State of the Borough Debate 2020

Growing Kingston Together logo

This year, Kingston Council’s annual State of the Borough debate was held on Wednesday 29 January 2020 from 6.30-9pm at Chessington School.

As chosen by residents, the theme for discussion was ‘Growing Kingston Together’ focusing on topics including regeneration, culture, tourism, skills, employment, housing and development.

Watch or listen to the recording of the event below.


The panel:

  • Siân Jones, Confidence in the Spotlight (Chair)
  • Councillor Liz Green, Kingston Council
  • Kirsten Henly, Kingston First (Kingston's Business Improvement District)
  • Claudia Penaranda, Transport for London
  • Prof. Steven Spier, Vice-Chancellor, Kingston University
  • Muhammad Muneer, Kingston University Student Union Vice President
  • Hammad Malik, Kingston and Richmond Youth Parliament
  • Forbes Low, Kingston Chamber of Commerce
  • Andy Robinson, Idverde

Although the event has now taken place, we'd like to keep the conversation going. If you have any thoughts, ideas or comments you'd like to share on some of the topics discussed, please feel free to add them below. We will review these and feed them into decision making.

This year, Kingston Council’s annual State of the Borough debate was held on Wednesday 29 January 2020 from 6.30-9pm at Chessington School.

As chosen by residents, the theme for discussion was ‘Growing Kingston Together’ focusing on topics including regeneration, culture, tourism, skills, employment, housing and development.

Watch or listen to the recording of the event below.


The panel:

  • Siân Jones, Confidence in the Spotlight (Chair)
  • Councillor Liz Green, Kingston Council
  • Kirsten Henly, Kingston First (Kingston's Business Improvement District)
  • Claudia Penaranda, Transport for London
  • Prof. Steven Spier, Vice-Chancellor, Kingston University
  • Muhammad Muneer, Kingston University Student Union Vice President
  • Hammad Malik, Kingston and Richmond Youth Parliament
  • Forbes Low, Kingston Chamber of Commerce
  • Andy Robinson, Idverde

Although the event has now taken place, we'd like to keep the conversation going. If you have any thoughts, ideas or comments you'd like to share on some of the topics discussed, please feel free to add them below. We will review these and feed them into decision making.

Thank you to everyone who came along to, or watched, our State of the Borough debate 2020 on 29 January. The topic was 'Growing Kingston Together' and we had over 80 people come along to Chessington School to take part. 

There were some great discussions around everything from opportunity areas, protection for green field land, supporting our local economy and businesses to attracting young business people to the area and helping young people to afford to stay here to the skills Kingston needs to be future ready, how GoCycle is benefitting Kingston and climate change and infrastructure. 

As we had such good engagement, we'd like to keep the conversation going. If you were unable to make the event or would just like to provide further thoughts, please feel free to share your comments and ideas below. 
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The policy of housing growth (apartments near stations) is turning Kingston into a dormitory. Increased commuter volumes have put a massive strain on trains from Kingston borough stations but this increased commuter population has not obviously led to growth of support businesses or melioration of retail closures nor increased dynamism in the community. Whilst population is increasing, office and industrial space is reducing. The borough needs more significant anchor businesses to create an inward focus and build community pride which will lead to all sorts of associated spin offs. The main growth policy should be to facilitate A1 quality commercial developments and to very proactively induce serious businesses to move to Kingston. There are several international businesses already in the borough but I don't see them being championed - neither on the Chamber of Commerce list nor in any council information. I would suggest the council needs an energetic Business Development officer to increase awareness, promote quality new developments and solicit new businesses to link them up early.

rodo about 1 month ago

Thank you for the opportunities to share views. I am generally happy living in Kingston and think the quality of life is very good compared to Battersea where I lived previously. My thoughts are:1. I’m disappointed and saddened to see the state of Kingston. So many empty shops. What is the cause and what is being done about it? There is a real risk of a downward spiral if people don’t want to visit for the shops any more and I hope addressing this is a priority for the council.2. I’m concerned about the 20 miles an hour introduction and the burden of further fines/licence points. I couldn’t see the evidence base for the move - I thought it was meant to be environmental but the FAQs and Atkins report didn’t say this. The traffic wardens are very aggressive in giving tickets so further deterrents to people coming or living here seem really counter productive.3. Graffiti in North Kingston has become a real issue. Every street is blighted. The mechanism in reporting is much too difficult and no action seems to be taken. Please can the council develop a policy on this?4. Finally, can some thought be given to the large numbers of teenagers that will live in North Kingston in the coming years. I think there is a real risk of antisocial behaviour unless there are community centres and activities for teenagers. Thanks for all your efforts to get views

JudeP1 about 2 months ago

Very surprised to get your email about by my non-attendance last Wednesday as I was ACTUALLY there and was signed in by the young man on the door!However, that aside, I was quite pleased at the number of attendees but rather disappointed regarding the concentration on Chessington issues although not altogether surprised. I still wholeheartedly disagree with a number of development projects the council has planned but this particular one shows promise. I did speak to Claudia Penaranda personally about Crossrail and understand that, following her comments, it is quite clear that the Council will have to revisit the Local Plan - something which I shall follow with interest.

Ameh about 2 months ago

With the population increase of 20k to 179k since 2011 to date and the growth that has come with it, who exactly has been the main benefactor? This 'growth' has bought more crime, more litter, huge drug problem, poorer roads, impossibility of doctors appointments, the constant building of flats in already overpopulated areas, unbearable congestion 24/7 and all the misery that high density living brings.The local residents have seen the borough head toward inner city slum status, quality of life has rapidly deteriorated and all for what benefit? The only winner out of this 'Growth Opportunity' are the developers. What percentage of locals actually buy the units which are built? The council should be ashamed to pursuing this policy rather than fighting it, disgusting state of affair's.

Carl about 2 months ago