Outrage as TfL withdraw funding from Kingston’s Capital Call scheme

Liberal Democrat Councillor Bob Steed has spoken of his “outrage” at Transport for London’s decision to withdraw funding from Kingston’s Capital Call scheme.

Capital Call was a complementary service to Taxicard introduced in 2004 by TfL which provided subsidised door-to-door transport for people with mobility issues living in London boroughs where there is a shortage of London taxis. Today it was announced that Kingston’s Capital Call scheme will cease, with effect from 31 March 2009.

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Adult Social Care assessed

At the Executive meeting last night Cllr Rolson Davies, Executive member for Health and Adult Community Services presented the Commission of Social Care Service’s performance assessment for Kingston’s adult social services.

The inspection showed continuing improvement in adult social services and rated the Council “two star with promising prospects”. This was an improvement on last year and demonstrated the significant work undertaken by adults social care services.

The report highlighted “the Council and health partners’ history of good co-operation in promoting the health of the population”, together with its “improved level of reviews of care packages” which was stated as being “better than the London average”.

It went on to emphasise the good contribution that the Council has made to “improved quality of life” and the increasing role of people with learning disabilities “making decisions and representing people with active support of the Council”.

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Liberal Democrat Council to consider Sustainable Communities Act

Kingston’s Liberal Democrat administration is considering signing up to the Sustainable Communities Act.

The Executive body of Kingston Councillors will be considering an invitation from Hazel Blears, Secretary for State for Communities and Local Government’s, to “empower citizens and communities”.

If the Council decides to sign up to the Act, a legislative channel will be set up to enable local people to propose ideas to central government on how to improve their local neighbourhood.

It will provide a route for local people, via their local authority, to raise proposals around sustainability direct with the Government.

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Councillors outraged about Government’s “garden grabbing” decision

Kingston’s Liberal Democrat administration has condemned the Government's decision to remove protection measures for back gardens from the Planning Act.

Following a discussion of Lord’s amendments to the Planning Bill in Parliament on 25 November - Local Government Minister John Healey MP claimed that Councils had the statutory powers to intervene in housing developments. He urged MPs to vote against measures which would have given local authorities greater power to protect back gardens.

Cllr Simon James, Executive Member for Planning and Regeneration: “I am outraged by Mr Healey’s decision.”

Kingston’s Liberal Democrat Councillors have been campaigning for over a year about bizarre government rules which designate back gardens as brown field sites, making it easy for property developers to purchase properties, demolish the houses and then use the gardens to build high density properties.

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