This is the response to Miss Sarna of RBK&C's Legal Team. Pondering upon it The Dame wonders just how many lawyers the Council employs. In house lawyers need careful scrutiny: they have a tendency to breed like parasites and become a huge financial burden to taxpayers. Moreover they love to find useless work.. demonstrated by this example. Anyway, it seems Grenfell Action Group are well capable of defending themselves from the bullying attempts to silence them. Private Eye will be taking a good look at what lies beneath all this: it should be most interesting. Whoever authorised 'senior solicitor' Miss Sana to write this farcical letter needs to be given a severe talking to. How much more sensible it would have been if senior councillors had engaged with the group over a cup of tea and some biscuits....... But another question raised by the letter is why RBKC's legal team should be providing legal services to non employees.Bullying never works....as Cllr Moylan has found out to his chagrin.
Luckily The SS Hornet is equipped with the very latest ship to shore telecoms so the Dame was not surprised to see Phelps, our disgraced ex mayor, gliding towards her Stateroom bearing an important looking telex. The Dame thought Phelps cut a fine figure of a man wearing his sharply creased white tunic and neatly trimmed naval style beard.... But it was the content of the telex which caught her attention.... what could all this be about. It seems that the recipient of the letter is being given some forthright advice about not being critical of the Council. Surely, the Dame thought ....that was none of Miss Sama's business. The Dame advises the recipient to send all the detailed information she has to nice Mr Minogue of Private Eye. I am sure his Rotten Borough column will be give it a good old splash!
Camilla Horrox of the K&C Chronicle has written a great piece( read here) about the Cllr Dotty Weatherhead's blundering attempts to drive local small business, already hit hard by grotesquely high business rates and rents, into bankruptcy. Dotty Weatherhead should have been put out to pasture years ago. Listening to her ramble on at meetings is an exhausting experience. She is someone who has never had to run a business and whose juicy allowance supplements her OAP. At 105 it's time Dotty staggered off into the sunset...... These sunny days present rare opportunities for cafes to increase turnover and profits and Dotty should understand that her hefty £33,000 a year allowance is paid for by those profits. The fact that 500 locals have signed the petition speaks volumes for the demand for places in the sun.
Michael Gove boasts he enjoys combative and
cerebral debates over education policy......
So why does he refuse to engage with Kensington and
Chelsea residents..... confused over what seems to be the reversal of
his very sensible policy on school building? Mr & Mrs Gove recently toured the £80 million Holland Park School. What was the status of the visit?......no one is clear.....
Was it official....or were the couple viewing the school as
Whatever the purpose of the visit one thing stands clear:
Holland Park School cuts across the Gove school building rules. So why did Gove praise the school so lavishly?
So let’s refresh our memories as to what he has said....
No school should cost more than £30 million...Holland
Park School costs nearly three times that at over £80
Any new school must add places....Holland Park
School adds not one single extra place
School playing fields must be preserved....The Council
flogged off the playing fields
The Hornet has been anxious to engage with Mr Gove....if only
to convince residents the rules still stand and that he is very
cross with our ex Leader, Pooter Cockell, for breaking every one
of his rules in order to build this educational folly in the
The fact that Mr Gove seems to have granted an exemption to
Holland Park School and refuses to explain himself is most
There is a heavy somnolence about our great Borough as well heeled inhabitants decant to their Oka furnished Tuscan 'fattoria' for a month or two of limpid living.
The Dame is also taking a well earned break. She plans a month on SS Hornet, cruising the Med and dropping anchor to catch up with louche friends in Portofino and Capri. Returning later in the summer, the old thing will have a useful new 'aide' to supplement her useless nephew, Ludo. Ludo's sister, Bernice, fresh from a third rate Swiss finishing school (and waiting for a place at the Florence Academy of Fine Art) has agreed to become a partner in the Nest! Bernice is full of ambition for the Dame's little venture. We can expect lots of innovation and hard hitting stories. Bernice tells her aunt she plans a 'radical design overhaul' and the 'exploitation of social media' to 'reach out' to the younger and 'switched on'elements of the Borough. She says she also plans to 'edit' the Dames's output....what a cheek! The Dame wishes her dear readers a peaceful summer.... Expect only intermittent communication.......
