get involved
join us

Councillor Sharron Edwards - Press Coverage May 2003 To Date

Express & Star Newspapers Friday 2nd MAY 2003

Freedom Party link to the far right denied.

South Staffordshire’s new Freedom party councillor today denied any association with the far right.

Sharron Edwards said she agreed with the party’s right wing principles but was more interested in serving her electorate by dealing local issues. The Freedom Party itself denies any connection with an Austrian Party of the same name which is claimed to have neo-nazi links.

It was set up by party Chairman, Adrian Davies, who says it has nothing to do with Joerg Haider’s Freedom Party, saying the name was a coincidence.

Councillor Edwards, aged 44, was elected with a 158 majority over Conservative candidate Paddy Kelly, who also held on to his seat. She also won a majority at Parish council level.

Her husband Steve also stood for The Freedom Party in Tipton Green, but he didn’t get elected, but came second after achieving 1,084 votes.

Councillor Edwards said “We are pleased with what we have achieved so far, but we know we have a lot of work ahead of us and will keep on going”.

She said the party offered a positive and credible alternative to the other parties.

“It is a right wing party but there are no racist links”.

Mr. Davies today paid tribute to the new councillor who will represent Wombourne South West.

Express & Star Newspapers 3rd MAY 2003.


Voters in Wombourne have elected a far right candidate to represent them on the district and parish councils.

Sharron Edwards deputy chairman of the Freedom Party, topped the votes for Wombourne South West racking up 641 supporters, or 40 per cent.

The result came as a shock knocking sitting Conservative councillor Mike Davies off the district, Tory Paddy Kelly retained his seat clocking up 483 votes.

Another of the night’s surprises came when long serving councillor Les Hipkiss and Christine Young lost their seats. Both were de-selected by the Conservative party and stood independently.

Mrs Young is a former Perton lakeside parish and district chairman. Mr. Hipkiss failed to retain his seat in Wombourne parish or district.

Husband and wife teams were popular with voters and Ken and Doris Mackie retained their seats in Bilbrook as both parish and district councilors.

Reg and Joan Williams continue to rule the roost in Wombourne as do Perton councilors Cyril and Pam Bromley.

The overall turnout was dubbed disappointing by council officials who said less than 30 per cent of people voted.

The make up of the district council is now: Conservatives 35, Labour 8, Independents 4 Lib Dem1 and Freedom Party 1.



The right wing Freedom party won its first-ever council seat in the West Midlands.

Deputy Chairman Sharron Edwards was elected in South Staffordshire District Council in Wombourne South West ward.

Mrs. Edwards won 641 votes (40.6 per cent) giving her first place. The second and third places were taken by the Tories with 483 and 457 votes.

The Freedom party was formed only two and-a-half years ago but has been accused by the British national party of being modeled on a European right group.

A spokesperson for the group said: “Our party has focused on addressing the local concerns of residents. We have not attempted to be elected on the basis of a protest vote but on the ability to serve local people in the manner which was once associated with the three old parties.

“The Freedom party came into being as a result of the growing numbers of people of all political backgrounds who have concluded that the political establishment ios bent on nothing less thanm the systematic dismantling of our society”.

Express & Star newspapers 3rd May, 2003.

Sharron’s party pledge.

The right wing Freedom Party won the largest majority in both the district and parish council elections for the ward of Wombourne South West near Wolverhampton.

Sharron Edwards won by a majority of 158 in the district and achieved more than a 100 majority at parish level during last nights elections in South Staffordshire.

The Freedom Party which was set up two and a half years ago, has been accused by the British National Party (BNP) to have been modeled on a far right European organization.

But Mrs. Edwards of Penleigh Gardens, Wombourne said, “It offered a positive credible alternative to the main groups”.

She said “It is a right wing party but there are no racist links”.

Her husband Steve Edwards also stood for The Freedom Party in Tipton Green but narrowly missed getting elected.

Mrs. Edwards aged 44 said people were disillusioned with the main parties and wanted more choice.

She said The Freedom Party was about looking at people’s main problems and trying to deal with them.

Express & Star May 2003

Right wing parties raise shocks village.

Wombourne residents have expressed their shock at this week’s parish and district elections in which the right wing Freedom Party won the largest majority in Wombourne South West.

Sharron Edwards won by a majority of 158 in the district and achieved more than 100 majorities in the parish elections, knocking sitting Tory councillor Mike Davies off the district council.

Residents have spoken out about their feelings after the news that 100’s of voters turn their back on the Conservative, Labour and Liberal Democrat parties to vote for the new party.

The village is historically a Tory stronghold as it covers the whole of South Staffordshire area.

The Freedom Party, which was only set up two and a half years ago, has been claimed by The British National Party (BNP) to be modeled on a far right European organization.

Mrs. Edwards, of Penleigh Gardens, Wombourne, claims the party is a “credible alternative” to the main parties.

Evelyn Turner, 71, has lived in the village for 45 years and was shocked to find out a Tory seat had been lost to the new party.

“I would always expect for the village to be Tory, it always has been for as long as I can remember, there have always been a lot of Conservative councillors in the village”.

