Where You Live: Kingston upon Thames

Where you live >> Kingston upon Thames

London is more than just the City and its famous landmarks. More than its museums, theatres, palaces, taxis and red buses. It is home to some 8 million people. You live, work and socialise across London’s 32 boroughs – you make them tick. You give Kingston’s neighbourhoods, from Chessington to Coombe, their unique identity. It is these distinct areas that make our great capital such a rich and diverse city. Unlike the previous Mayor, Boris is working to give all your boroughs - not just Zones 1-3 - his attention.

Boris Johnson has a nine point plan to secure Greater London’s future. He is paying for this plan by cutting waste at City Hall to free up £3.5 billion for services.

In Kingston the plan means:

  • Freezing City Hall’s share of council tax for three successive years and cutting it this year, benefitting 96,603 Kingston households and putting an average £445 back into pockets. (Point 2) (GLA, Press Release, 1 February 2012, link: GLA Website, ‘Budget archive’, link).
  • Investing in local high streets with over £2 million economic boost for Kingston High Street as part of the Mayor’s £50 million Outer London Fund created by Boris Johnson after years of neglect under Ken Livingstone. (Point 6) (GLA, Outer London Fund: Round Two Winners announced, link).
  • Investing in local transport with funding for the construction of Hogsmill Cycle Bridge, rolling-out Oyster cards onto national rail, and investing £14.3 million to boost local transport in Kingston. (Point 8) (TfL, Press Release, 20 November 2008, link; TfL, Press Release, 11 December 2009, link; TfL, Press Release, 16 December 2010, link; TfL, Press Release, 15 December 2011, link).
  • Boris is benefitting local pensioners by reversing the previous Labour government’s decision to stop those at 60 getting the Freedom Pass until 65.
  • He is also the only candidate in this election who can secure a better deal for London from No 10.

Freezing council tax

  • Boris Johnson has frozen council tax for three years and is cutting it this year. Boris Johnson has frozen his share council tax for three years and is cutting it this year (GLA, Mayor’s Final Draft Consolidated Budget 2012-13, link).
    • This has helped keep cost of living low for 96,603 households in Kingston (DCLG, Council Tax Base, October 2011), putting an extra £445 back in the pocket of the average household.

 Restoring green space

  • Green Spaces. 34 green spaces have been created for Kingston residents to grow their own food (Capital Growth Website, link )
  • Ending garden grabbing. Boris Johnson has introduced new protections for gardens from development. His revised London Plan enables boroughs to: ‘introduce a presumption against development on back gardens or other private residential gardens where this can be locally justified’ (GLA, The London Plan 2011, July 2011, p. 86-87, link). Draft guidance also urges councils to prevent garden grabbing: ‘Such a presumption reflects Government’s recognition in PPS3 of the need to provide support for justified, local measures to prevent “garden grabbing”’ (GLA, Draft supplementary planning guidance, December 2011, link).

Investing to transform local high streets

  • More than £2 million economic boost for Kingston High Street. Kingston Town Centre is receiving £2,012,590.90 for a series of to enhance the Kingston Town Centre, and attract shoppers as well as boost the Centre’s economy as a key cultural, leisure and retail destination. (GLA, ‘Outer London Fund: Round 2 Summary of Winners’, 12 January 2012).

Making your streets and homes safer

  • 1,000 more police by May and £132 million more investment under Boris. The number of Special Constables has more than doubled from 2,500 to well over 5,000 (GLA, The Mayor’s Consultation Budget, 22 December 2011, link; MPA Website, Police numbers, link; GLA, Mayor’s Final Budget 2011-12, link; Evening Standard, 30 January 2012, link).
  • 123 more patrols per month in Kingston. In 2010-11 there were 123 more patrols per month in Kingston than in 2008-9. (London Assembly, Written answers to Mayoral questions, 22 February 2012, link).
  • Total crime and robberies in Kingston have reduced. Since May 2008, Kingston has seen a 18.3% decrease in total crime and a 15.1% reduction in the number of robberies. Youth violence is down 19.1% and bus crime has fallen 32.1% (MPS Statistics, May 08 – Jan 12 compared to Sept 04-April 08)

Ensuring a true Olympic legacy

  • Boris Johnson has funded four sport participation programmes in Kingston so far. They are (Mayor of London, Sporting future for London, April 2009, p. 9, link):
  • 7 organisations in Kingston are receiving Sports Legacy Programme grants. 7 organisations in Kingston are receiving Sports Legacy Programme Grants to offer free sports coaching to London (Freesport Programme Website, link).

Investing in Transport

  • £14.3 million of funding for local transport in Kingston. Since becoming Mayor, Boris Johnson has invested over £14.3 million to boost local transport in Kingston. In 2012-13 this funding is being invested in a variety of projects including traffic and public realm improvements for Tolworth Broadway, completing the borough's Bus Stop Accessibility Programme, supporting School Travel Plans and implementing a number of cycling measures, including more cycle parking and new crossings for cyclists in line with the Mayor's Cycle Revolution (TfL, Press Release, 20 November 2008, link; TfL, Press Release, 11 December 2009, link; TfL, Press Release, 16 December 2010, link; TfL, Press Release, 15 December 2011, link).

Roads and Congestion

  • £4.3 million for pedestrian improvements at Tolworth Broadway. This money will go towards design works for improvements to Tolworth Broadway, including better crossing facilities, crossing points, as well as more accessible bus stops, improved lighting and renewed paving (TfL, Press Release, 20 November 2008, link).
  • £30,000 in funding to develop street parking for car clubs. £30,000 is supporting the development and promotion of Car Clubs and electric vehicle infrastructure in the borough (TfL, Press Release, 11 December 2009, link).
  • £220,000 for improvements to the Foundation Roundabout. £220,000 is being invested in improvements to the A2043 Malden Road/Fountain Roundabout and Kingston Road/Burlington Road, including measures to reduce the number of road traffic casualties (TfL, Press Release, 20 November 2008, link).

Rail

  • Oyster Cards rolled out on national rail. After years of talk under Ken Livingstone, Boris Johnson secured the roll-out of Oyster cards onto national rail. Rail passengers who use the line between Kingston and Surbiton into Waterloo have benefited from the roll out of Oyster cards onto the national rail network. (TfL Website, ‘Oyster on National Rail’, December 2009, link).

Buses

  • Bus improvements. 26 bus routes in Kingston have been expanded and/or improved under Boris Johnson (TfL, Bus service changes borough by borough, May 2008-January 2012)
  • Bendy Buses removed. Nearly 500 new vehicles boasting the latest clean engine technology will replace the Bendy buses, saving more  than £7 million a year in fare evasion (TfL, Press Release, 5 October 2011, link).

Cycling

  • £25,000 Cycle Funding. £25,000 worth of funding available to Kingston in order to encourage residents to cycle.

Housing

  • 200 total affordable housing units completed in Kingston. 100 social rented and 100 intermediate affordable housing units were completed in Kingston between 2008/09 and 2010/11. (DCLG, Affordable Housing Live Tables 1006,1007,1008).

Mayoral visits

  • Boris Johnson has made more visits to Kingston in four years than Ken Livingstone made in eight. Boris Johnson has visited Kingston four times since July 2008. Ken Livingstone visited Kingston just twice in his eight years as Mayor (GLA, Mayor’s Report to the Assembly, May 2000 – April 2008; GLA, Mayor’s Report to the Assembly, May 2008 – March 2012).

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