Thursday, 31 March 2011

Tory Pledge of Incompetence

Musings from Medway will be examining this document of half-truths over the weekend and will be challenging them head on.

What should be very concerning for the public is that despite all the quotes on efficiency and effective management, the document itself has no imprint; the note which states that it is printed and promoted by X on behalf of Y and should always be found at the bottom of all publications produced in an election, and indeed out of it.

The document itself has a very small number of photos including a picture of a combine harvester and a clear pitch at the elderly voter in Medway but is aside from that very corporate, but pretty vacuous.

If this document so happened to be the short-campaign election leaflet, then someone somewhere could just have spent a small fortune on a document which should not be distributed at all. Ouch.

Either way, some Tories have now withdrawn the document, but in the confusion others are still linking it.

This is symbolic of the utter mess of the Tories. Maybe flash and glossy but actually scratch the surface and there is no substance.

No wonder they are reeling in the polls.

This pledge launch has been a disaster, in part because of the vacuous content but also because the document itself is on the face of it, in breach of rules.

If that is not symbolic of the Tories over the last four years; we now know what to expect over the next four.

Tuesday, 29 March 2011

Courting the Press?

The rumours in the Tory ranks in the Rochester & Strood constituency party are apparently at fever pitch as many political pundits can't help but have noticed the distinct low profile of Councillor Rodney Chambers and the way the Council, and some sections of the press, are fawning over every press statement by the rising star from Rainham; Cllr Mike O'Brien.

Part of the new generation of twitterers he has amassed a sizeable following of 1,888 (NB: I am envious). Followers of the rising star include those from the left leaning CheRecords, to the should be read by colleagues across benches, slimminganswer, to h4auto, located on Honolulu. It seems his tweets reach far and wide, including the beltway.

And so it would seem - It has been difficult to keep track of the copious press statements from the Council and Tory group from the Portfolio holder. Ranging from the new Android iPhone App, to pontificating over the Rainham road works, to garden pursuits. The internet is buzzing.

So is this the green light for higher office or is this just good electioneering?

No one knows, but if it were, this is what you would expect them to do.

Well it can not come to soon...

Either way, the ''dynamic'' duo of Chambers and Jarrett have had their time. Cllr Jarrett, the former Unionist can beat the drum but has a somewhat unique ability to manage the press. Chambers has had a strong innings but has been the captain for some time.

So is it time for a change? After May 5th we will soon find out.

A Medway Labour Administration would surely lead to a change in Tory leadership

Monday, 28 March 2011

Medway MP's to cash in?

(Press cutting from 2009: Not related to Medway MPs)

A small part expected them to make some press statement or other, complaining about the unfortunate situation of extra cash, which was necessary to subsidise their ever-so-hard four day a week sitting in the House, coupled with subsidized alco-pops on the Commons veranda and food in the exclusive fast food joints that can be found within the hallowed halls of Westminster.

It’s a tough old gig this MP lark.

Alas, expectations have been dashed. Not one tweet, letter, word or indeed smoke signal from the merry band of Medway MPs.

It is almost as if, ssshh, whisper it, they had not noticed that they were due to benefit.

For those of you who don’t know, and that is probably a number, IPSA was established to curtail greed by MPs who took advantage of the pre-existing system for financial gain.

It has since been attacked from pillar-to-post by mostly Tory MPs for daring to squeeze elected MPs, of all persuasions, by introducing a very tight control of the public purse, or in business terms, some basic financial control and audit. It was a welcome development for the public who incidentally earn way below the average MPs salary of £66,000, who perceived all MPs, unfairly, of being on the take.

As a response to this scandal, our own MPs (then mere PPCs) signed a Clean Campaign pledge which committed to full transparency on expenses.

We will therefore expect them to provide full costings of any second home rental and other costs incurred from their offices.

Not one Medway MP needs rental on a second-home because they live within a reasonable commuting distance from London

This blogger works in the private sector; and this type of subsidy smells bad when employers and employees are struggling to balance the books.

The public do not like it. Be rest assured.

It is time our MPs not only published their constituency figures but walk the walk on expenses. They need to push back and refuse the extra cash, because actually, their constituents demand it.

We have seen nothing from any of our MPs on pushing back for less cash from IPSA.

