllrs then the better we have at stopping things like houses in Standish and guided bus lanes on the East Lancs Rd.

Surgery


This week surgery saw a couple of residents come in over issues them and we will be dealing with them and helping those residents. If you ever need us we are in the library between 10 - 11 am ever Saturday morning.

Sunday, 9 November 2014

The Week ended.....9 Nov '14

This has been another busy week. The main issue pushing through this week is obviously the Save Ashfield. At the end of last week the great news came through from the inspector who is over seeing the Village Green application were he has said that there will be a Public Inquiry. I think I have said enough about how the Council has spent over £60,000 of tax payers money fighting this application and even refuse to accept that we know they have been in discussions with Persimmon homes over the development of the site. This week has seen the public meeting being arranged and the new wristbands being ordered. Also there is a large about of preparation work for the meeting this weeka has also been done and still being done.

Today is remembrance Sunday which is the 100th year from the start of the War. I, along with the other Ward Cllrs have joined the remembrance parade and service in Standish. I have just returned and watching the pictures from London and what is strange is the presenter keeps saying celebrating the 100th year. What is strange is it is the 100th year from the start of the war so I think we should remember those that have fallen and protected us but to say 100 year to celebrate is to me wrong. I would say that it would be more appropriate in 4 years time to say celebrate because that is the end of the great war.

Also this week I exposed the disgraceful action of the Council on the cover up of historic abuse scandal. There is also the case that they paid off before it could get to the courts and expose the whole issue. Also the fact that a number that is up to 100 where historic sexual abuse cases as well. At a recent scrutiny meeting the Council lied when they told Councillors there was no cases.

See you at the Save Ashfield Meeting this coming week.

Tuesday, 4 November 2014

Save Ashfield Witness Questionnaire and Map

Now that we know that we are having a public inquiry for the application for a Village Green we have to evidence that we have used the field.

I know hundreds have already filled out a witness questionnaire but if you have filled one out already here is a link to download one. If you download please remember to also download a map here and put a x on where your house is or where you lived. Also sign the and print the back of the map too.

So who can fill out the questionnaires?

If you have lived or are living within the red border line in the last 20 years you are eligible to download a form and fill it in. Please put on what you have used Ashfield for. These can be picnics, walking, riding playing, football just messing about or anything else like rolling down the hills or sledging or snow ball fights. What ever it is you can put it down.

Then also print out a map and put a cross on the map where you live now or if you have lived here in the past then mark where your lived. Once you have down both of these things you can bring them to the meeting next week or watch here where you can leave them.

Any questions please feel free to email me at -  gareth@saveashfieldpark.co.uk .

Thanks for the support.

Abuse scandal at Wigan Council Care

I am saddened to report that I have learnt that there have been a number of historic abuse cases for children under Wigan's care.

The first is physical abuse.
A claim came into Wigan Council in the late 80's/ early 90's. This was were a person who was a child previously and been to a certain Wigan Care Home for Children claimed that he was going to sue the Council for abuse and neglect because whilst he was under their care he was hit and kicked. Wigan Council carried out an investigation and found that the abuse this person was claiming was not only probably true but the practice was rife, were children were regularly hit around the head or kicked. Instead of making a public apology and resolving all the cases the Council decided not to say another publicly and to pay this person off. This to me is hush money because the Council paid the person the money, they did this because if it went to court the flood gates would open. This leaves the Council in a difficult position because now those people that were physically abused will be able to claim more now because the Council knew about the abuse and did nothing about it.

Sexual abuse.
I also understand that the Council have a pot of money ready in case of any historical sexual abuse cases come in. This pot is in the region of a staggering £12 - £15 Million. The Council try and defend this position by saying this pot is for all compensation claims for trips and falls. Smoke screen! There is no way that Wigan Council pays out that for trips and falls and the reason for the staggering amount is because of the sexual abuse cases and physical abuse cases. In fact at a recent Scrutiny meeting the council claimed there were no concerns over this but I can exclusively reveal that there are up to 100 cases were the police have asked the Council to pass over files of children that have been in the care of Wigan Council and have made complaints. Whilst it may not be the 1400 that was recently reported in Rotherham this figure is simply shocking. Wigan Council again have tried to say that it is not near the 100 figure but merely only about 35 cases, approximate, O well if it is only roughly about 35 then that makes it okay then Mr Wigan Council. No it doesn't to me - it is shocking and disgusting and these matter need a full, frank and independent investigation but Wigan Council will not order one as yet again they don't want the truth to come out. Any victims of physical or sexual abuse needs to be taken seriously and apologised to if they have suffered.  

I have now written to the Leader of the Council saying that not I nor any member of our group will be part of any cover up and that is the reason why I have disclosed the information exclusively on the blog today. I want an independent investigation to be carried out and the truth to be told - the public need it and the victims deserve it!

Monday, 3 November 2014

The week ending...............2 November '14

Yet another week and there are a number of residents issues popping up from litter, dog fouling and anti social behaviour.

One thing that we have witnessed and other have commented on too are the amount of drugs that are about. We have seen this too and had meetings with the Police on the matter and we have been able to identify a few of them and words have been said no and they are on their last warnings. We have a strong belief in zero tolerance and the culprits know they are being watched.

One major issue that has taken a considerable time this week is the Ashfield campaign trying to save that from development and get it registered as a Village Green. Over on the Facebook page at the beginning of the week we had just under 400 likes on the page and now at the end of the week we have smashed through the 1000 likes ans still growing. Where that will end no one knows but one thing is that the residents now know that the issue is active and live again and we are getting ready for battle.

On the issue the Save Ashfield Campaign have ordered wrist bands and will be selling them to raise the campaign more and let people show their support. Next week's meeting at the Unity Club will certainly be a big turn out.






