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It is with great sadness we must report the sudden death of Cllr Chrissie Hitchcock on the evening of Monday 25th May 2015.
Chrissie had served as a councillor in Grove ward for 25 years. During that time she had taken on a number of senior roles, including two periods as Mayor of the Royal Borough.
Many tributes have been paid to Chrissie; here are three of them.
The Conservative Leader of the Council has demonstrated unbelievable double standards in a malicious tweet linking Lib Dem ex employees and former councillors to developers. The tweet comes after a Lib Dem motion that would have triggered a debate at Council about Councillor Kevin Davis’ dual role as Leader of the Council and as Chief Operating Officer for a public affairs company was withdrawn for legal reasons.
Councillor Liz Green, Leader of the Liberal Democrats said:
"There is a huge difference between ex employees and former councillors lobbying in planning and what Councillor Kevin Davis is doing. He is a serving councillor; he is Leader of the Council and is also employed as a planning lobbyist.
Ahead of the Grove Ward by election on 7 May, Lib Dem Leader, Councillor Liz Green has issued a warning to residents not to be taken in by Tory claims that they have rejected the Post Office planning application.
Councillor Liz Green said:
“The Post Office application has not been before a Planning Committee and it has not been formally rejected by the Conservative-run Council. If the Tories have demanded a redesign those meeting notes with the developer are not in the public forum either.”
This week, following a biased political press statement issued by the Council, a resolute Councillor Liz Green, Leader of the Liberal Democrats said:
“I refuse to say anything detrimental about the Mayor who issued the press release other than he must have been badly advised. He will know there’s an unwritten rule in a council that the civic mayor should remain politically neutral.”
Media consultants bought in at additional £90,000 to head up Tory communications unit for next six months
Keen to make sure their political messages are enshrined in all communications from the Council to residents, earlier this year, the Tory-run Council commissioned a review of the communications function.
Westco Trading Limited, the only company asked to carry out the review, has now been awarded a six month contract to provide “consultancy support” with another review expected before the end of the budget year.
Councillor Liz Green, Leader of the Liberal Democrats said
“You couldn’t really make this sort of thing up! At Budget Council, the Tories cut the Communications budget by £160,000, then in April they spent £7,000 on a review but now instead of spending less they are going to throw a further £90,000 of residents’ money to employ consultants for the next six months.”
Political disagreements deepened this week at the Council between the ruling Conservative Leader and the Liberal Democrat Group.
Lib Dems were left reeling last week after a motion, that would have triggered a debate at Council regarding the Leader of the Council’s perceived conflict of interest, was withdrawn for legal reasons.
Dressed in white t shirts that read "SILENCED - I’ve upset the people in power" and only after the Mayor’s community formalities had taken place, Lib Dem Councillors refused to take part in the second part of the Council meeting and protested by remaining silent for the rest of the meeting.
I am sure you, like me, care very much for the town we live in - its character as an ancient market town and its environment with green spaces like the Fairfield in the town centre, and access to areas like Richmond Park and Home Park close by.
I have lived in Kingston most of my adult life and am bringing up my two young children here because of these characteristics.
I am sure like me, you value our local community in Tolworth, Hook, Chessington and Surbiton. We live in a fantastic location within the Royal Borough of Kingston. I am proud to be a part of this community and want to ensure that the local people who make up this community, have their say in how it is shaped.
This point can be clearly demonstrated in just one example - the potential development on the Tesco owned brownfield site on Hook Rise South. Local people MUST have their voices clearly heard in how this development takes shape. The pressures on local infrastructure, the potential impact of extra traffic on Tolworth roundabout, and the impact of local services, from travel to healthcare, must be seriously considered.
Lib Dems are left reeling after their motion submitted for debate at Full Council later this month has been withdrawn by senior officers following a complaint from the Conservative Leader of the Council, Kevin Davis.
The motion highlighted concerns raised by many local people and sought to ask the Leader of the Council to choose between his role as Leader of the Council and his employment as Chief Operating Officer of a public affairs company that works with property developers.