Medway Elects
Medway Council

Medway council was formed on 1 April 1998 with the merger of Gillingham borough council and Rochester-upon-Medway city council. The authority consists of 59 councillors who are elected to represent the district's 24 wards every four years. Councillors have responsibility for local matters including housing, local business, planning and schools.

Medway Councillors

Colour denotes the highest-polling candidate in the most recent election in each ward. If there are councillors from another party in the same ward, they are denoted by a star.

Medway council is currently comprised of 59 councillors belonging to one of three political groups.

Between the first elections to Medway council in 1997 and 2003, there were 80 seats on the council across 35 wards. Since the boundaries were redrawn in 2003, there have been 55 seats across 22 wards. The boundaries are due to be redrawn again following a boundary review which took place between December 2019 and March 2021. From May 2023, there will be 59 seats across 24 council wards.

Political Groups

Candidates usually stand for a political party (although some stand as independent candidates) and, if elected, sit in that party's political group. A party requires two or more members to formally constitute a group.

Medway council is currently made up of the following political groups:

Former Political Groups

The following parties have also been represented on the council since the first elections in 1997:

Political Control

A political group requires 28 members for an overall majority on the council. If no group has more than 28 members then the administration is classed as "NOC", or no overall control. Prior to 2003, when there were 80 councillors elected to Medway council, a political group required 41 members for an overall majority. The 2003 election was the first time a single political group had an overall majority on the council.

  Years Control of the Council
  1998 to 2003 No overall control
  2003 to 2023 Conservative
  2023 to Present Labour and Co-operative

Cabinet and Committees

In addition to periodic meetings of the full council, councillors may sit on specialist committees which have delegated authority to take decisions or hold the council's executive branch, the cabinet, to account.


Medway's councillors meet together six times a year to discuss the council's policy framework and budget. Certain other decisions are also reserved for the council such as making changes to Medway’s constitution, determining electoral issues and dealing with matters which are not the responsibility of the cabinet.


The cabinet is the council's executive branch, responsible for proposing the policy framework and budget to the rest of the council and for taking decisions on resources and priorities throughout the year. The cabinet delivers and implements the budget and policies decided by the council.

From time to time, the cabinet may also establish advisory groups to advise on specific areas of council policy. The current advisory groups are:

Overview and Scrutiny Committees

Overview and scrutiny is one of the most important ways in which councillors can influence council policy and champion their constituents. Councillors can ask the committees to discuss issues of local importance by asking for a members item to be added to the agenda or through the facility to raise a councillor call for action.

The committees also debate petitions presented to council where the petitioners are not satisfied with the response they have had play a key role in developing and reviewing policy and holding the cabinet to account.

Regulatory and Councillor Conduct Committees

These committees deal with the functions of the council that cannot be dealt with by the cabinet, for example, determination of applications for planning permission. There are also committees that must be set up under specific legislation such as the licensing committee.

Click on the name of any committee to see a brief description of their role, their current members and councillors' attendance record.

Councillors' Allowances

All councillors are entitled to a basic allowance and to claim for certain travel and subsistence expenses. Some councillors have special responsibilities (e.g. a cabinet portfolio or chairing a committee) and receive an additional allowance. The amount paid each year for these was:

  Total £13,942,916.72
Basic allowance £8,986,685.77
Special responsibility allowance £4,849,381.12
Travel and subsistence £106,619.83
Dependent carers allowance £230.00

Allowances information is only available from 2005 onwards. Click on a year to see a breakdown of the allowances each councillor received.

Councillors' Attendance

In addition to cabinet and committee meetings, the full council meets six times a year and, unless there are extenuating circumstances, all councillors are expected to attend these meetings. The attendances recorded in each council term is as follows:

Attendance records are only available from October 2001 onwards. Click on a council term to see individual attendance records for each councillor.

Councillors' Voting Record

Most decisions taken by councillors at meetings of the full council are made by unanimous agreement or, if the decision is disputed, by show of hands. However, the council's constitution states that in certain circumstances, or if six or more members request, a "recorded vote" may be taken, where each councillor's vote is recorded in the minutes of the meeting. The number of votes recorded in each council term is as follows:

Recorded votes are only available from December 2001 onwards. Click on a council term to see the full list of recorded votes, whether they were carried or lost and how each councillor voted.

Medway Council Wards

Medway is divided into 24 electoral areas known as "wards". Of those wards, 14 elect three councillors and seven elect two councillors. Theses wards are often known as "multi-member wards". In addition, three wards elect one councillor, and are often known as "single-member wards".

From its formation as a shadow authority in 1997 until 2003, Medway was divided into 35 multi-member wards. Of those, 10 elected three councillors and 25 elected two councillors. Between 2003 and 2023, Medway was divided into 22 multi-member wards. Of those, 12 elected three councillors, nine elected two councillors and one elected one councillor.

The following wards are currently represented on Medway council:

Click on the name of a ward above to see councillor history and election results. To see historical information for old wards, please go here.


The first elections to Medway council took place on 1 May 1997. Those elections established a "shadow authority" until Medway council was formed on 1 April 1998. Subsequent elections were held on 4 May 2000 and 1 May 2003, since when elections have been held every four years on the first Thursday in May.

There have also been various by-elections to Medway council seats since 1997, following the death or resignation of a sitting councillor. However, if a councillor dies or resigns within six months of a scheduled full election, then a by-election is not held and their seat instead remains vacant until the next full election.

The following elections to Medway council have taken place since it was formed:

To view the results for each election, click on the election date above.

Did you know? Medway Elects is an independent project with minimal advertising income and no super-rich donors. If you have found our service useful, please consider supporting us with a regular monthly donation on Patreon or buy us a coffee to help support our ongoing running costs!
Your Representatives