Kingston Lib Dems warns Government: Keep Boris’ hands off our school funds

Kingston Council has responded to the Government’s official consultation on the controversial Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL). The Liberal Democrat administration raised its concerns about this new system of funding for sub-regional infrastructure, which will substantially replace Section 106 agreements.

Kingston’s Executive Member for Planning and Regeneration, Cllr Simon James explained: “In the past, developers working in the area could promise contributions to be spent on local facilities such as transport improvements, environmental projects or additional school places.

“However, CIL allows the London Mayor to hi-jack these locally-raised funds to spend on whatever he considers to be a more-pressing priority.

“It is worrying that the Conservative Mayor of London could again use much-needed local money to subsidise Crossrail, the central-London rail line which links Berkshire to Essex – or even throw it away on his well-publicised vanity projects like Boris Island or Piffle Tower.”

Liberal Democrat Cllr Tricia Bamford, who is the local authority’s Lead Member for Children and Young People’s Services said: “Like many other London authorities, we are experiencing a significant increase in requests for places in Kingston schools.

“We have previously used Section 106 agreements to help fund additional school places when they were in high-demand.”

She added: “I am extremely concerned that during a recession, when there are increasing demands on all council services and falling revenue – that the London Mayor could ‘grab’ such an important funding resource to spend elsewhere in London.”

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