It is not yet the right time to commemorate Rugbeians lost to covid-19, council agrees

Councillors discussed the issue earlier this week - agreeing that it is not yet the time to look at commemorating the deaths

Wednesday, 21st April 2021, 2:11 pm
Rugby Town Hall.

The 184 Rugbeians who lost their lives to the pandemic ought to be commemorated, but now is not the right time, councillors agreed.

A discussion, based on a proposal from Lib Dem councillor Neil Sandison, took place at the April 20 borough council meeting.

In his question, which will be put to the leader of Rugby Borough Council, Cllr Sandison wrote: “Many towns and cities are honouring and remembering the lost souls who fell victim to Covid 19.

“Some by the provision of sculptures, monuments or benches displayed in public open spaces.

“How will Rugby commemorate its 184 victims of Covid-19 in easily accessible open spaces and will we use the national campaign logo of a heart?”

Before the meeting Rugby Labour leader Maggie O’Rourke told the Advertiser that she agreed with the idea – but felt now was not an appropriate time and stressed that residents must be consulted.

She said: “We are not through this yet, I don’t think the time is right.

“I don’t think we should rush it, and when the time is right I think we should listen to the community and the families.

“Personally speaking – I like the idea of something the community can invest in rather than a statue or plaque.

“But I don’t think we should be telling people what to do, people don’t want politicians to tell them how to do things like this.

“This pandemic has been overwhelming, I work in the health service and we’re not through it yet. I think it’s too soon.”

And at the meeting Rugby council leader and Conservative group leader Seb Lowe echoed those thoughts, stating that the borough should wait until the virus is gone.

Speaking at the meeting, Cllr Lowe said: “The council will join others in honouring and remembering those who have lost their lives through the Covid-19 pandemic.

"As we are still in that pandemic and the future course of the pandemic is far from certain, now does not seem to be an appropriate time.

"I recognise that our communities have been profoundly impacted by the pandemic and that many of our residents have lost loved ones.

"We must ensure that our proposals for honouring and remembering those loved ones meet our communities’ wishes and so I would like to invite the leaders of all of the political groups to work with me, at a later date, to develop our plans for achieving this.

"We are all in total agreement that it is absolutely right and proper that we commemorate all the people by this dreadful tragedy.”

“As and when the time comes that we consider ourselves to be free from this tragedy, the people we really need to be asking our communities and the people to see what they think would be the most appropriate response."