The Week in Medway Politics: Housing, tobacco, rebellions

Medway MPs in Parliament

Free thinkers
As it’s been yet another quiet week in parliament for our Medway MPs, we thought we’d check out how rebellious each of them has been in the nine months since the general election. The answer? Not very. According to data from Public Whip, Tracey Crouch was the most rebellious, voting against the government in 0.7% in votes, while both Rehman Chishti and Kelly Tolhurst haven’t rebelled once.

Rehman takes on tobacco
The Gillingham and Rainham MP Rehman Chishti got to ask a question at Prime Minister’s Question this week, raising the case of illegal tobacco being sold in Gillingham that had “destroyed the local economy”. As is always the case on these things, the Prime Minister promised to have a look into the matter.

Elsewhere in Parliament
Rehman Chishti managed to ask another question about Pakistan, a place he seems to raise more in parliament than Gillingham or Rainham.

Medway Council

Rochester developments
This week’s Planning Committee meeting will likely see the council agree to a proposal to demolish 32 homes on Corporation St in Rochester, to be replaced by 89 new units. This in itself is no bad thing, as Medway urgently needs housing, and the properties currently on the site are rather run down. However, the project will see the demolishing of 16 social homes, with 0 of the 89 new units being offered as social homes, or even ‘affordable housing’. The council’s own policy dictates that such developments should have a minimum of 25% affordable housing, and are still disputing with the developer on this one, but seem happy to let the project go ahead regardless.

Political Parties

Medway Conservatives
Still missing, presumably because trying to keep Cllr Franklin off Twitter is taking up too much of their time.

Medway Labour
Missing, presumably because there’s no elections to fight for a while now.

Medway UKIP
A rare appearance for Medway UKIP in this section as, inexplicably, constituency chairman Chris Spalding popped up on Radio 4’s Today programme to weigh in on the upcoming EU referendum.

Medway Liberal Democrats
Missing, because the last few weeks of activity now means they’re all tuckered out.

Medway Green Party
The Medway Greens are so grumpy about the Lower Thames Crossing that they’ve put out their first proper press release since September¬†on it. Easy now, guys.

Medway TUSC
Missing, because they need to seem to be a shell of their former selves.

Other News

Rehman About Town
A poor showing for Rehman this week as he only managed to have his photo taken with a World Cancer Day plaque, two residents while entering a limbo contest, on the television, and in an Arabic newspaper. Maybe he’ll up his selfie game next week.

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