Speech delivered in support of my Motion at the full Council meeting on 20th January 2005
That this council asks the Leader to write to the three local Members of Parliament urging them to support the people of Medway in securing, alongside Medway Council, a better final settlement from central government than has been provided so far. This must be considered a far higher priority by those members than blind loyalty to their political party.
The purpose of my Motion is fairly clear, I think, Mr Mayor. No-one with any idea of how things are now denies that the provisional settlement for Medway is extremely poor, and this includes the Ministers themselves, as it is based on what happened last year and they admitted as much then.
We already know of the approaches made by this Administration to those Ministers to meet them, with the intention of making Medway‘s unusual position clear once again. It would surely be beneficial to have the local Members of Parliament supporting this initiative, and thus the people of Medway, by joining with this Administration in its approach to Ministers.
So far there has been no indication that the MPs do in fact support Medway residents on this issue, Mr Mayor, but if we think back to the time when the threat of an airport at Cliffe was raised, we can recall that the MPs were slow off the starting-blocks with that as well—but they did come on board in the end!
It is with that in mind that I propose this action, to be performed by the Leader of the Council—to urge our three MPs to join the fight for a fair and reasonable final settlement for Medway. It is thus a purely positive proposal, and one that would bring the MPs closer to the people they were elected to represent. Everybody wins; no-one loses!
Therefore there seems to me no reason why any member of this Council would not support this Motion, and I so move it.
Thank you very much, Mr Mayor.
John M Ward (Councillor, Rochester South and Horsted)