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

Police Give Tips!

Cannabis factories are increasingly being found in residential properties. Electricity meters are usually bypassed and the lighting equipment used to grow the plants are often poorly wired and pose a high risk to the individuals involved in the cultivation but are also likely to be a fire hazard to neighbouring houses.

Tell tale signs of a cannabis factory:
Blinds drawn day and night.
A constant low buzzing from inside the property.
Strong odour emanating from the property.
Air ducting tubes protruding from the property.
Bright lighting from rear windows, loft or eaves.
Large amount of fertiliser, compost or pots outside.
Tampering with electric meter or wiring.

If you have any information regarding the above please contact West Midlands Police on 101 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111

David Bell -Old Time Hack-Or News Ferret

I published this on Facebook first in June 2020.

What a shock to read this, David Bell has been quite rightly, described as an old time Hack. But he was much more than that! Belly was during my time on the County Council a real ferret. He would be hunting out stories wherever he could find them. I regularly met with him to explain one policy or another when I was a County Councillor in County Hall in Birmingham.

We often met in Committee Room 7 (Turks Head) where he and his journalist friends would compete for the exclusive. He and Barry Hammond from the Express and Star, were great friends, but very, very competitive against each other, I became close to both these regional journalistic sleuths, we has some memorable times. Over a long period of time, both these giants of the local Press have now sadly passed away. ‘Belly’, became a great friend,

Over all those decades i knew him you could always have a laugh. Though you had to be careful what you said in his earshot! When the County was abolished by Maggie Thatcher I remember the television interview he delivered, There he was sitting in the lobby at County Hall, surrounded by TV Journalists, and crew. For a change it was’ him’ that was giving the interview, and it was ‘him’ being questioned by the TV Journalists. He loved it.

Rather than just reporting on the News, David, this time was being asked his thoughts, on why the West Midlands County Council had failed…..I gave him some stick over that TV interview as I recall. Then when I created a career for myself in Public transport, we were back in touch. It used to make me smile that he had moved his office, now to the Old Joint Stock.. So I would wander up in an afternoon when I wanted to brief him on a fares rise, or something similar. It was then that I noticed how great the man was. He was no longer wandering the corridors of power looking for a story, or as Barry Hammond used to say “a tale. “You had to now wait in the queue to give him a tale. Behind City Councillors, and the like. Once even it was rumoured the Coroner!

All this to give this great local journalist, A few words that would, you hope, transform the Mails Front Page. Belly made words talk! I am sad to hear of his passing. He was a huge journalistic character, but we had some fun, as well as the pain he gave me, with words that at time made me wince! It was down to Belly that I have gone through my Local Government life, with the nickname ‘Beefy’. One of his story’s are still implanted in my brain- as he described me as “Two chubby cheeks, held together by a whispy moustache.” Or the other one the “Portly politician from Wolverhampton”.

‘Rest In Peace’ David Bell. Hopefully they will raise a statue to you at the Birmingham Evening Mail -They ought too for all those front page stories you captured over the years! So now my old sparring partners pass on to the great Newspaper in the sky- David Bell. Barry Hammond, and of course Ed Doolan All great charachters…BIRMINGHAMMAIL.CO.UK Much-loved ex-Birmingham Mail journalist dies as tributes pour in Legendary ex-municipal editor was admitted to Russells Hall Hospital in Dudley and passed away peacefully in his sleep.

City set to link and Bloom Via Canal and Environmental Schemes.

Wildflower meadows, tree planting and bat and bird boxes will be introduced at sites across Wolverhampton thanks to a funding boost of more than £600,000. The environmental improvements will be made at three locations, Fowlers Park in the city centre, Ward Street in Bilston and Pendeford Park, and aim to increase biodiversity, improve access and encourage visitors.

The work is being carried out as part of the Black Country Blue Network 2 project which aims to improve 119 hectares of green space linked by the local canal and river network. Black Country Blue Network is a partnership project between City of Wolverhampton Council, Walsall Council, Dudley Council, Canal & River Trust and Severn Rivers Trust.

Councillor Phil Bateman said ” Whilst this tranche of funding is not being aimed at Wednesfield. I am sure that we in this part of the City, will give it a burst of clapping for its intentions. We know from the Wildflower work that has taken place in Ashmore Park, and the contribution that wildflowers make to our own fantastic Wyrley and Essington Canal, which itself is also our incredible Local Nature Reserve.

Greening our City is the way forward, the great work the volunteers make to our Wednesfield Village economy through the Wednesfield in Bloom project is a pointer. It really is important that creating ‘Green’ environments, is recognised, and that it really does work in a multitude of ways!”

The Prime Ministers Road Map Out of Lockdown

On Monday the Prime Minister outlined a roadmap out of the current lockdown for England and from next month some of the rules around what people can and cannot do will be changing.

From Monday 8 March:

  • Pupils and students in all schools and further education settings will return to face-to-face teaching, supported by twice-weekly testing of secondary school and college pupils. Secondary school pupils will be required to wear face coverings unless exempt. Wraparound childcare can reopen.
  • Practical teaching at universities will resume, but other teaching will continue to be done remotely.
  • People will be allowed to spend time in outdoor public spaces for recreation (for instance a drink or picnic) on their own, with one other person, or with their household or support bubble. People must continue to maintain social distance from anyone outside of their household.
  • Care home residents will be allowed to have one regular, named visitor.

