FTHN

Despite what you may hear the Dame supports NO political party and is not connected in anyway to any of the political organisations in the borough. The Dame reports on issues that matter, speaks as she finds, and tries to be fair and objective. No one should assume that because a particular story is critical or supportive, indicates a preference of the Dame in anyway to the subject discussed. It doesnt. In other words, this is no more a Labour blog, as it is a Conservative or Lib Dem one. It is a community blog.

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Wednesday, 26 November 2014

THE DAME TO TICK OFF DANNY BOYS MOYLAN

The Dame intends to have a quiet word in Cllr Danny 'Boys' Moylan ear.

Nick Paget-Brown needs support in these troubled times. He does not need mischief makers, like Danny Boys, stirring up trouble. 
Christopher Biggins
Danny Boys is a clever chap. He can quote ad nauseum from the works of other clever people but is not-and never will be, a leader of men. 
However, in his favour he is an avid reader of the Dame's stuff: so much so that he answered the Dame's demand for a library shot and sent in one of himself from his Oxford days. 

One hopes that Cllr Ahern will not call him in for a dressing down.... Conservative councillors are forbidden the Hornet.

For some reason he also copied in his colleagues and referred to himself as 'Christopher Biggins'
Why? Possibly because they both have hilariously fruity accents.....

To lead one needs to inspire and bring people together to find common cause. 
Danny Boys thrives on dividing and ruling.

Common sense prevailed when Danny Boys' schmoozing of Conservative councillors failed to cut the mustard.

Danny Boys election as leader would have been the severest blow to local democracy.




Monday, 24 November 2014

RBK&C TAXPAYERS SUBSIDISE HIGH ROLLING OPERA GOERS FROM OUTSIDE THE BOROUGH


POOR/SMELLY OPERA GOERS WITH BOLLINGER










We are are constantly told Opera Holland Park allows poor and smelly people to sample the delights of high opera thus the Dame was grateful to a reader for alerting her to the OHP Scenario advertising rate card......it makes informative reading.....

ADVERTISING RATE CARD
SCENARIO Opera Holland Park’s programme for the season
During the season we have 98% occupancy with audience numbers exceeding 40,000 Our opera season runs from the beginning of June to beginning of August.
Our audiences are made up of professional people
27% Senior Managers – such as Chief Executives or Finance Professionals etc 27% Traditional Managers – such as Accountants, Medical Practitioners etc 24% Modern Professionals – such as teachers, software designers etc 78% of our audience is made up of professional people
Our audiences are high earning
25% earns in excess of £100,000 45% earns from £50,000 > £100,000 26% earns from £30,000 > £50,000
Two thirds of our audience are local or from within central London.

Looking at the guts of this you can see that the audience is far from being poor and culturally deprived: in fact, it looks like us poor old taxpayers are subsidising high rollers who don't even live in the Rotten Borough.
Something else emerges too....if it still makes losses with a 98% occupancy then 'Foxy' Volpe's claim that one day his plaything will make profits is the stuff of operatic fantasy.

Put the thing out of its misery now....it's a long term loser.



Sunday, 23 November 2014

LABOUR ATTACK £5 MILLION GIFT TO MICHAEL 'FOXY' VOLPE AND HIS LITTLE OPERA COMPANY

The Labour Group accuse the Council of face saving by agreeing to the outrageous demands of Michael Volpe.
The Dame is not sure they are right.....
The better educated Europhile councillors (not you Palmer) will not have missed the irony of Volpe being a fox in Italian….and he has certainly lived up to the reputation of his namesake.
He has been like a savage and wily fox in the Hornton St chicken hutch.
'FOXY' VOLPE & THE CLLRS
And the end result is that Michael ‘Foxy’ Volpe has the council over the barrel: so much so it might not just be face saving, but ridding itself of an intractable problem.

'Foxy' says that the £5million will sort out OHP until it forms a charitable trust in 2016. 
He goes on to hope our £5 million, plus loss of interest of £150k, will see it through until 2023 when it rashly believes it will be in profit.

The Labour group say this is whistling in the wind. They may be right for with backroom costs of £412,000 for staffing, marketing, depreciation and insurance a profit is a figment of Foxy's imagination.

