ABOUT WARNDON PARISH COUNCIL
Warndon Parish boundary covers an area from the Worcester & Birmingham canal in the north to Swinesherd in the south.
Warndon Parish was built on land that had been owned by the Berkeley Estate at Spetchley since 1594. However, it was administered by Droitwich Rural Council until it passed to Worcester City Council in 1952. Berkeley Estate sold to the Developers in 1986.
Worcester was, and is, an expanding city and council-built houses gradually crept up Tolladine and Newtown Roads. In 1958 the big council estate to the west of Tolladine Road was built and named Warndon as no-one visualised that a Parish Council would be formed in the same area.
The first phase of the Villages development was the 158 houses, built in 1972 and named Heron Grange (Heron Prowting was the developer). Then, in the early 1980s the City Council began looking to expand northwards. This major development caused concern among several far-sighted people living in Heron Grange and Trotshill Lane, each formed a Residents Association and eventually joined forces.
They quickly realised that they would have more power if they formed a Parish Council because then, by statute, they would be able to comment with authority on the proposed Worcester Local Plan and eventually scrutinize the planning applications and get a genuine say in the overall development.
In July 1984 Warndon Parish Council was inaugurated and the first meeting was on 4 August that year. There were 5 Councillors then plus a part-time Clerk
The Local Plan, (which covered the whole of the city), envisaged 4500 dwellings being built on the land which was about 640 acres (a square mile). And that is how it began with the Parish Council commenting on the proposals. The Plan was published in 1988.
Once the building started the estate plans came in thick and fast and the houses virtually shot up. There are two affordable housing estates, Swallowfield and Huxley.
The last housing build is Mabs Orchard at the end of Dugdale Drive. This is mixed estate with affordable housing together with allotments and some green space.
There were some minor boundary changes in 1996 and the number of Councillors was increased to seven.
At that time the Parish was still part of St. Martin’s Ward, which, when the building here finally finished, comprised an estimated population of 14000 adults administered by one County Councillor and three City Councillors. This was obviously too big. It also caused a few problems with the City Council committees as they did not know how to refer to the original ward or the new one. It was resolved when the Parish Council suggested that they would be known as Warndon Parish and the ‘old’ part known as Warndon.
Then Central Government came up with a brilliant idea that to give more power to the people there should be a reduction in the number of electors served by a district Councillor. They put the figure at 2000 or thereabouts. The 2010 Electoral Register shows 8082 adults.
In 2002 the big Electoral Review began, which eventually led to boundary changes. There were many changes amongst the City Wards, but ours was the biggest. We were ‘divorced from ‘old’ Warndon which became two wards: Gorse Hill and Warndon, with one County Councillor.
The Parish was divided into two wards with the boundary along the edge of the back gardens of the houses in Middle Hollow and Trotshill Lane, which by this time had been split by Mill Wood Drive. Thus we have Warndon Parish North and Warndon Parish South covered by one County Councillor and four City Councillors. The first City elections in the Parish were held in 2004.
The Parish Council asked for, and got, an additional Parish Councillor making eight, four in each ward. It was agreed that, although each Parish Councillor is elected for one or other of the wards, their remit is the whole of the Parish.
During the 35 years to date, there have been 40+ Councillors, ten of whom have been Chair of the Council. There have been six clerks in that time.
The Parish boundary
The boundary begins at the M5, then going west the northern boundary is the Worcester/ Birmingham Canal as far as Blackpole Road. It comes back along the northern side of Cotswold Road and crosses south to include Wall Meadow. The boundary continues south along old Tolladine Road, to the junction with Middle Hollow. It crosses the road along the eastern side of Tolladine Road to the Golf Course round the fields running behind the houses in Tolladine Road, through Aconbury Close and Aconbury Farm, south again towards County Hall, goes west in a ‘dog leg’ to include part of Spetchley Road, east to Swinesherd and then following the line of the M5 north to Junction 6: