Local Elections, candidates, selections and the likely RBKC “Class of 2022”: Guess who, how, what, where and why?

Local Elections are now in full swing. Please do check if you are registered to vote and that your correct details are logged here:

https://www.gov.uk/register-to-vote

The deadline for registration to vote at these local elections is the 14th of April 

If you are an RBKC resident and unsure of what ward you are living in and who your councillors are, you can check here: https://www.rbkc.gov.uk/council-councillors-and-democracy/councillors-and-committee-meetings/find-your-councillor-and-ward

Here are some  pictures of both councillors and soon-to-be councillors out on the  old “campaign trail”….

Here’s Labour:

Here are the Tories:

Looks like the Conservatives decided to wisely leave their “Young Conservatives” banner at home this time (even though Kim Taylor-Smith is really dressing the part!)  The banner made an appearance before in the Dalgarno by election  – here it is from back then:

And here are the Lib Dems :

The parties have now finished their selections – we now know who most of the candidates are in held wards and there will be a lot of new faces in North Ken.. Now most RBKC residents wondering who their next councillors will be after May – the “Class of 2022 ” – do not have to wonder or speculate for much longer Here are the line ups of your likely councillors for most of the wards (including some of the other candidates in marginals and possible close runs) :

Abingdon Ward

  No changes with RBKC Lead Member for Communities Cllr Anne Cyron and Cllrs James Husband (Planning Committee chair) and Sarah Addenbrooke standing again and this is a very safe Conservative ward so it’s safe to say they will all be back.

Sarah Addenbrooke

Brompton and Hans Town Ward

No candidate changes either.  We doubt RBKC Lead Member for Finance and Customer Delivery and old guard devotee  Cllr Mary Weale (who has been there since 1987!) will end up in the wheelie bin  in this, one of the safest Tory wards. She and her fellow wards councillors Sof McVeigh and Walaa Idris will  more than likely be returning  too 

Since Cllr Wheelie Bin thinks “there is no place for disgraceful soubriquets “and she “Wealie” doesn’t like being featured in THINK, here is an extra special picture of her:

Mary “Wheelie Bin” Weale

Campden Ward

RBKC Lead Member for Economy, Employment and Innovation Cllr Catherine Faulks is staying on. We are sorry to see thst Cllr Robert Freeman is retiring. Cllr Ian Wason is also leaving – and appears to be heading for Parliament The new Conservative candiates are Lloyd North and Preety Hudd

Campden is a very safe Tory ward so it’s safe to say these two will be joining Cllr Faulks.

Lloyd North

Chelsea Riverside Ward

Intriguing goings on in this Tory marginal ward, but probably no surprises to know that current Mayor of RBKC (and bad old days guard dog figure) Cllr Gerard Hargreaves fights on there again.

Cllrs Adrian Berrill-Cox and Alison Jackson are leaving in May. Unfortunately we do not have the answer as to who their likely replacements will be (more about that later).

Anyway, as this is a marginal ward and the nearest party is Labour, we can reveal that the three Labour candidates are newcomers Cehan Chiron, Mike Coelho and Jake Tbomas, who is a World’s End Estate local resident and he is pictured here:

Jake Thomas

This will be an interesting ward to watch. The Labour Party will see if the unpopularity of this Government really does translate into more votes going their way down here (which is home to quite a lot of social housing including both the World’s End and Cremorne Estates), possibly resulting in a shock exit for “Bulldog” Hargreaves. Stranger things have happened…..

Colville Ward

All change and some very interesting goings indeed in this Labour- held (but not safe) ward, and two of the incumbents Cllr Ian Henderson – who campaigned to save Chelsea’s Sutton Estate – and Cllr Nadia Nail have been deselected . Cllr Monica Press is stepping down. We are very sad and disappointed in what has been happening over this and sorry to see all three go. The latest news is that two of the candidates here are newcomers – Toby Benton and Dahabo Isse – and they are joined by one very familiar face, and that is Leader of the Labour Group, Cllr Mo Bakhtiar – who was deselected from St Helen’s Ward and was picked here instead.

Mo Bakhtiar

Years ago this  North Kensington ward once used to have quite a sizable  Lib Dem vote, but those days seem to have gone, and now Labour might have to watch their backs from the  Tories here instead. Conservatives do  seem to be very hopeful of making gains here;  why else would they  be leafleting and canvassing this ward on an almost daily basis?   we think Labour will hold on, but just in case, the Conservative candidates here who could possibly become councillors (if the Tories are not being too overconfident here!) are Ellie Lines, Roni  Greenfield and Becky Walsh.

