Category Archives: Local Issues Page

Big Thank You To Wednesfield!

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Well the Wednesfield Canal Festival 2019 – is now over and what we have remaining isCanal Festival 2019 67272416_654203888389786_2051014696802189312_nsome great photographs and fabulous memories! Click on the link at the top of the page.

The weekend started with major concerns about the weather! It ended in great big smiles…

On Saturday Morning the wind was fierce, and the squalls were heavy. But we took the  decision to carry on, when other shows across the region were being forced into abandoning events as the weather grew angrier. The Express and Star called the decision to continue as being ‘Brave’, and it was a brave decision. But what it did was to become the start of  a fabulous weekend.

I want to thank the people of Wednesfield for coming and taking part in the event. Without your participation there would have been no festival.

There will be some further announcements about the statistics and the success as we get to collate the whole weekend. In the meantime I want to thank ‘Hands on Wednesfield’ – The Volunteers Group who have worked so hard to deliver this amazing Festival. Simon Hamilton, James Clarke, Simon Archer, Lyndsey Williams were stand out champions. Jim Duncan and The Nickelodeon Licensee Dani were two other champions of the event.

The Canal and River Trust and Mark Welsby of The Bentley Bridge Leisure Park were phenomenal in their support for the event. The fifth time we have operated a Festival here in Wednesfield. I think its fair to say that we will be holding another one next year same week end!

Will you be back with friends to take part?!

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Wednesfield Canal Festival Is Still Taking Place!

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Wednesfield Canal Festival will take place over the weekend of the 10 & 11 August 2019

Click on the link above and see…..!

and I do hope that Wednesfield people will turn -out and support this family fun weekend. The sad part is that there is weather reports that are just a bit negative. We are however going on with the events, there is plenty of shelter from the rain if it strikes. Plenty of things to do for the family. The great part of holding this festival at Bentley Bridge Leisure Park is the fact that there is so much to do if inclement weather does strike. Hollywood Bowl, Cineworld Cinema, The Nickelodeon Public House, other Restaurants. Then we have the floating market Narrowboats, the great canal for walkers and those people who want to get back to nature.

Musicians will be playing and singing Fairground sides , and a trip boat for visitors….Wow we have a great programme for this week end…come along and see.

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Wednesfield North Community Excellence Awards!

Councillors Announce Wednesfield North – ‘Community Excellence Awards’

I want to let Wednesfield North Residents know, that your three Ward Councillors – Councillor Rita Potter, Councillor Mary Bateman and Councillor Phil Bateman will be hosting a Community Awards ceremony at The Ashmore Inn on November 14th 2019.

Councillor Phil Bateman said “All three of us see what a magnificent job people do all the year round here in our Ward of Wednesfield North. It’s a fact that we have a huge number of individuals that give their time and their skills to our community, all the year round.

On November 14th at The Ashmore Inn your Councillors will be honouring those individuals, as well as recognising organisations and groups, that make such a difference to our community, and the way our community here in Wednesfield North works.

We have chosen the Ashmore Inn as the first venue, because it stands as a testimony to what this community can do when it sets its mind to a task. The Ashmore Inn is Wolverhampton’s first Community Interest Public House. It is still playing a huge contribution to our society here in Wednesfield North, because regulars and the Landlord put up a fight to save the Public House when its future was questioned.

Now we will be using the venue for these first ever awards, our plan is to see these awards delivered Annually.

The Awards will cover the following headings

  • Art & Dance
  • Sporting Achievement
  • Environment
  • Community
  • Volunteering
  • Business in the Community
  • Improving Lives
  • Best Community Project
  • Volunteer of the Year

Councillor Phil Bateman went onto say “If you live or work in Wednesfield North Ward and you want to nominate a person, group, or business in one of the disciplines outlined here for an Award please email any one of us.

  • Rita.Potter@wolverhampton.gov.uk
  • Mary.bateman@wolverhampton.gov.uk
  • Phil.bateman@wolverhampton.gov.uk

The closing date for entry will be October 20th 2019

Note – The Three City Councillors of Wednesfield North Decisions Are Final

The Hub at Ashmore Park

In Obituary – Neville Tranter Rest in Peace.

