Friday, 31 May 2013


The Ashton-in-Makerfield Café is held at the Diamond Club, Grey Road (Off Old Road), Ashton-in-Makerfield, WN4 9QW on the first Tuesday of the month from 10.30am to 12.30pm.

The dates of the meeting are 4 June, 2nd July, 6th August, 3rd September, 1st October, 5th November

Community Activities


A new Family Fun Explorer programme will take place at venues throughout the borough on Saturdays in May & June. It’s an ideal way of introducing basic map reading skills to children whilst having fun as a family.

Saturday 1st June – Mesnes Park (meet at Café)

Saturday 8th June – Pennington Hall Park meet at Park Lodge)

Saturday 15th June – Alexandra Park (meet at Play area)

Saturday 22nd June – Three Sisters (meet at Rangers Office)

Saturday 29th June – Pennington Flash (meet at Picnic Area)

All events run form 11 am till 1 p.m. at a cost of £1

Further details from Kim McBride on 01942 488483 or

Tuesday, 28 May 2013

the Youth Zone - the Big Opening Saturday June 8th

Wigan Youth Zone cordially invites you attend its official launch party….The Big Bang Opening!!!!

Starting from 1pm in Mesnes Park on Saturday 8th June, the event really will be a day to remember, and will include loads of fun for all the family.  On the day, we’ll have a packed itinerary, so please find a brief running order below so you can decide which parts of the event you’d like to attend:

1pm – Mesnes Park activities including bouncy castle, face-painting, inflatable assault course, paintballing and if by then you haven’t already, a chance to sign up as a member!

3pm – A short parade through the streets of Wigan, led by our capital sponsors, Martin Ainscough, Bill Ainscough & Dave Whelan, with the FA Cup trophy leading the way!

4pm – Official ribbon cutting at the Youth Zone

4pm – 7pm – Loads of regular activities that you’d expect to see every night at WYZ including climbing, dance, football, arts, music, pool tournaments, hot food and much, much more.

7.30pm – A showcase of local talent in our Sports Hall, culminating with our Battle of the Bands!

Everybody is welcome

Major Roadworks Bryn Road Ashton

As part of the ongoing North West Electrification project by Network Rail the railway bridge on Bryn Road will be reconstructed.

This means that the road will need a complete closure whilst the operation is undertaken on Monday 3rd June 2013 until Monday 9th September 2013 (14 weeks). Access will be available for pedestrians at all times because a temporary bridge footbridge will be in operation.

Also, works from utility companies will be undertaken prior to the closure removing their infrastructure from the bridge then returning same after the closure.

The diversion route for access on the east side of the bridge will be Wigan Road, Bolton Road, Bryn Road South and the route will be signed.

Network Rail also has a 24 hour national helpline if the public want more information on 08457 11 41 41. 

Friday, 24 May 2013

Beat it Team results

The following areas were cleaned up last week

1. Passage way from School Lane to Diane Road and Riding Lane from Avon Road

2. Golborne Road park - fenced areas marked Willow Grove and St Wlilfrids

3. Warrington Road in Ashton outside Byrchall and Edmund Arrowsmith schools.

4. Hilton Street, Bolton road

Thank you to those residents who contacted me to ask for areas to be cleaned up. Your information is very much appreciated.

Saturday, 18 May 2013


One of the things I do as a Councillor that gives me a lot of satisfaction is to fund voluntary groups who support young people to take part in activities, sporting or otherwise. That is why I was particularly  happy to make a contribution towards the local Cub group who are going on Cubjam.  34 Cub Scouts from the Wigan area are about to embark on a once in a Cub-lifetime opportunity - a pirate themed week long jamboree held at Gilwell Park, London.

