Tuesday, 29 July 2014

Standish under threat again from lack of Fire Engines

I heard that yesterday there was a fire in Standish on High street at a shop. Wigan Fire Station has two pumps. One Engine was out on another job yesterday when the call came in for the Fire in Standish so they Brigade sent the back up pump from Wigan and the second one came from Hindley. Nothing too much wrong with this however, I have had it on good authority that the brigade is looking to cut further and one of those cuts could be in the way of the second pump at Wigan. If this did happen then when the call came in for Standish yesterday there would have been no pump in Wigan station and then they would have had to send the pump from Hindley and the second would have had to come from how know where.

Whilst I have not heard of any injuries thankfully I am concerned that if the second engine is cut in Wigan then lives will be put more at risk.

I will be contacting the Brigade about this and voicing my concerns and asking for their reassurances that they will not be cutting the second engine.

Sunday, 27 July 2014

Ed Miliband PR stunt

In today's media it is being reported that the Labour Party Leader Ed Miliband has said he wants to shake Prime Minister's questions up and get the public to ask the questions.

First thought is why would a leader of a national party would want to give up air time? One thought that he realises that he is not effective when he does it so by trying to get others to do it then it gets him of the hook. The second thought could be he wants to give the public a chance to grill the PM but what would that achieve? Would the member of the public asking the questions be satisfied that they have been able to hold the PM to account? If the leader of the opposition wants this then what would be the point of having him because if he got his way the public would be holding the PM to account.

Thirdly doesn't the public already hold their politicians to account, or at least have the chance at the ballot box?

Finally it has been reported that the Labour Leader of Wigan Council, who is also a Lord in the House of Lords doesn't not believe in being open and transparent because when an opposition Cllr (me) sent a tweet whilst in a Council meeting he called the police to get me out of the meeting. When parliament heard about this and now are going to make this against the law and then at another meeting because a Cllr was recording the meeting the Labour Leader voted through the whole meeting without discussion.

So if Ed Miliband is genuine about this then he surely has to get his own house in order first and tell his MP's, Lords and team to follow his suggestion. If he doesn't, which I don't believe he will then all this is just a Labour PR stunt in my opinion.

The week that ended......27 July '14

What a busy week! The first week of some students summer holidays and some last week at school as some schools now break up at different times. But what a week to start the summer holidays off - what great weather.

As for the old politics this week that has been busy too. On Monday the "Get Fairhurst Committee" o sorry the Labour Quango Standards Committee met to have another go at me - bless - they just don't like being challenged and they have now to me overstep and misused their powers to an unbelievable level and their response if you don't like it take us to court, thinking that no one will so they get away. However, this time they may not be so lucky as i have now had enough of the illegal actions, in my opinion, so I have sent the file of to my legal team how are now looking at their actions and we will respond in the appropriate way. People on Twitter have said Labour simply doesn't like a) being beaten and b) challenged. How true those people are!

On Tuesday we had some success finally in the area of housing because Persimmon planning application for another 250 houses on the former golf course site has been turned down. Here is that story in full. Whilst it is good news that finally we have won the second one, the first being Wainhomes withdrawing another application for 100 houses behind the Langham Rd estate, we are expecting that Persimmon will appeal to the Government planning inspector. Should they do this we will be demanding a public inquiry and that to be held in Standish so residents can go, listen, talk and see the dealings and evidence of the hearing. Once we know more on that we will obviously let you know so keep watching this blog for more news on that.  

Wednesday saw the first Summer sports camp which was a great success and the children (ages between 6- 14) all enjoyed it and said they will be coming back to the next sessions and bring their friends. The next session is on 6 August as Cllr Debbie Fairhurst, who is organising this summer camp, was unable to get the school this coming week. So week off this coming week and then we are back on the 6th August. For the story and what activities click here.

I had a reasonably busy surgery with some issues over cars parking and blocking pavements and planning issues. Obviously I will be dealing with them this week and getting back to those people.

On the matter of Woodfold, original story here, I have now heard that more leaflets are being distributed in Wigan and it is obvious that the parents and supporters feel very strongly about the matter, which i guess any and all parents who had safeguarding issues would. In terms of the parent s that came to our surgery last week the Council have confirmed that there is little the Council can do with regards the recordings but if you feel strongly about it you can ask the parents not to record again or take out your own injunction against future recordings but the Council can't take action against the parents for this. The have said that they have written to YouTube to ask for the recordings to be removed. We will see if YouTube does this.

OK just after 7.30 better get ready for the start of the day and doing some jobs like cutting the grass and hopefully the weather will be nice again. I hope you all have a great Sunday and back to work tomorrow.

