Kensington and Chelsea London Borough Council

Last updated on 16 October 2017

Kensington and Chelsea London Borough Council is the local authority for the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea in Greater London, England. It is a London borough council, one of 32 in the United Kingdom capital of London. Kensington and Chelsea is divided into 18 wards, each electing three councillors.[1] The council was created by the London Government Act 1963 and replaced two local authorities: Kensington Metropolitan Borough Council and Chelsea Metropolitan Borough Council. The borough council provides some shared services with Hammersmith and Fulham, and Westminster.

Kensington and Chelsea London Borough Council
Whole council elected every four years
Kens%26chelsarms.PNG
Coat of arms
Type
Type
Houses Unicameral
Term limits
None
History
Founded 1 April 1965
Preceded by Chelsea Borough Council
Kensington Borough Council
New session started
22 May 2013 (Municipal year 2013/2014)
Leadership
Elizabeth Campbell, Conservative
Since 19 Jul 2017
Mayor
Cllr Marie-Therese Rossi
Since May 2017
Structure
Seats 50 councillors
Kensington and Chelsea Council 2014.svg
Political groups

Executive (40)

Opposition (10)

Elections
Plurality-at-large
Last election
22 May 2014
Next election
2018
Meeting place
Kensington and Chelsea Town Hall 2005.jpg

Town Hall, Hornton Street
Website
www.rbkc.gov.uk

History

There have previously been a number of local authorities responsible for the Kensington and Chelsea area. The current local authority was first elected in 1964, a year before formally coming into its powers and prior to the creation of the London Borough of Kensington and Chelsea on 1 April 1965. Kensington and Chelsea London Borough Council replaced Kensington Metropolitan Borough Council and Chelsea Metropolitan Borough Council. Both were created in 1900 and replaced the Vestry of the Parish of Kensington and the Vestry of the Parish of Chelsea.

It was envisaged through the London Government Act 1963 that Kensington and Chelsea as a London local authority would share power with the Greater London Council. The split of powers and functions meant that the Greater London Council was responsible for "wide area" services such as fire, ambulance, flood prevention, and refuse disposal; with the local authorities responsible for "personal" services such as social care, libraries, cemeteries and refuse collection. This arrangement lasted until 1986 when Kensington and Chelsea London Borough Council gained responsibility for some services that had been provided by the Greater London Council, such as waste disposal. Kensington and Chelsea became an education authority in 1990. Since 2000 the Greater London Authority has taken some responsibility for highways and planning control from the council, but within the English local government system the council remains a "most purpose" authority in terms of the available range of powers and functions.

Summary results of elections

The council has been controlled by the Conservative Party since it was first elected in 1964.

After new boundaries were set by the Boundary Commission, the Conservatives lost the Earl's Court Ward By-election in September 2010 to the Liberal Democrats and narrowly won the Cremorne Ward By-election by only 19 votes.[2] Many commentors blamed the Tory Councillors led by Merrick Cockell for these poor results, stating that the Council did not take adequately into account residents' views on projects such as the proposed Thames Tideway Tunnel and the Earl's Court building works.[3][4] The Conservatives in the Cremorne Ward ran on the promise to Save Cremorne Gardens yet these gardens are still under threat.

Grenfell Tower fire

On 14 June 2017 a major fire destroyed the council-owned, 24-storey Grenfell Tower providing public housing in a mainly working-class area north of White City, London (sometimes called North Kensington), causing at least 79 deaths.[5] The tower block was managed on behalf (but independently) of the council by Kensington and Chelsea Tenant Management Organisation (KCTMO), the largest tenant management organisation (TMO) in England, which is responsible for the management of nearly 10,000 properties in the borough.[6]

On 18 June, the government relieved Kensington and Chelsea London Borough Council of responsibility for supporting the survivors, after a perceived inadequate response. Responsibility was handed over to a Grenfell fire-response team led by a group of chief executives from councils across London. Resources available to them included central government, the British Red Cross, the Metropolitan Police, the London Fire Brigade and local government across London. Neighbouring councils sent in staff to improve the rehousing response.[7][8]

On 21 June, the Council chief executive Nicholas Holgate resigned amid criticism over the borough's response to the fire.[9] The Prime Minister Theresa May commented that the council "couldn't cope" in the response to the fire, and that it "was right" that the chief executive had resigned.[10] The Conservative leader of the council, Nicholas Paget-Brown resisted calls to resign,[7] but he announced on 30 June that he would step down[11] and was replaced as leader by Conservative Elizabeth Campbell on 19 July 2017.[12]

References

  1. ^ "Our councillors". Rbkc.gov.uk. 2009-09-17. Retrieved 2012-05-22.
  2. ^ "Cremorne Ward By-election Sep 2010". Rbkc.gov.uk. 2009-09-17. Retrieved 2012-05-22.
  3. ^ 17 September 2010 in By-election results (2010-09-17). "Council byelection results from yesterday | Local Government". Conservativehome.blogs.com. Retrieved 2012-05-22.
  4. ^ Dan Hodges. "By-election results in - Kensington & Chelsea Chronicle". Kensington.londoninformer.co.uk. Retrieved 2012-05-22.
  5. ^ Davies, Caroline (2017-06-19). "Grenfell Tower fire: police raise death toll to 79". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 2017-06-19.
  6. ^ "Kensington and Chelsea Tenant Management Organisation – The Board". kctmo.org.uk. Archived from the original on 17 June 2017. Retrieved 14 June 2017.
  7. ^ a b Macaskill, Ewen (18 June 2017). "Council sidelined in Grenfell Tower response as leader refuses to quit". The Observer. Retrieved 19 June 2017.
  8. ^ Chloe Cornish, Andrew Jack (18 June 2017). "Kensington council sidelined after faltering Grenfell relief effort". Financial Times. Retrieved 19 June 2017.
  9. ^ "London fire: Kensington council boss quits over Grenfell tragedy". BBC News. 22 June 2017. Retrieved 22 June 2017.
  10. ^ "High rise cladding 'combustible' says PM". BBC News. 22 June 2017. Retrieved 22 June 2017.
  11. ^ Walker, Peter (30 June 2017). "Kensington and Chelsea council leader quits in wake of Grenfell disaster". The Guardian. Retrieved 30 June 2017.
  12. ^ "Grenfell Tower fire: New council leader heckled by public". BBC News. 19 July 2017. Retrieved 19 July 2017.

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