Kingston is heating up as the local elections on May 3 draw closer.
After losing control of the council last time, the Lib Dems know a swing of less than 2% would see them take back leadership of the council, yet the Conservatives will be keen to reassert their dominance.
The last local election in 2014 saw sea change on Kingston Borough Council.
After 12 years in power the Liberal Democrats lost 9 seats overall, with 7 going to the now ruling Conservatives.
Currently 27 Conservative councillors sit opposite 18 Lib Dems and 2 Labour councillors.
However, all the Lib Dems need is a swing of 1.66% across the borough to win seven more seats giving them back control of the council.
A swing of 2.5% in Alexandra, Canbury and Beverley wards would result in all three seats in each being taken by the Lib Dems, a total of nine, which would go some way to affecting the makeup of the council.
Statistics from the London Communications Agency show that Canbury is the target ward, with a massive 12% swing from Conservatives to Liberal Democrats in the 2017 general election.
Earlier this year the Conservative council leader Kevin Davies faced a petition calling for his resignation, signed by over 1,000 residents.
It came after it was revealed that it took the council leader over 60 days to apologise after he called a young Kingston activist an appalling little child on Twitter.
CNM Estates runs several large development projects in Kingston and Mr Davis’ son works for the company, which led to his neutrality being questioned.
Mr Davis stated that he has always declared the interest and it would never affect his decision making.
Figures show that Kingston residents currently pay the highest rate of council tax in Greater London, with a 4.99% increase this year.
The Lib Dems are promising to make sure that council tax is spent in an effective way, while reducing costs to deliver the best possible service.
The Conservatives are promising that they will make more services free or heavily discounted mean that there will be no real terms increase in council tax.
WHAT THEY SAID
Liberal Democrat leader Liz Green said: “Everywhere I go in the borough I hear the same thing – the ruling Conservatives just don’t listen to people.”
A Conservative spokesperson said: “We are cautiously optimistic about the campaign, we have a strong record of delivery in Kingston, delivering everything we promised in 2014.”
South West Londoner will be providing live updates and all the latest news and reactions from all 11 counts across the area on May 3. Visit our website or Twitter for live coverage throughout the night.
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