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DAMESATHOME@YAHOO.CO.UK
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Wednesday, 1 August 2012

EXHIBITION RD AND THE MISSING £1 MILLION

 
The Dame is taking some well earned 'Me Time' at her palatial villa overlooking Portofino. She had left her fool of a nephew, Ludo, in London with strict instructions to monitor Tot Brill's £1 million plus Exhibitionist Rd antics. 
The £1 million wasted by RBKC
This was the first time the Dame had left the boy to his own devices so she was full of trepidation. She had no need to be... young Ludo was as good as his word. 
His report- incoherent in parts- confirmed the Dame's-and a number of senior councillors' worst fears...Exhibition Rd was a desert...just a smattering of bemused visitors

TOT'S £1 million FOLLY-hardly a soul in sight!
Despite Ludo's journalistic pretensions the Dame fears that he has far to go before Mr Murdoch will offer him a job. The Dame made a note to ask Mr Fitzpatrick of PR whether there could be a role for the dear boy on the Royal Borough newspaper. Ludo writes.....
......I left South Ken station in high spirits. I was surprised to be greeted by the usual oil stained paving, temporary barriers, pigeons and confused parents herding their children (is it a road? Is it a pavement?). A scrappy piece of A4 taped to a lamp-post reminds visitors to leave quietly. This is not from a beleaguered resident, it is from the Council.
Is this the Council’s ‘best foot forward’?
The area is infested with security guards, more plastic barriers and a row of portaloos. None of this is in the least bit designerly; it is ugly. There are people around, but not many more than a usual warm summer’s evening post-museum crowd. Cromwell Road junction is a similar story, orange barriers, lots of security, lots of loos. Soon I ventured into Exhibition Road proper, and found a sea of – empty paving.
A group of perhaps 80 people watches acrobats dangling from the Aston Webb wing of the V&A, and similar at Imperial. The atmosphere is more akin to that of the middle boring bit of a cricket match, forced polite clapping included. Past the sound stage are the food stalls and bars, in a line along the middle of the road, which splits the crowd and also does nothing for the atmosphere. At this point the scenario becomes depressing. This is supposed to be the lively core of the events, acrobats, music, food, booze, should be wonderful. Instead it is devoid of any atmosphere, there is no seating for the food stalls, and there are not enough people for half a party. It is simply dreary.
Discussions with the food stall workers give another angle to what is looking like an expensive disaster area. They have paid ‘a lot’ for their pitches (between £100 and £200 for weekends), but after food and staff costs, many are losing ‘obscene amounts of money’ according to one. They are contracted to stay for the full nine days but many are already saying they can’t afford it, they could lose their entire business. One suggested it would not be a good idea for Cllr Warwick Lightfoot to repeat his recent visit stating ‘I’m responsible for all this’, as stallholders could give him more than a piece of their mind.
Other issues emerge, such as the very poor organisation of the festival as a whole, the lack of effective marketing (‘they thought it would be overcrowded’), outrageously restrictive health and safety practices, and a sense that the food and drink stalls are there on sufferance, despite being practically the only attraction there. It is 7.30pm, ‘busy time’. The other busy time is when the Albert Hall closes and visitors pour down to S Ken station, hungry. Unfortunately this is the very time that the food stalls are instructed to shut down, despite the fact that their contracts state they can be there until 11pm or 12, so the two Councils could actually be in breach of contract. Trouble, serious trouble, legal and potentially expensive trouble, is brewing.
Someone points out a woman on a bicycle looking somewhat distraught. It is the ‘landscape of wonder’ organiser Di Robson. 

PLEASE come to my party
She is not a happy woman. The previous night she was seen on BBC news pleading for people to ‘come out and party’. However there seem to be more ‘Olympic Ambassadors’ and security guards than visitors.
Exhibition Road is not the Ramblas. The Road Show is a disaster. It has cost K&C Council  close, if not more than £1m. Someone, Tot Brill or Cllr Lightweight must be accountable.’

22 comments:

  1. A white elephant then....

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  2. More like a blue one

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  3. It is a decayed administration in Hornton Street. Cockell is out of touch with the electorate, out of touch with reality, and out of touch with the economy

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  4. Well that is another £1 million of hard earned council tax up in smoke. When will the Tory Councillors get rid of Mubarak?

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  5. Stand Up For Britain1 August 2012 at 18:38

    We should not be spending tax in this way on foreign Johnnies

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  6. Were the District Auditor doing it's job(do they still exist?) they would surcharging the Council and Cllr Lightweight for this throwing away of our money. I wonder where it all went??????

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  7. 'Accountable' is a word they REALLY have no clue about Dame, enjoy the pretty hols, from the look of it here, at the moment, it is chavvy types yelling, their devil-dogs randomly barking art anything that moves and people wondering how they were conned into buying property here

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  8. They've sacked an auditor or two I believe, one was homeless (quote me)

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  9. £1m on Road Show and £1m on Opera Holland Park, residents' money squandered on baubles for the rich. Well they got it wrong this time, this particular event and its ramifications are the last straw.

