The Week in Medway Politics: Tax, Momentum, solar panels
Medway MPs in Parliament
The fun police
All three Medway MPs voted in support of scrapping student maintenance grants this week, after a debate was forced on the issue. All three of them also voted to ban ‘poppers’ too, so lots of people will be thrilled about their work this week.
Tolhurst on Tax
A pretty incredible exchange in Parliament this week, where Rochester and Strood MP Kelly Tolhurst raised concerns about the burdens of changes to the tax system on small businesses. All well and good, if it were not for the fact such changes hadn’t been proposed, as the minister helpfully informed her.
Elsewhere in Parliament
Kelly Tolhurst is concerned that the officers at facilities such as the recently scandal hit Medway Secure Training facility might be having a tough time of it. Also, Friday was Chatham and Aylesford MP Tracey Crouch’s last regular day in Parliament until July, as she takes some time off for maternity leave.
First meeting of 2016
Thursday saw the first full Medway Council meeting of 2016. Unfortunately we were unable to provide live coverage this time. If you’d like to experience the whole thing yourself, an MP3 of it is available at the bottom of this page. Not much of any interest seemed to occur, other than the little issue of the council cutting £1.4m of public health funding.
Other council news
The council are sticking 400 solar panels on the roof of Gun Wharf, which will apparently save them £23,000 per year, while neglecting to mention how much the panels will cost in the first place. In happier news, the council was ranked as the 93rd best place in the country for LGBT staff to work.
Missing, presumably because trying to keep Cllr Franklin off Twitter is taking up too much of their time.
The first meeting of Medway Momentum took place on Saturday. No signs of any serious conflicts within Medway Labour at this stage, but we’ll have to see how this plays out.
Still missing, because it’s Medway UKIP.
Medway Liberal Democrats
It’s a little late, but new Chairman of the Medway Lib Dems John Castle has provided a new year’s message of where he intends to take the party.
The party is also jumping on a national campaign about criminal driving which helpfully includes copy and pasted text, and a made up quote from Brake.
Medway Green Party
Those sneaky Greens have managed to take the council solar panel story, and use it as a way of questioning how many of the council’s 30,000 upcoming homes will be environmentally sound.
After weeks of us joking that they’ve all gone to join Momentum, they popped up to advertise and talk at this week’s Medway Momentum meeting.
Rehman About Town
Rehman is definitely slowing down his photo opportunities this year, but he still found time to have his photo taken with the Austrian ambassador, a Pakistani news team, staff at Medway Hospital, Gillingham FC chairman Paul Scally, and a charity sleep out he wasn’t actually taking part in.