iFAQ: Councillor allowances

So it’s a bit of a weird time, but we’re all sitting at home, so what better time to start publishing some local politics articles again? They won’t be about the current situation, as most were already in the can before this kicked off. That being said, if anyone fancies writing something with a local angle on the current situation, hit us up.

Before we all locked ourselves away from the outside world, Medway had been facing some debate about the appropriate level of allowance for councillors. While most council staff received a 1% pay increase, councillor allowances increased by 14%. How much councillors receive is a complicated question, so we decided to ask every Medway councillor the following:

Do you feel the current allowance of £10,421 for councillors represents fair remuneration for the time spent carrying out your duties?

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: What next for Labour?

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.

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iFAQ: The next Prime Minister

We’re not going to lie. Our iFAQ this week is a true classic of the genre. Not for our question, but for the response it yielded.

You might have noticed that we are in the midst of a Conservative leadership election, which will ultimately decide the next Prime Minister of the country and the direction of travel we’ll be taking on Brexit and other issues. As such, we decided to ask our 33 Conservative councillors who they will be supporting, and what their chosen candidate would do for their residents in Medway.

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: 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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