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Appendix C

Strategic Plan – proposed areas of focus for 2021 – 2026

Priority: Embracing Growth and Enabling Infrastructure

Areas of Focus 2019-24

Proposed areas of focus 2021 – 2026

Engaging with our communities on the Local Plan Review

Retain focus on


·         progressing the Local Plan Review according to the new timetable agreed by the Strategic Planning and Infrastructure Committee in November 2020

·         adapting to the requirements arising from the White Paper “Planning for the Future” and add

·         working with parishes and community groups on neighbourhood plans


The Council will take a proactive role in creating and consider investing in new places

Retain with the focus on


·         the five town centre opportunity sites

·         the Council’s proposition for a Garden Community at Heathlands

·         place shaping role and enabling private sector led developments in accordance with Local Plan allocated sites


Expanding the Council’s role in the delivery of affordable and market rent housing

Retain with the focus on


·         significant investment in housing to meet objectives for managing pressures for housing that people can afford with a greater emphasis on social and affordable rent leveraging investment from Homes England and any other grant providers. This may include further investment in Temporary Accommodation too, for those affected by homelessness


·         expanding the council’s private rented sector (PRS) portfolio managed by Maidstone Property Holdings in order, amongst other things, to reduce pressure on the housing register. 


Working with partners to get infrastructure planned, funded and delivered

Retain and further develop this priority through


·         the Council’s Infrastructure Funding Statement and associated actions

·         alternative forward funding models for more timely investment in transport and other community infrastructure needed to support growth

·         working with the Clinical Commissioning Group to improve local health care infrastructure

·         identifying more opportunities for joint funding and “joint venture” arrangements to enable larger scale investment in key priority areas; this would need a greater external focus and redirection of resources to build better partnerships faster. Ie building on the successes being achieved at Brunswick Street and Union Street and more latterly with Homes England at Heathlands

·         Continuing work agreed in principle by the P&R Committee in December 2020 to pursue a collaboration agreement with Homes England in respect of Heathlands to achieve amongst other things securing infrastructure by means of capturing land value uplift governance/democracy and financial consequences.


Intervening where necessary in the market, to deliver key employment sites

Retain with focus on


·         Key employment sites allocated in the Local Plan

·         The Kent Medical Campus Enterprise Zone including the Innovation Centre

·         Investment to protect employment where appropriate and to develop the council’s portfolio of employment generating assets



Priority: Safe, Clean and Green

Areas of Focus 2019-24

Proposed Areas of focus 2021 – 2026

Taking action against those who do not respect our public spaces, streets, green spaces and parks


Improving community safety by working with our partners to make people less vulnerable to crime

Retain and add to our existing priorities


·         Take a lead role in the Maidstone Taskforce; the aim is to utilise a multi-agency ‘One Team’ evidence-based approach to tackle crime, social deprivation and health inequality; ensuring that we implement long term permanent changes that improve the quality of life for the community and keep them safe from harm; the current geographical area of focus is Shepway and Parkwood



Raising resident satisfaction with the cleanliness of the Borough

Amend the area of focus to say


To maintain resident satisfaction with cleanliness and waste collection in the borough and include reference to the re-commissioning of our waste collection and recycling services


Implementing the “Go Green Go Wild” project to embrace and encourage biodiversity and protect and enhance our green spaces



See also amended area of focus below which includes implementation of the Biodiversity and Climate Change Strategy agreed by Policy and Resources Committee in October 2020


Improving air quality

Amend to reflect the Council’s declaration of climate change and biodiversity emergencies and focus on the action plan agreed by the Policy and Resources Committee in October 2020 and the outcomes from the Environment Bill including


·         A carbon neutral Council estate by 2030

·         An ambition of a carbon neutral Borough by 2030, if technology and national policy changes allow 

·         Implementation of the Biodiversity and Climate Change Strategy  

·         Ensuring that the Local Plan supports walking, cycling, public transport and the use of electric vehicles where the opportunity arises

·         Aim to deliver an eco and biodiversity net gain exemplar new community at Heathlands




Priority: A Thriving Place

Areas of Focus 2019-24

Proposed areas of focus 2021 – 2026

Deliver key actions for the refreshed Economic Development Strategy focussing on actions to enable economic recovery from the Covid19 pandemic



