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DAMESATHOME@YAHOO.CO.UK
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Wednesday, 29 April 2015

KNIGHTSBRIDGE AND THE ARABIAN NIGHTMARES

At last....the worms are turning. Or, at least that was the feeling the old Dame got when she popped along to tonight's meeting at the Little Hall at the Oratory.
FALL
It was a full house. The organiser, William Fall of Alexander Square asked-for some very odd reason- that any journalists present, leave.

Anyway, the Dame has never considered herself part of that 'rough trade' and decided to 'hang on in'.
The Dame spied the elegant Max Mosley and the thoroughly useless Cllr Weale.
Ironically, one of the main points on the agenda was the hell created by the Arab owned super car drivers.

Knightsbridge residents have finally woken to the fact their neighbourhood, once noted for understated elegance, feels like the rougher part of Edgware Road. 
Arab visitors show no respect for our customs. At all times of day and night they roar around our streets in £300,000 Lamborghini's with indecipherable Gulf number plates. 
Beauchamp Place and Brompton Road have become infested by kebab shops, perfumed with the stench of shisha pipes.
Begging Eastern European beggars complete the Hogarthian picture of decay.
Will anything change as a result of such meetings? 
Very doubtful.
To organise a meeting like and then bar the press sounds quaint, old fashioned.... and a total waste of time.

Sunday, 26 April 2015

A PIECE OF BRUM IN HOLLAND PARK


This vile example of the worst of '60's architecture has just opened in front of beautiful Holland Park.
Residents are horrifed. 




But it has a champion in that arbiter of good taste, Cllr Danny Boys Moylan.
Danny Boys described it as a 'perfect cube'
So that's ok then!
It makes one wonder whether and whose palms were greased.....

Friday, 24 April 2015

BLACK'S FRIEND IN HIGH PLACES?

RESPECTED HOUSING
PROFESSIONAL
The Dame heard Juliet Rawlings confirmed Robert Black's appointment whilst he was still on probation!
What did  (left),Jean Daintith, the ex director of RBKC Housing and Adult Care....and a highly respected professional housing manager think of this? History does not relate
but the Dame surmises that Jean was a stickler for doing things right....if you see what the Dame means....


Did Rawlings engage a private company to carry out an objective assessment of Mr Black's performance in the role?

Or was it a case of the old pal's act...or you scratch my back etc...
These comments alerted the Dame to shenanigans that might have led to the wrong appointment.


I used to work for the Council. My boss insisted on observing the interviews of candidates for the TMO Chief Executives job. She told us that she would not have chosen Robert Black. She explained her reasons to TMO Board Members and Juliet Rawlings was having none of it.
Reply

Replies




  1. I was on the TMO Board when Robert Black came for his interview. We ignored what Jean Daintith said about the applicants. We had the hump with her for giving the TMO a Breach Notice so we did not choose the person she wanted.

Wednesday, 22 April 2015

HAS ROBERT BLACK DELIVERED FOR TMO RESIDENTS?

 SMUG?
When £140,000 a year Robert Black took over the running of the K&C TMO he made many grandiose claims.
Below are just a few......





* Sweep away the past and focus on improving repairs, not internal politics.
* Stamp out division to create 'cohesion' within the board.
* Work with the council, so that it trusts the TMO as a professional organisation able to run housing stock smoothly.
* Change residents' perception of the TMO and get younger people involved.
The consensus view amongst residents-tenants and leaseholders is that he has been an abysmal failure. 
Promises made remain undelivered and the organisation is still riddled with malpractice, corruption and bullying.

We need to address some important issues:

  • Is the TMO just too big and unaccountable? 
  • Should it be broken up into smaller, more accountable management units? 
  • Is the senior management fit for purpose?

But, more importantly...has Black delivered on anything?

RESIDENT DEMANDS THE DAME PONTIFICATE

Nothing appeals to the Dame more than outright sycophancy.
This resident is now a fave of the old thing...
We need to know why £30 million of our money was provided to this sports centre.
Can someone on the Council help out please?


Your Dameness,

As a resident of N Kensington I find your information invaluable and often amusing . Thank you.

I thought you might perhaps be faintly interested in this. I eagerly awaited the opening of the state-of-the-art health centre in Silchester road. I knew that the council had spent something like £30 million on the project -and I do not know if this even includes the land. 


When I went there, to join up hoping to make use of the pool, gym and classes, I discovered that this would require something like £80 a month. 
I remonstrated that I was a resident and I felt but It was extraordinary their monthly cost for full facilities should be in line with the Virgin sports club round the corner.

