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.
Kingston Liberal Democrats are hugely disappointed that the Tolworth Tower planning application was approved last night.
Cllr Liz Green said:
"I believe this is overdevelopment for this site, will increase traffic, reduce air quality and there was not nearly enough of a contribution for affordable homes.
Are Kingston town centre and Tolworth about to change dramatically? The next 3 months will see decisions on 4 major planning applications that if permitted with change the nature of Kingston forever.
This evening (12th January) will see the first of these major decisions by the Development Control committee Councillors, with the Tolworth Tower planning application for 311 residential units, with new retail and serviced apartments, with a refurbishment of the existing tower and 4 new tower blocks built.
The Lib Dem motion on the Eden Quarter Development Brief was discussed at Full Council this week. A deputation was also heard from the non political group, Kingston Residents Association, who were in support of the Lib Dem motion and also raised their own concerns.
The Lib Dem motion called for three things:
Critical of Conservative policy that resulted in the Eden Quarter Development Brief, Liberal Democrats will be asking the Full Council, on 15 December, to review the controversial Brief.
Proposer of the motion, Liberal Democrat Leader, Councillor Liz Green said,
Following the news of the Tory deal that has seen the popular Chief Executive, Bruce McDonald depart RBK, the Lib Dem Leader speculates on possible reasons why he has had to go.
Councillor Liz Green said,
“There are now some difficult questions for the Leader of the Council to reveal and that is how much has the deal he initiated cost the residents?
Today in a Council press release, the Borough found out that the long serving Chief Executive, Bruce McDonald, has left the Council’s employment. Speaking about Bruce McDonald’s time on the Council, Liberal Democrat Group Leader, Councillor Liz Green said,
“I was taken aback by the news as it was totally unexpected! I am disappointed to learn Bruce McDonald has gone, he had huge respect across the Borough and certainly didn’t deserve to leave this Council through a back room deal, forced through by Conservative Leader of the Council, Councillor Kevin Davis.
Liberal Democrats believe our Green Belt land in Chessington remains under continuous threat from development.
In March 2014, Liberal Democrats launched a campaign to let residents know about two reports from the business pressure group, London First, calling for the Conservative Mayor Boris to build large scale development in our Green Belt. A later Green Belt report from London First pushes for London’s boroughs to be encouraged to review their Green Belt. There have been several other equally worrying reports too. The Adam Smith Institute want to free up some of London’s Green Belt to build one million new homes and Aecom want to see everything within a one hour commute become part of London.
This article was first published in The Guardian.
In the past three months, for the first time in our history, Britain produced more electricity from renewable sources than it did from coal. Between 2010 and 2015, Britain’s renewable power capacity trebled, with over £40bn invested into onshore and offshore wind farms, solar PV and biomass.
But that massive progress in clean energy is about to slow dramatically, thanks to policy changes brought in since May’s general election. Without Liberal Democrats in coalition, the new Conservative government is slashing the low-carbon energy investment Britain needs if we are to tackle climate change and reduce our reliance on imported fossil fuels.