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.

How will you work to improve KS2 levels of achievement in Medway primary schools?

UKIP would hold urgent discussions with school heads on how Medway Council can assist in implementing evidenced-based key principles to practically help struggling pupils with their literacy and include parents in achievements by emphasising the importance to reading books aloud at home and at school.
Cllr Roy Freshwater, UKIP

Sound educational policies require a careful consideration of many complex factors, so engaging with school governors, teachers and child psychology experts to understand how pupils’ success can be supported is crucial. As well as ensuring schools are not oversubscribed and offer an environment conducive to rigorous, creative and critical thinking, early support of children at risk of disengaging from the system due to socio-economic reasons should play a crucial role (the role of Sure Start Centres in this has been clearly demonstrated, for instance). Our Unitary Authority needs to help education providers optimise SAT achievements, OFSTED ratings etc., but a heavy focus on standardised testing and benchmarks is not a panacea: are Medway’s schools enabling children to become well-rounded, fulfilled individuals and members of their community, as well as intellectually curious and focused future adults who know how to play to their strengths? To my mind, education, like health, is one of the areas that should receive priority in the Council’s budgetary decisions.
Mina da Rui, Animal Welfare Party

2. How do you feel about increased oversight of home educating families, especially given Medway has one of the largest home educating populations in the UK?

UKIP would put in place policies to ensure all home education is properly monitored and supported to ensure education standards are properly maintained in consultation with parents.. 
Cllr Roy Freshwater, UKIP

Medway Council has a responsibility to all the children in our area, as Cllr Maple aptly pointed out at last week’s debate, and it is important that home-educated children’s interests are protected through sufficient oversight, naturally. If any children are in EHE because local schools are in any way failing to match their needs, this needs to be addressed very seriously. 
Mina da Rui, Animal Welfare Party

3. Do you consider closure of the Sure Start Centre at Brompton to be supportive of our armed forces and their families?

The Sure Start Centre in Brompton provides a means of support and a lifeline for armed forces families whose partners are away on a tour of duty, providing a range of support from help with postnatal depression to sessions for child minders.
Sure Start was a highly valued service in Medway, the community based Centres were closed in order to open ‘superhubs’ – many of which are too far to travel for parents who don’t drive or can’t afford public transport. The Conservatives have starved Sure Start of funding the lack of funding has meant that the remaining Centres cannot be serviced properly, parents do not have the time, energy, or money to go off to a superhub which would not provide the diversity of services nor the strong sense of community that these services foster when they are in neighbourhoods.
Liberal Democrats would halt the Sure Start closures and save these Centres as a valued means of support, not just for armed forces and their families, but for all parents.
Medway Liberal Democrats

All Sure start services are extremely important and should be available to all Medway families as a right and outside any political interference or control. All Sure Start centres should be free to military families and the reduction or closure of any Start Start services are unacceptable.
Cllr Roy Freshwater, UKIP

This question is rather rhetorical. Yes, it is true that the Conservatives have pledged to support armed forces families and that this closure is a blatant insult to anyone who relied on this promise. I think however that the key point here is that all children should be given as good a start in life as possible, especially considering the fast-increasing levels of socio-economic inequality and difficulties faced by many families in Medway and beyond. What Sure Start Centres offer represents what our society owes our children, whether their parents contribute to the social contract by participating in MoD operations or in other ways. Closing these ‘safety net’ structures means failing doubly vulnerable citizens – small children whose families require support. 
Mina da Rui, Animal Welfare Party

Will you guarantee delivery of a balanced budget and still maintain the lowest tax in Kent?

The decision to purchase the Pentagon Centre in Chatham and other budget projects, Medway Council has committed itself to paying back borrowing with long-term liabilities. Payments on these loans have to be funded each year from day to day spending budgets, Medway Liberal Democrats are asking how can borrowing be paid back without raising tax. Any future administration will inherit and incur an historic burden, having to find ways of balancing a prudent budget whilst finding ways to repay the debt. The current conservative administration has sole responsibility for such borrowing decisions which lies with elected members of the Council. A Liberal Democrat led Council would have a prudent balanced budget combined with a sensible capital plan to provide vital projects that support the local economy and valued services.
Medway Liberal Democrats

