Where You Live: Kensington and Chelsea

Where you live >> Kensington and Chelsea

London is more than just the City and its famous landmarks. More than its museums, theatres, palaces, taxis and red buses. It is home to some 8 million people. You live, work and socialise across London’s 32 boroughs – you make them tick. You give Kensington and Chelsea’s neighbourhoods, from Notting Hill to Brompton, their unique identity. It is these distinct areas that make our great capital such a rich and diverse city. Unlike the previous Mayor, Boris is working to give all your boroughs - not just Zones 1-3 - his attention.

Boris Johnson has a nine point plan to secure Greater London’s future. He is paying for this plan by cutting waste at City Hall to free up £3.5 billion for services.

In Kensington and Chelsea the plan means:

  • Freezing City Hall’s share of council tax for three successive years and cutting it this year, benefitting 87,006 Kensington and Chelsea households. (Point 2) (GLA, Press Release, 1 February 2012, link ;  GLA Website, ‘Budget archive’, link.)
  • Growing the local economy with a £13.4 million redevelopment of the Exhibition Road to improve access and traffic flow for residents in one of London’s busiest tourist areas. (Point 6) (TfL, Press Release, link)
  • Investing in local transport with the expansion of London Overground stations to Kensington Olympia, West Brompton, and Shepherd’s Bush, regenerating the Thames’ river services at Cadogan Pier, and investing £15.9 million to boost local transport in K&C. (Point 8) (TfL, Press Release, 20 November 2008, link; TfL, Press Release, 11 December 2009, link; TfL, Press Release, 16 December 2010, link; TfL, Press Release, 15 December 2011, link).
  • Boris is benefitting local pensioners by reversing the previous Labour government’s decision to stop those at 60 getting the Freedom Pass until 65.
  • He is also the only candidate in this election who can secure a better deal for London from No 10.

Freezing council tax

  • Boris Johnson has frozen council tax for three years and is cutting it this year. Boris Johnson has frozen his share council tax for three years and is cutting it this year (GLA, Mayor’s Final Draft Consolidated Budget 2012-13, link). This has helped keep cost of living low for 87,006 households in Kensington and Chelsea (DCLG, Council Tax Base, October 2011), putting an extra £742 back in the pocket of the average Kensington and Chelsea household.

Restoring green space

  • Little Wormwood Scrubs Park. Little Wormwood Scrubs Park is one of eleven London parks that received £400,000 funding from the Mayor to deliver a fantastic makeover. Previously the Little Wormwood Scrubs Park had little on offer for youngsters. Part of the funding was used to create a new play area as well an outdoor gym. The project has also delivered new paths and cycle ways as well as a new ornamental garden (GLA, Press Release, 1 October 2010, link).
  • Green Spaces. 34 green spaces have been created for Kensington and Chelsea residents to grow their own food (Capital Growth Website, link )

Making your streets and homes safer

  • 1,000 more police by May and £132 million more investment under Boris. The number of Special Constables has more than doubled from 2,500 to well over 5,000 (GLA, The Mayor’s Consultation Budget, 22 December 2011, link; MPA Website, Police numbers, link; GLA, Mayor’s Final Budget 2011-12, link; Evening Standard, 30 January 2012, link).
  • 84 more patrols per month in Kensington and Chelsea. In 2010-11 there were 84 more  patrols per month in Kensington and Chelsea than in 2008-9. (London Assembly, Written answers to Mayoral questions, 22 February 2012, link).
  • Total crime and robberies in Kensington and Chelsea have fallen. Since May 2008, Kensington and Chelsea has seen a 12.7 per cent per cent decrease in total crime and a 30.3 per cent reduction in the number of robberies. Youth violence is down 20.5 per cent and bus crime has fallen 21.4 per cent (MPS Statistics, May 08 - Jan 12 compared to Sept 04-April 08).

Ensuring a true Olympic legacy

  • Boris Johnson has funded six sport participation programmes in Kensington and Chelsea so far. They are (Mayor of London, Sporting future for London, April 2009, p. 9, link)

  • 6 organisations in Kensington and Chelsea are receiving Sports Legacy Programme Grants to offer free sports coaching to London (Freesport Programme Website, link).

Investing in transport

  • £15.9 million of funding for local transport in Kensington and Chelsea. Since becoming Mayor, Boris Johnson has invested over £15.9 million to boost local transport in Kensington and Chelsea. Projects include £485,000 to improve urban realm and pedestrian improvements in Norland Road, benefiting local residents and £250,000 towards streetscape and pedestrian improvements in Talbot Road between Clydesdale Road and Powis Gardens (TfL, Press Release, 20 November 2008, link; TfL, Press Release, 11 December 2009, link; TfL, Press Release, 16 December 2010, link; TfL, Press Release, 15 December 2011, link).

