Social housing – an important resource that must be protected and used properly

Sometimes I wonder where some newspapers would be if they didn’t have a regular flow of stories about the mindboggling cost of housing in Kensington and Chelsea. You know the sort of thing – a rich and famous person buys a huge house costing the GDP of a medium-sized country. Or perhaps you will recall stories about tiny garages that sell for an amount of money that would supposedly buy a whole street in a northern city.

It’s all par for the course and the cost of buying a home, or indeed renting, in the Royal Borough can be enormous. But something that can be forgotten in this house price frenzy is that about a quarter of households in the borough live in social housing. Continue reading

A Royal opening for our new nursery school building

Avondale Park Nursery School opened by HRH.jpgEarlier in March I had the privilege of attending the opening of the borough’s new, state-of-the-art nursery school building.

The Royal Borough was honoured to have Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Gloucester officially open the new nursery building at St Anne’s and Avondale Park Nursery School. Continue reading

Supporting Crossrail 2 but only if station development is low key

I was concerned, but not surprised, to read reports in the media that the Crossrail 2 project could be derailed or side-lined because of cost and competing infrastructure demands.

Residents will know that the Council is a staunch supporter of a Crossrail 2 Station on the King’s Road. We believe there is an overwhelming case for a station in an area that many people visit but is poorly served by public transport. Continue reading

Food banks are a fine and noble thing

Sometimes in the debating chamber a cloud of unreason seems to descend on my colleagues from the Labour Party. They become emotional, they make speeches that are unwittingly mock-heroic.

It seems to happen whenever they sense an opportunity to demonstrate their superior passion and humanity. It is seldom, if ever, linked to any practical action. There is a new and useful term for this kind of behaviour: virtue signalling.

There was a veritable orgy of virtue signalling just the other week when the subject of food banks came up in debate. Continue reading

Budget speech 2017

Cllr Paget-Brown’s Budget speech Wednesday 8 March 2017

I am delighted to propose the Budget for 2017/18. In doing so I would urge colleagues and the public to study the excellent accompanying document which sets out how this Council accounts for the £409m revenue expenditure which we will undertake in the coming financial year and almost £400m of capital spending over the next four years. How we spend that money is an important determinant of the character of the place in which we live and an indicator of a Council that seeks to create opportunities for everyone to succeed and to shape a borough that is one of the best places to live in London. Continue reading