ON THURSDAY 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 ST STEPHEN ward.

THIS is a key ward for Worcester City Council - one where the Green Party faces a serious battle to maintain its position.

Four years ago the Greens made their own slice of history by gaining their first ever city councillor in Neil Laurenson, to make quite the headline.

The Greens had smashed through the old glass ceiling of Worcester's politics, making one very small inroad into the sea of Conservative and Labour representatives at the Guildhall.

At the time he beat Tory Keith Burton by 278 votes - no small feat given the dominance the Conservatives once had here.

Now he's defending it for the first time and all predictions are off, with the blue camp looking to reclaim this seat and in doing so further strengthen its power in the city.

The party's big hope is candidate Jenna Mitchell, who stood in Nunnery last year and more than doubled her party's support there to come a credible second to Labour.

Labour and UKIP are also contesting it, but if the evidence of last year is anything to go by another two-horse race is expected.

In May 2015 current Conservative Councillor Gareth Jones clung onto his St Stephen ward seat by just 92 votes - with the Greens coming second with 1,023.

The Tories and Greens both managed to get nearly three times the number of votes than Labour and UKIP hopefuls.

Given the ward's location the most contentious issue on voter's lips is the future of Worcester City FC, with the club seeking to build a 4,100 capacity ground at Perdiswell Park in the face of big opposition.

Bilford Road's traffic problems and the speed of cars is a constant topic of debate, as is Worcester Recycling Centre and all the disruption it generates.

There's a lot going on to interest people around here - not least the new £10.4 million swimming pool being built at Perdiswell Leisure Centre due for completion early next year.

There's a lot at stake for the Tories and Greens in St Stephen - expect the result to be close whatever the outcome.


Raising my family in Worcester, I am involved in schools, health, play areas and facilities.

I live in the ward and know it well. Running my successful and extremely popular restaurant and take-away means that I know how to manage my affairs, keep the business running and respond to customers: all relevant to a local councillor.

The new swimming pool and, possibly, football club present challenges to the local area, and are crucial developments.

The Tory council closing the park and ride has had a bad effect on the area and the city.

I will be a different councillor from those we have at the moment, bringing youth, enthusiasm and business acumen.


I have lived in Worcester all my life. For most of that time, I had no interest in politics and the actions of our council.

However, as time goes on, it becomes more apparent that our council does not always act in the interests of local residents.

Whether to do with street lighting, the football club, traffic, our council does not seem to listen in the way we elected them to do.

Our council needs new blood and a fresh start. I am standing for UKIP for this reason. My only desire is to improve my community for the benefit of its residents. Vote for me and I'll do just that.


Being a councillor for the past four years has been a huge privilege.

I have thoroughly enjoyed meeting hundreds of residents and working with them and council officers to get things done.

I am proud to have helped to introduce the Living Wage and to have consistently pushed for more funding for local services.

I convinced fellow councillors to support a ban on the use of snares in the city and I have campaigned for home energy efficiency measures.

In St Stephen ward, I have campaigned for roads to be made safer and organised several local litter picks.

As well as being a councillor, I work full-time at the University of Worcester and enjoy running, writing and looking after Grace (6) and Rowan (4).


I have been a proud resident of Worcester for over twenty years and there is nowhere else I would rather call home!

I live in St Stephens ward with my partner and our two rescue cats. In my free time I enjoy helping out with my local brownie group.

I have spent the last 18 months speaking with residents in St Stephens to understand their views and concerns. Living in the heart of the ward I feel that I am uniquely placed to effectively represent the residents of St Stephens and will always be available to offer support.

My key pledges to the people of St Stephens are to continue to maintain the high standard of the area, with an increase in new street signs and dog waste bins. I am committed to preserving parks and public spaces for all, and will work to seek alternative sites for the football stadium in order to bring Worcester City home.