Pot Holes- Councils Need More Resources!

Pot holes have ravaged the Local Road Network, both locally and nationally.

We need more Government resources to deliver a maintenance programme that takes the highway surface back to pre austerity levels, here in the City.

The danger to the local economy and the national network from pot holes shouldn’t be underestimated.

Here in Wednesfield North we have ben identifying and urging repairs to Potholes through out the winter. Some have been attended too, and some haven’t.

Resources are very scarce at the moment. But repairing pot holes is one thing, placing much more importance to whole road surface relaying, in a huge programme across the UK, would be a very popular thing to do.

The overall safety of our highways is an important issue. I would urge the Government to deliver many more resources than they currently have, so that road users from, bikes, to  motorists, to HGV vehicles can ply the roads quickly without fear of vehicular damage, or personal safety fears. IMG_5047


Police Chief Makes A Plea!

I have received the following message from the Chief Constable David Thompson.

My initial reaction is that I am pleased the Chief has taken notice of the protest and the concerns that we have as Local Councillors here in Wednesfield.

We do not want to see our Police Station closed down, as we know it will be for good!

Wednesfield needs a local station, it has had one for decades, and removing them from our locality will remove police further from the public they are there to protect and serve.. We are also as a group of Councillors here in Wednesfield North concerned that Her Majesty Inspector Of Constabulary has just placed a negative inspection comment on the force, reporting that some service areas in our Police force is already ‘Inadequate’.

Your Wednesfield North Councillors want a dialogue with the Chief Constable and we will be taking up his offer to speak.

We understand the pressure on the police around  finance, We know this awful Government are the reason that the West Midlands Police are in such a dire circumstance. We  know also that  her Majesty Police Inspector of Constabulary are also highly critical of the Police current performance.

WeI blame the Government and the Prime Minister for that –  not the force locally.

But I do think it is important that we stand up for our own Local Policing here in Wednesfield and Wolverhampton. I don’t want the Wednesfield Police station to disappear because the Police have to build for Birmingham and the advent of the Commonwealth Games!

I want to see our ‘protect and serve’ police here improve, and that and our community well served and protected. It will be done better if we have Police service that cares for us here in Wednesfield.

I understand where the Chief Constable is coming from, I have huge respect for him and his force. But I do not want to see our local access to the police degenerate any further than it currently is. Goodness sake I have received enough criticism through out last year about the lack of police in my Ward of Wednesfield North, to know that the public is worried and concerned. I will be writing to the Chief Constable with all of our Councillors views on policing here in Wednesfield North.

Here is the Chief Constable Thompsons comments to your Councillors.

“Dear Colleague-As I’m sure you are aware, there has been a lot of coverage around our plans for West Midlands Police buildings in the last few weeks with the main focus being on what is being taken away from communities rather than the future vision. I understand this completely. In the current climate, communities are sensitive to police changes and are worried about how building closures will affect crime and response times.

Let me take this opportunity to reassure you that I am committed to serving our public and ensure any change to our estate will not adversely affect them.

The West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner David Jamieson has signed off the overall estates strategy but nothing will close immediately. The programme is expected to run over six years and individual buildings will not be signed off for release until we are satisfied thorough local engagement has taken place.

There is a lot to discuss before any of the sites close and I hope for some inspirational ideas on how we can share with partners. The majority of our buildings are underused or at the end of life. Our future strategy for the force’s buildings is driven by three main issues:

We need buildings fit for modern policing. The force is, and will be, investing heavily in technology which will create an ever more mobile organisation. The custody redesign has shown big sites are better than smaller buildings. We have a Commonwealth Games to police in four years and our command and control site is in need of development.

The second issue is cost. Some of our buildings are just not fit for purpose and there is a backlog of £20m in repairs. Some of the buildings, indeed some of the most interesting or externally attractive, are at the end of their life and hugely underused. We need modern buildings fit for purpose that enable great team work by really thinking about which teams would benefit from co-locating. The new strategy can save us around £5m a year in building costs and create more efficient buildings.

