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DAMESATHOME@YAHOO.CO.UK
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Friday, 15 June 2012

MORE FROM THE "WE HEAR-BUT DO NOT LISTEN" COUNCIL


If Tim Coleridge want to prove he has the mettle to take over from that sorry apology of a leader, Cockell, he needs to raise his game. He did, after all, have the guts- with Victoria Borwick, to stand against Moylan's proposed destruction of Sloane Square-until residents scared off the Brum Thug. 
It is rather ironic that Tim Coleridge gets it in the neck on this. After all, he been the only Councillor who has had the decency to listen to local residents' concerns  and, at times, he has been viewed almost as a Michael Heseltine type figure helping save the Lancaster West community from the "managed decline" of the Estate being orchestrated by wider members of the TMO/Council.
The trouble is, that since Councillor Coleridge found some money to address the worst of residents problems in Grenfell Tower, he has decided that the "opportunity" he personally promised the rest of Lancaster West Estate, will have to stop with that particular investment.
Residents on Lancaster West Estate are unimpressed with Cockell's contempt for their concerns.....one pithily expressed it, quoting the Bard, “As flies to wanton boys are we to the gods; They kill us for their sport"

Looking After Their Community

With the KALC Project moving forward with the force of an unstoppable tsunami, the Grenfell Action Group recently contacted the Council to request information on how residents living on Grenfell Walk, Barandon Walk, Verity Close and Lower Clarendon Walk will be protected from the noise and dust generated by the KALC construction project when peoples' homes on Lancaster West Estate become an extension of a giant building site. 
The Grenfell Action Group was informed that no money was available for double glazing to protect residents in these properties. 
Now this is despite the fact that the Council have allocated £60 million to the KALC Project to date and wasted £20 million importing Chinese granite Exhibition Road.
The Council claim that they have carried out detailed 'consultation' with local residents, so as usual, 'they have listened; but not heard'! (just as they did with residents of Hillgate Place)
As with everything in the Rotten Borough the truth is very different. Residents' views remain largely ignored, marginalised and unconsidered.  The council and it's consultations are becoming a byword for a cynical disregard of democracy.
The community's monthly Resident Forums are cancelled by the Council without warning or apology. Residents' concerns regarding the loss of Lancaster Green and the "right of way" along Station Walk, the imposition of a vehicular route through Lancaster West Estate and issues of noise pollution have been totally ignored. 
It is a case of the Council believing that "might is right" and not having the decency to care or listen to residents concerns.
Many vulnerable residents live in these properties: they need to be treated with compassion and dignity-not left to protect themselves against intolerable levels of noise pollution and dust. Their windows that are over 35 years old and no longer fit for purpose. Many of these single pane windows are so obsolete that they cannot be opened or closed properly and residents are forced to plug draughts with old newspapers etc.... The Council know this well!
Local stakeholders are now calling for a Public Meeting so that the the Council/TMO can reassure residents that their future well-being will not be put at risk and that money will be found to protect those living in the aforementioned properties.
Come on Tim....show that you still have some of that fighting spirit-or you just another Pooter Cockell lackey?
Twitter is @LancasterWest.

23 comments:

  1. "The council and it's consultations are becoming a byword for a cynical disregard of democracy"
    The Dame has nailed it!

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  2. Many thanks Hornet. You should be congratulated for this excellent expose of the Council’s latest double–dealing in the Lancaster West ghetto.

    Your readers might like to know that the consultation referred to in your piece was restricted to the residents of Grenfell Tower. Nice Tim informed Cabinet in the key decision report (in May) that the consultation had been a great success and had produced “overwhelming support“ for the proposals.

    This was hardly surprising as Grenfell Tower residents stood to gain not only new double glazed windows and external cladding, but new new individual high efficiency gas fired heating systems, to replace, at last, the “inefficient and life expired communal heating system” they have endured for many years.

