Sunday, 30 August 2015

Do you know an area that needs a clean up?

4 times a year the Council send in a team called the beat team into each ward. The team can do general tidy up and cleaning of an area. We have the team in Standish for a week in September.
So with our time approaching please let us know if you know where an area needs a bit of weeds cutting, grass cutting or a general litter pick etc and we can put it down for the team to carry out.


Saturday, 29 August 2015

The Week that ended.....30 Aug '15

So I have been to the outback for a week, with no newspapers or internet. It does have some advantages but when you come back it's catch up time.

The first thing that people have emailed me about and left messages about is the fact that the Tory's Government planning inspector has allowed "another" 600 houses (Approx.) for Standish, and that is on top of the 1100 houses that the Labour controlled Council allowed in just a few months ago.

The first issue was the Labour controlled Council said that they had to let in 1000 houses to stop any more houses coming to Standish. I said that was rubbish! They said that had they not, developers would have been running a mock and getting more and more houses in Standish. They said this master plan of theirs - called the Core Strategy - would cement stopping any more houses coming into Standish. This plan was the bee all and end all of plans and now it's proven to be useless.

With the developers now winning every time and the Council doing a rubbish job to try and stop it, it is time more was done by the council if they were genuine about stopping houses coming to Standish. However, residents are now asking if the Council's view of, we don't want houses in Standish!" was worth anything? They mean this because the Council's plan was just a flimsy defense in knowing that the developers would win. Then guess what, the Council can say don't blame us ( sounds like a TV show right ) but then they will get all the extra of millions and millions of pounds that this will generate knowing they can try and pass the blame on the Tory's.

I say the residents are hitting on this now and what I have said for years.

One thing that I know what the council hasn't told the people of Standish is, when it came to the Inquiry for these extra houses, the Council withdrew it's objection to these houses because of the road network couldn't cope. That's right, they didn't even object to because the roads can't cope. We all know that the roads can't cope but it seems the Council doesn't think so.

Now this decision by the planning inspector will now allow developers just to come and steam roll in and get more and more. What is now needed is a new water tight plan that works! A plan that looks at the issues and addresses them. One that reflects the views of the residents concerned. Will Labour do this? Not a chance - although I will be asking them too.

Now to the week ahead, and this decision makes it even more important, is the Ashfield Village Green Public Inquiry. If the Fields don't get Village Green protection then the developers will be back for them. The Council say they don't want to sell them or allow houses on them but an email has been discovered from a senior planning officer saying to the developers that the car park and play area must stay and it is only the fields that can be developed. Wonder why the Council hasn't told people this?

The Public Inquiry will last for 4 days and will be at the Town Hall in Wigan. Wigan Council refused to hold the public inquiry in Standish, wonder why?

Thursday, 20 August 2015

Aldi Car Park and parking there.

When the Cooperative sold the larger of their two stores in Standish to Aldi last year, many residents were worried about parking there, even non customers. At the intervention of us, the Ward Cllrs, we were able to work with Aldi and secure that non customers could park there too. They did this on the hope that people would get comfortable with Aldi and come in their shop and buy some goods there. I know this is working as the store is popular within the village.

Recently a number of residents have gone over the 90 minutes allowed stay on the car park. A number of people are saying that the Community Forum are informing people that people can stay 3 hours. This is not the case and the maximum stay on the Car Park is 90 Minutes (1 1/2 Hours).

Whilst we have been able to successfully help a number of people get tickets overturned Aldi are wanting to keep working with the community and allow parking on their car park, but are asking that people respect the 90 minutes.

To try and stop any confusion Aldi will be installing some large banners around the site, including that back fence, just to give people a gentle reminder of this.

I know that should any of you have any confusion this blog post, along with the banners will stop that and continue parking for all - for 90 minutes.

I am thankful for the continued dialogue and working relationship that we have with Aldi.

Saturday, 15 August 2015

Don't Blame the Council fall out continues

It has been reported in the Wigan Evening Post that a member of staff has been sacked at the Council over the Don't Blame the Council TV Programme. (

It seems that his boss, is still suspended and another member of staff, the head of PR, has been suspended too. The Chief Executive has said that the focus is now on how the council got portrayed in this way. Number of issues with that, which I will come to in a bit.

We all will remember the howler where the staff member said that he finished his job then went home and then came back to clock off to his manager - who did little but say let's draw line in it. So many people have said why wasn't that member of staff sacked and then the manager who let him off sacked too? Well I have heard why on the street. The problem was that the member of staff, along with others, had a contract that said it was job and finished. These were quite common years ago but have slowly been changed over the years - just obviously not with the Council. But when the new dept was opened that site had it's own policy where people that worked on site had to clock off on time. So in theory the staff had their contracts that said job and finish - which they did but then this other contract for the site they worked at saying they had to clock off on time. So what that member of staff did wasn't technically wrong and that's why he couldn't be sacked. Shocking if true!

Back to the comments that the leader of the Council and Chief Executive are carrying out an investigation. Thing for me they shouldn't - it should be someone independent because I do not believe for one moment that they did not know about the programme and I hear too that it was one of them that signed the contract for this programme. So they are implicated too and now they are carrying out the job of trying to blame someone. Their behaviour and involvement should be looked at too.

