Monday 11 December 2017

Class divides so evident after London fire can also be found closer to home

Theresa May’s political career will surely be abridged by this tragedy. Photo: REUTERS/Kevin Coombs
Theresa May’s political career will surely be abridged by this tragedy. Photo: REUTERS/Kevin Coombs
Mary Kenny

Mary Kenny

Since the Grenfell Tower tragedy, London's Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea is seen as a "metaphor for inequality". There's always been a posh element of London W8 and London W11, but extremes of health and deprivation have undoubtedly intensified since I lived there, first in the 1960s, and then the 1980s and '90s.

What has visibly altered the borough has been the influx of so many oligarchs and absentee residents all around Ken High Street, Ken Church Street, Phillimore Gardens and Holland Park. Walk around this area now and see so many dwellings unoccupied, save for cleaners servicing the properties.

Property is purchased for investment, not for living in. Rich folk who have hugely expensive homes in Kensington & Chelsea are often abroad in their other homes.

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