Local Conservative members in Redditch have voted to select sitting Borough Councillors Craig Warhurst and Mike Rouse to fight the Redditch South division for the County Council elections being held in May 2021.
Whilst the format of the election is unclear owing to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic the government has indicated it is keen to press ahead, even if masks and other measures become compulsory at polling stations.
The date has been set as Thursday 6 May 2021and is being dubbed by some as ‘Super Thursday’ as there’s actually three elections happening in a single day. Voters will choose representatives for Worcestershire County Council, Redditch Borough Council and their pick for the position of West Mercia Police and Crime Commissioner. Originally, only Worcestershire County Council elections were supposed to take place in 2021, but following the postponement of elections in May this year there’s a bumper set of ballot papers going forwards.
In the Redditch South County Division, which incorporates the boroughs of Headless Cross & Oakenshaw, Crabbs Cross and Astwood Bank & Feckenham local members recently voted in an online ballot to determine their champions for the County Council elections with Craig Warhurst and Mike Rouse emerging victorious.
Craig Warhurst is well known to the area as he already sits on the Borough Council for Astwood Bank & Feckenham, including Hunt End, where he also holds the Housing portfolio. In the community, Craig is known for his work with Astwood Bank Carnival and the Astwood Bank Neighbours group that was set up in the wake of COVID-19.
Speaking of his selection, Craig Warhurst said, “With both Mike and I living in Redditch South we are able to truly represent this area when it comes to the county issues of roads, pavements, education and social care. I already represent Astwood Bank & Feckenham on the Borough Council so it’s great to be able to add county council functions to my brief if the voters choose to send us to County Hall in May 2021.”
Mike Rouse is the Deputy Leader of Redditch Borough Council and the portfolio holder for leisure and lives in the Oakenshaw part of the Redditch South division. Mike represents Church Hill on the Borough Council and has vowed to serve both areas equally well.
Mike said: “I will still represent the people of Church Hill on the Borough as my seat is valid there until 2022, and I am keen to keep delivering for the people of Church Hill on Borough Council matters. I am delighted that I have been given a chance to also represent the communities of Redditch South on County Council matters if elected.”
In the community, Mike is known for his part in establishing the Support Redditch Emergency Network charity and helping to reinstate the Redditch Carnival, which was not able to run this year due to COVID-19.
Under the Conservative Party’s rules it is local members who decide on candidates for elections and for the first time the process was conducted remotely owing to COVID-19 restrictions on gatherings. Redditch South is a two member division of Worcestershire County Council given its size with two councillors serving a four year term of office.