 

In Obituary Neville Tranter,

 

Neville Tranter. Sadly passed away recently aged 86 – his funeral is on Tuesday 30th July 2.15 West Chapel, Bushbury Crematorium.

 

Helen his daughter told me “Dad knew so many people around Wolverhampton and Wednesfield especially with regard to football and most recently The Hub with his amazing watercolour paintings and artworks.

 

He lived in Overseal Road for nearly 60 years,”

 

Councillor Phil Bateman said Neville, you were a fine up standing Member of our community here in Wednesfield North, you were well known throughout  the Amateur Football World in the City of Wolverhampton.  Latterly your Art was exhibited at the Hub, where you were a valued member of the Art Class held there.

 

When the Queens representative – The Deputy Lord Lieutenant visited the Hub on Ashmore Park to award Queens Voluntary Award to the Ashmore Park Community Association you were a member of. The water colour of Her Majesty which you created, was very much the talking point,

 

Rest In Peace

photo 2 Wednesfield Canal

New Waste Bin Agreed – Moathouse Lane Bridge

Following a recent litter pick I organised with the https://canalrivertrust.org.uk/ on the 14th July. Which was a great success with more than 50 people turning up to do their bit to keep this area of the City of Wolverhampton that bit cleaner.

Wednesfield North Councillors and Wednesfield South Councillors received similar calls for a specific litter bin to be placed by what is called by locals as the ‘Dump Bridge’ on a patch of land that is owned by Wolverhampton Homes. Which is situated right alongside  the Wyrley and Essington Canal. This land is enjoyed greatly by residents who use it to sit and chat and enjoy what is ever happening on the canal.

Recently I received this request from –Graham Rowley who said “Just wondering Phil, any chance of getting a litter bin on grassed area by moat house bridge. There are benches there where people sit but unfortunately do not take their rubbish away. A bin may help the situation.”

Now both with me, writing on behalf of Wednesfield North Councillors, and Councillor Greg Brackenridge The Deputy Mayor of City of Wolverhampton, writing for Wednesfield South Councillors, both of us approached the Land Owners Wolverhampton Homes. We made the case which Graham Rowley asked us too.

Now here is the good news! Wolverhampton Homes has responded to me with this positive  comment – “We will make arrangements to order a new litter bin from our supplier Travis Perkins for the open space at Moathouse Lane East and upon delivery one of our Estate Caretakers will install the bin on site.”

Wednesfield North Councillors and Wednesfield South Councillors are delighted that this request has been agreed. Hopefully it will lead to a cleaner Wyrley and Essington Canal, which at this point is part of the United Kingdoms newest Local Nature Reserve, and one of the nicest spots on the canal to sit and watch the wildlife, and the boat traffic using this 220 year old heritage canal.

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New Community Awards for Wednesfield North!

 

 

I want to let Wednesfield North Residents know, that your three Ward Councillors – Councillor Rita Potter, Councillor Mary Bateman and Councillor Phil Bateman will be hosting a Community Awards ceremony at The Ashmore Inn on November 14th  2019.

We will be announcing further information and details about this over the Summer.

We are excited by the event, which will be held at our Community Interest Public House – The Ashmore Inn and will celebrate all that is good within our community.

 

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Want To Watch A Few Birds on The Wyrley & Essington Canal?

 

Now here is a delight! The Wyrley and Essington Canal is one of Britain’s latest Local Nature Reserves. We have campaigned long and hard for it since 2007. In April this year the coveted arrangement was announced, by City of Wolverhampton the LNR  will then be managed by https://canalrivertrust.org.uk/

Now to coincide with The Wednesfield Canal Festival taking place once again at Bentley Bridge. We have a treat waiting for you!

if you are interested in wanting to find out more about this  canal’s birds and water foul,  I am  excited to announce  that we are negotiating to bring to the Wednesfield Canal Festival on Saturday 10th August at 10.30 am, a local experienced birdwatcher who will give a talk with a walk, to a group interested to find out about about ‘birds of the canal’.

If you are interested – then you will meet with me at The  Nickelodeon around 10.20am and then I will introduce you to the guide and you will have an hours bird watching walk.

 Its my belief that the Canal Festival has been so very lucky in being able to capture  Theresa Dorrance who is a Board member at Wildside. She is also Chair of the South West Staffordshire RSPB Group. I am delighted that we are in the negotiations to deliver this event with Theresa,  because I am sure it will be more than interesting for all those that love to know about the birds that frequent our fabulous Cut!

