Author Archives: Phil Bateman

About Phil Bateman

Phil Bateman is Married to Mary and lives in Wednesfield North. He was a long serving local politician having served previously on the now defunct West Midlands County Council... read more

IMG_4283Phil&ed doolan

Ed Doolan- The Peoples Champion

I really do not know where to start. Just around lunch time yesterday, I heard the bad news that BBC Radio WM broadcaster Ed Doolan had passed away.

I was just about to go into the Wolverhampton City Planning Committee and speak to an objection against planning permission for a property in my Ward.

BBC Broadcaster Ed Doolan has been a star turn for decades here in the West Midlands, he was the peoples champion! The public love his earthy style, the way he attacked politicians and corporate heads! They loved his ‘shock jock’ style of broadcasts. He was ALWAYS on the side of the listener, and they loved him for it.

I have known Ed since 1981, he gave me almost a weekly tussle for decades. I was first interviewed by Ed at BRMB. It was about the West Midlands County Councils bus fares policy. I had no idea then that this tough Ozzie would have so much influence on my political and later my business life.

Former County Councillor Brian Smith coached me for two days before the very first interview I undertook with Ed. I was fearful of Ed before I even met him! But that was the reputation that this antipodean was building here in Brum.

It’s true that in those early years I hated that telephone call from the BBC team, Sue Kelly, Conal O Donnell, Howard and others. The phone would ring- polite BBC voice at the other end “Ed would like you to come and answer some questions”!

Then we would be off, asking me questions on the hottest day of the year , about the coming Christmas Day and Boxing Day bus schedules! He was exasperating, he raised my blood pressure, before I had blood pressure problems!

But as the years turned into decades I started to like the sword fights, the bickering and the pure theatre he produced for his listeners. Ed was an innovator, as well as just being a broadcaster. I hated that darned diary gizmo he had with all the names and numbers in it and his notes!

I took part in his show from some far flung places, as I tried to convince Birmingham and the West Midlands of the importance of Light Rail Transit for the conurbation.

We had memorable broadcasts from Newcastle as we evidenced what the Tyne and Wear Metro had done for that City. We broadcast from Grenoble, where on the flight out the airline lost his case, he even had to wear a shirt of mine!

I have dozens of good stories; they were exciting times for me, and for what we were trying to do for this great conurbation. He was giving me a bashing again on his show, when I said it was easy to ‘spout’ on the radio. We clashed not for the first time, and I said again “I could do your job, “ Ed said to me “ You could, could you?”

Tony Inchley the legendary BBC Radio Boss, liked the challenge I made. Before you could say ‘Midland Metro’ it was all agreed and I took over his role in his hot seat for the day.

Mary and I became friends with Chrissy and Ed as the years rolled on.

It was sad when we were informed of that damned dementia. But we all stayed close and just before Christmas, Lord Peter Snape, Lynda Waltho and Mary and ,I celebrated with Chrissy and Ed with his dear sister at Ed’s home. Where we chatted and reminisced about the old times. Ed was a star man here in the West Midlands, he was a champion of Local Radio, he loved Birmingham, and he loved giving a voice to the underdog.

I will miss Ed Doolan, but I will also cherish the fond memories I have of a man with passion for the radio, and his Gilbert and Sullivan! Ed is a Legend, and I am pleased to have called him my friend. Rest In Peace! You will live for ever in the hearts and minds of your listeners, and  those magnificent archives you kept of all your shows will be gold dust for historians way into the future.

IMG_5708 City Council

Agenda for Planning Now Published.

This is the agenda for the next meeting of the City Councils planning committee, there is just one item up for approval on the 16th of January that affects Ashmore Park, and that is at item 6. The recommendation from the Chief Planning Officer is to Grant the application.

