Royal Borough of Kingston upon Thames
The Royal Borough of Kingston upon Thames is a borough in southwest London. The main town is Kingston upon Thames and it includes Surbiton, Chessington, Malden Rushett, New Malden and Tolworth. It is the oldest of the four royal boroughs in England. The others are Kensington and Chelsea and Greenwich also in London, and Windsor and Maidenhead. The local authority is Kingston upon Thames London Borough Council.
Royal Borough of
Kingston upon Thames
Kingston upon Thames shown within Greater London
|Sovereign state||United Kingdom|
|Ceremonial county||Greater London|
|Created||1 April 1965|
|Admin HQ||Kingston upon Thames|
|• Type||London borough council|
|• Body||Kingston upon Thames London Borough Council|
|• Leadership||Liberal Democrat (Liberal Democrat)|
|• Mayor||Thay Thayalan|
|• London Assembly||Tony Arbour (Conservative) AM for South West|
|• MPs||Sir Edward Davey (Liberal Democrat) |
Sarah Olney (Liberal Democrat)
|• Total||14.38 sq mi (37.25 km2)|
|Area rank||288th (of 317)|
|• Rank||111th (of 317)|
|• Density||12,000/sq mi (4,800/km2)|
|• Ethnicity||63.1% White British|
1.7% White Irish
0.1% White Gypsy or Irish Traveller
9.6% Other White
0.8% White & Black Caribbean
0.4% White & Black African
1.6% White & Asian
1.1% Other Mixed
8.1% Other Asian
1.6% Black African
0.6% Black Caribbean
0.2% Other Black
|Time zone||UTC (GMT)|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC+1 (BST)|
Districts in the borough
- Kingston upon Thames
- Kingston Vale
- Malden Rushett
- Motspur Park
- New Malden
- Old Malden
- Hampton Wick
Adjacent local government districts
Kingston upon Thames, on the south bank of the River Thames has existed for many hundreds of years. Many Roman relics have been found in the surrounding areas. A church has stood on the site of All Saints' Church, in the centre of Kingston, for more than a thousand years. An earlier church was sacked by the Vikings in 1009 AD. Kingston was the site of the coronations of seven Anglo-Saxon monarchs:
- Edward the Elder, son of Alfred the Great, 900AD
- Athelstan, 925AD
- Edmund I, 939AD
- Eadred, 946AD
- Eadwig, 956AD
- Edward the Martyr, 975AD
- Ethelred the Unready, 979AD
The Coronation Stone, on which they are said to have been crowned stands outside the local council offices, the Guildhall. A coin from the reign of each of those kings is set into the base of the stone.
The borough was formed in 1965 by the merger of the Municipal boroughs of Kingston-upon-Thames (which itself was a Royal Borough), Malden and Coombe and Surbiton. At time of the merger the new borough was transferred from Surrey and since then it has been administratively part of Greater London. The current name of the borough omits hyphens to distinguish it from the similarly named former municipal borough. As well as having its own council, Kingston still contains a County Hall, the seat of Surrey County Council.
It was part of Surrey for postal purposes until postal counties were abolished in 1996. Districts mainly use the KT postcode, except from the parts of Ham in the borough which use the TW code, and the Kingston Vale area in the north-east which has a London SW15 postcode.
The following table shows the ethnic group of respondents in the 2001 and 2011 census in Kingston upon Thames.
The borough includes the whole of the Kingston and Surbiton Westminster Parliamentary Constituency and part of the Richmond Park Constituency, both constituencies were created in 1997. The previous constituencies re-arranged to form these two had been essentially Conservative.
In 1997 the Liberal Democrats won both seats. Dr Jenny Tonge took Richmond Park constituency and in 2005 Susan Kramer became its Liberal Democrat MP with a majority of 3,731 but she was beaten in the May 2010 election by Conservative Zac Goldsmith with a majority of 4,091. Goldsmith retained his seat at the 2015 general election, with a greatly increased majority of 23,015. Goldsmith stood as an Independent candidate in the by-election held on 1 December 2016, but was defeated by Sarah Olney, a Liberal Democrat, after the Conservative Party decided not to put forward its own candidate. Goldsmith regained the seat for the Conservatives in the 2017 general election with a significantly reduced majority of 45 votes.
In 1997 Edward Davey overturned the previous Conservative majority of more than 10,000 in Kingston and Surbiton, to win by 56 votes after three recounts. He retained the seat in 2001 with a majority of 15,676 over the Conservative candidate David Shaw. In 2005 Davey's majority was 8,961 and in the May 2010 general election he again retained the seat with a slightly reduced majority, beating the Conservative candidate Helen Whately. In the 2015 general election, Davey's seat was taken by Conservative James Berry with a majority of 2,834. Davey's was one of six Liberal Democrat losses in London and 49 overall as the party suffered its worst election results since its formation in 1988. Davey regained the seat in the 2017 general election.
