Borough of Maidstone
Jubilee Square, Maidstone
Jubilee Square, Maidstone
Maidstone shown within Kent
Maidstone shown within Kent
Coordinates: 51°16′24″N 0°31′20″E / 51.27333°N 0.52222°E / 51.27333; 0.52222
Sovereign stateUnited Kingdom
Constituent countryEngland
RegionSouth East England
Non-metropolitan countyKent
StatusNon-metropolitan district
Admin HQMaidstone
Incorporated1 April 1974
Government
 • TypeNon-metropolitan district council
 • BodyMaidstone Borough Council
 • LeadershipCommittees[1] (Shared)
 • MPsHelen Whately
Helen Grant
Area
 • Total151.9 sq mi (393.3 km2)
 • Rank87th (of 296)
Population
 (2021)
 • Total176,712
 • Rank117th (of 296)
 • Density1,200/sq mi (450/km2)
Ethnicity (2021)
 • Ethnic groups
List
Religion (2021)
 • Religion
List
Time zoneUTC0 (GMT)
 • Summer (DST)UTC+1 (BST)
ONS code29UH (ONS)
E07000110 (GSS)
OS grid referenceTQ7588156056

The Borough of Maidstone is a local government district with borough status in Kent, England. Its administrative centre is Maidstone, the county town of Kent.

The borough was formed on 1 April 1974 by the merger of the municipal borough of Maidstone with the rural districts of Maidstone and Hollingbourne, under the Local Government Act 1972.[3]

Position

The borough covers an area generally to the east and south of the town of Maidstone: as far north as the M2 motorway; east down the M20 to Lenham; south to a line including Staplehurst and Headcorn; and west towards Tonbridge. Generally speaking, it lies between the North Downs and the Weald, and covers the central part of the county. The M20 motorway crosses it from west to east, as does High Speed 1.

Geologically, the Greensand Ridge lies to the south of the town. The very fine sand provides a good source for glass-making. The clay vale beyond, through which flow the three rivers which meet at Yalding (the Medway, the Beult and the Teise), and the chalk North Downs all provide raw materials for paper- and cement-making; which are also local industries.

Governance

Maidstone Borough Council
Logo
Type
Type
History
Founded1 April 1974
Leadership
Gordon Newton,
Independent
since 20 May 2023
David Burton,
Conservative
since 22 May 2021
Chief Executive
Alison Broom
since June 2010[4]
Structure
Seats55 councillors
Political groups
Administration (25)
  Conservative (25)
Other parties (27)
  Liberal Democrat (12)
  Independent (11)
  Labour (4)
  Green (3)
Length of term
4 years
Elections
First past the post
Last election
4 May 2023
Next election
2 May 2024
Meeting place
Town Hall, High Street, Maidstone
Website
www.maidstone.gov.uk

Maidstone Borough[5] represents the second tier of local government, being one of the local government districts of Kent. The Borough Council consists of 55 councillors, representing voters from 26 wards. Twelve of those wards are within the urban area of Maidstone: they are Allington; Bridge; Downswood & Otham; East ward; Fant; Heath; High Street; North ward; Park Wood; Shepway North; Shepway South; and South ward. The remaining 14 wards cover rural districts.[6]

Political control

The council has been under no overall control since 2023, being led by a Conservative minority administration.

The first election to the council was held in 1973, initially operating as a shadow authority before coming into its powers on 1 April 1974. Political control of the council since 1974 has been held by the following parties:[7]

Party in control Years
No overall control 1974–1976
Conservative 1976–1983
No overall control 1983–2008
Conservative 2008–2014
No overall control 2014–2021
Conservative 2021–2023
No overall control 2023–present

Leadership

The role of Mayor of Maidstone is largely ceremonial, usually being held by a different councillor each year. Political leadership is instead provided by the leader of the council. The leaders since 1987 have been:[8]

