Tonight! The Medway Leaders’ Debate

Tonight is the night!

The Political Medway is hosting a debate between the potential future leaders of Medway Council, Cllr Alan Jarrett of Medway Conservatives and Cllr Vince Maple of Medway Labour.

We are immensely grateful that so many have taken an interest in this event and look forwarding to welcoming you to the Midkent College theatre tonight.

If you’re interested in attending and haven’t yet booked a ticket, you can do so here via Eventbrite.

Some final, practical information ahead of the event:

– You don’t need to print your tickets. You can if you like, but showing us your ticket on your phone is fine, as is just bringing ID so we can tick you off the list.

– The doors will open at 7pm for a prompt 7.30pm start. We are aiming to be done by 9pm.

– The Midkent College car park will be available. Upon passing the car park barriers (they will be open), proceed straight up the road to the main car park. Those with disabled blue badges can take the first left after the barriers, where disabled bays nearer the doors are located.

– From the disabled car parking spaces, the college is fully accessible, with step free access right into the theatre. If you have any specific accessibility requirements, please send us a message and will seek to accommodate them.

– Unfortunately we do not have a way of providing refreshments at this event, and we believe the Costa within the college will be closed. The restaurant may be open ahead of the event, and there are vending machines outside of the theatre.

– We have selected a broad range of questions from those submitted as you booked tickets. We received so many good questions that unfortunately we aren’t able to use them all, but we will get through as many as we can.

– There are a small number of tickets still left, so if you haven’t booked or know someone who might be interested, please get booked in! They will remain available until roughly 4pm today. You can book them here: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/59291249724/

Phew! Think that’s it. We look forward to seeing you tonight!

Voice of the Leader: April

Once a month we are offering the Leaders of both Medway Council and the official opposition the opportunity to talk unedited about.. well, Medway politics. Today we hear from Alan Jarrett, Leader of Medway Council and the Conservative Group.

Alan Jarrett

‘Going forward I promise that we will protect Medway from those who seek to close down facilities and services; against those who belittle Medway and its hard-working people; and against those who snub our military heritage and insult our monarchy.’

The place to start this month is surely Brexit (scream!). Between them our national politicians have brought shame on an ancient profession, by their collective refusal to honour the will of the people – in Medway 63% voted to leave.

That wasn’t to nearly leave; or sort of leave; or be asked to vote again on what was supposed to be a once in a generation vote. THAT WAS TO LEAVE!

I admit that my own party has not covered itself in glory, and the negotiations to leave have been very poorly handled. But when it comes to it the political game-playing by the Labour Party in parliament is the reason we are in yet another extension, and the reason we look almost certain to have to endure the charade of European elections!

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The Medway Leaders’ Debate

We are pleased to present a head to head debate between the potential future leaders of Medway Council ahead of the local elections in May.

On April 18 at Midkent College, we’ll be asking Alan Jarrett of the Conservatives and Vince Maple of Labour a range of questions covering the important issues in Medway – housing, education, health, the environment, and so much more.

This is about the future of Medway, and we would love for you to join us.

By booking a ticket – either free or with an optional donation – you will have the ability to submit a question for the leaders. We can’t guarantee we’ll ask them all, but we will be selecting as broad a cross-section of them possible ahead of the event.

Booking a ticket also ensures entry to the event. Those without tickets will likely be able to attend on the night, space permitting, but will not be eligible to submit questions for the leaders.

Tickets are free, but you do have the option of contributing an optional donation when booking. This helps us cover the costs of putting on the event, and all donations are gratefully received.

Doors at 7pm, event start at 7.30pm, close at 9pm.

We hope to see you there!

Voice of the Leader: March

Once a month we are offering the Leaders of both Medway Council and the official opposition the opportunity to talk unedited about.. well, Medway politics. Today we hear from Alan Jarrett, Leader of Medway Council and the Conservative Group.

Alan Jarrett

‘Going forward I promise that we will protect Medway from those who seek to close down facilities and services; against those who belittle Medway and its hard-working people; and against those who snub our military heritage and insult our monarchy.’

Oh my word! My last Political Medway contribution really hit a nerve with the Labour Group! This culminated in a bizarre and obsessive “Truth and Memory” speech from one of them at the Budget Council meeting in February. Apparently it’s all my fault that Labour engage in untruths and hypocrisy! I am reminded of the line from Hamlet – “The lady doth protest too much”!

