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Saturday, 31 March 2012

Resident Associations and RBKC...Rotten Bedfellows!

Cockell: 'Buying' Resident Associations
What is the point and purpose of a Royal Borough Resident Association? A question long intriguing the Dame. She poses the question, alerted by a resident surprised that Cockell, on the recommendation of Head of Propaganda, Mr Fitzpatrick, had instituted something called the Gold Standard Award Scheme for Resident and Tenant Associations.
Briefing Cockell, Fitzpatrick said his brainwave would go some way to neutralising associations stepping out of line.
Cynically, Cockell has this to say, “We proudly offer the Gold Standard Award to recognise tenant and resident associations representing their local community. A Gold Standard association is one that is an expert at seeking out residents' views and has put in place procedures to ensure those views are heard, but totally ignored- unless they agree with me."
What utter nonsense...tell that to ESSA, whose views on the development of the Commonwealth Institute have been comprehensively ignored: or Camden Hill Residents Association, whose detailed research on the new Holland Park School School was ridiculed by Cockell and his colleagues. Or West London Residents Association, whose chairman, Doctor Gordon Taylor is the subject of continual vilification by councillor nonentities. The list is endless.
These are the pathetic baubles offered to RA's, who take the Cockell shilling.....

  • a one-off grant of £500
  • recognition at an annual ‘Gold Standard’ event with opportunities to meet Councillors and key partner(how boring!)
  • increased access to decision-making bodies in the Royal Borough
  • councillors to attend AGMs subject to availability(what AGM's or Councillors?) 
  • a certificate to display
  • a logo to be used on association letter heads or newsletters
 Along with the Dame, Resident Associations can be a vitally effective opposition to a dictatorial and un-hearing council like ours. They should  refuse to play Cockell and Fitzpatricks' patronising game. 
Instead they should form an umbrella group, able to present a forceful opposition on issues of common interest.

Resident Associations are there to vocalise the concerns of residents, in the face of a dictatorial and undemocratic practices, by a council noted for corrupt manipulation of residents' views.
Associations should not be getting into bed with a council which rides roughshod over the views of those they represent. They must remain aloof.


  1. Time the Residents Associations started to take on this Council. It is outrageous that their views are only listened to when they concur with Cockell and his clique

  2. This has to be a joke...listen to residents? I sincerely hope the residents associations completely ignore this invitation to his web of deceit and keep their independence.

    Cockell and his lackies have continually demonstrated their contempt for residents by squandering our money, ignoring our views and literally selling us out.

    At what point did he ask our views about exhibitionist road, loaning millions to origami man, holland park school, chelsea care, the new academy and swimming pool, and the biggest disaster yet to be seen the trip borough. Millions of our pounds is being wasted on this nonsense whilst frontline services are being slashed.

    How many senior Kensington officers have left because they know this is the meltdown of all local services for local people and can't bear to watch it.

    Cockell listening? Never.

  3. I hesitate to correct you, Dear Dame, but this is a little harsh and a little inaccurate.

    The Gold Awards have been going for a few years now. They are part of the whole Community Engagement programme which, yes, many do believe is part of a 'keep them close, shut them up' campaign.

    However, RAs of TMO and housing association estates have proved willing to go through the assessment process, as it helps them get better organised, and for some the £500 is a great deal of money that can be put to good use.

    The chairs of many of these RAs are quite un-tameable, I assure you, as no doubt are the chairs of RAs in the more affluent areas of the borough.

    So interestingly, the Gold Awards may in fact come back to bite the Leader in the posterior. And it couldn't happen to a nicer bloke!

  4. Long Suffering Officer1 April 2012 at 12:34

    We are all wondering when the bulldozers move in to Earls Court how that will affect Pootin who lives, literally, around the corner.

    Will he sell his property before the blight sets in?
    Who to? For how much?

    Or will he benefit from a "grace and favour" pad at the hands of one of the developers until he can move back to Philbeach?

    Can the Dame find out?

  5. Long Suffering Officer1 April 2012 at 12:34

    We are all wondering when the bulldozers move in to Earls Court how that will affect Pootin who lives, literally, around the corner.

    Will he sell his property before the blight sets in?
    Who to? For how much?

