Death toll on your conscience Mr Mayor?

On knife crime, you must and you CAN do more Mr Mayor.

As I write this, sixty young people have lost their lives this year. Sixty families grieving. This cannot go on.

As the previous Deputy Mayor of London, I saw at first-hand how you can tackle this problem.  When Boris was Mayor he inherited a murder rate of over 21 young people a year (2008) from Ken Livingstone. We saw this figure as too many – one is too many in my eyes, although at the time our murder rate for was lower than New York. Kit Malthouse, now an MP in the House of Commons had the job of tackling this head on, yet at every weekly team meeting there was intense scrutiny from the Mayor and his support team on tackling youth violence. By working across parties, across all London boroughs, Kit established community networks and joint engagement teams. As a result, he reduced this terrible death toll.

We cannot expect the police to be social workers. As they say in the African proverb, it takes a village to raise a child – in fact it takes an entire community of different people to engage with young people in order for them to experience and grow in a safe environment. Thus we need that same joined up thinking now – the Joint Engagement Teams I experienced at City Hall worked with the boroughs, the police, all the emergency services, the schools and the local community.  The police know where the hot spots are, they usually know when the criminal activities take place, so they can identify the likely crime spikes and resource accordingly.  The police must identify the most harmful gang members and can give them a stark choice – leave that lifestyle and relentlessly enforce the law for those who continue to offend.

I have been out with our local Met Police teams in North Kensington and in the community – they know their patch, they know every young person walking the streets and more importantly when they don’t know them – where have they come from?   We must not forget the vital role of those officers who actually know their communities, and who know what is going on. We must allow them to do their jobs.

However, what are the other parts of the community doing to help?   Evidence showed that on the days that there was after-school sports or other activities on offer then crime was reduced.  Keep our school facilities and sports facilities open longer, late into the evening, not for our teachers to work longer but for youth organisations to run. The main cost for many youth organisations in Central London is their premises. Well we have premises – they are called schools, but through inflexible health and safety regulations, these are often locked and barred, just when they could provide a safe space for our youngsters.  We need to link our young people into the local “YOU” organisations – the cadets – the army cadets, the police cadets, air cadets, fire cadets, the Scouts, the Boys Brigade and all the rest – these organisations are there providing that week-in-week-out support that can be missing in young people’s lives, they provide the structure, the role models and the range of activities, and most of all they support each other and generate pride and a sense of achievement. Put simply, for a young man to raise a knife or gun to another is a failure for all of society and every single one of us needs to look at why that is. Anyone who has been involved with these volunteer groups knows that they attract young people from across all communities, faiths and income.  Social Services has been known to fund placements for young people at risk, as they know the support that they will receive.   Locally our young police cadets in Kensington took over 80 people on holiday last summer – after the Grenfell fire, they were united through positive action from their local community – keeping young people safe and protected at the most vulnerable time in their lives.

Many brave families have worked so hard to help young people and give them support and we must learn lessons from them too – the Kinsella Family, the Mizen family come to mind, but there are many more who have taken positive action in their local communities to stop young people dying.

Words are cheap – as Sadiq Khan approaches the end of his first term in office, he needs to do more than talk or pass the blame onto others. He has the responsibility in London to sort this mess out and must get an urgent grip and use his power and influence to keep our young people safe.

It was never nice in my role as Deputy Mayor to attend funerals, anniversary events or memorial services – too many times have I stood side by side next to grieving family members and sobbed quietly into my handkerchief. I cried at the unnecessary loss of life. I cried at the future plans these young people had to travel, to carve out a career, for marriage, for children and grandchildren that were over before they had even begun. I cried for the families who thought that their children were safe in our city.

No more deaths Mr. Mayor. No more deaths.

Photo Diary

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Vulnerable people falling through the gap of the Covid-19 safety net

The new Government designation for “vulnerable”, has proved contentious, separating as it does those who can access additional help, quieter shopping times, and food or medicine deliveries from those who cannot.

I am calling on the Government to include in it carers and families with SEND (Special Educational Needs and Disabilities) and those with hidden disabilities. We have been promised parity for those with mental health conditions, but there is no evidence of this in the current Government list of those deemed “vulnerable”.

Read more at conservative home here.


Congratulations to you and to all students who are completing their studies and graduating – congratulations for all the work and efforts that you have put in. Delighted to have helped Kensington students

Thanks to Sue Redmond for your generous words! We need to do everything we can to tackle disability hate crime and your work is very important!

Thank you Zara Ghods for your kind words. It was a pleasure working together for our older Kensington residents!

Read more testimonials…

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It is important for us to have Boris Johnson back at the helm

Having been the Deputy Mayor to Boris when he was Mayor of London, and having worked with him for the Olympics, I know how important it is to get Boris back at the helm.