Some people say the Dame is a horrid, grumpy old thing with not a good word to say about anyone.....well, they probably have a point. However she is hearing some interesting news from 'people who matter'. It appears young Barkhordar is impressing those whom the Dame holds in high regard. They tell her this clever young man is getting married.....that is the good news and the Dame sends her felicitations....the bad news is that he won't be standing in Brompton Ward next year, due to boundary changes. We can ill afford to lose young talent and the Dame insists efforts are made to find a ward for Barkhordar. There is plenty of dead wood that can be cut down to make way for man with a good political future. Stay the course, Cllr Barkhordar....your council needs you!
The Dame has received this vitally important announcement on....
EMERGING BASEMENT POLICY
We have received the following message from
Dr James Thompson. As you are probably aware the next stage of the
emerging policy for basements following the full Council endorsement is
for them to be taken before the Planning Inspector. It is anticipated
that the commercial companies who have a vested interest in trying to get the
impact of the new policies reduced will present arguments to the effect that
the policies are unreasonable.
It is therefore VERY
IMPORTANT that if we have any information we provide it to those who are
going to argue the case for the policies.
If you have any information about the impact
of double basements and or loss of trees etc please let both ESSA and James
Thompson know as a matter of URGENCY
Subject: Examples of double basement problems, and trees in gardens over basements
Can you please let me have any examples of basement related problems of two sorts:
1 Examples where double basements (basements with two floors) have caused particular problems, particularly structural problems.
2 Examples where trees have been planted over basements in a metre
of soil, and not flourished.
This is to prepare us for possible objections from basement constructors to the new guidance from RBKC Dr James Thompson
What a cheek! At least when the delightful Dame steals stories( which she is prone to do) from ambitious Miss Horrox on the K&C Chronicle she tends to give her a credit. It seems that the London Evening Standard have no such scruples. They have blatantly lifted the excellent story on the Holland Park School swimming pool without so much as a credit or by your leave! Here is the Standard story:it totally replicates the Horrox story...
Mr Fitzpatrick's 9 strong press team fresh from promoting the 'grassless garden' have now sunk their teeth into another exciting new project...... An Unidentified Flying Object will be landing on council property so it's a case of 'all hands to the pump' to ensure no panic amongst residents. What a waste of time and money......
Our LibDem councillors....like their seniors in the Cabinet give the impression of being 'holier than thou.' In truth they are a party of opportunistic money grabbers with no conscience about how they fill their coffers. Their dubious money grabbing tactics are entrenched in Liberal history and trace back to that old lascivious Welsh goat, Lloyd George. Flogging honours to raise party funds was done with great success in those long gone days. Many of today's 'aristocrats' owe their positions to Maundy Gregory. Gregory broked honours on behalf of Lloyd George with huge success. So how does the pious leader of the little Lib Dem group feel about her little flocks' campaigning expenses being paid for by the likes of Michael Brown, a convicted fraudster who stole millions and gave over £3 million to the Lib Dems(which they now refuse to return). Cllr Caruana will never tell us!
Or the donation by Rumi Verjee, the pizza entrepreneur who made his £800,000 through Brompton Capital.... a company resident for tax purposes in Jersey!
Verjee-ing on the ridiculous
So far...no peerage for his bucks, but doubtless having been entertained by Clegg at Chevening he might feel he deserves an 'arise Sir Rumi' rather than a lunch.
And Clegg, in dealing with people like Verjee, should remember there is no such thing as a free lunch..... One chap who won't be waiting long for his peerage is local K&C resident and nightclub entrepreneur, James Palumbo. James is a highly intelligent chap and shrewd to boot. Why would he give £500,000 to this pathetic party of losers.... We shall soon find out whether his £500k is going to get him to the Lords....
(i) immediate notice given that there will be
no more Council subsidy at the end of the 2014 season (ie all funding
stops in August 2014 (ii) no further contracts to be signed with immediate effect that are underwritten by the Council (iii)
all Council facilities and services after August 2014 to be charged
with fully built up costs (eg erection and dismantling of tent, storage
of tent, etc) (iv) Council staff given three months (ie October 2013)
to decide whether they want to stay with the Opera - whatever its
future - or be relocated to other Council work (v) those who want to
relocate to other Council work to be offered a position within six
months ie April 2014. If they do not accept they are deemed to have
resigned and given notice to the Council
This clarity would put
the Friends and all others on notice who have been milking the system
for years. They can test the market and find alternative funding or go
out of business.