Agenda

Part 1 – items open to the press and public

Item No. Title

1 Apologies for absence

2 Declarations of interest

3 Minutes of the previous meeting – 14 November 2017 (Pages 3 – 10)

[To approve the minutes of the previous meeting as a correct record]

4 Matters Arising

[To consider any matters arising from the minutes of the previous meeting]

5 17/01089/FUL Former Wednesfield High School, Lakefield Road,

Wolverhampton WV11 3ES (Pages 11 – 22)

[To consider the application]

6 17/01363/FUL 601 Griffiths Drive, Unit 2, Wolverhampton WV11 2LJ (Pages 23

– 26)

[To consider the application]

7 17/01234/FUL 17 Fawdry Street, Wolverhampton WV1 4PA (Pages 27 – 30)

[To consider the application]

8 17/01228/FUL Land North East of 32 Laburnum Road, Wolverhampton WV1

2TH (Pages 31 – 34)

[To consider the application]

9 17/01282/FUL 530 Wolverhampton Road East, Wolverhampton WV4 6AP

(Pages 35 – 40)

[To consider the application]

10 17/00885/FUL 185 and 187 Penn Road, Wolverhampton WV3 0EQ (Pages 41 –

46)

[To consider the application]

IMG_5708 City Council

City Officers Moves To Put The Record Straight

I wonder if it is possible for me to draw your attention to current situation as it relates to collecting Un-Paid Counciltax.

The Express and Star, ran this story on Monday. The Express and Star said that  “Almost £5 million in council tax went uncollected across Wolverhampton last year while a further £1.5 million in business rates was also unpaid.”

Today the City Councils Managing Director moved to set the record straight in a briefing for Councillors.

The Managing Director Keith Ireland said – “On Monday, the Express & Star inaccurately reported that the amount of unpaid Council tax in the City has rocketed from £324,000 in 2009/2010 to almost £5 million in 2016/2017.

It seems that the paper has misinterpreted some figures it found on our website.

The figures the paper based this story on showed the amount of unpaid council tax that was still outstanding from each year going back over the past 8 years. At the end of 2009/2010 we were owed £3.48 million – which now stands at £324,000. Likewise, at the end of 2016/2017 we were owed £7.57 million and that now stands at £4.9 million and will continue to reduce as we successfully recover the debt.

Unlike the 1425% increase in non-payment wrongly reported earlier this week, the actual increase in non-payment over the past 8 years is around 3%.

It can often take years to recover unpaid debt – but we don’t give up, we work tirelessly for as long as it takes within the parameters of the law to ensure people pay what they owe. Likewise, we also take a responsible approach which wherever possible does not add to a person’s financial difficulties.”

Councillor Phil Bateman added. Its important that residents recognise that these debts do get chased, and the MD reminds City Councillors that the City will continue to try and recover debts owed for a  long time after the current year closes. Wolverhampton will do all within the law to recover payments from defaulters.

17 Police Lamp

Next Police & Community Together Meeting Announced!

 

Wednesfield

‘Partners and Community Together’

 

10.30 am Tuesday 16th  January 2018

at

The Hub, Ashmore Park, Griffiths Drive, Wednesfield.

Sergeant Danher together with other agency partners, invite you to attend the next meeting of the Wednesfield North PACT open meeting.  You can influence the policing priorities in your Neighbourhood at the

Open meeting starting at 10.30 am

 You will also receive information on how crime & Anti social Behaviour are being tackled in this Neighbourhood.

Blue Light

Fake News- Be Aware Wednesfield!

West Midlands Police are warning –

Individuals and businesses are being warned to watch out for cold calls and online contact from fraudsters who are offering victims the opportunity to apply for Government grants for an advance fee.

To make the grants look legitimate fraudsters have set up bogus companies and convincing looking websites that claim to be operating on behalf of the UK Government.

Fraudsters cold call businesses and individuals offering the grant and if they’re interested direct them to fill out an online application form with their personal information.

Once the fraudsters have that information they’ll contact back victims and congratulate them on being accepted onto the grant programme.

Pre-paid credit cards

Applicants are then asked to provide identification and are instructed to get a pre-paid credit card to deposit their own contribution to the fake Government grant scheme.

