Tuesday, 25 August 2009

Massive increase in fares on the 600 bus route

I have received a lot of complaints about the rise in fares on the 600 route from people who use the bus from Ashton to Wigan.The single bus fare for this journey has risen from £1.70 to £3.20.

I have asked GMPTE and First Buses for an explanation for this massive increase which has deterred people from using this route.

At a time when we are supposed to encouraging people to get out of their cars and use public transport I think that this increase is counter productive.

I will update you when I receive a reply from GMPTE and First Buses

Stubshaw Cross - opening of the heritage garden

I am very happy to be invited to the official opening of the Stubshaw Cross Heritage Garden on 4th September. The garden will be opened by Mrs Florence Johnson and Mr Thomas Woodward who are two of the older members of the community plus two young members of that community.

Once again the Stubshaw Cross Residents Group have worked hard to realise a marvellous project which will be a great asset to their community

Award winning Ashton

Businesses in Ashton are cleaning up.

Especially when it comes to keeping the town centre clean and tidy.

To prove it, a number of local shops have just been presented with the Keep Britain Tidy Group’s Tidy Business Award.

The nationally recognised award scheme recognises businesses for such things as disposing of their waste responsibly, keeping shop frontages clean and tidy, reducing their waste and increasing recycling initiatives and supporting community clean-ups.

Wigan Council’s Environmental Education Team has been working in partnership with Town Centre Management to deliver the scheme in Ashton. So far, one bronze, 10 silver and three prestigious gold awards have been handed out.

The businesses taking part are as follows:

* Connolly’s Rental Service Ltd
* Deliciosa Café
* The Sweet Shop
* Old English Chippy
* BB’s Ice Cream Parlour
* Sephton’s Newsagents
* Past Times
* Sanbob Pets
* Gaz’s Pet Shop
* Kelrick Property
* Iredale Newsagents
* Flair n Fleur
* Anne’s Fruit Shop
* Subway

Ashton Town Centre Co-ordinator Emma Gaster says:

“We are very pleased with the overall response we have had and would like to see more businesses signed up. It’s great to see the council and businesses working together to create a nicer environment in their town centre.”

* If any business would like to take part in the Tidy Business Awards, please contact Emma Gaster, Town Centre Co-ordinator on 01942 828879 or Nick Burdekin, Environmental Education Team on 01942 488222.

Edward Drive - road and pavement upgrade

The Council will soon be working on the Edward Drive pavements and carriageway.

The works are programmed to begin during on Tuesday 1 September 2009 - weather permitting The Council will begin by rebuilding the pavement and replacing the kerbs.

This work is very welcome because the state of the pavements on this estate has been poor for a long time now.

Tuesday, 18 August 2009

Maintenance on the M6

Starting late August and lasting through to July 2010 the Highways Agency will be working on various sections of the M6 between Junction 21a (M6/M62 interchange) and Junction 26 (Orrell). The works are hard shoulder maintenance and improvements and although they are only working on small areas at any one time, they will, over the course of the contract cover most parts of the hard shoulder on both the north and south bound carriageways.

Because of the high traffic volumes carried by the M6, they will be restricted to night time working i.e. between 10.00pm and 5.00am and they will be required to close lanes 1 and 2 of the motorway whilst carrying out the scheme.

Another reason to be cheerful

Once again Labour have a resounding win in a recent by election in Stockport Reddish North despite everything. The result is as follows:

Bennett P. (BNP) 195
Beverley N. (Lib Dem) 303
Butler G.J. (Con) 403
Price G. (UKIP) 342
Wilson D.S. (Lab) 1,218
Majority 815
% Poll 23.5%
Result Lab Hold

Skateboarding in Ashton

In my first term as a Councillor from 2000 to 2004 I wanted to see a skateboard facility for young people in Ashton which would save them having to go out of the town or skateboard in areas like Aldi car park which are unsuitable and not purpose built. I was so keen on the idea that I put £5000 of Brighter Borough money into a pot that would go towards the creation of a skateboard park on Jubilee park.

This plan was very strongly resisted by the then Community Action Party Councillors. And in response to this opposition young people of Ashton organised a campaign for the introduction of skateboard facilities in the town.

Gradually the idea has been accepted that we need these facilities on the park and I was glad to see that the Friends of Jubillee park have as one of their aims the establishment of a skateboard park. The big sticking point has been the cost of building the facility - over £100,000.

Clearly this issue has not gone away as was highlighted at the meeting to discuss Aldi car park. The young people are still asking for a skateboard park. They were very surprised when I told them the cost. They believed that they could have one built for a lot less which would suit their needs. As a result together with a Youth Worker they are looking at costings and will present these to the Friends of Jubilee Park and the council for consideration later this month.

Tuesday, 11 August 2009

Aldi car park

I have had a lot of complaints from residents regarding anti-social behaviour on Aldi car park in the centre of Ashton. As a result of these complaints I held a meeting with representatives of the police, local residents, Wigan Council and young people who use the area to skateboard.

One of the problems with this area is that it is private property which belongs to Aldi so the police have few powers to stop this behaviour although they do move large groups of young people on. At the meeting various suggestions were made to put a stop to the behaviour which is so upsetting local residents. These included a request to Aldi management to turn off a light that is on during the day and night, a request to the the security personnel to also move the young people on more frequently. A suggestion was made to fence off the area but this would have been far too expensive and impractical.

I was very impressed with the attitude of the skateboarders present. They clearly did not want to cause annoyance to local residents and were very amenable to suggestions made by local residents including finishing their activities in the early evening. Unfortunately as usual it was other less responsible young people who were causing the problems.

One of the main issues that came from the meeting was that there was nowhere for young people in Ashton to skateboard - see above article

Fake £20 notes - beware

A local Newsagents have now had 2 fake £20 notes attempted to be passed as real. These notes will not be detected through the machines that are aimed at detecting fakes.

The main sign is that the ink on the note is smudged. The person trying to pass the note may say that the note has accidentally been through the washing machine but this is a scam and these notes are fake.