Maidstone Borough Council

2021 Conservative gain from no overall control, change from 2019

Counting complete. After 19 of 19 seats declared.

Change compared with 2019
  1. Conservative

    • Councillors elected in 2021 total 12
    • Councillors elected in 2021 change +5
    • Councillors overall total 29
  2. Liberal Democrat

    • Councillors elected in 2021 total 4
    • Councillors elected in 2021 change -4
    • Councillors overall total 17
  3. Independent

    • Councillors elected in 2021 total 2
    • Councillors elected in 2021 change 0
    • Councillors overall total 5
  4. Labour

    • Councillors elected in 2021 total 1
    • Councillors elected in 2021 change 0
    • Councillors overall total 4
  5. UK Independence Party

    • Councillors elected in 2021 total 0
    • Councillors elected in 2021 change -1
    • Councillors overall total 0
  1. Leader faces recount

    Charlie Rose

    Reporter, BBC South East Today

    There's tension at the Maidstone Count, as the Liberal Democrat leader of the council Martin Cox faces a recount.

    Maidstone election count
  2. Maidstone reports 21.4% voter turnout

    Piles of sacks at the Maidstone count

    The turnout for the local elections in Maidstone was 21.4%, a spokesperson for Maidstone Borough Council has told the BBC.

    A photograph of the count taking place at Kent County Showground in Detling shows a pile of sacks in the middle of the room - the brown ones are unused ballots.

  3. Bin collections suspended due to snow and ice

    Bin collections in parts of Kent and Surrey have been suspended due to snow and ice, councils have said.

    Maidstone Borough Council suspended all collections on Monday, affecting Headcorn, Staplehurst and Marden, as well as a number of other areas.

    Residents have been advised to make sure their bins are readily available for when the crews return to catch up.

    All garden waste collections in the area have also been cancelled for the week.

    In Surrey, Tandridge District Council said its recycling and rubbish collections have been also been suspended until weather conditions improve.

    Updates can be found on their website.

    A wheelie bin full of rubbish
  4. Election plans to be drawn up amid pandemic

    Ciaran Duggan

    Local Democracy Reporter

    County Hall

    Concerns have been raised about local elections in Kent next year amid the Covid-19 pandemic.

    The pandemic will likely change the way the votes are carried out in May for the Kent County Council elections and the poll for the Kent Police and Crime Commissioner position.

    More than 50 by-elections will need to be resolved across the county in 2021 along with a referendum over the Lenham neighbourhood plan within the Maidstone area.

    KCC’s head of governance, Benjamin Watts, said: “The current guidance is that those elections will be taking place and we are working towards those.”

    However, issues related to the election count, such as putting protective measures in place to allow voters to socially distance at venues, were raised by councillors during a virtual KCC meeting yesterday.

    Mr Watts added: “We are looking at the KCC election being counted on the Friday as it was four years ago and we have had conversations about the idea of counting by division to allow candidates to attend with social distancing in place.

    “Over the course of the next few months we will be firming up arrangements.”

  5. Maidstone Market stays open to 'help locals'

    A woman showing some carrots
    Image caption: 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".

  6. 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.

  7. Proms in the Park faces the axe

    Dean Kilpatrick

    Local Democracy Reporter

    The event
    Image caption: 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."

  8. 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.

  9. 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.