    Or will he benefit from a "grace and favour" pad at the hands of one of the developers until he can move back to Philbeach?

    Can the Dame find out?

  6. On a slightly different note, may I say that I am frequently irritated by the false distinction that is often made between "tenants" and "residents", as if tenants are somehow inferior to residents, and are not entitled to be considered as true residents.

    Indeed it is often wrongly assumed that tenants care less about the communities they inhabit, and that only property owning "residents" can be trusted to give a damn about their communities. In my experience (in the North Kensington ghetto) the opposite is frequently the case, as property owners are more likely to sell up, and abandon their communities, in the scramble to move on up the property ladder (so-called).

    Tenants, on the other hand, are more likely to be stuck where they are by economic circumstances, and have to make the best of it. Certainly it is tenants, rather than property owning "residents", who are the driving force behind the residents associations in my community.

    Did Cockell really invoke this false distinction between "tenants" and (proper) "residents" in his statement? If so this would be evidence of disgraceful and completely unacceptable discrimination against tenants right at the top of the power structure,

    Grenfell Actioneer

  7. The Chair of the West London Residents Association is the highly qualified Dr Gordon Taylor. He has made many well founded criticisms of Cllr Moylan's wasteful Exhibitionist Road vanity project. Rather than addressing the issues, the Council has responded by repeatedly abusing the good Doctor. In the current climate, such techniques rebound on the Council - bringing RBKC into further disrepute.

  8. This is a very sinister development and a further attack on democracy.

    Police, voters, councillors and officials all have different roles in society and need to remain true to themselves if they are to function properly.

    Cllr Cockell has built a patronage society in the Town Hall by the skillful use of huge SRA's which he hands out at his pleasure. Now he seeks to move beyond the Town Hall to build a patronage system more widely in the Borough

    Rupert Murdoch's News International tried this with politicians and the police. It is now the subject of a Parliamentary Enquiry

    It is corruption by any other name

  9. Another attack on democracy in Kensington and Chelsea

  10. Creeping corruption.

    Resident Associations are supposed to be non political. And represent the interests of residents of all political parties.

    If Cllr Cockell is handing out Red Roses and baubles, there are certain types who love these things. They will emerge to run the Associations. The muppets will be castrated - again

    How blind and stupid can we be not to see through this nonsense?

  11. Lord Kensington2 April 2012 at 09:13

    nothing wrong with a pat on the head from our Leader

  12. It is absolutely wrong for representative bodies to accept favours of any sort from any body that they seek to do business with.

    There are anit corruption laws against this kind of thing. Even the Prime Minister has to turn in gifts from foreign Governments after official visits

  13. Kensington Resident2 April 2012 at 09:19

    9.48 you are exceptionally short sighted.

    £500 may be plenty for a Resident Association but it is the thin end of a wedge. Bogey man stuff.

    Associations have to remain true to themselves

  14. Readers need to understand that £500 bungs and Red Rose awards come from a council and a Leadership that routinely demonises residents who take an independent line.

    Dr Gordon taylor (West London Residents Association, Congestion Charge and Exhibition Road) is regularly dismissed as a "nutter" by Cllr Moylan. Dr James Thomson (Sloane Square Action Group) was constantly briefed against and referred to as "mad".

    David White (Campden Hill Residents Association and his residents) were dismissed as NIMBYs for opposing the Cllr Cockell memorial of rebuilt Holland Park school. Fact: the school playground has been sold to developers for luxury housing and a perfectly good school is being rebuilt at a cost of £100 million when the Government's benchmark cost for a new school of this size is £25 million.

  15. My grandmother always warned me about taking sweats from strangers

  16. The police gave a horse to the Editor of the News of the World as a "gift". Politicians gave priveleged access to News of the World journalists about all manner of things.

    And lots of financial "gifts" changing hands to make life a little easier

    Nice and cosy then

  17. Cockell needs to be rooted out. He is not good for the Borough. And not good for democracy

  18. Grenfell Actioneer

    Do not play their game.

    The Council and TMO delight in playing "divide and conquer" with tenants and leaseholders.

    They know full well that if they can be "encouraged" to mistrust each other they will have a lot less "hassle" from the plebs.

    But the interests of tenants and leaseholders are exactly the same 99% of the time. What is required is a united front.

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