Category Archives: Local Issues Page

Canada Day 21-06-2013

Happy Canada Day Wolverhampton! & Canadians Wherever You Are!

Today July 1st is Canada Day – So what is Canada Day?

On July 1, 1867, the nation was officially born when the Constitution Act joined three provinces into one country: Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, and the Canada province, which then split into Ontario and Quebec. However, Canada was not completely independent of England until 1982.

The holiday called Dominion Day was officially established in 1879, but it wasn’t observed by many Canadians, who considered themselves to be British citizens. Dominion Day started to catch on when the 50th anniversary of the confederation rolled around in 1917. In 1946, a bill was put forth to rename Dominion Day, but arguments in the Canadian House of Commons over what to call the holiday stalled the bill.

The 100th anniversary in 1967 saw the growth of the spirit of Canadian patriotism and Dominion Day celebrations really began to take off. Although quite a few Canadians already called the holiday Canada Day (Fête du Canada), the new name wasn’t formally adopted until October of 1982.

Here in Wolverhampton we have had close relationships with Canada over the centuries.

In recent years we have hosted as a City Council two High Commissioners of Canada, as trade and manufacturing between our City and Canada continues to prosper.  For me I was born in Montreal and today I am preparing to welcome two of my Canadian cousins who are set out today from Canada to join me here in Wednesfield, Wolverhampton for a holiday!

I will be having a Canada Day drink at some time today!

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Wolverhampton Tower Blocks- West Midland Fire Service Visits.

Councillor Phil Bateman said today ” I am placing this information on my social media sites, so those that are interested can view the progress and the advice that is available. Even though there are no High Rise living in Wednesfield North.”

West Midlands Fire Service and Wolverhampton’s   health and safety team will be visiting high rise blocks to check the access to each block, give advice on what to do in the event of a fire and give advice on fire prevention.

The next visits will be on:

Monday 26th June:

  • Whitmore Reans: St Andrews House, Whitmore House
  • Lakefield: Lathe Court, Grosvenor Court, Gregory Court

Tuesday 27th June:

  • Wednesfield: Wodensfield Tower, William Bentley Court
  • Merry Hill: Pennwood Court, St Josephs Court and Highfield Court
  • Vauxhalls: Vauxhall House, Connaught House and Sutherland House
  • Heath Town:  Tremont House, Lincoln House

Wednesday 28th June:

  • Heath Town: Ling House, Hawthorn House, Red Oak House
  • Stowlawn: Clem Attlee Court, Hugh Gaitskell Court and Winston Churchill Court
  • Bilston: Arthur Greenwood Court

Friday 30th June:

  • Chetton Green: Harrowby Court, Patshull Court

They have already visited Graiseley Court, Russell Court, Grosvenor Court at Graiseley, and Brockfield House, Campion House and Longfield House at Heath Town. We’ll announce the dates for other addresses very soon.

For more information about fire safety at your blocks, visit our fire safety guidance page.

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Discovering Wolverhampton AND Having Fun Too!

Over the last two weeks I have been on holiday and this site has been rather quiet!

But there is as always a lot going on in and around Wolverhampton so just have ‘butchers look’ at what is taking place.

Take a look at what’s on in the City of Wolverhampton between Friday 30 June and Sunday 16 July 2017.

The City Council have arranged a packed programme of events and activities and plenty of opportunities for anyone living, working, visiting or doing business here to sample what the city has to offer.

From Wolverhampton’s very first Festival of Food and Drink to special offers at some of our visitor attractions and entertainment venues, there’s something for everyone this Summer and all year-round.

So please take the time to click on and View the packed programme at www.enjoywolverhampton.com

You will be surprised at all the events and activities here in our historic City of Wolverhampton.

 

 

Wolverhampton's Winning Team!

Wolverhampton Wins Armful of National Awards!

Tonight City of Wolverhampton Council attended the MJ Gala Awards night in London. The City was represented by the Leader, Managing Director and members of SEB and several colleagues who have helped prepare our entries over the last couple of months.

  • The City of Wolverhampton Council are finalists in seven of the 14 categories including:
  • Local Authority of the Year’,
  • ‘Most Improved Council’,
  • ‘Impact and Learning in Children’s Services’,
  • Workforce Transformation’,
  • ‘Senior Leadership Team’,
  • ‘Behaviour Change’ 
  • ‘Excellence in Governance and Scrutiny’.

The City was also commended in an eighth category, ‘Commercialism in the Property Estate’, for our city centre investment strategy including the highly successful i10 development.

The MD Keith Ireland said ” The MJ received 500 submissions in total so to make it as a finalist in half of all the categories highlights our improvement journey. It’s also a magnificent achievement to be finalist in seven categories when you consider that the next highest number of finalist nominations for another council was four.

This is a real achievement for the city council, its employees, Councillors and partners. I’m proud of the hard work Councillors and employees have put in to make this possible and to get down to this stage shows the huge strides we have made on our transformation journey. The night will be a fantastic opportunity to raise the profile of the City of Wolverhampton and to demonstrate that we are a confident, capable council. Fingers crossed!”

