The Grenfell Action Group is pleased to announce that the Local Government Ombudsman has agreed to investigate the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea over their actions in closing our much loved right-of-way, Station Walk, in late 2012.
We know that RBKC will hate and fear the fact that their shady process of closing Station Walk will now be investigated by an independent body, and not by their own Monitoring Officer, and that they will not be able to control the outcome of the Ombudsman’s findings.
It is a pity that the Ombudsmans’ remit only allows them to investigate the “process” of how RBKC abused their power in closing Station Walk and will, therefore, not be able to comment on the individual actions of Councillors Blakeman and Coleridge. The Grenfell Action Group believes that even a perfunctory investigation of the individual actions of Councillors Blakeman and Coleridge would find that they abused their political power in order to close Station Walk so that the start of the Kensington Aldridge Academy project (KALC) would not be delayed.
However, we are confident that the Ombudsman intends to examine the process in detail and, we hope, will find that the legal process of closing Station Walk was violated on a number of occasions by the actions of RBKC Councillors and Officers. We believe that an investigation into the facts will show that the process used by the Council to close Station Walk was carried out, at times, without proper legal authority, and involved putting undue pressure on one community member to withdraw a formal objection to the closure of Station Walk that he had lodged with the Secretary of State.
We believe that instead of allowing the objection lodged with the Secretary of State to proceed to its’ natural conclusion, both Councillors and Officers from RBKC abused their powers by putting pressure on this man, one of our senior citizens, to withdraw his legitimate objection to the closure of Station Walk. This point is crucial to our argument that the proper “process” of closing Station Walk was not followed by RBKC who decided that it would be easier to lie and deceive the local community rather than follow proper legal process.
We hope that the Ombudsman will conclude that the promises made in order that Station Walk could be speedily closed so as not delay the construction of the Kensington Academy were not made in good faith. We also believe that the Ombudsman will find that RBKC has done next to nothing to facilitate the re-opening of this much loved right-of-way since the false promises were made by Blakeman and Coleridge in December 2012 that Station Walk would stay open “in perpetuity”.
We welcome the Local Government Ombudsman’s investigation and we hope it will bring to light the facts behind this sordid affair.
Let us see what kind of excuses our Councillors use to get out of this one!