Kensington and Chelsea London Borough Council

All of the seats in Kensington and Chelsea were up for election this year. Find out more about these elections.

Election 2018 Results

CON HOLD
Party Elected in 2018 Total councillors Change

PartyConservative

Elected in 2018 36 Total councillors 36 Change-1

PartyLabour

Elected in 2018 13 Total councillors 13 Change+1

PartyLiberal Democrat

Elected in 2018 1 Total councillors 1 ChangeNo results
Councillors change compared with 2014

Most Recent

Disabled rough sleeper 'put in unsuitable home for too long'

Local Democracy Reporting Service

A disabled woman who had been sleeping rough in an airport was put in an “unsuitable” temporary home for too long after it was claimed she should accept the offer or “return to the streets”, an ombudsman has ruled.

The Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman told Kensington and Chelsea council to pay the woman – who wants to remain anonymous, £3,500 for the 14 months she had to stay in “unsuitable accommodation” up 45 steps in a B&B.

The ombudsman’s report said: “Her stay in unsuitable B&B accommodation, where she struggled to climb the stairs and had falls, was unduly prolonged. Her move to self-contained temporary accommodation was also delayed because there was a series of reviews and the time taken to accept the main housing duty.“

It said the council took over a year from the time she first applied for help in March 2017, to accept that it had a duty to house her.

The woman suffered from a catalogue of health complaints, including severe tinnitus and arthritis, which meant she had chronic problems with her balance and dizziness.

She was told she would be given temporary accommodation on the second floor of a hotel, but it turned out to be up four flights of stairs.

The council’s records incorrectly said Miss X was allocated to a room on the second floor, said the ombudsman.

She was moved in May 2018 to a first floor flat in east London, which is also considered unsuitable and is still waiting for a transfer, said the ombudsman.

Miss X gave the council evidence about her medical condition from her GP and solicitor, but she claimed she was told she could either accept the offer of a B&B room, make her own plans “or return to the streets” said the ombudsman.

Her GP wrote to the council in August 2017, saying the room “was completely unsuitable” and her solicitor wrote in November 2017 after she suffered a fall.

Miss X went back to sleeping rough for another eight nights after she was first told she was not a priority.

Ombudsman Michael King, said: “This woman waited too long to find out what duty the council owed her because she had to go through reviews of each individual criterion. The courts have confirmed that a request to review one criterion, such as priority need, is a request to review the whole decision on the duty owed: she should have only had to ask for one review.

“On top of this, the council failed to consider the problems the woman faced when she was placed in the unsuitable fourth floor accommodation: she struggled to climb the stairs and she had falls. The uncertainty about her situation increased her anxiety at what was an already difficult time.

The ombudsman’s report said: “Her stay in unsuitable B&B accommodation, where she struggled to climb the stairs and had falls, was unduly prolonged. Her move to self-contained temporary accommodation was also delayed because there was a series of reviews and the time taken to accept the main housing duty. “

It also criticised a 16 week delay in reviewing a decision about Miss X’s case, when it should have taken just eight weeks.

The council’s deputy leader, Kim Taylor-Smith, who has responsibility for housing said: “We accept that the service we offered in this case was unacceptable and not what we would expect to normally provide.

"We have unreservedly apologised to the person concerned and have ensured that her case is treated as a priority. We have been in contact with the lady concerned and we have offered her appointment to view suitable accommodation.”

The council has looked at how it reviews cases and has set up “a far more rigorous system”, he said.

RBKC council taxes to rise by 4.9%

Local Democracy Reporting Service

Council tax in Kensington and Chelsea is going up by 4.99%.

The increase, which could yield an extra £5m means the annual bill for a Band D property will go up from £845.18 to £887.34.

Rises above 5% trigger a referendum.

The move which includes a 2.99% rise in council tax, plus a 2% social care precept was agreed at full council, despite criticism from the Labour opposition.

Council leader Elizabeth Campbell said it was a fair budget, despite expecting an extra £12m of pressures and expected cuts in funding from central government in the future.

She said: “Setting a budget is a difficult task. All councils are facing economic and financial uncertainty. So we have to lobby for greater freedom.

