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19th Oct, 2021

Rugby council considers prioritising services as pandemic worsens financial pressures

FINANCIAL pressures worsened by the Coronavirus pandemic are forcing Rugby Borough Council (RBC) to consider prioritising its services.

The council has launched a survey asking residents which services are most important to them.

A spokesperson said: “Dealing with the pandemic alongside other financial pressures means the council may now need to consider how to prioritise its services.

“RBC has been at the forefront of efforts to reduce the impact of Covid-19 and support the most vulnerable residents.

“The council has provided vital food and emotional support to residents who are shielding, and ran the Rugby Foodbank while volunteers were unable to do so. We are now supporting Covid-19 testing and supporting businesses to operate safely and legally and keep residents safe.

“The council must make sure that expected costs do not exceed funding and income.”

The survey asks residents to prioritise services such as reducing the impact of climate change, improving the town centre, supporting economic growth, and improving the availability of quality affordable housing.

Other services include maintaining and enhancing parks and open spaces, providing heritage and cultural services, reducing household waste, and keeping Rugby safe.

The council is also asking the public to comment on three goals it has identified for the borough’s recovery from the pandemic, based around Rugby being environmentally sustainable, having a strong economy, and allowing all residents to live healthy, independent lives.

The spokesperson added: “Delivering these outcomes will not be easy, and we know that there will be many challenges ahead of us.”

As well as facing extra costs due to the pandemic, the council has had to make savings due to reductions in government funding over the last ten years, resulting in cuts to services and Council Tax rises. The government’s annual Revenue Support Grant – which gave the council nearly £890,000 in 2010-11 – was phased out entirely this year.

Visit https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/Right4Rugby to take part in the survey.

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