Wednesday, 30 March 2016

On a mission to warn of common 'Celtic Curse' blood condition

Thanks to the Wigan Evening Post.
Genetic Haemochromatosis (GH) is an inherited disorder which causes the body to absorb too much iron from our diet. GH is sometimes called The Celtic Curse, because of the fact that it is more prevalent in the Celtic countries. The gene flaws can be traced back to the Vikings.

Excess iron gradually accumulates, usually in the liver, joints, heart, pancreas and other endocrine glands, causing serious tissue damage.

GH is one of the most common genetic disorders. Surveys have shown that as many as 1 in 200 people could be at risk of developing iron overload.

Simple and effective treatment is available, but if excess iron is not removed irreversible damage can occur, especially in the liver. Diagnosis can be confirmed by a simple blood test and/or genetic test. Early diagnosis and treatment preserves normal life expectancy and quality of life.

Winstanley Ward representative Cllr Paul Kenny was advised to take the gene test for GH in 2011 following contact with his mother from a distant relative in the USA. This led to a positive result and several months of regular fortnightly venesections where a pint of blood was removed to reduce the iron overload in his blood.

Prior to diagnosis Paul had never heard of the condition despite several aching joints in his fingers which he put down to RSI from working at a keyboard during the working day.

Iron levels are now under control and Cllr Kenny considers himself to be ‘very lucky’. He continues to give blood via donation and receives a regular check-up at The Thomas Linacre Centre where his blood iron levels, Liver and Kidney functions are monitored.

Cllr Paul Kenny said, “Like many people, I put my joint pain in my hands down to RSI as I work in front of a keyboard all day."

"When my Mum got the call from our USA relative, I took the gene test and was found to have GH. Blood tests confirmed my iron levels were high and I immediately began sessions to remove blood and lower the iron levels."

"I now have to give blood once every 12 weeks but the pain in my joints disappeared very quickly and I was soon completely back to myself."

"I feel very lucky to have been diagnosed when I was. It has meant that I have averted serious liver disease and possible heart failure. Because, once you’ve had a diagnosis of haemochromatosis, the treatment is straightforward."

"Through the gene test many of my extended family – aunts, uncles and cousins have also been confirmed as having GH so my advice is that if you have any symptons associated with GH then it is worth getting yourself checked out.”

Monday, 28 March 2016

4 Our Forces

Cllr Paul Kenny pictured with dignatories and
veterans at the Trenchefield Mill site
Wigan Borough’s armed forces facility, 4 Our Forces, has received another £400,000 cash injection and is likely to be built on the land next to Trencherfield Mill, it has been confirmed.

The build is a collaborative project between Wigan Council and Wigan Sea Cadets and will be a facility for the local and regional cadets to meet, whilst also being a central point for armed forces families to access a range of services including advice about housing and employment, education, health and well-being support and much more.

The council has already committed £500,000 but the project has now received an extra £400,000 from the Ministry of Defence to go towards the build and services, including an outreach vehicle, which will be deployed across the borough.

Lord Peter Smith, leader of Wigan Council said, “4 Our Forces will be a fantastic resource for Wigan and there will be services benefitting everybody from mental health advice to a cafĂ© for the public to enjoy.

“In addition, this ideal site will also help to lift the Wigan Pier Quarter and kick-start the regeneration process that we believe will increase the borough’s profile as a place to invest, live, work and visit.

“By offering a specialised service to this community of residents, we hope to ensure that everybody is given all of the support they need as finding this support isn’t always as straight forward for armed forces families.”

Steps are now being taken to discuss the look of the building, with the poppy flower currently an idea for the architecture theme. Other factors for the building are also being discussed with the armed forces and wider community, including a design and layout that would be sympathetic to those with particular needs.

Twenty-four existing sites from privately owned land, privately owned buildings and council owned property were initially considered for the site.

This was narrowed down to 12 but all sites were eventually dismissed due to cost effectiveness, footfall, location and other factors, meaning the land next to Trencherfield Mill proved a firm favourite and will be the winning location subject to feasibility.

Cllr Paul Kenny, cabinet lead on the Armed Forces said, “There’s a huge armed forces community in Wigan, so there’s a strong demand for these specialist services and Wigan Council is passionate about supporting our armed forces families. We have been working hard in submitting our funding applications and are delighted that we have received support from the Ministry of Defence.

“By building this vital resource in the Wigan Pier Quarter, the project will benefit from a variety of factors such as a central location, travel links and parking.

“Also, by having a more central and engaging base for Wigan Sea Cadets, we are investing in our young people, giving them a fantastic opportunity to learn new life skills, which also coincides with the council’s Deal for Children and Young People.”

Wednesday, 16 March 2016

Winstanley Rose

The latest edition of the Winstanley Rose delivered to over 4000 households free of charge can be viewed here.

Friday, 11 March 2016

Blue Bin contamination costs council tax payers £40,000

Nappies and leftover pizza are costing Wigan Borough council tax-payers thousands of pounds – because householders are putting them in the wrong bin.

In the past two months the cost to the taxpayer has been £40,000 as 19 wagon loads of blue bin recycling have been rejected because of contamination.

Through The Deal, by residents recycling more and recycling right, the council can keep council tax low.

It costs Wigan Council up to £2,000 for each contaminated load.

The blue bin is used to recycle paper and cardboard only but Wigan Council is finding the wrong items are more frequently being put in the bin, with nappies and leftover pizza being the biggest culprit.

Blue bins containing contamination will be labelled with a red contamination sticker. The stickers will give the reason why the bin has not been collected.

Residents can be issued with a section 46 notice for having contaminated bins after which a fixed penalty notice can be issued.

Cllr Clive Morgan is encouraging residents to help reduce contamination. Nappies should be placed in the black bin and all food should be placed in the green bin. Magazines can be placed in the blue bin but please remove plastic wrapping.

Help and advice can be given to residents who are unsure or confused what goes in what bin by contacting the council on 01942 404364  or visit here for more details.

Tuesday, 8 March 2016


Wigan Council will be undertaking footway resurfacing works from Culcross Avenue to Pemberton Road (even side only)  between Monday 7 March 2016 and Friday 18 March 2016.

To undertake these works safely temporary traffic signals will be in operation at off peak hours.

The highway grass verges near Hope Children’s Centre on Highfield Grange Avenue have been churned up as a result of the recent heavy rainfall and inappropriate parking. Following a site inspection an order has now been issued to repair the vehicle over ride damage. To prevent further damage bollards are to be installed along this verge.

We have written to all the vehicle contractors that drop off children at the school requesting they refrain from driving over the verges in future.

Monday, 7 March 2016

Veterans' Lunch

Cllr Paul Kenny co-hosted a Veterans' Lunch on Saturday, 5th March with Worsley Mesnes ward member, Cllr Phil Kelly.

Over 60 veterans attended on the day along with local MP, Yvonne Fovargue, Cllr Clive Morgan and Cllr Marie Morgan.

A buffet was served courtesy of the kind sponsorship of the Wigan branch of Unite the Union.

Thanks to the staff of St Matthew's Parish Hall for their help and assistance.

You can view more pictures of the lunch on Facebook.