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Borough of Maidstone

Shown within Kentmarker

Geography
Status: Borough
Region: South East England
Admin. County: Kentmarker
Area:
- Total
Ranked
393.33 km²
Admin. HQ: Maidstonemarker
ONS code: 29UH
Demographics
Population:
- Total ( )
- Density

Ranked

/ km²

Ethnicity: 97.3% White
1.1% S.Asian
Politics

Maidstone Borough Council
http://www.digitalmaidstone.co.uk/

Leadership: Leader & Cabinet
Executive:
MPs: Hugh Robertson, Ann Widdecombe


Maidstone is a local government district, with Borough status, in Kentmarker, Englandmarker. Its administrative centre is Maidstonemarker which is also the County town of Kent.

The district was formed on April 1, 1974 under the Local Government Act 1972, and was a merger of the former municipal borough of Maidstone with the rural districts of Hollingbournemarker and Maidstone.

Position

The Borough covers an area generally to the east and south of the town of Maidstonemarker: as far north as the M2 motorway; east down the M20 to Lenhammarker; south to a line including Staplehurstmarker and Headcornmarker; and west towards Tonbridgemarker. Generally speaking, it lies between the North Downsmarker and the Wealdmarker, 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 Yaldingmarker; 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 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.

The council is based in the town centre having replaced its many small offices with one large, multi-million pound building called Maidstone Gateway. The shopfront appearance means it is easier to access the information you want.

The third tier of local government is the civil parish; in Maidstone some of the parishes have a 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 Tonbridgemarker, 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' Waymarker; and two Roman roads met south of the town: one from Rochester to Hastingsmarker the other branching off to the East Kent coast and Dovermarker.

In the 18th Century came the turnpiked roads. One of the earliest in the county - that to Rochestermarker and Chathammarker - 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, 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 Stroodmarker, Ashfordmarker and (via Swanley Junction to London.

References

  1. The County of Kent (Electoral Changes) Order 2004
  2. Maidstone Borough Council website
  3. List of councillors on Maidstone Borough Council, showing wards they represent


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