Rugby Labour has pledged to focus on housing as it launches its campaign for the local elections in May.
Labour is fielding 10 candidates, with three more undergoing the selection process, for the May 3 Rugby Borough Council elections.
The council currently has nine Labour councillors, with the Liberal Democrats having eight and the Conservatives leading the council with 23 of the 42 seats.
Labour’s candidates said they will focus on providing secure housing, reversing the trend of increasing homelessness in the borough, and challenging the government on universal credit - which they said has caused £450,000 in rent arrears for the council as tenants struggle to pay rent amid payment delays.
Cllr Mike Brader, who is standing for re-election to his seat for Rugby’s New Bilton ward, said: “It isn’t fair that people are suffering the indignity of racking up debt, facing homelessness and visiting foodbanks, just because the Conservative government can’t admit its policies aren’t working.”
“On day one of winning control of the council we would demand an urgent meeting with government ministers and the DWP to fix universal credit.”
How do the council’s elections work?
Rugby Borough Council sees its councillors elected through a ‘thirds’ system - meaning once a year for three years running a third of the council’s seats are opened to election.
On the fourth year there is a break while the county council has its elections.
2018 is the beginning of the new three-year election cycle for Rugby Council.
Fourteen of the council’s seats will be up for election. Labour has set its sights 13 of those - 10 candidates have already been selected and three are undergoing the selection process.
Out of the seats the 10 confirmed candidates are standing for, three of the seats currently belong to the party, three seats it is contesting are currently Tory, two are independent and two are Liberal Democrat.