Borough of Maidstone

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.[2]

Borough of Maidstone
Maidstone shown within Kent
Maidstone shown within Kent
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)
Area rank100th (of 317)
Population
 (mid-2018 est.)
 • Total169,955
 • Rank116th (of 317)
 • Density1,100/sq mi (430/km2)
 • Ethnicity
97.3% White
1.1% S.Asian
Time zoneUTC0 (GMT)
 • Summer (DST)UTC+1 (BST)
ONS code29UH (ONS)
E07000110 (GSS)
OS grid referenceTQ7588156056
Websitewww.maidstone.gov.uk

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[3] 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.[4]

From 1983 to 2008 no party had a majority on Maidstone Borough Council, but the Conservative party gained a majority at the 2008 election. The council reverted to No Overall Control in 2014.[5] As of February 2019 the council has 24 Conservative, 21 Liberal Democrat, 5 Independent Maidstone, 2 independent and 3 Labour party councillors.[4]

The council is based in the town centre having replaced its many small offices with one large building called Maidstone Gateway. The shopfront appearance is intended to make it easier to access information and services.

The third tier of local government is the civil parish; in Maidstone some of the parishes have neither a parish council or a parish meeting, as indicated (1) :

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.

References

  1. ^ "Agenda and minutes. Council Wednesday 10th December, 2014". Maidstone Borough Council. Item 102.
  2. ^ The County of Kent (Electoral Changes) Order 2004 Archived 10 November 2004 at the Wayback Machine
  3. ^ Maidstone Borough Council website
  4. ^ a b "Your councillors". Maidstone Borough Council. Retrieved 15 February 2017.
  5. ^ Alan Smith (23 May 2014). "Maidstone Borough Council vote: Conservatives lose control after Ukip surge and Labour gains". Kent Online. Retrieved 15 February 2017.

Video clips

Coordinates: 51°16′33″N 0°31′19″E / 51.27596°N 0.52192°E

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Boughton Green, part of the village of Boughton Monchelsea, is in Kent, England. it lies to the NE of the village centre. The population is included in the civil parish of Loose.

Fairbourne Heath, Kent

Fairbourne Heath is a scattered settlement in the civil parish of Harrietsham, Kent, England. It is located on a crossroads of two minor roads. Fairbourne Manor Farm lies to the north.

Harrietsham

Harrietsham is a rural and industrial village and civil parish in the Maidstone District of Kent, England noted in the Domesday Book. According to the United Kingdom Census 2001, it had a population of 1,504, increasing to 2,113 at the 2011 Census. The parish is in the North Downs, 7 miles (10 km) east of Maidstone and includes the settlements of Marley, Pollhill and Fairbourne.

Hawkenbury, Maidstone

Hawkenbury is a village in the Maidstone district of Kent, England, in the civil parish of Staplehurst.

Hollingbourne

Hollingbourne is a village and civil parish in the borough of Maidstone in Kent, England. The parish is located on the southward slope of the North Downs to the east of the county town, Maidstone. The parish population is around 900 and has three conservation areas: Upper Street in the village centre and the outlying hamlets of Broad Street and Eyhorne Street.

Horden, Kent

Horden is a village in the Maidstone district of Kent, England. Her Majesty's Prison Blantyre House is located at Horden. The population is included in the civil parish of Goudhurst.

Laddingford

Laddingford is a hamlet near the village of Yalding in Kent, England.

Lidsing

Lidsing is a hamlet near the M2 motorway, in the Maidstone District, in the English county of Kent. It is south of the town of Gillingham.

Maidstone Borough Council

Maidstone Borough Council (MBC) is the second level local authority for the Borough of Maidstone in Kent, United Kingdom.

Marley, Maidstone

Marley is a hamlet in the civil parish of Harrietsham that, in turn, forms part of the district of Maidstone in the English county of Kent.

Otterden

Otterden is a civil parish and village on the Kent Downs in the borough of Maidstone in Kent, England.

Pollhill

Pollhill is a hamlet near Harrietsham near the town of Maidstone in Kent, England.

Ringlestone (suburb)

Ringlestone is a suburb and housing estate in the town of Maidstone, Kent, England. It is on the Eastern side of the River Medway, near Allington.

Sandling, Maidstone

Sandling is a suburb to the north of the town of Maidstone, Kent, England. Within the area is the headquarters of the Kent Wildlife Trust at Tyland Barn. Beside the River Medway is an eating place called The Malta Inn. Sandling is also home to the Museum of Kent Life. Sandling is also home to Lower Grange Farm, a new activity centre, owned and currently being developed by Kent Scouts.

Sandway

Sandway is a hamlet about one mile (1.6 km) to the SW of Lenham in the Maidstone district of Kent, England. The population is included in the civil parish of Boughton Malherbe.

Thurnham, Kent

Thurnham is a village and civil parish which lies at the foot of the North Downs 3 miles (4.8 km) north east of Maidstone in the Borough of Maidstone and ceremonial county of Kent in England. It had a population of 1,085 in 2001 including Weavering, which increased to 1,205 following the 2011 Census.There have been several archaeological finds in the area: an Anglo-Saxon burial ground was discovered within the grounds of Thornham Friars in 1913, a 7th-century gold cross was found in 1967 and the remains of a Roman house were excavated in 1933. The remains of Thurnham Castle are just north of the village. Two miles further north are the fragmentary remains of Binbury Castle, a medieval fortified manor house beside a medieval motte.

St Mary's church, a Norman building and Milgate House are Grade I listed buildings.

The railway station at Bearsted, opened on 1 July 1884, was originally named Bearsted and Thurnham. Residents of the village recently joined forces with the neighbouring village of Bearsted, in voicing their objections to the proposed Kent International Gateway development.

Tovil

Tovil is a civil parish in the Borough of Maidstone, in Kent in the South East of England.

It is a mixture of residential and industrial zoning, with an increase in commercial usage towards the centre of Maidstone, and more arable use on the outskirts.

Tovil has a history of paper mills on the Loose Stream near the River Medway, which ceased operation in the 1980s. These included Great Ivy Mill, Hayle Mill, Upper Tovil Mill, Lower Tovil Mill and Bridge Mill. These and other mills located along the Loose Stream which flows through Tovil were formerly used for fulling, corn and in one case gunpowder. Alabaster Passmore had an important printing works in Tovil and there were other small industries and a railway siding. Many of the industrial units have since been replaced by housing.

One notable local business is loudspeaker manufacturer KEF, which is based on Eccleston Road in Tovil. Goachers microbrewery is also based there.

The church of St Stephen was built in around 1840. The architect was John Whichcord Snr. It was built of ragstone ashlar in the Early English style but demolished in about 1990.

Towns and villages in the Maidstone borough of Kent, England
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