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  • Liberal Democrat logo large
    Article: Sep 26, 2016
    By Warwickshire Lib Dems

    On 22 September 2016 a meeting of Warwickshire County Council heard a statement from the Conservative Leader outlining plans to cut a further £67 million from the Council's expenditure over the next three years, threatening up to another 317 jobs. The statement will be followed by consultation with unions, staff and the public, and comes ahead of the Chancellor's Autumn Statement in Westminster on 23 November. Next February the County Council must set its budget for the next three years.

    The Liberal Democrat group on Warwickshire County Council will now study carefully the new savings plan put forward, and continue to be guided by the key priorities which it has promoted consistently over several years, in particular investing in early years' education.

    Lib Dem group leader Cllr Jerry Roodhouse (Rugby Eastlands & Hillmorton) said:

    "The dithering and inconsistent messages coming from the new Conservative government make it almost impossible for local councils to plan realistically for the medium term.

    "For example, what will be the outcome of the consultation on business rate retention, which will be a much important part of local government financing in future? When will the government break its deathly silence on how and when revenue support grant funding will disappear? When will it decide how it wants to take forward the whole question of combined authorities as it affects non-metropolitan areas?

    "Central government continues to exert a stranglehold on local councils' funding options, and over the coming weeks and months could announce further decisions which would blow the current Warwickshire savings plans out of the water."

  • Liberal Democrat logo large
    Article: Sep 26, 2016
    By Warwickshire Lib Dems

    Warwickshire Liberal Democrats voted on 22 September 2016 in support of a county council motion expressing concern that the Government's intention to introduce more Grammar Schools could undermine the quality of the existing schools network and reduce social mobility. Together with Labour and Green members, they defeated the Conservatives by 28 to 25 on a recorded vote.

    Lib Dem Education spokesperson Cllr John Whitehouse (Kenilworth Abbey) said that the Conservatives had no mandate from the electorate to open new grammar schools, and that such a policy would fail to address the agreed key educational priority for Warwickshire, which was to close the educational attainment gap between pupils from disadvantaged families and their peers. While overall attainment levels for Warwickshire, were higher than the national average, the attainment gap ranked as one of the worst in England.

    Stratford Lib Dem councillor Jenny Fradgeley (Stratford South) spoke eloquently about her experience of teaching and motivating pupils in a so-called "creamed comprehensive", in an area where the highest academically achieving youngsters were separated out at age 11. She called for government and councils to focus attention and further investment into early year's education, as the best way of closing the educational attainment gap in the long term.

    Cllr Whitehouse said:

    "As Liberal Democrats we are proud of all of our secondary schools in Warwickshire, as the wording of the motion stated which the Conservatives tried to defeat. However, Theresa May's reported ambition to see 'a grammar school in every town' could undermine many of our currently outstanding and good comprehensive schools across the county, and there is no evidence that such a policy would help to address the real educational priority, of ensuring that every child gets the best possible chances in life."

    Lib Dem group leader Cllr Jerry Roodhouse (Rugby Eastlands & Hillmorton) said:

    "Following this vote, we expect the Conservative administration to relay the concerns of this council back to the Government, and to demand that national education policies focus on supporting all of our schools, enabling all Warwickshire children to achieve their full potential."

  • Smart Start logo
    Article: Sep 17, 2016

    The Smart Start programme is launching its community grant fund making £250,000 available to small local projects in Warwickshire. The fund will support and pilot local creative ideas and grass-roots activity which enables children to get the best start in life and improves school readiness.

    Rugby Lib Dems Councillor Jerry Roodhouse is Chair of the 0-5 Strategy Group.

  • Jerry Roodhouse
    Article: Sep 17, 2016

    Councillor Jerry Roodhouse, Leader of the Liberal Democrats Group, has written again to the local papers about the NHS "Sustainability Plan" and the need for a public debate before changes are made.

    Dear Editor,

    The recent publicity surrounding the "Sustainability Transformation Plans" or STPs as they are known has highlighted the growing disconnect that is taking place between local communities and the organisations that are making their plans in order to present them to the Department of Health, no consultation, no discussions with local people or even local focus groups and nothing to explain the pressures that are building up in the system.

  • Eduardo Goncalves
    Article: Sep 17, 2016
    By Rugby Lib Dems

    Former Rugby Lib Dems Parliamentary Candidate, Eduardo Goncalves, will be 'sleeping rough' for a night in London on 31 October 2016 for CEO Sleepout to challenge homelessness and poverty. Eduardo stood for Rugby Liberal Democrats at the General Election in May 2015.

    CEO Sleepout will see business leaders from across the UK give up their bed to help those who don't have one.

  • Carie-Anne
    Article: Sep 14, 2016
    By Carie-Anne Dumbleton, Bill Lewis, Marion Nash. in Rokeby & Overslade Ward Focus

    Carie-Anne Dumbleton, one of the local Rugby Borough Councillors for Rokeby and Overslade, regularly takes part in 'walkabouts' within her local area. She said, 'I feel that just simply walking and looking in and around the area, chatting to local residents face to face, I'm getting to the heart of local issues, these can range from peoples concerns with an upgrage to the local childrens' parks to the problem of dog fouling on our streets.'

  • HCW logo
    Article: Sep 11, 2016
    By Rugby Liberal Democrats

    Rugby Lib Dems are encourgaing local residents to have their say on Heritage & Culture Warwickshire (HCW) transformation before the consultation closes on 31 October 2016 to help influence the Cabinet of Warwickshire County Council's decision on the future of these services.

    Heritage & Culture Warwickshire (HCW) provides a wide range of services that safeguard and promote Warwickshire's archives and collections and deliver high quality education activities and events programmes.

  • Liberal Democrat logo large
    Article: Sep 9, 2016
    By Rugby Liberal Democrats in Focus

    Rugby Lib Dems believe that we need to protect the Rainsbrook Valley from more development and safeguard it for the future.

    A recent planning application for 107 homes at Waldings Farm, Barby Lane was firmly rejected by the Planning Committee at Rugby Borough Council. The developer could still appeal that decision. The application was refused because of the adverse impact on the character and appearance of the Rainsbrook Valley, its location and that it would be visually intrusive to the open countryside. Both Cllr Jerry Roodhouse and Cllr Noreen New made objections to this application. Cllr Neil Sandison who sits on Planning Committee spoke at the planning meeting and said, "We felt officers had undervalued the high visual amenity of the area and its important recreational use."

  • Eastlands Ward Councillors
    Article: Sep 7, 2016
    By Dale Keeling in Eastlands Ward Focus

    A new funding bid has been made to Environment Trust which if awarded will go towards the persistent flooding problems on the Great Central Walk by Pytchley Road bridge.

    The track is a favourite for walkers, riders and nature lovers. The drainage channels and track bed need raising as the area is now in desperate need of repair.

  • Whitehall Rec bandstand Sept 2016
    Article: Sep 5, 2016
    By Dale Keeling in Eastlands Ward Focus

    Rugby Lib Dems Eastlands Councillors Neil Sandison, Sue Roodhouse and Dale Keeling are campaigning for the bandstand at Whitehall Rec to be conserved or replaced.

    The band stand in Whitehall Recreation ground stand was erected to commemorate Rugby gaining Borough Council status in 1932. The bandstand is now under threat of demolition according to the Council. It has been closed off following health and safety concerns about its condition. Your Rugby Borough Eastlands Councillors are pressing hard for its repair but we are being told that there is no money to repair it.