Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Labour short changes Medway

Labour short changes Medway to the tune of £5 million whilst others get increases of more than £50 million

The Labour government have confirmed that they will be cutting an astonishing 5.6 percent of Medway’s funding this year, which represents nearly £5 million, whilst other councils, such as Wandsworth, will get an increase of more than £50 million.

This means that for every person living in Medway the Brown government is taking more than £18 - enough for every single resident to go and see Joe Swash in Cinderella for free.

Last week the government announced that they would press on with plans to cut more than £4.8 million from Medway’s budget as part of the so called Floor Damping Mechanism.

Instead of fully funding Medway, the government decides what they believe Medway needs and then takes part of the funding back and gives it to other councils.

Although this mechanism is supposed to make sure all councils receive a minimum level of funding, in reality it means that some local authorities are getting more than they need, whilst others, such as Medway, receive less than it requires to run vital services.

Research conducted by Medway’s Conservative Group shows that other councils with similar population levels are receiving a cash boost through damping, whereas Medway faces cuts.

For example, Brighton and Hove Council is receiving a massive £19.7 million windfall this year.

Even taking account of average deprivation levels in the area, using the government’s indices of multiple deprivation, councils with similar levels to Medway are receiving more.

Wandsworth Council, which has a similar level of deprivation and a slightly larger population is getting more than £50 million - That’s a whopping £182 extra for every resident.

Hillingdon Council with a very similar population and deprivation levels to Medway is only facing a cut of £454,000 to their budget.

Deputy Leader of the Conservative Group on Medway Council Cllr Alan Jarrett said:

“Medway Council is facing another swingeing cut in its funding whilst other councils with similar demands on its services and similar population and deprivation levels are receiving up to £50 million more. This cannot be fair and is robbing the residents of Medway of the services they deserve.”
posted by pat

Saturday, January 24, 2009

National Armed Forces Day

National Armed Forces Day
Following the announcement that Chatham's Historic Dockyard has been chosen as the venue to hold the UK's first ever National Armed Forces Day on 27 June this year, Cllr Rodney Chambers, the leader of Medway Council, said:
“We are extremely proud that Chatham’s Historic Dockyard has been chosen as the place where the first national Armed Forces Day will be held on 27 June this year.
“Chatham and the Medway area have played a pivotal part in our nation’s military history for centuries.
“This link with Britain’s armed forces remains extremely strong with the Royal Engineers, which is based at Brompton barracks in Chatham, being given the Freedom of Medway last year.
“Chatham’s historic naval dockyard is a fitting place to celebrate and pay tribute to our armed services and all those British servicemen who have played a part in protecting our country.
“Medway Council worked closely with the South East England Development Agency in support of the Historic Dockyard's bid to hold Armed Forces Day and I am very pleased that this was successful.”
posted by Pat

Theatre’s new drama is the pick of the crop

Theatre’s new drama is the pick of the crop
The Central Theatre’s drama season begins in February with a brand new version of Chekhov’s masterpiece The Cherry Orchard.
The production is presented by Blackeyed Theatre, who brought the highly acclaimed Oh What A Lovely War to the Chatham venue in 2008. The company is now on a major UK tour with this new production, written and adapted by Bart Lee.
The Cherry Orchard is the last (and some say greatest) play by one of the most important writers of his generation. It tells the story of Lyuba Ranyevskaya, whose aristocratic family is forced to give up its beloved cherry orchard as the social landscape of Russia changes forever. But against the painful emotions of change are fantastic comedic characters, dazzling dialogue and around every corner a sense of the absurd.
This new adaptation offers modern audiences a new take on Chekhov’s classic, combining tragedy and farce, serious drama and vaudeville, to create an exuberant, hilarious and ultimately very touching piece of theatre.
Blackeyed Theatre, which is supported in this production by South Hill Park Arts Centre in Bracknell, is a nationally renowned producer of challenging mid-scale touring theatre.
The Cherry Orchard will be performed at The Central Theatre from Thursday, 12 to Saturday, 14 February at 7.30pm. Tickets cost £16 and £14, or £9 when booking for three plays in the drama season. For further information contact the box office on 01634 338338 or visit www.medway.gov.uk/theatrebooking
posted by Pat