Friday, 25 July 2014

Update on housing

On a recent blog post someone left a suggestion and request on one of the comments. This was to update the table that I placed on the blog a few months ago with all the housing applications and where they were up to.  Here is the original story.

So I have just updated the table and here is the updated version with which housing applications have been passed, declined and pending.

As you can see there is only one more application pending. Also you can see that we have been able to get one application turned down, Golf Course phrase two, however the developer can still appeal that decision and if that happens we will let you know.

Also we have been able to get another application withdrawn. Probably on the grounds that it wasn't go to get through although sometimes withdrawn applications come back in so again we will be watching and will let you know if Wainhomes try it on again.

Tuesday, 22 July 2014


Finally Wigan Council and Labour have turned down a planning application for 250 houses in Standish. This was after much battling from the 3 Standish Independents, Save Standish and residents. The application that I am talking about is from Persimmon homes for another 250 houses on the Golf Course. Obviously they have already got 250 houses on that site and they wanted to increase it to 500.

Labour Cllr John Hilton said that the Fairhurst family are always against these houses developments,  of course we are - we have always said that and we are always consistent, unlike him as he has said that he has worked with this developer in the past. If there is not a conflict of interest here I don't know what is and I have reported that to the Council to investigate it but they fail to investigate the fact that a Labour Cllr on the planning committee said he has worked with a developer and then for the phrase one he proposed to pass that application.

The reason why the Council have agreed with us is on the Core Strategy. Obviously I would expect the developer to appeal the application refusal let's see if the council fight that appeal!

Monday, 21 July 2014

Standish Sports Camp @ Standish High

Calling all 6 - 14 yr olds. This Wednesday (23 July ) is the first of this years' summer sports camp at Standish High.

The time for the sports camp is from 10am till 3pm and is free. All you need is a pack lunch. During the day you will be able to do

and more .

The sports camp will also be on 6th, 13th and 20 August so come along and enjoy the activities.

If you want more information contact Cllr Debbie Fairhurst on 01257 42 32 12.
Both boys and girls are welcome.

Sunday, 20 July 2014

Woodfold Primary School Situation

A few months ago some parents (Mr and Mrs Kay) removed their children from Woodfold Primary School in Standish because of a safeguarding issue. What triggered their concerns off I am unsure but they took the unprecedented step of secretly recording the staff that dealt with their child that had disabilities. They did this by putting a recording device on his wheelchair. Obviously the tape has not only picked up staff talking but also other children around that child as the recording device was on all the time.

After Mr and Mrs Kay listened back to the tape they were shocked and upset at the treatment their child received and passed the tape on to the police. Before the Police could listen to the tape the parents asked for the recording back, so I am lead to be believed. Mr and Mrs Kay obviously alerted the local Council about their concerns, which I would think most of us would.

For some reason, rightly or wrongly, Mr and Mrs Kay felt that the Council and school have not followed the correct procedure and not done a diligent investigation. I was informed of the situation when the parents contacted me and asked why I had not responded to their emails. When I said that I have not received the emails it became clear and confirmed after I contacted the Council that for some reason that the Council were blocking their emails and putting them into a holding area, including ones to myself. I was deeply concerned about this because ALL residents should be able to contact their Cllrs without interference's. I was assured that this matter as been resolved and the emails have been unblocked to myself.

Some weeks ago I spoke with the Council depts about the matter and I was again assured that the following week that an inter agency meeting was taking place and then the Council would be speaking with Mr and Mrs Kay and trying to resolve the matter for all concerned. After that I heard nothing and presumed that it had concluded.

Then there were some tweets to me saying I had no concerns about the issue. I engaged with Mr and Mrs Kay to try and find out what had happened. Since most of us have had a leaflet through our doors informing us about the situation and parents of the school have had a letter and email from the school. These two latest communications have alerted us all to the issue.

Some parents support Mr and Mrs Kay and some are against. Yesterday we had a number of concerned parents who tell us there is a strong up-swell of  strong feeling that their child(ren) have been secretly recorded. Now I can see their concerns but I don't think that Mr and Mrs Kay are interested in this but more the treatment that they say their child suffered but not withstanding that I can see why some parents would be upset if their child voice had been recorded by accident. I have been accused of supporting the parents and not others. All I can say is as a Cllr we have to be unbiased and we support things that are right and not wrong.

From my point I will be speaking with the Council on the matter this coming week on the safeguarding on behalf of the parents that have concerns and see how we can go forward with that part of the matter. Secondly I will also be speaking to the Council on the legalities that the parents have raised in today's surgery on the issue of their children being recorded.

