Friday, 23 December 2011

Fare isn't Fair

Cllr Tristan Osborne campaigning with Chatham residents at the bus station

As local Councillors we have been working with resident groups to oppse the £10m new open-plan bus facility and to campaign for more affordable and regular bus services.

We know from correspondence and conversations on the doorstep that buses in Medway do not represent value for money. This is confirmed by other transport organisations and from residents across the local authority.

As a result we spent Tuesday morning speaking to local people at Chatham’s new open-air bus station, to gauge views on bus and train fares increases and to support the campaign by Maria Eagle MP, to devolve more responsibilities for bus services to local authorities.

In addition to rising bus fares; residents will now have to pay over £5,000 for an annual season ticket to travel into London via HS1.

The average Medway train ticket into London Stations has risen by 6.0%

  • Monthly Season Ticket: £319.20 to £338.40

  • Annual Season Ticket (HS1): £4,760 to £5,030

  • Annual Season Ticket: £3,324 to £3,524

In addition, since the Tories took power we have seen bus usage in Medway fall from 9.3m journeys to 8.9m journeys in one year alone.

We know buses are vital, connecting people with town centres, jobs, colleges, shopping, family and friends, and when bus services are cut, people’s lives are badly affected

Indeed, the Tory-led government’s budget allocation for Medway transport was significantly cut by the government from £3.5m per year to £1.5m per year.

As a result Medway has seen

  • Single fares up by 10p or 20p. e.g. Single fare on the 181 from Street End Road to Weeds Wood will go from £2.20 to £2.40 (9% increase)

  • Inner Medway day ticket up from £4.00 to £4.20 (5%)

  • Inner Medway week ticket up from £16 to £17 (6%)

  • Inner Medway 4-week ticket up from £47 to £50 (6%)

  • Inner Medway annual ticket up from £470 to £500 (6%)

  • Medway day ticket up from £5.20 to £5.50 (6%)

  • Medway week ticket up from £21 to £22 (5%)

  • Medway 4-week ticket up from £68 to £72 (6%)

  • Medway annual ticket up from £670 to £720 (7%)

The popular ‘Happy Max’ deal and evening fares will no longer be available.

We will continue to stand up for our residents who use buses and trains. We believe that with this government fare isn't fair.

Monday, 12 December 2011

Fighting for Nelson Court

Click to enlarge

Your Labour Councillor's are fighting to protect Nelson Court from Council cuts.

The publicly owned care home on Nelson Road is a very popular and much needed resource for dozens of care users, residents and their families.

We are very concerned about reasons for the closure of Nelson Court. We believe they are because the current administratin has allowed a black hole in the budget to the tune of £7.9m.

Adult Care Services are therefore being targeted for Conservative cuts to make the books add up.

Meanwhile Tories continue to overspend on capital projects including the Stoke Crossing, Chatham bus station and the Chatham one-way fiasco.

Please fight to save Nelson Court.

Tuesday, 6 December 2011

Dispersal Zone for Luton

A dispersal zone has been introduced in an area of Medway following complaints from residents.

Medway Police have joined forces with Medway Council to disperse groups of troublemakers who have been behaving anti-socially in the Luton and Wayfield area.

The aim of the dispersal zone is to prevent and disrupt anti-social behaviour by identifying known troublemakers.

The order will run from Saturday, 10 December 2011 until Saturday, 10 March 2012 and will be managed by Inspector David Matson from the Medway Neighbourhood Team. Police officers, Police Community Support Officers (PCSOs) and Medway Council Enforcement Officers can disperse groups of two or more people and tell those who do not live in the area to leave and not return for up to 24 hours.

Anyone who refuses or breaches the notice can be arrested. It is punishable on conviction of a custodial sentence of up to three months and/or a fine of up to £2,500.

Commenting Cllr Tristan Osborne

"Labour Councillor's have been working with PACTs and local residents to get this dispersal zone in place

Only last week we saw a mugging on Luton Road and the Police responded in a swift manner to apprehend and pursue the culprit.

There is clear demand from local residents for this zone and we are pleased to have partnered with all parties to get this in place.