Graham Edwards, 60, was also surprised by the result.

“Wombourne is historically a Tory area, the policies of The Freedom Party must be really good”.

Jim Gogarty, 55, landlord of The Mount Pleasant pub had previously not heard of The Freedom Party but said they must have done something right to have had so many votes.

Mum, Rosie Brookes, aged 26 also had not heard about the new party but felt it was very unusual for people not to vote Conservative.

She said, ”Around here it all normally Tory, so something must have obviously changed”.

Sandra Biddell, 57 said she had been worried by TV reports on BNP success around the country and hoped that The Freedom Party did not have similar values.

Wolverhampton Chronicle 8th MAY 2003.

Fears over victory for The Freedom Party.

Victory for The Freedom Party in Wombourne has been described as “awful”, amid fears it could lead to race problems in the village.

The party’s candidate Sharron Edwards, won seats on the parish council and for Wombourne South West, securing a first ever win for the new party.

Former councillor Brian Hyett said he was shocked at the result “It is pretty awful for the village, whilst she is claiming she is not part of the National Front, she certainly used to be.

“People just do not realize what they are voting for. The village does not have a race problem and I hope it will not start one”.

Sharron Edwards, however, called the victory, “History in the making” and said there would be more Freedom Party candidates in future elections.

Refuting claims that her party is racist, Mrs. Edwards said, “ Wombourne people have proved that the establishment can be challenged and it is wonderful now to be able to do things in a professional position”.

“We are a right wing party and are patriotic not racist we are not controversial and do not have any criminal convictions. We believe our people must be put first and we are anti asylum seekers as they are a drain on our resources and we need to protect what we have”.

“Our people should have first choice when it comes to housing. Asylum seekers do not necessarily get the houses nobody else wants. Ultimately, the party wants to see our homeless people off the streets”.

Wolverhampton Chronicle - Letters

15th MAY 2003.

Apologies sought after over membership comment


Your article “Fears over victory of The Freedom party” (May 8th) wrongly reports that I was a member of the National Front. I have never been a member of that organization.

In future reports, it would be much appreciated if the facts were checked before going to print.

Your source of misinformation, former councillor Mr. Brian Hyett may now wish to offer his public apology.

Councillor Sharron Edwards

Freedom Party

Express & Star - Letters - Monday 2nd June, 2003.

Party lesson on listening.


Councillor Rowley’s veiled remarks concerning the results of the recent local elections will simply confirm for many people the fact that our political establishment has been in power for too long without serious challenge.

The Labour Party and its representatives all too often appear to refuse to accept that other people have views different from their own, held for legitimate and arguable reasons. Labour would do better to ask what it is about the policies being perused in this country, and their own performance in office, which has led voters to reject both it, and the two other main parties, in some local constituencies.

Political parties, which become deaf to the complaints of the public, and dismiss anyone who does not accept their dogma as ignorant and intolerant, both insult voters and undermine democracy - the basis of which is the interplay of views.

If the new mayor of Wolverhampton believes that discontent with his party is going to go away by issuing lofty denunciations from his pulpit he is sadly mistaken.

Councillor Rowley would do better to listen to the voters, as an increasingly organized opposition is doing.

Councillor Sharron Edwards.

Freedom Party.

Wolverhampton Ad News June, 2003.

Airport Action Group Campaign.

Freedom Party Wombourne district and parish councillor Sharron Edwards and Liberal Democrat representative, Ian Sadler were appointed joint co-coordinators of the Wombourne Wolverhampton Airport Action Group at a meeting attended by 100 residents on Wednesday.

The pair plans to organize a canvass and letter distribution campaign in the area and are on the look out for volunteers to help collect signatures.

Anyone interested in helping should call 01902 892769.

Express & Star Newspapers August 2003.

Campaign to close drugs den alleyway.

A campaign to shut down an alleyway, which is allegedly being used as a drugs den and a “getaway” for burglars and vandals has been launched.

Residents in Westbrook Way, Wombourne, are being threatened and also having their property vandalized on a daily basis, claimed Wombourne councillor Sharron Edwards “It doesn’t matter what time of day it is, there has been damage to property - such as to fencing, gardens, homes, cars and furniture”.

She complained “One resident has had to put in three lots of fencing to stop the vandals from breaking it”.

“What they are also doing is scaling the fences in the alleyway to gain access to the properties on Common Road and then using the alleyway to get away”.

“They are also setting fire to trees in the gardens. It is very costly for the residents and they are being intimidated. One was even threatened with a screw driver to his face”.

“There is also evidence of drug abuse going on there. Residents have had enough and want to stop this from happening again and again”.


She added “This alley has been a source of much anti social behaviour and the cause of great expense and anxiety that we have put the wheels in motion to get it shut permanently”.

Councillor Edwards has contacted the utility companies to see if any of their services run through the alley. Severn Trent and Transco say they do not have any.

She is now waiting for a reply from Aquila before the application can be forwarded to Staffordshire County Council.

County Council spokesman Martin Watkins said “To get an alleyway shut is a complicated legal process which may well generate objections”.

