I’ve been a Councillor since 1986 and been in the hot seat as Leader for two years. In this time I’ve been responsible for overseeing many of the services we provide to residents, businesses and visitors.
It never ceases to amaze me what gets done each and every day.
From bins being collected to children being cared for, Council staff and contractors are out there round-the-clock making sure that the borough runs smoothly.
Of course there are times when things don’t go as well as I would like and when this happens it’s very important that we listen and improve.
Thankfully, however, we seem to get things right more often than not and this was borne out by the results of an important independent survey that shows our resident satisfaction at an all time high.
Essentially the survey asks a large sample of residents how they think we’re doing.
It sets out to record just what people who live in the Royal Borough think about the services they receive, their local environment and a range of other important issues such as crime, jobs and council tax and compares this to the results from the Annual Survey of Londoners.
This year, 86 per cent of Kensington and Chelsea residents said they were satisfied with the way the Council was run, which is the highest satisfaction rating it has ever received since the survey began in 2007 and compares with just 70 per cent across London as a whole.
An even higher 95 per cent thought the borough was a good place to live.
The Council continues to perform well compared with London as a whole and our residents are more satisfied with services such as street cleaning, street lighting, policing and repair of roads and pavements.
Residents are also more positive about the Council doing a good job, being efficient and well run and providing value for money than other Londoners.
Residents think we have staff who are friendly and polite, and I’m with them there.
They also think that we involve them in decision-making.
Not all is rosy though – residents are worried about the lack of affordable housing and traffic congestion – and I share their concerns.
For me, the fact that we seem to be getting it right despite the enormous financial challenges we have faced, is very pleasing. It reflects well on all our hard working staff who deliver consistently good services to our residents.
While such complimentary figures do provide a warm glow I know we must continue to work very hard indeed to make sure these high standards are maintained.
And we must also look carefully at those areas where residents say they are not happy and see where we can improve.