Please so that I can get a feel for numbers please let me know if you are interested in attending this event.

email me at email@philbateman.com 

National Express Deal Will Save Transport Jobs & Services!

Councillor Phil Bateman said today” I have read this news with great relief. If the proposed sale does go through. It will save jobs here in the West Midlands conurbation, and more than that it will provide continued accessible services for people with disabilities. Its good news for Wednesfield residents and others in Wolverhampton, and good news for the rest of the citizens in the West Midlands conurbation. Well done David Bradford!I am sure it will be a good fit.

PROPOSED SALE COULD SAVE HUNDREDS OF JOBS

   Midlands  Deals
Proposed sale could save hundreds of jobs

More than 700 jobs could be saved after a deal to sell a West Midlands transport group out of administration was agreed with a subsidiary of National Express.

Matthew Ingram and Tyrone Courtman, both of Duff & Phelps, were appointed joint administrators of Accessible Transport Group, Ring and Ride West Midlands and ATG Contract Services in March.

The charities provide accessible transport services for people in the West Midlands who experience mobility impairment or social isolation in urban and rural environments. They operate more than 600 vehicles from nine depots in the region.

The services will be provided by West Midlands Accessible Transport, a subsidiary of National Express. The contract is to begin in September.

Ingram said: “We have today commenced advising the union and the employees of the details of our proposed sale of the business and assets of the charities to a national transport provider.

“The deal we have negotiated will provide a stable financial platform, ensuring the long-term provision of these vital services across the West Midlands.

“This could not have been achieved without the support of all the employees, Birmingham City Council and Transport for West Midlands, ensuring a continued service whilst the Joint Administrators explored the viable options following their appointment.

“We are very grateful to them for that support and will now seek to conclude the sale as soon as practicably possible to provide certainty to them and all users of the services they provide.”

David Bradford, managing director of National Express West Midlands, said: “I’m very happy to be welcoming ATG employees into the National Express family of businesses.

“We are fully committed to this company – we’ll be investing in the service, including innovative technology for safer journeys, and most importantly, in the people.

“As a proud Living Wage Foundation-accredited employer, we will of course be paying all our new staff the real Living Wage.

“Here in the West Midlands, National Express takes nearly a million passengers every day to work, school, college, to the shops and to see their friends. National Express also already runs many similar services to ATG in America – we will combine this expertise with our deep local knowledge.

“Our focus is always on delivering a safe and reliable service. So we think National Express is a really good fit to build on the great service that’s already being delivered here, and we’re looking forward to getting started.”

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Latest – Linthouse Lane & Kitchen Lane

I just want to make things as clear as possible about the issues relating to the potential of building homes on South Staffordshire land that fronts Linthouse Lane and Kitchen Lane. I have written a number of information notes  on this web site and my other Social Media sites. I have done this since I found out about the Greenbelt threats, back in April 2018. These comments have been reported widely in media and other outlets. Our intention is to keep Wednesfield residents informed of news relating to the Greenbelt.

First the land in question lies in South Staffordshire and not in the City of Wolverhampton. The Planning Authority is South Staffordshire and Staffordshire County Council. It is these Authorities that will be the primary authorities dealing with developments inside Staffordshire.

I have always tried to ensure that we place information here in Wednesfield North where Local Residents can read and avail themselves of the all latest proposals.

Last year on the 18th April 2018, I informed Wednesfield North residents of South Staffordshire plans that could lead to new homes being constructed on what is currently Green Belt land in South Staffordshire. This land is within the Staffordshire boundary, but fronting Kitchen Lane and Linthouse Lane.

That message in April 2018 last year was primarily aimed at Wednesfield North constituents who have an interest, or who are interested in the announced proposal by developers to build 2,500 homes on what is current ‘Green Belt’ land within the Parish of Essington and within the District Boundary of South Staffordshire D.C.

At that time South Staffordshire District Council were still finalising work on their current Site Allocations document (SAD) but then they switched and began working on the review of their Local Plan.

This document was to set out strategic growth options for South Staffordshire and consider what levels of growth can be accommodated.  They further informed me that they were updating their Strategic Housing and Economic Land Availability Assessment (SHELAA) which will contain all the sites suggested to them (including Linthouse Lane) and this will be the starting point for site options.

