Catching up

It’s been quite some time since I wrote a blog post here and since it’s always been my intention to keep this site up-to-date so people in the Ward I represent know what I’m doing for them, that’s not a good thing. I therefore thought I’d post a quick sum-up to discuss what I’ve been doing in Westhoughton North and Chew Moor ward since I got elected.

Firstly, I’ve been looking into the drug problem in the area. It’s something that came up a lot during the election campaign and I got straight onto it the first week I took office. We all know there’s a cannabis farm somewhere around Westhoughton, because residents keep complaining about the smell – this came up again at the last Area Forum meeting and I have no doubt it will come up again. People aren’t happy that it’s taking so long to deal with the drug problem in Westhoughton but the sad fact is, these things do take time to deal with.

The Police are aware of the problem and I have no doubt they are gathering as much information as they can in order to identify the people and addresses involved. You can help them with this by phoning 101 whenever you see something dodgy going on, or when you can smell a strong smell of cannabis in the area. The Police will log your call, get as much information as they can and use this to build a better picture of exactly where and when the drug problem is occurring. Then, when they know exactly what’s going on, they can act.

It takes time but it does work out; as the numerous successful raids that have been publicised in the Bolton News this year proves.

Housing – specifically the excess of housing development in Westhoughton – is a big problem. It’s destroying our local infrastructure and quite frankly I’m as sick of all this overdevelopment as you are. We can’t cope with it, the roads are over capacity and it’s hard enough to get a GP appointment or a dental appointment without more houses being built but no extension of our public services.

I’ve spoken out against Roscoe’s Farm even before I was elected, and I spoke out about the Lee Hall development, too. During the election campaign, I promised to fight both developments and I stayed true to that promise. I’m immensely disappointed that the Roscoe’s Farm development was accepted by the planning committee, especially after all Conservative members and even a couple of Labour members voted against it. Sadly, it went through on the block vote but we almost won the fight – it went through with 11 votes for, 9 against.

We were more successful fighting the Lee Hall development, that one failed at the planning committee. During my speech against the development, I listed all the ways the developer had failed to meet the requirements set for a development of this type on the Lee Hall site and I stand by what I said.

I have no doubt that someone will try again to develop on Lee Hall in the future, and I’ll continue to fight against that because it’s not in Westhoughton’s interests to have hundreds more houses built when there’s no space on the roads, no space in the schools, and no space in our doctors’ surgeries.

The road safety problem at the Wigan Road/Bolton Road junction is another big concern and I’m happy to say that I’ve brought this up with officers from the Council’s Highways department. They are now looking into reducing the speed limit on the stretch of road where the two young girls were knocked down; and they are also looking into other options for traffic calming in that area.

It’s early days but I am going to keep pushing this until it’s sorted and the road is safer.

Okay, this is getting quite long now so I’m going to sign off. It’s my intention to keep this site more up-to-date with what I’m doing in the future. In the mean time, I also make semi-regular videos on my second YouTube channel; where I life and work. Sometimes I’ll be discussing matters in Westhoughton and Chew Moor there, as it’s a large part of my life.

Here’s the latest episode, which includes some footage from the Westhoughton Village Fayre earlier this year.