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

Wednesfield North News….

Birmingham International Airport has a new air route to Amritsar, it’s the only direct air service from the UK to Amritsar, the home of the Sikh religions Golden Temple. It is a bit of a coupe for Birmingham to win this air route. Both the business community here in the West Midlands and Air India who are operating the route hope it will be a huge success. It will certainly allow our Sikh community to be a little closer to their historic community home, making the journey quicker and easier for them.

Pinfold Bridge Wednesfield I have been asked by residents  enquiring about the proposed 7.5 Tonne weight limit in Wednesfield Village Centre.  The proposed restriction is a 7.5 tonne HGV environmental weight limit.  The new restriction will replace the existing structural weight limit which is no longer required as Pinfold Bridge has been strengthened.  The new 7.5 Tonne environmental weight limit will apply to HGV’s and will not apply to buses and coaches and so will have no impacts on existing bus services or routing.  The signage for the weight restriction will depict an HGV which is in accordance with DfT standards.

Ashmore Park I am receiving reports that a drain covers have been removed from a number of roads, please keep your eyes open, and let me know if you have had a drain cover go missing in your street.

Coppice High School I understand that Janice Fletcher the Head Teacher of Coppice High School has announced that she is leaving the school later in the year. The announcement has drawn some mixed comments from residents. However your three Councillors wish her well into the future.

Wednesfield Council - 1914 - bham evening despatch

Insulting Letter? Well That was the view of Heath Town Council!

Wednesfield History Society is a growing group of residents who are interested in the history of the Village, as well as its future development. At the latest meeting we had a number of great snippets of news. This one didn’t quite make the night!

But Jackie Harrison who researched it kindly let me have the ‘insulting letter’ comment that made the Birmingham Dispatch back in January 1914. Just as the First World War was on the horizon….

It is a fascinating look at yesteryear, and shows that the local neighbourhoods were very much competitive with each other. There is more little gems from our History Society meeting which will make these pages over this week….

The History of Ashmore Park.

From the Councillor Phil Bateman Archives-First published in April 2006 –

Ashmore Park Estate is an important part of Wednesfield North. But I am not sure how many people in the area know how it got its name. I am informed that there once stood Ashmore Hall and its estate.
The Hall was once in the ownership of a member of the Leveson family who had vast property holdings in the area including the Moat House at Willenhall. There was a lake which it is believed refers to a large pool which once lay on the north side of where the Pool Hayes School stands today but which was filled in when development of that area took place during the 1960’s.
So whilst we all know how Ashmore Park is today I doubt if many people living on or near the estate knows of its important historical past. Whilst some local history is taught in schools it is I think great to know that right at the heart of our little community is a medieval moated site.It is the only surviving visible moat in the City of Wolverhampton and you can see it as a dip in front of the ‘bottom shops’ the Ashmore Park Shopping Parade. It is a locally Listed site and was approved in March 2000.
Ashmore Park was one of the estates which Lady Wulfruna gave to St. Peter’s Church at Wolverhampton in 994 and a moated farmhouse was built here, probably in the 13th century.They also speculate that the house may have been used as a summer retreat for the Dean of Wolverhampton or as a hostel for visitors. Both of these were quite common medieval uses for outlying estates but there is no actual evidence of such use here. The old farmhouse was probably taken down when a new one was built in the early 19th century; that new one was demolished in 1957.The Ashmore Park Estate was a council housing estate built, in the 1950s, by the then Wolverhampton Borough Council outside its own boundaries; the boundaries were later stretched a bit to incorporate the estate into the borough.

We are very lucky to have been successful in getting resources to protect and explain about this important heritage site in our community.

The Campaign for Ashmore Park Enterprise managed to get £50,000 from Heritage Lottery funding to promote this site.There are information boards that are erected and the local library that stands alongside the site has interpretation and other display items in the Library. This makes it a place for local schools to visit and learn about the history of the area.

I still think that we can make much more of this important heritage site, that can be translated into a little more economic growth for the commercial advantage of the shopping parade. History is a very valuable commodity in this day and age.

Author: Phil Bateman

Article Date: 9th April 2006

IMG_3866Jackie Harrison WEd His Soc

Wednesfield & Willenhall Rivalry!- “Cheeky Ned Seized Billy’s Thumb and Bit It to the Bone!”