A bad week for democracy hidden behind the budget. Pay perks it seems can be curtailed from everyone else but the MPs.

Yes, that is me and you.

Friday, 25 March 2011

Strood North mired in allegations

(Click on image to expand)

Strood North stands on the precipice of Tory scandal this weekend as all the Medway papers have chosen to lead on the allegations of inappropriate behaviour by Strood North veteren Cllr Chitty.

Over the years the ward has been neglected by Conservatives as we can see from the total inactivity on the Strood Conservative website.

Over the last four years Strood has suffered

  • Closure of the Civic Centre and £850,000 Aveling & Porter cost for a Car Park
  • Digging up of Station Road (twice) after administration blunder
  • Poor air quality
  • Huge traffic jams caused by poorly co-ordinated works
  • Allegation after allegation of poor behaviour by Rochester & Strood Councillors
  • The destruction of the independent high street as planning permission given for rapant expansion of super stores

People are fed up with the constant stories and allegations and are demanding real action from capable and competent Councillors who will spend in time Strood, rather then jetting to China.

It is time for a fresh start in Strood North with a competent team lead by Stephen Hubbard, Liam Curran and Linda Robson who are committed to:

  • Freeze Council Tax for two years
  • Re-introduce the Labour Policy for free swimming for pensioners and children
  • £100,000 reduction in fat cat Tory pay perks
  • Medway Freedom Pass for young people
  • Heritage-led regeneration and learning from Aveling & Porter disgrace
  • Support for green spaces and parks including Broomhill
  • Opposition to Tory Police cuts and elected Police commissioner.
  • Weekly bin collection retained and not threatend as in 2007 by Tory cabinet
  • Sure Starts safeguarded despite Tory cuts to budgets
If you want your tax frozen, Sure Starts protected, more police on your street then Vote Labour.

If you want allegations and cuts, Vote Conservative.

Printed & Promoted by Derek Munton, on behalf of Rochester & Strood Labour all at 73 Maidstone Road, Rochester Kent. ME1 1RL

Wednesday, 23 March 2011

Scandal could rock Strood North Tories


This blog has commented before on the antics of selection in the Strood North ward which saw a game of musical chairs occur less then two months ago. Rumours sprung that the retiring Councillor was offered a seat in Gillingham & Rainham by the Conservative leadership, in an attempt to retain Strood North against a clear Labour resurgence in the ward. We will soon find out.

Jane Chitty returned after a previous allegation was dropped that she had made some errors on her address in the 2007 election (see above). So it was with a furrowed brow that this blog noted that another case had been brought against Councillor Jane Chitty.

The accusation, and it is only an accusation, is that Jane Chitty acted inappropriately on a Council sponsered event to China where a 16 year old was present.

Despite the spin from known quarters about why details have not been revealed. Parties will know that the press, this blog, no one will be able to discuss any case that is brought before the Standard's Committee, especually at this stage where it is only an accusation. As such this blog is not in a position to comment on the antics of the Councillor but sufficed to say there is sufficient merit to justify a thorough investigation.

Former Conservative Councillors and right wing commentators today have taken it upon themselves to talk about 'Chitty Chitty Bang Bang' and have target the individual who has brought the complaint.

It is outrageous to read some of the comments from the right tonight that without any result of the Standard's Board they are stating that

"this is just a politically-motivated smear campaign against a high-profile Conservative councillor (and prospective candidate to re-stand) who happened to be with the complainant recently, offering scope for mischief."

So lets for the sake of it look at the individual who has led the complaint, one Lloyd Davis - a local businessman who employs local people and who is stalwart of the community, and type of figure Medway Council and the Tory administration should be supporting and encouraging locally.

Lloyd Davis is indeed a small businessman, and one that has had to manage a very successful business despite his opposition to the £2.5m Chatham two-way system which has, as this individual predicted, seen a decline in trade in the town. For the sake of accuracy, he was totally right, the town has suffered because of this road-system fiasco.

He was recognised for his continued work within the Chinese community and particularly for the work he undertook following the earthquake in China in 2008. Lloyd was able to obtain 50,000 mosquito nets and after many days of hard work and endless phone calls, he was able to ship the nets to China.

