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DAMESATHOME@YAHOO.CO.UK
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Thursday, 7 May 2015

THE BOROUGH'S MOST DYNAMIC AND FULLY FUNCTIONING RESIDENT ASSOCIATION







A late report from one of the Dame's 'stringers' who attended the Kensington Society's recent AGM


Kensington Society AGM

At a packed meeting the Kensington Society celebrated a year of progress and some watershed moments in the planning system. The voice of residents in Kensington and Chelsea is finally being heard. 
  • A proposal cooked up by developers and planning Officers in the pre application process to redevelop the Odeon Cinema was kicked out by the Planning Committee in an 11 to 1 vote. 
  • Another developers stew (Dukes Lodge which was roasted by Officers in the pre application process) was thrown out by Councillors in an 8 to 4 vote. 
  • The Cromwell Casino, recommended by Officers after more pre planning nonsense, was withdrawn after the Kensington Society pointed out that such a development was ruled out by restrictions agreed in a previous development. 
Officers did not even know what they had agreed in the past! And more is cooking. There is currently a 16,000 residents Petition against what developers and Officers are planning in secret for the Westway.

But it need not be like this. 
Chairman Amanda Frame called for better and more effective Community Engagement at an earlier stage in the planning process. Developers and Officers need to understand the aspirations and needs of residents before they agree their plans in secret which they then try to get approved as a fait accompli. An essential step is to make the pre planning process open, inclusive and transparent.

There is a new broom in Hornton Street. The handle is called Paget-Brown (Leader) and the brush is called Stallwood.(Planning Director). 
Is it a resident friendly broom? That is the question.....


42 comments:

  1. All residents owe a great deal to the Kensington Society. It has long served residents of RBKC infinitely better than the Council or its officers. As for the possibility of a new broom in the area of planning, the prospects look unpromising.

    On the subject of serving the public, the general election is now over. So it's timely to ask why there appears to be no published result for the Kensington constituency. Across the UK the majority of results were announced before 6am, but not Kensington. There are few local islands or mountains to hamper a count, so apart from the usual disregard for the democratic process, there seems no reason for this.

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  2. After the Kensington Society AGM the Mayor hosted a reception in the Mayors Parlour. Mingling with residents was the Leader of the Council, Cllr Paget-Brown, and the Leader of the Opposition, Cllr Dent Coad. Deputy Planning Committee Chairmen Cllr Freeman and Cllr Mackover were also engaging with residents. As were Prospective Parliamentary Candidates Victoria Borwick and Rob Abouharb. Exactly as it should be. But notable by their absence was The Chairman of Planning, Cllr Warwick (who is a complete waste of time) and the new Director of Planning, Graham Stallwood. We know that Warwick has not the slightest interest in residents. But Stallwood missed a trick by not attending - clearly this box ticker has not grown up enough to understand that there is a new dimension to his work. It is called engagement.....

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    Replies
    1. It is typical that the rodent Cllr Warwick could not be bothered to turn up to the AGM of an important residents Association that is dedicated to Planning matters in the Royal Borough

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    2. Off with his head!

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    3. Cllr Rock Fielding-Mellen was also absent from the evenings events. This dabbler in Borough regeneration knows that he has been "found out" by the Kensington Society and wisely makes himself scarce.

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    4. Yes! ..... where was Rock Feilding-Mellen ?

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    5. Where was Cllr Rutherford? Too busy drinking champagne with the developers after her recent u turn supporting the developers and speaking against her own residents (and constituents)?

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  3. All these 'public' meetings should be more publicised so that more people are made aware of them and what they are all about. More people attend, more puwerful the public voice will become. Just look at the Westway/Portobello fiasco

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  4. The kensington society has faiuled to achieve very much.
    Residents lives are still blighted by construction (noise and by construction vehicles)
    The Environmental Health Department is less than useless.
    The planning department dont even know their own policies let alone abide by them when they make a decision.
    In my experience, Stallwood is worse than Bore.
    My dealings with him have shown that he is part of the old (poor) regime and he has even less interest in assistingresidents. Rather he actively assists developers

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    1. Planning is about people, places and policies. The new man at the top (Mr Stallwood) needs to understand this and reach out to the people of Kensington and Chelsea so that he understands their point of view. At present he behaves like a robot behind his computer screen. It is high time for him to step out from the Ivory Tower

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  5. Perhaps the Dame and others on here should use their charm and convince the 'local' media to promote all these meetings, so that a wide spectrum of interests attends and possibly throw out useless projects, which serve well Mr Stallwood et al...?

