Thursday, April 12, 2007

Maidstone hides its deprivation

To outsiders Maidstone gives every impression of a rich affluent town, seemingly it's the home of more fat cats than a mouse could point its tail at, the home of Kent County Council budget around £700 million, busy industrial estates, its shopping centres ranked in the top five for money taken in the south-east of England but beneath the surface, there is real deprivation.

You would think, that a seemingly booming town, with excellent road links, a high-wage economy, seat of county government, where much of our council tax money is spent could want for nothing.

Well you'd be wrong, it seems that the residents of Maidstone are without a free Internet provider and Maidstone council are going to do something about it. Maidstone council have apparently gone cap-in-hand to the Channel Corridor Partnership (don't ask, one of those development quangos) and received £80,000, nipped in to County Hall and copped another £10,000 and managed to fish out £5,000 from their own pockets.

Spending taxpayers' money on provision of easily available services seems to me to be a complete abuse of taxpayers' money. The Channel Corridor Partnership was set up to help develop infrastructure in the Maidstone Ashford and Shepway area providing free Internet connections would seem to be a bit frivolous.

Looking at Maidstone and Ashford it's difficult to see any need for improved infrastructure unlike East Kent and Thanet in particular. It seems to be yet another case of the rich becoming richer.

For story from thebestof Maidstone click here

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