In Memory of John Anderson

We would like to give a few words in memory of our former chairman John Anderson, who sadly passed away on Friday the 5th Feburary, this came as a great shock to all of us.

John was a very likeable man and a true Gentleman. The knowledge he had gained whilst being a Cabinet Civil Servant for over twenty years were both invaluable and most helpful to the Party and Branch. His passion and enthusiasm for leaving the EU was an inspiration to all of us as was his general knowledge of mainstream politics.

He was a brilliant orator and had a great sense of humour and was very dignified and succinct in his delivery. His political achievements will never be forgotten.
He stood as a local candidate within the Royal Borough no less than four times and did the Branch and himself proud.

His sense of adventure and travel stories were always a good talking point and of great interest to those in his company.

Our deepest sympathy goes out to his immediate family. John was very much the family man and was very proud of the professional achievements made by his Daughters. A lasting testament to John.

Cometh the hour, Cometh the Man, when the Branch needed a Chairman John stood up and was counted despite health problems at the time. John was an excellent Chairman and will be sadly missed by all of us.
A great loss to the cause.
RIP John.

 

Note: Nepal was one of the few special places in the world John returned to and we would ask for any charitable donations to be made to the Gurkha Welfare Trust.

 

 

 

Out of the EU and into the World!

For those of you who haven’t seen it, William Dartmouth MEP has written an indepth report into the impact of the UK leaving the EU and being able to sign free-trade deals with the rest of the world. Trade does not depend on us being a member of a political union.

Click here to download the full report.

The Truths:

1. We would be able to negotiate and maintain  lucrative trade agreements.

Countries like Switzerland thrive in part because they can negotiate their own agreements with other countries.

The fact they are not part of a large trading bloc is not a limitation – far from it, it allows them to negotiate for themselves, on their own behalf, and in their own interests.

2. We would continue to trade with EU member states.

The UK is the largest purchaser of EU goods and services, it is inevitable thast we would negotiate our own trade agreement with the EU after exit.

And – with or without a trade agreement – we can continue to trade with EU countries, just as China, Russia and the United States do today – under World Trade Organisation rules.

3. We would regain the ability to act in our own interests.

Through the World Trade Organisation and other memberships, we would represent ourselves.

Our decisions would be based on what works for the United Kingdom, not the varied priorities and self-interests of 28 different states.

The Falsehoods:

  1. We need to be in the EU to have access to the EU single market. Not true!
  2. You have to be a member of the EUI in order to export successfully. Not true!
  3. The UK would be isolated. Not true!
  4. A UK-EU trade agreement will inevitably require the “free movement of people”. Not true!
  5. A country cannot negotiate trade agreements without being being part of a large trading bloc. Not true!

 

Grove Ward By-Election

Vote John Anderson for Grove Ward

John Anderson

John Anderson, UKIP candidate for Canbury ward.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Electors in Grove Ward tell me they have 3 main concerns for the future:

  1. OVER-DEVELOPMENT – Under the LibDems and now under the Tories there have been too many developments proposed that are out of scale with the existing “market town”. It is essential to challenge the current batch of developments along the edge of the town centre – directly visible from much of Grove Ward, and as far away as Hampton Court. The St George proposals for the old Post Office site include a 19-story skyscraper and other buildings of 10 to 13 storeys. The St George proposals were due for clearance by the Development Control Committee on 23 June. This has been postponed, but the opposition needs to be strengthened. Bad governance of Kingston by the LibDems and now the Tories has allowed this sort of aggressive plan to be entertained by theBorough’s planners. It is essential that the St George proposals should be killed stone dead – otherwise they will become a precedent for further schemes that would quickly spoil the whole character of Kingston. Also, the LibDems and now the Tories have also failed to ensure that major residential developments include a proper degree of “affordable housing” – around 30%. All too often our naïve Councillors and the planning officers have failed to challenge properly the “Financial Viability Assessments” that developers use to escape their social obligations.
  2. PRESSURE ON LOCAL SERVICES – The population of the Borough is now rising by about 10% each decade, largely through the effects of open-door immigration policies pursued first by Labour and then by the Tories and the LibDems. This is putting great stress on all the social services. Schools are becoming over-crowded and many parents cannot get their children into the schools of their choice. Hospital and GP services are under heavy pressure. It is becoming virtually impossible for local people to get social housing.
  3. COUNCIL TAX IS FAR TOO HIGH – Kingston has the highest Council Tax in London, some 50% above the average, in spite of the revenues from having a regional shopping centre. Under the LibDems Kingston’s debts ballooned to over £500 million in just 2 years – and the Tories are not reining back excessive spending. The Council’s pension fund is in crisis through over-manning. Kingston pays 15 of its staff over £100,000 a year, some of them much more than that, and nearly 80 staff earn £50,000 or more. All this inspite of many services being out-sourced. Yet the Borough does not have a matching high standard of services – Ofsted has been downgrading its ratings for some schools, reports on Children’s Services were damning, and in much of the Council’s sheltered housing elderly men and women still have to share bath and shower rooms.

