Councillor on Medway Council: Letter to Medway News

John Ward

Medway News
12 New Road

23rd June 2006

Dear Sir

Cycle race

Well done, Diane Nichols! Got it right yet again. Of course we should have a greater sense of pride: I certainly have, some nine years after moving here from "sarf London".

When I came to Medway in January 1997, the town centres had a "run-down" feel to them with no future prospects. Other parts of the town were going nowhere.

Now, since the start of the new millennium and a change of administration in the local council (from Labour to Conservative), all sorts of regeneration projects are either already under way or waiting in the wings, and Medway as a whole has a different "feel" about it. Just go and stand in places where things are already happening. I did so only this morning!

Indeed, I often go and soak up the atmosphere of different parts of Medway (I am very sensitive to the feel of places) and this morning arrived typically very early for a meeting at the council offices at the Compass Centre, so wandered around the Chatham Maritime area. It's all happening there, I can tell you. Go and feel it!

It is also all happening in Chatham, lots is happening in Rainham, in Strood and Rochester (especially along the waterfronts), Gillingham is preparing for the transition to its new "multiversity" situation and even some of the outlying areas are changing in positive ways.

We have become very good at events, including the obvious Dickens and Will Adams festivals, and cycle races are part of this. I recall watching a part of the Tour de France soon after moving here, hardly guessing that part of the route (City Way) would soon be within a ward I was to represent as a local councillor a few years later...

Why are the Liberal Democrats so negative whenever it comes to any events put on by or hosted in the Medway area? They always but always come across as a kind of Victor Meldrew-inspired cloud of general gloom, determined to belittle any achievements and if possible to have all such events cancelled in future. What is their problem?

My suggestion to them is: if they really don't like it here, then simply move somewhere else that has no vision—presumably the kind of area where their own party still has influence or control, though I do accept that there aren't many of those.

Yours faithfully

John M Ward — one of the three Councillors for Rochester South and Horsted