Tuesday, 29 April 2014

Save Standish meeting

It was a good Save Standish meeting tonight. this was held at the Unity Club on Cross street. One thing that the group had done was put out display board out with maps, plans and other information.

Whilst turn out could have been better this was down to not being able to get leaflets out publishing the event, I believe. However some great ideas came out not least the one where we should ask the Council to have the planning applications in the \library in Standish. This is because on the internet they are hard to view and take time to download. Cllr George Fairhurst will be asking the Council this tomorrow as it is an excellent idea.

The reaction of having a referendum and leaving Wigan to go back to Lancashire was well received and we wait to hear back from Eric Pickles.

Save Standish leaflet coming out soon.

Sunday, 27 April 2014

Labour Candidate put her foot in it

Well Labour were first to get their election leaflet out. Describing herself as your local candidate and living here for 38 years blah blah blah. However, if she was local and lived here so long you would think she would have a sense of what is important to residents and with the fact that Standish is in uproar about the number of houses coming to Standish guess what YOUR LABOUR candidate wants? You guessed it, she wants more affordable homes. You couldn't make this up.

Tell her what you think on May 22 and tell her you don't want any new houses in Standish.

The Week that ended...27 April '14

What a week. This week personally has been a mix bag. One thing was it was my 40th. Gee I just look at that figure and can't believe it. Still like I am 30 something...lol. Thanks for all those that wished me a Happy 40th.

Anyway back to business the nominations had to be in to the Town Hall and we have submitted three. These are:-

Aspull New Springs Whelley - Janet Brown - Aspull and Standish Independents

Standish - Debbie Fairhurst - Standish Independents

                                                     Shevington -  Angie Bland - Shevington Independents

I know it is the European elections and some may get confused having two election papers but we believe we have a good chance for all three seats with the responses that we have had. Labour have two candidates for Standish the current Labour Cllr Emma McGurrin who is standing for Wigan Real Labour and then another person for Labour. That will be confusing for any Labour people out there.

Wednesday night was the last Full Council before the Elections and I had a motion to stop houses in Standish. Obviously Labour don't like talking about that and had a plan, which was to the Mayor no matter what kick Fairhurst out the meeting so he can't embarrass us. So when I tweeted that the Labour Leader says that 99% of residents support the Council I tweeted I don't think so. Then it came clear that the Council had a spy in watching me and said I was tweeting so the Mayor put it to the vote to have be kicked out. I said no, so he called the police. What a joke and waste of tax payers money! The national picked this up and the Daily Mail did a story on it. One thing people are saying is that the leader must me deluded to think that 99% of people support the Council and the second thing is that obviously Wigan Council is not open and transparent and run like North Korea. I can't wait for the Government to change the law and allow people to make recordings of the Council, Labour will be in trouble then.

Planning issues are still high and an application for another supermarket has been passed on Preston Road. Whilst I am not to concerned about the waste land having something on it, except houses, I am not in support of the scheme as it knocks down a number of existing buildings which will change the character of the Village, which the developers don't seem to care about.

There is a Save Standish leaflet about to come out, so keep your eyes open. this has all the housing applications on. which have been passed, which are proposed and what you can do.

Anti social behaviour is on the rise with youths being caught smoking cannabis and new area for drinking sessions. The police have now been alerted to these areas and will be monitoring them, which is good news.

On clean ups, if you know of an area that needs tidying please let  us know. 

Saturday, 26 April 2014

Election Special

So the deadline for the Election for candidates closed at 4pm on Thursday. Yesterday came the full list of candidates. Here is the link for the lists.

This year when people go to vote they will get two ballot papers, one for the local Councillor and one for the European election. Obviously they will have different names on them.

With the European elections UKIP have previously said that they will be standing in all 25 Wards that make up Wigan Council. As you can see there is only about 14. This is a clear sign that even with the hype they couldn't get candidates for all seats. That would suggest that they don't have the support for local elections as they claim.

In Standish, which is our first key seat, there are 7 candidates. It is funny how parties think that they can put people in that don't even live in Standish. UKIP again as an example have a candidate that lives in Ashton In Makerfield. This would demonstrate, if they can't get a local candidate, they don't believe they can win the seat.  In fact only 4 out of the 7 live in Standish. 2 live in Ashton and 1 lives in Scholes. The latter is interesting as this is the current Labour Councillor who has said that she has worked with developers for housing in Standish. But yet she is standing for a rival party, which she has set up called Wigan Real Labour. So a wide choice for residents to choose from.

