In reply to Geoffrey Shryhane’s article in last week’s Wigan Observer.
It’s obvious he hasn’t been using the bus services for any length of time. To say the work being undertaken at Wigan bus station is causing just a little inconvenience is the understatement of the century, it’s a total nightmare.
I have to use the bus service a lot and believe me, we do not have a marvellous service. For example, the 610 Hawkley Hall circular must be the worst in Wigan. Only the other day I waited for half an hour for a bus in Tyrer Avenue, the bus I’d gone for going into Wigan didn’t come, but three went past me going to Hawkley Hall. This isn’t a one-off it’s always happening especially on Saturday afternoons.
Geoffrey shouldn’t assume that just because his bus was on time, it’s the same for other bus users because it isn’t.
It is interesting that in the week Mothercare announce a massive closure of town centre stores, retail consultant and TV personality Mary Portas has been commissioned by the Government to investigate the rapid deterioration of the British high street (www.maryportas.com).
Just one day into the survey and hundreds upon hundreds of UK retailers have contributed to the debate online. Practically all contributors agreed that the primary causes are the unfairly high comparative business costs of town centre retailing and the parking issues within town centres compared to out-of-town alternatives.
Placing this in the context of Wigan it is clear that we are the model failure: narrow-minded town centre planning and short-sighted revenue planning have begun the relatively quick and irreversible process of killing our town centre:
The Grand Arcade: this has served no purpose other than to increase vacancy elsewhere in the town (although not to the detriment of the council as they still collect business rates on most vacant properties). Capacity was never the problem so why build another shopping centre?
I also notice that the public sector occupy one of the costly Grand Arcade properties at the taxpayers expense instead of occupying one of the existing properties they conspired to make vacant.
Parking: how can a town centre be appealing when parking costs more than double overnight? It is no wonder that suburban shopping developments (approved by council planners) enjoy such high footfall as they do not cost anything for consumers to visit. Instead of acknowledging that moderate isn’t as good as free, our all-seeing council opt to change moderate to expensive. Masterstroke! Alienate the drivers at your peril – public transport is simply not a substitute when people wish to shop; they don’t jump on a bus – they go elsewhere.
Why not be honest and just tell the public you would rather they don’t visit the town?
I don’t expect a quick change: our Labour council is indoctrinated with the ineffective overspending, misguided underspending and short-sighted planning typical of many public bodies. If anyone can find a solution to this nationwide issue Mary can but in the case of Wigan MBC it may well be a bridge too far.
I can only reassure myself that our annual business rates provide a substantial five contribution to our Council Chief Executive’s salary and so I can better understand where our £11k is invested each year.
Grateful for first class care
During a time when the NHS is going through major changes, I would like to speak positively about the care, respect and treatment I have received.
I have attended hospital over the last two years and recently had major surgery.
Due to the care and efficiency of staff at Thomas Linacre and Wigan Infirmary I have returned home with peace of mind that all was well.
I have Grounds for concern
With all the criticisms of the Leisure and Culture Trust and the Grounds Maintenance in particular, how come nothing is ever done about it?
If this happened in any other industry heads would roll.
In the Armed Forces, Police, Fire Service or NHS something would have been done to shake up the management, even an under-performing football club would sack its manager.
Cob Moor Road,
Where does the money go?
Now the local elections are over, it would be very good if the Labour councillors set a new example and showed the rest of England how honest they are by telling the people who voted for them how they spend their grants. They could easily display this information in the local papers.
I am sure there are lots of voters like myself would like to know.
Concerns over birth control
Considering there have been calls on both sides of the Atlantic to replace condoms (failure rate of 15 per cent amongst responsible adults), why are Brook handing out these to teenagers where the rate of failure is even higher?
It seems eight out of every 100 pregnancies in Britain are due to condoms tearing, so what chance have fumbling teenagers?
Teenagers are always complaining that they have not had access to contraception, they should stop complaining and practice abstinence.
This bin plan is just rubbish
You asked what we think about the proposed change in bin collections, here’s my take.
So the Council wants to shut libraries, and now wants to empty bins every other week instead of weekly.
Fine. I will only pay my rates every other month then.
Name and address supplied.
Listen to our Parish concerns
What a great result for the independent referendum candidates in the recent local elections for Parish Council for the North Ward. There are now three independents on the Parish Council that is 200 per cent up. A good result for the Shevington Moor/Standish area.
A clear message has been sent by the voters of this area of Standish, that they no longer wish to be part of Shevington Parish.
In the press its been stated that the Parish Council is always seeking ways to improve and it will take note of your suggestions and concerns, and take action were appropriate,
Therefore please listen when we say we want to opt out and act.