    The remaining residents, many desperately in need of replacement windows, and most still dependent on the horrendously inefficient and “life –expired” communal heating system, were not asked how they felt about the decision to deliver these improvements only to Grenfell Tower, and to exclude all others until some future date when funds might, or might not, be available from the Housing Revenue Account.

    The minutes of the same Cabinet meeting record that ”Members were pleased with the renovation works proposed for Grenfell Tower, as these...would give the building an external appearance that reflects and complements the adjoining Kensington Academy and Leisure Centre project”

    I am one of those desperately in need of some measure of protection from the noise and nuisance of the demolition and construction works, but denied the protection some double glazing could offer, while £6 million is suddeny found for the tower block opposite me.

    It makes me want to puke when I read this.

    Citizen Smith

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  3. Just because they con sult doesn't mean they will listen...their cons are usually filled with finely tuned questions to give them the answers they want.

    The only reason they do con sult is to allow themselves to release the funding.

    They dont listen, they have never listened and will never listen. They don't care about the residents of this borough.

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  4. Cllr Coleridge is a dead sheep

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  5. Perceptive readers will have noticed something interesting....
    The Dame wrote a piece about how the affluent residents of Hillgate Place had had their entreaties to be consulted ignored.
    Yesterday, she wrote another piece about how the residents of less than affluent Lancaster West had had their entreaties to be consulted equally ignored.
    So it seems, like the Dame, the Council is not politically partisan: it contemptuously ignores residents wherever in the Rotten Borough they come from.

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  6. Despite allowing our Estate to decline into a slum through 35 years of lack of investment, the Council thought that they could impose the 60 milion KALC Project on the residents of Lancaster West Estate without consequence.
    Residents on Lancaster West Estate are forced to live in a ghetto with windows and heating systems that are extremely dangerous to operate and are no longer fit for purpose. The Council's neglect has gone so far that we now have trees and vegetation growing from the exterior walls of our homes and areas of the Estate that look like a war zone!
    When residents had the temerity to complain to the Council about the imposition of KALC, the state of our housing and the fact that the KALC Project will rob the Estate of many of it's valuable community resources the Council decided to stamp on us.
    They could have listened to what we had to say and explore solutions to our problems but, instead, they chose a route of oppression and marginalisation.
    This is evidenced by the fact that for many months the Council tried to deny that the Academy Project was anything to do with them (a shameful episode among many) and all the future KALC consultation has been of the "We hear.....but we don't listen" style.
    As a result of this lack of investment in Lancaster West the Council will be forcing many vulnerable residents (some living as close as 10 meters away from the major construction works) to endure the noise and dust pollution as best they can.
    This is inhuman treatment and really unbelievable in a Borough that is one of the richest in the UK.
    K and C Council should be very ashamed that they show such disregard for the well-being of residents.
    Thank you, Dame, for highlighting such appalling behaviour by those with power at Horton Street and, hopefully, your expose will bring the finance necessary to fund double glazing to protect those on the front-line of the proposed building works.

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  7. Hornet's Nest is correct at 8:35
    We all know that this Council have no regard for the wellbeing of residents on housing estates in the North of the Rotten Borough. These communities can be downtrodden with virtual impunity.
    However, as the Dame points out, it is interesting that the Council have now decided to export this contemptible treatment of residents to the more affluent areas of the Borough (Hillgate Village, South Ken, Holland Park School,etc).
    This arrogance will be the Council's undoing.

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  8. Hornets nest is right, they treat everyone with the same contempt if they get away with it. But remember they tried to do the same thing in Sloane Square and Tim Coleridge stood by residents then.

    Thanks to the Dame Kensington is becoming more of a community with truth at the centre of it, despite the emperors in Horton street.

    But it appears Tim may have been given the poison chalice as payment for his defence of Sloane Square. It would be great if he could keep his track record of supporting residents.

    It's often wise in situations like this to go back to the very beginning and start again with the community on board.

