Category Archives: Local Issues Page

Street Racing Injunction – Now in Place!


The temporary injunction banning ‘street racing’, also known as ‘car cruising’, is now in force across the Black Country.

The interim injunction prohibits people from participating, as a driver, a rider or a passenger, in a gathering of two or more people at which some of those present engage in motor racing or motor stunts or other dangerous or obstructive driving.

The interim injunction is in place throughout the boroughs of Wolverhampton, Dudley, Sandwell and Walsall and anyone breaching it will be in contempt of court and could face penalties including imprisonment, a fine or an order to have their assets seized.

The application was led by the City of Wolverhampton Council on behalf of Dudley Council, Sandwell Council and Walsall Council, and supported by West Midlands Police. See our Street Racing Injunction webpage for more details.

Incidents of street racing should be reported by email to asbu@wolverhamptonhomes.org.uk or by calling West Midlands Police on 101. In an emergency, always dial 999.

Will You Join With Me in A Compost Day?

Councillor Phil Bateman MBE said I was recently informed that “that there are more living organisms in a tablespoon of soil than people on Earth? Soil is a world made up of organisms, minerals, and organic components that provides food for humans and animals through plant growth.”

It makes you look at soil in a completely different way, when you are informed about its importance to life here on Earth. Soil degradation induces some soils to be nutrient depleted losing their capacity to support crops, while others have such a high nutrient concentration that represent a toxic environment to plants and animals, pollutes the environment and cause climate change.

World Soil Day 2022 is coming (#WorldSoilDay) and its campaign “Soils: Where food begins” aims to raise awareness of the importance of maintaining healthy ecosystems and human well-being by addressing the growing challenges in soil management, increasing soil awareness and encouraging societies to improve soil health.

Now I want to help in getting this issue across, and so I am asking you to tell me if you run a compost site for your garden or your business. I have a tiny garden, yet I have three different compost heaps that I keep to help enrich my soil here in my own garden. All the kitchen green waste gets placed in the compost bins. All the old flower heads and the grass cuttings. This time of the year it is the leaves that are filling my compost.

What I would like Wednesfield to do is to tell me if you compost your garden waste and your kitchen waste. I would like to compile a rough number of homes that do this here in Wednesfield. We can then contact the United Nations on World Soil Day on the 5th December and tell them that here in our Village not only do we do much for the environment with our Wednesfield in Bloom volunteers. But we are also doing our bit to keep the soil in tip top condition. and continue to create a “ world made up of organisms, minerals, and organic components, that provides food for humans and animals through plant growth.”  

Tell me and show me photos of the compost bins or the gardens or allotments that benefit from your efforts at composting!

Remembrance Day in Wednesfield, and the City of Wolverhampton.

This year’s Remembrance Sunday in Wolverhampton sees the return of a full military parade through the city centre to commemorate the fallen for the first time since 2019.

There is also a March from Wednesfields own Woodend Royal British Legion down to St Thomas’s Church and return. This will start at 9.pm leaving the Club, Councillor Phil Bateman MBE said ” The RBL and the organisers of the Remembrance Day March in Wednesfield, love to see the crowds! Give the procession a wave! and a big smile.

If you are travelling to the Wolverhampton City centre events – Please line the route in time for the parade starting at 10.30am; there will also be space around the perimeter of St Peter’s Square to see the service.

More than 200 veterans, serving forces personnel, cadets and other uniformed services are due to take part in the parade, which steps off at 10.30am from Wulfruna Street into Princes Square, then Lichfield Street, Queen Square and into Exchange Street, across Cheapside and on to St Peter’s Square for the annual Observance of Remembrance. They will be led by the Royal Air Force Cosford Pipe Band.

Avian Flu- Confirmed in City Wild Birds!

“Avian flu update, cases confirmed in our city, and that will mean Wednesfield as well!” said Councillor Phil Bateman . He went onto say, ” Please take note of this information. Advice is that
Cases of avian flu have now been confirmed in the wild bird population in the city by the Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) and the Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA).”

The City Council is working with the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA), APHA and the RSPCA to manage the situation and protect public health and the risk to other birds, wildlife and pets after the disease was found in geese in West Park.

Official communications have been issued by UKHSA, along with advice from the council warning residents not to touch or pick up sick or dead wild birds. Residents are advised to contact the park rangers’ team on 07766 473150 to report dead birds found in our parks

SOUTH STAFFORDSHIRE LOCAL PLAN REVIEW REGULATION 19 PUBLICATION PLAN CONSULTATION

Councillor Phil Bateman (Labour Wednesfield North) said today. “This afternoon I received this information from the SSDC. It is an important message and it is important that if you have an interest in the South Staffordshire Green Belt in Essington you read this.”

