send the Dame your information, discretion assured.
Comments are welcome but do not necessarily reflect the view of the Dame.
Offensive/inappropriate comments will be deleted and the poster banned.

Thursday, 2 February 2012

The Minority Group Slams Exhibition Rd

The Dame draws attention to the vast preponderance of negative reader comment about the scheme in various national media. Most are concerned about excessive cost; the danger to pedestrians-particularly children and the disabled.
Equally prominent was anger about the fact the stone was bought from China at vast cost to the environment. Many comments focus on the fact that it is is already filthy and will cost a annual fortune to keep clean....£200,000 a year!


Labour attacks “extravagant” streetscape scheme
As the £25 million Exhibition Road streetscape scheme opened in South Kensington, North Kensington Labour Councillors criticised the Council's extravagant spending on a scheme aimed at tourists. 
A short bus ride away are four of the poorest areas in the country. In Golborne Ward, 51% of the children live in poverty, residents endure high levels of disability and ill health and life expectancy for men is 71 years, compared with 89 in the richer parts of the borough. Exhibition Road is sited next to Queens Gate, the most affluent ward in the country. Labour is incensed that the North Kensington residents they represent consistently fail to get a fair share of funding from Kensington and Chelsea Council to provide services and support. 
Labour Leader Cllr Judith Blakeman said: 'we are facing a brutal package of cuts. One pensioners' health and social care centre has already shut down; mental health day centres are closing, a Children's Centre is to go and nursery provision will be “rationalised”. The Council is ruthlessly cutting sports for schools, homework clubs, youth centres and the vital voluntary organisations that help vulnerable residents to live independently. Despite holding reserves of over £170 million, Kensington and Chelsea Council, chooses to spend its money on Exhibition Road rather than the poor and vulnerable of the Borough. That says it all'. 
Labour planning spokesperson Cllr Emma Dent Coad said: 'Spending £25 million on a paving scheme and £175,000 every year just to keep it clean would be obscene at any time. To do so when savage cuts are being made to essential services in the north of the borough is indefensible. The spectacle we have seen today is a slap in the face for our poorer residents, many of whom can't even afford the bus fare to the Museums. The performers alone must have cost more than the after-school clubs that have been cut; how appropriate that a white elephant is on parade today. There can be no justification for this level of frivolous spending in these difficult times.' 
Early Intervention Service -£350,000; High Need Adolescents -£200,000; Play Services £100,000;
Early Years provision -£1m; Youth Services -£520,000; Care leavers  -£468,000; Voluntary Organisations -£40,000; Supporting People -£500,000; Adult Social Care -£601,000; Home Care Services -£950,000; Mental Health -£260,000; Learning Disability/Short Breaks -£116,000; Learning Disability/Day Services -£203,000; Sports for schools  -£279,000; Street cleaning-£336,000.
Unbelievable? Read it here:


  1. Cllr E Dent Coad2 February 2012 at 07:23

    Sorry to say the Council did themselves no favours yesterday, as the real revelation at the opening event - putting aside the cost argument for a moment - is how well the design works as a totally pedestrianised zone.

    As Exhibition Road is a main arterial route this is simply impracticable, and this clarifies the very serious mistakes made here.

    I spoke to museum workers and to protesting students who run the gauntlet daily, and to restaurant owners at the South Ken end who are concerned about the safety of their elderly customers, and who watch cars backing out into traffic having mistakenly driven into the 'car-free' area.

    Some people may learn to use it; more are occasional users who will not. Vulnerable people are at a serious disadvantage here. It will need endless - and very expensive -tweaking.

    In short, it is not fit for purpose.

  2. This is a very powerful press release and it is to be hoped that the national press will pick it up and run with it.

    It demonstrates clearly how disconnected Cllr Cockell's regime is from reality. After 14 years of absolute power Cockell's Town Hall has reduced itself to a self serving fiefdom intent on stoking the egos of a small and pathetic band of Conservative counsellors

  3. What a disgrace.

    It is a pity that brain dead Tories in Kensington and Chelsea cannot figure out that Cockell needs to be cleared out of Kensington Town Hall

  4. It is unfortunately true that when there is a political monopoly like the one we have in K&C, Cllr Cockell (Leader) can be swinging from the chandeliers and no one takes a blind bit of notice

  5. Cockell is a liability. No doubt about that.

    But let us not forget that Exhibition Road is the creation and mischief of Cllr Moylan, currently lying low and allowing the other reptile to take the flak

    Rats nest

  6. Malcom Rifkind MP needs to start taking an interest in the affairs of his constituents in North Kensington and stop using his Kensington seat as a platform to ponce around on Radio 4.

    Rifkind needs to take a small Master Class from Greg Hands, MP for Chelsea and Fulham, on how to be a good representative.


    As my mate the builder in Lancaster Road would say, "shit or get off the pot Malcom"

  7. The analysis by Cllr Dent Coad is startling to say the least.

    What happened to Cllr Cockell's political judgement when he allowed the £25 million Exhibition Rd project to proceed?

    How can Conservative councillors continue to support this man as Leader?

  8. 8.56 you need to take a closer interest in Kensington Town Hall politics.

    Conservative counsellors support Cllr Cockell because of the large SRAs that he pays them.

    There is nowt so greedy as a Tory pensioner on the back benches at Kensington Town Hall.

  9. For the first time in living memory we have a councillor, Cllr Dent Coad, who is capable of showing it like it is. A breath of fresh air and a boost for democracy.

    For too long the Labour Group have been stuffed with Councillors who cannot hack it in K&C - old school socialists who could only rant and rave incomprehensible drivel. Cllr Briget Hoier is a classic example of a counsellor that Labour can do without. Pat Mason is another.

    Wisely, Labour got shot of useless Keith Cunningham. But a new breed is coming through. Cllr Dent Coad and Cllr Todd Foreman are a breath of fresh air.

    A democratic spring in Kensington and Chelsea

  10. Pity that the Lib Dems are using rubbish counsellor candidates too.

    They make no difference to the democratic deficit in Hornton Street

  11. In the long run the outrageous Exhibition Road may serve RBKC residents as the ultimate and very public expression of Moylan's uncontrollable megalomania - as well as his councillor minions' collective lack of backbone.

    It is inevitable that residents will have to pay to replace Chinese granite with a roadway fit for purpose. Meanwhile every time a local sees it, he will remember that for decades RBKC has been run by a self-serving clique. It is high time for change; but this requires residents to vote for "A.N Other" rather than younger versions of grovelling
    "Clone Tory Boy."

    Congratulations to Cllr Dent Coad for drawing attention to RBKC's latest cynical exercise in cutting services to the vulnerable. Every service cut not only deprives those in need, but puts officers and others out of work. This creates yet more unemployment, so yet more need for now non-existent public services.

  12. The more I read about the disgusting coterie ensconced in the town hall the greater my disappointment in all the Tory councillors. As for Malcolm Rifkind - I agree with every word of Fly Swatter. I have never been represented by an MP who cares less for his constituents.


Comments are your responsibility. Anyone posting inappropriate comments shall have their comment removed and will be banned from posting in future. Your IP address may also be recorded and reported. Persistent abuse shall mean comments will be severely restricted in future.