Success for Friends of Parr Fold Park litter pick

Litter PickIt was great to see so many local volunteers out this weekend for the litter pick organised by the newly-formed Friends of Parr Fold Park. I joined around 15 volunteers on Saturday morning, which was their second litter-picking session of the week. It has made a huge difference and even after two short sessions the park is looking much brighter!

It looks like we have a fantastic group of people who can really get the new group off the ground, and I’m looking forward to their next meeting which is this Wednesday, 29th October, at 6.30pm in the park pavilion. All local residents are very welcome to come along.

Have you completed my A580 survey?

Busway SurveyI’m extremely grateful to the 1250 local residents who have now completed my guided busway roadworks survey. This phenomenal response shows the huge strength of feeling on this issue. I’ll be writing a full analysis of the results in due course, but if you haven’t yet had chance to complete the survey, you can still do so. Click here to take my A580 roadworks survey. It’ll only take a couple of minutes – thank you so much!

90% of local residents would scrap the busway tomorrow

buswaygraph

I’m extremely grateful to the hundreds of local residents who have completed my online survey on local transport and particularly the current works on the A580. As I write, over 800 local residents have now kindly taken the time to send me their views, which is an extraordinary response and shows the strong views held by the local community on this issue.

If you’d like to complete the survey and have not yet done so, you can still complete the survey by clicking here.

As a local Councillor, I’ve always made my view very clear that I feel that the busway project is a costly mistake that will cause congestion once it is completed (not just during construction) and won’t make a significant improvement to local public transport. The huge cost could have been spent much more wisely restoring the rail link to Leigh, with a new park-and-ride station in Little Hulton, as well as improving existing bus services which (ironically) could end up suffering more if the bus companies revise their services to travel down the busway rather than through the communities where people actually live.

It’s a real shame that Wigan Council and Salford Council have never chosen to listen to local people and have pressed on with this scheme, and that they continue to seem oblivious to the disruption caused to residents trying to go about their business each day – to work, to school, to visit family and friends.

Here are the headline results:

  • 96% of those responding have been personally affected by the current roadworks.
  • 53% were happy with their local bus service and 28% thought it was poor; 31% were happy with the local trains and 26% were unhappy.
  • 74% think that the busway will continue to cause disruption once the project is finished, and just 2% think that the busway will take traffic off the roads once it is finished (22% felt it would make no difference).
  • Only 7% think that the busway will be a good thing and 80% think it will be a bad thing.
  • 76% would have preferred a rail link to Leigh and a railway station at Little Hulton.
  • 90% of local people would scrap the busway if it was still an option.
  • 71% thought that Salford City Council’s changes to Chapel Street and the Crescent made things worse. Just 6% thought they were a good thing.

Like 90% of those who responded, I’d scrap the project tomorrow if I had the chance. However, as this is sadly unlikely, I will continue to work with colleagues to alleviate the worst excesses of the scheme and try to provide improvements where possible. For example, I’m currently trying to persuade Northern Rail and Transport for Greater Manchester to change the rail timetable so that the three express rail services (one in the morning, two in the evening) stop additionally at Walkden to give commuters an alternative option to driving into Manchester.

Rewarding hard work with lower taxes

If you’re a teacher, or a police officer, or a shop worker, you’ll be paying less tax now thanks to the Conservatives in Government. Tens of thousands of local residents are better off through the huge rises in the tax-free personal allowance introduced since 2010. A full-time worker on the minimum wage has had their income tax bill halved. A typical taxpayer will be around £700 a year better off.

If you elect a Conservative Government next year, you’ll pay even less tax. We’ll increase the personal allowance even further to £12500. Most workers on the minimum wage will pay no income tax at all.

What’s more, if you want to make progress in your career, and become a manager or run your own business, or a head of department or headteacher, or a sergeant or inspector, we’ll reward you by increasing the threshold for the higher rate of income tax, not penalise you with a punitive extra rate of taxation.

It’s your money – you earned it and you should keep more of it.