SOUTH STAFFORDSHIRE LOCAL PLAN REVIEW
REGULATION 19 PUBLICATION PLAN CONSULTATION

We are writing to you because you have made comments previously or asked to be kept updated about the Local Plan, and we are now beginning the final stage of public consultation before the plan is submitted to the Secretary of State.

The Publication Plan contains the final sites for housing and employment, pitches for Gypsies and Travellers, and new and updated policies which will be used to decide planning applications when it is adopted. Sites have been chosen taking on board responses to consultations over the past 4 years and drawing on a great deal of information and evidence from planning specialists, stakeholders, statutory bodies, agents, residents, and community groups.

Some sites have changed since the Preferred Options and these changes are as a result of new evidence and taking on board the comments we received from residents, statutory authorities and other organisations. This means we have chosen the sites based on robust planning evidence and to meet current national planning policy and our legal Duty to Cooperate with neighbouring authorities.

This stage of consultation is different to previous stages because it is about the legal soundness of the plan. Has the council prepared the plan positively? Is it justified and effective? Does it comply with national planning policy? Any comments you make should relate to these issues and they will be sent to the independent Planning Inspector who will be appointed to conduct a formal Examination into the plan, which will include public hearing sessions.

Our consultation runs for 6 weeks from Friday 11 November until 12 noon Friday 23 December 2022. To help you we have produced a FAQ Sheet and a Guidance Note to help explain the process for this consultation.

Comments must be made in writing and the simplest way to do this is by using our consultation system. You can make comments on a specific policy or area of the plan, and they will be uploaded straight into the system. If you have made comments previously, you can log in as we will already hold your details.

The Publication Plan and supporting evidence are available to view online at www.sstaffs.gov.uk/localplanreview and there will be hard copies of the plan to view at the Community Hub in Codsall, your local parish council office and libraries in South Staffordshire.

All comments made will be submitted with the Plan to the Secretary of State who will appoint an independent Planning Inspector to hold a Public Examination into the Local Plan review. Dates for the Examination will be set by the Planning Inspectorate (PINS). The Inspector will decide whether or not the plan can be adopted or if any changes need to be made. If you make comments to this consultation, you will be notified of the Examination timetable.

If you wish to speak to someone from the Local Plans Team about the consultation, there are many ways you can do this. We have some in-person public consultation events planned (by appointment only), online Q&A sessions, virtual appointments or you can telephone on 01902 696423 to speak to us direct. See the information below about how to take part in the events.

We hope you will take the time to be involved and respond to our consultation, but if you have any queries, please contact a member of the Strategic Planning Team.

Sessions are planned for each Locality, however you can attend any session, whether you live in South Staffordshire or elsewhere.

Online Q&A Sessions: 6pm – 8pm
To join a meeting please use link below

Locality 5 – Wednesday, 23 November 2022
Locality 4 – Wednesday, 30 November 2022
Locality 3 – Thursday, 1 December 2022
Locality 2 – Tuesday, 6 December 2022
Locality 1 – Wednesday, 14 December 2022

In Person Locality Sessions: 10.30am – 7.00pm
by appointment only call 01902 696423 to make an appointment

Penkridge, Haling Dene Centre – Monday 14 November 2022
Coven Memorial Hall – Wednesday 16 November 2022
Essington Community Centre – Thursday 24 November 2022
Codsall Community Hub – Monday 28 November 2022
Wombourne Civic Centre – Wednesday 7 December 2022

Virtual Appointments (Microsoft Teams): by arrangement call 01902 696423
Telephone: 01902 696423 between 9am and 5pm Monday – Friday

Comments can also be sent to localplans@sstaffs.gov.uk or by post to South Staffordshire Council, Community Hub, Wolverhampton Road, Codsall, South Staffordshire WV8 1PX.


Strategic Planning Team
South Staffordshire Council

Tel: 01902 696423
www.sstaffs.gov.uk

Linthouse Lane – 61st Worst Highway for Personal Injury Collisions in the City



I want residents to know that the issues with regards to Road Safety on Linthouse Lane is still very much an issue for your Councillors. We recognise the concerns you have about road safety. Following the latest road traffic incident a number of days ago. I wrote again to the City Council and their road safety team of highway engineers. I am now publishing their response in full, to our request for further and better Road Safety measures. Here is the Local Authority response. It relates to speeding vehicles on Linthouse Lane, and the Traffic and Road Safety team have provided the following response:

“In response to your enquiry regarding Road Safety on Linthouse Lane, I can provide the following information and response.

