Agenda and minutes

Full Council - Wednesday, 28th February, 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 883 KB

The minutes of the meeting of Full Council held on 31 January 2024 are submitted for confirmation.


The minutes of the meeting of the Council held on 31 January 2024 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.


With the meeting’s consent, all those Members present were deemed to have made a personal declaration of interest regarding Agenda Item 15 – report of Council Side Committees – Members’ Scheme of Allowances 2024/25.


No declarations of interest were made under Section 106 of the Local Government Finance Act 1992, which relates to Members' Council Tax payments.


Special Announcements by the Mayor


The Mayor had no special announcements.


Chief Executive's Communications

(i)       Apologies for Absence


(ii)     Other Communications


Apologies for absence were received from Councillors Elizabeth Campbell, Stuart Graham, Dahabo Isse, Sidney Yankson and Sonia Zvedeniuk.


Public Speaking pdf icon PDF 66 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)             Antisocial behaviour in Earls Court

Kieran Terry, an Earl’s Court resident, complimented the Council on its good bin collections, street cleansing, schools, and low council tax but expressed concern over antisocial behaviour in Earl's Court, including open drug and drink use and aggressive begging. He stated that even in Kempsford Gardens and Earl's Court Square, which have good cycle lanes, residents faced problems from cyclists using the pavements. He noted how the ‘Look Ahead hostel’ operated had contributed  to these issues, but he did not blame the residents. Mr Terry had given his support through the consultation for the proposed Public Space Protection Order and asked for confirmation of the next steps from the Council. He asked for reassurance that Liberal Democrats’ proposals for drug injection ‘safe rooms’ would not be taken further.


Councillor Sarah Addenbrooke, Lead Member for Communities and Community Safety, thanked Mr Terry and noted that many of his concerns were covered in the consultation. She added that the Public Space Protection Order (PSPO) consultation, which ended on February 20th, had received many responses, with over 90% of the respondents supporting the proposed PSPO. Officers were analysing the survey results, and once all the processes were completed and the final draft was cleared by legal services, the consultation report would be issued around mid-March. She expected that the Council would implement the PSPO in mid-April. Councillor Addenbrooke stated that current evidence or policy does not support the use of 'safe' injection rooms, and there were no plans to implement them.


Councillor Linda Wade, Earl’s Court ward councillor, repudiated the assertion that the Liberal Democrats had called for ‘safe’ injection rooms. She noted that residents in Earl's Court had complained about antisocial behaviour and drug activity for years, leading to a ‘call for action’ from the three ward councillors in 2022. She said that the Council had taken some time to respond, but meetings with hostel wardens and police had restarted, while further meetings with housing association officers were needed. She welcomed the proposed PSPO but had concerns about its implementation, evaluation, and whether the resources allocated would be sufficient. She added that mental health and substance abuse were primary triggers of street population problems, and it is unclear how the police's revised approach would affect this.


(ii)           Mental health support for those affected by events in the Middle East

Leearna Oliffe stated that there had been a lack of mental health support for those affected by the ongoing conflict in Gaza, even though the borough had the second-largest Arab population in London. She pointed out how this contrasted with the wide-ranging assistance provided to those affected by the Grenfell Fire, COVID-19, the invasion of Ukraine and the cost-of-living crisis. This gave the impression that the Council did not care about the community. Ms Oliffe criticised the comments made by Councillor Campbell in November 2023 and spoke about the lack of presence by the Council outside Al-Manaar Mosque. She gave details of the personal suffering experienced by  ...  view the full minutes text for item 5.



Presentation of petitions (if any).


No petitions were presented.


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


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

Madam Mayor, it is a pleasure to be standing in for Elizabeth tonight, but I have to say, it is a very difficult act to follow. I think we can all agree that hearing her reflections on Grenfell Testimony Week in our last meeting right here in this Chamber was an important and poignant moment. It was a candid and open synopsis of where we are as an organisation, where we want to be and should be, and the recognition that we still have some way to go. I can say tonight that the story hasn't stopped there, either.

Since then, the Council has held important sessions with staff, notably all managers in the organisation – to relay what we heard at Testimony Week back to the organisation and have honest conversations about moving forward with more pace, more focus and completing a change of culture which started back in June 2017.

Madam Mayor. Elizabeth cannot make it tonight despite this being an evening for setting a budget. The reason is that she is with the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities and meeting bereaved families and survivors to continue the discussion on Grenfell Recovery, the work of the memorial commission, and important matters as the seventh anniversary and final inquiry report come into view.

