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Borough SUMMER


The Community Magazine from Maidstone Borough Council



BIG Heart of Kent Parade



Letter from the Editor
Community - at the heart of everything In this issue...
Hello, Elmer’s Big Heart of Kent Parade 4-5
Having grown up in a rural village Safe, Clean & Green
in Kent I’ve always been aware how
important community can be, but never Recycling, Kent Wildlife Trust 6-7
more so since March 2020; these recent MBC Takes Action Against Landowner 8
months have demonstrated just how vital
it is to so many of us.
Mote Park Cafe Project, Brenchley Gardens 9
Maidstone Anti-Littering & Waste Collections 10
At Maidstone Borough Council we have seen and heard of
some fantastic examples of how people across the borough Maidstone Borough In Bloom 11
have been supporting each other in what has been an Community Protection, Bereavement Services 12
extraordinary time. Whether it be businesses rallying to get
the high street reopen and the local economy up and running A Thriving Place
again, or residents delivering groceries or prescriptions
Lockmeadow 13
for neighbours that they may not have spoken to before the
pandemic, it is clear people have gone out of their way to help Kent Life 14
each other. The Museum 15
In this edition of Borough Insight we focus on just a few of Hidden Gems, Business in Maidstone 16-17
those acts of kindness and help that have been shared with Visit Maidstone 18
us; including the amazing work the band of volunteers at the
Detling Community Store have been doing to support each Made in Maidstone 19

Maidstone Market just got bigger! other which saw the shop being recognised in the National
Rural Business Awards.
Changeling Theatre 20
MidKent College 21

Launched We also hear about how some people have had to look
at retraining and finding alternative career paths and look
Student Art Projects, Heritage Open Days 22
Maidstone Leisure Centre 23
12th June at what MidKent College has been doing to support them.
We find out about the recent Government Business Grants Compassionate Community Awards 24
that MBC helped to deliver and the difference that has made
to some local companies. Embracing Growth & Enabling Infrastructure
As well as reflecting on achievements from the past year, we ZED PODS 25
are also looking forward to Elmer’s Big Heart of Kent Parade mhs homes, Local Plan Review 26
which is literally ‘coming to town.’ A fantastic free art-trail of
Local Land Search 28
Local Producers and Craft Market beautiful elephants which will be situated in different spots
around Maidstone to engage and delight all the family; created Maidstone Innovation Centre 29
To run the second Saturday each month by Heart of Kent Hospice. The Council is proud to be heritage
partners of the charity project and you can find out about how Homes & Communities
(June - Sept, 9am - 2pm) In the Market Hall you can get involved.
2021 Election Results 30
If you have news of a community project that you would like us
Come to the launch day for great stalls and crafts, face painting to feature in the next edition of Borough Insight please contact:
New Mayor - Fay Gooch 31
Breakdown of Council Tax 32
& music from the Lew Lewis trio and more*
Take care and kind regards, Business Grants Update 33
Bus Station, Covid Vaccine Update 34
Julie Trinity House Refurbishment 35
Julie Maddocks - MBC Communications Manager Wheels of Time, Monopoly Competition 36
Detling Community Store 37
Meet the MBC Communications Team
The traditiona Get in touch...
l market
still runs every maidstoneboroughcouncil See Page 38
Tuesday & Sat
urday maidstonebc for our full
7.30am - 1pm. maidstonebc contact list
Editors: Julie Maddocks, Ella Watkins, Ella Martignetti maidstonecouncil
Design: Sue Fuller, Rachel Lea
Front cover Elmer
Advertising Sales: At time of going to press all information is correct.

*Information correct at the time of printing

2 3
BIG Heart of Kent Parade
Elmer’s Big Heart of Kent Parade 19 June. Each sculpture has a unique of its shops were forced to close at
is taking to the streets of Maidstone app code that reveals some exciting various stages throughout the year
this summer, bringing David McKee’s rewards to download. and most fundraising events were
popular children’s character Elmer cancelled. Through it all, the Hospice
the Patchwork Elephant to life to A host of volunteer Elmer Trailmakers has been on the frontline, supporting
raise awareness and funds for Heart will be stationed along the route terminally ill people, their carers,
of Kent Hospice as it celebrates its and at two Elmer shops, one in The families and other healthcare
30th anniversary. Mall and the other in Fremlin Walk, professionals in the local area.
to provide information about the
With a blaze of colour and creativity, trail and Hospice, and showcase Last March Heart of Kent Hospice
Elmer and a host of friends will be the range of merchandise on offer. had to take the decision to postpone
delivering a ton of fun and laughter In addition there will be a special the Parade for a year, but over the
through an art trail from Saturday Roving Elmer Armstrong sculpture past seven months it has been
19 June until Sunday 22 August. visiting companies and local events. working behind the scenes with its
Visitors and residents will be able Official Partners to plan how the
to explore three routes, totalling The Parade will provide a brilliant nine-week trail can go ahead in a
around six miles, to discover 51 day (or few hours) out, at the same Covid-secure way. After what has
unique large Elmer sculptures. time supporting Maidstone’s post been a difficult year for everyone,
-pandemic revival. It will have a this Parade is a chance for the whole
Each large Elmer has been lovingly positive impact on the local economy, community to come together to
designed by local and national artists attracting people into the area and recover, heal and have some fun!
and are sponsored by a local business bringing benefits for local businesses.
or organisation. The trail guides visitors through the Don’t miss the opportunity to see
town centre, across beautiful parks all the Elmer sculptures under
Maidstone Borough Council is and along the river path, reflecting one roof in an accessible location
trumpeting its support for the first Maidstone’s history, economic heart at the Farewell Weekend from
ever public art trail to come to the and areas of natural beauty. Friday 3 to Sunday 5 September
County Town, as the official Heritage at Lockmeadow, Maidstone.
Partner and is providing sponsorship Rachel Street, Interim Chief Executive On Thursday 9 September, the large
for the exciting creative project. at Heart of Kent Hospice, said: “We sculptures will go under the spotlight
are so excited to welcome Elmer’s at the glittering Elmer’s Big Heart
Visitors will also discover Elmer’s Big Heart of Kent Parade to Maidstone. of Kent Parade Auction to find their
Learning Herd, made up of 30 small This free outdoor trail will provide
sculptures, designed and painted by forever home and raise money
a much-needed boost to everyone’s for the Hospice. All the proceeds
local schools and youth organisations wellbeing and the economy.
from Maidstone and the surrounding from the auction will help Heart of
areas - plus one special Elmer that “This is the perfect opportunity for Kent Hospice to continue to provide
has been designed especially for everyone to get outside and have its specialist advice, support and
Heart of Kent Hospice. tons of fun while discovering the huge outstanding care, now and for the
range of Elmer designs created by next 30 years.
The location of each sculpture will some incredibly talented artists.”
be revealed via a beautifully hand- To ensure you don’t miss out
illustrated map available at key town 2020 was a tough year for everyone. on any of the fun, visit:
centre locations across Maidstone or Heart of Kent Hospice’s fundraising
via the free Parade app available on was significantly impacted. All 14

