Category Archives: History and Heritage

Wednesfield County Gardens!

Looking back at history- I bet that there will be few people remember the Garden that the West Midlands former Metropolitan County Council delivered to commemorate the work of the axed West Midlands County Council, on the corner of Alfred Squire Road and High Street, here in Wednesfield. It fell to me to open it .

The photograph shows Albert Jordan of Bolton Road sitting on a bench in the garden. It was reported in the Express and Star at the time. and the date was 2nd April 1986, before the WMCC was abolished in May of that year

Wonderful Wednesfield Memories!

Bill Board -Maybe the names weren’t In lights!

Looking back in history its great to be reminded about all the activities that took place, and of course the images, that includes friends and in this case political colleagues. This was the only time Wednesfield Labour candidates managed to get and pay for a Bill Board on the Rookery Street Bridge.

It was historic in Local Labour Party terms. It also caused a lot of talk. That is why these promotions were undertaken. First time I have seen my name on a Bill board! Perhaps it was always going to be the last.This was reported in the Express and Star on the 28th April 1992.

Later in the May Election, I lost my seat here in Wednesfield North, Tessa lost the Wednesfield South seat she was contesting, but Ray Harding to his credit won the Heath Town Ward .

Aah Well its very much part of social history….

The West Midlands County Gardens -Opened in 2nd April 1986

Looking back at history- I bet that there will be few people remember the Garden that the West Midlands former Metropolitan County Council delivered to commemorate the work of the axed West Midlands County Council, on the corner of Alfred Squire Road and High Street, here in Wednesfield.

It fell to me to open it .

The photograph shows Albert Jordan of Bolton Road sitting on a bench in the garden. It was reported in the Express and Star at the time. and the date was 2nd April, just before the WMCC was abolished in May of that year

Wednesfield – Time to make Your Voices Heard!

The South Staffs District Council Local Plan is now out for consultation. I am in the process of sharpening thoughts on this development known as ‘Land North of Linthouse Lane.’
I am of the consideration that Wednesfield Residents when making their own consultations. Should consider making the following statements. That the proposed new Country Park for Essington as part of their Local Development Plan proposals, should be on the Wednesfield side of the former Mineral Railway – that as the former rail line, splits the development site. The proposed Country Park would do much to provide the ‘green lungs that the current arable farm land and Green Belt, has provided for decades for 30,000 Wednesfield residents and the further number of residents across the City of Wolverhampton.
I am having talks with my colleagues here in Wednesfield now the SSDC plans are public. I am also speaking with City Planners about other points of issues.
Remember we are on a short timescale, but we do have time to put our views in, for when the Planning Inspector finally gets to exam them.
Other stand out issues are the proposals for transport, highway infrastructure the placing of sites relating to housing in Kitchen Lane , Public Health requirements Local Transport and Highway impacts. The role of Policing and Fire and Rescue. Health facilities, the poor planning proposals around for instance Secondary Education.
South Staffordshire Councillors voted by 30 to 12 to move forward on these plans and they have a date in early December that they will use to wrap up their proposals.
Please give consideration to these comments, and I will keep you informed as we move forward.
The Planning Inspector will have a duty to hear the comments of 30,000 Wednesfielders, and the impact this development will have as it is being designed by South Staffordshire District Councillors. Just for the record the Essington Councillors Voted Against the recommendation – and were in the Group of 12 who voted for the decision to be delayed.
Now its time to influence the next steps in this saga….
Please contact me on philip.bateman@wolverhampton.gov.uk

Shopkeepers & Retailers Worry on Energy !

Photo Prime Minister Liz Truss

Today I was talking with small business in Wednesfield North. This time with shop keepers who are the life blood of our Local Community.
This Conservative Government and its economic policy is terrifying our retailers. I have heard horror stories from well established shops about the increases in utility Bills which they are now being informed of.

What they are not hearing is anything from the Conservative Government about how they are to be offered help and some protection. Shop keepers tell me this will be the death knell of their business.

