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.
Robin Meltzer, Liberal Democrat Parliamentary Candidate said:
There was a big 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.
Lib Dem Councillor Chrissie Hitchcock:
“Often it’s about perception. Before Cllr Doyle became a councillor, he represented Essence Nightclub and we all know what happened there - it resulted in the worst brawl the police have ever seen and we had to close the Club. If we have a controversial application in the Town Centre, I question whether he would be leaving himself open to criticism all round.”
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.
The Conservative manifesto, produced for the local elections held in May this year, promised residents “they would be consulted rigorously and widely when the Council proposes changes in policy.”
But behind closed doors, in early July, the Conservative Leader of the Council, Councillor Kevin Davis, signed an official request for action agreeing to consider moving the Health and Wellbeing Centre from Surbiton Health Centre, next to Lime Tree Primary School, to Hollyfield House, Hollyfield Road.
At the last meeting of the Council, the Conservative Group unanimously voted against the Liberal Democrat motion which campaigned to keep the Scrutiny Panel - the dedicated committee that allowed residents to challenge Council decisions.
Councillor Liz Green, Leader of the Opposition said,
“The new system allowing residents to challenge a Council decision is a circus, it is an erosion of our previous democracy that I was very proud of and our residents deserve better! We made it easy for residents or 100 interested people to ask the Council to look again at ¬any Council decision and a Scrutiny Panel was triggered by collecting a petition of 100 signatures.”
Introduced by the Liberal Democrats 20 years ago, the Chessington Park and Ride Scheme has been axed by the Conservative Administration.
Providing a service between Chessington World of Adventures and Kingston town centre, the Christmas scheme has been cut without any consultation with residents or options to improve the scheme.
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Liberal Democrat candidate for the by-election in Tudor ward
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Marilyn Mason for Tudor ward
The North Kingston Liberal Democrats have chosen Marilyn Mason, a local environmental champion, to fight the Tudor ward by-election on 16th October.
Marilyn, a former teacher and active volunteer for a variety of community projects was recently nominated by the Surrey Comet as an “unsung hero” for her work promoting green living.
Marilyn organises riverside litter-picks, tidy ups and wildflower-planting. She is the Co-Chair of the Kingston Environment Forum, and a member of Transition Town Kingston and the Kingston Bio-Diversity Network.
On 2nd September 2014 at Surbiton neighbourhood meeting the local Tories reached a new low and showed their true colours on local decision making.
*** This petition was submitted to Kingston Council on Tuesday 4th November 2014 ***
Photo of the Cabinet Room where secret decisions are now being taken
Like a scene out of the film ‘Back to the Future’, Council Leader Kevin Davis arrived back at the Guildhall in May, set up a secret Cabinet Room and has taken his political Group in a time machine back to the days when Tories in power sadly meant decisions were made behind closed doors.
Robin Meltzer, the Liberal Democrat Parliamentary Campaigner for Richmond Park and North Kingston, has met with Network Rail to discuss the opening of the Richmond Road entrance to Kingston station, particularly during peak hours. It is currently open open late at night when the main entrance is closed.
Pensioners would be guaranteed to earn at least an extra £790 per year by the end of the next parliament under Liberal Democrat manifesto plans, Pensions Minister Steve Webb announced today.
These changes mean the state pension will be worth at least £131-a-week by 2020, up from just £97.65 four years ago.
The Leader of Kingston Council, Councillor Liz Green, has written an article for the Citizens Advice Bureau. She writes:
"I’ve been asked to share the work we’ve been doing in Kingston to tackle payday lenders head on.
The Liberal Democrats will protect the full education budget in the next parliament, the Deputy Prime Minister announced today.