Tuesday, 30 March 2010

Town Centre event

Last Saturday and today (Tuesday) there have been two buses on Gerard Centre and the market promoting healthy living and safety awareness.

The health check initiative came from a meeting of a sub group of the Ashton Bryn Township Forum which looked at ways of making people aware of how they could improve their health. The group was concerned that life expectancy in the Wigan area was much lower than in other comparable areas and men especially were prone to ill health. This check was thought to be a good start to make people aware of how they could improve their life style.

On one of the buses there were nurses who checked your height/weight/BMI, took your blood pressure, measured your body fat rating and cholesterol and blood glucose levels. In addition they gave advice on diet and exercise - an excellent free service.

I was told today that this service had proved very popular and that more men than expected had the check done. There will be a report back to the Township Forum at the next meeting and I will be encouraging the Community Health Authority to repeat the initiative or something similar in the near future.

Safety seats for children - a grandparent's lament

One thing I did learn at the event was how to fit a child's safety seat correctly.
As a grandparent I have found everything that a child needs now - cots, high chairs, push chairs and safety seats so difficult to assemble or make safe. You need a great deal of spatial awareness and the ability to solve jig saw puzzles - neither of which I possess - to assemble these essential children's items.

I hate to say this but in my day when we had our children things seemed a lot simpler.

Ashton pool - re-opening date

The revamped swimming pool at Ashton Leisure Centre will be re-opened on 12th April and there will be an open day on 24th April. From 1st April everyone will be able to swim for free not just here but in any of the five swimming pools in the borough. All you need to do is to sign up to a Life Style card for just £1.50 which will allow you to swim for free for a whole year plus you will get discounts on other activities across the Borough.

I use the card when I play golf - the way I play it is better than my golf clubs

New Facilities in Ashton and Bryn

The swimming pool is just one of the new leisure facilities that have been improved in the area. Other improvements are the new play equipment on Jubilee Park and a new skateboard facility on the same park which should be open in May.

The cost of the refurbished swimming pool at Ashton Leisure Centre is a total of £715,236 for the refurbishment of the pool, reception and changing facilities.

The cost of the new play equipment on Jubilee Park is a total of £81,393 and the cost of the proposed skateboard park on Jubilee Park is £44,000 to which I contributed £4,000 from my Brighter Borough Fund

Thursday, 25 March 2010

Latest litter pick in Ashton by the Beat it Team

The following areas were cleaned up by the Beat it Team from the 8 - 12 March 2010

1.Car park at the Viridor Wood

2.The back alleys from 431 to 497 Bolton Rd

3.School Street – back alleys behind 105 North St

4.Backs between 93 – 103 North St

5.Wasteland on North St behind Barton’s off licence

6.Strip of land between the wall and house on Chetwode Ave off Warrington Rd, Ashton

7.Footpath from Liverpool Rd to Old Rd

8. Market area where the temporary steps are

9.Alley way from Greenfields Crescent to Alexander Rd

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Monday, 22 March 2010

New - police surgeries on Ashton market

Here is a list of the dates that the police are planning to hold surgeries on Ashton Market. The surgeries will be between 11.00 and 12.00 on Tuesdays this year


Tuesday, 16 March 2010

Can you help?

Wigan Born and Bred? this includes Ashton

I have received the following letter from Julia Bennett of Manchester University. If you can help please contact me on 736216 or Christine Charnock on 244991.

Are you from round here? Maybe you can help me...

I want to collect the stories of the everyday lives of Wigan families, why they have stayed in Wigan, why some have moved away. Following down the different generations to see what stays the same and what changes (for example, more of the younger generations go to university). How do family stories change and get passed on, where ‘a member of my family’s probably lived in this street since the turn of the century’ does this put pressure on the younger generation to stay put (as can happen on family farms)?

The idea for this research comes from previous work I did talking to farmers, many of them lived in the house they had grown up in and one farm had been in the same family for seven generations. All had a strong emotional attachment to ‘their’ land. I wondered about people who live in towns, could they ever have that same level of attachment to their place? Wigan, due to its stable population, seems an ideal place to test out this theory.

The longer you’ve lived in a place the more people you’re likely to know:‘when I go up Wigan I bet I meet about 70 people, hello, hello and you know all the family history don’t you, you know, through the generations’ and ‘Growing up I found it quite hard actually, especially when I was about the age 18, 19 when I was going for a drink, everywhere I went I’d see people me mum knew’. How does it feel to live in the kind of community where ‘everyone knows everyone’ ?

I am looking for families who have at least two, ideally three or more, generations living in Wigan, where all are Wigan born and bred. I would like to interview one or two from each generation about their lives, in a very open way, I don’t have a fixed list of questions. I expect each interview to take about an hour. I would like at least one person from each family to complete a photo diary over the course of a week, taking photos of each place visited and making brief notes about who they met there. I can supply cameras. People who have done this so far have said how much they enjoyed it. This will be followed by another shorter interview to discuss the content of the diary.

All identities will be disguised, taking part is completely confidential. This research is for my PhD in Sociology at the University of Manchester; I expect some of the findings to be published in the future.

Brown bins

The brown bin scheme originally introduced in 2008 was expanded in 2009 to 100,000 more properties. The remaining suitable properties will be added onto the scheme during 2010.

The majority of properties that have not yet got brown bins will receive them by the end of June 2010. There will however be a smaller number of properties, mainly flats and those on our rural collection round,that will get bins before the end of December 2010.

If you need a smaller bin than the normal one you can tell the Council by phoning 404364.

Monday, 1 March 2010

Rare Tara

I attended the meeting of Rare Tara - the Riding Lane Tenants and Residents group - last Thursday and once again found it to be a pleasant experience, a mixture of serious discussion and humour.

The issues that I said I will help the group with are as follows:

1. The cleaning of the backs at the top of Bolton Road

2. The tidying up of the car park for Viridor Wood off Bolton Road

3. The cleaning up of the backs off North Street

4. Helping the group to combat dog fouling in the area

5. Deterring HGVs using Riding Lane/Edge Green Road as a route to Golborne - it was thought that this happened because of the use of sat navs by drivers who did not know the area.

I will report on any progress made at their next meeting

Alley Gating

Some of you will no doubt have noticed that alley gates have been installed in several places in Ashton, often as a request from residents who have suffered from anti-social behaviour in their locality.

Below is a list of the gating orders that have been completed.

1 157 to 167 Princess Road,
2 1 to 19 Duke Street
3. 2 to 22 Princess Avenue
4.169 to 187 Princess Road,
5. 2 to 28 Duke Street and
6.1 to 27 Peter Stree
7.5-35 Windsor Road.

The programme for Ashton has been completed for the time being but if you feel that alley gating could be an answer to anti social behaviour where you live and there is clear evidence of such behaviour please contact me to discuss the matter.

Old Hall Drive - pavement renewal

The Council will soon be working on Old Hall Drive pavements.

The works are programmed to begin during the week of 1 March 2010 providing that the contractor has not having been delayed by poor weather elsewhere.

The Council will begin by rebuilding the pavement and replacing damaged kerbs. Where it is required to replace the existing kerb with new kerbs on vehicle crossings, residents have been requested not to use the new crossings for at least a day afterwards whilst the concrete sets.

If residents have any questions about the works, they should ring 404364.
They can also speak to a Council representative on site.