Courtfield Ward

No changes in this South Kensington Conservative held  Ward  Cllrs Greg Hammond, Janet Evans and Quentin Marshall  are all standing again.

This is a rock solid Tory ward with both opposition parties a long  way behind , so we can expect all three will be safely back without any difficulty.

Janet Evans

Dalgarno Ward

A safe Labour – not their safest  but safe enough  – ward on the NW side of North Kensingtom sees one change and it is a big change. Cllr Pat Healy was deselected  through no fault of her own – another councillor we will miss. Chair of the Housing and Communities Committee Cllr Kasim Ali stays on and he is joined by newcomer candidate  Eva Jedut.

Here is From The Hornets Nest on Eva Jedut:

http://fromthehornetsnest.blogspot.com/2022/01/loves-labours-lost-plot.html?m=1

http://fromthehornetsnest.blogspot.com/2022/02/the-dame-to-face-unlimited-damages-for.html?m=1

And in the best  interests of fairness, here is soon to be Cllr Jedut’s (actually very good) Council speech sone time ago on HMOs.:

https://www.rbkc.gov.uk/council-councillors-and-democracy/councillors-and-committee-meetings/full-council-meeting-responses-20-june-2018/housing-houses-multiple-occupation

We do hope to see more of this sort of thing from her rather than countless angry comments and video links being posted in response to the FTHN blogs; (which could see her being labelled as a “Labour version of Matthew Palmer!”)

Kasim Ali

Earl’s Court Ward

This is always the most interesting ward as it is quite a unique RBKC word, being  a THREE WAY MARGINAL – and definitely the one to watch. Currently it has two Cosnervative councillors – Cllrs Hamish Adourian and Malcolm Spalding  – and one Lib Dem Cllr Linda Wade. All three are standing again.

Linda Wade

The new Conservntive candidate here is Stephanie Petit. The two other Liberal Democrat new candidates are Christophe Noblet and Tim Verboven. But this is not a two horse race, as this ward was also Labour’s closest call last time. Popular Earl’s Court local Bruno “De Florence” Diantantou stands as Labour candidate here again and he is joined by two other candidates, Sharda Rozena and fellow Earl’s Court local John Winter.

We cettainly think that this out of touch and problematic to say least Government and the cost of living crisis, the consequences of Brexit could possibly hit the Tories (both Tory Cllrs campaigned for Vote Leave) in tbis ward. This could be the one ward in which local, national and international politics may decide the result. Earl’s Court really could go any way……

Golborne Ward

Cllr Sina Lari stays on in this, the safest Labour ward, and he will be joined by two new candidates, Mona Adam (who stood in Norland last time) and Abdulahi Nur. All three are more than likely to be comfortably in. We’re very disappointed to learn that Cllr Pat Mason is standing down, and we’re also bewildered as to why Cllr Emma Dent Coad has decided to vacate this ward and head for St Helen’s instead.

Sina Lari

Holland Ward

Cllr Charles O’Connor is stepping down and Lead Member for Planning, Place and the Environment, Cllr Johnny Thalassites and Cllr Aarien Areti are staying on, to be joined by newcomer Lucinda Knight. This is a fairly safe Tory ward, but with a lot of residents in unstable rental situations being hit hard by the cost of living crisis  and strong Labour candidates   (including Nathaniel McBride who fought here  last time )  we predict a noticable swing to Labour in this ward, but probably nowhere near enough to trouble the Tories.

Lucinda Knight

Norland Ward

This is the safest one of the two (out of seven) North Kensington wards that is held by Conservatives.  Cllr Julie Mills is sadly leaving, but Cllr David Lindsay stays on, and he is joined by new candidate Stuart Graham Here is his Comms company Millbank Creative https://www.millbankcreative.com/

As if we don’t we have more than enough of all that comms PR stuff at RBKC as it is already?!! We  predict a Tory hold  with a similar result to last time .

Stuart Graham

Notting Dale Ward

Just minutes up the road from affluent Norland but almost a  different world away, this ward, home to Grenfell Tower and most of the borough’s Council housing,  is one of the safest Labour wards in the borough. Cllrs Robert Atkinson and Judith Blakeman are sadly standing down. Cllr Marwan Elnaghi is staying on, and he will be joined by Labour newcomer candidates (but who are both well known residents  in the ward)  Mona Ahmed and Claire Simmons.