    I am sure the residents would support their homes being improved but this project has been about doing to rather than with residents and that never works. They should start again, build trust by listening, and doing and fly in the face of Cockell and his mob who want Tim and North Kensington to fail so they can rebuild again in 20 years.

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  9. Tim Coleridge has proved himself able to listen and work with residents on Lancaster West Estate who were originally told by those with power in Horton Street that NO money would be made available to improve the lives of the local community.
    He has proved far more able to empathise with residents in the North of the Borough than many of his colleagues who treat the housing estates of North Kensington with utter disdain.
    However, Tim Coleridge needs to follow through with his promise to residents on Lancaster West Estate that the KALC Project will prove to be an opportunity for ALL the Lancaster West community and not just provide essential repair work to Grenfell Tower.
    Stakeholders and residents will continue to put pressure on the Council until this matter is resolved to our satisfaction.

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  10. Some of those who have commented on this thread appear to be implying a sort of equivalence between the Council’s treatment of Lancaster West and it’s treatment of more affluent areas such as Hillgate Place. This is really not so.

    The TMO were advised by consultants Dunlop Haywards in July 2005 that;

    "The communal heating and hot water installation at Lancaster West is generally in poor condition due to age of installation and requires major capital investment. In the meantime it requires high levels of reactive maintenance to keep the system functioning. The system also is poor in terms of energy efficiency leading to high fuel consumption. A detailed condition survey needs to be undertaken to identify a replacement programme."

    Nearly two years later in 2007 representatives of Lancaster West EMB were still lobbying the Council and TMO for action on this issue. The then Cabinet member for Housing Health and Adult Social Care, Cllr Fiona Buxton, in a reply to the EMB wrote; :

    “I am aware that the plant and associated infrastructure at Lancaster West is considered by many to be expensive and wasteful. Energywatch defines high usage as 7K KWH per weighted room whereas the average at Lanc West is 9.3K KWH per weighted room (33% more). This supports the assertion. A report on the plant is in hand and should be available before the end of the month, which will inform a decision as to the timing of the installation of a replacement”.

    Fast forward five more years and the communal heating system at Lancaster West, which Cllr Colerridge now describes as “inefficient and life-expired” has still not been replaced. Meanwhiile, as noted above and in the Hornets lead article, the Council can afford to spend £20 Million importing granite paving from China for some other self-serving extravagance.

    All animals are equal you might think, but here in the Rotten Borough some are clearly more equal than others.

    Citizen Smith

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  11. Sorry, I should have said.....

    There are approximately 960 dwellings at Lancaster West and these are some of the Rotten Borough's poorest inhabitants. They are forced to pay what are , in all likelihood, the highest heating charges in the whole country, and this for a disrict heating system that invariably breaks down during the coldest parts of winter, and that wastes huge amounts of heat energy when it is working.

    Also, the plans for the KALC project initially included a requirement for a CCHP system to serve the needs of the wider community. This was a requirement imposed via the Core Strategy, that was intended to contribute to finding a solution to the Lancaster West heating problem, but it has been quietly dropped from the KALC plans.

    Why so?

    Citizen Smith

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  12. The Dame should not be promoting Cllr Colleridge. He is a dead sheep. Having briefed colleagues that he wanted to stand as Leader, he then took fright and did nothing.

    Now the train has left the station and he is dead in the water.

    He is also thick. We need to focus on the younger Councillors now and try to find some quality there.

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  13. If what 9;27 says is true then residents in North Kensington need to get behind Tim Coleridge and let him know that they have his support in any leadership campaign (despite the reservations of 18:09)
    There are members of this Council (and young ones too) who have very hateful policies for the poor of this Borough.
    Tim Coleridge has stood up and proved that he is not one of them. However, he needs help to secure funding for his immediate problem which is investment in Lancaster West Estate before the KALC Project kicks in.

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  14. Sorry, re previous comment:

    If what 9:47 says is true.....

