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Beware of a bogus Trading Standards Officer warns Kingston Council

James Giles

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Kingston Council is warning local residents to watch out for a person who is pretending to be a Trading Standards Officer (TSO).

Councillor Terry Paton, Cabinet Member with Responsibility for Resident Services, said:

“We have had two incidents reported to us recently where a bogus Trading Standards Officer (TSO) asked residents in New Malden and Surbiton for money to help support a so-called investigation into a rogue trader.

“The fraudster can be quite persistent and persuasive in trying to convince people to part with large sums of money over the course of a few days by phone and in person, telling the victim not to speak to anyone because of the so-called ‘investigation’.

“All Trading Standards Officers make an appointment when visiting people and do not cold call. Additionally, they will always show their ID, which can be checked by contacting the Council. Under no circumstances would a TSO ever ask a victim or a witness to a crime for money.”

If you suspect a bogus TSO or a suspicious cold caller, please report the matter to Trading Standards by contacting the Citizens Advice Consumer Service on 03454 04 05 06. The Police can be contacted on 101 (or 999 in the case of an emergency). If you would like general advice on how to spot scams, please visit the Action Fraud website at www.actionfraud.police.uk

James Giles is the Editor of the Kingston Enquirer, covering local news and events in Kingston, New Malden, Surbiton, Tolworth and Chessington.

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Kingston Town

Lib Dems in CHAOS after 2000 sign petition on parking charges… but refuse to back down

James Giles

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Kingston Lib Dems are in chaos after refusing to back down on controversial changes to parking permits in the borough, instead announcing an amended scheme which has been blasted by residents as ‘hap-dash and ill-thought-out’.

The proposals would have resulted in a 350% hike in the cost of a parking permit for some residents in the borough, whilst newly purchased Teslas would get to park for free.

Instead, amended proposals announced today mean that cars will, this year, face a cost of up to £245, up from the current £90, but down from the proposed £465.

In a press release explaining the rationale for the latest amendment, Councillor Hilary Gander said: “I believe that differential parking is one measure that will go towards achieving [cleaner air in Kingston].

“It seems, however, we may have moved too fast and not fully explained our approach.”

The ruling Lib Dem administration has, refused to rule out increasing the charges again next year, and have not announced how they are plugging the £525,000 gap this will leave in their budget for this financial year.

New Malden resident Angie, who lives in Queens Road, said: “It’s clear to me from what the Lib Dems have written that they fully intend to increase permit costs again next year – it’s not a case of ‘moving too fast’, it’s a case of these charges being discriminatory and unfair.

“How on earth can the Council practically halve these figures on a whim. It just proves that this is not really about tackling the issue of air quality, it’s about making a quick buck.”

Campaigners who set up a group to attempt to halt these proposals say that this latest amendment will not reduce local opposition to the plans, and are urging residents affected to attend Full Council at the Guildhall next Wednesday, starting at 7:30pm, where they have forced the Council to debate the issue by raising a community motion.

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