The council is out of touch and that is reinforced by an entrenched and poisonous atmosphere that creates sides – Us and Them. As the Independent Grenfell Recovery Task Force released on 31 October 2017 states:
“RBKC failed its community on the night of 14 June and in the weeks following.”
“While many staff did their best to help a leadership vacuum aligned with siloed service delivery and a distant council that did not know its residents meant there was little effective and structured support from RBKC.”
“We have met few Council Members that have a firm grasp of the challenges that RBKC now faces. Some members give the impression that they believe that in a few months’ time everything shall return to the way it used to be.”
These qualities are demonstrated by the short-termism of the Council, in the poorly thought-out and now failed Tri-Borough experiment, and by promoting luxury development at the expense of local communities. The disconnect was highlighted further with many councillors ignoring residents and advocating Brexit. Then the tragedy at Grenfell and its aftermath left no doubt how well and truly broken our local government is.
It is time to draw a line under this system, and introduce new viable, meaningful ways to work. You can’t support a community you don’t know. Our candidates know their communities intricately and are active community leaders. We will seek out best practises, participation and collaboration and look for inspiration wherever it can be found, whether that is global, national, regional, local and/or individual. Equip and enable our community to aspire to fulfilling its considerable potential, we want to make a commitment to our community.
- Get rid of the cabinet/executive and move to a committee system.
- Referendum on an elected Mayor with 5,000 signatures in hard copy for a referendum in May with the election for the Mayor in October.
- Ensure that all local planning consultations include economic, social, and safety assessments across a range of scenarios.
- Long term: Establish four area committees of local Councillors (N. Ken, Chelsea, S. Ken and Ken. Central) and devolve various powers (e.g. planning) with borough strategy overseen by the committee and then the elected Mayor.
- Lobby Parliament to reduce the number of councillors to 36 to make it more efficient and more accountable to residents. By decreasing numbers the allowance can be increased bringing a more diverse and reflective group of people to work for the people.
- Re-introduce the ‘Church and State’ separation, so that the Councillors are holding the officers of RBKC to account.
- Ensure those who work for the Council are paid the London Living Wage.
Redistribution of City Living, Local Life budget through ‘buddying’ up of south and north parts of the borough to allow a more integrated and collaborative approach. This will allow areas that have not historically needed or spent their allowance to ‘gift’ it to areas where there is the most need.