Is Rainham Central to Rehman Chishti?

How many jobs can a councillor do and still fully serve their local residents?

That’s one question Rainham Central councillor Rehman Chishti is pushing to it’s limits. Since adding being the MP for Gillingham and Rainham to his list of jobs in 2010, Rehman has continued to do more and more on a national and international level, and less and less on a local level.

Indeed, when it comes to local council meetings, Rehman has only managed to turn up to 40% of council meetings in the last 18 months, but has managed to find time for everything listed below. We’re by no means suggesting councillors can’t have other roles, but this all seems like rather a lot for one person. How much time can Rehman Chishti truly to be dedicating to the people of Rainham Central? Continue reading “Is Rainham Central to Rehman Chishti?”

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.****** Continue reading “An overly annotated, abridged, potted internet history of the Medway Unitary Authority”

Know your boundaries

Finally, after what feels like eight hundred years of consultation, the Boundary Commission have published their final proposals for new parliamentary constituencies across the UK. The intention of this is two-fold: reduce the number of MPs in parliament from 650 to 600, while also equalising the size of constituencies.

Obviously, being The Political Medway, we are only interested in what difference this will make to the electoral map in Medway. To which the answer is not very much really. Sorry if you were hoping for something more dramatic. Continue reading “Know your boundaries”

Election night in Medway

For the fourth time in a little over two years, Medway has again gone to the polls, this time for a surprise General Election.

Polling stations will close at 10pm, and after that we’ll be live tweeting from the count on @MedwayPolitics. We’ll post the results on this post as quickly as we can, but it’ll probably be very late before the Medway results come in, so we won’t hold it against you if you check back in the morning.

Chatham and Aylesford result – Con HOLD
Nicole Bushill (UKIP) – 2,225
Tracey Crouch (Con) – 25,587
John Gibson (CPA) – 260
Bernard Hyde (Green) – 573
Vince Maple (Lab) – 15,129
Thomas Quinton (Lib Dem) – 1,116

Gillingham and Rainham result – Con HOLD
Paul Chaplin (Lib Dem) – 1,372
Rehman Chishti (Con) – 27,091
Martin Cook (UKIP) – 2,097
Clive Gregory (Green) – 520
Roger Peacock (CPA) – 127
Andy Stamp (Lab) – 17,661

Rochester and Strood result – Con HOLD
David Allen (UKIP) – 2,893
Steve Benson (CPA) – 169
Primerose Chiguri (Ind) – 129
Sonia Hyner (Green) – 781
Teresa Murray (Lab) – 19,382
Bart Ricketts (Lib Dem) – 1189
Kelly Tolhurst (Con) – 29,232

Once more unto the breach

We started this site in the run to the 2015 General and Local Elections as a way to help us and others understand a bit more about how politics works at a local level. It was originally intended to be a short run project through those elections, but we enjoyed the process enough that we stuck with it and thus The Political Medway was born.

We assumed at that point that things would be fairly quiet after that, with no more elections that anyone cared about scheduled in Medway until the next round of locals in 2019.

Dear reader, things have not been quiet.

In 2016, we had to deal with the EU membership referendum and it’s fallout, as well as two local council by-elections.

Surely 2017 would give the Medway electorate a break?

Of course it wouldn’t, and we’ll all be voting in a General Election on June 8.

Unfortunately, both of us that man this site have been a tad busy of late, so we’re a little late in getting our coverage underway, but such is life. We’re publishing the full candidate lists for all three seats tomorrow, and in the coming weeks will have some hustings coverage, some questions for our esteemed candidates, and all being well (translation: Medway Council letting us in) our election night count live coverage.

Additionally, and probably more importantly, a lot of the day to day coverage that doesn’t warrant an entire post lives entirely on Twitter @MedwayPolitics.

So dear reader, join us as we once again head unto the Medway electoral breach.

EU referendum results in Medway by ward

After the results of the EU referendum last year, two things were immediately clear: The UK had voted to leave the EU, and Medway had done so by a considerably larger margin than the 52-48 result nationally. In Medway, the figure was 64-36, but we lacked any more precise detail than that. How did each area vote? Could patterns be found across Medway, or was it broadly the same across the board?

Following an investigation by the BBC, we now have far more local data than before, with results from all 22 wards across Medway. But what does it show us?

First off, leave won in all 22 Medway wards, though there is considerable variation in this, from a dominating 72-28 victory in Peninsula down to a modest 54-46 win in Rochester West.

The results show the areas of Medway with the highest income and the highest levels of education had a higher remain vote, which is in line with the national trends.

Less clear are any political patterns, other than the two wards that have elected UKIP councillors having the highest leave votes. Beyond those, the remaining mix of Conservative and Labour wards are fairly mixed across the board.

The full table of how each Medway ward voted is below:

New social media code of conduct for Medway councillors

At this week’s full Medway Council meeting, Medway councillors will agree to add a new section to their Code of Conduct, specifically around councillor’s use of social media.

The process of introducing this code began a year ago, when we published a story on the controversial tweeting of Conservative councillor for Luton and Wayfield, Michael Franklin. The Medway Labour group lodged a formal complaint over the matter, and while no direct action against Franklin was taken, the council have drawn up a new section to the Code of Conduct (above) to emphasise how seriously such matters are taken.

While many councillors maintain rather boring accounts, and others avoid it altogether, there are some who are ‘colourful’ in their use of social media, and we look forward to seeing how they react to the new rules.

An indication might come from the aforementioned Councillor Franklin, who has spent recent days calling celebrities ‘silly cows’ and demanding black people thank him for ending slavery. With the change in policy, it’s probably best he gets it all out of his system now.