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Statement on decision to postpone the relocation of Adult Education Services

The planned relocation of Adult Education Services from Newent House has been postponed.

Following a decision to postpone the planned relocation of Kingston Adult Education Services, Councillor Andrea Craig, Cabinet Member with responsibility for Education and Skills at Kingston Council, said:

“In 2014 as a member of the new administration I made a commitment in good faith that we would move the adult education service that was based in Newent House to better and more suitable premises within one year.

“The premises to which we planned to move the service was on Coombe Road in New Malden. Over the last year however there have been successive issues that have frustrated progress on this important project.

“In recent months negotiations with the Landlord, which originally were progressing well, began to become difficult. With these negotiations becoming increasingly frustrating in recent weeks we have been unable to agree what we consider to be reasonable commercial terms.

“I have therefore taken advice from senior officers and having considered this advice carefully I am clear that at this point in time the best solution is for the adult education service to continue at Newent House for one more year.

“I am not willing to have Kingston Council pushed into a deal on terms; that do not represent either value for council tax payers, or that are not in the best interests of the users of the adult education service. We will therefore take this extra time to get it right rather than be rushed into an arrangement that does not represent the best deal for the residents of Kingston and also the users of the adult education service.

“Under this arrangement all courses at Newent House will continue as normal with minimum disruption or cancellations. We have also written to local residents in the immediate area to explain the situation and reassure them that the parking arrangements that have been in place for their convenience will continue.”