4 5

What happens to your recycling Getting back to nature

We all want to do our bit for the
environment so carefully sort our
After the refuse collectors take your
bins away your recycling is taken
Maidstone Borough Council’s recycling
team is there to help and offer
with Kent Wildlife Trust
paper and cardboard from our glass, to a recovery facility at Crayford for a specialist recycling information
plastic and metal items. sorting. The process includes people service, they will try to answer most Kent Wildlife Trust manages and • You can find full details by
having to pick items off a conveyor questions and queries, email them protects over 80 nature reserves downloading the Bugs Matter app
This is a challenge for all of us as belt and whenever ‘contaminated’ at around the county and is the county’s which is available free in your
it can be difficult to know what can items are found in the recyclable leading conservation charity. Over app store. The survey period
be recycled. As a general rule if you materials it creates expensive half of UK species have declined is from June to the end of August
haven’t been told it can go in the problems. Most residents since 1970 and 15% are now at risk 2021
recycling bin it probably can’t. follow the 5 steps of extinction. Together with members,
If food waste and other substances • You can journey on thrilling
To make sure your carefully sorted to get their recycling right supporters, volunteers and partners,
get onto clean paper and cardboard, Kent Wildlife Trust works to safeguard new walking tours and explore
rubbish ends up being recycled they are contaminated, in most cases the Kent Wildlife Trust nature
there are some golden rules: Use the separate weekly
making them unrecyclable and the food collection service reserves with a knowledgeable
• Put all food waste in the food load is rejected. Whenever the bulk The Trust works closely with local guide who will share the stories
waste bin or if you don’t use that load is rejected, all the material communities, landowners and of the innovative wilding projects
Stick to the dry material
recycling list
please use the general household within the load is diverted for disposal Paper & cardboard, glass bottles & jars, partners to protect and improve taking place to help wildlife thrive
metal food & drinks cans, foil, plastic

waste bin at a landfill site at huge financial bottles, tubs, pots & trays. habitats for the benefit of the
wildlife and people of Kent. The • Anyone who is aged over 55
and environmental cost to the local
3 or with long term health conditions,
Make sure all bottles,
• Make sure all bottles, cans and tax payer. cans and containers Trust also campaigns for wildlife
plastics do not have food or drink are empty
and invites the public to work with that are experiencing loneliness
in them, empty them first On average around 10% of items them to make positive changes. and isolation and/or low wellbeing

collected from residents green
Do not put items in plastic bags recycling bins last year, could not
– leave them loose, plastic bags be recycled via our service.
4 No plastic bags or nappies
in your recycling
By supporting their work, you can
help create a Wilder Kent:

are invited to join nature and
wellbeing programmes at Tyland
Barn in Maidstone. These will aid

cannot be recycled Use a separate garden bin positive mental health and
So far this year six loads have or home compost your garden
• Why not become a citizen wellbeing by engaging with nature
• Do not put nappies in the recycling been rejected, at a cost of around scientist this summer and help
they must go in the general £15,000. We are here to help, any questions about household waste
/recycling services in Maidstone, please contact us using:
the Trust understand insect For more information or to join © Paul Tinsley-Marshall
household waste bin as they populations in Kent? Insects please contact the Trust Nature
cannot be recycled Glass Bottles & Jars underpin our natural world, and Wellbeing Officer by emailing:
Plastic Bottles If you are unsure about recycling
an item, please check with us
but they are dying out up to eight
Tin Cans beforehand. times faster than larger animals
Paper & Cardboard and 41% of insect species face These are just a few exciting events
extinction. Surveying their Kent Wildlife Trust has to offer this
numbers can help the Trust gain  summer, please visit www.kentwild-
better understanding of our to book and
environment find more nature inspired events.

© Paul Hobson

6 © Nick Upton 7


Council takes legal action Works starting

against landowner to protect area of AONB on Mote Park new café
Continuing its fight against harm to an area of outstanding years leaving the area contaminated as a result of illegal Maidstone’s stunning 440 acre Improved landscaping and new lake. It is hoped that the new
natural beauty, MBC has taken action and obtained dumping and burning. Mote Park will soon benefit from surfacing will link the new facilities facilities will be open to the
a Full Injunction in both prohibitory and mandatory a fabulous new café with both indoor to the car park, where increased public in 2022.
terms against a landowner in Boxley. After a long successful legal campaign by MBC - assisted and outdoor seating and a new larger bicycle parking will also be provided.
by Ivy Legal, the Full Injunction was served in order to modern toilet building to support The existing café, toilet block and As part of these works a new
Mr Langley Beck of Bell Lane, had previously ignored protect the area; the prohibitory part of the legal notice the many visitors to the park. The estates office will be demolished Estate Building will also be added
requirements of an Enforcement Notice to stop living means that all activities and living on the land must new centre will also have a flexible which will open up the view of the closer to the Leisure Centre.
on the land and the unlawful disposal of waste including stop, with the mandatory element requiring everything space for learning, meetings and for
car parts and vehicles and to restore the land. to be removed from the site within six months. community groups to hire.
The Council began legal proceedings to prevent further Officers from MBC’s Planning Enforcement, Community Maidstone Borough Council is
serious harm to the site that is located within an AONB, Protection and Waste Crime Teams, the Environment organising and leading the work
a designated Ancient Woodland and covered by a Tree Agency, Kent Fire and Rescue Service and Kent Police, which is being carried out by BBS
Preservation Order. The land stretches over 36 acres visited the site on several occasions which culminated Construction Ltd.
and has been blighted by the landowner after being in a decision being taken to take action against
littered with commercial and industrial waste for many the landowner. The new buildings will provide
a ‘changing places’ room as well
as a flexible space which will be
available all year round for local
schools and community groups.

Brenchley Gardens - worth a visit!

These beautiful gardens are an oasis Mr Julius Brenchley in 1873. Julius The Victorian bandstand is still
in the heart of the town centre and was born in Maidstone in 1816 and a wonderful feature which we hope
a perfect spot to take a break from led a very adventurous life, travelling will once again be a stage to local
work, shopping or just to enjoy the all over the world, his motto was performers. Nearby you will find
scenery. ‘wander, marvel and adore.’ The Queen’s Own Royal West Kent
cenotaph, designed by Edwin Lutyens
The renowned Victorian landscape Maidstone Museum backs onto and other fascinating artefacts.
designer Alexander McKenzie laid Brenchley Gardens and hosts
out the gardens that became a collection of the interesting and There is even a large finial from
Maidstone’s first public park and varied artefacts that Julius collected the top of the House of Commons
were presented to the town by on his travels. Debating Chamber recovered after
bombing in 1941 and presented
to the town.
The tradition of well-maintained
formal gardens of roses and bedding
plants mixes well with shrubs and
trees; this summer look out for
Elmer the Elephant in the flowering
carpet bed too!
Why not pay a visit
next time you are
in the town centre!

8 9

#CleanUpMaidstone - Litter campaign ‘Be Blooming Lovely’

Unfortunately litter is a huge problem across the UK, by entering the Maidstone Borough In Bloom competition
and in Maidstone it is an ongoing issue. The Council saw
a massive increase in littering as the first Covid lockdown
was lifted last year when it went up by 250%.
Open for entries:
As a result, Maidstone Borough Council is launching a Don’t be a Wrong’un
new campaign - #CleanUpMaidstone targeting littering until Monday 5 July 2021
which is blighting the borough and the County Town.
The Council currently operates a waste team of 34
Watch it! If you enjoy creating beautiful gardens
people which costs around £1.2million per year to run. or pots this is for you.
In 2020 alone the team removed 1,950 tons of illegally
disposed waste on the highways across the borough. The Maidstone Borough In Bloom PR
categories are: IZE
Until now, MBC has used traditional methods of catching Wi
£2 ners S
people littering and issued over 200 Fixed Penalty Residential Categories 5g
vou ift
Notices last year, but the Council is now introducing che
new automated cameras which will identify litter being
• Best Front Garden r
discarded from moving vehicles, identify the registration For the first time ever MBC has launched a Maidstone • Best Back Garden
plate resulting in a fine being issued. The new technology Borough in Bloom competition and is inviting anyone
will be launched this summer and will help enhance the who enjoys creating beautiful gardens or pots to enter. • Best Planted Pot, Trough or Hanging Basket
enforcement action the MBC team already undertakes. It is not too late to take part, entries are being taken • Best Vegetable Garden or Allotment
The new cameras will focus on highspeed roads and until Monday 5 July. Judging will take place during the • Best Pollinators Garden
main routes in to the town centre with the aim of reducing last two weeks of July and the Awards Ceremony will
Littering is a CRIME be held in September.
litter that is being disposed of along all types of roads Commercial Categories
in our borough. You will be fined
The Council is working with Coolings Garden Centre • Best Commercial Garden
in Bearsted and there are three categories, residential,
So please be warned, if you are tempted to throw rubbish #CleanUpMaidstone commercial and community. Any household entering • Best Commercial Planted Pot, Trough
out of your vehicle think again because we could be
will be given a £5 voucher to spend at Coolings. or Hanging Basket
watching you!
Please help us to keep Maidstone tidy, have pride in our A trophy will be awarded for the winner and runner up Community Categories
borough and join the #CleanUpMaidstone Campaign! in each category. All winners in each category will also
receive a prize of £25.00 Coolings gift voucher as well
• Best Community Environmental Garden
as two adult annual tickets for Leeds Castle. • Best Community Ornamental Garden

