Medway Council working on new cultural strategy plan as it aims to become a City of Aspiration

Medway Council is in the process of deciding what its cultural plan should be for the next decade as it works towards making Medway a City of Aspiration. 

The council have commissioned a consultation agency for the first time to hold Open Space meetings and invite members of the public to have their say on how the use of culture could improve Medway. 

The agency will take on board suggested ideas, draft a report and then put it to the council for them to review. 

The key question asked at the meeting was: How can culture make Medway a better place? 

Around 200 people attended the first open space forum at the Corn Exchange in Rochester last Saturday, where they were separated into break out groups to discuss certain issues that the council will address over the next 10 years. 

One person who went long was Natasha Boardman-Steer, a creative practitioner whose core focus was to look at diversity. 

Natasha said: “Medway is so diverse that actually we should be celebrating the diversity of the area.

“With the consultation I wanted to make sure that I could support the local community to have a voice on this strategy.

Other breakout groups looked at engaging youth, climate change and making better use of the River Medway. 

Natasha thinks the meaning of culture is open to each person’s interpretation. 

She added: “For me I believe culture and diversity are one of the same thing essentially.

“I believe that when we often talk about culture people are thinking about arts and heritage but actually culture is so personal to an individuals needs and backgrounds.”

The development of the new cultural strategy plan has a way to go, however with more open space meetings yet to be held it would seem the council have made a promising start to becoming a City of Aspiration.

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