March 27, 2016

St. Margaret's Church, Rainham

Easter Day
Easter Day – Christ is Risen! Alleluia !

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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 place to be tomorrow.

March 22, 2016

  
Please go along to visit Teaching Careers in Medway at the Corn Exchange in Rochester

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

March 21, 2016

Mdway

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 Teacher Recruitment Fare

March 2, 2016

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News from Medway Council

Medway’s largest teacher recruitment fair takes place later this month in a bid to get more outstanding teachers into local schools.

 

More than 75 schools, recruitment agencies, teacher training providers and teacher support agencies will be at the Corn Exchange in Rochester on Wednesday, 23 March, with a whole host of opportunities for people interested in teaching, newly qualified teachers and current teachers looking for career development opportunities.

 

Running from 10am to 4pm, there will be information about current vacancies, tips on how to get the most from a career in teaching, and even a chance to look around some of Medway’s schools with a minibus service running throughout the day.

 

Medway Council has organised the event on behalf of Medway’s schools as part of its Get Medway Learning campaign which aims to raise standards in local schools.

 

Medway Council’s Portfolio Holder for Children’s Services Cllr Mike O’Brien said: “This is the biggest event of its kind ever held in Medway and it will be a good way for schools to showcase what they have on offer to prospective teachers, newly qualified teachers and experienced teachers. We are hosting the event on behalf of both local authority and academies in a bid to get even more outstanding teachers into Medway schools.

 

“More than 75 schools will be represented at the fair, so it really is the place to go for anyone interested in a career in teaching. It will be a platform to learn about all kinds of schools, offering all kinds of opportunities, so I urge anyone who would like to find out more about teaching to come along.”

 

Those wishing to attend need to pre-register their interest at http://teachingcareers.medway.gov.uk/

 

 

 

Children get their secondary school offer

March 1, 2016
 

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News from Medway Council

Nearly 97.5 per cent of primary aged children in Medway have been offered one of their preference places at secondary school, new figures show.

Families across Medway will start receiving news of the school their child has been offered for September 2016 today – National Offer Day.

Parents who applied online and provided an e-mail address will also receive the offer by email after 4pm today.

Of the 3,008 Medway children offered places, nearly 84.5 per cent have been offered their first preference place, and nearly 9.5 per cent have been awarded their second place preference.

The school admissions process for Medway is a huge task and involves the council’s Student Services Admissions Team processing secondary school applications for 3,526 children in total, including 518 out of area children this year.

Ninety per cent of families used the council’s online application process to submit their preferences.

Medway Council’s Portfolio Holder for Children’s Services Cllr Mike O’Brien said: “I’m very happy that a vast majority of children have been offered one of their top preference places. I’d like to wish all the children the very best for the future and hope they go on to work hard and achieve great things as they take the big step up to secondary school.”

Barbara Peacock, Director of Children and Adult Services, said: “I’m pleased that so many children have gained places at one of their chosen secondary schools in Medway. I wish the children all the very best, and hope they enjoy the next exciting stage of their education.”

Medway Council’s budget 2016/17

February 26, 2016

Mdway

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.”

Trying our hand at Design Technology at Rochester Maths School

February 24, 2016

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In the company of local Ward Councillor Stuart Tranter, I visited

Sir Joseph Williamsons Mathematical School (Rochester Maths) today.

Warmly greeted by the Head Teacher Eliot Hodges he took us for a tour of the whole school where we were able to speak to both staff and students.

We are pictured above with a group of students showing us their initial cardboard models of the ideas that would eventually be their finished products. They would be using some sophisticated machinery such as 3D cutting which was demonstrated to us in the photograph below.

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All of the students were keen to show us their work, whether it was Biology, Science, Language or Maths. Stuart and I were extremely impressed by the positive ethos that was evident across the whole school.

Their motto being : Aspire, Achieve, Excel!

I look forward to returning.

 

I will be campaigning to stay in Europe

February 20, 2016

  
For the avoidance of doubt I confirm that I will be campaigning to stay in Europe.

My personal view is that I think the Prime Minister has delivered what I believe to be a tremendous agreement for our Country.

I would urge people to read everything they can to make up their own minds but remember that this will be the most important election in our life time .

Europe wants us, Europe needs us just as we need Europe.

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.