Friday, 17 February 2012

Rochester City Status

Every local authority makes mistakes especially in the filing - it is inevitable. However back in 1998 there was a massive cock up with paper work in the Medway towns that meant that the city of Rochester upon Medway, a city of the realm since 1211 accidentally lost the paperwork and failed to reapply thus down grading it to a town. Whether this is was done deliberately or not is open to debate but the truth is it is truly gone.

The only way to get it back is for the whole of the Medway towns to apply for City status - which, for the moment I, the local Liberal Democrats and the Green party are opposed to.

Early last year when thinking about this, I was told that petitions to Parliament, the Lords and indeed the Queen were made and all had failed.

Well, you may remember that when you were a child, and your parents told you not to do something because this or that would happen but you did it anyway?

Well, I wrote to the Queen and my letter was passed on to the Cabinet office...

Something I never expected happened, the Cabinet office responded;

Dear Mr Sams,

Thank you for your letter to Her Majesty The Queen regarding the Diamond Jubilee competition for Civic honours. This correspndence has been forwarded to me and I have been asked to respond. I apologise for the delay in responding to you.

There have been 25 bids for city status and 12 for lord Mayoralties, which is a magnificent response to the competition. Careful consideration will be given to all applications after which Ministers will formally provide their advice to Her Majesty The Queen, as such honours are awarded under the royal prerogative.
Your Views on Rochester and on Medway's application for city status have been noted. The results of the competition are expected to be announced over the coming months.

Yours Sincerely
Noelle O'Connor
Deputy head Constitutional policy team.

Sounds good eh?

Unfortunatly, I speak Middle management/civil servant from having to do so in my own career and I can translate for you;

Thanks, we've filed your letter but to be honest it was a waste of your time and ours.

Well it was indeed worth a shot - a certain amount of optimism in me will keep fingers crossed but cynic in me knows better.

I should also just make it clear that, I wrote this as an individual and not as a Member of the Medway Liberal Democrats and it is also not necessarily the view of the exec but my own personal view.

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