Looking Back In Time! – Mayor Morey Launches Bus Service.

This is a picture of the first bus service on to the new Coppice Farm Estate.

I was Chair of the West Midlands County Council Passenger Transport Committee at the time and my Wednesfield colleague was Councillor Arthur Morey, Mayor of Wolverhampton, who launched the service.

This was in 1983 and the new bus service was launched to give Coppice Farm residents a local links bus service.

The first time I met Arthur Morey was in the very early 70’s, I asked him what his trade was? His response was “Well I am a bit of a Boffin!” I have never forgotten those words.

Arthur was a very good Local Councillor who went on to become Mayor of Wolverhampton in the 1983 /84 mayoral year. He represented Wednesfield North on the Borough Council for many years.


Wednesfield North – Not a Hot Spot of Violent Crime!

Knife crime is making all the news. I wanted to find out the latest information as it affects Wednesfield North.

I wrote to Chief Inspector Beth Bridges. I have yet to receive the full details I requested, but I do think that this interim response gives an indication that Wednesfield North is not a ” hotspot area for knife and violent crime.” Here is what Chief Inspector Bridges states to me in correspondence.

Councillor Bateman,

I have forwarded your email to Sgt Dalton who will be able to provide the data that you require with some context supporting it. However, you have hopefully seen via media outlets that Wolverhampton, along with the rest of West Midlands Police, have been focussing on knife crime for a sustained period of time.

I share your concerns regarding the incidents that we are currently seeing and we have responded by amending our patrols, increasing resources in key areas and working with schools and other partners to raise awareness of the dangers of carrying knives.

This area remains a priority for us and we will continue this work with partners, families and the wider community to work to make Wolverhampton a safe place to live and work.

Again, Sgt Dalton can discuss the specifics within your Neighbourhood but you are not one of our hotspot areas for knife and violent crime. Chief Inspector Wolverhampton Neighbourhood Policing Unit.

Councillor Phil Bateman added “When I have the full information from Sgt Dalton I will of course publish it, for residents to see.






green ways Coppice & Ashmore

Battle Lines Drawn – As City Declines Request!

I had been requested by some residents to source a durable bench from the Wolverhampton City Council, to be fitted on the Green Walkways that link Ashmore Park with Coppice Farm .

The walkways were constructed during the 1980’s so that walkers and ramblers could be linked from Essington and the South Staffordshire Green Belt with the Black Country’s own  Dudley Castle. Our Part of the ‘link’ became known as the ‘The Black Path’. It is much used for local journeys between locations in the surrounding areas of Walsall and Wolverhampton. I am not sure if many ramblers use the footway. But I know it is popular with City residents living in Wednesfield ,Ashmore Park, and Coppice Farm. It also links Essington with local shops and a frequent bus service on Ashmore Park.

Now I have written to the Wolverhampton City Council about the bench. But the response has been that there is no budget, and that there will be no budget created for this equipment.

I have pressed the request as I am sure you would expect me too. But I am keen to see what kind of local support it would engender if it gets into a bit of a battle.

Walking is of course a healthy lifestyle the City Council is keen to promote, and that means for youngsters as well as other family groups and senior citizens. I know the walkways are popular as a short cut to the schools. Both St Albans and Coppice High School are linked via the ‘Black Path’.

School children are safer to walk as well as they do not have to cross busy roads. Lots of residents enjoy the great varieties of birds that are drawn there as the Green Space is a very valuable resource for our large housing estates. The walkways are pleasant and in this brilliant summer, the senior citizens in our community would have a valuable amenity in which to sit and take it all in!

I am keen to hear residents and others views. It looks like we will have to fight for the resource, so I want to see what the strength of support is like…..let me have your views on here!


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Looking Back at History! -Arguing the Case for Rapid Transit.

I have long believed in having a rapid transit system for Wolverhampton and the West Midlands. I have done a lot to create the conditions and the arguments over decades for the construction of a Light Rail System.

This was taken at the Labour Party Conference back in the early 80’s.

I was lighter and younger, then, and that could be said of John Prescott MP!

Also in the picture is Ken Longmore of the WMPTE – Ken was a great man. I learned a lot from him. Former journalist, a conservative by nature. But a very loyal and brilliant Press Man the right person to have at your side in a difficult position. We had lots of difficult times. But Ken always lightened the mood with an awful joke or story!

I got on very well with John and in later years went to work with him for a few months after I lost my seat in 1992. We remain friends to this day.


Scan_20180715 (8)New Mayor Gwen Stafford Good

Looking Back in History – The Day When Gwen Stafford Good became Mayor.

I have been pulling together lots of history! Well you do when you get to a specific age.

One of the newspaper clippings caught my eye as it related to the Mayor Making of my former Ward Colleague and teacher from my former school – Wards Bridge Secondary Modern. Gwen was Mayor of Wolverhampton from 1998-1999.

I have placed the article on the site for you to read.

Gwen pledged herself to support the campaign for City status for Wolverhampton and Mike who also became a Wednesfield North Councillor, spent £1,165 on boroughs first  civic regalia with the purchase of a Consorts Badge.  Wolverhmpton became a City in the Year 2,000.

Both were very good Wednesfield North Councillors and they are very worthy to remember on these pages…!

Scan_20180715 (7) Looking Glum! campaign to get traffic lights to assist children crossing the road in the 80's

WMCC – Looking Back at History 1980’s.

Here I am looking a little glum following a campaign based round road safety here in what was my Ward on the County Council which encompassed both Wednesfield North and Wednesfield South.

I represented those two Wards from 1981 until the West Midlands County Council was abolished by the Margaret Thatcher Government.

The print out that I received from the County Council was enormous, and it stretched the length of the old members room in Birmingham.

Needless to say the measures that were being chased were successful. The photograph clearly settles the point about the incidents that had been recorded!

Scan_20180715 (6)Margaret Benton & Sue Hall Dudley Bus Garage Maintenance Oct 1985

WMCC -Looking Back on Public Transport! Dudley Bus Maintenance Building.

I was proud of the role I played in modernising public transport in the conurbation. Here on the 21st October 1985 – I am seen with my former Wards Bridge School teacher Margaret Benton and our friend Sue Hall.

Both were Wolverhampton Councillors, but I remember the  pride that I felt that day with Margaret , and Sue in attendance.

The WMCC had allocated resources creating  investment  for the  modernising  of public transport in the West Midlands conurbation.

Scan_20180715 (2) Adderley Park Station Opening

Birmingham Rail History – Opening Adderley Park Rail Station.

On being made Chair of Passenger Transport Committee in the West Midlands County Council in August 1981.

Looking back recently I came across this photo it records the role I played in opening  the newly refurbished Inner City Rail station of Adderley Park in Birmingham in those day’s.

Adderley Park station was originally opened on 1st August 1860, a small two-platform on the outskirts of the centre of Birmingham and was used by passengers to access local factories as well as local residents travelling to Birmingham. The passenger platforms were located to the east of Bordesley Green Road, which was crossed the line by overbridge. Access to the platforms was via steps from the roadway with a booking office being provided on each platform.

When I was Chair of the WMCC Passenger Transport Committee – I was also a member of the National Union of Railwaymen at the time.

I remember that it was a big thrill for me to be undertaking that role. I remember feeling very proud at the time, that I was part of an organisation that was going to have such a big impact upon the Second City and the transport future of the huge conurbation of the West Midlands.

Here looking on is Councillor Renee Specter a member of the Passenger Transport Committee , with the Opposition Conservative member of the Committee.


The then West Midlands County Councillor- Phil Bateman. Cutting the First Sod - Circa 1983"

Cutting The First Sod!

I have found this old photo out. It shows me digging what used to be described as the “First Sod” on what was then the Ashmore Park Youth Club. I had campaigned for the West Midlands County Council to build an extension to the Youth Club using the County Council Task Force which they did…it was about 1983 I think.

It is certainly a youthful picture. I can see former Police Constable Brian Tew in the back ground whilst the photographer lined up the shot!

I remember it well and we had a few days of real rain..the site was very wet and muddy!


Scan_20180714 (3)Peter Temple Morris defecting 1992

Right Place – Right Time! Number 10 Downing Street

You know the old saying- “Right Place at the Right Time” well this was the case for me back in 1998.  I was attending the House of Commons when Peter Snape MP for West Bromwich East said “come on we have to take Peter Temple Morris over to meet the Prime Minister.” Peter Temple Morris was a Conservative MP and had crossed the House, coming over from the Tory’s to Labour. I was asked to accompany them, with Denis Turner, and that was the first time I had been to Downing Street.

Former Conservative MP Peter Temple-Morris, who defected to Labour after the 1997 election, has died aged 80.

After crossing the floor and being given a peerage, Baron Temple-Morris sat as a Labour peer in the House of Lords for 17 years.

The son of a Tory MP, he previously represented the Herefordshire town of Leominster between 1974 and 2001.