Category Archives: Local Issues Page

International Women’s Day – 8th March 2024

On International Women’s Day, here in Wednesfield North Labour Party, We celebrate the impact that women have on politics, and the battle they have undertaken to deliver equality and opportunity.

Back in 1921 Emily Sproson became the first elected Woman Councillor in Wolverhampton.

Fast forward into 2024 and we see that in a City Council of 60 Councillor’s, more than 50% of those Councillors are now women. The Labour Party has done much to encourage women into Local Politics in those 103 years.

But there is a still much more to do to deliver true equality and opportunity.

Here in Wednesfield North Labour Party, two of the three members of our Ward currently representing you on Council are women.

Here Councillor Mary Bateman and Councillor Rita Potter exchange a thought about the day ahead.

Fly-Tipping and Other Issues Sandy Crescent

Back in November I received information from residents in Sandy Crescent regarding a largely redundant Garage Site, when during the night some unsavoury practices had been allegedly taking place.

I contacted the Authorities because it was suggested that a bollard be erected to keep the vehicles and Fly-Tippers away, and those using the car park in the night for other unwanted activities.

The enquiry was ref T11784.

The Fly-Tipping had been removed but the bollard had not been erected. I have been in constant touch with the authorities. The argument is being made that this is a Public Right of Way and The City Council has a responsibility and it was not just a Wolverhampton Homes decision.

I now have another reference Number T11978

Since the original intervention I made there has been a debate taking place within the Authority, because there is an additional issue of access for the National Grid, and their access arrangements for the Electricity -Sub Station, that is also located on the site..

So the conversations are still taking place between The National Grid, Wolverhampton Homes, and City of Wolverhampton Council. I will continue to keep you updated on any progress that is made.

School ‘Spiders’ Sparks Intruder Alarm!

There is a real concern from residents living close to Coppice High School, as the intruder alarms at the school have been for a number of months last year, activating in the late night/early hours of the morning.

I had reported the neighbour concerns during 2023 to the school, and they were very reactive and initiated a number of steps with their alarm company to redress the problems.

Sadly there has been an issue in the start of this year, where early morning activation by ‘spiders’ has caused the alarm to ‘sound-off’ at 1am.This has disturbed residents sleep.

The School is trying its hardest to deal with the problem. I thought that the neighbours should be aware that the issue is not being ignored. Hence the information that is on this social media site. Any changes to the position will be reported here.

So What Is The Anglican Church Doing To Fill Its Vicars Vacancies?

The facts are that churches and vicars play an important role not only by providing inspirational spiritual guidance to those religious individuals. But, the Church buildings and the staff and volunteers that do so much to keep the Church estate in good working order often play a key role in the wider community activity.

The Church estate often provides meeting rooms, sport venues, etc. Weakening the leadership chains of communities by not replacing Vicars in Posts, is a dire blow that can be seen as nothing short of a crisis in the communities that make up our City, and the settlements that nestle closely to us.

Since I wrote about Wednesfield’s Parish Church. I have been informed that there is no full time Vicars in place at Essington, St Marys Bushbury, Holy Trinity in Short Heath, St Leonards in Bilston.

You may know more?

Plus, there is a temporary Bishop standing in for the Vacant seat of The Bishop of Wolverhampton. That role is being filled by The Bishop of The Falklands. I know that there are concerns in the congregations of these Churches. But there is also concerns outside of the Church as I have described here. I am sure the Anglican Church must have a plan going forward? It would be good to hear it.

Blackham Road – Non Residential Assets Demolition?

City Council are giving consideration to commencing a city-wide review of the non-residential assets and a small number of residential assets to determine the future management of these assets.

Your Wednesfield North City Councillors have been asked for our views before binding and lasting decisions are made, about a disused former Garage site in Blackham Road on Ashmore Park.

For the garage site at Blackham Road the proposed solution being given consideration is to demolish garages, remove foundations and secure site. This site could be considered for a potential HRA residential redevelopment sometime in the future.

Your Councillors Rita Phil and Mary would like to hear your views over the next few days. We need those thoughts that you may have before the 9th of .January 2024

Local residents views would be most welcome –

Councillor Calls on Anglican Church to Appoint a Fulltime Vicar to the Parish Church of Wednesfield.

Recently I wrote to the Lord Bishop of Lichfield about the failure of the Church to appoint a full time Parish Priest to the Parish Church of Wednesfield. I made it clear that many of the Parishioners were concerned with the delay. I also made it clear that not having such an important position within the Church Community filled. Was doing much damage to the Church, and the role it plays at the heart of the greater community. Not only was the spiritual offer diluted by no Parish Priest, but also the social role was very much weakened.

I thought that Wednesfield residents may have been interested in the response I received. Here it is re-printed in full. Written on behalf of The Lord Bishop of Lichfield, from the Bishop of The Falklands, whom he asked to respond to my correspondence.

