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Tuesday, 19 June 2012


Town Hall Luddites
 Doctor Taylor is a local resident. He has had a distinguished career in industry and in politics. He has been a GLC member and an adviser to Lady Thatcher. His skilful lobbying(West London Residents Association) led Boris to abandon congestion charging in the Borough. 'Boys' Moylan loathes him:that, in itself, is the very best of reasons to listen to him.
It has probably escaped the notice or interest of the recipient of this letter, Pooter Cockell, that local business is in dire straits. But why would it excite his interest?  Cllr Cockell has never had to rely on business for his £3,000 a week taxpayer funded allowance, so is immune from the cold realities of business survival. 
This excellent letter from Doctor Taylor should be a wake up call. And by the way, Cllr Cockell....common civility demands that you answer correspondence from residents. The Dame has had several reports of you failing to extend this courtesy to those who pay your over generous allowance. Ensure you answer this one please.....
Leader of the Council   
Superfast Broadband

Dear Merrick ,

City Am reports that the Council has turned down BT’s proposals for the rolling out of superfast broadand across the borough. As you are well aware superfast broadband connection is as important to future business development as  some of the other utilities ie electricity, water, gas and telephone. The lack of this high speed broadband will seriously hamper business development. The Council apparently turned down the BT proposals on the basis that you want to reduce street clutter and preserve the streetscape. As there are already hundreds of discreet telephone cabinets in the borough  the further 108 cabinets of the BT proposal could surely be accommodated. The Council itself has vandalized our historic streetscape by removing the perfectly sound Victorian type black street lamp standards along our main thoroughfares replacing them with modern silver standards more appropriate to Basildon New Town. Stainless steel bike stands have mushroomed on main roads. Much of the new hugely expensive Exhibition Rd is badly cluttered with residents parked cars, bicycle racks and benches.  Some 31 of the 33 London boroughs are reportedly well on the way to being  connected by BT to superfast broadband. As these other boroughs  are apparently happy with the location and design of the BT cabinets it would be helpful of you would revisit this problem and either accommodate BT or urgently bring in another supplier so that that borough is not left technologically marooned in the 20th century.

Kind regards

Gordon Taylor 


  1. When can we get rid of the muppets who rule over us? We need a credible opposition, how about the residents associations - could they rise up and through off these incompetents? It must be possible to find some competent locals to run an efficient ship.

  2. Dr Taylor's letter says it all

  3. Is too difficult to expect Cllr Cockell to get it into his thick head that the world is now in the 21st Century?

    If the man had more brains he would be a moron

  4. BT is moving fast in a national roll out programme. The teams are limited and are working on a strict geographical programme. K&C was earmarked for early attention because of the concentration of demand in London. But K&C dithering means we missed the boat with Phase 1 and will have to take our turn when resources free up again.

    In this instance the right action for Cllr Cockell is to write personally to the Chief Executive of BT (Ian Livingstone) and grovel. Admit the stupidity of his Counsel and beg forgiveness.

    But a little humility may be too much for our Mubarak to bear

  5. Dearest 12.27

    Indeed we need to get rid of the idiot who rules K&C. But the term "muppet" is shorthand for residents.

    The word "muppet" was coined by the super intelligent and super paid bankers at Goldman Sachcs to describe their customers. Its what they think of them. Rather like what Mubarak thinks of his residents

  6. For the record several Councillors are equally concerned about this frankly insane decision and are also demanding a review.

    It can do no harm to write to or lobby your ward Councillors and Cockell to tell them of your concerns. The more pressure on this the better.

    This has done huge reputational damage the Council and they will want to find a way out, I assure you.

  7. Less than impressed19 June 2012 at 15:25

    Dr Taylor is quite correct to compare the "super-fast broadband" that BT wish to install to other utilities. It has far more in common with key infrastructure than a product or service.

