This page contains a Flash digital edition of a book.
downsmail.co.uk


Return of the council house?


MAIDSTONE Council could be- come a residential landlord again in a bid to raise money. The council has not owned and managed residential property since selling off its housing stock to Maid- stone Housing Trust (now Golding Homes) in 2004, but bringing homes back into public hands is being con- sidered to combat Government cuts. Cllr Stephen Paine, cabinet mem-


ber for planning, transport and de- velopment, says the council could also do other work in the private sector to help save a further £5m. He said: “Maidstone Council will


need to continue to change theway it works, and seek new means of funding.” One idea is for the council to be-


come a commercial landlord, using public assets such as Mote Park as a fundraiser. Another is to set up new business ventures, delivering social benefit while raising revenue for the council. Cllr Paine also believes the council


could benefit from “sharing” more of its service delivery with neigh- bouring local authorities. The coun-


cil has made savings in itswaste col- lection service, aswell as improving the quality of service, by sharing its contract with Swale and Ashford. The recycling service has won na- tionalawards, despite costing £1.7m per year less to deliver. Maidstone also shares its IT deliv-


ery and legal services with other au- thorities and Cllr Paine believes other functions could benefit from similar partnerships. To become a “slick council”, Cllr


Paine believes the authority could do fewer things – but do themwell. “This might involve out-sourcing


a number of council functions – or stopping them altogether,” he wrote on his blog. “But, the savingswould be ploughed back into making sure whatever remained (the core serv- ices)were the very best quality they could be.


“Contrary to popular opinion,


there is very little waste left in local government. In Maidstone Council, for example, more than £4m has been cut out of the budget and the workforce reduced by a third since 2008.”


News Waste service wins award


THE new waste collection and recycling service in Maidstone has re- ceived an award after delivering impressive financial savings alongside significant service improvements. Maidstone, Ashford and


Swale borough councils and KCC joined Biffa Municipal Ltd in 2013 to deliver waste and recycling services, boost- ing recycling rates to 50%, while saving £1.7m per year. The gold award for trans-


formation inwaste and envi- ronment was awarded to the partnership by the Improvement and Efficiency Social Enterprise (iESE). The partnership aims to deliver con- tinuous improvement over the next 10 years. Cllr David Burbage, of the Royal Borough of Windsor &Maidenhead,


is pictured presenting the award to Carole Humphries, of Ashford Coun- cil, Cllr Marion Ring, of MaidstoneCouncil, Jennifer Shepherd (Maidstone Council’swaste and street scene manager), and Julie Rogers, of Ashford Council


Work to improve railway bridge The footpath between Station


IMPROVEMENTS to Maid- stone’s high level railway bridge and footpath above Royal Engi- neers’Way and the RiverMedway are gaining pace. The footpath will be resurfaced during the school’s Easter holiday. Network Rail, Kent and Maid-


stone councils have placed signs on the bridge warning that the footpath will be closed from Monday to Sunday, April 7-13.


Road and Buckland Hill – the Maidstone East and Barracks rail- way stations – is a popular route for schoolchildren, commuters and others.


Improvements to the bridge started in January and should be complete by the end of May. The diversion will involve a long walk to one of the town’s other bridges.


Do you have a property


Instruct Connells to Let your property and you will benefit from: FREE rental assessment


TO TO LET Unrivalled internet exposure


01622 677315 maidstonelet@connells.co.uk


www.connells.co.uk To arrange your FREE rental assessment please contact Connells today! Maidstone Town April 2014 19


Award winning service Convenient hours FREE local press advertising


Computer linked branches across the UK


30 King Street Maidstone ME14 1BS


Page 1  |  Page 2  |  Page 3  |  Page 4  |  Page 5  |  Page 6  |  Page 7  |  Page 8  |  Page 9  |  Page 10  |  Page 11  |  Page 12  |  Page 13  |  Page 14  |  Page 15  |  Page 16  |  Page 17  |  Page 18  |  Page 19  |  Page 20  |  Page 21  |  Page 22  |  Page 23  |  Page 24  |  Page 25  |  Page 26  |  Page 27  |  Page 28  |  Page 29  |  Page 30  |  Page 31  |  Page 32  |  Page 33  |  Page 34  |  Page 35  |  Page 36  |  Page 37  |  Page 38  |  Page 39  |  Page 40  |  Page 41  |  Page 42  |  Page 43  |  Page 44  |  Page 45  |  Page 46  |  Page 47  |  Page 48  |  Page 49  |  Page 50  |  Page 51  |  Page 52  |  Page 53  |  Page 54  |  Page 55  |  Page 56