Finally we know we can share. A large number of the poor buildings that we intend to dispose of are small neighbourhood offices and this has caused a lot of concern. With 22 per cent of our police officers in local policing and just under 500 PCSOs, it remains essential they are locally based. I promise neighbourhood teams will be based in their communities.

This is why a large part of the estate plan is to look at re-provision of the neighbourhood buildings with partners.

Currently we have not worked out where these sites will be but I promise we won’t close buildings until we have engaged with our communities to look at where the alternative provision will be and identified suitable sites for officers to be based locally.

I also attach the proposed timelines for the estate changes:”



Indoor Bowling

Ashmore Park Bowling Club – “Will Play In The League!”

If you have been following the story about the Ashmore Park Bowling Club, you will know that the club suddenly lost access to water when a pipe that supplies the club toilets and the kitchen, became defective.
The outcome was that with just a week or so to the start of the Bowling League fixtures taking place, the Club was without running water.
Your team of Councillors discussed the way forward and we then approached the City Council Parks team. They listened to our arguments on behalf of the Bowling Club, and drew up a plan to replace the water pipe that was damaged.
This has all been done at amazing speed to allow the bowls club to take part in the League.
This morning I received this email from the Bowling Leagues Welfare Officer.
“Fantastic result, a digger and workmen were down the green today (Monday) .
When I left at 3.00 this afternoon they were well underway excavating the trench for the water pipe.
Thanks again for your very effective and timely intervention in this matter. We all had our grave doubts as to whether we would be competing in the bowl leagues this year. It is great that you have helped us secure the greens future.
I will update you when they have completed the job. It would be great if you could come down the green sometime and meet the guys. If you do, you are welcome to have a go Crown Green bowls.”
Well on behalf of our Wednesfield North team of Councillors, we thank you for that information, and when the Sun is up and the days are warmer we may just take you up on that offer of a game!
In the meantime Councillor Mary Bateman, Rita Potter and I, are very pleased with the way that our Parks Management has worked on this issue. Well done everyone!
photoWoodend school3

Woodend Staff – Thanked for their “Hardwork” Wished Well For The Future!

In the latest Woodend Newsletter – The School has been informing parents about changes to the  staff following Easter.

Here is the newsletter content –

“Dear Parents / Carers -Thank you to all parents who were able to attend for parent’s meetings. I hope that the meeting was successful in letting you know how your child is progressing and also how you could support your child too.
I am sorry to say that Mrs Horton, Miss Larkin and Mrs Picken will be leaving us at Easter. All are moving on to further progress their careers. I would like to  thank them for their hard work and support for the school and wish them well in the future .
You may be aware that we do not currently have a school crossing patrol service. Could I ask that parents are extra diligent when bringing children to school and also speak to children about safe practices if they travel to school alone. Could I particularly emphasise the need for responsible parking – please do not park on the yellow lines.”

jayne Spence IMG_4124

You Left Huge Individual Memories!

On March 19th 2018 on a bitterly cold day, Mary and I stood with my brother in law Frank Hill former captain of the old Royal London and Springfield FC, quietly with the family and friends of Jayne Margarette Weston. Where at Gornal Wood Crematorium, Jayne was being laid to rest, she was only 59 when she passed away.

Jayne Weston was her married name, she and Dave her husband were devoted to each other, Jayne and Dave were very much a couple that friends and family always recognised as being deeply in love with one another, and very much a pair.

Jayne and Dave met in Wednesfield, they had a happy marriage.

Frank, Mary and I were there in Gornal Wood to pay our respects to Dave and Jayne’s family, and to remember the Jayne Spence we all knew as a young girl growing up, playing pranks, being larger than life and having a terrific love of animals and horses in particular.

Jayne was the middle daughter of Ken & Jean Spence.

We as footballers at Royal London FC knew the Spence family in the 60’s and 70’s very well indeed.

We were in those days’ carefree chaps who wanted to play football. Under our Manager Ken Spence, we did that with fabulous results both on the field and also off the field. We had a strong friendship with Ken & Jean and their ‘girls’.

