Press Release: Call for candidates to step forward to clean up Kingston in 2018 elections

Wednesday 21st January 2018: the Kingston Independent Residents Group (KIRG) has moved forward its campaign for better local government by asking residents from across the borough of Kingston to step forward and join its team of candidates for its 2018 council election bid. The May 2018 borough elections will see new councillors elected from every ward across Kingston.

Mary Clark, group leader of KIRG, said:

“The current Tory controlled council have failed the residents of Kingston. For 4 years they’ve incompetently forced national party policies on our borough. These have traded our long-term legacy and quality of life for short-term self-serving politics. Residents from across the borough have told us they want proper planning, far higher standards and effective accountability from council leaders. It’s time for a wholesale change. We desperately need a Council that will work competently and responsibly for the residents of Kingston.”

Patrick Wylde said:

“The national political party whip has been running roughshod over the wishes of residents for too long – and every community in Kingston is affected. The only way that locals can decide for themselves is to elect independent councillors in 2018. We’re working with other residents’ groups and calling on residents from across the borough to join our growing team of residents’ independent candidates for Kingston 2018. We encourage those who love where they live to step forward and join us.”

To find out more about becoming a KIRG candidate, volunteer or supporter please contact us on or call 020 8050 5096.

Kingston residents form political party and launch campaign for 2018 local election

Monday 8th January 2018, Kingston upon Thames: Kingston residents have announced that they have formed their own independent political party, the Kingston Independent Residents Group (KIRG), and will be standing candidates across the borough in their Council elections in May 2018. They have also announced their first 4 prospective council election candidates and launched their new website at .

Mary Clark, the KIRG group leader and existing Kingston Councillor stated:

“Today marks a turning point in the political landscape at Guildhall. Residents who have, for many years, been fed false promises by the national parties just to secure their vote now have an alternative voice, that will fight for them at Kingston Council.

“Residents don’t want national parties telling them what’s good for them locally – they want to decide for themselves. We’ll unveil our detailed policies nearer the election, but have no doubt about it, our plans are big, bold and are all about residents getting their voices back and deciding for themselves.”

Along with Kingston Councillor Mary Clark, the initial group of prospective candidates includes business owner and Berrylands resident, Oliver Eakin; development campaigner and Coombe Vale resident, Patrick Wylde. To complete the first announced prospective candidates, the residents’ party has also announced that current and long-standing Councillor for Old Malden, David Fraser, will be standing for KIRG in May.

Small business owner and Berrylands resident, Oliver Eakin, added:

“It is critical that residents from all backgrounds have a voice. That means we want both fresh faces and those with seasoned political experience, to help drive a broad set of policies focussed on things that matter to people – the local economy, quality-of-life, fiscal responsibility, and a proper long-term vision. We’ve got working mums, existing politicians, successful small business owners and everything in between.

“Residents have become increasingly fed up at being let down by the current Council on a whole range of issues. We’ve seen a steady stream of people sticking their hands up to become candidates in the run up to this launch. We’ve still got space for more. If you love where you live and want to make a difference for the residents of Kingston, drop us a line through our website – we want to hear from you.”

Open letter to Kevin Davis on Cocks Crescent SPD

Dear Councillor Davis,

I write following your comments in the Surrey Comet regarding recent protests against the proposed Cocks Crescent SPD. I really do not think that it can be said that residents are playing ‘childish games’, when they have great concern, with regard to the overdevelopment which could very well take place in the centre of New Malden.

The potential of the build of up to 520 flats in Cocks Crescent is in itself a cause for concern, when there is no infrastructure to support the development. Further, the proposed build of a further 290 flats, from the former Shell Garage to the Multi-storey car park, (Shell Garage: 21 units/5-29 Coombe Rd: 85 units/Malden House: 93 units/Multi-storey car park: 91 units) plus the CNM’s proposal to build up to 100 units on St Georges Square – 910 flats would, naturally, be considered, by New Malden residents, as considerable overdevelopment in such a small town centre.

The residents who are concerned are the ‘sensible’ people, as they know that New Malden is far too small to sustain this volume of development.

Also, the whole purpose for the original build of the Cocks Crescent site was to accommodate Community facilities – never for residential build, hence the build of the Malden Centre, swimming pool, Crescent Resource Centre for the Physically Disabled, the Causeway Resource Centre for Learning Disabilities, Womens’ Voluntary Service, Adult Education, Malden Emergency First Aid Society and Citizens Advice Bureau.

Even without the Cocks Crescent development, New Malden High Street may well turn into a ‘builders yard’, within the coming months, as several contractors trundle up and down for months with bricks and mortar to the various development sites – our shops will loose trade, which they are already struggling to maintain.

Flats as high as 10 storeys on such a small site as Cocks Crescent will, without doubt, overshadow the nearby houses in Blagdon Road. The centre of New Malden is being unnecessarily targeted by developers building flats for market value – average price for a STUDIO flat on the Multi-storey car park development is a minimum of£250,000 (documented by the developer)!

New Malden cannot sustain close on 1000 new flats-and it is just not fair on the local residents who are already having to wait for 2/3 weeks for a GP appointment, or obtain a place for their child in a local school.

I have lived in New Malden since 1939 and it is, without doubt, the worse thing that could ever happen to this small town. Trust me – you don’t live here. You may just as well go skywards, and drop a mega bucket of cement over the Centre of New Malden so it becomes just another “concrete jungle”.

Councillor Mary Clark, Old Malden Ward