Medway to welcome one of Britain’s best-known Paralympic medallists

Medway to welcome one of Britain’s best-known Paralympic medallists
Dame Tanni Grey Thompson DBE – the 11 times Paralympic gold medallist – will be giving a lecture in Medway next month.
The Medway Council organised lecture, entitled Seize the Day: The Battle to be the Best will take place on Tuesday, 10 February in the Pilkington Building, University of Kent, Medway Campus.
Tanni is Britain's best-known Paralympics athlete, having performed at world-class level, in distances ranging from 100m to the marathon. Tanni's career has taken her around the world to every major international event. Her 16 Paralympics medals including 11 golds, six times winner of the Women’s London Wheelchair Marathon and her comprehensive set of British and World Records make her achievements second to none in the disability sport arena.
Tanni inspiration lecture with will focus on fighting for equality, the importance of the Paralympics in changing attitudes to disability sport and how Medway can maximize the benefits of the 2012 Games.
The lecture starts at 6pm, with drinks available from 5.30pm onwards.
Medway Council’s Portfolio Holder for Community Services, Cllr Howard Doe said: “I am confident that Dame Tanni’s lecture will be thought-provoking, inspiring and above all enjoyable. I do hope you can join us on 10 February.”
Tickets are free but there are a limited number available and these will be allocated on a first-come-first-serve basis.
To be sure of your seat book a place with Emma Spencer by Tuesday, 27 January. Email Emma.spencer@medway.og.uk or phone 01634 331055
When you book your tickets please state if you have any specific access, or other requirements.
posted by Pat

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Planning Application

There is just one planning application received by Medway Council involving the Princes Park ward.
posted by matt bright.

Mystery of the missing barriers.

Now you don't see it.
Now you do.
Pat and I had several questions recently asking what happened to the barriers along the pathway from Swallow Rise, due to them being missing for a couple of weeks before Christmas.
Well, we are pleased to say that they didn't get stolen, but they were temporarily removed for some work vans to drive along the path to install some security fencing (previous story on here).
We are pleased to say that they have now been reinstalled to carry on in our constant battle against the unruly motorbikers in Princes Park.
posted by matt bright.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Council congratulates children for best ever results

Council congratulates children for best ever results

Cross party support was reached for a Conservative motion congratulating Medway’s young people for achieving the best ever exam results.
Exam results announced on Thursday (15 January) revealed that 66 percent of Medway’s pupils had received five A*-C grades at GCSE compared to 64 percent in 2007. This was above the national average of 65 percent.
Post 16 results also continued to improve across Medway’s schools.
At a meeting of the council on Thursday (15 January) all members voted to commend the tremendous achievement of Medway school children in the GCSE results for this academic year. In doing so, the council also recognised and appreciated the efforts of the teaching and support staff that have worked so hard to achieve these results.
Proposer of the motion Cllr Mike O’Brien said:
“I am proud of our young people for their tremendous efforts in achieving the best results ever in Medway and this motion, which was supported by all councillors, is in recognition of all the hard work of the teachers, support staff and pupils.”
posted by pat

Childrens Healthcare Services

New arrangements for children's healthcare services
Following the move at short notice of the Sanderson Child Development Centre, NHS Medway, which runs the service, can now confirm that some clinics and appointments are expected to start again by the end of next week.
The centre’s services are going to be provided from: · Rochester Healthy Living Centre, Delce Road, Rochester, ME1 2EL · Rainham Healthy Living Centre, High Street, Rainham, ME8 8AA · A Block, Medway Hospital
Work is getting underway at each base to install equipment and prepare rooms for the clinics and treatments carried out by the Child Development Centre team.
Martin Riley, Director of Provider Services for NHS Medway, said: “I would like to apologise to the parents of children who use the Sanderson Child Development Centre for the unavoidable disruption to our services this week.
We are now able to confirm that alternative premises have been found, equipment is being moved and fitted, and staff are organising new clinic timetables. We know our service is highly valued by parents and we expect to be running sessions again by the end of next week.”
Parents and carers of all children who attend the centre will be sent their new appointment details shortly. Few, if any, changes are expected to appointments for children seen in their own homes or at their schools.
The Sanderson Child Development Centre moved from its base in a ward at the hospital at short notice on Friday, to allow more inpatients to be treated at a time of exceptional demand.
In a change jointly agreed by NHS Medway and Medway NHS Foundation Trust, the ward is now being refurbished and will reopen before the end of January as a temporary single-sex medical ward for female patients.
Mr Riley said: “I am very proud of the way our staff rose to the challenge of helping out Medway Hospital, when it told us on Friday that it needed to convert the Sanderson Child Development Centre back into a ward to cope with exceptional demand for inpatient beds.
“Many of the centre’s 48 staff worked over the weekend to move out all our equipment and files so we could hand back the space.
We managed to contact all parents with appointments due at the centre in the next few days, and are now contacting every parent or carer of a child who attends the centre.
“All the equipment that has been donated by the community to the Sanderson Child Development Centre is safe and we can assure people we will get it back into use for the benefit of children in Medway as soon as we can.”
The Sanderson Child Development Centre, which is part of NHS Medway, provides specialist medical and therapeutic services for local children with complex multi disabilities.
posted by pat

