Agenda and minutes

Full Council - Wednesday, 31st January, 2024 6.30 pm

Venue: Council Chamber, Kensington Town Hall, Hornton Street W8 7NX. View directions

Contact: Douglas Campbell  Governance Manager


No. Item


Minutes of Previous Meeting pdf icon PDF 179 KB

The minutes of the meeting of Full Council held on 29 November 2023 are submitted for confirmation.


The minutes of the Council meeting held on 29 November 2023 were confirmed as a correct record and signed by the Mayor.


Declarations of Interest

Any member of the Council who has a disclosable pecuniary interest in a matter to be considered at the meeting is reminded to disclose the interest to the meeting and to leave the Chamber while any discussion or vote on the matter takes place.


Members are also reminded that if they have any other significant interest in a matter to be considered at the meeting, which they feel should be declared in the public interest, such interests should be declared to the meeting. In such circumstances Members should consider whether their continued participation, in the matter relating to the interest, would be reasonable in the circumstances, particularly if the interest may give rise to a perception of a conflict of interests, or whether they should leave the Chamber while any discussion or vote on the matter takes place.


No declarations were made.


Special Announcements by the Mayor


The Mayor welcomed relatives of Kodjo Yenga, a 16-year-old who was a victim of a knife crime and who is here for one of the public speaking questions.


The Mayor informed Council of the deaths of two former senior officers: Alan Taylor, who was the Chief Executive here from 1990 until his retirement in 2000 and Craig Wilson, who worked at the local authority from 1978 to 2005, and was Director of Transportation and Highways from 1996-2005. She said the Council’s thoughts and prayers were with their families.


Councillor Weale spoke about Alan Taylor and Craig Wilson.


The Mayor also informed Council that the following residents had been recognised by His Majesty the King in the New Year Honours.

William Salomon, President, Young Enterprise, was awarded the OBE. Jacqueline Ferguson, President, London College of Dance Network and Volunteer, Healthwatch and Louisa Jane Mitchell, Chief Executive, West London Zone were awarded the MBE. Ian Henderson, a former Councillor, was awarded a BEM.


Councillors Faulks, Gardner, Rendall and Will spoke about the recipients and their contributions.


Chief Executive's Communications

(i)       Apologies for Absence


(ii)     Other Communications


Apologies for absence were received from Councillors Mona Adam, Anne Cyron, Marwan Elnaghi, Dahabo Isse, Quentin Marshall, and Tim Verboven.


Public Speaking pdf icon PDF 74 KB

Up to one hour has been set aside for Council to hear from people living, working, or studying in the Borough who have registered in advance to address this meeting.


(i)             Coronation Court and City Living, Local Life application

The Mayor read a question submitted by a resident who did not wish to be named. Why was the Coronation Court Residents' Association City Living, Local Life fund application refused? On what basis do councillors get their councillor allowance if they fail to attend to their councillor's duties and engage with the residents?


Councillor Sarah Addenbrooke, Lead Member for Communities & Community Safety, thanked the questioner and said the City Living, Local Life bids required ward councillors’ unanimous support. This was not working in some wards, and she had hoped the issue would have been resolved before the meeting. She added that the basic allowance was paid to all councillors and was not performance-related. It was up to each councillor to determine how best to serve residents, and if the questioner had concerns, he or she should contact the Monitoring Officer


Councillor Kasim Ali acknowledged the issue over the City Living, Local Life bid and informed the questioner that this was now resolved. He would welcome an opportunity to meet the person who asked this so that he or she understands the process. He added that his communications with the Lead Member were bringing progress. Regarding Councillors’ allowances, he said that 100% attendance was expected. However, he added that allowances had remained the same over recent years. He invited the public to observe all the work councillors do and stated that Members seek election for their communities, not the money.


(ii)           Access to and safety at tennis courts.

