Working hard to bring bad landlords to book

It’s both troubling and pleasing for me to note that since the beginning of the year legal cases taken by the Council have seen landlords and property companies fined in excess of £237,000.

Of course in an ideal world all landlords would meet their obligations to tenants and everything would be just so.  Unfortunately this is not always the case.  Amongst all the good, law-abiding landlords you will find some bad apples out there in the private rented sector: we certainly have and some tenants’ experiences were highlighted in a recent report into the sector by the Kensington and Chelsea Social Council. Continue reading

Hate crime is toxic and should be reported

Just lately, hate crime has tended to be discussed in the context of Brexit.  But whether, and to what extent, there has been a real spike in hate crime directly caused or licensed by the vote to leave the European Union is open to question.  Personally, I’m going to wait for further and better evidence before coming to a view on that; hate crime is just too serious to let it be used as a way of advancing a political agenda.  Continue reading

Fall in road traffic collisions and casualties in Kensington and Chelsea

Politicians, even local ones like me, tend to spend a lot of time on bold initiatives and big capital projects.  But, very often there is as much progress to be had from the everyday bread-and-butter business of government as there is from high-profile grand projects.

Our recent road traffic accident figures are a case in point.  Recently released by Transport for London (TfL), they show that Kensington and Chelsea had fewer road traffic  accidents and injuries in 2015 than in any year since records began in 1990. Continue reading

Our fight to preserve local valued services

Every now and again the fascinating film Victim gets an outing on TV.  But there is no need to wait until then to see it because the entire thing is on YouTube.

It stars Dirk Bogarde and the beautiful Sylvia Sims, her of Ice Cold in Alex.  Sylvia plays Dirk’s wife with a sadness borne of the fact that she knows the man she loves can never quite return her love in full.  Continue reading

The Royal Borough never bores

I have been a resident and Councillor in Kensington and Chelsea for a great many years. In that time, I have visited pretty much every street and been in hundreds of homes, shops, restaurants and probably much all of its public buildings.

But even so, the Royal Borough never bores; such is the richness of our history, our architecture and our art, that there is always something new to discover. Continue reading

Remembering the dead

Forty years ago this month a memorial to the dead of Katyn was unveiled, not at a major public location, but in the Council-owned Gunnersbury cemetery.

In 1945, the exhausted Allies had little choice but to accept the absorption of part of pre-war Poland into the Soviet Union and the installation of a puppet Government in Warsaw.  For the surviving remnants of the Polish forces who had taken on Hitler and Stalin and then regrouped in London to continue the fight, it was a shattering blow. Continue reading