GP Services

Patients to have say in improving GP services

People in Medway have received a new questionnaire asking for their views about family doctor services.
The country-wide survey, which is being carried out for the Department of Health, gives patients registered with a surgery the opportunity to have their say about the services they receive.
Last year’s questionnaire highlighted that patients wanted more appointment slots with GPs at times that suited them.
The NHS listened and acted and as a result of last year’s questionnaire, NHS Medway worked with GPs to increase the number of appointments at convenient times for residents.
Across Medway 81 per cent of practices now offer patients early, late or weekend appointments - well above the national average.
This is the third year running that the Department of Health has organised the survey.
The survey now includes more questions to find out if GP practices are getting the basics right for their patients - whether patients find receptionists helpful, have the option of telephone consultations, feel their problem is understood and how they rate the overall care they receive. Patients are also asked to rate local out-of-hours care to ensure healthcare is easily accessible when patients need it.
To have your say it’s important Ipsos MORI receive the completed questionnaires by Monday, 13 April.
For further information please contact Emma Burns on 01634 332092, 07939 235402 or at emma.burns@nhs.net; or Caroline Chick on 01634 338457 or at caroline.chick@medway.gov.uk.
NHS Medway is the new name for Medway Primary Care Trust.
We pay for all NHS healthcare for everyone who lives in Medway.
We want to make sure the right care is there when you need it, and to help you improve your health.
Did you know that: · Hospital waiting lists are shorter than ever before and still falling? · You now have a choice of hospital and specialist for most conditions? · It is easier to see GPs and NHS dentists in Medway than ever before?
Your views and experiences can help us improve further. If you would like to get involved and work in partnership with us to shape services and be part of the future of your local NHS, we would love to hear from you.
Please contact:
Kim Eaglestone, Head of Patient Carer and Public Involvement NHS Medway, 7–8 Ambley Green, Gillingham Business Park, Gillingham, Kent ME8 0NJ Tel: 01634 382771

posted by pat

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Cameron Direct Part 2

As part of David Camerons visit to Chatham and Aylesford he also attended a members evening in Lordswood before he made the short journey to Princes Park.
He was unable to speak on the stage for too long due to his voice disappearing, as he wanted to save his best for the general public.
He had a very warm welcome from members and I managed to briefly speak with him. Due to the public event being held in Princes Park he was very curious to what sort of reception he would receive.

posted by matt bright.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Cameron Direct

Cameron In Princes Park

We were very lucky, yesterday evening, to have David Cameron visit us here in Princes Park. He did not come to make speeches or talk to the party faithful. He came to answer questions from the general public.Poor David had a very sore throat but he managed to get his voice to hold out (just) until the end.

There were about 200 people in Christ the King. It consisted of a cross section of the local residents and very much a cross section of age groups. In the audience were a group from Medway Youth Parliament and another group from the local Sixth Form. The questions were very varied and showed the concerns of the individual. This is what makes these sessions so successful. There are no planned responses as David did not know what would be asked.

Cameron Direct Team filmed the whole time and you will be able to view it later. As soon as the video is ready I will put a link on the blog for you.

