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 RAINBOW HILL ward.

THIS is a ward Labour will be looking to keep hold of if it wants to maintain a strong presence at the Guildhall in a traditionally rock solid seat.

But tradition doesn't always repeat itself - and the experience of the last contest here in 2014 show how nothing can be taken for granted.

Two years ago Labour Councillor Paul Denham kept his Rainbow Hill seat, but only by 177 votes after a significant shift in UKIP's favour which saw it come in as the runner-up.

Whether this year's poll ends up as close remains to be seen - but some other elements in the mix for 2016 make it even more interesting.

Veteran Labour Councillor Adrian Gregson, who became leader of the city council for 12 months in 2013-14 year, is up defending his seat.

The Conservatives have sprung a real surprise here by fielding Francis Lankester, a former cabinet member who served 13 years in the Cathedral ward before losing his seat in 2012.

Mr Lankester, who tried to get re-elected to Cathedral in 2014 but lost by 198 votes, is being tipped to make it a genuine contest.

Councillor Gregson was first elected in 1992 and holds a majority of 382 from 2012, the last time he was re-elected.

It will take quite a scalp to overturn the form guide here, but the Tories launched a branch in Rainbow Hill last year and are serious about making a go of it despite being rank outsiders.

UKIP is putting up a candidate once again here and has selected activist David Carney, who took on Councillor Denham here two years ago, while the Greens are also standing a hopeful in Marjory Bisset.

One of Rainbow Hill's best assets is the superb KGV playing fields in Brickfields, which remain at the centre of the community.

In October last year funding cuts led to the site's popular fireworks display being cancelled, with the Worcester Community Trust saying it no longer had the £5,000 to stage the event.

A Facebook page calling for it to be reinstated was signed by 1,000 people in less than 24 hours, with the hope that this year will see it return.


I will represent the residents of Rainbow Hill actively, seeking their views by knocking on doors year round, and keeping in touch through regular newsletters.

I will tackle the thorny problems that beset the local environment such as litter and broken pavements.

I will work to improve public transport and cycling and walking facilities, so that the traffic congestion in the centre of Worcester can be relieved.

l want to see more transparency in government at the local level, with decisions made for the good of all.

I believe we must not lose sight of the bigger picture - the need to act now to keep the worst effects of global warming and depletion of natural resources at bay.

I am a semi-retired freelance copy-editor.

In my spare time I like to cook, go walking and make music.


Vote Labour or Tory again for more broken promises.

Neither party is capable of delivering a hopeful future for the residents of Rainbow Hill; be it housing, employment, community spirit and youth development.

Now Labour have joined the Tories as a middle class party, they no longer represent the working masses as they did in the past.

Time to vote for the new 'People’s Party', time for a positive change, vote UKIP.

Being local to the ward and having children attending both schools on Merriman’s Hill has its advantages, as I listen to the issues affecting local residents. Parking, pedestrian safety, traffic congestion and noise to name but a few.


I have represented the area where I live for the last 24 years.

I understand and share many of the issues in Rainbow Hill and am concerned most about the increased traffic, commuter parking, inadequate bus services, and the damage that privatising the refuse and cleaning services is going to do.

I want to see the fireworks displays come back to Brickfields and the local shops and takeaways get more support.

The local Conservatives dancing around the return of the football club is a carbon copy of their masters at Westminster on benefit cuts and tax dodging.

They cannot be trusted.

Worcester needs a better plan for its future and as an ex-council Leader I believe Labour can deliver it.


I am a historian and archaeologist and was a teacher for 30 years, doing supply teaching in all Worcester's secondary schools.

I played a leading part in championing the improvements to KGV community and sports facilities.

It was an amazing experience to speak at the official opening in front of thousands of people.

I'm very happy that so many Rainbow Hill area residents have benefited from the park since then.

I always enjoyed the November fireworks display along with so many people and am upset it was cancelled last year.

I am working with a group of concerned local residents to bring it back and am confident we can succeed.

I edit and deliver 'In Touch' - the only all-year-round local newsletter.

I promise to work hard dealing with local issues and to report back to you regularly. Unlike others who get elected and then are invisible, you won't hear from me just at election time.