Monday, 18 February 2008

Visit to re-cycling plant

As mentioned in a previous article I visited the Shotton paper mill with a group of Councillors to see what happened to the paper that local residents put in their bins to be re-cycled.

The re-cycling plant is on the old site of the Shotton steel works - which we learnt on the visit has the grim distinction of being the works that has had more people laid off in one day than anywhere else in the UK - 11,000 when the steel works shut down.

The process begins with lorry loads of waste paper being brought into vast aircraft style hangars - see pictures above - and is then processed into usable paper.

What was memorable about the visit was the scale of the operation. 500,000 tonnes of paper is re-cycled each year. The plant never shuts down and recovers 640,000 tonnes of paper a year which equates to 12,500 tonnes a week on average. Wigan's contribution takes up just 4.5 days of the re-cycling process.

The other thing that was noticeable was how automated everything was. The plant employed 450 people in total but everything we saw was done by computer from the loading of the paper into the cleaning machines to the exact cutting up into orders for customers.

Thursday, 14 February 2008

New centre for Wigan

One of the meetings I attended recently was to decide which of the two preferred bidders would be granted the contract to undertake the design, construction and servicing of the Wigan Joint Service Centre which will transform the centre of Wigan and how services are delivered to the residents of the Borough from 2010.

There are three zones in the project:

1. An information and learning zone with a One Stop Shop for accessing a whole range of public services integrated with a new 'state of the art' library

2. A Healthy Living Zone incorporating health and social care services with a new pool and leiasure facilities

3. A neighbourhood zone bringing together agencies involved in environmental and community protection work like the Council, police, fire and voluntary sector

The aim will be to finish the buildings by December 2010 with services beginning from January 2011.

The whole cost of the scheme will be £67 million.

Please contact me if you need any more information about this project

Tuesday, 12 February 2008

Brown bins - what do you think?

Brown bins have now arrived in some parts of Ashton for a trial period. You can put the following in these bins:

Any glass

Empty food and drink cans

Empty food and drink tins


Plastic bottles

Margarine and yoghurt pots.

I would be interested in comments about these bins from residents who are part of this trial.

Beat it team - update

The Beat it team were in Ashton last week and this is a report of what they did. As you can see a sizeable amount of rubbish was removed from the area.

Liverpool Road Footpath to Old Road Rear of Town Hall 04/02/08 An amount of litter picking, along with the removal of carpet and dumped bags of household refuge. 0.25 Tonnes

York Road Footpath to Mill Street 05/02/08 A very large amount of litter picking needed along with the removal
of wood, plastic, metal fencing, dumped bags etc. The removal of dog fouling on footpaths were also needed 0.75 Tonnes

Captains lane Footpath to Hilton Street and around church 06/02/08 The removal of wood, glass, litter, dumped branches, road sign, household waste etc was required. 1 Tonne

Princess Road Footpath to Hilton Street 06/02/08 An amount of litter picking was needed with the removal of wood and 4 bags of garden refuge 0.2 Tonnes

Eagle Public House Land bordering York Street 07/02/08 Large amount of pruning, litter picking, along with some raking and blowing. 0.25 Tonnes

Peter Street Garages 07/02/08 The removal of wood was needed along with a very large amount of litter picking 30 – 40 bags

Squeezebelly Entrance A Court 08/02/08 An amount of digging out, blowing, litter picking and sweeping was required. 0.15 Tonnes

Hampson Close Footpath to Flora Street 08/02/08 Large amount of pruning, litter picking, along with some raking and blowing. The removal of dog fouling and glass was also needed 4 – 6 bags

Turnill Drive Bottle Banks 20/01/08 Large amount of litter picking from the shrubbed area and around bottle banks. 20 Bags

A new litter bin is going to be installed in the Hilton Street / Ladysmith Avenue area

Tuesday, 5 February 2008

Safety on Bolton Road

Following a campaign last year, lead by Ann Rampling, safety barriers have been erected by the Tesco garage to improve safety in the area. Ann tells me that she hopes they will extend the fencing further towards Ashton in the future.

This is just one part of the camapign for improved safety on Bolton Road. Many people are concerned about the zebra crossing on Bolton Road and I am helping Ann to put pressure on the Council to upgrade it.

Also we feel that there should be a crossing higher up Bolton Road in the area of Bartons to make it safer for people to cross the very busy Bolton Road.

I would be interested in readers' thoughts about safety on Bolton Road

Monday, 4 February 2008

Plastic bags - good news bad news

Since I raised the issue of plastic bag usage, all the major supermarkets in the borough have been written to by Wigan Council requesting that they work with the Council to reduce the number of plastic bags issued from stores. To date the Council has has replies from Tesco, Wigan and Somerfield, Standish and a meeting has been arranged with Somerfield to discuss plastic bag usage.

The bad news is that the Council has yet to receive a reply from any stores in the Ashton area. I will be contacting them personally to to encourage the reduction in the use of plastic bags.

Wigan Council continues to promote the use of re-usable bags, through work in schools and with community groups and distribute re-usable bags at recycling roadshows.