Help Caroline Shah stand to save Richmond Park

by Caroline Shah in Kingston Upon Thames, England, United Kingdom

Help Caroline Shah stand to save Richmond Park
We did it
On 12th December 2019 we successfully raised £1,055 with 24 supporters in 31 days

Help me raise £1500 to stand for Richmond Park, my constituency and the National Nature Reserve on our doorstep, in the General Election

by Caroline Shah in Kingston Upon Thames, England, United Kingdom

We only have one chance. If we are to save the planet, we have to start by protecting nature on our doorstep

Please help me to raise £1500 to run my campaign to stand up for Richmond Park, the unique green space that gives its name to the constituency in which I live, and for our area by standing as a candidate in the forthcoming General Election 

The survival of Richmond Park is under threat as never before from flawed plans for the over-development of Kingston Town and the whole of Kingston Borough

These plans will see the population of the Borough nearly double in just 22 years, with many massive high-rise towers being planned, including on Kingston riverside and in Kingston town

“Wear and tear as a consequence of rising visitor numbers could risk irreversible damage and result in loss of statutory designations” 

This devastating strategy has been forced through without any consultation with local people, without proper assessment of the effect on the area’s rich and legally-protected natural and historic environment and biodiversity, without any realistic plan to provide for or fund sufficient transport, policing and social infrastructure for the increased population, and with no feasible plan to manage pollution and congestion on our roads. And it has been agreed with the knowledge that  Kingston has long not had enough green space for even a much smaller  population than now

According to an independent study in 2006[i], 45% of all Kingston residents at that time relied on Richmond Park for outdoor space

As the Borough population soars, the number of people using Richmond Park for recreational purposes will put this nationally and internationally protected park under unprecedented pressure. 

Conversely, if much-needed measures are implemented to protect Richmond Park and other legally-protected parks such as Bushy Park, Home Park and Wimbledon Common from surging numbers of visitors, where will North Kingston residents go for open space and natural parkland?

“We will seek to stabilise visitor numbers at around 2018 levels” Richmond Park Management Plan 2019-2029

Canbury Ward in North Kingston has already seen significant over-development in the form of high-rise, dense development on this historic stretch of the River Thames and the council is currently considering a proposal for a nearby development for 445 flats as well as commercial and office space, including the 25-storey tower below

Canbury Ward and Coombe Vale already have “no natural greenspace1” and Coombe Vale has “no natural parkland1”

Tudor, Coombe Hill and Coombe Vale Wards all had insufficient natural greenspace even for the 2001 Borough population1 which has since increased by 22%, and a quarter of the residents of the latter two wards do not live near any public parks

Yet the Borough's population is forecast nearly to double from its current level in just 22 years

Proposals for the redevelopment of another large site behind the sadly derelict Grade II listed Gala Bingo Hall are likely to come back taller and denser following the designation of our Borough as an “opportunity area” which gives developers a carte blanche to build at maximum possible heights and densities

The Metropolitan Police has expressed grave concerns[ii] about the implications for crime and residents’ safety in the face of growth on the proposed scale, especially given that Coombe Vale and Coombe Hill and Tudor Wards are already rated as in severe need of District Ward Offices. 

In addition, increased vandalism, conflict between users and the lack of resources in the face of a massive increase in visitor numbers is identified as one of the major threats to Richmond Park’s future and its legally-protected status[iii]:

“At its peak the RPC employed 45 police officers and support staff dedicated to Richmond Park when the park received around 1million visitors a year.  Today there are 8 police officers dedicated to Richmond and Bushy Park and the visitor numbers when last surveyed in 2014 were 5.5 million iii

The coming election gives us a unique opportunity to raise the profile of these issues and for us to elect somebody who takes a firm stance and will do what they say to protect Richmond Park and the wider area

It is unthinkable that any candidate should be elected to Parliament without clearly stating where they stand on our internationally-renowned local environment

Please make a donation, however small, to my campaign

You can make a donation offline by sending a cheque to Caroline Shah at 205 Park Road, Kingston, KT2 5JY

I will use the money I raise from this fundraising to pay for my deposit and for leaflets that will be distributed to every household in the Richmond Park constituency. I will also prepare leaflets to distribute in the four Kingston areas of the constituency, in Richmond Hill and in Sheen

I believe that our national political parties have failed to stand up for our legitimate local interests at a critical time

I have shown that I will unflinchingly stand up for what local people believe is important in our communities, both in Kingston and on a wider basis

Please help me now to protect Richmond Park

About me

I was born and brought up near Heathrow Airport. I lived in East Twickenham for 4 years, on Richmond Hill for 19 years, and moved to North Kingston, where I now live, in 2007. I am married with two children

I was trained as a financial analyst at an American bank. I worked for 11 years in the City before setting up my own company offering strategic analysis and consulting services to the social housing sector and the government

My research over nearly 5 years has exposed watered-down policies and flawed and manipulated political decisions that reflect a disregard for the well-being of people and for the natural and historic environment

I am passionate about the area in which I have lived nearly all my life

I want to let residents across the Richmond Park constituency know how flawed development plans for Kingston will affect us and the precious environment around us and to insist that they change before it is too late

Contact Me

If you are not able to donate to my campaign, but would like to help me in other ways, please contact me. I would be grateful for any support you can give me:

Twitter: @justwantclarity

Important note

If you make a contribution through this Crowdfunding campaign, you are supporting me, Caroline Shah, in my campaign to stand as a candidate for the position of Member of Parliament for the parliamentary constituency of Richmond Park

In accordance with Electoral Commission guidance, any contributions to my campaign from any person that add up to more than £50 in total will count as a “donation”. Anonymous contributions to my campaign of over £50 from any one person cannot be accepted

I can only accept donations - ie payments to my campaign of more than £50 - from an individual registered on a UK electoral register, including overseas electors so registered. If you wish to contribute to my campaign and are not registered on a UK electoral register, please limit your total payment to my campaign to £50

Permissibility checks of amounts that count as donations will be undertaken in compliance with the Electoral Commission rules.  Returning Officers make returns prepared by candidates available for inspection after elections. These include details of donations, including donor details such as their address on the relevant statutory register

Promoted by Caroline Shah, 205 Park Road, Kingston, KT2 5JY


[i] Kingston Open Space Assessment by Atkins May 2006 

[ii]  Quote from Secretary of State in legal case, Metropolitan Police response to Kingston Council Early Engagement for Local Plan available through link here:

[iii] “Managing the threat to the deadwood resource from increasing visitor numbers and behaviour – trampling and destruction, den building, fire-setting and vandalism”

Got an idea like this?

Our crowd has raised over £70 million for bright ideas and good causes.