But the fact they are investigating how the council was filmed in this way is wrong for me - the question is how has the council been left to become run in this way? Because we all saw it so it is being run in this way.

Saturday, 8 August 2015

The week that ended......09 Aug '15

It has not been the best week from the local and national news. At the beginning of the week we heard about the little lad in Standish that got attacked by a dog, whilst playing on a trampoline. It seems he is doing better now and is recovering well and I am sure we all wish him a speedy recovery.

Then we heard about Cilla Black passing away, RIP Cilla.

From my point it has been a bit of a busy one. Had an audit scrutiny meeting which wasn't the best. To be fair this committee does get along well and we seem to get things moving but this week I was disappointed. Fraud was talked about on a couple of items and the Council wanted to put out a statement that they have a zero tolerance approach on Fraud. Great I'm with this but when I probed a little it seems they are zero tolerance where it suits. One area that I was dead against is that, it seems - I say seem because I didn't get an answer but an indication - that if a fraud claim is put in and then the person who has put the fraud claim in then withdraws the claim, the council drop looking at the fraud. This is wrong! It should continue and if proven that the application was fraud then it needs to be recorded on the applicable fraud databases so the people cannot try it elsewhere. I have asked for this to be changed and to be fair again to the committee it seems they have taken it on board but until it has changed we cannot say we have been taking a zero tolerance approach on board.

Also it seems we don't know the amount that is lost to fraud each year. For example if we know there has been a fraud committed and then we try and recover the money, let's say from a business that goes bust, we don't record that money as lost and write the money off. Now there is little the Council can do to recover that money, especially in this example where the company has disappeared or gone bust, but we should be recording the data to keep track of how mush we have to write of. this surely is an account process too.

Ashfield Village Green hit a milestone too. This week we got the evidence from the Council, the sole objector. It is interesting what they say and what they don't say, after all what they have put out in the press I wonder how much of that is not discussed at the hearing? I am unsure if the evidence that we have exchanged is public now or if we have to wait for the inquiry but I hope as many of you that can attend do. Given that it is my belief that both the council and myself agree on a number of points I wonder if the length of the inquiry is reduced by a day or too?

Wednesday, 5 August 2015

Wigan Council hold back residents email.

Regular visitors to this blog will see how Wigan Council illegally intercept emails that are sent to me from residents. I have no idea why they do this apart from trying to see who are emailing me and what I am doing to help residents.

In this latest incident a resident emailed me last Thursday with an urgent appeal for help. This person, who I am not going to identified, was asking for urgent help as they had recently been left in a situation with no money. this was not their fault and they wanted to see if I could help get their application for help processed quicker as they had no money.

Today the Council sent me an email saying by the way an email came to you last Thursday and here it is, like they have done nothing wrong. This is a week later!!!!! This is not the actions of a responsible Council, forget that they don't like me, not like that bothers me, but them doing this is hurting residents. The resident in question needed help last Thursday not this week.

Fortunately, the person also emailed the two other Ward Cllrs and we were all over this last week. We worked with the relevant Council dept and they were helpful and this helped the resident. But had the resident only emailed me then this would not have been the outcome because they are intercepting emails for me. Wigan Council hierarchy should be ashamed of themselves.

Therefore, I always recommend that if you want to get in touch with me email me at . That's an email that the Council cannot intercept.

Tuesday, 4 August 2015

Dog attack on young child

Many of you will have heard about the attack on a 4 Yr old yesterday in Adelphi Street. The attack was by a dog. 2 people, one man and one woman, both aged 45, have been arrested today for having a dangerously out of control dog.

Obviously, I know this street well and live not to far away and walk up and down the street regularly.

Whilst there are rumours out there with what happened and what type of dog it is I thought I would write what I am hearing, from a good source. The children where out playing and having fun in the garden on a trampoline and when one of the children was called in the house and the back door was open that is when the dog got out and ran straight for the trampoline and carried out the attack. The child was doing nothing wrong but just having fun on a trampoline.

The Police have not confirmed yet if the dog is banned breed and we will have to wait for them to say one way or another. But there are asking for people to come forward with any information. You can call them on  or crime stoppers on 0800 555 111.

For me the important issue is for this little lad to get better soon. Our thoughts are with him and his family.

Sunday, 2 August 2015

Labour's Party Leaders row

Any one who is remotely interested in politics may have seen the Leader contest for the next Labour Leader.

The row is, should the centre ground candidates control the Labour Party or should it go back to it's roots? Historically, the Labour Party has been a socialist party but it seemed to have been hijacked by Tony Blair in the 90's. This moved the party to the centre ground and left behind it's roots. Some loved this, for me I think they loved the fact that after so many years of losing they had won. But soon after the traditional party members realised what had happened. Many saying to me that Tony Blair wasn't Labour, just a Tory in disguised. Interesting thought!

Back to the current situation with the centre ground candidates saying that should Jeremy Corbyn win the leaders contest that they will go back to the 80's. This may be the case but maybe it is just Labour returning to it's roots and taking control back off the people that hijacked the party in the first place. 

Should they go back to a socialist party then it will be their members choice and these central ground hijackers should respect that. After all the Tony Blair and the centre ground candidates are of no substance, but just PR and spin.