An overly annotated, abridged, potted internet history of the Medway Unitary Authority

The Kent (Borough of Gillingham and City of Rochester-upon- Medway) (Structural Change) Order 1996

18th July 1996

Constitution of a new District of the Medway Towns

-A new district of the Medway Towns shall be constituted and shall comprise the areas of the existing Kent districts of Gillingham and Rochester.

-There shall be a new non-metropolitan district council for the district of the Medway Towns.

Structural Change

-The functions of the county council in relation to the districts of Gillingham and Rochester shall, be transferred to the Medway Towns Council.

Constitution of New County of the Medway Towns

-The District of the Medway Towns shall cease to form part of Kent.

Existing Local Government Areas

-The existing districts of Gillingham and Rochester shall be abolished.

Electoral Areas in the Medway Towns

-The District of the Medway Towns shall be divided into 34 wards, which shall comprise the areas and bear the names of the wards described in the Borough of Gillingham order 1976 and the Borough of Medway Order 1976. Each ward shall be represented by two councillors.

Signed by authority; David Curry. Minister of State, Department of Environment.

Medway is a conurbation* and unitary authority**, constituted under the Local Government Act 1992***. Following the structural review the commission then reviewed electoral arrangements in English local authorities, rewarding**** based on population changes. The Boundary Committee for England was a statutory committee, abolished in 2010, with functions assumed by a new Local Government Boundary Commission*****, The Local Democracy, Economic Development and Construction Act 2009.******

The Cooksey Commission published proposals including that Rochester-Upon-Medway and Gillingham should form a Medway Towns Unitary Authority, independent of Kent County Council, on 1st April 1998. Though under the earlier Lieutenancies Act 1991, Medway was placed within Kent*******, and is still listed within Kent purely as a ceremonial County, and referred to as Lieutenancy area of England********. The current position is held by Major the Rt Hon. 2nd Viscount DeLisle. MBE Phillip Sidney**********.

It was the local government district of Rochester-Upon-Medway that officially held city status, when it was abolished, it also ceased to be a city. Rochester-upon-Medway had decided not to appoint charter trustees to maintain the existence of the city***********.

The District of the Medway Towns (parishes and Electoral Changes) Order 1997.

21st Feb 1997

Transfers between Parishes

⁃ Area from Cliffe to Frindsbury Extra

⁃ Area from Frindsbury Extra to Cliffe

⁃ Cliffe renamed Cliffe & Cliffe Woods.

⁃ Area from Stoke to St Mary Hoo.

Wards of the Medway Towns

⁃ Existing wards abolished.

⁃ District shall be divided into thirty-five wards.

⁃ Where a boundary is shown on the map as running along a road, footway etc. It shall be treated as running along the centre line.

Elections of the Council of the Medway Towns

⁃ Elections of all councillors for Wards of the district shall be held simultaneously on the ordinary day of election of councillors in 1997, 2000 and 2003 and every fourth year after 2003.

Signed by Authority; David Curry. Minister of State, Department of Environment.

Parts of the Unitary Authority are parished************. There are currently 11 parishes; Allhallows, Cliffe and Cliffe Woods, Cooling, Cuxton, Frindsbury Extra, Halling, High Halstow, Hoo St Werburgh, Chattenden, St James Isle of Grain, Stoke. A large part of which is on the Hoo Penninsula*************. Over half of the Unitary Authority is rural in nature. The main towns in the conurbation are traditionally known as ‘The Medway Towns’; Strood, Rochester, Chatham, Gillingham and Rainham. There are also smaller towns and villages; Frindsbury, Brompton, Walderslade, Luton and Wigmore. As well as the Medway Gap************** region; Cuxton, Halling and Wouldham.

Medway is one of the Boroughs included in the Thames Gateway*************** Development Scheme. Medway council currently comprises 55 Councillors representing different wards**************** and Medway is Twinned with; Valenciennes (France), Cadiz (Spain), Yokosuka and Ito (Japan) and Fushan (China).

Borough of Medway (Electoral Changes) Order 2002.

29th August 2002

Wards of the Borough of Medway

⁃ The existing wards of the borough shall be abolished.

⁃ The borough shall be divided into twenty-two wards.

Wards of the Parish of Frindsbury Extra

⁃ The Existing wards shall be abolished.

⁃ The parish shall be divided into four.

⁃ Number of Councillors per ward three.

Wards of the Parish of Hoo St Werburgh

⁃ The existing wards of the parish of Hoo St Werburgh shall be abolished.

⁃ The parish shall be divided into three.

⁃ The number of councillors shall be 15(!)


⁃ Medway Council shall make a print of the map marked ‘Map of the Borough of Medway (Electoral Changes) order 2002’ available for inspection at its offices by any member of the public at any reasonable time.


-The Medway Towns (parishes and Electoral Changes) order 1997 is revoked.

Signed by Members of the Electoral Commission.Pamela Gordon, Commissioner. Guy Mathias, Commissioner

*region comprising a number of large towns and other areas that through population growth and physical expansion, have merged to form one continuous labour market or travel to work area.

**that are responsible for the provision of all local government services within a district.

***the local Government Commission for England was the body responsible for reviewing the structure of local government from 1992 to 2002.

****rewarding is the process of drawing electoral boundaries.

*****Independent of Government and Political parties, directly accountable to the Speakers committee of the House of Commons.

******Placed a duty on Local Authorities to promote understanding of functions and democratic arrangements of the authority among local people.

*******and this has not been abolished.

********The Lord-Lieutenant is the British Monarch’s personal representative********* in each county.

*********an Honouree unpaid titular position.

**********Accurate of Oct 2018.

***********Medway only became aware when they discovered Rochester was not on the Lord Chancellor’s offices’ list of cities.

************a Civil parish is a territorial designation which is the lowest tier of local government, below districts and counties, or their combined form, the Unitary Authority.

*************a piece of land surrounded by water on the majority of its border while being connected to a mainland.

**************a topographical feature, near Rochester, that has the effect of creating local weather patterns, opposite to the surrounding countryside.

***************the area was designated during the early years of the Blair Government as a priority for Urban Regeneration.

****************a local authority area for electoral purposes. Names after neighbourhoods, thoroughfares, parishes, landmarks, geographical features and in some cases historical figures.

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