Kingston Council leader tells developers 'don't be Vikings' at Kingston Futures conference

Kingston Council leader Kevin Davis said developers should behave more like King Athelstan and less like the Vikings

Kingston Council leader Kevin Davis said developers should behave more like King Athelstan and less like the Vikings

First published in News Surrey Comet: Photograph of the Author by , Deputy editor

Developers have been told not to “act like Vikings” as the future of Kingston town centre was discussed at an exclusive business conference this week.

Kingston Council leader Kevin Davis delivered the warning at the end of Kingston Futures, held at the Rose Theatre on Tuesday, which effectively put Kingston in the shop window for potential investors.

About 150 business delegates paid £354 a ticket to be at the day-long event, which pitched Kingston as a viable destination for retail, commerce and tourism in the wake of increased competition from the likes of Guildford, Croydon and the Westfield shopping centre.

The revamped ancient market – officially re-opened on the same day – Crossrail 2, and the £30m mini-Holland cycling project, were also discussed.

Speakers included London deputy mayor for business Kit Malthouse, Kingston Council leader Kevin Davis, cycling commissioner Andrew Gilligan and Kingstonfirst chief executive Ros Morgan.

Surrey Comet:

Kit Malthouse at the Kingston Futures conference

Claudette Forbes, programme manager of Shaping Kingston, outlined the development opportunities available, including Eden Quarter, north Kingston and Kingston train station.

But she emphasised developments must be done within Kingston Council’s vision for the town centre, and not just “piecemeal” schemes aimed solely for profit.

She said: “This is our best chance to affect the change and transformation the town needs. It’s very important we get this right. It cannot be done piecemeal.”

In his closing conference speech, Coun Davis reiterated the message, alluding to Kingston’s history as the site where King Athelstan, the first King of England, was crowned in AD925.

Coun Davis said: “It’s an extraordinary fact that the town has hidden for many years, that this is the place where England began.

“In 838 a charter was signed here between the king and a bishop, which set out how the church and the monarchy would carve up the kingdom.

“In 925 a man came here to be crowned, but unlike other Saxon kings he was the first King of England.

Surrey Comet:

King Athelstan is considered the first King of England - a waxwork model of the monarch stands in Kingston Museum 

“In 1009, the Vikings came here, and burnt down the small church which is now All Saints.

“I say to you – don’t be Vikings. Don’t come here and pillage.

“Why not be that king, who came here and created a great kingdom?”

Elsewhere at the Kingston Futures conference:

Crossrail2 

Surrey Comet:

Richard De Cani

The introduction of Crossrail 2 would help growth in Kingston, according to Transport for London.
Richard De Cani, Transport for London’s  director of transport strategy and planning, made the case for the potential new rail line for London and the south east during the Kingston Futures conference on Tuesday. 
He said Crossrail 2 would provide eight trains per hour from Kingston to central London – roughly one every seven minutes – taking passengers to Tottenham Court Road in under half an hour in a single journey.
He said as more jobs were created in central London, Kingston would become a more attractive place to live if commuters could get to work on just one train.
He said: “Crossrail 2 is not just about transport alone, but what it can do for London, and Kingston’s, future growth.”

Mini Holland

Surrey Comet:

Andrew Gilligan

London cycling commissioner Andrew Gilligan laughed off suggestions Kingston’s winning mini Holland bid was only picked because he was on the judging panel.
The Teddington-born journalist and former Kingston College student claimed he had heard suggestions Kingston was picked because of the Telegraph writer’s “ancestral heritage”.
But Mr Gilligan dismissed the notion by repeating a comment made by one of his fellow judges, who  said: “There’s Kingston, and then there’s everyone else.”
Kingston is set to receive £30m from London Mayor Boris Johnson’s cycling scheme fund.
Plans include building a fixed, cycle-only boardway along the river between Thameside near John Lewis to Queens Promenade at Town End Parade, with improved boat moorings.
A new plaza will be created outside Kingston station for more pedestrians and cyclists, while the taxi rank outside Surbiton station will be replaced with a new town square.
A new cycle route between New Malden and Raynes Park will also be built.

Comments (5)

Please log in to enable comment sorting

4:39pm Thu 26 Jun 14

helen59 says...

but Developers have already ruined Kingston with all those flats making it one of the most overcrowded towns around the surrey area.
but Developers have already ruined Kingston with all those flats making it one of the most overcrowded towns around the surrey area. helen59
  • Score: 11

7:57am Fri 27 Jun 14

0753waterloo says...

“I say to you – don’t be Vikings. Don’t come here and pillage."

Because the Tory council has the monopoly on pillaging
“I say to you – don’t be Vikings. Don’t come here and pillage." Because the Tory council has the monopoly on pillaging 0753waterloo
  • Score: 10

1:18pm Fri 27 Jun 14

grace86 says...

Well that didn't take long, did it!
 
