Category Archives: Local Issues Page

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We paid our sad good byes

benji121625654_10222434993037165_595613485914073757_nWe paid our sad good byes

Today Mary and I and a band of old pals, turned up and paid our respects to Benji and Eileen with his family. Whilst we waited for The cortège to arrive we all spoke about our mate.
Even on a sad day there were smiles as we remembered Benji and talked about our individual memories.
Mary and I offer our sympathy and condolences to Eileen and Andy and all their family.
It was good to see all those old gnarled footballers, from years past. Standing in memory to a real nice guy, a very good footballer, a man that made you laugh. Benji you will never be forgotten. You made your contribution to all our lives. Rest in Peace!

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Health chiefs in plea as Covid-19 hospitalisations rise

Health chiefs in plea as Covid-19 hospitalisations rise
Released: Wednesday 14 October, 2020
Councillor Phil Bateman said today-“please read and take notice of this plea, its an important message. This is from the two most senior Health professionals in the City”

With the number of hospitalisations and, tragically, deaths from coronavirus rising once more, health chiefs in Wolverhampton are urging people to adhere to the new local restrictions which came into force this morning (Wednesday 14 October).

The number of people in hospital with Covid-19 is expected to increase further in the coming days – putting additional pressure on the NHS as it heads into the busy winter period.

Now David Loughton CBE, Chief Executive of the Royal Wolverhampton NHS Trust, and John Denley, Wolverhampton’s Director of Public Health, have united to call on residents to protect their friends and family by doing all they can to help prevent the spread of Covid-19.

Mr Loughton CBE said: “I have been a chief executive for over 30 years, and never have I had to deal with anything like we have been experiencing since March.

“In March, my life, your life and the NHS changed forever, and we are still recovering from that first wave of Covid-19.

“My staff are tired, yet they come into work every day ensuring they deliver the best patient care. We are working hard to make sure those whose treatments were delayed are safely restored now so they can get the care they need.

“My plea to you is please follow the lockdown rules so that we can continue to fight against Covid-19. Help me and my teams by preventing any further increases in hospital admissions and our staff can continue to focus on their ‘day job’ – treating and caring for you and your loved ones.”

Mr Denley added: “Infection rates across the country have increased dramatically in recent weeks and sadly this is now being translated into increased hospital admissions and deaths here in Wolverhampton and elsewhere. Indeed, nationally there are now more patients in hospital with coronavirus than there were at the start of the UK-wide lockdown in March.

“So, the message is clear; we need to act swiftly, and we need to act now.

“Everyone has a role to play in the fight against Covid-19 and we’ve shown that, as a city, our actions can have an impact.

“Thanks to the efforts of residents since local restrictions were introduced last month, the infection rate in Wolverhampton remains much lower than in other parts of the country.

“We’ve also been working closely with the NHS and Public Health England to ensure services can continue to operate, and to tackle outbreaks in care homes, schools and other settings as soon as they occur.

“But there’s still more we must do – and we need everyone to take the measures which have come into effect today extremely seriously in order to protect each other and keep everyone safe. The new rules are mandatory, so please follow them.”

The revised restrictions came into effect at midnight as part of the Government’s three-tiered approach to tackle the spread of coronavirus. Wolverhampton has been placed in the High alert category (tier 2) meaning that, from today:

• You must not socialise with anybody outside your household or your care or support bubble in any indoor setting, whether at home or in public
• You must not socialise in a group of more than six outside, including in a garden or park (other than where specific exemptions apply in law)
• Pubs, restaurants and bars must continue to close at 10pm. Takeaways can operate after 10pm but only via delivery service, collection or drive-through
• You can continue to travel to open venues, but you should reduce the number of journeys you make and avoid travel to Very High alert levels where possible
• You must self-isolate and book a test if you have symptoms of Covid-19, not matter how mild
• At all times, you must follow social distancing rules, wear a face covering where required (unless you are exempt) and work from home if possible.

For full details of the Covid-19 High Alert restrictions, please visit www.wolverhampton.gov.uk/covidalert.

Symptoms of Covid-19 include a fever, a new, continuous cough and loss or change to a person’s sense of taste and smell. People with symptoms should immediately self-isolate and book a test by visiting www.nhs.uk/coronavirus or calling 119. People can now get tests up to eight days after first developing symptoms.
Anyone who tests positive for Covid-19 will be contacted by NHS Test and Trace and will be asked to share information about people that have been close contacts recently.

Latest data shows there were 103.67 cases per 100,000 residents in Wolverhampton over the seven days to 11 October.

The latest information and guidance around coronavirus is available at www.gov.uk/coronavirus and on the council’s own coronavirus pages at www.wolverhampton.gov.uk/coronavirus.
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£500 Payments to Support Low-Income Households Asked to Self-Isolate

Councillor Phil Bateman said today “£500 Payments to Support Low-Income Households Asked to Self-Isolate

Working people on a low income in Wolverhampton who are required by law to self-isolate due to coronavirus could be entitled to a one-off payment of £500.

