Farnley & Wortley Ward
The council ward is made up of Farnley, New Farnley, and Wortley.
Farnley village (also known as Old Farnley), is 2 miles (3.2 km) south west of Leeds city centre, between Wortley, Bramley and surrounding countryside, in the LS12 Leeds postcode area. The village was mentioned in the 1086 Domesday Book as Fernelei. New Farnley is a nearby commuter village.
At the lower area of Old Farnley sits St Wilfrid’s Church. St Michael’s church is in Farnley park near the stately home of Farnley Hall. Old Farnley has a lower set of shops, consisting of a pizza takeaway, a newsagent, a mini-mart, a butcher and Cow Close library. The area also has an upper set of shops consisting of a hair salon, a newsagent, a mini-mart and a fish and chip shop. Farnley has several area schools, Cobden Primary, Lawns Park Primary School and Farnley Park Maths and Computing College.
Old Farnley is the western terminus for First Leeds Bus Routes 5 and 42. It is likely that past bus operators in Leeds coined the name Old Farnley to avoid confusion with Farsley, another nearby area of Leeds.
New Farnley is a commuter village 3 1⁄2 miles (5.6 km) south west of Leeds city centre, on the A58 Leeds-Halifax main road. New Farnley lies about 1 mile (1.6 km) south west of Farnley and was part of the Farnley Civil Parish.
It is focused on two historic settlements, Upper Moor Side and the modern focus of New Farnley Village, both of which had nucleated settlements recognisable in early estate maps. There are still late 17th and early 18th-century buildings standing in both locations. It was part of the ancient manor of Farnley, ownership of which was split and held by families including the Harringtons, Nevilles, Brudenells, Danbys and finally, the Armitages.
Farnley was heavily wooded until the 19th century, and Farnley Wood was the meeting point for a rebellion against Charles II in 1663 which is known as the Farnley Wood Plot. There was industrial development of the significant natural resources in the area from the early modern period (if not earlier). This industry led to the rapid expansion of settlement with the construction of workers housing in the 19th century. Despite this industrial activity a number of farms are still working in the area.
As the population increased, St James’s church and the Lancastrian School were built, both of which originally served as chapels of ease. There was also a Methodist chapel. Alms houses were built in the 19th century along with a village school. Local amenities included a recreation ground. There were a number of shops including a Cooperative with grocers, butchers and drapers.
Wortley begins one mile to the west of the city centre. In the 1086 Domesday Book it is mentioned as Wirtlei, also Wirtleie and Wrleia. Later it was known as Wirkelay until about 1700. Wortley was a weaving township within the parish of Leeds before it became industrial with coal pits, brickworks, railway yards and engine sheds—including a roundhouse, on Wellington Road.
Wortley is divided into three areas: New Wortley, Upper Wortley and Lower Wortley.
New Wortley is the area closest to Leeds city centre, Armley and Holbeck and close to HMP Leeds. It is largely made up of 1960s high-rise flats and maisonettes.
Upper Wortley is situated between Armley and Lower Wortley; specifically between the boundaries of Tong Road to the north and Oldfield Lane/ Green Hill Lane to the south. It consists of a variety of Victorian terraces, 1950s semi-detached houses and modern low-rise flats and houses.
Lower Wortley is furthest from the city centre, closer to Farnley and between the boundaries of Oldfield Lane/ Green Hill Lane to the north and Gelderd Road to the South. Housing in Lower Wortley is predominantly 1950s semi-detached with some modern low-rise flats and houses.
Wortley grew, much like surrounding areas during the industrial revolution. While Wortley was home to some smaller industrial works, its proximity to the industrial centres of Armley and Holbeck encouraged gradual growth. Perhaps Wortley’s most notable features at this time were the vast array of railway junctions and its two gasworks, a smaller one in Lower Wortley and Leeds’ largest gasworks in New Wortley which is still marked by the presence of a large spiral guided gasholder.
The landscape of Wortley changed considerably following World War II, when both the Leeds Corporation and private developers redeveloped the Victorian slum areas which had characterised Wortley since it developed. New Wortley was largely developed through the building of social housing, mainly in the form of high rise flats and prefabricted houses. Lower Wortley and Upper Wortley saw less development than New Wortley with many of their larger Victorian through terracing still remaining and the redevelopment largely being undertaken by private developers who favoured low rise developments using more traditional methods of construction.
Wortley is largely a residential area, with a fairly high population density.There are three main parks: Wortley Recreation Ground, Cliffe Park and Western Flats Park.
The Farnley & Wortley Ward Green Party
The Farnley & Wortley Ward Green Party actually takes responsibility for the Leeds West parliamentary constituency (which also includes Armley, Bramley & Stanningley, and Kirkstall wards.
The two Green councillors in Leeds represent the Farnley & Wortley ward.
Cllr Ann Blackburn
“To me being a councillor is not just about attending meetings, but about doing things in the community. Over the years the Green Party team and I have worked hard tramping the streets leafleting and door knocking in all weathers. We have made it an act of faith to keep you informed what is going on. You can be assured that as long as I am physically able I will be out at the front doing the same and trying my best for people of our communities”.
Ann Blackburn is 59 years old and married to David Blackburn. Ann has a grown up son and step-daughter. Originally from Armley, she has lived in Farnley for 30 years and worked in the area before moving there. Ann was elected to Leeds City Council in 2002 and has represented the Farnley & Wortley area since that time. She was Leader of the Council’s Green Party Group for four years from 2009 to May 2013.
Cllr David Blackburn, Leader of the Green Group
David Blackburn is 62 years old and married to Ann Blackburn. David has a grown up son and daughter. He has lived in west Leeds all his life and has lived in the Farnley & Wortley ward for nearly 30 years.
David was elected to Leeds City Council in 1998 to represent Wortley Ward, becoming the first ever Green Party Councillor in Leeds and has represented the Farnley & Wortley area since that time. He was Leader of the Council’s Green Party Group for 11 years. David is Chair of the Outer West Area Committee, Chair of Green Leeds, and Chair of the Roseville Enterprises Advisory Board. He has been the Green prospective parliamentary candidate for Leeds West constituency several times. In May 2013 he once again became Leader of the Green Group on Leeds City Council.
Officers of the Party
Acting Chair: Andrew Pointon
Exec Officer (Membership): Ann Blackburn & Stuart Haley (Job Share)
Secretary (& Local Party Contact): Ann Blackburn
Treasurer: David Blackburn
The Local Party Contact is the Secretary, Ann Blackburn
Farnley & Wortley Ward Green Party,
8 Cobden Place,
If you wish to speak directly to Cllr Ann Blackburn or Cllr David Blackburn ring 0113 2790336 / 07943 780914.
More details of the Councillors and their surgeries click here