Town Centres across the country face many challenges including the decline of traditional retail and office employment activities. Maidstone is no exception to this.
In the autumn of 2022 councillors, on the advice of MBC officers, voted to approve the commissioning of a Town Centre Strategy for Maidstone. It was to provide a plan to the year 2050 and build a thriving town centre for years beyond.
During the formation of the official draft town centre strategy councillors across all parties, primarily those from town centre wards, were invited to provide feedback through a mixture of walks, user group meetings, and briefings. Despite providing in-depth feedback, as of the time of writing, no response to the feedback has been received.
Whilst the draft strategy does have a number of beneficial points we do not believe what has been produced, so far, is a blueprint to rejuvenate our town centre. The delay in the release of this document, originally it was due to be available earlier this year, is understandable given the complexity, but frustrating. We strongly feel that it is critical that what is finally adopted be in the best interests of Maidstone.
Maidstone has tended to focus on short-term economic gain without consideration for the wider environment, infrastructure, social concerns, and long-term sustainable growth. We feel that any strategy needs ambition, and must breathe life into our ailing town centre.
The Town does not make full use of its existing assets such as the rivers, its cultural attractions, and suffers under problems created by the lack of any form of sustainable transport policy. Maidstone deserves better.
In response we have produced this document, an alternative vision for Maidstone Town Centre. It builds on the work of previous discussions to look beyond and make Maidstone Town Centre a place that we can all be proud.
We are keen to receive feedback, both positive and negative. You may leave feedback on www.maidstonelibdems.co.uk/TownCentreStrategy/ or by emailing email@example.com.
Maidstone Liberal Democrats