SPECIAL REPORT: Rugby Borough Council Elections 2012

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TUSC would fight all budget cuts

RUGBY Trade Union and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) has based its campaign around its anti-cuts agenda.

The group says it are the only party in Rugby opposed to all cuts on all levels. Pete McLaren, spokesperson for the group, said: “We are finding a lot of support for our anti-cuts stance. We have found this on the stalls we have organised, and when talking to people whilst out campaigning.

“That means 21,000 households and some 40,000 voters we have leafletted will know, not only that we are opposed to all cuts, but also that there are alternatives which would resolve the economic crisis without cutting public spending. These alternatives include collection of all taxes the rich avoid paying or evade, nationalisation of the banks and financial institutions, and a five per cent wealth tax on the richest ten per cent. We are finding public support for these views is increasing.”

He added: “We are the only party in these elections committed to opposing all cuts at all levels, and our publicity fully explains how a TUSC councillor would use that position to fight the cuts. The unexpected victory by George Galloway in Bradford West three weeks ago, when he overturned a 5,000 Labour majority, has shown that there is support for left wing views.”

Are you ready to cast your vote?

NEXT Thursday’s election will be the first all-out ballot in Rugby for decades.

Usually just a third of seats are up for election each year. But this year, due to ward boundary changes, there is much more at stake, with all 42 seats being up for grabs. Rugby Borough Council has issued a checklist for voters to help them have their say in the council elections. Details of your polling station, which may have changed since the last election, are on your poll card. If you have not received it or are unsure of where to go, call (01788) 533595 or visit www.rugby.gov.uk/elections. Polling stations will be open from 7am to 10pm and the count will take place the following Friday morning. Track the count’s progress on Twitter by following the Advertiser,’s Twitter feed, @rugbyadv.

Tories: judge us on our record

RUGBY Conservatives, who control the borough council, are campaigning on what they achieved during their time in office.

They say these include freezing council tax for three years in a row while being able to fund a new sports centre.

The political group has described its tenure as, “fresh and honest” and say their financial prudence led to a string of achievements in the borough announced in this year’s budget including a £1m mortgage scheme to help first-time buyers get on the property ladder, £245,000 investment in delivering broadband to rural areas, increased funidng to the borough’s Community Safety Partnership, a new £12.5m leisure centre and a free weekend parking trial in the town centre.

Craig Humphrey, Conservative Group Leader, said: “The borough council elections on May 3 come at a critical time.

“Thanks to the Labour legacy of debt, times are tough for everyone, as we clear up the economic mess they left behind.”

He continued: “Despite this, the Conservatives continue doing the right things for Rugby with our a fresh and honest approach at Rugby Town Hall.

“The same fresh-thinking that has made sure local tax payers’ money is spent wisely and has delivered a council tax freeze every year for the last three years.”

He added: “The determination of Rugby’s Conservative-led Borough Council has freed up money to pay for a strong plan for the future that focuses on keeping council tax low, investing in the borough, helping businesses to open, creating jobs and helping first-time buyers to get on the property ladder.”

Grass-roots approach for the Greens

RUGBY Green Party has ten priorities for Rugby as part of their election campaign.

They include promising to “put Rugby First” by saving services such as post offices, making streets safer and working for the community. The party wants to lobby government and industry to encourage a “green jobs boom” off the back of the town’s engineering heritage. They also want to protect services from auterity cuts, fight to stop privatisation of the NHS and any detrimental effect on St Cross, save the council millions each year by installing renewable energy sources on council buidlings and purchasing services from local groups of companies instead of big business.

The Greens also want to conduct a health survey to address concerns about perceptions of higher than normal rates of cancers, blood disorders and asthma in parts of Rugby, lobby to renationalise the railways to cut emissions and take haulage lorries off the road. and take action on the large number of empty homes in Rugby that are contributing to the housing crisis. Finally the group want to stop the plan to build at the mast site and instead use the land to generate renewable energy and provide green wooded area for the people of Rugby.

Labour would battle cuts from town hall

RUGBY Labour Group’s campaign is focused on providing local resistance to national government policies, particularly in regard to the NHS and St Cross.

After conducting a survey in Clock Towers Shopping Centre the group found that 86 per cent of people thought the Coalition Government’s budget was “unfair” 82 per cent of people were concerned about police cuts in Rugby and that 96 per cent were concerned about the future of St Cross hospital.

James Shera, Labour’s Rugby group leader, said: “Warwickshire’s NHS is coming under sustained attack from David Cameron and I fear for the future of Rugby’s St Cross Hospital.

“The Tory-led Government’s NHS re-organisation is already causing real harm to patients and is wasting over £31m in our area. Longer waits for operations and chaos in A&E has returned, operations and treatments restricted as the postcode lottery gets worse and thousands of nursing jobs are axed. 

“I will ask our local NHS leaders to adopt five principles to protect the NHS from the worst that David Cameron throws at it. By joining forces with health professionals at local level, we can resist the drive towards the rationing of treatment and the encroachment of charges we are starting to see in our NHS.”

Paul Castle, chair of campaigns for Rugby Labour, added: “Rugby deserves better and only Labour will stand shoulder-to-shoulder with the community, as we did over the threat to St Cross Hospital last winter.

“We’re ready to listen to the concerns of the community and work with them to deliver a fairer, more dynamic future for our borough. That’s why our campaign slogan is: ‘We’re backing Rugby’.”

