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Vintage Kingston: Kingston rated seventh-worst place to live in London
6:00am Monday 28th October 2013 in News
From October 24, 2003
Kingston was rated the seventh-worst borough in London for quality of life, 10 years ago this week.
In an Evening Standard survey Kingston gained no marks for its bars, shops, transport, markets, or street credibility.
Parks gained a paltry three out of 15, pollution scored two out of five, and education got three out of 10, despite Kingston having the second-best education authority in the country, according to 2003 GCSE figures.
The police came out on top, however, gaining full marks for having among the lowest burglary and street crime figures in the capital.
The survey was collated using indicators such as exam results and audit commission figures – plus some rather more puzzling criteria.
The ratings for bars and restaurants were calculated according to winners of the Time Out London Eating and Drinking Awards, while scores for shops were based on the number of Nicolas wine outlets and delis recommended in Harden’s Food Guide.
Transport was judged purely on the number of Tube stations.
A staff member at Bar Ha Ha in Kingston’s bustling Charter Quay development said: “Kingston must be in the fours or fives for bars. Kingston is getting a lot of people coming from other areas. It’s become the Mecca for going out in this area.”
Sutton, with 43 points, and Richmond, on 39, ranked higher than Kingston with just 37.
Camden clinched the top spot with 55 while Croydon came third, with 53.
The survey left Kingston Council baffled and incensed in equal measure.
The Evening Standard report said Kingston “could hardly get the basics such as emptying the rubbish bins right”.
Reporter Sandy Mitchell told the Surrey Comet: “Kingston is much-loved by its residents, but objectively it rates poorly for farmers’ markets, pollution, and transport.
“And if you want street cred, aren’t you better off moving to Hackney?”
l Got memories of the borough you want to share? Email newsdesk@surrey comet.co.uk.
50 YEARS AGO: October 23, 1963
Shopping crowds in Kingston were cut considerably by a strike of all the drivers and conductors based at Fulwell bus garage. The busmen were protesting London Transport’s new winter schedules. A Norbiton sympathy strike meant even more disruption for residents.
25 YEARS AGO: October 28, 1988
A school band from New Malden reached the peak of success by performing on some of Europe’s highest mountains. The 19 musicians, from Beverley School, spent their half term touring the Swiss Alps, giving free concerts at the Matterhorn, Zermatt, Geneva, and Montreux.
10 YEARS AGO: October 24, 2003
A Kingston couple who met making up the numbers on a double date were due to celebrate their platinum wedding anniversary. Sidney, 93, and Irene Bishop, 95, of Aragon Road, married in Holy Trinity Church, Eastbourne, in 1933. Mr Bishop said: “The time has absolutely flown by.”
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