You see, the effort to recover never stops—and neither should it—and neither will it. The former Bishop of Liverpool, the Right Reverend Bishop James Jones, puts it well: 'In the aftermath of the disaster, there is tragedy. In the long term, there is tragedy and trauma.' This Council is here for the long term.

Madam Mayor. Tonight is budget night. I know colleagues and Johnny are keen to talk through our proposals and outline yet another sensible, balanced budget. This is something we can be proud of; it is something we do every year. Despite costs increasing, shifts in demand, tougher times, and the cost-of-living challenges, we still balance the books. I know colleagues will work hard again next year to look at how we can keep taxes low, make services work better for less, and focus on putting money back in the pockets of people who live in this borough. You see, here on these benches, we are very much focused on local issues, solving problems with people and tackling issues we have control over.

We have seen over many weeks protests in our borough, and on our streets, and I just want to reiterate what Elizabeth has said numerous times, here, and on visits to mosques, synagogues, and churches. We stand for community cohesion wherever possible, bringing people together. So, we can discuss the impact of world politics on our communities and find solutions and unity together.

Yes, we are a Council—therefore, our role is to fix the potholes and collect the bins. But we also want to work in  ...  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.


Adoption of Municipal Timetable May 2024 to December 2025 pdf icon PDF 74 KB

Additional documents:


Councillor Taylor-Smith moved and Councillor Thalassites seconded the report’s recpetion.


RESOLVED: That Council agreed to adopt the Municipal Timetable for June 2024 to December 2025.


Review of Representation on Council Committees pdf icon PDF 90 KB

Additional documents:


Councillors Lari, Wade, and Dent Coad moved the appointments standing their names.


(i)             That the political balance be noted.

(ii)            That the ratios for committees set out in Appendix A to the report be adopted.

(iii)          That the appointments to committees table by the Independent, Labour and Liberal Democrat Groups be adopted.


Reports from the Leadership Team pdf icon PDF 79 KB

Additional documents:


Councillor Thalassites moved and Councillor Lari seconded, then Council RESOLVED that in accordance with Standing Order 42, Standing Order 30 be suspended to allow Councillors Thalassites and Ali up to 10 minutes each for their speeches.

Councillor Taylor-Smith moved and Councillor Thalassites seconded the report’s reception.


Revenue Budget, Capital Programme and Council Tax 2024/25 pdf icon PDF 728 KB

Additional documents:


Councillor Thalassites began by setting out the following points:

(i)             That this was a balanced and robust budget proposal.

(ii)            How the Council had already delivered: improvements to Kensington Memorial Park, 'blitzes' in all wards to tackle graffiti and litter, and award-winning new homes at Kelso Cochrane Court and Hewer Street.

(iii)          That the Council was determined to be the best.

(iv)          How the impact of rising construction, social care costs, and bills was putting tremendous pressure on residents’ finances, whom the Council was supporting through £14m Council Tax relief schemes and £100 cost-of-livingpayment.

(v)           That the proposed 2.99% Council Tax increase and 2% Adult Social Care precept, would protect core services.

(vi)          The new Kensington Queensmill School reduced spending on SEN transport, and there had been a reduction in agency costs for Adult Social Care.

(vii)         That the budget responded to the needs of the Grenfell bereaved and survivors and prioritised children.

(viii)       That the Council was focusing on critical projects and changes for communities, including at Lots Road, Kingsbridge Road and Maxilla.


Councillor Ali made the following comments:

(i)             He drew Members’ attention to the Labour Group’s budget amendments, which responded to the communities’ needs.

(ii)            He noted that free school meals were omitted because the Mayor of London was funding them.

(iii)          That in Notting Dale ward, women’s life expectancy was 15 years lower and men’s 17 years lower than in wealthier wards in the Borough.

(iv)          That the proposed £300,000 housing cuts would not address the worst housing inequalities in London.

(v)           That the budget did not address economic inequality, with neighbourhoods in the borough being among the 20 most deprived in England with higher-than-average unemployment rates.

(vi)          That the amendment would support local communities to help those who wished to start their own businesses.

(vii)         How the amendment sought to address the whole borough' needs.


Labour amendment to the Revenue Budget, Capital Programme and Council Tax


The Labour Group’s amendment was then formally moved by Councillor Ali and seconded by Councillor Lari.


A debate among Councillors on the revenue budget, capital programme, and Council Tax then ensued, with contributions from Councillors Adourian, Ahmed, Areti, Bennett, Benton, Burns, Dent Coad, Evans, Faulks, Hammond, Hargreaves, Idris, Kemahli, Lane, McVeigh, Pascall, Rendall, Thaxter, Verboven, Wade, Weale, and Will.


