by Alan Watkins
A row over City status for Medway is set to hit the High Street this weekend.
Medway’s Green Party members plan to campaign against the proposal in Chatham on Saturday at 10am.
They have accused the Conservative administration of failing to consult the public. They say councillors are spending money on a campaign for which the benefits are not known.
They say Rochester chould regain its city status which was lost in 1998.
Party member Simon Marchant said: “The council have tried this before without success.
“At the moment all we have is propoganda from the council sying it will be lovely and nice, and great things will happen. Will they?
“Constitutional changes of this size should not go through on the nod, especially if driven by this most undemocratic of councils.”
Trish Marchant (left), another member, said the decision was made behind closed doors.
She called for proper and honest consultations so people could understand the pros and cons.
“The Tories have been in power for so long they think they own Medway and it’s about time we told them they don’t.”
A third member, Tracy Coutts, pointed out that Medway was a river and not a place.
But Cllr Rodney Chambers, Leader of the Conservatives who announced the bid for 2012 Jubilee City status, said: “We recently asked residents if they support the bid and 68 per cent of people say they do.
“Unlike the Green Party, I believe that Medway is aspirational and forward looking and should receive the recognition it deserves.
“Any campaign costs will be closely monitored, but a referendum, as suggested by the Green Party, would be very costly and would most likely cost more than the campaign itself.
“As the campaign progresses we look forward to engaging all residents and listening to them as well as highlighting the advantages that city status will bring, many of which have already been covered by the Medway Messenger and Medway Matters in the past few months.”
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