On a personal level as a resident of North Kensington I'm in a terrible quandary. I have the privilege of casting a vote that might matter . I've never voted Conservative and  on a political level I disliked Rifkind, and I like what I know of Abouharb, but I think the Cameron’s gov has done well with the appalling mess they were left with and I think that Millband’s gov may actually destabilise the country .   

What I know, is that I don't know. I don't want to throw away my vote, I don't know where to find real information and not to be blown this way and that by advertising speak….any advice ?

best wishes

Rxxxxx   Sxxxxxxxx

AFFINITY SUTTON EMPLOYS MAD OPUS DEI MONK AS CEO

The Dame investigative team has been tipped off that the albino Opus Dei monk in the Da Vinci Code is none other than £2million a year charity boss, Keith Exford.
Keith has been moonlighting as Silas, the mad and murderous monk....
Obviously the Anger Management course didn't work......




Tuesday, 21 April 2015

CHARITY BEGINS IN MR EXFORD'S LUXURIOUS HOME

The Dame's idiot  playboy nephew, Ludo, is always pestering the old thing about getting into a business where he can indulge his greedy ways. She had suggested local government but having seen how Mr Exford looks after himself she is now trying to push Ludo into a charity housing association sector....sounds a nice little earner for a lowly housing manager....


Dear Dame

More news from the Dame's 'favourite' charitable housing association, Affinity Sutton, (in)famous for its nefarious dealings on the Sutton Estate in Chelsea.

£1000 a day 'charity' worker!
This time the association,and its chief executive, Essex boy,Keith Exford, who grossed a handy £24,000 and change per month in 2013/14, stand accused of social apartheid in North Kensington.


Taylor Wimpey's new development of 133 apartments at the old Grand Union Centre on Ladbroke Grove (wittily marketed as The Ladbroke) includes 22 shared-ownership flats and 18 social rent properties that will come under the auspices of Affinity Sutton. For £126,000, you'll get a 25 percent share of a one-bedroom flat, with rent to pay for the other 75 percent, on top of the mortgage and service charge.

The development includes a rather charming internal courtyard garden for communal use. But not if you're one of the shared ownership or tenant  types, whose flats are no doubt round the back by the bins. They, we learn from a gushing piece in the Evening Standard, will be firmly excluded from the garden. And quite right too! Obviously, anyone who can afford the full £503,000 won't want to mix with those who only paid a quarter of that, or worse, the social tenants.

And just to remind us how far Affinity Sutton has departed from its original ethos of providing housing for people less wealthy than Mr Exford, 
Gemma Wallace, a senior sales manager at Affinity Sutton tells the Standard, “It has definitely got good potential for price growth.” 
Gushing Gemma
Someone should remind Affinity Sutton that people on lower incomes aren't looking for an investment, they're looking for somewhere they can afford to live.

Well done Affinity Sutton! And a special thank you from the poor folk of North Kensington to Keith Exford, who by the way earned £5,559 per week in 2013/14. Not bad for a charity worker, eh?

Best wishes from North Kensingtonian

Thursday, 16 April 2015

NICK PAGET -BROWN....A LEADER FOR ALL RESIDENTS?

The Dame is a fan of Cllr Paget-Brown......
She hopes he will harken to her words of advice....
The scenes outside the Town Hall during the petition handover could and should have been avoided......
How? 
SAVE MAXILLA NURSERY
Westway Trust, under the inept leadership of Angela McConville, is damaging the reputation of the Council.

This blundering and hopeless woman alienates all classes of voter, irrespective of their political views. 
The Dame sees more trouble ahead. It requires the emollient touch of the leader to pour oil on very troubled waters...
VULGAR ICON
A sensible first step would be to get rid of that icon of contemporary vulgarity:the personal number plated Bentley...bought and so beloved by the awful Cockell!

The next would be to de-weaponise the awful McConville.


THE DAME APOLOGISES

Some weeks ago the old Dame asked constituents to submit questions to PPC's on various issues....local and national.
It was the Dame's sad effort to create a sort of on line hustings.

She has taken advice and, as a result, has decided that this could lead to issues vis a vis the electoral rules. For that reason she has decided to keep her nose out of the upcoming General Elections.

She would like to thank Robin McGhee(Lib Dem) Rod Abouharb(Labour) and Victoria Borwick(Conservative) for giving up their time.
As for the others... not a word from UKIP; the Green Party and the other one whose name escapes her.
The Dame was extremely impressed by the three candidates she had the pleasure of meeting and whichever wins the day will do a good job.

