Kingston and Surbiton candidates outline their three local priorities

The general election candidates in Kingston and Surbiton have outlined their three local priorities for if they are elected.

Chris Walker, Green Party

  • Free, fair and fully funded education for all: letting teachers get on with their jobs rather than fighting for funding, ending the obsession with testing and a system that has failed many people in Kingston
  • Affordable and sustainable housing that gives young people a chance of getting a house in Kingston that meets energy efficiency standards and creates new jobs in the building industry
  • Tackling air pollution which means Kingston exceed legal limits by 25 per cent in some parts and causes health problems among children, with five schools next to the A3

Michael Basman, independent

  • Two new environmental purification officers in Surbiton (also known as road sweepers and cleaners) paid for by the reduction of salaries of the managers at the top end of the council.
  • Standing up for the small traders and the self-employed against the crushing burden of regulations, particularly tax regulations, which suck the life out of trade and raises prices
  • A survey of the workload by the members of public services, because these workloads often lead to burnout and a high turnover of staff

Laurie South, Labour Party

  • Education: we will need at least another 1400 places in the next year
  • Housing: those employed in roles such as teaching or nursing cannot afford to buy a home, and those on the median income spend 43% of their income on rent. At the same time, there are 537 families with children in temporary accommodation, 879 homeless children and a growing number of rough sleepers.
  • Mental Health: mental health provision has been very poor in Kingston and, in the absence of help, people are turning to drink and drugs.

Graham Matthews, UKIP

  • Population growth: Kingston council’s plans for development rest on a set of population forecasts prepared by the GLA that show the population will grow to 200,000 by 2036, up from 173,000 today. These forecasts should be reviewed to take Brexit into account and the population growth should be stabilised.
  • Housing: the council failed to build a single council house in 10 years. UKIP propose a national scheme to build 100,000 modular homes costing less than £100,000 each and not available for resale on the open market, and only for low-income households.
  • NHS: we will oppose plans to close acute services at Kingston Hospital, and will end car parking charges there.

Ed Davey, Liberal Democrats

  • School funding and school places: The most crucial priority is to reverse the spending cuts that are leaving our schools underfunded, and to increase funding for teachers and schools in the area. As well as this a major priority is to build new schools in Kingston and Surbiton.
  • NHS: I want to reverse the cuts that have caused waiting times to rise. I want to ensure that the nurses and doctors that serve our NHS from Europe are protected so that services improve, not be reduced.
  • Reversing the cuts to our police: Our police force has seen 27 officers lost in recent years and this has not helped stop the increase in crime statistics

James Berry, Conservative Party

  • Schools: continuing to push for better funding for our schools and policies to attract and retain teachers in expensive Boroughs like Kingston
  • NHS: ensuring that NHS and care services are more accessible and better integrated across the Borough
  • Transport: continuing to fight for much needed investment into our rail and road infrastructure, including Crossrail 2 that I have been a leading campaigner for

Chinners, Official Monster Raving Loony Party

Contacted for comment but did not provide local priorities

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