Wednesfield North Councillors Review 2017!

Here in Wednesfield and Wednesfield North we have had quite an action packed year as your Councillors’. Here is my Review of 2017. Its not all of what happened! far from it, but it gives you a flavour of what we dealt with. I hope you enjoy being reminded of what took place in our Ward through 2017.


We started the year in January by having a Meeting with all the Heads of Maintained Nursery’s at Ashmore Park Nursery as there were concerns mounting around the long term viability of Nursery Schools as the Government started to change the way that they funded schools. The long awaited Local Nature Reserve on the Wyrley & Essington Canal was progressed. The latest news was that it was being prepared for Local Consultation! The first PACT meeting of the year determined that the Police priorities would be the Shopping parade, noise nuisance, and the cannabis smoking taking place. Also they agreed to the police taking action on speedsters across the estate, and the third police priority agreed being the drug taking and dealing around The Park. We held Advice Surgeries as we promised to do, and they produced some difficult cases.


I attended an LGIU meeting in London, as I had won the LGIU ‘Communicator of the Year’ title in November 2016. Also February featured heavily as the Village started to prepare actively for the Wednesfield in Bloom bid to the Heart of England in Bloom competition. Storm Doris struck this month (23rd Feb) causing a fatality in Wolverhampton, and blowing trees down here in the Ward. Corpus Christi had a burglary and computer tablets were stolen.


The City Council set its Budget for the year, and it caused much concern. There was local debate over the planning developments that had been announced about the Voyager purpose built development for people with Learning disabilities and other associated conditions being scoped for Barnard Road. This plan was to deliver 14 one bedroom, plus two bedroom supported living apartments. Planning for the Danesmore Pastures also took place this is the housing development on the former Danesmore Park School. All three Local Councillors joined together with the Public health Professional based at The Hub to run a No Smoking Campaign. Mary Rita and I have attended the ground breaking ceremony of the Voyager Care Home which is being constructed in Barnard Road. We met with and spoke with Local Residents. Mary and I attended the Express and Star debate in Dudley at the Black Country Museum for the new Regional Metro Mayor. Celebrated International Women’s Week by highlighting the excellent work Head Teacher Sue Lacey of the Ashmore Park Nursery does, and the international links the schools of Ashmore Park & Phoenix have with Sweden. Contacted the City Council following Wednesfield complaints, that the St Thomas’s Churchyard in Graisley Lane, and the trees & graves there have been badly damaged by Storm Doris. 


Planning for the Wednesfield Canal Festival actively got underway. As part of the Erasmus International project that Ashmore Park Nursery was taking part in. There was a gathering of the schools taking part. Your three City Councillors attended, meeting the schools and their staff, and of course the Swedish delegation that was also here. I also met with the Head teacher at Wednesfield High as I had cause to complain about the teaching situation after complaints by parents and pupils.


Wednesfield North Labour Party worked hard to get a Labour Metro Mayor, in the first such elections ever of this kind during this month. Sadly the Conservative candidate won. Next Up was the General Election GE2017 during the General Election campaign, Wednesfield North featured strongly with visiting politicians coming to take a look, and also meet local people. Sir Kier Starmer arrived at The Pheasant Inn and met and canvassed in the area. Councillors attended Counter Terrorism training during this month. On 11th May another big hitter arrived with Chukka Umuna MP visiting Broad Lane North and the Broadway! I attendee the Birmingham FA Vase final in West Bromwich to support Wednesfield FC – Wednesfield went onto win the trophy! The Wednesfield History Society put on a very good Exhibition about the Lancaster Bomber Crash that took place during the war years. It has been highly praised. Wednesfield FC reached the final of the JW Hunt Cup held at the Molineux – This time they lost to a good Alvechurch team. It is a time for Exhibitions and the History society put the Queens Visit to the Wednesfield in the 1960’s forward at Wednesfield Library! Again a very good public response. We reported that land in Peach Road had been surveyed with view to using the redundant land for housing A BT Phone box at the junction of Lichfield Road/Braod Lane North was reported as being a putrid disgrace. BT acted swiftly and cleaned it for public use pretty quickly.


This month opened with news that the Queen Elizabeth had announced that Ashmore Park Community Association had won a Queens Award for Voluntary Service! Now that was news worthy of celebrating. The General Election 2017 was held in this month, on Thursday 8th June 2017. It was a long hard day out on the streets, but we were triumphant here in Wolverhampton North East after a very wet and windy election day. The whole day was very action packed, we ran the election campaign for the Wards of Heath Town, Wednesfield South and Wednesfield North from our home in Wednesfield North. It was a real hot bed of activity. Lots of coming and going…apologies to neighbours who may have been inconvenienced a little. Emma Reynolds MP Wolverhampton North East (Labour) returned again with a 19.282 vote. Winning over the Conservative Candidate. Planting got underway for the Wednesfield in Bloom entry. Your Councillors attended the 50th Year Anniversary of St Albans Church with the Bishop of Lichfield in attendance. The Wednesfield Bentley Bridge moorings again attracted the BCN Cruise. I attended and gave the first boat to berth a book on the history of Wednesfield. This month also recorded the City of Wolverhampton winning the Local Council of the Year Award. Wednesfield FC having been denied automatic promotion by the West Midlands League into their Premier Division, appealed and took their case all the way to Wembley! Where they won the appeal and are now playing in the Premier League! Biggest win of the year for Wednesfield FC. This month also recorded the terrible Grenfell Tower disaster. This caused Wolverhampton to look closely at their own Tower Blocks, and that there is still work taking place, learning how such a disaster can be stopped happening again, and in Wolverhampton our own local housing situation is still being examined.


