The following is a statement issued by Cllr Clive Johnson (Gillingham South) announcing his intention to stand down at the next election:
“It has been an enormous honour to represent the residents of Gillingham South over the past seven years.
“I have thoroughly enjoyed meeting so many of them, hearing about their lives, their concerns and their priorities and trying to represent them as effectively as I can.
“I have learned so much about the pressures that Gillingham residents live under: growing concerns about money, health, housing, employment, and the future facing their children and grandchildren.
“The people of Gillingham South are thoughtful, community-minded and, quite rightly, want the best for their area and their families.
“A real strength are the religious and other community groups who work so hard to support our community’s resilience. I pay tribute, too, to my hardworking colleagues in Gillingham South, Cllrs Naushabah Khan and Dan McDonald for their determination to improve the lives of our residents.
“I have been inspired by the many young people I have met in my role as Shadow Cabinet member for Children and Young People as well as the many people who support them in schools and other settings, in social care, in the youth service and in youth organisations and in so many other ways. Medway will be safe in their hands but we need to support them in what is an increasingly uncertain future.
“Though I will not be standing for election in 2023, I know that the Labour Party locally will continue its work to transform Medway.”