Conservative Candidate Helen Whately tries to claim credit for Lib Dem New Malden success story

Conservative Parliamentary Candidate Helen Whately has been slammed for “jumping on the bandwagon” of a successful campaign led by local Liberal Democrats.

A Full Council question was asked about an article in a political newspaper article by Conservative Helen Whately. It suggested she was responsible for South West Trains changing their policy of permanently closing the South exit of New Malden train station.

It was revealed that Ms Whately did not attend the important negotiations which resulted in the exit being kept open at peak times to avoid increased congestion, and financial damage to local businesses which rely of commuter traffic.

It is clear that Ms Whately jumped on the bandwagon after local Liberal Democrat MPs and councillors supporting local residents and businesses, had been on the case for two months and a solution already potentially reached.”

Residents and local businesses who were involved in that campaign and those meetings with Liberal Democrat councillors and MPs will be surprised that Ms Whately is claiming credit. A photograph of Helen Whately with Conservative councillors and activists does not make a successful campaign.

That requires the hard work and pressure applied by Liberal Democrat councillors and MPs.

Kilby admits colleague Ian George speaks “rubbish”

The opposition group on Kingston Council carried out another re-shuffle of its shadow portfolio holders this evening. They gave increased responsibility to the discredited Cllr Ian George, who was described as “often speak[ing] a lot of rubbish” by a Conservative colleague at the very same meeting.

The last time that the shadow Executive positions were re-arranged was only two months ago: on 17th September.

Tory meeting held at “undemocratic” time according to Cllr George

Opposition members of Kingston Council arranged a seven hour long Scrutiny meeting this week on the One Council programme, starting at 2 o’clock in the afternoon. In attendance was Conservative councillor Ian George who just two months ago complained on his on-line blog that daytime meetings were “undemocratic” and “annoying”.

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Lib Dems welcome PM waking up to ‘fuel poverty disgrace’

kingston_lib_dems-rolson_davies-penny_shelton.jpgThe Liberal Democrat councillors who are leading the local campaign against fuel poverty, have welcomed the news that the Prime Minister is planning on including an Energy Bill in this week’s Queen’s Speech.

Cllr Penny Shelton who is the Council’s Lead Member for Housing and Cllr Rolson Davies who is Executive Member for Health, have said whilst they are supportive of any Government action which halts the dominance and unfair pricing practices of the ‘big six’ energy companies, they are concerned about the timing of this well over-due bill.

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Fuel Poverty Campaign

Latest - November 2009

The Liberal Democrat councillors who are leading the local campaign against fuel poverty, have welcomed the news that the Prime Minister is planning on including an Energy Bill in this week’s Queen’s Speech.


The Fuel Poverty Campaign to protect local tenants from fuel poverty this winter has met with success.

Kingston Council has received a £975,000 grant to improve energy efficiency in council properties.

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Kingston welcomes London school report

Kingston Council’s Executive Member for Children and Young People’s Services has welcomed a report acknowledging the exceptional and unanticipated rise in demand for primary school places across London.

London Councils’ ‘Understanding Primary School Capacity Issues’ contributed the unprecedented rise in applications for schools in London boroughs such as Kingston to the booming birth rate in the capital, increased numbers of parents choosing state education, and London’s sluggish housing market. 

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Tory suggests “dishonest” bid to sell off Raven’s Ait

At this month’s meeting of Executive, Conservative councillor Nick Kilby suggested that the Council should pursue a property developer’s bid to buy Raven’s Ait, which would have seen the small Thames island transformed with a new-build for 20 luxury apartments and a large restaurant.

In the context of considerable security costs to safeguard the Council-owned asset from damage from squatters and thieves, Executive Members were considering proposed bids for sale or lease of the Council-owned land. 

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DfT consults Kingston: can we rob funds from your Freedom Pass?

