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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New Community Awards for Wednesfield North!

 

 

I want to let Wednesfield North Residents know, that your three Ward Councillors – Councillor Rita Potter, Councillor Mary Bateman and Councillor Phil Bateman will be hosting a Community Awards ceremony at The Ashmore Inn on November 21st 2019.

We will be announcing further information and details about this over the Summer.

We are excited by the event, which will be held at our Community Interest Public House – The Ashmore Inn and will celebrate all that is good within our community.

 

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Want To Watch A Few Birds on The Wyrley & Essington Canal?

 

Now here is a delight! The Wyrley and Essington Canal is one of Britain’s latest Local Nature Reserves. We have campaigned long and hard for it since 2007. In April this year the coveted arrangement was announced, by City of Wolverhampton the LNR  will then be managed by https://canalrivertrust.org.uk/

Now to coincide with The Wednesfield Canal Festival taking place once again at Bentley Bridge. We have a treat waiting for you!

if you are interested in wanting to find out more about this  canal’s birds and water foul,  I am  excited to announce  that we are negotiating to bring to the Wednesfield Canal Festival on Saturday 10th August at 10.30 am, a local experienced birdwatcher who will give a talk with a walk, to a group interested to find out about about ‘birds of the canal’.

If you are interested – then you will meet with me at The  Nickelodeon around 10.20am and then I will introduce you to the guide and you will have an hours bird watching walk.

 Its my belief that the Canal Festival has been so very lucky in being able to capture  Theresa Dorrance who is a Board member at Wildside. She is also Chair of the South West Staffordshire RSPB Group. I am delighted that we are in the negotiations to deliver this event with Theresa,  because I am sure it will be more than interesting for all those that love to know about the birds that frequent our fabulous Cut!

Please so that I can get a feel for numbers please let me know if you are interested in attending this event.

email me at email@philbateman.com 

National Express Deal Will Save Transport Jobs & Services!

Councillor Phil Bateman said today” I have read this news with great relief. If the proposed sale does go through. It will save jobs here in the West Midlands conurbation, and more than that it will provide continued accessible services for people with disabilities. Its good news for Wednesfield residents and others in Wolverhampton, and good news for the rest of the citizens in the West Midlands conurbation. Well done David Bradford!I am sure it will be a good fit.

PROPOSED SALE COULD SAVE HUNDREDS OF JOBS

   Midlands  Deals
Proposed sale could save hundreds of jobs

More than 700 jobs could be saved after a deal to sell a West Midlands transport group out of administration was agreed with a subsidiary of National Express.

Matthew Ingram and Tyrone Courtman, both of Duff & Phelps, were appointed joint administrators of Accessible Transport Group, Ring and Ride West Midlands and ATG Contract Services in March.

The charities provide accessible transport services for people in the West Midlands who experience mobility impairment or social isolation in urban and rural environments. They operate more than 600 vehicles from nine depots in the region.

The services will be provided by West Midlands Accessible Transport, a subsidiary of National Express. The contract is to begin in September.

Ingram said: “We have today commenced advising the union and the employees of the details of our proposed sale of the business and assets of the charities to a national transport provider.

“The deal we have negotiated will provide a stable financial platform, ensuring the long-term provision of these vital services across the West Midlands.

“This could not have been achieved without the support of all the employees, Birmingham City Council and Transport for West Midlands, ensuring a continued service whilst the Joint Administrators explored the viable options following their appointment.

“We are very grateful to them for that support and will now seek to conclude the sale as soon as practicably possible to provide certainty to them and all users of the services they provide.”

David Bradford, managing director of National Express West Midlands, said: “I’m very happy to be welcoming ATG employees into the National Express family of businesses.

“We are fully committed to this company – we’ll be investing in the service, including innovative technology for safer journeys, and most importantly, in the people.

“As a proud Living Wage Foundation-accredited employer, we will of course be paying all our new staff the real Living Wage.

“Here in the West Midlands, National Express takes nearly a million passengers every day to work, school, college, to the shops and to see their friends. National Express also already runs many similar services to ATG in America – we will combine this expertise with our deep local knowledge.

“Our focus is always on delivering a safe and reliable service. So we think National Express is a really good fit to build on the great service that’s already being delivered here, and we’re looking forward to getting started.”

