Injury during the blackout

In the early hours of last Thursday morning, 72 year old Victor Moore of Junewood Close Brownsover was severely injured when he fell into an open drain outside his house because the County Council had switched the streetlights off.

A mischief-maker had removed and discarded the covers from two drains in the street. On returning from a family visit, Mr and Mrs Moore arrived home at about 1:30 am. Mrs Moore got out of the passenger door and crossed the pavement to their house, but poor Mr Moore, having to alight onto the road and walk around the back of the vehicle, stepped into the exposed drain which was quite hidden by the darkness.

The scene of Mr Moore's accident

He fell full length, scraping his arm and leg, bumping his head on the non-illuminated lamp post, broke his dentures, and had to visit the injury unit at the Hospital of St. Cross.

Mr Moore contacted County Councillor Alan Webb in complaint of the lighting policy, who explained that except at traffic junctions, and in areas of high reported crime, the County would not leave lights on after midnight. Cllr Webb reported the incident to the Police, who refused to log the removal of the drain covers as a crime, because the covers had not actually been stolen.

Cllr Webb said “Furthermore, the County Council will probably not compensate Mr Moore, as they were not aware that the covers had been removed, and therefore could not be held responsible. Mr Moore will incur quite a cost getting his teeth repaired, apart from the suffering he had to go through.

“The lighting policy has a lot to answer for particularly when this sort of mindless vandalism occurs. I hope the perpetrator feels guilty for the damage they have done to poor Mr Moore. It was a lark that went very badly wrong.”

Cllr Webb physically replaced the drain cover himself to save taxpayers money, after photographing the scene.


Edible Garden Opened

On Sunday April the 6th, the New Bilton Community Association unveiled the new Edible Garden at the Jubilee Recreation Ground. The local Labour councillors have fully supported the Community Association, and were on hand to help get the planting underway.

newbilton ediblegardenNew Bilton & Lawford County Councillor Maggie O’Rourke, Claire Edwards and the New Bilton Borough Councillors Steve Birkett, Ish Mistry and Tina Avis were all smiles before the hard work of digging started.

Local residents are welcome to help tend the plants as they grow, and to harvest the produce – treating it as a public allotment. Rugby Borough Council has provided the planters for the garden, and the Community Association will oversee the project.

More pictures can be seen on our facebook page


Royal Mail Fire Sale


“The Royal Mail privatisation was botched” says Labour’s Rugby Parliamentary Candidate, Claire Edwards, this week as a national report showed that the sale had cost the public hundreds of millions of pounds.

In the House of Commons, Business Secretary Vince Cable MP had to face questions from Labour’s Chuka Umunna MP following the publication of the NAO (National Audit Office) report into the privatisation, which concluded ‘ministers could have achieved better value for the taxpayer”.

Following the shock announcement, Claire Edwards said:

“People in Rugby will rightly be asking what were the Tories and Lib Dems thinking when they sold off Royal Mail for such a price. Tax payers have been short changed by hundreds of millions of pounds and this week stamp prices have increased once again after first class stamps already went up by 30% last year.

“As families locally struggle, and Mark Pawsey tours the local Foodbank, his colleagues think selling Royal Mail shares at a third less than the value today (trading is at 70% more than the shares were sold for) is good news.

“Well I have news for them – it isn’t. This government’s priorities are for the few not the many – and this is proof once again where their loyalties lie.”


New play area opens

The new play area at the Avon Mill recreation ground was officially opened last week. This was the result of a grant from SITA, and work from Rugby Borough Council. The recently formed Newbold Community Partnership was instrumental in the project.

Councillors Andy Coles, Ramesh Srivanastava and Claire Edwards at the new Avon Mill play area

The local Labour Councillors for Newbold and Brownsover, Andy Coles, Ramesh Srivastava and Claire Edwards are founder members of the Community Partnership, and have fully backed the project.


Use Council App to report fly tipping and other problems

Rugby Borough Council has launched a mobile web app to help residents report environmental problems in their area – as well as find out about council services, contact their councillor, and see the latest information from the council.

The Rugby App, which works on all mobile platforms as well as tablets and computers, reuses data from the council’s website to provide up-to-the-minute news, events and photos.

While other councils have provided apps for their residents, Rugby Borough Council’s app is believed to be the first in the country to give residents the facility to report an environmental problem, complete with a photo and GPS coordinates. The council is able to fix or clear up most reported problems within a few hours.

Residents can install the Rugby App by visiting in their mobile web browser and saving a shortcut to their home screen.

Further information is available at


Tuppence to clean up the town

Rugby residents will no doubt be aware that Rugby Council is reducing its Council Tax by 3% this year. That’s 3% of a small part of your tax bill for a single year. That amounts to £270,000 being taken from your council services this year only. Or an average of £3.83 per taxpayer as a pre-election hand out. It will, however, be dwarfed by the increase supported by the Conservatives and Liberal Democrats at Warwickshire County Council – householders will soon be seeing higher bills.

At the Borough Council’s budget meeting, the Labour Party asked the Council’s Leader (Cllr. Craig Humphreys) to allow £70,000 (about a quarter of this hand out) to allow adequate preparation for the 2014 Rugby world cup, to clear up dog mess in the town and to sort out fly tipping. There would not need to have been any rise in Council Tax, and works out at about £1 per household, or 2p a week on average.

So, next time you object to the litter or something you tread in, just remember your Council don’t give tuppence.


Train fares and Cost of Living

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.
station feb 28Under 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 dugher claire edwards feb 28 -4Michael 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.


Tories & Lib Dems cut frontline services

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


County Council Budget

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


Improving the Gyratory

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