“If there are no objections and everyone is in agreement, then we can move forward with it”.

Wolverhampton Chronicle - Letters

August 2003.

Council wrong to sell village land to “Greedy developers”.


A lot of good work that is needed for the benefit of the community of Wombourne has been held back by the misguided opinion of the council and some councillors mainly that it is the duty of the council to obtain the maximum amount of money from the sale of council owned land.

This policy is responsible for the loss of many prime sites around the village to greedy developers that could have been used for important villages amenities, like the burial ground or day center for the special need kids.

Councillor Sharron Edwards supports our opinion that a council’s first and most important duty should be to provide the services and amenities the village residents need and not making as much cash as possible by flogging off county property for more unwanted developments that sometimes affect people’s quality of life.

Councillor Edwards has worked really hard to obtain the change of use from play area to burial ground at the Sytch Lane site.

If it comes off, a lot of the credit belongs to councillor Edwards’ new drive and persistence to obtain what the people that voted her in expect of her not what suits the council.

Gordon Fanthom

Group Chairman

Wombourne Village Conservation Group


Wolverhampton Chronicle - 4th September, 2003.

Housing fears on burial site.

Fears have been raised that a proposed burial ground near Wolverhampton could be sold to housing developers.

The site off Sytch Lane, Wombourne, has been earmarked by councillors as an ideal location for a new burial ground in the village.

However, South Staffordshire parish and district councillor Sharron Edwards said she feared the land may go to the highest bidder, which could be residential developers.

A new graveyard is required following confirmation that no more burials can take place at St. Benedict’s church in Wombourne because that site is nearly full. Royal Order has now been given to prevent further burials at the cemetery next to St. Benedict’s church.

However a bid to build property on the Sytch Lane land is included in the South Staffordshire Draft Local Plan.

The report described the land as easy to develop with 4xisting access and said it met all sustainable criteria.

News of the bid has led to fears that a new graveyard could be years away.

Councillor Edwards has responded by advising concerned residents to get involved with the local plan consultation process, which is expected to take at least a year.

She said, ”The burial ground would before everyone and I urge the public to look at the draft plan and make known any concerns they have. There is the possibility it could go to the highest bidder”.


The closure of the current burial ground means people from Wombourne now have to be buried outside of the village.

“People are having to pay double or treble the amount they should for a burial and it is not right at what is such a difficult time for people”, councillor added.

Planning Officers have said the best way to ensure a burial ground goes ahead would be for residents to make their feelings known during the consultation period.

Councillor Edwards said a copy of the Draft Plan could be viewed in Wombourne and encourage people to write letters voicing their opinions.

Wolverhampton Chronicle - Letters

4th September, 2003.

Queries on grave concerns.


I must correct the statement made in Mr. Fanthom’s letter that “Councillor Edwards has worked really hard to obtain the change of use from play area to burial ground at the Sytch Lane site”.

The confidential decision to ensure the proposal was included in the South Staffs local plan 2003 was taken some years ago.

Councillor Edwards was not elected until May 2003 and therefore was not party in anyway to the decision.

The draft proposal was in fact finalized during the first quarter of the year and published to the district councillors during June/July.

Peter Timms.

South Staffordshire County Councillor.

Wolverhampton Chronicle - Letters

11th September, 2003.

We want a burial ground.


It comes as no surprise that councillor Peter Timms wants us to believe that councillor Edwards played no part in the Sytch Lane burial ground site.

He also criticizes Mr. Fanthom and councillor Edwards and yet these are the only two people who are fighting for this burial ground - and make no mistake councillor Edwards works very hard for Wombourne residents.

It matters not to us the local plan 2003 or the letter of so called correction. We want a new burial ground. We have nowhere we can lay our loved ones to rest.

Councillor Timms, you should be shouting from the rooftops in district and county “No more houses we will have Sytch Lane site for our new burial ground”.

Or do the people of Wombourne have to do it for you?

Jill Darby


Wolverhampton Chronicle - Letters

11th September, 2003.

Nothing had happened.


I would like to challenge councillor Timms comments (Letters Sept 4th).

He claims that the Sytch Lane site was proposed some years ago for a burial ground if this is the case, why haven’t we seen any movement on this issue until councillor Edwards came along?

If it wasn’t for councillor Sharron Edwards bringing the matter to our attention, I for one would not have known about a public consultation, let alone a draft deposit local plan!

Lyndon Jones.


Wolverhampton Chronicle - Letters

11th September, 2003.

No wish for political row.


In answer to parish and county councillor Peter Timms (Letter Sept 4th) I wish to clarify a few facts.

After being elected as district councillor in May, I later proposed the Sytch Lane site for use a s a burial ground. I was advised in writing by the planning officer in June that it had been looked at as a potential site but not actually designated as such.

At the same time it was also confirmed to me that my proposal and views on this site would be forwarded to the relevant department. I was therefore very pleased to see that the Sytch Lane site was subsequently included in late June in the Draft Deposit Local Plan along with the Head of Development Services recommendations for this site to be suitable for a burial ground and not to be allocated for residential development. Nonetheless, I was extremely concerned to read that the county council had proposed this site for residential development along with the view that the land had been unused for fifteen years and only horses grazed there.

