Friday, 21 June 2013

Ricky Tomlinson and the Shrewsbury 24 petition

In 1972, building workers held their first ever national strike for decent pay and health & safety at work. Five months after the strike ended, 24 trade union members were charged with offences allegedly arising from picketing in Shrewsbury in September 1972. They included individuals who were convicted of conspiracy and sentenced to imprisonment. Government files relating to the strike have been withheld from the National Archives even though more than 30 years have passed.

The petition calls upon the Government to release all Cabinet minutes, documents, discussion papers, civil service notes, reports and telephone records produced from 1972 to 1976 by Government departments, agencies and prosecuting authorities relating to the strike, the building workers' unions, the arrested pickets, the prosecutions at Mold and Shrewsbury and the subsequent appeals, as well as any other material pertaining to the case that fall outside the above time period.

You can add your name to the petition here

Thursday, 20 June 2013


Over several years I have been campaigning for better allotments for the residents of Ashton and have been helping the residents of Stubshaw Cross to get their own allotments. It has been a lengthy process to create more plots but working with Wigan Council things are beginning to improve

In Stubshaw Cross there are 24 'traditional' plots and 2 community plots. The community plots are available to the general public, community groups etc and include raised beds.

There will be a compostable toilet installed on the site in the coming weeks. This work has been progressed in partnership with The Conservation Volunteers.

There is a large plot due to be subdivided soon into several, smaller plots. Another plot will also be subdivided into smaller plots.

There are 90 people listed on the waiting list at Stubshaw Cross, around 6-7 of these people are using the community plots.

The timescales to fully reinstate all of the plots into functioning allotments is unclear and is driven by monetary resources It may be a case of reinstating plots, one at a time. This year the Council intends to clear and enclose a derelict plot containing building materials and also enclose another plot. This should turn 2 plots into at least 4 plots.

Wednesday, 12 June 2013

Ray Doyle

Ray Doyle with his photos remembering the Top House

I was invited to an event in Garswood House to mark Alzheimers week. Some residents had contributed to a Memory Wall where they had pictures and words which brought to life jobs and family from their younger days.

One man who I found very interesting was  Ray Doyle who was at one time publican of the Top House - a pub now demolished on Liverpool Road near the Catholic Club. I spent some time with him as he told me what it was like in those days to manage a pub. He was very proud to tell me that in those days he was also a butcher and that he paid two stamps.

Please let me know if you have any memories of Ray and the Top House please contact me on this blog.    

Monday, 10 June 2013

Street Surgery Ashton Heath

Following complaints by residents on Ashton Heath about anti social behaviour on the Heath myself and Cllr Bill Clark did a street surgery on Saturday to listen to what the residents had to say. The day before our surgery we leafleted every householder advising them to phone 101 if they witnessed any anti-social behaviour. 

During  our visit we found that residents had used the 101 number which had massively raised the profile of the area with the police and there been more police presence the night before. As a result of talking with residents we have done the following:

1. Arranged a meeting with the police today

2. Contacted Wigan Council to liaise with the police to combat this problem in the future

3. Asked the local PCSOs to visit local schools to talk to certain students suspected of being involved with the incidents

4. Asked the Council to make good the damage to trees caused by some of the  youths.

Local residents told us that they were not concerned with young people being on the Heath. It was the aggressive behaviour of some of them and the damage to the Heath which they care for so much that concerned them and that required police presence.    

Thursday, 6 June 2013

Street surgery in Stubshaw Cross

As part of the Ashton Labour Councillors' ongoing street surgeries we have been on the Stubshaw Cross/Riding Lane estate over the past two weeks to listen to what the residents had to say. 

Nigel Ash with two Stubshaw Cross residents Emily Knox and  Dorothy Hesketh
 Generally most people were happy with life on the estate but there were a few problems which the Labour team will be dealing with. We also took part in an estate inspection which revealed a few more issues which we will be dealing with in conjunction with Wigan and Leigh Housing and Wigan Council's engineering department.

These street surgeries will be on going  and we aim to cover all of Ashton during the next year.