Also in the audience we had the renowned blogger Iain Dale. He was blogging the whole time. So if you log into Iain Dale's Diary you will be able to follow the evening s questions.

I spoke to quite a few people as they were leaving and the response seemed very positive. I hope it makes people more positive about politics and realise it is not all spin.

I would like to say a big, big thank you to the Vicar Keith Foot and his wife for all the help they gave me. Also the lovely ladies who just stayed behind to help with the washing-up. I had not expected that at all. My husband, Adrian, and I were all prepared to get on with it but there they were these ladies from the church. So a big thank you again.
posted by Pat

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Helping the elderly and vulnerable maintain their independence

Helping the elderly and vulnerable maintain their independence
Elderly and vulnerable adults and people with special needs or disabilities can find out to maintain their independence at an event in Strood.
On Wednesday, 14 January, residents and carers can learn about the services available to them at an independence fair at Strood Sports Centre. There are two sessions, 10am to 12.30pm and 1.30pm to 4pm, which must be booked.
Providers of care and information including Age Concern, The Carers’ Centre and Medway Mobility will be among the agencies attending Medway Council’s second community infrastructure fair to showcase the services available to residents.
Medway Council has commissioned a new service, called Living Well in Medway, to help adults maintain their independence and access vital care services. The service is being delivered by Church in Society and Chatham Citizens Advice Bureau in Chatham, Rochester and Strood and by Carers First in the Gillingham and Rainham areas.
People will be able to refer themselves, or be referred by others such as another care provider or social care team. Anyone needing care will be assessed and helped to link up with a suitable provider.
Anyone interested in attending the event should contact Carol Galvin by either email carol.galvin@medway.gov.uk or phone 01634 331232 by 7 with the following information by Wednesday, 7 January 2009.
posted by pat

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Cameron Direct

David Cameron in Princes Park

We are very lucky that Christ the King in Princes Ave has been chosen for the next Cameron Direct. This is where you ask the questions, on any subject , for David Cameron to answer. This will be the first one in Kent so it will certainly put us on the map.

The event is on 12th January (next Monday) from 6:30 to 7:30. It is an all ticket event and it is for non-members of the Conservative Party. If you are interested and would like to book your place e-mail camerondirect@traceycrouch.co.uk Make sure you reply quickly as the meeting is open to all residents who live in the Chatham and Aylesford constituency.

I am looking forward to meeting you there. Yes, I am allowed in as I will be working.

Posted by Pat

Sunday, January 04, 2009

Well done Gillingham F.C.

Well done Gillingham. I watch the game with my mother this afternoon and we were very proud of the way the team played. They were not expected to win, but they got so, so close. I think Aston Villa were getting very worried. As I said before well done boys you can hold you heads high. Now go out and show the league what you are made of.
posted by Pat

Friday, January 02, 2009




Citizens Advice Medway is delighted to announce its new domestic abuse telephone helpline that will operate on each weekday from 8.30am to 4.30pm. This service covers Medway as well as the whole of Kent. The service offers victims of domestic abuse assistance ranging from help leaving an abusive situation, finding refuge places, advising on housing rights and welfare benefits up to applying to the courts for non-molestation orders. The Service’s own dedicated solicitor can help victims obtain court orders to protect them and their children from harassment, abuse and violence. Victims of Domestic Abuse can access this service by telephoning 01634 576083. The service will allow fast access to other specialist legal services covering welfare benefits, housing and debt/money problems.

Citizens Advice Medway CEO, Peter Stokes, said: We are delighted to have received the backing of the Legal Services Commission in establishing this service. It will not only help women in abusive relationships but also men and people in same sex relationships. Unfortunately we are seeing more and more need for this service as more and more people are faced with abuse. Abuse doesn’t just mean actual violence but threatening behaviour, verbal abuse and control.

The service will be available to everyone who is faced with abuse from within their family or relationship. Not just the stereotypical man on woman but same sex relationships, woman on man and between family members.

January Surgery 2009

There will be no surgery this month due to the church being closed on Saturday 3rd January.

However, if any residents need assistance with any local issue then they can contact myself or Cllr Pat Gulvin direct.

The surgery next month should be running as normal.

posted by matt bright.

New Planning Application

Here is the latest planning application with the Princes Park ward.
posted by matt bright.