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Ward councillors show residents the money

James Giles

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Ward Councillors have £2,000 a piece to get behind grass-roots community spirited projects, activities and local initiatives.

Kingston residents are being reminded that their local Councillor can award flexible, small and timely funds for local initiatives within their Ward. The clock is ticking for your Councillor to allocate this one-off cash injection into your local neighbourhood as your Councillor must invest the money by the end of the financial year in March 2017.

The idea behind the fund is to promote a real sense of community and good neighbourliness across the borough and to support residents to help themselves, and each other, by improving their streets, open spaces and promote local community activities. The funding comes from the new Ward Councillors scheme. Your Ward Councillor will decide which community-spirited project, activity or initiative has the widest benefit to local residents and is worthy of receiving support and funding.

This will be your chance to iron out any local problems you may feel exists within your neck of the woods – with the Council’s backing to solve and achieve some solutions. Ward Councillors can allocate their fund as an individual Councillor or join with other Councillors in the same ward to support a particular scheme or project.

Councillor Andrea Craig, Cabinet Member with responsibility for Growth and Identity, said:

“This fund is about empowering our residents and giving them the chance to make their communities an even better place to live. There is such a strong sense of community here in Kingston. This is why I have absolutely no doubt that this fund will be invested in projects and initiatives that matter most to our residents – because the money will be spent by you.”

For more information and to apply for a grant visit: https://www.kingston.gov.uk/voluntary_and_community_sector_grants

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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