Tuesday, 30 April 2013


The Beat It team are in Ashton from 13 to 17 May 2013. This team will clean up any grot spots that are reported to local councillors. 

Please let me know if you know of any area that needs tidying up. I can be contacted on 736216 or e-mail N.Ash@wiganmbc.gov.uk

Saturday, 27 April 2013


I was honoured to be invited to the official opening of  the  Ashton Post Office performed by Makerfield MP Yvonne Fovargue. 

It is good to see that the Post Office has the confidence to invest  in Ashton  

Tuesday, 23 April 2013

Nurse Martha Hogg JP

I recently attended the ceremony to commemorate the life and achievements of Martha Hogg the first woman Labour Councillor Wigan and one of the very few throughout the country.  In 1920 she was elected for the Lindsey Ward in Wigan and became part of the  Labour  group which for the first time was the largest party in the council . In those days the composition of the council was Labour 23 members, Conservative 21, Liberals 9 and Independents 2. Martha made her voice heard on subjects including pensions for the blind and ex service men and the plight of mothers she cared fro as a mid wife.

In 1931 she was appointed as a Magistrate to the Wigan Bench on which she served with great distinction until her death.

Martha died in 1934 and her funeral brought Wigan to a standstill.

Truly a remarkable woman.


The new Healthwatch Wigan (the organisation that has replaced LINk) has appointed Sir Ian McCartney as chairman of the board. 

Sir Ian who was a cabinet minister under a previous Labour Government will work with the other trustees to ensure the public’s views on health and social care are heard and acted upon.

For further information about Healthwatch contact Anne Turner on 01942 705522 or go to www.healthwatchwigan.co.uk

Thursday, 18 April 2013

ASHTON CHILDREN’S CENTRE - new sessions starting this Spring

Buggy Fun Fitness – Join us for a Buggy walk and fitness with mum and baby in a safe and fun environment Monday 10.00am – 10.45am meeting at Ashton Clinic Cost £2.00

Young & Proud (YAP) – Session for parents aged 16 – 24 and their children, Thursdays 1.30pm – 2.30pm at Ashton Children’s Centre

Sensory Sensation – Stimulate your babies senses through music, sensory massage lights, taste and many more fun activities that will delight your baby and give you lots of new ideas for your home, Tuesdays 1.00pm – 1.45pm cost £2.50 for babies under 1

Rock to the Rhythm – Music and physical session that concentrates on communication skills, gross and fine motor skill development and early numeracy and literacy skills. Lots of songs with action, rhymes, puppets, props, bubbles, scarves and ribbons. Tuesdays 2.00pm – 2.45pm for children aged 1 – 4 years cost £2.50

Baby Rock – Fun singing session with varied activities each week that develop all areas of learning for babies. Fridays 1.00pm – 1.45pm aged 0 – 18 months cost £2.00

Baby Yoga – For babies under 1 Friday’s 2.00pm – 2.45pm cost £2.00 per week

Parent Weight Loss Support Group –Need help to lose weight why not come along to our child friendly parent weight loss group with help and advice on losing weight & keeping it off! Thursdays 9.30am – 11.30am cost £1.50

For more information on any of the above sessions or to see what else is available at Ashton Children’s Centre please contact Louisa on 01942 723965 or go to ashtonchildrenscentre.co.uk


It will be ‘Open House’ at CLS care homes in the Wigan area during Good Care Week (Monday 22- Sunday 28 April). The nationwide awareness campaign that aims to champion social care and shine a light on the many fantastic facilities and services available to older people.

Members of the local community are invited to come down for a look around, to browse displays and to share their views on what constitutes good care.

