Author Archives: Phil Bateman

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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

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West Midlands Police Offer Rave Warning!

West Midlands Police are again warning -“We’re again this weekend warning anyone planning to attend an illegal rave that they risk being arrested & prosecuted.
If you suspect a rave or illegal gathering is being organised or there is suspicious activity, contact us on Live Chat https://west-midlands.police.uk or call 101.”

Please we all need to do what we can to reduce the risk of Covid19. If you know of a Rave call the Police on 101 and tell the operator all you know!

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Latest- Peacock Ave Speed Survey News!

Constituents in Peacock ave and Eccleston Road have been keen to see speeds in these roads controlled. I have been speaking with Officers in the Road Safety team. I am going to share with you their latest comments relating to speed surveys that have been carried out.

“Dear Cllr Bateman -Thank you for forwarding the concerns of your constituent regarding the speed of vehicles on Peacock Avenue and Ecclestone Road.

We, along with many other authorities have noticed a general rise in vehicle speeds across the network during the Covid-19 restrictions. This is likely to be attributable to the significantly reduced levels of traffic on the roads which is enabling some of the drivers that are on the network to feel able to travel at higher speeds.

Our latest speed survey carried out on Peacock Avenue near to Whiston Avenue showed the following results:

Northbound
Mean Speed: 26.4 mph
85th Percentile: 31.3 mph

Southbound
Mean Speed: 26.9 mph
85th Percentile: 32.4 mph

The 85th percentile refers to the speed that 85% of drivers are travelling at or below.

The speeds above are in line with what we would expect to see on similar roads across the city. Whilst the local authority are responsible for setting speed limits and have a remit to try to reduce casualties on our network, we are not responsible for enforcing the speed limit. Officers from West Midlands Police should be able to outline to you what enforcement activity they are able to take at these two locations.

I’m sure that you will be aware that on-going budgetary pressures mean that we have to target our limited resources to those locations with the highest road safety risk based on statistical evidence. In order to do this, we analyse historic personal injury accident data to identify our priorities. I have checked the West Midlands Accident Database and found that there has been 3 slight casualties along Peacock Avenue and 4 slight casualties along Ecclestone Road during the period 2014-2019. The low casualty figures recorded mean that we were unable to include Peacock Avenue or Ecclestone Road in this years’ Transportation Capital Programme. The on-going budgetary pressures that I mentioned above also mean that we are unable to either re-instate or replace grass verges with parking areas/laybys.

As part of our efforts to try and encourage drivers to follow the speed limits when travelling along roads across the city we do have a 30mph ‘Kill your speed’ warning signs programme. I have made arrangements for both Peacock Avenue and Ecclestone Road to be added to this programme and the signs will be displayed in due course.

We will also, continue to monitor road safety on both Peacock Avenue and Ecclestone Road and consider whether any further measures could be justified in the future.”

Whilst there will be disappointment in the failure to gain any capital monies. I will be approaching the Police to encourage them to deliver more speed enforcement actions in Peacock ave.

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Coppice Farm -Travellers Leave Illegal Encampment

On Thursday night the 9th July the Travellers incursion of the Coppice Farm Open Space came to an end, 24 hours after it had started. They left the site with the support of West Midlands Police, and City of Wolverhampton Bailiffs working in partnership.

So How did it all start?
On Wednesday Night 8th July 2020 about 9.10pm residents phoned me to tell me that the Travellers were making their way across the playing fields and across the Borough Boundary from Walsall, to strike up an illegal encampment on Public Open Space on land in the City of Wolverhampton.

This caused much concern amongst residents.

Wednesfield North Councillors Rita Potter, Mary Bateman and myself, had some quick telephone conversations. We decided that the best approach would be to first of all use my Social Media Sites to set up a way of communicating with residents. So that they got first hand information as to what was happening.

By 10.00pm the Police had been spoken with, and the Out of Hours Emergency team at the City of Wolverhampton had been fully briefed. I went to bed confident that as much had been done as could have been done. Our first Social media notice had been published and that went down well with residents who had read it.

