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Independent councillor Mary Clark ‘banned’ from questioning Kevin Davis at full council tomorrow

James Giles

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Independent councillor, Mary Clark, has today expressed her anger at being ‘banned’ from asking a question to Council leader, Kevin Davis, with no notice tomorrow evening.

Under Standing Order 6, a member from each political party grouping has the right to ask the Leader of the Council a question (with no notice on the topic) at the start of a full council meeting. However, as Mary Clark defected to become an independent and hence is not part of a group, she has been, in her own words, ‘banned, on the order of Kevin Davis’ from asking her question.

Cllr Kevin Davis has in the past come under criticism for his comments and attitude towards local activism and grassroots democracy, including the now notorious ‘Don’t upset the people in power’ tweet to local activists, Kingston Residents Alliance.

Cllr Clark commented, saying: “I had intended on asking Cllr Davis about playgrounds in the borough for young people. There are 26 public playgrounds in the borough, which serve 16 wards. These are distributed unevenly. Do you think it is fair that there are a couple of wards that have no playground facility whatsoever? Parents have to transport their young children to playgrounds outside of their ward to play, whereas residents in other wards have easy access playgrounds of their choice. Is this fair on residents?”

Cllr Clark was set to ask this question in regard to the fact that Cllr Davis, at a previous Malden and Coombe Neighbourhood Committee, voted against play equipment for children in his own ward, which is one of two completely devoid of all play facility for young children. Cllr Clark commented: “Old Malden ward doesn’t even have a swing for children.”

We have contacted Conservative members for comment. This newspaper urges Councillor Davis to respond to Councillor Clark, as an elected councillor, in regards to her question at his earliest convenience.

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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Kingston Town

EXCLUSIVE: Council refuse to deny ‘interim interim CEO’ lied on job application

James Giles

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KINGSTON Council have refused to deny that the newly-appointed ‘interim interim CEO’, Gill Steward, who is on a six-week contract with Kingston Council, lied about her qualifications when applying for the role.

Gill Steward, who until recently was Chief Executive of Bexley Council, claims on her LinkedIn profile to have a Masters degree in Public Administration from Warwick University.

However, leaked documents from Bexley Council, seen by this publication, reveal that Ms. Steward never completed her Masters degree, dropping out before completing the course.

When Kingston Council were asked whether Ms. Steward had misled the authority when applying for the job, together with a request to confirm Ms. Steward’s qualifications they refused to comment, instead releasing the following statement: “Due to health reasons, the responsibilities of the current interim CEO, Roy Thompson, are being picked up by members of the council’s permanent leadership team for a period of six weeks.

“Based on her experience and track record, Gill Steward has been brought on board, three-days a week, to support the leadership team during this time.”
Councillor Kevin Davis, Leader of the Opposition, said: “I asked Cllr Green about the application and she told me that it was all handled by HR and she did not see the information. On checking she tells me Gill’s CV was accurate. I have not seen the paperwork myself so can’t say more.”
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