Yesterday (Feb 28) we went out with Shadow Minister Michael Dugher to ask rail passengers at Rugby rail station what they think of the average national 20% increase in rail fare prices since 2010.
Under David Cameron we have a cost of living crisis and the next Labour Government will bring in a tough cap on rail fare rises on all routes. This government has botched the West Coast franchising process and cost the taxpayer at least £55 million
Michael was on a week long national tour of 20 constituencies, a different region in each of the 5 days, meeting key candidates for 2015 general election. Rugby was his final stop, and was here to support Claire Edwards, our prospective candidate for 2015.
When he met with voters, it was clear that the messages he received were consistently about how the cost of living crisis is really being felt by residents across those areas. In Benn ward we met a lady who was worried about how to continue to pay her heating bills on a limited pension.
Warwickshire County Council set its budget for the next four years last Thursday. As a result of the loss of grant from the Conservative-led coalition government, savings of £93million had been forced on the County. Even with a “permitted” 1.99% increase in Council Tax, this budget has meant serious and damaging cuts to front line services.
Despite opposition from the County Labour Group, the budget was still pushed through following an afternoon of wheeling and dealing between the other parties. An alternative Labour budget was rejected by the Tories voting with the Liberal Democrats. Continue reading
Local Labour County Councillors Alan Webb, Maggie O’Rourke and Mary Webb believe whilst we are facing financial challenging times there is no-doubt that local services are under attack from the centralising coalition government. It is clear that this Tory-led Government care little about the impact their national policies are having on local services, as we face a funding reduction of 40% in our local services. The Labour Party is committed to doing everything it can to protect frontline services and investing in future of the young people of Warwickshire.
Statement on Labour’s proposals for the Warwickshire County Council Budget
Warwickshire County Council will be setting its budget for the next four years today. As a result of the loss of grant from the Conservative-led coalition government there need to be savings of £93million over that period of time. Continue reading
Claire Edwards and Rugby Labour councillors from Warwickshire County Council and Rugby Borough Council met with transport project officers last week to look at their plans to upgrade and renew the gyratory system in Rugby.
You can see the draft plans here – Rugby Gyratory Scheme Plan layout
The County has been successful in applying for central government funding of £1 million from the Local Pinch Point Funding Scheme to tackle major congestion hotspots and with an additional half a million from the County Council, the scheme is planned to start in January 2015 with completion March 2015. Continue reading
On Saturday 11 January, Labour activists from across the West Midlands took part in Cost of Cameron Day, a nationwide day of action on the Cost of Living.
Claire Edwards, Labour’s parliamentary candidate for Rugby was joined by Richard Burden MP for Birmingham Northfield and Shadow Minister for Transport, in Rugby town centre.
Claire Edwards said:
“I was delighted to be joined by Richard Burden MP for Birmingham Northfield and Shadow Minister for Transport, and to meet so many residents who shared our concerns over the Cost of Living crisis in Rugby town centre. Continue reading
Are you facing tough times? Is paying your rent or mortgage becoming hard? Worried about losing your home? 1 in 7 people in the West Midlands are in that position this month.
Shelter are able to give impartial and professional advice – they are not just there to help the homeless, they also try to help people from becoming homeless. You can fond out more from www.shelter.org.uk/advice and they have a free advice line on 0808 800 4444
You can also see how the charity has helped other people on their Shelter Stories pages.
Please note, this post is not a political statement: Rugby Labour Party does not endorse Shelter policy, and similarly Shelter do not endorse the Labour Party, but we have heard that they can help people with housing problems
Despite the cold and damp weather, Labour voters came out in Hillmorton to back Barbara Brown in this week’s by-election.
While the Conservatives held the seat, their majority over Labour was cut to only 61 votes. The Liberal Democrats, who like to claim they are in contention in Hillmorton, came fourth behind UKIP. The Green candidate came last with 21 votes.
The swing to Labour since the 2012 local elections was 5.5%, and compared to 2010 (on slightly different boundaries), the swing is nearly 10%. These movements suggest that Labour can make gains in the Borough Council elections next May, and are in a good position to try and win Rugby in the General Election in 2015.
This shows that the only real alternative to the Tories in Hillmorton – and across Rugby – is the Labour Party.
It was cold and damp day in Hillmorton, but Labour volunteers were out to man the Energy Freeze stall on Saturday. Steve Birkett, Maggie O’Rourke, John Slinger, Claire Edwards and Ish Mistry were on hand to meet locals to discuss the Energy Prize Freeze policy, and other issues.
People brought up the Mast Site, which we know is of concern to Hillmorton and other neighbouring areas. Labour is pushing for any development to be properly planned and for the impact on roads and infrastructure to be addressed before work starts, and in an open way that involves local people.
Update – Some good coverage in the Rugby Observer:
On Saturday (9 November), we will be holding a stall on Hillmorton High Street to discuss Labour’s Energy Freeze pledge and also to meet our Rugby Parliamentary candidate Claire Edwards.
We will also be campaigning in the area for Barbara Brown, the local Labour candidate in the by-election.
The stall will be there from 11am until the mid-afternoon, and all are welcome to come and meet us.
A recent consultation exercise by Rugby Labour Party shows that there is little support for the revised Pedestrianisation plans put forward by Warwickshire County Council. 78.6% of local people who responded were against the scheme (more about the scheme here)
Claire Edwards, Labour Party Parliamentary Candidate says:
“Rugby Labour Party undertook its own consultation with local residents over the last few months and the overwhelming response was against this scheme.
“It is clear there is a strong feeling of concern over the impact of the planned Town Centre Enhancement. Residents feel that traffic flows in their areas will worsen as a result, and that congestion and traffic jams will be increased.
“There are also strong safety concerns about a shared space outside the Clock Towers where pedestrians will mingle with cyclists and taxis and most of all buses which could result in a serious accident, we are not convinced this has been adequately risk assessed.
“This is a very expensive scheme. Up to £1 million has been allocated by both Warwickshire County Council and Rugby Borough Council, which will produce some gains – such as a marginally larger event area outside the Clock Tower and it will also remove some of the cluttered street furniture. But will it attract new businesses, will it attract new customers to existing retailing such as the independent area around Regent Street? Will we get a better range of shops as a result?
“I believe there are better ways to invest in the town centre – improved car parking, proper street signs at car parks, encouraging regular events such as the wonderful Food and Drink Festival and enhancing the Christmas Light switch on.
“And there are other ways to support hard pressed businesses such as the proposal to freeze business rates that Labour have announced and the freeze on energy bills which will benefit householders and small businesses.
“In the current climate there are lots of competing demands on public money. I feel the scheme as proposed is too expensive, with too little gain to make it worthwhile.”