The only people who matter in all of this are
residents. Those who attend the opera will not be short changed. They
can attend Covent Garden or English National Opera instead. Local, wider
range of operas, longer season and cheaper seats available
The Dame has been a consistent supporter of Nick Paget-Brown....a pity he had to 'adopt' Rock Feilding Mellen....but that's politics.
However, on the plus side he is doing his best to deal with the frightful Cockell/Moylan inheritance. WorkedatRBKC always talks a great deal of sense and there is no better time to absorb his wise words than now. Let's not allow Danny 'Boys' Moylan's mischief making to dent our regard for Nick. Many of the problems we face are those resulting from crass decisions made by the Cockell/Moylan junta: give Paget-Brown the break and support he deserves.
COMMUNITY group is calling for enforcement action to be taken against
the council after the breach of a planning condition making the Holland
Park School swimming pool accessible to the public. Kensington and Chelsea Council admitted 'operational difficulties'
have meant a condition of the school being built - sharing the pool with
residents - has still not been met despite construction finishing in
November last year.
The authority has suggested a clash between the community
use plan, which formed an integral part of the planning approval, and
the management structure and the school's day-to-day requirements, is
the reason the pool remains out of bounds to residents. In an email exchange with the council, David White, chairman of
Campden Hill Residents' Association, called on the council's legal
department to start enforcement action, and for the education department
to find ways of altering the school's design and security system. He said: "In spite of all these claims and the promises made to the
community and secured by the planning condition it remains entirely
unfulfilled and there is not the slightest indication that the planning
department intends to bring the appropriate enforcement action." In an email to Mr White, Jonathan Bore, executive director of
planning and borough development, wrote: "It may be that the community
use plan as originally devised does not now reflect the operational
needs and management structure of the school. "If that is the case, the sensible objective should be to replace it
with something workable rather than attempt to enforce something that
may be unworkable in its current form. "I share your frustration that condition 12 is still being breached,
but am confident that a mutually acceptable and workable solution can be
found." But Holland Park resident Donald Cameron said: "There is nothing further to discuss. "Use of the sports facilities was a condition precedent of the planning permission. It needs to be implemented. "Mr Bore's email is nonsense. This is another example of an out of control council shafting residents." A spokesman for the council said: "All the parties continue to be
committed to community use of the school's facilities but now the new
Holland Park School is a reality staff have been able to test the
practical implications of the existing community use plan. "Those tests have highlighted some operational difficulties. One way
forward would be for the school to propose some adjustments to the
community use plan. "That is something allowed for under the planning rules, subject to the council's consent."
The Dame has had a roasting from regular readers surprised that she 'lifted' the story of the massive fire off Kensington Church St from the Mail, instead of attributing it to the Kensington & Chelsea Chronicle from whom the Mail lifted it. Some of her more angry readers even suggested the Dame allowed herself to be swayed by professional jealousy in not attributing the story to Miss Horrox...Not true! The Dame is vastly admiring of Miss Horrox. She has sharply improved local reporting in every dimension and made the Dame 'look to her laurels'. Her worst fear is that Miss Horrox will soon be poached by a national newspaper leaving us all in the lurch. Hopefully, Camilla will have persuaded us of the need to protect our fire service and.... in doing so, protect all of our lives.
Smoke from £4million Kensington house seen from Heathrow as fire fighters contain the blaze
A DISTRAUGHT woman found her £4million house
ablaze this morning after fire crews battled for hours to control the
fire which had swept through the three storey building. At around 10am a lady believed to be the owner of the property was
being restrained by police and firemen from running to the still burning
property. Neighbours of the empty house which was empty and under
renovation were evacuated at just after 6am this morning as heat and
fire debris engulfed the street on Camden Grove. 72 fire firefighters and 10 fire engines fought to contain the out of
control blaze, which threatened to spread to neighbouring properties,
bringing it under control by 9am. You can read the whole story here