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Latest – Linthouse Lane & Kitchen Lane

I just want to make things as clear as possible about the issues relating to the potential of building homes on South Staffordshire land that fronts Linthouse Lane and Kitchen Lane. I have written a number of information notes  on this web site and my other Social Media sites. I have done this since I found out about the Greenbelt threats, back in April 2018. These comments have been reported widely in media and other outlets. Our intention is to keep Wednesfield residents informed of news relating to the Greenbelt.

First the land in question lies in South Staffordshire and not in the City of Wolverhampton. The Planning Authority is South Staffordshire and Staffordshire County Council. It is these Authorities that will be the primary authorities dealing with developments inside Staffordshire.

I have always tried to ensure that we place information here in Wednesfield North where Local Residents can read and avail themselves of the all latest proposals.

Last year on the 18th April 2018, I informed Wednesfield North residents of South Staffordshire plans that could lead to new homes being constructed on what is currently Green Belt land in South Staffordshire. This land is within the Staffordshire boundary, but fronting Kitchen Lane and Linthouse Lane.

That message in April 2018 last year was primarily aimed at Wednesfield North constituents who have an interest, or who are interested in the announced proposal by developers to build 2,500 homes on what is current ‘Green Belt’ land within the Parish of Essington and within the District Boundary of South Staffordshire D.C.

At that time South Staffordshire District Council were still finalising work on their current Site Allocations document (SAD) but then they switched and began working on the review of their Local Plan.

This document was to set out strategic growth options for South Staffordshire and consider what levels of growth can be accommodated.  They further informed me that they were updating their Strategic Housing and Economic Land Availability Assessment (SHELAA) which will contain all the sites suggested to them (including Linthouse Lane) and this will be the starting point for site options.

Wednesfield North City Councillors Mary Bateman, Phil Bateman, and Rita Potter have asked that their contact details be added to South Staffordshire District Councils Local Plan database, and that means that we will receive automatic updates on local planning matters.

I went onto urge any of our Wednesfield North constituents or local residents in Wednesfield who wish to be added to the database, to do so, by sending their email address to localplans@sstaffs.gov.uk .

What is being waited for is the  next stage, South Staffordshire’s work which is based on their “Preferred Options Consultation”, which was  programmed to be ready for  March/April 2020.”

Clearly there is still some work taking place, in Staffordshire

Importantly the consultation has yet to start. So if you are an interested person – or a local residents to email and ask that your names and interests are addressed when the South Staffordshire Plan starts to relate to proposals.

The email address is  localplans@sstaffs.gov.uk. Please do not contact me. Its South Staffordshire DC who are working on the planning issues within their Borough and Districts..

In the meantime, until we see what is being proposed it’s important that we do not start shouting and demanding until we know what is down in Black and White.

Residents should know that in every forum that deals with strategic planning in Wolverhampton. We have continued to ensure that City of Wolverhampton Officials know how strong local feelings in Wednesfield are – against the information that is being discussed about the erosion of this much loved Greenbelt.

Mary and I attended a City of Wolverhampton Vibrant City Scrutiny Panel, where the future of Wolverhampton Housing strategy was discussed by City Councillors. It was a good opportunity in a public forum in Wolverhampton to set some of the strong views we know are being aired in Wednesfield – into the public record in City of Wolverhampton.

There is a big Governmental push being organised over the next decade for more housing to be constructed across the nation. Here is what was being discussed on the 11th April 2019.

The Government has set a housing target nationally of 300,000 new homes per year by 2026.

The Government have set out where their priority locations are for new homes.

As part of the targets it is anticipated that 50,000 new houses will be needed across the West Midlands conurbation. The seven district and City Councils, have set themselves in what is the Black Country Core Strategy, a further target of 63,000 additional homes to be delivered over the period 2006-26 to accommodate the conurbations growing population.

Currently the City Council own around 22,000 homes through its Wolverhampton Homes company.

The target for new dwellings in Wolverhampton is set at 13,400 homes or 640 homes each year. 5640 homes have been built up until 2018. Wolverhampton is 16% above the target

The Black Country strategy aims to provide a minimum 550 new affordable homes each year.

Much of Wolverhampton commitment for new homes will be based in three action areas.  Bilston corridor, Stafford Road area action plan, and Wolverhampton City Centre action planning area.

There are currently smaller sites that are being developed in Wednesfield the newly announced Marches site in Lakefield Road (246 dwellings) and the Danesmore site 52 homes now almost completed in Ashmore Park.