Luton Road residents deserve better and we will be working very closely to see anti-social behaviour opposed and done so with the full arsenal of the law"

Tuesday, 29 November 2011

Save Nelson Court

The Luton & Wayfield team is working with local and cross-party campaigners to Save Nelson Court from Conservative cuts.
You can sign the petition to protect the service here.
Whilst the Tories can overspend by £5.1m on capital and revenue budgets it is simply unacceptable they have announced the closure of this centre for the vulnerable and elderly.
It is utterly unethical
Below from the website:


At the cabinet meeting today Medway Conservative councillors were very keen to stress the benefits of privatisation, and seemed to think that the private sector could provide an identical service, with the same staff and staffing levels. As well as pay rent for the premises and make a profit.
They were also keen to stress that the 60-day consultation period would convince residents and relatives that there would be no adverse effects of privatising care. Under the new system the care homes would be allowed to take 'self funding' residents who would presumably be asked to pay a lot more than the council pays for supported care - we would like to know if the care homes would then be keen to take the challenging clients with high maintenance needs for the amount of council funding, when they could be making a nice profit instead.
Somehow this doesn't seem to be the real world!
Much was made of how residents could have more choice and more independence - given that these homes are for dementia patients, it is a bit pie in the sky to expect them to start taking responsibility for sorting out their own care and funding.
It should be remembered that many have outlived their families and friends and apart from the care home staff, who are their surrogate 'family' there is nobody to care what happens to them.
Elderly care, particularly dementia care, which is provided by Medway Council's own service centres is consistently graded as 'Excellent' by the care commission. We already have a shortage of beds in Medway for older people needing to go into care, and private providers naturally take those who are the 'easiest'. Not only do the council's own facilities provide a safety net for clients with high level needs (e.g. dementia patients using wheelchairs, or with cultural requirements such as a daily shower or special diet), but they also act as a benchmark of excellence against which prospective clients and their relatives can compare other homes.
Many elderly residents in our homes have no relatives living locally, but homes such as Nelson Court in Luton not only provide them with basic care but encourage activities and socialising, as well as a hairdresser and outings.
The council's own centres allow residents freedom of movement around the units and small 'quiet' rooms in which they can sit, or receive relatives and friends without having to use their bedrooms.
Relatives and friends are welcomed at any time and because working conditions are good there is a very low turnover of staff, so managers and carers get to know individual clients and their relatives so any problems can be dealt with quickly and amicably.

Added to this we should not forget the respite service which council homes offer, giving carers a much needed break and clients a chance to socialise. This respite also means that any medical conditions which have been overlooked are picked up and dealt with which eases the burden on home carers.
I would urge Medway Council to think very carefully before getting rid of the jewels in the crown in terms of elderly care!
To find out more, email

Sunday, 20 November 2011

Ed Balls MP visits Chatham

Luton & Wayfield is one of the most socially deprived wards by demographic in Medway, and it is suffering with very high levels of unemployment and especially Youth Unemployment.

We have tried to do our bit by creating a Bursary at the Shi Kon martial arts club.

We also had the pleasure of meeting Ed Balls MP in Chatham on his recent visit and were able to give him our recent leaflet. Unemployment remains a massive concern in our ward and we need a government plan that will tackle it head on.

Shadow Chancellor Ed Balls MP visited Medway and met young unemployed people at the Connexions centre on New Road, Chatham

His visit coincided with the latest jobless figures which showed that the number of unemployed 16 to 24-year-olds had broken the one-million barrier, rising to 1.016 million, according to the Office for National Statistics. The UK unemployment total rose by 129,000 in the three months to September to 2.62 million, with youth unemployment above one million.The unemployment total now stands at a level not since seen the last Conservative Government in 1994, and the unemployment rate rose to 8.3%, the highest since 1996.

Labour has set out a clear five-point plan for jobs, to help struggling families and support small businesses.

Our jobs plan includes:

1. A £2 billion tax on bank bonuses to fund 100,000 jobs for young people and build 25,000 affordable homes

2. Bringing forward long-term investment projects, like new school buildings

3. Temporarily reversing the VAT rise – a £450 boost for families with children

4. A one year cut in VAT to 5% on home improvements and repairs to help small businesses

5. A tax break for every small firm which takes on extra worker

I'm a Real Man Campaign

I'm a Real Man campaign photo

Your local Labour team is backing the Women's Aid 'Im a Real Man' campaign against domestic violence which is a silent but horrendous crime.

We took part in the campaign photo at Debenham's on Chatham highstreet and it is our hope to partner with the campaign to highlight this issue.

