Category Archives: Local Issues Page

IMG_5708 City Council

Second Information Bulletin – Terrible Grenfell Tower Tragedy.

Further to the information I placed on my social media pages yesterday, about the awful fire incident in Grenfell Tower in London.

Here is the latest information that I have with regards to this terrible incident. The Prime Minister has announced a Full Public Inquiry into the fire. There are 17 people declared dead at this moment, but we have to set ourselves because that number will increase.

Now with regards to the situation in Wolverhampton, here is some more information which is additional to the information I placed yesterday.

Just for clarity our Ward here of Wednesfield North does not have any tower blocks.

City of Wolverhampton Council have informed me that there is cladding on some of our Towers – The information that I have here is that there is some cladding on some of our 36 tower blocks, indeed it is 18 which have cladding.

Most of these (12) are clad with insulated render – not made of plastic, and without spaces to cause a possible “chimney effect” to spread a fire. These include blocks at Merry Hill, Arthur Greenwood Court (Bilston), Lakefield, Hickman and Stowlawn. These do not post any special risk.

Over 10 years ago, three blocks at Graisley estate near the city centre and three towers at Heath Town (Brockfield, Campion and Longfield) were clad or partially clad with a  ‘rain screen’ system fixed on to the blocks. Whilst these are NOT identical to the system as used at Grenfell, we are immediately checking the specifications, reviewing the full working drawings and installation methods so we can be certain they pose no special risk. If necessary, there will then be full, on site testing.

Access for emergency vehicles

The emergency services have raised no issues with City of Wolverhampton Council about access to tower blocks, however, to be absolutely sure, the City are asking the Fire Service to check access to every tower block in the city and advise if more space is needed – if necessary, we will create it.

Advice about what to do in the event of a fire and how to prevent fire

As tower block residents know, the advice has been to stay put in their flats in the event of a fire unless they are advised to leave the building. Clearly we all have questions about this. We are arranging for health and safety staff and the Fire Service to visit tower blocks to provide advice and assistance to residents on what to do in the event of a fire and about fire prevention.

Gas- There is no gas in any of our tower blocks.

This is the second such information bulletin I have placed with a view to keep my constituents and residents informed of events as they happen, and how the incident in London may impact on Wolverhampton. I will continue to keep you informed of developments as they are reported to me.


Like Buses! Wait for One and Two Turn Up Together!

Its congratulations time for all our Volunteers at The Hub on Ashmore Park as they have once again pulled in another Award for their Voluntary Service commitment, this time from City of Wolverhampton Council! This Award comes on top of the Queens Award already announced this month! You have to be proud of the work that is taking place, and the activity that happens in the heart of our community. Your three Councillors are delighted that once again our community volunteers are recognised for the work they do on all our behalf.

IMG_5708 City Council

Information to Wednesfield North Residents

Many of the residents of Wednesfield North like Mary, Rita and I, will have been looking at the Tower Block of flats that have been on fire today with horror. This morning’s news about the fire at Grenfell Tower in London is shocking and our thoughts are with all the people affected.

When I was alerted to the news this morning I spoke about the horror of the incident, and expressed my condolences on social media.

But tonight I want to reassure my readers and our constituents here in Wednesfield North, that from early this morning this City Council have been active and checking and rechecking the Wolverhampton City Council situation.

I want to re-assure my constituents their families and their friends if I can with this information.

First of all there are no high rise flats here in Wednesfield North,

But the City does have 36 tower blocks located across the city, 18 of those have external cladding.

I want to re-assure you that there are Fire safety measures in place at all these towers.

All fire safety standards are maintained including:

  • Daily fire safety checks.
  • Professional expert annual fire risk assessments.
  • Fire retardant paint in communal areas – specification checked.
  • Dry risers in place and regularly checked.
  • Smoke alarms are installed in every flat.

The Grenfell Tower disaster will focus heavily over the next few days, as the horror becomes more evident, and the injuries and the missing persons are addressed in ever more detail.

