The Liberal Democrat Council in Kingston - The First 100 Days, by Olly Wehring - Councillor for Norbiton

 

Photo of Councillor Olly Wehring

Today marks 100 days since Kingston Liberal Democrats regained control of Kingston Council, following the local elections on 3 May.
The turnaround, from 18 Lib Dem and 26 Conservative Councillors to 39 Lib Dems and 9 Cons, swept the Lib Dems back into The Guildhall. We have a mix of experienced and new Councillors in our group that brings together the wisdom of the ages and the wisdom of the age.

 

This healthy blend of old and new has been working hard in its first 100 days.

In that time, we have:

  • Introduced emergency budget revisions to help clear up the financial mess made by the Conservatives in their four years in charge. Kingston Council is in urgent need of bringing its finances back under control and the Liberal Democrats are working tirelessly to do that.

  • Reduced the number of senior directors on Kingston Council to help deal with the Council’s financial problems brought on by the Conservatives’ four years in office. We’ve also started to replace highly-paid interim staff with permanent employees, and begun a full review of all Council contracts, to make sure they are working as efficiently as possible.

  • Re-formed the Scrutiny Panel, a group of Councillors - four Lib Dems and three Conservatives - which reviews Council decisions that have been queried by residents. The panel was abolished by the last Conservative administration, giving them the power to do what they wanted without question.

  • Decided to hold a vote for residents of Norbiton’s Cambridge Road Estate before the ongoing regeneration project breaks any ground. If approved, the project will more than double the number of homes on C.R.E. to around 2,000. Residents have never been asked whether they wanted the project to proceed. We will hold a vote for residents next year, when they have greater clarity on what the project would involve.


Of course, there are many other things we have done, such as turned the cabinet room in The Guildhall into a room for community use, lined up the planting of 500 trees across the Borough later this year with many more to come, and put the wheels in motion to roll out public water fountains.

There’s still a lot to do and a long way to go. Of course, we haven’t fixed everything in our Borough but - with your help - we’ll never stop working to make Kingston better, together.

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