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Absent friends

January 16, 2011

On Tuesday evening the RBK Executive took important decisions about the most contentious issue currently in Surbiton Hill ward, the building of a 442 pupil school partly on demolished buildings on the Surbiton Hospital site.

I was there and spoke. Graham Goldspring of OADRA was there and spoke. Mary Clark, who has no connection with the ward but cares about health services, was there and spoke. Cllrs. Howard Jones, Andrea Craig, David Cunningham and Robert-John Tasker (all Conservatives) were all there. Sandra Berry of Kingston’s Link was there. Cllrs Houston, Parekh and Self were nowhere to be seen. Not interested?

The building of the school will necessitate the closure of Southbank House and its demolition. This involves the cessation of a health facility for mental health patients. It should have been discussed at length by the Health Scrutiny and Overview Panel (HSOP) of RBK. It appears not to have been, and yet Cllr. Houston is its vice-chair and Southbank House is in his ward.

The matter might have been raised at the meeting of the HSOP on Wednesday. Again Cllr. Houston was not there.

There was a mention on the Dementia Working Group that Cllr. Houston may not be able to take part owing to other commitments.  And so far, he hasn’t taken part.

I leave it to readers to draw their own conclusions.

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