Neighbourhood Matters - news and events for your local neighbourhood.


June 2014

Introducing your new councillors

The local elections were held on 22 May – visit our website to find out who your local councillors are.

Councillor Kevin DavisCouncillor Malcolm Self
The chair of the Surbiton Neighbourhood Committee is Councillor Malcolm Self (pictured right).

You can also find out more about your lead members, along with Leader of the Council, Councillor Kevin Davis (pictured left). If you have a concern about a particular policy or service area you can raise it with the appropriate lead member.

At the Council’s Annual Meeting in May, the Mayor and Deputy Mayor of Kingston were also elected. The new Mayor is Councillor Ken Smith and the Deputy Mayor, who stands in for the Mayor when necessary, is Councillor Cathy Roberts.

You can follow the Mayor on Facebook to keep up to date with the work of the Mayor's Office throughout the mayoral term.

Royal Star and Garter Home award

The Royal Star and Garter Home in Surbiton has won the Pinders Healthcare Design Award 2014, in the ‘Best Dementia Home – Small’ category.

Royal Star and Garter Home Surbiton Foyer

The award not only recognises architectural standards but the way in which the preferences of residents have been incorporated into the final design.

The Royal Star and Garter Homes received the award at a ceremony in London on 2 April.

Christina Gardner’s Retirement

Christina Gardner, your Surbiton Neighbourhood Manager, has retired after 40 years at Kingston Council.

Christina Gardner and councillors at her last Surbiton Neighbourhood Committee meeting.

At her last Neighbourhood Committee meeting, Councillors, residents and officers joined together to thank her for her tireless work on behalf of the local community.

Christina’s career at the Council has spread across several service areas with many achievements including setting up the Neighbourhood Rangers Service, project managing renovations to the Surbiton Clock Tower and successfully engaging the community across the Neighbourhood. She was also instrumental in gaining the Council's support of the Surbiton Farmers Market.

RideLondon comes to town on Sunday 10 August

On Sunday 10 August, 24,000 amateur cyclists will tackle the Prudential RideLondon Surrey 100, a 100-mile challenge ride on closed roads through London (including Kingston) and Surrey.

Cyclists at RideLonon 2013 riding past the Guildhall

Later that day, 150 of the world’s best professional men will race against each other in the Prudential RideLondon-Surrey Classic, an extended 200km version of the amateur route, broadcast live on the BBC.

Road closures will be in force on the day so it is important that local residents and businesses plan ahead. More information about the route and road closures can be found on the RideLondon website.

Kingston town centre will be open for business on Sunday 10 August (RideLondon race day) with the family friendly Kingston Bike Festival 2014.

Pull up a deck chair in Memorial Gardens and watch on the giant screen, browse the cycling exhibition in Memorial Square, then grab a drink and a bite to eat in one of the pop-up bars and cafes. And of course you can see the RideLondon action with your own eyes as the amateur and professional cyclists pass through Kingston town centre on both their outbound and inbound journeys. 

All car parks in Kingston town centre will be open as usual, although access routes may be different due to road closures – just follow the signs or check the Kingston Council website nearer the time. More information about the Kingston Bike Festival will be available soon on the Kingstonfirst website.

Kingston Museum – upcoming events

A fun summer is being planned at the Kingston Museum, catering to all ages. More information about events is available on our website.

WW1 commemorations

From 16 May to 16 August, Kingston Museum will commemorate the start of WW1 with an exhibition recognising Kingston residents’ involvement in the war.

For more information see the First World War Commemorations pages on our website. You can also find the Museum’s Facebook page by searching for Kingston Museum and Local History Room on Facebook.

Surbiton Neighbourhood Community Plan

The Surbiton Neighbourhood Community Plan is now in its fifth year and many projects have been implemented in response to the aspirations raised by people who live and work in the Surbiton Neighbourhood. These include:
  • The Lounge youth facility, Balaclava Road Hall, Surbiton
  • a Community Corner at the Surbiton Health Centre
  • a record number of street parties for the Diamond Jubilee and Olympics
  • a Residents Associations’ Forum and shared map of areas covered
  • the Surbiton Business Community
  • promotion and publicity for Conservation Area Advisory Committees
  • discussion groups on planning issues
  • community representation on RBK Public Transport Liaison Group to raise the profile of accessibility
  • funding allocated to community groups for various projects
New aspirations were raised at the workshops held in and around the Surbiton Neighbourhood in 2013 covering issues such as: affordable leisure facilities, housing, environment, education and public transport.

If you want to join the Community Plan Steering Group to prioritise and help put the Plan into action or simply to have an input and/or be kept informed please contact Seema at

Kingston’s Bereavement Services

None of us want to think about the cremation or burial of a loved one until we need to, but for the Kingston Council Bereavement Services team, each day is dedicated to ensuring the experience is personalised and as stress-free as possible.

The Bereavement Service, headed up by manager Howard Greenoff, consists of Kingston Cemetery on Bonner Hill Road and Surbiton Cemetery on Lower Marsh Lane. The Kingston Crematorium is also situated at Kingston Cemetery. Both cemeteries are nestled in a peaceful landscaped setting, and Howard is proud of the services that are available to grieving friends and families.
"We have many options, tailored to each family and the deceased individual, so that goodbyes can be meaningful and personal. We offer the more traditional options of burial with a gravestone, along with standard cremation, but over the years we have expanded our services so that there is more choice."