This is why I like going to Wednesfield History Society so much!

Not is it just a meeting, it is also full of great Wednesfield people who like a laugh, but are serious about the Village history!

Last night was a great meeting it had a little bit of everything!

It was full for a start. During the course of the evening there was a great poem read by Jackie Harrison. It was written by an unknown person. But it dealt with the long time rivalry between Wednesfield and Willenhall.

Jackie Harrison read it perfectly, and it amused us all… was about a cockfighting!

Please enjoy the poem….you can let me have your comments also. Thanks Jackie for the reading and thank you Ray Fellows for the hard work you do in making our evenings a success.


At Wednesfield at one village wake,
the cockers all did meet
at Billy Lane’s, the cockfighter’s,
to have a special treat.
For Charley Mason’s spangled cock
was matched to fight a red
that came from Will’n’all, o’er the fields,
and belonged to cheeky Ned.
Two finer birds in any cockpit
there never yet was seen,
though the Wednesfield men declared
their cock was sure to win.
The cocks fought well, and feathers flew
all round about the pit,
while blood from both of ‘em did flow
yet neither would submit.
At last the spangled Wedgefield bird
began to show defeat,
when Billy Lane he up and swore
the bird should not be beat.
For he would fight the biggest man
that came from Will’n’all town,
And on the word, old cheeky Ned
got up and knocked him down.
To fight they went like bull dogs
as it is very well known,
til cheeky Ned seized Billy’s thumb
and bit it to the bone.
At this the Wednesfield men began
their comrade’s part to take,
and never was a fiercer fight
fought at a village wake.
They beat the men from Will’n’all
back to their town again,
and long they will remember
this Wednesfield wake and main.


Anonymous – 20th Century

Annual Public Health Reports

The Public Health Consultation – Life Style Choices Are Important!

Wolverhampton City Council have been running a public Consultation on their plans for the Public Health going forward. That consultation period has now ended. I responded to that consultation within the period (4th February 2018) . Here is an extract of the views I made to that consultation. I have published it today for the public record. I am now in further contact with officials following through on some of the arguments made here.

“Dear Public Health Director –I wish to make a submission relating to the Public Health Policy that is currently out for consultation. I want to say that the life style choices issue is an important one. I also want to say that the keeping people healthy itinerary was working with our own Public Health Lifestyle choices staff member embedded in The Hub at Ashmore Park.

The fact that the community got to know Catherine helped tremendously in building up confidence to tackle the issues that we need to tackle, like ‘No Smoking’ Healthy Living, and tackling obesity. Also it was a very innovative Public Health Lifestyle member who saw the benefit of actually working with the three Councillors together in a partnership to deliver the ‘better’ outcomes that the City needs. I believe we are going to lose that staff member soon…that is a tremendous blow for us here in Wednesfield North.

The three City Councillors here in Wednesfield North recognise that “Public Health is about keeping people healthy and making sure everyone has the same opportunities to live a healthy life In Wolverhampton, that is why over the last few years we have worked in partnership with our Life Style Choices embedded staff member here in The Hub. We note that the Public Health are still mandated to provide NHS Health Checks, Health Visitors, Sexual Health Services, National Child Measurement Programme, Health Protection assurance and providing advice for the NHS, all these services will remain. So the mandate stays the same but the plan to get there will alter.  

Here are Wednesfield North Councillors view; they are based on the experience that we have gained by working with Catherine here at The Hub. We recognise that not many Local Councillors will have worked as closely with the Public Health staff as we have. But it is our view that working in partnership with Local Councillors can add value to the work being undertaken. The City Councils have weakened democratic visibility by the changes that they have made to services, and the way that we report outcomes.

Here in Wednesfield North Councillor Phil Bateman complained about the changes made to the Public Health Annual Report as it changed its reporting structure to take up themes in 2014. He  outlined his concerns with the following criticism to the then Director.“  He wrote “In the Public Health Report in 2012 ( again as an example) on Child Poverty in Wolverhampton it reported that a third of children in Wolverhampton are living in relative poverty. So what is happening now? Is it worse? Is it better?…are we losing track of the outcome?

