Council Plan | Medway Council

2016/17 to 2020/21

2019/20 update

photograph of alan jarret

Alan Jarret

photograph of neil davies

Neil Davies


Councillor Alan Jarrett, Leader of Medway Council
and Neil Davies, Chief Executive, Medway Council

Medway residents and businesses remain at the heart of everything we do.

As a unitary authority we provide all of the council services in Medway, from maintaining the 519 miles of roads to collecting household waste every week from the thousands of homes across our five towns.

Despite the ongoing financial challenges, we continue to provide our residents with value for money and high quality services.

We want to ensure that children have the best start in life and that our young people are provided with opportunities for a successful future.

Medway has become a centre of educational excellence. We are delighted to be the home of four universities and 12,000 students. There are also two colleges and our own Medway Adult Education centres which provide further opportunities for those looking to learn new skills and gain more qualifications. Medway also has a variety of schools across its five towns, providing an excellent choice to ensure each child’s needs are met.

The population is growing and we have responded to this by investing tens of millions of pounds in Medway’s schools and providing more school places. Since 2013, more than 3,000 additional primary school places have been added through new schools and expansions, and we are working on plans to open up new schools across Medway, including a secondary school for children with special educational needs and disabilities.

Medway provides an excellent choice of schools for children of all ages and abilities. Secondary schools across Medway are making continued improvements and pupils’ average point score in academic qualifications, including A-levels at Key Stage 5, has overtaken the national average. In addition, Medway has risen 54 places in the national league tables for Key Stage 2 reading, writing and maths. Our schools are also rated highly by Ofsted with 86 per cent of them achieving a good or outstanding rating.

We also remain dedicated to providing the best possible support for our most vulnerable residents. Our children and adults’ social care teams work hard to provide specialist support and advice to meet each individual’s needs. We work closely with health services to put additional support in place in people’s homes to enable them to return home from hospital quicker to retain their independence. Our ‘Three Conversations Approach’ also helps ensure vulnerable adults can continue to live independently – our staff speak with the individuals involved to help establish their needs and find ways to further support them.

Medway residents also benefit from having a number of places they can visit across our five towns to access help and support. We have invested heavily in our community hubs and libraries, which provide a number of services, and we also work closely with our partner agencies to provide support at our children and family hubs and family wellbeing centres. We have also improved the online access for our residents, with many services now being available on our website, from reporting a problem to paying council tax quickly and securely.

landscape image of medway

We are committed to providing our residents with new opportunities - our ongoing monumental regeneration programme is set to provide growth for all and benefit future generations, as well as help our town centres thrive. Medway already has a lot to offer its residents, including two theatres, more than 30 free festivals and events each year, water- front restaurants and award winning green spaces to enjoy. We also celebrate our strong military connections and relish in our communities coming together to recognise Medway’s achievements and history.

To meet the local demand for new homes, as well as central government’s challenging housing target, we are working closely with developers on plans to achieve this. We will be consulting residents again on Medway’s Local Plan, which sets out how we can provide more new housing, infrastructure and facilities. In addition to providing the much needed new homes, we also remain committed to protecting Medway’s valued green spaces and maintaining our parks for families to enjoy.

Medway residents have a great choice of new accommodation to meet their needs - Rochester Riverside housing development is due to open its doors to new residents this year. There 4 are also a number of other ongoing developments across Medway providing luxury and affordable new homes, including Kitchener Barracks in Chatham and Chatham Waters.

As a council we are becoming more self-supporting and thinking more innovatively to ensure we maximise opportunities for our residents and businesses. We have established a housing company, Medway Development Company, which is moving forward with plans to provide new accommodation across Medway, including affordable homes. We are also committed to developing our land to create more commercial space for businesses to grow.

A new innovative business hub, known as Innovation Park Medway, is set to create hundreds of new highly skilled jobs. The business park, which is part of the North Kent Enterprise Zone, will offer attractive business rates to companies locating to the site at Rochester Airport. Innovation Park Medway will specialise in high-value technology, engineering, manufacturing and knowledge intensive businesses, and gives them the opportunity to grow.

Medway’s 14,000 businesses are thriving and contributing towards a healthy economy, which has significantly grown to £5.17billion. Our business growth rate is beating both the UK and south-east averages, providing more employment opportunities for our residents.