Saturday, 25 October 2014

Ashfield Village Green Public Hearing

In 2012, I put in a Village Green application in to register Ashfield Park/Playing Field as a Village Green. Once the Village Green application went in the process takes over, which in turns means the it goes quiet. Many people presumed that meant that we had won the fight to register Ashfield as a Village Green and there would no be no houses on built on there.

Whilst things have been quiet to the public I can assure you that a lot has been going on. The first thing that I needed to do was gather up all the witness statements that people kindly filled in. This was a case of scanning and printing the Witness Statements and then submitting the hundreds into the Council has evidence. These went into the Council into three bundles. Those that have not submitted a witness statement but would like to have a small window of opportunity to fill one in and return it. I have put a link at the bottom of this post to print out.

Once the bundles went in the Council I believe that they knew that the support was of such a a size and the evidence in the witness statement was so strong that they went and hire outside solicitors and/ or barrister who specialise in this area of expertise. I believe that the bill for this specialised work has cost over £50,000 , which shows the level of feeling that the Council wants to stop this application for a Village Green.

The first thing the Council tried was to write to the inspector asking him to through out my application because in their opinion it failed to meet the criteria. This was because the crucial issue on a Village Green is did we get permission to use it when we used the playing fields or did the Council give us permission. In their eyes years ago they moved the budget for the fields from the education pot to the recreational pot and on that grounds the Council believe that was them giving us permission.

Also out of the advice that the Council received was to try and get a behind closed doors hearing to try and resolve this application. The Council said that if they won that "behind the closed door" hearing, as I call it, then that way there would not be a need for the public hearing. The Council have tried to stop the public hearing because when that goes ahead then the public will not hear the truth, the public will not have a voice and most of all the public does not get their say. And on this matter the residents of Standish needs their say and it will be heard.

As part of the process the Council, as the objector to the Village Green Hearing, had to ask for my opinion on the "behind closed door" hearing. Their thinking behind this idea was it would save money because there would be no need for a public hearing and also witness's would not need to go through the process. As part of my objection I said this was out of the ordinary and would not save money if we won because we would then need a public hearing the witness's evidence would be needed to decide if the application stands or falls

The inspector that is overseeing this application has now returned his opinion and direction and that is that there will be a public hearing. There will not be a pre hearing like the Council had asked for and it will be determined in the usual way of a one stage public hearing.

Now comes some serious hard work in preparing for the public hearing. With bundles made up and prepared, opening and closing statements drafted and redrafted. I will be calling a public hearing to update residents. Keep watching.



Wednesday, 22 October 2014

Council takes step closer to closing Ashfield playing fields.

Wigan Council are doing what they do best - closing things! They are taking another step to closing Ashfield and trying not to get people to notice it. But this is of great concern to me.

Ashfield is a campaign that I, like the population of Standish, are very passionate about. We all know that in 2012 the Council were having conversations with Persimmon and Morris Homes about building houses on the feilds. The Council spent nearly £3000 on leaflets only the other month and sent them to every house in Standish saying that the closure of Ashfield is not true. However, the Council at the end of last football season removed the changing rooms and they did not return at the beginning of this years season. Many thought that they went away for the summer just to be refurbished or something and would return at the start of the season.

Now we are well into the football season and the Council have not returned the changing rooms and South Lancs League have now banned ALL their teams from playing on Ashfield because their criteria is that the grounds have to have on site changing facilities.

Now the football teams cannot plan on Ashfield because of the Council's decision to remove the changing rooms and no doubt the Council will in time will say, what they usually do, that the fields are no longer being used by football teams and so they are defunct and they can sell them. Remember when the Council block new pupils attending Mere Oaks and then they said that children were not going there so that's why it had to close.

I have contacted the Council with my concerns and I am demanding that the changing rooms are put back ASAP to allow the teams back on the feilds before they go and find other permanent places to play on.

Shame on this shameful Council who only purpose seems to try and publish and get opposition Cllrs that oppose them!

Monday, 20 October 2014

Wigan Council spend £50,000 to stop Ashfield Village Green Application

Obviously many of you will know that in 2012 I put in a Village Green Application to Save Ashfield Park from developers. Wigan Council put out their usual lies that they never had conversations about selling Ashfield Parks, knowing that we had the information under the Freedom of  Information and we published it on line.

However after years of battling to stop a public hearing I learnt a little time ago that wigan Council have spent well over £50,000 on barristers and solicitors. That's your money - not theirs. So I decided this needed to be looked at and again under the Freedom Of Information I requested to find out how much they have spent on the Ashfield Village Green Hearing. I thought that the figure I had been quoted was a little high, even for the Council. However, Wigan Council have come back and said they will not tell me nor you the figure because it will have a detrimental impact on the hearing that will be coming up. Question why would it be detrimental on the hearing knowing the figure? Answer it wouldn't however what it would do is show and demonstrate how much Wigan Council does not want you to know the truth what they are doing with

a) your money and
b) how they much they don't want this village green hearing.

I will know be reporting the Council to the Information Commissioner and ask him to get involve and ask him to force the Council to release the figure. What the Council and the dictators can't get their heads around is the truth always comes out.    

Sunday, 19 October 2014

Technology will mean less jobs

The big political debate at the moment is about immigration. UKIP is polling high in some areas. The main discussion is that people from other country's are not needed and we should keep the jobs for the British. Gordon Brown even said in 2010 British Jobs for British Workers. They claim that we should not be giving immigrants benefits neither. I don't think many will argue with this.

However, on the issue of jobs because technology is taking over there will be less jobs in the future so we do not need as many people from abroad. If you mention topics like this the loony left start saying you are a racist, which is complete nonsense and just prove that they will try any tactic including trying to scaring people not to discuss topics that they want to that are effecting us.

