Council's new leader 'immensely proud' that Rugby is one of the fastest growing towns in the UK

Cllr Seb Lowe. Image: Rugby Borough Council.
Cllr Seb Lowe. Image: Rugby Borough Council.

Rugby council's new leader used his opening speech to tell councillors he is proud that Rugby is one of the fastest growing towns in the UK.

Cllr Seb Lowe (Coton and Boughton Ward) was elected as leader at the council's annual general meeting today, May 16.

At the meeting he said: "Turning to the issue of the wider development of Rugby, I am immensely proud of the fact that we are one of the fastest growing towns in the entire United Kingdom.

"We should all take pride in the fact that this is a pro-growth authority, committed to maximising the economic and social benefits that come with that growth.

"However, as many of us here have quite rightly observed, it is essential that the growth of our town is accompanied by a similar growth in the infrastructure of our town in order to enable us to support the people who live here."

Cllr Lowe was previously portfolio holder for growth and investment - which put him in an important position to manage Rugby's Local Plan, which looks set to be given the green light in June, bringing around 12,400 additional houses to the borough between now and 2031.

In his speech, cllr Lowe also said he is passionate about working to improve the town centre, adding: "I firmly believe that here in Rugby we have a number of unique advantages in terms of connectivity to the rest of the country and the scale of the development which is taking place across the borough which will allow us to reposition our town centre as a place to do business, a place to live, and a place to socialise.

"As leader, repositioning the town centre in this way will be my top priority."

Cllr Lowe also said he has requested that his special responsibility allowance as leader be reduced by 32 per cent.

"This is in order to bring it in line with other council leaders in the region, and to enable us to take the entirely sensible decision to appoint a deputy leader of this council without incurring any additional costs to the council tax payers of Rugby," he said.

Speaking after the meeting, cllr Lowe said: “We have experienced and motivated councillors from all parties, and I hope that we will all be able to work together and do what is right for Rugby.

“With excellent, professional officers who share that passion for doing the best we can, I am sure that we will be able to work together and deliver for the people of Rugby.”

Cllr Lowe's election as leader comes after previous leader, cllr Michael Stokes, stepped down after five years.