Category Archives: Opposition watch

Statement from the RBKC Labour Opposition Group

Statement from Councillor Pat Mason, Leader of the RBKC Labour Opposition Group,

about the comments made by Sam Gyimah to the Independent on 11th November 2019

Commenting in an Independent newspaper report on 11th November 2019 about who may be responsible for the Grenfell Tower Fire, Sam Gyimah is quoted saying, “The Council is responsible and there are Labour councillors on there that could have stopped some of the decisions and didn’t”.

Commenting on who may have been responsible for the decisions made about the cladding, he is reported saying, “Emma Dent Coad(who was a member of the RBKC Labour Group before the Grenfell Tower Fire and still is a member) was on the Council and was part of all the discussions that went on in terms of the cladding”.

Unless Mr Gyimah can provide the evidence to support his allegation that RBKC Labour councillors had some responsibility for decisions that led to the Fire, we will expect an apology and a retraction of these allegations in writing. If he does not either provide the evidence or retract and apologise, we will instruct John Cooper QC, who represents the RBKC Labour Opposition Group in all matters regarding the Grenfell Tower Fire Public Inquiry, to advise on what legal action should be taken.

As a former Conservative government minister whom we would have expected to be familiar with the rules and procedures of public inquiries, Mr Gyimah should have recognised that it is the duty of Sir Martin Moore-Bick and the second phase of the Grenfell Tower Fire Public Inquiry that begins in 2020, to decide who is responsible for this atrocity, and that it is improper and irresponsible for him to have prejudged what the Inquiry may decide.

When, in January 2018, Sir Martin Moore-Bick refused the Labour Group’s application for Core Participant status at the Inquiry for a second time, he said, “At the moment I have seen nothing to suggest that any of your clients (Labour councillors)is likely to be subject to personal criticism……I do not think it likely that the Labour Group on the Council, or any of its members, is likely to be criticised for not having opposed more vigorously the polices and decisions of the majority party”.

Ends

For further information contact: Cllr Pat Mason -Email:cllr.pat.mason@rbkc.gov.uk Tel: 07496 538 101

Portobello Road Street Stall

Every Friday from 9.30am – 2pm we have a street stall on Portobello Road. We are usually located just outside Tesco at pitch 103. We share the stall with local campaigners. Currently we are hosting the Save The Pembridge Hospice campaigners who are collecting signatures for their petition. We are also collecting food for our local foodbank. You can find a list of their urgently needed items on their website https://kensingtonchelsea.foodbank.org.uk/give-help/donate-food/ . We also have newsletters from our fantastic MP Emma Dent Coad who joins us whenever she can.

Please do pop by for a chat if you are in the area!

Kensington’s affordable housing disgrace

This bijou no bedroom pad, yours for £300,000

By Amir Akhrif’s Campaign Diary

Do you live in a household that earns an average of £150,000 a year? Do you want to buy an average house in Kensington? Sorry mate, you’re too poor…

The wonderful, hardworking people at Shelter have released their latest Housing League Table, and yup, you’ve guessed it, Kensington has ranked as one of the worst for affordable housing in London. No surprise there, but some of the figures are eye watering!

You would have to earn £158,400 per year in order to afford to buy an average-priced house in the Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea area.

There are 6,687 households on the waiting list for affordable housing in Kensington – at current letting rates this will take 11.20 years to clear.

Independent experts say your area needs to build 3,663 homes per year. The Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea planned for 85 new affordable homes to be provided in your area last year.

Thank you Shelter for exposing the Council’s complete and utter failure in providing affordable housing.

North Kensington to get new secondary school

At long last, young people in North Kensington are to get a new Secondary School. The site earmarked for the non-denominational Academy with its own sports facilities is by Kensington Leisure Centre sports pitches. The Labour government’s Building School’s for the Future programme has guaranteed funding of £30 million…

Local resident and local Labour candidate Beinazir Lasharie says “for years many of our local young people have had to go to schools outside the Borough. They will go to school in North Kensington thanks to many years of lobbying by Labour Councillors and local parents”.

Yet our Liberal Democrat opponents try to claim responsibility for the new school in their newsletters. We have a track record of achievement and don’t need to take credit for others hard work. We would like to ask for them to exactly just ‘how’ they achieved what they have claimed?