Friday, 5 December 2008

Invitation to Transition Town Kingston film show, Friday 9 Jan

Transition Town Kingston will be showing the film "Escape from Suburbia" at C-Scaipe, Kingston University, Penrhyn Road (go in the main door and ask for directions), at 7.00pm on Friday 9th January. The film - "a sobering yet ultimately positive exploration of what the second half of the Oil Age has in store for us" - will be followed by discussion and nibbles - everyone is welcome. Free.

Transition Town Kingston aims to mobilise and facilitate community action in order to respond effectively and positively to climate change and peak oil.

Invitation to Kingston Holocaust Memorial Day on Sunday 25th January

Kingston commemorates Holocaust Memorial Day on Sunday 25th January 2009 with a ceremony at the memorial tree in Memorial Gardens on Church Street at 2:30 – with opening words by the Mayor or Deputy Mayor and others with readings and songs. We will then walk to the Guildhall where there will be light refreshments , displays and speakers. We cordially invite you and family, friends, or colleagues to join us.

This year’s theme is Stand Up to Hatred
Speakers are:

Associate Dean Philip Spencer of Kingston University
Reverend Malachie Munyaneza a Rwandan survivor
Rebecca Mear of Refugee Action Kingston

Please see the attached flyer which we hope you can post onto a bulletin board.

We are also sponsoring a series of Film Showings on Wednesday evenings in January related to genocides. A second flyer gives dates/venues. Do join us for these and discussions thereafter.

Best wishes,
The Holocaust Memorial Day Working Group of the
Kingston Inter Faith Forum and RBK

Monday, 20 October 2008

Council consultation on Market Place traffic restrictions

Local residents who use the Market Place might like to respond to the Review of Experimental Road Closure Access and Parking Restrictions at

On the 18 February this year motor traffic was removed from the southern end of the Market Place. Loading for businesses and Market traders was still allowed in the morning between 0600 and 1000 and in the afternoon between 1600 and 1800 Monday to Saturday. There is no access at all on Sunday. To offset the loss of parking for holders of Blue Disabled badges, new disabled bays were provided at either end of Bath Passage and by the Co-op Bank in High Street.
Approximately nine months have now passed, and the Council is seeking the views of all users of the Market Place to determine if you think the changes have improved or made matters worse. All of the views expressed before Oct 31 will then be reported to the Kingston Town Neighbourhood Committee who will decide, at their meeting on Wednesday 10 December, whether the scheme should be made permanent or removed.

Notes of South London Waste Plan Stakeholder Workshop - Rose Theatre 17 Oct 2008

The boroughs of Croydon, Kingston, Merton and Sutton are working together to prepare a Joint Waste Development Plan Document, known as the South London Waste Plan. The South London Waste Plan is the councils' response to European, UK and regional policies and targets to manage waste more sustainably. The key role of the South London Waste Plan (SLWP) is to identify land which is suitable for the development of potential waste management facilities within the four boroughs. This development will reduce the quantity of waste going to landfill and the climate change impacts of this.

Development of the plan is at a very early stage and a number of public consultation exercises are under way. One such briefing / consultation / workshop was run the other evening at the Rose Theatre in Kingston. Some notes taken at the meeting follow below.

• Welcome and introduction by Cllr Brian Mahoney
• Purpose and structure of Workshop - Susan Parham, CAG Consultants (the team of 3 facilitators)
• About the waste plan - Emma Smyth, South London Waste Plan Manager
• Question & answer session
• Breakout sessions / discussion groups
1. How much waste should the South London Waste Plan, plan to manage (i.e. 97% or 100% of the amount identified by the Mayor's office "apportioned" to the four boroughs working together)
2. Where will the facilities go?
3. Should the South London Waste Plan specify what waste development is suitable for each site identified?
• Next steps

40 - 50 people present.
Besides Cllr Brian Mahoney, Emma Smythe, also present were Cllr Richard Hudson and Rob Dixon - the services director for environmental matters.
Talked about the plan development.
Year long process.
Currently at Issues & Options stage.
Will lead to a draft plan in years time which will also be consulted upon.
Forms part of Local Development Plan (which succeeds the UDP).
The South London Waste Plan will:
• Identify sufficient and suitable sites for development of waste management facilities.
• Developers will then make applications for use with specific function and technologies to address all waste streams.
• These will be subject to normal planning controls, protections and consultation.
The plan will not:
• Identify specific technologies
• Change local refuse collection arrangement
The Mayor of London has set a target of being self sufficient for managing 85% of its own waste. As such each Borough or group has received an allocation of the total to deal with. This is called the "Apportionment".

Bizarrely despite the focus on waste, recycling etc, waste is forecast to increase from some 3/4 million tonnes today (managed by the 4 boroughs in 14 sites over some 11 hectares) to 1.3 million tonnes by 2021 (an estimated 17 hectares of facilities are required).

The figures strike one as being a bit odd. When challenged, the audience were told that the numbers were based in the main down to some assumptions in population expansion. This clearly does not take into account measure to counter the production of waste ( and other independent initiatives by specific retailers.

The base level of the 1.3 million tonnes which has to be taken account of is 97%. One of the questions for the breakout groups to consider was: How much waste should the South London Waste Plan, plan to manage (i.e. 97% or 100% of the amount identified by the Mayor's office "apportionment")?

Various questions, queries (and points on the part of Kingston Friends of the Earth for example) were raised. It was apparent that not everyone has read the detailed information available on line regarding the SLWP at:

One particularly valid point was raised around the amount of retail waste and the lack of accountability by the manufacturer and the retailer in the supply chain to take responsibility for the waste they are generating.

The attendees were then broken out into three groups.

A question was raised about potential 'horse trading' between the Boroughs as to who would do what.
Rob Dixon commenting on the incineration as one option, mentioned that the most advanced facilities would only be able to cope with some 10% of the projected 1.3 million tonnes.
UK currently spends £60 - £80 per tonne on dealing with waste, compared to £100 - £120 on the continent. Dealing with more waste will cost more.
The consensus was that the SLWP should attempt to deal with 100% of the apportionment.

