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Pinocchio’s last fib?

May 6, 2015

pinocchioOur friend Pinocchio has been at it again during this Election campaign. I was intrigued to note early on that he was even spotted by the Labour candidate, who even called him by this name when listing his various achievements of the last 18 years.

There has been the recurring theme of moving Surbiton Station into Zone 6, now enjoying its fourth General Election outing – and still nothing done! Then of course there’s the Great Hospital Scare of 2010, now having a well deserved re-run as the heroic tale of ‘How I saved the Hospital from the Non-existent Threat’. I guess this is due for a quinquennial re-run if he gets the chance!

One of the features of the latest burst is the bit about ‘How I’ve been a Minister in the Government of the Ghastly Cameron for the last five years.’ Not that he says Cameron is ghastly in so many words, nor does he trouble to explain how he managed to maintain his political purity while just having to accept the Ministerial salary etc that went with it. I feel a lump coming in my throat at the very thought of it!

I wouldn’t have bothered mentioning any of this but today – not long after the revelation that his Leader Clegg is looking to see if he might not find a way to be dragged, kicking and screaming into another Coalition with the Ghastly YouKnowWho we get the latest scare which has me almost shivering in my slippers. Pinocchio announces EVERY VOTE FOR THE CONSERVATIVES RISKS PUTTING NIGEL FARAGE IN NO 10′

Shock!! Horror!!! Nigel himself hadn’t thought of that one!

All those Tories who have spent the last several months trying to persuade everyone NOT to vote UKIP have been engaged in a cunning plan worthy of Baldrick himself to put Farage in power. And, he tells us ‘EVERY SEAT THE TORIES WILL WIN WILL PUT THEM ONE STEP CLOSER TO AN ALLIANCE WITH UKIP’

That’s right, in Pinocchio’s little world of makebelieve, a Tory hold in Thanet South, or the recapture of Clacton or Rochester brings us nearer to an alliance with the very people we will have ousted.

Once more, friend Pinocchio is hoping enough people will be taken in to vote him back into the House and (just possibly) to another five Ministerial years in Coalition with those awful Tories!

Hook Road open northbound

April 15, 2015

The northbound carriageway of the A243 Hook Road, which has been closed for some days at the ‘Ace of Spades’ roundabout seems now to be open again.

I am told, however, that there are still holes to be navigated around between there and Ditton Road.

Future for the Rose

April 15, 2015

rosetheatreKingston Council has entered into a new arrangement with the Theatre covering the next 5 years. The complex financial arrangements put in place by the previous Lib Dem administration will be terminated and a new more transparent relationship established going forward. Instead of an annual grant of £500,000 with payments back to the Council (or the theatre property owning limited liability partnership) for leasing costs, rent and debt repayments, the Council will now purchase services to the value of £265,000 with an additional public subsidy of £52,000 reducing to zero over the 5 years. In addition, the Council will write off a 100 year loan of £1.8 million, which had already been fully provided for in the Councils books soon after it was granted. This will clean up the Theatre’s balance sheet and remove a hindrance for raising external funds for the Theatre. Cllr David Glasspool, Lead Member for Arts, Leisure and Heritage, said, “The Rose makes an important contribution to the cultural life of the borough and the local economy. These new simplified arrangements clarify the relationship between the Rose and the Council and should assist the Rose in securing external funding and making financial plans for its long term future. They also continue to deliver access for Kingston residents to a range of cultural activities and events throughout the year.”

Local resident groups please note

December 18, 2014

£50,000 worth of grants for projects and schemes run by the voluntary sector will be available in the next financial year Council bosses announced today.

The Emerging Needs and New Initiatives and Small Grants schemes, run by Kingston Council, will continue in 2015/2016 despite the Council facing reduced finances over the coming year.

Local groups will be able to apply for up to £3,000 per project from the Emerging Needs fund and up to £750 from the Small Grants scheme.  To be eligible the application must achieve one or more aims by:

• creating a sustainable Kingston by protecting or enhancing the environment for us and future generations
• sharing prosperity and creating opportunity
• preventing problems and promoting responsibility and independence

Applications for funding need to be in by Friday 27 February through or by emailing

Councillor Julie Pickering, Lead Member for Supporting the Voluntary Sector said,

“Despite these austere times and the Council having to make some really tough decisions about finances, one thing is clear, it is vital we continue to support organisations on the ground.  They make a real and lasting difference to the quality of life for our communities.

