Make Kingston Great Again

Statement from Graham Matthews, UKIP candidate for Kingston and Surbiton.

Seven Points For Business


One of Kingston’s greatest assets for business is its proximity to Heathrow.  In addition to its transport and freight benefits, Heathrow generates huge numbers of stable jobs, which create B2B business for Kingston businesses.  Heathrow has fallen behind in the last 30 years.  It is a national asset, not just a London asset, and for the Midlands and North of the country, driving to Gatwick adds hours of time, pollution and congestion.  The M25 from the M4 to the M21 is already busy enough.  We back Heathrow expansion and improvement to put it on a par with Schipol, Dubai and Hong Kong.


On the other hand, Kingston’s transport links to Heathrow are poor.  A train line is not going to be built in near future.  Hence we campaign for the X26 bus route to become frequency of every 10 minutes for a non-stop round trip to Heathrow, using smaller VIP-style minibuses that can be booked ahead.  The current X26 connection is once every half hour and on a larger bus stopping at too many stations along the way and coming from too far away to be reliable.  Kingston should be an integrated hub for the Heathrow journey.


Kingston train station is a huge missed opportunity.  It could be redeveloped into a prime office location, straight from train into elevators.  The station itself should be a modern gateway into Kingston, making travellers feel they have ‘arrived’ somewhere significant and exciting.  At present, the station building itself and the areas around the station are grubby and unwelcoming.  This are should be a focus for re-building the image of Kingston. It would be paid for by the developer by allowing them to build vertically above the station.


There are several easy-to-take steps that can improve congestion almost immediately.  Of the four main routes into Kingston, the route out to the A3 south at Coombe Hill is the easiest to fix.  Evening tailbacks to this junction can easily be 2km long, 3km on Fridays.  This pushes further traffic onto the route south through Thames Ditton, where Portsmouth Road has even less capacity due to the cycle lane.  Within 6 months, the Coombe A3 junction should be restructured so that when cars going south leave the A3 at the junction, it narrows to 2 lanes and is blocked off.  Then cars coming on at Coombe can come onto the A3 in an uninterrupted flow into an always-empty lane.  Traffic lights should be put in on the zebra crossing so that traffic leaving Kingston and turning right onto the A3 can move across in an uninterrupted flow.  This measure would immediately speed traffic flow in and out of Kingston, and reduce traffic heading through Surbiton joining the A3 at Tolworth.

We would immediately carry out a review of all major traffic policies in Kingston that have stood unchallenged for years, such as not being able to join the A3 from the A309 at the Ace of Spades heading north.  The arteries need to be freed up to allow traffic to flow.


Kingston is rich in historical and natural resources, yet they go unused.  Worse, the Council’s various attempts at creating a brand for Kingston are incoherent.  Every brand must rest of a ‘reason to believe’.  There must be a truth underneath the image.  Kingston is the home of England.  Where Aethelstan united Mercia and Wessex into the first English kingdom, and was crowned on the coronation stone that now sits forlorn in a corner of the yard outside the Council offices.

In addition, we have the river, again sadly under-utilised.  The stretch north of Kingston bridge including the section outside John Lewis up to Turks Pier is dead and again, incoherent.  This is prime river front real estate and forms a disconnect from the town centre to Canbury Gardens.  It needs to be redeveloped to form a coherent public space and complete the Thames River Path.

Kingston should once again become the town WHERE ENGLAND WAS BORN.  There should be an annual May Day holiday, with traditional English activities such as maypole dancing in the market square, horse shows on Fairfield, river races from Kingston to Hampton bridge.  All of the towns historic and natural resources can be integrated behind this single theme.  The coronation of Aethelstan and the birth of England should once again become a celebrated event that Kingston becomes known for around the country.  We should present a positive, consistent image to visitors arriving through our gateway station using this branding.  Other events that are not consistent with this image should be discontinued as they only create confusion and undermine the brand.

Rather than a forlorn and costly attempt to turn Kingston into another Richmond with a theatre, etc, Kingston should embrace its post-industrial history and its night-time economy.  The young people and students of south west London need a place to go out.  Night clubs and pubs should be encouraged.  A large-scale casino could be built in the old cinema building.  Not many people live within the barrier of the one-way system so Kingston is an ideal night economy location.

