** ATTENTION ASHURST RESIDENTS **
It seems there was more going on in Ashurst ward than the long absence from council meetings of the Labour Cllr Hodson. There was going to be an intruder into the Skelmersdale Labour comfort zone. An independent candidate was on the scene, and making many friends and supporters.
Meet James Upjohn who had published a manifesto for the May 2020 local elections, only for the coronavirus to delay him for a year.
He wrote “Driving around Ashurst, it’s clear that it’s one of the nicer parts of Skelmersdale. We have The Tawd Valley to the west, Westheads Clough to the south, Beacon Park to the east and Cobbs Clough to the north! We are literally framed with biological heritage sites, an abundance of wildlife and areas steeped in natural beauty. What a fantastic location.
“Ashurst SHOULD be one of the most desirable places to live in all of West Lancs and Skelmersdale as a whole SHOULD be a commuters paradise with it being the gateway into both Liverpool and Manchester. Look how conveniently placed we are on the map! Less than 40 mins to both major cities, beaches, world-class shopping at Liverpool One & The Trafford Centre, we really should have people falling over themselves to live here!
“Years of neglect means that we can’t shake the poor man of the borough image that Skelmersdale has though! Of course, there’s been a lot of government cuts but that doesn’t excuse West Lancs sitting on £26 million of OUR money in useable reserves. Why aren’t our councillors actively campaigning that we spend some of it on making Skelmersdale a better place to live?
“ALL 7 wards of Skelmersdale are considered the most deprived in West Lancashire and among the most deprived in the whole of Lancashire! (West Lancs CCG report 2015) Ashurst is lacking many things that other areas of similar population, across the UK, take for granted. This includes a decent number of good parks, a reliable and efficient bus service and a hall that can be used for all types of functions. One of the greatest tragedies in Ashurst was the giving away of our Community Centre to be used as private enterprise.
“Wandering around Ashurst, it’s clear the council are starting to tackle our litter issue but there’s so much more that could be done! With so many volunteer groups springing up, taking matters into their own hands, it’s easy to see what has prompted the council into their new found enthusiasm for litter! Ashurst lacks litter bins and lacks anti-litter campaigns to bring about the generational change that’s needed here. This is an easy fix and our councillors should be actively working towards these things.
“Take a walk along our black paths and you’ll see years of decaying leaves everywhere and the abundance of constantly flooded subways! I’m actively reporting these but would love to be in a better position of influence to lobby LCC for a permanent solution!
“It’s time we had someone that will Stand Up for Ashurst and I want to be that person! Please like my page, go through my posts and see everything I’ve been doing to Stand Up for Ashurst, the place I live and love!
“The amount of land earmarked for future housing developments in Ashurst is frightening. There’s too many new houses being thrown up without the infrastructure to support them and someone should be standing up for the residents and saying ENOUGH! (I’ve looked through all the council meeting agendas and can tell you this has NOT happened! No councillor speaking out publicly at our meetings against these things!)
“We at least deserve councillors that give us the voice we need so we can go from being a decent place to live to being an AMAZING one. I want to represent you, I want to stand up for you and I want to bring about the REAL change that’s much needed. Let’s work together to give Ashurst residents they say they deserve in our Borough Council meetings.
“At the end of January 2020 I created Skem First. I did this because I realised that our town needed a central online hub to bring all of Skelmersdale together. With so much happening in Skem and most people finding out “after the event”, it’s my hope that Skem First becomes the go to group to find out what’s happening in and around Skelmersdale”.
He’ll be back for May 2021, you be sure of it! Doesn’t sound like HE will miss six months of council meetings?