My Freshman Year in RBKC

Posted 26 May 2019 by Walaa Idris

This May, I am celebrating my first year as an RBKC (the Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea) councillor. The saying “time flies when you’re having fun” is very true. The past twelve months went by in a flash. I was very lucky to have a number of varied positions. I sat on the Planning Applications Committee, Adult Social Care and Health Scrutiny Committee, the Governance Review Panel and was deputy to the Communities & Culture lead member. I judged competitions, chaired a number of meetings, visited community hubs, sat on neighbourhood safety briefings and even accompanied Madam Mayor on a few events. For an afternoon, I was a book in the Human Library and spoke in the Council Chambers on Brexit, saving the No 11 & 19 Buses (which we saved), Housing, Policing, Transport and gave my maiden speech. I also responded to hundreds of emails and addressed a number of residents’ issues in the ward and borough wide.

It was truly a memorable year. One where I learnt a lot about myself and others. I met some fantastic people in the Town Hall, my ward and the borough. I made new friends, and strengthens old relationships. At times I was more tired than I ever imagined I could be, but it was all so exhilarating I didn’t mind it much. Luckily, a few weeks after I got elected, I was advised by a former councillor to 1) pace myself and not over do things, and 2) carve out some down time to recharge. I did both and they helped me to stay relaxed while being productive. I highly recommend doing both.

My second year started with a bang. A few weeks ago, I was asked by our incoming Mayor, Cllr Will Pascall, to become his deputy. This was one of the roles I dreamt about holding one day, and in all honesty expected to, but one day in the very far future not on my second year. So, as you can imagine, I was over the moon with joy and proudly accepted. I will continue sitting in Adult Social Care and Health Scrutiny Committee, and as Vice Chair in the Planning Committee. I will also sit in the Executive and Corporate Services Scrutiny Committee. So, more to do and much more to learn.

All of this won’t have been easy if it wasn’t for the love and encouragement I get from my beautiful daughters. Thank you for always being there, for your unconditional love and unquestioning support. I shall use all you give me to make RBKC a little better by the end of my sophomore year.

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