We are currently cut off from seeing how we have done in tackling the problem, and the results are hidden away or produced elsewhere. Now I recognise that being critical of this reporting style will make me unpopular in certain quarters. But you either speak out or keep quiet. I am all for seeing these issues raised and answered in debate. It’s not that I am springing this issue onto the Director. I have raised these issues publicly previously and through my Face Book page, long before the latest report was published.” That criticism was written in 2014. Back to the current situation  – I am convinced that the public have a right to know on a broad front what the City is doing around a whole range of Public Health issues.

Keeping the Annual Report on Public Health about a main subject or theme obliterates the bigger picture and I am very much against that reporting style. I would appreciate a broader Annual Report covering the range of issues including the medical statistics, plus the mandated items.

Watering down the Public Health delivery is not the way forward. I get a real concern because I see the present proposals for the service, as being of a ‘watered down’ variety. I am not convinced that the changes being outlined in this consultation document is going to take us forward as a healthy City.

I recognise that the City has less money for the duties it has to deliver. But please lets not think that the outcomes will be better than those arrangements that they are replacing. They will not be in total. I feel that the loss of the Children’s Centres have impacted badly on the City. The fact that the services they provided here in Wednesfield North were fundamental to the themes now being re-organised again. Democratic accountability of the services they provided has been lost from sight! Local Councillors are no longer involved in developing local services, for example breast feeding, baby massage classes, all the things that took place within the local Children’s Centres.

Now it is all change yet again.

I am convinced that if the City Council moves forward on the current path, the Public Health goals will be better reached by using the current Hubs as a means to delivery. There is so much more these popular centres can do. Local Councillors can be encouraged to work with Local Campaigns like anti-smoking campaigns. Please see the attachments provided to give you a feel for what can be achieved. I am receiving reports that Local Doctors surgeries are also being used to deliver these aims. The Local doctors are not providing the front line services that people expect them to do with any ease. Loading up the preventative messages and expecting them to be delivered by doctors surgeries is a pipe dream! They are far to busy dealing with the medical needs of the population. It will be a patchy affair. I hope these views will be helpful.





whiston Ave redundant car park

Whiston Ave Ashmore Park – Two New Bungalows Proposed!

Whiston Ave– Here is the latest news that I have with regards to the proposal to build two new homes on a former derelict Garage site.

Wolverhampton Homes are currently bringing together information to enable a procurement exercise to be submitted through the City Council’s procurement portal to invite contractors to bid for the projects.

The plan is that this development  will go out to tender towards the end of March, and Wolverhampton Homes will be looking to appoint a contractor for the sites during May 2018.

Wolverhampton Homes are proposing to build 2no two bedroom bungalows.

They will be City Council owned properties for rent, managed by Wolverhampton Homes….

Barnard Road care home

Voyage Care Development – Behind Schedule for Handover!

The Voyage Care establishment being constructed on Barnard Road, Ashmore Park  for young people with Learning Difficulties, has run into some construction problems.

It is already way behind schedule for opening (Which was originally November 2017), and now the Voyage Care organisation inform me that the hand over date for the building, is delayed yet again.

This is not the news residents would want to hear. I am in conversation with the company and I will attempt to keep you informed of any new developments next week.

WEdnesfield North Councillors 2016

Wolverhampton – Residents Programme Back Again In March!

City Councillors have had a briefing from  the City Managing Director about an important part of the City Councils getting the City back to work policy. Its good news and your three Wednesfield North Councillors  want our residents in Wednesfield North to be amongst the first to know……!

The fourth City of Wolverhampton Residents Programme is back this March and will offer residents free events and opportunities to get support with living, learning and working in the City.

The packed programme will run from Wednesday 14 to Saturday 31 and includes a range of drop-in events to help residents into the world of work, to find an apprenticeship, to find the right home and improve their wellbeing.

There are also events aimed at supporting families, supporting people to stay independent, and information on how people can get more involved in their city.

The programme is part of a drive to improve opportunities, prosperity and health for residents, as well as raise the profile of the city, its people and opportunities, as part of city conference season.

More Information will follow……


Mayor Elias Mattu with APCA August 2017.

Sad Time for City – As City Mourns Its Mayor

Hi Wednesfield I have some very sad news to give this morning.