Wednesday, 15 April 2015

CLLR RUTHERFORD SAYS NOISE IS NOT AN ISSUE IN BASEMENT DIGGING

BASEMENT FAN
In the war against the hell of basement development the diggers have found a champion in Cllr Elizabeth Rutherford.
The Dame will be supplying further detail of how Lizzy stood up strongly for a basement developer.
Lizzy, you should be ashamed of yourself.The Dame hopes you will be kicked out at the next election. You are past it!
Courtfield residents!....Retire this irritating woman.

Tuesday, 14 April 2015

MILLIONAIRE BASEMENT WARS....YOU CAN SEE IT HERE

Tonight the old Dame stayed up late, Horlicks in hand, watching BBC1's 'Millionaire Basement Wars'. You can see it HERE






It features some of the basement developments that have caused misery to residents and interviews some pretty ghastly basement developers.

Stopping these greedy, self interested amenity wreckers is a cause that the Council must continue to fight....even if the Goldman bankers and their builders go to the High Court.

PAINTING THE TOWN RED

Neighbours are up in arms over this candy striped paint job....sadly, there is little they can do.....



.....the same would seem to apply if the owner of an entire Pont Street Dutch house decided to bling up his property with an exotic paint job.


You have been warned.....

SAVE MAXILLA NURSERY PETITION HANDOVER: PLEASE BE THERE!


Nothing gives the old Dame greater pleasure than supporting any facility that gives inner city children the chance to play safely.
She urges everybody to go to the Town Hall tomorrow to witness the handing over of the petition to save the Maxilla Nursery.
Why destroy assets which make such a difference to young lives? It's madness.  You can read all about here Petition


Westway23 will be supporting Maxilla Nursery in their Save Maxilla Petition handover on Wednesday (15th) at 5.50pm at the Town Hall, Civic Entrance, Hornton Street. Please make sure you get there at 5.30pm if you are able to, the more support the better.
Our Westway23 meeting will also be on Wednesay (15th) at 7- 9pm at The Flyover, 3-5 Thorpe Close, London W10 5XL.



Sunday, 12 April 2015

THE DAME PUTS THE QUESTION TO RBKC'S HEAD OF PLANNING, MR BORE

A PICTURE OF CHELSEA ELEGANCE
In the Dail Mail we READ of the destruction of this fine and elegant house in Burnsall Street. What astonishes residents is how the Planning Dept nitpicks over trivial stuff, yet allows a thing of beauty to be torn down without a murmur...small wonder there is a feeling 'money shouts' in the Borough....or the planners are devoid of taste.







A PIG OF A HOUSE
The 'thing of beauty' has been replaced by this vile pig of a house lacking charm, character or congruity with the surrounding houses.

As one resident said, "It looks like a downmarket mortuary"



Mr Bore needs to answer two questions:

1. Why was permission given to demolish this propery, loved by neighbours- and anyone with a modicum of taste

2.  Why was permission given for a monstrosity which insults Burnsall St.

As for the useless Chelsea Society....not even a murmur of dissent

Friday, 10 April 2015

CAN YOU VOTE THIS GENERAL ELECTION?


There are important new election rules and if you are not sure about whether you can vote you need to CLICK HERE  where the new rules are explained.

Some of us make the mistake of thinking just one constituency covers the Royal Borough, forgetting we have two constituencies and two different Members of Parliament. 
So whichever party you intend voting for make sure you are qualified to do so. 





Wednesday, 8 April 2015

ROYAL HOSPITAL HAS QUESTION TO ANSWER ABOUT ITS BOSS..




SUSPENDED
So the age old military joke about quartermaster's being rich men may have a grain of truth.

The Dame would like more information about the story below taken from Armed Forces blogs. You can read it HERE

The question needs to be asked, "Did the Royal Hospital's Governor know about this serious incident and was Hickling exonerated?" 
Residents loyal to the RH need to know.
Some of the the bloggers even composed rude odes to the odious man!

Col Hickling is in day to day charge of the Royal Hospital.
In his role he is supposed to be the 'face' of the Royal Hospital...he isn't doing a very good job of it!
Residents understandably furious about Nicholas Candy obscuring their light and views have written to Hickling asking for his help; the rude fellow can't even be bothered to respond. 
So much for being friendly to these natives though he seems to have been much friendlier to others.....



Click to enlarge

"Lieutenant-Colonel Andrew Hickling of the Royal Corps of Signals has been suspended as the armyĆ¢ director of rugby after he admitted taking inappropriate payments of up to £1,000 from serving soldiers. 