I also believe that the parents that came to see us today are to raise some kind of campaign to ask Mrs Kay to resign as a parent governor. This is because she is a parent governor on the school. As I said yesterday there are no legal actions to remove her as a Governor unless she is sentenced to three months. So I do believe that the parent can remain as a governor till the end of her office in 2 years time. I have looked at this before as another parent Governor has said to other parents on the playground I donn't talk governors business on the playground. To me that is wrong. They are there as a Parent Governor and not for their own ego. In my opinion had the Governors been more open and let a parent governor do a newsletter to parents on what school governors are doing then that could have prevented some of all of this but the school governors at the school are obsessed with keeping things secret rather than being open and transparent.

My opinion is if some parents go and get a campaign against Mr and Mrs Kay who have the safe guarding issues then that may make things worse and I would suggest that they let the Local Authority carry out the work that they need to do. If the police need to be involved the authority and/ or the parents will surely bring them in. It is up to parents what they want to do and if they want to take sides but for me it should not be about sides but how we can resolve the matter as the children are the ones we should be concerned about not parents fighting against each other but I fully understand that both sides feel strongly about their issues and may well carry out the actions that they feel is correct.

Wigan Council strikes again!!!

You can't make it up but this morning a couple of residents emailed me about the Council putting a turn right sign at Standish traffic lights when it is a no right turn. And it's not like they can't say we forgot or we didn't realise because they put the Turn right diversion sign under the NO right turn. No wonder drivers are getting confused but on a serious note if someone does turn right, which I have witnessed one doing, then the green light is on for people crossing Market Street so whilst it might be funny this stupidity of Wigan Council it is actually dangerous.

Have a look at the pics

They have done the same thing from Coppull to Standish with a turn left under the no left turn. You simply couldn't make this up.

I have been on to the Council on the matter and hopefully they will resolve it before it gets busy.

Friday, 18 July 2014

Belgium Trip

Last weeks' post on the week that was.. I mentioned that I was off to Belgium with students from Standish High. The trip was by the music students from the school. There were all different kinds of different groups/ students that went on the trip from the school orchestra, school choir through to the rock band.

All the students played extremely well. The students played a couple of concerts in Ostend and Ypres. All the the students took part in the concerts. The school Orchestra opened up the concerts and then soloist and other groups went and then the concerts were concluded by the rock band who had members from students from the last year of the school. Most of these are going on to do Music at A-Level at college and I wish them well.

I always knew that the students were good and well behaved students. However, I think when you take 41 children with ages ranging from ages 12 - 16 you expect one or two little hick-ups. The students behavior was exemplary. Local residents that watched the concerts commented on not only how good the music he students were but also well behaved, respectful and polite. I think this is testament to their parents, Standish High, the staff and most importantly to themselves.

This trip was the first trip by the music dept from the school and I know the music dept are planning a musical next year so hopefully you all will get chance to go and watch them.

From me I would like to thank the school for inviting me and the students for letting me go along and I know we all have some great memory's of the trip.

Sunday, 13 July 2014

The week that ended.....13 July '14

So with the World Cup playing I must say that this world cup has been the best for years. Whilst I know England did poorly I think many have enjoyed the world cup. I predicted Chile and Mexico having good run and to me they did, certainly in the group stages. Argentina was always one of my favorites for the final.

So back to the business in hand on the old politics front it has been quite a busy week. I attended my first Audit Scrutiny Committee this week and it was well run and well mannered about from Labour Cllr McLoughlin throwing in a random comment in which I am sure none us know why or what he was talking about.

One thing that I raised was the fact that in the report it said the high number of complaints against Cllrs is not only costing the Council money but also putting a serious strain on resources. I know that I have an interest in as Labour and their hack are always complaining about me...bless....but if they are to continue then the system should be outsourced to a law firm that speacialises in that field because not only will the Council get first class advice but it would be hard for the Cllr to complain about the outcome rather than now it is just a Labour Quango court. Also the main area would be that resources would not be stretched.

Another item I brought up was there was a program seriously help back because one person was off work on long term sick. No one either could or did move it forward and it put the Council at a risk. This shouldn't happen and I am pleased that the Committee agreed that this was a concern and an update will be coming in a future meeting on this.

The main area of concern for residents was the bins not being collected on Thursday. I wrote to the Council as I thought it was not only unfair but wrong that the Council was not going to collect the following day, only collect the bins on the normal time in two weeks and not with extra rubbish. As a fully qualified HGV driver I offered to the Council to drive a bin wagon over the weekend on one day to collect the rubbish in Standish. Instead the Council have said this wouldn't be needed but they have decided that they will pick up extra bin bags on the day of the next collection. This will be done by a caged vehicle before the bin wagon comes along. People are still aggrieved that they have to go to the tip themselves or leave it in bags for another 2 weeks, and I can see why too.