Claire Slmmons

Pembridge Ward

This, the ward of Notting Hill Gate, is the only other Cosnetvative held Ward (besides Norland) in North Kensington.  Cllr Laura Round is leaving, Cllr Dori Schmetterling  stays on and he will be joined by a not so new face, as former  senior councillor and resident of this ward, Joanna Gardner makes her return. There is an increasingly strong Lib Dem presence here and Labour are the second party, but neither got nowhere near taking it last time – we predict this to be a safe Tory return, but with noticeable swings to both Labour and the Lib Dems..

Dori Schmetterling

Queen’s Gate Ward

All change and no change? Well quite, because this is one of the safest Conservative wards and all three of the councillors have either been deselected or share stepping down . Cllr Matthew Palmer was thrown out of the Connservative Party (for campaigning for UKIP ) so no surprise to see him go, but we are surprised to see thst that “The Good Doctor” Cllr Dr Max Chauhan was mysteriously deselected ((but he doesn’t seem to have any hard feelings about it and still goes out campaigning for other candidates) . Cllr Maxwell Woodger was also deselected and he is now standing in St Helen’s.    Sam Mackover who quit this ward in 2018 will be making a return , The two newcomers  who will be joining him at the Town Hall are Roberto Weeden-Sanz and Will Lane.

Sam Mackover

Redcliffe Ward

Cllr Charles Williams is standing down, and he will be succeeded by  new candidiate Sidney Yankson.

Sidney Yankson

Cllr Tom Bennett and  Chair of the Overview and Scrutiny Committee Cllr Marie-Therese Rossi are staying on. There is a  noticeable Lib Dem presence here, and we predict quite a swing to them , but think this will one, as ever, will stay firmly blue.

Royal Hospital Ward

No changes here at all and we don’t think that RBKC Leader Cllr Elizabeth Campbell,  Lead Member for Adult Social Care and Public Health Cllr Cem Kemahli and Lead Member for Community Safety, Culture and Leisure Cllr Emma Will have anything to worry about in this very safe Tory ward.

Cem Kemahli

(But we do amusingly remember at the 2018 count,  seeing Dizzy Lizzy looking all aghast at seeing loads and loads of ballot papers piling up in the red trays and dwarfing her blue pile – there’s some social housing here, mainly around Chelsea Manor Street – but that later changed when the postal votes came in )

Stanley Ward

No changes here in this Chelsea Tory-held ward, which is home to the Sutton Estate. Independentts have had a go, Labour had a good go last time , but even though it is not the Tories safest seat, Stanley never budges from a firm Conservative hold. Incumbents Cllr Will Pascall, Lead Member for Family and Children’s Services Cllr Josh Rendall and RBKC Deputy Leader and Lead Member for Grenfell, Housing and Social Investment Cllr Kim Taylor-Smith stay on. They will more than likely be back in .

Josh Rendall

St Helen’s Ward

Same same but different. Cllr Portia Thaxter stays on and Cllr Emma Dent Coad comes across from Golborne  to this Labour-held  North Kensington ward.

However this is a marginal ward, Tories seen keen to want to take it back and Labour will be challenged by returning Tory candidate Miloud Bouhaddou and also Cllr Maxwell Woodger – who was deselected from Queen’s Gate and now hopes to be a councillor here instead. This one could  be quite a fight and possibly a close call but we predict Cllrs Dent Coad and Thaxter to hold on .

Emma Dent Coad

So that’s it, who your likely “Class of 2022” councillors will be. Obviously this is a safe Tory council so there is little point in us making a big thing about what the result will be, although for residents in North Kensington wards, most of whom vote for other parties; we just get stuck being ruled over by people we never voted for again and again – frustrating!

If only we had an AV or AV plus system instead. Certainly more Labour, Lib Dem and perhaps a few Green Cllrs would make for a much healthier more well balanced Council here – but not just here, we think ultra safe Councils are unhealthy, they get complacent and then go and do stupid, wasteful and reckless things. (Like neighbouring Westminster – or should that be “Wasteminster” wasting millions on a crap hill, or Labour-run Southwark having only woken up to the fact that their regeneration schemes have greatly reduced their social housing stock – so they now decide they will build on public parks! Dreadful) . But no change to this ghastly voting system will ever happen while this Government is still in charge, and that is why we still strongly believe in the importance of voting – and voting them out We also strongly believe that if more people bothered to vote, some of these results could be quite different; so please, please, no apathetic sitting on hands!