This is categorical proof the the Army are not playing on a level playing field, suspend any players immediately who are linked with this and it will probably decimate the army team for Saturday of its foreign legion and more.
Hope Lieutenant-Colonel Andrew Hickling is thrown out without pension and banned from involvement with rugby for life, sponging tosser."

www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/uk/article1720036.ece


Saturday, 4 April 2015

EX LEADER OF ESSEX OFFERS HELP TO EX LEADER OF K&C GET 'ROBED UP"

A ROGUE IN HIS ROBES
Old crook, 'Milord'Hanningfield, ex chairman of Essex County County and pig farmer, is in yet more trouble. 
He has been clocking in to the Lords to claim a daily £300 and then doing sweet FA. 
You would have thought a spell in  'clink' would have shamed him into hiding away at his Essex piggery.
Hanningfield was nicked for putting down £270,000 of expenses on the Essex County Council credit card! 
But why do these nonentities with very ordinary surnames choose such grandiloquent titles...Paul White=Hanningfield;the Gummer Boys= Chadlington & Deben?
What will Cockell choose? Something crustacean? Suggestions please....

Pooter Cockell,our ex leader of K&C, whose staggering expenses were criticised by most of the national media, including the Daily Mail, (read HERE) was able to claim his expenses were ok'd by the chief executive....so that's alright then!
Anyway, anxious to make ends meet Milord H buzzed the old Dame asking if she would pass a message to Pooter.
The Dame, happy to oblige an old lag, agreed.
'Milord' Hanningfield had heard his old friend, Pooter, was going to become, like him, an 'aristocrat'. 
Ever keen to turn an honest or (dishonest) penny or two he was keen to know if Pooter might want to hire his robes cheap?
The ever solicitous Dame asked about size... the squat and crooked ex councillor assured the Dame, "Cockell and I are both short and fat-the fit will be fine"

Friday, 3 April 2015

COL HICKLING OF THE ROYAL HOSPITAL SENDS OUT BAD SIGNALS. THE DAME TELLS HIM TO 'GET A GRIP'!

This elegantly courteous letter(below) was sent to  Lt Colonel Hickling, an ex Signals chap, now i/c of the Royal Hospital.
The Dame's long deceased second(or third, she forgets) husband was a serving officer(Royal Dragoon Guards) and would never have dreamt of refusing to answer correspondence:or worse, getting his junior PA to respond on his behalf. 
Times change and this pompous and self important ex Signals officer clearly feels he is far too grand to bother with the 'locals'.
DOWNRIGHT RUDE!

Hickling, get a grip....your bad manners and discourtesy damages the reputation of the wonderful Royal Hospital











Lt Col. Andrew Hickling MBE
Director of Facilities Quartermaster,
The Royal Hospital Chelsea,
Royal Hospital Road,
Chelsea,
LONDON SW3 4SR
Dear Lt Col. Hickling, 
TREE PLANTING AT GORDON HOUSE
I am writing to you to express concern regarding the planting of trees close to the dividing wall between the rear gardens of houses in Embankment Gardens and the garden of Gordon House.   The original landscaping plans for the garden of Gordon House show a shrubbery along that wall.  That agreeable arrangement has clearly been replaced with one involving the planting of mature trees, already of considerable height and density, and quite closely spaced.  As far as I am aware there was, regrettably, no prior notice of this and certainly no consultation opportunity given to assess and consider the destructive environmental and amenity impact of such a plan of action on the residents of Embankment Gardens. 
In the circumstances I wonder if you would be so kind as to send me a copy of the Lease granted for Gordon House and also details of the planning permission for the garden of Gordon House with particular reference to the planting of new trees.  A great store was set concerning the preservation of listed trees in that garden but no mention made of what is now becoming a substantial increase in the tree numbers, in particular of trees being placed with evident and complete disregard for their effects on residents in Embankment Gardens.
Having wholeheartedly supported the laudable aims of the Royal Hospital to improve the living quarters of the ex-service men and women it has been disappointing to discover that nearby residents seem to have received little consideration in return.
Yours sincerely, 
xxxxxxxxxx

Thursday, 2 April 2015

A TALE OF TWO LEADERS....

and a reader observes.......








REGIME CHANGE
Close to two years have passed since Nick Paget-Brown took over the running of our council so it’s timely to look at the differences.
In the days of Merrick Cockell this appeared on the Council’s website.  
“Cllr Sir Merrick Cockell is effectively the borough’s Prime Minister, in charge of one of the most popular places to live, work and visit in the country. He is responsible for an area with a local economy which produces more revenue than many small countries. His role makes him an influential figure in London.”


One could never imagine Nick would allow such a preposterously pretentious statement to be made on his behalf and nor can one imagine that Nick would wish to stay in post for nearly fourteen years, as his predecessor did.
Corporate governance experts say the maximum time span for any chief executive or chairman is seven years-and that’s at the extremity: longer, and they say organisations tends to rot from the top.

