Tag Archives: Kensington Labour


Abouharb Banner Shot


Kensington Labour is delighted to announce the selection of their parliamentary candidate, Dr Rodwan Abouharb.

Dr Abouharb was born in Cardiff to an English mother and a Syrian father, and spent his first five years in Syria before returning to the UK. He comes from a modest but hardworking background and achieved scholarships to take him to university and post-graduate research; he is currently senior lecturer in International Relations at University College London.

Rod has pledged to work hard with Labour activists to get out the vote in the local and European elections next year, and to overturn Tory rule in Kensington in 2015, saying:

‘I will campaign to change how we make decisions in this country. We must make choices based on evidence, not ideology, that improve the lives of hard working residents in our communities.

I will campaign to end tuition fees.

I will seek to make the living wage a reality.

I will campaign to improve access to affordable housing.

I will campaign to prevent the backdoor privatisation of the NHS.

If elected, I will be a visible and accessible MP.

If elected, I will have a full-time staffed office in the constituency.’


This week, the Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) warned residents in North Kensington that ground level Ozone breached safety levels as permitted under UK and European Union air pollution laws.

Ozone, a major component in the formation of air pollution smogs, destroys lung tissue, cases asthma and respiratory attacks, affects the eyes and is especially harmful to babies, young children and the elderly. The current alert has been caused by excessive traffic emissions and increased traffic due to the Olympics, the hot weather, and the inability of the government, the Mayor of London or the Council to take effective action to reduce air pollution levels.

Defra says that Ozone levels in North Kensington are High and advise that “Adults and children with lung problems, and adults with heart problems, should reduce strenuous physical exertion, particularly outdoor, and particularly if they experience symptoms. People with asthma may find they need to use their inhaler more often. Older people should also reduce physical exertion”.

Councillor Pat Mason said, “The health of 2 million Londoners and thousands of people in the Borough with asthma and respiratory problems are being put at risk because the government, the Mayor and the Council have no meaningful plans in place to reduce traffic levels and the harmful pollutants they spew out”

“A whole generation of babies and young people are being put at risk of living as asthma sufferers, and having their lungs permanently damaged while the government does nothing except issue pollution alerts and tells residents to hide inside their homes until it is over”



Call for all-party plan to tackle Golborne ‘most deprived ward in London’ in the richest borough in Europe

New figures* naming Golborne in North Kensington as the joint poorest ward in London on ‘extent measure’ has prompted local Councillors to propose urgent cross-party action.
Cllr Emma Dent Coad, who brought the report to light at a rowdy Council meeting last week, states: ‘Extent measure is possibly the most devastating as it shows how widespread is the depth of deprivation. K&C Tories may be surprised, but for Councillors working in this vulnerable area who have already seen endless cuts – not to mention those for the coming year – it is no surprise at all. We are seeing appalling dental health in young children, people of all ages economising on food, threats of eviction, debt, ill health and depression.’ Cllr Dent Coad is already working with local groups who are experiencing cuts themselves, to see how best to work together to target the most needy.
As a longer term measure, at the next Council meeting in April, Labour Councillor Pat Mason will propose setting up a cross-party working group to review how a North Kensington Crossrail station – to be named Golborne Station – can be used to regenerate the area. Building on the ruling Conservative Group’s proposal for a Kensal Crossrail station, Labour Councillors will take this further with a new plan that would inspire real community engagement and enthusiasm.
This plan considers some earlier ideas from Golborne Councillors for a more modest renewal of the former Kensal gasworks, and links them with plans to tackle some of the obstacles that may delay or obstruct the development of the new station. Cllr. Pat Mason said: “the ruling Conservative Group have some broad proposals around the provision of a Crossrail station. We want to push this forward and hope that both the Conservatives and the Liberal Democrats on the Council will work with us to realise our ambition to improve long-term the living conditions and life chances of North Kensington residents”. The Kensal site is to be used as a worksite for Crossrail until 2018, so there is time for a broad and all-encompassing consultation.
Labour’s regeneration plan includes new social rented housing to deal with local over-crowding, unhealthy dwellings and hidden homelessness. New key worker homes will also be built, along with market properties for sale. The site will include The William Rogers Centre for Health and Well-being, named in memory of a respected local resident who sadly died when Edenham Residential Care Home was demolished. The Sainsbury’s store will be relocated to a better position on the site. Shops and business units to let at reasonable rents will be included for local entrepreneurs, including students who will have graduated from the new Kensington Aldridge Academy, with its focus on developing entrepreneurial skills.
Labour Councillors are hoping to work with all parties on the Council to pursue this vision. Cllr. Emma Dent Coad said: “The Council has already earmarked some £30m of its reserves for this development and we are asking them to release some funding now to complete preparatory work and ensure that we are ready to go in 2018 when the station site becomes available for redevelopment”.

