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Medway People's Voice
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Medway Council Meeting Report: 24 January 2019

25 January 2019

Tagged Chris Spalding, Mick Pendergast,

Mick Pendergast motion approved - while labour get it wrong again

Chris Spalding put an idea to Mick Pendergast how our Armed Forces could be further supported by Medway Council and Mick successfully presented a motion to Council last night so that some tickets for Medway Council functions and by those using Medway Council venues be donated to the charity "Tickets For Troops".

This received cross party support with Councillors from all sides lauding Mick Pendergsat for bringing this "quite wonderful motion" forward.

However, Labour Councillors Theresa Murray and Vince Maple, in backing the motion (for which we are grateful) tried to score some cheap political points agaisnt the Conservative group by stating that Gillingham Football Club, with whom the Council has a shirt sponsorship deal is not one of the football clubs that appears on the Tickets for Troops website.

This was in fact a massive OWN GOAL by the Medway Labour leadership.

For the past three to four years Paul Scally and Gillingham FC give away 50 complimentary tickets to every home game to the local soldiers. Brompton Barracks being a short walk from Priestfield Stadium.

The Amazon question

Chris Spalding had the following question for Phil Filmer listed.

A lack of foresight and planning prior to the opening of the new Amazon depot meant many lorries looking to deliver goods got lost due to a lack of road signs causing and continuing to cause misery for many Peninsula residents.

A meeting with Council officers at which Councillor Pendergast and I were to present a comprehensive plan that would have ended this chaos was cancelled by the Portfolio Holder so he could take the matter forward.

Would it not have been sensible to allow the meeting to go ahead and adopt or amend our plan rather than the Council wasting resources and council tax payers' money duplicating work that that already been done for free?

Chris Spalding turned up but as you can see from the agenda the Labour party had planted questions from many of its election candidates so there was no time for the question and we will have to await a written answer.

The Local Plan

As many of you will know the local plan has been delayed until the summer, allowing developers to get away with even more uncontested applications. In answering public question (m) Councillor Jane Chitty blamed "Government laying down regulations" and "successive governments" changing things and "moving the goalposts". In other words it is everybody else's fault!

Tory & Labour councillors oppose developments in their own wards

Unsurprisingly with a lack of local plan developers are riding roughshod over everybody. Tory and Labour councillors are now objecting to housing being built in their own wards because it is 'vital to preserve green spaces'. Several handed in petitions.

Mick Pendergast off Planning Committee

Following the decision of three councillors to go independent and the death of Cllr David Carr the allocation of committee seats needed to be considered.

Here is the link to the relevant report

The Council had three options;-

  1. To decide not to undertake a review of allocation of seats in which case the allocation set out in Appendix A will continue with Cllrs Freshwater and Pendergast occupying 4 Committee seats. A decision not to review seats could be agreed by a majority vote or
  2. To decide to undertake a review of Committee seats and allocate them in line with the law on political balance. The Council could, but does not have to, decide (on a majority vote) to appoint Cllrs Craven, Freshwater, Howard and Pendergast to any or some of the nine seats to which the political groups have no entitlement or
  3. To agree to review the allocation of Committee seats and agree an arrangement which does not comply with the rules on political balance.

As you can see Labour and conservatives could have kept Mick Pendergast on the planning and the licensing committee if they wanted to.

They decided on (b) and did not use the option to appoint. In short they decided to throw him off and, had some of their own councillors taken off to balance things and in so doing left a whole load of committee places empty.

Put simply Labour and Tory Councillors just voted themselves less work as well as sticking two fingers up to the Peninsula.

Alan Jarrett confirms council strategy to concrete Peninsula - £170m infrastructure bid is confirmed for Peninsula only

In answering public question (p) Alan Jarrett reaffirmed his opposition to development at Capstone Valley and confirmed that the £170m bid "is associated to the Hoo Peninsula" and it is a "very targeted specific bid" with none of the proceeds going anywhere else. He added "I think the strategy of the Council is absolutely right!"

Roy Freshwater quits Council duties - time he resigned

Following item 15 on the Agenda Cllr Roy Freshwater in an infant like tantrum left the chamber.

Left mystified by this earlier comments many Councillors looked on with amusement as he stated he wold no longer attend Council and instead of "wasting his time attending committees and council meetings" he would now knock on doors and "explain to residents that Medway Council is making their health worse".

If he thought he was making a point with a dramatic exit he was wrong. Leaving by a circular route rather than the central aisle all that could be heard was the public gallery and some councillors laughing at him.

If he is not going to do his job he needs to resign and at least save the council tax payers of Medway the four months of his allowance. Even keeping him there for entertainment value is no longer funny!

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