Engagement with Residents’ Associations in North Kensington

Questions and comments by Claire Simmons 

The Council engages with Residents Associations and other groups both on the Lancaster West estate and beyond it.

The Council has reviewed its approach to community engagement, and has developed a comprehensive list of organisations in the North Kensington area that we will be looking to engage with. This is an important part of developing and informing the Grenfell recovery strategy. This will include focusing on the quiet voices in the community, whose voices may not usually be heard. We will work in a range of settings and with a range of demographic groups, including elders, disabled people, children and young adults. We intend to develop a targeted survey to help connect us with those who may be hard to reach.

We will be working with colleagues across the Council and external partners to ensure we have a consistency in our approach. We are also co-designing a toolkit to use with each organisation we engage with: the tool kit can also be used for those communities who wish to self-facilitate their meetings.

In addition, we are developing a webpage so that people can submit their views online. Currently we are looking to get community feedback on the types of questions that we ask to ensure that they are relevant.

We are committed to listening to all our residents and will ensure we keep local people updated on the progress made. Our response to the report, ‘Change at the Council’, by the Centre for Public Scrutiny, includes training for staff and councillors on community engagement.

Additionally, the Executive Director for Planning has already suggested that the Council revises its statutory Statement of Community Involvement once our new overall approach to community engagement has been more fully developed. Given the scale of community engagement relating to the recovery strategy that is currently planned, we do not want to overload the community with engagement at the same time.

Engagement in planning decisions essentially takes two levels:

  • Engagement on planning policies and guidance;
  • Site specific engagement relating to planning applications.

Developing our overall approach with the community and then revising the Statement of Community Involvement may not be a quick process. In the meantime if any Residents Association would like to be added to the database of those we contact when developing new planning policies, we will ensure they are added to the list: please send your details to communityengagement@rbkc.co.uk.