Democracy in Kensington and Chelsea has been extinguished by a Leader who has been in power for 14 years in a Borough where the election turnout is less than 30% and 75% of those who vote are Conservative. In other words residents suffer all the evils of a monopoly. Most residents are too busy working hard to pay the rates and school fees and give little thought to what is going on in Hornton Street..... so long as the dustbins get cleared on time!
The tendency for power to corrupt has taken its sad toll. Our Borough has degenerated into the personal fiefdom of the present Leader which he controls with a patronage system of sky high SRA's and compliant conservative Councillors.
The levels of self interest are so high for the controlling elite that none dare to make any sort of move to clear out and clean up what is patently rotten.
For the last three years the Dame has been urging Cllrs Ahern and Coleridge to challenge for the Leadership but she has always been told that nothing will happen until Cllr Cockell decides when he wants to go. And up to now he has been unable to find something to compensate him for the £70k that he is paid as Leader of K&C and the £53k he gets from the LGA: the result? We are stuck with him.
Clearly it is time to look outside the ranks of the current Cabinet to see if there are any Leadership candidates. A name that comes to mind is Cllr Mills. A person with presence and personality who was noticed for her extraordinarily successful Mayoral year.
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From time to time the Dame hears from residents that Cllr Mills "goes the extra mile" when she is responding to resident concerns. She seems to care. A practicing lawyer, she has the grey matter. Perhaps this is the kind of person that we need to turn the Council around and return to basic Tory values. And above all, bring back democracy.
The noses of the old guard would be out of joint and they will say that Cllr Mills "has no Cabinet experience". For someone as talented as Cllr Mills this is no problem. Cllr Paget-Brown would be a good and loyal Deputy and he has loads of Cabinet experience.