Medway – the council
Medway Council is a unitary authority consisting of 55 councillors, representing 22 wards.
The council’s composition:
- Conservatives – 35
- Labour – 15
- Liberal Democrat – 3
- Independent Group - 2
Since October 2001, the council has had a Leader and Cabinet structure. The cabinet makes most of the council’s decisions, inline with the overall policies, and sets the budget each year.
The cabinet consists of the Leader, Cllr Rodney Chambers, and nine other elected members from the Conservative group, each with their own portfolio of responsibilities.
The current Portfolio Holder for Children's Services is Cllr Les Wicks, the current Portfolio Holder for Children's Social Care is Cllr David Wildey and the Portfolio Holder for Adult Services is Cllr David Brake.
The council comprises three directorates:
- Children and Adults
- Regeneration, Community and Culture
- Business Support
Providing services to Medway residents in partnership with other public sector bodies and the voluntary and community sector is fundamental to Medway’s success. Last year, all partners in the area agreed the Sustainable Community Strategy 2011-2026. This sets out the strategic direction for the area. To deliver on the priorities for Medway, partners have agreed to focus on outcomes, share information effectively, undertake effective engagement and communication with the community, and to ensure resources are being effectively deployed.
Medway – the place
At the heart of the Thames Gateway, only 30 miles from central London, Medway is the largest conurbation between the capital and continental Europe. It is emerging as a modern place with green spaces and a superb quality of life, close to breathtaking countryside.
Medway has a population of more than 260,000 and is made up of five towns comprising Chatham, Gillingham, Rochester, Strood and Rainham. These are complemented by swathes of green spaces including our villages, the internationally renowned and scientifically important wetlands and a diverse range of country parks.
The area has seen economic recovery and diversification after the closure of Chatham Dockyard in the early 1980s. Medway’s economy is worth more than £3.3bn per year and has 130 businesses, with a targeted growth rate of twice the national average.
The projected growth in Medway’s economy is helped by Medway’s geographical position, benefiting from comprehensive transport links within the UK and Europe.
Medway’s close proximity to London and the continent, combined with excellent transport links, attracts millions of tourists each year. Medway’s tourist offer comprises world-class military and maritime heritage, a vibrant cultural and art scene, major family attractions and spectacular urban and rural landscapes.
There is an active regeneration programme in Medway spanning almost seven miles along the River Medway. Chatham Maritime, St Mary’s Island, the Universities at Medway, Medway Park, the Innovation Centre and Chatham Waterfront bus station are all completed projects that form part of the dynamic development of Medway, while work is underway on many other regeneration projects including Rochester Riverside, our flagship site.
Medway enjoys a rich heritage, diverse population, varied landscapes and a promising future with opportunities for growth and development. And its the combination of these elements that makes Medway a unique and special place to live, work and visit.