  1. TAXES

Kingston is a very high tax and spend Council.  There was an attempt to take direct responsibility for business rates from the government by the Tory Council but fortunately this failed, as if their record on Council tax is anything to go by, the rates would soon be amongst the highest in the country.

Huge savings are available by merging Council departments with the departments of other nearby Councils and shift spending away from the back office and property costs and fully into front-line delivery.  Our aim would be to reduce Council tax by a third over a 7 year period.  This would also take the strain off using parking tickets as a source of revenue.  Kingston has become an unpleasant place to visit because of the over-zealousness of the traffic wardens and the high cost of parking.  Why risk a parking ticket when you can buy online? This is caused by pressures on the revenue budget.  We would aim to restore Kingston’s parking policies to a common-sense approach, where visitors do not feel like hunted animals.  Kingston will be known for its smile.


The retail environment needs to be urgently re-assessed.  Kingston is losing ground to more modern environments such as Westfield.  It is only a matter of time until a modern mall is built nearby, perhaps better located to the M3 or A3, that will drain Kingston of affluent shoppers from the other side of the Thames.  We need to be proactive with no constraints on thinking or else lose business.  Nothing would be off the table, including using the Guildhall and space occupied by the Council offices and freed up by our radical restructuring of how Council services are delivered.  A town centre masterplan that includes the development of a modern retail environment sensitively integrated into the existing structures of value in the town would be drawn up and followed.

Kingston Council Investigation

Statement from UKIP Kingston & Surbiton Constituency Candidate for General Election June 2017, Graham Matthews

James Berry MP Ignores Scandal of Delayed Investigation into Convicted Child Pornographer Derek Osbourne, ex-Leader of Kingston Council

One of the most serious investigations of a Council leader ever to take place in the UK has been severely delayed and appears to be so under-resourced that it will be impossible to complete, but is not receiving any attention from local Conservative MP James Berry.  Mr Berry is well placed to comment on legal investigations such as this, as in addition to being the MP for Kingston & Surbiton he is also a practising barrister and understands the legal process and costs extremely well.  We demand that he take this matter up with the Council and issue a statement to update his constituents on the progress of the report, which has already been delayed by two and a half years.  Without explanation, the credibility of this investigation is in tatters.  As the Libdems do not want to talk about the convicted child  pornographer who was their kingmaker for more than a decade, it falls to UKIP to raise these matters and demand answers.


Derek Osbourne, the twice ex-leader of Kingston Council for over 10 years, was convicted of in 2013 of offences relating to the downloading and distribution of pornographic material involving children, animals and violence to women, offences going back over a period of more than 10 years.  The Royal Borough of Kingston Council decided to launch an investigation into his activities on 3 July 2014.  As noted in the minutes of the Policy and Finance Committee and the Report by the Head of Corporate Governance to that Committee, concerns existed around Osbourne’s influence over the childrens’ safeguarding services  provided by the Council’s Childrens’ Services department that had been rated ‘inadequate’ by Ofsted in 2012, and his possible influence over the youth activities of the Rose Theatre and the International Youth Arts Festival, which brought many potentially vulnerable unaccompanied youngsters to Kingston.  More serious allegations for a Council Leader in authority for so long are hard to imagine.  And yet the Tory-controlled Council’s investigation was given a budget set at such an obviously impossible level that it brings into question the commitment of the Council to get to the bottom of the issues it has raised.

The original deadline for the report was 4 December 2014, two and a half years ago.  The budget for the cost of the exercise was originally set at £10,000.  The investigation was to be led by an ‘Independent Person’, the identity of which is still undisclosed but presumably an external firm of lawyers.

The current Council Leader, Kevin Davis, refuses to give any explanation for the delay, simply stating that he cannot interfere with the work of the Independent Person.  However, this has now become an incredible position in the most literal sense – how can a complex investigation run for three years on a £10,000 budget?  Without explanation, the credibility of the investigation is in tatters.

