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  • CarolineShah

Kingston Council crazy growth spending puts residents' well-being at risk

Millions being spent on projects the viability of which has not been proven

In August 2021, I asked Grant Thornton, Kingston Council's auditors, as part of their duty under The Local Audit and Accountability Act 2014, to repond to my queries and to meet me to discuss various issues relating to large amounts of money that Kingston Council spent in 2020 to 2021 on progressing plans to demolish The Kingfisher Leisure Centre, on the sale and redevelopment of The Guildhall Complex, on redevelopment of Kingston Station and creation of an Enterprise Hub, on Regeneration and Economic Development (“RED”)/ Regeneration and Internationalisation (“R&I”), on Estate Regeneration and on a Dementia Care NursingHome

I have listed the money disclosed as having been spent by Kingston Council on each of these projects in 2020-21 and my reasons for concern in the attached letter

I have also requested that Grant Thornton:

  • issue a report in the public interest on Kingston Council’s 2020-21 accounts

  • apply to the courts for a declaration that items of expenditure to which my letter refers are contrary to law

I am concerned that large amounts of money are being spent by Kingston Council in order to facilitate large-scale growth in Kingston that is not sustainable and which does not represent value for money for residents but merely feeds money to developers; whilst simultaneously services to residents are being cut and essential expenditure is being deferred as is also evident from the council's financial accounts

The council has announced already that it intends to cut spending next year by a further £7 million, revealing the extent of the council's financial problems
Source: Kingston Council Let's Talk Survey

As of today, 10 January 2022, I have still not received a reply from Grant Thornton. I am therefore publishing the letter I sent to them in the hope that it spurs them in to fulfilling their legal duties

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