I have no wish to turn this issue into a political argument. It is far too vital and important to the residents to obtain this much needed amenity, especially now that our Sovereign has declared that no more burials can be undertaken at St. Benedicts.

Therefore, I would call upon all councillors to give their full support for this burial ground and lobby the county council not to sell to the highest bidder, whilst residents take their active part in the public consultation process.

We must all work together on this issue.

Sharron Edwards

Freedom Party District and Parish Concillor

Express & Star also Wolverhampton Chronicle Letters - September 2003.

Breath of fresh air.


For the first time in forty years I did not vote for the Tories at the last local election.

I have watched in despair as much of our beautiful village has been systematically turned into a concrete jungle. Councillor Sharron Edwards has been like a breath of fresh air to our local village.

I think it remarkable how this lady is standing up on her own against greedy developers. I look forward to the day when we have more Freedom Party councillors like her.

Graham Rutter


Express & Star also Wolverhampton Chronicle Letters - September 2003.

Our needs out first.


Congratulations to the Freedom Party councillor Sharron Edwards for her hard work in trying to obtain burial ground for the village of Wombourne.

Other local councillors have failed miserably in validating a suitable site, exercising profit before people, at last in councillor Edwards we have a councillor who puts our needs , the needs of the people first.

Mrs. V. Elcock.


Wolverhampton Chronicle - Letter

18th September 2003.

Caring for residents and not publicity.


Recent letters to the Chronicle about councillor Mrs Sharron Edwards are refreshing to read. At last a Wombourne councillor who really cares about the people of Wombourne and works tirelessly on their behalf instead of those who think “What publicity can I get from this”.

The latter is typical of those who seek publicity and give nothing of their personal commitment and ride on the back of the noble effort of others.

Of course there are those that measure success by how many times they get their picture in the paper - several in the ruling group who do not need naming.

When the next election comes around, lets hope The Freedom Party can field a full team to oust the complacent and arrogant Conservatives from their ivory towers.

Well done Sharron Edwards, keep up the good work.

You have already proved yourself in Wombourne.

(Former Tory Wombourne Councillor)

Les Hipkiss


Wolverhampton Chronicle - Letters

2nd October, 2003.

How much more can village take?


I have just received a leaflet from The Freedom Party and councillor Edwards informs me of the impending housing developments, seven in all.

No prizes for guessing whom the builder will be. I accept that this comes about by greedy landowners, but they do not give themselves planning permission to build these houses, or do they?

It is like living in a concrete jungle already. It’s like banging your head against a brick wall to get through to those faceless ones that we have had all the houses that we can take. Is this what we pay our council tax for?

My council tax has increased enormously as has everyone else’s and what do I get for my council tax? My bin gets emptied every week and a horse to switch on the Christmas lights.

No police and a police station with ‘closed’ on the door, no burial ground and of course a sixty foot wall with dead ‘I don’t know what’ growing out of it, having to wait almost a week to see the doctor due to the sheer volume of patients he has, due to the sheer volume of people in Wombourne.

When you do get to see the doctor, you take your prescription to the Chemist only to find most of the medication is out of stock, due again to the number of people living here.

I thank you councillor Sharron Edwards for keeping me informed.

Let’s have more of your party on our council before we are sold out to the West Midlands.

(Former LibDem Councillor)

Jill Darby


Wolverhampton Chronicle 2nd October, 2003.

Meeting to discuss development fears.

Residents concerned with over development in Wombourne will have the opportunity to discuss the issue at a forum next week.

Freedom Party councillor Sharron Edwards is campaigning to highlight proposed sites for development including the district council’s latest draft plans.

Sites earmarked for housing include: Bratch Lane, Orton Lane, Poolhouse Road, Trysull Road and Bratch Common Road.

Councillor Edwards said “We must not be complacent if we are to protect our village way of life and obtain the vital amenities this village needs”.

“We need to send a clear message to greedy developers who think that the land in Wombourne is theirs for the taking. It isn’t. The residents have had enough”.

The members of the public are invited to the forum at the parish council chambers at Gravel Hill on Saturday 11th October at 10am.

Wolverhampton Ad News - 9th October, 2003.

Battle lines drawn on developments.

Parish councillor s in Wombourne has crossed swords over “Proposals for future developments in the village”.

Conservative district councillor Joan Williams says there are two proposals in the accepted draft plan - these are for a burial ground in Sytch Lane and for housing development in the old county council depot in Walk Lane.

But Freedom Party councillor Sharron Edwards, elected in May, says there are ten proposed sites under consideration and has called an emergency meeting of villagers on Saturday at 10am to look at these plans.

Councillor Edwards has leafleted the village in her “fight” to get the proposals dropped.

But councillor Williams says there is no fight and the so-called proposals are simply a wish list from would be developers which have already been rejected by the district council, leaving only the two which are perfectly acceptable to everyone.

