Monday, 24 December 2007

A Happy Christmas and a Good New Year

I would like to wish all my readers a happy Christmas and a very good 2008 and hope you have enjoyed reading my blog and to my Chinese readers - nee how.

I leave you with another set of potential award winning pictures taken yesterday at Three Sisters. I think I will call them 'Winter Scene at Three Sisters' or 'Jim'

All the Best

Friday, 21 December 2007

Christmas in Ashton - part two.

A Christmas collage of shop windows in Ashton


Christmas in Ashton - part one

I attended the carol service and switching on of the Ashton Christmas tree which was very festive despite the weather. Congratulations to those who organised it and to the Trinity Girls Band who played on despite the cold. And thank you to Ethel for the cup of tea

CP Lee - a message for J

CP Lee was a member of Jacko Ogg and the Head People until they split up in 1967. He then formed Greasy Bear named after two songs by Jefferson Airplane, Greasy Heart and Bear Melt.In their time they supported Country Joe and the Fish, and the Bonzo Dog Doo Dah Band.Their drummer was Bruce Mitchell

Tuesday, 18 December 2007

Ashton and Bryn township forum

At last night's meeting of the Ashton Bryn township forum I was elected chair of the forum. I have held this position before when the forum was first created until I lost my seat in the 2004 local elections. It was a bit of a surprise to be re-elected.

One of the main concerns about the forum has always been that local residents do not know what it does and who sits on it and why they are there. I would be grateful if my readers - yes they are now officially plural - could contact me to answer this question ' Do you know what the township forum does?'

I have also devised a poll at the side of this blog that you can take part in.


Apologies to the person who has voted - there seems to be a problem with the poll. Please could you vote again.

Monday, 17 December 2007

And the winner is

Once again at this time of year local Councillors were asked to judge the best dressed window at Christmas time in Ashton town centre. This year many more local shops had decorated their windows and the standard was much higher than the previous year.

After a lot of deliberation we decided to award the prize to Jackie Gordon of Fleur and Flair in Garswood Street for her excellent window display.

Pictured is the prize winning window display and Jacky with her certificate. Congratulations to Jackie and thanks to Emma Gaster from Wigan Council who arranged the competition.

Monday, 10 December 2007

Innuendo lies and hypocrisy

One of the things a Councillor has to put up with is being criticised for what he has done (or not) by members of the public or opposition politicians. This comes with the territory and personally I enjoy debate as long as it is based on fact. However, when opposition politicians use false insinuation to attack you it is a different ball game and I for one am not prepared to let it pass.

In October I had an article published in the Wigan Evening Post about whether Councillors should fund dead Christmas trees as opposed to live ones from their Brighter Borough funding. The paper then asked for people's opinion through their Wigantoday website.

One of the few respondents to the website was Leader of the official opposition in Wigan Council, Councillor Peter Franzen who wrote the following:

‘What hypocrisy. At least the Christmas festivities bring benefit and enjoyment to the people of Wigan. Unlike the freebies goiven out ad nauseum to Wigans New Labour Councillors. Just how much was spent on Councillor Ash's trip to New York and for what purpose and for whose benefit?’

This came as a great surprise to me because I have never been on an all expenses Council trip to America. There is no reason why I should. I suspect it would have come as a great surprise to both the leader of the Council and the Chief Executive because as far as I know Wigan Council has no official links with America.

I complained to the Wigan Evening Post about the comments and they withdrew the posting by Councillor Franzen almost immediately stating that the report was unsuitable.

Now when something like this happens a Councillor has various options. He could ask for an apology. He could go to the Standards Board of England to lodge an official complaint or he could seek legal advice with a view to suing.

I decided that an apology would be sufficient so I e-mailed Councillor Franzen on two separate occasions asking for an apology. As yet I have received no apology and he has asked me to stop e-mailing him on this matter.

This case also highlights another issue. Recently Wigan Council has been in the press for being the most complained about Council because of the number of complaints that the Standards Board have received from local Councillors about other Councillors. I did not want to add to the list.

And finally on the 31st October 2007 Councillor Franzen submitted a resolution to Council asking Wigan Council to put its house in order in view of the Standards Board's call to clean up politics in Wigan. He goes on to ask the Leader of the Council to cease the campaign of lies, abuse and smears against opposition Councillors.

Well,I would suggest that Councillor Franzen should start by putting his own house in order before he calls upon others to do so.

Another confirmed reader

Last Saturday I met another person who confirmed to me that he read my blog regularly. I am so happy because this has doubled my readership.

So hello J from Bryn - and thanks for the party.

Tuesday, 4 December 2007

Seagulls acrobatic gymnastic club

Last night I attended the Seagulls gymnastic club's Christmas display on behalf of Ian McCartney.

The display was outstanding and at times breathtaking. It is so good to see so many young people of all ages taking part in something so positive and which gives so much enjoyment to other people. It is a nice counter balance to all the nasty things that you see in the media about youth today.

To reach the standard I saw yesterday takes a lot of very hard work and practice. This was summarized by a slogan on the wall of the club which said in large letters something like 'If you don't want to try hard, go home'

Congratulations to all concerned and especially to Jonathan Finch who was voted gymnast of the year at a North West dinner last Sunday.

Result of the Christmas Poll

The results of the Christmas poll are as follows:

70 people took part. Of the 70, 74% voted for less money being spent last year, 11% voted for more money being spent than last year and 10% the same amount.

Food for thought.

One Year Old - and a bit

I started this blog on 24th November 2006. In that time I have received 4776 hits. Apart from in this country my very intersting articles have been read as far away as China, Africa and the west coast of the USA. Oh and I forgot, Warrington.

The topics have ranged from the ruddy duck to rebuilt walls, clean ups, leaves with spots, completion of sewer works, my grandson, dog bins on Ashton Heath, recycling plastic bottles, Japanese knotweed and new bus stops. Who says that blogs are boring.

I would like to thank my reader for sticking with this blog. I am always looking to improve the quality of the reading material so I would welcome any suggestions you have to make it even more interesting