UKIP Councillors holding the reigns of power will work towards a balanced budget and lowest tax. We will be giving high priority to the programming locally the building of 4,000 Council social homes for rent or sale to local people on brownfield sites to address the housing crises that Medway Council continues to be SILENT about, for local people, people on the housing waiting list and SHELTER report. We will also be consulting communities on the £215 Million capital bid spending proposals and if priority should be given to redirecting this Government funding bid on improving local crumbling community infrastructure and reducing pollution. The Government is collecting many millions of extra tax from thousands of people from EU and other countries wishing to make Britain their new home – UKIP would put pressure on Government to provide extra funds from these additional to build additional homes needed and address the local housing crisis.  We have great concern that Medway new house build figure will be 46,000 in real terms in the Local Plan  (new homes mostly built for London commuters) and Medway Council has no idea at all and remains ‘SILENT’ on where it will obtain funds for necessary infrastructure for new homes and sustainable communities and reduce pollution from over 250,000 car movements per day. 
Cllr Roy Freshwater, UKIP

I am not entirely sure that this particular metric is the best way to assess the quality of the services provided by our Council. I should think that if ensuring a good quality of life and good prospects to everyone in Medway – and doing so in a truly sustainable way, which is demonstrably not the case currently – requires council tax rates to go up marginally, that should not prevent us from rethinking our approach to public service provision. Eye-catching promises are rarely the stuff of good governance. I am more concerned with the fact that changes in council tax rates should affect Medway’s population, as this would indicate that anyone suffering as a consequence of an increase in the portion of their budget spent on council tax is simply living in economic precarity. Living wages for all, the end of the outsourcing or sale of public goods and services and avoiding Council budget being wasted on lawsuits due to poor management and what some rightly call vanity projects would all be more of a priority for me than boasting that Medway’s people are not paying more than other Kent communities for the ‘privilege’ of poor public services!
Mina da Rui, Animal Welfare Party

What steps will you take to eradicate homelessness in Medway?

The government’s Homelessness Reduction Act came into force in 2018 with the aim of forcing local authorities to take steps to prevent households at risk from falling into homelessness. In Medway, the Liberal Democrats would like to see help given to those affected with the impact of spiralling rents, welfare cuts and a total lack of social housing. We believe that no one should be left without a roof over their head, which is why the Liberal Democrats are determined to end rough sleeping and respond to the causes of homelessness, working with Shelter and others to make a positive difference.
The lack of building homes is affecting Kent as much as anywhere else. Medway needs to see a rise in affordable homes being built, but not just here in the Medway towns but across the country, as well to alleviate the affects of welfare cuts and the freezing of housing benefit. The Liberal Democrats Conference passed a motion calling for the Government to ensure everyone has a right to affordable, safe and secure homes in England and reiterated the Liberal Democrats commitment to build 300,000 homes a year over the next decade, and called for better environmental standards for housing across the UK.
To tackle the housing crisis, the Liberal Democrats are calling for a large programme to rebuild social housing stock, and alleviating the insecurity faced by tenants in the private rented sector such as through giving tenants a minimum of six months’ notice before they have to leave the property.
Medway Liberal Democrats

UKIP would give grants to local churches and charities supporting the homeless – we will change the current unacceptable Medway policy on waiting for freezing weather before helping the homeless people sleeping on the streets. Our programme of 4,000 homes above would include appropriate homes and help.
Cllr Roy Freshwater, UKIP

Homelessness is another complex issue. The answer is of course not simply to find quick fixes to make sure the homeless population becomes invisible without their prospects improving, and while caring charities and volunteers are doing great work, this is the Council’s responsibility. Homelessness is primarily a product of rising inequalities due in large part to policies that focus on economic growth at the expense of social prosperity and inclusion. To really tackle homelessness, we need to take education, health and social support services seriously. Medway sources over a third of its social workers through temporary/agency contracts because permanent, non-outsourced positions are not sustainable for many social workers, which severely impairs the quality of the support many of our people in need are receiving (as well as creating needless expenditure). We are allowing plenty of premium (read: out of the reach of most of the local population) new housing to be built, with some ‘affordable’ housing that is also unaffordable to many, while there is a dire need for sufficient, good quality social housing – because private developers are willing to pay handsomely on the short term. How can we expect that no one will end up in a situation of social exclusion under such circumstances?
Mina da Rui, Animal Welfare Party

What is your position on removing late night parking charges in Medway?