On Thursday Morning before 11.00am, Mary and I had visited the Coppice Farm Open Space. It was a wet miserable morning and we set our morning message on Social Media. This is what we communicated. “I can now inform you that The Bailiffs are visiting the site this morning .When I receive further information from them I will post again.” We told you that “Mary and I took the time to speak with residents, walkers, and home owners, whilst we were on site.It appears the night passed off without incident.” then we promised to “continue to update residents as the information comes in.”

That decision to use Social Media was perhaps the best decision made!

Come Thursday there was much activity. I had spoken with a Walsall Councillor during the day, City Officials on numerous occasions, and answered as Mary and Rita did, telephone questions from residents. Come the evening and by 6.30pm I was informing Residents via Social Media that ” Coppice Farm Open Space is very grey quiet and wet. The Travellers have vacated the site! My thanks go to City of Wolverhampton officials the Bailiffs and West Midlands Police, all working together, persuaded the Travellers to move their illegal camp site off of the much used Open Space.
I have been up on site tonight and also spoken with residents, who are delighted that this problem have been solved in 24 Hours.”

The Travellers left the site at around 6.30pm and I informed readers on social media that – “I will ask City of Wolverhampton Officers to take a look as to how we can harden the Open Space to try and deter any future incursion. I am also asking them to do a litter pick, and lift the rubbish that has been left. Which I must say doesn’t look excessive. As you can see from the pictures of wide open spaces.”

In conclusion Your City Councillors are very pleased with how the situation ended, no big confrontations, a remarkably short turn round, and every one working together in partnership. Plus all the local residents being made aware of what was happening in timescales. If I say so myself communications really has made the difference!

Not everyone will be pleased with the events, but the majority of Wednesfield North residents appear to be very understanding about how this has turned out.

Thank you everyone for your patience!

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Breaking News! Travellers Coppice Farm

Travellers Coppice farm107796530_10221659799977823_6676646388083770192_nOn my Social Media sites I promised that I would keep you informed of the actions and decisions that would be taken with regard to the incursion of Travellers on the Green Open Space last night at Coppice Farm.

I can inform you that there were also three other incursions in other parts of Walsall yesterday.

The Bailiffs have now attended the site at Coppice Farm, as I explained in my previous briefings for you.

The Bailiffs – I understand gave them an instruction to leave the site.

I will give another update at 7.00pm tonight or closest too.

The City of Wolverhampton Council have been very helpful to date. I will be approaching our neighbours in Walsall after this incident is over, about target hardening the Green Open Space we share with them. My next Briefing will be at 7.00pm.

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Travellers Incursion Coppice Farm Morning Update!

Morning Up date

Its 11.00am Mary and I have visited the Coppice Farm Open Space this morning and I can now inform you that The Bailiffs are visiting the site this morning also.

When I receive further information from them I will post again.

Mary and I took the time to speak with residents, walkers, and home owners, whilst we were on site.

It appears the night passed off without incident.
I will continue to update residents as the information comes in.

green ways Coppice & Ashmore

Latest News – Travellers Incursion- Coppice Farm

Last night Wednesday the 8th July, a group of Travellers with their caravans and vehicles arrived and set up camp for the night behind Coppice Community High School on Green Open Space on City of Wolverhampton land.

They started their incursion around 21.00, by 21.10 I received my first phone call from residents in Wolverhampton side of the Borough Boundary telling me of the Travellers Incursion.
Councillors Rita Potter and Mary with Myself agreed to work together and this is the course of action we took.

We had by 21.30 phoned and reported the incursion (12 or so Caravans and vehicles) to West Midlands Police.

Second, we reported the incursion to the Out of Hours Emergency Team at City of Wolverhampton Council.
I then contacted a Walsall Councillor, we spoke about the issues, the fact that the Travellers crossed the Walsall MBC boundary having accessed Wolverhampton Public Green Open Space via Coppice Farm Way which is located n Walsall.

