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Sunday, 15 January 2012

Pooter Cockell To Invest Your £20bn Pension Fund!!!

Would you trust a man who ran a one man basement business flogging fags to Africa to manage your pension?

An Abingdon Cockell Oppo
Doubtful-unless you are insane. Imagine the Dame's stunned state when she read our mighty business brainbox, Pooter Cockell has designs on your pension pot. He wants to use £20bn of council pension funds to build new roads, bridges, houses and toll the £30 million 19,800 sq.m Exhibition Rd-the world's most expensive!
Keep Your Hands Off Our Pension Money
Pooter's business record is truly catastrophic. His last 'investment' using taxpayers' money is an object lesson. Chelsea Care will end up costing taxpayers the thick end of £1 million.
Another 'investment' was the Wedge:so far over £250,000 down the plughole. As Council Officer said in his comment below
"The subject has been aired at the RBKC Investment Committee and there is NO WAY they will permit it. And good luck to him with other Councils - it's all hot air on his part, fluff and nonsense." 
So it begs the question...if his own council won't touch this idea with a barge pole why would any others?
Then his multimillion pound 'investment' loan to the Design Museum;unsecured and at a nominal interest rate...The Dame suspects there will be 'tears before bedtime' on that one as Pooter pits himself against Terence Conran. And then the rebuild of Holland Park School: £100 million, and yet not one additional place!

And what of his 'investment' in Exhibition Road? It's a £30 millions disaster waiting to happen. The letter below from renowned traffic engineer and local resident, Dr Gordon Taylor graphically points this out to Cllr Paget-Brown.

Pooter Cockell and his schemes should carry a Financial Health Warning. Do not let this loser get his hands on your pension money!
Dear Nick

In a recent letter to the local paper you queried the cost that I had given to the new road.
The new road cost £22.4M to build. All construction work was carried out with the objective of creating the new 19,800 square metre road. This would include any works such as moving utility infrastructure with a view to decreasing possible future maintenance costs. It is therefore correct to say that each sq metre of road cost £1,184. This makes the new Exhibition Rd one of the most expensive in the world and a huge waste of public money. In the same letter you claimed that the cost of this chinese granite road  was the same as other natural stone used in new road construction in London. In this you are incorrect. Granite setts are most commonly used. These cost £128/sq metre laid (Westminster City Council figure) In other words Exhibition Rd costs almost 10 times as much. The attractive pink tarmacadam  road surface in the Mall and around Buckingham Palace costs £18/sq metre and is infinitely  easier to maintain than the hand laid chinese granite block road that the Council has had created.
How has this come about? As the Design Champion, Deputy Leader and reportedly the most  powerful personality on the Council at the time the critical decisions were made, Cllr Moylan will surely shoulder the responsibility for the decision to appoint architects to design the road. These architects had impressed with their pedestrian paving design at Somerset House but appear to have had no previous road design/construction experience
Pavement and road design/construction are totally different.
The lack of construction expertise within the Council also played a part in what has transpired. It should be noted that the Executive Director, Transport, Leisure and Environment appeared to have no formal transport qualification. If I read the organisation of the Council’s affairs correctly the Exhibition Rd project would come under the Transport Dept.
I suggested to the Leader that a civil engineer be appointed to manage the project but this was not taken up. No-one appears to have questioned whether what was proposed gave value for money or whether in this day and age a hand laid block road was a sensible option.
The architects initially chose sandstone for the road .This was considered unsuitable. Experts then apparently recommended  the chinese granite. This was chosen. A Council report says its skid resistance was less than standard road materials and recommended a 20mph speed limit. This at the same time where elsewhere in the borough the Council was laying road surfaces in places eg outside schools, to improve skid resistance. It surely would have been better to have a material used on Exhibition Rd with at least as good a skid resistance as a normal road material.
The use of chinese granite blocks hand laid also has implications for road maintenance. They increase its cost enormously.
Because of its construction the road has been classed as a ‘Road of Special Engineering Difficulty’ This means that all re-instatement must be carried out to match the existing construction. To this end the Council is storing 90 crates of chinese blocks for onward sale to utility companies as they are needed. This has a capital and storage cost accruing to the Council ie taxpayer.
Repairs will be more expensive and take much more time for the utility company who will pass the cost on to their customers. Road delays will be much longer than the repair to an ‘ordinary’ road.
At a Sharing the Street Conference on Dec 1st David Ubaka of Transport for London (possibly someone who has worked for Cllr Moylan) said that utility companies were the ‘elephant in the room’ when it came to shared space schemes. They were no respecter of road surfaces. He showed a slide of a tarmac repair in a granite sett road. He stressed that local authorities should avoid expensive road materials for the above reason.
A further cost lies in the high street cleaning cost of £175,000 proposed pa by the Council for Exhibition Rd
In summary.
By using an architect with apparently no previous road building experience the Council has built a grossly expensive road at the taxpayers expense.
The road surface is below the skid resistance standard required of a regular highway.
Road repairs will be more costly and take much longer than those for an ordinary highway.
Yours sincerely


  1. What an opportunity for a "No Confidence" campaign!


  2. This is worrying news for every Officer (past and present) in Kensington Town Hall. And Cabinet members too who stand to pick up handsome pensions on their super inflated SRA's in K&C.

    You boys and girls better watch out. Better still, put Pooter out of harms way.

    Cllr Cockell has already inflicted massive financial damage and is not to be tusted with the piggy bank. The current situation is much more serious than his expense record of abuse

  3. The list of financial folly outlined by the Dame is alarming.

    She forgot to mention the Paddington rail extension to North Kensington. Another still born dream of Cllr Cockell. Financed by K&C, knicked by Hammersmith

    So what? K&C taxpayers are rich and the Hammersmith lot are paupers. Nothing wrong with some income distribution

  4. Do not trust Cllr Cockell with Granny's silver

  5. It will be interesting to see what Derek Myers does about this threat to his pension. He of course has most to lose (£280k per year final salary, inflation proofed pension).

    Lots of self interest here - I am sure that he will spike Cockell

  6. Cockell is obviously working even harder for his place in the House of Lords.

    He championed the tri Borough project to get himself noticed by pandering to the Chancellor's need to save local Govt spending (it will not)

    Now (in the LGA seat) he is pandering to the Chancellor's need for more investment. It will bankrupt the local Govt paension funds.

    This man is dangerous. He is on a single minded crusade to "better Cockell"

    The K&C Conservatives are too short sighted to get rid of the man. Perhaps we should start to think out of the box - make him Price Regent, created Duke of Windsor, with a grace and favour Palace and £500k per year.

    The Russians, of course, would shoot him

  7. There is no way the tight-fisted Investment Committee would allow Cockell anywhere near the half a billion pound fund (not £20bn Dame dear).

    Quite simply he has no influence whatever on the committee, and to put it politely is not considered to be a bright spark.

  8. The Dame should ask Cllr Buckmaster, as chairman of the impoverished Conservative Association, to make sure that Pooter was paying a market rent for the basement that he rented from the Association as the world headquarters of his trading business.

  9. Sadly 11.49 you are incorrect...Pooter has big plans...

    The Dame's Private Office

  10. For the Dame's private office:
    The subject has been aired at the RBKC Investment Committee and there is NO WAY they will permit it.

    And good luck to him with other Councils - it's all hot air on his part, fluff and nonsense.


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