For the week coming up I am going to Belgium with Standish high school music students. As a former musician who played with the Wigan Jazz Orchestra, and numerous other bands and orchestra in Wigan I will be able to help out. one thing that I have seen and witnessed is the great musicians that Standish High is producing. I trained and played along side the head of music Mr Turner at Leigh Music college and the Wigan Youth Symphony Orchestra respectively. I am sure the children will be great ambassadors for the School and Standish. I will try and post things on Twitter and Facebook if I am able to get a signal.

With that all done I better go and pack and get the old trumpet ready for the morning.  

Saturday, 12 July 2014

Tuesday meeting is not us

I have had a number of people in the surgery, in the village, telephoning and emailing me asking if it is us that is organising this meeting in the Unity Club on Tuesday.

Just to confirm we are not the ones organising the meeting and the meeting is a new group that is being formed out of SABLR, Stop Almond Brook Link Road.

Many have asked if the neighbourhood forum is what the ex labour Cllr Emma McGurrin was campaigning on and if she is involved. I don't believe she is involved but I think it could be the same thing what she was proposing, but not 100% sure so it could be slightly different.

I do not know too much about these kind of forums and I think if the residents want one then it would be the first in Wigan, although there are others in the Country.

Tuesday, 8 July 2014

No Bin collection for Standish on Thursday

Due to strike action, whatever that will solve, Wigan Council will not be collecting any Black or Blue in Standish, Shevington, Aspull and Appley Bridge on Thursday. Other services will also be effected like schools and the advice is to check with schools if they are effected.

Wigan Council are saying that they will collect the bins the next time they are due to be collected and will not be doing an additional collection after the strike action is over. The Council also say to take your rubbish to the tip yourselves.

Here is my gripe - why no refund? I switched internet provider to BT recently and they failed to deliver a service for a period of time. They refund the time that they charged me and didn't give me a service. Residents in Standish pay the some of the highest Council tax and now told to pay more by taking the rubbish to the tip yourself.

I will be writing to the Council and asking for them to take extra rubbish the next collection, i.e. bin bags or to give residents a refund for the charge of collection of the bins. I will let you know what they say.

Sunday, 6 July 2014

The week that ended........6 July 2014.

So shortly after writing last week's blog post I watched Dolly Parton at Glastonbury. Whilst many that know me and my history with music I was so looking forward to seeing her and what a performance. I have read the biggest crowd for a performance at the festival and raving reviews from other celebrities. There was Sky New reader Kay Burley who suggested that she was miming. Steven Fry response was great saying that it was her TV and he seen sky news readers lips moving when the words were not in sync. For me she was live and did a great job and loved the performance.

The rest of the week has been a bit quieter than usual. One thing that stood out was how Cllr Peter Smith, Labour Leader responded to tweatgate. Typical Peter - saying it was not his fault that I was kicked out for tweating it was the Mayor. He simply can't take responsibility for his actions as we all know that he controls the Labour lot and tells them what to do. If he doesn't want people to know what goes on in the council why not say I only want people to know what I want them to know.

This morning I was up early and went for a 20 mile bike ride, probably a bit too much for my first ride in a while after my health issues. But whilst I never set out to try and learn anything I just wanted an enjoyable ride, however, as I passed Martland Mill a HGV came out behind me. By the time he got to Asda I had caught up due to all the lights. Granted at the Fire Station I cut the corner off and went up Warrington Road. It took him to just before Hawkley Hall roundabout before he caught me back up again because he went round saddle junction and a numerous traffic lights. He's the thing if a bike rider, who's unfit, can get further than a HGV then business owners will not come to Wigan, as it the infrastructure is very poor. Until Wigan Council get a grip then business's will go elsewhere, which in turns means Wigan is losing out on employment.

Today is a great sports day with the British Grand Prix and the Wimbledom final. And the sun is shining too.

Saturday, 5 July 2014

****Good News - Jack Russell found*****

I am please to report that I have just  been informed that the little Jack Russell has been found. Thanks to all those that shared the post and looked for her.

Thanks everyone a happy ending. :-)

********Help Needed to find Little Jack Russell****

I have just been asked to put on here that this afternoon, Saturday 5 July, a little Jack Russell went missing on Shevington Moor. Last seen going up the steps to the top of the Spa. There she could have turn left to come back to Standish/ Shevington Moor, or straight across the road to Standish over the fields/ Arbour Lane or Right towards Shevington. I guess what we are saying is please look in the Standish, Shevington Moor and Shevington areas.

The Jack Russell is a female and answers to Lola and is white with Brown Patches and likes to hide, so please check under cars, inside sheds and Garages.

Any information I know the owners would love for you to get in contact. Their number are 07851213366 or 01257 42 66 78.

Hopefully together we can get a happy ending here.