We had a brilliant social life as Royal London FC , which meant that we were always bursting into the Spence family life, often with some disastrous results.   Gayle, Jayne and (the baby!) Lynn were always having their routines upset as these young guys, called on the telephone, at odd hours. Turned up drunk, or very happy at all times of the day and night., talking football with Ken and driving the family to distraction.

All of these random actions impacted on the girls and their school work. Jean Spence used to get very angry when some times the lads would disturb the girls on purpose. This again led to admonishment from Jean.

I grew up with all this happening. Indeed I think I was perhaps the worst culprit. Gail, Jayne and Lynn were special and it hurt like hell to know that we will not be seeing Jayne again. My last conversation with Jayne was at Jean’s Birthday Party. Just before we left, Jayne gave me her ‘hug’ and told me ‘that I was the brother she never had’. We left laughing and joking.

Jayne you were a live wire! You were not supposed to go so early. In your short life you were at the physical centre of your own family. You were the sun that all the planets spin around.

All your friends, and your children and your grandchildren were the planets. They will miss you so much in a physical sense. Your Mom Jean & Dad Ken and your two brave sisters Gayle and Lynn will find it hard to cope without you being around, as will other members of your family and friends.

But during your life, your influence, your actions, your love of life, will have  left huge personal memories for each and every one of them as individuals.

Jayne lived life as I well remember to the full. I still see you and your sisters dressed to support your dads football team in the red and white colours of Royal London. That mad cap laugh! The huge grin when you were around the horses. None of those images will ever leave me. These are my own personal memories.

Rest In Peace Jayne, you played your part in making this World a happier, a richer place, for all those that came into contact with you.

17 Police Lamp

Robbery – Kitchen Lane Ashmore Park!

photo 4 rail station

All Change at Wolverhampton Train Station!

 Councillor Phil Bateman said today “There will be Change taking Place at Wolverhampton Railway Station! The franchise is changing and Virgin Trains have released this message. I too have a  message. It  is a great big ‘thank you’ for the rail staff, its those unsung heroes that have served the public, and helped build Wolverhampton’s reputation, at this station. Having used the station for the last 21 years. A big well done from me!” “

On Sunday 1 April, 2018 the management of Wolverhampton station will transfer over to West Midlands Trains, as part of the new West Midlands franchise.

It will mark the end of our (Virgin) 21 years looking after the station, a period that has seen the services on the west coast route transformed. We are incredibly proud of what has been achieved, and whilst there will be a hint of sadness as we hand over the keys, we remain equally committed to serving the city and its people. We will continue to have a traincrew base at the station, and our services to Scotland, the Lakes and London will remain unaltered.

So we will still be around and we are very much looking forward to playing our part in delivering Wolverhampton Interchange which’ when finished’ will give the city a station it can truly shout about.

We unfortunately will be saying goodbye to around 50 members of the team, who will TUPE over to WMT. Some of them are featured in a sort video we would like to share with you. Please do take a few minutes to watch as it captures nicely the pride they have for their job, their station and of course their city. You can download it here – https://virgintrains.box.com/s/f98i87z7etkoq9rl6cy5sardoyfu0yj4

Being Virgin Trains, you would not expect us to go quietly, so in the last week we will also be holding a few ‘thank you’ events for customers and colleagues. So if you are passing look out for the cupcakes. If you have any questions please do not hesitate to get back to me. Failing that can I just say a very big thank you for all your support over the years.

11698434_10206357576111790_1952088822448313835_n Ashmore Nursery

Ashmore Park Nursery Growing International Reputation!

Councillor Phil Bateman MBE,  Chair of Governors of The Federated Ashmore Park Nursery and The Phoenix Nursery Schools Governing body said-

“Last night at the Governing Body – we discussed the latest information relating to our work with the European Union ‘Erasmus project’ , and our ground breaking work with other schools from Sweden, the UK and the next phase of the project working in partnership with schools from Spain and Romania!

The Governors were delighted with this element of the Headteacher Sue Lacey’s Report.

Mrs Lacey reported that both she and the Deputy Headteacher attended the Erasmus project Senior Leadership meeting in Romania, she gave the Governing Body a full report and she informed the meeting that “we will be welcoming these international colleagues as part of our new research project to our Schools in May 2018.”