We continue to lobby government and work with partner organisations to bring in more funding to help Medway grow and prosper. Over recent years we have successfully bid for more than £45million of additional funding to help with Medway’s growth, bringing more wealth and prosperity for Medway people.

Medway is thriving as a place to live, work, learn and visit, and we will continue to support all of our communities and provide opportunities to ensure Medway’s future remains prosperous.

landscape image of st marys island

Our priorities

The three priorities, chosen by your elected councillors, are:

  • Medway: A place to be proud of
  • Maximising regeneration and economic growth
  • Supporting Medway’s people to realise their potential

We believe that concentrating our resources in these areas will lead to a better quality of life across Medway.

The diagram below shows the outcomes for each priority:

Medway: A place to be proud of

A clean and green environment

Medway on the map

Maximising regeneration and economic growth

A strong diversified economy

Residents with jobs and skills

Preventing homelessness

Delivering new homes to meet the needs of Medway’s residents

Getting around Medway

Supporting Medway’s people to realise their potential

Healthy and active communities

Resilient families

Older and disabled people living independently in their homes

All children achieving their potential in schools


Ways of working

We will achieve our priorities by working in the following ways:

Giving value for money

We are committed to delivering efficient and effective services for Medway residents, businesses and visitors.

Finding the best digital innovation and using it to meet residents’ needs

We are committed to transforming the way we provide services, the way we operate and the way we interact with residents. We will take advantage of the opportunities provided by digital technology to make it quicker and easier for customers to access our services online, to suit their lifestyles and expectations, while delivering value for money. We will provide support, including education and access to technology, for those who can’t go online at the moment.

Working in partnership where this benefits our residents

We cannot achieve our vision for Medway on our own. We will continue to work with partners to deliver the services that matter most to the community.

By applying these ways of working, we will deliver services that meet public expectations and manage our resources effectively.

image of a crowd in medway

Medway: A place to be proud of

We want Medway to be a place that local residents and businesses are proud of. We will work to maintain a clean and green environment and to enable residents, visitors and businesses to move around Medway easily by tackling congestion hotspots and improving the public realm. By building on what makes Medway unique - the river, our heritage and sporting legacy - Medway on the Map promotes Medway as a great place to live, work, learn and visit.

landscape image of medway

Outcome: A clean and green environment

Programme: Enhancing public realm and street scene


Working with the public and partners to enhance and protect Medway’s high quality public realm and street scene.


Medway communities have pride in the place and our green spaces are clean and well maintained.

Measure of success

1) Improved street and environmental cleanliness
2) Satisfaction with parks and green spaces
3) Satisfaction with refuse collection

Programme: Replacing Medway’s street lights


Increase the energy efficiency of Medway’s street lighting by using LED technology and supporting the SMART Cities ambition.


Replace existing lamp columns to provide and maintain safe, green and efficient lighting.

Measure of success:

1800 columns to be replaced by 2019/20.

Outcome: Medway on the Map

Programme: Medway: A great place to live, work, learn and visit


Built around our culture, tourism and regeneration strategies, including Medway 2035. By building on what makes the river Medway unique - the river, our heritage and sporting legacy - Medway on the Map promotes Medway as a great place to live, work, learn and visit.


Increased regional, national and international profile recognising Medway is a great place to live, work, learn and visit for residents, businesses and visitors.

Maximising regeneration and economic growth

We want to ensure that Medway’s regeneration drives economic development to encourage new and existing businesses to grow in Medway, which will benefit local residents through the creation of the new jobs and homes they need. We will work to promote jobs, skills and employability. We will work to deliver new homes to meet the needs of Medway residents, and prevent homelessness through a council-wide approach..

Outcome: A strong diversified economy

Programme: Business investment


  1. The development of Innovation Park Medway (maximising the benefits Enterprise Zone status brings) and across the area to provide the right infrastructure for business success.
  2. Ensure Medway’s regeneration agenda delivers economic growth, increasing high value businesses and high quality employment and creating jobs and inward investment.
  3. Facilitate the delivery of Medway 2035.
  4. Continue to encourage and help facilitate the growth business in Medway.