Violence against women and children is a global issue for everyone…
  • Around the world, at least one in three women and girls is beaten or sexually abused in her lifetime (UN Commission on the Status of Women, 2000)
  • It is estimated that worldwide, one in five women will become a victim of rape or attempted rape in her lifetime (Mara Jos Alcal, United Nations Population Fund, 2005)
  • Young women are particularly vulnerable to coerced sex and are increasingly being infected with HIV and AIDS. Over half of new HIV infections worldwide are occurring among young people between the ages of 15 and 24, and more than 60% of HIV-positive youth in this age bracket are female (UNIFEM, 2007)
  • The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) estimates that the annual worldwide number of ‘honour killing’ victims may be as high as 5000 women (United Nations Population Fund, 2000)
  • It is estimated that between 100 and 140 million girls and women worldwide have been subjected to one of the first three types of female genital mutilation (World Health Organisation, 2008)
  • The cost of treating physical health of victims of domestic violence, (including hospital, GP, ambulance, prescriptions) in England and Wales alone is £1,220,247,000, i.e. 3% of total NHS budget. The cost of treating mental disorder due to domestic violence is £176,000,000. (Walby, 2004)
  • At least 750,000 children a year witness domestic violence. (Department of Health, 2002)
  • One incident is reported to the police every minute. (Stanko, 2000)
  • 124,895 women and 54, 370 children used Women's Aid refuge and outreach services in 2009-2010 (Women's Aid Annual Survey)

The 'Real Man' Campaign asks both men and women to support Women's Aid's work and ACT to end domestic and sexual violence

All Saints Christmas Fete

Chatham Labour Councillors getting an update on the Magpie Tavern, Chatham

Luton & Wayfield Ward Councillor's attended the All Saint's Residents Fete on Saturday where we received an update on the Magpie Centre which we are supporting via our Ward Improvement Funds.

The centre will be an excellent resource that will allow outreach into the community which does have significant issues.

The centre will have a specialist teaching room and the downstairs will be a Cafe which will be open to all.

Cllr Godwin also enjoyed the flower displays:

Monday, 14 November 2011

Well done Shi Kon

Copyright: KM Group.

Shi-Kon are going from strength to strength.

Pupils from a dozen primary schools have shown their skills on the mat at Riverside Primary School.

The event was managed by our very own Shi Kon in Luton.

Well done to Hoo St Werburgh School for winning.

Dispersal Zone Success

All thee Luton & Wayfield Councillor's attend the Luton PACT meeting last week and it was clear from that meeting that residents in the ward want to see a reduction in the level of anti-social behaviour; both from youths on the streets to noisy and incosiderate neighbours.

On the doorstep it is close to the number one issue raised by residents and combating anti-social behaviour must continue to be a focus for Police.

The Luton team supported the Dispersal Zone surrounding Magpie Hall Road and are pleased that the number of reported incidents, logged officially by the Police, has seen a welcome reduction.

Where youth's have been told to disperse many have done so.

The journalist in this case has used the evidence of one store holder on Luton Road, which is a natural thoroughfare, to make a judgement not born out by statistical or empirical evidence. It is simply not accurate to state that the community oppose Dispersal Zones by inference, or otherwise.

It is also incorrect to say the zone has not been advertised. The zones have been noted in several articles, including incidently in the Medway Messenger, and the Police have tried to make local business aware through direct contact with youths and business impacted by those causing problems.

The PACT meeting we attended was full because residents further up Luton Road are observing the same problems that were noted on Magpie Hall Road many months ago. Residents have had enough and support the zone.

Luton Road does have its problems which is why local Councillors have supported the Disperzal Zone and are working hard to see it expanded.

Monday, 7 November 2011

Youth Voice must be heard

Luton & Wayfield Councillor Tristan Osborne has been working with Kent Young Labour to engage young people into Politics.

It is crucial that all political groups accomodate and support younger campaigners because they will be the future for the towns (or city). There are huge numbers of young people who are interested in politics but feel they are not engaged by the political parties.

Rory Weal, conference star, has been supporting Medway Labour in promoting youth engagement locally and we are seeing increasing numbers of young people getting involved.

In the local elections we had a candidate under 35 in every target seat for Medway.

If you want to get involved in Kent / Medway Young Labour please take a look at their facebook page.