The city council is now accepting applications for the government’s Test and Trace Payments Scheme.”

The payment is designed to assist people who will lose income if they are asked to self-isolate and are unable to continue working from home.

Payments are made as a one-off lump sum for certain people asked to self-isolate on or after 28 September – strict eligibility criteria apply.

To be eligible for the Test and Trace Support Payment, an individual must, on or after 28 September 2020, have been asked to self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace, be in work (either employed or self employed), face a loss in income because they are unable to work from home and either:

• Be in receipt of certain qualifying benefits such as Universal Credit, Working Tax Credit, income-based Employment and Support Allowance, income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance, Income Support, Housing Benefit and/or Pension Credit.
Or
• Not in receipt of qualifying benefits, but earning less than £18,480 per year (£354.47 per week) for a single person with no children or less than £20,000 per year (£383.56 per week) in a household with children.

To apply for the payments, people should visit: www.wolverhampton.gov.uk/testtracesupportpayment

Cllr Louise Miles, City of Wolverhampton Council’s cabinet member for resources, said: “It is an offence not to self-isolate if you are told to do so by NHS Test and Trace, punishable by fines of up to £10,000.

“Most people are self-isolating when asked because they know it is the right thing to do to protect others from catching the virus. However, for some people on low incomes who cannot work from home, being asked to self-isolate could mean losing money.

“These new test and trace payments are for those people, the aim is to encourage people to do the right thing and not have to make the choice potentially between protecting others or putting food on the table and paying the bills.

“I would urge anyone who meets the criteria to apply. As a council, we have taken the local decision to widen out the criteria of the scheme for those earning less than £18,480 if you live alone with no children or £20,000 if you have children to ensure more people on a low income can get the help.”

Anyone who does not meet the criteria for NHS Test and Trace Payments, but is struggling financially may be entitled to other help and support. Please visit www.wolverhampton.gov.uk/coronavirus-advice-and-information/financial-support-and-guidance for more information.

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City Dump Changes Times!

https://www.wolverhampton.gov.uk/recycling-and-waste/tipsHousehold Waste and Recycling Centres (HWRC) winter opening hours.

New winter opening hours for the City of Wolverhampton Council’s Household Waste and Recycling Centres (HWRC) will come into effect from Monday (October 12).

The hours at the Shaw Road and Anchor Lane sites through to Spring 2021 will be 8am to 4pm from Monday to Friday and 10am to 4pm on Saturday and Sunday.

Please note that at weekends there will be no entry to HWRC sites 30 minutes before closing time as staff must carry out maintenance duties.

For more information, please visit https://www.wolverhampton.gov.uk/recycling-and-waste/tips

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£500 Payments to Support Low-Income Households Asked to Self-Isolate

£500 Payments to Support Low-Income Households and asked to Self-Isolate -If you are in this category,this is for you!

Wednesfield North residents I want you to be aware of a scheme that goes live in City of Wolverhampton on Monday 12 October 2020

From Monday, the council will be accepting applications for the government’s Test and Trace Payments Scheme for working people on low incomes. They could potentially get a one-off payment of £500 if they are required by law to self-isolate due to Covid-19.

Each payment is made as a one-off lump sum for certain people asked to self-isolate on or after 28 September – strict eligibility criteria apply. To be eligible for the Test and Trace Support Payment, an individual must, on or after 28 September 2020, have been asked to self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace, be in work (either employed or self-employed), face a loss in income because they are unable to work from home and either:

• Be in receipt of certain qualifying benefits such as Universal Credit, Working Tax Credit, income-based Employment and Support Allowance, income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance, Income Support, Housing Benefit and/or Pension Credit.
Or
• Not in receipt of qualifying benefits, but earning less than £18,480 per year (£354.47 per week) for a single person with no children or less than £20,000 per year (£383.56 per week) in a household with children.

If you know of anyone affected in Wednesfield North or across the City – who could benefit from this scheme, encourage them to go to www.wolverhampton.gov.uk/testtracesupportpayment and please help us to publicise the scheme by sharing this item widely! Working hard for Wednesfield North!

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Ashmore Park Food Bank – There to Help.

Ashmore Park Food Bank74269105_10221594272419675_7901552453606914082_nAgain Mary and I have donated food to the Ashmore Park Food Bank operating out of St Albans Church. It was good to talk to Rev Tom Fish for a few short minutes. The FoodBank has receive a generous donation of wide ranging foods donated from St Thomas’s Church following their harvest festival.

So if you can offer food donations brilliant!

But if you are in need of help to feed yourself or your family, please pop a long. The volunteers are great!

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Dramatic Late Night Plea To Government!

