Kent

Medway's 2012 city status bid is 'vital for growth'

The River Medway
Image caption The campaign brings together Rochester, Strood, Chatham, Gillingham and Rainham

A council leader has said the Medway towns' campaign for city status is a "golden opportunity" to bring investment to the area.

Cllr Rodney Chambers believes the area can no longer rely on "large injections of public money".

The government is set to open a competition to name a new city during the Queen's Jubilee Year in 2012.

The campaign brings together the towns of Rochester, Strood, Chatham, Gillingham and Rainham.

Mr Chambers, who is the leader of Conservative-controlled Medway Council, said a lot of regeneration work had been carried out through government grants.

'Place to invest'

He added: "We all know what the financial plight of the nation currently is.

"I do not believe that in order to progress Medway's future we can realistically expect large injections of public money.

"We have this golden opportunity to submit this bid for city status. I think the people of Medway deserve this."

Medway made two unsuccessful bids in 2000 and 2002. On the last occasion it lost out to Brighton and Hove.

Rival bids are set to include Milton Keynes and Reading.

Medway Council's cabinet approved the bid for city status at a meeting on Tuesday.

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