Newcomer to politics standing as independent candidate for Astley Mosley Common

A newcomer to the Mosley Common area with no previous political experience is standing as an independent candidate to become a councilor in Wigan.

Andy Brown is standing on two key issues for the Astley Mosley Common ward: the controversial Mosley Common development proposal and the Clean Air Zone.

After moving to the area from Stockport in June 2021, he was surprised the development issue had flown under the radar.

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The 36-year-old never expected he would be hosting a meeting with Leigh MP James Grundy and local councilors in his house – but suddenly he was in the thick of local politics.

“Me and the Mrs are not busy bodies really but it was one of those things where you have to do something about it,” the Mosley Common resident said.

“I was chairing a meeting, sat on this table with our MPs and councilors and thought, what am I doing here?

“I never really had big political ambitions when I moved into the area. But when I spoke to people about the Mosley Common development, no one really knew about it so my wife and I started sending out letters.”

Greenbelt Land Mosley Common

A masterplan for Mosley Common includes 1,100 homes, improved transport links, and a total £155m investment in the area.

It has been put forward by Peel Land & Property and would lie south west of Walkden and east of Tyldesley.

The property and land owning giant claim it would bring around 200 jobs to the local area.

Peel says: “The vision is to create a healthy living community with distinctive neighborhoods that will be embedded into the area’s natural landscape of woodlands, watercourses and moss land with a new community and travel hub sitting at the heart of the scheme.”

The company says new homes would suit a range of needs including first time buyers, families, downsizers and older people with later living accommodation. About 25 per cent would be affordable housing.

“I want us to think about the proposals and take the correct approach to this development,” the IT project manager said.

“I want to give the people a voice through an independent councillor, not constrained by party politics.

“People are fed up with ‘red or blue’ and just want to have someone who does it for their local area.”

Independent candidate for Astley Mosley Common Andy Brown with his sign on proposed development site land
Independent candidate for Astley Mosley Common Andy Brown with his sign on proposed development site land

The other item on the agenda for Mr Brown is the Clean Air Zone, which is a hotly debated topic also, with Mayor Andy Burnham and the 10 council leaders in the city-region recently saying they now want all charges to be scrapped, but they say more government funding is needed.

Mr Brown has vowed to:

  • Take active steps to improve the traffic situation and road conditions in the area
  • Vote against all development on green belt land
  • Vote against all proposals to remove land from the green belt
  • Vote against the CAZ charge

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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