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Malden and Coombe

EU referendum voters wade through water as floods hit Kingston

James Giles

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Kingston faces further thunderstorms overnight after downpours disrupted voting in the EU referendum, flooded homes and caused severe travel delays.

Torrential rain seeped into polling stations, with one voter in Chessington describing how she had to be carried over the water. Another said she had seen people “rolling up trousers and removing shoes to wade barefoot through dirty water” to vote.

Kingston Council took the decision this morning to close its Devon Way polling station because of flooding, telling voters to go to the Hook Centre instead. The decision was also taken to close the Shiraz Mirza Community Hall in Old Malden Ward over flooding concerns, instead moving to a nearby location.

There were concerns that heavy rain could affect turnout, but there were reports of long queues at polling stations despite the downpours. In the rest of the country, especially northern England and southern Scotland, voters enjoyed balmy weather, with sunshine and temperatures up to 20C.

Forecasters said on Thursday that more stormy weather was expected in the south-east later on Thursday.

“Another wave of thunderstorms breaking out across south-eastern UK this afternoon and evening is likely to bring some thunderstorms into the London area,” said the Met Office’s chief forecaster.
“Whether these storms are as severe as those of last night is, at this stage, uncertain, but in view of storms being expected during the afternoon and evening, impacts may be as widespread as those of last night and first thing this morning.”

The London Fire Brigade’s 999 office received more than 550 weather-related emergency calls and firefighters attended more than 400 incidents overnight.

James Giles is the Editor of the Kingston Enquirer, covering local news and events in Kingston, New Malden, Surbiton, Tolworth and Chessington.

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Local News

INTERVIEW: Siobhan Benita announces second mayoral bid

Henry Riley

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KINGSTON borough resident, and former Independent candidate for Mayor of London in 2012, Siobhan Benita, has announced her intention to be the Liberal Democrat candidate in the upcoming 2020 elections.

She was arguable the shock result of the 2012 election, finishing above UKIP and within touching distance of the Liberal Democrats and their high-profile candidate, Brian Paddick.

She spoke to 107.8 Radio Jackie about why she has become a Liberal Democrat, whether she believes she has a realistic chance of becoming Mayor, and addresses Brian Paddick’s claims in 2012 surrounding her ‘flaky’ policies.

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