• From August 17, 2006

PEOPLE living on Kingston’s Cambridge Road Estate called their first ever meeting to discuss deteriorating living standards.

Estate resident Jill Preston said maintenance of the estate was concerning her the most, and graffiti, noise and vandalism were also all on the agenda.

She said: “We have CCTV, but as the trees are not cut back, the cameras can’t pick anything up.

“A bench was burned down recently, and our balconies keep getting smashed.

“The window by the lift was broken months ago and it was left with its glass smashed. It only got boarded up recently, and now it’s made the stairwell really dark.

“The stairs crumble, and with wet weather and the dark stairwell, this is a real danger for all the elderly people who live here.”

Mrs Preston said the meeting was a result of a shared desire of people living on the estate to improve their quality of life.

She said: “We have recently set up a residents association and we started a petition which has brought about this public meeting.

“I’ve been living here for nine years and we have never had a public meeting like this before.

“It’s about time we sorted the estate out as it is getting worse and worse.”

Mrs Preston said there was also concern over a passage through the estate which is known as “the rat run” because it allegedly allowed people to make a quick getaway after causing trouble.

Labour councillor Sheila Griffin said that community support officers were stretched to cover the patch of Norbiton, and wanted to see increased security measures for the estate.

She said: “There is also a lot of noise from screaming, shouting and foul language that can go on until the early hours of the morning.

“A lot of people causing trouble there aren’t even from the estate but from areas further out like Chessington.”

Detective Superintendent Sue Hill said: “We want to make the area better and safer for those who live there.

“The majority of residents want to live in peace and quiet, and the ones that don’t will not be tolerated.

“Along with our partners at the council we will be dealing with issues such as CCTV.”

A Kingston council spokesman added: “A number of departments will be attending the meeting so we can get a full picture of the matters that concern residents and agree a way of resolving them together.”

  • From August 9, 2006

WOMEN being admitted to Kingston Hospital because of excessive alcohol consumption rose by a third in just one year.

There were 126 per 100,000 cases of women being admitted to Kingston Hospital for conditions such as liver disease and alcohol overdose.

There was also an 8 per cent increase in admissions of women who fell over while drunk.

  • From August 9, 1991

AFTER five years in a Beirut jail British journalist John McCarthy walked free, and the first man he met was Kington resident Andrew Green.

Mr Green, of Upper Park Road, was the first to speak to the relieved reporter on his arrival in Damascus in his capacity as British ambassador to Syria.

The Kingston man had taken up the post in March after the restoration of diplomatic relations.

  • From August 10, 1966

A TROUSER stealing teenager avoided jail but had to be put into emergency accommodation after his mother refused to have him back in the house.

The 15-year-old admitted stealing a pair of trousers from A Modes Kingston store.

He had gone into the changing room, put on the new pair and handed his old ones back to the assistant who immediately noticed the swap.