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    Replies
    1. This was the AGM for members of the Kensington Society. About 400 residents attended plus invited guests. The way to find out about the meeting is to join the Kensington Society!

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  6. Fly On The Wall8 May 2015 at 14:04

    The election Committee for the new Director of Planning included Cllr Paget-Brown and Cllr Freeman, neither of them known for their management expertise. It was reported that the successful candidate (Graham Stallwood) was "head and shoulders above the others who were interviewed". What was not reported is that the "others" were the most miserable and fourth rate bunch of hopefuls that could be imagined. The contestt was "fixed".

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    Replies
    1. Stallwood has another 30 days before residents turn against him and write him off as another box ticker and stooge of developers. He needs to put himself about. Urgently. Explain who he is and what he stands for. And reach out to residents to understand their point of view and build some bridges

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    2. Retired Chief Executive9 May 2015 at 07:26

      This is the oldest trick in the book. Arrange a Selection Committee for the chosen candidate and make sure that he is interviewed alongside three monkeys. It is an abuse of process and is very short-sighted. Good Governance should make sure that this does not happen.

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  7. The Dame's Investigator8 May 2015 at 14:09

    Chairman of the Kensington Society, Amanda Frame, is quite clear in her mind about the critical weakness of the planning process in the Royal Borough. It is the pre planning application hearings that are carried out in secret between Officers and developers. Officers then attempt to force the result of these secret consultations on the Planning Committee. The process excludes any understanding of the needs and aspirations of residents. It is a bonkers process.

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  8. Stallwood has been appointed as the new Director of Planning but lives in limbo. The old Director of Planning hangs around while he makes arrangements to build up and establish his private consultancy. Bore continues as a parasite on the K&C council tax payer while Cllr Paget-Brown fails to understand that the position of the new man is being undermined and destroyed.

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    1. Person Familiar With The Situation8 May 2015 at 15:11

      Mr Bore is quietly pleased to read this negative comment about his successor. He has been briefing in confidence against Mr Stallwood.

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  9. Cllr Mills sums up planning in her usual outspoken way. "Officers call the tune and residents regard the process with contempt. It is our puppet show. It is rude, partisan and biased. And an urgent need to reign in pubescent officers".

    This is a free insight Mr Stallwood. It comes from an elected representative. Wake up and take note. Sort out your nest which has been well and truly crapped on.

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    Replies
    1. Flap your little wings Fly Swatter. Stallwood is remote and puffed with his new power. He detests residents as an impediment to the planning process and will do all that he can to crush them

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  10. The new Director of Planning has made a bad start. A very bad start. Soon he will go down the plug hole.

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    Replies
    1. My Mate The Builder8 May 2015 at 15:07

      Keep those approvals coming, Mate. Keeps my lot in work and off the unemployment list. No benefits to pay.

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  11. Angry Resident8 May 2015 at 15:01

    Even the box ticker Stallwood must have figured out that the big issue facing central London Town Planners is the absence of affordable housing for residents. Mr Smallwood needs to reflect on one of the recent planning decisions in Hornton Street. The permission to knock down Charles House (the old DHSS Offices) and redevelop with buy to leave flats. Rich foreigners parking hot money in Central London. Even the affordable housing provision was waved by Officers in Hornton Street.

    A casual Google search shows that what should have been on the market as affordable housing is now £1.5 million one bed flats and £7 million penthouse flats.

    Mr Stallwood- you should be deeply ashamed of yourself.

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  12. The Kitchen Cabinet8 May 2015 at 15:03

    A Tory councillor with long experience of planning has told the Dame that Mr Stallwood is "not resident friendly"

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    Replies
    1. Freedom Of Information probes have shown that the Planning Department operates a dual information system. There is a website for public consumption which shows planning documentation and background. Then there is a much more comprehensive data base on the computer for Officers only.

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  13. Campden Hill Resident8 May 2015 at 15:06

    Did the Selection Committee make a terrible mistake with Mr Stallwood?

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  14. Stallwood is not even a good box ticker. His Department keeps making mistakes with planning documentation. Some of them elementary mistakes. Should not be tolerated.