As to where facilities should be located, comment was made that consideration should be given to collection and transportation as well as recycling.
Note the region differs from some in that it already has a landfill site.
Geography and location matters were discussed but in general most contributors felt that they would have benefited from more knowledge as to the type of facilities and their effectiveness in dealing with various types of waste to add more relevance / context.

Some key points raised included: "Environmental Justice" - ensuring that any developments do not adversely impact areas of social deprivation. Rathermore, any new facilities should be assessed on a principle of their positive impact against a set of pre-determined criteria.

It was concluded that it was not the type of technology / facility at a specific location which matters but more so the the impact of the facility (both positive and negative).

Rob Dixon pointed out that it would be nigh on impossible to control inter-regional waste processing e.g. SLWP facilities taking waste from other regions and processing it for money, except by licence or controls implemented as part of the overall planning policies.

In justifying the evenings activity, however effectively managed, one of the stakeholders said "In 2012 when we are asked why you chose one particular course of action over another, they can point to consultation exercises such as this one tonight as evidence of what people thought."

In terms of next stages, the draft will be put out for consultation around October 2009. The final plan will follow in February 2010 before going on for review by the Secretary of State.

As a final matter and a key concern echoed throughout the evening, a member of the audience again asked what was being done to try and reduce the total amount of waste under consideration with particular reference to retail and supermarket waste.

This was supported by a number of other comments. A response was given that the points would be noted and taken into account and that various other initiatives were focused on such matters. However, It was then pointed out that there seemed to be a glaring majority of people who thought the SLWP should explicitly cover such matters with a number of key objectives to reduce the 1.3 million tonnes included in the plan. A show of hands showed that this was the majority view of the audience. It will be interesting to see whether the final report reflects such intentions.

Thursday, 9 October 2008

A couple of local initiatives for those who worry about the environment

Transition Town Kingston
The newly-formed Transition Town Kingston (TTK) “exists to mobilise and facilitate community action in Kingston to respond effectively and positively to climate change and peak oil”. It is part of a national movement (“Archers” fans will be aware that Ambridge is a Transition Town) – find out more at TTK monthly meetings, in C-Scaipe, Kingston University Penrhyn Road campus, are free of charge, open to all, and refreshments are provided. Coming up are "Transition Films Night" on Wednesday 12th November, 7pm for 7.30, and "Transition Carnival: Celebrating our way to resilience" with TTK's first guest speaker, Dr. David Fleming, on Thursday 4th December, 7pm for 7.30.
If you want to keep in touch with TTK activities you can subscribe to the TTKingston Yahoo group. There are instructions on how to join a group at but if you have any problems, you can email and a member of the steering group will help.

Kingston Council's Action for Sustainable Kingston (ASK) newsletter can be read at or hard copy is in various public places - e g, libraries, the Visitors Centre in the Market Place, Guildhall.

Wednesday, 8 October 2008

South London Waste Plan Issues and Options Consultation - now live!

CARA members and other local residents might want to read and respond to this or to go along to the workshop on 16th October.

Please find below a link to the online Issues and Options consultation for the South London Waste Plan, which is being prepared jointly by the boroughs of Croydon, Kingston, Merton and Sutton. If you are already registered with the Limehouse online consultation system, you can use your existing logon and password. If you have not used this system before, please register by following the step-by-step instructions via the below link. Please note that when submitting comments, these will be shared by the four boroughs for all consultations relating to the development of the South London Waste Plan.

Get involved now before it becomes policy

This is the first stage of consultation on the Waste Plan and is your opportunity to help inform the development of the Plan. If you follow the above link, you will find two online questionnaires:
· A short Issues and Options questionnaire which seeks your opinion on the key issues in developing the Waste Plan
· A full Issues and Options questionnaire which contains more technical information and seeks your views on a wider range of issues.

Public workshops
Each borough will host a public workshop during the consultation period. This is your opportunity to find out more about the South London Waste Plan and discuss the key issues. Please see the details below and contact the Project Manager should you wish to register.

Kingston 16th October, 7pm at the Rose Theatre
A light buffet will be provided.

Emma Smyth
Waste Planning Project Manager
South London Waste Plan
020 8547 5375

Saturday, 4 October 2008

Hotel development appeal update

Confirmation at yesterday's Town Centre Management Group meeting that the inspector's report on the developers' appeal is with the Secretary of State, and a decision is expected at the end of November.

Friday, 19 September 2008


17th September 2008
Pavilion, Canbury Gardens

The Chairman of the Committee welcomed the 30 or so attendees and provided an overview of the aims of Canbury & Riverside Association (CARA). CARA is a non-political and purely voluntary organisation whose aims and objectives are the protection and enhancement of amenities within the area for residents and users alike.

The Chairman offered thanks to all of members who have supported CARA in the last 12 months along with the team of dedicated and hard working Committee members.

A very busy year was reviewed with teams being involved in:

  • Hotel Development Review (more later)
  • Boaters refurbishment - consultation & support to improve this important local amenity
  • Christmas carols
  • Post Office Closure - analysis, action - sadly the decision appeared to have been a ‘fait accompli’
  • Richmond Road Parade - new trees planting, paving & landscaping + bus stop
  • Riverside Litter Pick & Clear Ups - 3 carried in out in 2008 Feb, Mar & Sep
  • Thames Landscape Strategy - regular reviews + guidance on local views. Success with the new sensitive lighting in Gardens between the rowing club and slipway
  • Get fit in the park
  • Liaison with Police Safer Neighbourhood team
  • Liaison with Councillors and Council Officers
  • CARA 2008 Grant Programme (more later)
  • Informing people - the new format newsletter to all residents and businesses has been a great success. The web site becoming much more of an active blog style resource has proved popular and the launch of the CARA Community Hub has enabled comments to be posted by residents and other interested parties. The Community Hub can be accessed at
  • Traffic & Parking Reviews - focused on Albany Park Road. No further action likely as no majority view.
  • Planning Reviews - affecting LHR and Albany Park Road
  • Canburys Gardens Maintenance - working in association with Quadron who do a great job in keeping the gardens up to a high standard.
  • Kingston Town Centre Management
  • Getting back in touch with the Albany - thanks to having a Committee Member who lives in the Albany, communication with the residents in this gated community have been revived.
Despite being joined by three new excellent and active members (Claire Fergusson, Marilyn Mason and Richard Mobbs) in the last year, the Chairman commented that the Committee was still under some pressure as a result of the bidding farewell to one committee member (Helen Moss) and a request was made by the Chairman for new people to become more active.

