|A DRAIN IN HOLLAND PARK|
Fortunately, not much misses the Dame: so here is the bad news.
Local tax payers are now automatically locked in to fund the balance of the losses for the next three years - a subsidy now running at £1 million a year after all the costs of cash, storing and dismantling the tent, office and admin support etc are added up.
This diversification into the leisure industry is not what a fiscally responsible council should be about.
The entire Opera Holland Park operation under director Michael Volpe, has grown, without financial discipline, over the last ten years.
So large now is OHP that it desperately requires professional systems, organisation, and succession planning.
It is the height of irresponsibility to continue running something on this scale on a "cottage industry" basis.
The whole set up is a lifestyle indulgence for Volpe, funded by hard pressed tax payers.
And of course the overwhelming question is whether Local Government should be funding an opera company at all.
The Dame says "no" and this opinion is shared by every other Local Authority in the land.
The true scandal is that £1 million a year of tax payers' money is being gobbled up, while food banks are being operated in the Borough.
The £1 million a year is being diverted from helping low waged residents and distressed elderly folk.
The Leader of the Council needs to recognise that it will become more and more difficult to close the operation as the years go by.
The Cockell strategy of keeping things going for long enough so that he could pass the poisoned chalice to his successor seems to be succeeding.