OUTRAGE AS COUNCIL ‘OVERCHARGES MARKETS BY £1.2m’ – AGAIN

Portobello and Golborne Market Traders Overcharged for Waste Collection AGAIN!


Cllr Pat Mason in Portobello Market 2Labour Councillors Call for an Urgent Council investigation

It’s only five years since the Council had to repay £750,000 for overcharged market waste collections. Now, the Portobello & Golborne Management Committee are claiming that market traders have been overcharged by a whopping £1.2 million for the collection of market traders waste over several years.

North Kensington Labour Councillors have today demanded that the Council carries out an urgent investigation into why the charging regime for Portobello and Golborne Road Market has gone so disastrously wrong for a second time, and into the conduct of the Council officers who the market committee claim have failed to act on their legitimate claims over a long period of time.

The Labour Group’s market spokesperson, Cllr Pat Mason said, “It’s utterly staggering that the Council could have robbed our market traders for a second time in five years, and especially now when they need every penny to survive. I have called for an urgent Council investigationto find out what has happened, who is responsible, and then heads should definitely roll”.

For more information: contact Cllr Pat Mason: 07805 922 239

TONY BENN 1925-2014

100_1043 - Copy

COUNCILLOR PAT MASON:

I often said to Tony he was my political father, and he was. He thought this was really funny. But he really inspired young activists like me to take up the causes of the voiceless people in our communities who were being starved, pauperised, racially-abused or dumped on the scrapheap at 16. And from there, I got involved in asking why the US and UK got involved so often in militarily and economically occupying foreign lands, and in overthrowing democratically-elected government’s in countries simply because they wouldn’t do what they were told.

I first met Tony when he spoke at public meetings in North Kensington supporting the 1984-85 Miners Strike, and on the many National Union of Mineworkers London demonstrations and Rallies where he gave fiery speeches. I asked him to come to the protest outside St CharlesHospital in 1991 to stop Mrs Thatcher’s regime from closing the Accident & Emergency department. He addressed the large crowd on a megaphone.

Tony supported the Borough Anti Poll Tax campaign that regularly picketed West London Magistrate Court when people were prosecuted for not paying. 15 million in the UK refused or couldn’t afford to pay, causing Mrs Thatcher to be booted out of office by her own Party in 1990. I asked Tony (a former Labour Government Postmaster General) to join the campaign against the closure of Westbourne Grove Sorting Office in 2004, and he did.

I marched with Tony on many demonstrations and spoke at meetings with him to support Freedom for Palestine, so I asked him to be president of K&C Friends of Palestine, and he said yes. He was utterly enraged when the BBC refused to broadcast the Disaster Emergency Committee’s Appeal for Gaza in 2008 when Israeli bombing killed 1400 civilians there because they said it would be too political.

He supported the campaign against the Council’s closure of the Edenham Old People’s Home in Golborne Ward in 2009, and gate-crashed Edenham with an ITN camera crew with Pat and Emma when the Council refused us entry. He also supported “1958 Remembered”, the Borough-wide project in 2008/9 to remember the Notting Hill race riots, the racist murder of Kelso Cochrane in Golborne in 1959, and to celebrate the subsequent 50 years of good community relations. He did a packed-out “Evening with Tony Benn” at Inn on the Green under the Westway.

Tony was a great man who inspired me to believe that you could change the lives of the poor and most vulnerable people in our communities and internationally if you were prepared to give them a voice and fight for change against a heartless, greedy and violent capitalist minority. He was my political father and I intend to continue to follow his example.

COUNCILLOR EMMA DENT COAD:

Golborne Councillors asked Tony to attend a meeting at Edenham Residential Care Home in 2007, as the Council planned to move out residents and demolish it (which they succeeded in doing). We had an ITN crew coming in with cameras at noon and invited him to attend and speak for a piece on the news. Tony arrived an hour early to speak to the residents, taking his time with everyone, even those with dementia, and their families.  Here he is speaking to the residents’ spokesperson, Reuben Halsey. Everyone was very touched by his visit. A Council officer appeared and demanded we leave the premises – but we had been invited by residents and it was not for an officer to demand we leave. Tony thanked the officer firmly for his instruction, saying “You can tell your superiors you have given the instruction, which we intend to disobey”. It was a fine moment for democracy and free speech.

Emma and Pat with Tony Benn - Copy

JONATHAN BELLINI:

I had the pleasure of meeting Tony when I was at school taking my A levels in the 70s. He inspired me and gave me the determination to study politics at uni. I subsequently met him at conventions and talks. He was one of the best post-war politicians, and gave courage to his convictions. He was honest, brave and dedicated to the common purpose and goodwill of all.

If we are able to prove our mettle like Tony, and rise above the duplicity and muck-raking we are witnessing, then our homage to him will be applauded.

TRIBUTES, MEMORIES AND COMMENTS ON THE LOSS OF A TRUE FRIEND OF KENSINGTON TO FOLLOW, PLEASE SEND TO kensingtonlabour@gmail.com

Local legend Tony Benn at the picket

 

COUNCILLOR PAT HEALY:

(photo below, Pat chairing NUJ Branch with TB as speaker) 

Pat & Tony Benn_1

I first met Tony when I was assigned by The Times to cover his support for Labour candidates in marginal wards in the second 1974 General Election. He was at first very suspicious, but gradually came to trust me as a journalist and we became friends. He always took credit for introducing me to Tom Litterick, one of the successful candidates in that election, who became my partner. He was also  very  supportive during the year long lock out of the Times and Sunday Times in 1978 and later supported my campaign in Cremorne in 2006. He was an inspiration to me and many others and will be sorely missed.

