There are six wards which elect 13 Councillors to the Local Area Committee. The three communities are also represented by a town council and two parish councils. There are some 35,000 residents living in these communities, making this the largest of the five local areas. Geographically the area sits at the heart of the Borough with Eastleigh and Winchester to the North, Southampton, Fareham and the Hamble to the South. Each of the three communities, whilst closely situated, have a different history and character.
Botley is an historic village which obtained its charter from Henry III for a market in 1267, although there has been a settlement here since at least the 10th century. Between 1806 and 1820 it was the home of the famous journalist and radical politician William Cobbett who described the village as the most delightful in the world. There is a memorial stone to William Cobbett in the village square. Flour mills have existed in Botley for over 1,000 years and the old Botley Mill is at the end of the High Street.
The fine Market Hall built in 1848 and old coaching inns can be found in the High Street together with many interesting houses.
Hedge End has been at the centre of this rapidly expanding area with easy access to the M27. However, the original settlement is believed to get its name from a farm at the end of a hedge on a road from Botley. Like much of the Borough, Hedge End was a rural farming area dating from the 13th Century. In the late 19th Century it became known as the 'Strawberry Village' with a substantial market garden and strawberry growing areas. Today it is a modern town with offices, parks, out of town retail parks and residential areas, on the main transport route of the M27.
West End is still known as 'the village' to local residents and has always been known for agriculture and market gardening as well as its paper mill on the River Itchen. Now know as Gaters Mill, in 1686 it belonged to the company of white papermakers.
Wooded hills and views across the Itchen have drawn many people to West End. Hatch Grange, once part of the grounds of a large house, is now a public park enjoyed by local residents. West End has a lovely Itchen Valley Country Park on its door step.
West End is also home to the internationally renowned Ageas Bowl cricket stadium and golf complex - the home of Hampshire County Cricket Club and Poseidon Boxing Academy.
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