A GRITTY city councillor who ‘likes to stick her oar in' has made fighting Warndon's corner her full-time job.

It is hard to keep pace with Cllr Jill Desayrah as she moves through the streets of Warndon like an irrepressible whirlwind of positive energy.

With her iridescent purple hair, she seems - quite literally - to glow as if super-charged as she makes her way briskly from street to street.

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Anyone would think there was a Worcester City Council election on - but the next one is not until 2024 so, for the moment, she has nothing to prove.

"My raison d'être is to stand up for Warndon. In Warndon that's what you need. Part of my role is to stick my oar in and make a fuss about things," she said.

During her whistlestop tour of Warndon she gets about by car or on foot, often stopping to talk to people in the street or knocking on their doors, chatting to them about the issues affecting them.

The 62-year-old stands out in the crowd and seems possessed of that combination of gregarious affability and old-fashioned pugnacity you can imagine would go down very well in Warndon.

The former IT manager was born in Manchester and raised in London - but it is Worcester she now calls home, living in St George's Square.

It has been something of a baptism of fire. She was only elected as Labour Worcester city councillor in May. However, she already has an intimate knowledge of the roads, lanes, back streets and, above all, the issues affecting the ward, mainly she says, because she spends so much time here.

Because she is not working, she says she can devote more time to looking after the people who voted for her. One of the things she says she wants to tackle is voter apathy - she would much rather more people voted, whoever they decide should represent Warndon.

From a briefing with officers at the police post in Cranham Drive, she is quickly checking in on people in her ward, smiling and talking to people she meets on the street where she seems a familiar sight to many.

Some of the issues she discusses with voters in just a single afternoon are fly-tipping in Cranham Drive, speeding drivers in Tetbury Drive, the need for more parking in Amberley Close (she has already set up a petition) and campaigning for vulnerable disabled residents in Saddlers Walk so they can have a footway crossing. Residents are concerned somebody could fall due to the lack of safe access and Cllr Desayrah shows no sign of relenting in her will to see something done about it.

"I think the people in Warndon are great. Not only they are very supportive of me - they support each other. They can be a tough audience. They do not just roll over and decide to like you. You have to earn it from them which I respect. I'm going to continue to try and support them as best I can.

"I think they like people listening to them. Some of them don't feel they have been listened to before. Some of the longer term residents have seen changes in the area which disturbs them."

For some, Cllr Desayrah is a first-line social worker because she tries to help the most vulnerable people in her community.

But she says: "I'm not a social worker by any stretch of the imagination. 

"I've never been a councillor before and I like it. Helping other people makes you happy. I treat this as my full-time job. 

"Housing issues, neighbour issues, anti-social behaviour, fly-tipping - these are the really big issues for lots of people.”