Tuesday, 31 March 2015

I have been rumbled.......

I started this blog years ago. It was a way of communicating with people. I knew that not everybody bought the papers. I knew it was impractical to print a leaflet every week with what things I had been doing, things that were coming up and things that mattered.

At first I was unsure if people read it then I realised that there is a tool to look at numbers of readers. I was averaging up to about 1000 hits per month. Not knowing if this was good or bad I carried on. 

I think the first time I was stopped about the blog was when I was out with friends one night years ago. A man approached me towards the end of the night in an old drinking haunt, the dog and partridge, and asked if I was that Cllr that did that blog? I went on and said yes. The gentleman shock my hand and said please to meet you. He went on to explain that he lived in Standish and also a soldier who was recently back from Afghanistan and how he, and others, would read my blog over there. We exchanged some more words and then at the end I thanked him for coming over and saying Hi.

Over the years the blog has grown and reaches now up to 9000 hits per month but it's the people who comment on it that I know it is worth it. We have just recently just done a newsletter for the ward and when I have met people and said some of the things happening a lot say, I know - I read it on your blog. Cllr George Fairhurst gets the same response, we read about it on Gareth'sblog.

Also a feature on the blog is where people can leave comments. Prior to comments appearing online they are checked for foul and inappropriate language. I get the usual political apponents name calling me, bless - hi Neil . Also it is another way for people to send messages and just recently someone sent a comment in and said they follow the blog, and have done for some time, and if a certain film was my favourite? The reason they ask is because I have periodically slip a line or two into my blogs over the years from the film. The answer to them, yes it is one of my favourite. You also asked something else. Please get back in touch with your details and I will answer the other question and thanks for the support.

Monday, 30 March 2015

And we're off........

Over the time of this parliament there has been numerous things going on but one thing that has changed is the time a parliament lasts. Historically, it was always left to the sitting Prime Minster to decide when they called the General Election. But in this parliament a new law came in, The Fix-Term Parliaments Act 2011. This now makes the term of our parliament to last 5 years. This law was agreed as part of the coalition between the Conservative and Lib Dems.

As part of that law all MP's ended being a MP last night. Currently, we have none as Country. The Prime Minister has now asked the Queen to call an election, an constitutional process and formality. David Cameron will stay as the Prime Minister, but does not have the letters MP after his name, nor does anyone else because at midnight last night under the new law all MP's were no longer MP's at midnight last night.

The Queen will keep her ministers in their posts as the Country still needs to be run while we have this election.

So now what? Carnage! People will get asked to support a political party or candidate but do the majority of people already know this. Can views change? Polls suggest another coalition. Does that mean people don't want one party to run the Country? Have they been happy over the last 5 yrs at a coalition Government? Probably not. Nobody votes for two or more parties. 

Currently a lot of Scottish issues are decided in the Scottish parliament but English MP's can't vote for them but yet Scottish MP's can vote for ones that effect English law. Now if some of the polls are to be trusted and the SNP get a lot of MP's and are able to prop up Labour then the English will be run by Scottish MP's. This will probably, in my opinion, start the separatist issue off again and the English will push to get rid of Scotland. SNP get their way even though the SNP were defeated in the in out vote. So it would be probably be best for those that voted to stay in the UK in Scotland not to vote for SNP, because if they do become the King Makers of the next parliament then there could be a back lash from England being run by Scotland. 

One thing that is a fact - uncertainty will be the norm now for the next 38 days. Hopefully after that we can have certainty, but we can't be certain of that nether. 

Saturday, 28 March 2015

Parents get an apology from Wigan Council

Last year many parents in Standish and wider afield came aware that some parents had concerns on safeguarding in Woodfold school and also how their disabled child was being treated. Trying to evidence and get to the bottom of it the parents put a recording device in the child's wheelchair and then recorded what they did, if anything. When they listened back to the recordings they were heart broken and hearing their child cry and scream and the teacher assistant in the play ground did nothing for them.

In the correct manner they raised it with the school and the head, Gill Lloyd - who has recent retired. The parents got no where and then their raised their concerns with the Local Education Authority, Wigan Council. Yet again Wigan Council completed made it up as they went along and treated the parents with no regards whats so ever. At one point the parents wrote to myself as their local Cllr for help and when they got no answer they quiet rightly gave me an ear bashing. When I said that I had no email and looked into the matter Wigan Council had deliberately intercepted the email so it did not arrive in my Cllrs inbox and I would not become aware of the matter. Disgusting!

Then when the parents complained and got nowhere they raised it with the ombudsman. The report from the panel that heard the complaint completely proves that the Parents where quiet right to raise their concerns and once they did the Council should have followed their own procedures and law. Yet again in a typical hash manner fashion that is Wigan Council they did what they wanted the truth to come out and justice for the parents and this child.

Now a report by the panel has been sent to the parents and Wigan Council with their findings and it proves and vindicates the actions of the parents. Now the Council has had to apologise to the parents concerned and admit their did not follow their own procedures and they got it wrong. Fundamentally got it wrong. The Council has had to admit that they will in future follow the correct procedure and retain staff so they know about safeguarding.

What's disappointing to me is that the parents first of all had to go to the extremes that they did, including putting the recordings online to prove their case as they felt they were getting a raw deal and being made out to be the bad guys and more importantly that this child has had so much disruption.

If a parent, any parent, they need to know that they can raise it and that the correct procedure will be done and followed. It seem the council and the Head didn't want the bad PR that would come. But what is important is not protecting a reputation but the children that go to those schools. Our children. After all they are the most precise things in our lives.

Wigan Council should not only apologise in private but in public too as their actions left a little vulnerable child out of the education whilst this was all going on.

Whilst I am pleased that the parents have been vindicated I wish I could, hand on heart say that Wigan Council would do things different next time. Knowing how this council is run in this fast food, slick ass, persian bizarre manner that we have all become accustom to, I can't say that things will have change. Heads should have rolled here. Have people jumped before they were pushed? Possibly. Have people lower down the chain of command been made scapegoats? Possible. But either way it is wrong because if it is the former then people have gone with a their reputations in tact to go somewhere else and then it happens to a child where they have gone. Or if it is the latter then that is equally wrong as the top is always who is, or should be accountable.

I have post some links below to the original story below.



Business turns against Labour for Election.

Labour have now got a new enemy for the election - Big Business. The Financial Times have interviewed 20 chairmen or Chief Executive's from the FT100. companies. These companies are the largest companies of the stock market in the UK.

In the main these business leaders are worried if Labour gets elected and then are propped up by the SNP. The words that they say is that a socialist and separatist agenda would be a serious concern, then that would become a concern. Should that happen that would then mean that business's might not come to the UK or leave the UK.

When Scotland had the referendum for "in out" we saw how much, towards the end, that Big Business's came out and said stay in the UK, and that was the outcome. So if Big Business now start to come out and campaign against Labour because of the link up between Labour and the SNP that could effect the chances of labour getting elected.

What's the answer? The only answer is that Labour must not allow the SNP to take their seats in Scotland. If the polls started showing that the SNP would have no influence then that could stop big business campaigning against Labour. Also if the Conservative pulled away in the polls that too could stop the big business's getting involved.

On the SNP they lost the referendum but yet Labour have allowed them to take Scotland by storm. For me this is because Labour took their eye of the ball and just looked at Westminster.

Back to the issue on big business getting involved the issue of the SNP having a say in Westminster would mean that they will not only back the Conservatives but also they will help fund the Tories, which again would be a problem for Labour if the Tories got even more more to campaign harder than them.

Friday, 27 March 2015

Drug Raid on house in Standish.

This morning I am hearing that Police raided a house near Ashfield. It is being reported that there were police and they brought out about 40 - 50 cannabis plants. We believe the Police made a number of arrests too.

I wouldn't name the person for legal reasons but also I believe it is the policy of GMP to destroy any growing equipment on site.

Scene of the Raid earlier today.
I am a firm believe in hitting drug dealers and suppliers hard and go after their assets. I have asked the police for a comment on the matter and awaiting one from them. As soon as we get it we will update you.

Drugs as been a growing problem  in Standish and we have been noticing a higher rate of people dealing and these have been passed over to the police. On the clean up we noticed near Standish High school wraps as they are called near the corner of the back field and reported that.

As always any information on drug users and dealers in Standish please let the police know.

Wigan West Facebook page says 3 adults arrest and large number of plants. Also 3 people have been released on bail pending further inquiry's.

Tuesday, 24 March 2015

Car Parking in Standish

Since the launch of the new Aldi store in Standish, many residents have been contacting us over the fact that the signs say that the car park is for customers only.

