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that would have triggered a debate at Council regarding the Leader of the Council’s perceived conflict of interest, was withdrawn for legal reasons.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.
Lib Dems are left reeling after their motion submitted for debate at Full Council later this month has been withdrawn by senior officers following a complaint from the Conservative Leader of the Council, Kevin Davis.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.
There will be two Council by-elections on May 7th, the same day as the General Election.
Following the resignation of long serving Councillor Vicki Harris, Tom Davies will be standing in Tolworth & Hook Rise ward.
In Grove ward Rebekah Moll will be hoping to replace Councillor Stephen Brister who has also resigned.
In this year’s budget, Kingston’s Conservative Administration have plans to introduce eight more bus lane and box junction cameras, to raise more funds for the Council. The extra unattended cameras will be in locations where frequent contraventions take place, but not necessarily where safety is the primary concern.
The Conservatives held the seat in St James ward, where the vacancy had been caused by the death of the former Conservative leader.
Once again, the Lib Dems reduced the Conservative majority substantially.
The Conservative Leader of the Council, Councillor Kevin Davis, has ended up with egg on his face as secret talks to merge Kingston and Richmond Councils broke down this week following a fall out that they are keeping tight lipped about.
Councillor Liz Green, Lib Dem Leader of the Opposition said,
Disappointing news announced today, by the Government’s Planning Inspectorate, could now allow Goldcrest, owners of the controversial Kingsgate Business Centre in Kingsgate Road, Kingston, to build 210 student flats on the land where Liberal Democrats had always planned to build a school.
There was a high swing from the Conservatives to Liberal Democrats in the by-election in Tudor ward on Thursday 16th October. The Conservatives managed to hang on to the seat that they have held for 24 years, but their majority plummeted from only 5 months ago 916 to 337.
Robin Meltzer, Liberal Democrat Parliamentary Candidate said:
The Chair of Licensing, Conservative Councillor Phillip Doyle, has found himself at odds with his own Licensing Committee after failing to convince the committee to allow Ward Members to sit on their own licensing hearings.
From left: Cllrs Thay Thayalan, Vicki Harris, Lorraine Rolfe, Rachel Reid, Tricia Bamford, Margaret Thompson
It is a well established fact that local Liberal Democrats are committed to the local communities they represent. And celebrating twenty years since they devolved local decision making to Neighbourhoods, the mantra to listen and involve residents is still very much alive in Lib Dem run South of the Borough Neighbourhood.