Ever consistent, Labour produced its election manifesto full of half-truths. Apparently according to Cllr Mrs Murray – it is “deliverable and costed”. It appears Labour has learnt nothing since 2010 when it left that note to the incoming Conservative Chancellor “There’s no money – good luck!” Reading that manifesto left me wondering who really is the Leader of the Labour Group, for it is Cllr Mrs Murray who seems to be calling all the shots. However, more on Labour’s manifesto later.

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Cllr Franklin expelled by Medway Tories for Islamophobia three years after being shown he was Islamophobic

So, farewell then Michael Franklin, councillor for Luton and Wayfield, who has finally been expelled by Medway Conservative three years after his grossly offensive tweeting was highlighted by this website.

In January 2016, we published an article highlighting the Islamophobic and otherwise offensive tweets of Cllr Franklin. In February 2016, these tweets were raised at full council. And then.. nothing.

No action was taken against Cllr Franklin, and last year, Medway Conservatives reselected him to fight for the Luton and Wayfield ward again. Change occurred last month when Baroness Warsi highlighted Cllr Franklin’s tweets, which led to the national party stepping in and a suspension finally being imposed.

Now, over 1,000 days after the issue was first raised, he has been formally expelled from the party.

Continue reading “Cllr Franklin expelled by Medway Tories for Islamophobia three years after being shown he was Islamophobic”

Voice of the Leader: February

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. Today we hear from Alan Jarrett, Leader of Medway Council and the Conservative Group.

Alan Jarrett

‘Going forward I promise that we will protect Medway from those who seek to close down facilities and services; against those who belittle Medway and its hard-working people; and against those who snub our military heritage and insult our monarchy.’

Recently I said “the first casualty of an election is the truth!” That followed the distribution of a scurrilous leaflet from Labour claiming that no investment had been made in Chatham. Utter nonsense!

In reality there has been massive investment in Chatham: the new bus station; Chatham Placemaking; investment in the railway station; scoping and planning preparation for new housing at Chatham Waterfront and Whiffens Avenue; Chatham Community Hub and library; improved green spaces along the river front including a new riverside walk; and the Command of the Heights project to open up the Great Barrier Ditch to connect the waterfront to Fort Amherst They really should have gone to Specsavers!

Continue reading “Voice of the Leader: February”

Medway Tories suspend councillor three years late

In January 2016, we published an article on Luton and Wayfield Conservative councillor Michael Franklin’s offensive tweeting. Throughout 2015, Cllr Franklin published and shared a number of Islamophobic, transphobic, and racist tweets on his personal Twitter account. Following our article, the issue was raised at a full council meeting, and gained some wider media attention, and a new social media policy for councillors was introduced.

Crucially though, no action was taken against Cllr Franklin for his actions.

Until he found himself suspended from the Conservative party, three years later.

So what changed to make the party take action now when they didn’t in the previous three years?

Continue reading “Medway Tories suspend councillor three years late”

Voice of the Leader: January

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. Today we hear from Alan Jarrett, Leader of Medway Council and the Conservative Group.

Alan Jarrett

‘Going forward I promise that we will protect Medway from those who
seek to close down facilities and services; against those who belittle
Medway and its hard-working people; and against those who snub our
military heritage and insult our monarchy.’

This was the promise I made in my first article for The Political Medway, and it is relevant to reinforce it here as most of us celebrate the incredible success achieved by Gillingham Football Club in defeating Premier League club Cardiff City in the FA Cup.

Gillingham FC is Kent’s only Football League club, this year celebrating its 125th anniversary, and as such has a special place in the history of Medway. The FA Cup is the world’s oldest cup competition and for these two things to coincide is noteworthy in itself.

When we agreed the shirt sponsorship deal for this season with Gillingham FC it was on a nil cost basis to Medway tax payers. But still we had our Labour opposition firstly trying to stop the sponsorship, and secondly to criticise and denigrate it. We’ve been here before, and it is another shabby example of how Medway Labour disrespect our heritage.

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Voice of the Leader: December

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. Today we hear from Alan Jarrett, Leader of Medway Council and the Conservative Group.

Alan Jarrett

This is the first of my monthly contributions to the Political Medway, and I read last week’s contribution by the leader of the opposition with a sense of déjà vu! For this is what I have been listening to ever since we took control of the council 18 years ago; but this time carefully setting out the ‘achievements’ of his Labour colleagues.

One by one the members of the Labour Group were named, and one by one we can now see just what they have achieved over all these years. NOTHING!

Whilst we read a list of what Labour had been trying to stop from happening in Medway, my contribution is going to set out all the things that the Conservative administration has actually done.

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iFAQs: Brexit omnishambles

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.

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