About Kingston

This special place in South West London between the capital and the country has been a Royal borough longer than anywhere else - it is where the first Kings of England were crowned. Kingston is set to be one of the fastest growing parts of London, and with the arrival of new infrastructure such as Crossrail 2, as well as its award winning Go Cycle scheme, is at the forefront of the changing face of London’s transport.

So Kingston is changing with new commercial and residential developments, not just in Kingston town centre but in all parts of the borough; in Surbiton, New Malden, Tolworth and Chessington in the rural south of the borough. Kingston is a great environment. Kingston's river, fantastic retail offer, historic market place and church, parks and gardens all make the town centre the vibrant space it is, but our district town centres all have something unique to offer.

Kingston’s people are well educated, innovative and entrepreneurial. The borough has been home to great industry and creativity for many years, reflected in assets such as the Rose Theatre, the International Youth Arts Festival and Kingston University, which boasts more new graduate business start-ups than any other.

Communities in the borough are in the most part strong, healthy and prosperous. That said, there are people who rely on the council and other public services to enable them to reach their potential. Like most places, the average age of our population is rising as more people are living longer, so some people need more support to stay independent, safe and well.

Kingston is a diverse borough, not just because of this range of need, but because it is home to people from diverse and interesting cultures and backgrounds. Kingston has a large Sri Lankan Tamil community and is home to more people from Korea than any other part of the UK.

Our Ambition

The strength of Kingston’s relationships with its communities across the borough - residents, businesses and the voluntary sector - lies at the heart of everything the council wants to achieve. Kingston is a successful place because it has adapted and changed throughout its history. The council wants to continue that journey and, whilst the Corporate Plan is still being developed, the new administration’s manifesto has identified the following key outcomes Kingston wants to strive for with its communities:

  • Community engagement in everything we do
  • Overcome our financial challenges by maximising independence and increasing income
  • Ambitious environmental plans
  • Create new affordable homes, co-designed with our communities
  • Work with partners across the public, private and voluntary sectors
  • Not being afraid to lobby for what we want.

Kingston Council is working to reinvent itself to ensure that all resources are used to best effect. Rather than simply cutting costs and making savings, we want to set a path to financial security. To be successful, we need to transform into a high-performing, networked organisation with a highly constructive culture where people truly flourish and reach their full potential.

Our Vision and Priorities

Our vision for the borough is:

Kingston will be a vibrant, diverse and inclusive borough, where residents are active, empowered, engaged and able to remain independent and resilient.

Our vision for the council is:

Kingston Council will be financially and environmentally sustainable, working transparently and collectively in the best interests of Kingston’s residents, partners and businesses.

In achieving this vision, we will focus on:

Getting the basics right; providing value for money local services; embracing new technology in service design and delivery; and ensuring that decisions are inclusive and to the benefit of our vibrant and diverse communities.

Outcome 1

A sustainable approach to new homes, development and infrastructure which benefits our communities, in a well maintained borough.

Outcome 2

A safe borough which celebrates our diverse and vibrant communities, with local priorities shaped through participatory democracy.

Outcome 3

Healthy, independent and resilient residents with effective support to those who need it most.