Fraudsters will then contact victims on the phone or are emailed and asked for the details of their pre-paid credit card and copies of statements to in order for them to add the grant funds.

Of course the grant funds are never given by the fraudsters and the money that’s been loaded by the victim onto the card is stolen.

If you receive one of these calls, hang up immediately and report it to us. We’ve already taken down one website fraudsters have been using to commit this fraud and are working with Companies House to combat this issue.

PROTECTION / PREVENTION ADVICE

How to Protect yourself:

Be wary of unsolicited callers implying that you can apply for grants. You should never have to pay to receive a government grant, and they definitely won’t instruct you to obtain a pre-paid credit card. The government should have all the information they need if a genuine grant application was submitted, therefore any requests for personal or banking information either over the phone or online should be refused.

What to do if you’re a victim:

If you think your bank or personal details have been compromised or if you believe you have been defrauded contact your bank immediately.

Stop all communication with the ‘agency’ but make a note of their details and report it to Action Fraud.

If you have been affected by this, or any other type of fraud, report it to Action Fraud by visiting www.actionfraud.police.uk or by calling 0300 123 2040

Kind Regards The Partnership Team

IMG_3788

Lets Keep Fires Out of Wednesfield!

Fire can swiftly turn into a tragedy when it breaks out in our communities.

Over the last few years your three City Councillors have tried to alert our community of Wednesfield North of the importance of having working smoke alarms fitted in our homes and property. We have shared information on social media sites that show our residents have been in contact with the Fire Service and have taken advantage of the free service they offer to have smoke alarms fitted.

This is an important service offered by the Fire Service. Please use it.

Statistics I have requested under Freedom of Information legislation.  Tells me that the West Midlands Fire Service has been called out 700 times over a two year period (2015 & 2016) here in our City of Wolverhampton.

During the 700 times that the fires service turned out here in our city, there were 24 persons who were injured by fire, and there were 3 people who lost their lives.

Looking a little closer at Wednesfield North we have been grateful to the fire service as they attended to 9 property fires in 2015 and 9 property fires in 2016. The calls in Wednesfield North as an average of the fires in Wolverhampton are just over 2.5%.

We should always  be on our guard against the threat of fire in our homes. Plus we should all be good neighbours and ensure that our family and friends have a working fire alarm.

Luckily for all of us here in Wednesfield North the actual call out to property fires has not increased at all in the two year period (2015 & 2016). Staying stable at 9 call outs for 2015 and 9 call outs for 2016. But that is still 18 call outs too many!

The fact that we have had no injuries and no fatalities here in our Ward of Wednesfield North during this period, is something to be thankful for.

As we start a New Year 2018, I would urge you to ask your family, your friends and your neighbours – “Do you have an active smoke alarm?” If they haven’t – ask them to contact the local fire station to fit a free one.

Lets do all we can to keep fires out of Wednesfield North.

Supt Keith Fraser

Congratulations Keith Fraser!

I am sure that Wednesfield will want to congratulate  Keith Fraser former Police Superintendent with responsibility for Wednesfield. Today he has announced his joy and ‘excitement’ at being appointed the Youth Justice Board for England and Wales. He had recently retired from the Police force after 32 years of duty.

Keith was a very good Policeman, and helped me with lots of problems we have had here in Wednesfield with anti social behaviour and other crime. Always willing to offer advice and help even when I caught him at home and off  duty.

I am very pleased that the region will have Keith sitting at the national table in an area of law and order that is critical to us all.

Here is how he responded to the Secretary of States announcement. “I am so excited and pleased that The Secretary of State has announced that I have been appointed to the Youth Justice Board for England and Wales.”

Congratulations Keith your experience going forward will be a very useful asset for the new organisation you are joining.

 

BAQwjq9CIAEXS4H NX Hybrid Bus

National Express West Midlands Bus Service Changes

From Sunday 7th January 2018 we will have service changes to some routes in the Black Country, full details and new timetables below – 

Service 10 – Perton – Wolverhampton

  • Minor timetable changes.