Wednesfield North City Councillors Mary Bateman, Phil Bateman, and Rita Potter have asked that their contact details be added to South Staffordshire District Councils Local Plan database, and that means that we will receive automatic updates on local planning matters.

I went onto urge any of our Wednesfield North constituents or local residents in Wednesfield who wish to be added to the database, to do so, by sending their email address to localplans@sstaffs.gov.uk .

What is being waited for is the  next stage, South Staffordshire’s work which is based on their “Preferred Options Consultation”, which was  programmed to be ready for  March/April 2020.”

Clearly there is still some work taking place, in Staffordshire

Importantly the consultation has yet to start. So if you are an interested person – or a local residents to email and ask that your names and interests are addressed when the South Staffordshire Plan starts to relate to proposals.

The email address is  localplans@sstaffs.gov.uk. Please do not contact me. Its South Staffordshire DC who are working on the planning issues within their Borough and Districts..

In the meantime, until we see what is being proposed it’s important that we do not start shouting and demanding until we know what is down in Black and White.

Residents should know that in every forum that deals with strategic planning in Wolverhampton. We have continued to ensure that City of Wolverhampton Officials know how strong local feelings in Wednesfield are – against the information that is being discussed about the erosion of this much loved Greenbelt.

Mary and I attended a City of Wolverhampton Vibrant City Scrutiny Panel, where the future of Wolverhampton Housing strategy was discussed by City Councillors. It was a good opportunity in a public forum in Wolverhampton to set some of the strong views we know are being aired in Wednesfield – into the public record in City of Wolverhampton.

There is a big Governmental push being organised over the next decade for more housing to be constructed across the nation. Here is what was being discussed on the 11th April 2019.

The Government has set a housing target nationally of 300,000 new homes per year by 2026.

The Government have set out where their priority locations are for new homes.

As part of the targets it is anticipated that 50,000 new houses will be needed across the West Midlands conurbation. The seven district and City Councils, have set themselves in what is the Black Country Core Strategy, a further target of 63,000 additional homes to be delivered over the period 2006-26 to accommodate the conurbations growing population.

Currently the City Council own around 22,000 homes through its Wolverhampton Homes company.

The target for new dwellings in Wolverhampton is set at 13,400 homes or 640 homes each year. 5640 homes have been built up until 2018. Wolverhampton is 16% above the target

The Black Country strategy aims to provide a minimum 550 new affordable homes each year.

Much of Wolverhampton commitment for new homes will be based in three action areas.  Bilston corridor, Stafford Road area action plan, and Wolverhampton City Centre action planning area.

There are currently smaller sites that are being developed in Wednesfield the newly announced Marches site in Lakefield Road (246 dwellings) and the Danesmore site 52 homes now almost completed in Ashmore Park.

South Staffordshire District Council also has a housing plan. That is currently being put together and it will I am informed be ready for consultation soon. It is this plan that holds the most contentious issues for Wednesfield.

Its known already that people from Wolverhampton have been moving towards South Staffordshire for a number of years statistics inform us that between 2013-2017 6,240 people moved from our city to South Staffordshire that is 12% of all moves. With 4,460 making the move in the opposite direction.

It was against this backdrop that both Mary and I warned the Scrutiny Board to be aware of our growing concern about developers eyeing the current green belt and agricultural land that runs the boundary between Essington and Wednesfield.

We warned that the local residents in Wednesfield North were very strongly against the loss of what they see as the Wednesfield and Wolverhampton North Easts ‘Green Lungs’.

It is proposals being mooted by developers that first alerted us to the suggestion  that they want to build 2,500 homes within South Staffordshire but on land that is used and enjoyed by Wolverhampton and Wednesfield residents for leisure amenity, wildlife and heritage walks.

This land is fronted by Linthouse Lane and Kitchen Lane and Woodend Road.

Mary and I warned our colleagues on the Scrutiny Panel on the 11th April 2019 that this type of action would be very much withstood by the three Wednesfield North Councillors. We told the Panel that we are waiting to see what the South Staffordshire plans actually says.

We informed the panel that whilst we were in favour of using ‘brownfield’ site for building new homes. We were very much against the loss of Green Belt amenity in an area like Wednesfield which already suffers from below average green space.