People need to understand what is required in being involved in working with CARA. It is not an NIMBY (Not In My Back Yard) organisation but balanced with no agendas, no politics and no single issues beyond the core brief stated previously. The Committee fosters a constructive mix of views and opinions through friendly debate and respect for all concerned. Above all it has as an aim, the encouragement for people to take responsibility to affect change for the positive in the immediate neighbourhood and beyond.

An existing member, Glenda Leveson of Albany Mews put herself forward to stand for the committee, which was received with thanks.

Election of the Committee
The following members who offered to stand for the Committee were duly elected:
  • Bazil Arden
  • Penny D’Souza
  • Claire Fergusson
  • Clare Francis
  • Glenda Leveson
  • Marilyn Mason
  • Richard Mobbs
  • Hugh Scantlebury
  • Trevor Willis
Membership Report
The Chairman reported that out of the 725 known addresses covered by the CARA area, there are currently 183 members. Furthermore CARA now extends the distribution of the newsletter to an additional 100 or so parties in the Council, local businesses, shops and volunteer groups.

This represents a second year of consistent growth in year on year membership which has been aided by the publication of regular and professional looking newsletters, issuing renewal notices etc.

A request was made for all parties where possible to supply CARA with valid email addresses to enable us to communicate more effectively and in a more environmentally sensitive manner (with less reliance on paper).

Finance Report
Richard Mobbs presented the accounts to 31 August 2008.

Subscriptions were £165 up at £902 partly because the previous period was only 10 months, but also due to an increase in members, with deferred income standing at £562 (future year subs). Total donations received came to £55 and interest received from the bank coming in at £104.

The two major expense items in the year were grants issued under the 2008 CARA Grant Programme of £1,000 and printing & distribution costs for the newsletters and other materials of £598.

Reserves stand at £1,383.

Hotel Development Update
A run through of the progress (or lack off) on the proposed redevelopment of the power station site was given, focusing on CARAs activities in fostering communication with the second scheme's architects, councillors etc at the various forums and workshops (the notes of which are documented in full on the CARA web site). In summary the first scheme (the one with the towers) was rejected in November 2007. The second scheme was agreed in principle by the RBK Development Committee in June 2008 but appears in abeyance whilst the outcome of the Public Enquiry / Appeal against decision on 1st scheme (completed July) is made public. The decision currently rests with Secretary of State.

Rose Theatre Update
Kate Tebb kindly gave a briefing on the latest productions which include A Doll's House (9 September - 27 September By Henrik Ibsen and directed by Peter Hall) and Born in the Gardens (30 September - 11 October by Peter Nichols and directed by Stephen Unwin) along with a preview of the winter and Christmas programmes.

CARA 2008 Grant Programme
This is the second year of operation (having been originally launched at the 2006 AGM). It was agreed that on this occasion a maximum of £1000 in new grants were to be awarded by 30th June 2007 (max £500 per submission). Despite some apathy in terms of applications (again!), 3 new awards were made in the year ended 31st August 2008:
  • Kingston Rowing Club £500
  • Andrew Cunliffe (Albany Sailing) £300
  • Ignite Youth Group £200
There are no plans to run the scheme in 2008/9, but the process may be repeated subsequently depending on reserves / surpluses available.

Guest Speakers

Metropolitan Police
Inspector Mick Mills introduced the main elements of the Safer Neighbourhood and Safer Transport teams, which were explained in more detail by our local Safer Neighbourhood Sergeant - Mark Phinn and the Kingston Safer Transport lead, Sergeant Stephen Sharrack.

Sgt. Mark Phinn explained the priority of getting people to know once again who their local police are. Whilst the area suffers little major crime, burglaries and motor vehicle crime continue to be a problem. This is exacerbated by too many people not securing (locking) their vehicles properly. He also commented on the fact that whilst open spaces are always likely to attract a small amount anti-social behaviour, the team of regular Police Constables and PSCOs (Police Community Support Officers) is working well to head off such issues by becoming a familiar presence for local people and patrolling areas of concern at the most relevant times (e.g. Friday / Saturday evenings).

Sgt. Steve Sharrack gave an introduction to the Safer Transport Team which was introduced by the Mayor of London, TFL and the Metropolitan Police to improve passenger security and confidence whilst using public transport. Using a video of some real CCTV footage, Steve gave an entertaining presentation highlighting the value of ensuring those using the transport services (where they live in RBK or not) observe the same high standards of behaviour as the majority of the populace.

Mark Muir - Manager at The Boaters Inn
Mark thanked everyone for their support during the six months that have elapsed since The Boaters reopened. In particular he gave praise to CARA for getting involved in the original pre-opening consultation exercise, and the Police Safer Neighbourhood Team for providing the additional patrols in the Canbury Gardens which have helped to keep any undesirable behaviour in the area down to a minimum.

Mark commented that overall the first six months had been a success but that expectations are high. As with any new business there are highs and lows, and Mark and his team will be focusing on ensuring a higher degree of consistency of food and service over the coming months.

The Boaters will shortly be distributing a newsletter promoting the new seasonal menus, upcoming events and Christmas specials. There were a couple of questions regarding the use of the outside bar, opening hours etc. and some general feedback requesting further menu variety.