The aim of Cubjam is to offer Cub Scouts from across the UK the opportunity to join together for a week of ‘jamboree’ style fun reminding the Cubs that they have much in common with each other - no matter their background or where they are from. The wide range of activities offered during Cubjam will help the Cub Scouts learn new skills, try new experiences and make new friends. Scouting is open to all, breaking down the barriers of race, religion or ethnicity. The location of the jamboree is a great way for parents to give children a bit of freedom to gain their independence in a safe environment in the National Centre for Scouting.the local  

Looks like a lot of fun  and I hope they all enjoy their time in London.      

On the doorstep

On our latest Councillors' doorstep surgery in Stubshaw Cross, of the forty or so people we talked to only one thought that Europe was an issue - and that came behind changes to welfare benefits.  


Tory activists are 'mad, swivel - eyed loons' 

No, that's not me writing that - I wouldn't be that impolite. These words were used by one of David Cameron's closest allies at a private dinner this week, according to the Times today 

Nuff said really - I can't better that. 


I was invited yesterday with Yvonne Fovargue MP to talk to members of Oasis, a voluntary group who support local people suffering from mental health, who are struggling financially, single parents or those who are just lonely.

We were very interested to hear the experiences of some of the group who had  mental health problems with claiming the benefits . It was clear that they thought that they had not been treated with respect at the Jobcentre because of their illness. As one member pointed out 'Anyone can see if you have a broken leg but mental illness is much more difficult to spot but is just as disabling.' Myself and Yvonne will be addressing this issue in the near future.

The other issue for this group is lack of premises.The need for their services are growing but they cannot expand because of a lack of  premises in Ashton They are a voluntary group with limited funding so they cannot afford to pay a large rent. Both myself and Yvonne together with the Council are trying to find suitable premises at an affordable rent but so far without success.  If anyone reading this article has any ideas please contact me.  


Last week I was also invited to the opening of the Think Ahead Community Stroke Group - a support group for people who have suffered a stroke. Their new offices are in Ashland House, Manchester Road Ince. 

The group is dedicated to prevent strokes through healthy living and showing that there is life after the illness. 

If you need support because you have suffered a stroke or you know of anyone who needs such support visit 

Wigan Youth Zone

I took the opportunity to visit the Youth Zone last week and what a fantastic facility it is.
There are so many opportunities for young people to participate in activities including sports, dancing ,music and a superb climbing wall. There will also be courses laid on to improve job opportunities for young people. 
Anybody is welcome to visit the Zone to take a look for themselves on the following dates:  
Thursday May 23 and Tuesday May 28:

On Saturday June 8 there is the Big Bang Opening. A fun-packed day for all the family - and it’s all free. More details to be announced nearer the time.

If you’d like to register to attend either the Business Support Event, or Community Open Night, email or call the Youth Zone on 01942 612061.

Friday, 17 May 2013

Same Old Tories part 2

Over 130 Tories vote against proposals in the Queen's speech and in effect David Cameron. This is hailed as party unity by one of the leading Eurosceptics. Funny choice of words. I would call it a shambolic mess.

No mention of the rise in  unemployment, oil companies accused of price rigging over a long period of time, claims that Amazon and Google are avoiding paying tax , the collapse of services in some A and E hospital departments and many more issues that concern the public.

Once again a divided Tory party has  got their collective  head stuck in the Eurosceptic sand and cannot see the important issues. Long may they continue to do so.

And it is good to see Nigel Farage get a rough ride in Scotland. Welcome to the real world of politics, Nigel  where you can't be everybody's flavour of the day all the time.

Monday, 13 May 2013


Congratulations to the players, manager and staff at Wigan FC  for their fantastic victory on Saturday to bring home the FA Cup. 

When I first came to live in Ashton in 1979 Wigan had just become a league club. Their progress from there  to Saturday's victory within 34 years  is little short of miraculous in these days when money is all in football. 

Good luck to the team on Tuesday against Arsenal 


Good to see the Tories continue to tear themselves apart over Europe which according to the polls comes about fifth place in importance for the British public. It's just like the final days of John Major's Government

Long may it continue.