Saturday, 5 November 2011

Sunday, 16 October 2011

Luton 'Healthy Living' Centre update

Labour Councillor's in Luton & Wayfield are very concerned about the potential for a new health facility in Luton.

We believe the proposed location is not suitable given accessibility with Luton Road via very narrow streets (Edinburgh / Alexandra Road). We also believe other locations should be considered by the NHS including potential locations on Barnfield / Street End Road and that this should have been negotiated given the change to the plans at Hook Meadow.

We have also raised with the Council the opinions of residents on the consultation, and the response to the development from environmental and green space groups; including Friends of Horsted Valley.

The NHS facility in Luton was proposed in 2009, at the same time as new school buildings for Luton School, and at a time when an NHS 'Healthy Living' site at Hook Meadow was being considered for Wayfield.

This has since changed

Our latest information is that the Luton School merger will not occur and that there is no funding for improved school buildings (a fact we will be raising in full council on Thursday). The NHS centre in Hook Meadow which was to service Wayfield, is also not being persued, so we believe this reinforces our position that a site covering Luton & Wayfield should have been considered.

We have requested maps from the Council and PCT on the proposed boundaries that were considered in 2009 by the NHS.

We support a new 'Healthy Living' centre in the area and understand the fact our health demographics are concerning; but this needs to be placed with the consent of the local population who do not feel consulted with.

We will stand by residents in Pheasant Road, Edinburgh Road, Lawn Close and Alexandra who are opposed to this development

Saturday, 8 October 2011

Phone Mast Update

We are working very closely with residents in Burma Way to oppose the phone mast application which we believe is due to be proposed.

The Council still has not submitted a new application which is generating some questions from residents about the delay.

Residents living in Tobruk and Dunkirk are very unhappy with the original application which was pulled, and are very concerned that the subsequent proposal could just get waved through by the Conservative-led planning committee.

We are working with residents on this petition and on securing a hearing at the relevent Planning Committee meeting where we will oppose the application.

The Conservative Government has just spent £150m on the pro-active placement of even more phone masts and we believe that placing these in industrial or commercial areas would be better suited.

BORA Building Work Starts

Work to create a new multi million pound building for the Bishop of Rochester Academy, one of three flagship academy builds in Medway is now in progress, as the Bishop of Rochester, the Right Reverend James Langstaff, firmly planted the first spade in the soil, marking the beginning of works at the academy

Joined by staff and students, along with representatives from the academy’s sponsors - the Rochester Diocesan Board of Education, Canterbury Christ Church University and Medway Council - the event was an exciting opportunity to look forward.

Andy Reese, Interim Executive Principal, said

"This event marks the beginning of an exciting chapter in the life of the Academy. We hope that watching the new build come to fruition will inspire our students in their learning".

Commenting Cllr Tristan Osborne

"We welcome the start of this new building which is a result of Labour Government funding.

We were concerned in 2010 that the Department for Education was going to pull the funding after Michael Gove botched the BSF Funding programme and placed the Medway Academy programme at risk.

This area is in deperate need of new facilities. BORA results are still way below average and it is hoped that new management and facilities will start to improve the outcomes for our young people."

Saturday, 1 October 2011

NHS Facility badly situated

Cllr Tristan Osborne with Friends of Hosted Valley campaigners

Planning Proposal Graphic (click to enlarge)

The Luton & Wayfield Labour team is very worried about the proposed development of the Daisy Banks and the manner in which land is being transferred from the Banks to Luton Primary School, to facilitate an NHS facility which is poorly situated within a dense urban area with poor vehicular access.

The application is that part of Daisy Banks, just as you enter the Valley from Pheasant Road will see 2,500 square meters of the Local Wildlife Site to off set the lose of Luton School playing fields for vehicular access to another development on adjacent undeveloped land (proposed NHS facility) on the other side of the playing fields. The area will be cleared and a 2 meter fence erected.

This will block off existing pathway. The planning statement accompanying the application, agues that it will not in fact ential the lost of open space or impact upon the character of the local landscape. However, in view that the change use is in fact to allow further development, which includes construction of an access road and development of undeveloped land, it in fact mean that a significant area of open space will be lost. It also ignores the significant lost of wildlife habitat which is not compatible with it use as a playing field. Lastly, the planning statement completely ignores that is the primary gateway to the valley and has been used by the public for well over 20 years.

