Jack Cheetham elected in St James by-election

Boris Johnson teaches Jack a lesson
At the hand of a master — Boris Johnson shows Jack Cheetham (second from left) how to pull a pint of London Pride!

Local small business owner Jack Cheetham has been elected as the Conservative Councillor in St James Ward.

Jack is a local small business owner who was born and raised in Kingston upon Thames and lives in St James Ward. The same energy and drive that pushed him to start his own business will now be directed towards helping the Conservative Administration on the Council.

His grandfather was a councillor in Cheshire many moons ago, so Jack feels local politics is in his blood. He is hungry to start asking real questions of the Council and to start to get real answers. He is not interested in playing games and misleading residents, as so often politicians do.

As a small business owner, Jack understands many of the challenges that local small business owners face in New Malden, and he will champion them on Kingston Council to ensure the Borough always helps local businesses.

The by-election was triggered by the death of former Kingston Conservatives leader Howard Jones in October. Cllr Cheetham tweeted: "Great result last night. Shows residents' love and affection for Howard Jones. An honour to continue his term.

The turn-out for the December 16th by-election in St James ward was just under 40%:

  • Jack Cheetham, Conservative: 1,123
  • Annette Wookey, Lib Dem: 865
  • Stephen Dunkling, Labour: 355
  • Benjamin Roberts, UKIP: 206
  • Alexander Nelson, Green: 71

tweetFollow Jack at @StJamesJack

email Contact Jack at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

telCall Jack on 07734 919 298


Howard Jones, former Group leader, succumbs to cancer

Howard Jones campaigning
Howard Jones loved campaigning ... he is seen here with fellow councillors Priyen Patel and current Mayor Ken Smith

Councillor Howard Jones, the former Conservative Group leader on Kingston Council who represented St James ward, has died. He had been having treatment for cancer over the past year.

Howard lived in the borough for over forty years and saw four children educated at local schools with two of them happily married and still living in the ward that he represented. He was a former senior Scotland Yard detective, who also for a time was in charge of the CID at Kingston.

He was first elected to the Council in 2002 and became leader of the Conservative group in 2005. In the May election he topped the poll in his ward for the third time. He was a tireless campaigner for a better, brighter Borough.

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Another illegally moored boat towed away

Illegally moored boat removed
This strange yellow craft had been illegally moored by the Hawker Centre throughout the summer

Kingston Council has successfully removed another illegally moored boat from the embankment adjacent to the the Hawker Centre near Lower Ham Road.

The unnamed yellow tug had been unlawfully moored on Council land adjacent for several months. Neighbouring boat users tried to resist the seizure and caused a disturbance, but once the police arrived Council officers were able to tow the boat away.

This is the second time that Kingston has used powers which have been in force since the 1970s but which were not exercised by the previous Lib Dem Administration. The boat's owners have six months to claim it before it can be sold or destroyed.

RBK suspends Londis licence following child sexual assault

Londis Ewell Rd

Kingston Council Licensing Sub-Committee suspended the licence of Londis in Ewell Road following an attack on a girl by an illegal immigrant employee.

At Summary Review meeting of the Licensing Sub-Committee was informed that an 11 year old girl was sexually assaulted by a shop employee on Sunday 23rd November. It later emerged that the employee, a Mauritian national, had overstayed his visa and had no right to reside or work in the UK. The man in question has since pleaded guilty to the offence.

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Better recycling service to replace soggy cardboard sacks

More cardboard will be recycled - and health risks will be lowered.

Residents' frustration with soggy cardboard recycling will end when a new waste collection contract starts next year.

The cardboard recycling sacks have been an unpopular feature of the expensive and inefficient contract negotiated by the previous Lib Dem Administration. With the existing waste collection contract coming to an end, Kingston Conservatives have taken the opportunity to seek improvements and efficiencies.

recycling questions Weekly food waste collections will continue as normal, and residents will be provided with a second bin for paper and card, ensuring that it stays dry so more can be recycled, which is to be collected fortnightly. Glass, cans and plastics will move to a fortnightly collection as well.

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Maria Netley retains Tudor for the Conservatives

Maria Netley supported by Tudor Councillors Hugh Scantlebury and David Cunningham at the Guildhall for the count.

Maria Netley has retained the Tudor Ward seat, vacated by Frank Thompson due to illness, in a convincing win over the Lib Dems.

Despite support for their candidate from Ed Davy and a host of Lib Dem celebs, Maria Netley has won the Tudor by-election with 41% of the vote, an increase over May's election results when the Conservatives were returned to power in the Royal Borough.

The rather crude Lib Dem leaflet depicting Maria as a teddy bear in silhouette as an "unknown" candidate did nothing for veteran campaigner Marilyn Mason's canvassing. The Lib Dem leaflet also quoted misleading 2010 polling results for the Ward, rather than the more recent 2014 results, in order to present a stronger case, but voters saw through this.

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£50,000 up for grabs by Kingston’s voluntary sector

There are 247 voluntary organisations working in Kingston, involving thousands of volunteers (according to The National Council for Voluntary Organisations).

£50,000 worth of grants for projects and schemes run by the voluntary sector will be available in the next financial year from the Conservative-run Council.

The New Initiatives and Emerging Needs and Small Grants schemes will continue through to 2016, despite Kingston Council facing reduced finances over the coming year.

Local groups will be able to apply for up to £3,000 per project from the Emerging Needs fund and up to £750 from the Small Grants scheme. To be eligible the application must achieve one or more of the following:

  • creating a sustainable Kingston by protecting or enhancing the environment for us and future generations;
  • sharing prosperity and creating opportunity;
  • preventing problems and promoting responsibility and independence.

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Ed Davey ‘scaremongering’ over plans to improve the Fairfield site

Eden Quarter
The Eden Quarter is bounded by Clarence Street, Wheatfield Way and Union Street, between the ancient Market Place and surrounding neighbourhoods and encompasses some of the busiest roads in the area.

Kingston Council Leader Kevin Davis has set right misinformation about the impact of the draft Eden Quarter Development Plan, accusing  Lib Dem MP Ed Davey of scaremongering.

The Eden Quarter Development Brief, currently out for consultation until 15th December, provides a vision for making the Fairfield better for Kingston residents, whilst seeing it remain green and unpaved. Online petitions have sprung up as a result of misinformation, and Kingston Conservatives are working to set the record straight for concerned residents.

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Expensive student accommodation rejected

This room in Penrhyn Road is on the market for £329 per person per week

Kingston Conservatives have won a victory against developers wishing to build an expensive private hall of accommodation on Kingston Road.

Earlier this year, Council figures showed that students living in Kingston’s private student accommodation were turning the Borough into a dormitory town for other universities, with almost half of residents of some halls studying elsewhere in London.

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Kingston Conservatives - for a better, brighter Borough

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