Questions needing an answer

Serious questions now arise over why this report is so delayed, and about the adequacy of the arrangements for the investigation and the competency of the councillors who instigated it, in particular Kevin Davis.  Many questions arise around the budget of £10,000 and whether this was sufficient for an investigation of this scale:

  • £10,000 was never going to be sufficient for an investigation this complex. £10,000 would not even pay the minimum wage for one person for one year, let alone employ a lawyer and experts highly skilled in child protection matters for three years.  Who came up with this estimate and why was it accepted by Kevin Davis, Council Leader?
  • It is not even clear whether or not this £10,000 includes all costs, such as direct costs of the ‘independent person’ and the costs of the Council officials working on the case. Obviously the total cost including the time cost of all the people working on the case would be much higher.  What were the assumptions behind this cost estimate?  Were the Council planning for a real investigation, or something on the cheap? 
  • A mid-level lawyer might charge £250 per hour. In this case, and assuming £10,000 is the external cost only and includes VAT, then this would be a mere 33 hours of time.  And yet the investigation has been going on for over three years!  What is the current cost and estimate to completion?
  • It is impossible for any lawyer acting as an Independent Person to have performed a meaningful independent investigation with such constraints. Has the fee been renegotiated, and if not, how is the lawyer still working on such a small fee budget?  How much does the Council owe them?
  • This would put the lawyer into a potential breach of the Code of Conduct issued by the Solicitors’ Regulatory Authority, a principle of which is that solicitors ‘must not allow [their] independence to be compromised’ and to ‘have the resources….to carry out your client’s instructions’. Clearly in this case, £10,000 was never sufficient to carry out such an investigation.  The subject of costs will have been raised by the lawyer and the Council must be in possession of relevant correspondence.  We demand to know how the Independent Person is maintaining their independence under these circumstances.
  • The Localism Act 2011, section 28 requires that all such Independent Person appointments are advertised. It is vital that the independence of such investigators is transparent.  However, a check of the archive of RBK Council procurement does not reveal any such advertisement being made.   A Freedom of Information request has been made to request evidence of this advertisement.  In other similar cases (e.g. Sandwell Council’s Wragge Report) delays have been caused by the relevant Council failing to follow Localism Act legislation. We demand to know whether or not such an advertisement was made, and in the interests of transparency we demand to know who the Independent Person is.
  • The original cost estimate of £10,000 happens to also be the amount defined by the Council in its procurement policy as a ‘minor work’. But any competent procurement officer or legal services team should have made a more realistic budget.  Although there are no exceptions from the requirements of the Localism Act 2011 s28, and the Independent Person role should have been advertised, it could be that the Council was attempting to apply its minor works procurement rules?  We demand answer as to why this was not procured as a major procurement when any competent procurement officer with knowledge of legal services procurement would know the cost would exceed £100,000, and challenge the £10,000 budget.

The investigation itself is such a serious matter that we need to ensure that it is (a) properly funded and independent, and (b) progresses smoothly to a conclusion so that residents can feel safe that all children safeguarding concerns arising from the Osbourne affair have been dealt with.

Other similar cases (such as Sandwell below) have had far greater disclosure during their progress.  To ensure transparency and credibility of the process, it is vital that the public know who is the Independent Person that has been appointed, what is the exact state of progress, and when the report will be issued.

For local MP James Berry to pay no attention to this matter and not make any statement on it, or investigate its progress, it a complete abdication of his responsibilities.  Whilst we can understand why the Libdems may not wish to pursue this matter, there is no reason a Conservative should not.  Perhaps it is the incompetence displayed by the Tories in the setting up of this investigation that is preventing him commenting?  Or is it because the report will eventually be reviewed by a fellow barrister, and it would never do to have one barrister commenting on the opinion of another?  James Berry needs to make his position clear, or what is the point of an MP?


Appendix – Case Study – Sandwell Council’s Wragge/Gowling Report and QC Opinion on It

A similar case that serves as a benchmark is Sandwell Council’s Independent Person investigation into allegations against deputy Council Leader Mahboob Hussain.  The Independent Person investigation commenced in March 2015, a separate QC report on this report was issued in May 2016, and the reports made public despite High Court challenges from the deputy Council Leader involved.  Far more efficient than Kingston!