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  15. Sort it Stallwood. You are a Public Servant.

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  16. Mr Stallwood is a long term professional colleague of Mr Bore's. He was brought into Hornton Street to ensure the department is run in a way that suits Mr Bore. This is of particular importance if Mr Bore runs a private planning consultancy in K & C. The relationship between the two men is far too close.

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    Replies
    1. Oh dear me. We have already seen the Cunningham/Bore relationship flourish into extra curricular consultancy. Are we about to see a Stallwood/Bore flourish of similar but greater proportions!

      Paget-Brown needs to stamp on this. And what on earth is the Cabinet Member for Planning (Cllr Coleridge) doing to prevent these scruffy little practices developing?

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  17. The Kensington Society certainly likes to blow its own trumpet when much of the work is sone by others, like the Casino, and when they've been behind the curve on serious change on controlling basements. It's run for Amanda Frame's glory and her social cachet. How she loves to hobnob with the councillors and feel she's the only legitimate conduit for residents. Go straight to your councillors and don't rely on the Frames.
    The Constitution of the KS is largely about how they sack members rather than how members can sack them.
    Don't believe her claiming credit for all these 'achievements'

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    Replies
    1. Of course Amanda Frame likes to hob nob with councillors and the Lords and Ladies. It is a proven way to integrate and be understood. If there was a better way it would have been invented.

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    2. The Kensington Society is an umbrella body for 21 Resident Associations in the Borough. The Annual Report contains reports fro 16 of these Associations. This is a fantastic representational body that cannot be ignored or side-lined in the democratic process.

      Mr Bore repeatedly tried to diminish and ignore the Kensington Society. It takes a strong Chairman to stand up to bullies like this. It is no accident that Bore was fired. Mr Stallwood needs to take note and start to understand what democracy is about.

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  18. Smallwood (or the weasel of planning as he is better known to some) is far too concerned with making money for the Council AND the developers rather than the trifling concern of residents and planning policy being interpreted fairly).
    This is only change for the worst.
    Amanda Frame was supportive of Smallwood being made Interim Executive Director. She should be far happier that he will be the full time Executive Director.

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  19. We Should Be Told9 May 2015 at 07:32

    Who is Stallwood? What does he stand for? What is his commitment to residents? Is he a puffer?

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  20. This whole blog is a wake up call for Cllr Paget-Brown. He needs to crack the whip. He needs to make it clear to Mr Stallwood that in future the Borough's planning needs to be more inclusive than the recent past. Mr Stallwood needs some urgent mentoring about the ways in which he can start to understand resident needs and aspirations.

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  21. Lord Kensington9 May 2015 at 09:26

    It is quite incredible that the hornets are flashing so many red lights at Mr Stallwood before he even starts his new job. I have never understood planning but when I hear the dogs barking I always go outside to find out what the problem is.

    Mr Stallwood would be well advised to take some advice - as my lawyer often tells me.

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  22. Stallwood has deputised for Bore for several years. So he is not an unknown. Anyone who has needed to deal with planning and their errors or poor deicisions will be aware of Stallwood particularly as any contact by him has left a bad impression. He treats residents and their complaints with disdain in my expoerience of him. Having spoken to many people I am not alone in having been treated with contempt by him.
    Paget-Brown had a chance for real change in the Planning Department. An new external appointee could have let some fresh air in the department (as it needs it). But the Council chose to appoint someone worse than Bore

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    Replies
    1. This is worse than could be imagined. Time for a heavy pair of Boots to wade in and kick arse.

      Cllr Mills?

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  23. Graham Stallwood CV -

    Born: presumably

    1995-99 Uni: Sheffield

    MBA: Kingston (2010-12)

    2002: Becomes planning officer at Chiltern Borough Council, rising to area team leader

    2004: Appointed principal planning officer for major developments, Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead

    2006: Takes up role as group manager for minor applications, Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead

    2008: Promoted to development control manager, Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead

    2011 November: Becomes head of development management, Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea

    2014 June: Director and Hon Treasurer Construction Industry Council

    2015 March: announced as Bore's successor as Exec Dir Planning RBKC

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  24. Anonymous 18.32 has kindly provided Mr Stallwood's CV. Perhaps he or she can oblige us further with a comparable CV for Mr Bore.

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  25. ....and also CV for Cllr Rock Feilding-Mellen

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