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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So, farewell then.. 2019 edition

So, farewell then to no less than 17 Medway councillors.

Between councillors losing their seats, retirements, and deselections, a little under a third of councillors who were in office last week ago no longer are. I thought it’d be nice to take a look at those who will no longer be gracing the council chamber. Consider this like the ‘in memoriam’ section at the Oscars, just without the glitz, glamour, and likeable personalities. Continue reading “So, farewell then.. 2019 edition”

iFAQ: Whose leaflet isn’t it anyway?

The local election campaign in Medway is now properly underway, with a surge in activity across Medway from a wide range of candidates and parties. One of the most striking things early in the campaign was this leaflet being distributed throughout Watling ward, not in favour of any one party, but solely against Conservative candidate Andrew Lawrence.

Andrew Lawrence has since responded to the leaflet via his blog. We reached out to all Medway parties that took part in the 2015 elections and those taking part in this one to get their views on the leaflet, and if they fancied admitting being behind it. Well, it was worth a shot.

As usual, we told all parties that we would publish their responses entirely unedited. They are published below in the order they were received.

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iFAQ: Let’s be frank(lin)

Following on from Medway Conservatives taking three years to suspend Cllr Franklin over his offensive tweeting, we decided to keep the iFAQ relevant this week, by asking this question to all councillors:

What acceptable reasons are there for a political party taking three years to take any action against a councillor engaging in hate speech online after it is highlighted in a full council meeting?

As usual, we told all councillors that their answers would be published entirely unedited. They are presented below in the order they were received.

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iFAQ: So predictable?

For this week’s iFAQ, we decided to ask all councillors a question about the state of democracy in Medway. Given the predictability of the ebb and flow of council meetings, and how it’s usually fairly easy to guess the outcome to any given question, concerns have been raised about how democratic our local structures are. As such, all councillors received the following question:

If it’s possible to accurately predict the response to every question and motion at Medway Council meetings, what does this say about the state of democracy in Medway?

As usual, all councillors were told that their responses would be printed entirely unedited, with the results presented below in the order they were received:

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iFAQs: Protesting on the peninsula

For inFrequently Answered Questions this week, we decided to take the pulse of the Hoo peninsula. With increased development, local discontent tends to be building, with a protest – led by political upstarts Medway People’s Voice – even being held to demand better infrastructure.

With Peninsula being the ward with the largest number of announced candidates, we decided to contact them all to get their views of the situation in the area, as well as their thoughts on the protest.

As usual, all responses are posted below entirely unedited. In a break with convention, Cllr Pendergast decided to post his responses on his Facebook page last week, so apologies to both readers who may have already read them there.

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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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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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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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