As the £25 million Exhibition Road streetscape scheme opens in South Kensington, North Kensington Labour Councillors criticised the Council’s extravagant spending on a scheme aimed at tourists.

A short bus ride away are four of the poorest areas in the country. In Golborne Ward, 51% of the children live in poverty, residents endure high levels of disability and ill health and life expectancy for men is 71 years, compared with 89 in the richer parts of the borough. Exhibition Road is sited next to Queens Gate, the most affluent ward in the country. Labour is incensed that the North Kensington residents they represent consistently fail to get a fair share of funding from Kensington and Chelsea Council to provide services and support.

Labour Leader Cllr Judith Blakeman said: ‘we are facing a brutal package of cuts. One pensioners’ health and social care centre has already shut down; mental health day centres are closing, a Children’s Centre is to go and nursery provision will be “rationalised”. The Council is ruthlessly cutting sports for schools, homework clubs, youth centres and the vital voluntary organisations that help vulnerable residents to live independently. Despite holding reserves of over £170 million, Kensington and Chelsea Council, chooses to spend its money on Exhibition Road rather than the poor and vulnerable of the Borough. That says it all’.

Labour planning spokesperson Cllr Emma Dent Coad said: ‘Spending £25 million on a paving scheme and £175,000 every year just to keep it clean would be obscene at any time. To do so when savage cuts are being made to essential services in the north of the borough is indefensible. The spectacle we have seen today is a slap in the face for our poorer residents, many of whom can’t even afford the bus fare to the Museums. The performers alone must have cost more than the after-school clubs that have been cut; how appropriate that a white elephant is on parade today. There can be no justification for this level of frivolous spending in these difficult times.’

Listen to this audioboo by Rob Dyson, Guardian blogger: Comments at Exhibition Road opening event





Early Intervention Service                                              -£350,000

High Need Adolescents                                                   -£200,000

Play Services                                                                       -£100,000

Early Years provision                                                       -£1m

Youth Services                                                                     -£520,000

Care leavers                                                                         -£468,000

Voluntary Organisations                                                  -£40,000

Supporting People                                                            -£500,000

Adult Social Care                                                               -£601,000

Home Care Services                                                         -£950,000

Mental Health                                                                     -£260,000

Learning Disability/Short Breaks                                 -£116,000

Learning Disability/Day Services                                 -£203,000

Sports for schools                                                             -£279,000

Street cleaning                                                                   -£336,000

ADDITIONAL CLEANING EXHIBITION ROAD                      +£175,000

Unbelievable? Read it here:


  1. well that’s bloody Architects for you ! oooh oooh “The London Festival of Architecture” blah blah “The Architecture Foundation” (yeah,no ceiling)
    blah blah
    “The Playful City” (for whom) Well thanks north kensington for paying
    for this lot to all have their fun and advertise their erm,design capabilities
    It should be PEOPLE before architecture, this what they call “coming together of Architects and Communities” could not be further from the truth. “Not dominated by cars” eh Moylan? (where’s ‘e gone – TfL ?
    well gawd help them) unlike the plans for Wornington Green.

  2. and after the fiasco of this mistake ; we are already seeing serious accidents aren’t we. I would like to stress the importance of not allowing the Council to open up Wornington Road to Ladbroke Grove with their thoughtless out of touch insensitive, social cleansing ,upmarket retail loving, Uncle Sir Tom Cobley and All attitudes to “regeneration” or as its other wise known, big business cronyism. The rat (pass the pied piper –
    because there WILL be MANY) run created for through traffic from Barbly Road to Elkstone Road,currently used my many to avoid lights on Harrow Road will DECIMATE the quiet of Wornington Green. One thing I WOULD like to see is the wall at this end of the Cemetery ,to the left at the end of Ladbroke Grove before you reach Harrow Road ,opened up as a visual amenity ,this would very greatly enhance the local environs and noise would also be dramatically reduced ,it would not bounce off the wall .Yes when the Kensal Green Cemetery Committee
    priced for railings on section fallen further up Harrow Road they found cost prohibitive ,but K&C COULD afford this and it would be such a boon for local community and be giving at least something back for all the
    recent grabby developments we have had to endure,blocking sunlight ,stealing “the view” (SO beloved by estate agents!!) etc.

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