And now we are going to go into a couple of points of concern locally about both Labour and the Conservatives……

Labour pains and newborns

Three  Labour councillors  – Judith Blakeman, Robert Atkinson and Monica Press –  were stepping down already, but not so long ago, Labour held their selections and three more  Labour councillors- Ian Henderson, Nadia Nail and Pat Healy – were deselected.

Our blog doesn’t understand what on earth Cllrs Henderson, Nail and Healy did to be  deselected – we certainly can’t think of anything disagreeable about them  – and  now we have heard that Pat Mason is now stepping down too. They will all be greatly missed – not least by us.

So assuming that there is no change at RBKC – that would mean over half of their councillors would be newcomers .  Now some of the people selected we have heard of and others we haven’t, but regardless, new councillors usually undergo extensive training (some need it more more than others), leaving the most inexperienced Oppostion we have ever seen. It greatly worries us that casework may fall on the back burner and vulnerable residents could suffer whilst some of the newborns are finding their feet with far fewer senior very experienced councillors on their side to help. . Some of the “newborns” we know are well prepared, but  others may well  be “lambs to the slaughter” at the Town Hall  – especially as most of the senior Tories are staying put.

Some of Labour’s outgoing councillors are not stepping down quietly,; here’s what Monica Press had to say:

http://fromthehornetsnest.blogspot.com/2021/10/an-important-farewell-letter-from-cllr.html?m=1

Infighting in the local Labour Party is nothing new. but recently it has been taken to new levels. There really was no need for the deselections, the “left” of the party was in charge anyway. All deselecting three decent councillors has served to do is to make the party look undemocratic, reduce the  personal votes these councillors had (and Colville is not safe!)  and will weaken them in  Opposition. When we asked a senior  Labour top dog about Dalgarno, we were told that “Pat  had to go”  – we beg to disagree- and that they had “a shortage of female candidates” which doesn’t explain why they are getting rid of two female councillors……

But the divisions in the  Labour Party may not necessarily be always  a straightforward  left vs right  thing, as previously we heard Pat Mason was staying on, now we hear that sadly he is stepping down, and it is bizarre that Mo Bakhtiar was ousted from St Helen’s. 

Also we regularly hear from party members who say they are not being regularly communicated with and many of these members are on the left of the party.

The manoeuvrings in Golborne and St Helen’s  are curious to say the least, but our blog is very unlikely to get answers, because despite the fact that we have often supported Labour and we have never personally criticised  her, Emma Dent Coad, for some reason has blocked us:

We’re also wondering where the Labour campaign has gone? The picture we have  posted was one of only three we could find after looking on Twitter. The Tories and Lib Dems have been out and about in the borough campaigning , but there has been  been little sign of any actual Labour campaign and most residents haven’t received so much as a leaflet  Let’s hope they haven’t given up. We do need a strong Opposition  to stand  up to RBKC but right now , it looks like some  people may be more concerned with fighting amongst each other, rather than fighting the Tories 

The mystery of the Tories at Chelsea Riverside

When we enquired about who was standing for the Conservatives besides incumbent  Cllr Hargreaves in Chelsea Riverside , we were given no answer. This can only lead us to believe that there must be some controversy going on with the other two candidates, but what could  it possibly  be?

Could Maighread Condon-Simmonds (who was deselected in 2018) be standing again? Could Cllr Adrian Berrill-Cox (who apparently  fought and won against deselection and stayed on as councillor  last time round ) be refusing to leave? Or could it be something else?

We’d really like to have answers and we especially believe that residents of Chelsea Riverside deserve to know who their candidates (and most likely councillors ) are.

We have hoped to do – and certaintly get more requests for – more blog posts from Chelsea , and whatever is going on has to be something of interest for the Tories to be so cagey over this. We want answers, and the electorate deserve answers  so we might be sticking our nosey beaks in down there to find out.

Maybe some of our clued up readers can fill us in? If so please get in touch with us at thisisnorthken@gmail.com

There are less than a couple of months to go, sooner or later the public will have to know, and the Tories are not making themselves look good by being so reticent to tell the public who their candidates are. It would be very odd indeed  for them not to select people for a ward they already hold!  Perhaps it would do Labour some good, for a change, rather than spending their time laying into each other up here, to instead spend more time in this marginal ward and  put their  efforts into taking advantage of the  Tory situation and the absence of two candidates?  Just a thought. 

2 thoughts on “Local Elections, candidates, selections and the likely RBKC “Class of 2022”: Guess who, how, what, where and why?”

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