From Monday 29 March:

  • Outdoor gatherings of up to six people or two households will be allowed, including gatherings in private gardens.
  • Outdoor sports facilities such as tennis or basketball courts will reopen and organised adult and children’s sport, such as grassroots football, can also restart.
  • The formal “stay at home” order will be lifted, though people will still be encouraged to work from home where possible.
  • No overseas travel allowed beyond the current small number of exceptions.
  • Up to 30 people will be able to attend funerals, and up to six attend weddings and wakes.

Further changes are planned from April onwards, including the reopening of parts of the economy, such as leisure and hospitality. For full details, please visit www.gov.uk/coronavirus. Meanwhile, the City of Wolverhampton Council is reminding residents and businesses to follow the lockdown guidance that remains in place and continue doing all they can to stop the spread of the virus.

Latest City of Wolverhampton Covid Infection rates

Late last night (24th February) I received a briefing from City of Wolverhampton Council. This is what the briefing told me –
“Latest figures show there were 168.7 new cases of Covid-19 per 100,000 people in Wolverhampton over the seven days to 20 February.

That means 444 people in the city tested positive for the virus in that seven-day period however the true number of new cases will likely be considerably higher. “

BREAKING NEWS Tonight 24 Feb 8.15pm – Road Closure Extended

BREAKING NEWS Tonight 24 Feb 8.15pm

I have been informed that Cadent Gas have told the Local Authority that the Linthouse Lane Closure in Wednesfield has been extended until the 3rd March !

Please Note this extended closure of Linthouse Lane and the continued use of the diversion. Ridge Lane is currently being used as a diversion, allowing traffic to continue their journey.

Oak Meadow School Gains Ward Councillors Help!

Wednesfield North Ward Councillors wish to express our pleasure in being able to assist Oak Meadow Primary School during the recent difficult time the school has had due to the Lockdown brought about by the Covid-19 Pandemic.

Councillor Phil Bateman said, “As Ward Councillors, we have managed to identify some Ward resources, and we are delighted to be able to assist the school and its pupils.”

Headteacher Simon Arnold has thanked the three Councillors He said, “I just wanted to write on behalf of all our children to thank you for the most generous ward funding allocation of £500. The delivery has arrived and it is containing jotters, packs of colouring crayons, pencil sharpeners, pencils, erasers and massed together, it looks incredible; it will support our remote learning offer enormously. We will inform parents of its availability and option for it to be collected from school. It will help children hugely as given the time passing by in lockdown, children are quickly filling their school provided exercise books or their own stocks of resources.”

Councillor Bateman added – “As Ward Councillors, Rita, Mary and I, work closely together as a team. We are delighted that this initiative has been helpful to the school and the children, in what has been a tough year for everyone.”

Oak Meadow school has capacity to house 420 children; 2 classes within each year group with 30 children in each class.


Keep Testing for Covid-19 in Wednesfield

The latest stats for todays testing at the Hub at Ashmore Park is –

Monday the 22nd February 2021.

94 people turned out to be tested today
92 tested Negative
2 tested Positive

In total 2478 Residents have turned up at the The Hub to be tested since the first day of operation on the 21st January 2021.
In total 72 people have tested Positive, and have isolated since that January date. That is 72 people who without testing would have gone onto spread the Virus.

Please Wednesfield North continue to test for the Virus. Even after you have had your vaccination. Mary and I your Councillors test every seven days to ensure we are Virus free.

Please residents do the same… Lets keep this Virus infection falling here in our Ward of Wednesfield North

Following Covid-19 Rules – After Vaccination!


The advice being given in briefings (relating to Covid-19) I have had from Public Health is now here to help you.

I am reminding residents and workers in Wednesfield North and Wolverhampton of the importance of continuing to follow all Covid-19 rules and guidance, even after they have had their vaccination.

With people still able to transmit the virus after vaccination, it is important that everyone continues to adhere to rules and guidance in order to protect the community and slow the spread of the virus.

Therefore your Councillors in Wednesfield North are urging residents to continue to observe hands, face and space guidance, and remember to have routine coronavirus tests. (Mary and I are having continued tests every seven days) and please shield and self-isolate if instructed to do so!

We are getting on top of this pandemic. We need to continue to deliver and act on the advice. Stay safe Wednesfield!

Noose Lane May Cause You Delays – Temporary Closure

Please find details below regarding the proposed temporary closure of Noose Lane, East Park, Wolverhampton:

  • Noose Lane closed in both directions at its junction with Willenhall Road.

Vehicular diversion route –

Southbound traffic: Watery Lane, Neachells Lane, Willenhall Road.

Northbound traffic: Willenhall Road, Somerford Place, Pinson Road, Field Street, Stafford Street, Temple Bar, Wednesfield Road, Wellington Place.

It is expected the closure will be in place from 04/03/21 to 10/03/21, between the hours of 08:00 and 18:00 daily, to facilitate the rigging, integration and testing within the existing telecoms site by T-Mobile.