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Tuesday, 27 August 2013

One of the Dame's loyal followers writes to welcome her home from her summer travels...... 

'Welcome home dear Dame. I know summer is well and truly over when I walk past HPO and see the huge structure being dismantled to be put in storage until next year.
It has become a huge, complex and vast structure over the years - certainly not a tent, which is how it started. 
Pulling down something like this and storing it every year and then building it up again is a huge and inefficient overhead for an arts undertaking: itself fragile from the financial standpoint
Such a self destructive cost structure/business plan should never have been allowed to develop.....a total absence of Financial Stewardship'

The same reader also drew her attention to the Leader's blog
In it Nick has a little dig at the Dame: most ungenerous considered against the support she gave and continues to give him. 
But Nick is right: RBK&C is a big organisation and does a lot of good things.
But that does not excuse criticism of some of the awful blunders it has made and continues to make....and this is why the Hornet is so essential. 
For without the Dame's pricking and prodding complacency would set in. 
Certain councillors pull their weight, but others are deadweights and should seriously consider their positions.

But Nick misses the big point which is as Leader he has to avoid the big blunders (eg Exhibition Rd) and lead from the front restoring  common sense when circumstances move in a different direction (eg basements)
As a person leading a big organisation he needs to acknowledge that he has constantly to fine tune the culture; strive to eliminate complacency and above all lead by example
Maybe he is doing all of these things, but if he wants to puff himself up he also has to be on the ball and give us confidence that he is a safe pair of hands.
One does not wish to hark back to the past, but the Sloane Square debacle, driven by Cllr Moylan, was an object lesson in what happens when the leadership becomes detached from residents.


  1. Nick's blog is just so different from the pompous, self-serving self-publicising drivel from his predecessor. He also draws humour from one of his own mistakes. What a refreshing change.

    1. this new posting was designed to take as off the facts that the Labour group in K & C are Nasty, Lying, Hypocrites

    2. mean 'take us'....not 'take as'.....get a grip man!

    3. Wrong person

      dickhead 23.45

  2. The Dame has to agree 20:06
    It was a joy to read...self deprecating...ironic and as good as read as the Hornet!
    In his own quiet way Nick will achieve more in a few years than Pooter managed in many.

  3. Retired Chief Executive27 August 2013 at 22:36

    Leaders need to be careful when they publish stuff like this. As often as not it starts with "recommendations" from the sycophants in organisations (PR Department?) to do a bit of trumpet blowing. As often as not, it is hot air and has little impact. But it is only safe to do if the ship is in good order and the Leader has ears to the ground and is hearing no discord (the informal organisation and the feedback that comes from it).

    Unfortunately there is plenty of muttering in the Conservative body politic of Kensington and Chelsea. An example is Sir Adrian Fitzgerald, ex Councillor and Mayor of Kensington and Chelsea, who has told friends that he is so disillusioned with what is going on Hornton Street that he will vote UKIP at the next election

    1. Adrian Fitzgerald would be disillusioned by any sort of openness at RBKC. He was one of the ringleaders of the old ways and many celebrated his departure long after the parties were over. NPB ought not to be worried about him.

  4. Nick is feeling his way. High Office has come as a surprise and his instincts and behaviour are still those of a good and loyal No 2. He needs to sharpen his act and not get lulled into a sense of "all is well" that siren voices will sing to him.

  5. Lots of good things happen every minute of the day in hospitals. But good Leaders are always on the lookout (and devote their time) to the culture and issues that produce unnecessary deaths. That is where the attention should be focused

  6. Is this Council connected up with the real world? Has it responded in any way to the recession? What thought process allows Hornton Street to spend tax payers money on UFOs landing in a Ladbroke Grove car park??

    1. Obviously "we are not in this together". Profligate spending (eg Exhibition Road, Holland Park School) is a sure sign that there is no need for a Central Government grant to the Royal Borough. We should be left to our own devices and the money diverted to more needy parts of the country.

  7. It is good that Cllr Paget-Brown gets out and about to hear the views of residents. He seems to have heard the universal truth of what matters to the Local Government voter: clear the dustbins on time. A more acute politician would have been aware of this many years ago. And then there are the elderly and infirm, mostly without a voice, that we should do our best for. There are some lamentable failures in the Royal Borough and it has taken Labour to point them out. Too many self important and puffed up Tory Councillors who notice little. And then there is the tendency of organisations to build empires. This can be a vicious cycle when there are too many Councillors and Officers with not enough to do and too much money to spend. In K&C this downside is a plague because the Conservative monopoly means that there is no ballot box to control the profligacy. This is where Paget-Brown needs to concentrate his attention. This is where he can make his name. A Council that spends £100 million to rebuild a school and £30 million to import pink granite from China to tart up a road is out of control and wasting tax payers money.

  8. "There are some lamentable failures in the Royal Borough and it has taken Labour to point them out".
    Get real. Labour are a total joke and an irrelevance in Horton St.
    Everyone knows that the Dame leads the Opposition in this most Rotten Borough.

  9. 11.58. You sad little man.

  10. Person Familiar With The Situation28 August 2013 at 19:18

    Unlike his predecessor, Cllr Cockell, Cllr Paget-Brown is prepared to listen. He reads the Hornet and discusses the content with his inner group (a very small number of people including one non Cabinet member). Some of what the Dame says is dismissed. But the blog has a big and growing influence on behaviour. Cllr Paget-Brown is concerned about the Deputy Leader and is nervous that an accident is waiting to happen. But Cllr Fielding-Mellen has new twins to look after and maybe there will be a natural solution. All of this is a major change of behaviour for the good in the Royal Borough. In the past anyone who dared to question the Cockell regime was immediately dismissed as being "unsound", "demented", "disaffected", "Labour supporter" or "troublemaker"


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