Next Thursday Rugby will go to the polls to vote in the borough’s local council elections and in European elections.
On a national level these elections will give people the opportunity to express how they feel about our country’s role in Europe. There are clear dividing lines between the parties and only one party has the ability to deliver, and has committed to delivering, the people of this country a referendum on our membership of the European Union.
On a local level these elections will give the people of Rugby the opportunity to register their judgement on how the present Conservative controlled council has served the borough.
The local elections and the results at the ballot box should be an expression of how Rugby people feel about how efficiently their local services are provided.
When the Government came to power in 2010 it immediately embarked upon a Localism agenda which has given more power to local councils and residents. Here in Rugby those new powers have been firmly embraced.
Local residents in Coton have been taking advantage of new powers brought in by this Government to develop their own neighbourhood plan empowering local people.
At the same time Rugby Borough Council has been innovative in anticipating the fallout of the economic crisis left by the last Government.
Despite the impact that it has had on local government budgets the council has been able to provide a new leisure centre and, by working jointly with a neighbouring authority, a new crematorium.
In recent years the council made the decision to reduce the number of councillors from 48 to 42, not to replace the chief executive and to cut bureaucratic town hall costs.
All of this has been achieved without impacting on local services while at the same time freezing Council Tax for the last five years, even giving a rebate this year.
The council also has an excellent track record in recent years in improving our town. Investment has been made in rural broadband and a £1million mortgage scheme has helped local first-time buyers get on to the property ladder.
These are significant accomplishments and I hope when the people of Rugby go to the polls on May 22 they will bear in mind what has been achieved in recent years.