Councillor Lari then summed up the debate on the Labour amendments, and Councillor Thalassites summed up the budget debate and spoke in favour of adopting the recommendations in the Leadership Team's report.


The Mayor then advised the Council that the vote on the Labour amendment and the budget and Council Tax needed to be recorded in the minutes.


Vote on the Labour amendment to the revenue and capital budgets and Council Tax.


The Labour Group amendment was then put to the vote by the Mayor, and the voting was as follows:


For: 9

Councillors Ahmed, Ali, Benton, Dent Coad, Elnaghi, Lari, Nur, Simmons, Thaxter


Against: 30

Councillors Addenbrooke, Adourian, Areti, Bennett, Burns, Cyron, Evans, Faulks, Gardner, Hammond, Hargreaves, Husband, Idris,  ...  view the full minutes text for item 12.


Housing Revenue Account Budget and Business Plan pdf icon PDF 270 KB

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Councillor McVeigh moved and Councillor Taylor-Smith seconded the report’s reception.


There were also contributions from Councillors Simmons, Taylor-Smith and Wade, and Councillor McVeigh summed up the debate.


RESOLVED – That the recommendations in paragraph 3.2 of the covering report from the Leadership Team be adopted.


Annual Treasury Management Strategy Statement 2024/25 pdf icon PDF 551 KB

Additional documents:


Councillor Thalassites moved and Councillor Taylor-Smith seconded the report’s reception.


RESOLVED – That the recommendations in paragraph 4.2 of the covering report from the Leadership Team be adopted.


Reports from Council-Side Committees pdf icon PDF 83 KB

Reference from the Administration Committee: Adoption of a Members’ Allowances Scheme for 2024/25

Additional documents:


Councillor Taylor-Smith moved the reception of the Members' Allowances Scheme 2024/25 and its appendices, and Councillor Thalassites seconded it.


RESOLVED - That Council adopt the Members’ Allowances scheme 2024/25.


Matters Referred to Full Council from Overview and Scrutiny or Select Committees


There were no matters referred by the Overview & Scrutiny Committee or Select Committees.


Questions asked of Lead Members pdf icon PDF 71 KB


Given the late hour, the Mayor stated that the questions to Lead Members would be answered in writing.


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 Eva Jedut listed a range of activities in Dalgarno Ward that she stated had been refused funding, including, but not limited to, pantomimes in 2022 and 2023, coronation celebrations at Coronation and Hampton Courts, mental health provision, Christmas celebration and CCTV provision. She also sought an apology to residents for the cancellation of a City Living, Local Life funding request and the diversion of £1800 without consulting Dalgarno Ward groups.


Councillor Lucy Knight informed Council about changes in primary care by the North West London Integrated Care Board that would require patients to be referred to same-day access hubs rather than their GPs from 1 April. She noted that there had been no consultation with GPs and was concerned that patients would no longer have access to the better quality of care they might receive from their usual GPs.


Councillor Hamish Adourian spoke about the poor pavement maintenance on Earl’s Court Road, the repair of which was the responsibility of Transport for London. He welcomed the Council's increased investment in pavement cleaning. He requested that the Leadership Team raise the need for repairs with TfL and, if possible, for those works to coincide with the Council's planned transformation of Hogarth Road in Earl’s Court Ward.


Councillor David Lindsay informed Council about the erratic level of service at Holland Park tube station. He added that the short-notice closures and inadequate warnings to passengers to take alternative routes were causing inconvenience to residents in Norland Ward. He noted TfL's proposed cycling scheme across Shepherd's Bush roundabout, which would displace more vehicles on RBKC roads without mitigation and after only minimal consultation.


Councillor Abdullahi Nur drew Council's attention to the crime and drug problem in Golborne Ward, and the detrimental effect this was having on the whole community, especially children. He spoke about both bullets hitting a resident's car and a fatal stabbing in October 2023 and thanked the Leader and other Lead Members for their responses. He asked the Leadership Team to work with councillors and the community to help residents.


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


This item was deferred to a future meeting.



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 to a future meeting.



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



This item was deferred to a future meeting.



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 to a future meeting.



Appointments to Committees and Outside Organisations


Council agreed the following appointment: that Councillor Marwan Elnaghi be appointed to Al-Manaar (Muslim Cultural Heritage Centre) to replace Councillor Kasim Ali.


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.