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Much of Medway is rural, including large tracts of countryside
on the Hoo peninsula, in the Medway valley, on Rainham marshes and
around the urban area. Its villages make up just over 10 per cent
of Medway’s population. The countryside contains many diverse
landscapes, from salt marshes to the chalk hills of the North
Downs. The area also has a number of key employment sites, such as
Kingsnorth and Thamesport on the Isle of Grain.
Medway Council realises that it has a valuable asset in its
rural area and wants to ensure that the area is cared for and its
residents enjoy a good quality of life. The council is working with
local people and its partner organisations on implementing a
strategy for its rural area. This work is based around five key
- securing access to services;
- supporting rural community life;
- securing a strong local economy;
- valuing Medway’s countryside;
- integrating strategic plans with local needs.
The Cabinet approved the Rural
Action Plan on 20 July 2004 to support policy and projects
in rural Medway and building partnership working. The plan provides
the council with a framework for securing the sustainable future of
rural Medway and a basis to underpin project development. It
supports activities on a range of issues, such as:
- transport improvements;
- provision for young people;
- community facilities in villages;
- promoting access to the countryside.
Work under way includes the development of a community transport
scheme for rural Medway. A local partnership, the Halling Association,
has been set up and has carried out a range of projects in Halling
in recent years. In Hoo St Werburgh, the Hoo Partnership is also
working on addressing local concerns.
There are 11 parish councils in Medway, covering the Hoo
peninsula and the western part of the Medway valley. They deal with
a number of local issues, such as the management of village play
areas and are a useful contact point for local information.
Other useful organisations on rural issues
- Action with Communities in Rural
Kent is a voluntary organisation supporting rural communities
across Kent and Medway. It can provide specialist advice on rural
housing, transport, village halls, parish plans and a range of
other rural projects.
- Natural England is a
national government body working to conserve and enhance the
natural environment for its intrinsic value, the wellbeing and
enjoyment of the people and the economic prosperity it brings. It
provides policy guidance, advice and some funding to promote rural
Further information and help on rural issues
This can be provided by the council's Rural Strategy Manager,
whose work has a special focus on rural issues and whose role is to
work on rural projects and policy in Medway.
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