  1. To attract high tech and science based businesses from elsewhere to relocate and grow in Medway.
  2. Creating high skilled employment opportunities for our graduates to retain local talent and create a strong mixed economy.

Measure of success:

  1. Medway Gross Value Added per job
  2. Percentage of square footage let in council owned business units
  3. Percentage of square footage let at Innovation Centre Medway.

Outcome: Residents with jobs and skills

Programme: Jobs, skills and employability


  1. The Medway Skills Board, established in 2017, is to champion skills development to all ages.
    The Skills Plan for Medway was adopted by Cabinet in March 2019. This plan incorporated the objectives of the 16 to 19 Strategy, alongside interests such as apprenticeships, degree apprenticeships and internships to support lifelong learning.
  2. Create job opportunities for Medway residents including Innovation Park Medway, Lower Thames Crossing and across Medway.
  3. Medway Adult Education learning programme to boost local skills level for those furthest from employment.


  1. Improve employability via uniting skills supply and demand.
  2. To deliver the priorities and measures of success within the Skills Plan 2019 to 2024.

Measure of success: 

  1. Percentage of 16 to 17-year-olds who are not in education, employment or training
  2. Number of jobs created and safeguarded
  3. Medway adult education percentage retention rate
  4. Medway adult education achievement rate (pass rate)

Outcome: Preventing homelessness

Programme: Preventing homelessness


  1. To prevent homelessness through a council wide approach.
  2. To continue to deliver the priorities of the rough sleeper initiative.


  1. To support people and vulnerable families to access housing
  2. Working with landlords and agents to support households to sustain their accommodation and prevent homelessness
  3. Help Medway’s people get a foot on the housing ladder

Measure of success:

  1. Number of households with dependent children in B&B who have resided there for 6+ weeks
  2. Number of private sector properties improved as a result of the council’s intervention
  3. Number of households living in temporary accommodation

Outcome: Delivering new homes to meet the needs of Medway’s residents

Programme: Delivering new homes to meet the needs of Medway’s residents


  1. Progress Medway’s Local Plan to allocate land for development to meet our housing needs up to 2035.
  2. Work with landowners and developers to promote the delivery of housing on appropriate sites in Medway to meet our housing targets and vision for Medway’s successful growth.
  3. Continue to work on the Housing Infrastructure Fund Bid awaiting decision in summer 2019.


Deliver new homes to meet the needs of Medway’s residents

Measure of success:

Net additional homes provided

Outcome: Getting around Medway

Programme: Tackle congestion hotspots by transport and public realm improvements


  1. Achieve Level 3 status for Highway Asset with Department for Transport (DfT).
  2. Transport and public realm improvements for Strood.
  3. Support the development of Chatham Railway Station.


Enable residents, visitors and businesses to move around Medway easily.

Measure of success:

Average journey time along 5 routes across Medway (mins per mile).

image of Chatham Bus station

Supporting Medway’s people to realise their potential

We want to support all of our residents, especially young people, to realise their potential through the provision of services and initiatives that will help Medway become an even healthier and safer place to live. We will work to further improve everyone’s health and reduce inequalities, support families to give their children the best start in life and help all children to achieve their potential in school. Working with partners we will continue to improve support for vulnerable adults, maintaining and prolonging independence.

education in medway

Outcome: Healthy and active communities

Programme: Improving everyone’s health and reducing inequalities


This programme will deliver interventions to encourage behaviour change to increase healthy lifestyles and impact on the wider determinants of health. This will include developing healthy environments through the council’s planning and policy functions, embedding ‘make every contact count’ (NHS Health Education England’s approach to behaviour change) across the workforce and delivery of public health services.


  1. Reduction in obesity, smoking, alcohol misuse, physical inactivity, social isolation.
  2. Improvement in mental wellbeing.

Measure of success:

  1. Children aged 4 to 5 with excess weight
  2. Children aged 10 to 11 with excess weight
  3. Percentage of adults completing weight management programme who have reduced their cardiovascular risk 
  4. Workplace health - the number of settings graduating from our ‘Healthy Settings’ programme.


Outcome: Resilient families

Programme: Together we can - Children’s Services


To develop Children’s Services to be a ‘Good’ service and continue to strengthen our Early Help offer.