The Chairman thanked all the guest speakers for coming along and then proceeded to summarise some of the areas we will be focusing on in the months ahead which include:
  • Hotel Development - communicating the outcome of the Public Enquiry
  • Canbury Gardens - further work on landscaping, Bulb Planting, LHR Verges etc. in association with the Parks Department / Quadron
  • Thames Landscape - River into Kingston initiative, finding out what is going to happen to Turks Boatyard etc.
  • Environmental issues
  • New Refuse & Recycling systems - due to be introduced in the Autumn of 2008 (for details see comments on the CARA Community Hub)
  • Water - issues caused by having too little (low water pressure) or too much (flooding) and what measures are being taken to alleviate both.
After receiving a number of questions from the floor, the meeting was duly closed.

Monday, 15 September 2008

CARA Litterpick / The Big Tidy Up - Sept 2008

As per the lead story, a very successful event. Thank you to everyone who came along. First off everyone received a thorough briefing on what we intended to do, along with safety information.

CARA provided helpers with high visibility vests, gloves, rubbish bags and litter pickers and there were badges and Wall-E* stickers galore for the kids. The Safer Neighbourhood Team were around to provide support, meet some local residents and help in case we identified any sharp or dangerous items.

Trevor Willis and and a couple of willing volunteers manned a boat, pulling large amounts of tough to get at flotsam from the river and bankside.

...coping with the occasional bout of engine trouble!

At the end of the day we collected over
9 bin-bags of rubbish, one boot, two broken fishing rods, and two bins full of recyclables, which included an astonishing 63 vodka bottles!

Well done everyone!! Thank you to everyone who came along.

Saturday, 13 September 2008

CARA litter-pick

Thank you to everyone who helped with the CARA litter-pick, part of the national Great Tidy-Up, today. We collected 9 bin-bags of rubbish, one boot, two broken fishing rods, and two bins full of recyclables, which included an astonishing 63 vodka bottles!

Wednesday, 10 September 2008

New waste / recycling system in the CARA area - update

Some answers I've just had from RBK to questions from the CARA committee about the new system:

When will it get here?
The area between Lower Ham Road and Richmond Road will be in phase 4 of the change which is currently scheduled for delivery of containers at the beginning of November. You should start receiving more information from the end of September. And the Council will be holding "road shows" around the borough to explain the new system.

Who owns the new bins? The new bins and containers will be owned by the Council and as such if damaged or broken they will be replaced by the Council free of charge, although residents are expected to look after them and wash them occasionally if required. If a resident repeatedly asks for replacement bins the Council will follow up with a call from a member of staff. The average life for a wheeled bin is about 7 years, and repairs such as new wheels or lids can extend this even further.

What do we do with our old dustbins? The Council's experience of similar changes in Berrylands suggests that many residents find alternative uses for their bins, for instance in the garden, and there are some suggestions in the service information booklets that come with the new bins. Alternatively old bins can be taken to Villiers Road Household Re-Use and Recycling Centre - and some can be recycled. The Council understands that not everybody will be able to move their bins to Villiers Road so is planning a pick-up of old bins in the New Year.

Saturday, 6 September 2008

CARA Annual General Meeting 2008

Notice is hereby given and all are cordially invited to attend:

Annual General Meeting of the Canbury & Riverside Association
Wednesday 17th September 2008 at 8pm
The Pavilion in Canbury Gardens

Guest speakers:

Metropolitan Police - Inspector Mick Mills will speak on local police matters.
The Boaters Inn - Mark Muir, the manager will discuss developments at the pub

The AGM Agenda will be as follows:
  1. Chairman’s statement
  2. Membership update
  3. Finance report
  4. Report on the 2008 CARA local grant programme
  5. Proposals for those standing for committee
The following committee members are standing for election:

Bazil Arden, Claire Ferguson, Clare Francis, Marilyn Mason
Richard Mobbs, Hugh Scantlebury, Penny D'Souza, Trevor Willis

At the end of the meeting there will be an open forum for questions and answers.

Notice of resolutions of matters to be raised at the AGM must be submitted to the Chairman no later than Monday 15th September.

This is your chance to find out more about the work that CARA does on your behalf - and perhaps to be inspired to join the committee or the association (see the Chairman’s message below). The more members we have the stronger we are and the more we can achieve for all who live in this beautiful area of Kingston.

A personal message from the CARA Chairman:

As you can see from the notice above, we are very pleased to invite as many of the local residents as possible along to our 2008 Annual General Meeting. I am very pleased to report that the Committee have worked hard on a number of projects and run a number of events in the support of our aim of protecting and enhancing amenities within the area for residents and users alike.

Once again though, we would like to ask more people to be involved in the CARA Committee - despite being joined by some excellent new members last year, we still need more.

The commitment required is not too arduous (otherwise none of us would do it). The Committee meets every six weeks or so for a very balanced and convivial couple of hours at which we discuss developments in the local community and agree follow up activities. Actions are shared amongst members and might typically involve putting a call in to a local councillor; writing a letter or getting involved with one of our key liaison groups which include the Police Safer neighbourhood team, the Thames Landscape Project, Kingston Town Centre Management or the RBK traffic and parks officers.

We have achieved a lot in the years that I have been involved. I get a lot back from my fellow committee members and local residents alike. It's a great way to find out what is going on and get to know people who live locally and who share a common interest in maintaining the special nature of our neighbourhood. I would obviously strongly recommend it.

The more people we have, the more we can achieve. Please help by joining us; even if you can't commit to come to every meeting, we would be very pleased to have you on board. You can join up at the AGM or if you want to find out more beforehand then please contact us via email to cara.kingston at

Thanks to everyone to their continued interest in our activities. I look forward to seeing as many of you as possible at the AGM next week.

Hugh Scantlebury (Chairman)

Thursday, 14 August 2008

Next riverside litter-pick

The Big Tidy Up - litter-picking along the river-bank from Canbury Gardens to the boundary stone, Saturday September 13th 2008, meeting at 11.15am outside Leander Sea Scouts, Lower Ham Road.

CARA will provide litter pickers, plastic bags for rubbish, recycling bins for plastic bottles, some gloves and high-visibility vests, and refreshments. Please bring your own (rubber) gloves, and wear sturdy shoes and nettleproof clothing.

Children must be accompanied by a responsible adult.

