The constituency of Redditch County was created in 2010 following boundary changes. The constituency comprises:
- Redditch Borough
- Astwood Bank
- the Lenches and associated hamlets, which form part of Wychavon District.
The whole area was once the major part of the Great Forest of Feckenham, centred around the King's Hunting Lodge in the village of that name. Most of the area once covered by the forest has long been cleared for agriculture. Much of it is now used for fruit and vegetable growing for which the area is justly renowned.
Redditch is the only town inside this rich 'county' constituency, but the area is home to a very large number of village communities of varying sizes. It is the village life and culture of this rural area that gave inspiration for the ever-popular Archers radio serial on BBC Radio 4.
How Redditch got its name
The foundation of an Cistercian abbey in 1141 on the banks of the River Arrow at Bordesley, just north of Redditch, encouraged settlement and the development of water-powered mills along the riverbank. It is the red clay run-off that coloured the water after heavy rain that gave the Red Ditch its name. Although industries continued to use the water power of the River Arrow, the dissolution of the monasteries in 1583 resulted in the population moving up to the higher ground where the town is now centred.
The industries developed and by the nineteenth century Redditch was the world centre for the manufacture of needles as well as hosting related trades such as the making of fish hooks and spring manufacture. The Forge Mill Needle Museum, near the Abbey ruins in Redditch, tells the story of the needle industry.
Our Industrial Base
Over the years industry has grown, developed and diversified. Many national and international companies now have operations in Redditch, including Halfords head office, Mettis Aerospace, AT&T, and GKN. Its ease of access to the M5, M42 and M40 make Redditch a very convenient place to locate a business. The very attractive villages to the south and south west of the town and the well laid out housing in the urban areas make it a pleasant place to live.
Creation of the New Town
To meet the growing need for housing the then Urban District Council built three estates, but the real growth followed the designation of Redditch as a New Town in 1964. The housing developments and industrial estates are centred mostly around the 900 acre Arrow Valley Park, which houses the £1 million Countryside Centre and water-sports centre, in addition to a private sailing club. The park also has designated bridle paths for equestrians and offers fishing facilities around the extensive lake.
The Kingfisher Shopping Centre opened in1976 and was, for a while, the major shopping centre for North Worcestershire. In 1980 the Town was granted a Royal Charter and became a Borough.
Although the Borough population is approaching 80,000, it strives to preserve is arboreal heritage. The Town boast 725 hectares of parks, woods and open space. The Borough Council has responsibility for over three million trees. (More than 40 trees per head of population!) When driving the main highways of Redditch in summer the foliage is so dense and universal it is difficult to see a home or factory from the main routes. The autumnal display is well worth seeing with its vista of yellows, reds and golds.
Culturally the area is very active, with many villages served by well-used village halls, some such as Cookhill, magnificently refurbished with the help of Lottery funding.
The Borough has the Palace Theatre, a grade II listed building recently restored to its original 1913 splendour with the help of a Heritage Lottery Grant, and also the Kingsley Theatre, which together offer a wide programme of events to serve all tastes.
Hanbury Hall, built in 1701, is a National Trust property famed for its painted ceilings and staircase. It also has an orangery, ice house, a working mushroom house and a 20 acre period garden and 395 acres of parkland.
Nearby is the Jinney Ring Craft Centre with a diverse range of artists and artisans working in stained glass, musical instrument making and many other crafts. It also houses a shop and restaurant.
The Political Structure of Redditch County Conservative Association
The Redditch County Constituency spans two council areas: Redditch Borough Council and Wychavon District Council.
Member of Parliament
The current Member of Parliament and Conservative Parliamentary Candidate for future elections is: Rachel Maclean.
Worcestershire County Council
For details of all councillors sitting as Worcestershire County Council please click here.
Redditch Borough Council
For details of all councillors sitting as Redditch Borough Council please click here.
Wychavon District Council
For details of all councillors sitting as Wychavon District Council please click here.
The Management Structure of Redditch County Council Conservative Association
The Association is called Redditch County Conservative Association. The Executive Council acts like the parliament of the association, voting on important decisions and strategy. Members of the Executive Council are all volunteers. The day-to-day business is carried out by a team of officers, who are also volunteers.
Chairman: John Eaton
Treasurer: Nic Houslip
Secretary: Jane Potter
Political: Brandon Clayton
Youth: Tom Baker-Price
Digital: Mike Rouse
Fundraising: Audrey Steele and Julian Grubb
If you would like to get involved with the running of the Association please email email@example.com.