Category Archives: Local Issues Page

Ashmore Park Nursery – Joins Wednesfield in Bloom Bid!

At last night’s Governor’s Meeting at Ashmore Park Nursery School, the school leadership team agreed to make a contribution to ‘Wednesfield In Bloom’ efforts to woo the Heart of England Inspectors in this year’s competition.

They agreed to ensure that the Nursery Children as part of their education curriculum would take part in growing and displaying flowers in the front of the school. Plus they would look at producing a ‘gift’ of flowers for Wednesfield High Street to coincide with the run up to the Inspectors visit.

Now isn’t that an inspiration!

Please if you are a school in Wednesfield and you can also deliver a flower display in your school. Please contact me on…

Peacock Butterfly- Essington & Wyrley Canal near Moathouse Bridge.I am also looking for residents who will place their gardens into a scheme where we can tell Inspectors that we have full community backing for our efforts to make our Village ‘Blooming Wonderful!’

Local Pharmacies Take Government to Court!


During the course of last year I campaigned to save Local Pharmacies as the Government was going to withdraw their funding,  and I warned that this loss of funding would close Local Pharmacies here and in Wolverhampton and further afield.

I felt so strongly about it that I placed a resolution in City Council. The Local Conservatives did not support the resolution, and they were quick to suggest that it was a message that would not happen.

Today I have received the following letter from the National Pharmacy Association who tell me that our local petitions joined with the National petitions became part of the two million petitioners/individuals who all wanted the Government to halt these proposals.

Ministers didn’t listen. Now the Pharmacies are going to take out a Judicial Review . This will be heard in the High Court next week.

I want Wednesfield residents to know that your three Wednesfield North Councillors, (Mary,Rita and Phil) support the campaign to have the Governments decision placed before the Courts in a Judicial Review .

Here is the letter from the National Pharmacy Association.

Please if you support what we are doing like and share, or retweet,  the information with all your family and friends….

images Pharmacy

Storm Doris – Damaged Churchyard Inspected!

Many of my readers on my social media sites have raised the issue of the Churchyard at Graisley Lane which is in ownership of the St Thomas’s Church. I have taken up the issue, but would remind readers that the Churchyard is in Heath Town Ward, and not in Wednesfield North.

The Churchyard is a ‘Closed Churchyard’ and some responsibilities falls onto the City Council by law. Many Wednesfield families have contacted me with concerns about the safety of the Churchyard following the damage caused by Storm Doris.

Trees were badly damaged and blown down and the graves themselves were hit as well.

IMG_0320 Tree ChurchyardI thanked local resident Paul Banks who did a great job within days of reducing one great tree to manageable proportions.

Now to bring you up-to-date with what is taking place going forward.

A City Council Officer will inspect the grave stones (those that are likely to topple) particular in the area where the tree fell. City Officials will also carry out a visual check of the remaining trees as part of a safety inspection.

Legal Aspect/Closed Churchyards: 

The close church yard regulations state: – Once a churchyard is closed, the Parochial Church Council (PCC) may apply to the LA to take over its maintenance under the Local Govt Act 1972.

Section 215 of the Act states that the LA would be responsible for the maintenance of the churchyard, including the memorials (safety of only/toppling over) and its boundary walls and fences and path surfaces repair of not replace, trees are also included within the boundary walls.

I can inform you that regular maintenance work is carried out at all four closed churchyards in the city that the City Council has responsibility for. This maintenance is around vegetation control (mainly strimming) with caution and weed control via chemical application.

Memorial safety such as laying memorials flat with the diocese permission is carried out when required,

Also topping areas around sunken grave lines, the removal of fallen trees/inspect the trees if they are reported as being dangerous.

Members of City Councils team- As mentioned will carry out a visual inspection of the trees (some fallen trees have since been removed), and a memorial check on headstones.

Regular maintenance such as vegetation control will be carried out at various times during the year depending on growth, weather conditions  and the availability of resources to undertake those works.

The City Council does not have unlimited resources so these measures will be planned. Other issues will fall to the Church to provide, like a higher level of maintenance if they so wish. Plus any new pathways that are required.