I have lived in Kingston for over 20 years. In my career I worked on major policy issues in several Government Departments including the Cabinet Office, and then ran my own consulting firm specialising in telecoms and computer networks, with clients including major banks, BT and Vodafone, the BBC and Sky TV, Whitehall Ministries, universities and large hospitals. So I have had a lot of experience in administration and management, as well as a long interest in national and local politics. As a family man I am particularly concerned with local services for older people and for education.

Europe is a local issue!

This by-election in Grove Ward is for a seat on Kingston Council. So local issues are most important – especially the risks of over-development of our historic town, the pressure on local services and the quality of service provision, and the overall management of the Council and its inflated budget. But the issue of Europe is also important for local affairs. Policies framed in Europe have a direct effect on local Councils. European Commission policies directly influence how local services are run – for example the working hours directive. Some 70% of legislation and regulations in Britain are now dictated by Europe. – such as carbon policy that has greatly increased all our fuel bills and adds greatly to the costs of the Council and all local businesses. In so many ways, membership of the EU imposes heavy costs. And membership of the EU means we have no effective control of our borders. Last year over 500,000 new people entered the UK, and this trend started by Labour has put enormous pressure on all our services and infrastructure, as well as compressing the wages of lower-paid people through competition for scarce jobs. So Europe has a very local impact on us all. The debate on Europe is finally beginning, 4 million UKIP votes in the General Election have helped to force the Tories to allow a referendum on membership of the EU. This had been totally opposed by the LibDems, by Labour and by the Greens. UKIP believes there is a powerful case for Britain to leave the EU, we are the world’s 5th largest trading nation, and every nation in theworld would want to do business with us – uncluding countries in Europe. We would benefit from striking our own trade deals with other countries and trading blocs, especially fast-growing economies such as China and India, rather than being tethered to the economy of Europe which is steadily declining as a world force. We would be free again to make our own laws and control our own borders. All the signs are that the Prime Minister aims to keep us in the EU – he is trying to get a few cosmetic changes, but not looking for real changes in the cash costs of Europe, in the amount the EU interferes with our affairs, and in the crucial issue of border controls. Voting for the Conservatives in this by-election will add to their complacency on Europe. Voting LibDem, Labour or Green supports parties that opposed a people’s referendum.

If you wish to join UKIP or to help in our campaigns, please email me at chairman@ukipkingstonsurbiton.org.uk

Published by John Anderson, 19 Dowler Court, Burton Road, Kingston, KT2 5TA.

200th Anniversary Waterloo Dinner

To celebrate the bicentennial anniversary of the battle of Waterloo we are holding a dinner on Thursday June 18th in Thames Ditton.

All members, friends and supporters are welcome.

Main Course Choice:
Beef or Salmon Wellington
Pudding:
Bread & Butter Pudding or “Wet Nelly Pudding”

Cost at £25.50 per head

Drinks and coffee/tea are not provided but can be ordered at the bar. Remaining places are strictly limited and available on a first come, first served basis.

As we have to provide the full food order to the chef in advance we cannot allow people who have not booked to turn up on the night without a pre-order.

When ordering let us know which main course you require. If you plan to order for more than one person please provide the name of each individual together with their food selection.

We will be providing a list of names and choices.
(Who hasn’t arrived at a function and thought ‘What exactly did I order’?)

There will be a Prize Draw Raffle, Waterloo Prize Quiz and an auction of Waterloo commorative items as well as various speakers throughout the evening

Please make cheques payable to UKIP KINGSTON and post them early to ensure that they arrive on time.

Why not use this event to try to recruit for the Party by bringing along a non-member?