Specifically in relation to the recent incident to which you refer, I have not received any contact or information from West Midlands Police regarding the road traffic incident shown in your photograph. However, depending on the severity of injuries to those involved, I will either be contacted directly by WMP or it will appear on the West Midlands Personal Injury Collision Database in due course. Consequently, at this stage we do not know the circumstances or causations that led to the incident.

Each year my team undertaken an analysis of Personal Injury Collisions (PIC’s) across the network in order to identify those locations and routes with the highest risks to target our limited resources. We look at both specific locations such as junctions and whole routes (individual roads). To compare routes equitably, we calculate the number of PICs per kilometre of road in the preceding three year period. We then rank the roads in order to identify which routes to investigate in more detail before finalising our Programme of interventions.

I have checked our analysis which was undertaken in January 2022 and can report that Linthouse Lane was ranked 61st with a figure of 6.0 PIC’s/km of road. This was slightly higher than it’s 2021 ranking of 72nd but still quite some way off being justifiable for including in our Capital Programme list of schemes. We will of course include Linthouse Lane in our analysis for the coming year and include it in our scheme list if justifiable based on the above objective criteria.

On a more positive note, whilst City of Wolverhampton Council is not responsible for enforcement of speed limits (that responsibility lies with West Midlands Police) we do have an annual programme of installation of Variable Message Speed Warning signs (VAS) that flash up to advise drivers to slow down, if exceeding a threshold above the speed limit. I am aware that we have installed our mobile battery VAS signs on Linthouse Lane in the past however we have identified Linthouse Lane as a road that would benefit from having permanent mains powered signs installed. I am pleased to be able to inform you that Linthouse Lane is one of the roads selected for the next tranche of signs and so my team member, will be organising the arrangements for installation works for two of VAS signs as soon as practically possible.

I will also ask one of my team to visit Linthouse Lane in the coming weeks to check that all signs and road markings are present and in an acceptable condition.

I am aware that road safety is an emotive subject but hope that you will appreciate that we must prioritise our limited resources appropriately using statistical evidence to benchmark all routes across the City.”

Councillor Phil Bateman said “I have published the response in full. Because getting the road safety investment to improve our highways has never been easy. But the lack of resources for the whole City in this policy area, is very much a determinant of how the available funds are used. We have not given up hope. We will continue to make the case. Plus we will also be pressing the Police to do more in suppressing speed, and to do their utmost to patrol Linthouse Lane.

Gov Economic Crisis – Savage Cuts on the Horizon.

The economic crisis that we as a nation are facing since the Tories crashed the economy is getting worse by the day. As their disastrous 12 year reign turned into an imploding catastrophe.
Lets not forget Prime Minster Truss forcing a run on the £, Pension Funds close to collapse, Mortgages exploding upwards forcing increased costs on already overstretched household budgets.
Now everyone has a ‘Cost of Living Crisis’ and a fear of using energy. With a £50 billion black hole still gaping in the nations budget, and yet another financial budget looming within days.
All this feeds into everyday life in our City and in our region.
Expect some shocks Wednesfield and Wolverhampton. Bus services are already wobbling with lack of drivers, National Express have already told me that”You may be aware that there is currently a national shortage of bus drivers at the moment. We are around 7% down on the numbers of drivers we usually need to be able to fulfil our services”.
Statistics are showing that around 80% of passengers have returned to buses and are travelling now by public transport. Prior to what was the situation before the Covid- Pandemic.
Less people , shopping ,with less money in their purse, bus services failing to arrive at scheduled times. trains suffering the same acute staff crisis, tram, train and bus staff, concerned that their wages are not keeping up with inflation.
Bus service cuts are on the horizon, in Wolverhampton and across the West Midlands, school bus services will not escape, and the broader network services cuts will also happen.
When the next budget gets announced by the Tories, financial institutions are expecting further cuts to Local Government support for Council services, That will kick off another round of financial concerns.
I want to keep residents in Wednesfield and Wolverhampton informed of the situation. Yesterday I took part in a briefing from Transport for West Midlands. TfWM were setting the scene for their round of talks with the private bus operators. Most at risk are it appears at the moment, here in our City of being axed is School Bus Services. But there will be also routes-small but vital bus routes, that link suburbs with key shopping districts and employment opportunity, and institutions like doctors, and hospitals. Bus routes with no big flows of passengers. like the 50 bus service – It will routes like these which will be certainly under the microscope. With bus schedules also on the agenda to be trimmed.
I will aim to keep readers in touch with these issues, as the information unfolds.

City of Wolverhampton Council -“Children in Wolverhampton, not having a bed of their own to sleep in “

Councillor Phil Bateman said “One speech that I was very much taken with at Full Council tonight, was by Councillor Bev Momenabadi. I have therefore published it in full here on my web page.”


