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Tuesday, 17 May 2011

Epic Folly on Old Folks Centre

We all have elderly relatives, we all know a senior citizen from the down the road or round the corner and one day thats what everyone will mature into.

The EPIC Day Centre in North Kensington is to be closed as part of the cost cutting exercise by the council. This will mean service users, the elderly folk of the area will be forced to either stay at home or go further afield to one of four other centres in the borough; as far away as Fulham Road

It doesn't matter that its closing! They can use another centre in the borough instead.

Yeah, thats right. Just like when Sir M flew to the USA first class with Virgin Atlantic, he could have used British Airways instead - but then he isnt a member of their frequent flyer programme.

Its just the typical excuse these politicians wheel out time after time over situations like this. The users of this centre deserve some respect and definitely some dignity. Some users rely on centres  to get them out the house, or socialise with friends and simply enjoy their days.

Back in February Cllr Lightfoot let the cat out the bag saying the centre is going to close only for the council to claim that no decision had been made and consultation is ongoing.

Consultation did go on, but as most people find out on the receiving end of council consultation it means you either agree with what we want, or tough!

Sir Cockle is upset that the Hornet is always getting to him, and in situations like this nothing puts a smile on the face of the Dame more. Cockle bemoans:

"This is a deeply unjust and hypocritical attack on the council. They know the council is having to find £50m in savings by 2015, as a result, we have to take very difficult decisions to protect our front line services for the vulnerable of our borough. But that won't be enough. We still must make savings and it must make sense to start with those services that are no longer widely used and where there are good alternatives. So we have decided to close EPICS as it is so expensive to run for the numbers who use it."

Expensive to run for the members who use it. 
Disgraceful, the cost is nothing compared to the value it gives its users.

Because people like Cockle only see numbers on a sheet of paper. They enjoy the trappings of public office and with that the public purse so will never have to experience dependancy on a council provided care.

Well Hornet suggests some things he can do to save some money...

  • Cut Councillor Allowances and Special Responsibility Allowances
  • Sell either the Bentley or the Jaguar (or both)
  • Pay back the expenses he claimed on his three trips to the USA paid for by RBKC
  • Stop funding the Kensal Rise station for CrossRail 
  • Admit £20m for Exhibition Road was an expensive mistake

Cockle accuses detractors of being "hypocrites" over the closure of this centre. If one of his elderly relatives used this centre or one faced with closure he would do all he can to fight to keep it open.

So there is just one hypocrite in all this, and thats you Merrick Cockell.

Oh, and one final thing. If you are still wondering where to find the money from to keep this centre open and give the elderly folk who use it, depend on it a break here's a very small pointer....

use the reserves - if not what is it there for?

The council has over £170 million tucked away in reserve and that is supposed to be used to protect front line services, not sit there gathering dust.

If providing a service to our elderly folk isnt considered important enough, or front line enough then Cockle and co should hang their heads in shame.

The Dame invites every decent minded person reading this tonight to say a little prayer to the deighty you follow and wish on Cockle the same he is imposing on the users of EPICS.

Shame on you. Sleep well tonight.


  1. Mr Downes

    Some would say you have plagiarized most of this text from the Local Labour party - Why?

  2. Mr Downes didnt write it.

    And rather than respond to the spirit of the piece, you brush it off as political chat.

    There are real people involved in this decision, whose lives are affected.

  3. save the time and money you spend on hornet, and get a job and offer your wages to the centre

  4. 16:02
    I don't know who you are: I suspect a councillor. As the Hornet said I am not the author. If you knew me you would know that I identify myself: you clearly feel that covert attacks achieve something. Why not tell us who you are? I won't bite your head off. I and others would probably applaud your courage.

  5. Dame
    I doubt the reserves would cover the cost. Cockle is having to use the reserves to deal with the financial implosion to save Holland Park School. Andf if decisions are so tough how come you can waste nearly £800k on the Mayoralty and the same on Holland Park Opera. Get a grip or piss off to chair the useless LGA

  6. And still spending £1 million a year to subsidise Holland Park Opera with council tax - and the opera programme for 2012 is already approved

    We know where the priorities are in Hornton Street.......

  7. 16.02 and 16.54, why don't YOU get a job? Let's face it you won't be a Cllr for much longer, especially if you continue to be so insensitive to the older population you are supposed to represent.

    This is typical of Driveller, everyone, he diverts debate to petty squabbles, we should send him to Coventry.

    Hornet, that's a very astute post, and we all know many of the Tory Cllrs agree with you but are afraid to speak out.

  8. Fine you say he did not write this. So it was written by the Labour Party - Blakeman, Dent Coad, etc Members of "the financial mess the country is in, is not our fault" club and members of "lets spend our way out and rake up more debts" club.

    That is why anything from them needs to be examined.

    Populist it may be to champion this cause, but denying facts is something else they are also good at.

  9. Wrong again on so many counts.

    It's not written by any of those you mention.

    It's not populist it's called common decency. Any right minded person would think the same.

    So why don't you suggest dipping into the vast reserves to keep this service going or are you more interested in cheap shots based on inaccuracies?