Please come and help, meet some of your neighbours, and enjoy the river-bank. And how about warming up with some gentle exercise in Canbury Gardens beforehand? Meet at the Pavilion at 10.00am, finish by 11.00 - see

This litter-pick is registered with Keep Britain Tidy as part of their“Big Tidy Up” campaign this September (see

Tuesday, 8 July 2008

CARA Barbecue - Cancelled

Unfortunately due to various circumstances, the annual CARA barbecue scheduled for Sunday 13th July has had to be cancelled. Looking at the weather, it might not turn out to be such a bad thing!! The CARA Committee hope that people won't be too disappointed, and look forward to organising next years event instead.

Thursday, 3 July 2008

Noise – don’t suffer in silence

An update on complaining about noise disturbance

At a meeting in July, RBK’s Principal Pollution Control Officer explained some of the difficulties of tackling occasional noise from a moving source such as Turk’s disco-boats, but was very willing to take action if there were well supported complaints. As a condition of its extended license Turks has fitted noise-limiting devices to its disco-boats, but the level has yet to be agreed.The Officer intends to monitor the noise level in the CARA area one night when Turks has a late booking.

Riverside residents who are disturbed need to collect and log the relevant information (see next section) including the name of the boat (easier said than done in the dark!). CARA Committee also needs to build up a file of complaints so that we can take action if necessary. Two riverside residents,have offered to gather up disco-boat noise complaints so please copy emails to Kingston Council to Rob Baldwin; Claire Ferguson (CARA Committee member).

RBK has recently changed or moved some of its web-pages on noise complaints, so here are some updated useful links: defines “statutary noise nuisance” and the kind of information the Council needs in order to take action: how often the noise occurs; its duration; how loud it is; the time of day/night; the character of the noise (whether it has any particularly annoying characteristics); the nature of the area. You can download RBK’s form for logging noise disturbance from explains the situation regarding licensed premises such as Turks disco-boats and Boaters (which can now sell alcohol and have music up to midnight on Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays - a condition of their licence is that no doors or windows are left open when music is being played).

If you need to talk to a member of the Environmental Health Service you can phone 020 8547 5536 or email

To complain about noise on-line, go to

Saturday, 21 June 2008

New Bus Stop For Local Shops

Great news! A new bus stop for the Richmond Road shops has finally been agreed by TFL, and signed off by the Kingston Town Neighbourhood Committee this week.

After campaigning for over 2 years with local councillors on the general improvements to the parade, it has now been agreed that a new bus stop will be installed in the Richmond Road, Kingston-bound, outside nos. 138 and 136 (Kenneth Gee Workwear and R.A. Bevan & Sons).

So at last people can get off right by the shops which will hopefully stimulate more people to shop, eat and socialise locally.

Monday, 16 June 2008

RBK approves Power Station development

RBK Development Control Committee have now approved the Power Station site hotel and apartment development. No objectors were registered to speak at the Development Control Committee Meeting which took place at the Guildhall, so there were only speakers for the proposal: NPL, the applicants, and Tommy Moran of the Moran hotel group, who are still keen to be part of the project.There were no opportunities for comments or questions from the floor, and there were surprisingly few members of the public there (though lots from NPL and the architects). Cllr Osbourne at one point referred to the "absence of outrage" at this latest proposal as evidence that it was much more acceptable than previous ones.

The Service Director (Planning and Development) recommended approval in his (very detailed) report, and councillors' questions and discussion tended to focus not on the principle of the development but on detail, e g phasing, terms and conditions, parking and traffic, the proportion and concentration of affordable housing, the safety of the electricity substation, noise, rubbish and recycling. RBK appeared inclined to accept the lower proportion of affordable housing than originally envisaged, wanted by the developers for reasons of "financial viability", in order to achieve regeneration at last of the site and a hotel development that was widely supported. RBK had set conditions, e g to prevent the developers racing ahead with expensive flats for sale and lagging behind on the hotel and affordable units. Council officers were confident that the concerns aired had been or could be dealt with and that the conditions laid down for the developers were sufficient. When it came to the vote only Cllr Mama was against, with 8 (I think) for. It now has to go to the Mayor of London for approval, but as the GLA apparently is supportive, this seems likely.

New hotel gets go-ahead (from Kingston Guardian)

Thursday, 12 June 2008

Charity Fund Raising Barbecue (and entertainment) at the Pavilion

The Canbury Pavilion team are running an event on Saturday 5th July at 7pm in aid of the Ladirani Trust. a charity which supports children in Malawi who have lost their parents due to HIV/AIDS.

Tickets £10 inc BBQ and entertainment from an African Drum group!!

Contact Trevor Willis or Kate Tebb or failing that drop us a line and we'll pass on details.

Friday, 11 April 2008

Consultation On Hotel Planning Application *NEW*

Many people will have received a letter from Roy Thompson at RBK concerning the revised planning application made by NHP for the erection of:

(a) A part 7 / part 7 / part 8 storey building on the east side of site around the EDF substation (on Skerne Road) for a 180 bedroom hotel (with conference, banqueting & meeting facilities) and 121 flats; and (b) 2 blocks (part 6 / part 8 and and part 9 / part 11 storey) providing 235 flats on the west part of the site (the Riverside); together with parking and amenity space on the site of the old Kingston Power Station, Skerne Road, Kingston-upon-Thames.

These latest proposals are different from those previously refused permission in October 2007 (06/12424/FUL) in the following respects:

The Riverside proposals:
  • have been entirely redesigned
  • there would be two blocks arranged around a central courtyard
  • the overall height of the proposals has been drastically reduced
  • there would be 13 more flats in this part of the site
  • vehicular access to the site remains off Henry MacCauley Avenue but the entrance to the underground parking has been relocated further south within the site.
The Skerne Road proposals:
  • there are detailed changes to the external appearance and its scale and mass
  • the proposed hotel has been increased from 150 to 180 bedrooms
  • the proposed flats have been redesigned internally, some are enlarged and thus there would be 27 fewer flats in this block.
You can see a copy of the application at:
  1. The Environmental Services Help Desk, 2nd Floor, Guildhall 2 between 8.45am and 5pm Monday to Thursday and 8.45am to 4.45pm on Fridays.
  2. Kingston Library during normal opening hours.
You can also view applications on the Council's website at

After a huge amount of debate the CARA Committee is broadly supportive of these new proposals as we wish to see improvements to this long neglected but strategically important site for the town centre, creating a solution of which everyone can be proud of.

