In connection with this story the Dame has been sent a copy of a letter from Cllr Blakeman to colleagues.
Amongst the forceful points she makes about the way Crystals Coaches have been treated....one jumps out...
If one was suspicious one might feel that palms have been greased.....
What the hell is going on?
FAMILY COMPANY CLOSES AFTER 21 YEARS IN KENSINGTON AND CHELSEA
Despite reassurances from councillors, staff in RBKC borough have been made redundant in the wake of the new council transport contract.
Hammersmith and Fulham, Kensington and Chelsea and Westminster have merged their passenger transport services for disabled children and elderly residents in to a Triborough initiative.
As a consequence, family-owned company, Crystals Coaches Ltd, closed its doors on Friday (11th April) after they were excluded from the new contract.
Despite 21 years working only for RBKC, delivering Special Education Needs Children to schools across London, the small company, employing 100 staff, was not allowed to tender for the new multi-million pound contract. Says Managing Director, Chris Springham, "We are devastated. We made a decision years ago to only work with RBKC, to make it personal and family-orientated, to cater for the very specific needs of the vulnerable children in our care and to ensure an excellent working relationship with parents. We have no other commercial interests. We've now paid the price! Without working for a further two London boroughs, we were not allowed to re-tender".
The closure sees the redundancies of 14 Crystals staff, many long-serving, including the entire management, all residents of RBKC. Other staff have been able to transfer to the new operators under the TUPE laws but at the time of going to press, many of the staff largely remain in limbo, unsure of their position when schools go back next week.
The new contract sees HATS/Olympic South Ltd from Wimbledon take over the majority of Crystals work, along with Star Bus from Barnet and Radio Taxis from North London.