Much ado about UKIP

This week we are interrupting our regular schedule to bring you an examination of how each local political party appears to be preparing for the May 2019 elections. 
Today we are looking at Medway UKIP.

The four years since the 2015 local elections have not been kind to Medway UKIP. Riding high on Rochester and Strood MP Mark Reckless’ defection to the party and subsequent by-election victory, the omens looked fairly good heading into the last set of elections. Yet, despite the results not being as strong as some faces within the party were expecting, they won a solid four seats on the council, immediately placing themselves as the third party in local politics.

This success lasted a matter of weeks, given two tactical errors that undercut them from day one. The leader of the group, Chris Irvine, a sitting councillor in Peninsula, decided to fight for a seat in Rochester East instead and lost. More devastating was the loss of Mark Reckless as an MP. These two issues immediately destroyed any momentum Medway UKIP had, and others in the party quickly began to fall away. One of their councillors, Mark Joy, declared independence from the party in no time at all, before eventually joining the Tories. A second, Catriona Brown-Reckless, resigned and moved to Wales. Most recently, Cllr Mick Pendergast resigned to sit as an independent, and has since formed his own group to fight the 2019 elections.

Ostensibly, this leaves only Cllr Roy Freshwater as both the leader and the entire membership of the Medway UKIP group.

Where can the party realistically go from here in Medway?

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Much ado about Liberals

This week we are interrupting our regular schedule to bring you an examination of how each local political party appears to be preparing for the May 2019 elections. 
Today we are looking at the Medway Liberal Democrats.

The story of the Lib Dems in Medway is not a particularly happy one. When the unitary authority was formed in the late nineties, they were the second largest party on the council, but it was not to last. They quickly fell to third party status and spent the next fifteen years on a slow decline into oblivion.

In 2015, they were wiped out from Medway Council completely.

So are they prepared for the coming elections in May?

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Much ado about Tories

We are interrupting our regular schedule for the rest of the week to bring you an examination of how each local political party appears to be preparing for the May 2019 elections.
We begin today with the Medway Conservatives.

The Medway Conservatives have been in control of Medway Council for 16 years of the 21 years that it has existed. Since 2003, they have held an unbroken run of running the council. That level of success can very easily breed complacency, and complacency can breed incompetence. Could the party be heading for a reckoning in May?

From the signs coming from within the local party, that may well be the case.

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Dry Medway

To be clear this isn’t intended as a nanny state piece by a teetotal snowflake trying to deliberately upset the right wing borderline alcoholics with personality disorder.

In the spirit of ‘Dry January‘ it’s an opportunity to look at Medway’s relationship with alcohol. Besides many advertiser paid newspaper studies are saying a dry month is not a good idea but rather a general cut back is better.

After all ‘a little of what you fancy does you good’ and ‘a spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down.’

New weekly guidelines for people who drink regularly:
– Any level of drinking raised the risk of a range of illnesses.
– Women and men are advised to drink no more than 14 units per week.
-spread over 3 days or more.
– A good way is to have several alcohol free days, drink with food and alternate with water.

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iFAQ: Something positive for 2019

For the final iFAQ of the year, we decided to ask all 55 councillors three simple questions. In the festive spirit, we kept these questions fairly straightforward and on a positive note as we move into a new year.

Readers, a grand total of three councillors replied. As such, we now present those answers in full. They probably aren’t the three you expect either.

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