Voice of the Opposition: August

Once a month we will be offering the Leaders of both Medway Council and the official opposition the opportunity to talk unedited about.. well, Medway politics.

Today we hear from Vince Maple, leader of Medway Labour, the official opposition on Medway Council.


So the man who wanted to build an airport in our community has now got the keys to number ten.  There are many alarming things about Boris Johnson’s election to the role of Prime Minister. His obsession with the estuary airport, a vanity project of the highest order – considering the wide variety of evidence from environmental to economic all pointed to it being a flawed concept – but it’s not just us here in North Kent he managed to dismay.  

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Climate change: What can we do?

In which Esme Hehir of Medway Youth Council ponders what individuals and organisations to combat climate change.

Climate change is an issue that needs to be dealt with urgently. We cannot sit back as passive observers of the destruction of our planet. There is so much we should be doing to ensure a sustainable future for generations to come. 

This crisis has become so serious that there are now daily discussions in the mainstream media, taking the debate from a niche audience to the forefront of our global concerns. Despite there being an increased interest in the subject, not enough is being done to prevent climate change.

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Voice of the Leader: July

Once a month we offer a platform to the leaders of both Medway Council and the official opposition. Today, we have the latest column from Cllr Alan Jarrett, Conservative Leader of Medway Council.

Alan Jarrett

So, by the time you read this we will have a new Prime Minister, and I shall be 5,000 miles away with not a thought for politics at home!

Not entirely true of course! For I shall be fervently hoping that my vote for Boris Johnson was one of many, and he now occupies 10 Downing Street.

Not that I have always been a Boris fan, and am still not in some ways. In fact in those days when as Mayor of London he sought to have a massive airport built in Medway I was anything but a fan!

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Boring History: Independence Day

In which Chris Sams manages to tenuously link Independence Day to Medway politics..

The 4th of July is one of those dates we remember much like 1066, 1940 and 1348, I mean who can forget the date that Will Smith and that doctor from Jurassic Park saved the world from alien invasion?

The 4th July is, of course, the American Independence day. A date when the American nation celebrates breaking the union of the thirteen colonies with the English Empire in a move that is seen as driven by taking control of their own affairs, greater freedoms and democracy but in reality was all about dodging paying tea tax. Seems fair? Well, the mists of time and a popular history has hidden a few of the salient facts..

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Voice of the Opposition: July

Once a month we will be offering the Leaders of both Medway Council and the official opposition the opportunity to talk unedited about.. well, Medway politics.

Today we hear from Vince Maple, leader of Medway Labour, the official opposition on Medway Council.


I’m writing this month’s Voice of the Opposition at the Local Government Association (LGA) Conference taking place this year in Bournemouth. This is an annual event which sees councillors from all political parties as well as senior council officers coming together to look at the state of the nation.

This year we will hear from people like the Governor of the Bank of England Mark Carney and the Unison General Secretary Dave Prentis. Alongside this hearing from senior Labour politicians including Keir Starmer who addressed the Labour Group. During the session I raised with him the issue of devolution and the need for quality jobs and skills agenda in post Brexit Medway.

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Medway: A Hostile Environment For Refugees?

In which we welcome Caitlin Webb, the UK’s first Local Democracy Reporter, to The Political Medway to look at how welcoming Medway has been to refugees..

You may not know but 17-23 June was Refugee Week. 

Before we delve into this subject- let’s get the facts straight. Refugees are displaced people who have been forced to leave their home country to escape war, persecution or natural disasters. This is different from migrants, who have moved to the UK for hope of a better life but could potentially return home.

Refugee Week may have gone under the radar because of the political sensitivity around the issue or simply because every week seems to be a celebration of something. Yet the Armed Forces Week has been promoted everywhere in the Towns.

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It’s Always Sunny in Medway

In which we welcome Revd Dr Joel Love as he ponders the summer solstice, World Humanist Day, and our place in the world..

Clung to a ball 
That was hung in the sky 
Hurled into orbit 
There You are
– Rich Mullins, ‘Verge of a Miracle’

This week sees the solstice and World Humanist Day, which both fall on 21 June. In the Northern hemisphere this is known as midsummer or the ‘summer’ solstice (whatever the weather). The summer solstice is when when the sun reaches its highest point in the sky and is the day with the shortest period of darkness and longest period of daylight. 

Prehistoric sites such as Stonehenge stand as monuments to the annual cycle of the sun, which appears to rise higher in the sky during the summer before falling again towards the Southern horizon in the winter months. Here in the Medway area, Kits Coty is all that is left of an ancient burial mound that was also oriented towards the rising sun. Many Christian Churches are also built on an East-West axis, sometimes literally on top of earlier places of worship. Humanists International, meanwhile, chose the 21st of June because it symbolises light triumphing over darkness, where one represents ‘knowledge’ and the other ‘ignorance’. 

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Voice of the Leader: June

Once a month we offer a platform to the leaders of both Medway Council and the official opposition. Today, we have the latest column from Cllr Alan Jarrett, Leader of Medway Council.

Alan Jarrett

Hmm! Tough choice to make this month: spend most of my 1,000 words whining about Medway Council’s Overview and Scrutiny Committees, and who is Medway’s Mayor, or get on with discussing the things that really do have a major impact on the lives of Medway people.

May 23rd saw the Euro elections we were never supposed to have. Those elections were the electoral equivalent of having sand kicked in our faces. Like all of us the electorate does not like having sand kicked in its face, and decided to kick back.

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iFAQ: National Citizen Service

For our iFAQ this week, we decided to ask councillors, smaller parties, and other relevant stakeholders for their views on what National Citizen Service does for Medway. Partly because we’re two middle aged guys who know very little about the NCS, and partly because it’s been in the news a bit recently.

As usual, we told all of them that we would publish their responses unedited. You can find them below in the order they were received.

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