Boris is fiendishly intelligent and the most charismatic leader of our generation. When he was Mayor for London, not usually a Conservative city, he knew he needed to repay the trust that voters had given him.

Read the full article in The Telegraph.

Protecting our High Streets

We need to protect our high streets if #Kensington is to truly thrive. I’ve received hundreds of responses on my recent ‘Campaigns for Kensington’ survey and this is a big issue for local people. Fighting the corner of local shops, cafes and traders will always be my priority.

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New Podcast Alert

Did you know you can now listen to my brand new podcast ‘In Conversation with Victoria Borwick’ on #Spotify and on Google Podcasts? In it, I discuss the important issues facing #Kensington and #London. Episode 1 is on knife crime, let me know what you think!

Listen to it here.

Now also available on PodBean and Apple Podcasts

Victoria Borwick and Cllr. Malcolm Spalding discuss BID in Earls Court

Really pleased to have Cllr. Malcom Spalding join me and talk about how a Business Improvement District in Earls Court will increase shopping and tourism and improve the area.

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Spring 2019 Newsletter

National politics is fixated on Brexit, but I am very conscious from my postbag, that there are so many vital and important issues in our day-to-day lives. At this time of year of renewal, of putting winter behind us, I have concentrated on community events – as that to me is the spirit of our community here in Kensington.

Read More Here…

A way to kick-start London’s housing market

My letter published today in The Telegraph
13th March 2019.

Read Here…

Local decisions affect you…

Local Resident’s Survey Results – So Far

Thank you to those who completed my local resident’s survey in Kensington.

To summarise the results, I have put them in chart form here, but I shall be taking up these topics with our local councillors, where relevant, and if you re-select me as your candidate I will ensure that these form the basis of my “Campaigns for Kensington”.

If you haven’t completed my survey yet, there’s still time to do so by clicking here.

Why I can win back Kensington

Victoria Borwick sets out why she’s the right choice to be the Tory’s Kensington candidate at the next general election.

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A decisive step forward towards Brexit

A draft deal that delivers on the referendum and will see us take back control of our money, laws and borders.

It will end freedom of movement while protecting jobs, security and our precious Union.

Find out Here.

Chancellor’s Budget 2018 – Local Impact

Read the local impact of the Chancellor’s Budget 2018 here…

What the Conservatives are doing

Get involved in our campaign by Sharing the Facts about what we’re doing to help secure a better future – and how Labour would put it all at risk.

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Death toll on your conscience Mr Mayor?

On knife crime, you must and you CAN do more Mr Mayor.
As I write this, sixty young people have lost their lives this year. Sixty families grieving. This cannot go on.

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First year anniversary of Grenfell Tower

As we commemorate the first anniversary of the tragedy of Grenfell I am pleased that the Prime Minister has publicly confirmed the Government’s ongoing support for all those affected by this tragedy.

This article from the Prime Minister appeared in the Evening Standard:

The Prime Minister outlines her Brexit approach

The Rt Hon Theresa May MP, Prime Minister
The Sunday Times
Sunday 13th May 2018

Trust me, I’ll take back control — but I’ll need your help

Amid all the noisy debate and technical discussions about our departure from the European Union, I want to take this opportunity to remind the British public of my mission in the negotiations.

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Windrush settlers

As an MP much of my time was spent in debates in Parliament or immersed in casework, but there was also the opportunity of dipping into the fantastic library in the House of Commons, I therefore had time to read several accounts of our Windrush arrivals, and those that preceded them – I particularly enjoyed the Trevor Phillips book where he interviewed and followed the lives of many individuals and their experiences.

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Broadband in Kensington

Meeting with the Minister to discuss the urgent need to improve Broadband access in Kensington.

Local meeting was held at the Town Hall with Councillors, Openreach team from BT and Tony Devenish from the GLA. All residents urgently need good broadband. Cllr Matthew Palmer also led a resident meeting to improve these services with representatives from BT.

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Notting Hill Carnival

Significant changes must be made, to improve this event, which drew in a million people this year.

Click here to see more about the Notting Hill Carnival.

Click here to read about the Grant Funding Advisory Panel

Grenfell Tower

I am absolutely devastated by this dreadful fire, as we all are. I have visited the local voluntary centres on a number of occasions in order to help as I know have many of you. The community’s response has been amazing.

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Air Quality

London turns Red

When Theresa May stood on the steps of Downing Street and spoke directly to the people of Britain she showed that she understood the complexity of people’s lives, and we all gave a collective sigh of relief across the Country that the Head Girl was in charge and we were in capable hands.

Read Moore…