    THIS IS IT.

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  10. The Dame is very right to highlight this scandalous waste of money and the Council should be very ashamed of themselves.
    While there seems to be money to fritter away on trivialities in the South of the Borough the needs of older people and the vulnerable in North Kensington can be contemptuously ignored.
    The current inhuman treatment of residents on Lancaster West Estate and it's environs is a fine case in point. Read more at:
    http://grenfellactiongroup.wordpress.com/

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  11. It is ALWAYS the politicians who are accountable; the officers, however senior, are directed by them - or should be. If officers are profligate and uncontrolled the politicians are to blame.

    This is very clearly in the domain of Cllrs Lightfoot and Paget-Brown, two men who think nothing of chucking money at problems with no clear plan or direction.

    If they have any heart at all they should let the food stalls stay on for nothing. This would stave off two disasters: the potential loss of young people's businesses, and the lifeblood of the so-called festival.

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  12. Another fine mess Laurel and Hardy have created with our money. They need to be held accountable, all of them. True to Kensington and Chelsea form they fritter away our money and bully stall holders who believed it would be a busy place.

    If its in their contracts to stay they should rebel, stay and tell anyone who complains to contact their lovely Councillors. They should also be compensated for being out of pocket due to Laurel and Hardys incompetence.

    Its about time local people rebelled against this Council, vulnerable people are being left without support, being asked to leave their homes as the social culling begins, support services are being cut by stealth and vulnerable people are being driven into the ground whilst these prats play Emperors Clothes.

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  13. tired Tory councillor1 August 2012 at 21:17

    Very well put 21.05, you are right on the button. These young entrepreneurs are more worthwhile and 'enchanting' than any of the silly nonsense Ms Robson and Brill have organised. We could have had a three day all systems go food festival with free sampling paid for by the Councils and no idiotic circus acts. Food is a great common denominator.

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  14. tired Tory councillor-
    You are obviously part of the problem.
    It is not a food festival you should be advocating our Council Tax money to be spent on but rather for essential services for older people and the vulnerable.

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  15. Firstly,I have been down to the Road Show twice and will go again and I just do not see why this costs £1,000,000.00. Yes, £1,000,000.00, that is how much it has cost to put on this nine day celebration of 14 days of our leader Sir Merrick. Where has the money actually gone? The money must have been spent on the artists, rental of stages, security and promotion and of course, the cost of the organisers. However, revenue streams from food and drink stalls and that if just about it. In truth this was always going to cost the council tax payer money as usual in the rotting borough. RBK&C should keep to core services such as Street line, Street lighting, Rubbish clearance, anti social behaviour and Social Services. This council needs to wake up before it is too late because it is run in a dictatorial fashion and it is not healthy for anybody. Finally, though, spare a thought for the stall holders; without them the Road Show would be nothing. They really should be compensated for any loss they may make because of the restrictions late in the evening which were not made entirely clear by the organisers.

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  16. Tired Tory Councillor2 August 2012 at 07:02

    Anonymous 21.29, my point was that if we were going to do anything to attract people to the area (not as if they need more visitors!), something as simple and inexpensive as a well-run food festival would have been far more attractive. This could also have been done more economically and would have potentially attracted borough residents from far and wide.

    Putting on a partly free food festival in the north of the borough - say on a non-market day in Portobello Road - would have been even better and would spread the 'Olympic joy' among those residents who have little or nothing to gain from the London Olympics.

    I absolutely agree that Council Tax money should be spent on essential services for older people and the vulnerable.

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  17. I think the idea of a food festival made by Tired Tory Councillor an excellent alternative and (hopefully) would have been self financing. I see on Saturday mornings at the Duke of York's Square Farmers Market there are no additional security staff. Why this council spends so much tax payers money unnecessarily on extravagant glamorous events such as the Exhibition Road Show and yet does like spending money on the poor and elderly.

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  18. Tired Tory Councillor2 August 2012 at 10:26

    Draycott, I imagine they spent more on that stupid Road Show book, which was another extravagance no one cares about, than they did on Olympic-themed sports events for children stuck in London during the holiday period. That shows you exactly where their priorities lie.

    It is an elitist self-serving hard core who make all the decisions, and no one dares challenge them; pathetic really.I include myself in that description, by the way.

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  19. Many local residents attended the Licensing Hearing for the Exhibition Road show and it was evident then as now that the Organisers empowered by Brill, Lightfoot etc were incompetent. Nonetheless they got the green light and produced this mess. Residents are fed up with the way the area is being managed-food courts in the middle of Lower Exhibition Road, the Road show, more ticky, tacky food shops. It's rather feudal here as the local landowner, SKE, has the Council in his back pocket. It's a disgrace! Spending so much money and RBKC time on such ventures is ludicrous especially when there are parts of the Borough screaming our for investment.

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  20. Lightfoot and Paget-Brown think they are the Medicis. But they have not the brains, the education, the taste nor the cunning. They are frittering residents' money on idiocies. Their time is coming to an end, and this particular disaster has expedited it.

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