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?
Following our impartial and insightful iFAQ on which councillors were standing in #LocalElection2019. We thought it was time to follow up and see if there were any candidates and any new runners and riders.
We, along with the intrepid Medway Elects, attempt to keep you informed and up to date despite the best efforts of some local parties.
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. Starting today with Vince Maple, leader of the Medway Labour Group.
I want to start by thanking Ed and Steve from the Political Medway for giving pieces of this nature a new home. Historically, the local KM paper had a weekly political column which residents would often talk about when speaking to them on the doorstep. Although I’m sure I’ll disagree with the vast majority of what Alan Jarrett will say when his pieces are published, it’s healthy for local democracy for the Leader of the Council and the Leader of the Opposition to have an accessible platform of this nature.
We are in the middle of December, a great opportunity to reflect on the positive actions Medway Labour Councillors have taken over the past year in the community we call home. It goes without saying that Labour Councillors deal with hundreds of pieces of casework to support residents in their ward on a wide variety of issues. Alongside that the Labour Group have shown true community leadership in a number of ways, working hard to deliver for the residents of Medway.
Who in their lifetime has got a new job, not read the job description, and only found out what one significant part of it was several years later? And then had absolutely no consequences as a result.
Well, you’d be wrong. Step forward hapless Councillor Adrian Gulvin, who has taken years of being ‘portfolio holder for resources’ to discover that overseeing Medway’s CCTV cameras is part of his remit.
One of our popular features on The Political Medway is inFrequently Answered Questions, where we’d send off questions to relevant political figures and hope that we might occasionally get a reply. This week, we decided to contact the smaller parties who stood in Medway in 2015, but didn’t gain any representation on the council. As usual, we print all of their responses below entirely unedited.
Just time for a quick roundup of the week, where we take a look at the big stories in local politics, what each political party has been up to, and a special Brexit debate special of Rehman About Town.
So, farewell then Paul Chaplin, Liberal Democrat parliamentary candidate for Gillingham and Rainham, council candidate for Watling, and chair-elect of the Medway branch of the party, who suddenly resigned from the party yesterday. Following a Twitter spat over whether or not Scotland was part of the UK. Obviously.
One of our popular features on The Political Medway is inFrequently Answered Questions, where we’d send off questions to relevant political figures and hope that we might occasionally get a reply. This week, we kept things nice and simple by sending the following two questions to every Medway councillor:
Q1. What is your preferred option for Brexit? May’s deal, no deal, or no Brexit?
Q2. What do you think of Medway Council’s Cabinet decision not to prepare for Brexit?
We told every councillor that they had a week to respond, and that we would publish their responses entirely unedited. All responses are published below, in the order that they were received by us.
It’s no secret that Rochester is a town utterly obsessed with Dickens. Despite the author not really liking the place very much, half the shops along the high street are made up of dodgy Dickens puns. We have several festivals each year based on his work. The high street is littered with a level of beggars that wouldn’t seem out of place in his novels. He creepily overlooks the high street, in the most literal of senses. Even with all this though, the one thing Rochester no longer has is a Dickens related museum.
Because Medway Council sold the building that housed it. Or they didn’t, if you believe their words.
The saga of the Rochester Guildhall Museum began back in the summer when Medway Council proposed selling the Conservancy Building, which acted as a second half of the Museum. While the main Guildhall Museum houses, well, a guildhall, a giant interactive boat, and a few other things, most of the actual artefacts and educational content came from this second building. Despite this, Medway Council insisted that the sale was necessary so that the money raised could be used to refurbish the Corn Exchange after the council failed to find a private tenant willing to take on that building in it’s run down state.
This is not an article about the rights or wrongs of that sale. It’s an article about procedure, perception, and potential conflicts of interests, all of which surround the sale.