Residents in Kensal Rise vote to leave Brent Council and go elsewhere

PUBLISHED: 13:08 25 February 2016 | UPDATED: 14:57 25 February 2016

Resident Rik Smith asked Twitter users if they would vote leave Brent Council (Pic: Twitter)

Resident Rik Smith asked Twitter users if they would vote leave Brent Council (Pic: Twitter)


As the question over Britain’s membership of the EU got fully into swing this week, Kensal Rise residents have voted 80 per cent in favour of their own ‘Brexit’ – this time from Brent Council.

Residents living in Kensal Rise, which sits on the southern border of the Brent Council area, were asked in an online poll whether they would prefer to leave Brent Council for a neighbouring borough such as Westminster or Hammersmith & Fulham.

Rik Smith, who created the poll on social networking website Twitter, said the 80-20 split in favour of leaving Brent Council was a “very interesting” contribution to a long-running “thought experiment” into whether residents would fare better if council services were provided by Westminster.

He said: “The idea for the poll came about because there has been a bit of banter on Twitter about the fact that Kensal Rise was originally in Westminster boundaries in the 1970s.

“It’s for my personal amusement but it is also about asking does it have to be this way?”

He added Council Tax charges, parking permits and frequency of rubbish collections were examples of services that differ widely “from side of the street to the other” in Kensal Rise.

The poll provoked a lively response from Twitter users, with one who voted “leave” saying: “happy to leave for Westminster, “gutted” if left for Kensington & Chelsea or Hammersmith and Fulham”

Meanwhile Calvin Robinson, Kensal Rise Conservative campaigner, said he was “absolutely” in favour of leaving while user @Flace1 complained: “don’t like the fact that if your [sic] not in Wembley, you may as well not exist where Brent council are concerned.”

Another Twitter user, campaign group @QueensburySOS, joked: “Kensal getting ahead of itself again. 1st an overground station, next you want independence.”

The poll findings, which surveyed the views of 30 users, come just weeks after the Ham & High reported residents in Hampstead were looking into the possibility of formally breaking away from Camden council.

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