Cov19 downloadCouncillor Phil Bateman said “Tonight the Leader of our City Council, Cllr Ian Brookfield with the Public Health Director John Denley, jointly wrote to the Secretary of State imploring him not to make the wrong decision for Wolverhampton.

I support that action and the statement that the Leader makes.

Cllr Brookfield sets it out clearly the hard work that is taking place here in the City of Wolverhampton to tackle Covid-19. I thought that it is supported by the strong statement which was evidenced by the West Midlands Police during their recent day of enforcement action in Wolverhampton.

An action that the Police reported showed “strong compliance” across the City.

All of us here on the City Council in Wolverhampton are doing all we can to encourage our citizens to follow the rules, and to be fair there are a huge majority that do so, as the Police report.

Well done Leader for trying to head off the Government from making the ‘wrong decision’. The points you make set out clearly what the wrong decision would do. In short nothing but accelerate job losses and misery. Which would “affect lower paid employees in families already struggling to cope and our hard-pressed hospitality industry.”

Here is the correspondence that the City of Wolverhampton has sent to Government tonight.

“Dear Minister,
As a city, we have worked hard to halt the spread of Covid-19. Back on 22 September we voluntarily asked Government to include Wolverhampton in restrictions implemented in nearby Birmingham and Sandwell so we could cut household-to-household transmission. The reason: local data and epidemiology highlighting that 9-out-of-ten cases in the city were the result of transmission between households. Our approach has always been guided by the evidence.
We believe this is a good example of where a dialogue was established quickly and successfully between national and local government, and an example of where local intelligence was used to support national decision-makers in delivering a balanced, proportionate and locally reinforced message.
We have clearly communicated the measures in place to city residents and believe that our evidence-based approach is something that local people and businesses have taken on board. Our rate per 100,000 is stabilising and indicates positive levels of compliance within the city – indeed West Midlands Police’s recent day of enforcement action in our city also highlighted strong compliance. We therefore strongly believe that the current approach is supported and beginning to show results. It also carefully balances the need to keep people safe, with the objective of economic wellbeing.
On this basis, whilst we acknowledge the need to streamline and simplify the national approach to ‘local’ lockdowns, we strongly disagree with the option of taking a retrograde step back to Tier 1 restrictions (which don’t go far enough) and also to the potential imposition of potentially damaging, additional restriction on households mixing outside and in hospitality settings.
The latter would be extremely damaging to city businesses and would add to the job losses and misery our city has had to endure after being hit hard by Covid. It would particularly affect lower paid employees in families already struggling to cope and our hard-pressed hospitality industry.
We are therefore, urging you to help us keep in place the current Tier 2 ‘lite’ restrictions in our city. This would be evidence-based, sensible and proportionate: evidence-based in that it maintains restrictions on household-to-household transmission, sensible as our messages l remain consistent and clear and proportionate because we will protect our economy and evidence does not indicate spread in these settings. A positive outcome here, will indicate the very best in national/local partnership.

However, if we fail to be consistent and proportionate, we risk disengagement and ‘Covid fatigue’ within our communities. This could be extremely damaging – accelerating the virus’s spread and the number of vulnerable residents in intensive care or worse.
Please work with us to deliver the right outcome for our residents, our businesses and our city.”

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What Can You Do to Celebrate – Clean Air Day!

Its the UK’s Clean Air Day today.

So here is the challenge Wednesfield North. You can help clean our air for our children today, by pledging with them to reducing the journeys you make to school in your own cars. Why not pledge to leave your car at home when taking the kids to school here in Wednesfield for at least one day a week. Or perhaps truncate your journey, and make the second half of the journey to the school gate by walking.

This would create two important outcomes.

1- It would reduce the cars at the front of the school. reducing harmful gases that effect children’s learning abilities.

2- It would make movements safer for everyone. Including your own children.

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Wolves Down from 3,000 to 500 children -Isolation!

Birmingham Live reports that

In Wolverhampton, the number of children in self-isolation significantly dropped within a week.

Birmingham Live said “At the end of September there were 3,000 pupils who had been asked to stay at home due to a positive case of coronavirus within their school.

The number has now dropped to 500, on October 6.

Across the city, residents were banned from visiting each other’s homes and gardens from September 22, to stem the spread of the virus.

Thousands of school children were asked to quarantine in the Black Country as coronavirus cases rise. ”

Councillor Dr Mike Hardacre, the City of Wolverhampton Council’s Cabinet Member for Education and Skills, said: “A total of 38 schools and other education settings have reported a confirmed case of Covid-19, and there are currently around 500 pupils self-isolating because of a case within their school bubble.

“This is considerably less than at the end of September when around 3,000 pupils were self-isolating. This is thanks to the quick response of schools, the council and Public Health England to cases as and when they are first reported, and the good work that is taking place to keep bubble sizes to a minimum so that fewer pupils and staff need to isolate in the event of a confirmed case.”