Our Plan for a Better, Brighter Borough

We are making Kingston upon Thames an even more attractive place to live for you and your family

Schools BUILDING MORE SCHOOLS

to accommodate demand and ensure our children receive the highest quality education.

Kingston has good schools that attract high application rates from neighbouring boroughs. We also have a growing school-age population.

As a consequence, three out of ten parents cannot get their children into the local school of their choice. A high proportion of children have to travel long distances to school, leading to major traffic problems in the morning and afternoon.

We cannot continue to add to bulging primary school classes. Nor can we allow the high standards of our grammar schools to hide performance issues elsewhere. Our schools need 14 new entry forms, and this can only be achieved by tapping into the energy and enthusiasm of the Free School movement.

Care CARING FOR THOSE WHO NEED OUR HELP THE MOST,

the elderly and children, without delay or distraction.

The Council's difficulty in looking after the young and vulnerable have been well documented in the press and on television over the past two years. This is one area in which change is essential. By working in partnerships with neighbouring boroughs, Kingston’s smaller population can be supported more effectively, providing better support for abused and bullied children in their early years.

The challenge of caring for the elderly and infirm is significant as well. Kingston has been slow to provide support to the elderly in their own homes. Only 20% of those receiving care are properly monitored at the moment, and this will require a transformation in the way that the council approaches these services.

Safety STAMPING OUT ANTI-SOCIAL BEHAVIOUR

and enforcing a responsible attitude to issuing licenses to clubs and bars, with the introduction of more police to ensure the safety of residents.

Amazingly, across London only Soho had a worse crime rate than Kingston town centre under the Lib Dems! Drugs offences and theft and handling offences have been startlingly high. Kingston has just not been a very pleasant place to be on a Friday or Saturday night.

Local initiatives to scan ID cards and root out troublemakers is paying dividends, but the core problem is the lack of a robust licensing policy, which we are addressing. Conservatives support the Metropolitan Police and their proposals for better youth engagement. We also support zero tolerance to anti-social behaviour.

But ultimately, we think that a better balance between night life and community life can be achieved through stricter application of the licensing laws.

Roads INVESTING AN EXTRA £1 MILLION

in our first year in our roads, pavements and high streets, we will employ community wardens, plant more trees and invest in our parks and green spaces to ensure out local area always looks its best.

Residents have welcomed the newly-planted trees which appeared on some of our streets in the autumn, but it wasn't the Council that funded them, it was the Mayor of London. It's these little touches that make Kingston a better place to live.

The Council's approach to streetscapes is one of concrete and cost, as exemplified by the Tolworth Greenway and the New Malden High Street. Street cleaning needs to be reinstated, and litter and dog mess bought under control.

But the biggest environmental issue is planning, where over-development is leading to traffic chaos, yet at the same time brownfield sites remain unoccupied. And this needs to be done in consultation with residents, not in opposition to them.

Parking FREE 30 MINUTE PARKING

across the borough to support local businesses and independent shops whilst also investing in local high streets.

Our local shopping parades and high streets are under significant pressure from internet-based competition and national chain stores. Yet these streets are both the social and business hearts of our communities.

Local businesses know that easy access will develop local business, which is why they support our plan for 30 minutes free parking. But we have other plans as well.

We will work with the Conservative administration in City Hall to improve transport links. And once we have control of business rates, we will apply them strategically. Also, Kingston Council’s own spending power should be used to support the local economy. Under the Lib Dems, local spending has been dropping.

Conservatives

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