  1. Increased percentage of permanent social workers
  2. Narrow the attainment gap between Medway Looked After Children (LAC) and all Medway children in education
  3. Reduction in timescale between placement order and moving in with adoptive family

Measure of success:

  1. Number of child protection cases per 10,000 children
  2. Number of looked after children per 10,000 children
  3. The average number of days (over the last 36 months) between a child entering care and moving in with adoptive family
  4. The percentage of children social care substantive posts not filled by permanent social workers
  5. The percentage of looked after children who achieve the required standard in GCSE English and Maths.

Programme: The best start in life


Support families to give their children the best start in life by developing an integrated approach to our healthy child and early years programmes.


Reduce tooth decay in children under age of five, improve school readiness and reduce pupil absence.

Measure of success:

  1. Percentage achievement gap at Early Years Foundation Stage Profile between the lowest attaining 20 per cent of children and the mean
  2. Smoking at the time of delivery.

Outcome: Older and disabled people living independently in their homes

Programme: Improve support for vulnerable adults by working with partners and communities


Improve support for vulnerable adults, by working with partners and communities to develop integrated care pathways. Maintain and prolong independence by using technology enabled care services in an effective preventative way. Develop and improve local safeguarding arrangements through the creation of a Medway Adults Safeguarding Board.


  1. More people supported to remain in their own home through the provision of technology enabled care and personal budgets.
  2. Reduction in permanent admissions to residential care
  3. Reduction in delayed transfers of care.
  4. Increased awareness of the Adults Safeguarding processes and reporting methods amongst all service users, care givers and professionals.

Measure of success:

  1. Permanent admissions to care homes per 100,000 population - 18 to 64.
  2. Permanent admissions to care homes per 100,000 population - 65+.
  3. Delayed transfers of care from hospital and those which are attributable to adult social care, per 100,000 population.
  4. Percentage of clients receiving a direct payment for their social care service accommodation.
  5. Percentage of long term packages that are placements.
  6. Proportion of adults with a primary support reason of learning disability support who live in their own home or with their family.
  7. Proportion of adults in contact with secondary mental health services who live independently, with or without support.

Outcome: All children achieving their potential in schools

Programme: Raising aspiration and ambition


  1. Raise standards in schools across all phases.
  2. Improve the percentage of children in schools that are ‘Good’ or ‘Outstanding’.
  3. Implement the actions of the School Improvement Strategy to improve the quality of leadership, governance and teaching.
  4. Engage young people as active citizens.


  1. Improvement in the percentage of schools judged ‘Good’ or ‘Outstanding’ by Ofsted.
  2. Improvement in KS2 results.
  3. Narrow the gap between attainment of disadvantaged children and all other children.
  4. Attendance at Medway Youth Parliament and Medway Youth Parliament activities and engagement at National Citizen Service Programme.
  5. Attainment 8.

Measure of success:

  1. The percentage of children who achieve the required standard or above in reading, writing and mathematics at KS2.
  2. The percentage of children permanently excluded from school (upheld only).
  3. The percentage of children who were persistently absent from school.
  4. The percentage of primary sector schools in Medway judged to be ‘good’ or ‘better’.
  5. The percentage of secondary sector schools in Medway judged to be ‘good’ or ‘better’
  6. The percentage of special schools in Medway judged to be ‘good’ or ‘outstanding’
  7. Average attainment 8 score
  8. Average progress 8 score

Where does the money come from?

In 2019 to 2020 the money comes from:


Government grants

A total spend of £535.386m.

What does the council spend money on?

Mostly on education, schools and children’s social services. This is like most other councils that have a responsibility for education.The next area that has a large amount spent on it is housing, followed by other services for the community, such as care for older people. The cost of older people’s services is increasing because people are living longer.


Services 2019 to 2020 Budget 2019 to 2020 Spend per day

Services for children



Housing (including benefit payments)



Adult social services



Services for the environment



Leisure and cultural services



Public Health



Other services



Budget 2019 to 2020




Other formats

This information can be made available in other formats. Phone 01634 333 333.

Download Council Plan as a PDF.

If you have questions about this information and you want to speak to someone in your own language phone 01634 335 577.