In which Vicki Sigston looks at the increased service that food banks in Medway are needing to provide..
Hello and Happy New Year.
If you can cast your minds back all the way to the last decade you may have a faint recollection of quite a lot happening in the world of UK politics as we approached Christmas. All culminating in a general election where the Conservatives pushed aside all other parties to win a comfortable majority in the Commons.
As you may have guessed from previous posts I have written for this esteemed website the Conservatives, particularly our local councillors, are not my favourite people. I am often appalled by their seeming lack of care for anyone but the most well off in society and struggle to understand where their popularity comes from in my hometowns of Medway, where we have ever increasing levels of poverty.
Following a pretty terrible General Election result for Labour, the party is now in the process of selecting a new leader. We decided to reach out to Medway councillors from all parties to ask them where they think it went wrong for Labour, and who should take control going forwards.
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.
His name is Michael King. He’s quite a nice chap, whose job is to make sure councils do what they should and everyone gets a fair deal. He investigates complaints about councils, is independent, and gives recommendations.
In which Anna McGovern, the Chair of Medway Youth Council, talks about the organisation achieved at their recent Annual Conference..
In a recent national ballot for young people called “Make Your Mark”, it was overwhelmingly highlighted that 40% of young people in Medway wanted “Protect The Environment” to be prioritised as a national campaign. This is our youth demographic, denied the vote – but longing for a say on their future. The timing of our Annual Conference couldn’t have been more spot on.
On the 20th November 2019, the Medway Youth Council hosted their Annual Conference for 2019 – “Climate Change – A Real Threat To Our Future!”. We invited young people from across Medway to partake in a series of workshops, have the opportunity to converse with climate change professionals, and to attend an afternoon Q&A panel focussing on the key themes within the climate crisis. We were particularly fortunate to have MidKent College in Gillingham host our event for the day.
The purpose of our Annual Conference was to educate and inform young people on the issues concerning climate change on a local and a national scale. Whether you join Extinction Rebellion, engage in a protest or even make small changes in your lifestyle – we wanted to impart onto our young people that there are so many ways in which they can contribute towards the reversal of climate change.
In which our intrepid reporter continues to look at the state of children’s social care in Medway following another damning report..
In case you hadn’t heard, Medway Council has not magically been able to improve children’s social care services in three months, following ten years of austerity.
However, the council is not off the hook and will continue to provide social care for children in the towns. On top of that, the big guns that have been sent in to help the council clean up its act and will stay for at least another six months.
The polls have closed in today’s General Election, and we are settled in at Medway Park for the count. We’ll be bringing you the results as they come in throughout the night.
For up to the minute coverage, we recommend you follow us on Twitter. The latest tweets are embedded below, but if you click through to Twitter you’ll be able to see everything.
Results will unfortunately take some time, with the count to set to conclude around 6am. It’ll be a long night, so feel free to buy us a coffee.
Chatham and Aylesford Tracey Crouch (Con): 28,856 Vince Maple (Lab): 10,316 Dave Naghi (Lib Dem): 2,866 Geoff Wilkinson (Green): 1,090 John Gibson (CPA): 212
Gillingham and Rainham Rehman Chishti (Con): 28,173 Andy Stamp (Lab): 13,064 Alan Bullion (Lib Dem): 2,503 George Salomon (Green): 1,043 Rob McCulloch Martin (UKIP): 837 Peter Cook (Ind): 229 Roger Peacock (CPA): 119
Rochester and Strood Kelly Tolhurst (Con): 31,151 Teresa Murray (Lab): 14,079 Graham Colley (Lib Dem): 3,717 Sonia Hyner (Green): 1,312 Roy Freshwater (UKIP): 1,080 Chris Spalding (Ind): 587
It is General Election day across the country, but most importantly for us, here in Medway.
Across the authority, voters have the chance to elect the three MPs that will represent us in Parliament for the next fivefourthreetwo however many years until we do this again.
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 do not know the location of your polling station, you can call Medway Council on 01634 332030 and they will tell you where to go.
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.
You may find people outside of your polling station who ask to see your polling card. These people are activists for political parties and you absolutely do not have to engage with them.
In which Anna McGovern, the Chair of Medway Youth Council, looks at the relevant issues for young people in this General Election..
Thursday 12th December will be a crucial day in the UK’s political sphere. It is the General Election – a day in which the people vote for who they want to represent them in Parliament. A total of 650 candidates will be elected as Members of Parliament (MPs) to decide laws and policies governing the UK. Individuals vote for the candidate they wish to represent them within their constituency on a Parliamentary scale. Many of these candidates will belong to a political party, but some candidates do stand independently. Current polls suggest a Conservative lead, with the Electoral Calculus website outlining an 82% likelihood that there will be a Conservative majority. But I tend to take these polls with a slight pinch of salt, because you can never truly know what to expect until the election result is announced to the UK. Individuals will be voting for their preferred candidate (or, in some cases, the “best” out of a bad bunch) within their constituency for the General Election.
In which Mina da Rui quizzes our Medway parliamentary candidates on animal welfare issues, and analyses their responses..
Instead of our regular style of iFAQ, we’ve tried something a little different this week. There’s plenty of interesting subjects we know little about, and unlike Michael Gove, we are now sick of experts. As such, every now and again, we’re going to ask people who know particular subjects to pose questions to our politicians and analyse their responses. For this first edition, we invited Mina da Rui, former Animal Welfare Party candidate, to pose questions to our Medway parliamentary candidates on, well, animal welfare issues. Their responses, along with Mina’s analysis are below..
In which Caitlin Webb tries to work through all of the different factors that go in to casting a vote at a General Election..
This has been called the most important vote in a lifetime, sound familiar? Feels like every time we go to the polling station, it’s to make a do-or-die decision. So deciding who to vote for is pretty important. There’s also the fact that people who have been living in this country for decades, people who have been cheated by the judicial system and 17-year-olds can’t vote, that drives me to put a cross in the box. But who will win my vote?