Labour takes over leadership of Rugby Borough Council - The Rugby Observer

Labour takes over leadership of Rugby Borough Council

Rugby Editorial 6th Jun, 2024 Updated: 6th Jun, 2024   0

A ‘BETTER, greener and fairer’ administration – that is the aim of Labour councillors who have taken control of Rugby Borough Council.

Coun Michael Moran, who represents Admirals and Cawston Ward and is leader of the Labour Group, is now leading the council after his party struck a deal with the Liberal Democrats.

He was elected at an Extraordinary Meeting last night (Wednesday June 5).

Addressing councillors in the meeting, Coun Moran said there was a need for ‘a progressive vision for change, a fresh start and a new approach’.

In his speech he reminded colleagues of the need to focus on making a positive difference to residents and businesses.

Speaking afterwards, Coun Moran said: “After decades of rule under one political party, there is now an opportunity to plot a different future for the Borough.

“First and foremost, we’re going to focus on the council itself to get a better understanding of the pressures facing the council workforce and look to improve morale and staff retention levels.

“We need everyone to buy into a new and exciting future for the Borough, and the council’s staff are central to that plan.

“Secondly, we will be looking to bring in independent outside expertise to review the council’s financial position so that we can plot a sensible and sustainable future for all of us.

“With those two essential building blocks in place, we can then get on to deliver the positive new initiatives this Borough needs.”

Labour and the Liberal Democrats struck a ‘confidence and supply’ agreement to allow Labour to take leadership – ousting the Conservatives, who have either led or controlled the council for the past 20 years.

Coun Jerry Roodhouse, Leader of the Liberal Democrat Group, said: “We need to move towards a more progressive form of local politics.

“The Liberal Democrat group is clear that it will work hard for local residents and seek the improvements needed by way of a confidence and supply agreement.”

The Conservatives remain the largest party on the council despite having lost three seats to Labour in the local election in May, leaving them with 17 out of 42 seats.

But the Tories, outnumbered by the other two parties, failed in a bid to establish a formal coalition with the Lib Dems.

A spokesperson for the Conservative Group said Labour had blocked its minority administration which had led the council since the party lost its overall majority a year ago.

They said: “For the past 12 months, Rugby’s Conservative Group sought to work proactively across party lines on the issues that matter to local residents.

“However, this approach was stymied thanks to Rugby Labour’s refusal to engage proactively in any decision-making process over this period.

“We will continue to champion the aspirations of Rugby’s residents – and will use our powerful collective voice to hold the new Labour-Liberal Democrat administration to account.”

Rugby Borough Council’s new Cabinet

New Deputy Leader Coun Ish Mistry.

Coun Moran has appointed a new Deputy Leader and Cabinet.

Coun Ish Mistry is the council’s Deputy Leader and portfolio holder for Finance, Performance, Legal and Governance, and Coun Maggie O’Rourke becomes portfolio holder for Partnerships and Wellbeing.

Coun Alison Livesey has been appointed portfolio holder for Operations and Traded Services, and Coun Clare Edwards is the new portfolio holder for Communities and Homes, Regulation and Safety.

Coun Louise Robinson has been appointed portfolio holder for Growth, Investment, Digital and Communications, and Coun Barbara Brown becomes portfolio holder for Organisational Change.

Immediately following the council meeting, the following committees met and elected their Chairs – namely Coun Heather Timms as Chair of the Scrutiny Committee, Coun Belinda Garcia as Chair of the Licensing and Safety Committee, and Coun Tony Gillias as Chair of the Planning Committee.

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