Gillingham’s Labour and Cooperative Group Councillors have called for more investment in the town’s High Street following a less than satisfactory answer by the Council to a question asking for an update on their efforts to secure more funding for Gillingham.
The answer, which can be found in Medway Council’s Business Support Overview and Scrutiny Committee Briefing Note from the 11th of October, failed to specify any concrete ways in which Gillingham will be secured any more investment from the government. The answer instead focused on other parts of Medway, even though the question was specifically regarding Gillingham.
Cllr Andy Stamp, representative of Gillingham North said: “The Tory Council had given us assurances that Gillingham would be the recipient of a second round of Future High Street Funding. This hasn’t yet materialised. While Gillingham will receive a fraction of the Welcome Back money provided by the European Regional Development Fund, this unfortunately pales in comparison to the potential amount of money the town could receive from the Future High Streets Fund.
“We are calling on the Council to be more transparent on just how much money will be allocated to Gillingham as part of the Welcome Back Fund, and also to be clearer on the timescale of the current situation regarding trying to seek Gillingham a place on any further rounds of Future High Streets funding. Following the Coronavirus economic slump, the town needs investment and it needs it fast”
Cllr Pat Cooper, representative of Gillingham North added: “this quite simply isn’t good enough from the Council. Their answer to this question showed a complete neglect of Gillingham and is indicative of a stagnant local government that is completely lacking any ideas to help foster economic growth in our town.
“We have no objection to increased investment in Chatham, but we feel the residents of Gillingham would prefer to hear about what the Council plans to do to help them when directly asked a question about Gillingham, instead of talking about other areas.”