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.

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!


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

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 .

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.


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.


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 - .

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.