Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea

Posted on 25/06/2020 by Centre for Governance and Scrutiny.

Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea – Independent Governance Review post-Grenfell

The client and background 

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

What we did and the impact 

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.

Our final report set out the findings of this research, explained the methodology and data collected and made 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 recommendations were accepted in full, CfGS has continued to provide support on aspects of the implementation.

The report and the appendices can be accessed 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

If you would like CfGS to support your organisation to help drive improvement in the way you do business please get in touch by emailing or call 020 7543 5627.

About the Author:

CfGS is a national centre of expertise on governance and scrutiny. We provide consultancy and training to organisations from the public, private and voluntary sectors. We’re a charity with a unique focus on the principles of accountability, transparency and involvement.

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