Lloyd was also awarded for his assistance with a fatal incident. Whilst off duty, he was talking with fellow officers outside his home when a call came in about a serious accident nearby. He offered to assist his colleagues and went to the scene of the incident where a young child had been badly injured and was in a critical condition.

The volunteer officer remained with the boy and his mother until they were conveyed to hospital. Unfortunately the child did not recover from his injuries. Lloyd’s calmness, reassurance and professional manner whilst at the scene was a credit not only to the Special Constabulary but to Kent Police as a whole.

Area Commander Steve Corbishley said:

"Medway are very proud of the achievements of Lloyd and all his special constable colleagues over the past year. Specials are a vital part of the Medway police team and their role in reducing crime and tackling anti social behaviour cannot be underestimated.

"People often forget that Specials give up their time for free and this fact makes their achievements all the more fantastic.

Steve has since departed from the Special Constabulary but with all due respect to Medway Conservatives, former Medway Conservaratives or those who support them.

I know which member of the community I trust with their judgement.

It is time for a change. Medway Conservatives are out of ideas, out of touch and out of time.

Vote Labour in Strood and get rid of the constant stories.

Reckless Gamble isn't paying off.

Just yesterday this blog speculated on what the need for a budget of growth for Medway – specifically for those areas deepest in urban Medway that have been identified as being the hardest hit from public spending cuts.

The headline is that the Office of Budget Responsibility (OBR) downgraded its growth forecasts from 2.1% to 1.7% this year and coupled with inflationary pressures, people across Medway are suffering.

Government policy today is clearly hedged on private sector employment picking up the unemployment figures from public sector job cuts.

In areas such as Medway – with the three largest employers being the NHS, the university sector and the council – this is crucial to families right across the towns, and indeed carries similar implications for the whole region. Whilst we wait to see if this Governments bet is correct we should be fighting for these areas to get the most efficient resource and support for private sector growth – such as campaigning for Medway to become one of the today announced Enterprise Zones – sadly, we will not get a look in!

Tackling unemployment is particularly important to young people in Medway, with the area facing youth unemployment rates (for 16-24 year olds) that are at their highest for decades. Medway must counteract the so called 'Brain Drain' and retain young graduates, as well as supporting non-graduates, to ease transition into employment. Whilst the budget today announced increased apprenticeships and work experience places, Nick Pearce in the FT rightly commented that neither of these programmes is as generously funded as Labour's Future Jobs Fund, which was scrapped by the current Government.

However, there were some positive announcements for people in the Medway today, the reduction in Fuel Duty is good news for many – both in urban and rural areas, such as the Peninsula, with limited public transport and long travel distances – but the 1p decrease should be viewed in the context of the 3p VAT rise (which isn't being altered) and the possibility of significant fluctuations in global oil prices, which the 1p decrease won't prevent.

But what does this mean to people living their daily lives in Rochester, or Strood or Chatham?

One has to remember that people are being bombarded from every angle, with the IFS accusing the treasury of giving a little with one hand and taking a lot with the other.

Personal taxation will play a crucial element, with reports concluding average households suffering a £600 decrease in available income each year.

George Osborne's budget priorities are also somewhat concerning. It seems that the focus is on private sector growth – which isn't a bad thing in itself – but at the behest of ordinary people and the public sector.

It will take a number of days to unpick the detail of today’s budget, and the months and years ahead to verify its impact. Budgets are an example of political theatre but they do matter.

The take-home message today is the continuation of the Government’s dangerous gamble that the private sector can pick up the pieces of billions in public sector cuts, imposed too deep and too fast, by this Conservative-led Government.

Tuesday, 22 March 2011

Budget blues spell danger for Tories

Do you really trust this man?

Tomorrow will see George Osborne unveil his second budget since coming to office almost a year ago and its clear that the wheels are falling off this reckless strategy of cutting too far and too fast.

On deficit reduction the chancellor has shown leadership of sorts, but on growth, he has been absent from the debate.

The biggest test of the budget is whether it is good for growth, and the biggest risk to recovery is complacency about the ability of free markets alone to deliver recovery.

We have seen too much complacency from Tories on growth. The recent budget meeting on Medway Council saw Tories salivating at the prospect of slashing local services for people. Now they appear in abject denial about a cumulative £30m cut to local services which is somehow a positive development.

A bit of honesty though is too much to expect from Tories worried about an electoral slap in the face.

Anyway, if Gideon is listening, the data should have been his wake-up call. GDP figures for the last quarter of 2010 were alarming, showing the economy contracted by 0.6%. The government blamed snow, but it snowed in Germany and the US too, and they still grew.

The second wake up call should have been last week’s unemployment numbers, the highest in 17 years. Combined with falling house prices, and today’s figures showing inflation rising to 4.4 per cent, it is hardly surprising the government’s independent Office of Budget Responsibility have consistently downgraded their 2011 growth forecast at every chance, from an initial estimate of 2.6%, to 2.1% now, likely to be downgraded to 1.8% tomorrow.

Plan A is not going according to plan. These facts should be the wake up call the government needs to rethink.

Mr Osborne’s fall-back – his implicit Plan B – was looser monetary policy. But with the MPC currently split over whether to increase rates, and a consensus emerging on a rate rise in the late spring or early summer, Plan B is looking as forlorn as Plan A.

Jonathan Portes, writing in the Financial Times recently, said this

“…relies on an odd view of market psychology, one that says markets have more confidence in governments that never adjust policy, even when it is sensible…History suggests the opposite: that the real hit to credibility comes from sticking to unsustainable policies.”

Now is the time for a credible and substantial growth strategy.

First and foremost, we need to begin building the Britain of the future. In particular, what we do need is action to help hard-pressed families with the rising cost of living and removing barriers to growth.

This should include Ed Miliband and Ed Balls’s proposals for a £2 billion bank bonus tax to create 110,000 new jobs:

• The provision of a £1.2bn to fund the construction of more than 25,000 homes;
• A £600 million fund for youth jobs; and
• A £200m boost for the oversubscribed Regional Growth Fund.

But we also need to see the government publish the still outstanding green paper on growth and we need it quickly.

The public recognise the need for austerity, but they also want to know the government have learnt the lessons from the crisis, and that they are determined to build a fairer and more sustainable economic future for Britain.

Britain could be a world leader in the jobs and technologies of the future, but only if the government supports growth There is no better place or time to start on that path than tomorrow’s Budget;. let’s hope the chancellor seizes that opportunity.

I doubt he will

Sunday, 20 March 2011

Time for CCTV Car review

This blog has been leading the charge for years that the Council CCTV cars needed to be fully reviewed and if found to be manifestly against the public interest, scrapped.

We all accept enforcement of our streets and the penalisation of incosiderate and dangerous drivers who park on double yellow lines.

But what is ironic, especially as the Council releases photos of cars on double yellow lines under the titles of inconsiderate and unsafe drivers, is that the same vehicle which is taking the photos, is presumably breaking the same highway rules in the photos it is picturing others doing. So by default you would assume, being unsafe as well.

Of course there is statute which allows the cars to park on double yellow lines, under RIPA (2000) but the public, whilst they may support the vehicles - though the evidence seen on this remains very scant, and is comprised of a series of surveys, probably unscientific and unweighted, as yet unpublished - they do not support double standards.

The Labour Group position is sensible and considered. Labour has not rushed to scrap the vehicles, which could have been the knee jerk reaction of the populist seeking a quick vote.

It has promised a full, consultative and transparent review to really find out from the public whether these vehicles ae desired and the extent of this. A full review to ascertain whether it is fair play for the cars to break the same rules it enforces and a full review on the operational conduct and revenue allocation, to ensure these cars are being used in the public interest and not the ever-so-common, profit motive.

There is a groundswell on both left and right of the political spectrum for these cars to be looked at and it is clear after press and national commentary; that the time is pressing.

Pressing because the number of vehicles may be about to increase. A question this blogger asked at full Council, which was met by an unsatisfactory response from the ruling elite.

Once again; Labour locally are leading the charge with ideas.

Friday, 18 March 2011

Cameron's First War

David Cameron's speech today in the chamber hit the mark. Whilst I disagree with huge swathes of the Conservative agenda he was bang on the nail about Libya.

