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Javid leaves door open for commissioners at K&C

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Communities secretary Sajid Javid has said “nothing is off the table” following calls for commissioners to take over the running of Kensington & Chelsea RBC in the wake of the Grenfell Tower fire disaster.

Reacting to the resignation of the Kensington & Chelsea leader Nick Paget-Brown and deputy leader Rock Fielding-Mellen on Friday, London mayor Sadiq Khan (Lab) described the council administration as “not fit for purpose” and called on prime minister Theresa May to appoint commissioners to run the council until the next local elections in 2018.

Mr Javid on Saturday welcomed the resignation of Cllr Paget-Brown as an “opportunity for fresh leadership”.

He added: “In terms of intervention in any council, they are very infrequent and rightly so, as you would be overturning the democratically-elected politicians.

“They are quasi-judicial decisions so it wouldn’t be appropriate for me to talk about it. But one thing is clear: the absolute priority remains looking after victims, families and friends to ensure they get everything they need. In this, when looking at the local council, nothing is off the table.”

Before his resignation, Cllr Paget Brown admitted Kensington & Chelsea’s reputation was in tatters following the fire. A total of 80 people have been so far confirmed dead.

The latest government figures show cladding on 181 tower blocks in 51 areas have failed fire safety tests.

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Readers' comments (1)

  • It's easy to see how a small council such as K&C would be overwhelmed in such appalling circumstances. The real system questions are: does London need 33 separate boroughs - shouldn't this be halved? ; and could the London Mayor take on further responsibilities for resilience and emergency response? Both could be addressed in a new Greater London Act.

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