Wednesday, 24 October 2007

The Town Green project

Last Friday I was one of the invited guests to watch Ian McCartney plant a living Christmas tree on Town Green. Children from St. Thomas CE primary school and representatives of the Rock FM bus were also there to witness the event. Ann Rampling, one of the leaders of the group, is hoping to ask children from St Thomas's to decorate the tree using designs that they have ceated themselves.

Christmas is coming

The Wigan Evening Post published an article on Tuesday about my views on spending money for Christmas trees and calling for a public debate. In brief I am asking local residents to tell me what they think of spending £1600 of Brighter Borough money - which is public money - on a Christmas tree for the middle of Ashton which will only last for four weeks. I personally would be happier spending money on living trees for example the one in Town Green which was planted by Ian McCartney - see picture.

I have asked for people's views on this subject and I welcome any comments the reader of this blog may have.

Thursday, 11 October 2007

Clean up and the spare land on Bolton Road

As part of the Labour Party's clean up campaign we spent last Saturday morning cleaning up the spare land on Bolton Road between near Stubshaw Cross Labour Club. In all we collected something like 26 bags of rubbish. The picture shows the entrance to what was (I think) a garden which became a lot clearer after our clean up.

This land was the subject of an earlier blog about the efforts of the Stubshaw Cross residents association to find out who owned the land so that they could begin to improve it.

Well, I believe the group has received some good news recently - the owners of the land have given permission for improvement work to be done on the land.Let's hope that work can now begin to restore this area.

Ashton Festival

Last week I attended two excellent events in the Ashton festival.

On Thursday night I went to the Brian Boru club where Helen and I really enjoyed the music and especially the Irish 'orchestra' and on Friday I went to see the exhibition of gymnastics/acrobatics put on by the Seagull Club. As someone who finds it difficult these days to bend down to tie up his shoes I was really impressed by the athleticism and suppleness of the participants in the exhibition - some of their acrobatics were breathtaking.

I would like to put on record my thanks to Jack Sudworth and his team for organising another successful festival.

Tuesday, 9 October 2007

Multi million pound project celebrated

The picture in this article is of Ian McCartney,Ann Rampling, myself, members of the Ashton sewer flood forum and representatives of United Utilities celebrating the end of the scheme to improve the sewer system in Ashton

Engineers have spent the past 18 months upgrading the sewer network to try and prevent a repeat of the flooding which hit parts of the town five years ago after exceptionally heavy rainfall.

Ian McCartney and United Utilities worked closely together to lobby the water industry regulator Ofwat for funding to carry out improvements.

Residents also played a big role in getting the work underway and regular meetings were held with the Makerfield Sewer Flooding Forum to keep them up to date with developments.

Ian McCartney, MP for Makerfield, said: “ I take great satisfaction that this project has finally been completed. I saw at first hand the devastation and misery that the flooding of 2002 brought to local people’s lives and I was determined then to bring about massive improvements to the sewer system. Together with local residents I have worked hard to ensure that United Utilities made the necessary investment to upgrade the sewer system so that local people should not have to experience the misery caused by the flooding five years ago. The culmination of that work can be seen today with the completion of this scheme. This is a very good day for Ashton. ‘

Charlie Cornish, United Utilities managing director, said: “We’re delighted that this work in Ashton has been completed and dozens of families should never again have to face the awful experience of sewer flooding.

“Preventing sewer flooding is a major challenge for United Utilities. We’ve spent millions of pounds on stopping flooding in recent years and want to spend even more in the future. “

The Ashton sewer improvements were designed to take into account proposed new developments, the impact of commercial premises and the physical geography of the area.

United Utilities has made tackling sewer flooding a priority and is spending £140 million from 2005-2010 across the North West.

Monday, 8 October 2007

New arrival

In the photo is the latest welcome addition to the family - Michael, son of Andrew and Emma.This means I am now a grandfather. I personally think I am much too young to be called grandad - but others disagree.

At three days old Michael has already joined the Labour Party and is a Liverpool season ticket holder. As you can see from the photo he is blissfully unaware of having taken these these major steps in his life.

Friday, 5 October 2007

Another thought

One day you are 17 years old doing what 17 year olds do and the next minute you are a grandfather with the mind of a 17 year old.

I must stop reading these books.

Thought for the week

We imagine that waking-life is real and that dream-life is unreal, but there does not seem to be any evidence for this belief. Chuang Tzu, in the third century B.C., put it in an amusing way; having dreamed that he was a butterfly flitting from flower to flower, he stated that he was now wondering whether he was then a man dreaming he was a butterfly or whether he was now a butterfly dreaming he was a man. - Wei Wu Wei "Fingers Pointing Toward the Moon"