As a City Councillor I am pleased with the actions taken by the City of Wolverhampton Council to date:

The City Council have worked quickly and with urgency to inform us that they are confident that the cladding in Wolverhampton is of the correct standard, but City Officials are undertaking urgent checks with manufacturers. I am very pleased that this is taking place with speed and urgency.

I am further informed that this City Council will be making and delivering an update for tenants and residents living in high rise flats. I think that this level of assurance is good as everyone will be jumpy about the panic they have witnessed in London via the television.

This morning’s news about the fire at Grenfell Tower in London is shocking and the images we have all watched all day will be with us for a long time.  I know that constituents here in Wednesfield North will be as one with us, and your thoughts, like ours will be with all the people affected by this calamity.

I also hope you will recognise this note is meant to re-assure you that our City Officials are doing all they can to check, question, and deliver safe homes for our citizens…..

I can assure you that your City Councillors are already working with Officials and the fact is that the City Council also works closely with the local fire service, and I am assured that they have not advised of any issues.

Wolverhampton like many other City’s and Towns will look carefully to see if any lessons can be learned from this terrible incident in London. I will of course keep you the readers up dated with any news as I receive it.

IMG_1221 Grace on the curly wurly

WE Have Got It! – Local Nature Reserve Status for the “Curly-Wurly”

Our Wolverhampton City Council stands on the edge of a very historic decision, as tomorrow on the 14th of June  it is about to agree to declare a new Local Nature Reserve in Wolverhampton.

The Local Nature Reserve will be  covering the length of the Wyrley and Essington canal, and adjoining land owned by the Council, and the City Council is to enter into a collaboration agreement with the Canal and River Trust and Walsall MBC to manage the LNR for at least 21 Years and to designate the LNR in Wolverhampton as a Site of Importance for Nature Conservation (SINC)

Councillor Phil Bateman said ” I first raised The idea of a Local Nature Reserve on the WE way back in 2007. At that time I wrote to the City Council urging them to declare this canal because it was rich in wildlife and I could see the benefit it could bring to the residents of Wednesfield North and South, first as nature reserve and second as a leisure asset. But working and volunteering on this stretch of the canal over the last 10 years, I will predict that this decision will be a huge boost to this Village Local Economy as it will be to other settlements along the length of the LNR and canal.

It has took a long time to get everyone interested! But the decisions about to be taken by the City Council and the Canal and River Trust with Walsall MBC are really quite strategically huge. I want to thank my Wednesfield Councillors including my Ward Colleague’s like former Councillor Dave Jones, who also worked for this designation back in 2007. As has all the City Councillors in Wednesfield North and South.

The Wyrley and Essington Canal Local Nature Reserve will stretch from the centre of the City through, Heath Town Ward, Wednesfield South Ward and Wednesfield North Ward. It doesn’t stop there! It will continue all the way from Wolverhampton City boundaries to its end in Brownhills. It is a magnificent canal. It is historic ( it is 220 years old this year, built at a time when Napoleon was conquering Europe!) as well as being a vital waterway for boat traffic and an important wildlife corridor, for fish and birds and small mammals.

This unique LNR will stretch some 26 miles, it will be amongst – if not the longest LNR in the UK. It will attract walkers, and cyclist’s, boat and leisure craft, from across Britain and further. It will boost our Local Economy as it attracts tourists and others!

I am confident that this newly declared Local Nature Reserve (LNR)will live up to its billing as a publicly accessible site that is locally important for wildlife, education, economy and enjoyment.

I have worked tirelessly to get this status for our canal, and the social media interest has been one of the most important ways to gain public support.

Essington & Wyrley Canal-Wednesfield Supporters Public group

IMG_1221 Grace on the curly wurlyThe Wyrley and Essington Wednesfield Supporters page on my Facebook site has more than 300 members, and they have all played a part in focussing attention on the LNR battle for this part of the canal.”

