Thursday, 22 February 2007

Sewer scheme renewal update

The work to improve the sewer system in Ashton is entering a new phase.For the next two weeks remedial work is being carried out in Hilton Street and Hodnet Drive. Then on the weekends of the 24th and 25th February and the 3rd and 4th March - weather permitting - United Utilities will be back in Bolton Road finishing off that part of the scheme with a view to turning on the new system.

Major works will then centre around Princess Road starting on March 5th, lasting for 12 to 16 weeks. There will be an exhibition held in a mobile van in Princess Road for residents to see what effect the works will have on the roads in the area.

The whole project is scheduled to finish by the end of May.

Tuesday, 20 February 2007

Campaigining against the proposed development on South Lancs industrial estate - an update

Last Thursday I attended a meeting at Stubshaw Cross Labour Club organised by M.A.D. to oppose the proposed development on the South Lancs. industrial estate. I thought the presentation given by the group at the beginning of the evening was excellent and a very interesting discussion then followed. I re-iterated my opposition to the proposed development and supported M.A.D.'s campaign.

The following day Julian Sorfleet the Chairman on M.A.D. handed over a petition to our MP Ian McCartney calling for the Linen and Woollen Charity to re-consider their decision to sell the land they owned to the developers Patrick Properties - see picture above. This petition has been sent to the Charity.

Clean up - residents' requests

In the latest Labour Party newsletter put out in Ashton we asked residents about any grot spots they want cleaning up. Already we have had a good response to this appeal and below is listed some of the areas you want cleaned up:
1. A Court
2. Riding Lane
3. rear of Averham Close on Windsor Road
4. top of Liverpool Road near the M6
5. on the grassed area near the Tesco supermarket
6. Harry Woods' Lane

I have reported all these areas to Wigan Council for cleaning up.

If you have any comment about this issue or other issues in the Newsletter please contact me.

Tuesday, 13 February 2007

Ashton Library - a success story

At a recent meeting of the Ashton Library group it was reported that the number of visitors to the library had more than doubled over the past year. Councillors were also asked to publicise the activities that take place in the library and I am happy to do my bit on my blog. Below is a list of activities that take place in the library on a weekly and monthly basis. The staff would also like to know what activities you would like to see take place in the library. Please contact them on telephone number (01942) 727119 or E-mail

Their website is


First Time On Line : a basic computer course for beginners. 2 sessions, 2 – 3pm and 3 – 4pm

Basic skills Maths 10 - 12


Basic skills English 10 – 12
Under 5’s Storytime 10.30 – 11.30

Watch out for a new Sunday Storytime for children, coming soon!


First Monday, 4 - 5 pm
Reading Group for children (7 – 11’s)

Last Wed
11 – 12 Adult Bookchat Reading Group

Plus anytime
FREE Internet access for Learning / Job search / General interest
With software available for word processing, spreadsheets, presentations, CV’s, Driving test, etc.

Thursday, 8 February 2007

Beat it team - results of the last clean up

I list below the areas that were cleaned up and the amount of rubbish removed as a result of the Beat it team's visit to Ashton. Thanks to everybody who let me know about local grot spots. Please contact me if there are other areas that you think need attention.

Turnhill Drive

Grassed area at the end of the road. Litter picked.0.25 tonnes removed.
Peter Street
Beginning of footpath leading to Lincoln Drive. Large amount of litter removed including dumped wood, a television and a bike frame. 1.00 tonne removed.
Heath Road
Side of the Eagle and Child pub. Litter picked and overgrowth cut back. 0.25 tonnes removed
Liverpool Road footpath through to Old Road
Litter picked. Leaves and wood removed. 1.50 tonnes removed
Captain’s Lane Footpath and land/car park to the rear of the YMCA
Large amount of litter picking completed. Wood and trees removed. 2.00 tonnes removed
Hilton Street Car park
Litter picked and removed also broken glass. 0.25 tonnes removed
Gerard Street Around the Job Centre
Litter picked. 20 refuse bags filled.

The Post Office network - the future

On Monday the Overview and Scrutiny committee of which I am a member is going to hear the views of two representatives of the National Federation of Sub-Postmasters regarding the future of Post Offices in England and Wales.

Post offices are facing a long term challenge from online services, e-mail, phone and internet banking, direct debit and text messaging. People are increasingly choosing to live their lives in different ways. Some 4 million fewer people are using their post office each week than two years ago. The network lost £2 million every single week last year, rising to £4 million this year.

The National Federation of Subpostmasters and the all - party Trade and Industry Select Committee have recognised that the current size of the network of over 14,000 offices is unsustainable. Different approaches must be adopted to meet the needs of the public in the future

The Government is currently holding a consultation exercise for people to have their say about the future of the Post Office network. Monday's meeting is a part of the consultation exercise.

If you have any questions or comments about how you would like post offices to operate in the future or if you would like to contribute to the consultation process please contact me.

Tuesday, 6 February 2007

Brighter Borough Money and Christmas - what do you think?

Each Councillor is allocated a pot of money called Brighter Borough money which he or she can spend in their ward to improve the environment or help groups to develop a project. The total I have to spend in Ashton is £5500.

This Christmas I have spent nearly £3300 on the Christmas tree and lights - £1400 for the tree ( total cost of scheme £4063) and £1879 ( total cost of scheme £5637) for the lights around Ashton. This is roughly 60 per cent of my total budget spent for the Christmas period alone.

I would be interested in what you think about the amount of money allocated to Christmas in Ashton. Do you think that the current amount of spending is OK or do you think that more or less should be spent? Please let me know your opinion by taking part in the poll