Cabinet changes for the coming year

Madam Mayor

Welcome and congratulations on your new position. We look forward to you presiding over our business for the forthcoming year.

Traditionally, this is the meeting (Council AGM Wed 24 May) where we make new appointments and announce changes. This year is no exception, as you will see from the papers laid around the chamber I am proposing a number of changes tonight. Continue reading

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

Summer fun for children that won’t break the bank

The summer holidays are now upon us and children across the country will be clamouring for something to do. I know that the six long weeks of summer can be a challenge for parents trying to keep their offspring entertained without breaking the bank. Continue reading

Growing communities with ‘aplotment’ gardens

Kensington Olympia Gardens

Platform turned ‘plotform’ at Kensington Olympia Station

It is always reassuring when you get confirmation that you are on the right track and it’s even sweeter when you find you are ahead of the curve.  I experienced the latter recently when I read a report from the Journal of Public Health which advised councils to provide allotment space for people living in cities and towns – as just half an hour at the allotment can provide significant health benefits.

Now before you think that’s a very tall order for a small densely populated borough in the centre of London let me tell you that for the past six years the Council has been creating – what some residents term – ‘aplotments’ on unused scraps of land with the result that we now have some 64 community gardens, over 400 plots and well over 1,000 residents enjoying gardening regularly. Continue reading