Councillor Party From To
Paula Yates[9] Liberal Democrats 1987 1992
Dan Daley[10] Liberal Democrats 1992 1999
? ? 1999 2001
Mick Stevens[11] Liberal Democrats 2001 2006
Eric Hotson Conservative 2006 2007
Fran Wilson Liberal Democrats 2007 2008
Christopher Garland Conservative 2008 7 Jun 2014
Annabelle Blackmore Conservative 7 Jun 2014 23 May 2015
Fran Wilson Liberal Democrats 23 May 2015 19 May 2018
Martin Cox Liberal Democrats 19 May 2018 22 May 2021
David Burton Conservative 22 May 2021

The current composition of Maidstone Borough Council's Cabinet is as follows:[12]

Party key
Conservative
Post Member
Leader and Deputy Leader of the Council
Leader of the Council David Burton
Deputy Leader of the Council
Cabinet Member for Planning, Infrastructure and Economic Development
Paul Cooper
Other Cabinet Members
Cabinet Member for Corporate Services John Perry
Cabinet Member for Communities, Leisure and Arts Claudine Russell
Cabinet Member for Environmental Services Patrik Garten
Cabinet Member for Housing and Health Lottie Parfitt-Reid

Composition

Following the 2023 election and two changes of allegiance in July 2023, the composition of the council was as follows:[13][14]

Party Councillors
Conservative 25
Liberal Democrats 12
Independent 11
Labour 4
Green 3
Total 55

Three of the independent councillors sit with the Greens as the "Green Independent Alliance". Another two form the "Fant and Oakwood Independents". The other six independent councillors sit as the "Independent Group".

The next election is due in 2024.

Premises

Maidstone House, King Street, Maidstone: Council's offices.

Council meetings are held at Maidstone Town Hall in the High Street. The council has its main offices at Maidstone House (formerly called Maidstone Gateway) on King Street in the centre of Maidstone.[15]

Elections

See also: Maidstone Borough Council elections

Since the last boundary changes in 2002, 55 councillors have been elected from 26 wards, with a third of the council being elected in three out of every four years. From 2024 onwards, the format of elections is due to change, with all councillors being elected together once every 4 years.

Parishes

The third tier of local government is the civil parish; in Maidstone some of the parishes have neither a parish council nor a parish meeting, as indicated (1):[clarification needed]

Transport

Water

The River Medway was the earliest form of transport through the area. It was navigable for cargo-carrying craft as far upstream as Tonbridge, and it was only in the 19th century that the railways brought any change. More recently, various works have been carried out to control the frequent flooding in the clay vale upstream of Maidstone.

Roads

Maidstone, as its importance warranted, has been the hub of roads for many centuries. It lies very close to the Pilgrims' Way; and two Roman roads met south of the town: one from Rochester to Hastings the other branching off to the East Kent coast and Dover.

In the 18th century came the turnpiked roads. One of the earliest in the county – that to Rochester and Chatham – was opened in 1728.

In modern times, two motorways – the M2 and the M20 – pass to the far north of the borough and just north of the town centre of Maidstone respectively.

Railways

The earliest line through Kent was built by the South Eastern Railway. It was not, however, built to pass through Maidstone: instead, a station was built at Paddock Wood railway station, then named Maidstone Road, some six miles away. It was only in the period between 1844 (when that main line was connected by a branch line to Maidstone) and 1884 that Maidstone became a hub once more, although with local trains only, to Strood, Ashford and via Swanley Junction to London.

Mayors

[16]

