What lies ahead for Medway
2024 offers big changes for our towns
We’re in the news game, so we spend every week trying to find the big stories that matter in our towns. Sometimes that is an easy exercise. Other times it’s a bit of a stretch. News doesn’t necessarily work on a consistent schedule, and that’s just something we have to deal with.
Looking ahead at 2024 though, it will be a big year for Medway with numerous challenges and potential changes. Some might be good, some might not, but big things await us.
Coming down with a case of election fever
As a local news outlet, the local elections last year were a big deal for us, and the lack of coverage of what’s happening at a local level elsewhere is what got us into this game in the first place.
2024 offers a larger, arguably more important election though.
That’s right, the Kent Police and Crime Commissioner election is upon us.
At this point, the politicos among you will be thinking “But Ed, surely not, it was only three years ago that we eagerly voted in the last PCC election?”
You would be right too. Thanks to the covid pandemic, the previously scheduled election for 2020 got pushed back to 2021. One might assume you’d then just start elections again four years later and resume the pattern, but no. We’re sticking to the original schedule, meaning PCCs elected in 2021 only get three years in the job. Sucks for them.
As a result, we’ll be off to the polls this year to elect Kent’s next Police and Crime Commissioner.
There is still much debate about the worth of PCCs, who are directly elected politicians who are supposed to oversee policing in an area, set budgets and priorities, and hold police forces to account. But they are here and don’t seem to be going anywhere, and ours is up for election in May.
Matthew Scott has been Kent’s PCC since 2016, romping away with 58% of the vote in 2021. This majority, combined with the government unilaterally changing the voting system to suit their party better, means it’s unlikely he’ll lose this time. With the political winds as they are, it’s impossible to rule it out, but he seems to face little threat.
Indeed, less than four months ahead of the election, the other parties are taking the election so seriously that none of them have declared a candidate yet. Given the quality of some of the candidates in previous elections, that might just be for the best.
Of course, selecting a PCC likely won’t be the only election Medway gets to vote in this year.