iFAQ: Debates for the many

On April 18, we held our Medway Leaders’ Debate, where we invited the two potential future leaders of Medway Council – Cllr Jarrett of Medway Conservatives and Cllr Vince Maple of Medway Labour – to answer questions about the future of Medway. If you weren’t one of the people lucky enough to be in the audience, you can watch the full event back in full here.

Following the debate, we invited representatives of the smaller parties, who did not meet the eligibility criteria for the debate itself, to answer some of the questions asked on the night. Below are their answers, presented entirely unedited.

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iFAQ: Brexit and the local elections

With local elections rapidly approaching, but the country still discussing little other than Brexit, we decided to ask all councillors standing for re-election what impact Brexit was likely to have on the elections and their campaigns.

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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iFAQ: So, farewell then, Rehman Chishti

Following nine years of being both the MP for Gillingham and Rainham and a councillor for Rainham Central, Rehman Chishti has finally decided to stand down from his councillor role at the upcoming elections. As such, we decided to ask all other sitting Medway councillors the following question:

With Rehman Chishti standing down as a councillor for Rainham Central, what do you feel has been his biggest contribution to Medway Council?

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

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iFAQ: Let’s be frank(lin), part II

Following our previous iFAQ on Cllr Franklin, several councillors contacted us to say that while they may have a view on the situation, they felt unable to do so while an investigation was ongoing. That’s fair enough, so following the end of the investigation, we contacted all of the backbench Medway Conservatives again. Surely they would be happy to share their opinions this time around? We sent each of them this question:

Now that Cllr Franklin has been expelled from the Conservative Party, what are your views on how the situation has been handled over the past three years?

As usual, we told everyone that their answers would be published entirely unedited. They are presented 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: 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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Virtual Doorstep: 19 Weeks to go..

It is said that elections are won on the doorstep, and that may well be true. Being armchair activists, it’s difficult to check up on that.
Twitter and blogs however are part of our social media present and future, and if the election was decided there, how would each of the wards be looking?

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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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iFAQs: Costly concerts

Castle Concerts

This week for inFrequently Answered Questions, we decided to take a look at the Castle Concerts held in Rochester each year. This year, the events ended up causing a loss to the taxpayer of over £300,000, so we decided to ask some questions. Instead of asking every councillor about it, we asked relevant portfolio holders, the councillors for the part of Rochester where the concerts are held, as well as other, non-council voices.

As usual, we told each that we would publish all responses entirely unedited. That is what you will find below, in the order their responses were received by us.

Q1. With reports that the Castle Concerts made a loss of over £300k, what is an acceptable financial loss for the Castle Concerts?

Q2. Are the Castle Concerts an effective way for Medway Council to improve the local cultural offer or the resources be better invested elsewhere?

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