South Staffordshire District Council also has a housing plan. That is currently being put together and it will I am informed be ready for consultation soon. It is this plan that holds the most contentious issues for Wednesfield.

Its known already that people from Wolverhampton have been moving towards South Staffordshire for a number of years statistics inform us that between 2013-2017 6,240 people moved from our city to South Staffordshire that is 12% of all moves. With 4,460 making the move in the opposite direction.

It was against this backdrop that both Mary and I warned the Scrutiny Board to be aware of our growing concern about developers eyeing the current green belt and agricultural land that runs the boundary between Essington and Wednesfield.

We warned that the local residents in Wednesfield North were very strongly against the loss of what they see as the Wednesfield and Wolverhampton North Easts ‘Green Lungs’.

It is proposals being mooted by developers that first alerted us to the suggestion  that they want to build 2,500 homes within South Staffordshire but on land that is used and enjoyed by Wolverhampton and Wednesfield residents for leisure amenity, wildlife and heritage walks.

This land is fronted by Linthouse Lane and Kitchen Lane and Woodend Road.

Mary and I warned our colleagues on the Scrutiny Panel on the 11th April 2019 that this type of action would be very much withstood by the three Wednesfield North Councillors. We told the Panel that we are waiting to see what the South Staffordshire plans actually says.

We informed the panel that whilst we were in favour of using ‘brownfield’ site for building new homes. We were very much against the loss of Green Belt amenity in an area like Wednesfield which already suffers from below average green space.

I also warned the Panel that it was dangerous to bring a Housing and Strategy briefing note and presentation, to the Panel. When the important South Staffordshire Preferred Option Consultation paper was not amongst the briefing notes for Panel consideration. Mary and I spoke powerfully with regards to this issue. We requested Wolverhampton’s officers go back and amend proposals reflecting the statement and review the comments that your Wednesfield North Councillors made.”

South Staffordshire will use the results of their study, and other evidence they have commissioned separately, to select preferred sites for their next stage of consultation.

The next stage is the “Preferred Options Consultation”, which was programmed Is I understand for March/April 2020.

We will keep residents informed as the information becomes available. On July 9th 2019  I met Jenny Lewington of Wolverhampton Homes Housing Strategy team. Where I asked if there was any further information that was available about these issues. – There was not any relevant new information.

I hope this Blog helps interested persons to be aware of the situation as it is today.

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Pick Pockets Strike in Wednesfield High Street!

West Midlands Police inform me that –

“It is with regret that I have to report that an elderly member of our community was the victim of pick pocketing in Wednesfield High Street whilst going about her daily business, whilst being distracted, she had her purse taken which contained a substantial amount of money, fortunately there was no physical harm.”
The police statement urged  “As and when we can, can we all try and accompany people, to cash points especially of the older generation who seem to be targeted by these criminals, and maybe even spend an hour or so out shopping with them.
On this occasion the offenders were described as being of an Eastern European background, the male being tall and slim wearing dark clothing and the female was also quite tall with light purple hair and draping a cardigan over her arm.
The usual Modus Operandi (method) of these criminals is to watch potential victims going to a cash points, then follow their targets into shops, where they wait for the right opportunity to strike, they often make out they are trying to help the victim, but in reality they are just setting them up for distraction.”
Councillor Phil Bateman said. This is an important message, please if you may have seen these people out and about in Wednesfield please telephone the Police. Also if you can ensure that your friends and family have some company when using the cash machines.

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50 – Volunteers Clean The Canal!

 

Well yesterday on the banks of the ‘Curly – Wurly’ (The Wyrley & Essington Canal) at Bentley Bridge Wednesfield. I was blown away when more than 50 Volunteers joined Cllr Mary Bateman and I to take part in a litter pick.

I had made arrangements with the Canal & River Trust a few weeks ago to pick litter from the canal before the Wednesfield Canal Festival kicked off on the 10 7 11 August.

On Saturday 13th July 2019. Mary and I turned up expecting a huge and magnificent 40 Volunteers who had contacted me to say that they would be joining with me and Cllr Mary Bateman for the litter pick.

Imagine my surprise as we gathered to find even more people turning up to help even as we started just after 9.00am, on a dull, misty sort of day, with little rain showers taking place.

It was an incredible army of young and old, families with children, individuals., even the Deputy Mayor of Wolverhampton Councillor Greg Brackenridge joined in, before he had to go and officiate at the opening of Wodenstock later that day.

