Monday, 24 September 2007

Beat it Team

The Beat it team will be coming to Ashton between 15th and 19th October. If you know of any area that needs tidying up please contact me.

Zebra Crossing on Bolton Road

Following complaints about the crossing on Bolton Road the local Labour Party organised a petition asking for the crossing to be upgraded. People's concerns were that because it is in a dip motorists are not aware of it and at night it is poorly lit. Over 300 people signed the petition which was handed to me by Ann Rampling - see picture.

This week I will be presenting the petition to the Ashton and Bryn township forum and the Council's Environment Panel for consideration.

Sunday, 23 September 2007

Litter pick - Hilton Street area

The members of the local Labour Party carried out a litter pick last Saturday morning in the Hilton Street area. It is part of an on going scheme to keep rid certain areas of Ashton of litter. We intend to do more litter picks around Ashton over the coming weekends.

If you would like to help us or you know of an area that needs cleaning please contact me on 07981509709 or e-mail

Saturday, 22 September 2007

Working to win Wigan West

I have spent a lot of my free time recently in the ward of Wigan West helping the Labour candidate Phyll Cullen. Naturally very pleased with the result - Labour won by just under 400 votes. The result in full is as follows:

Phyll Cullen Labour 837
Trevor Beswick Liberal 464
Susan Mather BNP 264
Jim Carmichael Prince CAP 219
Syd Hall Independent 72
Norma Stout Green 60

After this excellent result we will be going on to Wigan Central to fight another by-election and are hopeful of similar result which would be a Labour gain

Monday, 17 September 2007

The weekend -part two. The Ashton Community Cup

Spent a very pleasant few hours watching the first game ever of the Ashton Community Cup. The game was between Greater Manchester Police ( managed by Dave Whelan) and an Ashton Youth Team ( managed by David Johnson Liverpool FC Legend) and was played at the Robin Park Arena.

The game itself was most entertaining. The teams contrasted each other. The Ashton Youth team who were mostly 16-19 year olds were quick and at times very skillful and the police team were - well - bigger and more physical. It looked as though the police were going to be beaten at one point but they hung in there and just won it in the last minute 5-4. The team sheets for both sides are in the photo

Again congratulations to Wigan and Leigh Community Safety Partnership ,the Greater Manchester Police, the JJB and especially Andrea Pilling for organising this event. I hope it will be a regular fixture in the future

This weekend - part one - Byrchall High School

I attended the Byrchall Festival on Saturday which was celebrating the school's gaining maths and computing specialist school status.

I was very impressed with the events that had been organised by the school which included among other things a netball competition, a maths competition, a live band from the school, an Army assault course and dodgem rides.

The one thing that caught my attention was the display of owls, eagles and hawks on the football field. A very unusual sight.

I hope everyone who attended enjoyed the day and congratulations to the school for organising the event.

Wednesday, 12 September 2007

Can't get no satisfaction

I am a member of a small group of Councillors and officers who are looking at the reputation of Wigan Council and what opinion the public has towards the organisation.

One very interesting issue arose from the following statistics.

In 2006 3000 residents were asked about satisfaction levels with the Council generally and particular services. Here are some examples of the statistics from the survey:

90% were satisfied with the standard of the refuse collection - provided by Wigan Council.
70% were satisfied with satisfied with the recycling programme - provided by Wigan Council
84% were satisfied with the way planning applications were handled - a service provided by Wigan Council.

And yet only 50% thought that Wigan Council was doing a good job overall.

So the question is: Why are people very happy with the individual services that Wigan Council provides and yet when residents are asked to comment about Wigan Council overall the satisfaction rate plummets?

I would be interested in any views my reader may have about this issue.

Wednesday, 5 September 2007

No comment

On a flying visit to Ashton the Dalai Lama decides to try the local cuisine and goes into a fish and chip shop on Gerard Street. He orders fish, chips and peas and gives the young assistant a £20 note. The young assistant puts the note into the till. After a minute or two the Dalai Lama, knowing that fish and chips cost less than £20 says ' Where is the change?' To which the young assistant replies enigmatically ' I thought you of all people should know, o great one, that change comes from within'

Tuesday, 4 September 2007

At last - new bins for Ashton Heath

When I was re-elected as Councillor in May 2006 one of the first things I requested was dog bins on Ashton Heath on behalf of the Ashton Heath Residents Association

Today they have been installed.

I would like to thank the Residents Association and dog users on the Heath for their patience.

Stubshaw Cross residents meeting

One of the main issues to come out of tonight's meeting was the group's aim to transform the derelict land on Bolton Road by the Labour Club into what it was like years ago ie a park with a garden for residents to use and even erect a Stubshaw cross.

This project highlights how frustrating things can be for Councillors and residents when they want to improve their environment. The land in question is overgrown and an eyesore. There is a group of residents backed by myself who are keen to improve it. One resident in particular has found funding sources to see these improvements happen. However,the group has been waiting for a reply from the landowner's agents as to who owns the land for about a year now but has heard nothing. The group has even asked MP Ian McCartney to intervene. The problem is that the landowner ( or who we think is the landowner) has not yet given permission for any work to take place and until this permission is given no funder will touch this project.

It is a question of watch this space.

Does absence make the heart grow fonder?

I have just been reminded at tonight's meeting of the Stubshaw Cross residents group that I have not posted a blog for some time. I could give many reasons for this - I have been on holiday, the cat's been ill, I have lost the use of both hands etc. But in the end the real reason for a blogless month is pure laziness on my part.

So that was the 56th blog this year.