Some very fair points mentioned by opposition and back bench Conservative MPs that in light of the major changes in the region; it makes the rushed Strategic Defence Review look obsolete.

He was right to stipulate the three criteria for intervention; i) UN Mandate / Authorisation ii) Regional Support (Arab League and NATO) and iii) A clear and present threat to civilians.

One of Cameron's stronger speeches and a just war.

Victory for the Community

It was clear that there was widespread and public opposition to the closure from residents, independent petitions, Conservative MPs (Mark Reckless) and Councillor Ted Baker and the Labour opposition locally including Councillors Teresa Murray and Nick Bowler who have been working hard door-to-door to get a mass petition signed.

Maximum pressure has been applied with open letters and public calls for appropriate consultation. A concerted effort has been made using all the mediums at local residents disposal to register our discontent and someone sat up and listended.

All credit where its due to local residents who signed petitions in pharmacies, on doorsteps and online.

We await to see the small print, but on the face of it a welcome development

Services for elderly people must be maintained in Rochester. There are many people close to retirement who use these services and who do not want to have to travel miles for basic care.

Healthcare is a right not a privilege.

Wednesday, 16 March 2011

You cant trust the Tories on the NHS

Most commentators gave it to Ed Miliband this week and David Cameron clearly lost it when he petulantly flung his folder before answering Ed Miliband's question.

The Prime Minister is known in Westminster circles for being petulant and out of touch. This type of flinging of folders highlights this.

Meanwhile, the key theme of PMQs was the issue of the NHS which the Tories are trying to privatise by the back-door.

We see the cuts agenda locally in Medway with the closure of blood clinics in Rochester.

Cllr Teresa Murray and Nick Bowler are conducting roaving surgeries and have had success with a petition to protect the centre from cuts.

Labour is also urging people to back our online petition and local independent petitions who are also fighting the Tory cuts locally.

Teresa and Nick are fighting cuts to Rochester Clinics

The Tories have undermined the principle of free healthcare since the foundation of the NHS.

Unemployment figures show Tory policy failure

Another day and another set of figures which highlight that the Conservatives are cutting too far and too fast and that there is an alternative to the reckless fiscal fascism that is being inflicted on people up and down the country.

Today’s unwelcome figures show that while the recession ended over a year ago the period November-January 2011 saw unemployment hit a record high.

We have not seen this level of unemployment since the last dog days of the Conservatives – 2,529,000 people.

Eight per cent of working age adults in the UK now report that they are unemployed, with practically the same number again reporting that while they are economically inactive they would like a job – 2,359,000 people. The number of vacancies showed a small fall (5,000) on the month, with only 496,000 vacancies across the economy in the three months to February 2011.

What’s more, this total still includes temporary census jobs; excluding census posts there were 467,000 jobs available. There are still five unemployed people chasing every job, and in some parts of the country – as analysis of claimant unemployment data and Jobcentre notified vacancies has shown – the picture is far worse.

Public sector employment has fallen 132,000 on the year. Given that the bulk of the chancellor’s spending cuts won’t kick in until April 2011 this raises questions about the accuracy of the Office for Budget Responsibility’s forecasts - more than a third of the total drop in public sector employment (330,000) they forecast over the next four years appears to already have taken place.

On the question of whether the private sector can close the jobs gap the jury is still out. Private sector employment is up annually – by a positive-looking 428,000 – leading to an increase in overall employment of 296,000 on the year. But the sorts of jobs that have been created do not suggest a strong labour market recovery:

• 114,000 (39 per cent) are self-employed jobs;
• 12,000 (4 per cent) are unpaid family workers;
• 11,000 (4 per cent) are positions on Government supporting employment programmes;
• 206,000 are part-time (70 per cent); and
• Only 65,000 are full-time employee positions (22 per cent).

Today the Department for Work and Pensions chose to emphasise the positives – a quarterly 111,000 rise in full-time employee jobs resulting from large monthly rises between October-November (68,000) and November-December (57,000).

But overall employment increased by far less, showing a smaller 32,000 rise on the month.

The scale and speed of the private sector jobs recovery remains extremely uncertain and with the private sector set to experience further job losses as the cuts start to bite in April there is no guarantee strong employee jobs growth will continue.

Economic inactivity levels are starting to show large increases – 31,000 on the quarter for women and 12,000 for men. However, these top line figures hide wider trends:

• A 35,000 increase in the number of women saying they are looking after a home or family;
• A 22,000 increase in the number of men who report they are long-term sick; and
• A 30,000 increase in the number of working age women who report they are retired.

Rises in female economic inactivity over 2010 mean that levels are now the highest they have been since 1996.

Youth unemployment is high and rising. Among 18-24 year olds unemployment rose 23,000 on the quarter and 5,000 on the month between November and December. Both young men and young women saw rising unemployment rates and levels – although on the month young women saw a 9,000 rise compared to a 4,000 fall for young men - with the male rate now 19.9 per cent compared to 16.4 per cent for young women. Both rates are unacceptably high – and for women are the highest recorded (since 1992); young men last saw rates this high in late 2009 and in the early 1990s.

The fall in the claimant count is welcome – although not everyone leaving benefits will be moving into work, some will simply have reached the end of their entitlement (should they only qualify for six months of contributory JSA) – and takes levels of claimant unemployment to their lowest since early 2009. But levels remain close to double those we saw before the recession, and with large amounts of Jobcentre support about to be cut, and the strength of the economic recovery extremely uncertain, it is too early to tell whether future months will see further falls.

It’s fair to say that today’s figures presented a mixed picture; but there is far more cause for concern than celebration. Next week’s Budget is a chance for the chancellor to produce a strategy to secure the recovery and invest in jobs and growth.

So what are our MPs talking about today? Not unemployment or jobs.

Meanwhile thousands of our young people are without a job across Medway.

And who says the Tories are out of touch?

Monday, 14 March 2011

City Status suffers arrogant set back

It seems that Councillor Jarrett, the chancer of the Medway Conservatives is once again, for the enth time in 6 months, about to land them in hot water.

This blog is aware that the Advertising Standard's Agency is about to rule against the Medway Conservatives on the issue of City Status.

The ASA is the UK's independent regulator of advertising across all media, including marketing on websites. They work to ensure ads are legal, decent, honest and truthful by applying the Advertising Codes. They are non-partisan.

So what is this all about? Readers may be aware that the Tories rebranded the Council in 2010, in what was considered a grave insult to Her Majesty the Queen, and tried to confer city status to themselves.

The Council claimed it was only a small rebranding but the new 'city' logo appeared on bins and other items before it was picked up by concerned members of the community.

When confronted on the matter by the Press, and the potential cost of the rebranding exercise at a time of fiscal austerity, the finance supermo stated to the press that the Council can call itself what it likes, before lambasting the journalist for poor reporting at the next Council meeting.

It seems though the last laugh is on the journalist because the ASA is about to rule against the Tories

Most people would accept defeat, engage in a mea cupla and brush of the issue.

Alas the Tories have gone on full assault with what must be considered the most brazenly strange attack that has come from the Council in recent years.

Even odder then the underfunded pie-in-the-sky joke campaign.

It shows that the Tories have simply lost the capability to represent the interests of residents and are instead going on odd witch hunts at the expense of the public

The press release is in every sense, utterly pathetic:

'To the casual observer, it will probably seem like little more than a storm in a teacup.

Which is why the Tories have written over 1000 words on the matter using Council resources. Big old mug of tea...

But Medway Council now seriously believes the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) should investigate the town Welwyn Garden City, the music venue Nottingham Rock City and even its own headquarters following a bizarre ‘waste of time’ ruling by the marketing watchdog.

An absolutely ludicrous attack. Welwyn Garden City has historical precedence as a 'Garden City' based in fact. The Nottingham Rock City is a rock nightclub and is not seeking to purport to be something which it is not.

These are just some of the places the local authority has listed following an odd and somewhat obstinate adjudication by the ASA.

At the expense of tax payers money which could indeed have been used to improve your services. Why is the local authority wasting time on this 'storm in a tea cup'?

In a modern day twist on the classic novel The Tale of Two Cities the ASA has ruled that Medway Council in Kent should not use a small version of an aspirational logo they have produced for their city status bid on a tourism leaflet they produced several months ago.

