General election race in Kingston 'will be on schools places' MP Edward Davey says

General election race in Kingston 'will be on schools places' MP Edward Davey says

Parliamentary candidates Lee Godfrey (Labour) and James Berry (Conservative) exchange a joke at the election count

Edward Davey being interviewed on the Lib Dem collapse at the council elections

First published in News Surrey Comet: Photograph of the Author by , Senior reporter

Kingston’s school place crisis will be top of the agenda in the campaign for next year’s general election.

Providing enough primary and secondary school space for Kingston families is “where the real focus must be”, Liberal Democrat MP Edward Davey said this week.

But Mr Davey, who pledged loyalty to leader Nick Clegg, would not be drawn on whether he was worried about his own position, following poor results for the Lib Dems in local and European polls last week.

He added: “These were disappointing results, obviously, but I have never been complacent about the seat.

“That wouldn’t have changed if we had won the elections. I have always in my mind worked as if my majority was still just 56 [as it was when he was first elected in 1997].

“People have shown in the elections this year that there is a degree of hostility towards all the main political parties.”

Conservative parliamentary hopeful James Berry said: “One of the key building blocks for social mobility is having a first-class education system in the borough, where people can actually have choice in education and can expect those choices to be inside the borough.

“I’m going to do everything I can to support the development of schools, working with the council and the Department for Education, pressing it to do as much as it can to solve the real need for more school places.”

Labour’s candidate, Lee Godfrey, said: “I can’t see Ed Davey keeping his seat next May. Lib Dems will tell you that Labour just can’t win in Kingston – but we have shown that we can.

“This [the local election] was a staging post for us. We stand a real chance.”

Healthcare and education would be Labour’s priorities next year, he added.

Comments (3)

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12:36pm Mon 2 Jun 14

R Batson says...

Interesting remarks from Ed Davey MP. Wonder why for the last 12 years then the Education/schools places in this borough wasn't addressed, when the Lib Dem administration was in charge and able to have not only planned 12 years ago but by now implemented and thus provided the places. Odd that all those public reports stating demand for places in schools would increase but were ignored by them. Now of course we have a shortage which definitely needs urgent attention but need not have been such an urgent problem if they had planned properly in the first place when the public reports were informing them to do so.
Interesting remarks from Ed Davey MP. Wonder why for the last 12 years then the Education/schools places in this borough wasn't addressed, when the Lib Dem administration was in charge and able to have not only planned 12 years ago but by now implemented and thus provided the places. Odd that all those public reports stating demand for places in schools would increase but were ignored by them. Now of course we have a shortage which definitely needs urgent attention but need not have been such an urgent problem if they had planned properly in the first place when the public reports were informing them to do so. R Batson
  • Score: 3

1:02pm Mon 2 Jun 14

UKIP Surbiton says...

The bulge classes built across the borough for the huge shortfall in primary school places from 2009 will have to be dug up and moved to the secondary schools . This tsunami of demand hits in Sept 2015 and yet again the politicians have their ostrich disguises on . NOTHING has been done to address this ... expect discord and anger from voters ... and nothing from the councillors but denial and blame ...
The bulge classes built across the borough for the huge shortfall in primary school places from 2009 will have to be dug up and moved to the secondary schools . This tsunami of demand hits in Sept 2015 and yet again the politicians have their ostrich disguises on . NOTHING has been done to address this ... expect discord and anger from voters ... and nothing from the councillors but denial and blame ... UKIP Surbiton
  • Score: 1

9:33pm Mon 2 Jun 14

Nick Kilby says...