Changes to waste collection service

Working in partnership with Biffa Waste Management,
the Council is always looking for ways to improve waste
collection services provided to households across the Make Maidstone Borough Bloom!
borough and has recently introduced changes to some
refuse and recycling collection routes.
The new waste collection schedule was introduced for
some residents on 10 May in order to help collection
round efficiencies, reduce fuel usage, improve air
quality, cut carbon emissions and to provide an
improved service.
For more information regarding your waste service
and the changes made please visit the MBC website: To enter please complete a Coolings Garden Centre entry form through the
Maidstone Borough Council website here:
10 11

Guiding our young people Get ready to... Lockmeadow’s

new Children’s Play Area
In the past year, Covid-19 restrictions have meant
schools, sports clubs, cinemas, shops and leisure
Many of the young people who take part in this type
of behaviour may be putting themselves at an even
LoveFood@Lockmeadow It’s all happening at Lockmeadow
this year!
activities have had to close which has left some greater risk. They are known to the Community
Following a public vote and market research with stakeholders, Including a project to utilise the
young people with little to keep them occupied. Protection Team, Kent Police, Parish Councils and many
Lockmeadow finally has its chosen name for the food hall coming outdoor space between the stag
other agencies who are all working together to protect
Whilst many young people have adapted to the to the centre this autumn. sculpture and the River Medway
the wider communities as well as safeguarding the
restrictions, some have struggled and as a result have as a new children’s play area which
young people themselves. It was a close call between the final two names, which were put
participated in anti-social behaviour and criminal acts. will help bridge the relationship
to vote after a survey narrowed down from six - and the winner was
The team is working to help provide diversionary between the building of Lockmeadow
activities in a safe way and is looking for volunteers, and the riverside.
such as sports coaches, artists or musicians, to provide The Council has been holding focus groups with local residents and
Online engagement on social media
activities, particularly over the summer holidays. businesses to gain their opinions on which foods they would like to enjoy
asked the children of Lockmeadow
at Lockmeadow and is using that information to help select interested
Anyone interested should email: followers what they like most about
parties. playing at the park and their
The stakeholder groups told MBC that they wanted locally produced food comments have been used to help
and businesses where possible. As a result of their feedback, the Council shape up plans.

Please respect each other

is striving to offer existing and new audiences a different eating out
There are further plans to invite
experience for Maidstone. From light bites, friends and families meeting,
children from a Maidstone school
or a coffee stop after a riverside walk it wants to provide an offer for as
Other antisocial behaviour has also increased during to give their critical verdict on early
many audiences as possible.
the past year, so our Community Protection Officers designs! The playpark is aiming to
are asking everyone to please respect each other MBC also has plans for outside dining and is working to a current timeline launch this summer.
and consider their neighbours. to open LoveFood@Lockmeadow in autumn 2021.

Meet The Team Independent food caterers who would like an information pack and more
details about the food hall are asked to please contact MBC’s Alexa
Kersting-Woods and email:
Bereavement Services

Shelley, Claire and Lesley are our James, Lindsay, Steve and Justine
Memorial team. They will assist look after the crematorium. Lindsay
with a suitable memorial to and James cover the chapel duties
remember your loved one. and cremation process. Justine ensures
This may be an entry in our Book of all the paperwork associated with
Remembrance, or a plaque placed a funeral is accurate and authorised.
in our Gardens of Remembrance. Lockmeadow’s
Steve is our Bereavement Sharon is our Bereavement
new selfie wall
Service Team Leader. He is Services Manager. She has
Mark, Hannah, Tomasz, Craig, by graffiti artist
responsible for the smooth a Diploma in Cemetery and
and Lewis (not pictured), are Graham Upton
running of the Chapel and Crematorium Management
our Cemetery team. They can (@Shade2UK)
Crematory and Vinters Park and is responsible for the
assist with grave selections,
Crematorium. Steve is running of Vinters Park representing rising
purchase of Exclusive Rights
a certified cremation technician Crematorium & Maidstone
of a grave space and advise
from the ashes of the
and mentors’ new recruits to Cemetery. Sharon ensures past year into a new
on transferring grave
gain their certification in this the teams work within relevant future of freedom
area. legislation and regulations. and positivity.

Share your photos and tag us in!

Artist: Graham Upton

12 13

Museum to help create

Maidstone Memories
for care home residents
Maidstone Museum is providing
Sat 3 July ‘Maidstone Memories’ sessions
to Sat 4 September 2021 within residential homes around
the borough, using objects from
This unmissable exhibition comes the Museum.
Kent Life is a vibrant and fun to Maidstone Museum and is for
It is hoped the sessions will give
destination with a host of attractions Star Wars fans everywhere.
residents the chance to talk about
on its 28 acre site which offer a great May The Toys Be With You is one past experiences, bringing back
family day out. No matter whether of the UK’s finest collections of happy memories.
your family is seeking nostalgia vintage Star Wars toys and original
or want to discover more about The residential home chooses either
cinema posters. For little and big
animals, this is a great place to be. to receive a box of objects which can
kids alike, this is a not-to be-missed
be handled by residents, these are
Each season brings new things to do opportunity to view rarely seen
quarantined before and after use,
and see, so whenever you chose to and highly collectable Star Wars
or the objects can be shown virtually
visit there will be something different. treasures from X-Wing fighters
from the Museum.
As a working farm Kent Life to lightsabers!
showcases and breeds traditional Adult £4, Child £2, Family £10 (1 or 2 adults
Objects boxes will also include old
farm animals including sheep, pigs, & up to 3 children), Under 5’s FREE, photographs and historic film clips,
horses, alpacas, rabbits, goats, ducks 25% discount for Maidstone Museum with themes of The River, Homemaking,
Foundation (MMF) Members Local Industry and Entertainment.
and chickens and the cuddle corner
is always popular with visitors. The museum can offer 12 free
sessions; there are a few spaces left,
Visit the Vintage Village and explore There is a great value annual Situated just off junction 6 of the but do book soon to guarantee one
what life would have been like during membership scheme, which allows M20, Kent Life is easily accessible Young Artists! by emailing:
World War II, by making your way almost unlimited access to Kent Life and there is ample free parking.
through the houses and to the all year, along with discounts in the The 155 bus runs from Maidstone Any young artists aged 25 or under
Anderson Shelter. The 1950s are catering areas and gift shop. and stops just outside. Currently, from Maidstone, or the South East The work is possible thanks to a
well represented in the Sandling all visitors must pre-book online can take part in this exciting Golding Homes Covid-19 response
Farmhouse, or you can step back Currently open for take-away only, before visiting. opportunity to exhibit their artwork grant for £1,800 to work specifically
in time in Petts Farmhouse from enhance your visit with a trip to and be in with a chance of winning with those communities badly hit
the Victorian era. Dotty’s Tea Room, which has great £250 or £100 for a runner-up. by the pandemic.
home-made cakes and a selection 01622 763936
The large grounds are home to the of hot and cold snacks, or enjoy a The theme for this year is ‘Spirit
last working coal-fired Oast House cream tea in the shade on the terrace. of Kent’, which can be interpreted
in the UK - which is brought back The Ice Cream Hut and Pizza Garden however you wish: farming, people,
into production for one weekend are available on selected days during industry, traditions, folklore,
each year for the annual peak season. architecture, history, etc. Follow
Hops ‘n’ Harvest Beer Festival us on Instagram @MaidstoneYAA
(11 & 12 September 2021). and #MYAASpiritOfKent for more
Events and entertainment run all
year, and when restrictions allow, The closing date for entries
visitors can join in with some of the is Friday 21 January 2022.
seasonal farm jobs such as animal For more details and an entry form,
feeding or grooming sessions. Family please visit the museum website
play comes in all shapes and sizes
from adventure play areas through
to fun farm rides and the paint-a-pot For more details on all events: PLEASE NOTE - all exhibitions and events are subject to change/cancellation in line with government guidelines. Refunds will be made if necessary.
At time of going to press all information is correct.
studio. During school holidays, the
MaidstoneMuseum 01622 602838
Big Top often plays host to special
shows (included in the standard
admission price).

