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Wednesday, 5 July 2017


RBKC is going through probably the most tumultuous time in its history and there could be a challenge to its existence as a single independent authority.

It is essential councillors recognise the need for a distinct break from the past.

We, the Kensington Society, have long voiced our concerns over the lack of genuine public engagement by the Council. There has been a we-know-best culture, even a sense of entitlement, among some officers as well as councillors. The general election result for Kensington should not have been a shock. The game is changing. 

All this occurred before the Grenfell Tower disaster.

That dreadful tragedy could have happened elsewhere. We doubt that many local authorities have put sufficient thought into fire safety or enough resources into contingency planning. Nonetheless, it happened here and it vividly exposed our Council’s weaknesses. Fairly or unfairly RBKC came across as a smug, remote, insular one-party state.

There needs, therefore, to be a genuine culture change in the Council.  Local councillors must learn to engage much more widely and directly with the public and the press. They must insist that officers are also more responsive.

At this time above all, what Kensington and Chelsea needs is inspiring leadership: someone new whose instinct will not be to close doors but to open them; someone who can engage both with all sections of the local community and with the media. This will be a key issue at the next local elections.

If the ruling party gets it wrong in selecting a new leader – something it will doubtless do in secret and without external input – the Borough risks heading for further chaos and antagonism between the richer and poorer parts of the Borough.

Of course, the Kensington Society will work with whoever emerges from the process, but we will do so with a heavy heart if the new leader does not show quick intelligence, openness, empathy and, above all, recognition of the need for change.

The Kensington Society
03 July 2017


  1. The Prime Minister5 July 2017 at 17:25

    "Politics is not a game"

  2. The Kensington Society's statement is dated 3rd July. It was already too late. The Hornton Street "boys" had already huddled together to select a spectacularly unsuitable new Leader. She seems to think that a few impromptu words of apology, spoken standing outside the town hall to a tv camera crew, is a proper response to the deaths of at least 80 residents. And it gets worse by the day.

  3. Who gives a hoot about what these vacuous people think about anything? Three minutes ago they were oozing on about how We Are All One where **the** issue is very clearly that some of us are worth a great deal less than others.

    This self important honking is a cultural problem for the Bored But Worthy of Kensington. Boy Mellen and his housing hobby, Liz Campbell and her part time interest in her constituents, Vicky B and her butterfly interest in cooking an Old Soldier (TM) lunch, once.

    We evolved beyond the rich doing good at the deserving poor for good reason. The Kensington Society might consider entering the 21st Century where talking about watching child pornography, and saying that some races are more predisposed to crime, and that police racism doesn't exist and that rape victims are responsible for their own violation is not acceptable in polite society. Clearly, it is entirely natural in Kensington Society, so easily does their President chat about it all.

    Dearest Dame, the Society are utterly, insultingly irrelevant. I'm sure they send their pronouncements out on wonderful quality stationery and throw lovely parties. By all means pass on the gossip which is the only vaguely useful thing they produce but please don't pretend that they're important. They, and what they represent, are an embarrassment and as we've seen, a liability.

    1. What a boringly predictable and vacuous angry comment. I suppose you are some sort of working class hero....just fuck off.
      The KS do more good than an ahole like you.

    2. It is a pity that you did not have the courage to give your name 19.49. If you want to say something important like this you should give your name.

    3. 21:52, it is you who is doing the working class swearing dear. Wind your unwashed neck in.

      Carol Lewis, I'm assuming you're new here.

    4. Its been very difficult for resident groups and bodies like the Kensington Society to be tough with Councillors. The Conservative's have a had a ' Kim yong un ' like grip on the borough for decades , forcing groups to be 'nice' to them for fear of being ostracized and bullied by the very Councillors that are supposed to represent them .I personally was subject to such behaviour on numerous occasions, having to swallow such behaviour as i had no choice. Its important that we all , rich ,poor , whatever colour you may be , whatever gender you may be ,stick together to make sure that we exact the changes needed so we have the right administration who will listen and act upon residents wishes instead of bending to the will and money of property developers. Lets build a borough for all residents.

  4. At least eighty people, probably double that number, are dead at Grenfell and RBKC is at once responsible for the fire and incapable of supporting survivors. People are justifiably angry. They are entitled to criticise. The Kensington Society means well, but its statement is far too well mannered for many. Critics have every right to criticise. We should avoid attacking the critics. On the Hornet of all places, there has to be room for all shades of opinion.

  5. How can the Conservative Councillors engage with the public , when every time i see my local Conservative Councillor, he shoots off up the road like Usain Bolt .

  6. Bruno de Florence6 July 2017 at 10:49

    It is our collective responsibility, as residents of K&C, to blow a wind of change on that cosy Conservative cabinet. Get involved, in a way suitable to you, such as writing to your councillor(s), with copy to The Dame, to let them know how you feel. At local election time (May 2018), go out and vote, and let your relatives, friends & family know how you voted, and why. Wear a sticker with your voting choice, come & help on campaigning. In the words of Bobby Kennedy, don't get mad, get even!

    1. exactly - let's motivate the residents to act and vote.
      Re previous comment: YOU CANNOT TEACH AN OLD DOG NEW TRICKS... Their time is up.. I am not advocating euthanasia, but they should all be put to pasture new.... and forgotten, as they all deserve to be... amen

    2. Well said. RBKC as we've suffered it for decades is finished.

  7. "At this time above all, what Kensington and Chelsea needs is inspiring leadership: someone new whose instinct will not be to close doors but to open them; someone who can engage both with all sections of the local community and with the media. This will be a key issue at the next local elections." Ah, yes! A great leader will emerge who will help us all! What rubbish from the Kensington Society. What we need is for concerned residents to get off their keyboards and join the various campaign groups around the borough. Otherwise we will be voting for party political paper candidates with no genuine concern for residents and who have never participated in our communities yet again come May 2018.


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