The Borough Council was controlled by the Conservative Party from 1965 to 1986, when a short-lived SDP-Liberal Alliance minority administration took over. It lost several by-elections due to its attempt to abolish the Borough's grammar school system. The Conservatives regained control in 1987. The 1990 election gave no party a majority but the Conservatives kept power with the casting vote of the Mayor.
In 1994 the Liberal Democrats took the Council for the first time.
In 1998 the Liberal Democrats lost their majority on the Council and a minority Conservative Party administration was formed. This minority administration was weakened in 1999 by the expulsion of Tim Brown for expressing concerns about the leadership of the local Kingston & Surbiton Conservative Association. In 2001 St. Mark's ward Councillors Dennis de Lord and Jan Jenner resigned in protest at hypocrisy within the Conservative group on the Council. With Tim Brown they formed a new Independent Group of Councillors with Dennis de Lord as leader and Tim Brown as deputy leader, to put People Before Politics. This was the first time that four parties were represented on the council and the Mayor of Kingston Jeremy Thorn officially opened the new Independent Group's office at the Guildhall. The group did not stand for re-election following the continuing ill-health of Dennis de Lord.
At the 2002 elections, the Liberal Democrats took control of the Council with a majority of twelve seats and they retained control in 2006 with a majority of two. This was the first time any party had retained control of the Council since 1986. The only neighbourhood where the Liberal Democrats increased their majority was Surbiton, where they took control of Berrylands ward, ousting Kevin Davis the leader of the Conservative Group on the Council. Kevin Davis was subsequently replaced as the Conservative Prospective Parliamentary Candidate for Kingston & Surbiton by Helen Whately.
In 2007 Sheila Griffin, one of the two Labour Councillors, resigned the Labour whip and became an Independent.
In the 2010 local elections, the Liberal Democrats increased their majority from two to six seats, and retained control of the Council for a third term. Councillors unseated included the veteran Steve Mama (Labour), Kingston's longest serving Councillor; the Conservative election campaign co-ordinator Nick Kilby from his previously safe Surbiton Hill ward; and Paul Johnston, the former local Conservative Association chairman and trustee.
On Tuesday 11 June 2013 Derek Osborne was arrested on suspicion of possessing indecent images of children, following his release on bail he resigned the Liberal Democrat group, as leader of Kingston Council and as a councillor for Beverley Ward. Osborne pleaded guilty and was subsequently jailed for 2 years in October 2013. The Conservatives comfortably won the by-election following the resignation of the former leader of the council.
Kingston benefits from one of the biggest and most visited shopping areas outside of central London, with a varied selection of high street stores, and a large number of independent boutiques and retailers.
Close to Kingston, and located between Kingston, Richmond and Roehampton, is Richmond Park, one of the oldest of London's royal parks.
Tourism in Kingston
Kingston has many attractions in and near it, ranging from nature attractions and historical attractions to theme parks.
Some of the borough's attractions are:
- Chessington World of Adventures Resort in the south of the borough. The closest railway station is Chessington South. Chessington is one of the UK's premier theme parks attracting thousands of visitors from all around the UK to its rides, roller coasters, aquarium and zoo
- Thames Riverside – Flowing beside Kingston and Surbiton. The River Thames gives visitors a peaceful getaway either feeding the swans or enjoying a cup of coffee next to the river. Closest railway stations are Surbiton or Kingston plus moderate walks
- Coronation Stone – Situated outside The Guildhall in Kingston, this ancient rock was the crowning point of some of England's early kings.
- Richmond Park – One of the world's largest urban parks, three times the size of Central Park in New York City. Richmond Park's Kingston Gate is situated within the borough's boundary.
- Kingston Town Centre – One of London's biggest shopping destinations, with hundreds of shops, cafes and restaurants, as well as a large entertainment complex consisting of Pizza Express and other restaurants, Odeon Cinema and Tenpin Bowling. Also in the town centre is a historic market which has been running for hundreds of years
- Rose Theatre
- Bentall Centre (a shopping centre)
Sopwith Aviation Company had a factory in the Canbury Park area of Kingston, where the famous Sopwith Camel was produced during World War I. The Hawker Hurricane was designed in a site in Kingston town centre and built in the aviation factory near Ham now known as the Hawker Centre.
Primary responsibility for education in the borough lies with the local education authority.
- Chessington Community College (mixed), Garrison Lane, Chessington KT9 2JS
- The Kingston Academy (mixed), Richmond Road, Kingston upon Thames, KT2 5PE
- Coombe Boys’ School, College Gardens, Blakes Lane, New Malden KT3 6NU
- Coombe Girls’ School, Clarence Avenue, New Malden KT3 3TU
- Hollyfield School and Sixth Form Centre (mixed), Surbiton Hill Road, Surbiton KT6 4TU
- Holy Cross School (girls) (Roman Catholic), Sandal Road, New Malden KT3 5AR
- Richard Challoner School (boys) (Roman Catholic), Manor Drive North, New Malden KT3 5PE
- Southborough High School (boys), Hook Road, Surbiton KT6 5AS
- Tolworth Girls’ School and Sixth Form, Fullers Way North, Surbiton KT6 7LQ
- Tiffin Girls’ School, Richmond Road, Kingston upon Thames KT2 5PL
- Tiffin School (boys), Queen Elizabeth Road, Kingston upon Thames KT2 6RL
Kingston is one of six London Boroughs which have no London Underground stations. Also, like the London Borough of Bexley, none of its railway stations are served by TfL operated systems such as the London Overground that serves adjacent Richmond or Tramlink that serves Wimbledon in the neighbouring borough of Merton. It has nine South Western Railway stations and two centrally located bus stations. In 2008, 64 bus routes served Kingston.