I hope that what I have set out here will be seen by Wednesfield families as being a step in the right direction.17155923_ Storm Doris 2017 March Wednesfield Grave yard

I feel that by setting out what will take place, is of huge interest to Wednesfield as a whole.

Over the Municipal Year there will be planned maintenance.

I hope that this information will take some of the controversy out of the issue of whose responsibility the churchyard really is. Whilst some responsibility clearly rests with the Local Authority, the Parochial Church Council itself also retains some responsibilities.

Trees Tumble to Huffy Storm Doris!

After the arrival of Storm Doris the St Thomas Churchyard suffered some tree loss, the trees fell over grave stones and created their own dangers. The Church reminded everyone that is was a closed Church yard and that the responsibility laid with the City Council.

17155923_ Storm Doris 2017 March Wednesfield Grave yard

Picture taken by Paul Banks.

Residents of Wednesfield North who have relatives in the church yard contacted me, as did lots of individuals following the publicity on social media. I publicly thanked a person who had been active in reducing the fallen tree with a chain saw one Mr Paul Banks.

I agreed to contact the City Council, which I did. And here is the response I have received.

“I can confirm that the majority of the tree has been removed from the cemetery, unfortunately there is a large root that cannot be removed, because of site restrictions in the cemetery.”


I am making further enquiries about the issue and will keep everyone informed, when I have some further information.

Wednesfield High – Should Parents Know More?

The Express and Star report into Wednesfield High is here for all too see, The fact is that the School is raising major concerns amongst parents who’s children are attending this particular Academy.

As a child you only get one chance at education, and education is very much a key to future success.

These are the crucial years for young people when they are at the comprehensive level. So you can understand parents exasperation.

I made the City Councils comment public, because I felt that City Officials speaking in an Open Committee meeting with ‘No Press’ present, would have been ignoring a very significant City Council statement. I felt I had no other alternative but to publicise the situation on my social media  outlets. There is a duty on members to expose the situation of  Wednesfield High, as it is clearly  a school that is – just stumbling along at the present.

I have no regrets for telling readers of this page that the City had no controls over the school, that it had no prior warnings until the Ofsted report was published stating that  the school was failing, that the most senior City Council officials had asked the Regional Commissioner to have the school ‘Rebrokered’.

In the meantime in my opinion parents are not being told enough by the School about what is taking place within the school. Communications are very poor according to Wednesfield North residents who have children at the School. I am told of classes taking place with no teachers! There is concern over bullying and safety.

I want to appeal to the School to tackle this issue by making a special efforts starting immediately, to raise their communications game. Parents have a right to expect a professional and detailed response to their children’s education future and please focus on parents own safety concerns.

I have written to the head teacher today expressing my views.Phil Bateman MBE

Talking Up Wolverhampton – Great Future On The Way!

As a City Councillor I receive a briefing every week from the Managing Director Keith Ireland about the ‘big issues’ affecting the City, What I have decided is that this week’s briefing I will share with readers here in Wednesfield North….. this is what this weeks up beat IMG_0602 New Hoizons for Wolverhamptonbriefing tells me-

Keith Ireland said – This week we “have been flying the flag for the City of Wolverhampton with Cllr John Reynolds and Tim Johnson, Strategic Director Place, at the MIPIM international property and investment forum in Cannes, France. We have been busy pitching to global investors and developers just why Wolverhampton is the place to come and invest. MIPIM is the world’s leading property forum, bringing together the most influential figures from all international property sectors – office, residential, retail, healthcare, sport, logistics and industrial, offering unrivalled access to the greatest number of development projects and sources of capital worldwide.

On Tuesday afternoon, Tim Johnson presented to a room full of investors and developers a host of major investment opportunities in the UK Midlands Pavilion at MIPIM. The presentation included the launch of a CBRE Investment Prospectus mapping out a visionary 10-year investment plan for the city centre. It recommends that the City of Wolverhampton could accommodate a million square feet of Grade A Office space in a new commercial quarter.

Tim’s presentation also included a major announcement about i9 – an iconic, multi-million pound grade A office scheme next to the city’s £132 million Interchange development, and opposite the award-winning i10 office building.

Exciting new images of i9 were unveiled and Tim announced Glenn Howells Architects as the winners of the city’s Interchange design competition. Tim also provided an update on the exciting Westside scheme at the heart of the city centre. He revealed a stunning new artist’s impression of the £55 million development. Enabling works are currently underway on the leisure-led mixed use scheme and strong demand from occupiers means construction on the first phase remains on track to start in early 2018. The MIPIM presentation also highlighted a 100-plus bed opportunity for a hotel investor to be part of the scheme, which sits across 6.4 acres on three adjacent parcels of land.

A new vision for canalside living in the heart of the City of Wolverhampton was also revealed at MIPIM. We are working with the Canal & River Trust, Homes and Communities Agency, Network Rail, and the West Midlands Combined Authority in the Canalside Delivery Partnership to develop canalside.

The site lies just minutes away from the Interchange, with the majority of sites in the ownership of the partners. As part of the scheme, a city centre living proposition for more than 600 new homes was showcased to investors and developers. Other ideas for Canalside include an anchor leisure scheme clustered around existing historic buildings, which could include restaurants and a micro brewery. Creative workspaces and a marina development are also being considered, and LED and feature lighting around the canals and tunnels is being progressed.

MIPIM has given us the opportunity to put Wolverhampton on the map and showcase the many exciting opportunities we have here for investors. We have achieved some excellent press from our announcements – including BBC Midlands Today declaring that the city was undergoing a “renaissance”. We have certainly seen increased interest in the city from major investors and developers and will be following up on all of these leads. I will be carrying out more detailed briefings for councillors and employees upon our return.

Meanwhile, back in Wolverhampton it has been a very important week for our Customer Services operation with the opening of the new reception and customer services centre. As well as making the right first impression for our visitors, it is also helping us to enable the transformation and savings targets for customer services.”

Now it goes with out saying that this sort of showcasing attracts criticism as well as plaudits, but I feel that Wolverhampton is moving forward. There is a great feel about the development opportunity here in this city, and I feel that with Government taking money out of our budgets, we need to have an economy that needs to expand, and quickly!  So come on Wulfrunians, this is a real exciting report that I am sharing… proud too and help talk up Wolverhampton!

Busy Few Days!

credit-unionHere is a brief summary of events that I have been involved with plus key meetings that I have attended over the past few days.

  • Saturday 11th March -Attended the Tettenhall Transport Heritage centre opening. Looked in at the Wednesfield Aces Cycle Speedway. Checked out the construction work taking place putting new child equipment into the Park with Mary.
  • Monday 13th March – Attended The Hub for the Wednesfield PACT meeting then in the afternoon for the City Council Audit & Risk meeting Civic Centre
  • Tuesday 14th March – Attended the meeting with Cllr Mary Bateman at Ashmore Park Community Association – We then both attended a funeral of Gordon Jones a well liked Caretaker from Ashmore Park Nursery- RIP Gordon you were a great guy who will be sadly missed. Condolences to wife Pat and family.
  • Later I attended the City Council Scrutiny Board at the Civic centre at 6.00pm . Oh and it was my Birthday too!
  • Wednesday 15th March – Met Creative Black Country Representative about the Wednesfield Canal Festival taking place on the 12th & 13th August 2017.There was good new coming out of this meeting more in a few days!


As you can see we are in constant activity with regards to Wednesfield. Additional activities also includes individual pieces of casework for constituents. Hope this gives you a flavour of what I am doing as your Councillor.

Tesco Express – Alcohol Application Made

Picture by Shaun Fellows / Shine Pix Labour Party Councillors photography. Pictured is Cllr Phil Bateman

Picture by Shaun Fellows / Shine Pix Labour Party Councillors photography. Pictured is Cllr Phil Bateman