Please send your order form and cheques to the Event Organiser Peter Withers at

295 Kingston Road
New Malden
Surrey
KT3 3RY

Look forward to seeing you there.
Kind regards,
Vic Bellamy
Branch & Membership Secretary
(07930 591872)

The Truth About UKIP

Keep the NHS free at point of delivery

An Australian-style, points based,   fairer immigration system

No tax on the minimum wage,   no ‘bedroom’ tax, no inheritance tax

nigel

‘The old parties are lying about UKIP and its policies. They are running scared and don’t want you to know the truth. Well, here it is…’

UKIP says YES to

An NHS free at the point of delivery

Labour are lying to you about UKIP and the NHS. It was Labour and the Tories who brought £79 billion of ‘private finance (debt)’ into the NHS, and Labour bigwigs who proposed that you should be charged more than £120 a year to see your GP. UKIP will give £3 billion extra to the NHS to keep it free.

No tax on the minimum wage

Millions of the poorest workers, who work all week for the minimum wage, should not have to pay income tax at all. Housing priority for local peopleWe need to build more social and low-cost housing, on existing sites not green fields, to help local youngsters get on the ladder.

Affordable energy

With blackouts looming, we must invest in affordable energy from shale gas and nuclear not huge, over-subsidised wind and solar farms.

UKIP says No to

Unlimited immigration

The EU’s ‘free movement of labour’ means lower wages, pressure on health, housing and benefits, and less jobs for our children.

£55m a day membership fees to the EU

Britain would be better off out – able to make our own trade with the rest of the world. The EU is the past, not the future.

£12 billion a year in foreign aid

We should help provide water and fight diseases, not subsidise  regimes with their own space programmes like India and China.

The ‘bedroom tax’ and the ‘mansion tax’

Our welfare system, and our taxes, should be fair. We need simpler tax and welfare systems which help people get on.

Major Changes in Kingston Sheltered Housing Being Decided in Secret

In the Kingston Council by-election for St James ward being held on Thursday 18 December, UKIP is attacking the LIBDEMS and the CONSERVATIVES for recent secretive and damaging decisions on Sheltered Housing in the Borough. UKIP says that the 2 parties that have controlled Kingston for so long should be ashamed of their actions – and is demanding that no action should be taken until there is a full enquiry – IN PUBLIC and based on much more explicit information.

Kingston Council runs 21 Sheltered Housing units for elderly and often vulnerable people.   Most of these units used to have live-in staff to keep an eye on residents and give special help when needed – in their unit and also in nearby units. So most residents had a familiar daily face, someone who knew them well. The service has been well-liked by the residents – and their families.

The LIBDEMS decided some time ago not to replace some of these on-site staff when they retired or left.   Now CONSERVATIVE and LIBDEM Councillors have voted to ABOLISH ON-SITE SUPPORT STAFF at ALL the Sheltered Housing units.

Staff were ordered to keep all the plans secret from residents. The Director of Housing held a joke “consultation” meeting with just 6% of the residents on 14 November – and failed to tell them that all the live-in staffing will cease. Some residents saw through this. The Director evaded direct questions at the meeting – and some residents walked out in disgust.

Three days later a Council Committee decided to press ahead. NO Committee papers or minutes explicitly state that the plan is to CLOSE ALL ON-SITE SUPPORT.   It appears that some Councillors did not even realise what is happening.

Leaflets issued by the Conservative candidate in the St James by-election, Jack Cheetham, make snide attacks on the LibDems, while the LibDem candidate has been promising special attention to elderly people while appearing to be unaware of what is ACTUALLY happening on Sheltered Housing.

UKIP sees all this as typical hypocrisy by the 2 parties that have held power in Kingston for many years.

Kingston has the highest Council Tax in London., the second highest in England – 50% above the London average.Instead of tackling true waste, the LIBDEMS and CONSERVATIVES have secret agendas which are penalising the elderly and vulnerable.

UKIP is urging voters not to vote for CONSERVATIVE and LIBDEM incompetence and secrecy – they are both the “nasty parties“.

Instead, UKIP is demanding an immediate enquiry – and no action on the secret plans for Sheltered Housing until there is a proper debate IN PUBLIC.

……………………………………………………………………….

Full background is given below – with links to relevant pages on the Kingston Council website

What residents of Sheltered Housing want:

The general view among the residents of Sheltered Housing is that they want to deal with the same person on site – elderly people are wary of change, many find it difficult to cope with “floating” visitors. The ideal is to have resident “wardens” – on site oir nearby – who can call in extra help for personal care of individual residents when needed. The resident wardens or “scheme managers” are especially helpful if residents fall ill, or have just come out of hospital, or are really frail.