I also warned the Panel that it was dangerous to bring a Housing and Strategy briefing note and presentation, to the Panel. When the important South Staffordshire Preferred Option Consultation paper was not amongst the briefing notes for Panel consideration. Mary and I spoke powerfully with regards to this issue. We requested Wolverhampton’s officers go back and amend proposals reflecting the statement and review the comments that your Wednesfield North Councillors made.”

South Staffordshire will use the results of their study, and other evidence they have commissioned separately, to select preferred sites for their next stage of consultation.

The next stage is the “Preferred Options Consultation”, which was programmed Is I understand for March/April 2020.

We will keep residents informed as the information becomes available. On July 9th 2019  I met Jenny Lewington of Wolverhampton Homes Housing Strategy team. Where I asked if there was any further information that was available about these issues. – There was not any relevant new information.

I hope this Blog helps interested persons to be aware of the situation as it is today.

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50 – Volunteers Clean The Canal!

 

Well yesterday on the banks of the ‘Curly – Wurly’ (The Wyrley & Essington Canal) at Bentley Bridge Wednesfield. I was blown away when more than 50 Volunteers joined Cllr Mary Bateman and I to take part in a litter pick.

I had made arrangements with the Canal & River Trust a few weeks ago to pick litter from the canal before the Wednesfield Canal Festival kicked off on the 10 7 11 August.

On Saturday 13th July 2019. Mary and I turned up expecting a huge and magnificent 40 Volunteers who had contacted me to say that they would be joining with me and Cllr Mary Bateman for the litter pick.

Imagine my surprise as we gathered to find even more people turning up to help even as we started just after 9.00am, on a dull, misty sort of day, with little rain showers taking place.

It was an incredible army of young and old, families with children, individuals., even the Deputy Mayor of Wolverhampton Councillor Greg Brackenridge joined in, before he had to go and officiate at the opening of Wodenstock later that day.

I want to thank everyone of you for coming to help us, in what is the UK’s latest Local Nature Reserve. I was bubbling with excitement when I met up with you all!

In the last few weeks CRT have cleared rubbish and other items from the canal.

They started from the stretch of the canal in the City Centre, right up to the Bentley Bridge – New Cross Bridge. We extended that run with the leg we undertook on Sunday. Our merry band of warriors cleared the stretch from Bentley Bridge out towards and up to the Devils Elbow bridge in Wednesfield.

Amongst the Volunteers were a twelve strong group of men and women from the McDonalds Restaurant chain. They were the staff of the Wednesfield and Wolverhampton restaurant on the Stafford Road. They took the Volunteers off at a tremendous speed!

What a boost ‘Team McDonalds’ arriving gave me, though I was saddened to learn of a minor injury a team member suffered during the morning that needed hospital treatment.

I was however delighted that a big multi-national company had joined the great canal litter pick here in Wednesfield – The litter pick took four hours to complete and the feedback was constant.  Shopping Trolleys were heaved out of the canal, Mattresses, plastic bag, after plastic bag, steel poles, nasty bags, with stinking remains of goodness knows what, were picked from the banks and the water UGH! We even cleaned up drug paraphernalia and needles, they went into a Sharps box for disposal later.

But the huge efforts the Volunteers made were ultimately to preserve the wildflowers and the Wildlife on what is one of the United Kingdom’s latest Local Nature Reserves.

Two CRT staff were in attendance – and I thank the CRT Staff – Chris Holdsworth & Barry Ketley because with out them we would not have been able to do all that we did.

When we finished the litter pick, we had filled a boat with rubbish and scrap metal, plastic by the bag load, bottles and even a knife! Yet I have been badgered by all those that took part to agree to do it all again before the year ends! So, I will, and with that I want to once again thank everyone that came to take a look, and to take part.

You were all magnificent – Finally I met with Nigel Garton a West End Actor – Nigel is in my ‘Ashmore Park Walk of Stars’ which is designed to act as an inspiration for others.

Nigel is amongst other famous people who have gone onto become the best in their field, and who have strong links to Ashmore Park. Nigel gave his time up to Volunteer on Sunday, to make our little corner of the Planet that little bit more acceptable for habitation.

It was a great day! We will do it all again soon!