I want to thank everyone of you for coming to help us, in what is the UK’s latest Local Nature Reserve. I was bubbling with excitement when I met up with you all!

In the last few weeks CRT have cleared rubbish and other items from the canal.

They started from the stretch of the canal in the City Centre, right up to the Bentley Bridge – New Cross Bridge. We extended that run with the leg we undertook on Sunday. Our merry band of warriors cleared the stretch from Bentley Bridge out towards and up to the Devils Elbow bridge in Wednesfield.

Amongst the Volunteers were a twelve strong group of men and women from the McDonalds Restaurant chain. They were the staff of the Wednesfield and Wolverhampton restaurant on the Stafford Road. They took the Volunteers off at a tremendous speed!

What a boost ‘Team McDonalds’ arriving gave me, though I was saddened to learn of a minor injury a team member suffered during the morning that needed hospital treatment.

I was however delighted that a big multi-national company had joined the great canal litter pick here in Wednesfield – The litter pick took four hours to complete and the feedback was constant.  Shopping Trolleys were heaved out of the canal, Mattresses, plastic bag, after plastic bag, steel poles, nasty bags, with stinking remains of goodness knows what, were picked from the banks and the water UGH! We even cleaned up drug paraphernalia and needles, they went into a Sharps box for disposal later.

But the huge efforts the Volunteers made were ultimately to preserve the wildflowers and the Wildlife on what is one of the United Kingdom’s latest Local Nature Reserves.

Two CRT staff were in attendance – and I thank the CRT Staff – Chris Holdsworth & Barry Ketley because with out them we would not have been able to do all that we did.

When we finished the litter pick, we had filled a boat with rubbish and scrap metal, plastic by the bag load, bottles and even a knife! Yet I have been badgered by all those that took part to agree to do it all again before the year ends! So, I will, and with that I want to once again thank everyone that came to take a look, and to take part.

You were all magnificent – Finally I met with Nigel Garton a West End Actor – Nigel is in my ‘Ashmore Park Walk of Stars’ which is designed to act as an inspiration for others.

Nigel is amongst other famous people who have gone onto become the best in their field, and who have strong links to Ashmore Park. Nigel gave his time up to Volunteer on Sunday, to make our little corner of the Planet that little bit more acceptable for habitation.

It was a great day! We will do it all again soon!

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McDonalds Join Canal Litter Pick in Wednesfield!

This an update on the progress we are making in arranging a Litter pick of this great heritage canal in Wednesfield . This morning Saturday 13th July 2019. We have a magnificent 40 Volunteers who have contacted me to say that they will be joining with me and Cllr Mary Bateman for the litter pick tomorrow. When we finish at around 13.00 you can go and watch the free Show Wodenstock at the Amphitheatre between Sainsbury’s and The Wednesfield Library!

Thank you everyone for wanting to come and help us in what is the UK’s latest Local Nature Reserve. I am bubbling with excitement to meet with you all! Please let me know if you are a also coming to this clean up event!

Well here is some great news for the plan to clear our Wyrley and Essington canal here in Wednesfield of unwanted litter and rubbish, both from the canal and from the towpath.

In the last few weeks CRT have cleared rubbish and other items from the canal.

They started from the stretch of the canal in the City Centre, right up to the Bentley Bridge – New Cross Bridge.

Now it’s the next leg to be undertaken. I am looking to clear the stretch from Bentley Bridge out towards Perry Hall Bridge and the Wednesfield boundary with Walsall MBC.

Today I have received a huge boost in that plan because International business McDonalds have pledged to join our volunteers for this Sundays litter pick!

What a boost that has given us, I welcome ‘Team McDonalds’ announcement.

I am delighted that a big multi-national company have joined the great canal litter pick here in Wednesfield – The meeting point is at The Nickelodeon at 9.00am.

Eleven McDonalds store staff from Wednesfield and Stafford Road Wolverhampton will be joining the rest of the Volunteers on Sunday. 

What a great bit of news, not only for me, and the rest of the volunteers. But ultimately it will be a real good news story for those of us that use the 220 years old canal, for our leisure walks, and the boating fraternity for the great scenery that exists in what is a very urban area.

The litter pick will also help the wildflowers and the Wildlife on what is one of the United Kingdom’s latest Local Nature Reserves.

There is still time for individuals and families to join the morning, come and get your exercise and feel good about helping clear litter from our local environment.

Here are the details- .I do hope we can get a good crowd down to deal with this.