The information I received then was that these Travellers could well be the same group that camped in New Invention last week. The Councillor informed me that he had reported the evenings actions to the Walsall MBC Officials.

I can also report that West Midlands Police had dispatched Officers to the site which is Close to Gorey Close, and boundaries by Coppice High School and Reynolds Walk.

I then contacted the City of Wolverhampton Council again, after 22.40 and after the conversation it was clear that the camp would remain in situation overnight. In the morning there will be new and better information available.

I will post any information I gain from the Authorities on my social media sites then. In that way the community will be fully informed of the actions being taken if any.

Good Night and we wait for later in the morning.

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Morning! What the Press and Media Say!

Good Morning Wednesfield!

The weather this morning is pretty damp, and it is not a day for wanting to go outside,
reading the early morning Press today, I have been struck by two media comments.

The first was the alarm in some Newspapers this morning, that the Government in England
is going to start charging again for NHS staff who Park in hospitals to do their jobs,
when in Wales and Scotland Parking for staff will remains free!
The Conservative Government has soon forgotten the great staff
we have working hard to save lives in our hospitals.

The second major news story that caught my eye this morning is this one, where some our journals
are suggesting that the government,is to tell chief constables
to prosecute shoplifters stealing less than £200 after complaints from retailers that the police
are no longer interested in smaller scale thefts.

It will also review legislation which gives the impression that police are not interested
in investigating such low level crime.
The Home Office conducted a review of the abuse and physical violence faced by shop staff,
which found retailers and shop staff had lost faith in the police and justice system being
willing to tackle thefts from stores and other retail premises.

The Scales of Justice!

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National Express -Buses On Safety First!

Councillor Phil Bateman said ” National Express is a key company and an important provider of Local Bus services to City of Wolverhampton the Black Country and Wednesfield.”

They tell me that -“With the government further relaxing the lockdown rules, I am pleased to confirm that National Express West Midlands bus services in Birmingham and the Black Country will be back running at full strength as of next week.

It means that from Sunday 5 July we will have over 105,000 more seats available every day, making it even easier for our customers to practise safe social distancing. The latest timetables can be found on our website nxbus.co.uk. Other bus operators, local rail and Metro services may change at different times and in different ways – information on other services is available.”

Councillor Phil Bateman added – National Express also has informed me that safety is still their number one priority. This is what they have explained where it comes to facemasks on board the bus.”

National Express explained that Staying safe on board on board the Bus – “Throughout this crisis we’ve provided the essential lifeline to our frontline – keeping buses running for key workers, and helping those who needed to travel to get essentials from the shops. We’ve adapted our network astonishingly quickly and increased the number of buses on busy routes to ensure that those who travel with us, can do so safely.

We continue to play a key role in the local recovery effort by further increasing our services to accommodate extra customers as more people return to work, to shops, cafes, pubs and restaurants, and visits to friends and family where they are allowed to.

I would like to reassure those who haven’t travelled with us for a while that we have a series of measures in place to protect our drivers and our customers.

All of our buses have permanent full-height perspex screens around the driver’s cab. Under the latest government regulations bus drivers do not need to wear face coverings while they’re in the cab. Drivers are provided with face masks to help protect others when they’re outside the cab area. They also have gloves, hand sanitiser and wipes available to them.

Our vehicle cleaning regimes have been enhanced to reduce the risk of contact with the coronavirus, including extra cleaning of shared surface areas such as steering wheels, dashboards, handrails and bell pushes.

And our cleaning teams are jumping on buses at bus stations, key interchanges and stops to wipe down mid-route. Our buses are also deep cleaned every night by “fogging” – an aerosol-based disinfection containing a high-performance antiviral solution that settles in the hard-to-reach areas.

Fogging on a National Express West Midlands bus

We have worked closely with the union to develop our policy and communicate all of the guidance to our employees – and all of our safety procedures are jointly agreed with Unite the Union.”