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  15. It has been stated time and time again that the whole of the frontline to this "proposed" Academy needs to be double glazed as a matter of urgency! Whilst the council are wasting money on arty farty nonsense, there are real people with real needs who are lacking decent living accommodation in this Rotten Borough. Please get your priorities correct RBKC!

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  16. Consult the residents pah! Insult them more like! RBKC just do not realise that consultation is a two way street (and that it is not made of granite)

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  17. K and c Council have for some reason decided to punish those who have the misfortune to be poor and to live on Lancaster West Estate.
    They have not invested in our homes for over 35 years and as a result we are now forced to live in a slum.
    Any protest or attempt by residents or stakeholders to change things is ruthlessly suppressed.
    Shame on you K and C as you ignore vulnerable people so that you can indulge in whims like importing 20 million pounds worth of granite from China.

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  18. The Council need to be careful as they have disturbed a "hornets nest" all of their own on Lancaster West Estate.

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  19. The decision to replace the Grenfell Tower windows, to improve heat and noise insulation, while deliberately excluding all other properties on the frontline of the KALC project, is an absolute disgrace. This may well also be a cynical but futile attempt to split the Grenfell Action Group arising from Coleridges stupid misperception that the name of the action group signifies that it represents Grenfell Tower residents only. This is certainly not the case and Coleridge should know this by now.

    Readers of this blog should also note that the greater part of the £6 million committed for the Grenfell Tower works will be spent refurbishing the TMO office, and creating six new ‘affordable’ residential properies in vacant space in the lower floors of the tower. This is part of the Council’s new ‘hidden homes’ initiative, aimed at creating new properties for sale, but it will deliver no benefit to the residents of Grenfell Tower or of Lancaster West Estate.

    Also, it is not only Lancaster West residents who stand to lose. The site is not big enough to accommodate the proposed academy, and the pupils at this academy will suffer as a consequence.

    The courtyard of the academy, ie the school playground, will hardly be big enough for a game of tiddleywinks, never mind serving the needs of 1200 boisterous teenagers bursting with frustration after sitting through classes all day. Where will the pupils unwind and let off steam?

    Readers should also note that the academy complex will have no external sports facilities, except a single small rooftop MUGA. Football and other field sports will have to be accomodated at the Westway Sports Centre.

    (In case you didn’t know, that’s the place down the road resembling a minotaurs lair under the spaghetti junction of the Westway and its’s associated ramps. Lets hope none of these kids have asthma. Too bad if they do.)

    Of ourse one of the tricks of the Government’s academies programme is that, unlike Local Authority managed schools, academies are not required to meet minimum standards for the provision of open air sports facilities. In fact they’re not required to provide any. Kensington and Chelsea parents would do well to consider this before lending their support to these academy projects.

    Citizen Smith

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  20. From the comments posted on this blog it seems that they need to start from scratch with residents.

    No one seems to know exactly what is on offer and who will benefit.

    Where there is confusion regarding a project there is usually money and a lawyer.

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  21. In response to Citizens Smith's most recent post, the reason the "playground" is umm undersized is that the lil darlings are going to be underlock down from the begining to the end of the school day! Unless you are a 6th former, teacher or having a lesson on the roof or heaven forbid truanting your lil darlings will have to forgo the pleasure of fresh air during the school day. Fresh air -pah - wasted on the poor and undeserving!

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  22. There is no room on Lancaster West for dogs to defecate let alone room for 1,200 children.
    When this project gets the go ahead it will be the Council's greatest mistake that will haunt them for years to come.

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  23. Tim Coleridge has been scared off honouring his promise for KALC to provide an "opportunity" for the residents of Lancaster West.
    A few essential repairs to Grenfell Tower and he has thrown in the towel.
    Residents had hoped that Tim Coleridge might have shown a bit more metal and tried to find a way to help residents solve what is going to be a very tricky problem with regards noise and dust pollution when their homes are turned into a gigantic building site.

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