We would also encourage all interested parties to comment on this application (both those who are 'for' and those 'against'). In fact the Council welcomes relevant comment as part of the consideration of the application. Please write, e-mail (including your name and address) to, or comment directly at by 21st April 2008, quoting the reference number 08/12146.

Presumably this will be reviewed at the Development Control Committee scheduled for Thursday 5th June 2008 at 7.30pm at the Guildhall.

(Click on the image for a larger view of the plan)

Get Fit In The Gardens

See the attached information on forthcoming get fit activity in Canbury Gardens

Sessions consists of 'low impact cardio' exercise by the Thames for up to 20 adults. Starts 31st May 2008.

Contact Julia on 07758 570656, email or speak to Trevor at the Pavilion for details.

Thursday, 21 February 2008

Richmond Road Shops & Post Office Update

At CARA we are very keen to see the continued presence and support of the parade of shops adjacent to our area along the Richmond Road.

Over the last two years we have been working with the Council and local businesses to deliver a range of improvements to improve the image of the area in order to encourage additional trade and provide a more vibrant amenity for local residents. Much of the work has been made possible by the provision of grants made available from TFL (Transport for London).

Last year the Council carried out a package of Highway improvements to roads adjacent to the parade. These included new entry treatments, corrections to pavements, the removal of unnecessary street furniture (bollards, signs etc) and improved signage for the FREE one hour shopper parking. Just before Christmas the contractors started work on the second phase which has resulted in the removal of a largely unused advertising hoarding; the planting of four trees outside Nos. 127 -141 Richmond Road and the installation of new cycle stands.

At the same time we appreciate the efforts of many of our local traders in support of the improvements being made. Please support them by spending some money locally!

Whilst not to everyones taste it is a shame that the BetRouge bookmakers has moved on. It is also regrettable that as part the Post Office restructuring programme, the Chestnut Grove post office on the corner of Chestnut Road and Richmond Road has along with 169 other of the capital's 850 post offices been earmarked for closure. There will be a period of consultation regarding this but on the evidence of the recent branch access survey, it is felt that the post offices opposite Sainsburys and the one on Kings Road offer sufficient alternative amenity.

However, we're not so sure the amenity of the post office itself is not being treated in an equitable manner under the assessment.

In relation to the other two alternative branches compared to it at 76 Richmond Road and most significantly the one at 161 Park Road we noted the following:
  • Chestnut Grove Post Office (CGPO) is open longer than the Kings Road branch (46.5 hours compared to 37.5)
  • Has two serving positions compared to Kings Road's one
  • Serves between 100 and 250 more people a week
  • Serves a larger population than the Kings Road Branch (38658 v 36270)
  • Has unique free parking next to the branch - both other branches only have pay parking available nearby
  • Has free disabled parking in the adjacent street
  • In terms of disabled access, CGPO has no restrictions (the others have a step or an entrance strip).
Contrary to the report we would also comment that:
  • CGPO offers additional service in terms of stationery products and a reasonably popular internet cafe facility which is used during the day by passing traffic and local students.
  • The branch is in fact on a local Bus Route - the Number 65 which is a 24 hour service run every 7 minutes on average by TFL (albeit we have already had discussions re the re-siting of adjacent bus stops to the parade as previously mentioned).
  • The buses all have good disabled low floor access and offer concession for children those over 60 years of age.
Such information appears to have been completely left out the report published on the Post Office web site. Furthermore we would like many other have, comment that:
  • CGPO is a key stone store for the rest of the parade. People visit there to conduct business and then go to the florist, butcher, newsagent, cafe etc.
  • Without it, there is a risk that other shops may suffer in a similar way to when the chemist relocated into the Sainsburys store.
  • Unlike Kings Road, the CGPO acts as an amenity for these local businesses as well many of the local residents who work from home from time to time. Again quantifying the use by organisations and businesses from the tennis clubs, the Pavilion, the pubs, Creed Miles, the shops to the photographer etc. would set it far apart in terms of usefulness from the Kings Road branch.
And finally this Post Office, unlike the other one at 76 Richmond Road, has a post box!!!

Let us try and keep it for the good of the community. If you would like to comment on the Post Office closure please let us know by visiting the Discussion section on the CARA Community Hub.

Monday, 18 February 2008

Grants for local clubs, societies, groups and projects

The 2008 CARA Community Grant Programme has been created to invest in projects which underpin the aims and objectives of CARA to protect and enhance amenities within the area for all residents and users.

For the second year running we are looking to invest some of our funds in local organisations and in so doing:
  • Help organisations to become stronger by acquiring or developing assets for their own use.
  • Encourage inclusive communities through active participation in clubs, societies and groups.
  • Support projects that help people deal with change in their lives.
  • Enhance or protect the local environment for the benefit of the whole community.
A wide range of groups can apply for each of the four grants available this year including charities, voluntary and community groups, social enterprises, sports projects and special interest groups. As in 2007, we expect most of the grants we make to be in the region of £500.

If you are interested in applying, please email us at and we will send you a simple outline proposal form for you to complete to tell us about your idea and your group. Alternatively you can download the application form here.

At anytime during the process you can speak to us regarding your application or to discuss your idea or any queries you may have.

Please note all applications must be received by 31st May 2008. We anticipate awarding grants to successful applicants by 30th June 2008.