“We collect over £320m a year in business rates – yet we receive just £65m back. We are an economic powerhouse but regarded as a sleepy London borough. This needs to change.”

She warned that over the next three years the council will have to trim costs by £40m and there will be tough choices to make.

Grenfell survivors offered Right-To-Buy anywhere in UK

Local Democracy Reporting Service

Former Grenfell tenants who had to find new housing after the tragedy are being offered the opportunity to use the Right to Buy scheme to buy private property anywhere in the UK.

Kensington & Chelsea Council leaders have approved the plan to offer the former tenants of Grenfell Tower and Walk to buy outside the borough if they wish to leave, particularly to seek cheaper property prices elsewhere.

It will apply only to former Grenfell Tower and Walk social rent tenants who, due to their tenure, were eligible for the scheme when they lost their homes, or were close to it.

The Right to Buy scheme allows long term council housing tenants to purchase their own homes.

The new Grenfell Portable Discount Scheme, which the council worked on with the government and residents, will allow tenants to use Right to Buy on the private market, rather than to buy socially-rented homes.

It means they can either purchase a home in the borough or anywhere in the country, excluding the home they currently live in.

Alternatively, they can purchase a share of their current home equivalent with the value of their former home, with a Housing Association owning the remaining share.

Housing leader Kim Taylor-Smith said following the meeting that residents had raised the Right to Buy issue with the council after being shifted into permanent accommodation after the fire.

They had raised concerns that the housing they were moved to was more expensive than the homes they had been living in and had a chance of purchasing using Right To Buy, Ms Taylor-Smith added.

The new scheme raises the statutory Right to Buy discount from the London-wide £110,000 to £160,000 for the former Grenfell tenants.

Any adult family member of their household can use the discount to buy a home, as long as the original secure tenant gives permission.

“The portable discount is the very least that we could have done — that is it really does give people a choice… For some people who don’t want to be in the borough, who want to move away, it gives them the opportunity,” Ms Taylor-Smith said.

Grenfell legal and IT bill mounts for council

Local Democracy Reporting Service

The mounting legal and IT bill for Kensington & Chelsea Council over the Grenfell Tower tragedy has hit nearly £5 million.

The amount covers the continuing costs of the council’s assistance to the ongoing public inquiry into the fire, and the criminal investigation.

The figure has been revealed in council papers following reports earlier this week claiming the Met Police request to the Government for more funds to cover the force’s legal costs for the Grenfell investigation, were rebuffed.

Kensington & Chelsea to float wealthy mansion tax

Local Democracy Reporting Service

Kensington & Chelsea Council is set to introduce a “mansion tax” for its wealthiest households which could see the royal borough’s celebrities and millionaire homeowners asked to donate on top of their council tax bill.

The area’s most exclusive postcodes are populated by a who’s-who of rich-listers and gliterrati, from Victoria and David Beckham’s “Beckingham Palace,” to pop-stars Robbie Williams and Ed Sheeran.

Yet in the desirable London borough where mansions can fetch upward of £30m, owners only have to pay the same council tax as neighbouring homes valued in the hundreds of thousands.

On Wednesday night, the Conservative council’s leaders agreed to put the proposal for a “mansion tax” for the borough’s richest residents to be asked to pay voluntary extra council tax donations on top of their regular bills.

If it gets public and full council approval, wealthy homeowners would be asked to donate.

Finance lead Mary Weale said the funds raised would go towards an “extremely good cause,” adding an early consultation among wealthy homeowners yielded “cheering” support.

Current rules mean local authorities are unable to raise the council tax for the most expensive homes rated Band H without raising the rates across the board, affecting low-income households too.

Even if their homes are worth millions, Kensington & Chelsea Band H residents were this year billed £2,246.14 in council and Greater London Authority tax.

The idea is to mimic the scheme pioneered by neighbouring Tory borough Westminster City Council.

Its scheme prompted wide interest, with some doubting wealthy homeowners would maintain the donations long-term and calling instead for council tax reform.

However Westminster has touted it as a success, with at least one anonymous homeowner donating £10,000.

Overall the council has collected more than £600,000 via its Community Contribution scheme since March 2018.