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Councillor Patrik Garten MBC – for North Downs Ward – Latest Newsletter August 2022


Cllr Patrik Garten

Readers may remember that over the years my summer newsletter is always full of information about important surveys. I won’t break with tradition this year and I will also report on business initiatives, a community catalyst project and list a few entertainment listings for September.



The Council is calling for change in the way that Operation Brock is implemented on the M20 due to the amount of disruption it causes to residents and businesses in Maidstone.  As I explained before in this space, MBC is not a Highways Authority, but Operation Brock affects the economy of the Borough.  We therefore have a responsibility towards our citizens.  We need to build an evidence base in order to take our concerns forward to Government and the relevant Highways Authorities.  We ask local people impacted by Operation Brock how it affects their daily lives.

Operation Brock is not a long-term solution for the border control issues.  We cannot tolerate this becoming the ‘new normal.  The government needs to look at alternatives now – not later.

The MBC survey can be accessed here:



Just a reminder about the current Residents’ Survey.  The results of the survey will have impacts for the future priorities we will set.  So far, there have been close to 3000 responses but we need more, particularly from those who are under 34 years of age and people who are in employment.  The deadline is Sunday 4 September, and every participant over 18 years of age who completes the survey, will receive a complimentary 7-day gym membership at Maidstone Leisure Centre.



The unprecedented heat and the lack of rain have kept MBC’s Emergency Planning Team busy this summer.  They are proactively working with partners within the Kent Resilience Forum.  If you should become aware of any EMERGENCY issues within your local community that need to be brought to our IMMEDIATE attention could you please send an email to the Emergency Planning inbox:

South East Water have reassured the Kent Resilience Forum that arrangements have been put in place to ensure they are ready and able to respond to any emergency situations that could occur and impact water supply.  Please report water leaks or any outage to SEW directly on 0333 0000002



Maidstone Borough Council (MBC) is once again supporting England’s largest festival of history and culture – ‘Heritage Open Days’ – with free events from Friday 9 to Sunday 18 September.


Talk of the Town’ offers the chance to discover more about the fascinating past of Kent’s County Town in a totally unique way.  These will be held on both Saturdays 10 and 17 September between 10.30 am and 2.30pm.  Tours will take place at 3pm – these must be



Other events this year include:


All Saints Church – Discover the fascinating history of this beautiful church in a stunning riverside setting.  It was built in 1395 by Archbishop Courtenay to become one of the grandest Perpendicular churches in England. Open: 9 – 18 Sept, 10am – 4pm. (No need to book.)


Behind the Scenes at Maidstone Museum – Come and see a beautiful wall painting of a grand picnic, created during the reign of Elizabeth I, and which is normally hidden from sight in what is today the museum’s herbarium.  Open: 17 September with tours at 10.30am and 11.15am. Booking essential via museum website:


Inventive Marden – Explore pictorial displays at the Heritage Centre relevant to Marden and its community.   Open: 9 – 17 September (during Marden Library opening hours).


Maidstone Carriage Museum – Enjoy a behind-the-scenes tour of the Carriage Museum with Amy Bracey, carriage expert and Curator with The Carriage Foundation.

Open: 10 September with tours at 11.30am and 1.30pm


Kent History and Library Centre – Enjoy a bespoke tour for the HOD Inventors theme which includes a commentary on our exhibition of archives of Kent inventors of the past and some of their astounding, weird and wonderful inventions and innovations.  Participants will also get to see the Archives Workroom – the cataloguing area used by the professional archivists, the Conservation Studio, Reprographics and the Camera Room, Document Production as well as one of the Archive Strongrooms.  Saturday 10 September, tours at 10am and 2pm.  Book via email:


Mote Park Guided Walks – Enjoy a series of walks in the beautiful Mote Park, looking at the living landscape, past and present on 12 and 13 September.  Booking essential:


Mote Park Hidden Histories – See archaeology in action and find out more about the original Mote House in the park, including a small-scale excavation and a geophysical survey.  Discovery trail 10 September, 10am – 4pm


Finally, don’t forget on 11 September, the Maidstone Mela between 12pm – 5pm

All info can be found on Visit Maidstone –



Business In Maidstone have updated their business directory.   The new directory makes it easier than ever for people to discover businesses in Maidstone.  It is the perfect tool to find new partnership opportunities, suppliers, or service providers. You can browse and join the directory for free

At the above address you can also sign up to the Business in Maidstone Newsletter.  The current edition lists many currently available business grants:

The Workplace Electric Vehicle Charging Scheme is a grant which covers up to 75% of the total costs of the purchase and installation of an EV charging station.

The Green Recovery Voucher Scheme, offers up to £1,500 to Maidstone businesses towards energy efficient measures.

LoCASE has already awarded Maidstone businesses thousands of pounds of Low Carbon grants as well as training workshops and fully funded events. Targeted business support is available for companies who offer “green” or low carbon goods and services. The grant will form up to 40% of the cost of your eligible project, with the remainder matched by your business.


i-Construct provides grants of between £1–£10k to part-fund the development and launch of a new product or service which focuses on innovation or improving digital systems. Grant funding can be used for consultancy, software, hardware, and the creation of a new role to manage the project.


The Manufacturing Growth Programme provides free advice, support and grant funding to manufacturing SMEs to achieve their growth ambitions.


? Thousands of pounds worth of funding has already been awarded, get in touch with us to see if you are eligible.



If you’ve started your journey in business, or are thinking about starting-up in Maidstone, our MBB workshop can give you the tools and knowledge to kick-start your venture.  This is a FREE workshop for Maidstone Start-ups only.  To be eligible for our workshop you must be a pre-start up or a business in its early stages (no more than 18 months old).




If you have visited the website, you will have been prompted to subscribe to a MBC’s e-newsletter service which regularly sends important updates and messages to over 33,000 subscriptions.  Launched in late 2021, the Stay Connected newsletters has News, What’s On in Maidstone, Environmental Services and Business topics and we have now added Climate Change and Biodiversity to the growing list.



A ‘Go Green Information Centre’ in The Mall, will be launched in early September to help anyone who may be confused, sceptical or doesn’t know where to start with becoming more green and sustainable. People will be able to drop by for advice, resources, and to

find out about solutions, products and services to help them become more sustainable.



The Community Catalyst for West Kent is a two-year, KCC-funded project to help people and communities across the country to use their talents to start and run small enterprises and community businesses that support and care for other local people.  It is a social enterprise working across the UK to try to make sure that people who need care and support to live their lives can get that help in ways, times and places that suit them, with real choice of attractive local options.  The project is working to support small enterprises to provide care and support to older people, people with learning disabilities, people with physical disabilities and people with mental health conditions.  They may work in people’s own homes, support them to access the community or provide an activity in the local area that is available to these audiences.




MBC Councillor for North Downs Ward  (Conservative)

Phone: 01622-807907

Resident Survey 2022