By Free Privacy Policy

Medway Independents
Incorporating Medway People's Voice

Issues

Chris on Development, Green Space and Environment

Two years ago Kent Messenger reported the following:-

Are you happy with all the new homes planned and being built in Rochester and Strood?
If yes - Vote Kelly
If NO - Vote Chris Spalding
You have a choice!

Independents do make a difference

This year Swale elected a bunch of Independent Councillors. One of the first things by the new Swale Council was to scupper a proposed development of 11,500 new homes!

Chris is against Excessive Development.

Thousands of houses are planned across Medway but with the bulk coming within Rochester and Strood. Areas like Capstone Valley continue to enjoy protection from Labour and Conservatives alike which simply is not fair!

As green space is swallowed up with bricks and mortar air quality will decline. We see main parties trying to outdo each other with their tree planting pledges yet the solution is so very simple. Brownfield sites before green.

Any new developments to have significant environmentally friendly measures incorporated and not just half a dozen pieces of turf by the pavement!

We need to protect areas of beauty we already have such as Deangate Ridge


Chris has campaigned against the closure of Deangate Ridge

"We have Country Parks in Chatham and Rainham so why not one for the residents of Rochester & Stood? I would love this incorporated in a designated National Park."

"Cllr Ron Sands trail blazing proposal for such a National Park is not only innovative but achievable with the right support. As your Independent MP I can support this without fear of discipline from main parties whose primary aim seems to be more houses at any cost."

Chris on Roads, Traffic and Gridlock

Thousands of houses are planned but the roads already cannot cope.

Time and again all we hear is reports of traffic at a standstill and complete gridlock on our roads yet both main parties Labour and Conservative welcomed the £170m from government for more houses to be built on the Peninsula.

Thousands of houses are planned across Medway but with the bulk coming within Rochester and Strood. Areas like Capstone Valley continue to enjoy protection from Labour and Conservatives alike which simply is not fair!

The knock on effect more gridlock in Strood and Rochester

Emergency Services struggle to get where they are needed. How long before there is a tragedy simply because of the state of our roads?

Badly planned roadworks plus lack of foresight for Medway City Estate have cost and still cost local business £000s.

Residents suffer too! Unable to get to work on time! Late for medical and other appointments! Children late for school!

The opening of the new Amazon Depot saw lorries lost along country lanes and when Chris Spalding and local Independent Councillor Mick Pendergast came up with a plan to solve the problem, the local CONSERVATIVE councillor cancelled the meeting!


Chris speaking on KMTV on Amazon Lorries.

"As your MP I will make sure all £170m goes on roads and infrastructure. Not consultants and definitely not for Conservative Councillor Gulvins’s fancy rooftop champagne bar on top of Mountbatten House!"

"I will campaign for sensible development that results in affordable homes for local people with sufficient schools, GP surgeries and green space for all."

Are your journeys always hassle free?
Is the infrastructure fit for purpose?

If yes - Vote Kelly
If NO - Vote Chris Spalding
You have a choice!

Chris on the NHS and Universal Credit

A keen sportsman Chris has on occasion needed the wonderful National Health Service.

In recent years it has been elderly relatives that have needed care. Chris knows first hand the day to day challenges NHS staff face.

"As an Independent MP I can speak out knowing nobody from any party can tell me to keep quiet."

While caring over several years for his elderly father who suffered a stroke and was then beset with dementia, Chris became ill and missed an appointment for Universal Credit. Even though he had emailed beforehand he was sanctioned because he 'had not phoned the service centre'.

"People say you do not know what it is like. Actually I do. The system needs an overhaul."

The driver of this car collided with the rear of Chris’ stationery vehicle on the M25 a few days before election nominations closed. Aching Chris needed a referral to Physiotherapy from his GP. Phoning from home later that day to make an appointment with his GP Chris was told several times to go to A and E even though it was not an emergency.

Eventually Chris got an appointment which was over a week away. The first Physiotherapy appointment would not be for weeks. Sadly this is not a rare or one off occurrence.

Can you easily get a prompt Doctor's appointment?
If yes - Vote Kelly
If NO - Vote Chris Spalding
You have a choice!

Chris on Local Education

Chris led the successful fight to stop Leigh Academies Trust from closing Stoke Village School but that threat still exists.