We are working with the Friends of Horsted Valley and local residents to oppose this planning application

Have you or somebody you know been walking Daisy Banks, entering via Pheasant Road for more than 20 years?

Would your be prepared to make a statement to that effect? Please contact the Vice Chairman at

If you wish to make a submission concerning application MC/11/2345, you can do so via Medway Council planning porta, link above or by writing to: Development Control, Medway Council, Gun Wharf, Dock Road, Chatham, Kent ME4 4TR, quoting the reference number MC/11/2345.

This must be done by 13/10/2011

Please note, FHV have contacted Mark Pullin, and confirmed that this is the correct date, and that is 21 days from when the public notice was put up, which was the 22/09/2011. The date on online plannning page which was the 17th, is incorrect.

Friday, 30 September 2011

Boxing Club Update

Please support St Mary's Amateur Boxing Club for Natwest Community Force funding

What does your charity/project do?

St Mary's ABC has been established for 70 years. Recently we have been raising funds to ensure St Mary's ABC stays within the local community. We are non-profitable organisation & need to raise funds to ensure we have a stable future & can continue to take our boys across the Nation in order to attend other clubs boxing shows. We train over 220 boys a week, offer guidance, coaching and competitive opportunities in boxing. This club is heavily involved within the local community & boxing world.

How does your charity/project support the local community?

Our organisation currently keeps the youngsters off the streets 7 days a week. We train them from as early as 8 yrs old through to adults. We encourage boxing within the local community irrespective of race, culture, belief, gender, the acquisition of physical fitness, self discipline, confidence and responsibility. We are looked upon as a family within Luton and are very well known across the nation for producing world champions, junior titles and even the opportunity to box for our country.

What do you plan to use the CommunityForce award for?

The Community Force award would be spent on ensuring our Minibus is safe to transport our boys across the Nation. As we are non-profitable club we accept donations from parents to ensure the minibus, is taxed, mot and insured and the standard you would expect. We cover so much mileage across one weekend so regular services are also very important not to mention fuel. We also have some girls down the boxing club and currently one changing room so we would like the opportunity to extend also.

Please vote here

Sunday, 18 September 2011

St Mary's Fundraiser Night

Ward Councillor's Tristan Osborne, Sam Craven and Christine Godwin attended the Save St Mary's ABC fundraiser on Saturday night at Greenacre School.

We have been working closely with the Club management to safeguard this local and popular boxing club which had been threatened after the landlord changed.

The event was a massive success with thousands of local residents attending to watch a series of 'friendly' boxing matches between current and former club members.

Councillor Godwin and Councillor Craven even got into the ring. Alas not with gloves; but to award the fight trophies to the respective blue and red teams.

It is important that local Councillors work with residents and local sports clubs and we are very priviledged to be involved in such an event.

Some pictures below:

Monday, 5 September 2011

Luton Primary Funding Concern

Click to read article

Cllr Les Wicks is simply living on cloud-cuckoo land if he thinks residents in Luton & Wayfield will not think this is anything other than Tory penny-pinching caused by the national cuts.

Parents wanted new facilities; they did not want a rushed merger.

Once again we have been let down locally on education and our Primary School children have to pay the price.

Sunday, 4 September 2011

Save our NHS

Medway Labour are increasingly concerned by the actions of Cameron's Conservatives and his local Councillor-supporters who are endorsing an agenda of mass privatisation across the NHS and risking the provision of future healthcare for local residents.

We will not support the Tories in introducing a private-sector free for all on our NHS and we will continue to support doctors, nurses, patients and residents in opposing moves towards a privatised health service.

Already waiting lists are increasing and services worsening. Please join our campaign today to keep the NHS in the patients hands and not those from the greedy health care insurance industry.

Monday, 29 August 2011

Burma Way Phone mast

Labour Councillors opposed Phone mast application

We are very dissapointed that the Conservative Council has passed the phone mast application despite it being in a residential area and close to a number of schools. We believe this mast is totally out of keeping with the surrounding area and is a poor judgement

As Councillors we have made it consistently clear that we would support mast applications based on industrial or commercial sites that are located away from residential areas.