14 15

Survive and thrive

Hidden Gems post-pandemic
Did you know? With restrictions gradually being lifted, many businesses
are reopening and considering the best approach to
help them recover from the effects of the last year.
Although rebuilding might seem daunting, there are
A quick history about how Maidstone has always been Maidstone began to boom as an industrial and society
some simple steps businesses can take to stand them
a market town… town in the 18th century, with principal trades including
in good stead.
brewing and paper making and in its heyday, it supplied
It is believed that Maidstone started life as a Saxon London with ‘more particulars than from any single The team at MBC’s Business Terrace, which helps
village. Domesday Book records of 1086 show that market town in England.’ The arrival of train links in the businesses start, grow and thrive, has put together
around 250 people lived here, in comparison to most 19th century also meant easier commuting for workers, some top tips:
villages which had no more than 150. At that time as well as transportation of good and materials.
it had five watermills, which ground grain to flour. • Continue to reassure - some members of the
By the 19th century, Maidstone also supplied agricultural public may be nervous about returning to normal
The River Medway that divides Men of Kent (North machinery, seed and sundries of the hop and fruit trade. life. Be sure to remind your customers of the
and East of the river) from Kentish Men (South and West) In 1892 Lockmeadow was purchased to hold livestock
covid-safe measures you are taking so that they feel
has provided water, power and transport throughout the fairs, and the market diversified by the 1940s to include
secure using your products, premises or services
town’s history and is the reason it developed as a town. motor vehicles, garden produce and general goods.
• Be seen! Although advertising and marketing
By the 13th century Maidstone had grown into a thriving The thriving livestock farmers markets continued until seem like obvious areas in which to make savings,
market town, its river and later rail links making it easy the 1990s, when livestock auctions moved to Detling. it’s more important than ever to remain visible
to transport goods to and from the town for selling The Lockmeadow market complex is currently having and make sure customers and clients know you’re
and buying. In 1261, it gained a charter for markets a makeover after being bought by the Council in 2019 still around and active
every Thursday at Peter’s Field, then moving to the High and hopes to see a resurgence in popularity.
Street. In the 1720s, Daniel Defoe declared Maidstone • Keep talking – whether online or in person,
market the best in England, with a wide variety of goods Information provided by Maidstone Museum, networking is vital for making connections in your
going to London including bullocks, timber, corn, hops, follow them on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram business community. By building professional
paving stones, sand and apples. to keep up to date with blogs, news and much more. relationships in this way, you’re more likely to
be front of mind when someone is looking to make
With its river, road and rail routes to London and the
a recommendation
Continent, Maidstone became the County Town of Kent,
evolving into the business, market, social, shopping, • Consider office space – if you have been mostly
medical and judicial centre for the region. Maidstone’s home-based, a co-working space could help give
history really begins in the medieval period, when the you the physical and mental space to grow and
Archbishops’ Palace, overlooking the River Medway, develop. Somewhere like the Business Terrace
became the focus of small-scale development with provides flexible office space with likeminded
markets and fairs. people as well as offering a wealth of advice
and support
Visit for advice
Lockmeadow Market, c.1947
and more details on the Business Terrace.

Locomotive crossing the high-level

railway bridge, Maidstone, c.1920

Lockmeadow Market, c.1947

All photos © Maidstone Museums

16 17

Get out and enjoy

all that Maidstone has on offer

Maidstone has fantastic attractions

and leisure activities for you to enjoy
this summer. So no matter whether
Maidstone Museum is looking forward
to an exciting new exhibition this
summer. A must for Star Wars Fans,
Events are coming back to Mote
Park from the end of June starting
with ‘Glitterbomb’, ‘Revival Ibiza
Local Producers
you are planning a staycation or
looking forward to welcoming family
and friends to visit there is loads to
‘May the Toys Be With You’ is one of
the finest collections of vintage Star
Wars toys, original posters and set
Symphonic Orchestra’, and the
‘Together Festival’ a free event for
NHS and key workers. Maidstone
and Crafts Market
keep you entertained. props. ‘FreeWheelin FEASTivalis’ takes
place at the end of July.
launches in Maidstone
Many independent businesses have If you have been missing live
had to adapt and change, and they entertainment, the Hazlitt Theatre The Battle of Britain Airshow is Maidstone Market has a new Local Producers and
are keen to welcome you back. is planning a bumper programme scheduled to be held at Headcorn Crafts Market. Launched 12 June the specialist market
Lovely cafés, pubs and restaurants of shows this year from comedy Aerodrome at the end of June. will be held monthly in the Market Hall. It will feature
throughout the borough, with both to music. In July there is the Kent County local producers and crafts people selling and sharing
indoor and outdoor seating, are just Show and the renowned Leeds Castle their products to existing market goers and aims
waiting for you to visit. Mote Park and Cobtree Manor Classical Concert to look forward to. to attract new audiences to shop at the market.
Park have been welcoming visitors Tickets must be purchased in advance
Leeds Castle’s grounds, gardens throughout the year. Mote Park and are subject to the government MBC introduced this new element to the existing
and playgrounds have remained Watersports Centre and the Outdoor review of Covid restrictions. market and is offering free stalls to new producers
open throughout the year and now Adventure offer challenging outdoor and crafters from June - September to support them
you can visit inside the castle itself activities for all the family. For more information and help establish the Local Producers and Crafts
and enjoy over 900 years of history. go to Market.
Kent life, a firm family favourite, If anyone has rekindled their crafts/hobbies during
is expanding the activities available, lockdown and is looking to try selling them in person,
with more animal encounters the Council is asking them to get in touch, as this
including owl flying demos. could be the perfect platform for them.

Markets have changed through the years and audiences

are looking for more authentic shopping experiences
from local makers, which this new venture is aiming
to provide.
There is already a very loyal following at the existing
Maidstone Market, but as is the case across the UK,
footfall has declined and the Council wants to bolster
the existing market, whilst bringing something fresh
and exciting to attract new shoppers.
The launch event featured face painters, food stalls
and music from the Lew Lewis Trio band.
The Local Producers and Crafts Market will run every
second Saturday from June onwards. You can find out
more on the MBC website:
For anyone who would like to enquire about taking
an introductory free pitch at the Market, please email:

18 19

Changeling Theatre MidKent College

back on the road again for 2021 Retrain and gain new qualifications

Changeling Theatre prides itself on He acknowledges too that MBC

creating original interpretations of played a part in helping launch The last year has seen a huge upheaval in the local and
classic plays which it has done for youth theatre in Maidstone when national jobs market, with a feeling of uncertainty for
20 years, delivering high quality, it backed the Roundabout Community many around their roles and longevity of their careers.
entertaining productions since it Arts Project in 1990. Originally This has motivated some to retrain and gain new
began. based at the Hazlitt the youth qualifications to take their careers in a totally different
theatre opened its doors to provide direction.
Best known for open-air productions, weekly workshops for 11-18 year
over the years the company has been olds and was a great platform for To support this change, the government has introduced
performing Shakespeare’s most youngsters of all abilities to learn Rob Forknall - Artistic Director a Lifetime Skills Guarantee as part of their Plan for
popular plays in some unusual about theatre and take their first Jobs toolkit. This scheme is designed for adults aged
venues including Maidstone’s Football step onto a stage. “It can be so difficult to make that 24 and over who do not currently hold A levels, an
Stadium, Allington Castle and first step without some professional advanced technical diploma or equivalent. An estimated
community parks. Rob comments: “Maidstone experience under your belt,” 10 million adults nationally can now take their first full
Borough Council should be proud continues Rob, “that is why we Level 3 qualification for free.*
The company’s Artistic Director is
of what it did to help young people in launched Catapult which includes
Rob Forknall who explains: “All the As your local College for Maidstone, MidKent is fully
supporting the youth theatre group. opportunities such as our Apprentice
plays are chosen by the audience - committed to helping those in our local community
The Roundabout Arts Project offered and Rookie schemes.”
we are genuinely guided by popular to access the skills they need to be successful in
so many opportunities to so many
demand. We ask them to tell us employment. The local economy will also benefit, as
in and around Maidstone.”
what they would like us to perform people will be trained for identified sectors where there
Changeling’s 20th Anniversary
next year and we adhere to whatever are skills gaps, including construction, digital and care.
Changeling continues to provide 2021 open air tour is A Midsummer
they choose.”
a talent lab for young or emerging Night’s Dream. You’re promised an Level 2 in Hospitality & Catering student Claire Tickell
Rob remembers how in 2012 when theatre practitioners through its unmissable performance - a funny, took the step to retrain after looking after her family for
the body of King Richard III was ‘Catapult’ scheme which offers early fantastical feast for all the senses 15 years. “I feel that having a qualification in cookery will
discovered in a car park, that career actors, writers, technicians, that will delight all ages. The opening give me more confidence in my ability, and help me to
Changeling was set to perform composers and directors the performance is Friday 2 July at pursue my career and ambition to own a street food
the Shakespeare play and because of opportunity to work alongside Boughton Monchelsea Place. Tickets truck.
the news interest, audiences flocked established theatre professionals for the opening night and the rest of
to performances throughout the tour. on their open air summer tour. the tour are available on the website: “It’s been great returning to education as an adult. We’re never too old to learn and knowledge is a powerful tool.
It will open up a whole new world of possibilities and
Changeling Theatre provide me with the skills to do something for myself
Productions after many years on focusing being a parent.”
MidKent College is offering a range of free Level 3
courses for those aged over 24 including Engineering
and Accounting through to Construction, Electrical
Installation and Plumbing. These courses include
a mixture of blended and face-to-face qualifications,
to allow you to be flexible with your other commitments.
More information is available on their website.
If you’re an adult looking to change career an impartial
careers team may be able to help you to identify your
skills, explore different career paths and relevant training.
Visit for further
information. Claire Tickell - Hospitality & Catering Student


20 21

Maidstone Leisure Centre

boost your health and wellbeing in a Covid-safe space
For the team that run Maidstone Leisure Centre, health
and wellbeing are what they care most about. The priority Family Time
A brand new mini art trail has been created as part of a is to give you a place to escape to, somewhere you can For children and families, swimming lessons are also
campaign by MBC and One Maidstone to brighten up the relax, recharge and reenergise. back with reduced class sizes and limited spectating to
town centre. maintain social distancing poolside. Family fun swimming
It is clear from the industry track-record, that fitness
Local youngsters took part in a number of workshops to facilities have an outstanding safety record. Furthermore, sessions are carefully managed with online bookings
create the artworks for display in empty shop windows. the centre has a robust, rapid and effective test and trace for group bubbles to visit to ensure peace of mind.
In the first session, the focus was on photography, while system to support the protection of the community and
the second session saw the youngsters create individual Pictured (left to right) the team has taken measures to ensure the safety of
School Holidays
Workshop facilitator, Andrew Dennis; Anna Kerrigan; Evan Tinsley and Ben Farrant
pieces of street art. everyone in the centre - including: Maidstone Leisure is renowned for its school holiday
programme and the Children’s Activity Team is geared
The trail starts at the Mall and a map of all the other Thanks also to the Mall and the landlords and property Clean as a whistle! - Rigorous on-going cleaning,
up for the summer break. The Super Stars Holiday Club
locations can be found on our website, along with further owners of the empty shops, as well as the youngsters Covid-secure safety measures & plenty of sanitiser
is back as well as the purpose-built three-storey Soft
details about the project. who took part. stations.
Play for under 5s, complete with a ball pit and toys for
The project has been made possible thanks A breath of fresh air! - Continual clean air circulating toddlers to enjoy.
to the generous support of a number of organisations helping to maintain a safe space for everyone.
To find out what you need to know before you visit,
including One Maidstone, the West Kent Youth Justice
Get booked in! - Easy online bookings from your mobile, and details of memberships, activities, bookings
team and the Safer Maidstone Partnership.
plus safe contactless payments. and all the safety measures that are in place, visit:

Take part in...

Health & Fitness You can also follow the centre on Facebook
The centre is currently running a number of Covid-secure for regular updates and engaging content at:
activities including gym and swim sessions for members
Any venues interested in taking part and casual pay-as-you-go users that can be booked
Maidstone Borough Council is looking As well as cellars and nuclear
can find out more information here: up to seven days in advance online. The Gym has been
for venues who would like to take bunkers, places like the Archbishop’s fitted with clear partition screens between stations
part in ‘Edible England’ Heritage Palace, with its wealth of history,
or email: to enhance safety while you work out. Outdoor group
Open Days from Saturday 10 to have all opened their doors.
exercise classes have also been introduced for those
Sunday 19 September this year.
Following release from lockdown that are keen to get back to classes with their favourite
Heritage Open Days is England’s and a return to normal life, it is hoped instructors and indoor workout classes resumed in May
largest festival of history and culture, events where people can get out and with carefully managed spaces to enable social distancing
offering free events which celebrate about again will be very popular. during each session.
local heritage, community and history.
In previous years people have been
able to see places they do not
normally have access to, climbing to
the tops of church towers and up into
the observatory at Maidstone Museum.

The Archbishop’s Palace & All Saint’s Church

22 (left) Maidstone Museum Observatory Tower 23
A THRIVING PLACE Supported by:

high energy efficient development comes to town
The Council is leading on a low-carbon, high energy ZED PODs are factory built volumetric homes built to
efficient housing development in the town centre. a very high standard. They are triple-glazed, with heat
recovery ventilation and provide lots of daylight.
Working in collaboration with ZED PODS and Maidstone The solar panels on the roof and the fabric efficiency
Property Holdings, MBC launched a public consultation are designed to create ultra-low to net-zero carbon
on the development which will consist of 16 low-carbon, homes with the lowest running costs possible.
energy-efficient homes which will be built over King
Street Car Park.
To find out more
The innovative way the homes are being constructed about the King Street
will limit disruption to one of the busiest car parks in development

Maidstone. Their design will also retain the parking go to the website:
spaces beneath providing an excellent solution to land,
revenue, sustainability and permanent housing issues.
The development will achieve 16 new residential homes
MBC is inviting you to nominate someone you know who The awards are part of the work being carried out which will be a mix of one and two-bed apartments and
has ‘gone-the-extra-mile’ as part of the Compassionate to support the work of the Council and the Hospice will be super-insulated and airtight with minimal energy
Community Awards 2021. for the borough to become ‘Compassionate Maidstone.’ demand providing the lowest possible running costs.
After a great success last year, the Council and Heart Compassionate Community Award Nominations can
of Kent Hospice have joined forces to hold the awards be a written submission of no more than 250 words
which recognise and celebrate the work of unsung heroes
from across the borough of Maidstone. They were
describing the nominees work. It can also be submitted
as a short video (maximum of 3 minutes) outlining who
SME of the Year
introduced last year to highlight and celebrate the they are and what they’ve done, or as a recorded message. The UK’s truly affordable, zero-carbon,
positive and compassionate work that individuals, Please also include photographs to reflect how they Turning unused land or airspace
community groups and organisations have done by going have supported their community. high-quality, permanent modular homes into beautiful, low carbon homes
above and beyond - particularly during the Covid-19
• BOPAS Approved
pandemic, to help and support their local communities. Captain Sir Thomas Moore House ‘Hope Rise’ — Bristol City Council
Details of the award nomination criteria and full terms Low-carbon keyworker accommodation Zero-carbon new homes above car park • Building Regulation & NDSS* Compliant
The Council and Hospice have collaborated through the and conditions can be found on the MBC website: • Full-turnkey Service (from design to completion)
awards to showcase the important and selfless work • CIAT-registered inhouse architectural practice
* Nationally Described Space Standard
that people in our borough have done to help improve Nominations should be submitted via the online form:
the lives of people living and working in and around
Maidstone. compassionate-awards/
However big or small you think their contribution has Or email to:
been, if they have gone that extra mile for the benefit NW Anglia NHS Foundation Trust Finalist

of others, make sure you nominate them for one of the All nominations must be submitted by Completed Completed
six Compassionate Community Awards. 5pm Friday 27 August 2021. ‘‘I have lived in a ZED PODS home for over a month
London Borough of Bromley Rooftop Development — London now & I still have to stop to appreciate how nice of

