(Item 9) Taking the Year in Review (2015) Wednesfield North – The Environment

Environment – The every day environment and leisure facilities here in Wednesfield North are under threat because there is less Government funding for the enhancement of local services. There are plans in other local authorities to reduce for instance the waste collection. There are no plans for that here at the moment, though local Green waste collection was reduced by not collecting Green Bins for the first time during the winter months in 2014, which spread into 2015. Perhaps the biggest issue in this sector has been the movement by the Wednesfield North young parents group who have rightly identified that very young children have play equipment on The Ashmore Park which is poor, and really does not cater for them or their children. It’s not attractive and it’s not safe. They rightly demand fencing and play equipment that is on par with other Parks in other areas of Wolverhampton. They also have requested some play items that can be used by parents with young children with disabilities. There have been a number of public meetings about their requests through the year. All the City Councillors in the Ward are in favour of new investment to achieve their request. The latest information on this important issue is that there is an  existing s106 contribution of nearly £62K from the sale of the Linthouse Inn which has provisionally been earmarked to improve the children’s play area. City officials have recommended a re-design of the site, firstly to make space for the installation of new equipment and secondly, to better position the existing equipment to serve different age groups. This is likely to involve the re-positioning of some equipment and a possible reconfiguring of inner paths etc, which would enable the City  to fence and gate the most appropriate area, particularly the part serving younger children. In the New Year I shall be pressing city Officials to begin an early start on this aspect of The Ashmore Park.


  • January last year we acted following reports of dog fouling in Duckhouse oad getting a clean up underway.
  • February Councillors arranged for an abandoned vehicle to be removed from Kitchen Lane.
  • April– I took a look at the wonderful field of Orchids and Wild Flowers I had helped to seed on Open Space on Kitchen Lane….Really great wildflower meadow!
  • April arranged for Waste Bins that had not been emptied by Amey in flats in Griffith Drive – To be emptied
  • May- I wrote about the green space at Bellamy Lane which is used for football practice. I had received complaints about the length of the grass on the site, from parents  and children who say that the kick about and informal play is being disrupted by the long grass, and the dog pooh that gets caught hidden its length. I also understand that Wednesfield academy use the facilities. It is causing much conversation and criticism. Can I respectfully request you to take a look at it with a view to getting the grass cut please. The grass was cut on the 15th May! Which everyone was pleased with? Also in May I wrote about the fact that some illegal Parties were taking place on this Green Open Space which young people were lighting fires making rough places to hide, and drinking alcohol and using drugs. City workers pulled the camps down and a clean-up took place.
  • June – I took issue with the Public Realm team following complaints from residents about the quality of the grass cutting service across Wednesfield North.
  • July I also acted along with my fellow Councillors to reduce the impact following a traveller incursion on Ashmore Park, arranging for rubbish and human faeces to be cleared from Green Open Space in Ashmore Park
  • September I received and acted upon complaints of Sand & Gravel strewn across the footpath in Lower Prestwood Road
  • November of this year following a tip off – I arranged for abandoned chemicals to be removed from a local garage.
  • December – A fridge was dumped and left several days in Woodside , a resident contacted me and I got it removed before Christmas. – A motorscooter was set on fire and abanoed on the football pitch in the Park – whilst the turf was damaged, I did report the damage and got the motor scooter removed.
IMG_6319-travellers-300x224  Traveller Incursion

The Traveller encampment on Green Open Space in Kitchen Lane Ashmore Park Wednesfield- In July 2015

During July of this year there was an Incursion of Travellers onto the Kitchen Lane Green Open Space in Ashmore Park. I have since that incident been at the fore front of a call to examine how this incident took place, and I have made a call to analyse what happened, what lesson’s can be learnt to mitigate any other incursion into the future.The Environment is an important sector of the work I undertake as a City Councillor. Perhaps the most challenging aspect this year was when some 60 vehicles with Travellers visited Ashmore Park. All that we hold dear in the Green Open Space on Kitchen Lane was at risk. During July of this year there was an Incursion of Travellers onto the Kitchen Lane Green Open Space in Ashmore Park. I have since that incident been at the fore front of a call to examine how this incident took place, and I have made a call to analyse what happened, what lessons can be learnt to mitigate any other incursion into the future.

There was I think some issues that needed to be addressed urgently. I called for an increase in the security of this site, the second a clean up of the space, removing the threats that were currently there.

That meant the removal of the cardboard, packing, soiled bed linen, newspaper, broken glass, gas bottles, metal, spent household goods, human waste, and not forgetting the old caravan left to rot.

Those were the number one priorities that needed to be addressed by the Environmental Health team. You will all know that this did take place. At this juncture I want to thank members of our community who made their own decisions and instigated their own clean up the Green Open Space, taking rubbish home with them and recycling other items with their own domestic waste. Firstly let me say you guys are real community stars! I haven’t forgotten the actions you have taken…hence the comment in this report!

Throughout this very traumatic 6 days in July of Traveller incursion onto the Kitchen Lane Green Open Space, I tried to ensure that you the resident had major information announcements every day, to keep you informed of what was taking place, with the City Council and the West Midlands Police.

I also wanted to ensure you were aware that your three Councillor’s  Mary, Rita and I, were out there working on your behalf every day that they were in the camp. Trying hard to ensure that the law was upheld, and the nuisance dealt with legally and without displays of anger. I think we did that through my social media pages, and at the same time gave you (our community)  a forum in which you could ask questions and receive answers. I thought that this arrangement worked well, thus keeping the public and our community well informed of what was taking place on a daily basis.

General Environmental Work – What many will not recognise instantly is the fact that we are doing some very important environmental works here on the Ashmore Park estate. The land some of us older residents call the ‘Red Bank’ for instance. Where the Travellers invaded in July.

photo Orchid on Red Bank

Rare Orchids on the Green Open Space on Kitchen Lane Ashmore Park.

It’s marked on maps as Green Open Space, but we have been planting wild flowers and orchids there. Indeed I helped the Wildlife Trust with that a couple of years ago, now there are others that are interested in what is taking place up on the Red Bank…Here is an extract of correspondence I received from City Officials to some enquiries I made in April of this years The basic maintenance for all our wild flower meadows is that the grass is left to grow until late August and then the areas are cut dried and the clipping collected whereby they are either used for introducing other projects to different areas or they are disposed of by the contractor. Depending on the nature of the site, arising’s on some environmental  areas are cut and left on sire to re generate but Kitchen lane o/s is supported by a local professor and so it has great interest in what grows there. Also, we have interest from our neighbouring council, Walsall, in which they have requested that they can have access to the wild flower zone next year to support a new project in their town. Again, depending on the nature of the environmental area, following the initial grass cut in August, the grass is either left until the following season or the plot is mown as per our normal programme of grass cutting until the end of the season and then left again to grow and flower until the next august period. I hope this clears up some of the concerns and questions you may have on this site.”  So as you can see there is a lot of interest in what is taking place around our environment.

There have been  illegal Party’s taking place on this Green Open Space which young people were lighting fires, making rough places to hide, and drinking alcohol and using drugs. With your Councillors encouragement – City workers pulled the camps down and a clean up took place. I think your Councillors have done a very mighty job in this sector of the work we undertake for you the residents of Wednesfield North- I would  of course as my collegues would- be happy to receive your comments. Many think that environmental work is all pink and fluffy. As you can see from this report, it is anything but! But the three Councillor’s very much value our Ward and its environment…..hence we are always on guard to act.


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


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