Medway Liberal Democrats welcome the removal of late night parking charges in Medway, removing car parking tariffs will act as incentive to bring people and shoppers into the Town centres across Medway and help to encourage and revitalise our high streets. Recent increases in parking charges and hours of operation act as deterrents to visiting our town centres, pushing shoppers to other centres.
Medway Liberal Democrats

In consultation with local communities UKIP would substantially reduce or remove all parking charges, stop the persecution of motorist in order to properly support all struggling local retail shops and commercial businesses. Parking charges would encourage commuters to London to use public transport and reduce pollution. 
Cllr Roy Freshwater, UKIP

Again, the fact that this should be a bone of contention means that what should be a negligible expense for any household – parking charges – is actually affecting some of our fellow constituents’ decisions is what really concerns me here. It seems to me that the underlying issues here are again that the standards of living people enjoy in Medway are simply too low, and that public transport does not currently offer a serious alternative to driving around Medway. Late-night parking charges may increase the discrepancy in access to leisure and social goods between well-to-do and working-to-middle class people in Medway, so I would be cautious in upholding them. If the proceeds of these charges are absolutely needed to provide good quality public services across Medway then I would oppose their removal, provided they are moderate. I realise this may be unpopular without considering my reasoning – which is that, more importantly, we need to start addressing social inequality and poor public transport options.
Mina da Rui, Animal Welfare Party

What should Medway council do to help contribute to the solution to the problem of climate change?

There’s a growing body of evidence to suggest that there will be an increase in the frequency and intensity of extreme weather events with important implications for infrastructure in Medway. It is vital that the Council consider how to improve the resilience of the Medway Towns infrastructure with flooding posing the greatest risk.
Medway Council needs to promote its existing Air Quality Action Plan (AQAP) to address pollution in the region by encouraging people to use public transport, supporting sustainable development, and promoting eco-driving and car sharing. There should also be a formal arrangement between Medway Council and bus providers in the Towns to promote green transport methods.
Liberal Democrats strongly favour a pro-cycling policy and the need for more secure cycle parking and cycle paths across the towns. As traffic congestion account to Medway’s emissions each year, cycling during peak hours would contribute to further emission reductions by reducing congestion and improving traffic flow across Medway.
The Council has a responsibility to prepare an up-to-date Local Plan, by adopting a robust green infrastructure plan for Medway which fully supports adaptation to climate change, improves flood management and prevention, improves urban air quality and provides the other important benefits which underpin sustainable economic growth.
Medway Liberal Democrats

We would open discussions on how local transport can be improved to reduce substantial and ever-increasing local air pollution. We would discuss with local packaging companies and retail stores measures to address excessive packaging and the use of plastic. We would open discussions with local communities to look at policies to reduce pollution.
Cllr Roy Freshwater, UKIP

It is great that Cllr Maple wants to see a climate emergency motion passed, and he has my full support in this. Local government plays a key role in regulating some of the forms of human activity that are most harmful to our climate: planning and development requirements for housing and industry, management of public buildings (from the provision of fossil-fuel derivates in the form of plastic and fuel, for instance, to design and insulation requirements), local transport, education, green space and wildlife management, investment in damaging industries such as oil and gas etc. So in a nutshell – we need to divest from fossil fuel industries, improve our development/planning standards and leverage just about all other Council competencies to be part of the solution. Beyond these points, animal agriculture is the worst factor of climate change, before transport, and it is absolutely crucial that Medway Council introduce plant-based options for every meal in schools and other public structures providing meals. Medway Maritime Hospital is showing great promise in this regard. 
Mina da Rui, Animal Welfare Party

What measures are currently in place in Medway, and what measures can you commit to going forward, to protect and support wildlife and biodiversity in planning and development initiatives?

Medway Council should be leading the way by adopting sensible and consistently applied planning policies which are in line with the surrounding environment. Concentrating new housing developments in areas with good bus and rail links to reduce car usage, and in locations where there is scope to provide decent pedestrian, cycling and public transport connections. We would ensure that people can enjoy recreational activities, and the health and well-being benefits these provide, without causing harm to Medway’s most sensitive wildlife habitats and species; improve the connectivity of habitats to provide robust ecological networks; provide new allotments on ‘brown build’ sites to provide for an increased population. The Council should be investing in protecting green infrastructure in Medway, so that future generations have the same level that current residents enjoy.
Medway Liberal Democrats

