Businesses vote for Rugby First to continue its role for the next five years

Aftab Gaffar, managing director of Rugby First
Aftab Gaffar, managing director of Rugby First

Businesses have voted for Rugby First to continue to work in the town centre over the next five years.

The independent, not-for-profit company provides CCTV, town rangers and street cleaning teams and supports events such as the Festival of Culture.

It is funded by a levy paid by businesses in the area, known as a ‘business improvement district’ (BID).

A total of 83.7 per cent of businesses voted ‘Yes’ for a third mandate, meaning Rugby First will continue to provide its service for another five years.

A total of 276 votes were cast and 231 businesses voted for the BID.

The voting turnout was 61.9 per cent.

Aftab Gaffar, managing director of Rugby First, said: “I feel really excited that we have managed to secure a third mandate with an increased majority from the businesses in terms of numbers and rateable value. It’s good that the businesses have supported us once again.

“Businesses told us when we did the surveys prior to the vote that 97 per cent of them wanted our services to continue. They wanted the rangers to keep doing their role in terms of security, safety and dealing with shoplifters, and they wanted the cleaning services to continue as some businesses said cleanliness was paramount.

“Our CCTV service is very important to businesses as we can control the town centre from our control room, and the good thing is it actually belongs to the businesses in the town, so we can ensure our cameras are used effectively to try and control the safety and security aspects of the town.

“People love our marketing programmes, such as the Festival of Culture, and they help bring everyone together and help the town centre thrive.”