‘The council does sanitise poverty. They’ll prune the trees, sweep the streets, some of the planting schemes are insane, but the money they spend on planting is extraordinary - to make everything look nice but they do not yet invest in people. Money goes into how it looks, the façade rather than the people who actually need help. And then they say “oh their rents are going up, they cannot afford to live here, they should leave” and the council is complicit in that, totally complicit.’
Emma has served as a councillor for Golborne ward since 2006. She became a Member of Parliament for Kensington from 2017 to 2019 - the first and only Labour MP for the Royal Borough. Just 4 days after she was elected, the fire at Grenfell Tower happened, which led to the deaths of at least 72 people. Emma published, ‘One Kensington. Food Halls, Food Banks and Grenfell: Inside the most Unequal Borough in Britain’ in 2022. She writes about the inequalities that exist in the borough, the neglect and mismanagement of the local government towards the most vulnerable and the importance of community and political organisation for creating change.