Historically residents have used it and there have been talk that there is a covenant on saying that when Gateway opened the Car park on the right was for non customers. I have spoken to someone close to the talks at that time and it was the case that when Gateway was first proposed then the local business's objected to it. To reduce the objection Gateway said that non customers could use it. However, this doesn't seem to have been put in writing.

So we are now in the area where we don't want to be and not able to use the car park. However, after many residents contacted us and Standish Independents Cllr George Fairhurst, who first spoke with Aldi regional office last November 10th, got on the phone with the regional office again and told them of the issues and Aldi have kindly said that they will allow non customers to park for up to 90 mins as well as their customers. I guess many people will call in and do some shopping there and it will help their business too.

It's good that Aldi have said this will be the case and as long as this is not abused then we shouldn't have any problems and as a Community we can all work together.

Thank you goes to Cllr George Fairhurst who first thought about the issue last November and secured the parking with Aldi and now they have confirmed in an email to him this afternoon the position. Great to know that he, as well as the other two Standish Independents Cllrs are working hard for Standish.

Hopefully this clears up the situation.

Saturday, 21 March 2015

The Big Spring Clean. The Line, Standish.

Today the Standish Independent Cllrs organised in Standish the Spring clean that Wigan Council and Keep Britain Tidy started.

This was were the Council asked the ward Cllrs in each of the 25 wards to organise a big spring clean in their respective wards. Not being a political issue most wards, I understand, took part and Cllrs from most Wards did something in their area.

For us we decided to do a litter pick along the Line starting off at Almond Brook Hotel and walking down the Line to wards School Lane end. I have to say how disappointed I was with the amount of Litter along the route. Because of the shear volume of litter and the number of volunteers we were only able to get to half way down the side of Standish High School. After 3.5 hours we called it a day and I want to say a big huge thank you to Ray, John, Doris, TJ and Hannah who turned up and worked incredibly hard to make a dent in it.

I wanted to say in my report that we picked up everything but the kitchen sink but as you can see from the pictures someone had even dumped one of those along the line with a chair.

Something that was asked was can we have bins along the route and that way we would not have to do this. Because this is a dirty path where no vehicles come along the Council vans would not be able to get there. However, I do believe that there could be a number of strategic places where bins could be placed near or next to a road so that the council operatives could service the bins. We, as your ward Cllrs, will be speaking with the Council to try and get these.

Going forward it may be a case that we organise another litter pick to try and start where we finished and move along and try and get to the School Lane end. As many dog walkers, bike riders and resident discussed may things with us along the way and it was great to meet them too,
Mr Ray Chan - true Gentleman and truly nice guy

Should you want to get involved in the next litter pick please let me know.

Once again Big Thank you to the helpers, Bitchell Skips and Wigan Council for making this happen.

Skip with litter that we collected along the Line - chair and sink as well.


Friday, 20 March 2015

Made me mad.

I have done a bit of a recky today for the litter pick tomorrow and it is worse than first thought. I have  even seen a kitchen sink that someone has dumped on the line. Why? So I know where the worst parts are but what has made me really mad is that there a small number of dirty, lazy scumbags hang the dog poo bags off trees. What I don't get and can't understand is why?

Obviously, the easiest thing would be to leave the dog poop but that would be irresponsible, so the responsible thing would be to pick the poop up. And the vast majority do, although I do recognise that the footpaths are getting worse. But then a small number of people that pick the dog poop up, bag it, and then hang it off the trees. Whilst walking down the line I saw this all over.

Question, why do people do this? I mean they have done the hard part and picked it up and bagged it. How much harder is it to carry it to the next bin or home and dispose of it there?  What do people think will happen when they hang it off the trees a magic bird will come down and untie it and fly away with it? Who or what do they think will clean it up after them?

This is a form of littering and people that get caught doing it can be fined, I am lead to believe and I hope that Wigan Council tackle this issue as it is just laziness.

Eclipse 2015

There has been much interest about the Eclipse today. Obviously you can't look at the sun directly so I tried the box with a pin hole method and to see if it works. Great Results. I have attached the pictures in this blog post so you can see it moving along. Have a look and see the results.

I hope those that watched and participated enjoyed it too.