Please let me know if you can attend. A simple return message will do. Here are the details.

Two CRT staff will be in attendance – They will help run the litter picking event and CRT will have a boat on site so they can take everything away.
Details of Event
Start/finish time – 9:00 till 13:00
Meeting place – Nickelodeon – Pub & Carvery, Bentley Bridge Way, Wednesfield WV11 1BP, BENTLEY BRIDGE RETAIL PARK. Boat will be moored in the canal arm
Equipment – CRT will supply litter pickers & rubbish backs
PPE – All volunteers must wear suitable footwear – NO flipflops/sandals/trainers/open end shoes
CRT Staff on site – Chris Holdsworth & Barry Ketley
Children under 16 must be supervised by an adult

Looking Forward to Seeing You All

Mayor Claire Darke "Big Thanks for Coming to our Fun Day"

#Stuff4Steph Funday – Great Success!

 

Our #Stuff4Steph Funday on Saturday 6th July 2019 was a huge success.

We estimate that close to £2,000 was raised by stalls and sales, for the good causes and the Charity organisations that were on site and part of the #Stuff4Steph Funday.More than that, People did have fun and the Public enjoyed the day immensely. I want to thank everyone involved in the events organisation. Especially Gemma Balinger, James Clarke, all the Volunteers from the Hub at Ashmore Park including Irene, Angela, Viv and Derek,Sue and Julieanne. Plus many more, and there was more than a few! who made the event happen.

The Ashmore Park Shop Keepers and Business owners all joined to give the event their approval. All of us coming together created a rather good day of fun for the community!

This notice is however designed to inform you that I thought that all those individuals that played a part in #Stuff4Steph were magnificent. Those community members that came and set up stalls, and tables, encouraged the public to attend also did a remarkable job. I want to thank you each and every one of you for that!

The day was a fab day regardless of the weather.

Niel Jackson on the microphone Presenting the show was amazing. He got around to all the shops, played great music, and held the Funday together magnificently. Thank you Niel!

We built this very much as a Funday and a #ShopLocal day as we are keen to see the Shopping Parade trading well. The increased footfall that the event created, would and will have done the traders a lot of good, as will the hard work of the Wednesfield in Bloom campaign that culminated in the Judges Inspection the day before (Friday 5th July) I am sure of that. The whole day would have been a flop if our community had stayed at home. They didn’t and I want to thank everyone of you who came – for turning up and coming to have some fun!

The final part of the announcement today, I want to thank Mayor Claire Darke and her Consort Paul Darke for attending the event. Councillors Mary Bateman and Cllr Rita Potter for a whole week of hard work! We the organisers all of us – enjoyed it so much, That I am applying for permissions to go through it all over again in 2020! How about that then…..Watch this space.

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Ashmore Park Coal Shaft- Needs Remedial Treatment

 

Wolverhampton City Council have contacted me today following actions being taken by the Coal Authority. The City Council tell me they have recently been contacted by The Coal Authority regarding mineshaft treatment works they are carrying out next week (commencing 15th July) to a suspected shaft located on the playground area in the north of the Ashmore Park (please see attached draft traffic management plan, which includes working hours).

The works will involve occupying an area of the car park and the playground, with an anticipated duration of two weeks, although this could be longer depending on the shaft infill conditions.  The full works area will be fully fenced off, which will include the skate park, with full reinstatement on completion of the works.

Parking provision on the car park will be restricted, but we have stated that accesses to a minimum 5 No car parking spaces needs to be maintained for the public during this works, although I understand that the marked disabled parking bays will not be available during this time.

I understand that additional parking is available in the car park to south of the park.

The City Council apologies for the short notice of this works, which is under the management and financing of the Coal Authority under their statutory duties, with provision of an access license from the Council.

If there is any further information I will of course publish it for public view.

 

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Police – Seized 2 Vehicles Locally!

West Midlands Police based at Wednesfield tell me that, “during Sunday night whilst on Patrol in the Ashmore Park area, we successfully seized two vehicles “.

  • One Vehicle for having No Insurance
  • One Vehicle for No Insurance tax or MOT.

The message is that the Wednesfield Neighbourhood team want to distribute is “We genuinely strive to keep improving the area in which you live by making it a safer place”

I am sure the community will welcome this information released by the Police.

Car crime and speed issues are amongst the top comments we get as Councillors from local residents, when we engage them in conversation about Law and Order issues in Wednesfield North.