    Once installed the equipment would not allow people to order super-fast broadband from BT ("Infinity") but also from a number of other suppliers such as Sky and TalkTalk who rely on the same infrastructure to deliver their services.

    The Council's press release referring to Virgin as the "alternative" appears to
    gloss over this point (what a surprise!).

    The Council are not merely demonstrating a preference for one supplier over another. They are expressing preference for one supplier over a dozen others and eliminating all competition in the borough as a consequence.

    I thought they were supposed to be Tories?

  8. The K&C press release (see Town Hall website) states that residents can sod BT and go with Virgin who already put in fast broadband to Kensington and Chelsea.

    What about existing BT customers?

    Do the thick heads in the Town Hall not understand that they have created a monopoly by denying access to BT.

    Has Cockell forgotten that he is supposed to belong to the Conservative Party? And Conservative policy is to insist on competition?

    What are you clowns smoking?

  9. Kensington Resident19 June 2012 at 16:13

    Why has the Cabinet Member for Civil Society, Cllr Fielding-Mellen, not spoken? The council website trumpets that his job is "to keep everyone on their toes and seek continuous improvement". The young pretender should be aware of the political, economic and reputational downside of this crass decision to ban BT and deny residents fast broadband.

    The truth is that Cllr Mellen is too busy organising "events". Hard on the heals of his party for Portobello entrepreneurs at the Science Museum (paid for by hard earned council tax), Rock will be hosting The Big SHOUT at Chelsea football ground on 23rd June (see press release on Council web site). Young people will be invited from K&C to tell councillors how they would like to help and to learn about sexual and emotional health.

    If I know anything about young people, the only way to get them along will be to give out free ipads. Perhaps BT could donate a couple of hundred as a loss leader for fast broadband?

  10. The bigger issue with Virgin is coverage and availability.

    Virgin supply most of the borough but not all of it. Figures of 80% and 90% have been bandied about but these are likely to prove extremely optimistic. And even if you are lucky enough to live in an area served by Virgin their service may not actually be available. It's not unheard of for Virgin to decide that providing your property/home with service is quite simply not economically viable.

    It's noteworthy that the Council recently spent over a million pounds providing their tenants with brand spanking new communal TV systems for the reception of digital TV having discounted the possibility of any kind of deal with Virgin on the premise that "Virgin didn't serve every property". Left hand meet right hand ...

  11. Cockell, not having business experience, fails to understand that broadband supply, at competitive prices, demands a range of suppliers.
    By banning BT he has allowed Virgin to dictate to Rotten Borough consumers the price they will pay.
    As has been pointed out, many customers are BT customers anyway and many would not dream of using Virgin.
    Silly Pooter....eye off the ball again

  12. Pooter is a political animal. He lacks business instinct (he tried his hand at business but failed)

    But he fails to understand that political animals need to keep in touch with their constituents and need to be on top of new developments.

    This animal got stale because he hung around too long in K&C. Now he is a liability.

    Unfortunately the likes of Ahern and Coleridge are too chicken to do something about it. They both lack backbone

    Maybe hard pressed muppets just need to hang on for the Grim Reaper

  13. Marion Gettleson20 June 2012 at 09:17

    This is about electronic technology. We can assume that councillors are unqualified in this area. So RBKC's unevenly applied obsession with 'conservation' has taken precedence over the economic future of the Borough. In fact the decision was probably left to equally unqualified planning officers.

    This is a 'no-brainer.'There's no need for consultations. It's time for a quick U-turn - saving RBKC further embarrassment.

  14. Beware of Virgin. They recently laid cable outside my property. Their contractor McNicholas subcontracted the work to a firm who engaged a gang of chimps.

    The resulting damage to my property has resulted in an insurance claim conservatively estimated at £15,000. At least 2 other nearby properties were damaged. Virgin customers will eventually pay for it all.

    On the other hand, RBKC Highways Dept. have been very helpful. They spend much of their time picking up the pieces left by Virgin.


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