Councillor Phil Bateman said “Now I can report the good news – because I am putting this article to bed late at night, or the other way round early in the Morning! Wolverhampton  won the following Awards. The Big One Which was Council of the Year – Wow! –

  • Council of the Year,
  • Most Improved Council,
  • Excellence in Governance
  • Leadership team of the Year. 

I am personally delighted that Wolverhampton has done so well.

This Authority has changed considerably, it is far from being a failing Council. It is a City Council that is operating efficiently and effectively. Well done our political leadership, and the very strong executive management team that is led so well by MD Keith Ireland.

 

 

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Second Information Bulletin – Terrible Grenfell Tower Tragedy.

Further to the information I placed on my social media pages yesterday, about the awful fire incident in Grenfell Tower in London.

Here is the latest information that I have with regards to this terrible incident. The Prime Minister has announced a Full Public Inquiry into the fire. There are 17 people declared dead at this moment, but we have to set ourselves because that number will increase.

Now with regards to the situation in Wolverhampton, here is some more information which is additional to the information I placed yesterday.

Just for clarity our Ward here of Wednesfield North does not have any tower blocks.

City of Wolverhampton Council have informed me that there is cladding on some of our Towers – The information that I have here is that there is some cladding on some of our 36 tower blocks, indeed it is 18 which have cladding.

Most of these (12) are clad with insulated render – not made of plastic, and without spaces to cause a possible “chimney effect” to spread a fire. These include blocks at Merry Hill, Arthur Greenwood Court (Bilston), Lakefield, Hickman and Stowlawn. These do not post any special risk.

Over 10 years ago, three blocks at Graisley estate near the city centre and three towers at Heath Town (Brockfield, Campion and Longfield) were clad or partially clad with a  ‘rain screen’ system fixed on to the blocks. Whilst these are NOT identical to the system as used at Grenfell, we are immediately checking the specifications, reviewing the full working drawings and installation methods so we can be certain they pose no special risk. If necessary, there will then be full, on site testing.

Access for emergency vehicles

The emergency services have raised no issues with City of Wolverhampton Council about access to tower blocks, however, to be absolutely sure, the City are asking the Fire Service to check access to every tower block in the city and advise if more space is needed – if necessary, we will create it.

Advice about what to do in the event of a fire and how to prevent fire

As tower block residents know, the advice has been to stay put in their flats in the event of a fire unless they are advised to leave the building. Clearly we all have questions about this. We are arranging for health and safety staff and the Fire Service to visit tower blocks to provide advice and assistance to residents on what to do in the event of a fire and about fire prevention.

Gas- There is no gas in any of our tower blocks.

This is the second such information bulletin I have placed with a view to keep my constituents and residents informed of events as they happen, and how the incident in London may impact on Wolverhampton. I will continue to keep you informed of developments as they are reported to me.

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Like Buses! Wait for One and Two Turn Up Together!

Its congratulations time for all our Volunteers at The Hub on Ashmore Park as they have once again pulled in another Award for their Voluntary Service commitment, this time from City of Wolverhampton Council! This Award comes on top of the Queens Award already announced this month! You have to be proud of the work that is taking place, and the activity that happens in the heart of our community. Your three Councillors are delighted that once again our community volunteers are recognised for the work they do on all our behalf.

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Information to Wednesfield North Residents

Many of the residents of Wednesfield North like Mary, Rita and I, will have been looking at the Tower Block of flats that have been on fire today with horror. This morning’s news about the fire at Grenfell Tower in London is shocking and our thoughts are with all the people affected.

When I was alerted to the news this morning I spoke about the horror of the incident, and expressed my condolences on social media.

But tonight I want to reassure my readers and our constituents here in Wednesfield North, that from early this morning this City Council have been active and checking and rechecking the Wolverhampton City Council situation.

I want to re-assure my constituents their families and their friends if I can with this information.

First of all there are no high rise flats here in Wednesfield North,

But the City does have 36 tower blocks located across the city, 18 of those have external cladding.

I want to re-assure you that there are Fire safety measures in place at all these towers.

All fire safety standards are maintained including:

  • Daily fire safety checks.
  • Professional expert annual fire risk assessments.
  • Fire retardant paint in communal areas – specification checked.
  • Dry risers in place and regularly checked.
  • Smoke alarms are installed in every flat.

The Grenfell Tower disaster will focus heavily over the next few days, as the horror becomes more evident, and the injuries and the missing persons are addressed in ever more detail.

As a City Councillor I am pleased with the actions taken by the City of Wolverhampton Council to date:

The City Council have worked quickly and with urgency to inform us that they are confident that the cladding in Wolverhampton is of the correct standard, but City Officials are undertaking urgent checks with manufacturers. I am very pleased that this is taking place with speed and urgency.

I am further informed that this City Council will be making and delivering an update for tenants and residents living in high rise flats. I think that this level of assurance is good as everyone will be jumpy about the panic they have witnessed in London via the television.

This morning’s news about the fire at Grenfell Tower in London is shocking and the images we have all watched all day will be with us for a long time.  I know that constituents here in Wednesfield North will be as one with us, and your thoughts, like ours will be with all the people affected by this calamity.

I also hope you will recognise this note is meant to re-assure you that our City Officials are doing all they can to check, question, and deliver safe homes for our citizens…..

I can assure you that your City Councillors are already working with Officials and the fact is that the City Council also works closely with the local fire service, and I am assured that they have not advised of any issues.

Wolverhampton like many other City’s and Towns will look carefully to see if any lessons can be learned from this terrible incident in London. I will of course keep you the readers up dated with any news as I receive it.

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WE Have Got It! – Local Nature Reserve Status for the “Curly-Wurly”

Our Wolverhampton City Council stands on the edge of a very historic decision, as tomorrow on the 14th of June  it is about to agree to declare a new Local Nature Reserve in Wolverhampton.

The Local Nature Reserve will be  covering the length of the Wyrley and Essington canal, and adjoining land owned by the Council, and the City Council is to enter into a collaboration agreement with the Canal and River Trust and Walsall MBC to manage the LNR for at least 21 Years and to designate the LNR in Wolverhampton as a Site of Importance for Nature Conservation (SINC)

Councillor Phil Bateman said ” I first raised The idea of a Local Nature Reserve on the WE way back in 2007. At that time I wrote to the City Council urging them to declare this canal because it was rich in wildlife and I could see the benefit it could bring to the residents of Wednesfield North and South, first as nature reserve and second as a leisure asset. But working and volunteering on this stretch of the canal over the last 10 years, I will predict that this decision will be a huge boost to this Village Local Economy as it will be to other settlements along the length of the LNR and canal.

It has took a long time to get everyone interested! But the decisions about to be taken by the City Council and the Canal and River Trust with Walsall MBC are really quite strategically huge. I want to thank my Wednesfield Councillors including my Ward Colleague’s like former Councillor Dave Jones, who also worked for this designation back in 2007. As has all the City Councillors in Wednesfield North and South.

The Wyrley and Essington Canal Local Nature Reserve will stretch from the centre of the City through, Heath Town Ward, Wednesfield South Ward and Wednesfield North Ward. It doesn’t stop there! It will continue all the way from Wolverhampton City boundaries to its end in Brownhills. It is a magnificent canal. It is historic ( it is 220 years old this year, built at a time when Napoleon was conquering Europe!) as well as being a vital waterway for boat traffic and an important wildlife corridor, for fish and birds and small mammals.

This unique LNR will stretch some 26 miles, it will be amongst – if not the longest LNR in the UK. It will attract walkers, and cyclist’s, boat and leisure craft, from across Britain and further. It will boost our Local Economy as it attracts tourists and others!

I am confident that this newly declared Local Nature Reserve (LNR)will live up to its billing as a publicly accessible site that is locally important for wildlife, education, economy and enjoyment.

I have worked tirelessly to get this status for our canal, and the social media interest has been one of the most important ways to gain public support.

Essington & Wyrley Canal-Wednesfield Supporters Public group

IMG_1221 Grace on the curly wurlyThe Wyrley and Essington Wednesfield Supporters page on my Facebook site has more than 300 members, and they have all played a part in focussing attention on the LNR battle for this part of the canal.”

LNRs are typically owned and managed by the local Council. This LNR will be unique as the majority is owned and managed by the Canal and River Trust, with areas of adjoining land owned and managed by City of Wolverhampton Council and Walsall Council.

The part of the LNR which is located within Wolverhampton has had an ecological survey which was completed in 2013. A Local Sites Assessment Report was produced which summarises the survey findings, provides detailed information on the wildlife value of the Canal corridor and justifies designation of the land as a Site.

I am so pleased that Wednesfield, Wolverhampton and Walsall with the Canal & River Trust have seen what a huge benefit this decision will bring to the communities along the length of the        “ Curly Wurley”.

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CRT Joins The Battle Against Vandalism

With the ‘Wednesfield in Bloom’ date  rapidly approaching and the ‘Britain in Bloom’  Inspectors arriving in the Village on the 7th of July. I was delighted to have the Canal and River Trust inform me that their operatives were out and about at Bentley Bridge removing the graffiti that had been daubed on the bridge structure, at this location on the Wyrley & Essington canal.

It is great to know that CRT who are very much lacking in resources has nevertheless made available their team to help the Village gain a Gold Award. Thanks CRT – your efforts are very much appreciated.

Wednesfield has suffered a wave of increased graffiti and the scrawl is ugly and is impacting heavily on the way the Village and surrounding districts look.

The key obviously is to stop the tagging of public and private property with these ugly scrawling tags. If there are any residents who know who are scrawling these images on buildings and other street furniture, will you please tell me so that I can inform the Police.