On the issue of jobs let's look at technology in every day life. We are seeing more and more scan your own shopping for example and self serving tills in Supermarkets. This will cut work forces in Supermarkets. But this is just one example that our every day life is changing and we don't realise that it is effecting jobs and we can't stop this change, What we need to do is change with it and adapt with it.

I believe that a fair system for immigration is a similar style system as they have in places like Australia and New Zealand. This is were it is a point scoring points and for jobs that we need filling. Common sense but the Westminster Bubble that our politicians live in don't get it or they don't want to say this to Europe. Tricky situations but let's have leaders that serve and lead.

Alcohol harm

At a recent Confident Health Scrutiny meeting there was an agenda item on how alcohol was harming people and what can be done on it.

This agenda was talked by a few Labour Cllrs saying that it was the failure of this Government to introduce a minimum price per unit. For me this is either the failure to understand reality or divert attention that it was in fact Labour's introduction of 24 hour drinking law that has fueled this problem. It could even be a combination of the two.

When I think back to my days there were occasions as a teenager and young male when yes I got drunk. It wasn't ever night, wasn't even every week, but never to the point of needing medical attention and therefore knowing when enough is enough. I guess many people have got drunk at some point in their life, it may be the whole idea for them for going out with the sole aim of getting drunk but I guess some people have just had a great time and got carried away.

In my time, when I was younger, and went out clubbing etc you would probably go out about 7.30 pm into a pub for a few hours and then move into a club around 11 for the remained of the night but kicked out by 2 am and that was your lot.

Now youngsters get "tanked up" on cheap drink from the supermarket because and wait till between 11 - 12 before evening going out. That is serious and you can see why there are problems. if you introduce a minimum price per unit  people would do the beer run again to the continent or buy it from someone who has been.

Now with the 24 hour drinking law that was introduced under Labour it is probably time that, whilst it may work in some parts, London, it probably not OK for the whole Country and maybe the Local Authority should have the say whether they have 24 hours drinking law. Whilst some may say if Cities have the 24 Hour drinking then young people will just go out in there I would seriously question if youngsters from Wigan would travel to Manchester every weekend and probably do it occasionally.

If we went back to the old times then I do feel that it would benefit better health for people and they would still have a great night out.
 
If you want to view the Council report have a look here.

Tuesday, 14 October 2014

Labour selection for By-Election

Last night the Labour Party had a meeting to chose their candidate for the forth coming by-election in Douglas. The are some in fighting going on and the Labour Cllr Stephen Murphy who was chairing the meeting and selection, so I believe, had his step son in the race. He already has one son in as a Cllr for the safe Labour seat Pemberton.

There were 3 woman and one male in the race for the seat

There were 11 people who turn up to vote and the first vote went 6 votes for Cllr's Murphy Son and 5 for a lady called Maggie Stellen. After a protest it was discovered that one of the votes for Cllr Stephen Son was not eligible to vote because she was from Beech Hill. So another vote was and then vote went to Maggie Stellen.

I believe the Labour Party have not announced this yet to confirm if this is true and it will be interesting what they say about the the voting and why they had to have two votes.

Saturday, 11 October 2014

By election week - My thoughts

This week was by election week with two high profile seats up for grabs. With UKIP targeting both seats and fighting hard, one against Labour and one against the Conservative. Both where considered to be safe seats for the respective parties.

The first seat, which was Clacton and was called when the former Conservative MP, Douglas Carswell resigned from the Conservative Party and as a MP. Then he re-stood in the By-Election. He was considered a very popular constituent MP and was it was considered that he would retake the seat, only this time as a UKIP MP. In fact he would be the first ever elected MP.

The second Seat was the traditional Labour Seat of Heywood and Middleton after the sudden death of Labour MP, Jim Dobbin. In this seat Labour had a majority of over 6000 so that was considered a safe seat for Labour and it was expected that Labour would retain that seat. During the campaign for this seat UKIP put up a big fight and the week before the election it was becoming more evident that UKIP was putting a big dent into Labour's majority. The question was how much of a dent?
Back down in Clacton the questions were can UKIP get their first ever elected MP and if so how much of a majority can they achieve. Big stakes indeed after this was considered a safe Conservative seat.

So Friday morning came and the votes started to arrive in. Given that I wake up numerous times during the night and my interest in politics I kept watching to see the results come in. The first was Heywood and Middleton, the safe seat for Labour. The dent that UKIP was expected to put into Labour’s majority was colossal. It was so colossal they nearly won the seat. The dent had come down to a little over 600. Massive dent indeed. The Conservatives have a slogan at the minute for next year’s election. Vote UKIP get Labour. I think it is fair to say in this case it would be more appropriate for UKIP to use the slogan Vote Conservative and get Labour. Given that the Conservative candidate only got over 3000 votes. If UKIP had used that slogan and got 9% of the Conservatives to use their vote strategically then they might have stolen this seat off Labour. What a victory that would have been.

Later in the night the Clacton vote came in and the former Conservative MP Douglas Carswell won the seat, which was expected but what was clearly not expected was the size of the majority that he would get. Over 12,000! This is a not only a comfortable majority but incredible for their first ever elected MP. To get that majority Mr Carswell took nearly 60% of the vote. Unlike the Heywood election where I just described that had UKIP targeted Conservative votes and said lend us your vote otherwise you get Labour, in the case of Clacton if all the other candidates had said just vote for just Conservative candidate, as they were the second largest party, then that strategy wouldn’t have worked as 6 out of every 10 votes cast went to UKIP. That is an amazing achievement. I know a little about this as I too polled nearly 60% when I stood in the Local Election in Standish in 2012.

I know the two main parties will take some comfort that in a general election turnout goes up considerably for them to maybe around 60% but for me there is a massive dynamite stick – the 40% that don’t vote because they just don’t care for the main parties. With the huge interest in UKIP if UKIP can tap into floating voters of the 40% that don't naturally vote then that would be a great statically advantage for UKIP. I guess that the main stream parties need to try and engage with this 40% as well otherwise this sleeping giant could awake and roar.

I think it is fair to assume, to some degree, that politics in the UK is up in the air and anything can happen. The question is can UKIP regain the momentum that they are riding high on at this moment or will they fade. I would surmise that if they fail to make big in roads in the next year General election that would be a real possibility that they would fade but should they make gains then history could be in the making and a new kid is on the block.   

I guess people have the power back in their hands!

Sunday, 5 October 2014

The report that Labour didn't want you to see.

This is the report that Labour and the Council didn't want you to see.

In 2013 I report the then Labour Cllr Emma McGurrin, who sat on the Planning Committee, for dealing and working with developers who wanted to build in Standish. After all this time the Council still haven't released this information. Isn't it funny when it is opposition Cllrs they plaster it all over the media but yet when it's one of theirs they keep quiet.

In the report you will see that my allegations were proven and that she also accepted hospitality from one developer. Shame on her! However, what is worrying that it broke the code of conduct and when the Chief Executive and  Leader of the Council found out about it they did not tell the developers to stop lobbying a Cllr who sat on the Planning Committee.

In the report you will see that she provided information to developers about the Core strategy, (2000+ houses for Standish). This is again against the rules.

Since the report I have said to the Council that they should do a thorough investigation just to confirm that this is and was the only Cllr on the planning committee that participated in this kind of practice. Reason why I say this is we all know it would be wrong but the developers seem to think it was OK or maybe they were common practice for them. either way it raises worrying questions that surely need looking at. To date the Council refuse to do this and say it was only Cllr Emma McGurrin that did this. How would they know if they have not investigated the whole issues?

Here is the report into Emma McGurrin.



This is not the first time a Labour cllr has broken serious rules. Labour Cllr and ex Mayor Billy Rotherham was found guilty of forwarding confidential emails to his son who was in a tendering process for some local facility. Here is that story.


The Week that ended......5 October 2010

So the end of the first week in October. Where's the year going? It's certainly flying by. What a week this has been for myself . It never surprise me what no lows Wigan Council will go to try and get me, bless. This week I have been in the news numerous times and so have a whole heap of other Cllrs for so called standards issues but the real let down is Labour. But we'll get to that in a bit.

So lets start about me. Earlier in the week I had a call from a reporter from the local paper, Wigan Evening Post, asking about what I thought on the new sanctions? I asked what he was talking about and Wigan Labour Standards Quango Court had apparently met to discuss the fact that I have not apologised to the Chief Executive about her being a Liar and political biased. That story is here. The thing with this is when the Committee originally met they read the decision notice was read out but there was no mention of me having to apologise, in fact they said that there was nothing they could do and they would keep watching me. In fact the Wigan Evening Post ran a story on the hearing too where they reported that the Council had exhausted their findings, here is that report. That decision notice, when it is read out, is known as a statutory notice, so it is final. However, from being read out, to going in the press the bit about being made to apologised was illegally place in. Wonder who put that it? Yes you and me are guessing the same person - the Chief Executive herself. Obviously if this is the case what a unscrupulous, unprincipled person who should not hold any post in the Council, least of the senior post. Trust me yet another why I am challenging this in the High Courts, Wigan Council can't get away with making it up.

So after the meeting this week they decided because I hadn't apologised, which someone was now saying I should have done and the Council will be taking my Council laptop and IT equipment off me and snooping on my emails. After I stopped laughing I told the reporter that I didn't have any Council Laptop or IT equipment so how on earth could the Council take something off me what I haven't got? Just goes to demonstrate how stupid this Council is! You simply couldn't make this up. So why did they meet? Why did they not tell me first? Why did they tell the press before me! Simple - Bullying and this is just demonstrates to me and many that it is political motivated and people are misusing their powers and if so the Council and Civil servants should butt out and not medal in politics, that should be between the Cllrs. 


So why they run round trying to make negative stories up against me I will simply get on with being a Cllr but also I am taking a number of Legal opinions and advice on over some serious issues which I can't comment on at this time. One thing is one of my legal teams has said how Wigan Council miss use the Standards Committee for political ends rather than doing for genuine cases. Interesting and just proves my point.


But if Labour and the Council want to talk about standards they should start by apologing for the fact that a Labour Cllr, Joy Birch has been living in Ireland for months whilst taking and claiming her Cllrs allowances. that could be over £4000 and I believe should be paid back. However, Labour and the Council didn't think any one would find out and they could get away with it. Wrong! I exposed it here on the blog. Read that story here. Now because of me exposing her she's had to quit a by election will now be called and the people will have 3 Cllrs again. 


However, will all the negative press that the council continues to put out about me do me any harm? It seems not given the great comments I am receiving from resident including from 2 x 92 year old ladies. Also it seems the publicity that the Council are giving me is pushing up my profile. I say this because more and more people are contacting me for help including many now from other Wards in the Borough.


The number of people who have contacted me over the rise of Anti Social behaviour this week is growing and worrying. From neighbour nuisance to pub windows being smashed, the Shamrock Pub on Preston Rd has had 7 windows all smashed and people are thinking that the Council and Police are letting the area down and they are worried that the area is getting worse and if it doesn't improve they would look to move out of the area. So where you once had the case that Standish was the area that people wanted to live it is becoming less desirable. That is where we as the local Cllrs are stepping in and helping the residents that are experiencing some difficulties and we are making sure that they get the help and support that they need.

Friday, 3 October 2014

We gain a Labour Scalp.

After yesterdays revelations about a Labour Cllr living in Ireland whilst still claiming her tax payers allowance has quit. This I believe has about to over £4000 and therefore she should pay it back. Out of the money Labour have taken their subs - or kick backs from her - so they are implicit in this and they too should pay the money back. Question is will they?

And this was the behavior of an ex mayor too. Shame on her!!!

But this will now force a by election in the Douglas ward.

Thursday, 2 October 2014

Labour Cllr lives in Ireland

Over the last few weeks Labour have been up to their usual tricks of trying to bash opposition Cllrs and saying they sit on the moral high ground. They have accused an opposition Cllrs of mis using tax payers money and yet their have been sat on their own little dirty secret, One thing that is shocking the ward of Douglas tonight is a political scandal. I have learnt from a Labour Cllr, that is disgruntled at the way the Council are treating me, that Labour Cllr Joy Birch is and has been living in Ireland for a few months now, possibly for the last 5 months.

I also understand that she informed the Labour Party that she wanted to stand down a couple of months ago but they asked her not too because they are worried of the UKIP threat at the minute and asked her just to attend the one meeting in 6 months.

What is interesting when you send Labour Cllr Joy Birch  an email is it bounces back. Also if you look at her details on the Council website you see that there is no address but she uses the Town Hall address and also there is no phone number for her. So there is no way any residents in her ward can get in touch with her but yet I hear she still claims her Cllr allowance. This has cost tax payers 000's.  Residents in her ward believe she may have been ill and they wish her the best for recovering, as do I, but they feel why should she get paid for being a Cllr when she is doing nothing as a Cllr and lives in another Country.

This is not the first time this has happened Lib Dem Cllr Hoggs did this a few years ago and Labour Leader Peter smith said about that Cllrs should not get paid if they don't do Council work, to which I would agree with him. I wonder why he has allowed this to go on and also because the Council know this has been happening they are involved in this disgraceful act. One resident told me that if she has been paid but she has not been doing the work would that be classed as stealing tax payers money? Under the current rules, I explained, that Cllrs only have to attend one meeting every 6 months but even if they do this then they are expected to carry out the day to day duties which obviously this Labour cannot do if she lives abroad.

I am therefore demanding that Cllr Joy Birch stand down immediately and I am also writing to the Labour Leader and Chief Executive of the Council of this matter and request that they call a by election ASAP and if they don't, I know residents will be getting their own petition up calling for her to resign and force a by-election that they really should have called by now. Shame on them!!!

Sunday, 28 September 2014

Council block me parking now.

Are Wigan Council being petty?

So I work full time in Manchester and I commute on by train. Usually I park at Appley Bridge or Gathurst which are the closest train stations to where I live in Standish. The great things is that they are close and free parking in the area too.

When I come home the train gets in at 17.50, should it be on time, which is not the usual, it is about 5 - 10 mins late. So the problem occurs when I have a meeting at the Council at 6pm. Should I go back on the train to Appley bridge and walk to the car and drive back to Wigan it would be about 6.25/ 6.30pm so I would miss the first 25/ 30 mins so on the days I have council meetings are business I will get up 20 mins earlier and then drive into Wigan, park at the Council and then walk to the train station and then get the train. That way on the way back I can get off 2 stops earlier and get to the meetings on time. 

However the Council Chief Executive has now emailed and said that I cannot do this but yet Councillors can park there to do their shopping, yes they can park for their shopping - unbelievable! Also the leader of the Council, Lord Peter Smith, parks on the Council car park whilst he is in London for days at a time whilst he sits in the house of Lords. Donna Hall says this is OK because he represents the Council in the Lords. This is not true it is a political position appointed by the Labour Party and he is there to represent the Labour Party, so why is he allowed to park for free?

Also how did the Council know what I did when I parked the Car up? they had some one follow me to see where I went and and the got on the train and see where I went from their. What a complete waste of tax payers money.

For me this is yet again the Council being petty and just out to make life as hard as possible and one rule for me and another for Labour!

Saturday, 27 September 2014

Labour controled Wigan Council hack 3 Cllrs emails!

It is well known that the Council are obsessed with getting opposition Cllrs that they don't like. Today I have learnt that the Council have been following me and also hacking into 3 Cllrs emails, no prizes for guessing that no doubt I will be one of those.

Below is a letter from the Council confirming what I am saying. What you will be surprised at is the Council say they don't know who ordered the hacking. They don't know when and how many times they were hacked. For me this is lies because if they were doing this as part of an investigation, which they try and say, then they would make sure they got all the legality's correct. That would include getting legal advice on whether it is legal or not and if so what they have to do to keep within the law. A number of those things is who gave the order, correct record keeping is kept on all the details of the hacking and the cases. If they genuinely don't know then it proves that they are incompetent and are not fir for purpose and sackings must take place.

I have now written to the Leader of the Council and called for an immediate investigation to get to the bottom of this matter and all the facts are disclosed. I have also demanded to know if I am, as I suspect, one of those emails that were hacked. It is worrying not just for me but for residents that elected me because like a couple found out earlier this year when they emailed me it was taken before it got to me and put into a holding area to be read before I got it. In fact, in that case I only got the email when the couple challenged me on why I had not responded and then I asked the Council why had I not got the email. After that investigation it was confirmed by the Council that they had intercepted it and with held it from me.

This is a serious matter and in my view, illegal, and I will be reporting the matter to the Police and I will be setting up a secure email address that the Council does not hold control off so that if you email me you know it will be kept secret and not read by others, especially if it is a sensitive case, like the ones I have been dealing with this year.


