Category Archives: Local Issues Page

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Austerity Is Forcing Councils Into Selling Off!

Today the newspapers are analysing a charity’s report on why so many public assets are being sold off, and the reason is.
Austerity forcing sell-offs of council buildings and parks
The charity Locality has released a report, The Great British Sell Off, which has found that English councils starved of central government funding are selling off public buildings and parks at a rate of more than 4,000 per year. The charity found that councils have sold off 20,651 public buildings or spaces in the last five years, including former library, swimming pool, or youth centre buildings.

Among the buildings sold over the period were the Grade II-listed former Liverpool City Council headquarters, sold to a hotel developer for £10.2m, and the former Temple Cowley swimming pool sold by Oxford City Council for £3.5m in 2014.

In the report, Locality noted that: “While selling some land and buildings for private use is appropriate, the danger is that this becomes the only option for councils unaware of the longer-term benefits of community ownership,” and that against a “backdrop of austerity,” many local authorities were taking opportunities to make “short-term financial gain at the cost of losing some of the country’s most valuable assets.

” Richard Watts from the LGA’s resources board said that with town halls facing a funding gap “in excess of £5bn a year by 2020,” they were forced to make “difficult decisions about how best to use resources to support services and protect public assets.”

Councillor Phil Bateman said ” Its true that all local authorities are constantly analysing all their portfolios, as Government grants are axed and reduced. There is a real tough task facing Councils, which have to balance their budgets by law, and of course we are all trying hard to maintain front line services.  Sometimes to do that Councils have to resort to selling their assets.

Its not a good time to be in Local Government at the moment, there seems to be a fresh crisis appearing every day!”

542_133226 Agenda

No New Social Care Funds until 2020!

No new social care funds until 2020, warns May
Councillor Phil Bateman said today “The national newspapers are predicting that  Theresa May is expected to confirm today that there will be no extra funds to help address the social care funding crisis until the “forthcoming spending review,” not due to apply until 2020.”

Glen Garrod, president of the Association of Directors of Adult Social Care Services, said that “putting money into the NHS without putting it into social care is like pouring water down a sink with no plug in,” while Cllr Izzi Seccombe, chair of the LGA’s community wellbeing board, said the situation was “hugely disappointing.”

Extra money for public health will also only be allocated in budgets set out for the next spending review.

Councillor Bateman added “This Government just does not realise how important it is that the NHS and the Local Authorities are tied together in a partnership when it comes to Public Health. There is a huge crisis already in the nations social care funding. People and families who rely on Local Authorities to administer social care for their families, across the nation, already know of the deep anxieties surrounding many of our Local Authority’s  ability to do so, without extra funding for social care. Its disgraceful really. It is very frustrating if the Government just will not listen?”

 

Post Office

The Post Office At Woodend – News Up Date!

Councillor Phil Bateman  said today – ” Wednesfield North Councillors received the following correspondence from  The Post Office today 12th June 2018. Whilst it is not a very uplifting piece of information. It nevertheless sets the situation out so that residents and customers of the Post Office can see what is taking place. I know many of you have missed the Post Office in Woodend. Fingers crossed that the bosses at the Post Office will be able to progress this issue quickly, and find another location quickly”.

Dear Sir/Madam

Wood End Post Office®

289 Wood End Road, Wednesfield, Wolverhampton WV11 1YQ

Temporary Closure – update

I’m writing to let you know what’s been happening with the above Post Office service which closed temporarily on 27 November 2017.

Wood End Post Office closed because due to operational reasons. Since the closure, we have been exploring our options for restoring a Post Office service to our customers in the area.

In exploring likely future provision, we are still confident that a Post Office local service will best meet the community’s needs. As you are aware from using your former service, Post Office locals run alongside an established local shop. They are designed to create a more modern and convenient retail experience for customers in premises which are adapted to accommodate Post Office facilities.

The vacancy in Wood End was advertised on our website and I have also personally visited the area. I can confirm that we have had some interest locally in the opportunity but our negotiations are at an early stage so I am unable to provide you with any further information at this point.

I’m sorry for the time it is taking to restore a service locally and for the inconvenience the ongoing temporary closure is causing to our customers. We hope they will continue to use the other branches in the area during this time.

We would welcome any applications from potential retail partners interested in running a branch on our behalf. The vacancies are currently being advertised on our website www.runapostoffice.co.uk and applications will be carefully considered. If you are aware of any interested parties, please do share the link with them.

If you have any questions please write to me via the National Consultation Team at the address shown below. Please note that your comments will not be kept confidential unless you expressly ask us do so by clearly marking them “In Confidence”.

We’re carrying out this communication in line with our Code of Practice. You can find more information about the Code at the end of this letter.

Thank you for your continued patience during the time taken to resolve this situation. I’ll write to you again when I have more news.