Kingston’s Executive Member for Transport Cllr Bob Steed, has reacted angrily to the Department of Transport’s proposal for a £29million “redistribution” of funds out of London’s Freedom Pass budget.

Commenting on the Department for Transport’s consultation on concessionary fares, Liberal Democrat Cllr Steed said: “The long-term funding arrangements suggested by the Minister for Transport could drain millions of pounds out of the already over-stretched transport budgets of London local authorities, such as Kingston.

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Kingston makes bid for new build housing

At last night’s meeting of the Executive, Cllr Penny Shelton announced the Administration has put in a bid for new build affordable housing in the Borough.

The Executive Member for Housing said: “I am delighted to say that the Council has submitted a bid to the Homes and Communities Agency to build 8 new, affordable houses on the site of Yew Tree House in Old Malden.

“This funding involved is part of the Housing Stimulus package announced by the Chancellor in the 2009 Budget and follows a recognition by the Government that local authorities should become more directly involved again in providing new affordable homes.”

She added: “We will hear early in the new year if the bid has been successful. If it is, these will be the first new homes built by the Council since 1993.”

New affordable homes for Kingston nearing completion

At last night’s meeting of the Executive, Lead Member for Housing Cllr Penny Shelton announced the completion of 26 new affordable homes in the Borough.

As an Executive Member’s information item, she said: “You will recall our decision to build 26 new affordable homes on the site of the former Ely Court on the Cambridge Road Estate.

“These homes are nearing completion and will be available for occupation early in the new year.

“The intention is to provide opportunities for Members and residents to look around the scheme before it is occupied and we will circulate details of this as soon as they are available.”

What is to follow the damaging HRA negative subsidy?

penny_shelton.jpgThe Government’s consultation on the reform of council housing finance closed last week. Commenting on the document, Kingston's Executive Member for Housing spoke out about her disappointment with the likely "successor" to the Housing Revenue Account (HRA).

Liberal Democrat Cllr Penny Shelton, said: “Frankly the consultation document lacked crucial detail and left vital questions unanswered. It was a vacuous consultation.”

Cllr Shelton, whose Norbiton ward includes the Cambridge Road Estates explained:

Every year, £7million worth of rent paid by the lowest-income members of our community is taken out of the borough to subsidise the housing budgets of other local authorities - and is even used to plug the accounts of the Treasury Department.

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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.

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Kingston Lib Dem condemns Mayor’s broken promise on rape crisis care

Kingston’s Executive Member for Health and Adult Community Services has condemned the announcement that the Mayor of London will break his election manifesto promise to spend £744,000 on new ‘Rape Crisis’ centres across the capital.

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Local ‘fuel poverty’ campaign fears Government stifling progress

kingston_lib_dems-rolson_davies-penny_shelton.jpgKingston Council are continuing to run a number of local schemes which will help protect vulnerable residents from fuel poverty this winter. However, the Liberal Democrat administration have raised concerns that central Government is endangering local people by failing to properly address the wider causes of rocketing fuel bills, pensioner poverty, and energy inefficiency in homes.

Penny Shelton, Kingston’s Executive Member for Housing said: “We are doing all we can at a local level to provide financial assistance and practical help to keep local homes warm. But I fear our efforts are being stifled by Government’s threat of a 47% cut to its Warm Front energy efficiency programme and its deafening silence over rocketing fuel prices.

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Kingston Lib Dems welcome progress in campaign for ‘fare fairness’


In the week that a raft of unpopular transport decisions have been announced by the Conservative Mayor of London, Kingston’s Executive Member for Transport has welcomed the news that a Liberal Democrat motion for ‘one hour bus ticket’ scheme in the capital has been overwhelmingly supported by the London Assembly.

On Wednesday, the Chair of the London Assembly’s Transport Committee presented a petition of over 2000 signatures to the London Mayor, which included the Liberal Democrat members of Kingston Council. It called for passengers who use more than one bus during a 60-minute period should not to be charged more than a single fare on their Oyster Card.

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