Published: Thursday, 20th December 2018

Christmas and New Year message from Medway Council Leader, Cllr Alan Jarrett.

2018 has been a momentous year in so many ways. It was heart-warming to see so many residents of all ages support our Armed Forces Day at the Great Lines in Gillingham, as well as the parade through Chatham to mark 100 years since the end of WW1. Together we remembered those who have lost their lives through war. Medway has a strong military background and I am honoured we work so closely with Brompton Barracks to show our support to serving personnel and veterans. 
There have been many special moments over the past year, including communities coming together to celebrate Medway’s twentieth anniversary. I was delighted to see families from across the five towns enjoying the free Focus On festivals we arranged. There have been significant improvements in Medway over the past two decades since Medway Council was formed, and the ongoing regeneration programme is already proving to offer further opportunities for all. 
There is now more choice of things to do in Medway than ever before, from enjoying our award winning parks to visiting waterfront restaurants and leisure attractions. Our grammar schools achieve some of the best results in the country and we now have four universities based in Medway, producing a highly skilled workforce for the 14,000+ businesses. 
Medway’s new business hub, Innovation Park Medway, will create more than 1,000 jobs. The site at Rochester Airport will provide high-value technology, engineering, manufacturing and knowledge intensive businesses the opportunity to grow. It is no surprise that Medway’s economy is now worth £5.17bn; a number of local companies are already trading internationally, and we are committed to supporting Medway businesses to help them grow and improve future prospects for generations to come. 
Our efforts to provide more opportunities for those who live in Medway is attracting the attention of families and business people from across London and the south-east. I was delighted to see Rochester Riverside launch this year – it’s our flagship housing development which will provide a school, hotel and 1,400 new homes just a stone’s throw away from historic Rochester High Street. 
This year’s achievements would not have been possible without the hard work of our partner agencies and volunteers, and especially Medway Council staff who deliver a wide range of services through thick and thin. Their commitment to helping our most vulnerable residents and providing quality services for everyone is commendable – they’re part of the reason Medway is a truly special place to live, work, learn and visit. 
I wish you all the very best for the year ahead.
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