Even the CONSERVATIVE website claims to agree with this general approach – Julia Pickering as Chairman of the Residents, Care and Health Services Committee says :

“Sheltered Housing schemes are run by wardens who focus on residents’ well-being”. http://www.kingstonconservatives.com/news/100-better-care

But this is NOT what is actually being planned.

There are 21 Sheltered Housing units in the Borough – groups of them in Kingston, Surbiton, Tolworth, Chessington and New Malden. Over recent years the LIBDEMS decided not to replace resident wardens or “scheme managers” when they retired or finished working for the Council. As of last week the Council listed 10 Sheltered Housing units as still having On-Site Support – the others have “Visiting Support”. In most cases the ON-SITE wardens also visit nearby units on a daily basis, checking that all is well.

So – a large proportion of the residents of Sheltered Housing in Kingston still have a “familiar face” – who is on-site or nearby in cases of emergency. UKIP believes that THIS is what “Sheltered Housing” really means – and so do the residents. No residents have been asking for any change in these sensible, long-standing arrangements.

What is now being planned:

The Council is now planning to abolish all on-site “wardens” – all the residents will have “floating” visiting staff. Many residents are very anxious about this change – often when live-in wardens go on leave, the “visiting” support is very cursory. The sense of stability is missing.

This change is being pushed through very fast – the process has been very opaque, indeed secretive. Residents have not been asked what they want, and any “consultation” has been a fig-leaf to cover changes already decided upon. Staff have been ordered not to tell the residents what is REALLY happening. UKIP believes this is another example of how Kingston is run – officials drive the policy, most of the time the elected Councillors are simply rubber-stamping decisions by officials. And in this case – it appears that many Councillors do not even realise what is planned.

On 18 September the Director of Health and Adult Care put a paper to the Residents, Care and Health Services Committee on “Older People’s Accommodation – Next Steps and Analysis” which included recommendations by Councillor Julie Pickering as Conservative Lead Member for Health and Social Care, and Councillor Ian George as Conservative Lead Member for Housing.

The paper starts by saying that residents’ needs have changed. UKIP says this is not so – residents still need and want the same pattern of service. The only real change is the increase in dementia among elderly people – but this is a matter for Care Homes, not for the Sheltered Housing schemes where residents may be elderly but want to stay as independent as possible. Paragraph 28 of the paper about a strategy for 2020 talks in very vague terms about : “Creating a robust and financially sustainable ‘enhanced housing management service’ will be the first step towards this, alongside the development of a support service based on need and not residency.”

NOWHERE does the paper state clearly and honestly that live-in wardens for Sheltered Housing Schemes will all cease.

(see page 167 onwards of this link – Sheltered Housing is discussed from page 171 onward.

http://moderngov.kingston.gov.uk/documents/g7519/Agenda%20frontsheet%20Thursday%2018-Sep-2014%2019.30%20Residents%20Health%20Care%20Services%20Committee.pdf?T=0

The minutes of the meeting state under agenda item 9 “Existing sheltered housing and care home provision would be examined to see how it could support the long term strategy, recognising that existing services were well-liked and provided crucial support to individuals and families.”

Again – there is no mention in the minutes of the actual plan for abolishing on-site wardens for Sheltered Housing units. The minutes for the 18 September meeting are at :

http://moderngov.kingston.gov.uk/documents/g7519/Printed%20minutes%20Thursday%2018-Sep-2014%2019.30%20Residents%20Health%20Care%20Services%20Committee.pdf?T=1

And the audio recording of the 18 September Committee meeting makes no mention of abolishing on-site wardens.

On Friday 14 November the Director of Housing of Kingston Council, Darren Welsh held a “consultation” meeting in Kingston for residents of Sheltered Housing schemes from all over the large Borough. Residents had not been advised that the real plan is to abolish on-site wardens – there was an anodyne invitation letter, so only about 6% of residents attended the meeting. But by this time some residents had got the drift of what was being planned behind the scenes – even though Council staff had been told to keep matters secret. The Director of Hosuing was asked directly – are on-site wardens to cease? He evaded these questions so much that some residents walked out in disgust.