LNRs are typically owned and managed by the local Council. This LNR will be unique as the majority is owned and managed by the Canal and River Trust, with areas of adjoining land owned and managed by City of Wolverhampton Council and Walsall Council.

The part of the LNR which is located within Wolverhampton has had an ecological survey which was completed in 2013. A Local Sites Assessment Report was produced which summarises the survey findings, provides detailed information on the wildlife value of the Canal corridor and justifies designation of the land as a Site.

I am so pleased that Wednesfield, Wolverhampton and Walsall with the Canal & River Trust have seen what a huge benefit this decision will bring to the communities along the length of the        “ Curly Wurley”.


CRT Joins The Battle Against Vandalism

With the ‘Wednesfield in Bloom’ date  rapidly approaching and the ‘Britain in Bloom’  Inspectors arriving in the Village on the 7th of July. I was delighted to have the Canal and River Trust inform me that their operatives were out and about at Bentley Bridge removing the graffiti that had been daubed on the bridge structure, at this location on the Wyrley & Essington canal.

It is great to know that CRT who are very much lacking in resources has nevertheless made available their team to help the Village gain a Gold Award. Thanks CRT – your efforts are very much appreciated.

Wednesfield has suffered a wave of increased graffiti and the scrawl is ugly and is impacting heavily on the way the Village and surrounding districts look.

The key obviously is to stop the tagging of public and private property with these ugly scrawling tags. If there are any residents who know who are scrawling these images on buildings and other street furniture, will you please tell me so that I can inform the Police.



#GE2017 – Election Result for Wolverhampton North East


Here is the results of the election on Thursday 8th June 2017 . It was a long hard day out on the streets, but we were triumphant here in Wolverhampton North East after a very wet and windy election day.

The whole day was very action packed, we ran the election campaign for the Wards of Heath Town, Wednesfield South and Wednesfield North from our home. It was a real hot bed of activity. Lots of coming and going…apologies to neighbours who may have been inconvenienced a little. dailymailpic87ac6c Emma Reynolds MP


Emma Reynolds MP (Labour) 19.282

Sarah Macken (Consrervative) 14,695

Graham Eardley UKIP 1,479

Ian Jenkins (Liberal Democrat) 570

Clive Wood ( Green) 482

Follow the link and see the result being announced.



IMG_5708 City Council

Youth Development Work

Youth development work on Ashmore Park.

Here is the latest information relating to the continuation of the work being undertaken here on Ashmore Park. This builds upon the work started at the end of last year. Following the public meetings the work and play delivered by the Play Rangers into the New Year. 

There is a Summer programme being worked out but it is not yet fully ready for announcement. But activities will take place over the Summer Holidays here in Wednesfield North.

I will inform the community, via my social media sites just as soon as I receive the detail of it.

With regards to a Youth Club I am still pressing City Officials on this and will report, when it becomes clearer. The issues of providing this continually revolve around identifying facilities and searching for resources as always, but the key point is that activity is still being undertaken on this issue.

On an even more positive note, I am informed that the Playhub on Griffith Drive (on the site of the Old Library) will provide activities for children under 8 also during the Summer here on Ashmore Park.

Negotiations are taking place with ‘The Way’ in Wolverhampton about making their facilities for our Youth more reachable. Whilst the detail is yet to be fully agreed, I am gaining confidence that a scheme will be worked out, which will build on a pilot project that is in operation currently in Bilston.This will be aimed at the older youth groups on the estate.

So there is a lot of work being done around the development of youth activities, which will deliver additional benefit for young people here in Ashmore Park and across Wednesfield North.


