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EXCLUSIVE: Council refuse to deny ‘interim interim CEO’ lied on job application

James Giles

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KINGSTON Council have refused to deny that the newly-appointed ‘interim interim CEO’, Gill Steward, who is on a six-week contract with Kingston Council, lied about her qualifications when applying for the role.

Gill Steward, who until recently was Chief Executive of Bexley Council, claims on her LinkedIn profile to have a Masters degree in Public Administration from Warwick University.

However, leaked documents from Bexley Council, seen by this publication, reveal that Ms. Steward never completed her Masters degree, dropping out before completing the course.

When Kingston Council were asked whether Ms. Steward had misled the authority when applying for the job, together with a request to confirm Ms. Steward’s qualifications they refused to comment, instead releasing the following statement: “Due to health reasons, the responsibilities of the current interim CEO, Roy Thompson, are being picked up by members of the council’s permanent leadership team for a period of six weeks.

“Based on her experience and track record, Gill Steward has been brought on board, three-days a week, to support the leadership team during this time.”
Councillor Kevin Davis, Leader of the Opposition, said: “I asked Cllr Green about the application and she told me that it was all handled by HR and she did not see the information. On checking she tells me Gill’s CV was accurate. I have not seen the paperwork myself so can’t say more.”

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

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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