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

Cov19 download

Covid-19 helpline aids people hit by pandemic to claim benefits.

Covid-19 helpline aids people hit by pandemic to claim benefits
Released: Friday 29 May, 2020

A dedicated helpline has supported local residents affected by the coronavirus pandemic to claim over £850,000 in benefits.

The Covid-19 Benefits Helpline, launched by the City of Wolverhampton Council’s Welfare Rights Service, is open to anyone living or working in the city who is worried about, or needs support with, their benefit rights and entitlements following the coronavirus outbreak.

The helpline offers free and confidential advice and information about a whole range of benefits, including Statutory Sick Pay, Employment and Support Allowance and Universal Credit.

It is available weekdays between 10am to noon and 2pm and 4pm on 07966 292321. Alternatively people can email For further information please visit

Since the outbreak began, the helpline has received more than 500 calls from people whose finances have been impacted by coronavirus, for instance because they have fallen ill, been made redundant or had to give up work. And thanks to the support of members of the Welfare Rights Service, residents have been helped to claim around £16,500 a week in benefits, which works out as £850,000 annualised benefit gains for people in the city.

Councillor Linda Leach, the City of Wolverhampton Council’s Cabinet Member for Adult Services, said: “Many people, particularly those who may be experiencing it for the first time because of the current circumstances, find the complexities of the system a barrier to securing the benefits which they are entitled to. The Welfare Rights Service works with them to help them make successful claims.

“The team is also able to resolve some benefit claim and payment problems by working together with established partners within the Department for Work and Pensions.

“I am delighted that they’ve been able to support so many people at a time of great need, and would encourage anyone who is experiencing difficulties navigating the benefits system to get in touch so they can receive help and support.”

Among those who have been helped by the Covid-19 Benefits Helpline is Bill Haycock from Wednesfield. He said: “I have always worked so I didn’t know what I could claim. I have now applied for Universal Credit and Council Tax Support, and found the advice given most helpful.”

Nicola Brown from Penn said: “I found the helpline had the answers. It really helped being able to speak to someone, and the service was excellent.” Albert Palmer from Heath Town added: “I found it very helpful because this was the first time I have had to apply for benefits.”

People working for organisations which support vulnerable residents have also turned to the Covid-19 Benefits Helpline for advice. Amy Brazenall from the Beacon Centre for the Blind said: “This is a fantastic service that I have relied on to help us provide continued essential support to vulnerable Beacon members in the community during the current health crisis. It is wonderful that so many organisations have come together to help the people who need us most.”

And Carol Nicholls, a Strengthening Families Worker with the City of Wolverhampton Council, said: “The service answered all my questions surrounding the benefit entitlement for a family I was working with. I will also be able to follow-up on things if problems arise in the future.”

Councillor Leach said: “The Covid-19 Benefits Helpline is just one way in which the Welfare Rights Service is making a significant positive impact on the lives of local people. Last year alone, the team helped to secure just under £16m in extra benefits for vulnerable and disadvantaged residents.”

The latest information and guidance around coronavirus is available at and on the council’s own coronavirus pages at There’s lots of advice on how people can protect themselves and their families from coronavirus from the NHS at

The council’s Stay Safe, Be Kind campaign offers clear and simple advice about how people can help themselves, and how they can support others who may be particularly vulnerable at this time. For more information, please visit


542_133226 Agenda

Sunday Update – School Information.

The most recent information that I am receiving as a City Councillor is that –

PPE is to be delivered to schools, for use in the school if required, ahead of welcoming more pupils in the next week

Next week, primary schools across the city will expand their opening to pupils from priority year groups.

The City Council have recommended that primary schools use Monday 1 June as an inset day, offering time for school staff to become familiar with the infection control and social distancing measures that have been put in place, to facilitate the school openings.

On Monday, schools will have a basic supply of PPE from City of Wolverhampton central stock delivered to them.

