Wednesday, 27 May 2009

Old George's Pond Manor Park Estate

Last Saturday residents from houses around the pond took part in a clean up which I helped to organise. It was good to see so many people take part - well over twenty. The residents group will be organising another clean up at the end of June.

A big thank you goes to all who took part.


I have had to censor blogs recently because they are giving links to , how should I put it, inappropriate sites. For some reason these posts are coming from China

Friday, 22 May 2009

Labour victory

A little reported election result - perhaps it does not fit in with the current media agenda - is that Labour won a local by-election in Salford, the seat of Hazel Blears.

Given the current anti-Labour sentiment and the fact that the electorate had plenty of other candidates to choose from, I would be interested to hear from readers why they think Labour held on to this seat.

Monday, 18 May 2009

And another one leaves CAP

Ashton Councillor Walter Carney left the Community Action Party last week to be an Independent. CAP now have 5 Councillors left in the Council chamber.


I have always meant to publish my expenses on this blog but have never got round to it. Given the recent furuore about MPs' expenses it seems to be a good time to publish in full what I received as wages/expenses last year from Wigan Council. So here are my expenses from April 2008 to March 2009.

My taxable pay was £11056.33 of which I paid 2211.20 income tax. My net pay was £8845.12

For the year 2007/8 I claimed 170 miles @ 39.50/mile = £67.15. This was included in the 2008/9 calculations because I made a late claim and was paid in July 2008.

The Council instal a telephone in my house which costs £87.60.

To carry out Council business I use my own computer at home at a cost of £171.00.

So far this year I have claimed £18.14 in travelling costs.

All these figures are a matter of public record and have been obtained from Wigan Council.

PACT - it works



Wigan Council has introduced a new system called PACT which seeks to deal with improving the environment and to reduce crime at a very local level. Residents have contacted me about issues in their area and I have reported them to the PACT team at the Council. There has always been a quick response to solving problems.

One good example can be seen in the photos above. Recently a resident contacted me regarding litter and graffiti in an alleyway that went from Hilton Street to Princess Road - see picture one. Within three days the graffiti had been painted over and the litter cleaned up - see picture two

If you know of an area that needs cleaning up please contact me on 736216

Bin collection - the new arrangements

Wigan Council are now collecting refuse and recycling on Bank Holiday Mondays. This means that all collections that week are on the normal day, and not a day later anymore.

The Council is using the following methods to let people know of these new arrangements

1 Helpline - Bank holiday phone message

2 Hi -Viz vests for the crews with the maxim 'Bank Holiday? Bring out your bin on your normal day collection' on the reverse

3 30 magnetic truck stickers for vehicles advertising Bank Holiday collections
Recurring adverts on Wish FM

4 Prominent information on the home page linked to our recycling pages (From Monday) as per the last bank holiday

5 Press release in local papers, including marginal papers i.e. Leigh Journal, Ashton News & Standish Courier

Monday, 11 May 2009

Beat it team

The Beat it team will be in Ashton from May 18th until the 22nd. If you know of any area in Ashton that is in need of cleaning up please contact me

Sunday, 10 May 2009

Flooding - the Pitt report and a new flooding defense in Ashton

As a result of the flooding around the country in 2007 the Government commissioned Sir Michael Pitt to review how Government and Local authorities should handle flooding in the future. I recently attended a meeting in Manchester as a representative of Wigan Council to find out what progress has been made since 2007. Pitt made 92 recommendations which were accepted by the Government. Here are some of the more important ones:

1. Knowing when and where flooding will occur - this will mean improving the way weather forecasts are compiled and mapping possible areas of flooding risk in each authority
2. Improve the way we plan to reduce the risk
3. Better advice and help for people to protect themselves.

There is now a view that the planning system must be more proactive to lessen the risk of flooding when they consider new buildings in areas which could flood.

In Ashton we have been fortunate in having an MP Ian McCartney and a group of local residents who have been working hard in conjunction with United Utilities and the Environment Agency to mitigate the effects of flooding in our locality following the floods of 2002.

This work is still going on and soon a scheme will be announced to build a large storage tank in the Chester Drive area to alleviate flooding around that area. This scheme is just one more step in reducing the risk of flooding in Ashton.

Ashton Town Football Club

It was a great honour for me to be invited as a guest to the presentation evening for the Under 8s and 9s at Ashton Town FC recently.

The event was very well attended and it was good to see so many people there. The club are to be congratulated for the progress they have made this year in encouraging so many youngsters to participate in different teams at all ages. Special mention should go to James and Claire Horner and the team managers for the amount of their own time they devote to making this club a success and more importantly for providing young people with an opportunity to play football locally which they probably would not have had.

I am sure the enthusiasm I saw at the presentation will ensure more success next season