The Mayor, Cllr Elias Mattu, has passed away overnight. Cllr Mattu, who was 59, served the city with distinction for many years and was incredibly proud to be its Mayor. The flags at the Civic Centre have been lowered to half-mast and a book of condolence is being set up in the foyer. 

Both Councillors Mary and Phil Bateman with Councillor Rita Potter send deepest sympathy and condolences to his family. Elias was a good friend to us as individuals. He had a super relationship with the members of our own Ashmore Park Community Association. We will never forget him as being a kind man, a very good Mayor and Councillor, and for being a very committed human being.”

 Cllr Roger Lawrence Leader of the City Council has said: “Elias was my friend and a loyal, dedicated and loving family man. On behalf of the City of Wolverhampton, I extend my very deepest condolences to his widow Asha and his children Anthony, Ishmael and Jessica. “Elias served his city and council for nearly two decades with huge dedication and commitment. He was one of our city’s favourite sons, a hugely popular councillor and person, hugely respected by the people he served. “His great strength was his warmth, impeccable manners, leadership, compassion, loyalty and unifying influence. Elias worked closely with different community and faith groups across the City of Wolverhampton, bringing people from all backgrounds together and making our city a better place as a result. “Despite illness, he continued his mayoral duties for as long as he could with unyielding strength, optimism and determination and raised thousands of pounds for his mayoral charities. He will be profoundly missed by many people.”


Keith Ireland said: “I know Cllr Mattu was incredibly proud to be Mayor of the City of Wolverhampton. I worked very closely with him and he will be sadly missed. On behalf of all employees of the council, I wish to extend my condolences to his family.”






Police car C-m_bVaXoAEqffS


The Canal & River Trust and West Midlands Police have joined forces to launch a new neighbourhood watch scheme on the region’s historic canal network. 

With more and more people working and living by the water, the Canal Watch scheme aims to promote a sense of community and encourage people to help ensure waterways remain safe and enjoyable places.

Peter Mathews CMG, chair of the Canal & River Trust’s West Midlands Waterways Partnership, explains; “One of the attractions of our wonderful waterways is that they’re quiet, tranquil places where you can escape the bustle of everyday life. However while we want people to enjoy the peace we don’t want them to feel isolated or vulnerable and that’s where this scheme comes in. We want to address any misconceptions and reassure people that our waterways are safe and welcoming.

“With Canal Watch we want to make the fantastic sense of community that already exists on our waterways more visible. We want to show people that collectively those living and working on the waterways, the local police and other stakeholder groups are working together to share information and keep people and property safe.”

Under the scheme people living by the water, boaters and waterside businesses can sign up for police updates and free crime prevention advice.

Local community groups, businesses and organisations will also be encouraged to build closer links with each other and work together to make sure the waterways remain welcoming places. As well as receiving information people will be encouraged to report and share any suspicious activity so that action can be taken.

Leaflets and stickers will be distributed to local people, boaters and businesses with signage also being displayed across the region’s waterways. Forensic marking kits will also be handed out to boaters enabling their valuables to be traced if needed.

Inspector Imran Mirza said: “The Canal Watch scheme is a free initiative where West Midlands Police will work with various partner agencies across the region to promote safety and send key messages through the WMNow community messaging system. This will help boaters to keep their marine equipment secure and ensure that their journey across the waterways is as safe as possible.

“The scheme isn’t just focussed on boaters however, WMNow will ensure that anyone living or working beside the water is kept up to date and informed.

“By working together and communicating with each other better we can deal with the issues focusing on long term problem solving but also promoting early intervention and prevention.”

A Canal Watch option has been added to WMNow, the new West Midlands Police messaging tool that allows communities to be kept up to date with what is happening in their areas.

The scheme is initially being rolled out in the West Midlands Police region but it is hoped that it could also be introduced in other parts of the country.

To receive messages and crime prevention information, create an account at

Images attached:

  • Representatives of the Canal & River Trust, West Midlands Police and local business and community groups launch Canal Watch
  • Inspector Imran Mirza of West Midlands Police and Peter Mathews CMG, chair of the Canal & River Trust’s West Midlands Waterway Partnership



For further media requests please contact:

Stephen Hardy, communications manager, Canal & River Trust

t 01636 675703 m 07920 077190 e

Notes to editors: