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Medway’s monumental regeneration programme gets glowing vote of confidence

26 January 2018

Medway Council has been praised for its strong commitment to partnership working and its ‘monumental’ regeneration programme which is benefitting those who live, work, learn and visit Medway.

In November 2017, the council invited local government peers to act as critical friends and carry out a review to provide feedback on its continued efforts to maximise regeneration and economic growth.

As well as looking at the way the council works, the experienced team of seven, which included a councillor, senior council officers and representatives from the Local Government Association, was invited to focus on four key areas: the council’s regeneration agenda and programme, communications linked to Medway’s place-making and regeneration work, plans for commercialisation and the council’s transformation agenda.

A comprehensive report, outlining the peer challenge team’s findings, has been produced. Medway Council received a hugely positive response from the team across all areas and the feedback was complimentary about the quality of work the council is delivering in Medway.

View the full report

Delivering 'growth for all'

A dynamic 20-year regeneration programme is underway in Medway and the team visited some of the developments taking place. The council’s focus on delivering ‘growth for all’ was a particular highlight amongst the feedback received, with the report acknowledging that the transformation which has taken place in Medway is ‘truly remarkable’ and ‘positioning Medway as one of the most promising growth areas in the UK’.

Embracing commercial opportunities

The team also acknowledged that the council is demonstrating a real willingness to embrace commercial opportunities. This follows the formation of a housing company and the continued growth and success of Medway Commercial Group and the council’s joint venture Medway Norse. Medway Council has also been highly praised for its successful delivery to date against the financial challenges it faces.

Strong leadership

The team not only spent time meeting with councillors and council officers, but they also met with representatives from partner agencies. The report states ‘there is a strong commitment to, and many successes achieved through, partnership working’.  The report also recognises that the council is ‘ambitious and passionate’ about supporting its communities.

  • Medway Council has also welcomed the corporate peer challenge team’s recommendations towards areas of improvement, including:
    Establish a transformation programme that looks much further into the future – including Smart Council and Smart City strategy and ambitions.
  • The skills agenda – build on the good initiatives and real potential by seizing it and driving it forward through the Skills Board.

'Medway is on an exciting journey'

Cllr Alan Jarrett, Leader of Medway Council, said: “We were delighted with the findings of the corporate peer review, especially one of the comments that if it were possible to bottle what Medway had, it could be sold. It is pleasing that the report largely serves as a glowing endorsement of the journey Medway Council is on and recognises that we are delivering for the people of Medway. The team also commended a strong and stable leadership, and a passionate organisation which is working towards the council’s vision and ambition. I would like to thank the staff, as well as all of the councillors, for their hard work in continuing to provide excellent services during a challenging financial climate. The team also made some useful recommendations and the council will be working towards these.

“This year sees the twentieth anniversary since the creation of Medway Council and the report recognises the remarkable transformation that has already taken place in Medway. I am very proud of the huge amount we have achieved in Medway and much of that is due to strong and effective partnerships, as well as the huge investment that so many put into our community. There is still a lot to be done, but I am pleased that solid foundations have been laid to deliver great growth for all. Medway is on an exciting journey and will transform for the better over the next 20 years.”