Wednesday, 13 February 2008

Volunteers needed for CARA spring tidy-ups with Thames Landscape Strategy (TLS)

Sunday February 24th, meeting at Albany Sailing Centre at 10.30 am - vegetation "haircut" and tree planting.
Lopping and pruning till about 12.30, followed by planting two new black poplars trees by the Hawker Centre in memory of Madge Over, who lived by the towpath until her death in 2006 at the age of ninety.
Volunteers are advised to wear old clothes with sturdy footwear. TLS will provide gloves and relevant tools – secateurs, shears, loppers etc for vegetation management, and a spade for the tree planting. TLS will give a short health and safety briefing before we start and will be on hand to answer queries regarding the use of equipment. They will also undertake a risk assessment beforehand and helpers will be covered by Royal Borough of Kingston insurance.
Please let a CARA Committee member know if you intend to come along.

Sunday March 30th, meeting at Albany Sailing Centre at 10.30 am - riverside litter-picking from Canbury Gardens to the Boundary Stone.
Volunteers of all ages are welcome to join in, no special skill or equipment required, but old clothes, sturdy footwear and rubber gloves are recommended. TLS will undertake a risk assessment beforehand and the activity will be covered by Royal Borough of Kingston insurance. After the litter-pick, there will be a brief ceremony by the trees planted in February in memory of Madge Over.

Sunday, 10 February 2008

How do you feel about plastic carrier bags?

Would you stop using local shops if you had to take your own shopping bag? Or are you fed up of seeing plastic bags littering our roadsides, hedges and river, and think the CARA area would benefit from being the first in Kingston to get rid of throw-away carrier bags? London Councils have voted for a total ban, and already Kingston media and retailers are discussing the pros and cons.

The Towards a Plastic-Bag-Free Kingston campaign ( has asked the organisers of the Green Fair to discourage stall-holders this year from giving out plastic bags and encourage visitors to bring their own bags, thus cutting down on waste and litter in the true spirit of the Green Fair. The campaigners are also asking local shops, starting with the small parade on Richmond Road, how they feel about giving out free plastic carrier bags and whether they think their businesses would be at a disadvantage if they stopped giving them out.

What do you think?

Saturday, 9 February 2008

Planning Bill and local democracy

A CARA resident has alerted the Committee to Friend of the Earth's campaign on the Planning Bill currently going through Parliament and the Committee stage. FoE's concerns are largely environmental, of course, but they also make a case for more local democracy, not less as the Bill proposes, and the right for individuals to have their say. If you are concerned about these issues and would like to take action, you can find out more at

Market House Festival, Kingston April 2008

I have been lucky enough to be awarded a grant by the RSA to run a short festival on 10 evenings from 7th - 18th April, in Kingston Market House in the Market Place. The aim is to show how local individuals and community groups could use this historic central Kingston venue to help to improve and diversify Kingston's evening culture, and also to encourage the Council to make it easier and cheaper for the community to use this space.
There will be discussions and debates, talks, workshops etc, open to anyone who cares to come along, and free. My award is enough to cover the hire of the large room in the Market House and some publicity. There are still some evenings available (Fri 11, Tues 15, Wed 16, Fri 18) if anyone local or any of your contacts would like to put on an event. Please see for more information. I hope some of you will come along to and enjoy the Festival events.
Marilyn Mason, Lower Ham Road

Thursday, 7 February 2008

Power Station Proposals Exhibition

Further to the other recent posts, we have been informed that the developers and their architects will be holding an Exhibition of their revised proposals at the Adult Learning Centre (North Kingston Centre on Richmond Road) on Friday 15th February (4pm - 8pm) and Saturday 16th February (10am - 4pm).

Only in draft phase at the moment but we have been supplied these images by way of example. This is a view from Canbury Gardens:

This is an impression of what the "courtyard" might look like:

This view, highlights any impact on the aspect from Kingston Bridge.

Tuesday, 5 February 2008

Notes from Power Station / Hotel Development Workshop 16th Jan 2008

Richard Mayo Centre, Kingston

Present: Michael Squire (MS) Squire and Partners
Paul Harrison Squire and Partners
Nerea Mendicute Squire and Partners
Matt Holloway Squire and Partners (Project Manager)
Mike Spenser-Norris (MSN) NHP
Philip Trim NHP

Kevin Howlett PPS

Hugh Scantlebury (HMS) CARA
Trevor Willis CARA
Richard Mobbs CARA

Glenda Leveson CARA Member
Tim Kimber CARA Member (and liasing with Tony Leitch who was not present)
Clive Howard Royal Quarter Residents Association
Graham McNally Kingston Town Centre Management
Anne Brown Hampton Wick resident

+ 10 or so other interested parties

Kevin Howlett introduced meeting.

Michael Squire introduced Squire & Partners and provided background to company (offices in Kings X and examples of work including Reiss headquarters in London). Looking to come up with alternative form of design for riverside development. Not concerned with elements of affordable housing and size of units. These are details being addressed by the developer.
Rather more, they are concerned with addressing the issues of scale and mass which previously proved unpopular.

Went through options considered and shown previously highlighting desire to keep height away from the river side.

Been developing their original option 6 which is essentially comprised of two blocks - a riverside block (G+4 storeys) plus another G+7 storey unit abutting EDF substation / hotel unit which is planned to have a vertical garden fascia (i.e. green).

A "very" rough schematic of the proposed layout is attached above (we're waiting on some proper graphics from the developer).

Design features a central courtyard with road access from Sury Basin / May Bate Avenue. Road also leads to ramp to underground car park featuring 200 spaces. The "Turn" section of front building has a lower roof line so as not to block too much light from Canbury Place.

Both buildings feature large, glass entrance halls so as to facilitate views from courtyard through to river and vice versa. Front building also features two "very generous" glass access halls, again to open up vista.

Rear building "may" feature bridges (think wharf style developments) to roof garden on EDF substation / hotel development.

Preferred elevation for apartments has been taken into consideration in that larger windows of living rooms face river in front building and courtyard in year. Larger glazing faces predominantly WNW. Correspondingly smaller bedroom windows face rear.

Given planned "mansion house" style design apartments will have long adjoining walls which will be more energy efficient. Materials will feature elements of river - highly finished timber and ripple effect facade as opposed to being bland and flat. To maintain exterior design aspects, interior wooden shutters will be used (as opposed to people using 300 different types of net curtain).