Mr Vedant Chellaram said he was advocating accessible and affordable public tennis courts in Kensington and Chelsea. He stated that tennis is a sport that promotes physical and mental well-being, as well as friendships and community building. Unfortunately, not everyone had equal access to it due to the limited availability of affordable facilities. By investing in constructing and maintaining more affordable tennis courts, the Council could create a network of inclusive facilities that reflect the spirit of the community. He called on the Council to work with partners to foster a healthier, more connected, and more vibrant community through the joy of tennis.


Councillor Emma Will, Lead Member for Property, Parks & Leisure, thanked Vedant and replied that she agreed with the points about the importance of tennis and sports in general. However, the Borough has a problem with availability as there are only 16 courts, which are also used for other sports, including football. She noted the issue of tennis court costs and undertook to write to Mr Chellaram with more details. She would invite him to speak to officers about his suggestions. Councillor Will said that finding space for new courts was challenging due to limited space and expensive land. She valued Vedant’s enthusiasm and energy in advocating for sports and would address his pricing concerns in more detail.


Councillor Kasim Ali thanked Vedant for attending and asking such an important question. He reminded everyone that he purchased his first tennis racket 23  ...  view the full minutes text for item 5.



Presentation of petitions (if any).


No petitions were submitted.


Statement by the Leader of the Council and Response by the Leader of the Minority Party (Standing Item)


Councillor Johnny Thalassites moved, and Councillor Sina Lari seconded that, in accordance with Standing Order 42, Standing Order 30 be suspended to allow the Leader of the Council and the Leader of the Principal Opposition Group 10 minutes each for their speeches. Council gave its consent.

The Mayor invited the Leader of the Council to address the meeting. The Leader then rose to speak:

Madam Mayor, it's been six and a half years since a fire at Grenfell ripped through people's homes and ripped families and lives apart. Seventy-two wonderful people lost their lives, 18 children, including one yet-to-be-born baby boy. And the families and friends of the 72 still don't have justice, still don't have answers. They don't yet have an inquiry report to establish – in basic terms – what went wrong and what the country should do about it.

Last week, alongside Maxine, Kim, and senior colleagues from the Council, I attended every single day of Grenfell Testimony Week. Many of you will have seen the reports from writers and broadcasters, but it is impossible for anybody to truly relay the emotion, the anger, the sadness, the searing truth, so eloquently spoken by bereaved families and survivors. I sat, and I listened. I felt ashamed. It was a reminder that this organisation is to blame for what happened, and we should continue to shoulder that blame every single day. And no matter what you think of companies gaming the system, a broken building safety regime, or the response of the emergency services that night, none of that should matter to us. We're a public authority; we should have a higher bar set for us, and we should be meeting the very highest bar.

Madam Mayor, Testimony Week sits alongside our efforts to compensate families and victims and to put in place a long-lasting fund for those in the local community. However, six years on, it is clear that we are still not doing enough. People have a right to be angry. I sat alongside anonymous lawyers and representatives throughout last week. One company failed to send anyone at all. After fronting public meetings in the days after the fire and the opening of the Inquiry, I know what happened. I've sat face-to-face with families, and I have some understanding of how people feel. I'm glad that others in that room now do, too. The one thing I want to make clear tonight to them and to ourselves once again: it is not enough just to turn up, it is not enough just to listen. You have to take action.

For us, it is not enough if we don't complete a fundamental change of culture across the entire organisation. For me, and I know for Maxine, who joined us last year, it is not enough just to turn up; it is what we take from Testimony Week and what we do with it that counts. I stood here in 2017 and pledged that we would not forget. I  ...  view the full minutes text for item 7.


Order of Business

The Mayor to announce the order of business for the remainder of the meeting.



          The Mayor confirmed that the order of business would be as printed on the agenda.



Reports from the Leadership Team pdf icon PDF 74 KB

Additional documents:


Treasury Management Mid-Year Report KD06579 pdf icon PDF 394 KB

Additional documents:


Councillor Campbell moved the report's reception, and Councillor Taylor-Smith seconded it.