Rail

  • London Overground. London’s first orbital railway, has three stations in Kensington and Chelsea. Thousands of residents in Kensington and Chelsea will benefit from London’s first orbital railway, with three London Overground stations in the borough: Kensington Olympia, West Brompton, and Shepherds’ Bush (TfL Website, ‘London Overground’, link)
  • Improving Tube lines running through Kensington & Chelsea. This is part of the Tube upgrade programme, secured by Boris Johnson. These include:
    • Circle and Hammersmith and City Lines. This will improve capacity by 65 per cent on the Circle and Hammersmith & City line, an additional 17,000 passengers per hour at peak time. From 2012, 53 new trains will be introduced on the two lines. These will be air-conditioned, have walk-through carriages, and wider doors and walkways to improve accessibility (TfL Website, ‘Circle line upgrade plan’, link).
    • District Line. This will improve capacity by 24 per cent on District line, meaning the line can carry an additional 10,000 passengers per hour at peak time. 80 new trains will also begin to be introduced from 2013, with all new trains in service 2016. These will be air-conditioned, have walk-through carriages, and wider doors and walkways to improve accessibility (TfL Website, ‘District line upgrade plan’, link).
  • Oyster Cards rolled out on national rail. After years of talk under Ken Livingstone, Boris Johnson secured the roll-out of Oyster cards onto national rail. Kensington and Chelsea is now the 30th highest oyster- using borough on national rail services (TfL Website, ‘Oyster on National Rail’, December 2009, link).

Roads and congestion

  • Introduced the roadworks Permit Scheme. Boris Johnson introduced the roadworks Permit Scheme in 2010, resulting in an average 17 per cent cut in the number of road works by utility companies in those boroughs, such as Kensington and Chelsea, which have adopted the scheme (GLA, Press Release, 11 January 2010, link London Councils, London Permit Scheme: First Year Evaluation Report, 27 May 2011, link). 37 per cent of applications by utility companies to dig up roads in Kensington and Chelsea have been refused following the introduction of the permit scheme (ibid.).
  • Scrapped the Western Extension Zone. Boris Johnson scrapped Ken Livingstone’s Western Extension of the Congestion Charging Zone in December 2010 after 69 per cent of residents voted in favour of cancelling the zone (TfL, Press Release, 20 October 2010, link).
  • C-Charge. Boris also scrapped Ken Livingstone’s plans to introduce a £25 charge for family vehicles (London Legacy, Press Release, 8 July 2008, link).
  • Invested £13.4 million to redevelop Exhibition Road. This helped to improve access and traffic flow for residents in one of London’s busiest tourist areas (TfL, Press Release, link)

Buses

  • Bus improvements. 26 bus routes in Kensington and Chelsea have been expanded and/or improved under Boris Johnson. (TFL, Bus service changes borough by borough, May 2008-January 2012)
  • Bendy Buses removed. Nearly 500 new vehicles boasting the latest clean engine technology will replace the Bendy buses, saving TfL £7 million a year in fare evasion (TfL, Press Release, 5 October 2011).
  • Kensington and Chelsea have a bendy bus routes removed. Former bendy bus route 18 ran through Kensington and Chelsea have had the bendy bus withdrawn (TfL, Press Release, November 2009).

Cycling

  • Cycle Superhighways. Two Superhighways will through K&C – Cycle Superhighway 9 from Hounslow to Hyde Park by 2013 and Cycle Superhighway 10 from Park Royal to Hyde Park by 2015 (TfL Website, ‘Cycle Superhighways: About the scheme’, link)

River

  • Regeneration of the Thames River Service. Kensington and Chelsea has one pier – Cadogan Pier, which has benefitted from Boris Johnson’s strong support of regenerating the Thames’ river services (TfL Website, ‘River Map’, link).

Housing

  • 220 total affordable housing units completed in Kensington and Chelsea. 150 social rented and70intermediate affordable housing units were completed in Kensington and Chelsea between 2008/09 and 2010/11. (DCLG, Affordable Housing Live Tables 1006,1007,1008).

Mayoral visits

  • Boris Johnson has made more visits to Kensington and Chelsea in four years than Ken Livingstone made in eight. Boris Johnson has visited Kensington and Chelsea 24 times since July 2008. Ken Livingstone visited Kensington and Chelsea just five times in his eight years as Mayor (GLA, Mayor’s Report to the Assembly, May 2000 – April 2008; GLA, Mayor’s Report to the Assembly, May 2008 – March 2012).

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