Please check your children’s school web sites if you require more information about your childrens school.e

Cov19 download

Reminder -Test for Covid-19 Symptons

Mobile unit boosts testing for those with coronavirus symptoms
Released: Tuesday 26 May, 2020

People are being reminded they can now get tested for coronavirus if they are symptomatic of the condition – with additional capacity available through a Mobile Testing Unit which is currently operating in Wolverhampton.

Anyone aged five and over with symptoms of Covid-19 – a high temperature, a new, continuous cough, or a loss or change to your sense of smell or taste – can now be tested.

Testing will usually be offered at home or at a drive-through test centre. The test is most effective within one to three days of symptoms developing, and should be carried out in the first five days. For more information, and to apply for a test, please go to Please note, all appointments must be booked in advance.

The Mobile Testing Unit in Wolverhampton is one of a number travelling across the country to areas where there is high demand for tests. They can be set up in under 20 minutes, meaning hundreds more people can be tested each day. Specially trained operators including military personnel will collect swabs at the mobile sites, before they are sent to labs for processing.

Councillor Jasbir Jaspal, the City of Wolverhampton Council’s Cabinet Member for Public Health and Wellbeing, said: “Testing is one of the most important interventions that will enable the effective management of the coronavirus pandemic.

“The message is clear, if you or a member of your household is showing symptoms of coronavirus, please book a test. This will confirm whether or not you or someone you live with has the infection, and enable you to get the advice you need to manage your situation. If you don’t have symptoms of coronavirus, you cannot have the test.”

Testing Minister Lord Bethell added: “We have been clear that everyone who needs a coronavirus test should be able to access one and our Mobile Testing Units take tests directly to the people that need them. Mobile units provide a vital service to protect the vulnerable and help people that test negative for the virus safely get back to work.
“The mobile unit in Wolverhampton is one of a growing network of pop-up sites travelling across the country.”

The test involves taking a swab of the inside of the nose and the back of the throat, using a long cotton bud. Please note, the test is not suitable for children under the age of five.

Meanwhile residents are reminded they must continue to follow social distancing guidelines to prevent the spread of coronavirus. Everyone must:

• Stay at home as much as possible
• Work from home if you can
• Limit contact with other people
• Keep your distance if you go out
• Wash your hands regularly
• Stay at home and self-isolate if you or anyone in your household has symptoms of coronavirus, including a high temperature, a new, continuous cough, or a loss or change to your sense of smell or taste.

The latest information and guidance around coronavirus is available at and on the council’s own coronavirus pages at There’s lots of advice on how people can protect themselves and their families from coronavirus from the NHS at

The council’s Stay Safe, Be Kind campaign offers clear and simple advice about how people can help themselves, and how they can support others who may be particularly vulnerable at this time. For more information, please visit


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Urgent -Broad Lane North -Dangerous Branch!

Urgent – Pedestrians please beware there is a branch of a tree broken in last nights wind, and is lodged precariously over the highway and the pavement at Broad Lane North .

I have reported the damage and the dangers it holds to the pedestrian and the highway users.

I am hoping it will be urgently dealt with by the City of Wolverhampton emergency team.

But in the meantime please if you use the pavement or highway beware! The winds are still strong and may dislodge it at any time


The Ashmore Inn Food Bank! Can you Donate Also?

Today Mary and I donated another car Boot load of food to the Ashmore Park Food Bank.

Mary and I have been donating food to the Ashmore Inns Food bank snce it opened. Today was another day where we
fulfilled our task.

""Here Kevin Ward receives a donation of foods, and other items like toiletries.

“”Here Kevin Ward receives a donation of foods, and other items like toiletries.

The Ashmore Inn with Kevin and Caron have been a great inspiration during this Covid -19 Pandemic. They have led from the front and done a great job in hosting the FoodBank,
we have been pleased to do our bit being members of this great community also.

So as we mark the end of another week, we start thinking about next week and what food donations we can make yet again. Please if you want to help our community, why not drop some items of food off at the Ashmore! I know they would be very pleased to see you.

Cov19 download

Every resident and care home worker offered Covid-19 test

Every resident and care home worker offered Covid-19 test
Released: Friday 22 May, 2020

Every resident in care homes across the Black Country has either been tested for coronavirus or will be tested in the coming days after proactive swabbing began a few weeks ago.

Health partners in the region have led the way in rolling out proactive swabbing in local care homes whether or not individuals have symptoms of Covid-19, such as a high temperature, a new, continuous cough, or a loss or change to your sense of smell or taste.

Proactive swabbing of residents got underway in the most ‘high risk’ settings late last month before being rolled out to all local care homes a short time later. All staff members have been offered the test.

In total around 7,500 people living in 274 care homes across Wolverhampton, Dudley, Sandwell and Walsall are being tested. Proactive testing will be repeated on a routine basis going forward.

Speaking on behalf of the four Black Country Directors of Public Health, Lisa McNally from Sandwell, Bal Kaur from Dudley, and Stephen Gunther from Walsall, Wolverhampton’s Director of Public Health John Denley said: “People living in our care homes are among the most vulnerable members of society and we want to do all we can to protect them – and the care staff who are working tirelessly to keep them safe – during this national emergency.

“Proactive swabbing in our region’s care homes is playing an important part in our drive to identify and treat cases of coronavirus at an earlier stage and is helping reduce the risk of outbreaks in our care homes as much as possible.

“Through this work, we’ve been able to identify a number of cases and to support care providers to manage them more appropriately. What is perhaps worth noting is that Covid-19 does not seem to be as endemic in our region’s care homes as may otherwise have been perceived, and that’s testament to the hard work of care staff and the stringent infection control measures our homes have put in place to help prevent the spread of the virus.”

Sally Roberts, Chief Nurse for the Black Country and West Birmingham CCGs, said: “Our teams across the NHS are pleased to be working with care homes and our local authorities to identify cases of coronavirus.

“It is important that we do all we can to protect those most vulnerable in our communities and supporting care homes with proactive testing is the latest way we are doing that. Once cases are identified we can better ensure the safety of others in the care home setting.”

Mr Denley added: “Proactive swabbing and testing forms part of a broader package of help offered by the four Black Country councils and the local clinical commissioning groups and NHS trusts, including support and guidance to prevent outbreaks occurring and ensuring the right personal protective equipment is available to frontline staff.

“This work continues, and in the meantime, we all continue to have a role to play in preventing the spread of coronavirus, and that’s why it’s crucial that everyone follows the Government’s social distancing measures and stays at home unless absolutely necessary.”


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Clapping in Support of the NHS

Well the good folk of Broad Lane North went out and clapped for the NHS again and our brave
front line workers . Every week with out fail the Neighbours have been there working hard
and clapping, banging saucepans and ringing bells.BLN Supporting NHS 93959418_10220906672990119_116255277119963136_n

I am so proud of the role they have all played.

I have now placed the ‘Florence Nightingale ‘ light in the window as yet another great
symbol of the work that Nurses and Care Home staff undertake on all our behalfs.Keeping
patients safe through the night and all through the day.


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Parry Road – Action Taken on Garage Site Fires!

Following complaints by residents in Parry Road,the new owner of the Parry Road garages is clearing the site, presumably, to get ready for submitting a planning application
for the site.

The owners can demolish the garages without consent and make a site clearance.When the site has been cleared the owner will then its assumed make a bid for Planning Permission for the site.

The setting of fires and the nuisance this has caused to local neighbours is however not acceptable. City of Wolverhampton Environmental Health team made a visit this morning.

The Environmental Health officials have informed the owner, that he has been committing a nuisance, he has been served a Community Protection Order this morning.

Hopefully the owner will now desist, or he will leave himself open for further action which may include Court actions.
I hope that this information will be seen to be helpful to the neighbourhood.Please contact your Local Councillors if there is any further objections.