That the Treasury Management mid-year report 2023-24 be noted.


Decisions taken under Urgency Provisions pdf icon PDF 83 KB


Councillor Campbell moved the report's reception, and Councillor Taylor-Smith seconded it.



That the report be noted.


Reports from Council-Side Committees pdf icon PDF 87 KB

Administration Committee, 8 January 2024

NB The Draft Constitution will be published separately as an Additional Paper.

Additional documents:


Councillor Taylor-Smith moved the report's reception, and Councillor Thalassites seconded it.



(i)             to amend and re-adopt the Constitution

(ii)            to adopt the Annual Pay Policy Statement.’



Matters Referred to Full Council from Overview and Scrutiny or Select Committees pdf icon PDF 75 KB

(i)             Inner West London Mental Health Services Reconfiguration Joint Health Overview and Scrutiny Committee – update report



Councillor Knight moved the reception of the report from the Inner West London Mental Health Services Reconfiguration Joint Health Overview and Scrutiny Committee, which Councillor Dr Ahmed seconded.


Councillors Knight and Dr Ahmed summarised the main issues from the Overview, namely:

(i)         How the NHS’s proposal would affect residents.

(ii)        That the NHS appeared to have made its choice already.

(iii)       How both community health services and in-patient beds were equally important, but the NHS proposals implied that having one would mean cutting funding to the other.

(iv)      Existing savings from the Gordon Hospital’s closure have not produced better outcomes.

(v)        The key user and community groups have not been part of co-producing the reorganisation plans.

(vi)      The lack of data to support the business case for change.

(vii)     How the Equalities Impact Assessment revealed that significant users of mental health services – young adults and those from ethnic communities – were not represented sufficiently.

(viii)    The rising demand for emergency care and the number of patients waiting more than 12 hours at Accident and Emergency for beds indicated that the community-based treatment model was not sufficient.

(ix)      Patients from North Kensington were particularly likely to be subject to longer waiting times.


Councillors Lari, Rendall, Simmons, Thaxter, and Weale also spoke.



That the report be noted.


Questions asked of Lead Members pdf icon PDF 51 KB


(i)             E-bikes and e-scooters left on pavements

Councillor Dent Coad drew Council’s attention to the lack of progress made over the last year in addressing the problem of e-bikes and e-scooters obstructing the pavements and asked what the local authority was doing to address this problem.


Councillor Kemahli responded, noting that this local authority was only the second council in London to have introduced dedicated bays, which had led to an improvement from the e-bike hire companies. He added that having to report incidents was insufficient, and he had made representations to London Councils for a pan-London solution, for which the operations are also supportive. He added that more bays would be provided, although that was not a perfect solution.


Councillor Dent Coad stated in her supplementary question that she would send photos from St Helens Ward, where there has yet to be any improvement.


Councillor Kemahli replied that the ward’s councillor had refused to have any bays, so there is nothing for the Council’s enforcement officers to regulate.


(ii)           Urban Foxes

Councillor Idris informed Council about concerns from residents that urban foxes were becoming more common on the Borough’s streets as well as being pseudo-domesticated. She was concerned they could cause safety and health implications for residents.


Councillor Kemahli replied that the Council would not kill foxes but, to discourage them and other animals, it was important to encourage residents not to leave food waste on the streets but to store it in proper vaults or receptacles before collection. He pointed out that the Borough still had twice-weekly collections but that crows were picking open bags, in which foxes and other animals would rummage. While 82 fixed penalty notices had been issued to those who put out waste incorrectly in January, the key was to cut access to food.


Councillor Idris asked as a supplementary if the Council could add more to the website to help residents, to which Councillor Kemahli agreed.


(iii)         Grenfell – compensation to the immediate community

Councillor Thaxter drew Members’ attention to the accounts given during Grenfell Testimony week and noted the tragedy’s ongoing health effects. She asked the Leader what redress and compensation were being provided to the immediate community and residents affected by the fire, given that it had already agreed to a global settlement.


