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Saturday, 5 January 2013

FRIENDS OF HOLLAND PARK TO PUT UP CANDIDATES?

FROM THE EVENING STANDARD......

Friends of Holland Park are protesting about a planning application for Opera Holland Park to leave its huge canopy over Holland House, once the home of Charles James Fox, all year round.
“This is a Grade I-listed building of enormous historical, let alone architectural, importance,” says a statement from the committee. “We have campaigned for over 13 years to ensure the house is properly conserved. This proposal would mean it is permanently shrouded and screened from public view. Opera Holland Park already has permission to have the canopy up for six months, although the opera performances last only two months. We would actually like to see the canopy erected for a much shorter period.” 
The friends are threatening to put up independent candidates against the ward’s Tory councillors to stop the application.
The screeching of the peacocks is a much-loved feature of the opera. There may be even more music for them to accompany if the canopy becomes a permanent fixture.

48 comments:

  1. This is all noise. The Friends are pissing in the wind. Cockell has decided that he wants an opera in Holland Park and he has to find a way to reduce the costs in order to slow down the rate of growth of council tax subsidy. Annual subsidies that have grown from £100k to £1 million in the last ten years. Leaving the tent up will save £100k every year. Extending the "season" from seven weeks to twenty weeks will knock off another £200k from the council tax subsidy. A Christmas programme lasting another month might reduce the subsidy by a further £100k. At the moment no rent is charged for the land and facilities used by the opera. And the business pays no rates.

    Lets be realistic. The park aesthetics are not part of the consideration. And even less so a bombed out old house. It is the great glory of the opera that matters. Our very own opera of Kensington and Chelsea

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Cllr Cockell wanted to make the decision about leaving out the tent an "Executive" decision. But it was made clear to him that it had to go to Planning Committee

      Delete
    2. Why does the Tax payer have to foot the bill for what is a luxury and clearly somebodies pipe dream; if it incapable of breaking even just axe it and seek something else which is economically viable and is an asset to the Holland Park.

      Delete
    3. The tent will rot if it is left out all year. The cost of a replacement will be £1.5 million. Who will pay for this? A concrete roof would be cheaper and it would last

      Delete
    4. The present day cost of replacing the tent is closer to £2 million. There is no sinking fund

      Delete
  2. Just in case OHP falls off the cliff residents may care to note that there are two good operas close by at Covent Garden and Trafalgar Square. No peacocks, rain or wind. Warm buildings too. And cheaper tickets than OHP available.

    Free seats for Councillors not available.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Interesting point point about the free seats for Councillors!

      Delete
  3. The council tax support for Holland Park Opera supports a programme of free tickets for children and pensioners in the Borough who would otherwise not be able to afford the opera.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This is actually a very inefficient use of council tax. The subsidy works out at nearly £1000 per "free" ticket for poor children and pensioners. For this money you can buy a Grand Tier Box at Covent Garden (six seats), dinner at the Ritz and a stretch limo for the whole evening

      Delete
    2. There are lies, damn lies, and statistics

      Delete
    3. Prove it not to be a lie rather that trying to be smart. This calculation works

      Delete
    4. Hello, there is a recession going on. There are more important things to talk about than operas and subsidies

      Delete
    5. This sounds like the type of excuse or justification that Boris would use. Free seats for the disadvantaged etc is a lame excuse for a complete financial failure. As I said before unless the Holland Park Opera at least breaks even it really should be axed and replaced with something that does break even and compliments the the beautiful setting of Holland House.

      Delete
    6. 10:43
      Are you quite stupid? It is precisely because councils waste money on fripperies such as OPH and Exhibition Rd that we are finding it difficult to extract ourselves from recession.
      Come on....concentrate before writing

      Delete
    7. No, I am not stupid are you?

      Delete
  4. Tired Tory Councillor5 January 2013 at 09:44

    09.28, this is utter rubbish. The London Colliseum has an excellent programme of free and cheap tickets for school children, and is much better placed to offer the accompanying educational programmes. These are also far more FUN for children, as they don't have to suffer the grinding challenge and boredom of the ridiculously 'high-brow' and incomprehensible performances at OHP.

    Oh sorry, it's supposed to be good for them, is it? One teenager I spoke to said it was 'effing boring', and probably put her off opera for life.

    Council Tax-supported cultural snobbery.

    ReplyDelete
  5. "Holland Park Opera is the Great Glory Of London"
    Cllr Paget-Brown

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Too much power is concentrated in the hands of Michael Volpe. He would be expensive to replace and there is no succession plan. OHP is an edifice built on sand. Another failure of Governance and another failure of Leadership from Cllr Cockell. But what else can be expected from a failed cigarette salesman turned local Govt politico

      Delete
    2. Retired Chief Executive5 January 2013 at 11:38

      Considering the amounts of capital and revenue being discussed here, and also the employees and patrons of the opera, it is essential to have a succession plan in place for the Director of the opera and I would be extremely surprised if this has not been done. The facts should be established as a matter of urgency

      Delete
  6. The naive Friends should not waste their time fielding candidates at the next election. K&C is stuffed with pensioners who are short of cash and they will vote for their free opera tickets. Cockell is not a fool.

    The energy of the Friends would be better spent on lobbying to get rid of Cllr Cockell as Leader of K&C and replaced with a person who shares Tory values. ie minimal local Government, efficient spending and no more vanity projects (like Exhibition Road) that cost £ millions of tax payers money

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

      Delete
    2. I was always told that there is no such thing as a free lunch; maybe this extends to no such thing as a free opera ticket either!

      Delete
  7. "We all hope this application is granted as soon as possible"
    ex Cllr Fairhead

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Stand Up For Britain5 January 2013 at 10:51

      Who is "we" Cllr Fairhead?

      Delete
  8. He and his pretentious friends

    ReplyDelete
  9. Person Familiar With The Situation5 January 2013 at 12:52

    Cllr Lightfoot has told friends that he is unhappy about the way in which the opera fiasco is developing

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Cllr Gardner is the Chairman of the Scrutiny Committee that has oversight of OHP. She and her Committee are strangely quiet

      Delete
  10. Time for Prime Minister Cockell to get a grip and see off the NIMBYs. THEY ARE SO BORING. The opera is here to stay guys. Just learn to live with it

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. "Prime Minister Cockell"
      Even his close colleagues are sniggering quietly about the Captain Mainwaring of local government and his bizarre self description. I think Pooter needs some time with our local MEP and 'Trick Cyclist' Doc Tannock!

      Delete
  11. Sounds like the last days of the Thatcher Government

    ReplyDelete
  12. This is just a silly story, The Friends know all to well which party will be in charge after the local elections if they put up candidates, the winning group will then seek their revenge.

    Not a good idea and far better that they work as a residents group and keep on lobbying for further improvements.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Unfortunately the winning party in RBK&C could well be the same but dare I say it but New Labour could be back in power at Westminster unless the Conservatives keep to core policy. As for RBK&C, although the ruling party may not change, there is no reason at all why it's leader cannot be replaced.

      Delete
  13. 10:43
    Wrong....even if they get one cllr elected it will be a huge blow to the credibility of the ruling group.
    Pooter has even pissed off the Kensington Society

    ReplyDelete
  14. There won't be anything very 'independent' about it if Mr Volpe is involved. Perhaps the Dame ought to be taking a closer interest in his activities this year.

    Yours sincerely

    Damocles

    ReplyDelete
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