The Week in Medway Politics: Airport, taxes, bins
Medway MPs in Parliament
Quiet week in Parliament
No votes in Parliament this week, but at least Gillingham and Rainham MP Rehman Chishti managed to pop up to suggest that Saudi Arabia’s recent executions might not be as bad as they originally seemed, while Rochester and Strood MP Kelly Tolhurst raised the issue of biodiversity at Lodge Hill.
Council tax increase
The council announced this week that it would be seeking the largest possible council tax increase without a referendum in this years budget. The 3.994% increase will consist of a 1.994% general council tax increase, alongside an additional 2% to be used to fund social care. Local councils are in a tough position following large cuts in their grants from local government, so it’s likely that Medway will be far from alone in taking this position.
Rochester Airport clusterfuck
The Rochester Airport saga that has been rumbled on for an incredible 417 years now has no end in sight, as the council are once again returning to the planning stage on it. Which suggests someone has messed up somewhere. We’re still going to be covering this one for many more years yet.
The council’s rubbish collections proved to be pretty rubbish over the festive period, with some areas facing delays of several days for their rubbish to be picked up, leaving many areas resembling a sea of rubbish. The council hasn’t really explained why this was the case, but let’s all be grateful that our long unitary authority nightmare is now over. The above hashtag also managed to become a thing, so at least one good thing came out of it.
Still missing, because why do they need to actively do anything given the state of the Labour Party?
The party decided to protest outside of Medway rail stations over expensive rail fares, as part of a national campaign. Kind of hard to go wrong with that one in a commuter area.
Still missing, because it’s Medway UKIP.
Medway Liberal Democrats
This week saw the funeral of former Lib Dem councillor Stephen Kearney, which the party marked with an obituary on their website.
Medway Green Party
Perhaps unsurprisingly, the Medway Greens aren’t too happy about the plans for Rochester Airport.
Missing, presumably filling in their Momentum membership forms.
Rehman About Town
Rehman eased himself back into his promotional photos after a Christmas break, only managing to have his photo taken with some squash players, some thrilled looking students, himself on the TV, some other students, a plaque, and a solitary resident.