The cost of energy alone will strip out many of our local shops and shopping precincts. If there is no help designed for them.

Plus, all of this is before the Cost of Living increases surge along the High Street. Taking money out of customers pockets, reducing customers capacity to spend their wages and their benefits locally. Indeed I spotted in a BBC advice page which highlighted that “walking straight past the convenience store onto a larger branch can pay dividends.” They the BBC quoted Which? The magazine we were told, had “found that customers can end up spending almost a tenth (9.5%) more each year shopping at a Sainsbury’s Local rather than a regular Sainsbury’s supermarket.”

All of which underlines the impact of the Conservatives kamikaze approach and their blunders in crashing the economy, and the resultant damage which the UK small business is now having to face upto.

Make no mistake Wednesfield will suffer badly if no help is forthcoming to cap or shelter energy costs for these key local shops in our communities and neighbourhoods.

This is an under fire Prime Minister Truss, and she has a weak, and warring Government. Surely we need a General Election now to build a competent and functional Government.

A Message from Sir Kier Starmer -Leader Labour Party.


Today we mourn the passing of a remarkable sovereign.
It is a deep private loss for the Royal Family and our first thoughts are with them at this time. The nation shares in their grief.
Queen Elizabeth II created a special, personal relationship with us all. A relationship based on service and devotion to her country. Nobody under the age of 70 has known anything other than Queen Elizabeth II on the throne. For the vast majority of us, the late Queen has been simply the Queen. The only Queen. Above all else, our Queen.
As we mourn her loss, we should also treasure her life. Our longest-serving and greatest ever monarch. Above the clashes of politics, she stood not for what the nation fought over but what it agreed upon. In crisis, she reassured us. Reminding us that we are all part of something that stretches back through time. A symbol of the best of us. I saw it for myself when I led the Crown Prosecution Service.
Every time I had the privilege to meet the late Queen, she would ask the most searching questions because she wanted to understand the lives and struggles of her people. And as Britain changed rapidly around her, this dedication became the still point of our turning world. An example that taught us that whatever the challenges we face, the value of service always endures.
And the obvious love the late Queen displayed for Britain, the British people gave back in return. That is why there is such an outpouring of grief across the nation today. As there is across the Commonwealth to which the late Queen was so devoted.
Around the world, people are united in mourning. And united in celebrating her life. This togetherness is a reminder of what she achieved. A reminder of our shared values. Values which I know will be upheld by her beloved son, Charles, our new King.
So as our great Elizabethan era comes to an end, we will honour the late Queen’s memory by keeping alive the values of public service she embodied.
For seventy years, Elizabeth II stood as the head of our country. But, in spirit, she stood amongst us.
Keir Starmer
Leader of the Labour Party



Rest In Peace Queen Elizabeth- You Served Your Country Well.

I am sure constituents in Wednesfield North will want to join with your Councillors Phil and Mary Bateman, and Rita Potter in offering our deepest condolences to the Royal Family of HM Queen Elizabeth the Second, as the death of this much loved Queen was announced this early evening.

Wednesfield has strong memories of Her Majesty’s visit to our Village in the 1960’s. Our Sovereign was our longest serving Monarch.

Your Majesty – Rest in Peace, you served our Country well.

‘The people of Wednesfield will long remember you.’

What a Great Fun Weekend at Wednesfield Canal Festival!

Well the 2022 Wednesfield Canal Festival is now over for yet another year! What a two days it was, and I have a sneaky feeling that it will certainly go in the record books for the heat and the weather if not for the overall Festival! Hands on Wednesfield- this wonderful group of Volunteers, has done much for our Village over the last seven years or so. But I think the success of this Wednesfield Canal Festival will feature up there in their list of best ventures.

We will have to wait to see for a few more days what the official attendance has been but it has been very well attended. We had a record number of Narrow boats trading we had Narrow Boats also visiting and staying over the two days also. I

We have been under pressure from those that have attended to do another Festival next year. Of course that will happen.

