Counting begins this morning at two Kent councils where elections were held yesterday.The results from Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells are expected to start coming through during the morning.Only a third of the seats are being fought for in the two authorities.In Maidstone, 18 wards were up for grabs while in Tunbridge Wells 16 wards were being contested.Results from other councils overnight suggested mixed fortunes for all the main parties.The elections will be seen as an indication of how all the parties are faring as the first to be held since the general election last year.In Maidstone, the Liberal Democrats will be hoping maintain control while the Conservatives look likely to remain in power in Tunbridge Wells.A new independent group called The Tunbridge Wells Alliance has created peaked interest in the borough.In Tunbridge Wells, the wards up for grabs are Benenden and Cranbrook, Brenchley and Horsmonden, Broadwater, Culverden, Hawkhurst and Sandhurst, Paddock Wood East, Paddock … [Read more...] about Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells Borough Council election results
When Dave Naghi becomes Maidstone's first American-born Mayor on May 19, we may have expected a little extra razzamatazz. Perhaps with ticker-tapes streaming down from high buildings onto the traditional procession: instead we are to get nothing.Maidstone council has cancelled the civic parade which has been a tradition since Richard Heely became the town's first Mayor in 1548.The parade is usually led by Sappers from the town's 36 Engineer Regiment, exercising their Freedom of the Borough, but often includes bands, ex-Service groups, cadets, the voluntary ambulance services, Rotary clubs and others.Traditionally the newly robed Mayor takes the salute from a dias outside the Town Hall before joining on the procession in a horse drawn open-carriage with fellow councillors walking behind to All Saints Church in Mill Street for a service.But Cllr Naghi has been told he will get known of that.The explanation given by the council is that the 36 Engineer Regiment will not be available.An … [Read more...] about No civic parade for Maidstone’s new Mayor
Little known today, the Beauvais Agreement signed by the various Allied Governments in the First World War, was regarded as one of the most significant accords of its time.In it, the Allies agreed to place their forces under the unitary command of the French Marshal, Ferndinand Foch.The new unity of purpose was credited with the Allies' better performance in the last stages of the war.Last month marked the 100th anniversary of the signing of the accord and 150 dignitaries from six countries including France, USA, UK, Belgium, Italy and Portugal, gathered at the historic town in northern France for a wreath-laying ceremony that took place in the very room where the agreement had been signed.Among the guests were Remi Becourt-Foch, the grandson of the French Marshal, and also Cllr Malcolm Greer, the Mayor of Maidstone.The Mayor and his wife attended because Maidstone has its own special accord with Beauvais - the two towns have been twinned sinceAs an additional honour, the Mayor was … [Read more...] about Maidstone Sea Cadets travel to Beauvais to honour forgotten accord
Voters will soon go to the polls in 18 wards across Maidstone.One third of the 55-seat borough council is up for election and there are 69 candidates hoping to get elected.The polling booths will be open next Thursday, May 3, between 7am and 10pm.There was a change in the law in 2013, which allows that in the event of a last-minute rush, anyone who joins a queue before 10pm will be allowed to vote even if they can't actually cast their ballot until the after the deadline.You do not currently have to take any form of identification with you to the polling station - not even your polling card. Enjoy that privilege while you can because the Government will be trialling ID-voting in five authorities across the country this time around, and it is possible that by the next election we will all be required to show some photo-ID to vote.Sometimes, when you arrive at the polling station, you may be asked by canvassers outside the door for your name or polling number.These are representatives of … [Read more...] about Who you can vote for in Maidstone
The battle lines have been drawn up ready for Maidstone's borough council elections in May.Eighteen seats - one third of the council - will be contested when voters go to the polls on Thursday, May 3.The outcome could determine who controls the council in future.Currently the council leader is Fran Wilson, the leader of the Liberal Democrats, but the two main parties of the Conservatives and Liberal Democrats are officially neck and neck on 22 seats each, after former Lib Dem Cllr Richard Webb had the party whip withdrawn after he was charged with assault - an allegation that he denies.Both Labour and the Conservatives have submitted a full list of candidates, but the Liberal Democrats were unable to find a candidate in two wards and will not be contesting either Harrietsham and Lenham, or Shepway South.In addition the Green Party are putting up 11 candidates and there are six Independents standing.One as yet untested aspect of this election will be how voters react to Maidstone's new … [Read more...] about Who will run Maidstone council after May?