The six categories are:

100% affordable housing scheme above car park Zero-carbon new apartments a house I have at such a young age...the homes are
really warm & don’t take long to heat up...’’
Hope Rise Resident

1. Compassionate Workplace/Business 4. Compassionate School/Teacher Contact Us Scan to find out the

latest job vacancy
020 3983 3114
2. Compassionate Care/Residential Home 5. Compassionate Young Person (under 18 years)
Best Affrodable Housing Development

3. Compassionate Neighbour/Volunteer 6. Compassionate Community FINALIST

Best Healthy Homes Development (Urban)
Best Partnership (London)
Under Construction Under Planning ZED PODS Limited

24 25

New homes
on Union Street
MBC’s development on Union Street,
marketed as Tylers Place, has
provided 17 three and four bedrooms
houses for private sale. The houses
went on the market late last year and
working with our contractor Purelake, Maidstone Borough Council is currently looking for
all the houses are now under offer.
landlords with properties to let in the Maidstone area.
Three lucky owners have already
moved in and the show home has
even been sold with all the fixtures
We provide fast lettings, landlord support, free professional inventory
and fittings, meaning one lucky owner and FREE LANDLORD INSURANCE - Rent Guarantee (for up to 6 months)
will move into their new house,
which has been expertly furnished. - Legal Expenses and Mediation Services
Working with Kent based social
A satisfied landlord said: - Malicious Damage cover
housing provider mhs homes on - Landlords Contents cover
the same site the development
“I am delighted to praise and commend my experience
of working with the Homefinder scheme.” - Fixtures and Fittings cover
will also provide 14 affordable rent
apartments. These apartments will
not just provide those in need of an “As a landlord I highly recommend the scheme because
affordable home but a quality of life it offers a competitive rental income to the private
they may not have deemed possible sector and ensures my property meets the high
in the past. standards set by the scheme for all
safety and current legislation
The development will help transform
pre-requisites prior to commencing
the local area by creating a collection
the tenancy. Additionally, I have total
of high-quality new homes available
to people within the County Town. piece of mind that my property is safe
and appropriate for the referred tenant.”

Local Plan Review

Work is taking place on the next The Local Planning Authority also Look out for the next consultation
stage of the Maidstone Local Plan intends to submit these documents and get further details about the
Review (Regulation 19). subsequently for Independent Local Plan Review on the Maidstone
Examination by an Inspector Borough Council website:
The Local Plan Review will help appointed by the Secretary of State.
determine where new housing,
employment, commercial and other The previous Local Plan Review
development will be located, as well (Preferred Approaches) public
as setting out the need for associated consultation, closed on 8 January
infrastructure to support growth and this year. The Local Planning
areas that will be protected. Authority received more than 3,000
submissions, which demonstrates
Once agreed for publication, there the interest within communities Please contact the Homefinders team on:
will be a six-week consultation on around future development and
the documents and updated evidence
base, giving the public, stakeholders
importance of The Local Planning
Authority undertaking these
and others with an interest in the processes.
borough, the opportunity to make
01622 602252


MBC providing home buyers

Official Local Land Searches within days Maidstone Innovation Centre
Maidstone Borough Council is helping home buyers in
delivering official land searches in just a matter of days
welcomes first tenants
The Maidstone Innovation Centre (MIC) is pleased to Peter Vinnicombe, founder of Tilt Digital, comments:
providing them with the relevant documents to assist
introduce its first tenants ahead of its opening in summer “We service many different sectors, one of which is the
making the purchase of a new home so much quicker.
2021. medical industry. With the recent impact of the pandemic,
Anyone who has bought or is looking to buy a house, we are also growing in areas such as corporate wellbeing
The state-of-the-art building will provide flexible office and online services.
knows how time critical the process can be, so a prompt
and conference facilities to businesses working in
and efficient land search can be vital.
MedTech, health and life sciences. The Maidstone Innovation Centre is the perfect location
MBC will respond within just five working days; in the first for us to grow, and make new connections, being, one of the world’s leading consultancies perfectly situated just off the M20, which makes it very
three months of 2021 (January – March), the Council’s
for insights-led health strategy and Tilt Digital, a digital easy to meet clients from both London and Ashford -
Official Local Land Search service saw 100% of requests
agency, will be the first to take up office space. and we are very much looking forward to networking
actioned within that time frame.
Daniel Ghinn, founder and CEO of says: and building relationships with other dynamic companies
Local Authority Searches can be required for several within the Centre in need of our digital and design services.”
“We are delighted to be taking office space at Maidstone’s
reasons, but the most common is when purchasing
Innovation Centre. We are involved with delivering some Maidstone Innovation Centre is part funded by the
a property or land. They are carried out to make sure
of the most exciting data-led projects to teams around European Regional Development Fund 2014-20 and has
potential purchasers are aware of any restrictions or
the world and we wanted to build on our significant previously received funding from the South East Local
obligations on them by purchasing the property and are
growth in 2020 by creating a new strategic HQ. Enterprise Partnership.
usually requested by solicitors acting for their clients.
A Local Land Search will reveal information relating to “Having been a local Maidstone company for over
planning, road adoption and other vital information for 20 years, we are really excited to be part of this new
house buyers. development at Kent Medical Campus.”
The prompt response is provided by MBC officers who
have the knowledge and experience to extract and
interpret the relevant information required for a purchase,
and an official local authority search is produced and
certified by the Council.
The Council is the source of the majority of the information
that is needed in the house buying process so it makes
sense for people to come directly to MBC and not use
a third party which could take weeks to complete and
may cause delays.
Restrictions or obligations revealed in a local authority
search are known as Local Land Charges and are
recorded in the Local Land Charges Register.
For more information on how to request an Official
Local Land Search go to the MBC website:

