Wednesday, 14 March 2012

Medway to remain towns.

It was announced this morning that Medway's third bid for city status has failed and that Chelmsford, Perth and St Asaph have been named as the Nation's three new cities (one from England, Scotland and Wales).

It'd be easy for me to write an "I told you so" blog post, but I won't for two reasons.

1. I'm not an arsehole. I know how hard people worked for Medway to become a city, and I know that they were doing it with the best of intentions and the depth of feeling behind it. I know how I would be feeling should the decision have gone the other way. I sincerely want to express my commiserations to all those who worked hard for this.

2. Our letter to Nick Clegg (written to him as Deputy Prime Minister - Not as Leader of the Liberal Democrats) probably made no difference what so ever! I'd like to think that it did but come on. Lets be honest. I think a city from each country was a good idea showing true national spirit and cooperation, celebrating each facet of this wonderful Island nation. Also Reading was the over all bookies favourite with Medway in close second... Reading didn't even win.

Now that it is all over though we can get back to addressing the problems in our towns. The money that would have been spent on re branding (which would have been extensive) can now be put back into public spending and services. Regeneration of Chatham and Gillingham is far from complete, in fact the Citizen Advice Bureau has just been granted money to help the three poorest wards (Gillingham South, Gillingham North and Chatham Central) to aid with improvements through citizen committees. We can look forward to making the Medway Towns better for everyone and maybe lessen the blow of cuts to the citizenry.

The party is not against the idea of City status at all, its just that at the moment it is a financial frivolity and at a time in the future when the economy is stronger and if the consultation is done properly too, we will support the motion. On this occasion, we listened to the people on the door steps last May and we heard apathy or dislike and we wrote on their behalf, we did what the opposition should do in these occasions.

I'm sure that a lot of flak will come our way from some very disgruntled people, indeed I hear Councillor Jarrett has said some really blistering comments and I look forward to reading them in the Messenger on Friday. It would be easy to blame us for not winning the title but as I said, I honestly don't think that we made the difference and it would be arrogant of me to claim credit for it. Lets just say that the best Town won and respect the decisions of the cabinet office.

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