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. To finish the week, we are taking a look at Medway Labour.
On paper, the omens should be pretty good for Medway Labour heading into the 2019 local elections. With a confusing national picture that has seen them polling roughly equally with the Conservatives, a string of council blunders, and facing a set of councillors that seem tired, Medway Labour should be well placed to mount a challenge to control the council.
The problem is that we’ve been here so many times before. 2011 and 2015 should have been fruitful years for the party for similar reasons to those above, yet Labour rarely seem able to capitalise to improve their standing. As such, a few minor seat fluctuations aside, Medway Labour have held pretty much the same number of seats on Medway Council for the past 16 years.
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?
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. Starting today with Vince Maple, leader of the Medway Labour Group.
I want to start by thanking Ed and Steve from the Political Medway for giving pieces of this nature a new home. Historically, the local KM paper had a weekly political column which residents would often talk about when speaking to them on the doorstep. Although I’m sure I’ll disagree with the vast majority of what Alan Jarrett will say when his pieces are published, it’s healthy for local democracy for the Leader of the Council and the Leader of the Opposition to have an accessible platform of this nature.
We are in the middle of December, a great opportunity to reflect on the positive actions Medway Labour Councillors have taken over the past year in the community we call home. It goes without saying that Labour Councillors deal with hundreds of pieces of casework to support residents in their ward on a wide variety of issues. Alongside that the Labour Group have shown true community leadership in a number of ways, working hard to deliver for the residents of Medway.
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.
They say Christmas comes round earlier and earlier each year, but if there’s one thing that arrives at the same time every year, it’s the dubious stalls at the Rochester Christmas Market. Whether you’re in the market for magnetic health bracelets, cures for cancer, copyright infringement Indiana Jones, or a Costco membership, the Rochester Christmas Market has you covered.
Medway Council’s ruling Conservative Cabinet have rejected calls to investigate the effect of Brexit on The Medway Towns. So Keevil set out to find answers, bestowed with the knowledge that everything is available online, including knowledge. Keevil went armed with a search engine and the words ‘Medway Brexit’. We present to you almost everything we found in all it’s visual (and helpful?) glory.
This week for inFrequently Asked Questions, we decided to mix up the format yet again. Instead of contacting every councillor with a question, we decided to ask each party two questions on data protection. Political parties can obtain copies of the electoral register from local authorities to use for political purposes. Each party is responsible for complying with the rules on data protection, and so in light of the recent accident by Medway Conservative Robbie Lammas, it seemed like an appropriate topic.
We sent the following questions to Medway Conservatives, Medway Labour, Medway UKIP, Medway Lib Dems, and Medway Greens. We told each party that we would publish their responses entirely unedited. All responses are published below, in the order that they were received by us.
Q1. What training and resources does your party provide to councillors, candidates, and activists regarding GDPR and the personal data of voters when canvassing?
One of our popular features on The Political Medway is inFrequently Answered Questions, where we send questions to relevant political figures and hope that we might occasionally get a reply.
It’s time to do our first (Keevil) / last (Jennings) survey!
Following developments last week with Cllr Pendergast leaving Medway UKIP, Cllr Howard leaving Medway Tories and further afield in Dover, Cllr Eddy, the former leader of the Labour Opposition leaving the Labour Group to join the Greens, we (just Keevil) decided to ask the other 53 councillors to select one statement that best represented them for #LocalElection2019: – I will be standing in the same ward with the same party. – I will be standing in the same ward with a different party. – I will be standing in a different ward with the same party. – I will be standing in a different ward with a different party. – I will be standing as an Independent. – I will be standing as a member of The ‘Medway’s Voice Party’. – I have decided to stand down. – I have been deselected. – I do not know if I will be standing or be deselected. – I did not know there was a Local Election in 2019.Continue reading “inFrequently Answered Surveys: I’m Still Standing”