UKIP would re-establish the successful local drainage supervisory boards to make better use of precious water and prevent flooding. Protect the greenbelt and wildlife areas and promote the building of wooden framed homes and put in place reliable and appropriate local green public transport links. We would open discussion with local communities on action plans to support wildlife, country parks and biodiversity – including the provision of water storage tanks for homes and building material that produce less pollution. 
Cllr Roy Freshwater, UKIP

I asked this question to Cllrs Jarrett and Maple and was dismayed to see their answers focusing solely on unrelated considerations. Our Council is not doing its job if it fails to take into consideration the fact that we live in complex ecosystems and need other species for our own survival and quality of life, even if we fail to give their needs the consideration they intrinsically deserve. Neither councillor was able to give me a clear answer on what measures are currently in place, but I do know that Medway does not systematically require the implementation of measures protecting animal and plant species in new development and urban planning, which I would fight for on behalf of these species, whose very survival depends on us taking very simple, cost-effective action, such as making wildlife tunnels or native hedgerows compulsory, as well as nesting features on any new building compound, as many birds struggle to maintain a suitable living situation due to our destroying their habitat. Preserving grass verges as much as road safety allows and meadow areas, as well as of course prioritising brownfield development and urban regeneration over any greenfield development, are other key commitments we need to see made by the incoming Council. Animal Welfare Party Councillor for Alsager Jane Smith has done tremendous work in this regard, and Cheshire East Council has thereby put itself firmly on the map in terms of wildlife protection. Let Medway be next!
Mina da Rui, Animal Welfare Party

Will weekly bin collections be maintained? 

Liberal Democrats would commit to weekly waste collections. In the long term we would continue to modernise waste collection and recycling services, investing to improve waste service with the primary aim of keeping Medway’s streets clean. We must do better on recycling and would oppose any privatisation and further degeneration of waste services.  We would drastically reduce the routine dumping of sofas and beds on our Town’s streets and rural areas to help keep our green environment and our streets clean and tidy. Any reduction in bin collections would simply lead to an increase in fly tipping.
Medway Liberal Democrats

YES
Cllr Roy Freshwater, UKIP

Absolutely. As well as being obviously important for quality of life and cleanliness across Medway, weekly bin collections mean jobs that would be cut or hours that would be reduced among our bin collection teams if this service was reduced, which only harms the local economy on the long run. That isn’t to say such positions need to be outsourced to a private provider, however! On a related note, I would welcome waste-reduction awareness campaigns being carried out by the Council, and would also like to see more transparency on the recycling process: many people I have spoken to in Medway are unconvinced that recyclable materials are actually being recycled. Additionally, there are already issues with foxes tearing through bin bags and both risking injuries or illness in the process as well as creating unnecessary litter on the street – imagine how much worse this would be with less frequent garbage collection!
Mina da Rui, Animal Welfare Party

What specific pledge would you make to the young people in Medway who have a voice but cannot vote?

Liberal Democrats national policy is calling to extend the right to vote in all elections and referendums for 16 to 17 year olds. We would reform the process for young people in Medway to get in touch with the council. We would strongly welcome the introduction of a youth council in Medway for young people aged 11 to 19 years old representing their school, support group or youth project. To discuss a range different topics that affect children and young people from mental health to homelessness. A youth council could share ideas and improve services for other children and young people who live in Medway, represent the views of young people at council meetings & present ideas to senior decision makers on issues of particular significance to young people in our towns.
Medway Liberal Democrats

UKIP would discuss with local communities youth needs and local youth services and make Council grants available to support youth groups and ensure they have a voice in Council policies. 
Cllr Roy Freshwater, UKIP

The incoming administration will need to work closely with the Youth Council to encourage young people to engage with politics, to reclaim it rather than to give up on it, which is a huge issue at the moment. This can only happen if a real dialogue is in place between the Council and the Youth Council, not simply by keeping up an ‘open door policy’ as suggested by Cllr Jarrett, but also by making sustainable, holistic decisions that prioritise social prosperity over the socialisation of costs of all kinds – environmental, sanitary, educational etc. – for the benefit of increasingly privately concentrated wealth. This is what the young people of today need us to do if they are to enjoy a wholesome future that offers them true opportunities and fundamental, socio-economic, political and civil rights. 
Mina da Rui, Animal Welfare Party

With all the friction within the community arising from the debacle that is Brexit, what are you, and your local group going to do to build cross party consensus and demonstrate your commitment to building respect among all Councillors to eradicate the demeaning and toxic environment witnessed by the public at council meetings?