With the focus on

·         Delivery of business support in response to the Covid19 pandemic

·         Supporting the recovery of the Maidstone borough economy in accordance with the principles of the refreshed Economic Development Strategy ie – Open for Business, a diverse and productive economic base, a thriving rural economy, opportunities for all, destination Maidstone town centre


Development and commencement of delivering the new gallery at the museum

Replace (see below)

Deliver a sustainable leisure and cultural offer for the Borough



·         Reshape the offer from the Hazlitt Arts Centre to match resources available and adapt future service delivery opportunities to improve engagement with the public (subject to further consideration in January 2021 and decisions of the ERL Committee)

·         Reshape the offer from Maidstone museums to match resources and adapt to future service delivery opportunities to improve access

·         Reviewing and delivering leisure and cultural services that meet future needs e.g. sports facilities

·         Invest in Lockmeadow to enhance both the leisure offer to the public and the asset for the council


With respect to the Maidstone Museums amend to reflect the decision of the ERL Committee from November 2020 including


·         secure the future service provision for Maidstone Museums within the reduced revenue funding available in the period 2021-2023 

·         engagement with key and prospective stakeholders including the Maidstone Museum Foundation with respect to the service delivery outcomes to be achieved while working within budget parameters

·         further consideration of how the existing capital allocation to the Museum can be used to make the best use of our existing spaces, address accessibility to the collections and reduce the net revenue costs of the museum

·         maintaining the museum’s accreditation status

·         putting volunteers at the heart of Maidstone Museum in conjunction with professional officers, along the lines of the National Trust Model.


Enabling events which assist people in increasing their pride in communities and our environment

Replace – see Community Engagement objective below

Reviewing and delivering leisure and cultural services that meet future needs e.g. sports facilities

Replace (see sustainable leisure and culture offer above)



Building the innovation centre at Kent Medical Campus, promoting inward investment in the Borough

Retain – broaden the focus to promoting inward investment in the Borough to ensure a diverse employment and business offer

Working with partners to redevelop the Maidstone East site and modernise the bus station in the County Town

Retain including


·         updating actions to reflect the work on implementing agreed changes to modernise the bus station



Developing and delivering plans for the five opportunity sites in the town centre and the Staplehurst regeneration project


Working with parishes and community groups on neighbourhood plans

Re -locate – see Embracing Growth and Enabling Infrastructure above

Working with community groups and parish councils, to develop more sustainable community resilience



Proposed actions reflect the experience of the council’s response to community needs and the engagement which has occurred as a result of the Covid19 pandemic including decisions of the CHE Committee in November 2020 to


·         build on the experience of creating the Community Hub in response to community needs arising from Covid19 develop the strategic relationship by development of a local compact for Maidstone borough and deliver the commitments arising from adoption of the Compassionate Maidstone decision of P&R in January 2020

·         Expand the Access to Services Review to include building a repository of community organisations across the Borough

·         Amend the Parish Charter subject to the agreement of Parish Councils to reflect their important role in emergencies

·         build on the positive working relationship with parish councils enhanced during the covid19 pandemic to provide newsletters and joint webinars with KALC to ensure regular communication and feedback  

and a specific theme that has been accentuated by this experience to

·         support residents in financial difficulty; this is consistent with the decision on the Policy and Resources Committee in February 2020 to adopt the Citizens Advice Bureau/Local Authority protocol for Council Tax debt recovery procedures and support for low income households. To pilot work to identify low income households in financial difficulty and proactively intervene to provide support e.g. maximising income, and through this to both reduce risks around indebtedness and potentially reduce demand for council services or incurring debt with the Council.




Priority: Homes and Communities

Areas of Focus 2019-24

Proposed areas of focus 2021 – 2026

Reducing Rough Sleeping in a sustainable way

Retain and reflect proactively reducing rough sleeping including using our property company to provide accommodation and multi-agency working around the most complex rough sleepers including local health care



Reducing the use of temporary accommodation for homeless families


Improving housing through use of our statutory powers to promote good health and wellbeing

Retain and add actions to


·         Increase our interventions with Houses of Multiple Occupation


Increasing our interventions with Houses of Multiple Occupation

Delete but include as an action for the objective above

Supporting the health service to improve access to primary care including local care hubs



·         working with the Integrated Care Partnership identify opportunities to reduce health inequalities in the borough

·         See also enabling infrastructure above