Change at the Council: Independent Review of Governance for the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea

Posted on 07/03/2018 by Ed Hammond.

A report looking at scrutiny and governance at the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, commissioned by the council in the wake of the Grenfell Tower fire.

Following the tragedy of the Grenfell Tower fire and the council’s response to the crisis it was recognised that the authority had to change the way it worked. It commissioned CfGS to undertake research, engaging with residents, officers, members and stakeholders; observe and assess the current scrutiny and governance arrangements of the council and provide recommendations as to how it could improve its governance.

CfGS worked with The Democratic Society (Demsoc), who specialise in public engagement, to undertake field work, speaking to residents, members and officers  and observe council meetings get a full picture of how the authority was working. This report sets out the findings of this research, explains the methodology and data collected and makes a number of important recommendations for the council including:

  • Adopting 12 principles of good governance, developed from the conversations we had with residents, councillors, officers and partners;
  • Hold a Borough wide conversation to decide the strategic direction and governance arrangements for the council;
  • Establish a citizens’ assembly;
  • Create a ‘listening committee’ for councillors to hear directly from residents;
  • Establish a commission to, involving residents and partners, to determine the future direction of council governance;
  • Take practical steps to engage with local government full practice;
  • Use the Annual Government Statement as the basis for an ongoing, wider conversation about how governance can be improved.

The download button below is for the full report, including all the appendices. Alternatively you can download individual sections here:

  1. Change at the Council – Main report
  2. Change at the Council – Method statement
  3. Change at the Council – Technical appendix
  4. Change at the Council – Council survey
  5. Change at the Council – Resident survey

About the Author: Ed Hammond

Ed leads CfGS's work on devolution, transformation and on support to councils and other public bodies on governance and accountability.