Here is the response.
“Dear Councillor Bateman, The Bishop of Lichfield has passed your email on to me to respond, which I am glad to do.
The diocese as a whole shares your frustration about the difficulty in filling this vacancy. Far from hindering the appointment of a parish priest, we have worked with the parish to advertise the post five times, but so far we have received no applicants. This is I’m afraid an extreme example of a problem across the whole Church, where there are presently more posts available than there are priests to fill them.
I can only agree with you about the negative effects of the absence of an incumbent, and I can assure you that the diocese remains committed to ministry in inner urban areas. We remain hopeful that the right person will be found to fill this post, and others which are at the moment without a priest, but it is becoming a more and more difficult process at the present time.
The previous substantive Bishop of Wolverhampton retired at Easter this year, and the process for a new appointment will begin in January. I have been serving as Acting Bishop since September and will continue until Easter next year, by which time I hope a new appointment will be on the horizon.
Thank you for writing to Bishop Michael; it is an encouragement to know that the Church is valued as an integral part of the social fabric of the City. I hope we will find a good candidate who will be able to serve the people of your wares and the parish.
With all best wishes +Jonathan
Rt Revd Jonathan Clark,
Bishop for the Falkland Islands
Acting Bishop of Wolverhampton, Diocese of Lichfield.

Councillor Bateman added “Since I wrote the initial letter I am surprised at the number of Parish Churches here in Wolverhampton that are also in the same situation in this City and its bordering Parishes, with no full time vicars.

Be Prepared Wednesfield -Storm Henk is About to Arrive!

Councillor Phil Bateman said today ” Wednesfield North Councillors want you to be prepared for the next Atlantic Storm which will hit Wednesfield later today! Mary Rita and I, have just received the following notice. It relates to the 8th Named Storm – this one is Storm Henk.”

We are just dropping you an email to update you on the latest weather forecast in light of Storm Henk expected to impact the UK today. Yellow Weather Warnings for both Wind and Rain have been issued for the area until 21:00hrs this evening, Tuesday 2nd January. There are also two flood alerts currently in place by the Environment Agency that could impact on Wolverhampton for the River Sow and River Penk, and Upper Tame.

Snapshot taken from our Met Office Advisor (02 Jan):

HEADLINE: Strong winds across the south of the Midlands, further rainfall across the West Midlands.
An unsettled start to 2024 as the next area of low pressure to influence the UK has been named by the Met Office as Storm Henk and is set to bring a swathe of strong winds across parts of the South-West, south Midlands and East Anglia before moving into the North Sea this evening. It will also be wet with some further rain spreading north-eastwards across the region during the course of the day and this is falling on saturated ground and likely to exacerbate the river and flooding situation. The south to south-westerly winds may gust up to 50-60mph for a short time this afternoon, isolated 60-70mph over exposed parts of far southern Worcestershire and Warwickshire, before veering to the west and easing later in the evening. A separate wind warning covers more northern areas of the West Midlands with gusts of 40-50mph more likely. 15-30mm of rain could fall during the course of Tuesday, this heavy ran falling on saturated ground and likely to cause some travel disruption and a Yellow Rain warning covers the West Midlands.

Review of the Year 2023 – Wednesfield North

The First 4 Months! As we approach the end of 2023, Your City Councillors are taking a look back on the big, and maybe not so big issues, that stand out during the course of this last year.

This is the FIRST 4 months that makes a Review of The Year 2023 and looks at it with a Wednesfield North slant.

January  2023 – The Big Story at the start of January 2023, was still the big issue of South Staffordshire District Council who planned 2,000 homes on their Green Belt. We told you about the latest on the decisions on the Green Belt Land North of Linthouse Lane. We told you that it was not a victory. But the halt on the proposal  from Tory led South Staffs DC .Was a little more progress and was worth celebrating! Twelve Months  on we are still waiting to hear what they, the SSDC  are planning for 2024. But no matter what happens it’s our Wednesfield North campaigning that meant no destruction of the Green Belt yet, and that means we have had getting on or five years with the SSDC Green Belt still providing Wednesfield residents with amenities that they love and respect. Without your Wednesfield Labour Councillors campaign, and the support of Wednesfield & Essington residents campaigning, that would not have been the outcome we face today.

It was in this month that our newly selected Wolverhampton North East Labour Party candidate for Member of Parliament – hit the streets of Wednesfield North for the first time. Sureena Brackenridge locally born and schooled in Wednesfield, is selected for the role. We have high hopes for you!

It was during this month that the Police informed us that they were treating vehicle crime as a priority here in Wednesfield. Also in this month following a consultation process we received the good News that the Leader and the Cabinet will not be using their Local Plan to build on Wolverhampton Green Belt Land. This was ratified at City Full Council.

Mary and I attended former Wolverhampton Mayor Trudy Bowen,  who was also a former West Midlands County Councillor. At her funeral in Telford on the 17th January. Trudy was a former County Councillor  representing Bilston, she was also a City Councillor representing Bilston North, and a current  Honorary Alderman of the City of Wolverhampton.  Trudy  served our city with distinction. I was pleased to give a tribute to her duty as a City Councillor and her steadfast support for the Labour Party at the funeral. Water Pressure in Wednesfield North. My contact at Severn Trent Water Company tells me ” The team are hopeful we’ll start work on this project this year (2023)  and complete it in 2024, a little bit earlier than first thought. There are a few hurdles STW  need to go through to make this a reality – they said “we very much try to prioritise things in the right way – but the team seems pretty hopeful.”