Architects feel the design is not constrained by other buildings in the area and so can be of highly contemporary design and one which people will be proud of.

In addition Michael Squire would still like to consider a tall, slim tower or "camponile" which would be a beautiful and architecturally interesting feature.

Confessed to the fact that the canopy of an adjacent tree would have to be pruned if it went ahead. This would be a landmark construction of some 1500 sq foot per story and rise perhaps to some 15-18 storeys.

Trevor commented that he had preferred the previous proposals but that a camponile might compensate for relative 'blandness' of revised proposals.

Interested to know if there is interest / support for such an edifice.
Generally this appeared to be the case (of those who voted I counted 8 for, 1 against).

Graham McNally commented that he liked different heights of development, quoting good examples from the South Bank.

Michael Squire commented on the roof jewellery which would feature a range of full height and half height spaces on the riverside building. Such jewellery would be somewhat simpler on the rear construction but still present.

Trevor commented on need to review balance of access versus security / crime prevention and encouraged architects to have meaningful dialogue with local police given location.

Trees in Canbury Development would hide most aspects of development form Hampton Wick side but one attendee still said that although no trees would be affected (4m away), she would still object to the proposed height.

Various people complimented the team on the design especially in relation to reduced impact on surrounding areas including Canbury Place, Royal Quarter etc.

Kevin Howlett proceeded to wrap up the meeting, thanking everyone for coming along around 8.45pm.

Power Station / Hotel Site Development Follow Up

Following the rejection of NHP's proposals by the RBK Planning Control Committee last year, there have been a few developments.

After holding follow up meetings with the GLA and the RBK planning officers, two things started happening in parallel. The first is that NHP are going to appeal against the decision. This will, if it goes ahead, result in a public enquiry which they believe will probably be heard by a senior QC sometime during the Spring (residents may have received some correspondence in relation to this).

The second is we believe somewhat more constructive. Given most parties were in favour of a dual use of hotel / residential development but objecting in the main to the design and most significantly the height of the proposals, NHP have decided to bite the bullet and design an alternative scheme.

This will entail most likely leaving the design for the bit covering the substation (which everyone appreciates is a significant technical challenge) intact and reworking the remainder (ie. the bit that most people objected to).

NHP have commissioned a brand new architect - Michael Squire (, to come up with a revised proposal to run in parallel to the existing one. This is a well regarded UK firm with a number of high profile projects under it's belt. See the web site for details.

In order to not have a repeat of the previous situation, all parties involved have attempted to engage with local community representatives, officers and planning committee members throughout the early stages of the design process. Given our representation and proximity, it is felt that CARA is a key party in such matters. In a similar way, they are keen to engage with the residents group based in the Royal Quarter development.

To this end we arranged a meeting in November 2007 for our Committee to meet with personnel from Squire & Partners, representatives from the developers - NHP, people from the Royal Quarter residents association and any local councillors who had an interest in the project.

Given some initial reticence on behalf of some elected members to attend, we pointed out that given this is an attempt at working towards a consensus approach by all parties concerned, we as an association believe it would have no material impact on any due process in place once (if) any application is / was finally registered and we would of course reserve all rights to participate fully in any subsequent consultation and decision making exercise.

Furthermore, we also held that we did not believe that there was any risk of anyone pre-judging anything given this exchange taking place at a pre-application stage. Once an application is registered, it would be a different matter and the normal controls will come into effect.

On behalf of CARA residents, we asked all parties to be sensible and pragmatic in helping to improve this long forgotten but strategically important site for the town centre and where possible work together for towards a solution of which everyone can be proud of.

It turned out to be a very useful session.

The follow notes are those of that initial meeting and the subsequent workshop held in the Richard Mayo Centre in Kingston last month.

Obviously the notes whilst thorough are not verbatim and we apologise for any errors or omissions.

Tuesday, 29 January 2008

Police matters...

Evening all. Just a quick update on the recent news from our local Police Safer Neighbourhood Team led by Sgt Martin Humphries (Kingston Police Station 020 8721 2580):.

1. Speeding - December Enforcement:
  • Eastbury Road: 1 warning excess 20mph. Negative Alcohol breath test.
  • Richmond Road: 1Ticket. 12 Warnings. 13 Negative alcohol breath tests.
  • Park Road: 2 Tickets. 8 Verbal warnings. 10 Negative alcohol breath tests.
Please bear in mind that the teams are using hand held speed detectors. Given that the restriction in many residential roads is now 20mph, please be aware of your speed.

2. Motor Vehicle Crime:
Police checked vehicles in our area during the run up to Christmas. Some residents may have received a letter given that 43 vehicles were noted as having unattended property left in view or insecure scooters.
We would ask all residents and their visitors to not leave valuables, CD’s Cassettes, bags, clothes, documents, cameras, tools and SatNav holders etc in view.

3. Anti-Social Behaviour in open Spaces:
Patrols in these areas will continue as they provide re-assurance for the majority of residents and visitors who are law abiding.

4. Cycling on Footway and Bikes with No lights:
As well as pedal cycle theft is also a problem across the borough, the Police have been stopping persons who ride on the footway and checking their bikes for ownership and lights. Several warnings have been issued for riding on the footway and one penalty notice has been awarded.

5. Security
Prevention is the best way to deal with most crime. We would in particular recommend all householders in the CARA area to check that sheds, garages etc. all have good effective locks.

Wednesday, 23 January 2008

Boaters closed - until April?

It appears that the Boaters will be closed for refurbishment until April. Hugh and I went down for a lunchtime catchup yesterday, to find an ex-employee having a smoke outside. She said she had been given a week to get out of her accommodation upstairs and that there was no job for her. The notice on the door says 'until further notice' - but the ex-employee said she thought they were planning to extend to a first floor restaurant and would be closed until April. We are not aware of any planning applications - which would suggest a smaller scale of refurbishment.

The Boaters has been bought by Capital Pub Company Plc..

We will try and get more information on their plans and post it here. If you know anything - please add a comment below.