Home Schooling Rise

Home schooling grows in popularity
Data from local authorities in England has revealed that the number of children being home-schooled has quadrupled in a decade, from 8,361 in 2006 to 38,573 last year. The biggest increase, at 2,327%, was felt in Southampton, where 267 pupils are now taught at home. Next on the list were Hertfordshire and Liverpool, while Northamptonshire, Walsall and Kent also saw large increases. Just three of the 137 councils which replied to a Freedom of Information request reported a drop in pupils being home-schooled


Terrorism in London – Wednesfield Sends Sympathy and Condolences

The news of yet another terrorist attack in London will shock and anger many of us. I know as I stopped up and watched the unfolding action on the TV screens, and followed the news on Social Media I felt horror on what was happening last night.

This morning when the full extent of the terrorists actions are becoming clear. I know that Wednesfield people will feel exactly the same as I do this morning, and they will want me to express their feelings, and their first thoughts will be with those Londoners and Visitors to our Capital City who have lost their lives and have been injured by this vile terrorist attack.

They  will want me to share our sympathy and offer condolences with all those families who will be filled  with grief   this morning at the loss of their loved ones.

They will also be filled with pride at the way the Police and the First Responders dealt with the threat and the aftermath of the attack. We have many brave men and women serving us  in London and elsewhere in the country.  Well trained and rehearsed they went to Londoners  aid and we and will be always so very proud of their actions last night.

Whilst we live in an area of the Country where the terrorist threat is low, it goes without saying that with the threat level at ‘severe’ all of us should be vigilant when we are out and about. If we have any concerns about actions or are suspicious about events you witness, please tell the Authorities.

Wednesfield sends London and its residents its sympathy and condolences, we would also like to say that our life, our lifestyle, and our future, is entwined with the people in our capital city. Our thousand years of history makes our roots strong and substantial, the threats that we have faced up to in history shapes us moving forward. Atrocities we have laid upon us, only strengthens the resolve we have to apply the rule of law and uphold the democracy that we shaped for ourselves over the history of generations.

Today is a sad day for everyone here in Wednesfield, our City of Wolverhampton, London and the UK.




“Majestic News” for Ashmore Park Community Association!


Chair APCA Ann Wood with Secretary James Clarke.

2nd June 2017 – Today Queen Elizabeth the Second, Britain’s Sovereign awarded Ashmore Park Community Association – The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service (QAVS).

Across the UK, Ashmore Park Community Association will be recognised for the outstanding work they have done in their own community.

The Award was created in 2002 to celebrate the anniversary of The Queen’s coronation. It is the MBE for volunteer groups.

Ann Wood, Chair of Ashmore Park Community Association said today “I am bursting with pride. This is a great honour and privilege for our charity and all our volunteers, who work so hard to provide facilities and activities for others. They will be delighted to know that they are award winners. Not just any awards winners; they are now Queen’s Award Winners for Voluntary Service!

Our Committee Members are delighted and everyone involved with the clubs and activities that take place in our Community Hub will also be when they find out.

It’s not every day that a small voluntary organisation hears this sort of news, we are very eager to tell everyone! Our excitement is tinged with sadness as we lost one of our ‘guiding lights’ when Steph Clarke passed away so suddenly last year, aged just 36. Steph had worked hard to make our Community Association what it is today. She was at the heart of the work that has delivered this wonderful honour to the community she lived in.

We will never forget Steph’s spirit and drive, and I know she will be with us on this wonderful day, and every other day as we all move forward.

I am sure that every person and family on Ashmore Park who we serve, by keeping The Hub at Ashmore Park at the heart of community activity, will also be delighted to hear of our great news.”

Note for Editor

Ashmore Park Community Association has been existence for 20 years, they moved into The Hub at Ashmore Park which was officially opened in September 2014, and have developed The Hub and its activities into what it is today. There are more than 43 different clubs and activities that take place there and volunteers have contributed over 14,000 hours in the past year, enabling over 21,000 visits to the facility.

The Hub was opened by Councillor Elias Matthu in September 2014.

Photo: Ann Wood (Chair) and James Clarke (Secretary) of Ashmore Park Community Association attend the Royal Garden Party at Buckingham Palace on 23rd in recognition of the award.