Our Council Plan

The Council's Plan for 2019 to 2023

Our Borough

Kensington and Chelsea is a unique central London borough, home to places of great cultural importance, diverse communities and attractive streets and squares. Over half our residents were born outside of the UK. Our communities come from all over the world and include significant North American, European, Asian, African, Middle Eastern, South American and Caribbean populations, who have profoundly shaped the character of the area. Residents value that diversity and we will continue to foster inclusiveness.

We have the smallest population of any London borough at 160,000 and will see limited population growth over the next 10 years but we have the third highest population density in London. High density brings challenges around traffic congestion, air pollution and noise nuisance, and we have heard how important these issues are to our communities.

The average price of homes sold locally last year was £2.2m, the highest in London. This makes the borough the most expensive place to buy a house in the country. Social and affordable housing is in short supply. Although the situation here is extreme, these same challenges are seen elsewhere in London. Increasing housing supply, particularly of social and affordable homes, is a priority for local people and requires a creative response from all tiers of government, including the Council.

Most employed residents are in highly skilled work and well paying professions. At the same time, there are areas of significant deprivation, particularly in the north of the borough and parts of the south and west. Kensington and Chelsea has the highest life expectancy in the country overall, but this varies between the north and the south of the borough and between home owners, private renters and those living in social housing. While there are limits to the extent to which the Council can affect overall inequality, by focusing efforts collectively and in partnership, we can improve access to opportunities and narrow the gap in key areas, including skills, employment and health.

We are already making progress. Kensington and Chelsea has the highest educational attainment levels in London and our state schools are among the best in the country. In this borough, a higher proportion of state school pupils from disadvantaged backgrounds win places at university than anywhere else in the country.

The borough hosts many nationally and internationally recognised cultural attractions, such as Kensington Palace, the Natural History, Science and Design Museums and Notting Hill Carnival, as well as world class retail stores and unique independent shops and markets, including the world famous Portobello Market. Our daytime population is 250,000, reflecting the high numbers of visitors and workers who come to the borough every day. The visitor economy is very important to the borough. Kensington and Chelsea is home to over 15,000 businesses, that generate substantial economic output and some £325 million in business rates a year.

Communities

  • 56,000 visitors on an average day: more people come through South Kensington tube station each year than through London Heathrow Terminal 5
  • over 6,000 children identified as living in poverty (after housing costs), 45% of them living in just three wards (Notting Dale, Golborne and Dalgarno)
  • one fifth of all households have a first language that is not English - this is the fourth highest in the country

Environment

  • the Council collects rubbish and recycling twice weekly from 93,000 households
  • we have 160,000 residents in 4.7 square miles making it one of the most densely populated areas in Europe
  • there are 26 parks and open spaces, including 10 with a green flag

Culture and heritage

  • the Council provides 6 libraries and 2 leisure centres, 7 theatres and over 15 museums, including three of the most visited museums in the UK
  • we have over 4,000 listed buildings and 177 English Heritage Blue Plaques
  • up to 1 million people each year come to Notting Hill Carnival, the largest street festival in Europe

Education

  • 100% of our schools are rated 'good' or 'outstanding' by Ofsted
  • 77% of students continue their education after completing their A-Levels; the highest percentage in Inner London

Health and Care

  • we have the highest life expectancy in the country, for both men and women: more than five years higher than the national average
  • life expectancy is 13 years lower for men and 5 years lower for women in the most deprived areas of the borough than in the least deprived areas
  • 1,600 adults are receiving social care support

Economy

  • with 15,000 businesses and 165,000 jobs, retail, food and beverage, accommodation, head office, real estate, publishing and creative industries are the borough’s key sectors
  • we have the second largest number of hotel beds of any London borough
  • 5,000 residents are unemployed, with rates varying significantly by ethnicity and area

Transport

  • we maintain 190km of roads and 380km of pavements, 12 underground stations with over 150 million entries and exits each year, and 8km of new 'quietways' for safer cycling
  • all residents are within a three-minute walk of a car club

Housing

  • 23,000 households live in social housing
  • 30,000 households own their home
  • 20,000 households rent privately
  • over 2,000 households are living in temporary accommodation