Rugby businesses demand answers after being disappointed by lack of jubilee decorations in town centre

Rugby First has vowed to respond after a group of businesses in the town centre expressed their disappointment over a lack of decorations for the jubilee.

With the exception of some bunting, which business owners said had been used for previous events too, the umbrellas were the only apparent jubilee decorations.
With the exception of some bunting, which business owners said had been used for previous events too, the umbrellas were the only apparent jubilee decorations.

In the run-up to the jubilee weekend many residents took to this newpaper’s comment sections to criticise Rugby First for what they believed to be an underwhelming response to the event.

And then, on Sunday, business owners began to contact the Advertiser to express dismay, questioning what was being done with the levy they pay to Rugby First.

A spokesperson for the businesses then confirmed they had written an open letter to the organisation, calling for answers.

The spokesperson, who wished not to be named, said: "We are a large group of small business levy payers that are appalled at the lack of effort Rugby First put into the Jubilee Celebrations last weekend.

“No jubilee bunting, flags or even pictures of HM The Queen, the only effort Rugby First made was 12 red white blue umbrellas suspended on a by road by a closed down McDonald’s.

"Fortunately, local businesses went to great effort to decorate their shops.

"Rugby First have a budget of £160,000 for marketing and events for the town centre and as we have had no events over the last two and half years, there should have been plenty of funds to celebrate Jubilee, close to £500,000.”

The open letter was signed by an array of well-known Rugby businesses, including Jean’s Flowers, Cafe Vin Cinq, Gallachers Fine Wines Ltd and the Seven Stars.

In the letter, they make five requests:

An explanation of why Rugby Bid/Rugby First Ltd made no effort for the Jubilee Celebration when so many local towns did. All payments made to all Directors of the Board, their associated companies and companies owned by their family members and associates for the last 6 years. Detailed accounts for Rugby First Ltd for last 3 years Dates and events planned for Rugby town for the next 12 months. How Rugby Bid are recovering payments from defaulting levy payers for the last three years.

A spokesperson for Rugby First said: “Rugby First have received the open letter from a small group of local businesses and will be responding in due course.”