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Kensington and Chelsea – one of the wealthiest spots on planet Earth – is also one of the most unequal. A short walk from Harrods, families cannot buy enough food to feed themselves. Desperate overcrowding is found in the shadow of ultraluxury property developments. A 20 minute bus ride across the borough can encompass a 30 year difference in life expectancy.
Emma Dent Coad, a councillor in Kensington and Chelsea since 2006, and has spent her life fighting for those left behind in the Royal Borough. That fight became all the more urgent when, just a few days after she was unexpectedly and triumphantly elected MP for the area, the Grenfell Tower disaster occurred, illustrating to the country and the world just how neglected the most vulnerable members of our society had become.
One Kensington lays bare the appalling degree of mismanagement and neglect that has made Kensington and Chelsea a grim symbol of an ever more divided country: a glimpse of a wider future of hollowed-out local government and cynical corruption. But through the depth of community connections and tireless political organising, it also suggests a potentially hopeful future for a new Britain.
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