UKIP does not know whether this serious incident was properly reported to Councillors. On Monday 17 November Councillor Julie Pickering chaired a further meeting of the Residents, Care and Health Services Committee. Item 8 was a further paper on “Older People’s Accommodation Strategy”. (This paper was not circulated with all the other papers for the meeting which were sent out on Thursday 13 November in the “meeting pack”.) Paragraph 65 onwards deals with Sheltered Housing. Paragraph 68 states : ” A new service model is now being implemented through the Housing Transformation Programme. This will establish a n enhanced housing management service to be securely funded through the Housing Revenue Account (HRA). Separately, Adult Social Care is commissioning a new ’floating support service’ to be delivered on the basis of need and capable of supporting clients within the wider community.”

Again – this does NOT state honestly that on-site wardens will cease ! No mention of this is made in the audio recording of the meeting. No minutes of the 17 November Committee meeting have been published.

How UKIP became involved:

In early December UKIP was informed that residents of Sheltered Housing had found out that the ACTUAL PLAN was to cease all on-site wardens. Wardens had been told to keep matters secret – but the plans involve requiring the present on-site wardens to quit their staff accommodation.

Many residents were very anxious about all this – and very angry that they had been kept in the dark deliberately about what the Council was planning. Petitions were being drawn up. After making initial enquiries, UKIP emailed the Committee Chairman Councillor Julie Pickering with a series of questions. She referred it to the Director of Housing, Darren Welsh.

His answers by email on 9 December were opaque – or downright misleading. He stated that “The Council phased out its resident warden service in 2006″ This is untrue. The Council’s own website stated that 10 of the 21 Sheltered Housing schemes have an ON-SITE service!   One or two schemes in each of the Council’s 5 zones were described in a list on the Council website as having on-site support. The relevant   webpages have now been ALTERED since UKIP raised this matter! Last week 10 of the 21 Sheltered Housing schemes were listed as having “on-site support”. Now the website states that ALL schemes have only “Visiting Scheme Managers”   This is blatantly false – there are still a significant number of resident wardens! The Council now seems to be saying that all resident wardens have disappeared!

see http://www.kingston.gov.uk/directory/12/sheltered_housing_directory

In his email the Director stated that from January 2015 the support service for Sheltered Housing will be split between 2 teams – a team responsible for the physical management of the buildings – the “enhanced housing management team” and a team providing specialist support to residents. Again – he failed to state clearly that current ON-SITE, resident wardens will cease.

He claimed that the change to overall staff numbers would be small – a reduction from 17 to 16.5 staff. But he failed to state that these staff will now have wider responsibilities, including dealing with elderly people OUTSIDE the Sheltered Housing schemes. So there will effectively be a reduction in numbers – and costs.

UKIP responded with a further email on Thursday 11 December challenging the Director’s misleading email and putting some specific further questions. An automated reply was received dated 12 December stating that he would be on leave until the week commencing 15 December. The questions were therefore referred to the Chairman of the Committee, Councillor Julie Pickering – and copied to the Leader of the Council, Kevin Davis. Neither Councillor has replied.

­

UKIP’s views on the Sheltered Housing issue:

  1. It appears to be typical of the way Kingston Council is run – officials driving policy, elected Councillors merely rubber-stamping and often not aware of what they are agreeing.
  2. Kingston has the highest Council Tax in London, but there is no real sign of wasteful expenditure being cut. Instead savings are being made at the expense of quality of service to elderly and vulnerable people.
  3. The new policy was unanimously agreed by Conservative and LibDem Councillors in Committee. It has been rushed through without any proper consultation with residents – and is intended to be enforced from January 2015.
  4. The officials of the Council did not explain properly to Councillors what is REALLY happening.
  5. Councillors and officials have failed to answer direct questions on the matter.
  6. The Council decided to start altering its website to hide information – to make it patently untrue!
  7. This is a very serious change that is being rushed through – in a secretive manner.
  8. UKIP wants a full review of the change of policy – and no action until there has been proper PUBLIC discussion.

UKIP believes the Conservatives and LibDems are trying to keep the matter under wraps until they get past the by-election on Thursday 18 December in St James ward.

Monday 15 December 2014.

(Councillor Pickering is at julie.pickering@kingston.gov.uk

The Leader of Kingston Council is at kevin.davis@kingston.gov.org)

UKIP contact -

John Anderson, Chairman, UKIP Kingston and Surbiton Constituency Association

tel 0208 255 7057 chairman@ukipkingstonsurbiton.org.uk

 

 

Councillor Howard Jones

We were saddened to hear that local councillor Howard Jones has passed away. We would like to extend our heartfelt sympathies to his family, friends and colleagues. Mr. Jones had dedicated record of serving the community as a councillor since 2002, we are sure that his input will be missed.