Sent: Thursday, August 21, 2014 5:51 PM
Subject: Freedom of Information Requests - ID 5335

I am writing to respond to your freedom of information request   This request has been handled under the Freedom of Information Act 2000.
The response to your request is detailed below.
Examination of how the Council maintained network and supported devices are utilised is periodically performed by Internal Audit to assess all staff and members compliance with the Council's Acceptable Use of ICT and IT Security policies. This includes appropriate examination of logs in relation to network security, internet, emails and text messages. Authorisation to perform these functions is contained within the Constitution. Where any suspected irregularities are identified then further detailed investigations are conducted and reported accordingly. Internal Audit activities are reported 6 monthly to the Audit, Governance and Improvement Review Committee and also in the Council's statutory disclosure document.
In addition to these planned reviews, ad hoc investigations are also performed where there is suspected misuse of Council provided IT based services that could lead to disciplinary action against officers and/or Members and/or referral to the Police for prosecution where appropriate.
As outlined in your request I can provide the following information.
Access to specific members records was as follows:
2012/13 - 2 members
2013/14 - 1 additional member
The reason for access to all records was due to investigations.
There is no record maintained of the exact dates and number of times records are accessed as all occasions would have been required for the purpose of the investigations.
If you are unhappy with any aspect of this response, an independent senior officer will review this decision. Please let me know if you would like to arrange this.You can also complain to the Information Commissioner, who is the regulator for Freedom of Information. His website is www.informationcommisioner.gov.uk and his helpline number is 0303 1231113.
His staff may ask you to exhaust our internal complaints procedure if you choose to complain to his office now.
May I take this opportunity to apologise for the delay in responding to your request, this is due to the high volumes currently being received.

Yours Sincerely


Data Protection and Freedom of Information OfficerResources Directorate
Legal & Risk
Wigan Council
Town Hall
Wigan
WN1 1YN

Thursday, 25 September 2014

Labour vote against banning Porn on Cllrs Computers!!!

Recently there have been a wide media attention on an independent Cllr from Tydlesley, Cllr Robert Bleakley. This Councillor was found guilty recently of having accessed porn on his Council laptop and ran up a phone bill on his Council blackberry for personal use, including premium rate numbers. Labour have been calling for this Cllr to resign and recently set up a petition calling for him to resign.

The ward for Tydlesley has about 12000 voters and I believe that this petition has got about 129 people from with in the Ward.

However, at last night Council meeting Labour put a motion to Full Council for him accessing porn sites. First of all I wonder I would question why doesn't Labour have a problem with the Councillor calling up premium rate numbers  and other numbers for personal calls to the tune of £2400? Surely if they have a problem it is over both issues but Labour seem to only worry about the porn sites.

Cllr Bleakley has always said the media coverage and the issue of trying to get him to resign was a witch hunt.

At last night's meeting I was going to table an amendment that the Council would ask ALL Cllrs to resign their seats if they were found to have porn on any Council equipment and also if they misused taxpayers money in claiming allowances or expenses. I was told by the Legal Dept that that amendment would not be competent because it would change the original motion, however they advised if I said, "This Council calls for any and all Cllrs that have or found to have, in the future, porn on any Council Equipment", then that would be competent and so I put this ammendment to the Council meeting last night. This way the Council would send out a clear message that we as a Council would not tolerate porn on Council equipment like their , laptops, Blackberry's or iPads.

Surprisingly Labour voted against this but yet vote to ask Cllr Bleakley to resign. Why would they do that ? Surely if they have an issue with Cllr Bleakley accessing porn on his Council Laptop they would have the same approach for all Cllrs on all Council equipment. But here we have them voting against my motion and I can only draw the conclusion that Labour are not bothered about their Cllrs that have porn on their Laptops. That is disgusting and now Labour have let Standards continue to be in the gutter by voting against motion. It seems to me that Labour don't mind their Cllrs to mis use their Council Equipment for accessing porn otherwise they would have voted with my motion!


Thursday, 18 September 2014

Scotland's voting

So at last the day has come where Scotland is given the chance to vote for independence. What is strange to me in all of this is the fact that all of three leaders of the 3 main political party's have said if Scotland votes no then they will get more powers for their parliament. Isn't that independence if they can do things on their own? What is also strange is the fact that all 3 leaders say we are all equal in this union but yet Scotland gets more power than you can imagine. I believe that under the current formula that each Scot gets £1200 more than we do in England. The people of Scotland don't pay for prescriptions or tuition fees. This last point is interesting because it was Labour's Scottish MP's that pushed through charging for University Fees in England when it doesn't even effect them as the people in Scotland don't pay. This is called the West Lothian question.

To me if we are all equal then we either all should not pay for things like tuition fees and prescriptions or we all do. It is as simple as that. If the Scottish Nationalist think they be better off then I hope Scotland votes yes and let's see how they cope with out our funding from England.

Back bench MP's from all the 3 main party are getting upset, if you believe some reports, that Scotland get special treats and they should be treated like us - I so agree with that. Scotland should vote whether they want to stay in the union because they want to or not. They should not vote on bribes from England like free prescriptions and free tuition fees.

Sunday, 7 September 2014

Thought of the week...7 Aug '14

This week has been a quiet one in terms of meetings. I have been dealing with a number of residents issue including anti social behavior, which seems to be on the increase in Standish, and other matters that concern the residents personally and I will be working on.

What seems to have been a popular post was my thought on the Ashya King story and many [people emailed and told me to my face that they thought it as a good post. So with that in mind and with there not too much to report on the week that ended... thread I thought I would do a thought of the week series and this will include some issues that residents are making to me.

