Ordnance Survey of Highlands Ward (c.2014).
The London Borough of Enfield is split into 21 areas called wards, each represented by three Councillors. Highlands Ward occupies the third largest land area (5.1 square kilometres). Our ward is bordered by Cockfosters (second largest) to the west and (working clockwise) Chase (largest ward in the borough) to the north, Enfield Town to the east and, to the south, Grange and Southgate.
Highlands Ward is mapped within the masked outline, above. On clear days and from elevated windows it affords a glimpse, beyond its own domain, of spectacular features some distance from Enfield, which is just one of thirty two boroughs (another if you include City) comprising a vast connurbation that is London. Nearer to the eye, though having no significant woodland, Highlands Ward encompasses attractive rural views.
Western Enfield Residents' Association (WERA) was conceived and founded by the residents of Highlands Ward in response to civic neglect, shortly after the Second World War in 1945. Inauguration took place in 1946 and the very first AGM was held at Merryhills School in that year. After meeting there for many years, the Association has moved its open events to the Jolly Farmers pub and has since celebrated its 70th AGM. From an initial 60 subscribers it grew to the point in September 1961 where membership had risen to almost 1000 households. It has continued to thrive and has become the largest independent association of subscribing residents in the borough of Enfield and, perhaps, in the whole of Greater London.
The aims of WERA today are very much as they were: to foster and maintain active involvement with local affairs, promote mutual interests and register environmental concerns. WERA co-ordinates with resident members and corresponds with local authorities, parliamentary representatives and planners about local issues. Officers of its Committee are also key members of local action groups which include The Enfield Society and the Highlands Ward: Community Action Partnership - Enfield (CAPE) and The Green Belt Forum hosted by Enfield Council. It supports and monitors campaign groups both in the Ward (Enfield Road Watch) and across the Borough through the Federation of Enfield Residents and Allied Associations (FERAA). All organisations are covered on OUR CONNECTIONS page.
Famous inhabitants of earlier times include William Pitt the Younger (a Prime Minister) and Boris Karloff (a Hollywood Actor). Amy Winehouse (a Jazz singer and composer who, tragically, lost her life in 2011, at the age of 27) was born at Chase Farm Hospital. Pitt is commemorated by a 'blue plaque' at a place on Merryhills Drive (the house in which he lived having been demolished long since).
PLEASE NOTE: All Wards in the Borough are under review by the Boundaries Commission and announcement of changes and timescale is expected at the end of 2020.
These are likely to incorporate a reduction in the number of serving local Councillors from three to two.
The Future Shape of WERA?
At the end of 2019 the Boundaries Commission issued a second draft of its proposals. Our residential interest in lands comprising the (current) Highlands Ward or offered in the (new) Oakwood Ward would be revised in the following ways.
Land to the West and North: would be relinquished to Cockfosters and (new) Ridgeway Wards. This now includes the Berkeley estate and Snakes Lane, open fields bordering Shaws and Williams woods and containing Merryhills and Salmon’s brooks. Oakwood’s north boundary would be the A110 Enfield Road.
Land to the East: all properties along Trentwood Side; down past Salmon’s Brook and up Slades Hill towards The Ridgeway including Cotswold Way and Foxmead estates (with Chase Farm Hospital campus); then all the Rowantree Road complex near the rail way – would be ceded to Ridgeway Ward. There is no reason to abandon our existing membership in that direction but casting our net down Windmill Hill has proved impractical and Oakwood is less relevant to those more distant communities.
Land to the South and West: Oakwood would embrace Oakwood Park from Southgate Ward and estates west of the Piccadilly Line from Cockfosters Ward. We have potential to welcome new members in this part of Western Enfield.
Other changes: If proposals are adopted, we would have three existing WERA Committee Members in Ridgeway and three in Oakwood Ward. We could also consider recruiting more Envoys and, ideally, Committee Members in former Cockfosters and Southgate Wards. We’d have changes in representation by local Councillors (reduced to 2 in Oakwood) and Safer Neighbourhood Teams resources reallocated. These proposals are never going to please everyone but they make more sense than the present arrangements.