This year, Kingston Cemetery now includes the Rose Walk – a rose-filled grave and memorial site which has also enhanced the natural beauty of the grounds. Private gardens are also available for individuals, and families can request personally designed multi-burial gardens.
Howard continues:
‘“I believe we provide a valuable community service which is able to adapt positively to meet the needs of the bereaved. It’s a small service but with a big impact and although we don’t usually want to think about the process, it’s important that residents know we are here for them when they need us.

"The team work all year round to maintain and develop the expansive grounds, a challenging feat considering the extreme weather that can batter the UK. Because we are a small team, the weather can often wreak havoc on a service like ours. Our main priority has to be ensuring the respectful burial or cremation of a loved one."
If you would like to know more about the options that are available at both cemeteries and Kingston crematorium, visit our website.

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Alpha Road Estate fun day

On 24 May, residents on the Alpha Road Estate gathered for their annual Estate Fun Day. A wonderful day was had by all.
Church Street

New look Ancient Market Place

Kingston’s new look Ancient Market Place will be formally opened by the Deputy Mayor of London, Kit Malthouse, at 10.15am on Tuesday 24 June.  A ribbon cutting ceremony will be followed by a special Wow! Vintage market event that will run from 10.30am to 8pm.

Further information about the project to regenerate and unlock the potential of Kingston’s Ancient Market Place can be found on our website.

Staying healthy

If you would like to improve your health or wellbeing, there are a number of free or low cost healthy lifestyle services available near you.

Visit the staying healthy pages on our website for more information about stopping smoking, managing your weight, being active, improving your emotional wellbeing, sensible drinking, and a free NHS health check programme.

North Kingston Centre moves

Don’t forget that from September 2014, Kingston Adult Education (KAE) will be housed in two new sites in Surbiton – the King Charles Centre and nearby Newent House.

KAE courses will also take place at the Hook Learning Centre and Coombe Girls’ School. For more information see adult education on our website.

Kingston Council supports borough Business Excellence Awards

Along with partners Kingstonfirst and Kingston Chamber of Commerce, we will be supporting the 2014 Business Excellence Awards. The awards are an opportunity to recognise the best of our local businesses and their contribution to jobs, skills growth and prosperity. 

Businesses in Surbiton are encouraged to put themselves forward for recognition. The application process is open until 28 June 2014.

More information and application forms are available from

A new service for people with memory loss, Alzheimer’s or other dementias and their carers

A new memory café is available to people with dementia and their carers run by local care agency, Home Instead.

It takes place on the first and third Friday of each month and is held at the Rose Theatre, Kingston, 10am to 12pm and 2pm to 4pm.

Further information is available from Home Instead on 020 8942 4137.


Kickz is a national football based scheme which encourages young people aged 11 to 19 have a go at playing football, and if you are 16 or older there are also opportunities to volunteer or gain coaching experience.

The scheme is run through the Fulham Football Club Foundation in partnership with Kingston and Richmond Councils. The programme will run every Monday from 5pm to 7pm at the Cambridge Road Estate multi-use games area, Burritt Road, KT1 3HX and at the Searchlight Youth Club, Kingston Road, New Malden, KT3 3RX. Times may vary during school holidays.

For more information please contact Helen Terry on 020 8547 6786 or 07771 838341.

Keep your home safe in the warmer months

Kingston Police are reminding residents to keep their homes safe during the warmer months after two recent incidences of burglars climbing in through open windows. Go to the Metropolitan Police website for helpful advice on how to prevent burglary.

Cashless payments on all London buses

From 6 July, all London operated buses will become cashless.

You will be able to pay with your Oyster card as well as payment via contactless debit cards, however bus drivers will no long accept money.

Later in the year, contactless payment will also be accepted on the tube, tram DLR, London Overground and most national rail services in London.

Kingston One Click

The Advisers Working Together Project (a six agency partnership made up of Kingston Citizens Advice, Kingston Voluntary Action, Kingston Race and Equality Council, Kingston Churches Action on Homelessness, Kingston Centre for Independent Living and Age Concern Kingston) has launched a new public information website – Kingston One Click.

The website is an online resource linking people to support, information and advice services in Kingston. Visit for more information.

Money Talks

The Advisors Working Together project also runs Money Talks sessions which are free to anyone who lives or works in Kingston. The sessions give an overview of financial capability skills.

They cover budgeting, priority and non priority debts and credit as well as giving advice on how to combat fuel poverty. For more information on this or to book a session email

Millais' Ophelia location celebrated

The Surbiton Neighbourhood Committee has celebrated Sir John Everett Millais'  'Ophelia' by installing a bench, plaque and information board at the site of the painting.

Millais painted the background to 'Ophelia' on the banks of the Hogsmill River Close to St John the Baptist Church in 1851. Ophelia was added in 1852, modelled by 19 year old Elizabeth Siddall lying fully clothed in a full bathtub.

The information board and bench can be viewed in the public open space at 6 Acre Field in Surbiton.
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