Coaching interests in Kingston opposed the plan of the London and Southampton Railway to run its line to Southampton near Kingston. The line consequently avoided the town with a station opened in 1838 southwest of the town; it was later resited to the present site of Surbiton station.
In 1863 a branch was built from Twickenham to a terminus in Kingston. That line was extended to the main line in 1869 to form the Kingston Loop Line.
All rail services in the borough are operated by South Western Railway, who provide regular services to and from London Waterloo.
Railway stations in the borough:
- Berrylands, London Zone 5
- Chessington North, London Zone 6
- Chessington South, London Zone 6
- Kingston, London Zone 6
- Malden Manor, London Zone 4
- New Malden, London Zone 4
- Norbiton, London Zone 5
- Surbiton, London Zone 6
- Tolworth, London Zone 5
Travel to work
In March 2011, the main forms of transport that residents used to travel to work were: driving a car or van, 26.1% of all residents aged 16–74; train, 7.1%; bus, minibus or coach, 7.1%; on foot, 6.9%; work mainly at or from home, 4.3%; bicycle, 2.8%; underground, metro, light rail, tram, 2.5%.
Coat of arms
The Kingston coat of arms displays three salmon and its shield is almost identical to the coat of arms of the Swedish municipality of Laholm. Both coats of arms can be traced back to the 16th century. The arms of the Norwegian town of Mandal is also similar, but more recent.
Although not officially 'twinned', The Royal Borough of Kingston has a partner city of Oldenburg in Germany and Gwanak-gu, an administrative subdivision of Seoul, in South Korea. Some road signs announce that Kingston is linked with Delft in the Netherlands but this official link has ended.
Sport and leisure
The Borough of Kingston upon Thames has several football clubs in its area:
- AFC Wimbledon who play at the Kingsmeadow Stadium in League One
- Kingstonian a Non-League football club who play at King George's Field
- Corinthian Casuals a Non-League football club who play at King George's Field
- Chessington & Hook United a Non-League football club who play at Chalky Lane
- Epsom Athletic a Non-League football club who play at Chalky Lane
- Chelsea F.C. Women who play at the Kingsmeadow Stadium in WSL 1
- 2011 Census: Ethnic group, local authorities in England and Wales, Office for National Statistics (2012). See Classification of ethnicity in the United Kingdom for the full descriptions used in the 2011 Census.
- "Kingston: Total Population". A Vision of Britain Through Time. Great Britain Historical GIS Project. Retrieved 6 September 2011.
- "KS006 – Ethnic group". NOMIS. Retrieved 30 January 2016.
- "Ethnic Group by measures". NOMIS. Retrieved 8 January 2016.
- "Zac Goldsmith MP". Parliament.uk. UK Parliament. Retrieved 14 July 2017.
- "Zac Goldsmith quits as MP over 'doomed' Heathrow expansion decision". The Guardian. 26 October 2016. Retrieved 27 October 2016.
- "GE2017 – Constituency results". Britain Elects (Google Docs). Retrieved 10 June 2017.
- "James Berry". Parliament.uk. UK Parliament. Retrieved 14 July 2017.
- "Kingston & Surbiton parliamentary constituency – Election 2017". BBC News. 9 June 2017. Retrieved 14 July 2017.
- Barnes, Tom (12 May 2012). "Kingston councillor speaks out over party split". Surrey Comet. Retrieved 8 August 2013.
- "Kingston council leader quits over child porn arrest". BBC News. 13 June 2013. Retrieved 25 May 2014.
- "Former Kingston Council leader jailed for child abuse images". BBC News. 29 October 2013. Retrieved 25 May 2014.
- "2013 Beverley Ward by-election results". Archived from the original on 25 May 2014. Retrieved 25 May 2014.
- Cecil, Nicolas (23 May 2014). "Nick Clegg's dismal election night topped with defeat in Kingston". The Standard. Retrieved 25 May 2014.
- "Kingston Upon Thames London Borough Council".
- Contacts Sega Amusements Europe
- "2011 Census: QS701EW Method of travel to work, local authorities in England and Wales". Office for National Statistics. Retrieved 23 November 2013. Percentages are of all residents aged 16–74 including those not in employment. Respondents could only pick one mode, specified as the journey’s longest part by distance.
- International Relations – European and International Partnerships Royal Borough of Kingston upon Thames