28 29

2021 Election Results MEET Marion Ring,

outgoing Mayor says
SAFETY OF POLLING STATIONS The Borough Council Election results 2021 were announced on Friday
7 May following the ballot paper Count which took place at the Detling new Mayor Goodbye…
Ahead of the elections on 6 May,
Fay Gooch…
Show Ground.
MBC planned carefully to ensure Well this has certainly been an
the safety of residents as they Voting was held on Thursday 6 May when 35,078 (33.26%) of eligible unusual time to have been Mayor,
came out to vote at polling stations voters across Maidstone turned out to have their say and casted their especially with it being extended
across the borough. votes on Maidstone’s 19 available election seats. by a year due to the pandemic.
It has been an absolute honour
Covid-19 restrictions meant that As a result the following candidates were duly elected to represent to serve for the past two years
things looked and worked differently the following wards across the borough: and to have met so many of you
in and around the buildings including in person or virtually.
Allington – Stan Forecast – Conservative
some people being asked to wait
Barming and Teston – Fay Gooch – Independent
outside, maintaining social Particular highlights for me were
distancing, wearing face coverings Bearsted – Denis Spooner – Conservative being able to host the Mayors tea
and following the one way systems Boughton Monchelsea and Chart Sutton – Steve Munford – Independent party in 2019 where I was able to
and signage in and around the Boxley – Heidi Bryant – Conservative get to meet so many wonderfully kind
stations. Bridge – Tom Cannon – Conservative and caring people from all across
Coxheath & Hunton – Simon Webb – Conservative Maidstone. Holding the Remembrance
The Council did everything it could service during the Covid restrictions
to make voting as safe as possible East – Martin Cox – Liberal Democrats With local government running
through her veins and her enthusiasm was also very memorable. It has
including regular cleaning of Fant – Patrick Coates – Labour
for serving the community, Fay is been a challenge for us all, although
touchpoints in the polling stations, Headcorn - Ziggy Trzebinski – Conservative
delighted and honoured to be Mayor thankfully we do appear to be coming
using screens, masks, and providing Heath – Peter Holmes – Conservative out the other side of it now.
sanitisation stations. of Maidstone. She does so with great
High Street – Denise Joy - Liberal Democrats
respect to the family of the previous Best wishes to you all,
Marden & Yalding – Claudine Russell – Conservative
Deputy Mayor Cllr Wendy Hinder who
North – Michelle Hastie – Liberal Democrats sadly passed away in February 2020. Marion
North Downs – Patrik Garten – Conservative
Parkwood – Lewis McKenna – Conservative I could not have imagined that
after 13 years of being the Borough
Shepway North – Paul Cooper – Conservative
Councillor for what is now called
Shepway South – Gary Cooke – Conservative
Barming and Teston, I would be
South – Paul Wilby – Liberal Democrats given the opportunity to become My year as Mayor would not be
Mayor of Maidstone as first citizen complete without warmly thanking
Postal votes were popular too across the borough with a total of 23,267 our wonderful volunteers and doing
of the borough.
residents registering to vote by post for the May 2021 elections which what I can to help revitalise the
included Borough Council, Kent County Council, Neighbourhood Plan What an honour and a privilege it is coffers of our voluntary and
Referendums, Parish Council, Police and Crime Commissioner. for me. charitable organisations through
More details about the MBC local election results are available fund raising.
Our borough has so much to offer;
on the website: Maidstone Borough Council Election Information for our residents and visitors One of the Mayoral duties is to attend
to return to, explore and enjoy; civic and ceremonial functions on
beautiful countryside, charming behalf of the Council with preference
villages, our County Town, open being given to local organisations
pubs and restaurants! and to events within the borough.
So I welcome your invitations;
I especially want everyone to know
please feel free to contact my PA
that Maidstone is open for business
Julie Webb 01622 602183 or go
and help promote retailers, industrial
on line to the MBC website.
organisations across the borough be
they large or small, whilst supporting I look forward to meeting you!
entrepreneurs looking to start up
their own businesses. Fay

30 31

What does your does Council Tax pay for? Council gives out more than £52million
The Council Tax bill for residents of the borough of
Maidstone covers services provided by Kent County
MBC also has a capital programme, worth £108 million
over the next five years, which will be used to invest
in government grants to local businesses
Council, Kent Police, Kent Fire and Rescue and Maidstone across the borough of Maidstone. Investment plans
Borough Council. Where there is a parish council, the bill include new housing, improvements in our parks, and Whatever your views on the past year no one can deny
also includes a parish precept. the new Maidstone Innovation Centre based at the Kent how incredibly damaging it has been to many in our
Medical Campus - junction 7 of the M20 to attract new business community.
Maidstone Borough Council accounts for just £270.90 businesses and new jobs to the borough. The capital
(13.6%) out of the total bill for a Council Tax - Band D programme is largely funded by borrowing, but MBC For the first time ever local councils were called upon
payer of £1,988.63. The Borough Council also collects will ensure (as required to do by law) that the borrowing to issue government grants to those businesses that
the precepts for a number of other bodies which make is affordable and that the schemes in which they invest qualified. This was a massive challenge as it had never
the total amount. £1,259 for KCC, £159 for the special meet the criteria that the Council has set itself. been done before, requiring a completely new approach
adult social care supplement, £218 for the police and to make sure the money was sent to the qualifying
£80 for the fire authority, which brings the total to £1,988. businesses that needed it as quickly as possible.
Within this, Maidstone’s share has increased by £5.31 Maidstone Borough Council didn’t waste any time,
Example Council Tax Bill
(2.0%), less than the overall rate of increase. For this, creating a system to initially find the businesses,
MBC delivers not just refuse collection and street
Band D = £1988.63 (+ Parish amount if relevant)
carrying out checks to make sure they were eligible and
sweeping, it also maintains parks and open spaces, then encouraging them to apply online through a newly
helps to accommodate homeless people, and carries developed webpage, then of course paying them the
out a wide range of other services. much needed money.
Debate has continued regarding the increase of Council Businesses are complicated, therefore the grants
Tax but there are a number of reasons why politicians, have been too, needing clear explanations as to which
both at MBC and Kent County Council, eventually decided business should apply for which grant. Some are still
to increase it in 2021: running.
• Expenditure pressures, including combatting The Musket Brewery in Linton has received grants Tony Williams founder
homelessness for borough councils, and providing through the Local Restrictions Support Grant (LRSG) and owner of the
social care for the county council, are continuing Musket Brewery
which is for those retail, hospitality and leisure businesses
to increase that pay business rates.
• Other sources of income for councils, such as income Founder and owner Tony Williams, was so grateful for
from car parking charges, have been hit hard by the the money, he sent a word of thanks, saying: “As all are
pandemic aware, the hospitality industry has been decimated by
the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic for more than
• Increasingly, the financial pressures faced by councils
a year and as a small, family-owned business, we have
mean that they are at risk of failure. The National Audit
Maidstone Borough Council only just survived during the very grim times. It is only
Office (NAO) has warned that around one in 12 English
through the generosity of our landlord, James Smith at
councils are at significant risk of financial failure Samantha Fellows from Corporate Entertainment
Loddington Farm, together with loyal customer support
as a result of the impact of the pandemic Professionals was awarded a grant, she said: “We really
Kent County Council and Government grants, that we are able to continue
• There is a strong correlation between councils that brewing and supplying great beer. So thank you once weren’t sure if we were suited for the ARG. For us, as a
have a low level of Council Tax and financial resilience again, stay safe and let’s all look forward to normal life small business that has been severely affected during
- and therefore it is too risky for councils not to once again.” Covid it has been a lifeline.”
Special Adult Social Care
increase Council Tax For more information about business grants visit the
So far, the Council has made 7,676 award payments
• The government itself expected councils to put up to businesses totalling almost £48m under this grant dedicated page on the Maidstone Borough Council
Council Tax; its calculation of local government Kent Police scheme which is now becoming the Restart Grant. website ‘Advice and support for businesses’,
spending power, and hence the basis for deciding email
The ‘Additional Restrictions Grant’ (ARG) was to support or call 01622 602230.
how much support it gives to local government,
Kent Fire & Rescue Service businesses not covered by other grant schemes
assumes that councils will increase tax by the To keep up to date with all information on support
or where additional funding was needed. So far, MBC
maximum permissible without calling a local for businesses, sign up to our newsletter at
has made 1,158 award payments of more than £4.5m
to businesses.

32 33

Maidstone Bus Station Covid Vaccine Uptake MBC set to refurbish

Trinity House
works underway The Covid-19 vaccine programme in England was
opened up to people under the age of 40 from 14 May
Works on the new look Maidstone Bus Station are well for the first time. Around a million adults aged 38 and
39 will be invited to come forward for their jab and
for local community
underway to modernise the area and provide somewhere
that people feel safe when waiting for the bus. will be offered either the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine
on the back of guidance from medical regulators.
The new look station will contribute to increasing the
According to NHS England data (as of 13 May 2021), The Council has started refurbishment work on Trinity
vitality and viability of Maidstone, by improving its over
half the population - 35million have received their House, Church Street to bring new life into the important
all image as a modern, well cared for place with excellent
first vaccine in the UK and more than a quarter of community asset.
public transport facilities.
the entire population - 18.1million have been fully Following the exchange of contracts with Hyde Housing
The renovation work began in the station on 22 March vaccinated against Covid. According to Government in April work to convert the building began to create
and is scheduled to be completed later this summer. research, those in the youngest age cohort, from 18 a multi-use communal community space, providing
MBC has been working with Kent County Council, Arriva, to 29, are more likely than other ages to be hesitant a place to stay for people who are homeless along
NuVenture and the owners of the Mall Shopping Centre about choosing to receive a vaccine. with temporary and settled accommodation.
to refurbish and improve the Bus Station. The uptake suggests there is clearly some nervousness The Council’s Outreach Team will also be based there
for those who - for a variety of reasons, are questioning and it will have onsite management and an overnight
A consultation around the new facilities took place last concierge service.
year when the top priorities raised included improved the benefits of being vaccinated. However regulators,
lighting, refurnishing floors in pedestrian areas, new bus including the Medicines and Healthcare products
bay signage with timetabling information along with Regulatory Agency (MHRA) in the UK and the European MBCs Head of Housing and Community Services, John
new benches and seating. Medicines Agency, say the overall benefits of the vaccine Littlemore said: “The Council is delighted to be able to
outweigh the risks for all age groups. help provide a ‘new life’ for Trinity House to help people
A colourful mural will be designed and created specifically in need in the town centre.
for the project at the King Street entrance to the station, The government is encouraging everyone including
which is being funded by an Arts Council England grant. young people who may not see themselves at risk to “Through the work of the MBC Outreach Team we know
Youngsters from the local area will be involved in the come forward and book a vaccine as soon as possible. only too well how important this type of facility is to the
project later this year. community and this facility will help us continue our work
Health and Social Care Secretary Matt Hancock has said: in supporting homeless people who need temporary
“I urge everybody to get the vaccine as soon as they are and settled accommodation.”
eligible to protect yourself and your loved ones.”

There are several places in Maidstone offering The work will also help further develop MBC’s outstanding
a vaccination service including local GPs. People Homelessness Services and increase its affordable
who qualify for a jab will be invited via a text from housing programme in the town centre.
‘NHSvaccine’, which includes a web link to the health
service’s NHS Covid Vaccine. Previously as Trinity Foyer, in Church Street, Maidstone
the facility helped young adults with accommodation
Those who can’t access the internet can call 119 after it opened in December 1998.
instead to get an appointment at one of 1,600 sites
administering the vaccines across England. The refurbishment is scheduled to take place from
May allowing residents to move in from September
2021. It will provide 23 self-contained one and two
bedroom apartments and studios and will cost around
Get thinee £1m to complete.
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VID The Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local

THE CO Government have supported the MBC project
Waitres, age 23
through a Capital and Revenue Grant, with the
combined sums being for circa £545k, through
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Wheels of Time Detling Community Store

Maidstone Museum is one of more than 20 sites
across Kent taking part in an exciting FREE scheme
a life-line for local people
called ‘Wheels of Time.’
When only essential travel was allowed and we were In the second lockdown, with the help of a grant from
Each of the participating sites has an activity that aims told to stay at home there’s no doubt that community MBC, we were able to deliver over 100 free food parcels
to encourage you to visit the actual site, when you can; support became important for many of us. One great to vulnerable and disadvantaged families.”
but until then, you can watch a video, complete a quiz, example is the Detling Community Store supporting
a crossword or puzzle or a craft activity to receive local people and providing a vital life-line. Former Consultancy Managing Director, Richard has
a code which will unlock your E-badge for that site. lived in Detling for 22 years and admits that he was
The Parish Council initiated project launched five years a classic commuter - leaving home in the early hours
As a virtual visitor, or Time Traveller, as we like to call ago to create a village based not-for-profit shop run by and returning in the evening but always recognised the
them, move through the ranks, from Level 1 to 5, as you volunteers to benefit the community. The convenience importance of being part of the community.
earn more E-badges. store, coffee shop and post office opened in January
2020, thanks to grants from the Princes Countryside “My wife and I have always buried ourselves’ in the
Complete Maidstone Museum’s quiz linked to four short community including being part of the Detling Players.
films to earn a Wheels of Time E-badge then go on to Trust, KCC Kent Downs and Marshes Leader, Kent
Community Foundation, the Rochester Bridge Trust, I think it takes stimulus for people to contribute to the
earn E-badges from many other Kent museums and community - if you let the streets get dirty - they stay
heritage sites. MBC, Detling Parish Council and donations from many
village residents and local businesses. dirty. The Store has provided a stimulus for the
For more information and links to the films: community to come together.” Situated in the heart of Detling, the Community Store
is managed by one paid member of staff and a team The Detling Store has changed how many local people
Unlike the physical badge scheme, which is for young of around 30 volunteers operating out of two shipping now live and support each other.
children, the E-badge scheme is open to all. containers, with a coffee shop and outside decking. As Richard concludes: “The past year has shown that
In addition to usual convenience supplies, it aims to community is vital. The people of Detling have been
be a destination store too, providing a unique range

Chance to win
brilliant and the Store is contributing to community
of fresh locally sourced produce. resilience that I think will continue after this is all over.
One of the store’s founders is Richard Finn who is Chair It has provided an opportunity for the village to come
of the Detling Community Interest Company. He told together that hadn’t existed before.”
a new Maidstone MONOPOLY game Borough Insight: “What we’ve created is a community To find out more about Detling Community Store go to:
Maidstone is getting its own MONOPOLY board game, Borough Insight is giving away five games. To be in with hub around the shop. It is so nice to see how everybody
which will be out in the shops by this autumn. a chance of winning one take a selfie outside one of the supports us and there’s no doubt this is a place that
following Maidstone landmarks, email it over and a winner people come to meet.
During March, local residents were asked to vote for will be chosen from each of the following attractions:
their favourite places to feature on the board. “As soon as the first lockdown was introduced, we
knew we had a responsibility to help the community.
The new edition will be themed around some of the Maidstone Museum We quickly got a team of volunteers together to deliver
Maidstone landmarks voted for as well as customised Lockmeadow food parcels to isolated and vulnerable people which
Chance and Community Chest cards. provided a literal life-line for some.”
Mote Park
Archbishops Palace
Maidstone United Football Club

Email your selfie photo along with your name and address
Entry to the competition closes on Friday 24 September
2021 and prizes will be delivered once the new board
game is out in October.
Good luck and we look forward to receiving your photos

36 37

Maidstone Link Contact the Council

MBC’s Customer Services team is based in the Maidstone
Link, working under the same roof as Maidstone Job
Customer Services
Centre Plus. To speak directly with a Customer Service
However, due to Covid-19 restrictions the team is working advisor, contact 01622 602000.
slightly differently at the moment, which means the
following adjustments are currently in place: Benefits 01622 602557
• A Face to Face appointment only service is available Council Tax 01622 602003
- Tuesday 2pm-4pm, and Thursday 10am-12pm
- please note that this is provided for our vulnerable Housing 01622 602440
customers only Waste 01622 602600
• Unfortunately, there is no walk in service anymore; Parking 01622 602377
customers should not just turn up as they will not
be seen by anyone and there will not be a member
of the team available
Phone line opening hours:
• Please note that the payment kiosks were removed
Monday - Thursday: 9am - 5pm
from the Link last year and customers are no longer Friday: 9am - 4.30pm
able to make payments there Saturday & Sunday: Closed
• If customers would like to drop a letter off to the
Your Councillors
Council please put it through the letterbox at the
front of Maidstone House as there is no longer
David Burton 07590 229910
a post box in the Link
Leader of the Conservative Group
Marden & Yalding Ward

Martin Cox 07770 734741

Leader of the Liberal Democrat Group
East Ward

Steve Munford 01622 741310

Leader of the Independent Group
Get in touch... Boughton Monchelsea & Chart Sutton Ward
maidstonebc Paul Harper 07834845154
maidstonebc Leader of the Labour Group
maidstonebc Fant Ward