inFrequently Answered Surveys: I’m Still Standing

One of our popular features on The Political Medway is inFrequently Answered Questions, where we send questions to relevant political figures and hope that we might occasionally get a reply.

It’s time to do our first (Keevil) / last (Jennings) survey!

Following developments last week with Cllr Pendergast leaving Medway UKIP, Cllr Howard leaving Medway Tories and further afield in Dover, Cllr Eddy, the former leader of the Labour Opposition leaving the Labour Group to join the Greens, we (just Keevil) decided to ask the other 53 councillors to select one statement that best represented them for #LocalElection2019:
– I will be standing in the same ward with the same party.
– I will be standing in the same ward with a different party.
– I will be standing in a different ward with the same party.
– I will be standing in a different ward with a different party.
– I will be standing as an Independent.
– I will be standing as a member of The ‘Medway’s Voice Party’.
– I have decided to stand down.
– I have been deselected.
– I do not know if I will be standing or be deselected.
– I did not know there was a Local Election in 2019.

We told every councillor that they had a week to respond and all responses are published below, in alphabetical order of wards.

Things took an unexpected (Keevil) / expected (Jennings) turn when we received the following from Conservative Cllr Etheridge:
”As Association Chairman of Rochester & Strood, I am replying on their behalf.
Currently, we as an Association we have agreed at a recent Executive Meeting, that any official announcement of any potential re-selection or acceptance of any new candidates will not be released until the New Year”

This seemed slightly strange to us given how many candidates have been publicly announced, so we decided to reply:

“We look forward to following this up with you in the New Year, so we can keep our information up to date.”
“Just wanted to clarify the position as our intent is solely to ensure that we present as accurate information for Local Election 2019 as possible.
The decision regarding an official announcement is fine, except you have candidates declaring on Twitter and election leaflets which do not have current Cllrs on them.
Clarity on the situation can be simply provided and would be greatly appreciated.”

Unsurprisingly, this did not go well:

“Can I refer you back to my previous email. I’ve requested that our Deputy Chairman Political contact everyone of our decision and to abide by it. Currently, we do have activists who are out and about in their various wards, but they are part of the Associations Conservative Action team (and with the exception of existing sitting councillors who are continuing to do their ward work) nothing more. Hopefully this clarifies the position for you.”

Narrator: It did not. 

1. Chatham Central (current: 3 Labour)
Paul Godwin – I have decided to stand down.
Vince Maple – I will be standing in the same ward with the same party.
“I’m very proud I’ve been reselected to stand in Chatham Central ward for the Labour Party.”
“So you’re not saying there’s no chance you’ll join another party after the election?”
“I can confirm I’ll be cremated with my Labour Party membership card (hopefully after many many more electoral cycles!)”
Julie Shaw – I have decided to stand down.

2. Cuxton and Halling (current: 1 Conservative, so see above!)
Matt Fearn

3. Gillingham North (current: 3 Labour)
Pat Cooper – I will be standing in the same ward with the same party.
Adam Price – I will be standing in the same ward with the same party.
Andy Stamp – I will be standing in the same ward with the same party.

4. Gillingham South (current: 3 Labour)
Clive Johnson – I will be standing in the same ward with the same party.
Naushabah Khan – I will be standing in the same ward with the same party.
Dan McDonald – I will be standing in the same ward with the same party.

5. Hempstead and Wigmore (current: 2 Conservative)
Diane Chambers
Rodney Chambers

6. Lordswood and Capstone (current: 2 Conservative)
Alan Jarrett
David Wildey

7. Luton and Wayfield (current: 2 Labour, 1 Conservative)
Michael Franklin
Sam Craven
Tristan Osborne – I will be standing in the same ward with the same party.

8. Peninsula (current: 1 UKIP, 1 Conservative, so see above!), 1 Independent)
Phil Filmer
Roy Freshwater  I will be standing in the same ward with the same party.
Mick Pendergast Confirmed in his statement he would be standing as an Independent. 

9. Princes Park (current: 2 Conservative, so see above!)
Tashi Bhutia
Gloria Opara

10. Rainham Central (current: 3 Conservative)
Rehman Chishti
Barry Kemp
Jan Aldous

11. Rainham North (current: 2 Conservative)
David Carr
Martin Potter

12. Rainham South (current: 3 Conservative)
Howard Doe
David Royle
Leslie Wicks

13. River (current:  2 Conservative, so see above!)
Andrew ‘I don’t respond to overtly political blogs’ Mackness
Habib Tejan

14. Rochester East (current: 2 Labour)
Nick Bowler  I will be standing in the same ward with the same party.
Teresa Murray – I will be standing in the same ward with the same party.

15. Rochester South and Horsted (current: 3 Conservative, so see above!)
Trevor Clarke – I will be standing in the same ward with the same party.
Sylvia Griffin
Rupert Turpin

16. Rochester West (current: 1 Conservative, so see above!1 Labour)
Stuart Tranter
Alex Paterson – I will be standing in the same ward with the same party.

17. Strood North (current: 3 Conservative, so see above!)
Jane Chitty
Phil Hall  – I have decided to stand down.
Steve Iles

“Currently, we do have activists who are out and about in their various wards, but they are part of the Associations Conservative Action team (and with the exception of existing sitting councillors who are continuing to do their ward work) nothing more.”

18. Strood Rural (current: 3 Conservative, so see above!)
Gary Etheridge
Peter Hicks
John Williams

19. Strood South (current: 3 Conservative, so see above!)
John Avey
Josie Iles
Mark Joy

20. Twydall (current: 2 Labour, 1 Independent)
Anne-Claire Howard – Confirmed in her statement she was deselected by the Gillingham and Rainham Conservative Association.  
Dorte Gilry – I have decided to stand down.
Glyn Griffiths – I have decided to stand down.
“After what will be 30 years as a councillor representing Twydall, I announced last year that I was retiring as a councillors the elections next year.”

21. Walderslade (current: 2 Conservative)
David Brake
Adrian Gulvin

22. Watling (current: 2 Conservative)
Wendy Purdy
Asha Saroy

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