The Leader replied and referred to the testimony she had heard. She noted that during the recent consultation, residents expressed that the immediate community is still suffering both physically and mentally due to the tragedy. She added that the Restorative Justice programme, part of the Global Settlement Agreement, would provide help to all living within the community and that the Council is working with local residents to design future support that meets their needs. Councillor Campbell added that Testimony Week demands more than specific support programs; it demands fundamental cultural change, so the Council is always treating people with humanity, respect, and dignity. The Council would redouble its efforts to become the organisation the community expects it to  ...  view the full minutes text for item 13.


Matters of Local Concern raised under Standing Order 11

Members may draw to the Council’s attention Ward or other ‘live’ issues of general / broad principle.  Each member raising such an issue under this Standing Order should speak for not more than two minutes in addressing the Council.  No more than three Majority Group members and one Minority Party member may raise issues in this way per meeting.  Members wishing to raise such matters should register their intent with the Chief Executive prior to the meeting. The relevant Lead Member or Executive Director will be expected to respond to the Councillor raising this issue within six weeks.


Councillor Joanna Gardner provided an update on the Notting Hill Gate Community Group and how the Council’s growth and delivery teams were working with the local community to launch a consultation on an action plan that would run until 10 March 2024. The consultation would seek residents’, visitors’, and businesses’ views on making the area greener, fairer, and safer and address environmental concerns. The draft action plan would be on the Council’s website, and she invited all Members to promote the consultation.


Councillor Tom Bennett referred to a local development order for permitted development rights being introduced in Redcliffe Road. This planning mechanism would allow residents to proceed with building mansard rooves without needing permission, provided they used an approved design. He noted that 70% of the Borough was within conservation areas, and the permitted development would support residents and protect distinctive features of roads and neighbourhoods.


Councillor Will Lane raised an issue in McLeod’s Mews about a wall in disrepair over the Circle and District lines. In May 2022, TfL admitted that it was responsible for the wall. In June 2023, TfL stated it would complete the work by October 2023. However, the wall is still falling away, and TfL now plans to finish works in 2026 but could not share any engineering report about the wall. He asked for pressure to be put on TfL so residents of the Mews can have the wall repaired.


Councillor Linda Wade informed the Council about the 328 bus crash into a building at the junction of Warwick Road and Old Brompton Road, which highlighted the issues of speed and safety there as it was not the first crash. She added that Earls Court ward councillors have made representations to TfL and the Borough over many years. She noted that the crossing near elderly residents’ homes was dangerous and asked how many deaths or injuries must happen before TfL acts.



Motions for Main Debate


Motion: Antisocial behaviour by some delivery drivers pdf icon PDF 63 KB


More and more residents are making use of the services provided by Deliveroo, Just Eat, Uber Eats and other gig economy platforms. However, this has come with significant side effects on our local high streets and nuisances to our residents.


We see delivery drivers/riders often cycling on pavements on one-way streets such as Earl’s Court Road, behave anti-socially when drivers are gathering outside restaurants and blocking the pavements forcing our residents onto busy roads. They are also not contributing to RBKC even though their business makes significant use of our parking infrastructure.


We therefore call on the Lead Member for Local Economy & Employment to reach out and sit down with the major gig economy delivery companies to discuss and create a borough plan to tackle those issues raised by our residents.


Moved by: Councillor Tim Verboven

Seconded by: Councillor Linda Wade


The Mayor informed the meeting that this item would be deferred as Councillor Verboven, the mover, was not present.



Motion: Bring parking services in-house pdf icon PDF 61 KB

NSL Ltd, the parking enforcement contractor for the Council, employ more than a hundred civil enforcement officers in the borough. They bring in millions of pounds in revenue every year, and this money is used to fund the Council’s other services.


Recently, these civil enforcement officers went on strike for 19 days due to poor pay, costing the council around a million pounds. The contractor, NSL Ltd, did not receive any penalty for not providing the service the Council pays them to, and the council has no way to recover this loss in revenue from the company. Whilst the pay dispute has been resolved, we must prepare to mitigate the chance of future occurrences.