Yours faithfully

Karen Coles

Karen Coles

Area Network Change Manager

How to contact us:

comments@postoffice.co.uk

FREEPOST Your Comments

www.postofficeviews.co.uk

This communication process has been agreed with the independent statutory consumer watchdog, which in Great Britain is Citizens Advice and Citizens Advice Scotland, and in Northern Ireland, the Consumer Council, and is being carried out in line with our Code of Practice for changes to the Post Office network, which we have agreed with them. If you’d like copies of the Code they are available on our website at: www.postofficeviews.co.uk. If you think that the process has not been properly followed and wish to make a complaint, then please write to us or email us via the contact details included in our posters and letters and let us know why. We’ll examine your complaint and respond to you as soon as we can. We will provide you with the relevant contact points for the consumer watchdog, so if you are still not satisfied when you have received our response, you can ask them f

Post Office Limited is committed to protecting your privacy, information about how we do this can be found on our website at www.postoffice.co.uk/privacy

To get this information in a different format, for example, in larger print, audio or braille please contact the Customer Helpline on 03457 66 01 15 or Textphone 03457 22 33 55.

 

Bentley Bridge CR_RW_3521_Bentley_Bridge_Shopping_Park_Wolverhampton_picture_7_p8_1800x1440

Bentley Bridge Shopping Park – Now this is Good News!

Wednesfield Labour Councillors have been campaigning for some considerable time for much needed public toilets at the Bentley Bridge Shopping Park. I am hearing that Planning permission has now been secured to move the public toilets into part of C1b Unit and for C1a Unit to be enlarged and used for retail sales.

This Public Toilets arrangement has been a long term ask by Wednesfield Councillors, and I am sure will be greeted with relief, by the loyal customers of the Bentley Bridge Shopping Park. I am also informed that the Bentley Bridge Shopping Park has secured and agreed a lease for yet another new retailer. 

The new retailer will be The Card Factory. This will be Card Factory’s third store in the city and will result in yet more jobs at the Shopping Park. It will also signify the final unit letting!

It will be the first time the Shopping Park has EVER been fully occupied in its whole history.

Currently there are about 636 jobs already associated with the Bentley Bridge Shopping Park. It is already very significant employer now of local people. It also remains a very popular destination for not only Wednesfield residents but for shoppers from across the West Midlands Conurbation.

542_133226 Agenda

Planning Application -52 Millbank Street (Refused).

Agent Applicant

Mr Paul Burton

A P Architecture Ltd

E-Innovation Centre Suite SE 219

Telford

TF2 9FT Mr K Plant K J PLANT DEVELOPMENTS LIMITED 49 Leasowe Drive, Perton, Wolverhampton WV6 7TX

Our Ref: 18/00323/FUL

Site: 52 Millbank Street, Wolverhampton, West Midlands, WV11 2HU

Proposal: Erection of two semi-detached dwellings

_______________________________________________________________________

City of Wolverhampton Council as the Local Planning Authority hereby Refuse permission for the development described in the above application.

The reasons for the Council’s decision to refuse permission are:

1. The proposed dwellings would result in a form of development of cramped appearance. The proposal is not in keeping with the existing density, form and layout of the established pattern of development in the street, thus detracting from the established character and appearance of the street scene, creating a development less spacious in appearance and character.

Relevant UDP Policies: D4, D6, D8, D9 & H6; Relevant BCCS Policies: CSP4, ENV2 & ENV3.

2. The proposed dwellings, by reason of their height, bulk and position relative to the house/garden on the adjoining properties at and 290 Kitchen Lane and the existing property at 52 Millbank Street would have an unacceptable overbearing impact, reduce the amount of light, and have a detrimental impact on the outlook presently enjoyed by those houses, and especially their gardens.

Relevant UDP Policies: D7 & D8, ad BCCS Policy ENV3

NOTE FOR INFORMATION

Any policies referred to on this decision notice are the policies of the Black Country Core Strategy (BCCS), adopted 3rd February 2011 and the saved policies of the Wolverhampton Unitary Development Plan (UDP), adopted in June 2006, unless otherwise stated. The BCCS and UDP can be viewed at the Planning and Building Control Reception on the second floor of the Civic Centre or alternatively on the Council’

Guinness Slugged & S-Nailed! IMG_4462

Slugged & s-Nailed By Guinness!

Guinness is Good for You? –Well it may be for some but we have found out that a ‘tipple’ and a ‘splosh’ is deadly for Slugs & Snails here in Wednesfield!

Carefully and tenderly flowers have been planted by volunteers in flower beds across Wednesfield, as part of a plan, to win yet again another Gold Award in the Heart of England in Bloom competition.

But after the carefully planting our flowers, a dastardly act has been taking place, and within days lots of plants had just disappeared!