Councillor Bev Momenabadi – Labour – Ettingshall said “One thing that this Labour Council has proved time and time again is its ability to innovate and act fast to step in for our residents where a Conservative Government fails them.
We’ve heard today from the leader about our commitment to warm spaces, but I want to talk about our children in the city, who will be dramatically affected if the Chancellor doesn’t raise benefits in line with inflation.
This Labour Council is supporting more and more families with bed poverty, now what do I mean by bed poverty?
– Children in Wolverhampton, not having a bed of their own to sleep in so co-sleeping with parents and siblings
– Children in Wolverhampton, not having adequate bedcovering (sometimes none at all) and often sleeping on mattresses on the floor.
– Children who have outgrown their cots but haven’t transferred to a bed through lack of provision .
We’ve seen these cases more and more often since the Tories cut Universal Credit and energy bills sky-rocketing amidst the chaos in Government.
And here we find our Labour Council stepping in, we’ve supported nearly 900 children in the last 18 months which has included bedframes, mattresses, cots cribs and duvets.
This is the devastating reality of Tory austerity and cuts over the last decade. But our commitment to our Council’s commitment to families and children in the city continues to be relentless.
I’ll give you some more, real-time examples of where, because of the chaos in the Conservative Government, our Labour Council are stepping in:
– We’re launching grub clubs which are after school teatime support for families that are experiencing financial difficulties. These will be delivered in schools and communities centres, offering a warm space, family learning and help for children with homework.
– What about our careleavers? They are telling us that they too are struggling, as responsible corporate parents, our Labour Council is providing all Wolverhampton careleavers with £40 per month to support with food and fuel costs through vouchers.

This isn’t about attacking the Tories, this isn’t about politics. These are children’s lives we’re talking about, these are interventions we are committing to in order to counteract the failure of this Government in its duty to our kids in Wolverhampton.
But don’t just take it from me, Child Poverty Action charity have said that if benefits aren’t raised in line with inflation, a further 200,000 children will be pushed in to poverty. The charity itself said that the UK is already facing a child poverty catastrophe and that the Conservative Government will and I quote, ruin the lives of many more children unless it takes action.
Now, I know it has been a busy time in Westminster since we last met- we’re on our third Prime Minister, third Home Secretary and a former Conservative Minister go in to the I’m a Celebrity Jungle, all the while children in this city are being forgotten about by the Government.
So, I’m urging colleagues to think about those 900 children in the city when they choose to support this motion or not, think about those kids we’ve had to support with beds and bedding, and those queuing up at our food community shops and the funding that our Labour Council have provided for kids to take part in activities over half term holidays… and vote in favour of this motion or risk further children being plunged in to poverty in this city.”

Birmingham International Airport -Moves To Improve Operations.

Works has began on a new BHX security area, as BHX officials state that “We are seizing this as an opportunity to improve our operation and, crucially, the customer experience we offer at BHX.”

Councillor Phil Bateman said today – “I am sure City of Wolverhampton residents will be interested to note that in this everchanging World. That Birmingham International Airport has started working to safeguard, and make even more secure, our City and the Black Country’s Gateway to the World. This Airport is our regional access to Global connections, for Business, and Leisure seekers, and commercial success for those that look to Global markets for commerce and business. Its interesting to note that in 2019 BHX were quoting that they were contributing £1.5 billion (£3,000 per minute) to the West Midlands economy, and supported 30,000 jobs in our region. I am sure that this new security standard being entered into by the Airport will be welcome and re-assuring for those that use this Airport from our City of Wolverhampton.”

Work is underway on Birmingham Airport’s new security screening area.

The new facility, being built within the existing terminal building, will result in a speedier, simpler pre-flight security screening process for customers.

UK Government requires all airports to be compliant with new standards by 1 June 2024, which is the completion deadline for the project, a total investment of more than £20m.

“We are seizing this as an opportunity to improve our operation and, crucially, the customer experience we offer at BHX,” said Al Titterington, Terminal Operations Director for Birmingham Airport (BHX).

“Installing our Next-Generation Security (NGS) system will deliver a speedier and simpler pre-flight screening process capable of serving significantly more passengers per hour at peak times.”

In its Master Plan published in 2018, BHX outlined its aspiration to grow customer volumes from 12m a year (pre-pandemic) to 18m a year by 2033.

The new and improved security screening area supports growth up to 18m passengers a year and beyond. This in turn will help drive economic growth in the West Midlands region*.

The airport’s contractors, Tilbury Douglas, began work on Tuesday (25 October 2022).

Initial steps include setting up site compounds before moving ahead with the project itself.

In recent weeks, BHX’s landside Burger King and Frankie & Benny’s eateries have closed to accommodate the new screening area.”