Merrick Cockell lingered on for close to fourteen. Had he been an exceptional leader allowances might have been made; he was not.
By overstaying his welcome as he did a log jam developed with capable councillors feeling that the top job would just never become available so, in the end, they just gave up.
Even national press coverage of his vast expenses and double and triple jobbing failed to embarrass this most insensitive of leaders.


So how different is the council under the leadership of Nick Paget-Brown?
An interesting story is told of Paget-Brown.
A newly elected Lib Dem councillor was seen wandering around the council chamber looking a bit lost.
In minutes she was taken under Nick’s wing and shown the ropes. 
And his decency extends to his treatment of residents.
Nick won’t satisfy everybody but his strategy of ‘getting out and finding out’ is a first step towards restoring the democratic deficit.
He has some important changes to make in the Administration. Certain changes in the Cabinet are also overdue. Two particular names can only be considered as political ballast.
Their grasp of the job has been woefully inadequate and that incompetence overshadows the very real effort Nick Paget-Brown is making to ‘listen to residents’.


Famously, one of those councillors,Mary Weale, now in the Cabinet, was overheard to say of residents, 'we hear, but we don’t listen’. What a crass and stupid comment.

Nick Paget-Brown needs to snuff out this attitude that so symbolised the ‘ancien regime’



Wednesday, 1 April 2015

THE CANDY BOYS OUTFLANK THE ROYAL HOSPITAL GENERALS AND CAUSE HAVOC WITH NEIGHBOURS

40 FOOT MONSTERS



The Candy Bruvvers and the Royal Hospital don't resonate as a marriage made in heaven. 







When the Bruvvers bought the lease of Gordon House the major generals who run the Royal Hospital clearly thought their military skills would protect them and neighbours from the depredations of those wily wheeler dealers.


How very wrong they were....
Had they taken the trouble to look at the Candy’s hideous intrusion on to Hyde Park they might have been a bit more cautious allowing free rein to philistines.

But, in short order, the Bruvvers went on the offensive,
routing the Royal Hospital officers and leaving them to lick their wounds and wipe much egg off their honest, ruddy faces.
And the Royal Hospital's neighbours- all staunch supporters of the Hospital-suddenly found they had a neighbour from hell.


NEIGHBOURS FROM HELL

But what folly for this collection of colonels and major generals to think themselves a match for these billionaires. Did they get good advisers? It seems not; so the Bruvvers, as usual, end up getting just what they want.




A resident in Embankment Gardens overlooking Gordon House tells the Dame,“we were told by Major General Currie, the Royal Hospital Governor, the sale of the house would provide much needed funding. We were very happy with that. To reassure us he showed us plans for attractive shrubs between our homes and the Gardens”. 
RIGHT UP AGAINST THE NEIGHBOURS
Major General Currie mentioned- and seemed frightfully impressed- that the Sainsbury family had agreed to his plans.
Neighbours were told by the Governor they would negotiate very carefully’ with the Candy's .... obviously, they forgot to take a long spoon with them....

HELL!
So what’s gone wrong?
True to form the Bruvvers went on manoeuvres. The beautiful, calm and understated gardens the Royal Hospital promised to protect have been devastated.
And, showing complete contempt for residents, a wall of huge 40ft conifers has been planted along the Embankment Gardens boundary....blocking out the residents’ views; their daylight and threatening their boundary walls.
One associates these hideous, fast growing trees with damp and dismal suburban cemeteries-not the beautiful park like vista of the Royal Hospital grounds.
When residents objected to the Candy’s their representative, the appropriately named Mr Savage, wrote dismissively... “our client wishes to have privacy at home and in their garden. Royal Hospital are in full support of the new planning application and the tree planning schedule".  

Ironically the RH plan to cut down thirty two trees along the South Terrace boundary and replant with trees costing around £1 million to recreate the 17th cent plan. A lot to spend when the RH costs £2 million a year just to keep going.
No wonder locals were horrified! So the Royal Hospital want to cut down trees the locals want to keep and the Candy Bruvvers want to plant monsters the locals don't want!

There are important and unanswered questions:

1. Who negotiated with Candy & Candy during the sale process?
2. Who represented the Royal Hospital in these negotiations? (They did a very poor job of it)
3. Did the Royal Hospital discuss the landscaping plans with Candy & Candy in detail?
4. Did the Royal Hospital know that Candy & Candy were concerned about lack of privacy and planned to put up very tall trees (about 30 - 40 feet high) ?  

"