Archive for the ‘Medway Community’ Category

Highway Drainage Works – Maidstone Road Rainham ME8

May 4, 2016

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News from Medway Council

Medway Council will shortly be carrying out works to replace highway drainage covers at the above location from SUNDAY 15 MAY 2016 for 1 day, between the hours of 7AM and 7PM. The junction of Maidstone Road and Herbert Road will be closed for the duration of the works. Temporary traffic lights will be installed on Maidstone Road during this time to allow the works to be carried out safely. An appropriate diversion route will be put in place and access to properties maintained where possible and where safe to do so.

The Council will make every effort to complete the work within the dates given, however the date may be subject to change if the Council experience poor weather conditions or other issues arise within the working area.

 

Great to meet the new Head Teacher of the Howard School in Rainham

April 15, 2016

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Having just started in his new role as Head Teacher of the Howard School in Rainham it was a real pleasure to be visited by Terry Millar this morning where he brought both myself and my ward colleague Cllr Barry Kemp up to date with his plans for the future of the school.

Terry joins us from the Haberdashers’ Aske’s Crayford Academy and I know is extremely excited at his new role with us here in Medway.

After discussing local ward issues I was able to spend time with Terry discussing various issues and really look forward to working with Terry and the leadership team at the Howard School in the future.

Thank you Terry for taking the time to visit, it is very much appreciated.

 

Residents invited to enter beacon lighting competition

April 14, 2016

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News from Medway Council

Six beacons in Medway will burn bright on 21 April as part of a national salute to the Queen on her 90th birthday.

To make the occasion special for local people, we’re inviting residents to enter a competition to light Medway’s main beacon at Great Lines Heritage Park in Gillingham, together with the Deputy Mayor of Medway Cllr Steve Iles.

There is a long and unbroken tradition in the UK of celebrating Royal jubilees, weddings, coronations and special birthdays with the lighting of beacons. The last major beacon celebration marked the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee on 4 June 2012.

To enter the Medway beacon lighting competition, head to Twitter, use #MedwayBeacons and in one tweet tell us why you should be chosen to light the Great Lines’ beacon.

The winner will be contacted on Twitter by the official Medway Council Twitter account (@Medway_Council) on Tuesday, 19 April.

Entrants must be over 12-years-old, must live in Medway and be willing to have their photo taken. Photos may appear in the local media, or in council material including social media. The winner will need to arrive on site no later than 8.10pm, ready for the lighting ceremony at 8.30pm.

Other beacons to be lit in Medway at 8.30pm on 21 April:

• Capstone Farm Country Park in Gillingham in the Event Field
• Riverside Country Park in Gillingham at Horrid Hill
• Victoria Gardens in Chatham
• Broomhill Park in Strood
• Kings Hill in Hoo

Deputy Mayor of Medway, Cllr Steve Iles said: “I am very much looking forward to lighting the Great Lines Heritage Park beacon to mark the Queen’s 90th birthday. It’s a special occasion set to be celebrated nationwide and I am pleased I’ll be lighting a beacon alongside the winner of the competition, as well as hundreds more people up and down the country.

“Good luck to all who enter the Medway beacon lighting competition.”

Residents urged to get dogs micro-chipped in line with the law

March 24, 2016

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News from Medway Council

Dog owners in Medway are being urged to take advantage of free dog micro-chipping in line with a change in the law.

From 6 April it will be compulsory for all dogs over the age of eight weeks in England to be fitted with a micro-chip, which stores contact details of the owner.

Medway Council offers a free, at-home dog micro-chipping service for residents in a bid to reunite dogs with their owners quickly after being picked up by council wardens.

The authority’s successful Day for Every Dog campaign will return this summer, which will provide even more opportunities for owners to make use of the free service in various Medway locations. Last year’s week-long event resulted in the micro-chipping of 171 dogs.

Once the new rules come into effect, if a dog without a micro-chip comes to the attention of the council, its owner may be served with a notice requiring the dog to be micro-chipped, and may face criminal prosecution and a £500 fine if they do not comply with the notice.

Anyone breeding dogs will be responsible for micro-chipping their puppies before they sell or give them to new keepers, and all imported dogs will need to have a micro-chip.

Medway Council’s Portfolio Holder in charge of community wardens, Cllr Rupert Turpin said: “With the new law coming into effect in just a few weeks, I urge residents with dogs without micro-chips to contact the council and book an appointment for the free service as soon as possible. There is no excuse not to as it’s free and wardens can deliver the service within the home.

“Since the setting up of the Medway Council Stray Dog Service Facebook page we have seen lost dogs reunited with their owners more quickly, but the process will be even more efficient once micro-chipping becomes a legal requirement, hopefully resulting in many more easily identifiable dogs.”

To book free dog micro-chipping or for more information call 01634 333333.

Join the Medway Council Stray Dog Service Facebook page to help reunite lost dogs with their owners, or help to find them new forever homes.

The 132 Bus and Arthur Road, Rainham, ME8 9DA

March 21, 2016

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The 132 bus service will be on diversion between 9.30am and 3.30pm from 4- 8 April.

This is due to resurfacing works in Lonsdale Drive between Wheatcroft Grove and Mierscourt Road.

During the works buses will divert from Lonsdale Drive along Arthur Road, and Maidstone Road to the A2.

Notices are being posted at bus stops and screens on route this week.

Medway Council’s budget 2016/17

February 26, 2016

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Medway Council Press Release

Medway residents will continue to pay the lowest council tax in Kent following councillors’ approval of the budget for 2016/17.

Last night councillors voted for a 1.994 per cent increase in council tax and an additional two per cent social care precept – a new power announced by the Chancellor in his Autumn Statement.
This will help combat an unprecedented cut in government funding that will see the authority lose almost £12million in grant support from central government compared to 2015/16 – that’s a 30 per cent drop. The additional precept will allow the council to partially fund the ever growing cost of looking after an ageing population.
This year’s council tax, inclusive of the two per cent precept, equates to £1,234.89 per year for an average Band D home. This represents a rise of 91p a week or £47 a year on last year’s council tax charge.
While Medway Council seeks to be as efficient as possible, it needs to increase council tax to ensure a balanced budget – a legal obligation it must meet despite the fact that it is becoming harder to achieve this as government funding continues to decrease.
Services such as highways, libraries and leisure will be protected. Medway remains determined to support its community hubs, which have been key in offering residents a whole host of council services. The council will also continue to provide weekly bin and recycling collections, one of a handful of authorities in the country to do this, and car park fees will be frozen until 2017.
Additional funding in the budget will include:
£16,000 for the Queen’s 90th birthday beacons
£50,000 for Dutch Raid commemorations

£49,000 for Medway’s Dickens heritage

£140,000 on HMS Kent Freedom

£55,000 for inward investment

£15,000 has been put aside to continue to fight against a Thames estuary airport, should the need arise.
The authority has embarked on a digital transformation programme which will see more services delivered online for less cost, and in social care there will be a stronger focus on people being supported to maintain their independence and receive care within their own homes. School budgets have also been protected at similar rates to 2015/16.
Historically, Medway receives much less in government funding than other similar sized local authorities and this is a continuing feature.

Because of this, the council is constantly looking for ways to improve services, lower costs but also deliver its priorities for the area.
Alongside the budget, the council has agreed its four year business plan.

Three priorities for change are supported by a range of projects.
• Medway: A place to be proud of – supporting a clean and green environment and helping to put Medway on the map.
• Supporting Medway’s people to realise their potential – helping older and disabled people to live independently; resilient families; supporting a healthy and active community; helping children to achieve their potential in schools.
• Maximise regeneration and economic growth – creating a strong and diversified community; residents with jobs and skills; preventing homelessness; delivering new homes in Medway to meet need; getting around Medway.
Leader of Medway Council Cllr Alan Jarrett said: “It’s been a really tough task to balance this budget, something we have spent a very long time on to ensure we protect the services that are most important to local people, while still making the vast savings required.
“We have absolutely been backed into a corner by central government, as have all local authorities, and while we have again managed to find ways of continuing to deliver important and quality services, continued future funding cuts will be damaging to the level of service we are able offer local people – something we have always strived to avoid.
“The 1.994 per cent rise in council tax and the additional social care precept is unavoidable if we want to maintain services.
“Over the coming years, ongoing major regeneration in the area is going to boost the local economy including Rochester Airport Technology Park, Rochester Riverside development, Strood Riverside and Chatham and Temple Waterfronts, and George Osborne’s recent announcement of Enterprise Zone status for Rochester Airport as part of The North Kent Innovation Zone, will attract more businesses to the area.”

A Wonderful Welcome at Hoo St Werburgh Primary School and Marlborough Centre

February 10, 2016

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I received a wonderfully warm welcome at Hoo St Werburgh Primary & Marlborough Centre when I visited them to personally congratulate them on their fantastic GOOD Ofsted report which has just been released.

Greeted by the Interim Executive Headteacher Frank Eagles and the Chair of Governors Ian Chappell we discussed educational matters before being taken on a tour of the school.

On the tour I met with both staff and pupils and really enjoyed a brilliant question and answer session with the pupils in Year 6 at the Marlborough Centre. The fact that I had been in the Royal Navy seemed to capture their imagination and I really enjoyed answering their questions.