The most effective way to do this would be to bring them back in house. Each civil enforcement officer brings into the council around five times what they earn, and this revenue comes entirely from their hard work – what benefit is it to the council to allow a contractor to skim profits from their labour? These enforcement officers provide a vital service to our borough, NSL Ltd allowed them to become some of the worst paid in London, and when they asked for fairer pay, they let a strike drag on, costing the council money. Bringing them inhouse will mean they are treated fairly and share the benefits of working directly for RBKC.


We would also be able to encourage locals to apply for this type of job when vacancies arise, which aligns with the Local Jobs for Local People policy that the council adopted in 2018.


Therefore, to overcome this we call upon the Council’s Leadership Team to:


      i.         Plan to bring the parking enforcement contract in house and employ the civil enforcement officers directly after the expiration of the contract with NSL, giving them the security and the benefits of working directly for the local authority.


     ii.         Renew the current contract with NSL for one year only, while working on preparing a new contract with the existing civil enforcement officers.


The civil enforcement officers provide an important service to the Council and our residents; therefore we call upon the Council to adopt this motion.


Moved by: Councillor Mohammed Bakhtiar

Seconded by: Councillor Sina Lari


This item was deferred.



Motion: Producing an AI Framework

This Council notes the fast progress with artificial intelligence in the local government sector over the past 18 months. Many councils are now piloting and deploying artificial intelligence to transform services. For example, building predictive models and analysing photographic submissions to trigger enforcement action.


Councillors welcome the work already underway by officers, with LOTI and London Councils colleagues, to raise awareness of how artificial intelligence can help meet new challenges.


But we know that whilst artificial intelligence is a rapidly developing technology - and there are undoubtedly major benefits that may be unlocked by its use - it won’t be without risk to integrate new kit into service delivery.


That is why we call on the Lead Member to produce an “AI framework”, in order to ensure there are clear and accessible standards associated with the use of artificial intelligence in K&C. This should cover governance and procurement, as well as how to assess individual use cases.


Furthermore, we call on the Lead Member to investigate potential use cases - so that a framework can come to life and to improve and transform services.


Moved by: Councillor Janet Evans

Seconded by: Councillor Aarien Areti



The Mayor informed the meeting that this item would be deferred as Councillor Areti, the seconder, was not present.



Motion: River Thames Conservation Area Management Plan pdf icon PDF 46 KB

The Chelsea houseboat community is a true part of the local Chelsea community, comprising an eclectic mix of painters, artists but also financiers and lawyers.


Following the introduction of a number of larger houseboats, including boats now being subdivided and marketed for short term let, the Council is concerned that there are potential heritage impacts on the Thames conservation area and listed buildings in the vicinity.


Therefore, we call on the Council urgently to complete work on the River Thames Conservation Area Management Plan to protect Chelsea Riverside Ward further from overdevelopment along the Chelsea foreshore.


Moved: Councillor Gerard Hargreaves

Seconded: Councillor Sonia Zvedeniuk


With Full Council’s consent, Councillor Gerard Hargreaves moved, and Councillor Sonia Zvedeniuk seconded the altered text set out in the supplementary papers that:

‘The Chelsea houseboat community is a true part of the local Chelsea community, comprising an eclectic mix of painters, artists but also financiers and lawyers.

Following the introduction of a number of larger houseboats, including boats now being subdivided and marketed for short-term let, the council is concerned that there are potential heritage impacts on the Thames conservation area and listed buildings in the vicinity.

Therefore, we call on the council urgently to carry out a review of all the relevant policies contained in the Local Plan and complete work on the River Thames Conservation Area Management Plan to ensure that we further protect Chelsea Riverside Ward from overdevelopment along the Chelsea foreshore.’


A debate ensued with contributions from Councillors Kemahli, Rendall, Simmons, Taylor-Smith, Wade, and Will.