I want to pay tribute to the awesome support this festival gets from Hands on Wednesfield. The Volunteer Group who do so much in supporting other Wednesfield ventures like Wednesfield Christmas Lights.

This show has grown so big, every year it has undergone a change. I may have started it modestly. But without these people this event wouldn’t be what it is now.

Chairman of Hands on Wednesfield James Clarke, Simon Archer of Wednesfield Magazine and Simon Hamilton who is a key volunteer in a host of other Wednesfield events, are the new driving force behind Wednesfield Canal Festival.

These trojans, are ably supported by Jim Duncan who uses his vast experience in entertainment to good use, Part of that success is the partnership that has been forged between Hands on Wednesfield and Bentley Bridge Leisure Park, of which none of this would take place without Mark Welsby, who manages the Bentley Bridge Leisure Park. Mark and the Leisure Park have made a huge difference to the rate of growth of the Canal Festival! We also benefit immensely from a close partnership with Greene King Public House The Nickelodeon and Dani the Licencee. With support we receive from the Canal and River Trust the Wednesfield Canal Festival is perhaps the largest event of its kind now in the City.

As more of the detail of the Wednesfield Canal Festival is recorded, we will report on it here on this Blog Site.

Supporting Our Volunteers and Community Projects.

As City of Wolverhampton Councillors for Wednesfield North, we are often amazed at how effective our volunteers and community activists are here in our Wednesfield North community. Yesterday whilst in The Hub@Ashmore Park. I ran into Sarah Rutter , who had spent the morning operating her school uniform project .

Everyone knows how expensive School Uniform is, Sarah runs this project called ‘The Uniform Exchange’ where people make available to other parents, school uniform that still has a lot of life in it for Local Wednesfield North Schools. Sarah Rutter – has been running this uniform bank for over 10 years encouraging recycling of reusable garments to the most vulnerable within our community. She has also been involved in numerous other projects.

She is a ‘special lady’ giving up so much of her time and energy not just to this project, but other community projects right across our patch.Last year (2021) your three Councillors awarded Sarah a ‘Wednesfield North Community Excellence Award’ , as we felt the Uniform Exchange Project was one of the standout volunteers project of the Year.

The Mayor and Mayoress of the City of Wolverhampton joined us in the presentation, as did the Leader of the Council and the Deputy Leader of the Council. (the photograph is an image of that award presentation.)I was pleased to see Sarah, as I had the chance to inform her, that Councillor Rita Potter, Councillor Mary Bateman, and myself, were to follow up on last years Ward Fund (2021) contribution of £687, with a new Ward Funds contribution for this year 2022. We are in the process of getting those funds (2022) ‘signed off’ and will make an announcement when the time is appropriate.

It goes without saying that Sarah was pleased! She explained that the Uniform Exchange Project is under even more pressure from families, as the economic situation and the cost of living issues, creep ever higher.

Photograph Wednesfield North Community Excellence Awards 2021 -Left to Right Phil Bateman, Mayor Brackenridge, Councillor Rita Potter, Sarah Rutter, Cllr Mary Bateman, Mayoress Sureena Brackenridge.

The War in Ukraine – A Statement from Councillors in Wednesfield North

The Ukrainian issue is dominating our screens, our news, and our conversations at the moment. Like many of us (Your City Councillors) Mary and I with Rita are keeping a close watch on the situation.

This international conflict will of course touch every nation in the West as it continues. We do have Ukrainians of decent here in our City, they have been here for many years, as we will have Russian families as well.

Supporting our own community cohesion here in Wolverhampton will, and is, a must for us here in our City.

The City Council will continue to work with our partners, inside and outside our City boundary along with community leaders, faith groups, and residents with regards to any emerging issues.

In the meantime The City Council is working hard to produce a statement with a response to the conflict on the 2nd of March 2022.

These are gong to be long difficult days for all of us as we watch and witness what is taking place in Europe. We are of course here in Wednesfield North for residents who have a comment to make or whom wishes to pass their views on My email address for these issues is philip.bateman@wolverhampton.gov.uk