Pawsey is not backing local pubs

Labour’s Claire Edwards slams local MP for failing to stand up for local pubs

Last week MPs voted for a new cross-party clause to the Small Business Bill which offered new protections for local publicans against the predatory practices of large pub owning companies (known as pubcos) and supporting plans to give local pubs and landlords a better deal.

Following a report into the industry by the cross party BIS (Business, Industry and Skills) Select Committee, Labour campaigned alongside a broad coalition of groups including the Federation of Small Businesses, the Forum of Private Business, CAMRA, FairPint and the GMB and UNITE trade unions to call for greater protection for local pubs and put a stop to unfair treatment and restrictive practices.

Several Tory and Lib Dems MPs voted for the amendments strengthening the Small Business Bill, but not Rugby’s MP. Continue reading


Claire Edwards presses for safer pedestrian access at Rugby rail station

Claire Edwards presses for safer pedestrian access at Rugby rail station

Local residents who use Rugby rail station to avoid the notoriously congested Mill Road tunnel will still be able to do so once new barriers are built next year.

Currently lots of people find walking under the Mill Road tunnel from Brownsover toward Murray Road dangerous, dirty and noisy and often use the rail station tunnel as a clean and safe alternative.

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Claire Edwards with local campaigners and Shadow Minister Michael Dugher earlier in the year

Virgin, under its new franchise agreement for the West Coast Mainline, is installing new ticket barriers at the entrance to Rugby station – but thanks to intervention by Labour parliamentary candidate Claire Edwards and Rugby Rail Users Group, pedestrians will still be able to use the safer route as an alternative.

Claire explains:

“I had a very interesting and productive meeting with Virgin and they have shown me the plans for new barriers and reassured me that the barriers will be full staffed when in use and that staff will be able to actively allow pedestrians to use the station tunnel as a safe and clean alternative to Mill Road tunnel.

“I am really pleased that they are listening to rail users and local residents who have a number of concerns about the barriers. The fact that they will always be staffed when in use is a great reassurance. However Mill Road tunnel is still an eyesore, it regularly floods and causes real headaches when buses try to go through the single lane. I have written to the County Council and Rugby Borough Councils asking them to discuss solutions alongside Virgin. “


Claire backs NHS bill – Mark Pawsey didn’t even vote

Labour’s parliamentary candidate for Rugby and Bulkington is backing Clive Efford’s private members bill to save the NHS.

“Thank you so much to everyone who signed the petition in Rugby and Bulkington and to everyone who has emailed me. I know Mark Pawsey didn’t attend the House of Commons vote today but 241 MPs voted in favour and just 18 Tories voted against.”

“There is still time to get involved as the bill moves to the next stage in the House. Please #backthebill and sign the petition. ”

“It not only protects the NHS from privatisation but would also exempt the health service from the TTIP trade deal, making sure the NHS isn’t exposed to US private healthcare providers. “


Save Oakfield

New Bilton Labour councillors Ish Mistry, Steve Birkett and Maggie O’Rourke alongside parliamentary candidate Claire Edwards are actively supporting the campaign to Save Oakfield recreation ground from plans to build houses on it.

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The recreation ground on Bilton road is surrounded by homes in Bloxam Gardens, Seabroke Avenue, Charles St, Northcote Road, Alfred St and Frederick St. It has been leased by the current owners, the Co-op Heart of England, to Rugby Borough Council for the past 35 years until the lease ran out last year. Now in a shock move, the Co-op have appointed planning Consultants to prepare plans for 62 dwellings to be built on the playing field.

Local residents are shocked and stunned by the decision and have established the campaign group Save Oakfield to fight the plans. Although no formal plans have been submitted yet to RBC, the councillors have engaged support from the Leader of the Council and local MP to support local residents in protecting the recreation site. As a green open space it is of high value and high quality and key in this area of New Bilton which has a proven lack of recreational land. The Oakfield Rec provides sports facilities and a children’s play area. It’s much used by residents for walking, and is very popular with families, runners and dog owners. There are also some well established poplar trees which have been a feature of the area for generations.

Two very well attended public meetings have been held, with over 100 attendees each, alongside a very successful campaign to tie a yellow ribbon on the trees which was featured by central TV on 15 November.oakfield 2

Residents are also supporting an online petition on the 38 degrees website and writing to the Co-op and its planning consultants PJ Planning in their hundreds.

Labour councillors are committed to saving Oakfield for future generations – not only is this open space important to protect, building here will add unsustainable levels of traffic to Bilton road, increasing air quality pollution and congestion and traffic jams.

To show your support for the Save Oakfield campaign, you can add your name to the petition here:


Merit award for Ish Mistry

Cllr Ish Mistry received a Labour Party Merit Award from Ed Miliband at the West Midlands Labour conference on Saturday 15th November

We in Rugby Labour are proud of the effort and dedication that Ish has shown the people of Rugby over many years.

We are grateful for his hard work, and delighted that it has been recognised with this award

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Support John Wells for Bilton

Byelection – Thursday 6 November

John Wells 1Introducing your local Labour candidate, John Wells

John has lived in Bilton for many years, bringing up his family who attended local schools. An experienced campaigner, as a trustee of Hill Street Youth Centre he helped save the centre from impending closure by Warwickshire County Council. He walks around Bilton every day, talking to residents and listening to their concerns.