Good school “improving rapidly and sustainably” says Ofsted

Good school “improving rapidly and sustainably” says Ofsted

IMG_0688 woodend schoolReleased: Thursday 19 March, 2020

A Wolverhampton primary school “is improving rapidly and sustainably”, say Ofsted inspectors who judged it to be Good.

They visited Wood End Primary recently and found the school to be “very well organised in every respect”.

Leaders have shown “strong professional judgement” and “chosen the right things to focus on” and – as a result – the school is “improving rapidly and sustainably”, with progress by the end of Key Stage 2 showing significant improvement year-on-year. Staff also recognise that Wood End Primary is well led.

Leaders have very high expectations of what pupils can achieve and are insightful when they monitor the effectiveness of the curriculum, making changes to improve its effectiveness as required.

They know individual pupils “very well and regularly check how well pupils are learning. They use this knowledge to support any pupils who may be struggling.” Equally, they ensure that, when pupils grasp new ideas easily, they are then made to think more deeply. Pupils use a range of different techniques and resources to help them to learn.

The children themselves “enjoy their time at the school and make friends easily”. They are “really involved and interested in their learning… respond well to teachers’ guidance” and “behave very well in class and on the playground”.

The school also pays good attention to pupils’ wider personal development, with pupils taking up positions of responsibility as prefects or taking part in after-school sports clubs.

Sue Bonner, co-chair of governors, said: “The staff and children have worked extremely hard to raise standards at the school. We are incredibly proud of the vision that has been set and the dedication shown by all to achieve it. ”

Councillor Dr Michael Hardacre, the City of Wolverhampton Council’s Cabinet Member for Education and Skills, said: “This is an excellent inspection report which shows that Wood End Primary School is not only improving rapidly, but that this improvement is being sustained.

“I would like to congratulate everyone connected with the school for their continuing hard work.”

The inspection of Wood End Primary was the first since it was judged to be Good in 2015.

Latest figures show that 13,000 more children now attend Good or Outstanding-rated schools in Wolverhampton than they did five years ago. To find out more about education, please visit


IMG_5708 City Council

Working Hard to Deliver a Safe City!

This week is Mental Health Week – Now these issues I report on here, lays heavily on all our mental health. Our City Council is doing all it can to deliver service and help to our residents in Wolverhampton. Did you know that –

More than 140,000 items of vital personal protective equipment (PPE) have been sourced by the Council and delivered to care providers who have not been able to get them through their usual channels, including over 45,000 masks, 55,000 pairs of gloves, 40,000 aprons and nearly 150 litres of hand sanitiser. At the same time, £1.3m has been made available by the council to support local care providers.

Please note that the City of Wolverhampton – Our council has received 5,275 calls to a dedicated business support helpline it established early in the pandemic and has already paid out £32.4m in grants to local businesses. It has also processed £30m in business rates relief. All of this with a background that has demanded the Authority deliver this help, when our services are so stretched and our workforce resources are not unlimited.

I am pleased also to report that – as Local Councillors our Officials also report to us that – A large number of residents have gone online for information and support, with the Council’s dedicated coronavirus pages – – receiving 105,687 views, while social media posts about coronavirus by the council on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram have had more than 425,000 engagements. In addition, 21,670 unique users have checked out the range of activities that children, young people and their families can enjoy through the WV Virtual Squad,

There is still so much we need to do and we are going about that. I am very proud of the City of Wolverhampton and how it has arranged and delivered extra services to the way we were operating before this awful Pandemic arrived.

Please share this info- Be proud of our City! Finally

Around 100 people who are either homeless or at risk of homelessness have been supported with a room and a roof. Meanwhile the new One City Fund, established with Wolverhampton Voluntary Sector Council, raised an impressive £24,000 for local charities in its first phase – and is now seeking to raise a similar amount to support the city’s food banks in phase two. City of Wolverhampton trying hard to make our City Safe.

#kindnessmatters #WVkindness