THE BIGGEST change for voters in Arboretum ward is that it will be getting a new councillor whatever the political affiliation.

Councillor George Squires, who has represented Arboretum for the last eight years alongside his wife Cllr Joy Squires, announced he would be stepping down as a councillor - leaving one of the ward’s two seats vacant.

Labour has placed its hopes on Jenny Barnes to claim the vacant seat left by Cllr Squires and keep Arboretum a solely Labour ward.

Labour’s margin of victory has fluctuated over the last couple of elections having come up triumphant by 568 votes last time out in 2016, 299 votes in 2015 and 478 votes in 2012.

Next month’s election will also mark a return for a couple of parties in the ward - with UKIP putting a candidate forward in the shape of Ken Humphries to fight for the seat.

The Liberal Democrats have also put forward a candidate in Arboretum for the first time since 2012 and pinned its hopes on Jon Taylor to secure enough votes to prise the seat from Labour’s stronghold.

It is also all change for the Greens who have fielded Stephen Brohan to contest on May 2 taking over from campaigner Susan Avery who fought for the seat at the last two elections in the ward in 2015 and 2016.

The Green Party had seen its share of the vote rise considerably in recent elections – hitting 640 votes in 2015 a rise of 515 votes on the total three years earlier.

However, its vote was cut by more than half in 2015 to 311 votes.

It is the first time voters in Arboretum have been asked to go to the polls since the EU referendum in 2016.

The majority of voters in Arboretum opted to stay in the EU – with 1,912 saying they wanted to remain compared to 1,384 who voted to leave.

A huge issue for voters in Arboretum has been the problem of parking – or lack of.

More than 700 residents voted in favour of a huge resident parking scheme back in March – making it the biggest in the city by some way.

The scheme – which is expected be put in place by the end of the year – hopes to prevent the area from being used as a free car park for visitors and workers in the city centre.

The future of the site which hosted the former Sansome Walk swimming pool looks set to have been secured following a bid by YMCA and Sanctuary Homes to turn it into affordable homes and a hostel.

The complex demolition of the old swimming pool has been the subject of a number of delays – largely because of asbestos – and is expected to cost between £1.3 million and £1.9 million to flatten.


I hear the pride you have in living in such a community focused neighbourhood and how much you enjoy our parks and green spaces. I will work with community groups to strengthen these bonds and protect our environment.

I am determined to improve housing conditions and tackle rogue landlords so that everyone has an affordable, decent home to live in.

Locals tell me they are suffering because of bus services cuts with many finding it difficult to move freely around Worcester and enjoy the city. I would work with bus providers to improve services.

I am committed to making sure residents are kept fully informed and consulted on the former Sansome Walk swimming pool.

I have always wanted the best for where we live and would be a strong, effective voice for you on the city council.


I have lived in Worcester for over 20 years and have two children raised and educated in the city.

My priority would be to make Worcester a better place to live and work, focusing on improving local transport networks and prioritising affordable housing - particularly for the young people and young families.

To help those living in fuel poverty, we favour initiatives to install insulation and other energy efficiency measures in homes. We should push developers for higher minimum standards of energy efficiency in new housing.

We also need more effective partnerships between the public and social services, the police and educational establishments, building community engagement to make the city a safer place to live.


I’ve lived in Worcester for 25 years and retired from a senior officer post in local government. I’ve also been a policeman and spent time in psychiatric nursing.

I know how to serve a community, from the ground up. For too long our council has paid lip service to the views of residents regarding planning decisions, building on our green spaces.

Parking is a perennial problem in our city and designated parks can solve this. Infrastructure needs to be better planned too.

A full ring-road round around the city is needed and must include a second river bridge north of the city.

A vote for me is a vote for grassroots democracy. I will ensure residents are heard in the council chamber.

UKIP has no whip and I will only vote in the interests of constituents.


I have lived in Arboretum ward for 16 years and own a small independent business in the city centre. I’m passionate about ensuring Worcester is a place that businesses want to invest in and continues to be a fantastic place to live.

My priorities if elected are tackling congestion and parking issues as well as combating crime and anti-social behaviour and working to enhance our community and environment.

I support the idea of a unitary authority to reduce waste and inefficiency.

When it comes to local elections, it’s not all about party politics. Residents want a reliable councillor who will work hard, be there when needed and provide a strong voice for our community. I can be this kind of councillor and I will not take your vote for granted.


I am a nurse and have lived in Worcester for nearly 40 years and the last eight in Arboretum ward.

As a Liberal Democrat, I offer the diverse community living within the Arboretum ward a “voice your vote.”

I also think we need to address traffic pollution and congestion in the city.

I think we need to deliver much needing housing provision at social rents in the city whilst ensuring we have the infrastructure to support new housing.

We also need to build a consensus on how to manage and develop our High Street.

At a national level I think we need to properly fund schools, the NHS and social care.