The Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea (often abbreviated to RBKC) is a London borough in the west side of central London.
It is an urban area and was named in the 2001 census as the most densely populated local authority in the United Kingdom, with a population of 158,919 at 13,244 per square kilometre (the land area is approximately 12 square kilometres).
The borough is immediately to the west of the City of Westminster, which is at the heart of modern London, and itself contains a substantial number of city centre facilities such as major museums and universities (in "Albertopolis"), department stores like Harrods, and embassies. It also contains many of the most exclusive residential districts in London which are also some of the most exclusive residential districts in the world.
It was created in 1965 from the former boroughs of Kensington and Chelsea. Kensington's Royal Borough status was inherited by the new borough. The new borough was originally to be called just 'Kensington' - the inclusion of Chelsea was locally supported.
Districts in Kensington and Chelsea Edit
The borough includes the areas of:
- Earl's Court
- Holland Park
- North Kensington
- Notting Hill
- South Kensington
- Kensington High Street
- West Brompton
- West Kensington (Part)
According to the 2001 census, the borough has a population of 158,919. It is 79% white, 4% Black African and 3% Black Caribbean. 44% of households are owner–occupiers. As of October 2004, statistics released by the Office for National Statistics show that life expectancy at birth for females in Kensington and Chelsea was 84.8 years in 2001-2003, the highest in the United Kingdom. Male life expectancy at birth for the same period was 79.8 years, third highest in the UK. The figures for Kensington and Chelsea during 1991-1993 were significantly lower: 73.0 years for males (ranking 301st in the nation) and 80.0 for females (ranking 129th).
Kensington & Chelsea's affluence is demonstrated by the fact that it has the largest number of high-earners (over £60,000) of any local government district in the country — 16.6%. It has the highest number of workers in the financial sector and the lowest number working in the retail sector.
In December 2006, Sport England published a survey which revealed that residents of Kensington and Chelsea were the 4th most active in England in sports and other fitness activities. 27.9% of the population participate at least 3 times a week for 30 minutes.
Originally two separate metropolitan boroughs with their own town halls and administrations, it has today a single united local government authority, the Kensington & Chelsea London Borough Council, based in Kensington.
Elections of the entire council are held every four years. There are 50 councillors and the most recent election was held in May 2014. The Conservative Party hold a majority on the council with 37 seats, with the opposition formed by 12 Labour Party councillors and 1 Liberal Democrat. The borough is divided into 18 wards for the election of councillors, each ward returning 2 or 3 councillors.
The wards and party affiliations at the 2014 elections were as follows:
|Ward (No. of Councillors)||Councillors|
|Abingdon (3)||3 Conservative|
|Brompton and Hans Town (3)||3 Conservative||Campden (3)||3 Conservative</tr>|
|Chelsea Riverside||3 Conservative|
|Colville (3)||3 Labour|
|Courtfield (3)||3 Conservative|
|Dalgarno (2)||3 Labour|
|Earl’s Court (3)||2 Conservative, 1 Liberal Democrat|
|Golborne (3)||3 Labour|
|Holland (3)||3 Conservative|
|Norland (2)||2 Conservative|
|Notting Dale (3)||3 Labour|
|Pembridge (2)||2 Conservative|
|Queen’s Gate (3)||3 Conservative|
|Redcliffe (3)||3 Conservative|
|Royal Hospital (3)||3 Conservative|
|St Helen's (2)||2 Labour|
|Stanley (3)||3 Conservative|
The chairman of the council has the title of mayor: for more information see List of Mayors of Kensington and Chelsea. Two of its more notable council leaders were Nicholas Freeman, from 1977 until 1989, and Sir Merrick Cockell who held the position from 2000 to 2013.
The borough shares a Chief Executive with neighbouring Hammersmith & Fulham, and the two boroughs have combined a number of services and departments with one another and with Westminster City Council.
The borough is divided between two constituencies represented in the House of Commons of the Parliament of the United Kingdom: Kensington, held by Sir Malcolm Rifkind for the Conservative Party, and Chelsea and Fulham, held by Greg Hands for the Conservative Party.
The Royal Borough has a number of notable Christian churches, including:
- Brompton Oratory (Church of the Immaculate Heart of Mary) - Roman Catholic
- Chelsea Old Church - Church of England
- Holy Trinity Brompton - Church of England
- St Columba's, Pont Street - Church of Scotland
It is also home to a small Spanish and Portuguese Synagogue and to several Mosques.
Within the council, the education department finances state-operated schools in the borough. Some of them are:
- Queen's Gate School
- Imperial College London - the College's main campus lies within South Kensington.
- Heythrop College - A Constituent College of the University of London specialising in Theology & Philosophy
- Richmond, The American International University in London - The colleges secondary campus lies in Kensington.
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