Aspull New Springs Whelley ward borders with Standish Ward at the Railway bridge. So there are hundreds of houses in Standish that have to vote for a Aspull candidate. With them too being effected by the mass housing developments we are fielding a candidate in that Ward too. Janet Brown, who is our candidate there, has been working with residents in the area and has a great response and they all wanted her to stand.

The last seat is Shevington with Lower ground where we have Shevington Parish Councillor Angie Bland standing. Angela has been a district Cllr there before and has a huge amount of support and we will, like the two other seats, fighting the seat vigorously.

With 24 Labour Cllrs up for re election out of the 25 Wards one thing is for sure there will be less Labour Cllrs after the election. Will UKIP have a seat? I doubt this but I do think they will poll some good numbers. They best chances could be Pemberton, Winstanley and/ or Orrell

Friday, 25 April 2014

Thoughts on Tweet Gate

I have never thought I would be involved in a gate scandal, however, Tweetgate - as it has now become known as, goes to show how Labour blow everything out of proportion.

Let's get it right as there are some incorrect information out there and then some blanks too, so i will try and explain.

First it is not against the law or against the rules to tweet, text or even phone during a Council meeting. Some may say it is rude and I can see why some may say that. But then you have to take it into context. If someone is consistently texting or tweeting I would agree it would be rude. However it was about one tweet in 40 minutes and at the time when I tweeted, that I question the Labour leader comment that 99% of residents are happy, there was a Labour Cllr speaking about the bad old Tories in the 80's. Really? Mad that we are talking about national issues that happened 3 decades ago when there are important issues locally to discuss.

Secondly, the Mayor only asked people not to tweet he did not ban it has some have said. He doesn't have the authority to do that. If he wanted to ban it he would have to put it to the vote. He didn't. I can see why some have commented that the Mayor has become power mad and he should respect the rules and not make his own up.

Then we have to look at consistency, Labour Cllr Sue loudon was tweeting so why did the Mayor not through her out and it is surprising that the Council spy was only looking at my twitter rather than all.

On the response I have had it has been immense and I would like to thank all the comments that people have sent me. Not only from Wigan but all over the world, so thank you to you all.

Daily Mail article

The Daily Mail have done a great piece on the actions of the Mayor. Have a look at the, here is a link.

It is interesting that the Leader of the Council is upset that Wigan has been exposed for how it is run and tweeted that he is after me. What on earth? This is a man that is meant to be a member of the House of Lords and leader of a Council. Obviously he is not interested in serving the people of Wigan and allowing them to see what goes on!

Thursday, 24 April 2014

Labour get police to kick me out of Council meeting

You couldn't make it up. Last night at the Full Council the Mayor asked at the beginning of the meeting, that is important here - only asked, that members don't tweet. He then said I know at the last meeting Cllr Gareth Fairhurst tweeted and I would ask that you don't, as the the Council are tweeting.

So the meeting gets underway, some controversial items are on the agenda including Standards. the Mayor had been involved in being found guilty of sending confidential emails, that where about football pitch's, that his son was trying to win the bid to run. Not only was he found guilty but he and the Council tried to cover it up. When the Wigan Evening Post broke the story, here is a link they didn't like it and knew I would be speaking on the matter. Then there was a motion to hold the Council to it's policy of sticking to the core strategy. However, this, along with the cover story, is embarrassing for the Council. They knew I would be attacking this and they didn't want it. It is now clear that their strategy was to send an officer of the Council into the meeting and watch what I put on twitter. When the Labour Leader said that 99% of residents are happy with the Council I couldn't believe it. I spoke up after the leader and asked for his source of information as I doubt it to be true. I then tweeted what the Labour had said and how I questioned it. Then this very young female officer who had been sent in to spy on me came running to the front of the chamber and went to the Chief Executive and was showing her phone and pointing. The Chief Executive then told the Mayor who said, " I am halting the meeting because Cllr Gareth Fairhurst is tweeting and I propose that we vote for him not to be heard or kick him out what ever you want. "Labour voted for that. Whilst he was proposing, I stood up and said point of order Mr Mayor and I want legal opinion on this. He said no I have proposed it and that's it. Go. I do not cower down to bullies and kangroo court. Labour simply can't make the rules up to suit them and then not be questioned.

