Published: Tuesday, 16th November 2021

In his latest message to residents the Leader of Medway Council discusses Remembrance Sunday, COP26, Child-friendly Medway and the start of Medway’s Christmas events.

Dear residents,

I hope this message finds you well.

Sunday, 14 November, was Remembrance Sunday and the nation observed a two-minute silence to pause to remember and pay their respects to the armed forces community, past and present, who have sacrificed themselves to protect our freedom. I attended a Remembrance Day service in Rochester and I was pleased so many people attended to pay their respects. We are incredibly proud of Medway’s rich military heritage and our ongoing relationships with the military, including young people in cadet groups across Medway.

In my last message I wrote about COP26 - the 26th United Nations annual Climate Change Conference of the Parties which has been taking place in Glasgow over the last two weeks. During the summit, all 200 countries agreed to revisit and strengthen their current emissions targets to 2030, known as Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs), in 2022. This will be combined with a yearly political roundtable to consider a global progress report and a Leaders summit in 2023. Here in Medway, we are now working hard to achieve net zero carbon across Medway by 2050 and during the conference we held a successful Climate Change community conversation event at Rochester Corn Exchange. More than 60 people attended and shared their ideas on what we can all do in our communities to tackle climate change together. These conversations are helping us to create a community action plan together in addition to Medway Council’s Climate Change Action Plan which sets out how the council is taking action to reduce emissions and respond to the challenges of climate change. I would encourage residents to visit our website to find out more about what we’re doing to respond to the challenges of climate change.

Last week we also held our second Child-Friendly Medway City Hall event. Over 120 children, young people, parents and carers came along and shared their ideas on how Medway could become even more Child-Friendly. They discussed goals and priorities for the new Child-Friendly Medway initiative. Topics of conversation included making Medway safer, cleaner, greener, aspirational, engaging and community focused. They also had a special discussion on Climate Change. The next City Hall event will be taking place on Tuesday, 18 January at The Brook Theatre in Chatham where we will be working with partners to deliver a safety themed event. Find out more about our aspiration to become a Child-Friendly City.

We are now looking forward to Christmas in Medway which begins this week with the first of Medway’s Christmas lights being switched on in Strood on Friday (19 November). There will be family-friendly activities taking place from 3.45pm with the Mayor of Medway, Cllr Jan Aldous, switching on the lights at 5pm. For more information about the switch-on events in Chatham on Saturday, 20 November, Gillingham on Friday, 26 November, Rochester on Saturday 27 November and Rainham on Friday 3 December, visit our website.

Rochester Christmas Market will also return to the picturesque Rochester Castle Gardens from Saturday, 27 November. Visitors will find unusual stocking fillers, unique and personalised gifts and, of course, mulled wine. There will be fun for all the family including live performances, a funfair and a Bavarian food village. We’re looking forward to welcoming thousands of residents and visitors to celebrate Christmas in Medway once again.

Stay well and stay safe. 

Cllr Alan Jarrett

Leader of Medway Council

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