  10. Another Labour parrot phrase

    "suggest dipping into the vast reserves"

  11. Do I sense panic amongst the ranks?
    Sir Cockle loves to cuddle himself with the idea that the Dame has a narrow readership. He should not be so complacent. I see the viewings on a weekly basis and they are broad and very much RBKC based.
    What Sir Cockle should focus upon is this. The Hornet is now spreading to
    younger voters, shocked by the excesses of RBKC.They are not easily hoodwinked.Anyway, focus and extrapolate Sir C

  12. Another Labour parrot phrase

    "suggest dipping into the vast reserves"

    18 May 2011 03:26

    Your silly name is in perfect synchronicity with you idiotic comment.
    Read the papers and you would know that Eric Pickles(who I tend to admire) and Grant Shapps insisted that councils should not run up vast reserves: and,where such reserves exist, they should be deployed to protect 'resident critical services'. So the inference of your foolish comment is that Pickles is supporting Labour policy:you must be mad!
    Reserves have been garnered, not through prudence, but through blatant over taxation of a captive audience.
    What are reserves for if not to fund essential services? To overpay Sir Merrick and his greedy colleagues? To buy £120,000 Bentleys? Of course, now we know it's true purpose is to dig Cockell out of the bottomless pit that is the Holland Park School building site.
    If you knew anything of business-and you clearly don't- you would know that public companies return cash to shareholders by special dividend, and that is what RBKC should be doing. But of course by the time they get royally screwed by Native Land there will be little left in reserve.

  13. Dr Eg N Spoonras18 May 2011 at 12:39

    Your silly name is in perfect synchronicity with you idiotic comment.

    As opposed to calling yourself "Dame Hornet"

  14. Dr Eg N Spoonras said..

    As opposed to calling yourself "Dame Hornet"

    I would be proud to be the Dame for she does much-and will do more-to ensure that we see a resurgence of democracy in RBKC. But I am not.... Yes, I know everybody is scrabbling around desperate to expose the Dame but I assure you it is not me.
    Why would anyone need finance a blog? They self finance.
    Now answer the points I raise...

  15. "save the time and money you spend on hornet, and get a job and offer your wages to the centre"

    Yes, you would love that. But that would make the thousands who read the Dame very sad.And why would you wish the Dame to pay for the Centre? After all,has she not already paid through her taxes?
    And the Dame, being very clever, holds down a major senior management job-not for her life with a SRA....

  16. "to ensure that we see a
    resurgence of democracy in

    Well that is something you have twice passed down as an option - you have made various grand claims that you would stand but you seem to go a shade of yellow when opportunities present themselves.

    "I know everybody is
    scrabbling around desperate to
    expose the Dame but I assure
    you it is not me".

    I am sure that the Leader of the Council thinks it is you. A couple of friends of mine who have had conversations with you also think it is you (with the help of the Labour party). No one else holds grudges and personal dislikes for so long and displays them so openly.

    One Councillor who has had a few conversations with you has told me that she can stand up in court with documented evidence and make a very good case it is you .

    Your assurances are worthless!

  17. Ha ha ha ha.

    Take your best shot.
    You are WAY off the Mark.

    Keep taking the taBlets and keep guessing.

  18. 'Twice turned down as an option"?
    What are you talking about?If you knew me you would know that I was the youngest ever county councillor at the age of 21, taking the seat from a socialist.Pushing aside a useless RBKC councillor would hardly tax me!
    I seem to remember young Quentin Marshall agreeing that I would unseat him!
    We all have sufficient experience of Cockell's judgement not to take seriously his claim to know the identity of the Hornet:he cannot even remember who he entertained so lavishly in NY just a year or so back.
    Why don't you expose yourself to us-or do you have a shade of yellow? But as I have a pretty good idea as to your identity I withdraw that request;it could be unpleasant and a matter of police interest!

  19. "One Councillor who has had a few conversations with you has told me that she can stand up in court with documented evidence and make a very good case it is you". Well why does she not disclose her evidence? I am sure she would have a ready audience here and the Dame woukd surely give her a platform. The only possible reason/s is/ are that you are a liar or she is. The fact is that you guys are totally stuck, rushing around like headless chickens trying to find out how to stop this "K&C revolution".

  20. Mr Downes, it might interest you to know that this entire exchange was written while Cllr Palmer was sitting in the Members' Room. So if you think Driveller and Palmer are the same, you can add that to your 'misuse of Council facilities' case.

  21. 22:02
    Thank you
    I guessed from the desperation and straw clutching it was our in-house detective Cllr Palmer.I hope his efforts to rehabilitate himself after the debacle of the by election planning and the non disclosure of interests will succeed.Every time he seeks to help M.Cockell it ends in disaster

  22. Closing an Old Folks' Home to save cost? Would someone be kind enough to point out where in the Tri-Borough Proposals this is mentioned? I cannot find it anywhere?

  23. Calm down dears. It's lovely to see you have your priorities in order. All this sniping while elderly people are likely to die when their daily routines are disrupted, as metastudies demonstrate. How nice of them to save the country and the borough some cash. Now all those zillions of pounds spent on Saturday and Sunday lunch, meeting with other humans once or twice a week, keeping warm or having a subsidised cup of tea can be saved. RBKC must be very proud.


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