A lack of consensus among local decision-makers highlights the negative impacts of Brexit, medium and long term. For the Medway Towns the ramifications for many businesses will be profound as they face up to a new set of challenges of life outside the EU. Liberal Democrat researchers have found that there are over 14,000 jobs in the Medway towns which depend on our membership of the European Union – and if we add to that the number of other businesses who would lose their local customers, the effect on the Medway area could be comparable with the closure of the dockyard.
Councillors from all parties in Medway Council should be working with stakeholders to assess the impact of Brexit with cross party consensus to deal with the challenges and effects that Brexit will have on Medway’s infrastructure.  We urge Councillors to think strategically and work collaboratively on issues. Liberal Democrats have led the fight to stop Brexit. We’ll do this by demanding people – not politicians – get the final say on the Brexit deal, including an option to remain in the EU.
Medway Liberal Democrats

UKIP would require the Mayor and Chairs of all committee to intervene and ensure all discussions are directed towards the objectives of reports and recommendations, including reports relating to Brexit.  All Councillors will be required to act professionally and to have respect for different views of Councillor colleagues, residents and to demonstrate positive discussion on all Council matters relating to the position they hold as Councillors. 
Cllr Roy Freshwater, UKIP

The following is probably going to sound quite exotic to many of us, as we’re used to thinking about politics in petty, partisan, conceited terms – but I have to say these things, because we need a real paradigm shift in this sense. Of course, democracy only works if we remember that elected representatives are just that – the voices of our fellow constituents, so it’s important to respect each other, and to appreciate that while we may not agree with each other, we all have motivations and concerns that seem perfectly legitimate to us. The key is to facilitate a space for constructive debate, which I would love to contribute to. I am standing for a party that exists precisely because countless individuals that are affected by daily political decisions do not have a voice, and I believe all sentient beings have a right for their lives to be respected. Life on Earth – and in local politics! – is not, ultimately, a zero-sum game. If anyone tells you otherwise, they’re missing the point: we are all in this together, and the systems we live in and build day after day are all intricately connected. Therefore we can only ever have a fair, thriving, peaceful and ‘advanced’ society if we can respect and compound together the interests, needs and strength of every human and non-human animal and the ecosystems we live in. It’s difficult to lack respect for each other when you take this kind of empathetic and broad perspective!
Mina da Rui, Animal Welfare Party

Do the Leaders believe that Medway Council decision makers should be representative of the wider Medway Population and do they think it is appropriate that only one woman is a member of the Medway Cabinet, when over 50% of the population is female. Does this mean women just aren’t up to the job?

Liberal Democrats are committed to increasing diversity of elected representatives, and encouraging those from a diverse range of backgrounds to represent the Liberal Democrats at all levels. In 2016, our Party members voted to adopt every legal measure available under the Equality Act to increase the diversity of our MP’s. The Party also supports individuals who are in the process of becoming, or thinking of becoming candidates. For local election candidates, Kickstart and the Future Leaders programme are just some of the support the Party offers for aspiring Councillors.
We recognise that politics can never be truly representative when it is made up of people unrepresentative of society at large. In politics, perhaps more than in any other arena, that’s a critical goal worth fighting for. Liberal Democrats would like to see much more being done to encourage women into politics not only at a local level here in the Medway Towns but also at a national level. To best serve our Towns and the make up of the Council, we need our elected representatives to be truly representative of their electorate. Such a shift would help to change and shape policy, be more inclusive and bring equality to decision making processes.
Medway Liberal Democrats

UKIP treats all people equally and would promote equality for Cabinet and for all Council jobs and services to ensure the best person is appointed to jobs and positions.
Cllr Roy Freshwater, UKIP

The lack of diversity – in terms of gender, and of course ethnicity, age etc. – in organs of democratic representation and public office is a serious issue, and it is not going to stop merely through our encouraging discrimination to end, because inequality of opportunities is still far too much of an issue. While men and women may be socially conditioned to approach issues and solutions in distinct ways, I should think it goes without saying that required knowledge or technical expertise, integrity and the ability to work as a team are the only criteria that should motivate the attribution of competence to a person. However, we do need to encourage diversity through affirmative action for long enough that girls/young women and people of under-represented ethnicities internalise the presence of members of their gender or ethnicity in structures such as Medway Cabinet as a welcome sign – women need to ‘see themselves’ in such roles if they’re going to consider pursuing them. It is all too easy to downplay the limiting power of arbitrary traditions and inertia on our democracy!
Mina da Rui, Animal Welfare Party

There is an epidemic of anxiety and other mental health issues affecting young people. What will you do help the young people of Medway with these issues?