We believe this judgement flies in the face of the work of several Overview & Scrutiny committee's and the stated position of the Medway Conservative Group who have seemingly accepted a mast opposed by everyone in the community

Please find below our letter to residents on the news:

Burma Way Phone Mast

Sunday, 21 August 2011

Thorold Road Alley Clearance

Councillor's Sam Craven, Christine Godwin and Tristan Osborne joined forces with residents on Thorold Road, Chatham to clean an alleyway in preparation for an alleygate scheme that is due to be fitted shortly.

Getting out of the Council Chamber onto doorstep is what your local team is all about.

Saturday, 20 August 2011

Graffiti Cleared

Your Luton & Wayfield team are working with residents to clean up our community and make it a better place to live.

We have been working on a number of initiatives to remove visible graffiti and have undertaken a ward tour to identify problem areas. We are using the application to report instances.

One such success can be seen on Pheasant Road where we have led on removing graffiti



If you do see graffiti please do report it online at

Sunday, 14 August 2011

Local People Local Solutions

Postcard of Luton & Wayfield Local People: Local Solutions event

Local People Local Solutions held there second event in the ward on Saturday at Luton Primary School with a focus on the community and the challenges that people perceive and the priorities they would like the Police, Council and other agencies to focus upon.

The event was extremely well organised by NHS PCT and Medway Council staff and there were at least 40-50 people in attendance

After a brief introduction on the scheme with examples from Cornwall used as best practice the Councillors split to sit on tables of respective tables of residents.

Whilst the outcomes of the votes are still to be confirmed it was clear a few themes were emerging

i) Anti-Social Behaviour - improvement in follow-up from Police and use of stronger measures to disperse and manage unruly behaviour. Add into this the requirement for additional youth facilities and clubs in the area so that young people have activites to engage with. The other themes from particular areas of Luton was drugs and drink.

ii) Green Spaces - improvement of the Luton Millenium Green and actual community engagement around that facility.

iii) Stronger school results - a key outcome was the real concern about Primary and Secondary school results in the area and requirement to keep energy and attention on this was crucial.

The next 'listening' event will take place on Thursday, 1st September from 7-9pm at the Luton Junior School.

For more information email us or contact the Council Officer responsible on 01634 338724.

Love Medway: Report it

Graffiti on Pheasant Road. Reported via

Despite the advertisement across Medway for the Love Medway programme there is a very real concern about the increasing amount of anti-social behaviour in the ward and its impacts on our community.

Readers may not be aware but the power to do something about it is at your fingertips!

With that in mind Medway Council has launched the Love Medway phone application which allows residents across Luton & Wayfield to report cases of graffiti and anti-social behaviour in the ward and review follow-up from the Council.

You can register on the website and to make things easier you can even register using your twitter, facebook and even blogger log-in.

All it then takes is for you to upload a photo of the concern and drop a pin on the location.

A public report is then generated which can be reviewed online from work or home. It is also publicly accessible.

We have reported this weekend an example of graffiti on Pheasant Road, opposite the Luton Primary School. We will track and report its follow-up.

As Councillors we will be taking further photos of anti-social behaviour in the ward and publicly advertise this to ensure residents can see transparency in the process.

We are also monitoring the Luton & Wayfield board closely and it is clear the follow-up is positive. There is some delay in the more complex cases where an issue relates to private housing and permissions needs to be garnered.

We urge all residents to support them scheme. A recent question revealed its current usage is very much aligned to Council staff; a more healthy mix of public engagement is required.

Community Mothers Celebration

Community Mothers event supported by parents, politicians and local mum's

Whoever said August was a month of rest and relaxation clearly has not been a Medway Councillor. For Sam, Christine and Tristan it has been extremely busy indeed with constituency work and meeting members of the community.

One such group that has been supported by us all is the Luton Community Mothers. The Community Mothers group are a collection of parents, primarily in Luton & Wayfield, who have come together now for the second year to run a fortnight programme of entertainment for local kids in our community.

The focus of the group is particularly on getting mum's and dad's to play with their children and develop lasting relationships, and to encourage children to engage and work with each other and develop lasting friendships.

The venue for the Community Mothers event on the Luton Memorial Meadow also has a close bond with the ward as the nearby war memorial is run by Don Phillips who has kept the surrounding site in excellent condition.

The neighbouring Scout facility was ideal for the group and from initial enquiries is very well used by the community.

