In his recent Budget, George Osborne set out plans to convert every primary and secondary school in the country into academies by 2020.
Nationally the scale of the challenge is huge as 16,000 primary schools need to become Academies in the next five years. Over the last five years the Government has found it difficult to secure enough quality sponsors to take on just 5,000 Academies.
Estate Regeneration on the Council agenda – Lib Dems challenge reduced membership of Housing Sub Committee
Liberal Democrats have raised concerns about the membership of the new Housing Sub Committee. The terms of reference being put forward by the Conservative Administration will see not only a reduction in Liberal Democrat Opposition places (from two Members to only one) but Resident Associations would lose their votes all together.
Since 2003, the Council has had to develop an Air Quality Action Plan (AQAP) setting out the measures it intends to put in place in pursuit of National Air Quality Objectives. In several locations in the borough primarily close to busy roads, the Council is exceeding safe limits set in the National Air Quality Objectives for both Nitrogen Dioxide and particulate matter.
Councillor Hilary Gander, Liberal Democrat Spokesperson for the Environment said,
“Unfortunately in some places our air quality is not good enough and this poses a potentially harmful risk to the health of Borough residents.”
Members of the local community and Local Councillors, Tom Davies, Thay Thayalan and Lorraine Rolfe all got stuck into the annual clean up on the Broadoaks access road, Tolworth this Sunday.
Over 50 bags of waste, 3 truck loads of large fly-tipped items and an entire skip was filled by the community volunteers on a chilly Sunday morning. Residents both young and old got stuck in and the area is looking drastically better for the local residents who live there.
At Budget Council, the Conservative Leader of the Council, Councillor Kevin Davis, took particular exception to a request from the Liberal Democrat Opposition to be allowed to hold a special public Scrutiny Panel to look at the currently £4 million budget spend for Kingston Futures.
During the Budget Council debate, Councillor John Ayles, Liberal Democrat Finance Spokesperson said “he was amazed to find out recently that the budget spend was now in the region of £4 million and questioned how the Council could be spending that sort of money. He thought there needed to be some proper public scrutiny.”
Tempers were frayed in the Council Chamber at Budget Council last night as the Conservative Administration forced through £12.5 million budget cuts for the year ahead.
Councillor Liz Green, Leader of the Liberal Democrat Group, said,
“It just goes to show you can’t trust the Tories! They have broken their 2014 promise to freeze Council Tax increasing it by 2%. They voted down our amendment to save services and voted through £12.5 million of cuts whilst at the same time moving closer to selling off Council buildings.”
Kingston Council will set their budget for 2016/17 tonight. The Conservative’s have proposed many cuts to services as well as a council tax increase of 2%.
The Liberal Democrat’s will present an amendment to address some of these shortcomings. We believe that their budget cuts to some vital services are not only unnecessarily, but short-sighted. The key features of our amendment are as follows:
Just fifteen days before the Tory Administration is expected to put up Council Tax by 2%, the Leader of the Council, Councillor Kevin Davis is booked to attend MIPIM – the world’s international property market conference. The confirmed bill for the Leader to attend the shindig and meet developers is £4,014.
Will Kingston Conservatives dispose of three community assets despite a school places crunch and an ongoing family housing crisis?
Kingston Conservatives are putting up council tax by 3.99% and cutting services. In their second budget since taking control of Kingston Council, the Tory administration has already broken 3 of their 5 manifesto promises.
TORY PROMISE 1 – we will freeze council tax for at least 2 years – BROKEN with maximum increase allowed of 3.99% in second year.
TORY PROMISE 2 – we will care for the vulnerable – BROKEN by closing 3 youth centres used by disabled children and young carers.
TORY PROMISE 3 – invest in road maintenance – BROKEN by cutting £400,000 (20%) from the budget each year.