Medway Liberal Democrats have campaigned for better care provision in Mental Health in Medway. The campaign has highlighted Mental Health services both in general at a local level and in particular with regard to the issue of referring patients out of area. 
Our petition was signed by 1,200 people across the Medway Towns and the surrounding area of Kent, which is also affected by out of area referrals needed as a consequences of closing the Mental Health Unit at Medway Maritime Hospital in 2013 and calls for the reinstatement of a Mental Health Unit in Medway and sends a strong message calling on the Department of Health to reinstate a fit for purpose Mental Health Unit in Medway.
We believe that with a population of approximately 270,000 people, Medway is big enough that its Health Trust should be able to provide these services to local people. In common with our petition we have had people come forward to tell us that out of area referrals cost more and impacts on the quality of patient treatment, in that distance in many instances isolates patients from their family members who then find it difficult to travel to visit them. For many, that family support is essential in the aid to recovery. All over the country out of area treatment for Mental Health is now being regarded as standard practice and the Liberal Democrats strongly believe this is not in the best interests of patients and does not provide good quality of care.
Medway Liberal Democrats

UKIP would put in place policies and open discussions to ensure all young people have access to appropriate professionals and help groups including Medway CCG and Medway Youth Council who can help and advise on any anxiety and mental health issues.
Cllr Roy Freshwater, UKIP

I would want to see Medway Council assess the social, ethical and environmental impact of every single decision they make, and focus on improving Medway people’s quality of life by tackling issues such as low wages and precarious employment conditions, poor and uncertain housing arrangements due to poor practices by some landlords and developers, poor education, health and transport offering and the neglect of the environment for profit. The correlation between connection with nature and mental well-being is well known. High levels of socio-economic precarity and inequality, insufficient or inadequate provision in education, health and social support and irresponsible planning decisions all affect the well-being of young people. As a millennial, I admit that the short-termism that defines Conservative policies is a great cause of anxiety for me, because neoliberal policies cannot build a sustainable society – it’s that simple. 
Mina da Rui, Animal Welfare Party

What will you be doing regarding the state of cctv in the area? 

Incidents of crime demonstrate that CCTV coverage across our Towns is vital, both to act as a deterrent and to assist the police with gathering evidence when crimes do occur.
Medway Liberal Democrats see the current situation as unacceptable and should be a wake up call. Actions should be place to replace cameras in key locations, and after years of austerity cuts to police budgets, the least we can do is assist officers by ensuring CCTV cameras are operational and capable not only of aiding investigations but also delivering evidence for successful prosecutions. Medway Council is responsible for the CCTV stock, but the maintenance and repair of cameras is outsourced to Medway Commercial Group (MCG) – the authority’s own trading company. The CCTV network and the role of MCG should be reviewed rapidly and as effectively as possible.
Liberal Democrats would make Medway a safer place to live, shop and socialise. We believe an efficient CCTV system is a vital cog in that aim, so that people in our Towns can go about their business in safety.
Medway Liberal Democrats

The current situation is totally unacceptable – UKIP would put extreme pressure on Medway Council and contractors to get CCTV working as soon as possible and would take appropriate legal proceeding in this connection. It is totally unacceptable that many residents feel unsafe in many Medway areas where they do not know if CCTV cameras are working. 
Cllr Roy Freshwater, UKIP

I would naturally want to see the overhaul of the MCG disaster completed as promptly as possible. However, again, to me, the underlying reason why we are concerned with CCTV is what we should really consider: drastic cuts to social services and crime prevention are bound to force us to rely on surveillance for a modicum of security, nay safety. We need to look at what low-crime areas, in Britain and beyond, are doing right, not rely solely on the haphazard deterrent effect of omnipresent surveillance for our safety. 
Mina da Rui, Animal Welfare Party

We received no response to these questions from the Medway Green Party. We were unable to find any contact details for the Christian People’s Alliance. Once again, the leaders of Medway Conservatives and Medway Labour answered these questions at our Medway Leaders’ Debate, which you can watch back here.

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