The first one that is relevant to Standish is that we have a new business in the Village, which is always good, however, this is a tattoo parlor and whilst it may be popular with some people to have a tattoo some think that it brings the area down and gives the wrong impression what Standish is. A more serious concern is the name of the place called Holy Trinity Tattoo. This business is situated on Preston Road opposite Lidl. With many people in Standish going to church, belonging to a church or simply respecting the church they feel that this name is inappropriate and I would tend to agree. Whilst I am happy for business to be able to work with interference I do believe that there should be some things that government, national or local, can do to make sure communities are respected. I will be writing to the Business and Council on the matter and see if there can be some solution to the issue of the name.

A growing concern is that the lareg Coop, formerly known as Somerfields is closing this month and it will be closed for approx 6 months, and then reopen as a Aldi. Again whilst choice is important many people believe that having two lower end supermarkets is not the right image for Standish (what do I hear Labour calling us? snobs ). I would agree again that business are appropriate for the area and if people of Standish do not shop at both then one of them will close if that happens maybe another higher end superamrket will come into the area. What is interesting is that I have learnt that Lidl wanted to go into Shevington first and they think that most people from Shevington come to shop there over from people Standish. Interesting that they couldn't find the space in Shevington.

So are these comments just a few on the streets about the image of Standish? It is interesting that on a recent survey that we are currently running, see other post on the blog for that, nearly 5% complain of not having a good quality supermarket.

Whilst on that survey it is probably a good point to raise some other results coming through. On a positive 65% think they are quite or extremely safe in Standish but 10% think they are either not safe or only slightly safe. 45% are worried about the houses that are being imposed on us but 61% are concerned with the traffic issue. To date this Labour controlled Council has not said one improvement that they will to address the traffic in Standish. Typical grab the money from all these houses promise us the earth and yet again fail to deliver. 75% of people who have taken part so far have said Wigan Council do not do  a good job for Standish. Now it wasn't that long ago that the Labour Leader Cllr peter smith said that 99.9% of people in Wigan are happy with the Council. I tweeted that he better come to Standish because they weren't there. Finally on Ashfield question 70% people believe us over Ashfield even after the Council have spent thousands with more lies about Ashfields. Don't they know that we have seen the emails that I have shared over the internet?

In summary I wounder if people do feel that Labour are running Standish into the ground, that would help them politically as of the last election they came third and if they can help run down the area they would have a better chance of winning because many residents have or thinking of moving out the area because of what it is becoming. Not just my thoughts but let me share one of them comments from the survey
This will sound snobbish but.... Standish has gone down. I've lived here for all of my 52 years and it now does not have the same glitter. It's now no different to any other place in Wigan. When i was younger if you told any one you lived in Standish they used to say 'ooooo Stannndddiiishhh' Not now.it's now seen as a car park with lots of mid range houses and a place that has a big drug problem.   
Food for thoughts that people are thinking of this now. For me Labour mustn't be allowed to get away with this and one thing I can assure people that the 3 Standish Independents will be fighting the destruction of Standish!

Finally I would like to thank the many many residents that have phone, emailed or said to me in the streets that they welcome the camera footage and they are fully behind me in the quest for ripping off the doors of the Town Hall and making it more transparent. On the Standards case that the two clips show it is clear the Chief Executive has not come out in good light with you. Many have said if she complained about me calling her a liar why wouldn't she answer the simple question and why would she think that this line of questioning is inappropiate and/or bizarre when that is her complaint? Also I love the comment one gentleman said to me in the Coop yesterday,, after viewing those two clips on Donna Hall I know who are happy. I asked who? He said the people of Chorley for getting rid of her. Some interesting comments but from me a big thank you for the huge support and there will be a big announcement very soon on this matter.

Wednesday, 3 September 2014

Chief Executive on political biased

In the recent compliant against myself from the Chief Executive there were two parts to it. The first part was that I called her a liar, which I did. Here is the first clip from the meeting showing that she wouldn't answer the first part on whether she was or wasn't a liar. Make your own mind up on why she wouldn't answer.

The second part however was that I said, in my opinion that she was political biased. At the standards hearing you can see on the clip that a Cllr who sits on the committee even says that the view from opposition benches is that she is biased. Looks like it is not just me then that thinks this. In the clip you can hear Chief Executive saying that she was never aware of this. Here is a news article from the Wigan Evening Post showing that opposition Cllrs met to discuss the matter some time ago. Given the article has the Chief Executive's face on it you would have thought someone in the Town Hall would have said something. Also given that the motion was tabled, but withdrawn, at the last minute she would have been aware of that.

On the second clip you can see that she is very uncomfortable being questioned in this way and watch how she signals something to the monitoring officer, to which he starts writing. I hear a complaint has been made against the Cllr for asking the question. Surely the committee can us all, including me and the Chief Executive questions that they feel are relevant. Whether we both agree with them is irrelevant because it is the committee asking those questions and not us.



Monday, 1 September 2014

Quick Survey for Standish residents

So we are trying out surveying what residents think in Standish. I know many people visit the site from other areas and don't worry there will be more survey's that you can take part in. But if you live in Standish please  take the time to fill out the survey.  You do not need to give any personal details.

Thanks

Create your free online surveys with SurveyMonkey , the world's leading questionnaire tool.


Many have filled it in already and some interesting outcomes are coming through. we will share the results once we end the survey.

Sunday, 31 August 2014

Ashya King Story. Hardest decision they must have had to make.

So in the news this week was the issue of young Ashya King being taken out of hospital and taken abroad. The media reports that I saw was shocking thinking why would someone do this when if your child is ill you would want them in the hospital.

Then we found out that the parents have been arrested and the boy taken into hospital and you think thank god that little boy is getting medical treatment.