Liberal Democrats keen to boost community’s involvement

THE borough’s Liberal Democrat group say a fresh, more community-led approach needs to be taken in the town hall.

The group have said they will also continue to lobby Government ministers over issues such as St Cross hospital’s Birch Ward and the re-build of the Catthorpe Interchange.

Jerry Roodhouse, leader of Rugby Lib Dems, said at their campaign launch: “I, along with my Liberal Democrat colleagues, are determined to stand up for those who elected us, regardless of who is in government.

“We are passionate about the future of our town and borough and will work towards making Rugby an even better place to live.

“We have been campaigning at all levels, taking local concerns through the corridors of the town hall onwards to Government ministers on such issues as St Cross’s Birch Ward and the Catthorpe interchange.

“We have worked hard to ensure fair and effective services whilst holding council tax and opposing massive rent increases, working cross party on the new Leisure Centre speaking out on its lack of squash courts.”

He added: “Liberal Democrat Councillors on Rugby Borough Council will stand up for local people that we represent; we will speak out and listen.”

The group also believe communities should be trusted to help with decision making, that growth around Rugby can be achieved without impacting the countryside and that more communal land should be preserved rand managed rather than sold to developers.

Cllr Roodhouse added: “We recognise that this election will be a challenge especially with all out elections and the national picture. But we will stand by our principles and track record.”

Vote for me: the election candidates in full

Here is the full list of candidates for the Rugby Borough Council elections on Thursday May 3, arranged in alphabetical order by ward.

The version of this list printed in the Advertiser on April 26 omitted James Shera, a Labour candidate for Benn ward. We apologise for the error.

Admirals & Cawston ward: Richard John Allanach Lib Dem, Steve Birkett Lab, Peter Butlin Cons, Kate Crowley Green, Hilda Fletcher Lib Dem, Tom Hardgrave Lib Dem, Marie McNally Lab, Michael Stokes Cons, Alan Webb Lab, Mark Williams Cons.

Benn ward: Bert Harris TUSC, Lorna Lyttle Cons, Tom Mahoney Lab, Maggie O’Rourke Lab, Ted Pallot Lib Dem, Ian Picker Cons, Claire Sandison Lib Dem, James Shera Lab, Nicola Williams Cons, Steven Wright Green.

Bilton ward: Lesley George Lib Dem, Chris Holman Lib Dem, Craig Humphrey Cons, Stephanie Jones Lab, Lisa Parker Cons, Stephen Roberts TUSC, David Wright Cons.

Clifton, Newton & Churchover ward: Leigh Hunt Cons, Steve Weston Lab.

Coton and Boughton ward: Adam Bastock Green, David Cranham Cons, Carolyn Robbins Cons, Helen Walton Cons, Mary Webb Lab.

Dunsmore ward: Doreen Cox Lab, Suzanne Davies Lib Dem, Graham Francis Cons, Ian Lowe Cons, Beatrice O’Dwyer Lib Dem, Howard Roberts Ind, Ian Spiers Cons.

Eastlands ward: Ian Francis Cons, Phil Godden Green, Robert Johnson TUSC, Dale Keeling Lib Dem, Paul Newsome Cons, Owen Richards Lab, Sue Roodhouse Lib Dem, Neil Sandison Lib Dem, Scott Whyment Cons.

Hillmorton ward: Nigel Allen Cons, Kieren Brown Lab, Tim Douglas Lib Dem, Dave Elson Lib Dem, David Goodwin TUSC, Maria Kerr Lab, Kathryn Lawrence Cons, Bill Sewell Cons, John Slinger Lab, Jess Upstone Lib Dem.

Leam Valley ward: Robin Hazelton Cons.

New Bilton ward: Tina Avis Lab, Chris Cade Cons, Emma Harrington Cons, Charlie Hull Cons, Ally MacGregor TUSC, Rob McNally Lab, Ish Mistry Lab, Peter Reynolds Green, Roy Sandison Green.

Newbold and Brownsover ward: James Bryans Green, Andy Coles Lab, Yousef Dahmash Cons, Lorna Dunleavy Green, Claire Edwards Lab, Bill Smith TUSC, Ram Srivastava Lab, Martin Walton Cons, Rachel Watts Cons.

Paddox ward: Richard Dodd Lib Dem, Hash Mistry Cons, Noreen New Lib Dem, Marc Pooler Cons, Jerry Roodhouse Lib Dem, Nigel Stanley Lab, Stephen Tompsett Cons, David Wolfskehl Green.

Revel and Binley Woods ward: Belinda Garcia Cons, Tony Gillias Cons, Heather Timms Cons, Jo Watson Lab.

Rokeby and Overslade ward: Howard Avis Lab, Emma Daynes Lab, Matthew Francis Cons, Laurence Goodchild Green, Gwen Hotten Lib Dem, Kam Kaur Cons, Bill Lewis Lib Dem, Dave Merritt Lib Dem, Terri Watts Cons, Julie Weekes TUSC, John Wells Lab.

Wolston and the Lawfords ward: Sally Bragg Cons, Paul Castle Lab, Pete McLaren TUSC, Derek Poole Cons, Ellie Roderick Green, Claire Watson Cons, Pat Wyatt Ind.

Wolvey & Shilton ward: Robert Bevin Lab, Chris Pacey-Day Cons.