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 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

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'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.


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.