The Kensington Society blog

Subscribe to the council’s Covid newsletters

The council’s weekly email newsletters (at times even more often) are probably the best way for Kensington residents to be stay updated about changes to council services and new government instructions during the Covid-19 pandemic - and it’s very easy to subscribe to them.

Building work allowed until 9pm – every day except Sunday

With immediate effect, building sites can extend their working hours without seeking permission if it is "short term" or "modest", or seek permission to extend the hours in residential areas up to to 9pm every day, Monday-Saturday. Councils are basically under orders from the government to approve all such applications, and do so within 10 working days.

Notting Hill Carnival cancelled this year

Because of Covid-19, there will be no Notting Hill Carnival in late August this year. The arrangers recognise that social distancing would be impossible for an event that tends to attract one million people.

Too Big For The Bin is back

When the council closed down much of its services on 18 March, one of the victims was Too Big For The Bin, the paid-for rubbish collection of items to big or bulky for the regular bin. Well, now it's back and collections can be booked online. The recycling centres at Smugglers Way and Cringle Street have also reopened, but only for delivery of garden waste and general black bagged waste.

The Kensington Society annual for 2019-2020 is here!

Although the Kensington Society AGM has been postponed until Covid-19 has been beaten (or at least severely wounded), the annual for 2019-2020 is ready and will be mailed to all members within the next few days.

When the library is closed: go digital!

Kensington's libraries may be closed because of Covid-19, but the online services available for those with a library card are still available, offering books, newspapers, magazines and music. And the Metropolitan Police have useful digital booklets about internet scams, while the NHS offers advice about how to stay sane when scared of viruses and being isolated. Your PC or mobile phone gives you access to it all!

RBKC: much is closed, but parks remain open (updated 04/04/2020)

Following the government's increasingly stricter Covid-19 rules, the council has now stopped almost all its activities, although parks continue to remain open for now, as do food stalls at the Portobello Road and Golborne Road markets and the three farmers markets.

No Kensington Magazine in the letterbox this month – but it’s available online

The April 2020 edition of the Kensington Magazine will not be distributed to the households, due to Covid-19 production problems, but it can be read online, containing important local Covid-19 related news.

The new rules: These shops may remain open

On Monday 24 March, new and stricter rules were imposed on individuals as well as shops, churches, councils and businesses. Basically, everyone who can should stay at home and not go out except to buy food, and most shops and other businesses must keep their premises closed. But there are many exceptions, and some of them can be surprising.

TfL: 40 tube stations closed, no night tube and free bikes for NHS

Transport for London has closed the night tube, 40 smaller tube stations and the special Waterloo & City Line, and announced that the tube trains will gradually run less frequently. TfL will also suspend the congestion and pollution charges from Monday, and give NHS staff free rental of bicycles for all trips under 30 minutes.

The RBKC council rejects TfL’s cycle lane plan

At the public meeting about TfL's bicycle lane plan for Notting Hill Gate and Holland Park Avenue, held in Kensington Town Hall on 13 June, three days before the public consultation ended, the council leader Elizabeth Campbell announced to the 600 attending residents that the council would reject the plan. This somewhat chocked the London mayor’s walking and cycling commissioner, Will Norman, as the council previously had said that it would be neutral about the plan until the result of the public consultation had been published.

Public meeting on 13 June about TfL’s cycle “highway” plan

The Kensington Society will be hosting a large public meeting in Kensington Town Hall's Great Hall at 6.30pm on Thursday 13 June, about Transport for London's plan to create a dual bicycle lane along the south side of Notting Hill Gate and Holland Park Avenue. Staff from TfL will be present to answer questions and listen to residents' concerns.