The logo was bigger on the bins; though it is true the specific compliant was about the tourism promotion

The local authority says the ruling – due to be delivered on Wednesday (16 March) - lacks any degree of common sense and points out that a number of places across the country use the word city – when they are not one as well.

Given it has not been published in full yet; that is presumptive.

And Medway Council believes that, in the interest of decency and fair play, the ASA cannot make this ruling and ignore these other minor misdemeanours.

So in the spirit of decency and fair play you put out a press statement in advance of the ruling. What fibs...

To compare Medway which are a collection of towns seeking City status with a rock venue or Welwyn Garden City is basing your spurious assertion that these places are seeking to mis-sell what they are not. False argument.

A single complainant claimed that as Medway was not yet a city and only bidding to become one then using this logo was misleading on advertising literature.

A complaint that has been upheld by an impartial arbiter.

The logo, developed at no cost by the council, is being used as a way to promote Medway’s ambition to become a city in a UK wide competition to make a town a city during the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee in 2012.

A free logo amazing! Total fiction; everything has a cost.

It is doing this as it believes becoming a city will helps draw in substantial investment and jobs for the mainly urban area of nearly 260,000 people.

Something I actually agree with

“We put a small logo for our city bid on a tourism leaflet and the Advertising Standards Authority decided to come down on us like a ton of bricks.

No, you misrepresented a place as a City when it is not. Ipso facto you get penalised.

“This leaflet took the council’s own designer less than a day to design and cost the council nothing. We didn’t realise the ASA was going to make this kind of fuss over such a storm in a teacup.

So a free designer working on the Council Payroll spent 'less than a day' to design the logo but apparently was not paid. Unbelievable.

“If they are going to do that, though, they need to look at other places across the country that use the name city in their title.

Not unless there are complaints of mis-representation. But dont let that stop you wasting tax payers time compiling your own list:

“In fact, to help them in this we have compiled a list of other places that they should now investigate.

And off we go... at the tax payers expense.

“After all, if they are going to waste our time then they should at least play fair and waste everyone else’s as well.

Well Im only paid by the tax-payer to manage the Council Finances; this is not personal, honest...

“I must admit I find it staggering. After all, our officers’ time is much better used ensuring our residents get the council services they need and want rather than dealing with bizarre rulings from wannabe quangos in London.

Yes, so we are still talking about it...

Other places that could now come under fire from the ASA following their ruling include:

Finally then... at last...

* London City Airport – which is not based in the City of London, or even a city, and is actually in the London Borough of Newham.

*Letchworth Garden City and Welwyn Garden City – These are called cities, but are actually towns in Hertfordshire and have been since 1903 and 1920 respectively. Will the ASA now seek to overturn their historic names?

* Nottingham Rock City – which while based in a city is definitely not a city in its own right and isn’t even a town - it’s a music venue showcasing live gigs. Are groups intending to play there now going to have to change their posters?

* The ASA’s headquarters – which are in a building called Mid City Place in Holborn, which are in the London Borough of Camden, and not in a city (please see notes to editors). Should the ASA have investigated this when they chose to recently rent this office space?

* Cathedral City cheese – as this is made in Davidstow, Cornwall, which is neither a city or has a cathedral.

* London City Airport DLR – this is not in the City of London or in a city.

* London’s City Hall – the seat of the Mayor of London – as this is in the London Borough of Southwark, which is not a city, and the mayor oversees Greater London, which is a geographic region with two cities in it – the City of Westminster and the City of London.

* Surrey Docks, Hackney, Vauxhall, Mudchute, Spitalfields and Kentish Town City Farms – all of which are not in a city, but in London boroughs.

* Milton Keynes – which describes itself on its website as a “cosmopolitan city” and markets “a number of city centre” branded hotels. This is a not a city, but a town and is, indeed, a town which is also bidding to win city status in 2012.

* Milton Keynes City football club – for the same reasons as above.

* The Stratford City Development in East London - next to the Olympic stadium, which is actually in the London Borough of Newham.

* The little known Ocean City Chinese takeaway in Devizes ��� as this is not in a city, but a small market town in Wiltshire, and it certainly is not near an ocean.

If you believe the above is what your Council and its staff should be doing then Vote Conservative in May

Alternatively Vote Labour and kick this inept bunch out of office