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'Conservative Cabinet approves City Bid whilst hiding it’s cost' - say Medway Liberal Democrats

November 18, 2021 11:45 AM
By Stuart Bourne for Medway Liberal Democrats

City StatusMedway Liberal Democrats are deeply disappointed by Tuesday's cabinet meeting, where the ruling Tory administration approved Medway's city bid. What is also deeply concerning was that they approved it without sharing the cost of the bid with the public, and potentially giving the council unlimited funds to spend on this vanity project.

Medway Liberal Democrat's are opposed to the city status bid for Medway. The area of Medway is made up of five towns and many more surrounding villages. Each one special and unique, and where this uniqueness is deeply loved by the people who love there. Yet these beloved towns are put risk of being swallowed up by the City of Medway behemoth, loosing all that makes them special.

The city status, as admitted by Cllr Jarrett, provides no tangible financial benefits to our towns. The recent investments into our towns, including the recent 'Levelling Up Fund', have all happened without the need for us to be a city. Yet it risks our tourist trade, as people looking for historic Rochester or Chatham Dockyard would be confused by its location.

John Castle, spokesperson for Liberal Democrats says 'This is a vanity exercise by Cllr Jarrett, looking for something to brag about to other council leaders. There is no proof that it will directly benefit our residents, and just being used to distract people from the chaos of this Tory administration. This fact he won't even make public the costs in time and effort of already busy council officers is symbolic of a man who cares little for his residents. The majority of people I've spoken too are against it, and think he needs to focus on fixing the problems they face every day.'

Medway Liberal Democrats are therefore calling the Tory administration to stop hiding the cost of the city bid and make public the true cost. They need to highlight what activities are not being done whilst council officers are distracted by the bid. And we ask the council to launch an immediate consultation with residents to find out whether they want the bid or not.