I was told my one of the old guards at the Town Hall that if I didn't agree with Labour for kicking me out then they couldn't remove me and the law is only a Police officer can ask you to leave. So when the Mayor said for me to go and I said no he adjourned the meeting till I left. I said I wasn't going. Then they called the police and two PCSO came, one who as highly professional and one with a right attitude. When I said, as did other opposition Cllrs, that they do not have a legal right to ask me to leave they said the police are outside. I then said if that's the case ask them in to ask me. They didn't know what to do.

Some time passed and then the Chief Executive announced that I wasn't leaving unless a Police Officer arrived to ask me and I was wasting tax payers money. Yet her last complaint against me cost between £6k - £8k and wasted tax payers money as I was found not guilt by an EXTERNAL investigator. Kettle and black come to mind. She should pay that money back out of her £163 000 salary. That's a disgraceful salary for a chief executive of a council.

Then when the Council rang the police there was no police available in Wigan, so they had to ring and get an officer that came from Eccles to come over and ask me to leave, which I did as that is a legal request.

The Mayor had no right to do what he did and I stand up to bullies. Labour do not want residents to know about what goes on, they want you only to know what they want you to know. This is more like North Korea than an open and transparent country that we are meant to live in.

Tuesday, 15 April 2014

Labour split

It has been no secret the mess Labour are in, in Standish. Labour Cllr Emma McGurrin has caused numerous issues for Labour and recently after a lengthy battle have now they have chosen a new candidate to fight this years' local election. Now Labour Cllr Emma McGurrin has decided to register a new party called Wigan real Labour. The thing is rather than it being just her on her own , the chairman of the Standish branch has also quit the Labour Party because of the way Labour hs treated their own Councillor. Together along with Cllr Bob Brierley from Hindley Green they have formed the new Party, so this year there will probably be two labour candidates on the ballot paper.

We know the people of Standish want a team that fight for them and not between themselves, like Labour are doing so I ope you can support our candidate.

Thursday, 10 April 2014

Calling out Lisa Nandy....

It has been brought to my attention that Wigan MP, Lisa Nandy has been calling me andCllr George Fairhurst liars over the issue of houses in Standish. She has said that it isn't true about Ashfield. Well she is 2 years behind the times, bless her. That was a story I broke 2 yrs ago and on that issue, this year we will be having a public inquiry about the issue, I guess she really doesn't know the state of play there.

Nor does she know what is happening about houses in Standish. Aprox 12 months ago she started a petition to save Standish Greenbelt land, unfortunately that was never under threat it was green open spaces that was. She did nothing. She hasn't even objected to the houses in Standish.

So here it is, Save Standish are holding a public meeting in a couple of weeks and here is a public invite for Labour MP Lisa Nandy to attend and I will go head to head with her and we will let the public ask any questions on the houses in Standish and we'll let them decide who is telling the truth, at least I know where Standish is. I believe she has been to Palestine more times than Standish.

Wednesday, 9 April 2014

Labour choose Candidate finally for Standish

...Breaking News...Breaking News...Breaking News...Breaking News...Breaking News...Breaking News...

Labour have finally got rid of Emma McGurrin as their candidate and now they have got a woman called Deborah Parkinson. They have offered her two years as being the candidate as they are not expected to win this year and they are hoping that residents will be confused next year when it is the General Election. Mind you after the mistake that residents did voting Emma in when it was a general election they have learnt the lesson and they wouldn't be making that mistake again, in my opinion.

Candidates are expected to be from ourselves, Standish Independents, Labour, Conservative and UKIP..

After the massive win 2 years ago we will be fighting hard to keep the trust of the residents and after all both myself and Cllr George Fairhurst have been working hard for years.

Tuesday, 1 April 2014

Goodbye George...

It is with sadness and also disbelief that I have to report that after years of battling to get a George Formby statue in Wigan and then getting it we now have to say goodbye.

Grand Arcade new owners, a company named Flair Polo have announced that due to health and safety concerns the Bronze Statue of George Formby has had to be moved as it is too dangerous to be  in a public area,
The statue is a really a victim of its own success, so many people travelled to Grand Arcade in Wigan then crowded around it to marvel at the expertly made Bronze, first unveiled in 2007. A spokesperson for Flair Polo said
We are very sorry it has come to this but our first priority is the health and safety of the Wigan people, Georges Statue is so popular that thousand make the journey from all parts of the globe just to gaze on this wonderful monument.

I will be writing to the Chief Executive of Flair Polo with my disgust and asking for this statue to be reinstated. 

The picture is the removal of the statue on March 21 after the shopping centre had closed.