“There are always people wanting to develop land” said councillor Williams, but we are completely confident that only the two plans are under consideration the rest is purely a wish list”.

Councillor Sharron Edwards has worried a number of villagers by stating that land to the west of the pumping station in Bratch Lane is under consideration, along with land in Orton Lane, Poolhouse Lane, Trysull Road, Bratch Common Road, Sedgley Road and even Pennn Common.

“Her previous battle to get previous plans up and running for a burial ground in Sytch Lane came after the plans had already got the go ahead, and this seems to me to be a similar way of doing things on her part”.

But councillor Edwards is adamant that the proposals will be taken seriously by district planners.

“We must allow public consultation over these ten sites” she said.

“Previous development plans were dismissed as unimportant and a lot has taken place since then, to say these ten proposals have been knocked on the head is not true. I am aware that there is a shortfall of housing sites up to the year 2011 and wander what that will mean to the village, so I have hired the Parish council chambers for the meeting”.

But a South Staffs planning chief said “In a planning document called the schedule of sites proposed by developers, consultants and other interested parties - a number of sites have been included, but these have been rejected.

“The only two accepted are the cemetery one in Sytch Lane and the housing proposals at the old depot in Walk Lane”.

Express & Star - Friday 11th October, 2003.

Wish list of ten housing development in village

Warning of more homes in pipeline

Several housing developments could be built in the picturesque village of Wombourne despite assurances that only one had been approved, it is claimed.

Freedom Party councillor Sharron Edwards said there were still plans for around ten housing developments in the village despite Wombourne parish council chairman Carol Timms announcing otherwise earlier this week. Councillor Edwards has called a public meeting on Saturday for residents to find out more about the plans set down on a developers “wish list”. They include housing developments in Bratch Lane, Orton Lane, Poolhouse Road, Trysull Road and Sedgley Road near Penn Common.

Mrs. Edwards, who was elected earlier this year said that more than one development would be needed to fulfill the housing requirement from the government.

“The fact of the matter is that large amounts of new developments in South Staffordshire are required to satisfy the overall plan for the whole area between now and 2011”.

“This will not be met simply by the scheme already agreed in Walk Lane to which councillor Timms draws attention”.

“That is why The Freedom Party has drawn the attention of residents to the list of possible developments in the Draft Plan, and called upon them to make their own views known to the council”.

“Many of these proposals may indeed be only wish lists by developers at present but my objective is to ensure they remain only that”.

Mrs. Timms refuted the claims that the village could be overloaded with developments.

She said today “Anything in this world is possible but there is very little chance of any more housing developments being built in Wombourne”.


“Except for the odd house that will be shoe-horned the only development will be the one at Walk Lane”.

“For any more to be built developers would need to persuade the district council to change its mind and give it permission. It is a snowball in hells chance of it happening” she said.


Inspiration at meeting.

I would like to thank councillor Edwards and all the residents and other councillors of Wombourne who turned out at the consultation meeting recently.

They voiced their opinions against further developments proposed in the village and to support the campaign for the needed new burial site at Sytch Lane. Hopefully the meeting helped inspire the village to unite.

With a combined effort from all village councillors and conservation groups Wombourne may be able to reject anymore of the unacceptable developments the village has seen recently and obtain the needed change of use for the burial ground site in the near future.

G E Fanthom

Wombourne Village Conservation Group

Hinksford Gardens




No more houses please.

Once again it would appear that further developments are planned for our village of Wombourne.

Most normal thinking persons agree that our village is already overcrowded by new developments.

To quote Jill Darby “No prizes for guessing who will carry out these projects”.

Perhaps whoever it is, will get the road repaired in Bratch Common Lane, which was left in a disgraceful condition.

This was after the completion of YES yet another housing development by, you may have to guess who and their contractors.

I would like to express my thanks to councillor Sharron Edwards for taking a 100% interest in the village.

She is trying her best to fight for the villagers against the faceless bureaucrats who allow every application for future development no matter what the residents think or where the developments are squeezed.

I have no doubt that these bureaucrats do not live in the village likewise the builders.

Well done Sharron, keep up the good work.

Caring Resident

Bratch Park




Village burials.

After at least fifteen years of waiting for a new burial ground and councillors come and gone, their sole purpose for being elected was to obtain a new burial ground. Nobody seems to have any impact on this matter.

This council excels at building sixty-foot walls and hundreds of new houses but when it comes to our basic and most important needs, they fail us.

Councillor Sharron Edwards is working very hard in obtaining our basic needs so perhaps in the not too distant future, we can lay our loved ones to rest in Wombourne where they belong.

(Former LibDem Councillor)

Jill Darby



Councillor cleared in standards judgment.

A member of the right wing Freedom party has won a fight to clear her name following a political rumpus that rocked Wombourne.

Village Conservatives had reported Sharron Edwards to The Standards Board for England over comments made by her in a newsletter. The said the article “brought her office into disrepute”.

Mrs. Edwards (pictured) who sits on the parish council, had written there were a number of proposals under consideration for major housing developments in Wombourne.

Angry Conservatives hit back that only a burial ground and one housing proposal had been firmed-up and will take place.

