Wednesfield- Yes Its Open For Business!

Wednesfield – Yes It Is Open for Business!
Many of you have been talking about the poor publicity that is taking place in Wednesfield Village around the High Street and the Market.
Many of the stories are getting a little sensationalised.
There is not a High Street or a Market in the UK that has not been hit by the recession in retail, and the change to the publics shopping habits. As more and more people change to use the internet for food shopping and other purchases.

Lots of People do Shop in Wednesfield
Our Wednesfield Village boasts around 100 different businesses (Source Wednesfield Village Alliance), it has a really strong bus service with a Bus in the High Street in the Peaks every 4 minutes or so. Many of the surrounding Towns and Cities would give their high teeth for a similar bus service. Not only do the buses link local housing estates, but they travel further afield providing services for people in Walsall, Bilston etc. All of these communities linked into our Village High Street. Including bus services from Wednesfield North – and in particular the 59 bus service, perhaps the most frequent bus service in the City.

Yes, there is local trading issues in the Wednesfield High Street, but Wednesfield it is not a place to shun!
Wednesfield Village is not a place that is devoid of shops and local services. Its still a Village with a High street that is constantly attracting new business. It still has a Market. A market that is very much a meeting point for old friends and still attracts Wednesfield people’s loyalty. Shops have come and gone in Wednesfield since it was formed. Some disappeared because they were sold, or changed hands, some got lost in the economics of their period. But they do get replaced. The national economics of the period is not something that can be ignored. When the national economics hit a difficult period, High streets across the nation, hit trouble. Not all the structural change is down to poor Local Trading, or poor management.

Remember Brownhills? 30 years ago, you would not have predicted that this monster of a market would ever be slimmed down, never mind finding it now being totally extinct
The Wednesfield High Street trading is very much in our own hands. If Wednesfield folk do not use the High Street, it’s that sort of personal decision which will decimate trading.
Currently we have free car parking as well in Wednesfield. There are of course issues with regards to that. With traders concerned that there are not enough car parking places on offer for the shopper. This is because the argument goes – that too many of us are parking our car, then going to the hospital, where they would have to pay for their parking. Thereby ‘blocking’ a car parking space for hours at a time. Which then leads to shoppers not being able to park. Then the argument goes that transient trade is lost.

Bentley Bridge Shopping Park’
In Bentley Bridge more than 3.8 million cars visit that Shopping Park in a year! Almost 4m cars!
Not every one of those cars that visit Bentley Bridge come and spend in the High Street – But in the course of a year thousands of people will make two stops or walk across to visit both places. Without Bentley Bridge we would all be the poorer in Wednesfield as a community.
Bentley Bridge Shopping Park, supplies lots of jobs and wages for Local People. I don’t moan about it. I feel we should encourage more people who visit the Bentley Bridge facility, to spend a little more of their money locally in the High Street. But I am willing to wager, that if Bentley Bridge closed today – The impact of the loss of all those traders, the spend of all those shoppers, would quickly impact upon the Wednesfield High Street, like a blast of wind from the arctic!

So What does Wednesfield North consists of;-
Wednesfield North consists of Ashmore Park, Linthouse, Woodend, Wyvern Park and Coppice Farm. We may all live up here in Wednesfield North, but the health of Wednesfield Village is as important to our residents, as it is to residents living in the Village itself. We do our best to warn that we need to do things differently, as the Climate crisis will affect us as much as it will affect the more exotic places in the World. That is why Mary, Rita and I, do all we can to encourage Local Trade, and Local spending.

We here In Wednesfield North work hard to encourage our community to take part in designated #ShopLocal campaigns. We urge people to give just a little of ‘their spend’ to our local traders. Which includes the Wednesfield Village
We all have to work together to make our communities aware of the importance they have in our Local Economy. As part of that information we are looking for some feedback from Local traders.
This year on the Ashmore Park Shopping Parade we will be consulting shop keepers about yet another #ShopLocal campaign. Our Plan is to have three designated days in the year.

I would like to hear from Local Traders here in Wednesfield North about their views on joining with your Councillors to promote #ShopLocal on these following dates.
• Saturday 18th April #ShopLocal
• Saturday 4th July #ShopLocal and #Stuff4Steph Funday
• Saturday 12th December #ShopLocal
Your three Wednesfield North Councillors enjoyed the work we did with the community in 2019. It was fun and very productive. The Wednesfield in Bloom activity across the Village and in Ashmore Park, caught the eye. It provided more visitors, as people came to look what we were doing. It made the place brighter and better.
We are going to be rolling our sleeves up again in 2020. We hope the community will join in.
Let’s think about all the activities we do, and try to make them popular and successful! Oh and make trade that little bit better for the very local shops and stores in our community…We would all miss them if they had to close!

Phil Bateman

Phil Bateman is Married to Mary and lives in Wednesfield North. He was a long serving local politician having served previously on the now defunct West Midlands County Council... read more