Category Archives: Local Issues Page

A Must Read For Parents of Children At Ashmore Park Nursery

11698434_10206357576111790_1952088822448313835_n Ashmore NurseryI thought that if you are interested in Ashmore Park and that you were keen to know what takes place in Ashmore Park Nursery, you may like to read this description of the work that is taking place here in the Ashmore Park Nursery.  Click on the link above and read!

As you read the article it will hit home that this Nursery is not a place to drop children off and it will deliver just childcare.

No! There is not a toy in the School. Ashmore Park Nursery School delivers top class education for children that provides a platform for them as they move onto Primary then Secondary school.

We employ at the Nursery School to work with the Teachers and Educators and ultimately the children , one of the top European Pedagogical  Consultants in Debbi Keyte Hartland.

Debbi has written this article and it shows beautifully the work that is taking place in our school in conjunction with our partners  in the UK and Sweden.

Debbi has taken the work we do in Ashmore Park Nursery and when she presents in educational seminars across the World, she is presenting the work that Ashmore Park Nursery School is producing day in, and week out!

Now I am so very proud of this ground breaking education that Headteacher Sue Lacey is developing, along with her team here in Ashmore Park.

I am bursting with pride with what the team of educators do, and we have extended our policies now into The Phoenix Nursery School with whom we have recently Federated with.

Please if you have a child at the school read and marvel at the work they  are undertaking which is filling their minds with education! Let me know what you think. Read it its brilliant work and leads you to understand why the school has been awarded by Ofsted  ‘The Outstanding School’ award, not just once! But three times on the trot.


Midland Metro – A Game Changing Transport Service.

I am delighted to hear the news that the Midlands Metro is going from strength to strength. I have spent perhaps the whole of my Local Government career urging the city and the region to develop a network of Light Rail Lines across our conurbation!

I have always had the faith that LRT would be a winner both in terms of transport and of course the development and property benefit and the life changing chances  it brings.

Now the current politicians are starting to realise that same ambition, and I take my ‘hat off to them’ for their success. This Express and Star article points the way, as passengers move to use the Line One of Metro in large numbers…..for me I am chuffed!

Driving a tram Phil Bateman


The Cat Is Out of The Bag! – Our Nursery Schools Could Close..

The Cat is out of the Bag! – More than 1 in 10 nursery schools in England could close according to the All Party Parliamentary Group on Nurseries.

Nursery schools in England are facing the prospect of more than one in 10 closing in the next few months, according to a new survey by the all-party parliamentary group on nursery schools.

Just 400 maintained nursery schools, run and funded by authorities, remain.

And research has found that 45 of those believe they will be forced to close by July, and almost 67% say their nurseries will be unsustainable once an addition £56m transitional funding, provided by the government to ease the crisis, ends at the close of this parliament.

Lucy Powell, the Labour MP who chairs the all-party parliamentary group on nursery schools, said: “These findings offer a stark warning to government of the threat these outstanding providers face from… reduced funding through the national early years funding formula and drastic cuts to local authority budgets.”

IMG_6048 Ashmore Park Nursery Outstanding school

Ashmore Park Nursery School- Three Inspections on the trot declared Outstanding by Ofsted Inspectors

Councillor Phil Bateman – said today that whilst Ashmore Park Nursery is unlikely to close in the next few months. It is like all the rest of the Nursery School provision in England under threat, whilst the Government dithers with regards to the funding of Nursery Schools. This Government just does not recognise the brilliant start that Nursery Schools like Ashmore Park Nursery School gives to young children with Early Years Education that really works to set them up for their full school days. It is shameful really.

The uncertainty of the threat will quickly de-moralise staff, and create great concerns amongst parents if the All Party Group of MP’s predictions come true. I have raised my concerns inside the Wolverhampton City Council about the funding of our Nursery Schools, with the Managing Director of City of Wolverhampton Council and Councillors at a special meeting for Councillors only on Monday night of this week.

Wolverhampton Nursery Schools give a great education to the children that attend. All Wolverhampton Nursery Schools are ‘Good or Outstanding’ according to Ofsted.

The uncertainty generated by Parliamentary reports predicting the demise of Nursery schools, really does have a very sapping effect on school moral.

This Conservative Government should say this week, that they are committed to this form of education, and commit to funding England’s Nursery School provision properly.

I know parents of children at Ashmore Park Nursery will be concerned at these reports. I want to re- assure them this Nursery is not in the 45 Nursery schools  that the Parliamentarians suggest will close in July 2017.

But I will be calling on our community to defend this Three Times Ofsted Outstanding Ashmore Park Nursery if it does becomes threatened moving forward.

Near Misses Oakmeadow School- Read Express & Star Article.

The issues around the arrival and departure of children’s safety at Oakmeadow school has been picked up by the Express and Star and they have printed a short article here.

OakMeadow schoolClick on the link and take a look. The message is a clear one for parents and others who drive to the school. There really is a need to make your traffic and parking movements safe. Please do not Park on the zig-zag lines as some do regularly. Also have a thought for residents who also live in the surrounding streets.

Wolverhampton Loses Another Champion!

It was another sad news day  today – When I heard that  Wolverhampton had lost another Champion. Baroness Rachael Heyhoe-Flint was a real Wulfrunian in the way she promoted the City, Sport and of course The Wolves.

I met her on numerous occasions over the years. She always had a smile, and she always had a barbed comment about my football support! But both Mary and I liked her immensely.

photo Princess Ann

Meeting Princess Ann with Deputy Lord Lieutenant Rachael Heyhoe-Flint in Wolverhampton in 2006.

She was also a very energetic Deputy Lord Lieutenant of the West Midlands County. Wolverhampton can be very proud of Baroness Heyhoe-Flint. She was also a Freeman of the City of Wolverhampton, and a very dear friend of the City.

Deepest Sympathy and condolences to her closest family and friends!

Rest in Peace you made a huge impression in all the fields that you served.

Planning Permission Granted – Barnard Road

!cid_image002_jpg@01D0714B Barnard road Recently there was a planning application before the City Councils Planning Committee. It was for permission for the building of a Care Home in Barnard Road Ashmore Park. This was held in the Civic Centre and was attended by several residents of Barnard Road. These were the objections that I made in writing. 

“I would like to object to the above planning application. These are the reasons why I object. The development of the Care Home on Barnard Road is objected to because it will be an over development of the site.



There was a local covenant on the land that indicated it suitable for dwellings of the style that fitted the current street scene. I submit that for the planning application on the site as it stands – the application will be overbearing. The design will not fit into the residential road vista that currently is Barnard Road.


I am concerned that the drainage and sewerage generated by the building and its residents will over power the current arrangements for sewerage, and that it will add extra water run off to inadequate storm drainage.



The number of vehicles in Barnard Road currently causes problems with highway obstructions, the extra traffic to the care home including delivery vehicles without some actions being taken to alleviate and mitigate residential parking will increase the chances of accidents in what is a very tight suburban road. The potential obstruction by parked vehicles could impede Emergency services.


The extra traffic and supplying the home with lorry deliveries will destroy grass verges. Which are important environmentally for water runoff.


I trust that you will report my objections to the Planning Committee and would like to indicate my request that I be able to address the Planning Committee on the day that the application is heard.”



The outcome of the planning application following Committee was as follows.


The resolution of the Planning Committee was – Delegation to the Director, subject to a satisfactory car parking layout (two additional spaces required). 


The Officer informed that “once the plan is received I will consult with Transportation to ensure the layout is appropriate.” The Officer has also indicated that “I am not sure if you are aware but All Age Disability Team Sue Eagle, has also confirmed the following


“We are also proposing that we work with the community liaison group to hold information forums about the development. We will invite Councillors and local residents to ensure that regular updates are provided and also offer an opportunity for any concerns to be raised with the Provider”.


I will of course let residents know through these pages of any further news or developments.



Ofsted Inspect Wolverhampton Children Services!

Your team of City Councillors here in Wednesfield North, IMG_5708 City Councilfelt that you should be aware that there is two inspections taking place in the Council over the next month. One is a review by Ofsted of children’s social care services. The other is a Peer Review of the Council carried out by the Local Government Association. They are both very important, and will stretch the City Council to the full.


The City Council have been informed by Ofsted that it intends to carry out an inspection of children’s social care services starting this week. Wednesfield residents reading this news should be aware that this is a very important inspection which will last four weeks and will both highlight the things that we as a council are doing well, but also identify areas where we can and must improve.


The inspection process will involve a great many of our staff in one way or another during this time.

The staff involved will be required to take part in the inspection. This will lead to increased workloads and a degree of stress for our staff of that I have no doubt! Please be aware that this is a most important Inspection for the City Council.

It is likely to stretch the City Council for the full four weeks of the inspection period, following which the Ofsted inspectors will compile their report. This will be published on the Ofsted website in due course.

Clearly the City Councillors will be keen to see our City do well. But we are all very much aware that Birmingham, Walsall, Dudley, and Sandwell Councils, were not as successful as they themselves hoped to be. This is a very tough examination of Wolverhampton children’s services.


Canal & River Trust Logo


The Old Main Line Canal running through Wolverhampton is set for a makeover as part of a programme which will see lock gates replaced and historic brickwork restored.


The works are being carried out by skilled craftsmen and engineers from the Canal & River Trust, the charity that cares for 2,000 miles of waterways, as part of its annual winter maintenance programme.  


The works on the Wolverhampton Flight will see £120,000 invested in installing new lock gates, repairing brickwork and replacing lock ladders which enable boaters to climb up out of locks.   Work is expected to be completed in early February.


In order for the repairs to take place sections of the canal will be drained of water and hundreds of fish rescued and moved to other parts of the canal. The old lock gates can then be lifted out by a crane and new ones fitted. 


The new lock gates are hand-crafted using traditional methods in the Trust’s specialist workshops at Bradley in the West Midlands and Stanley Ferry in Yorkshire. A single lock gate can take up to 20 days to make and has a working life of between 25 and 30 years. In order to be watertight they need to be built very precisely, fitting tightly to the masonry of the lock walls and to each other.


Ian Lane, waterway manager for the Canal & River Trust said: “The Wolverhampton Flight is a real local landmark but people may not realise that there’s quite a lot of work needed to look after it.  We’re investing quite a bit of money into new lock gates and repairing the 200 year-old brickwork.


“It’s painstaking, specialised work but the canal is an important part of the region’s heritage so it’s right that we devote some time and craftsmanship to help continue its restoration and protect it for future generations. The new hand-crafted lock gates will help to conserve water and keep the canal running smoothly so everyone can enjoy it.”


This winter the Trust will be spending over £45million to restore around 164 lock gates across the country, as well as carrying out repairs to aqueducts, reservoirs and tunnels.

To find out more about the Restoration & Repairs programme and the open days happening across the country go to


The works on the Wolverhampton Flight will include:

·       Replacing a lock ladder, which enables boaters to climb up out of the lock, at lock 1

·       Replacing the top gates at lock 7 as well as repairing stonework within the lock chamber

·       Installing new top and bottom gates and restoring brickwork at lock 9

·       Replacing the bottom gates at lock 12 and repairing the lock walls and ladders

·       Putting new bottom gates in at lock 21 as well as works to the lock walls and ladders

Redundant Car Park – Housing Potential Identified.

Further to the information I posted on my social Media sites on the 29th October 2016.

I want residents to know that I have received further information from Wolverhampton Homes regarding the Whiston Avenue Redundant Garage Site on Ashmore Park. This is what they write and tell me –

“Wolverhampton Homes are undertaking a review of garage sites and infill sites across the City to establish their potential for future council hosing. 

We have identified the following site, which is within your Ward, as showing potential for small site development. 

·       Former garage site at Whiston Avenue 

The next stage of the development is to carry out a number of surveys to establish ground conditions, levels details and ecological issues. This work will be carried out over the next few months and I will be in touch again once we have the results back. 

We will also be informing the neighbouring properties advising of the proposed work and to provide contact details in case of any queries.”

I will continue to update you on information as I receive it.

Sad News – However Graham Taylor Left His Personal Mark On Football.

IMG_1685 graham taylorIt was sad news indeed last week when Graham Taylor, the former Manager of England, Aston Villa The Wolves & Watford was reported as passing away.

Since then there has been a whole range of people making trips into their past and rightly speaking of their memories of this very decent man.

I met him a number of times over the years at functions, right across the West Midlands.

But here is the day that I remember most, when Sir Jack Hayward opened the news Wolves Training Ground in November 2005. Sir Jack was full of praise for Graham Taylor on that day. Insisting it was his vision that led to the training ground plans being drawn up.

Here is the press cutting from that day and a photograph with myself and Sir Jack Hayward talking with Graham Taylor.

Like many thousands of people I thought Graham Taylor was a polite and gifted Football Manager and he certainly left his personal mark on football. I know he will be remembered fondly here in the West Midlands, and that is I hope a degree of comfort for his wife and family.