Chris believes these closure threats are is due to the massive costs associated with gigantic academies. Chris wants to see the money for children's education going on schools, books and teachers. Not into some non teaching executive's six figure pay package.

"Leigh Academies Trust is now too big so any extra pupil funding seems to go on executive pay not the children which is where it is intended. The Chief Executive gets over £200,000 per year and many others also receive six figure salaries!"

"It is time to remove the Strood, Rochester, Hoo and local village schools from this colossal executive money pit. The result would be top heavy management goes so more money gets spent on pupils education meaning single age classes in all rural and village schools, more resources and a better education for the children."

Academies are Conservative Government policy and forcing Schools in Medway to become academies seems to be the policy of Medway Council. This takes the control of Children's education in Medway away from the local authority. There are certain benefits of have small groups of schools working together and sharing resources so why not have community based local area academies.

The high earning executive management of Leigh Academies Trust currently takes money to pay their salaries from the pupil funding for children attending Strood Academy, The Hundred of Hoo Academy, Sir Joseph Williamson’s Mathematical School, Stoke Primary Academy, High Halstow Primary Academy and Allhallows Primary Academy.

Are you happy with Academy executives taking money meant for children's education?
If yes - Vote Kelly
If NO - Vote Chris Spalding
You have a choice!

Chris on Football - Referees, The Non League Game and Grassroots

Chris has been a referee for over 35 years and is current a level 5 referee seeking promotion. He has also mentored new referees and is a referee observer.

Referees

"Two things really concern me. Firstly assaults on referees continue and abuse, particularly at younger referees, is still sadly seen as acceptable in the beautiful game. Secondly the lack of action taken by the Courts and Football authorities in dealing with both."

Common Assault under Section 39 of the Criminal Justice Act occurs when an individual assaults or commits a battery against another person. A battery refers to the use of unlawful force, including punching, slapping or spitting on another person.

You see reported an assault on a referee and the attacker given a suspended sentence. What message does that send?

And what of the football authorities? Many years ago even pushing a referee could result in a sine die ban from the game. The deterrent was there but now things seem to have become softer.

If I am elected I will to be the voice for Match Officials and campaign for criminal sentences to fit the crime. It seems to me that an assault on a referee is treated differently from say assault on a police officer or paramedic. Why? All are simply doing their job.

I will also use my position to urge the football authorities to take a tougher stances against those who assault and abuse referees whatever the level.

Non League and Grassroots Football

When you look at the money generated at the top of the game and you see non league clubs clubs struggling, particularly at steps 4 to 7, it makes you question why is there not a better distribution of the cash?

Could the prize money for clubs in the FA Cup and other competitions be more evenly shared?

Not forgetting of course the local clubs whose players simply fancy a run out at the weekend. Often facilities are lacking and these are people who are willing to pay a weekly sub or match fee to get a game!

Then there are the building blocks for the future. The youth leagues and District Schools set ups that are such an important part in nurturing young talent.

Medway of which the Rochester and Strood constituency is part boasts a football league club, four SCEFL sides, an amazing district schools set up and numerous clubs in several leagues for all ages. If elected I will be their voice and the voice for all grassroots and non league clubs in the Country.

"As an Independent MP I can stand up and make the case without fear of any party enforcer telling me to sit down and shut up."

Chris on Armed Forces and Veterans

"Any views or opinions expressed or stated are from individuals and are not and do not constitute Government, Ministry of Defence, Army, Royal Navy or Royal Air Force policy or comment."

Chris has over fifteen years service as an Army reservist. Planned his own funeral twice when warned for operations overseas and been elected Head of his regiment’s Corporal’s Mess two years running.

Much has changed since Chris undertook his recruits course but with a wealth of experience and knowledge under his beret, he is well placed to be an Independent voice for those serving and the veterans.

Chris ends his service next May at age 55 or maybe sooner if elected.

"As an Independent MP I would not be subject to any pressures from a political party so can stand up for issues that need raising without fear of discipline or being required to toe the party line."

Since his candidacy was announced veterans and others with a military connection have provided views and ideas as to what Chris should be concerned with if elected.