A few weeks into a Tory control of Kingston council, are we to become the next Hammersmith & Fulham, where the Tory regime worshipped at the monied stinking feet of property developers?
 
Gorging themselves on lavish "hospitality" from property developers, and unrecorded meetings with property developers, H&F Tories proclaimed the borough as developer-friendly.
 
It was open season for property developers as their developments were waved through in the face of public opposition with minimum public benefit. H&F Tories tried to close top performing state schools so that their cronies and donors' free school empire could trash more kids education with their unqualified teachers. H&F voters had to wait 4 years to kick out the "in it for ourselves & our developer chums" Tories.
 
Kevin Davis, the new Kingston Conservative leader owns Cratus, a lobbying company favoured by property developers who seek to "influence" local councillors on planning applications.
Kevin Davis says that he won't seek lobby/influence councillors on Kingston planning applications, but tellingly Kevin Davis hasn't said he will refuse to lobby/influence councillors of other boroughs when the developer (or linked companies) is also seeking permission for developments in Kingstookn itself.
Fresh the stench of Tory-run Hammersmith & Fulham, that's just not good enough Kingston Conservatives.
Well that didn't take long, did it!   A few weeks into a Tory control of Kingston council, are we to become the next Hammersmith & Fulham, where the Tory regime worshipped at the monied stinking feet of property developers?   Gorging themselves on lavish "hospitality" from property developers, and unrecorded meetings with property developers, H&F Tories proclaimed the borough as developer-friendly.   It was open season for property developers as their developments were waved through in the face of public opposition with minimum public benefit. H&F Tories tried to close top performing state schools so that their cronies and donors' free school empire could trash more kids education with their unqualified teachers. H&F voters had to wait 4 years to kick out the "in it for ourselves & our developer chums" Tories.   Kevin Davis, the new Kingston Conservative leader owns Cratus, a lobbying company favoured by property developers who seek to "influence" local councillors on planning applications. Kevin Davis says that he won't seek lobby/influence councillors on Kingston planning applications, but tellingly Kevin Davis hasn't said he will refuse to lobby/influence councillors of other boroughs when the developer (or linked companies) is also seeking permission for developments in Kingstookn itself. Fresh the stench of Tory-run Hammersmith & Fulham, that's just not good enough Kingston Conservatives. grace86
  • Score: 16

1:55pm Fri 27 Jun 14

captain_shamrock says...

If anybody is in any doubt about the murky nature of the planning consultancy business, and the murky arena in which it operates, have a read of this Daily Telegraph undercover investigation:

goo.gl/AQg1Po

Just look at the quotes:
“access to all the right people for the right clients”......“ don’t come cheap. I mean, there are jobs that I do for £1,000, and there are jobs that I do for £20,000 … if I turn a greenfield into a housing estate and I’m earning the developer two or three million, then I ain’t doing it for peanuts.”

“a good chance that via our network someone will know someone who knows somebody” at every council."

“I can’t if I’ve got an interest, but there’s more than one way to skin a cat,” he said.

Despite apparently creating the potential for a conflict of interest, incredibly it is not illegal for councillors to work as paid consultants. That needs to change, and really quickly.

Most right thinking people would agree that no-one should be allowed to be a serving councillor and be paid as a lobbyist/consultant (or own a company that does so) at the same time. It doesn't look good, and it's not defensible.

.
If anybody is in any doubt about the murky nature of the planning consultancy business, and the murky arena in which it operates, have a read of this Daily Telegraph undercover investigation: goo.gl/AQg1Po Just look at the quotes: “access to all the right people for the right clients”......“[I] don’t come cheap. I mean, there are jobs that I do for £1,000, and there are jobs that I do for £20,000 … if I turn a greenfield into a housing estate and I’m earning the developer two or three million, then I ain’t doing it for peanuts.” “a good chance that via our network someone will know someone who knows somebody” at every council." “I can’t [call it in to the planning committee] if I’ve got an interest, but there’s more than one way to skin a cat,” he said. Despite apparently creating the potential for a conflict of interest, incredibly it is not illegal for councillors to work as paid consultants. That needs to change, and really quickly. Most right thinking people would agree that no-one should be allowed to be a serving councillor and be paid as a lobbyist/consultant (or own a company that does so) at the same time. It doesn't look good, and it's not defensible. . captain_shamrock
  • Score: 19

3:41pm Fri 27 Jun 14

berrybabe says...

This planning lobbying business looks well dodgy going by that daily telegraph article. The conservative leader of our council shouldn't be involved in any of this type off stuff while being a councillor. And what's with this £354 a ticket
This planning lobbying business looks well dodgy going by that daily telegraph article. The conservative leader of our council shouldn't be involved in any of this type off stuff while being a councillor. And what's with this £354 a ticket berrybabe
  • Score: 19

Comments are closed on this article.

Send us your news, pictures and videos

Most read stories

Local Info

Enter your postcode, town or place name

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree