Kent Messenger Maidstone
Town will need your support
GOOD news for the future of Maidstone’s key streets – it’s on the cards more will get a big facelift. This has already happened to the upper High Street, giving that part of town a fresh and vibrant look with new paving, seating and planting – with the lower end now undergoing the same transformation. In the past we have been critical over some of the mishaps that have occurred on the projects, like constantly re-positioning paving stone and bollards. But in fairness, the council did a good job in the end, and we salute Cllr Malcolm Greer (Con), cabinet member for regeneration, who has been a driving force in regenerating Maidstone town centre. Now he’s turning his sights on Earl Street and Gabriels Hill. He deserves all the support he can get in council – and from the public. These streets are important hubs of social interaction and cohesion, as well as providers of local jobs. Our centre is facing serious challenges from mega out-oftown shopping centres. Only recently we reported on how Lakeside was sending in its people to poach our shoppers in the High Street, with leaflets encouraging them to migrate across the river. But the real threat comes from internet shopping, and it is going to increase. The answer is to continue turning our centre into an innovative and pleasurable shopping experience – conveniently set in a highly attractive environment – and for us to support our local traders. Go for it, Cllr Greer – let’s make Maidstone’s heart the natural first choice of the consumer.