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Wednesday, 11 January 2012

KALC Coughs up some Cash

The proposed site

Just as with litigation where the biggest winners are always the lawyers, the same could be said when local authorities embark on major capital projects. Advisors and consultants start to salivate as they contemplate all those lovely fees they can charge that make the recently awarded Caruana's SRA pale into insignificance.

So, dear Reader have you any idea how much the Kensington Academy Leisure Centre or "KALC" (you know, the bulldozers up there at Lancaster West and the plonking of a new secondary school slap bang on top of Grenfell Tower) has cost? It's actually topped £1.5million, the first £650k has been spent.

Nice work if you can get it. See it for yourself here

A report on 12th December to the Cabinet suggested four different options for developing this site, ranging from the budget one (costing £37.4mm) up to the all singing and dancing (is that the consultants doing that? -Ed) costing over £60mm.

Of course the devil is in the details, isnt it always?

Page 16 of the report details rather niftily the financial implications, telling us the council is going to cough up £36mm of your money, and the rest is going to come from a variety of sources including £17.6mm from PfS (Partnership for Schools), which is an executive agency that is part of the Department for Education, and a tranche from capital receipts (this means the proceeds for selling an asset, ie the land) of about £10million.


Further down the same report (paragraph 5.2.4) it says that if the PfS provide less; or if the fire sale of assets doesn't actually make the amount expected due to economic factors or things like that then the council contribution will have to increase to make up the shortfall. Not only that, but the council may have to use your cash to kick start the project, before they sell the asset, whichwill mean some short term borrowing resulting in additional interest costs.

Good job the council tax payers of K&C have deep pockets isn't it!


  1. Interesting report. The new school in North Kensington will cost £27 million. The rest goes on the Sports Center.

    Let us not forget that Holland Park School is being spruced up for £100 million. Not one single extra school space. But Cllr Cockell gets his "Statue of Liberty" in the park


  2. The consultants bunged in £7 million of fees for Holland Park School

    So far, the North Ken Academy is bargain basement. But they are already bargain basement up there....

  3. It does not have to be like this. The old "you scratch my back and I will scratch yours" (better known as pork barrel politics) is behaviour that is out of place with the world today.

    There is no need to spend huge amounts of tax payers money on toadies who will say whatever the paymaster wants them to say.

    Schools and Sports facilities are as old as the hills. Lots of pro forma plans available off the shelf and our highly paid Officers can fine tune them for North Kensington..

  4. £650,000 will buy six Bentleys.

    Does Cllr Cockell get it?

  5. The real story behind the North Kensington Academy is the Council's appalling treatment of residents on Lancaster West Estate. The Dame knows this well!

  6. Another One Who Knows12 January 2012 at 12:28

    The sale of the playgrounds at Holland Park School will achieve a surplus far in excess of the money needed to rebuild that School. The remainder of the surplus can only be used for educational purposes. Holland Park lost its Building Schools for the Future money earmarked for new IT equipment, so obviously some of the surplus can be spent on that. The balance should be spent on the Kensington Academy - it would be a travesty of natural justice if it were not. Let us not forget, the new Holland Park School will cost around £80 million; the new Chelsea Academy cost £43 million. Even accounting for reduced building costs due to the changed economic situation, £27million for the Kensington Academy is paltry and will provide only a bargain basement school and environs. The worry is that the Council will be unable to recoup the outstanding surplus from the developers of the Holland Park site - so currently it is unwilling to promise any more money for the Kensington Academy. But then, of course, it doesn't matter. This school is for the children of the poor in the north of the borough, to be built on a Council estate where poor people live, who don't deserve the Council's largesse!

  7. Oh dear AOWK, what a very depressing picture you paint, is the Council really that cynical?


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