back to article Watchdog disses City of Medway

The Advertising Standards Authority has earned its keep by ruling on the critical matter of whether Medway can describe itself as a city. The answer is: no it can't – which is a bit of a blow for Medway Council, which had been punting its delights as the "City of Medway". That description popped up in a leaflet promoting " …


This topic is closed for new posts.
  1. despairing citizen

    What a waste of money

    Why couldn't the ASA just throw out the complaint as vexatious, as there is no possible harm caused by using such a description.

    The ASA would be better off reviewing some of the claims being used to rip off customers

    1. Skipraider
      Thumb Down


      As a (some would say unfortunate) resident of the Unitary Authority of Medway (Gillingham, to be precise), I wholeheartedly applaud the ASA for taking this action.

      Medway council are a bunch of ignorant fools who ride roughshod over the residents at every available opportunity.

      Everybody I know who lives here is opposed to the attempt to grant city status to 'Medway' - we all think that Rochester should be reunited with its former status, but that the City Of Medway is a meaningless, empty title.

      Sure, we all use 'Medway' to describe the area (Medway Towns), but prefer to keep the distinction of the separate towns that make up the area.

      Medway council repeatedly choose to ignore the wishes of the residents to further their own vanity (and, many suspect, personal finances).

      So, in response to your title - 'What a waste of money' - yes, but the waste has repeatedly come from the council itself; I doubt that the ASA's costs amount to anything like the money Medway council has wasted on this 'scheme'.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Rochester was a city.

    Rochester was a city from time immemorial to 1998, when its council merged with Gillingham and Chatham to form Medway. Its city status could have been transferred to the new council, except that the authorities neglected to do the necessary paperwork to appoint ceremonial charter trustees, and so thus the city status was lost. So this ruling pretty much serves them right.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      So if you want to be a city...

      ... don't mess up the paperwork!

      Who let people who don't understand how city status works run a city in the first place?

  3. dotdavid

    Welwyn and Letchworth

    "It further noted that "Welwyn Garden City and Letchworth Garden City also styled themselves as cities despite not holding city status from the Crown""

    Unlikely. They style themselves as "Garden Cities" (which is kinda like a snobby version of "New Town"), true, but their councils are "town councils" not "city councils". They only mention the word city because it happens to be part of their official name.

    You might as well claim that electrical retailer Circuit City styles itself as a city...

    1. TeeCee Gold badge

      Re: Welwyn and Letchworth

      Where's the Queen when you need her?

      Come on Your Majesty, it's got to be worth it to see: "The City of Welwyn Garden City" or "Welwyn Garden City City" on official letterheads.....

  4. Test Man


    They got caught out because they described itself as the "City of Medway". No, they are not a city of anything, they are a town. Now, if they called themselves "Medway City", they could possibly argue it but they definitely can't the other way round.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Rochester is a city..

    .. so perhaps they could expand the boundaries so that the whole of Medway becomes Rochester.

    1. rpjs


      See previous post. Rochester lost its city status in 1998 due to adminstrative neglect. I think possibly this is a unique occurrence in English history.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Even more uniquely ...

        Seaford in Sussex lost its status as a Cinque Port for the same reason (failure to reapply). This is particularly tragic considering it had the even more singularly and individually unique status of being Cinque Port number forty-something.

        It's entirely due to the lackadaisical attitude of the aldermen of Seaford and their like that we're now back down to fourteen Cinque Ports and so risk the highest threat of successful invasion by the French since the 13th century.

        Nevertheless, it needs to be said, the townsfolk of Seaford still vigilantly maintain a large-bore canon on the roof of their Martello tower and at least they didn't let the Dutch straight into town to blow up the king's warships, as did those of the now pretentiously self-styled "City of Medway" in 1667.

        On top of that, it was the Men of Kent who cost us the Battle of Hastings. They should check their facts and come back when they've found something to be proud of.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    This is a title. Apparently it is required.

    Medway isn't a city, it's not even a town. Talk to people who live there and Medway at best is an 'area' or umbrella term for Rochester et al. They are referred to locally as the Medway Towns. No-one, aside from the council has ever referred to Medway as a city.