According to Emma Dent Coad the proposal evades the question of how much OHP will pay for using prime facilities in Holland Park. 
‘It has never been clearer that the Council is using the language of austerity to justify ideological decisions. 
The self-professed ‘richest Council in the universe’ can find cash for the opera, but makes ‘tough decisions’ when it comes to vulnerable and struggling residents. Once again Kensington and Chelsea Tories have been caught squeezing the vulnerable to fund indulgence.’

This business cuts across political boundaries. There are diehard Tories disgusted by this profligacy when, as Labour’s press release states….


 “These proposals come within the context of yet another year of crushing cuts in services.The disaster of the new contract for Special Educational Needs children’s transport, which put our most vulnerable children at risk, was the result of the ‘difficult decision in the face of austerity’ to save £447,000/year – a sum almost equal to the backroom costs of running the Opera. A further £415,000 is to be sliced off the Play Services budget, making it increasingly difficult for working parents to find affordable after-school and holiday childcare. And £500,000 has already been sliced from Youth Services.”

The Dame is an apolitical old thing but she agrees with this assessment. 
She expects her taxes to be spent on imperatives first and fripperies later. 
She certainly never expected to be a stakeholder in a third rate opera setup.
This sort of nonsense plays straight into the hands of the opposition.


Thursday, 20 November 2014

CRANBROOK BASEMENTS SNEER AT COUNCIL'S £1000 FINE!

The Council has been boasting that Cranbrook Basements have been heavily fined for displaying advertising on the hoardings surrounding their hated mega basement sites.
Clearly, the O' Connor family who own Cranbrook couldn't give a toss and see the fine as part of a cheap advertising budget! They are certainly not quaking in their boots...
PALTRY £1000 FINE


Anyway, a reader wrote this to the Dame...








Dear Hornet

I live in Abingdon Road and happened to walk past the dreadful Cranbrook basement excavations  which so disrupt our lives.

I saw a very smartly dressed manager in a hi vis jacket and asked him how he felt about the fine of £1000 his company had received for the ugly advertising signs on the hoardings.

His reply rather took me aback.

Rather than seeming upset he said that he didn’t think it would worry the boss, Mr O’Connor, who had had unpaid advertising on the sites for months and probably thought £1000 cheap for street advertising that would have cost him tens of thousands of pounds!

Well, I was astonished by his response; particularly as the council press release gave the impression that Mr O’Connor was quivering in his big workmens’ boots.

I thought you ought to know that Cranbrook seem very relaxed about their puny fine: after all they are making millions of pounds from their client….

Yours sincerely 

JM B*****l- J******p

PS we all miss mole in a hole's cartoons


MICHAEL VOLPE'S OPERA HOLLAND PARK DEMANDS £5 MILLION FROM RBK&C

For years hard pressed council tax payers have indulged the council's fantasy of being a Medici type organisation. 
Opera Holland Park costs us £500,000 a year, plus a hidden subsidy of another £500,000(the Council uses its staff to do admin as well as storing, erecting and dismantling the tent for free, with no rent charged for facilities etc)
So, in all, we pay £1million per year....and the irony is that the opera goers don't even come from within the Royal Borough!
It has cost us millions read it here at a time when the Council claims it can't afford basic frontline services.

It now seems that wily director of  Opera Holland Park Opera, Michael Volpe, has put a gun to the Council's head(aka our head) and demanded that he be given £5 million to go away.

A PISTOL TO OUR HEADS

OHP has been a drain on council tax payers for years. Only once, under the leadership of ex Cllr Ian Donaldson, did it ever make a profit.


Why can't it make a profit? 

Well, it might have something to do with market forces and the fact that down the road there are two world class opera houses whose prices, for substantially higher quality productions, are lower than the amateurish and seasonal Opera Holland Park.

RBK&C taxpayers should be up in arms at this blatant splurging of our reserves,

Michael Volpe the highly paid director of this financial fiasco should be told to take a hike and find his own 'angels'.



Tuesday, 18 November 2014

THE DAME WARNS THE MAYOR

This is the time of year when the Mayor sits in her Parlour constructing the invitation list for her Christmas shindig.
(The Dame will be out of the country so won't attend)

Normally, out of courtesy, the Mayor invites predecessors.