Services 27 & 27A – Dudley – Wolverhampton

  • Minor timetable changes.

Service 40 – Wednesbury – West Bromwich

  • Revised Sunday timetable to improve reliability.
  • No change to the route.

Service 46 – Great Barr – West Bromwich

  • Revised Sunday timetable to allow the service to interwork with the 40 service.
  • No change to the route.

Service 59 – Wolverhampton – Ashmore Park

  • Minor timetable changes to the morning peak service on weekdays.
  • No change to the route or frequency.

Service 74 – Dudley – Birmingham

  • Minor changes to the timetable on weekdays.
  • No change to the route or frequency.

Service 244 – Q.E. Hospital – Dudley

  • Additional journeys will be introduced on weekday mornings to help with increased customer journeys.
  • Additional journeys will operate from Halesowen to Harborne (Lordswood Road) at 07:08, arriving in Harborne at 07:43, and from Harborne (Lordswood Road) to Dudley at 07:48, arriving in Dudley at 09:07.
  • The 07:48 journey from Harborne has specifically been timed to provide an additional journey and more capacity for pupils of Leasowes School in Quinton.

Service 257 – Stourbridge – Dudley

  • Minor timetable changes.

Service 529 – Wolverhampton – Walsall

  • Minor timetable changes to the early afternoon peak service on weekdays.
  • No change to route or frequency.
ashmore Park shopping

Former Butchers Shop Vacant – Be Quick!

#ShopLocal

The Ashmore Park Shopping Parade is at the heart of this very popular HOUSING ESTATE.

It is an important venue for local people looking for local shopping opportunities. The Parade has good local shops, which includes  a Butcher, Greengrocer, Fish and Chip shop, local sweetshop with a well known Delicatessen ,Supermarkets, Post Office, and other retail shops plus a dance and music school.

There is currently 1 shop empty on the parade – this is a former butchers shop. Is this the business unit you were looking for?

This shop is currently with the City Council for re-letting.  The shops on Griffiths Drive are very popular with the residents of Ashmore Park,  so it will be likely let via competitive tender.

If you are interested in trading from this shopping parade, then be quick and contact the City Council .

 

driving-a-tram-phil-bateman

A Museum for Wednesfield?

Wednesfield History Society has a long term aim to have its own museum, its a laudable goal as the society wants to protect and display the Wednesfield history and heritage and its own very local cultural assets.

Recently just before Christmas, when speaking with senior City Officials, I raised this aim that the History Society has directly with the economic development team.

The museum plan had been raised briefly, at a scrutiny meeting of the City Council recently when a Councillors panel were discussing the economy of Wednesfield.

My discussions just before the Christmas break were based around the scrutiny panel investigation. I want to make it clear at this point that there were no real detailed plans discussed by me about the details of the History Society project, no promises made, no ready made proposals kicked about. Just a conversation on where the history society aim was at that moment in time.

My view is that the Wednesfield History Society needs to develop this policy on this aim quickly, It needs to be ‘beefed up’ a bit, and the History Society needs to talk to everyone who can assist in the development of a Museum for Wednesfield.

The threat to Wednesfield as a community in wanting to pull off this objective, is that the latest Government information that is available, is suggesting that there is No more museums needed.

A Government-commissioned review has concluded that Britain should stop building new museums in order to help existing ones survive by prioritising spending on improvements and modernisation. The report also recommends that the myriad of Government organisations funding the sector, including councils, streamline their activities and draw up an action plan and that museums should diversify, including partnering with local schools and health bodies.

My view is that the clock is ticking on this one! A determinable policy should be developed by the History Society quickly, one that can be supported by the community. One that also takes into account the ongoing revenue requirements a museum will require. The wish needs to be developed into a tangible Wednesfield History Society policy.

Currently there is a City Council team working with local Councillors to produce an action plan for the development of the Wednesfield economy. As I see it the ball is with the History Society, and I look forward to them articulating there forward plans. I want them to understand though that their current wish is not going to be easy to develop. That is why time is not on their side.