RBKC has a new cabinet formed by Dizzy Lizzy Campbell with some new faces on it. Here is the list of them so far:
Deputy Leader and Lead Member for Borough Services: Cllr Will Pascall
Deputy Leader and Lead Member for Grenfell Recovery, Housing and Property: Cllr Kim Taylor-Smith
Lead Member for Adult Social Care and Mental Health: Cllr Charles Williams
Lead Member for Community: Cllr Mary Weale
Lead Member for Corporate Services: Cllr David Lindsay
Also we had the good news this week that all regeneration plans are on hold and that the plans to lease our North Kensington Library may be under review. But THINKers are cynical types who have long grown to mistrust the Conservatives of RBKC and have good reason to do so.
We weren’t entirely familiar with some of the new faces of the RBKC cabinet, As North Kensington residents who are highly concerned about the issue of housing and “regeneration” meaning in fact, social cleansing and knowing what a major issue this is our community, we decided to look at Cllr Kim Taylor-Smith:
He has stated on the RBKC website that he was a chartered accountant until 2008. But we at THINK also know that he is a property developer (now why was that not disclosed on the RBKC website?) Some of us are now getting a sense of deja vu – as in Rock Feilding-Mellen with his property development company – conflict of interests – surely not!
And Mr Taylor-Sloth (yes we couldn’t find a picture of a sloth dressed like a Sloane Ranger circa 1985) admit that he “was unaware” or residents’ concerns about fire safety. Yes, he might have only been elected in 2015, but we will point out that he has been on the Housing and Scrutiny committee for over a year – well then Taylor-Sloth, you didn’t even begin to pay attention to this? Maybe some should get out of their “magic money trees” and go and see how some of us actually have to live? Let us point out that the Grenfell Action Group wrote this while he was on that committee:
We are not left with much confidence that this “Kitchen cabinet” can ever achieve anything much other than further destruction of our community and embarrassing themselves to a much wider public audience. Another example is Mary Weale who told residents that “We hear but we don’t listen” she is now Lead Member for Community, which is not very reassuring for all of us.
No, THINK believe that this is nothing but a tinpot kitchen cabinet that is keeping its fingers crossed. When Dizzy Lizzy Campbell was asked if she would resign, she answered “no, not yet” We have had more than enough of this Rotten Borough and now some should at least admit to their failures, Unfortnately for concerned residents of North Kensington, they don’t genarally get our issues and the real thing to remember is the fact that they have only put “regeneration” plans on hold, rather than actually cancelled them, so forgive us if we are not opening the champagne just yet.
See this video of Taylor-Sloth here: http://m.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/video-news/video-it-will-be-a-challenge-to-house-all-grenfell-residents-kim-taylorsmith-35950375.html
Note that he states that 300 properties have been offered and only 17 have been accepted. Could it be that RBKC is trying to offload some of the cheaper properties (outside London that they bought ages ago when making their social cleansing regeneration plans) on to Grenfell survivors? We hope not, but our experiences of this council have only shown that most of them treat most of the poorest and most vulnerable in our community with either ignorance or contempt.
Mr Taylor-Smith also appears to be blaming the housing shortage in RBKC on the actual size in area of the borough. Let us point out to him that there are many properties in RBKC that have been recently been built as well as many properties that have been left empty. THINK suggest that Kim and his colleagues now seek to use their large reserves to purchase these for social housing – it is the very least RBKC could do to repair their now very tarnished reputation.
Could it be that the reason our council have only put their plans “on hold” is just because they are waiting for the media spotlight to go away before quietly going ahead with “business as usual”? As it is, we believe the change of leader and cabinet reshuffle is nothing short of rearranging the deckchairs on the Titanic, and this Tory (once considered a “flagship” ) council is soon about to sink.