CAROLINE ELLIS:
I remember talking to Tony at a time when Labour members, particularly those who had been part of the struggle to return a Labour Government were then questioning the direction of the party. I was seriously thinking of leaving the party but Tony said while they allow you to be a member, you must be a member. So it is thanks to Tony that I am still a card carrying member!
He will be remembered.

END OF TERM REPORT

 

The ten posts highlighting different areas of inequality in K&C were posted one per day in the run-up to the Council Budget-setting meeting on 5 March 2014. The borough known as ‘The Royal Bank of Kensington and Chelsea’ has £180m in Reserves – and some of the poorest residents in London.

The statements are based on evidence, not dogma or the Daily Mail. Links to sources can be found below.

Links:

Ward profiles

http://www.rbkc.gov.uk/communityandlocallife/2011censusoutcomes.aspx

Overcrowding

http://www.rbkc.gov.uk/pdf/Families_housing.pdf

Neighbourhood statistics

http://www.neighbourhood.statistics.gov.uk/

Income inequality

http://www.londonspovertyprofile.org.uk/indicators/topics/inequality/pay-inequalities-within-london/

Minimum Income Standard

http://www.lboro.ac.uk/research/crsp/mis/

http://www.londonspovertyprofile.org.uk/key-facts/overview-of-london-boroughs/

Recipients of Pension Credit

http://www.data.london.gov.uk

TOP TEN TORY FAILS #10 – from ‘the most unequal borough in Britain’

 

Every day between 20 Feb and 5 March, when they will announce their alternative Budget, Kensington Labour Group will announce an area of extreme inequality in Kensington and Chelsea ‘the most unequal borough in Britain’.

The borough known as ‘The Royal Bank of Kensington and Chelsea’ has £180m in Reserves – and some of the poorest residents in London.

Weds 5 March

 

#10, 5.3.14 olderpeople10. CARE OF ELDERLY

Kensington and Chelsea is home to the ‘Chelsea Pensioners’ of Royal Hospital, where former soldiers can live out their days. The borough has the highest average life expectancy in the country, of 82 years; but there is a gap of 20 years between the north and south of the borough

20% of all our pensioners, that’s 5,770 people, receive pension credit

The incidence of diabetes has risen by 1,034 since 2010 and malnutrition is rising Meanwhile, the Council is cutting funding to lunch clubs

While some people are prone to diabetes, it is associated with poor nutrition. Lunch clubs in the borough have been closed, and others are having funding reduced, while malnutrition among older people admitted to hospital is on the rise.

TOP TEN TORY FAILS #9 – from ‘the most unequal borough in Britain’

 

Every day between 20 Feb and 5 March, when they will announce their alternative Budget, Kensington Labour Group will announce an area of extreme inequality in Kensington and Chelsea ‘the most unequal borough in Britain’.

The borough known as ‘The Royal Bank of Kensington and Chelsea’ has £180m in Reserves – and some of the poorest residents in London.

#9, 4.3.14,sportsandactivitiesTues 4 March

9. SPORTS/ACTIVITIES FOR YOUNG PEOPLE

RBKC is blessed with parks and green space, tennis courts and other sporting facilities. However, over the years these have been ‘monetised’, with former kickabout spaces developed or transformed to ‘booking only’.

Funding for primary school sports activities has been decimated, and free swimming for children (and over 60s) stopped.

Physical activity for children 2009/11 reduced from 7939 to 6947

In the same period, obesity in Year 6 students has nearly doubled

Number of homeless children 0-18 in B&B/temporary accommodation estimated to be 1,800; two-thirds are housed out of the borough, far from school and other sporting activities.

TOP TEN TORY FAILS #8 – From ‘the most unequal borough in Britain’

Every day between 20 Feb and 5 March, when they will announce their alternative Budget, Kensington Labour Group will announce an area of extreme inequality in Kensington and Chelsea ‘the most unequal borough in Britain’.

The borough known as ‘The Royal Bank of Kensington and Chelsea’ has £180m in Reserves – and some of the poorest residents in London.

#8, 3.3.14, employmentMon 3 March

8. EMPLOYMENT STATUS

Two-thirds of the adult population in K&C are in employment, most in full-time employment. While 35% work more than 49hrs/week – second only to the City of London – nearly 5,500 are seeking work.

In Pelham Crescent South Ken only 1.4% are unemployed.

Cross the road and this will rise nearly ten times, to 13.4% in Samuel Lewis Buildings.

Two-thirds of benefit recipients are retired, disabled, or actively seeking work. 915 aged 16-24 are unemployed, 1050 aged 50-74 are unemployed, 908 have never worked, and 2,298 are long-term unemployed; a vast majority of these are in the poorer wards.

‘Eyelash extension and tanning classes for the girls, watching paint pots for the boys: the sad tale of ‘raising aspirations’ through apprenticeships in Kensington and Chelsea.’ At least they will be able to ‘tan’ the Made in Chelsea cast.

TOP TEN TORY FAILURES #7 – in ‘the most unequal borough in Britain’

Every day between 20 Feb and 5 March, when they will announce their alternative Budget, Kensington Labour Group will announce an area of extreme inequality in Kensington and Chelsea ‘the most unequal borough in Britain’.

The borough known as ‘The Royal Bank of Kensington and Chelsea’ has £180m in Reserves – and some of the poorest residents in London.

#7, 28.2.14 educationalattainment7. EDUCATIONAL ATTAINMENT

Low educational achievement runs parallel with low income/lack of employment opportunities. Improving educational attainment is a guarantee of helping our most deprived communities to improve life chances. We have an excellent record of educational achievement from our local schools.

K&C borough average for GCSE A* to C is 72%

However, in Dalgarno, North Kensington, only 30% have GCSE A* to C

These young people will have to continue attending failing schools in Brent as a new policy will mean they will be excluded from applying to the £100m Council Taxpayer funded Holland Park Academy.