Drop into any of the homes below:

Ancliffe, Warrington Road, Goose Green, Wigan, WN3 6QA, 01942 230 439

Garswood House, Wentworth Road, Ashton-in-Makerfield, Wigan, WN4 9TZ, 01942 728 333

Golborne House, Derby Road, Golborne, Near Warrington, WA3 3JL, 01942 273 259

Greenacres, Green Lane, Standish, Wigan, WN6 0TS, 01257 421 860

Hourigan House, Myrtle Avenue, Leigh, WN7 5QU, 01942 672 922

Lakelands, Grizedale Drive, Higher Ince, Wigan, WN2 2LX, 01942 323 154

Lyndhurst, College Street, Leigh, WN7 2RF, 01942 606 319

Thorley House, Hazelmere Gardens, Hindley, Wigan, WN2 3QD, 01942 255 370

MP's change of address

The office of Makerfield MP Yvonne Fovargue has changed address. It is now:

Wigan Investment Centre
Waterside Drive
off Swan Meadow Road

tel. no 824029


There will be  sessions to help carers and parents understand the  changes to the welfare benefits system at  Platt Bridge Community Zone 81 Ribble Road Platt Bridge Wigan WN2 5EG

The session will be on 24th April 2013 from 10am – 3pm.  Lunch is NOT provided

There will be key speakers from Finance Team and Business Transformation Team Wigan Council

The main topics will be Housing Benefits; Council Tax; Disability Living Allowance; Personal Independence Payment

Please book your place by telephone Eileen at Embrace on 01942 233323


You may be aware that the Willow project which helped women with alcohol problems lost its funding and sadly shut its doors at the end of March. The committee has very kindly donated all the contents of the building to be auctioned and all the proceeds to be given to the Catkins Trust. The Catkins Trust was set up last October and is a fundraising charity, providing children affected by parents or carers drinking, with life’s essentials. Primarily, it is to meet the needs of the children who access Willow’s Young Persons Counselling Service (which will continue to run).

The Auction is to take place on the 19th April (with viewings available on the 17th and 18th of April between 1.30pm and 4pm), at The Mary Appleton Centre. Bengal St. , Leigh and opens at 1pm, with the auction beginning at 1.30pm. Refreshments will be on sale and there will also be a raffle.

Items available to buy include tub chairs, two seater chairs, kitchen table and chairs, coffee tables,

Friday, 5 April 2013

Labour win By Election

Congratulations to Sam Murphy who claimed a 57 per cent victory in the Pemberton by-election last night.

Sam received 1,084 votes out of the 1,890 cast. It means he is now one of the youngest councillors in the chamber and joins Labour’s Paul and Jeanette Prescott in the Pemberton ward.

Apart from the Labour win it is good news because Sam will be one of the half dozen or so Labour councillors who are in their twenties or early thirties. This bodes well for the future and shows that despite what we see in the press and on the media  young people are interested enough in politics to stand for election

The results:

Sam Murphy (Labour) 1,084

Alan Freeman (UKIP) 451

Peter Franzen (Community Action) 203

John Cartwright (Conservative) 89

Dennis Shambley (BNP) 63

Thursday, 4 April 2013

The new Welfare Reforms - useful contacts

What is welfare reform?

The government is introducing many changes to benefits from April this year. These changes will affect working age people across the borough. Some decisions about how these changes will work in Wigan will be for the council to decide.

The main reforms that will affect Wigan are:

  • Localisation of Council Tax Support (Council Tax Benefit)
  • Benefit Reforms – under-occupancy, benefit cap,
  • Personal Independence Payments (PIPs) will replace Disability Living Allowance (DLA
  • Universal Credit (UC)
  • Social Fund changes
When will the reforms be introduced?

The main reforms will mostly be implemented over the next 2 years with many changes being introduced from April 2013.

Where can you go for advice and guidance with things that affect them?

More information is available on the council Website; www.wigan.gov.uk/benefits

The Citizens Advice Bureau can help with debt counselling and welfare benefits advice and can be contacted at http://www.wigancab.org/ Tel: 0844 8269713

Wigan Independent Advice Centre – can help with welfare benefits advice and information Tel: 01942 489984

Staff are also on hand to help through customer services at the Wigan Life Centre and also through the other local life centres.

AGMA Help with your rent Team – can speak to your landlord on your behalf and provide help if you are affected by under-occupancy http://www.helpwithrent.org.uk Tel 0845 120 2093

Wigan and Leigh Housing Options - can talk through your options in terms of moving or finding other accommodation http://propertyshop.walh.co.uk/HousingOptionsProperty/ Tel 01942 487717

Jobcentre Plus – can help with finding work and applying for Universal Credit www.gov.uk/contact-jobcentre-plus Tel 0845 6060 234

If you require more information please contact me on 736216 or on nigelash@blueyonder.co.uk