The Tories claimed that councillor Edwards was attempting to fight proposals which did not exist in order to claim “a victory” after they had been rejected. Councillor Edwards is adamant the proposals may yet become viable.

The Standard Board stated “The board considered that the comments made by councillor Edwards did not have the potential to have brought her office or authority into disrepute.

“Councillor Edwards would be entitled to bring the proposed developments to the attention of the constituents of her ward, irrespective of whether the council’s draft plan included the sites in its proposals”.

South staff’s district councillor Brian Cox, who made the complaint, said “The district council drew up a local plan, which is currently at the printers, listing nine or ten sites at which development could take place.

“There were also sites proposed by landowners, developers etc, which officers recommended be not included.

“This was all clearly stated at a series of five seminars. Councillor Edwards came to the first of these.

“Mrs. Edwards published a letter which she distributed, stating we had included five sites which we had, in fact, rejected.

“The local planning team and members of Wombourne parish council were upset about what they saw as a misleading document”.


Councillor cleared of misleading electorate.

A councillor from South Staffordshire has been reported to The Standards Board of England accused of misleading the electorate.

Councillor Sharron Edwards was accused of bringing her office and authority into disrepute via information in a document called Wombourne Freedom News.

She has since been told the complaint will not be taken further.

The allegations were made by Conservative Deputy Chairman for South Staffs District Council, Councillor Brian Cox.

Councillor Edwards, who represents The Freedom Party, was accused of telling Wombourne residents their lives would be dramatically affected by proposed developments in the councils draft deposit plan.

Councillor Cox said the developments she warned of were not part of the council plan and her comments were both “patently untrue and misleading”.

The South Staffs Draft Local Plan has been the subject of contention between Wombourne Conservatives and The Freedom Party and Councillor Edwards slammed the allegations as an attempt to silence her and the party.

She said “I will not be silenced but will continue to do the job I was elected to do and serve the people, something the complacent Tories have long forgotten how to do”.

She added, “They would be wise to remember when in a hole stop digging”.

The Standards Board was set up under the Local Government Act 2000 in order to deal with such allegations and decide whether to pass complaints to an ethical standards officer.

It released a statement saying it had considered the complaint and ruled that the conduct, if found to be true would not have involved any failure to comply with the authorities code of conduct.

It said councillor Edwards was entitled to bring proposed developments to the attention of her constituents whether or not they were included in the draft plan.

The response concluded that the allegation was not to be investigated.

Councillor Cox said “What she did upset a lot of people and that is why I complained. The Standards Board was set up to deal with confidence in local democracy and people. I think she distorted the truth”.



Looking foolish

What a bunch of Conservatives we have on Wombourne parish council, but then some of us have witnessed this a few years ago.

These councillors have reported councillor Sharron Edwards to the Standard Board of England because she told us the truth, they have been informed by this board that she has done nothing wrong in informing the electorate of what is being proposed.

All thy have achieved is to show themselves for what they really are and made to look very foolish.

Jill Darby




Respect for Sharron

I am not a supporter of The Freedom Party but in the matter of the dismissal of South Staffordshire District Councillor Brian Cox’s complaint against Mrs. Edwards she is clearly vindicated.

A raft of developer’s proposals was recently described in a public meeting as a wish list. Sadly, developer’s wishes in Wombourne have a nasty habit of being granted after being turned down by councillors.

Sharron Edwards has won widespread respect in the village and, in the matter of speaking out about planning abuses, she clearly has mine.

N. Freeman.





Tories are arrogant

How dare the Tories in Wombourne report our elected Freedom Party councillor Sharron Edwards for alleged misconduct.

It is typical of the scheming we have become used to in Wombourne by this pompous group of people who have continually made the wrong decisions regarding our village.

The quicker the next elections come around the better, so we can get rid of these arrogant has-beens.

G. Rutter

Birch Coppice




Putting business needs before those of residents

If anyone needs reporting to The Standard Board of Control (CHRONICLE 6TH Nov) then it should be the useless Tories in our village.

They have sacrificed the quality of life for people here in favour of big business.

I would also be interested to find out why the controlling Tory group in Wombourne has been completely silent in supporting the campaign against the proposed airport expansion in Bobbington.

My fear is this is one more case of big business before local people.

L. Jones



Bully recruits an army of litter busters for campaign

A clean start for Steve in village

Wolves legend Steve Bull recruited a band of whirlwind litter busters when he kick started a campaign to clean up a Wombourne estate.

The former footballer joined councillor Sharron Edwards and the “Wimbles of Wombourne” which the team have aptly named themselves after the Wombles of Wimbledon Common at the Giggetty Estate to launch the drive.

News of the stars visit swept through the village, boosting the numbers of litter pickers as well as the profile of the venture.

Pupils from Ounsdale High, Westfield, St. Bernadette;s and Blakeley Heath Primary Schools, local scout groups and families volunteered their services.

And the initiative also received the backing of Dave Stewart, Managing Director of Wombourne based McCain’s Foods Ltd, who offered to provide Christmas goody bags for the youngsters as a reward for their efforts.

Councillor Edwards said the response had been excellent.


“It’s not just about cleaning up the estate but about bringing communities together in a positive way” she said.

The campaign will be an ongoing one, with volunteers meeting once a month, to wipe the streets clean of rubbish.

The first mass litter pick event will take place this Sunday, from 10am to 11.30 am.



Switch on to a big apology

In the act of good sportsmanship can I suggest that Conservative councillor Peter Timms invites Freedom party Councillor Sharron Edwards to turn on Wombourne village Christmas lights as an apology for reporting her for alleged misconduct.

Having lived in Wombourne all my life, I am happy to accept Sharron Edwards at her word.

Now Wombourne people have someone who’s educating all generations of all walks of life, as to what is really happening to our village.

Well done Sharron, I know who I will be voting for come the next elections.

Miss Kelly Watts

Lamb Crescent




Listening to the people

When a community begins to receive leadership, and forge ahead with projects for the people by the people, then head will turn and interest within the populous will rise.

All of this an more is happening on our doorstep thanks to the hands on approach to everyday problems by Wombourne councillor Sharron Edwards of The Freedom Party. Since this lady became involved in parish and council affairs in Wombourne she has led by example and achieved great milestones in village life of local planning, community relations etc, with a recent bonus in determining the new burial site off Common Road.

The politics” are simple: listen top the people, their grievances and their needs, and let commonsense prevail throughout.

This has been the case with councillor Edwards and The Freedom Party. No political sway to any political party, just commonsense and straight talking , followed by firm action. That’s the way forward, and the recipe for success in Wombourne.

M. Addison

Showell Lane




Bully sweeps along

May I, through your newspaper take the opportunity to thank Steve Bull for his tremendous support to our “Giggetty Clean Sweep Campaign” in Wombourne.

This is an initiative not just about cleaning up the estate, but also about bringing communities together.

His presence drew much welcomed attention and local families were rewarded with his kindness.

Before and after the photo shoot, Steve took time out to sign autographs and talk with local residents.

Steve Bull does a lot of work in the community, is an excellent ambassador for the Black Country and his presence at the Giggetty launch was very much appreciated.

I would also like to thank our local police, scout group, primary and secondary schools, Mc Cain’s Foods and not least the residents for their valued support in this campaign.

Councillor Sharron Edwards

Freedom Party



Airport group facing a protests deadline

Campaigners battling to block any future expansion of Wolverhampton Business Airport are to hold a public seminar in Wombourne to drum up support as the deadline for comments on its future and objections looms.

Public consultation over South Staffordshire’s council’s draft local plan, which will include recommendations about it, is due to end on January 9. Members of the Wolverhampton Airport Action Group want as many people as possible to lodge objections with the council before the deadline.

The Government only announced on December 1`7 that the decision would be made by the local authority, giving campaigners only a few weeks to refocus their efforts.

Previously the action group had concentrated its campaign on the Government and MP’s, bombarding them with letters and petitions.

Its public seminar on the scheme is being held at Wombourne Community Centre at 10am on Saturday.

Councillor Sharron Edwards, Wombourne co-coordinator for the action group said: “There are a total of 17 objections to be made against future development of this airport, which means that just 30 people can raise over 500 objections.


“It’s imperative we get as many people as possible together at the community center on Saturday, we need to make as big an impact as we did with the letter-writing campaign to our MP.

“Due to the timing of the Government’s decision and subsequent local consultation deadline, this has become a matter of even greater urgency.

“We support South Staffordshire District Council on this, if we are to have a definite “no” to any future development.

The council’s dist5rict plan currently does not contain any decision on whether there is a case for the expansion of the airport.

Action group founder Margaret Rogers admitted the policies laid out I the district plan were open ended despite their year long fight.

She said “In many ways we are having to start again from scratch as until now our campaign has been focused on the MP’s and Transport Secretary Alistair Darling”.

Footnote: In less than a week 6 days from 3rd Jan (seminar date) to 9th Jan (consultation deadline) over 1,000 objections were collected by councillor Edwards in Wombourne. The total number of objections collected by the whole group covering a number of other villages was over 6,500. Lots of media coverage on this to include: radio, television, ceefax and newspapers - very high profile pleased with results.


22 JANUARY 2004

Villagers battle business airport expansion

Villagers in South Staffordshire are fiercely battling to quash any future proposals to expand Wolverhampton Business Airport.

Members of Wolverhampton Airport Action Group (WAAG) claim crucial changes to a council planning blueprint will mean the end of ambitious plans to turn the Halfpenny Green site into an international airport.

The comment follows a consultation by South Staffordshire District Council over its draft plan.

Protesters disagreed with 17 sections of the report relating to the airport. They want civic leaders to make alterations to the draft plan to block the business airport from developing into a major aviation site.

Wombourne WAAG Co-coordinator Councillor Sharron Edwards said “There are a total of 17 objections to be made against this airport, just 30 people can raise over 500 objections.

“We must support South Staffordshire Council on this if we are to have a definite ‘no’ to any future development.