I am shocked that only a few weeks ago Ed Davey's Lib Dem run council was saying there was "No School Place Crisis”. As reported in this newspaper - http://www.yourlocal
guardian.co.uk/news/
election2014/1121899
1._No_school_places_
crisis__says_Kingsto
n_Council_leader/
But now Ed Davey who I don’t see challenging his Lib Dem Colleagues who controlled the Council since 2002 until May now says there is a crisis.
Former Conservative Councillor Dennis Doe and Myself warned of the impending crisis in 2008 and then we were told we were misguided and our calculations were wrong (Cllr Bamford's reply). Mrs Bamford’s then announced that 8 bulge classrooms would be needed 3 months later to provide 220 places for those who had no offer at all due to increased demand. This Bulge seems to have continued every year since!
The New school in Surbiton, which we never opposed (We debated the best location and I would still prefer to have built a new home the elderly care next to the new Surbiton Health Centre and used the old site and spare land around Browns lane to build the school - but “Hey” the Lib Dems are always right you know!) is not enough on its own.
Ed Davey rushed to the press in 2008 and declared a new primary school was needed in Tolworth, funny but there was no evidence at all to support it but it made the headlines and looked like he was doing something!
UKIP Surbiton is totally right, next September the Bulge will start to hit the Secondary schools. The Lib Dems have utterly failed to prepare. They blame Michael Gove MP and forget that David Laws MP is the no.2 at Education. The issue is the council failed even with dear old Ed "Blame them over there" Davey having been a cabinet minister since Feb 2012, sitting around the same Cabinet table as Gove and Laws every week and he has still failed to do anything.
Ed Davey has been MP since 1997; he has done well to blame everyone else for the woes of Kingston and taken credit for everything that has been good but in truth, he has let every parent and child down. With the General Election just twelve months away, his party is in tatters after the local elections and their share of the European vote in Kingston being even more disastrous and he is running scared.
Once he was the clean shaven, young man from Nottingham who challenged the sitting MP. He was the future but now I think it's time for him to be challenged. Ed Davey MP has voted for every new law and policy implemented by the Coalition Government, that includes all the policies and funding on Schools, if they were not in the interests of Kingston's children then Ed clearly did not think so at the time he voted for them. It is Ed who has not been strong enough to speak up for Kingston, or used his influence in Government to win the support needed to address the schools place.
Announcing now “it’s all about school places” is far too late to be taken seriously. I know Zac Goldsmith MP has been working in North Kingston and with the new Conservative Administration taking over on Thursday I hope they will turn this nightmare round. It is remarkable that the schools in Kingston have been able to keep standards up and be so wonderfully professional when they have been so thoroughly let down by the local political leadership in recent years. My admiration goes to all the Headteachers and their dedicated teams of teachers - I wonder what they could achieve when they are not having to "Make Do".
I am shocked that only a few weeks ago Ed Davey's Lib Dem run council was saying there was "No School Place Crisis”. As reported in this newspaper - http://www.yourlocal guardian.co.uk/news/ election2014/1121899 1._No_school_places_ crisis__says_Kingsto n_Council_leader/ But now Ed Davey who I don’t see challenging his Lib Dem Colleagues who controlled the Council since 2002 until May now says there is a crisis. Former Conservative Councillor Dennis Doe and Myself warned of the impending crisis in 2008 and then we were told we were misguided and our calculations were wrong (Cllr Bamford's reply). Mrs Bamford’s then announced that 8 bulge classrooms would be needed 3 months later to provide 220 places for those who had no offer at all due to increased demand. This Bulge seems to have continued every year since! The New school in Surbiton, which we never opposed (We debated the best location and I would still prefer to have built a new home the elderly care next to the new Surbiton Health Centre and used the old site and spare land around Browns lane to build the school - but “Hey” the Lib Dems are always right you know!) is not enough on its own. Ed Davey rushed to the press in 2008 and declared a new primary school was needed in Tolworth, funny but there was no evidence at all to support it but it made the headlines and looked like he was doing something! UKIP Surbiton is totally right, next September the Bulge will start to hit the Secondary schools. The Lib Dems have utterly failed to prepare. They blame Michael Gove MP and forget that David Laws MP is the no.2 at Education. The issue is the council failed even with dear old Ed "Blame them over there" Davey having been a cabinet minister since Feb 2012, sitting around the same Cabinet table as Gove and Laws every week and he has still failed to do anything. Ed Davey has been MP since 1997; he has done well to blame everyone else for the woes of Kingston and taken credit for everything that has been good but in truth, he has let every parent and child down. With the General Election just twelve months away, his party is in tatters after the local elections and their share of the European vote in Kingston being even more disastrous and he is running scared. Once he was the clean shaven, young man from Nottingham who challenged the sitting MP. He was the future but now I think it's time for him to be challenged. Ed Davey MP has voted for every new law and policy implemented by the Coalition Government, that includes all the policies and funding on Schools, if they were not in the interests of Kingston's children then Ed clearly did not think so at the time he voted for them. It is Ed who has not been strong enough to speak up for Kingston, or used his influence in Government to win the support needed to address the schools place. Announcing now “it’s all about school places” is far too late to be taken seriously. I know Zac Goldsmith MP has been working in North Kingston and with the new Conservative Administration taking over on Thursday I hope they will turn this nightmare round. It is remarkable that the schools in Kingston have been able to keep standards up and be so wonderfully professional when they have been so thoroughly let down by the local political leadership in recent years. My admiration goes to all the Headteachers and their dedicated teams of teachers - I wonder what they could achieve when they are not having to "Make Do". Nick Kilby
  • Score: 6

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