Maidstone Borough Council

Election results for 2019

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    Elected in 2019

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Maidstone Market stays open to 'help locals'

A woman showing some carrots
PA Media
The council wants to provide locals with fresh fruit and vegetables

A regular market in Maidstone will remain open to supply local residents with essential produce, it has been announced.

The borough council said the decision to keep the Tuesday and Saturday markets at Lockmeadow going would also help "market traders during these challenging times".

Traders selling "essential items" such as fresh fruit and vegetables, cleaning products and toilet rolls are being encouraged to take a pitch.

Local producers, farmers and wholesalers who normally supply restaurant chains and cafes have also been urged to get involved.

Safety measures will include gaps of two metres between pitches, with customers encouraged to follow safe distance guidance when shopping.

The council said the decision was "in line with government guidance".

Maidstone Council stays under no overall control

Maidstone Council remained under no overall control after yesterday's election.

A council with 'no overall control' means that no one party controls a majority of seats, so isn't able to put policies through without support from other parties.

The leader of the council will be decided at a later date, but typically comes from the party with the most councillors.

Maidstone Council stays under no overall control

Only 18 of the 55 seats on the council were up for election this year. The Conservative Party won nine seats, the Liberal Democrats won six seats, independent candidates won two seats and the Labour Party won one seat. Including the seats that weren't up for election this year, the council is made up as a whole of 24 Tory councillors, 20 Lib Dem councillors, seven independent councillors and four Labour councillors.

A full breakdown of results for Maidstone will be available from the council website, and for full national results use the BBC's live results service.

This story has been generated using BBC election data and some automation.

Proms in the Park faces the axe

Dean Kilpatrick

Local Democracy Reporter

The event
Maidstone Borough Council
Less than 600 adult tickets were sold in 2018

One of Maidstone's "most popular" music events is facing the axe after the council concluded it could not justify a 185% hike in ticket prices.

Proms in the Park - which takes place in Whatman Park - was due to receive £5,000 from Maidstone Borough Council next year - compared to £14,000 in 2017 - before losing all public funding in 2020.

Ticket prices were introduced this year, but it has been suggested the entrance fee would need to increase from £7 to £20 in 2019 to sustain the event.

Council papers, due to be debated on 30 October, read: "Events have a life cycle and it could be an appropriate time to discontinue Proms in the Park.

"Attendee numbers are falling, costs are rising [and] Whatman Park is a challenging venue due to a lack of access for temporary toilets and lack of parking."

Workers and wheelie bins - how might Brexit affect local councils?

Ben Weisz

Political reporter, BBC Sussex

Deal or no deal - how could Brexit affect our local councils?

Some have had a stab at answering that question.

Fewer migrants might lead to a shortage of care workers in East Sussex – the county council says 11% of its carers come from the EU.

Meanwhile, West Sussex's officers worry what might happen to the local economy, particularly around Gatwick Airport.

In Kent, the county council says new border controls could lead to a trebling in referrals to Trading Standards, while disrupted supply chains could cause a shortage of wheelie bins in Maidstone – whose council buys its bins from Europe.

It’s not all doom and gloom - some authorities hope that leaving the EU might unlock extra money, or cut red tape to make it easier for them to sign contracts and pay for services.

But the truth is, most of our councils have very little idea how Brexit might affect them.

The vast majority have barely begun to tackle the issue - in large part because they don’t feel Government has given them enough information about what scenarios they might be facing.

Tomorrow, they’ll get a bit more detail.

The Government will publish its backup plans in case the UK leaves the EU suddenly, without a deal.

It’s this prospect that scares people the most.

Already, some fear that sudden extra customs checks for lorries at the port of Newhaven would cause tailbacks and bring the town to a standstill. Others call that scaremongering.

But with just 219 sleeps til Brexit Day - councils will be fastening their seatbelts.

They know there could be major change to prepare for - and an ever smaller amount of time in which to prepare for it.

Political analysis of local elections in Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells

Rajdeep Sandhu

Political Reporter, BBC Radio Kent

Polling station in Tunbridge Wells

Neither the Conservatives or the Liberal Democrats were confident in taking control of Maidstone council. It was a tight race with 22 councillors each.

As results started coming in fast, it became apparent quickly neither would get the numbers for an overall majority.

The Liberal Democrats were left disappointed while Conservatives were not only relieved to not lose seats but cheering and whooping at the three gains.

Maidstone is a committee system and now there will be talks as to who takes the helm.

The Conservatives as the largest party could take the leadership, but every councillor gets a vote on the leadership so they’ll need to get help from three councillors from other parties or the independents.

As predicted, Tunbridge Wells stayed blue.

But there was a shocking win for the new kids on the block - the Tunbridge Wells Alliance.

The Liberal Democrats also took a seat from the Conservatives and Labour held its seat.

The win from the new party shows the strength of feeling against plans to develop a new theatre and civic centre in the middle of the town.

Now the party has a seat, expect to hear much more about that development.