On completion of the tour I met with the Head of Main School Tara Devoy and Head of the Marlborough Centre Catherine McKie and I am photographs above with Tara and members of the School Council proudly holding their GOOD Ofsted.

My sincere congratulations to all of the teaching professionals, governors, staff and pupils for a great Ofsted Grade.

I look forward to returning to meet you all again soon.

Meet Olympic champions at inspirational event

February 7, 2016

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Medway Matters

Olympic champion turned TV presenter Amy Williams is to lead a panel of world-class athletes coming to Medway for International Women’s Day.

The gold medallist will be taking part in an Audience with the Olympians Inspire Evening on Tuesday, 8 March.

The event aims to showcase successful females in sport and inspire more women and girls to consider sporting careers, whether as an athlete, coach, administrator, broadcaster or in another field.

The special evening held at Royal Dockyard Church Lecture Theatre at Chatham Historic Dockyard will run from 6-8pm, and there’s a chance for local people to enter a ballot to be there alongside an invited audience.

Amy, who won gold in the skeleton in the 2010 Winter Olympics, will be joined on stage by former modern pentathlon world champion Mhairi Spence and Medway’s own Rugby World Cup winner Rachael Burford, who looks set to represent Great Britain in Rugby Sevens at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio.

A question and answer session will be hosted by sports broadcaster Eleanor Oldroyd and there will an opportunity for the audience to mingle with the sporting stars over light refreshments.

Amy said: “I’m hoping we can all inspire Medway’s young people to choose sport and get as much enjoyment out of it as I have.

“Sport has always been a powerful tool for bringing people together and enriching lives, which is why I’m looking forward to coming to Medway, to share my story with everyone and to also hear what others think about sport.”

Medway Council’s Portfolio Holder for Community Services Cllr Howard Doe said: “The Audience with the Olympians Inspire Evening is going to be a very special occasion. It’s an opportunity to recognise some of the outstanding sporting achievements of women and allow youngsters interested in getting more involved in sports to hear from some great sporting stars about their own experiences.

“It will be a wonderful way to mark International Women’s Day and I urge anyone who would like to come along, to enter the ballot – good luck.”

Fifteen pairs of tickets are up for grabs and those wishing to enter the ballot need to register by sending their name and contact details to medwaysport@medway.gov.uk.

The closing date is Tuesday, 23 February, when the winners will be drawn at random. Winners will be contacted shortly after the closing date.

International Women’s Day is a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women.

The Audience with the Olympians Inspire Evening is a council-run event organised in partnership with the University of Kent, Kent Sport and Project500.

A warm welcome at the King’s School Rochester

January 29, 2016

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I have enjoyed a great day with the staff and pupils of the King’s School in Rochester today.

The visit was the last in my tour of Medway Schools to present them with their copy of the history of the Lord Lieutenant of Kent, “Unconquered”.

On hand to give a presentation of the Lieutenancy and to answer questions was my friend Russell Race the Medway Deputy Lieutenant.

We had the pleasure of joining sixth form pupils at their history lesson and pictured above with them after the presentation.

After the presentation and talking with the pupils we joined them and the Principal for lunch.

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After lunch I visited the Combined Cadet Force under the command of Major Short RE and was able to join the cadets in each of their regular Friday groups :

Army, Navy and Airforce.

I am pictured below with some of the Naval cadets honing up on their chart and navigation skills.

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A wonderfully warm welcome, a big thank you to the Principal Mr Jeremy Walker, staff and pupils.

I look forward to returning.

Outstanding school leaders lend a hand to help drive improvement

January 22, 2016

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Medway Matters

Outstanding school leaders from London are working with Medway head teachers to share expertise and good practice, as part of the council’s Get Medway Learning campaign.

Throughout this academic year, head teachers from the capital with National Leader in Education status, will help local primaries on an improvement journey with regular visits and training.

This practical approach is set to drive up standards of leadership and teaching in 13 Medway schools, and consequently improve learning for pupils.

Not only will the National Leaders in Education regularly visit primaries, the Medway head teachers will also travel to their respective outstanding schools as part of the programme.

Schools receiving help via the coaching scheme are either classed as ‘requires improvement’ by Ofsted, or schools which would benefit from help in specific areas.

The linking of outstanding schools from outside the area with those who need help to improve in Medway, is set to enable local school leaders to drive progress in their own schools.

Medway Council’s Portfolio Holder for Children’s Services Cllr Mike O’Brien said: “This is a really big and important step in the teaching strand of the Get Medway Learning campaign. Not only do we want to recruit outstanding teachers, but also allow our already good teachers and leaders to access advice and gain tips from the very best.

“Just because a school is receiving advice and help through this coaching scheme it doesn’t mean they are bad school. Advice from those at the top of their field is always useful and should be welcomed with open arms.”