More than 6,500 residents objected to the blueprint setting out guidelines for future development in the area.

City Councillor and transport chief, Cllr. Phil Bateman who is championing the airport expansion said “I am a supporter of the proposed expansion of Wolverhampton Business Airport. I firmly believe the expansion will be a boost for the conurbation and develop the surrounding areas bringing much needed inward investments and jobs.

Residents will find out in spring if their objections have been successful.


27 JANUARY 2004.

Nurses add voices to call for road safety

Nurses turned out along a notorious road in Wolverhampton to call for changes to a dangerous junction where drivers “dice with death” trying to join fast moving traffic.

The team of staff from Gravel Hill Doctors surgery in Wombourne met at the junction of Gilbert Lane, Wombourne to show support for a colleague following the death of her husband at the junction.

John Adams aged 52 of Worcester Street, Stourbridge, died after his Morris Minor Traveller collided with a Renault Clio at the junction on New Year’s Eve.

Campaigners have now stepped up their fight for improvements on the notorious route between Wolverhampton and Himley, which has claimed eight lives in the past nine months. Representatives from Wombourne parish council, South Stafford shire Council and South Staffordshire County Council have been holding meetings with the highways Agency to see what can be done.

Residents joined in yesterday’s protest and a petition was placed in the Gravel Hill surgery calling for a ‘no right turn’ to be enforced at the junction. Staff were also joined by Wombourne councillor Sharron Edwards who is spearheading the safety campaign. She wrote to the highways Agency to try to get temporary changes enforced while a feasibility study into permanent measures is conducted and said it should be a top priority to save lives. “We would like to think that we can get a temporary measure put into place to stop deaths” she said. “Driver turning right at this road to gain access to the A449 can sometimes dice with death as speeding vehicles approach them at both sides”.

She said sped cameras were not the solution but would compliment other traffic calming measures such as a no right turn, island or roundabout, which she has also put forward to the highways Agency.

“These investigations can sometimes take a long time and we can’t afford to wait and leave things as they are if we are going to save lives” she added.


27 JANUARY 2004

Death junction ideas come under scrutiny

A crucial meeting is to take place tomorrow Friday, between officer from South Staffs Council and the highways Agency over traffic problems in the Wombourne area following numerous injuries and seven recent deaths.

At the meeting between Nick Miller from Staffordshire County Council and Highways Authority officers, the whole stretch of road from the Himley lights to Lloyd Hill will come under scrutiny, after years of work by parish councillors in Wombounre.

But two parish councillors are locked in a battle over who is campaigning for the traffic calming measures on the notorious A449.

Newcomer, Freedom Party councillor Sharron Edwards has said she has been asked to spearhead a campaign to get the right turn from Gilbert Lane onto the A449 revoked.

This will make traffic wishing to travel towards Stourbridge turn left and join the flow to the nearby island before being able to continue south.

“This is a particularly dangerous spot, so I didn’t delay in asking the Highways Agency to make a temporary traffic order for a ‘no right turn’ at Gilbert Lane while their detailed studies were taking place” she said.

But Parish Council vice chairman and County Councillor Peter Timms said the 2detailed studies” were those he had been painstakingly working on for four years.

“This particular problem is already highlighted in a massive document I have been working on” he said.

“The Gilbert Lane proposal is just one of a number of ideas contained ion the document looking at every traffic hazard in and around the Wombourne area.

“There really is no point in sorting them out one at a time. Traffic here is a huge problem, was with the close proximity of the A449 and the dangerous amount of rat running there is through the village.

“I hope that Friday’s meeting will, at last, get things moving”.


28TH JANUARY, 2004.

Crash death prompts call for a safety drive

The death of a Black Country man in a road accident has prompted South Staffs residents to campaign for safety measures at a notorious accident black spot.

Mike Evans , a 52 year old engineer from Stourbridge, was killed in a smash on the A449 Wolverhampton to Kidderminster on New Year’s Eve after dropping his wife off at work in Wombourne.

Colleagues of Sue Evans, a practice nurse at Gravel Hill Doctors’ Surgery, have now united to pressure the county council for a ‘no right turn’ at the Gilbert Lane junction where the smash occurred.

Wombourne Councillor Sharron Edwards said “driver turning right at this road to gain access to the A449 can sometimes dice with death as speeding vehicles approach them from both sides. Speed cameras are not the solution although they may compliment other traffic calming measures.

“To have any real effect we need a ‘no right turn’ or an island or roundabout so drivers can turn right onto the A449 in safety.

She added that she had forwarded these proposals to the Highways agency to evaluate.

Fellow Wombourne and county councilor Peter Timms said a meeting was due to take place tomorrow (30) between county council officers and Highways Agency to discuss safety throughout the entire stretch of the A449.

He said ”Part of the discussion will be the urgent modifications needed at Gilbert lane. The county council is to report back to me on Monday”.

Anyone wishing to sign a petition in support of the proposed no right turn at Gilbert Lane can do so at the Gravel hill Doctors’ Surgery in Wombourne.

::: privacy policy ::: terms of use ::: flash intro ::: © The Freedom Party 2003 :::