ON THURSDAY, May 5 voters will be going to the polls in the local elections for Worcester City Council.

Worcester News' Political Reporter Tom Edwards continues our election coverage with a look at the CLAINES ward.

THIS is the Liberal Democrats' big hope in Worcester - a council ward which perhaps like no other across Britain illustrates the party's collapse in support.

Not that long ago the Lib Dems held all the power here, with all three seats decidedly yellow.

But after the Conservatives began to dig into that resolve they fell one by one, and by last year the entire ward had gone blue.

A determined Tory grassroots effort here, and the impact of a drastic fall in support due to the old Coalition Government had dealt Worcester's Lib Dems a bitter blow.

But Claines has always been one of the most hotly contested parts of the city, known for its comparatively excellent turnouts and often excruciatingly tight election outcomes.

In 2011, the last time the Lib Dems won an election here, it was by a mere 17 votes and in 2012 Tory Mike Whitehouse, who is stepping down in May, triumphed by just 65 ballot papers.

Things have been more clear cut since then, with last year's record low Lib Dem polling nationally resulting in Tory Councillor Andy Stafford being elected with a big 1,059 majority.

Next month will see Lib Dem activist Mel Allcott, a well known candidate in Claines, attempt once again to get a seat at the Guildhall.

But her task is far from simple - with the Tories looking to keep Claines all-blue despite current Councillor Mike Whitehouse stepping down.

In his place is James Stanley, who was recently made the chairman of Worcester's Conservative Association.

There are five candidates up this year with Labour, the Green Party and UKIP all putting forward their own hopefuls.

The Greens have once again put up Peter Robinson, who has stood in Claines at every election here in recent memory.

The ward takes in a large chunk of the A449, where concerns about speeding cars and congestion have always been prevalent, as well as litter.

Big and leafy, there are more than 6,000 voters here, and each of those could be critical to the main two parties contending this seat.

Will the Lib Dems start the fightback here, or will this ward deliver the party another year of pain?


A long-standing resident of Claines, six generations of my family having resided / currently residing within the ward, I have a genuine interest and real connection with the area.

I am hardworking and diligent and would be delighted to serve the residents of Claines.

I would be on hand and easily contactable, both living and working locally, for the University of Worcester.

My priorities would be protecting and preserving the essential and much loved green spaces within Claines, ensuring services provided by or contracted through the city council to the area are of the high standard necessary, to keep Claines the great place it is to live in.


I live in Claines and have been part of this community for several years.

A local candidate with local knowledge is what this ward needs.

I believe in local democracy and am certain that the thoughts of our residents must be heard in all decisions that affect them.

Our ward is not here for others to play politics.

Common sense and community focus is needed in our Guildhall.

Vote for me and that's what you'll get.


As a lifelong resident of Claines, I am proud of our community and proud to be your local Labour candidate.

If elected, I will be a voice for Claines in the council, not a voice for the council in Claines.

I will champion the views of residents, prioritising issues that matter locally and building on the plan Labour has outlined for Worcester.

One of my main priorities will be to make sure that Worcester City FC returns to Worcester as soon as possible.


I have lived in Worcester for 21 years and have loved every year. I have always extolled Worcester as a place to treasure.

In Claines, we know about the negative impact poorly planned housing can have on our green spaces and traffic in the area.

We need to ensure that the new developments; swimming pool and housing are balanced by planning for safe, well-lit walking and cycling routes into the town. To reduce the need for housing in our area.

I will emphasise the opportunities for building on existing urban sites like flats above city centre shops, to fellow councillors and planners.

I will seek to maximise the benefit brought to all from the limited city council funds and focus on the most vulnerable groups in our area.


I am proud to have been selected as the Conservative candidate for Claines and very much hope to join my colleagues in driving forward our positive message and future vision for Worcester city.

I was born brought up in Worcester and have worked here most of my life. I believe I know Claines and our city very well, there is much for us to be proud of, in particular our wonderful history and heritage, however there are always areas for improvement and new challenges to be addressed.

With my Conservative colleagues we are working to resolve issues of particular concern to Claines residents. Roads, pavements, dog fouling and the preservation of our green spaces are important to people locally and we will do all we can to take their concerns forward.

I work part-time therefore, if elected, I will have ample time available to dedicate to the residents of Claines.