*The latest report from the GLA Intelligence Unit ‘Ward Level Summary Measures of Indices of Deprivation 2010 update January 2012’ states that Golborne is the joint most deprived ward in London, with Northumberland Park in Haringey, on ‘extent measure’.


Cllr Todd Foreman, Labour’s candidate for the West Central London Assembly constituency, backed calls for Kit Malthouse to resign his position as deputy mayor for policing. The calls for Malthouse’s resignation have been made by Labour MP Chris Bryant and London Mayoral Candidate Ken Livingstone after it emerged that Malthouse personally intervened with the Commissioner of the Met to seek to shut down the police investigation into the ongoing phone hacking scandal.

The revelations about Malthouse’s intervention were contained in evidence to the Leveson inquiry from the former Commissioner of the Met, Sir Paul Stephen. Stephen said, “On several occasions after Operation Weeting had started and I had returned from sick leave, the Chair of the MPA, Kit Malthouse, expressed a view that we should not be devoting this level of resources to the phone hacking inquiry as a consequence of a largely political and media driven ‘level of hysteria’.”

Foreman is standing against Malthouse in the upcoming London Assembly elections on 3rd May. West Central includes the City of Westminster, the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea and the London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham.
Foreman said today,

“Residents of West Central should be very concerned by today’s revelations about their London Assembly Member. It is completely unacceptable that Kit Malthouse sought to use his position to interfere in the police investigation of the phone hacking scandal. The phone hacking scandal is deeply serious, and the police need adequate resources to conduct their investigation. Furthermore, Malthouse’s intervention appears to be politically motivated. I agree with Chris Bryant and Ken Livingstone that Kit Malthouse should resign from his position as deputy mayor for policing, or Boris Johnson should sack him.”

Foreman added,
“West Central residents deserve much better than this sort of representation by Malthouse. Voters should send him packing in the upcoming London Assembly election on 3rd May.”


Contact Cllr Foreman on 07920 267 118. http://www.toddforeman.org.uk.
Sir Paul Stephen’s written evidence is contained here (see paragraph 89): http://www.levesoninquiry.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2012/03/Witness-Statement-of-Sir-Paul-Stephenson2.pdf

London’s women are less safe under Tory Mayor Boris Johnson

London is a fantastic city. I am proud to live here and I am proud to be one of the youngest Labour candidates for the London Assembly. There are many opportunities afforded to young people in London. Yet like all cities, there are dangers to be wary of. My worry, like that of many young Londoners, is that just as the opportunities are shrinking due to the lack of growth and jobs under this government, the dangers are increasing. And no one is feeling that shift more than London’s young women.

I think almost every young woman in London knows the feeling of unwanted attention on a night out. However, it’s one thing to feel intimidated by the a group of men who are making suggestive remarks on a busy bar-lined street, it is a different type of intimidation to be walking alone to a bus stop with the same group of men walking behind you.

Few will appreciate more keenly the cut in police numbers than those young women who rely on them to keep the crowds in order and to be patrolling the streets all through the night. The Mayor’s cuts to police numbers, of course, leave all Londoners at a greater risk of crime, a fact that is particularly worrying as we head into the Olympics. But as it is, London’s women find themselves in danger every night.

Poor street lighting, less staff manning tube stations, and increased parking charges in central London have resulted in a perfect storm forcing women onto public transport at night with fewer police officers around to protect them. And with wage freezes, VAT increases and fare rises, fewer will have the disposable cash now for that lifeline on a night out – the taxi home.

But we must not fall into a trap of dividing London between the raucous centre and leafy suburbs. The argument that we should beef up police numbers in zone 1 at the expense of police in outer boroughs has no weight given the widespread and terrifying rioting we saw last year across the capital. Boroughs like Ealing are just as exposed to the rise in crime. In the last two years Ealing has lost 26 police officers. 2,245 total theft offences were reported, an increase of 15%. Shockingly in the past year sexual offences increased by 16% in Ealing. The crimes young women worry about most – rape, assaults and muggings – are crimes of opportunity. We must not present those opportunities to criminals and it should be the Mayor’s first priority to ensure that we have more police on the streets especially as the Justice Secretary has admitted he anticipates a rise in opportunistic crime as a direct result of government policy.

I don’t think Boris Johnson has consciously put London’s young women in danger. I just don’t think he has ever stood in the cold at 3am, waiting for the bus home after five buses have gone past that are ‘Not in Service’, with a group of leering drunk men.

Ken Livingstone will reverse Boris Johnson’s police cuts. London’s young women deserve a Mayor who will make their safety his priority.

Mabel McKeown, CLP chair and candidate for London Assembly