Published: 18:38, 14 November 2019
| Updated: 15:09, 09 December 2019
Now that election campaigns have officially kicked off, parties have chosen the candidates who will stand for each constituency.
Here is who you can vote for in Gillingham and Rainham on December 12.
ALAN BULLION (LIB DEMS)
I am 63 and have been with my partner Susan for more than 30 years.
I was born in Tonbridge where I grew up and then moved to Tunbridge Wells, where I still live and commute to my publishing job in London.
I am also a local councillor for Southborough and wrote a book on the Tamil Tigers of Sri Lanka. I studied for my first degree with the Open University and also taught courses for them for many years, including at MidKent College.
My main recreation has always been a broad range of music, seeing bands and buying records of all types, including Medway musician Billy Childish.
My favourite thing about Medway is the fabulous micro pubs which I enjoy visiting both for drinking the beer and chatting to local people.
I’m a life-long champion of real ales and local pubs and brewers and have successfully campaigned to save a couple of hostelries from closure.
I also used to cycle to the Medway megaliths at Kits Coty and wrote a historical article on them as a teenager.
I would represent Gillingham and Rainham residents to protect their jobs and pensions and improve local social services, schools and hospitals. I believe we can achieve that best by remaining in the EU.
PETER COOK (INDEPENDENT)
I am married with two kids. I’m 61 with wisdom that comes with age but with the energy and passion of a 25 year old. I am born and bred in Medway with a deep understanding of the Towns and the people.
I am a self-employed business owner of 25 years, having worked worldwide with businesses and public services.
My work has brought me into contact with professors, rock stars, politicians and business leaders such as Sir Richard Branson, who gave me a prize for my work on leadership.
I will bring that understanding, skill and experience to my service for the people of Gillingham and Rainham.I’m an author of eight books on business leadership.
My three passions are science, business and music having led innovation teams for 18 years to develop life-saving drugs including human insulin and the first treatments for HIV and AIDS.
As well as music, science and business I enjoy cycling and my cats.
My favourite thing about Medway is its proximity to the countryside for cycling.
Some of my stated policies for our feline friends are indeed faintly ridiculous, but I’m no monster raving loony. I believe politics should be a little more humane, decent and a bit more fun.
So I suggested the conversion of the Medway Tunnel into a giant cat flap, setting an army of cats on Gillingham station roof to remove the pigeons and converting the Great Lines to a litter tray.
REHMAN CHISHTI (CON)
I grew up in Gillingham, attended schools locally and was the first in my family to go to university, where I studied law and became a criminal barrister. I served on Medway Council, representing Gillingham North and Rainham Central, and was the cabinet member for community safety.
I have served my home towns as MP for nearly 10 years since being elected in 2010, aged 31.
If re-elected as your MP, I will continue being a strong voice for residents, locally and nationally, leading to more investment in our public services. So far, I’ve helped secure more than £24.5m for Medway hospital and local healthcare services and increased investment in our police, leading to more officers on our streets, and there are now more than 20 local schools rated “good” or “outstanding”.
In Medway, there is something for everyone, whether it’s to work, live or study. I find sports a fantastic way to switch off and keep healthy. In 2017, I ran the London Marathon for Cancer Research in memory of my wonderful colleague, Councillor Mike O’Brien, and have also run 12 half-marathons supporting good causes.
I always take into account residents’ views, which has led me to successfully put forward legislation on cat welfare, mental health and road safety. I have worked hard to deliver Brexit, in line with the views of 64% of residents.
GEORGE SALOMON (GREEN)
I’m originally from Milton Keynes and moved to Medway after studying maths at the University of Manchester.
I work as an analyst at Vanquis Bank in Gillingham.
I play piano and love music and spend my free time going to gigs. I’m also a fan of anime (Japanese-style animation) and drum and bass music.
I was involved with the Green Party before moving to Gillingham having joined the party at 16 so when I moved to Medway it was natural for me to connect with the local party. I stood during the local elections in May and am delighted to be representing the party in Gillingham and Rainham.
One of my favourite places is the Great Lines Heritage Park.
The reason I am standing as a Green candidate is because I want to ensure that everyone has a safe and liveable future in the face of climate change.
I believe that everyone should be able to live a dignified life, putting food on the table and having a roof over their head.Our country needs a written constitution and a reformed voting system.
ROGER PEACOCK (CHRISTIAN PEOPLE’S ALLIANCE)
I’m aged 72, divorced with three married sons, one daughter and six grandchildren. We gather together as frequently as our busy and varied lives allow.
I was born and grew up in Rotherhithe, south east London. I’ve lived in Medway for 41 years. I currently work with a local charity providing support and care in the community for adults with learning disabilities.
Prior to that I was employed for 19 years in logistics, assisting in moving, predominantly by aircraft, aid consignments to numerous disaster zones and areas of need. I previously spent 19 years, employed in the Port of London.
I play squash daily at Medway Park and six-a-side football at Woodlands when not injured. I am a member of a local theatrical group and parish choir and a school governor.
I enjoy theatre, live entertainment, music, dancing, travelling and socialising and am a trustee of Medway Credit Union.
My favourite thing about Medway is the people, its history and potential. I’m at home here and really enjoying life more than ever.
I am idealistic and need to pursue my sustainable ideals. I’d like to represent the people of Gillingham and Rainham to strive to improve the quality of life of everyone, to emphasise the necessity for common sense and sustainable balance as a society if we want to establish the unity needed for our present political muddle.
ANDY STAMP (LAB)
I’m proud to call Gillingham my home. It’s where I was born, where I grew up, and where I still live.
I was educated at Richmond and Arden primary schools in Gillingham and then the Rochester Math secondary school, before gaining a geography degree at the University of Nottingham.
I have served our community as an elected councillor for the past 12 years and I’m Medway Labour Group’s regeneration and communities spokesman.
I currently work as a senior environmental regulator and in recent years have successfully taken forward prosecutions against companies for environmental offences, securing fines totalling in excess of £2.2 million.
Medway’s fantastic riverside location sets us apart from so many other places.
The river connects all of our towns, it has given us our naval and industrial heritage.
It provides us with brilliant walks and open spaces, and offers us so many opportunities for employment and regeneration.
A day doesn’t go by without me speaking to local residents about their struggle to get a GP appointment, the costs of social care, their local green spaces being under threat from development, rising crime and anti-social behaviour and schools budgets being cut.
After almost 10 years of the Conservatives in government, the people of Gillingham and Rainham deserve better than this.
I’m determined to stand up for our community and ensure local services get the funding they desperately need.
ROB MCCULLOCH MARTIN (UKIP)
I am 38, severely dyslexic, and a single father of two daughters.
I am standing as a Ukip candidate to highlight that Medway Council and the government cannot be trusted to provide anyreal solution or budgets particularly for the housing crisis, gun and knife crimes affecting the lives of so many Medway residents and visitors.
Medway Council Local Plan is relying on private developers to build the 37,000 new homes, but history has shown that predatory housing developers are only interested in maximising profits and not providing the substantial infrastructure funds needed.
I am asking all Labour Party and Conservative voters in Gillingham and Rainham to vote Ukip and stand up against the phoney Boris Treaty knowing there are more than 37,000 Remainers in Medway.
The Boris Treaty still leaves the UK under the control of EU courts, and the severity of the EU payback list against the British people is intended to frighten other EU countries from contemplating such a democratic referendum.
What has happened to Greece under EU rule will be a holiday compared to the EU payback for the UK.
More by this authorNikki White