But it is not vandalism or theft that is removing the treasured flowers! Careful detective work revealed that they were being ‘munched’ upon by a huge army of slugs and snails!

Councillor Phil Bateman said “ I was explaining the problem to a crowd of people the other day when one of the old chaps I was talking too, told me that the way to stop these Gastropods, was to drown them in Guinness as they couldn’t resist a tipple!

So I decided I would try this little trick, and so off I toddled to the High Street Newsagent and bought two cans of Guinness.

Now I grew up with the old advertising slogan “Guinness is good for you” and I am reliably informed that recently the scientific l fraternity has confirmed that the product is indeed ‘good for you’.

Diageo, the manufacturer, makes no health claims for their product, however scientific research shows a pint of Guinness a day is actually good for your health.

But I wonder if Diageo are not missing a trick and are losing out on sales? Britain’s army of Gardeners surely would be better placed by setting down pots of Guinness instead of poisons and allowing these munching Gastropods to drown – in happiness in the Guinness! “

Take a look at the photograph as dead slugs and snails were drowned in their scores as they slurped their way through Irelands trade mark beverage!

Guinness is not good for you if you are a Slug or Snail In Wednesfield!

Councillor Phil Bateman added ” I will drink to that!”

Flood Broad lane North 2018 Image-1

“The City has just come through a deluge of epic proportions!”

Following the floods that took place last week end I was quick off the mark and wrote this correspondence to the Leader of the City of Wolverhampton Council – Councillor Roger Lawrence and the Chair of Scrutiny Board Councillor Steve Simkins.

“The city has just come through a deluge of epic proportions. There were widespread floods, some of the areas of the City had floods that were ‘bad’, others just had surface water.

Some homes were invaded by water, and lots of people were scared and are still scared of what will happen with the news and weather stations predicting storms building again for later in this week. I want to invoke my right and ask for a Scrutiny Panel to be called and to scrutinise what happened on this Bank Holiday week end.”

Well tonight we had our first Scrutiny Board of the New Municipal Year. This item was discussed, and I spoke at length about the issue. The Board agreed that first we should scrutinise the event, and they the suggested that  I should Chair a Scrutiny Panel into the events and report back to the City Council.

I accepted the challenge and agreed to Chair such a Scrutiny Review.

I don’t intend to hang around and will get onto the detail and arrangements straight away!

Understanding the events, interpreting what happened, and then to analyse what was good, what was poor, and to  make recommendations to improve the response. That will be the scrutiny path that I will be taking…..I am looking forward too it!

GMB

GMB Report – Uncovers Debt Time Bomb In Care Crisis!

Union: Care crisis has led to debt ‘time bomb’
A report from the GMB trade union has warned that at least 166,000 people are in arrears due to the cost of care home fees, with over 1,100 having been taken to court.

The union is calling on the Government to provide more funding to address the funding crisis in social care.

A spokesman for the Local Government Association  said the Government must “address the pressures impacting the system.”

Councillor Phil Bateman said ” There is a fear in almost every family, that old age and illness as we grow older, will cause huge misery, and heart ache for those in the family that are left to cope. The Government must do more to deliver a safety net that reduces the pain and anxiety that is now evident. GMB have exposed the size of the problem, but I think it may grow even higher.”

Linthouse Lane 8.00am 25-11-2012

Latest Information Weather Warnings -Wednesfield & Wolverhampton

Councillor Phil Bateman said “As we move into Thursday evening. The latest news I have from the City of Wolverhampton, as it relates to concerns about impending bad weather, is now being shared with you! I had been in touch with the City Council about planning for the worst event.

Managing Director Mr Keith Ireland shares the information and intelligence gained about our local weather in this briefing note I have received. Please read it and use the information in the event that you or your family get caught up with any localised flooding. Plan to be safe!”

Briefing Note – Further to my note this morning concerning weather, a Met Office severe weather warning for rain and thunder storms remains in place from now until tomorrow (Friday 1st June) evening. The forecasters are uncertain of the precise location of the storms – we may get torrential downpours potentially causing flash flooding, we may not. 

A new page on our website has been set up to provide residents with important information in the event of severe rainfall and flooding. It contains helpful advice and contact details for relevant agencies. It will be displayed prominently on our website homepage and shared via our social media. The link to this page is: www.wolverhampton.gov.uk/severeweather  

Please share this link with your networks and via your social media channels in the event of severe weather. 

In the event of any threat to life, people should always contact 999.

Responding to flooding is primarily a role for the emergency services, Severn Trent Water or the Environment Agency. However, City of Wolverhampton Council may be required to attend to highways and housing issues.

The council’s contact centre numbers are as follows:

• Daytime hours (0830 – 1630)          01902 551111

• Out of hours:                                    01902 552999 (24 hour Contact Centre)

The contact centre should always be your first point of call to report any issues as they operate a logging system and can instigate the council’s emergency response protocol.