The Localism Act of 2011 requires Councils to set up a code of conduct and investigate breaches of it, and to appoint Independent Persons whose views are to be sought before the Council makes any decision.  In the case of Sandwell, a law firm called Wragge, who later became Gowling, were appointed.

The accusations in the Sandwell case were more specific and easier to investigate than Osbourne, as they related to land sales which have documentary evidence trails.  Paedophile infiltration is much more difficult to prove and requires skilled investigators, such as those of the NSPCC.  Hence the cost of the Osbourne investigation should be far higher.

The process is complex.  During the investigation, the team has to do interviews, review documents, engage in multi-agency coordination (for example, in the Osbourne case the team will have to speak to the Kingston Safeguarding Children Board, Childrens’ Services, the Police, the Rose Theatre, IYAF organisers, etc).  They then produce a draft report that has to be ‘Maxwellised’ – meaning provided to Derek Osbourne for his comment and review before being finalised.    The Gowling report, which was published on Sandwell Council’s website, is 72 pages long.   Before being finalised, the deputy Council leader launched High Court action against Sandwell Council.

After Maxwellisation, which in the Sandwell case was a process fiercely contested by the accused lawyers, finalisation of the report can occur.  Partly due to questions over the independence of the Gowling report (it appears their appointment was not put out to tender by the Council) the Council then requested a QC barrister review the Gowling report for them.  The QC produced a further 79 page report before giving an opinion, also publicly available on the Sandwell Council website.

To imagine that such a process can be done for £10,000 is beyond incompetent, particularly as the Sandwell case was contemporaneous.



Press Release – GE 2017

MatthewsLRUKIP Kingston & Surbiton Branch Select Graham Matthews as Candidate for the Kingston & Surbiton Parliamentary Constituency

We are proud to announce Graham Matthews will be our candidate at the June 2017 General Election.  Graham is a 48-year old father of four who lives in New Malden, and has previously lived in Surbiton.  A chartered accountant by training, he has been a partner in two of the world’s biggest accountancy firms.

Graham said “It is an honour for me to be chosen as candidate to fight this election.  I have enjoyed a 25 year career in the private sector and I am proud to say that unlike some of my rivals I am not a career politician.  As a grammar school boy from a single parent family, I have never forgotten where I come from.  I joined UKIP because I could see how the establishment political parties failed to represent the ordinary British people.  The referendum was their chance to finally be heard, a moment when every vote finally counted.  Even today, the establishment still has not come to terms with its loss, and is doing everything they can to take back control by hook or by crook.

It is now vital that we secure a clean Brexit as our first priority in the people taking back control of the country.  The Tories cannot be trusted with Brexit and we need to keep the pressure on them and stop them from backsliding.

The elite continue to look down their noses at the forgotten people of the UK.  At a time when our own citizens who have paid into the system for years can’t get the care they need,  and when our national debt continues to rise to a record £1.7trillion (which is in fact more like £4 trillion if all pensions are included), then why do we give away £13billion in foreign aid each year?   This is an insult to every hard working person in the country struggling to make ends meet.

The Tories record on meeting their promises on immigration is atrocious, with Theresa May again recently repeating the broken promise to cut migration to the ‘tens of thousands’.  Does anyone believe this?   Kingston council’s planning assumes that the population of the Royal Borough will grow 15% from 173,000 to 199,000 people by 2036, including over 2,600 international migrants per year.  This is insanity.  Our roads are already congested, schools are crowded, NHS and social care is overwhelmed.  How could anyone seeing these problems think that the answer is more people?

UKIP is the only common-sense voice facing up to the broken political establishment.  Whether it is Brexit, Grammar Schools, Immigration or Integration, UKIP sets the agenda.  We tell the Tories what to do, and they do it.  UKIP caused the referendum, and UKIP won the referendum.  Where we lead, they follow.  With UKIP, voters in Kingston & Surbiton have a real choice, and a real voice”.

Graham can be contacted via:

Twitter @Graham_KSUKIP



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!


Tolworth Greenway: Another White Elephant?

