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Residents urged to respond on Cambridge Road Estate regeneration consultation that could see nearly 2000 homes built on site

James Giles

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Local people are urged to have their say on the three shortlisted options for the regeneration of the Cambridge Road Estate.

A major consultation has started following the launch of Kingston Council’s proposals at the CREst Fun Day on the Estate on Saturday 3 September. The proposals offer options ranging from partial to complete replacement of all homes on the estate. Regardless of the option chosen, the site will see an increase in the number of homes, from a current c.800 to between c.1800 and c.2000 homes.

Councillor Kevin Davis, Leader of Kingston Council, said: 
“Kingston’s population is growing. We need to plan for that growth, make sure it’s right for our borough and also do what we can to provide homes for future generations. Part of that plan is to embark on an ambitious programme to regenerate some of the largest housing estates within Kingston, with Cambridge Road Estate being the first.

“This consultation is a hugely important step for the regeneration of the Cambridge Road Estate as it will shape and define what we do next to design an estate fit for the future. All three options are financially viable and would bring much-needed additional housing into the area.

“The consultation launched over the weekend in the heart of the Estate and will continue until 23 October. During this time there are 15 drop-in sessions, including specific events for those with English as a second language and vulnerable residents. To capture as many views as possible, we’re also running an online survey, with hard copies available on the estate and at the events.

“After the consultation period closes, we’ll analyse your feedback, shape the plans and come to a preferred option. This preferred option will then go to our Growth Committee in March 2017 for a decision. My hope is that those affected by the regeneration come to a drop-in, fill out a survey and tell us what you think. Kingston’s future is being planned now. Help shape it, be part of it and be proud of it.”

To find out more and have your say, visit www.kingston.gov.uk/CRERegen or the Housing Office, 5 – 8 Tadlow on the Cambridge Road Estate to pick up a copy of the survey. Consultation closes on 23 October 2016.

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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Stop cuts to schools and special needs children

James Giles

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The Council last night (7th February) passed the ‘SEND Transformation Plan’, despite local residents making clear that they had not been properly consulted.

The plans, which include raiding a potential £5 million from the budgets of mainstream schools, were put out to consultation over the Christmas Holidays, which resulted in a response rate of less than 2% of those with special needs children.

SEND Family Voices, a group who until recently worked with the Council on special needs matters, have described the plans as ‘fantasy’, saying: “The risk of legal challenge is now high; the risk of Tribunal rates going through the roof is also now extremely high. The Plan is unachievable & the savings suggested are completely fabricated.”

If 100 residents sign the ‘call in’ below, the decision is sent to Scrutiny Panel for an investigation.

Please sign to ensure that our schools and special needs children get the education they deserve. We demand better for SEND children.

CALL IN: SEND TRANSFORMATION

We, the undersigned, call in all recommendations from the 'SEND Transformation Plan' from the Childrens and Adults Care and Education Committee for review at Scrutiny Panel for the following reasons:

- Councillors were misled by officers who presented the item, who claimed the consultation was sent to all SEND parents, school governors, publicised on the website and via social media, which is gross distortion of the facts.
- The consultation was not published on Kingston Council's consultation portal until 3rd January, leaving less than three weeks for the public to reply through this forum.
- The 'easy read' consultation was not published until after most schools had broken up.
- The consultation did not meet government guidelines on good consultation.
- Out of Borough schools which have Kingston SEND pupils attending were not consulted on the proposals
- SEND partners and parents were not consulted before the plan was published
- The consultation only had 96 responses. There are 4,000+ CYP with SEND in Kingston - at best, the response rate was 2% and in reality, lower, which suggests there was a major flaw with the way in which consultation was carried out, leaving the Council open to legal challenge.
- The committee wilfully held the authority's constitution in contempt by agreeing to the sending the Written Statement of Action to Ofsted a mere two working days after the committee, despite the constitution being incredibly clear that a decision cannot be fully implemented until expiration of a call-in period.
- The risk of legal challenge is now high; the risk of Tribunal rates going through the roof is also now extremely high.
- The Plan is unachievable & the savings suggested are completely fabricated.

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283 signatures

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