The motion was then put to the vote by the Mayor and declared carried.



Motion: Call for Council to support a ceasefire in Gaza

At the time of writing there have been 16,000 deaths in Gaza including nearly 6,000 children. The United Nations has described the situation now as a graveyard for children. A group of United Nations experts expressed concerns the situation in Gaza has reached a “catastrophic tipping point.”


The UN relief agency for Palestinians says on average one child is killed and two are injured every 10 minutes during the war. Save The Children confirmed the number of children killed in Gaza in the first 3 weeks of the conflict by the Israeli government surpasses numbers killed in all conflicts since 2019. As the UN Secretary General said, “no party to an armed conflict is above international law.”


There is still a dire need for food, water, medicine, fuel, and essential supplies in Gaza. Two million Gazans are struggling to find drinking water. Operations and amputations are being conducted without anaesthesia.


The call for an immediate ceasefire is not only echoed by the UN General Assembly, UNRWA, World Health Organisation, War on Want, Amnesty International, Christian Aid and over 600 NGO's from across the world. Pope Frances and the Archbishop of Canterbury have called for similar.


At a domestic political level, the Mayors of London, Greater Manchester and West Yorkshire alongside the Scottish First Minister and Shadow First Minister have demanded an immediate ceasefire. So have over 100 MPs including nearly 20 Labour Shadow Front Bench members alongside the trade union movement and hundreds of Councillors.


There are very strong feelings in support of a ceasefire nationally with 76% in favour and amongst Kensington and Chelsea residents which is second after Westminster only in having the highest number of Arab residents London borough


We therefore call on the Council publicly to back an immediate ceasefire in the region by all parties and the unconditional release of all hostages. We call on the Council to ask the Council Leader to:


(1) Write to the Prime Minister:


a)    asking him to support the upholding of international law, with appropriate investigation and accountability for breaches including the use of white phosphorus and war crimes;

b)    publicly back an immediate ceasefire

c)    asking him to support the unfettered humanitarian access to Gaza to alleviate the unacceptable levels of human suffering in the region;

d)    asking him to intervene and ask the Israeli government to stop escalation of violence from illegal settlers in the West Bank who are driving Palestinians from their homes; and

e)    asking him to endorse a serious and concerted reinvigoration of international efforts for a two-state solution.


(2) Build on existing efforts to raise awareness of and challenge all forms of racism including antisemitism, islamophobia and anti-Palestinian racism.'


Mover: Councillor Dr Mona Ahmed

Seconder: Councillor Emma Dent Coad


This item was deferred.



Appointments to Committees and Outside Organisations pdf icon PDF 45 KB


The following appointments were agreed:

Councillor Kim Taylor-Smith to replace Councillor Gerard Hargreaves as the voting member at Al-Manaar (Muslim Cultural Heritage Centre).

Councillor Toby Benton was appointed to the Planning Committee pool.



Any Other Oral or Written Items Which the Mayor Considers Urgent

[Each written report on the public part of the Agenda as detailed above:

(i)    was made available for public inspection from the date of the Agenda;

(ii)   incorporates a list of the background papers which (i) disclose any facts or matters on which that report, or any important part of it, is based; and (ii) have been relied upon to a material extent in preparing it. (Relevant documents which contain confidential or exempt information are not listed.); and

(iii)   may, with the consent of the Mayor and subject to specified reasons, be supported at the meeting by way of oral statement or further written report in the event of special circumstances arising after the despatch of the Agenda.]

Exclusion of the Press and Public

There are no matters scheduled to be discussed at this meeting that would appear to disclose confidential or exempt information under the provisions Schedule 12A of the Local Government (Access to Information) Act 1985.

Should any such matters arise during the course of discussion of the above items or should the Mayor agree to discuss any other such matters on the grounds of urgency, the Council will wish to resolve to exclude the press and public by virtue of the private nature of the business to be transacted.  



There were no items that the Mayor considered urgent.