Save our Guildhall!
In a controversial move, the Lib Dem Leader of Kingston council has taken the decision to flog off the Council’s listed Guildhall buildings for speculative development.
In addition, the Leader’s scheme includes the repurposing of the Market House building and the disposal of other council-owned sites in the town centre, for large scale redevelopment, including the Cattle Market and Ashdown Road. No consultation with the public has taken place.
Cllr Kevin Davis, Leader of the Conservative Group, said:
“There is no vision here, just a series of orders sent out by the Council Leader to flog off the Councils assets as quickly as possible so we can build more and more homes. We are the oldest Royal Borough and the Guildhall is our home and yet the Lib Dem Council care so little about our heritage that they seem to want to relegate the Council chamber and Mayor’s office to an office block, probably on some remote industrial estate. This is cultural Barbarianism.”
The Lib Dems have allocated £1m of residents money to be spent on consultants to implement their scheme and expect to be presenting plans to the planning department by next March and demolish the Guidhall complex in Spring 2022 – at the time of the next elections.
Cllr Rowena Bass, the Opposition Spokesperson on Finance, said:
“The Lib Dem Council have a track record of forcing through housing schemes against the will of the residents and now they are going even further, allocating council assets and money to further their aim for a Lib Dem megalopolis. To make it worse they have held no consultation with anyone as to whether the residents want their assets sold. This is the resident’s council, not the Lib Dems. They claim they need the money and yet, despite Covid, the Council budget will not overspend this year.”