LABOUR’S MANIFESTO FOR KENSINGTON AND CHELSEA 2014-2018
Kensington and Chelsea is a great place to live and work: its diverse communities and iconic neighbourhoods are rightly celebrated. However, regrettable policies pursued by local Conservatives and the Coalition Government are putting these at risk as cuts and the cost of living crisis forces more and more people on low and moderate incomes out of the borough.
Kensington and Chelsea is the most unequal borough in the country. A whole host of indicators show that from health outcomes to educational attainment, income to life expectancy, overcrowded homes to child poverty, the poorer members of our borough are severely disadvantaged. Labour in Kensington and Chelsea is committed to conserving and promoting our diverse and mixed neighbourhoods, where rich and poor live together in unity and where no one’s background determines their future.
Labour will challenge all attempts to turn this borough into a ghost town of empty mega-mansions owned by super-rich foreign investors. It will fight for measures to address the shameful inequality that Kensington and Chelsea Conservatives have presided over, amassing huge reserves by overcharging on Council Tax while cutting spending on essential services.
Labour is the voice for fairness in the borough and, with more councillors elected on Thursday 22 May, that voice will be even louder.
Promoting good homes for all by
- Purchasing Kensal Gasworks site for mixed housing that includes social rented and other genuinely affordable homes
- Improving care homes and building more sheltered housing for older people
- Working with Hammersmith and Fulham Labour to revoke planning permission for the Earl’s Court mega-developments and reviewing affordable housing provision
- Ensuring developers include a full quota of 50% of homes for social rent in all major development schemes
- Regulating private sector rents and letting agencies
- Restoring secure tenancies for those in social rented accommodation
- Maintaining Discretionary Housing Payments indefinitely to support residents hit by the Bedroom Tax.
Taking charge of local planning by
- Ensuring the Mayor of London works with us to restrict basement development in his London Plan
- Banning ‘buy to leave’ housing schemes
- Ending the sale and use of public land for luxury homes
- Removing illuminated advertisements from along the Westway and West London railway line.
Creating a child-friendly borough by
- Topping up Labour’s national commitment of 25 hours free child care to 30 hours
- Restoring free swimming for children
- Establishing a school uniform fund for parents facing hardship
- Setting up a Youth Fund to support young people through education, training and apprenticeships
- Developing the Barlby Road site for a new through school to meet current and future demand for secondary school places.
Improving transport and the environment by
- Promoting a station at Westway on the West London railway line
- Building a two-way tram link between North Kensington and HS2/Crossrail at Old Oak Common
- Introducing a 20 mph speed limit on all roads maintained by the Council
- Improving road safety and the cycling experience
- Working with the Mayor of London to cut dangerous levels of air pollution
- Restoring the cuts to street cleaning and refuse collection
- Replacing the Mayoral cars with environmentally friendly vehicles.
Enhancing employment and regeneration by
- Supporting local shopkeepers, not betting shops and cheap food take-aways
- Promoting our local shopping centres
- Regularising street market refuse collection fees
- Paying at least the London Living Wage to all Council staff and contractors.
Improving health and social care by
- Developing new community health and social care facilities in North Kensington
- Providing more places of safety for residents undergoing mental health crises
- Addressing the re-emergence of rickets in the borough
- Providing a new health and social care facility for older people to replace EPICS
- Restoring free swimming for the Over 60s.
Promoting community safety by
- Bringing more PCSOs and PCs back onto the streets to protect residents, especially young people, from crime
- Tackling anti-social behaviour, street drinking and dangerous dogs
- Bringing local residents and businesses together to form effective Safer Neighbourhood Panels
Supporting residents by
- Giving Canalside House to the voluntary sector as a local headquarters
- Providing additional funding for organisations assisting residents facing hardship
- Funding the borough’s food banks.
Improving access to arts and leisure by
- Axing expenditure on projects like Opera Holland Park, Leighton House and Stafford Terrace
- Re-focusing spend on arts programmes for grassroots events and young people’s and children’s projects
- Providing more sporting and leisure activities for local teenagers
- Ensuring charges in our new leisure centres are truly affordable.
Making local government finance fairer by
- Campaigning for an extension of Council Tax banding so that rich homeowners pay their full share for Council services
- Increasing the Council Tax charged on all properties empty for more than six months