It is clear that despite the hurly-burly of elections that politicians of all stripes can set aside and work for the community and have a bit of fun whilst doing it.

Sunday, 7 August 2011

Save St Mary's Amateur Boxing Club

As local councillors for Luton & Wayfield we are currently fighting and supporting the campaign by the St Mary's Amateur Boxing club, which has and continues to be widely recognised as a true centre of excellence, not only in Chatham, but also across Kent.

The club is currently faced with eviction after the gym was sold off at auction two weeks ago.

Local Labour Councillors are currently working with the campaign to ensure that this club remains in our community. They have a really proud record and deserve cross-party support.

Please sign the online petition here

Please join our Facebook page here.

Supporting Local Allotments

Luton & Wayfield team with Street End allotment holders

The Luton & Wayfield team were happy to accept the invitation to the Street End Road Allotment to celebrate the good work of the Chatham & District Leisure Gardeners Association.

Events such as these are being co-ordinated all over the Country in what is the National Allotment Week. Cllr Godwin and Craven were also given a tour by Jan, the allotment Chair, of the different fresh fruit, vegetables, herbs and flower patches that were on display.

Despite the weather, it was good to see all the good work with the allotment and it is important that we support green groups who are a bulwark against development. We were not aware until today that there was a two-year waiting list for allotments in Medway which shows this pastime has real local support.

We will continue to support the Street End Road Allotment. We also met a number of small allotment holders who had recently started and were pleased to give them local awards.

Friday, 5 August 2011

Dispersal Zone Success

Medway Messenger - 05/08/2011

Very pleased to see that the Dispersal Zone has been a success and we hope to get resident and PACT feedback shortly.

As ward councillors we will be meeting Sgt Dave Venus-Coppard shortly to underscore our support for the Dispersal Zone and our desire to see it extended into other parts of Luton and into Wayfield.

Medway Council do need to be more responsive to applications for Dispersal Zones and we welcome and support any effort by Cllr Mike O'Brien as Medway Safety Partnership lead to see what can be done.

Supporting Community Mothers

The Luton & Wayfield team are happy to support the Community Mothers scheme being run by a number of single mum's and community champions in the ward.

Luton & Wayfield is one of the most deprived wards in Medway and this type of project, supported by local churches and other groups do make an impact to single mum's and struggling families in an area.

One local parent and the organiser Gloria Opara has worked tirelessly to get this project off the ground and has a strong support network of parents and organisations across Medway.

We wish them all the best over the next two weeks on their two week summer play scheme and look forward to attending the final event in August.

Thursday, 28 July 2011

Fighting for St Mary's ABC, Chatham

St Mary's ABC, Street End Road

Labour Councillors in Luton & Wayfield will be supporting the campaign by our local St Mary's ABC which is currently threatened with closure after the ownership of the land changed.

I along with Councillor colleagues met the campaigners yesterday evening and it is clear they will fight to the end for a club which spawned former world champion Johnny Armour and top heavyweight Tom Dallas.

St Mary's Amateur Boxing Club in Chatham is one of the oldest and proudest clubs in the county and has support from across the region. It is the epitomy of a small sports club fighting against corporate greed.

You can join their Facebook site and a petition is currently being organised to safeguard this piece of local heritage. The Council has a responsibility to local sportsclubs to ensure they are safeguarded; one such as this with such a proud history must be looked at.

St Mary's has been at the site for more than 50 years. It has previously rented the property for a peppercorn rent of just £26 a year, but following the death of its landlady, the future of the club is in doubt.

Club secretary and head coach Dave Bowler said to Medway Messenger:

"We are very worried. We don't know who is going to buy it and if they will let us stay. If the new owners put the rent up, we wouldn't be able to afford it, and we can't afford to go anywhere else."

St Mary's most famous son is Armour who reigned the WBU bantamweight division for three years. He trained at the club from the age of 10 until he signed a professional contract aged 21.

He said:

"It would be a great shame if the club had to close. A lot of people would feel the same as me. It has been there such a long time and a lot of people will have fond memories of it.

"It is a blinding club, I don't think you will ever get a club as good as St Mary's in Medway. I couldn't have done anything I have done in my career without the start I was given at that club."

As Councillors - Sam Craven, Tristan Osborne and Christine Godwin will be fighting for the boxing club and are currently engaged with the Council to ensure that the tradition of this much-loved sport continues in our community.