However, the father of the young has given a interview via YouTube, here is the link to that clip. In the clip the father says that when his son was in hospital the two doctors looking after his son said that they wanted to give him a radiotherapy. When the father asked for this other treatment they said it was not suitable. They went on to say that if the father questions their decisions they would get a protective order and they would not be allowed to see their son. For any parent that must have been hard and how he kept his cool under that kind of environment I don't know.

So they decided that they had second property in Spain and they could sell that and then pay for the treatment in Prague. The father says he was in contact with that centre so you see that he was not neglecting their son but just trying to use another form of treatment.

Now the authorities are involved that sale would not be allowed to go through and the funds to pay for the treatment of this little boy is stopped for the time being.

I have done a little research into this condition and the treatment the father wanted to have and there is a mother case in the UK where parents were told the same but were able to go to America and have the treatment that this father is wanting, the results seem brilliant . Here is that story.

I for one am a little sad that when I saw the News reports that I thought that this was a neglect case but you can only go of the information being given. Now that I have heard the other side, as they say there is always two sides to every story, I feel sad first of all for the Ashya King who is not getting the treatment that his parents feel would give him the best chance to survive. secondly I feel sorry for the parents being told that if they question doctors then the doctors would get a protective order on. Whilst I fully support them kind of orders where there is a genuine case of needing to protecting the child they should not be abused just because the parents want an alternative or at least to discuss alternatives. It is a hard situation and one can only hope the police get the legality sorted one way or another so that Ashya can get the treatment that he needs rather than the whole thing being rapped up in red tape.

As a parent I feel for the parents and my heart goes out to them because at the moment they are in a police station answering questions rather than being with their son. I hope it can be resolved speedily.


Saturday, 30 August 2014

First clip inside Town Hall

So many will know for years I have been fighting to allow video cameras in the Town Hall to record meetings. Labour have always resisted this and even went to the extraordinary step of banning recordings. However the coalition government have now made it law that recordings can be taken.

The Chief Executive complained to the Standards Committee in the Town Hall that I called her a liar and she was political biased. This last week saw the hearing take place. Previously I have commented on the fact that it was unlawful but this post is to show you hope the Chief Executive dodged the crucial question. After all if you complain that someone has called you a liar you would expect that question to be asked.


Many people have commented to me saying that if the complain was about me calling her a liar then why would she not answer the question?

Obviously there is over 5 hours of footage and I am sure you all have more important things to do but I thought in the interest of open and transparency I show you how the crucial bit was answered.    

Wednesday, 27 August 2014

Labour controlled Quango at it again.

So the Labour controlled Quango have met today to look at two allegation that I breached the code of conduct as a Cllr. This is a code when a Cllr is acting in their official capacity as a Cllr. Obviously I am a person that use the internet and social media extensively, like this blog. Any reasonable minded person would think when they read my blog they are reading my opinion, it even says at the side these are my opinion.

Next the Council said that I accused the Chief executive of being politically biased towards Labour and then she was concerned I said she had lied.

So the first point is in my run up to the election in 2012 she wrote a letter that was in a Labour Leaflet saying I wasn't telling the truth over Ashfield. She said there was no discussions with a developer. Yet i got the information under the freedom of information. In fact here have a look for yourself. Here are their emails where the director of planning discusses the matter at length and even met with them to discuss their plans. I will let you decide who is telling the truth on the matter.

Then there was the issue of lies. I was emailed a link from an anonymous person a website. The headline is Donna Hall rocker or fibber? In the link, which is here , there is a BBC player where she says that she was actually in a band called Chumbawamba. Then after it became clear she wasn't in the band she states just for the record I was never in the band but you can hear her she was in the band. So I guess this proves she told a lie. So when it came today and I was able to ask her questions about the allegations I asked have you have told a lie, to which she wouldn't answer the question, saying it was appropriate. Hello given that we are looking at your allegation that I said you lied it is absolutely pertinent and central to the issue.

So then it comes to what I said was it wrong? Given that the emails prove that the Council had extensive talks and discussions about Ashfield proves my first point. Given the band link it is clear she got caught out there too.

On the political bias bit I had gotten into an email exchange prior to the election and I asked her if she was a member of the Labour Party Hierarchy and she answer in an email that she was the chief executive. Surely that would prove that she is biased. To be honest i am pretty sure given that the emails where getting heated that she didn't ready my emails and probably thought that I was talking about the Council, which is different to a political party.

So was the investigation fair? Not a chance to be fair someone who is carrying out an investigation has to say at the start of the process is this allegation true or not. However when I asked the question why was I not interviewed as part of the process she said she didn't need too. I ask how many times or when did she think I was not guilty of these allegations? answer - never! so therefore the investigator had a preconceived conclusion and I was never going to get a fair go at it.

When I pointed out that one of the issues was the weekend after I was elected she said that was fine, however, what she didn't know was that you are only a Cllr four days after the election by law. So therefore if I wasn't even a Cllr by law then I wasn't under the code of conduct.

So we come to was this investigation not only fair but competent? I would argue not given that it was carried out by a qualified accountant in internal audit and works for the Council. Given that the boss of the organisation was the complainant do you think she could have gone against her? The person should never have been put under that pressure and an external investigator should have been appointed. However last time an external investigator was used for when the chief executive complained about me they said and concluded that I was not guilty. So I guess the Council wanted to make sure that they got the answer they wanted an appointed an employee of the council.

So they find me guilty and have decided that they will publish this on the Council website and in the press. Don't they know that people know that the Council are biased towards Labour because it is controlled by Labour. Even one of the panel members on today's hearing said there opposition feel this is the case too but yet still Labour said I was guilty - crazy you could't make it up.

Some good news this was the first meeting that I taped on my camcorder so got it all on tape. Given that it is nearly 5 hours long I will edit the best bits and post on here at a later time.