Councillors speak out on Old Post Office planning decision

TOPO site TOPO model
The Old Post Office site development proposed by St George was criticised by both local MPs.

A Conservative-controlled committee has refused permission to St George’s, a property developer, to build a tall building on the Old Post Office site following months of consultation with residents.

After the Development Control Committee decision on 5 November, leading councillors have expressed their views on the decision.

Richard Hudson

Cllr Richard Hudson said:

The decision over TOPO has sent a clear message that Kingston residents and Councillors expect and deserve better than what was offered by St George. They need to learn from this, stop mucking about, and come back with the best proposal for all parties. They should stop playing a game of seeing what is the least they can get away with. We want the best for Kingston and we want the site brought back to life now, not in another 20 years’ time.

Leader of the Council, Cllr Kevin Davis said:


We have always said that if we have development in Kingston it needs to be of the highest quality. We have supported the developer on this scheme and tried to help them understand the context of what would make a great development for Kingston. Despite many changes and alterations, they still seem to be missing the mark. The latest changes involved new architects advising some parts of the scheme and not others and that has still not given us the results we desire. The Committee's intentions have been made clear and I am sure St George will now wish to reflect how they can give us a scheme that meets our desire for the highest quality design and finish.

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Crossrail 2 will transform commuter services

Crossrail 2
Crossrail 2 will transform commuting from the Borough ... have your say.

Conservative-backed Crossrail 2 will double the frequency of services to London and reduce peak overcrowding.

Transport for London has release updated proposals for Crossrail 2 service, including a new factsheet about the impact on New Malden. A further ten trains per hour would stop at New Malden before fanning out to serve Norbiton and Kingston, or Berrylands and Surbiton. The Malden Manor, Tolworth and Chessington branch through Motspur Park would also see a substantially improved service.

However, the level crossing at Elm Road New Malden would have to be closed (or replaced by a bridge or tunnel) as it would not be practical or safe with so many trains.

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Plan to twin with Jaffna

Jaffna temple
Jaffna's famous Nallur Kovil, which reflects the Dravidian architecture and style.

Kingston upon Thames is planning to twin with the Sri Lankan city of Jaffna.

The move is a joint effort between the Conservative-run Royal Borough, local MP James Berry and the Chief Minister of Jaffna, and is part of a wider initiative towards Kingston's large Tamil population.

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The Evening Standard credits Kingston Council Leader Kevin Davis with fixing local authority finances

This Evening Standard article praises Kevin Davis for seeding the idea with the Treasury that councils should hold onto the business rates they collect.

The Evening Standard has praised Kingston Council Leader Kevin Davis for stimulating the Government's new policy of allowing local authorities to hold onto the business rates which they collect.

Writing in the Business section, Chris Blackhurst credits Cllr Davis with having made the proposal to the Government last year.

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Kingston welcomes business rate reforms following 18-month campaign for change

George Osborne addresses the Conservative party Conference in Manchester

The Leader of Kingston Council, Cllr Kevin Davis, has welcomed an announcement by Chancellor George Osborne that local councils will be able to keep the proceeds from business rates raised in their areas.

Kingston has been the most vociferous of all London boroughs in campaigning for reforms to the business rates system, with Cllr Davis first meeting with senior Government Ministers to discuss the issue at the beginning of the year.

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Home Zone cleanup volunteeers

Cleaning up Cavendish Road
James Berry with local activists tackle local litter

James Berry MP has joined more than forty volunteers to help clean up the Cavendish Road Home Zone.

The action day was organised by Conservative Councillor Jack Cheetham and involved local residents, members of the Ahmadiyya Muslim community and Borough councillors. The volunteer work took place alongside the Borough Council’s Cleaner Kingston campaign.

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First new secondary school in 20 years

Kingston Academy opening
The first new secondary school in 20 years has been opened by North Kingston MP Zac Goldsmith.

The Kingston Academy opened its doors this September to Year 7 pupils, who have been dubbed the ‘History Makers'.

This follows ten years of hard-fought campaigning by local parents and Conservative councillors. The creation of a north Kingston school was opposed by the Liberal Democrats for many years.

The school has been established by the Kingston Educational Trust – a partnership between Kingston University, Kingston College and Kingston Council – in response to the significant need for fully-inclusive secondary places in the local area.

Council leader Kevin Davis visits Refugee Action Kingston

Refugee Action visit
Council Leader Kevin Jones (left) with Mayor Roy Arora (centre) at Kingston Refugee Action

Kingston Borough Council leader Kevin Davis and Mayor Roy Arora have visited Refugee Action Kingston speaking with staff and volunteers about the work that they do, and talking to refugees, some of whom were Syrian.

Director of Refugee Action Kingston, Sanja Kane, describes their work as unpacking the problems that refugees face. Many refugees come to the organisation looking for aid for one problem, but find with the help of Refugee Action that they require help with several issues.

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Kingston nightclub licence revoked

Barcadia has been in trouble before

Barcadia, a nightclub in Kingston Town Centre, has had its licence revoked after a vote held by the Council’s Licensing SubCommittee.

Members were told by Kingston Police that on the 9th March two underage girls were allowed entry to the establishment, with the ID of only one being checked, and this was actually an expired passport belonging to someone else. Later, one of the girls made an allegation of rape against two men she had met in the premises.

Kingston Conservatives are committed to stamping out antisocial behaviour and ensuring a more responsible attitude to licensing of clubs and bars than in the past.

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