Friday, 25 January 2013

Change of venue for surgeries

From tomorrow onwards all of the Ashton councillors' surgeries will be held in Ashton Library.

Thursday, 24 January 2013

The non collection of bins on Monday

The background to the problem

On Monday the bins throughout the Borough were not collected because of the adverse weather conditions. Given the amount of snow that fell , and the conditions of many of the minor and residential roads across Wigan Borough, the Council had little choice other than to suspend services on Monday. 

I realise that it is frustrating for residents when the Council cannot collect their bins. But in truth they had little choice. A waste collection vehicles weighs around 26 tonnes. Sending them down icy roads would have been irresponsible. So, to protect the safety of the public and the staff, they had to cancel the service.

As soon as the decision was taken on Monday morning, the collection crews were immediately redeployed to other duties including clearing snow from footpaths and gritting pavements.

When will the bins that have been missed be collected again?
The current position for those whose collection has been missed is that the Council will not be returning until their next scheduled collection. For those whose black bin collection has been missed, they can leave side rubbish next to their bin at their next collection and the Council will take it away. Unfortunately, if your recyclable bin was missed, the Council will not be accepting side waste.

If residents have excess rubbish the Council  advise them to take it to their nearest household waste recycling centre.

Why will there not be an extra collection?
The decision not to return to missed collections until the next scheduled collection is in line with council policy, which was reviewed last year when the waste collection changes were introduced. Unfortunately, the Council  do not have the resources to offer an alternative collection and cannot afford to offer an extra collection.

It should be noted here that Government cuts mean that Wigan Council has £66 million less to spend between 2010 and 2015 and this year the council has to make £16 million in savings. 

I do appreciate the inconvenience that has been caused by the non collection of bins this week and would welcome comments from readers of this blog

Thursday, 17 January 2013

Opening of the new childrens centre in Ashton

I attended the official opening of the Childrens Sure Start Centre in Ashton Library last Saturday. It was good to see so many parents and children attending  the event and enjoying the activivties that were laid on by the staff.

For those who don't know Sure Start Children’s Centres (for children under 5 years old and their families) are part of the previous Labour  government's initiative to give every child the best possible start in life. Each Children’s Centre has a range of services and a wealth of information that families can access to help improve their lives, their children’s lives and benefit their community.

If you want to know more about what's on at Ashton library please log on to

For more information about Sure Start you can contact Louisa Sharpe  at the Ashton Children's Centre  Tel: 01942 723965

Thursday, 10 January 2013

Are you having difficulty paying your mortgage or rent?

Shelter has found a 60 per cent rise in people struggling to pay their rent or mortgage in the last 12 months. As a result, almost a million people turned to a payday loan to help pay for their housing. These results reveal the spiral of debt that people are falling into, in order to keep a roof over their heads.

If you are finding it difficult to pay your rent or mortgage you can  get help from Shelter via their online advice and free telephone helpline number: 0808 800 4444

You can tweet their online advice details or retweet them. You can find them here: @Shelter

I would urge anyone worried about paying their rent or mortgage to seek out early housing advice as soon as possible and not bury their head in the sand, hoping the problem will go away.

Good news for bus travellers - cheaper fares

I received the following information from Councillor Mark Aldred, Labour Chair of the Bus Network & Transport for Greater Manchester  Services Sub Committee about bus fares in the area.

Following the take over by Stagecoach the ticket prices for the Wigan and Manchester services are as follows.

  • Day rider - £3-50
  • Child day rider - £1.95
  • Day rider plus one (1adult &1child) -
  • £5-80 Group day rider ( 2 adults &upto 3 children) -
  • £8-50 Mega rider 7 day -
  • £12 Child easy rider (for 5 to 16 yr olds with Igo card and TFGM Orange concessionary pass holders)
  •  for Wigan borough travel only Wigan Rider - £9 all day

Friday, 4 January 2013

20 mph speed limit

A Borough wide 20mph speed limit in residential streets proposal was presented to the Wigan Council's Traffic Management Unit meeting on the 23rd October.  This proposal will improve road safety, reduce the severity of casualties and improve the local environment.  The proposal was accepted by the Unit and the statutory procedures are now being followed.  
A dedicated webpage has been set up on the Council's webpages which can be viewed at:
The webpage provides details of all the residential streets which we intend to introduce a 20mph speed limits on.  There is also a number of Frequently Asked Questions on the webpage which will help answer many of the common queries from residents and help you as Members.    
There is an article in the latest copy of the Borough Life promoting the 20mph speed limit plan and details of the website where residents can find out more and have their say.
The Legal Notice has been advertised in the local papers this week (copy attached) which informs residents that they can inspect details of the streets affected and the proposed dates for implementation at Wigan and Leigh town halls on weekdays or view the website.  The consultation period runs until the end of January 2013 and any comments or objections to the proposal must be made in writing, specify the grounds thereof, and must be made to Head of Service - Legal and Risk, Town Hall, Library Street, Wigan quoting reference RD/LR/SYF/N22/632/N-2814.

Latest Road WorksOld Road / Nicol Road / Whitledge Green, Ashton in Makerfield

Carriageway resurfacing will be carried out on Wigan Road betweenWhitledge Green and Nicol Road on the following dates under temporary traffic signals:

Sunday 13th January 2013

Sunday 20th January 2013

Sunday 27th January 2013

However, to carry out the works safely there will be no access or egress onto Wigan Road at Old Road, Nicol Road and Whitledge Green junctions. A local diversion will be in place.

Tuesday, 1 January 2013

Sign of the Times

Yvonne Fovargue MP (centre) with Andrew Bullen (far left) and volunteers at food  bank on Ashton market

A food bank under the name of Oasis  has been set up by church goers in Ashton to  provide food and drink for hard up families in the Ashton, Golborne, Garswood and Bryn area. The food is being distributed from a stall on Ashton market every Friday morning which is being provided free of charge by Wigan council.  Recipients of the food parcels are referred to Oasis by partner organisations that have identified them as being in crisis. These organisations include Job Centre Plus, Wigan Independent Advice Centre (WIAC) Wigan and Leigh CAB, Ashton clinic, the Police and GPs.

As Yvonne says ' It is a sad reflection of our economy that food banks are needed in our area in the 21st century. '