iFAQ: The next four years

As we move beyond the recent local elections, we start to look ahead to the coming four years on Medway Council. We contacted all re-elected councillors to ask them what they think the priorities for the authority should be going forwards, along with the biggest issues facing their wards.

As usual, we told all of them that we would publish their responses unedited. You can find them below in the order they were received.

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Recap: Annual Meeting of Medway Council

This week saw the first Medway Council meeting following our recent local elections. While not a regular full council meeting with all of the bells and whistles, this one saw the election of a new mayor and deputy, a selection for leader of the council, and a couple of other bits. Keevil went along to cover the proceedings, and you can find the highlights below.

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European elections in Medway are today!

It is European election day Medway.

Across the area and the UK, voters have the chance to elect the MEPs that may or may not represent us in the European Parliament for the next five years.

Medway is part of the South East region, which will select 10 MEPs on a proportional basis.

Polling stations are now open and remain open until 10pm.

If you have received your polling card, you will know where you need to go to vote. If you are registered to vote but have not received your card, you do not need it to vote. Just go to your polling station, confirm your name and address, and you will be allowed to vote. No ID is required.

If you have a postal vote, but did not remember to return it in time, you can drop it in to your polling station up until polls close at 10pm.

To find who our candidates are, Medway Elects have a handy list of each party and their list of candidates.

Once the polls close at 10pm, we will begin waiting with baited breath for the results, which will likely arrive somewhere around midnight on Sunday.

Huguenot or Huguewilling

In which Chris Sams remembers when Rochester once accepted religious refugees from a hostile country with open arms, yet at the same time treated them with the suspicions and xenophobia..

In the sixteenth century Europe was rocked by a religious ‘schism’ which was started by the German monk Martin Luther and the English King Henry VIII. This of course was the rise of Protestantism and the separation from the Catholic Church. This has caused ruptures in different countries for hundreds of years, which we are still feeling the after effects now, especially in Northern Ireland. It was only recently that an age old law banning Catholics from being Prime Minister was lifted.

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Brexit must mean exit

Ahead of the European elections, we asked representatives from the major parties to submit an article making the case for their party. Today, former Medway UKIP group leader Roy Freshwater puts forward the argument for his party..

Mrs. May’s Withdrawal Agreement (treaty) is a complete betrayal of the referendum decision. 88,997 Medway residents voted on the 23rd June 2016 to leave the EU and take back control of our money, our laws and our borders. The government made up of ‘remainers’ and mostly elitist MPs after three years has presented us with a ‘Not Really Leaving the EU Withdrawal Agreement’. It will not satisfy leavers or remainers, and cost many millions in payments to the EU that should be spent on improving the lives of British communities and Medway communities. Its intention is to make it possible to reverse the referendum decision or, if it is implemented, to pave the way for re-entry to the EU in a few years’ time.

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Being Green

In which Steve Dyke tells us what our Green MEP has been up to in the European Parliament..

Thanks in part to the fairer voting system of proportional representation, since 1999 the Medway Towns have had the good fortune to be represented by a Green Party Member of the European Parliament (‘MEP’). This is as part of the South East England constituency and our elected members have been Caroline Lucas and, since she became an MP at Westminster, Keith Taylor. Keith is retiring at the imminent unplanned election but I am confident that there will be continue to be a Green representative for the South East after May 23rd (Alex Phillips, a Green councillor from Brighton & Hove is our lead candidate). There are also Green MEPs currently representing London and the South West.

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The ghost of European elections future

Once a month we hand over to Alan Collins from Medway Elects who digs into the Medway electoral data to try to tell us what it all means. This month we sent him the fun task of looking at data from previous European elections..

Just when you thought it was safe to open the mail without fearing a party political begging letter from the [insert name here] party, fresh off the close of #MedwayElects19, you are now likely to instead be bombarded with campaign literature for the elections no one gives a fig about – and if the politicians in Westminster had pulled their fingers out (or something) wouldn’t be taking place.

So in the spirit of getting everyone excited for #MedwayElects19version2 (other hashtags are available), Jennings and Keevil have pulled me out of data analysis retirement to look at the ghost of European elections past.

Strap in!

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