    Personally, I'd describe Medway as a hovel. Anything which contains Chatham is, by definition, a hovel. Guilt by association if you will.

  7. DrXym

    I doubt the ASA would object

    If it was called the Shitty of Medway. Far more truthful.

  8. Will Godfrey Silver badge


    They deliberately 'forgot' to update the Rochester City status so lost it by default - but how anyone can make such a claim with a straight face beggars belief. It was a classic case of empire building that failed miserably. Right from (probably before) the time it got its unitary status the plan was to lump the whole of the area together as one 'unified' region.

    The Medway towns could never be a city in any sense of the word. Dilapidated sprawling urban mess would be a more accurate term - which since the closure of the dockyard remains a derelict wasteland of near biblical proportions.

    I'm one of the poor buggers stuck in the mess. If I could afford to get out I'd be long gone !

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    "Rochester did used to be a real city"

  10. disgruntled yank

    Are you sure

    That Medway isn't pig latin for a real Welsh name?

  11. seanj

    Medway Towns...

    I lived in the Medway Towns (Gillingham) for a couple of years.

    If Kent is the Garden of England, the Medway Towns are the compost heap.

  12. Paul Hates Handles

    Nuke the site from orbit.

    As said, it's called "The Medway Towns". It's an area, not a town or city.

    It's the Garden of England for a house where people just shit out of the windows. Nuke it from orbit, it's the only way to be sure.

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Just avoid the place.

    The only people to miss the Medway Towns were the Luftwaffe.

    1. TeeCee Gold badge

      Re: Just avoid the place.

      Apparently the Luftwaffe did plan a raid, but it was later in the war and the RAF had already gained air superiority.

      The German aircrews refused to go, on the grounds that there was too high a risk of being seen dead in the Medway Towns.....

  14. batfastad

    sh*t h*le

    The glorious cathedral city of medway?

    Should be just wiped from the map, better for all concerned.

  15. Anonymous Coward

    Perhaps if they has just remembered...

    to include an asterisk all would have been fine? Such as "The City* of Medway", Or maybe... "The Unlimited City of Medway".... Both the asterisk and the word* "unlimited" seem to cover a multitude of sins in the eyes of the ASA.

  16. David 45

    Toothless org.

    Well, this certainly is an item of national importance and has earth-shattering consequences. Looks like the ASA have been taking lessons in how to handle complaints from those other toothless organisations, OFCOM and ICO. I recently tested their newly acquired on-line ads. investigative powers by reporting a so-called UK psychic who is selling from his website (amongst other things) "healing cream" that "can be used with any condition" and has been been "infused with healing powers during meditation". A prime candidate, I thought, for the ASA to cut this charlatan off in his prime. But no! The ASA said that, as it was just the advertiser's opinion, they wouldn't be looking into it, so presumably it is still OK for this con-artist to keep selling his potions and "healing" quartz rocks, etc; to folk who are gullible enough to part with their cash.

  17. Anonymous Coward

    Medway City?

    No. ["Oik" - The Invigilator]-infested hellhole, yes.

    In tomorrow's news, how homeopathy can heal buggered-up nuclear reactors.

  18. Christian Berger

    What about New York City?

    I once looked that up. It's literally just a few houses near a road.,+Lincoln,+Great+Britain&aq=0&sll=37.0625,-95.677068&sspn=51.841773,54.316406&ie=UTF8&hq=&hnear=New+York,+Lincoln,+United+Kingdom&ll=53.078868,-0.14117&spn=0.009693,0.021436&t=h&z=16

  19. Anonymous Coward

    Austerity measures

    With all this stuff about HM Queen having to grant city status and various people presumably having to do the paperwork, receive the paperwork, review the paperwork, stuff the paperwork into some royal envelope, book the monarch, get the signature and/or have someone read something out in Parliament (with all the procedural guff associated with that), just so that some town is now a "city", potentially with various benefits in terms of funding that need to be checked, double-checked, denied, appealed, reviewed and acknowledged, is this not a prime candidate for elimination now that the country has no money?

This topic is closed for new posts.