Rugby's political parties give their key policies ahead of the local election

Rugby's town hall.
Rugby's town hall.

Political parties are pitching their top priorities as candidates prepare to stand for Rugby’s local election on May 3.

Labour councillor for Newbold and Brownsover, Claire Edwards, said: “Rugby Labour is fielding candidates in every seat that is up for election this year.

“We are keen to see a renewed council standing up for a renewed Rugby - with a plan for greater access to affordable quality housing, a plan to resolve some of the difficulties we face every day in recycling, a plan to ensure that we have better resources to assist communities in tackling litter and fly-tipping.

“We want to protect and enhance our green spaces and ensure access to services is fair. For a better way then vote Labour on 3rd May.”

Rugby Labour’s manifesto states the party would ensure all new residential developments are made up of at least 40 per cent affordable housing. The manifesto states not enough has been done to work against homelessness and rough sleeping in the area.

Adding: “Even Conservative councillors have said that universal credit is forcing people into homelessness, but not enough is being done to tackle the problem.

“As well as challenging the Conservative government to think again about universal credit, we’ll draw on the knowledge and capacity of local charities, food banks, trade unions and council officers, as well as local residents.

“By pooling our resources, we’ll provide alternatives for rough sleepers, support to those trapped in a cycle of debt and solutions for families at risk of eviction because of insecure employment and the impact of universal credit.

Conservative leader of the council, Cllr Michael Stokes, told the Advertiser: “Conservative councillors in Rugby have always worked with the best interests of local residents at the heart of everything we do.

“Ward councillors work hard with local residents to ensure we provide excellent and value for money and services where they are needed the most.

“A Conservative administration has ensured that the tax burden has been kept to a minimum for Rugby residents but still allowing for ongoing investment in our borough and no cuts to the excellent services we provide.

“Voting Conservative on May 3rd will ensure the council remains in safe hands moving forward and we can continue to work to improve Rugby for all residents and ensure the council is fit to stand up to any future challenges faced by local government.”

A spokesperson for Rugby’s Liberal Democrats told the Advertiser: “Voting Liberal Democrats in this year’s local elections on 3 May 2018 is a vote for someone who is ACE - Active, Caring and Effective.

“Liberal Democrat councillors listen to residents and get things done for their communities.

“In the past 12 months we have: worked with the police to improve parking around schools; worked with residents to support the preservation of a nature reserve and the Great Central Way; successfully campaigned to get funding for new bus shelters and traffic-calming measures; hosted community compost and recycling events; done litter picks; supported the development of a local job club.

“We remain opposed to the green bin waste charge and will continue to highlight to the council alternative ways of working.”

A spokesperson for The Rugby Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC), told the Advertiser: “We are standing to put pressure on Rugby Borough Council to do more to help people suffering poverty through problems with universal credit.

“Universal credit is just another Tory attack on the poor – it is part of an attempt to save over £20 billion from welfare.

“As we know only too well in Rugby, it forces claimants to wait up to 10 weeks to get their first payment.

“This leads to rent arrears, food poverty and even eviction.

“This could be avoided by the use of Nil Income Forms

as issued by other local authorities, enabling those without income to receive payments.

“TUSC will use this election campaign to keep pushing for Nil Income Forms to be offered to claimants.

“Rugby Borough Council could – and should - do so much more to help those in abject poverty.”

The spokesperson also said the group will fight for a no-cuts budget.

The Conservatives currently lead the council with 23 of the 42 seats, while Labour has nine councillors and the Liberal Democrats eight.

Because Rugby Council uses the ‘thirds’ system of election, fourteen of the council’s seats in 14 wards will be up for election on May 3.

Of the seats up for election, seven are Conservative, three are Labour, two are Liberal Democrat and two are held by independents.

The results will be published in the Advertiser.