“These grants will go some way to helping our voluntary and charitable sectors support those people in Kingston who need it the most, or that want to create a project that will add something to the area for everyone to enjoy.

“I look forward to seeing applications from a wide range of organisations operating within the borough.”

In addition to the fund, to support the borough’s voluntary sector, local groups were recently invited to take part in a highly successful commissioning workshop. This established how services might be provided and financed in the future and how local groups can prepare themselves to be commissioned when opportunities arise.

Over 80 people attended the event and Commissioners for key services gave an update on current activities.  A further workshop will be held in February 2015 (date to be confirmed).

For those organisations interested in attending the next commissioning workshop in February, please register by emailing Kingston Voluntary Action

Moliere comes to Surbiton

November 7, 2014

Here are details about Tartuffe which is coming to cornerHOUSE this month. It’s the first in a series of new inHOUSE cornerHOUSE productions. There are a few familiar cornerHOUSE faces in it and we hope you can come to this fast-paced, witty, thought-provoking comedy.

There is a booking link below. You can also buy tickets on the door (subject to availability.)

Tartuffe is a comic masterpiece which highlights the dangers of blind faith. This hilarious 17th century comedy by Moliere about religious hypocrisy, relaunches inHOUSE productions.
Masquerading as a man of God, Tartuffe, a down and out, inveigles his way into the home of a pious yet foolhardy merchant. The charlatan is soon trying to seduce Orgon’s wife, marry his daughter and make off with his wealth!
The rest of the household goes to hilarious lengths to try to prove that Tartuffe is a conman, but he always seems to be one step ahead. Will the clever and wily Tartuffe be unmasked before the family lose everything to his devious ambition? Who will prevail?
Find out from Wednesday, November 19 to Saturday, November 22 at 7.45pm
Tickets are £8 (£6 concessions).( There is an additional booking fee for using the Ticket Source website.)

If you have any problems booking your tickets please email and we will endeavour to help.

Tickets can be bought on the night too (subject to availability) at the cornerHOUSE box office. Cash only.

cornerHOUSE, 116 Douglas Road, Surbiton, Surrey, KT6 7SB – Tel 020 8296 9012

e-mail =

The Douglas Centre Trust ( a registered charity no. 1047038, limited co. no. 3057887 )

Premises provided by Tolworth Team Ministry

‘Mansion Tax’ or tax on homes?

October 22, 2014

I have just received the following from Treasury Minister Priti Patel. She raises a point that MPs across parties have realised may hit some of their constituents very hard. As a Surbiton Hill Councillor for 12 years I was concerned about the impact the proposal might have on some of my residents who bought houses in, say, Southborough, decades ago whose market value has soared while their incomes have often contracted. It’s worth remembering that, whils Ed Milliband is proposing it now, it was originally mooted by the Lib Dem MP for Twickenham, Vince Cable.

‘Let’s stop calling it a “mansion tax”- these are not mansions, these are family homes’ – Tessa Jowell, Labour MP

Ed Miliband’s planned tax on the family home will hit hardworking people across the country – as even his own MPs and Peers admit:

  • ‘It will impact disastrously on people…particularly pensioners’ – Glenda Jackson, Labour MP
  • ‘It is misconceived…what it does is create a cliff edge’ – Nick Raynsford, Labour MP
  • ‘A hopeless and desperate idea’ – Lord Noon, Labour Peer

Show YOUR opposition to this latest Labour tax – sign the petition today.

Labour said only ‘the most wealthy’ would pay their homes tax – but now Ed Balls is saying that everyone who earns £42,000 or more will have to pay up front.

Labour said pensioners would be protected – but Ed Balls admitted this week that pensioners will have to pay the tax after they die.

Labour said only homes worth £2 million would be hit – but already a senior Labour figure has demanded the tax be extended to homes worth £400,000 in the North of England (Claire Reynolds, quoted in The Sunday Express, 10/08/14).

It’s clear that hardworking families across the country would be hit by Labour’s latest tax.

And it’s clearer than ever that a Labour government would mean a return to higher taxes, more debt, and a stalled economy.

Add your name to our petition today and let’s stop Labour’s plans:

Thank you,

Priti Patel
Treasury Minister

Local high wind damage

October 21, 2014

   A fallen tree has blocked the railway line betwee Surbiton and Hampton Court today. You can chack out the story by accessing the Surrey Comet website using the news link in the right hand column of this page.


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