‘Kenilworth is not wanted’ screamed the headline in the Weekly News in October 1971.
At the time local government was being reorganised and the big debate was whether the town was more akin to Coventry than Warwick and Leamington.
Warwick Town Council’s general purposes committee wanted Kenilworth to be excluded from the new district council which was being formed to replace the existing councils in the area.
The Weekly News reported that in the pending reorganisation it was assumed that Kenilworth, Leamington, Warwick and Warwick Rural councils would combine. So Warwick’s shunning of Kenilworth was an about-turn.
It said Warwick’s new view was that a new district council for Mid-Warwickshire should comprise only those that had “cultural and physical interests” in Warwick and Leamington. Cllr J McGrouther said that if Kenilworth were included the voice of Warwick on the new council would be too weak.
A month later Kenilworth Chamber of Trade said the town would be better off amalgamating with Coventry rather than Leamington and Warwick. Members felt there would be benefits such as a better bus service.
In a letter to the council the chamber said: “The suburban car parks of Coventry are still free and there would be no reason to change this in Kenilworth.
“As the hub of Coventry is expanding, so the spokes of the wheel, ie the suburban towns, villages and hamlets, will grow and Kenilworth should have a facelift tradewise to compensate the planners and shopkeepers of the town.”
In the end, bridges were mended and Kenilworth Urban District Council joined with Leamington and Warwick Town and Warwick Rural to form Warwick District Council in 1974.