The Heart of England In Bloom Inspectors arrived and visited the walk, laid out to show the work undertaken by the In Bloom volunteers! The Inspectors very much liked what they found! Detailed work was started on the Wednesfield Canal Festival taking place in August. I publicised that Aviva Investors who own the Bentley Bridge Retail Park had donated £1,000 to ‘Hands on Wednesfield’ for the Wednesfield in Bloom campaign reported that a water leak in Kitchen Lane had been running for five weeks, it was a huge delay by Severn Trent which annoyed residents. A video was posted and it was looked at hundreds of times on Social Media. The repair was undertaken eventually. We continued to warn after a year of campaigning about the Gov Policy that was a threat to Local Pharmacies.


The City of Wolverhampton Mayor invited Wednesfield FC to the Mayors Parlour to congratulate the Club on their successful season. 12& 13th August saw the Wednesfield Canal Festival taking place. Music, boats and children’s activities with craft stalls also in attendance. Best Ever event and some 4,300 people attended. A cheque for £600.00 was donated by the Land security team to the CRT, following the event. This month we lost Raj Kumar shop keeper who was much loved on Ashmore Park. An amazing crowd of more than 2,000 people turned up for a service on the parade, taken by Rev Sam Leech. Wednesfield Aces was the home of Cycle Speedways British Championships. Brilliant organisation and a very good championship further enhance Wednesfield reputation.  


Mary and I attended the City Council Job Fair at the Molineux – Big event and well-staged offering jobs to Wednesfield residents and others. Wednesfield In Bloom was awarded a Gold Award at Warwick Castle in a special ceremony. Mary Bateman was selected once again to be Labours candidate in May 2018 City Council Elections. In this month your Councillors placed a resolution to the City Council because of the threat to Neighbourhood policing as the Government reduce West Midlands Police resources to continue delivery of proper Community and Neighbourhood Policing in our community. The resolution was unanimously passed by all City Councillors!


It was National Library Week and councillors helped promote Ashmore Park Library. Councillor Mary Bateman won her action to have painted the Ashmore Park Shopping Parade. West Midlands Police – In relation to the events on the (weekend 7-8 Oct 2017), we have 3 persons who were arrested and are on bail for these matters with curfew conditions imposed. Also during this month we heard from the Police that they had arrested 3 persons involved with crime on the estate. Your three Councillor’s decided that we would do what we could to raise interest in Local trading thru a #ShopLocal campaign. Local Councillors had been arguing to provide a School Crossing Patrol to assist children crossing the Griffith Drive to access and egress St Albans, Oakmeadow, Corpus Christi and Coppice High Schools. There had been two visits to the site requested. But the request had been denied because it didn’t match the criteria laid down by the Gov on School Safety Crossings. I am proud to say that Wednesfield has been in the news a great deal recently-Today is no different because the JSDA (Julie Sarah’s Dance Academy) based in Wednesfield, returned from a week end in Blackpool having wowed judges with a talented bunch of dancers. JSDA have been assembling talented dancers of all ages for years. In October they went to the Opera House in Blackpool with 62 students in total. They returned to Wednesfield after the competition with 33 students having qualified for the finals in Liverpool at the Echo Arena. How about that for an achievement! Julie from JSDA told me that “Both these groups are through to the finals at the Echo Arena in March 2018, the first group song and dance sounds amazing! Our teams brought back eight trophies ‘Naughty’ won adjudicator’s choice of the whole competition.This is really great news and boosts our #ShopLocal campaign which we have recently started to run as Councillors, to help local traders through a very difficult economic and trading period for This is really great news and boosts our #ShopLocal campaign which we have recently started to run as Councillors, to help local traders through a very difficult economic and trading period for


Barnard Road- “Appalling Mess. Mud on the road and footpaths!” Barnard Road – Last week a resident spoke with me about the poor state of Barnard Road on Ashmore Park. The new Care Home being constructed by Voyage appears to have ‘lost control’ over the contractors building the development. The city has a plentiful supply of salt! In fact they have  4,500 tonnes of rock salt in stock for the winter season. The way that is spread onto the roads by a fleet of 9 gritting lorries and a team of drivers who each have a specific route to treat around the city when the temperatures plummet! As City Councillors we were invited to attend Wednesfield Aces presentation night on the 3rd. very good event and we were informed of the team members who were going to Australia with the GB team. Attended a dance show in Sedgley, to watch Ashmore Park Dance Star Billy Ellitts ‘wow’ the audience with a superb dancing display! Your Councillor attended the Remembrance Day commemorations laying wreaths as we always do at this time of the year. Phil attended the Wednesfield Scouts and gave an address on Parliament and democracy.  


I chaired a meeting of the seven Nursery Schools across Wolverhampton, (W.H.E.E.L) lt stands for Wolverhampton Hub for Excellence in Early Years. As they unveiled a policy document, with proposals relating to furthering the development and investment in the Early Years Community. On December 16th I played the Santa role at the Hubs Annual Santa’s Big Breakfast; Again on the 18th I played the role of Santa Claus at Ashmore Park Nursery School. A very unwanted Planning Application has been made in Millbank Street to demolish a family home and deliver a House of Multiple Occupation by a private developer. Neighbours are very much opposed to this proposal.

“Here is wishing you all a very Happy 2018!”

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