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Labour’s Manifesto for Kingston 2014

Labour’s goal is to make our borough a fairer place so that everyone can share in its success. This goal inspires our four priorities for 2014-18:

Tackling Kingston’s housing crisis – by building more new homes for social rent, with local people getting priority, and setting up a non-profit lettings agency to provide an affordable alternative for private renters

Creating opportunities for Kingston’s children – by ensuring that there is adequate affordable pre-school and wrap-around school provision, a focus on attainment for all, and that schools are built near the young people they will serve

Bringing down the cost of living – by cutting energy bills through insulation programmes and local power generation

Raising employment – by helping to ensure every young person in the borough has an offer of a job, a college place, or an apprenticeship and by developing council-led enterprise support.

You can read the full manifesto by opening this pdf by clicking the manifesto here: Kingston Labour Council Manifesto 2014-18

Ending 12 years of Liberal Democrat misrule in Kingston. 

The Liberal Democrat years of control have been a catalogue of failure.

Council tax
Under the Liberal Democrats, Kingston has been notorious for demanding the highest council tax of any London borough and the fourth highest in the country. Labour will aim to keep council tax bill rises no higher than the rate of inflation.
Protecting children
OFSTED, the independent inspector, found the council’s child protection services to be inadequate in two consecutive recent reports. As a result, the borough’s most vulnerable children were exposed to unacceptable levels of risk. Child protection services have now been taken out of Kingston’s direct control. Labour will ensure that the borough’s safeguarding services make rapid progress towards acceptable performance, and that all lessons from the recent failures are learned.
Rewarding failure
The former director of children’s services, who resigned days before the first damning child protection report was made public, was given a year’s salary as a payoff.He was paid £128,000 after his resignation, despite the claim of the then Kingston Council leader, Liberal Democrat Councillor Derek Osbourne, that “final responsibility” for the failures lay with the director. When staff leave the council’s service because of poor performance, Labour will ensure that they do not get “Golden Handshakes” – pay-offs over and above any contractual obligations.
Roads and pavements
At the current rate of repair and reconstruction under the Liberal Democrats, carriageways will only be resurfaced once every 25 years and footways reconstructed once every 50 years. Labour will give a high priority to spending on road and pavement maintenance.
Housing
There are already over 6,000 households on the council’s housing waiting list. At the current rate, it would take over 15 years to house them. Working with housing associations, a Labour council will build new affordable homes. We will ensure that new developments include their quota of affordable homes according to the council’s existing policies (50% in larger developments). Planning applications that contrive to avoid building affordable homes will be refused.
Under-performance in education
In 2010, it was reported that the charity Save the Children had described the gap in GCSE results between the borough’s poorest and better-off children as “scandalous”.In 2014, the gap has widened. Kingston is now the tenth worst authority in England and second worst in London. Labour will focus on standards in all Kingston’s schools so that every parent can be confident their child will receive an excellent education in the borough. We will work with all schools to raise standards and encourage collaboration between schools, so that the best performing schools pass on their knowledge to those that need extra help.

 

 

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