The Dame warns her not to invite disgraced ex councillor Barry Phelps...a one time Mayor of the Royal Borough and ex chairman of the Planning Committee. 
To jog memories....Phelps was exposed by the Hornet's Nest for circulating a series of vile, innuendo laden emails of  very under age boys. 
Pooter was reluctant to fire his buddy but Sir Delboy Myers moved swiftly to do for Phelps.

Shamelessly, the deeply unpleasant Phelps had no compunction in using the Council's email system to circulate his filth to a select list 
of ' demi monde establishment' figures.
No one accuses Phelps of 'acting out' his strange fantasies, but only the naive or blind would fail to see what motivated his disgusting behaviour.
The Dame gives a stern warning to the Mayor...you are NOT to invite Mr Phelps to your party...you do so at your peril. 

WHICH K&C COUNCILLOR HAS NOT PAID COUNCIL TAX?








The question was asked under an FOI

Since 2006
1. How many councillors have had council tax reminders for non-payment?
2. Who are/were the councillors?
3. Do any Councillors have current outstanding Council Tax Bills, if so how much?

and the response:

We do not hold historic information since 2006 but can advise that no councillors have received a reminder this year, and that one is in arrears for a previous year.


It is an offence for a councillor to vote on the budget if they are in arrears of council tax. 

So at the budget setting meeting of 5th March this year the light shines on those who did not attend the meeting.... namely..... Pooter Cockell, Boy Marshall, Matthew Neal and the Harridan Turner. 
Which one of them is it? 
Who still owes council tax today for a previous year?

Matthew Neal and Frances Turner are no longer councillors.

So that leaves either Pooter or the Boy Marshall who owe council tax!  

Unless, of course, it was one of the others in attendance who failed to declare an interest and so committed an offence!

The public have a right to know who in the Town Hall isn't paying their way!

PUT NOT YOUR FAITH IN THE WIVES OF 'HEDGIES'

A certain type of rich American woman inhabiting the plusher parts of London think they know what's best for us all.
A good example is wife of super rich 'hedgie' Lady Jill Shaw Ruddock. 
Her hubby, Sir Paul, gave £500k to the Tory Party and won a K for services to the hedge fund industry(funny sort of 'industry' but there you go)
Normally, residents write to the council to stop some planning travesty: not Her Ladyship.
She writes to the Council telling it what to do. 
But then she is the sort of 'lady' with such an inflated opinion of herself she probably expects to be invited in to vet the plans...or maybe she is friends with developers.
Doubtless, she would like to get the old Dame to go to one of her centres for GRACEFUL AGEING
Well, the Dame has an excellent cosmetic surgeon and thus no need.

The bigger question is this.....when wives of rich hedgies want something there is generally an ulterior motive.

If her taste in redevelopment is anything like her taste in 'upholstery' we should be very wary...




BOSSY 'LADY'
Dear RBKC Councillors
I understand that there has been a planning application for a really exciting redevelopment of one of the gateways sites in Notting Hill, sitting immediately above the tube station at the junction of Pembridge Gardens and Notting Hill Gate.

In my opinion, as a local resident, I think this project will transform what is currently a rundown area full of nondescript shops and buildings. There are several key points I would like to make as to why you should approve the planning of this site.

1.       It will act as a catalyst to further, much needed, investment and improvements to regenerate the area   
2.       After many years of inactivity in improving the Notting Hill Gate environment, this new building will give confidence in the long-term future of the area and will contribute positively towards making Notting Hill Gate a better place to live and visit.  
3.           The relocation of the underground station entrance to provide step-free access, widening the pavement and other public realm improvements, will be welcomed by many local residents, as well as by visitors to the area.   
4.          The new Corbin & King retail/restaurant use will give a retail boost to this part of Notting Hill Gate and provide an entirely new high quality retail/restaurant offer for the benefit of local residents and visitors  
5.          The new residential apartments would replace the current low-quality flats on the upper floors of the existing buildings and contribute towards the regeneration of the area.

It is my hope that the council will approve this application that will give the area a springboard to rejuvenate Notting Hill’s high street. I have submitted my comments on your website, and I hope others will do the same and write to their Councillors and  voice their opinions on this very important planning consent.


With best wishes
Jill Shaw Ruddock


Lady  Jill Shaw Ruddock