Thursday, 19 March 2015

Pre Election period

We all know the elections are coming and this year it seems to be going on for ever. Reason for this many of the main parties started talking about elections on Jan 2. Historically it is normally either the Tory's or Labour who will be the Government, since 2010 when we got the first coalition Government for decades people are now clearly thinking of more than the 2 main parties.

UKIP nationally are hitting both the Tories and Labour but will it be enough. Last year was the European elections and with UKIP being a one issue party and with it being the European elections as well then you would have thought if UKIP would make a break through then that would be the year. Whilst they got some significant numbers they didn't win a single seat in Wigan nor did they get close to scare Labour. This year with it being the General Elections there is more issues than just Europe being discussed. Therefore I feel that UKIP will not get the numbers they even got last year.

In the general elections Labour always win in Wigan but this year it is local elections too. These are even more important this year because a number of powers are being transferred from Westminster to Council's within Greater Manchester. This is called Devo Manc. Labour are arguing with themselves over this issue as the Labour Leader on Wigan Council wants to be the first Mayor of Greater Manchester who will hold these new powers but the Labour MP does not want this to happen without a referendum for the people. To be fair to her we have said the same thing and we welcome her agreeing with us on this important matter.

The Tories have announced their candidate for the General Election and I am sure that their vote will go down because they tried to put out spin saying that she was a local girl form Standish and an international lawyer. Like we have many international law firms in Wigan. On internet forums people are now saying that is renting in Standish just for the elections and once after the election will go back down south. Also her first pictures of her in Wigan with a flat cap. It si clear that is what she thinks of people in Wigan that we all wear flat caps.

Labour's candidate and sitting MP Lisa Nandy has put out a leaflet and many people are saying that it says nothing and that it is clear that she is just fishing to see who voted for her and Labour in 2010 and to see if they can catch them again. That way they will try and win the local elections. Given that in 2010 Labour won and then their Cllr fiddled her expenses and now is in jail people in standish will not be fooled again.

I am sure the as soon as the elections is officially called then more will come out.

Monday, 9 March 2015

Spring Clean - get involved.

Wigan Council are doing a big borough clean up on the 21 March 2015. This can be in the range of a number of ways from a general litter pick to a big clean up in a certain area.

Equipment will be supplied by the Council and they will pick the litter up at the end of the day. It may be a case that we get  a skip of the Council and the rubbish are put in there. If appropriate we can even get a couple of skips where people can discard big items. Big items though would soon fill a skip, but the choice is there.

So do you want to get involved? Do you and neighbours and friends want to do a litter pick in your street/ area. Maybe people want to do a big clean up down the Line, for example.

What ever you want to do email me at garethfairhurst@gmail.com and we will coordinate everything and get the equipment etc.    

Saturday, 7 March 2015

TV debates and who will deal with who?

With all the rumblings that are ongoing with the General Election it seems to be some issues are being missed.

For one the media, in my opinion, they are making too much of these TV debates and how will do what and who wouldn't. Cameron said he wouldn't do them in the election period and he will do only do one with 7 others then that’s it. When that is making the first headlines on the news over policy, what is really happening in this Country? It is clear that the media has their own agenda, we want to control the politicians and what they do and when. I’m not Cameron’s biggest fan but after the Leveson debates that said the media had it too cosy with politicians. The media should report what Cameron will do and end off. People will make their own minds up about it, but let’s get back to what is important.

Whilst we are on the TV debates I just want to touch on that all and sundry are going on them apart from someone representing independents’ Granted they could not talk about a policy because each candidate is on their own, but when they are polling some bigger numbers than some of the other people on there then there is argument that someone fights for them. For me if there were any TV debates it shouldn't be made up of all these people, just the main two, possibly three.

What should be more important and all the leaders should answer and say this. If there is a coalition who are your preferred coalition partner, and if which policy’s would you not negotiated on? Why is this important because I know in Wigan there will be some Labour voters who would not vote for them if they go into a grand coalition with the Tories and would be dismayed if that happened. People should know who they would go into coalition with and what bits they would demand. Also this would stop the Lib Dem effect of last time because how many people would have voted for them had they said if it is a coalition we will go in the Tories and we will drop the tuition fees policy? That’s why it is important that they say would they would deal with.

Another reason for this because there is now talk that the Tories and Labour will do a Grand Coalition whereby they will go into together so that gets at the SNP, who are taking votes off Labour in Scotland and then UKIP, who are taking votes off the Tories in the south. Question would be how mad would strong Labour voters in Wigan be if that happened?

