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Medway will be part of history in the making today when the Mayor of Medway raises a Commonwealth flag over Gun Wharf.

Mayor Josie Iles is set to fly the flag along with 500 other local authorities, community groups and charities throughout the British Isles to mark Commonwealth Day.

Fly a Flag for the Commonwealth is the first event of its kind and has caught the imagination of thousands of participants, enabling communities to join others nationwide in linking themselves with widespread public expression of commitment to the Commonwealth.

A specially written Commonwealth affirmation will be read out at each ceremony before the raising of the Commonwealth flag at 10am.

In Medway, the council’s Chief Executive Neil Davies will read the affirmation followed by Leader Rodney Chambers who will read a message from the Queen.

Mayor of Medway Josie Iles will then raise the flag over the council building. A second Commonwealth flag will be raised at Rochester Castle.

Charity teams will mark the day by taking Commonwealth flags to the top of the UK’s four highest national peaks and use the occasion to raise funds for their worthy causes: Cancer Research UK – Scafell Pike, England; Help for Heroes – Ben Nevis, Scotland; Walking with the Wounded – Mount Snowdon, Wales; and Fields of Life – Slieve Donard, Northern Ireland.

Mayor of Medway Josie Iles said: “I feel privileged to be raising the Commonwealth flag at the ceremony on Monday along with hundreds of others around the UK, Channel Islands and the Isle of Man. This mass flag-raising event is a wonderful way to mark Commonwealth Day.”

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The River Medway is “at the very heart” of the local area’s regeneration, council leader Cllr Rodney Chambers has said.

Cllr Chambers made his comments at the first Medway and Swale Boating Association Spring Conference, an event last Saturday exploring how the river can play a part in securing a buoyant future for Medway. He said Medway Council, and the local businesses that use the river, need to continue to work together to ensure the waterway is used to its full potential. Cllr Chambers added: “Where the river once physically divided us, it now brings our communities together and remains at the very heart of the new Medway that is emerging and of which we can all be proud. More

Businesses in the Thames Gateway are set to receive a £20 million finding boost to support new investment and new jobs across North Kent and Thurrock. Ministers announced on Friday, 19 October 2012, that TIGER – Thames Gateway Innovation, Growth and Enterprise – is one of 130 schemes nationally to benefit from the Government’s £2.4 billion Regional Growth Fund. TIGER will offer low-interest loans to businesses investing in new products and services, which will create long-term job opportunities with the aim of unlocking additional private sector finance. The new scheme has been secured following a bid to the Regional Growth Fund by the Thames Gateway Kent Partnership, with the support of local businesses. More

The Olympic Torch will arrive in Medway next Friday, 20 July, as church bells ring, Fort Amherst’s canons are fired and a flotilla of yachts pass under Rochester Bridge.
Torchbearers will start the journey at Gillingham shortly before 8am on Friday, 20 July, before passing through Chatham, Rochester and Strood. More

The Olympic flame will pass through the streets of Medway on Friday, 20 July – just one week before the opening ceremony of the London 2012 Games.
Thousands of residents are expected line the streets to cheer on the 21 inspirational people, including four from Medway, who have been granted the honour of carrying the torch in the 8,000 strong chain linking towns, villages and cities across the country with the Olympic Stadium in Stratford. More

Medway will join the rest of the country to honour the armed forces on Saturday, 30 June with a gala day of ceremonial pomp, celebration and remembrance.

More than 400 participants will march through Rochester, led by HM band of the Royal Marines (Collingwood) – including veterans with their standards, serving members of the Armed Forces and 1 RSME regt – celebrating the Bi-centenary of their establishment at Brompton. More

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