We’re not going to lie. It’s a fairly short iFAQ this week. We sent the below question to the leaders of both the Conservative and Labour council groups, being the most likely to hold power in Medway following the upcoming elections.
For many of us engaged in local politics who also have full time jobs, attending Medway Council Cabinet meetings is impossible much of the time. Would you consider moving Cabinet to a more accessible time for the public to attend, in line with other local authorities?
It is said that elections are won on the doorstep, and that may well be true. Being armchair activists, it’s difficult to check up on that. Twitter and blogs however are part of our social media present and future, and if the election was decided there, how would each of the wards be looking?
In which Jasneet Samrai shares the experience of being a young person involved in politics.
Being a young person in politics is hard. I wish it wasn’t, but it is. It’s also a rare occurrence.
Don’t get me wrong, being involved in politics is something that I really enjoy, yet as a young person it’s a system that is ultimately rigged against me. The crisis in both the lack of youth participation, and the culture within youth politics itself, is not due to a problem with my generation; instead due to a seismic failure within our own political system.
In which August Scholl takes a look at the rise of the far right and how Gillingham and Rainham UKIP are embracing them.
Medway has lived with the intersection of the UK Independence Party, Brexit and the far right for a long time now. From as far back as Mark Reckless’ surprise Rochester by-election victory in 2014, UKIP has been in close proximity to deeply divisive issues and the extremist fringes who seek to exploit them.
In which local historian Chris Sams digs into an overlooked tale of Medway history..
The Tory led council are very proud of our heritage and landmarks and well they should be. However you would not be considered foolish if, as a tourist you got off at Chatham station and only went to the Dockyard, Fort Amherst. or soaked in the carefully engineered aesthetic that is Rochester town centre.
The other Medway towns also have a rich and forgotten history and landmarks that are being allowed to rot that could be used as tourist attractions.
So what else is there to see within the Medway towns?
For this week’s iFAQ, we decided to ask all councillors a question about the state of democracy in Medway. Given the predictability of the ebb and flow of council meetings, and how it’s usually fairly easy to guess the outcome to any given question, concerns have been raised about how democratic our local structures are. As such, all councillors received the following question:
If it’s possible to accurately predict the response to every question and motion at Medway Council meetings, what does this say about the state of democracy in Medway?
As usual, all councillors were told that their responses would be printed entirely unedited, with the results presented below in the order they were received: