So, farewell then.. 2019 edition

So, farewell then to no less than 17 Medway councillors.

Between councillors losing their seats, retirements, and deselections, a little under a third of councillors who were in office last week ago no longer are. I thought it’d be nice to take a look at those who will no longer be gracing the council chamber. Consider this like the ‘in memoriam’ section at the Oscars, just without the glitz, glamour, and likeable personalities. Continue reading “So, farewell then.. 2019 edition”

The slow, slow march for gender equality in local politics

Back in 2015 I wrote an article shortly before the local elections of that year on how well the parties were doing on a quest for gender equality. The results were, to put it mildly, not happy reading. Women were a minority on the candidate lists from most parties, and made up little more than a quarter of councillors in the chamber. So four years on, are we doing any better?

To begin, here is an infographic showing the current composition of the council by gender:

Continue reading “The slow, slow march for gender equality in local politics”

State of the candidates 2019

So following months of campaigns getting underway, two days ago the final list of candidates was released for our upcoming local elections in Medway. 199 candidates spread across seven different parties and a record number of independents will compete for 55 council seats on May 2. Let’s take a look at the options in each of our 22 wards.

Strap in.

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iFAQ: Medway Commercial Group

Following on from the ongoing arguments surrounding problems within Medway Commercial Group, we sent the following question to all councillors:

Do you feel Medway Commercial Group continues to provide good value for money for Medway taxpayers?

As usual, we told everyone that their answers would be published entirely unedited. They are presented below in the order they were received.

Continue reading “iFAQ: Medway Commercial Group”

Cllr Franklin expelled by Medway Tories for Islamophobia three years after being shown he was Islamophobic

So, farewell then Michael Franklin, councillor for Luton and Wayfield, who has finally been expelled by Medway Conservative three years after his grossly offensive tweeting was highlighted by this website.

In January 2016, we published an article highlighting the Islamophobic and otherwise offensive tweets of Cllr Franklin. In February 2016, these tweets were raised at full council. And then.. nothing.

No action was taken against Cllr Franklin, and last year, Medway Conservatives reselected him to fight for the Luton and Wayfield ward again. Change occurred last month when Baroness Warsi highlighted Cllr Franklin’s tweets, which led to the national party stepping in and a suspension finally being imposed.

Now, over 1,000 days after the issue was first raised, he has been formally expelled from the party.

Continue reading “Cllr Franklin expelled by Medway Tories for Islamophobia three years after being shown he was Islamophobic”

Medway Tories suspend councillor three years late

In January 2016, we published an article on Luton and Wayfield Conservative councillor Michael Franklin’s offensive tweeting. Throughout 2015, Cllr Franklin published and shared a number of Islamophobic, transphobic, and racist tweets on his personal Twitter account. Following our article, the issue was raised at a full council meeting, and gained some wider media attention, and a new social media policy for councillors was introduced.

Crucially though, no action was taken against Cllr Franklin for his actions.

Until he found himself suspended from the Conservative party, three years later.

So what changed to make the party take action now when they didn’t in the previous three years?

Continue reading “Medway Tories suspend councillor three years late”

Everybody Loves Rehman

Every now and again we get accused of being unfair on Gillingham and Rainham MP and Rainham Central councillor Rehman Chishti. Because we like to shine a light on what he’s up to among his many roles, apparently we are treating him unreasonably. Obviously that’s utter nonsense, but we thought in the spirit of Christmas it would be good to check in with what other local residents think of the esteemed MP. Surely that way we’d be able to build a balanced picture of how he is viewed in the community.

To start, we decided to look close to home, and see what comments had been left about Chishti on our own comments section.

Okay, maybe not the best start there. Surely they won’t all be this negative though.

Continue reading “Everybody Loves Rehman”