Hope Not Hate, a London-based charity, canvassed local residents and community organisations to establish the following questions to the candidates in this ward.
Will you ballot residents on the final regeneration proposal and guarantee that all residents who wish will be given the chance to return to Cambridge Road Estate? If so, when?
"Any plans to regenerate an estate needs to have the backing of the residents who live there. In the case of the Cambridge Road Estate, the Council needs to run an independent ballot of all the residents run by a reputable organisation such as the Electoral Reform Society. This should include residents in the design and nature of the ballot questions to be asked. The outcome of the ballot needs to be respected by the Council, whatever the result.
"Should regeneration go ahead, all tenants must have the right of return and ideally be able to have their new home pre-allocated on a plan – similar to people who buy a home off-plan, so they know where they will be returning to. With proper planning, it should be possible to demolish on a, block by block basis, to avoid the majority of people having to move temporarily off the estate. This has been done elsewhere; and it can be done here."
What is your strategy to reduce anti-social behaviour and gang crime in the area?
"Any strategy to reduce anti-social behaviour and gang crime needs to include a fully funded programme of engagement with victims, those close to gang culture and anti-social behaviour, and also perpetrators.
"The local community most at risk has to be part of this process to look at the root causes and agree on how to make lasting change. Youth workers and family support services, schools and services for under 5s, all have a key role to play and must be funded properly, along with training and employment for those with time on their hands.
"While the Police have an important role to play, and must have the resources they need, the solution is not simply about arrests and charge sheets. We need a holistic and well-funded approach, so that the root causes of the problems can be addressed.
"The Green Party is shocked that so many of our youth service, youth workers and youth centres have been decimated by previous Kingston Councils of administrations of all shades. For example, the closure of the Fountain Youth Centre and Search light. Consequently there is nothing for low income and unemployed young people to do. Without education and a diversion, things can quickly spiral out of control.
"The Dickerage Road Youth Centre is the only one left nearby and they only survived because of a merger with the YMCA. With vision, foresight and investment, we would fund youth services in Norbiton by using a Robin Hood Tax to tax the top largest 1 % of businesses, appeal for sponsorship and use the external funding units of the Council and experts from Kingston Voluntary Action. We believe in Co-Production and feel that youth workers could work with One Norbiton, the Kingston Environment Centre and other social enterprises like Kingston Furniture Project, as low costs bases, and add value through mutual partnership working i.e. joined up thinking and acting.
We would fund detached youth workers to be based in existing or nearby community centres. They will have the skills and patience to understand and constructively engage with youth on the street and at home, to persuade and divert them from knife, gun, and associated substance misuse and crime."
Should 16 years olds have the right to vote? Please elaborate on your answer.
"Yes 16 year olds should have the right to vote.
"The Green Party believes that young people must have the right to participate in our democracy, just like the rest of the adult community, to help determine the policies and direction of Government that affects their lives.
"16 year olds can have a full time job, pay tax, join the military and die for their country, so why shouldn’t they be allowed vote too?
"16 year olds can vote in the Scottish Parliamentary and local elections. And the Welsh Assembly is looking at doing the same for local elections there. The Green Party would do the same in Kingston and in England."
You can meet candidates and question them at local hustings. Here are hustings where Julia Stewart may be appearing.
(Past event) Tuesday 24 April 2018 18:00–20:00: Local Election Hustings for Business, Kingston College LRC, 11th Floor, Kingston Hall Road KT1 2AQ.
This candidate has previously stood for election in:
- 2018: The Kingston upon Thames local election, as the Green Party candidate for the Norbiton
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