Councillor Bateman further commented – “I am grateful that National Express also made a statement about the safety of Passengers and the regulation regarding the absolute need to have a safety covering of the face ”

This is what National Express say on Face covering -“We are asking our customers to work with us and protect their fellow passengers by remembering to bring and wear their face coverings when travelling on public transport, as per the government legislation that was introduced on the 15th June. I’m pleased to say we’re seeing around 90% of passengers complying so far.

We are aware of and understand why some customers are concerned about other passengers not wearing a face covering onboard. According to the legislation, some people don’t have to wear a face covering for health, age or equality reasons. We’ve asked our bus drivers to remind customers of the new rules, but they are also aware that some people may have perfectly valid reasons for not wearing one – and that these are not always obvious due to a hidden disability or health condition. Therefore our drivers are using their discretion.

We’re also very conscious that overall, the safest thing for customers is for the bus not to be held up while a driver has lengthy conversations with non-compliant passengers. This keeps people on a bus for longer than is necessary, and it also keeps customers waiting longer than necessary at stops further down the route.

National Express West Midlands drivers are recording all instances of non-compliance on the ticket machine software. We send this data to the Safer Travel Police, who are using it to target any hotspots on the network. Officers have been removing passengers from services when face coverings haven’t been used without a valid reason.

In addition, our own team of inspectors are now going out in pairs to remind customers of their responsibilities to keep themselves and other passengers safe.”

Please read and remember, and pass the information onto other passengers. Safety on our Public Transport system is key to returning to a normal life, after this virus has been controlled.

Thank You National Express for making these important safety points.

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Bentley Bridge Shopping Park – Cranking Back Into Life!

Listening tonight to the sad situation in Dudley with the Merry Hill shopping centre slipping into Administration.

It makes you concentrate on these really difficult Corvid-19 days. My information is that our own Shopping Park at Bentley Bridge Wednesfield, is slowly recovering from the restrictions brought about by this awful Coronavirus Pandemic.

Whilst visitors are obviously down on this time last year. I have been informed that some 20,485 visitors returned (week commencing 15th June). That was a 32% increase on the week previous.

I am sure that we all as a community want Bentley Bridge to remain successful. With more than 600 jobs across the whole retail and leisure site at risk, it would be a serious blow to Wednesfield own Local Economy – if there was even a hint of the Merry Hill situation being replicated.

Lets hope that the economic situation can pick up across the Country.

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171% Tow-Path Increase for Wolverhampton Canals!

Yesterday during a Canal and River Trust Meeting I was informed along with others, that CRT had recorded a 171% increase in people using towpaths on Wolverhampton Canals.

Now my own experience supports this statistic.

During the Covid-19 Pandemic, and the ‘Lockdown’ that featured. It was very noticeable that after years of urging Local People to discover and use our Wyrley and Essington canal. They were! and in huge numbers! The rocketing use by 171% gives evidence that our Canal network is a fantastic asset that we should not ignore here in the City of Wolverhampton.

Many people will see what a fantastic asset canals are to our community. Here in Wednesfield we have managed to turn our Canal, into a Local Nature Reserve. From the heart of Wolverhampton, right through to the Borough boundary at Perry Hall Bridge.

When Walsall can finally get their act together and sign the documentation, they will join The City of Wolverhampton, Canal and River Trust, strengthening the Local Nature Reserve. Plus, it will stretch, this historic LNR through Walsall Borough, all the way to Chasewater, in Staffordshire. Making it the longest Local Nature Reserve in the Country.What a fantastic 20 miles plus walk that will be!

Councillor Phil Bateman said ” Please continue to use the canal here in Wednesfield, enjoy the peace and tranquility, spot the wild life, and enjoy the waterway and the historic Narrowboats that still use the canal. But please take your rubbish home with you! If you used the canal during Lockdown, I would be interested to hear your comments.Also what you think about the extension of the LNR through to Chasewater.