Rugby Labour pledges to push for town centre funding and protect public services following borough election result

The group lost a marginal seat but held on to two wards.

Saturday, 8th May 2021, 5:43 pm
Cllr O'Rourke.

Rugby Labour leader Maggie O'Rourke has spoken with the Advertiser following Rugby's borough election results, which saw Labour hold two seats but lose Newbold and Brownsover by just 58 votes.

Cllr O'Rourke, who successfully defended her Benn Ward seat this morning, said the she felt the results were part of a national trend towards the Conservatives.

The news comes after yesterday's county council elections, which saw Labour lose seats across the county but holding all of its seats in Rugby.

Cllr O'Rourke said the group was disappointed with the Newbold and Brownsover seat, but was pleased that across the borough more people than ever had come out to vote Labour.

"Unfortunately, as is often the case, this doesn't translate into more seats," she said.

Going forward, Cllr O'Rourke said she and the Labour group will push for more funding in the town centre while doing their best to protect local jobs and public services from cuts.

She said: "I want to say thank you to everybody. I love Rugby and I love my Benn Ward.

"I really enjoy trying to help people and trying to solve problems, there's a joy in working to help the community.

"I also want to say thank you to all our marvellous candidates who worked hard a fought a good, clean campaign.

"Our priority will be the town centre and doing the best we can for our communities.

"We will be aiming to get more funding to regenerate the town centre - Leamington and Nuneaton have received millions in funding for their town centres.

"Rugby is one of the fastest-growing towns in the West Midlands, our people deserve a town centre they can enjoy.

"So going forward, we will be putting pressure on the council to push for this funding.

"The Tory government has not been funding councils properly through the pandemic, in Rugby we are 25 per cent down in funding and there is a £3m hole.

"It's going to be very difficult - we will do everything we can to protect local people's jobs and to protect our public services.

"I have nothing but respect for the democratic process, but I do question why local elections couldn't have been put forward a month.

"The covid measures that had to be put in place for this election were extensive, and I will be following up on just how much it has cost the council to have to do all this at this time.