References

  1. ^ "Agenda and minutes. Council Wednesday 10th December, 2014". Maidstone Borough Council. 10 December 2014. Item 102. Archived from the original on 15 February 2017. Retrieved 15 February 2017.
  2. ^ a b UK Census (2021). "2021 Census Area Profile – Maidstone Local Authority (E07000110)". Nomis. Office for National Statistics. Retrieved 5 January 2024.
  3. ^ The County of Kent (Electoral Changes) Order 2004 Archived 10 November 2004 at the Wayback Machine
  4. ^ "New chief executive announced". Kent Online. 30 March 2010. Archived from the original on 13 June 2023. Retrieved 13 June 2023.
  5. ^ "Maidstone Borough Council website". Archived from the original on 18 March 2007. Retrieved 1 April 2010.
  6. ^ "Your councillors". Maidstone Borough Council. Archived from the original on 24 November 2016. Retrieved 15 February 2017.
  7. ^ "Vote 2012". BBC News. 8 May 2012. Archived from the original on 13 June 2023. Retrieved 13 June 2023.
  8. ^ "Council minutes". Maidstone Borough Council. Archived from the original on 26 June 2022. Retrieved 25 July 2022.
  9. ^ "Working groups on public services and liberal democracy launched". Local Government Chronicle. 21 September 2001. Archived from the original on 13 June 2023. Retrieved 25 July 2022. Paula Yates... Leader of Maidstone Borough Council, 1987–92
  10. ^ Smith, Alan (2 January 2020). "The worthy hangovers of Millennium celebrations". Kent Messenger. Maidstone. Archived from the original on 25 July 2022. Retrieved 25 July 2022. ...Dan Daley was leader of Maidstone Council from 1992 to 1999...
  11. ^ "Farewell to respected council man". Kent Messenger. Maidstone. 4 September 2015. Archived from the original on 25 July 2022. Retrieved 25 July 2022. Mr Stevens was a former leader of Maidstone's Liberal Democrats and was leader of the borough council for five years from 2001.
  12. ^ "Your Councillors". Archived from the original on 15 August 2022. Retrieved 14 August 2022.
  13. ^ "Your Councillors". Maidstone Borough Council. Archived from the original on 13 June 2023. Retrieved 13 June 2023.
  14. ^ Smith, Alan (5 July 2023). "Two Labour councillors on Maidstone council have quit the party after being suspended without being told why". Kent Online. Archived from the original on 27 September 2023. Retrieved 27 September 2023.
  15. ^ "Find and contact us". Maidstone Borough Council. Archived from the original on 8 June 2023. Retrieved 13 June 2023.
  16. ^ "Past Mayors". Archived from the original on 14 August 2022. Retrieved 14 August 2022.
  17. ^ "Minutes of the Annual Meeting of Maidstone Borough Council" (PDF). Maidstone Borough Council. 23 June 2004. Archived (PDF) from the original on 29 August 2012. Retrieved 14 August 2022.
  18. ^ "Minutes of the Annual Meeting of Maidstone Borough Council" (PDF). Maidstone Borough Council. 18 May 2005. Archived (PDF) from the original on 29 August 2012. Retrieved 14 August 2022.
  19. ^ "Minutes of the Annual Meeting of Maidstone Borough Council" (PDF). Maidstone Borough Council. 17 May 2006. Archived (PDF) from the original on 29 August 2012. Retrieved 14 August 2022.
  20. ^ "Minutes of the Annual Meeting of Maidstone Borough Council" (PDF). Maidstone Borough Council. 16 May 2007. Archived (PDF) from the original on 29 August 2012. Retrieved 14 August 2022.
  21. ^ "Minutes of the Annual Meeting of Maidstone Borough Council" (PDF). Maidstone Borough Council. 14 May 2008. Archived (PDF) from the original on 29 August 2012. Retrieved 14 August 2022.
  22. ^ "Agenda and minutes - Council". Maidstone Borough Council. 20 May 2009. Archived from the original on 14 August 2022. Retrieved 14 August 2022.
  23. ^ "Agenda and minutes - Council". Maidstone Borough Council. 19 May 2010. Archived from the original on 4 October 2011. Retrieved 14 August 2022.
  24. ^ "Agenda and minutes - Council". Maidstone Borough Council. 18 May 2011. Archived from the original on 14 August 2022. Retrieved 14 August 2022.
  25. ^ "Agenda and minutes - Council". Maidstone Borough Council. 16 May 2012. Archived from the original on 14 August 2022. Retrieved 14 August 2022.

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