Friday, 6 March 2015

Do you want to get involved?

With the elections coming up shortly many people get more interested in the issue. Many people would love to help and be part of a campaign. With many people they don't for a number of reasons, they don't know what they can do. They don't want to give too much time up. They don't know how to get involved.

We will be fielding candidates for the local elections in Standish, Shevington, Aspull and Wigan Central.

In Standish we have the sitting Councillor position, which we are going to try and keep. this will be Cllr George Fairhurst who is up for re-election. In terms of what people can do here they can simple display a poster in their window. Deliver leaflets in their street. Help campaigning. you can help as little or as much as you want.

In the Three other seats we are hoping to take these off Labour. Shevington we came second last year and this is a strong seat we will be fighting and the same positions as in Standish are available here too.

Wigan Central we have an excellent candidate who has chosen to fight an election for the first time and they have in the past helped with our campaigns and they know what is involved and now they want to have a go. given that we had a Cllr in the past we will be fighting this seat hard.

Last year we had Janet who stood for the first time and did an excellent job and she was new to it all but wanted to try and make a difference in her area.

Should you wish to help in any way please get in touch


Thank you and we look forward to seeing you on board.

Tuesday, 3 March 2015

Cheerleader, Sleepwalker or Vampire

I am hearing that Wigan Council's hierarchy are telling staff in listening in sessions that they, the staff, fall into one of the three category's.

The three category's are a Cheerleader, Sleepwalker and Vampire.

If you are a Vampire you are negative and not doing your job and sucking the blood out of the Council. If you are a Sleep walker you turn up for work, do your job and go home. The last category is a Cheerleader, where you do your work and shout from the roof top how good the Council are.

Staff are then told if you are a Vampire or a sleepwalker then Wigan Council isn't the place for them and they should instead go and work at St. Helens Council. To me that shows a complete lack of respect for St.Helens Council.

This is very worrying and shows and demonstrate bullying and intimidation towards staff. I believe the matter has been raised at the Unison annual Meeting and they voted for the unions write a letter to the press about the matter because they can't complain to the Council, because they will then be seen as a Vampire.

The issue is serious for another reason because should a hard working and well respected member of staff have a serious concern and wants to raise it they now can't because they will be seen again as a Vampire. Given the ruthless cuts that Wigan Council are carrying our people are worried about their jobs.

Given that over 75% of Staff are women and they are being treated in this way, it goes to show the hypocritical Council Wigan is, especially seeing as they say they want to empower women with their new #BelieveinHer Campaign.

One member of staff who has told be about CSV (Cheerleader, Sleepwalker, Vampire) says all the council are concerned with is PR and saying how great they are. If the Council get the their job right they wouldn't have to do all the PR and wasting taxpayers money!

99.99% of staff are hard working and they have complete support, this kind of behaviour is not acceptable in Wigan!

Monday, 2 March 2015

Where is the equality? Why not to support #believe in her campaign.

Wigan Council are launching today believe in her. This campaign is to be against sexism and empower woman. It has been launched also just before international women day. How patronising to women!

The issue is, why I don't refute that sexism and discrimination might go on in places, I think it would be fair to say that thank fully it is on a decline, everyone should be treated equally and also empowered and not just women. Where was Wigan's Council's Believe in Him campaign and to be fair had they done that I would have been equally enraged. If they have to waste millions of hard working Wigan Taxpayers' money then it should be in a #believeinyou. Every man, woman, young, old, black white, able or disabled should equally matter.

In fact if I said to you that if Wigan Council employed 3 men for every woman then there would be an outcry of discrimination by the PC brigade. However, I can reveal that Wigan Council in fact employ over 3 women for every one man. Why's no one shouting that it should be 50/50?

For the record for me it should not be about how many men, women, blacks or whites people have but that employers should be able to employ the best person for the job. In fact I saw a refreshing tweet from a young female on twitter who had seen a job that actively encouraged young, female and people of ethnics minority to apply for a role. Tell you what how discriminated is a white working man is. However, the young Female had complained that if she got a job she wanted to know that she got the job because she was the best candidate for the job and not because she was a woman or young etc and I say good on her. It's with attitudes like that that will empower people. I hope she goes far in her career as because with that kind of mind set she is a naturally leader for me.