About the Council
The immediate image of Kensington and Chelsea is of the architecture, famous landmarks and glamorous residents. The reality is much more complex and fascinating – a highly urban, multicultural, dynamic population embracing those who are new to London, and established families, some of whom are, as yet, at the bottom of life’s ladder and some very near the top. We have many more street homeless, asylum seekers and people with mental illness than most urban areas.
The population is multicultural and multilingual. Our schools have more than twice the national rate of pupils from disadvantaged backgrounds, and while seven wards in Kensington and Chelsea are among the least deprived nationally, two wards are among the ten per cent most deprived in England.
Although the borough is geographically one of the smallest in London, at just over 4.7 square miles, it is one of the most densely populated areas in Europe – the current population is estimated at 190,000 people and there is a high population turnover estimated at over 20 per cent per year. The borough is primarily residential in character. Property prices and private sector rents are the highest in the country. However, half the permanent lettings by registered social landlords are to homeless households and there are 1,000 households living in temporary accommodation.
In addition to residential accommodation, the borough is also home to internationally recognised shopping centres, 12,000 businesses and over 120,000 jobs, three of the most visited museums in the UK and the second largest number of hotel beds in any London borough. It is in this diverse, dynamic and demanding context that we work.