Tolworth Greenway – to those who haven’t seen it the name conjures up such a nice vision:
What is it they ask? An oasis of verdant vegetation to brighten up the lives of local residents?
Guess again.
Kingston Council’s idea of a ‘greenway’ is 500+ metres of nonsensical green stripy tarmac, replacing the central reservation/pavement and removing the safety barriers.

Apparently this was to calm traffic and improve cyclist and pedestrian safety, but what happens when you remove the barriers and replace it with nice smooth tarmac? Well the cars use it of course to do U-turns, etc. making life more dangerous for pedestrians.

On February the 14th a local woman crossing the road and her son were involved in a collision with a vehicle.
Woman Injured Crossing Greenway (

Local residents have long pointed out the lack of safety, though the Council has failed to act:
Disabled Campaigner points out problems at Greenway (from Surrey Comet)

Local Residents have their say (from Surrey Comet)

Greenway Not Justified (from Kingston Courier)

Is Tolworth Greenway Being Planned Properly? (from Your Local Guardian)

As soon as it was opened it was apparent that drivers were using it:
Drivers Using Greenway as a Shortcut (from Surrey Comet)

Of the £3,000,000 cost, £1m has come from the pockets of those very Council Tax payers whose safety is now compromised should they wish to cross this monstrosity on foot.

Given the use of this central reservation area by both pedestrians and vehicles what is the LibDem controlled Council’s policy to stop this? Add bollards maybe to protect pedestrians? No, that would ruin their aesthetic sensibilities. Instead they plan to introduce CCTV camera, no doubt to fine drivers in order to swell their coffers whilst leaving the pedestrians and cyclists to fend for themselves and dodge the traffic!
Council considers Greenway cameras (from Your Local Guardian)

How long until there’s a fatality on this flawed scheme?
How long until some remedial safety works are carried out?
Much more will these works cost the hard pressed tax-payers?

It’s time to put some common sense into the Council chambers; it’s time to vote UKIP!

Kingston Council – Inadequate Services at the Highest Cost

Did you know the following about our Lib-Dem controlled Council?
HIGHEST COUNCIL TAX in London, 4th highest out of 326 councils in England, but with
FAILED SERVICES – TWO damning OFSTED reports in 2012 and 2013 judging Children’s Services “INADEQUATE”.

RBK COUNCIL DEBT has increased 55% in just two years from £322million to £492million – £7,600 for every household! FACT

PENSIONS CRISIS – RBK Council owes £254million to the pension fund, although its net annual income is only £123million!!! FACT


ABSOLUTE POWER CORRUPTS – under the 10-year leadership of disgraced Lib-Dem Council Leader Derek Osborne, the committee overseeing the Council’s Child Services failed to recognise the long- standing problems that OFSTED quickly found TWICE!

TOOTHLESS COUNCILLORS – for 10 years arrogant Lib-Dems and weak Tories have allowed the RBK Council Administration to control them, the elected councillors. The tail is wagging the dog THE SOLUTION IS TO HAVE A THIRD PARTY BREAK THE STALEMATE TO CHALLENGE AND SCRUTINISE THE RBK ADMINISTRATION.


Do you want change? Do you want a more transparent and accountable council administration?

Do you look at the leaders of Lib/Lab/Con and find you have nothing in common with them? That they are remote and don’t understand what you are going through? Do you feel like they never tell you the truth? That they spout political correctness whilst avoiding honest, direct answers? That they belittle your opinions and make you afraid to speak out? Do you want common sense people representing you?

Tolworth Girls School

Please help by supporting our petition against the proposed redevelopment of school land into 150 flats and houses. This development is out of character with the area – being composed of three and four storey blocks of flats with most of the surrounding houses being two storey semi-detatched and terraced houses. In addition, the increase in traffic will put further pressure on the local infrastructure such as Fullers Way North which is already busy, especially during the mornings and evenings when children are being dropped off / picked up.

The initial plans for the development can be found on the schools website here.

Our e-petition to the local council can be found here.

UPDATE: Evidential documents have now been collected and submitted to the Secretary of State in the hopes that this updated information will modify the planning decision, we await a reply.