Wednesfield Crime stats stood –

Jan 2023254 crimes8.9%

February – In the early part of the month I met with the CRT to ask them to dredge the canal arm alongside the Nickelodeon so that the 2023 Wednesfield Canal Festival could moor more efficiently. What this Conservative Government just does not get, is that Policing is important to our Community.  We had a real problem with crime in Wednesfield, and in February your Councillors raised the issues that you the residents kept asking about. That is the need for more Police. Over the last twelve months (2023),we I have done as much as I can to try and raise the profile of the importance of more Police in the battle against crime. Here in Wednesfield North one of 20 individual Wards here in the City of Wolverhampton, the crime relating to Anti Social Behaviour has been pretty well catalogued in the Police UK Crime statistics. As we move towards a General Election, I am really hopeful that Wednesfield North will vote Labour, because we cannot afford another 5 years of this Governments lack of investment in the Police. If you feel like I do that “Criminals Get Off -Residents Get Let Down” then please join with us at the local elections, and the next General Election and vote Labour! Wednesfield Crime Stats stood-

Feb 2023224 crimes7.9%

March – This month brought more Fly Tipping including a house clearance with carpet tipped into the Wyrley and Essington Canal at the Linthouse Bridge. The Wednesfield in Bloom team ran a seminar about how they had continued to improve Wednesfield, explaining how the volunteers work and the success we had achieved over the time we had entered the Heart of England In Bloom competition. Public health Director Mr John Denley spoke in support of the Bloomers activity! New Polling arrangements were launched for Wednesfield North. Exmoor Green and Suffolk Close were place into Wednesfield North, and Lower Prestwood Avenue was taken out and placed into Fallings Park Ward. You may know that recently Ashmore Park had another tree planting session with the public. I now know that 840 Common Oak trees are now planted, with 360 Alder, 285 Aspen, 240 Bird Cherry Tree, Northern Red Oak 240 , and 120 Rowan trees.

They will be recorded as part of Severn Trent Water Companies Commonwealth Legacy Forest, and will also be recorded on the Combined Authorities Virtual Fores and the Queen Elizabeth Green Canopy website. Previously there was a ‘Tiny Forest ‘ planting a year ago.

The Ashmore Park already has a really fine set of trees, some 400 of them to be precise. Some very specialist ones that slurp up a lot of water! With these new specimens planted. It will become quite the draw in a few years’ time for wildlife and Arbologists! Councillor Mary Bateman and Councillor Rita Potter, also celebrated with Women across the Globe on this  International Women’s Day.  Wednesfield Crime stats stood at-

Mar 20232237.8%

April–  The environment has come into the battle, as discoveries show the two Local brooks have been subjected to more than 30 breaches of spilling effluent. The Conservative Gov seem to have lost their enthusiasm to stop water course pollution, and pollution on our coastlines. This is the month that Wolverhampton Labour Council released it local authority manifesto for the Local Elections. It was well received and it laid out our plans for the City in 2023/ 2024 Municipal Year.

Wednesfield North Launched its Candidates for the Municipal Elections taking place in the month of May. As it was an all out election. Where all 60 City Council seats were up for election, Wednesfield North were fielding 3 candidates these were . Councillor Mary Bateman Councillor Phil Bateman and Councillor Rita Potter.

Also this month of April the big news was that the City of Wolverhampton under Labour control, placed in our City manifesto, the  building is a brand new £55m City Learning Quarter, centred around a new City centre College. This was an important and exciting announcement which is predicted to  attract 45,000 learners and 7,500 apprentices to our City, an action by itself which will bring energy and vibrancy to our City centre, opening up new opportunities, and feeding commerce and trade. Plus, the benefits of educating people, will help to serve the business opportunities of others trades and manufacturing industries.. This is another great example of “Labour Working 4 You!”

Wednesfield Crime stats stood at =

Apr 20232207.7%

Top Shops In Need of Investment!

Yesterday your three City Councillors Mary, Rita and I, had a site visit with Officers at the ‘Top Shops at Higgs Road ‘ on Ashmore Park Estate.

We requested a meeting because we are perturbed with the sad and sorry state of this important public facility.

Your Councillors have set out many of the issues, and we were strong with our view on the requirements. We will obviously keep you all informed on the progress as it’s made.

City of Wolverhampton Economy – Worth £4.7 Billion!

Its hard to believe that November and December have passed so quickly! November was a busy month. The Remembrance services play a huge part in our civic life here in Wednesfield North. That month flew past! Then within a blink, we are into December, and the end of the Year – is fast approaching.

So with that end of the year now on the horizon, its worth noting that the City of Wolverhampton supports over 100,000 jobs and our economy is now worth £4.7billion.

Next year (2024) will have some further challenges for the City, as progress never stands still. The three Wednesfield North City Councillors that you elected last year work very much as a team, and we are active here in our community, as we have been for all the years we have represented you.

We are looking forward to the end of the year, and hoping that 2024 will be a better one

for all of us here in Wednesfield and across the City of Wolverhampton. .