The Governors were delighted to hear this news, and also some more exciting news in the fact that the School are also hosting a visit from a group of Japanese professors from Tokyo University at the end of March 2018.

They are very interested in the work that was conducted as part of the digital media research project and we will shall be sharing our research with them. There will also be the opportunity for them to observe practice within the Nursery.”

This is excellent news for the school, as we continue to build an excellent international reputation for the work we do in education Early Years children. I know we are very proud of all our staff that are involved in this outstanding work, and I hope the City Council will also be very proud that this little corner of the City – has such a growing international reputation.

The Phoenix School recently welcomed, Wolverhampton South East’s Mr Pat McFadden MP,  to their school site where Mr McFadden was briefed on the international links.

Emma Reynolds MP for Wolverhampton North East will be visiting the school at Ashmore Park later this week , where she will also be updated on the good news.

IMG_7903 Corpus Christie

Corpus Christi Primary School – Inadequate States Ofsted.

I had heard that the Corpus Christi Catholic Primary Academy – had its Ofsted Report Published on the 21st March 2018.

 I took a look at the report as there is many constituents who have their children attending this faith school.
The report is sober reading!

Ofsted determine that this school is – “Overall effectiveness Inadequate.”

The Ofsted inspection took place on the 7th February 2018. The report was published on March 21st 2018.

– The Ofsted report found that the Schools overall effectiveness was inadequate.

– That the Schools leadership and management was inadequate.

– That the Quality of teaching and learning and assessment was inadequate.

– Personal development, behaviour and welfare requires improvement.

– Outcomes for Personal development, behaviour and welfare,  Requires improvement

– Outcomes for pupils inadequate

– However the Early Years provision was Good!

“Sadly in my Ward of Wednesfield North we cannot afford to have continued poor results in our Local Schools. Our children only get one chance with education. Failure to deliver a good education affects their life choices, going forward. Their future must be better safe guarded, than it currently is,  and your Councillors will  be having a conversation with the Wolverhampton City Council about local children’s future schooling, and how pressure can be exerted on the School which is an Academy to improve its performance and quickly.”

School report

Corpus Christi Catholic Primary Academy Ashmore Avenue, Ashmore Park, Wednesfield, Wolverhampton, West Midlands WV11 2LT

Inspection dates 7–8 February 2018

Overall effectiveness Inadequate
Effectiveness of leadership and management Inadequate
Quality of teaching, learning and assessment Inadequate
Personal development, behaviour and welfare Requires improvement
Outcomes for pupils Inadequate
Early years provision Good
Overall effectiveness at previous inspection Not previously inspected

Summary of key findings for parents and pupils

This is an inadequate school

 There is not sufficient capacity in either leadership or governance. Leaders and governors have been too slow to tackle the declining performance of the school in leadership, teaching and outcomes since the school became an academy in 2015. Changes have been made too recently and too late to lead to any significant improvements.  The governing body (academy committee) failed to challenge leaders over the school providing an unacceptable standard of education.   Outcomes for pupils have declined over the last three years. Progress in reading was exceptionally low in 2017 for pupils in Year 6. Pupils currently in key stages 1 and 2 have not made enough progress in reading, writing and mathematics since the start of this academic year.   Outcomes for pupils who have special educational needs (SEN) and/or disabilities, disadvantaged pupils, boys and most-able pupils are low. The impact of additional funding is not evaluated sufficiently by leaders.  There is too much inconsistency in the quality of teaching and too many weaknesses remain. Monitoring of teaching is underdeveloped and not rigorous enough.   Where leaders have identified teaching assessment to be inaccurate, it is not being tackled quickly enough.  The outdated curriculum is not preparing pupils well for life in modern, culturally diverse Britain and the wider world. Stereotyped language and images are not sufficiently challenged. In some instances, they are promoted.

The school has the following strengths

 Provision and outcomes are good in early years. Children are well prepared for the start of key stage 1.  Those parents who responded to inspectors were universally positive about the impact of the recently appointed acting headteacher. They said relationships and communication were better. Staff were positive too.
 The physical education (PE) and sport premium funding is used and evaluated well to ensure numerous sporting opportunities for pupils.  Pupils’ attitudes to others and relationships between different groups of pupils are strong, as is their spiritual, moral and social development.

Inspection report: Corpus Christi Catholic Primary Academy, 7–8 February 2018 Page 2 of 14

Full report

In accordance with section 44(1) of the Education Act 2005, Her Majesty’s Chief Inspector is of the opinion that this school requires special measures because it is failing to give its pupils an acceptable standard of education and the persons responsible for leading, managing or governing the school are not demonstrating the capacity to secure the necessary improvement in the school.

What does the school need to do to improve further?

 Increase capacity of leadership and governance in order to: – monitor and evaluate teaching more rigorously to ensure that it is rapidly improving – hold teachers to account for the progress of different groups of learners, including boys, disadvantaged pupils, those who have SEN and/or disabilities, and most-able pupils  – ensure that action plans have clear and measurable intended outcomes which indicate who is responsible for taking action and then monitoring and evaluating the plans  – ensure that teachers’ assessment is consistently accurate – secure strong leadership for SEN and the pupil premium – develop a curriculum that prepares pupils well for life in modern Britain – make sure that governors challenge and support leaders  – engage more with external partners to provide robust and objective challenge – reduce absence and persistent absence further so that these are in line with the national average – overhaul the school’s website so that it meets the Department for Education (DfE) requirements for academies.  Improve outcomes in key stages 1 and 2, especially in reading, and for boys, disadvantaged pupils, those who have SEN and/or disabilities and most-able pupils by: – ensuring that teaching is consistently at least good – ensuring that teachers’ planning focuses on meeting the needs of these pupils so they can make rapid progress – ensuring that additional funding is appropriately targeted and evaluated to ensure that it is leading to rapid improvements in outcomes for pupils – providing pupils with the opportunity to develop their phonics skills in key stage 2 in order to acquire a higher standard of reading – extending activities for reasoning and problem solving to enable more pupils to work in greater depth in mathematics – setting expectations for writing that are high across all subjects.  Promote pupils’ cultural development so that they have a better understanding of their

Inspection report: Corpus Christi Catholic Primary Academy, 7–8 February 2018 Page 3 of 14

locality, the UK and wider world by: – extending their knowledge and understanding of other faiths and cultures  – ensuring that their understanding of the wider world is more balanced towards the modern age  – ensuring that cultural stereotypes are removed and consistently challenged.

An external review of governance and an external review of the school’s use of the pupil premium should be undertaken in order to assess how these aspects of leadership and management may be improved.

I strongly recommend that the school does not appoint newly qualified teachers.

Essington Homes Bid.

Even More Bids for More House Building On Essington’s Green Belt!

Blimey even more housing is being bid for Essington. This morning I received confirmation from Wolverhampton City Council that more housing is being bid to South Staffordshire District Council – just a few short yards away from Wednesfield North boundary where Kitchen Lane links with High Hill.

Here is what is being called for.- Emery Planning is instructed by HIMOR (Land) Ltd to submit the land at High Hill, Essington to the Council as part of the Councils ongoing consultations and evidence to inform the emerging Black Country Core Strategy Review. A site location plan is enclosed. HIMOR is an established strategic land promotion company with a track record of delivering sites of this nature. HIMOR has recently reached agreement with the landowners to promote the site. We therefore wish to put the site forward now so that it can be considered for an allocation for residential or mixed use development in the Core Strategy Review. The site comprises approximately 5.6 hectares, and is presently used for agriculture (grazing).

It is bordered by existing residential development to the west, Brownshore Lakes to the north, Brownshore Lane to the east and High Hill to the south with existing dwellings beyond. Initial assessments indicate that the site could accommodate in the region of 150 dwellings. Although the site is currently designated as Green Belt, it is bound by the settlement of Essington and existing permanent development to all sides. The land makes very little, if any, contribution to the Green Belt purposes. HIMOR has undertaken initial technical assessments, including access and highways capacity.

Now it seems that this is an open season on Essington, and any little bit of land that is coloured green on the maps, is likely to be bid for- for House building!