Councillor Phil Bateman said “I  thought that there may be some interest in reading this application that has just come across my desk. Anyone who has an interest can make their views known to the City Council via the Licensing Officer at the address below.”
Re: Tesco Express, Lichfield Road, Wednesfield, WV11 3HD
Wolverhampton City Council has received an application to vary the operating conditions of the above licensed premises, which is situated in the Wednesfield North Ward.
The application is for the sale/supply of alcohol off the premises and is to:
Amend the opening hours and sale/supply of alcohol off the premises and remove Good Friday and Christmas Day trading restrictions.
Existing – Monday to Saturday  0800 to 2300 hours
                   Sunday 1000 to 2230 hours
                   Good Friday 0800 to 2230
                   Christmas Day 1200 to 1500 and 1900 to 2230 hours
Proposed Monday to Sunday 0600 to 0000 hours
A blue notice outlining details of the application should be displayed at the premises for a period of not less than 28 days.  Any representations to the application should be made in writing and received no later than 7/4/2017 to Licensing Services.  A notice will also appear in the local press. 
Any representations received must be relevant under the Licensing Act 2003.  For the purpose of the Licensing Act 2003 a representation must be ‘relevant’ to the application that has been made.  A relevant representation is one which:-
·        is made properly and in the prescribed period for response
·        is about the likely effect of the grant of the licence on the promotion of the four licensing objectives being:-
      1.     Prevention of Crime and Disorder
      2.     Public Safety
      3.     Prevention of Public Nuisance
      4.     Protection of Children from Harm                                     
For further information on the application or if you require any additional assistance, please do not hesitate to contact Licensing.
Anita Chonk
Licensing Officer
Tel. Office: 01902 556037
City of Wolverhampton Council

Wednesfield North – Stop Smoking Campaign!

Wednesfield North Councillors contribution to the week long ‘No Smoking Campaign’ led to 4306 local readers of social media in the Ward becoming aware of the Healthy Lifestyles advice.
16681457_1569514716394383_3224409053699746417_nOur campaign also highlighted the help that Catherine (The Healthy Lifestyles professional) provides from The Hub at Ashmore Park.
Rita Mary and I am chuffed that we have had such a great response from our constituents with regards to this worthwhile campaign….we particularly liked the individual experiences that residents told us about, as to why they had quit smoking!
Wednesfield North Councillors - Phil Bateman, Mary Bateman and Rita Potter.

Wednesfield North Councillors – Phil Bateman, Mary Bateman and Rita Potter.


We will keep you in touch with anything else relating to this thread.

Over the Last Five Days……!

So what has taken place this week?

  • Mary Rita and I have attended the ground breaking ceremony of the Voyager Care Home which is being constructed in Barnard Road. We met with and spoke with Local Residents.
  • Mary and I attended the Express and Star debate in Dudley at the Black Country Museum for the new Regional Metro Mayor. The election takes place in May of this year
  • I attended the Phoenix Nursery School to inspect the premises and meet with the staff where we discussed the new school facilities, the children’s education and I spoke with school management about Safeguarding.

    IMG_0275 Sue Lacey

    Nursery Head-Teacher Sue Lacey

  • Celebrated International Women’s Week by highlighting the excellent work Head Teacher Sue Lacey of the Ashmore Park Nursery does, and the international links the schools of Ashmore Park & Phoenix have with Sweden.
  • Also your three Labour Councillors have worked all week supporting a ‘No Smoking’ Message here in Wednesfield North. Working in partnership with The Hub’s Lifestyle Choices, professional we have tried to highlight the dangers of smoking in the home and for pregnant women. It has been a great campaign, culminating in the ‘National No Smoking Day’ . All three of your Councillor Mary, Rita and Phil, have been giving anti-smoking messages over the Social Media, and discussing the messages with constituents. More than 4,000 readers on our  social media pages have been informed. Plus a report on what we have been taking part in, has been dispatched to the Public Health Director.
  • Later today (Friday) Mary & I will be attending the funeral of The Reverend Tony Kinch – a very great local Preacher from the Methodist faith. Tony had a ‘booming ‘ voice and we will join his family and friends on this very sad day to remember him.
  • I have also assisted a family into a new home
  • Continue to assist a constituent with a school placement problem
  • Met with some constituents about a broader school problem
  • Reported an environmental infringement on the Canal side to the Authorities
  • Met with APCA with issues that the committee felt needed discussion
  • Assisted with a garage site issue for a constituent
  • Dealt with a Lamp and a light problem
  • Contacted the neighbouring Councillor in Essington due to a problem on the footpath known as the Nicket
  • Contacted the City Council following Wednesfield complaints that the St Thomas’s Churchyard in Graisley Lane, and the trees & graves there have been badly damaged by Storm Doris.

All in all a very interesting week for your three Wednesfield North Councillors!