Tuesday, 22 May 2007

The Beat it Team - litter clean up

Here is the latest report of Wigan Council's Beat it team's clean up in the Ashton area. If you know of any other grot spots that need a clean up please contact me.

Ashton Market

Area around the new fence and behind the retaining wall. Litter picked and cut back trees
0.75 tonnes

Princess Road
Footpath leading to Hilton Street and then onto Bolton Road. Litter picked and removed fly tipped waste from the footpath and to the rear of the YMCA/church. 0.50 tonnes

North Street
Footpath to the side of 103 leading to Bolton Road and the backs to the rear of 93 to 103 North Street. Litter picked and removed fly tipped waste. 0.50 tonnes

Winchester Avenue
Footpath leading to Woodedge. Litter picked and removed fly tipped waste and dog fouling. 0.75 tonnes

Millington Grove
Area opposite the houses. Litter picked and removed fly tipped waste. 0.75 tonnes

Expect the unexpected

Every Councillor will tell you that their work is never done and you are on call 24 hours a day. I was just settling down to watch a recording of the Bill last Wednesday night when I got a phone call from a resident - Bolton Road and Bryn Road were flooded and could I come down to help.

So one moment I was lying comfortably on my sofa at home and the next I was paddling through the brown stuff in Bryn Road South. Although the incident in question was a one off and hopefully will not be repeated it was severe enough to close Bryn Road South and flood houses in Bolton Road.

I have been lucky enough never to have been flooded but for those residents who have had their houses ruined by flood water last week's incident had a deep effect on them. It brought back all the feelings of despair, panic and loss that they experienced during the flooding of 2002 and clearly these feelings have never left them.

So to miss an episode of the Bill is a minor inconvenience compared to what residents of Bryn Road South and Bolton Road experienced last week and I hope I helped in some way on that night.

Expansion of flower planters in Ashton

I received some good news last week. The number of flower planters to be supplied in Ashton town centre this year will be increased to 20. They will be sited from Ashton Library and along Bryn Street up to and including Ashton town hall. There is also a a proposal to fund additional planters on the outside wall of the market on Garswood Street and at the junction of Wigan Road and Gerard Street. Furthermore 25 businesses will be supplied with hanging baskets and brackets and two large planters will be placed at either side of the entrance to the Gerard Centre.

Everybody I spoke to last year said how much they appreciated the flowers around the town and Wigan Council's decision to expand the number of planters will be especially welcome.

What's going on - part 3

Now that we know that the official opposition to the Labour Party in Wigan is called the Democratic Alliance ( an alliance of the Community Action Party and the three remaining Liberal Councillors ) I think those interested in local politics might like to look at a brief history of the opposition in Wigan over the past two years.

In 2006 just before the local elections three Community Action Party candidates left the party. Two of them, Claire Daignton and Councillor Brian Merry went to a newly formed party called Community Performance First. Councillor Gary Wilkes went independent.

In 2007 Councillor Brierly left the Community Action Party and stood for the Community Performance First Party in the local elections - he lost. After the elections Liberal leader Robert Splaine and Liberal Councillor Hayley left the party to go independent. Councillor Hodgkinson left CAP also to go independent. I must not forget the two Liberal Councillors who went to Australia but did not bother to tell their constituents or Wigan Council who were paying them up to not so long ago.

So we now have in the Council chamber five independent Councillors sitting opposite the Democratic Alliance who number 13 in total and behind the Independent Councillors sit 10 Conservative Councillors. It is also worth noting that without the Liberals there would be 10 CAP Councillors.

Confusing isn't it?

There is a rumour going round that the Peoples' Front of Ashton are going to put up a candidate in the next election - or was it the Ashton Peoples' Front? If anyone out there has any more information about this please let me know.

Tuesday, 15 May 2007

What's going on? - part two

Well I was wrong about Walter Carney. He seems to have remained with CAP. It is Cllr Don Hodgkinson who has jumped ship and gone independent.

Don Hodgkinson was the founder member of the CAP. In 2000 he was a member of the Labour Party which he left to set up the Community Action Party with Peter Franzen. He has now left his good friend Peter Franzen to go independent. In other words he has been a member of three parties in six years. He is quoted in the press as saying that he may rejoin the Community Action Party at a future date. Is that before or after he gives the Tories and/or the Liberals a try?

I don't often agree with Peter Franzen but I think he is right when he says that Cllr. Hodgkinson should resign and a bye election called in the near future.

Wednesday, 9 May 2007

What's going on?

Perhaps somebody in the Community Action Party or an Independent Councillor could explain why in today's Wigan Observer Walter Carney is thanking the people of Ashton for voting for him under the banner of Independent Councillor? - remember he stood in the election as a candidate for the Community Action Party.Has he left the Community Action Party or is this just a big misprint?

Local election results

Here are the local election results for Ashton

Walter Carney
Community Action Party 1423 Elected
Ann Rampling Labour 1258
Marie Winstanley Conservative 256
Violet Haslam British National Party 195
Spoilt Ballot Papers 0

Electorate: 9117 % Poll: 34.35
Community Action Hold

The Labour Party in Ashton worked very hard during the campaign leafleting and doorstep canvassing. Naturally we were very disappointed with the result on the night. However it must be remembered that in 2004 Walter Carney had about an 800 majority. We have cut this down to 165.

We will be working hard from now until next May to try and win the seat for Labour in the 2008 elections.

I would be interested to receive comments from anybody who voted ( or didn't vote) in these elections and especially if you were previously a Labour voter but didn't vote for us this time.