Councillor on Medway Council
Speech delivered to full Council about the value of Overview and Scrutiny

John Ward

Speech delivered to the full Council meeting on 19th April 2007

Thank you, Madam Mayor.

First, para 2·17: the Portfolio Holder questioned about the Sunlight Centre
The loan to the Sunlight Centre gets them out of a hole not of their own making—no thanks to the Labour Government nor to the opposition groups on this Council who have done absolutely nothing to aid the Centre in its time of need, Madam Mayor.

Indeed, all that Medway‘s Labour members did—especially one of their ward councillors—was to try to make cheap party political capital out of the so-called "cheque" that I was recently able to show here in Council was nothing of the kind anyway. This Conservative Group is the only part of this elected body—the only group, Madam Mayor—to have made any genuine effort to help the Sunlight Centre.

The opposition groups should all feel thoroughly ashamed.

Second, at another Scrutiny meeting: Gillingham Town Centre
I was disappointed in the Liberal Democrat member of the Regeneration and Development Scrutiny Committee‘s downbeat and defeatist attitude. in contrast to my own as a mere substitute on that occasion. All the LibDem could offer was that Group's usual negativity, with the words "Gillingham's dying!" Well, I thought: thank you very much for your attitude—just what the residents of Gillingham need, I don't think!

What Gillingham does need is a positive and forward-looking approach from elected Members of this Council, Madam Mayor, especially those who represent wards in or around Gillingham.

At least my group, including the Portfolio Holder, still believes in a positive future for Gillingham and is making a strong effort there. I just wish that at least some others in this Chamber would do the same.

Thank you very much, Madam Mayor.

John M Ward (Councillor, Rochester South and Horsted)