Tag Archives: Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea

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

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 FAILURES #5 – 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.

 

#5, 26.2.14 income, LLWopera (2)Weds 26 Feb

5. INCOME INEQUALITY

The median income in Kensington and Chelsea is now £101,600, the highest in the country; this is still not enough to buy a home at the average cost of £1,178,000. However the mean average income is £36,000, and one-third of all workers, the majority in North Kensington earn below £20,000.

World’s End estate, income inequality = worst (£13,125 equivalent of a year at minimum wage)

Hobury Street, Stanley ward = best (cc£100,000)

Cross King’s Road in this area and you go from the best to the worst income in London.

The Council has refused to pay its own low-paid workers London Living Wage of £8.80, or to insist its contractors pay the same, stating it would cost £1m; this is nearly equal to the sum the Council underwrites for the losses of running Opera Holland Park.

TOP TEN TORY FAILURES #2 – 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.

toryfail2lifeexpectancyFriday 21 Feb

2. LIFE EXPECTANCY

Average life expectancy for men in London is 77 (for women cc 5 years longer); in the borough it’s an amazing 82yrs. This is an average, including:

Golborne Ward – 72yrs

Hans Town, Knightsbridge – 92 yrs

This is a quite extraordinary difference in life expectancy of 20 years within just three miles. Don’t cross the road to Josiah’s to buy your newspaper; you could lose ten years of your life. Where is this?

TOP TEN TORY FAILURES #1- 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.

toryfail1childpovertyThursday 20 Feb

1. CHILD POVERTY

The London average for child poverty is 28%. Kensington and Chelsea, the richest borough in Europe, nonetheless comes in with 27%. This is an average, including:

Queen’s Gate – just 2.8%

Henry Dickens Court, Norland – a disgraceful 57.6% (worse than the Gorbals in Glasgow, at 49.7%)

The Child Poverty Action Group states that the 4,467 children living in poverty in the borough cost the economy £49m/year, that’s £10,000/child/year.

Child poverty, ‘Made in Chelsea’

In one part of Chelsea, if you cross the road the incidence of child poverty increases ten times. Where is it? You’ll be very surprised!

Britain’s first ‘state funded public school’

Holland Park SchoolFollowing its star performance in Tatler magazine, the governors of Holland Park Academy, assisted by the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, are promoting a change to its admissions policy that will ensure that the school’s catchment area serves only the most affluent residential area in London. Campaigners expect this change to exclude most if not all of the children living deprived North Kensington, and to tempt many residents around Holland park to stop using fee-paying private schooling in favour of a free education at their local Academy.

A local benefactor has paid for a sculpture by Anthony Gormley to grace the new Academy, which is reputed to have cost the Council £100m to build. The rebuild was funded by selling part of the old school’s site to a property developer and a massive development of luxury homes is currently under construction. This follows a Council decision not to require any social rented or affordable homes to be built on site, making the luxury homes particularly attractive to foreign investors.

Kensington and Chelsea Labour Group Leader Cllr Judith Blakeman said: ‘We have opposed this change. The Academy benefits just as much as the pupils do from the current diverse intake of children. This in turn promotes social cohesion across the borough and indeed some of its star pupils destined for Oxbridge have come from North Kensington. It is a discriminatory and short-sighted policy which I hope that local resident and Secretary of State for Education Michael Gove will deplore. Even his own children will be disadvantaged by this proposed change.’

Labour’s education spokesperson Cllr Robert Atkinson added: ‘It beggars belief that Holland Park Academy initiated this consultation without informing Council members, but more importantly not even telling the head teachers of the local primary schools. This smacks of a conspiracy between the Academy and the Council leadership deliberately to exclude deprived and under-privileged children from the high quality education and facilities offered by Holland Park. It is quite disgraceful that the Tory Council expects the taxpayer to fund such an exclusive school.’

150% COUNCIL TAX ON EMPTY AND SECOND HOMES, demands Kensington Labour


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14.12.12

Kensington and Chelsea Labour councillors are urging the Conservative ruling group to withdraw the current 10% discount and raise the Council Tax payable on all second homes by 150% in the Borough from next April.

Labour Leader Cllr. Judith Blakeman said: “it is a disgrace that so many homes in this Borough are bought up as second, third or fourth homes by wealthy buyers and then left empty for most or all of the year. Since the Tory-led government won’t introduce a mansion tax or raise the number of Council Tax bands, this is the best option for us to achieve greater fairness”. Councils as disparate as the London Borough of Camden and Cornwall County Council, both blighted by excessive second homes, have already agreed to increase the tax on those properties. Kensington and Chelsea Labour councillors are urging the Conservative ruling group to raise the Council Tax payable on all second homes in the Borough from next April.

Labour draws attention to developments such as Chelsea Harbour, where the lights burn at night in only a very few of the hundreds of flats there. New developments, such as in Kensington High Street/Warwick Road, are actively marketed to foreign buyers seeking a safe haven, a trophy London home to add to their investment portfolio. They purchase homes in London but rarely, if ever, occupy them, they make no contribution to local community life and some areas of the Borough are now empty shells in the evenings and at weekends.

Labour Finance Spokeswoman Cllr. Emma Dent Coad said: “the coalition government keeps talking about ‘fairness’. Well, we think it is unfair that people like Mrs. Braithwaite, who lives in Golborne Ward and works tirelessly on behalf of her neighbours and her community, pays just £35 less Council Tax each month than the Sultan of Brunei, who has a rarely used mansion near Kensington Palace.”

Labour are preparing their alternative budget for the forthcoming 2013/14 Council Tax year. They will be focusing on children, young people, a local Olympic legacy and the need to protect vulnerable residents in the face of continuing Conservative cuts to services. Although the Tories claim that the Tri-borough initiative with Westminster and Hammersmith & Fulham will prevent cuts to front line services, in reality cuts are being made. One of the most savage is the massive cut in child care for working families, forcing parents, mainly mothers, into unemployment and out of the education and training that would prepare them for the jobs market. Other cuts, to street cleaning for example, have made even the very best streets in the borough dirty and shabby.

The 2011 Census reveals that there are at least 9,303 second homes in the borough. The figure for those owning more than one “second home” in the borough are not available but is also significant. The additional money that raising the Council Tax on these properties would bring will enable some of the most damaging front line service cuts to be reversed.

PETITION TO END TNT POSTAL SERVICES PILOT

Cllr Pat Mason

After receiving numerous complaints from worried residents about TNT’s performance, North Kensington Labour Councillors have launched a public online and paper petition to be delivered to the January 2013 Council Meeting asking RBKC to examine these complaints and decide if the government should be asked to end the TNT pilot currently underway in the borough. TNT have contracts to deliver business and government department mail on a trial basis in K&C as part of a pilot that  includes Westminster and Hammersmith & Fulham.

The petition states that, “In North Kensington we have seen post abandoned in the streets, bushes and in the entrances of blocks of flats. Letters are lost, delayed, mis-delivered and stolen. This can have a devastating effect on local businesses and residents waiting for cheques, job offers, hospital appointments, contracts etc”.

Many of these letters can contain disability appointment dates, cold weather payment cheques, debit cards, and all manner of sensitive financial, social security and other information useful to criminals and scammers who will take any opportunity to rob our residents. The evidence suggests that when TNT deliveries go wrong, their complaints and redelivery systems are inadequate, their constant promises to better brief operatives to deliver mail properly and learn from their mistakes comes to nothing, and residents and business are left angry and frustrated.

Councillor Pat Mason said, “For the sake of our residents I hope the Council will seriously examine how TNT’s unacceptable delivery failures are leaving them exposed to interrupted payments, thieves and scammers. I have personally seen enough and believe they should be booted out of the borough”.

Click ‘Thanks but No Thanks to TNT’ link in sidebar to the right to sign petition.

22.11.12

RICHEST COUNCIL TURNS ITS BACK ON WORKING POOR

Councillor Robert Atkinson, Labour’s spokesperson for Children’s Services

1.11.12 New Children’s Centre strategy will not make work pay

As expected the Cabinet of RBKC voted unanimously on Halloween to privatise its OFSTED ‘Outstanding’ Rated Childcare Services.
Labour Children’s Services spokesperson Cllr Robert Atkinson attacked the hypocrisy of the wealthy Conservative Council for claiming to consult its parents and qualified staff and then ignoring the finding that more than 94% of users and staff did not wish to ‘marketise’ the service. Cllr. Atkinson commented: ‘They may have listened but they most certainly have not heard. The Council claimed to be concerned at the plight of working parents who depend upon and value the outstanding integrated childcare service of the Royal Borough but have now decided to ignore them while citing the borough’s poverty! This from a council with £180m in Reserves which spent £23 million to repave Exhibition Road with imported pink granite and £1m on an Olympic street festival that no one went to.

‘The Cabinet claimed to value both the professionalism and high standards of its loyal staff and the frantic efforts of parents to find alternative means But in reality they plan to hand over the staff to an alternative provider who will ditch the professional staff and replace them with unskilled and cheaper childminders as soon as the “TUPE” transfer of staff commitment ends.’

The meeting was attended by 50 parents, who presented a carefully prepared proposal to develop higher means tested fees to retain an integrated easily accessed service. The Council ignored the parents’ proposals and decided instead to focus on targeted services for those they crudely identify as the most needy. Parents and staff want to maintain separate local services in eight different specialist centres while the Council intends to focus staff and expertise into two centres and risk the decline of the local services

Cllr Atkinson fumed: ‘The consultation exercise was a smokescreen to divert public attention while the Council ruthlessly got on with its plans to rid itself of loyal staff. This Council, like this government, does not understand or care about the struggles of ordinary working families to pay their bills and to stay in work. By tampering with the children’s services women will be forced out of work and onto benefits. This is bad for the families, the staff, the children and ultimately for the tax payer. The result of this short termism will be more family breakdown, lower educational achievements, less social cohesion and ultimately more crime and anti social behaviour.’