DEPARTING Clent Hills councillor Rachel Jenkins admits she is sad to be leaving her county council post, but hopes her campaigning against Cala Homes in Hagley has produced results.
Four years ago Cllr Jenkins stood as an Independent candidate on Worcestershire County Council and overturned the largest Conservative majority in the county, polling over 500 votes more than her nearest rival.
The mum-of-two is now stepping down from her position after opting not to stand in the May 4 elections due to family commitments.
As a strong campaigner against the Cala Homes development, she hopes her battle to change the roundabout lane layout and reduce queuing at the Hagley village junction on the A456 will succeed.
She said: “Taking away the slip road into the village and the dedicated right hand turn only lane into the village, has been a contentious and dangerous change.
“We as a community said it was not going to work and it has been proven that the Cala Homes traffic consultants really got it wrong.
“People are not accepting these changes and it’s not getting any better, in fact, it’s getting worse because of an underestimated traffic projection by Cala Homes consultants.
“They made a bit of a pigs ear of it but hopefully the new options the county’s traffic consultants have come up with will help but that’s if these options are supported by the new county councillor and funding of over a quarter of million can be found.
“I have been accused by Hagley Parish Council for taking credit where it is not due but I have had to convince county officers that there is a real problem on the A456 road alterations.
“I have had to really negotiate with the officers to get this far but it is not finished yet as we have to get funding which could take years to fruition if at all.”
Cllr Jenkins, who also helped to save Hagley Library from its threatened closure back in 2014 as well as help save some local bus services from the axe, said she is proud to have taken on the role, but admits her tenure has also been a “big learning curve”.
Cllr Jenkins, who also represents Hagley on Bromsgrove District Council, added: “It has been an enjoyable job with some ups and downs but I have decided to leave due to personal circumstances as I am a single mother with two children. It takes a lot of time and it’s a lot of work.
"It has been a real honour to serve as County Councillor over the past four years, representing the views and concerns of my constituents from the six villages in my ward and being able to bring about improvements to my local area.
"I have been able to do this during a very challenging time for the County Council, with financial constraints meaning reduced funding for areas such as bus services, libraries, adult social care, children's services and fire services.
“There are challenges and it can be stressful but it is a worthwhile job. It is a great role to do and I am very proud and grateful that I have had the opportunity to do it. Thank you to those who voted for me.”