John knows Bilton and the issues that matter: he is determined to fight for access to GP surgeries, and is passionate abut protecting open and green spaces and ensuring that Rugby Borough Council is run properly and efficiently

Labour for Bilton

  • Reduce the Cost of Politics – Labour supported continuing to ask the Boundary Commission to reduce the number of borough councillors from 42 to 33, and would move to have elections every 4 years rather than every year. These would save £285,000 over 4 years. Rugby Tories agreed to this six months ago, but quietly dropped it in September – Why?
  • Protect green and open spaces - Did you know that while council tax has been frozen for 5 years, the council received £1,000 for every new property built under the New Homes Bonus? Is the explosion in new housing development, regardless of its effect on residents, a good idea? Labour wants properly thought through development that minimises the impact on local residents, provides much needed affordable, quality housing, with proper plans for infrastructure at the start of building, not the end. We call for an end to a free-for-all for developers to do what they like.
  • Put residents first on transport – Too much of our road network is clogged up and is not working for us. Labour would call for greater investment in safe cycle paths and ways to reduce traffic jams. We also want to see roads such as Magnet Lane being protected from being used as a rat run.
  • Encourage rewarding employment – We need to help local businesses and encourage good rates of pay. Low pay and zero hours contracts do not provide an incentive to work.
  • Listening to the voters - Unlike other parties, who just want to talk at residents, John Wells and Labour in Bilton want to listen to your concerns and priorities. Please contact us at

A vote for Labour is a vote for change.

UKIP doesn’t stand up for working people. The Tories voted against saving money on politics, and use housebuilding to keep Council Tax temporarily low.



Have you had to wait a week to see your GP?

Labour’s parliamentary candidate Claire Edwards asks “Have you had to wait a week to see your GP?”  The NHS 2014 survey showed that over 1 in 10 people in Rugby and Coventry (over 50,000 people) had to wait a week or more to get an appointment with their GP, and 43% said they only saw their preferred GP some of the time or never.”

With pressures of a growing Rugby population we want to hear your views. Email us here

Rugby is the fastest growing borough in the West Midlands but access to GP services are clearly not keeping up with demand.  In Brownsover we are crying out for a new medical centre but after 3 years are still waiting. When is this government going to stop blaming someone else and sort out the extra GPs we need in Rugby?

The next Labour Government has guaranteed to invest £100 million in GP surgeries – and to guarantee appointments within 48 hours or on the same day for those who need it.

If you have had problems getting an appointment with the GP you want to see, or within two days, please email us here and let us know.


Positive response to Parkfield consultation

parkfield road masterplan consultationClaire Edwards has urged Newbold residents to support the new plans for Parkfield Road open space development to include new allotments, play area, protected wildlife areas and landscaping.

In conjunction with Rugby Borough Council and the Newbold on Avon Community Partnership, consultation forms have been delivered across Newbold with noticeboards at key places across the area.

Claire Edwards said,

“I am delighted that Newbold on Avon Community Partnership has wholeheartedly supported the plans for a new protected area in Parkfield Road. At our recent AGM a number of residents attended and we all agreed the plans were very welcome, and made a number of suggestions to enhance it for local residents to enjoy in the decades to come.

“Support for the new plans generally has been really positive and I would urge residents to have their say. Completed forms can be delivered to the Co-op in Main Street or Nagra’s Supermarket in Norman Road, email us on or ring 01788 533739.

“It will include a number of allotments, protected areas to encourage wildlife and butterflies, some outdoor gym equipment, a number of trees, green spaces and footpaths to enable everyone to enjoy the area.

“As newly elected Secretary of the Newbold on Avon Community Partnership, I am really pleased that we will be involved in protecting this area and enhancing Parkfield Road for residents in the future.”


Tributes to Christine Oddy

_76585051_coddyChristine Oddy, who served as Labour’s Member of the European Parliament for Midlands Central then Coventry and North Warwickshire, sadly died last weekend.   She was a true champion for her constituency and retained many friends in the Labour Party.

Christine was an unconventional and unique politician who made a real difference. She was passionate about Coventry and Warwickshire. Her work in the European Parliament brought rights that we now take for granted – such as limiting working hours, entitlement to paid holidays and proper maternity leave.

Andy King said:

“I am greatly saddened to hear that Christine passed away last weekend. She was a great champion of those who were oppressed across the world and will be sorely missed.”

Claire Edwards added:

“I had the privilege of working for Christine and learnt a lot from her. She was a passionate advocate for the city of her birth, Coventry, and across Warwickshire and Solihull. It still isn’t common for people to be able to relate to their Euro MP, but lots related to Christine because she stood up for them.

“She was a particular advocate for international human rights, especially in her work with Casa Alianza battling to protect street children in Central America and her campaigning in the horrors of Sri Lanka.

“She was committed to working hard for people, never refused to undertake casework, wherever it led, and helped solve a lot of them. She worked at a very grassroots level with regular summer roadshows and actively supporting local campaigns and charities. ”

James Shera said:

“I am deeply saddened to know that Christine is no longer with us but her devotion and commitment to the Rugby community as a Euro MP will always be remembered. She was indeed a real people’s person and her death is indeed a great loss. May God bless her soul and comfort her family and friends.”


Rokeby & Overslade Surgery

Your local Labour team invite you to attend its next Advice Surgery on:

Monday 7 July 2014
6.00 – 7.00 pm

Overslade Community Centre
68 Buchanan Road
Rugby CV22 6AY

Please come and raise any issues or concerns regarding the proposed Ashlawn Road development, report any litter, fly tipping, and other issues affecting you.

Councillor Howard Avis will be there, along with Claire Edwards, our Parliamentary Candidate