Legacy Prosecutions from Op Banner

The Armed Forces have very high values and standards. Personnel obey orders and are expected to obey orders unless of course the order is clearly unlawful. Is it considered by some that any historical prosecution should only be brought after very careful analysis and consideration of all the facts and evidence and not as a result of political motivation. It has been suggested that Chris who is legally trained as well as being somebody who wears the uniform, would as an Independent MP, be in an excellent position to speak up and campaign for any veteran who is being the victim of any apparently misguided prosecution.

Homeless Veterans

Lots of people have told Chris they think veterans being homeless and living on the streets is a disgrace! Chris has often been told that those who serve and put their lives on the line for this country should at the very least have a roof over their head. There is disquiet that military housing on married quarters estates remains empty long term when there is a need by those who could make use of such accommodation.

It has been suggested to Chris that as an MP he could work with the Ministry of Defence and other ministries to ensure that no veteran is without a place to call home.

Veterans, Mental Heath and Support Generally

One vet taking their own life because of mental illness or a lack of support is one too many. That this, from media reports, seems to be a regular occurrence has been described as shameful and unforgivable.

Chris as an MP will be expected to lobby hard for full veteran support provision.

Serving Personnel

People connected with the military have told Chris that in recent years, although H M Forces has considerably improved its complaints and redress procedures there are still issues that arise and do not seem to get dealt with. It was suggested that even having the threat of being able to go to an Independent MP who will listen may make things happen. Chris can therefore be a voice for the serving.

Reserves Forces

Chris has been wished luck with his campaign because it would be nice for there to be a voice. Two issues have been put forward that Chris could take forward both relating to age.

Presently reserve soldiers (unless extended) leave at age 55 while reserve officers leave aged 60. It has been suggested that with current apparent under manning in Reserve and Regular units this compulsory retirement is a waste.

As a car mechanic in civvy street you do not give up fixing engines because you hit fifty five. Does a chef stop cooking a day after his fifty fifth birthday?

Something similar has been said about tours. It seems to be no overseas tours for soldiers aged 50 or over regardless of how fit they are.

Chris has been asked, if elected, to look at the whole age scenario and how things can be improved for those who wish to and are physically able to continue serving after age fifty five.

Chris on Homelessness, Social Housing, Pets and Mental Health

Homelessness

The majority of people will never ever find themselves homeless.

It is only when you actually need a place to call home that you realise there is a shortage of crisis proportions. Chris has been homeless and was a day away from being on the street when luckily a friend came good with the offer of a spare room.

"I have a lock up garage. I had cleared a space and set up my old army camp bed and sleeping bag plus a space with blankets for my cat."

Chris volunteers with a local homeless charity and first hand sees the situation getting worse.

While there a number of causes of homelessness and these need to be tackled the simple fact is there is not enough social housing.

Social Housing

There is a social housing crisis in Medway, not just Rochester and Strood, yet plans are for thousands of new houses. Surely it is common sense that before allowing developers to get rich with massive housing developments we tackle the shortage of affordable homes for local people.

Recently plans have been submitted by a private developer to convert Barts Hospital on New Road into housing. This is a missed opportunity. Why was this not purchased by the local council for social housing? If Medway council can spend £45 million on the Pentagon Shopping why can it not use its funds for social housing for local people?

Pets

Chris has a cat. While applying for housing he found many landlords, social and private, refuse to allow pets of any kind. For many people, particularly when you are down or feeling low, a pet is a source of great comfort who brings a smile to your face.

"That people having to chose between a pet and a place to live is in my opinion a scandal."

Chris will campaign for the acceptance of pets by social landlords to be the norm rather than the exception.

Mental Health

Chris was the main carer for his elderly father. Being military he simply ‘cracked on with it’. It was not until a visit to his dad by the local dementia team that it became apparent his own health was suffering.

Now recovered Chris wants to see more early diagnosis and better local mental health provisions. He also wants to see more awareness education. When somebody supposedly close to Chris found out he was ill the comment was "But lots of people have mental health problems!"

In conjunction with his desire for allowing pets in rental properties Chris would also like to see more animal therapy.

Owning a pet or helping to care for one (or even several by helping out somewhere) brings a responsibility. Having that duty gives you a reason to go on however dark your feelings may be.

"I can honestly say I may not be around now but for the love a cat. Having Cleo around, fussing and purring, reminded me I had an obligation. A pet is for life, theirs not yours!"