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DAMESATHOME@YAHOO.CO.UK
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Monday, 25 November 2013

A READER DISMEMBERS K&C PLANNING

When this reader made his original comment about the dire state of planning in K&C, the idiotic Palmer wrote asking whether this man was 'Real'....
The sad fact about Palmer is that he really is....to the chagrin of us all..... 'Real'.
The below expands upon the reader's original comment: it should be taken very seriously by the Leader.......

CLICK TO ENLARGE

48 comments:

  1. All the while the pathetic Tim Coleridge, RBKC's Planning supremo, continues to sit on his hands and allows these abuses to continue completely unchallenged.
    Time to get rid of Bore and his henchmen/women and restore some order and democracy back to the planning process in this most Rotten Borough.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Retired Chief Exeutive25 November 2013 at 11:03

    Benchmarking is a powerful tool to help organisations raise their game. This contributor makes a very a good suggestion. Go and see how other Councils conduct their planning. There seems to be an emergency situation in Kensington and Chelsea that requires attention. The Leadership cannot allow this to continue. Cllr Coleridge says frequently that his Planning Department is "exemplary". Cllr Paget-Brown should consider if Cllr Coleridge is an appropriate person to continue as Cabinet Member for Planning

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  3. Cllr Warwick, Chairman of Planning, needs urgent training. Hornton Street HR should send him to other Councils to observe "Best In Class" planning meetings at work. Come to think of it, this should be mandatory for all Councillors on the Planning Committee. Tax payers would have no problem with the expenses incurred by such an initiative. Money better spent than using expensive Consultants such as Tribal and Palmer Enterprises.

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    Replies
    1. Palmer Enterprises?

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    2. Cllr Palmer runs a Training Company for Councillors. He charges £800/person/per day (including refreshments)

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    3. Councillors of all parties are far too deferential to officers. Officers are able to blind Councillors with science as a result. What they get away with is quite unbelievable!

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    4. Person Familiar With The Situation25 November 2013 at 17:40

      Cllr Palmer's training company has never been known to secure a contract, not even from the captive K&C customer

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    5. But he was allowed to test out his "offer" on Council officers and fellow councillors - and failed to acknowledge that privilege and free use of Council facilities and officer time in his declaration of interests. And most of it was plagiarised from a project management text book anyway.

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  4. Has anyone ever tried to complain about this whole process? I did and what a joke that was. You have to address your complaint to, guess who, Jonathan Bore. He obviously will never admit to doing anything wrong and has such unfettered
    power because he is never challenged by the Councillors that he has no interest in changing anything at all. After you get the pleasure of being stonewalled by Bore, your complaint then gets escalated to Nicholas Holgate who simply defers the matter back to Bore. Lord only knows how many legitimate complaints about the Planning Department have successfully been stifled by such a lousy governance process. Shameful.

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    Replies
    1. Holgate is an administrative head only. He will not challenge Bore. Herein lies the problem. Bore is being left unsupervised with no boss. Councillors do not believe they can challenge a civil servant. Yet there is no one in the chain of civil servants who supervises him. The end result is that the conduct is horrific yet they are never held to account.

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  5. Time for a Councillor with balls, status and presence who knows the score to stand up and say "Enough is enough". Cllr Mills?

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    Replies
    1. Spot on 13.14. Lots of Councillors know the score but are too timid to do anything about it. Piglets.

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    2. Cllr Freeman? Surely not

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  6. Some years ago a local resident quite widely circulated an email list of about 20 examples of 2 decades of failings by RBKC Planning relating to 2 blocks of Portobello Road. The usual method of ensuring certain parties received planning permission without fuss, was to produce consultee lists, while omitting to post the consultation letters; or effectively consulting only the applicants.

    One such failure resulted in a small local business owner suing their international corporate neighbour. Goliath lost. It emerged that Goliath had received 'secret' planning permission 4 times in the 10 years prior to the litigation. Despite RBKC'S repeated guarantees that it would never happen again, it did - twice.

    RBKC's sole response to the email list was from Cllr Moylan - then responsible for Planning - a very personal attack on a private citizen. It was followed by demand from one of Mr Bore's predecessors to name "corrupt" officers. The citizen declined. Since then, certain planning officers have tried to make life as difficult as possible for the whistleblower, while Mr Bore and others have been supportive.

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    Replies
    1. Hello banana republic!

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  7. RBK&C has failed to meet the legal requirements for consulting on planning applications for years. Residents living right next to affected sites are often completely unaware that a planning application has gone in and been approved. Unless you keep a very close eye on the planning section of the website (which most residents are incapable of doing) applications simply "slip by".

    The problem is that this is not a secret. Councillors know this is happening. Most of them will have received complaints from residents in their wards about this very issue. The puzzle is why this clear breach of planning legislation hasn't been dealt with by now. How many times do residents have to complain of planning notices that never turn up before someone acts?

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    Replies
    1. It is the photo copy machine in Hornton Street that keeps breaking down. The standard reply to outrage is a letter from Mr Bore saying "the photocopy machine said that it went out so it did go out". Further pressure on Mr Bore obtains the reply "It is the Post". More pressure still gets agreement to "Extend the consultation because we found that the photocopier got stuck"

      Pull the other one mate.......

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  8. RBKC's failures to conduct public consultations are a daily occurrence. In the last few weeks the residents of the 200 Longlands Court, largely council flats on Westbourne Grove, were omitted from consultation for the third time in six years on a building development that grossly impinges on their estate. Only the most vigorous action by local residents persuaded the Planning Dept to acknowledge this particular lapse. The consultation has been repeated.

    At the same time, after 18 months producing a report, RBKC gave certain residents just 8 days to respond to a public consultation on borough wide busking issues. Again the Longlands Court residents were omitted from the consultation. Locals complained and the consultation was extended. North Kensington have a reputation for discontent. RBKC is responsible.

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  9. What I find particularly galling is how the Planning Department reacts when errors and omissions are raised. Mistakes happen everywhere. The true measure of the leader of an organization is how he or she behaves when a failure is uncovered. My experience has been that Bore is defensive. Rather than accepting responsibility and correcting processes so they never happen again, he prioritizes the protection of his reputation first, even if that is at the expense of residents' welfare. That is not what is needed in the leader of a department that touches as many lives as planning. How he behaves is more important than the fact that he has an inspectorate title on his cv.

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  10. Tired Tory Councillor25 November 2013 at 17:54

    It isn't true that Councillors don't complain, some do regularly write to Mr Bore.

    However they are then subjected to pass the parcel - after two weeks you get 'I have forwarded your inquiry to Ms X' - but Ms X is on hols - so you forward it to Mr Y, Mr Y is out of the office - when he returns he states he is new and only Mr W has the whole picture so you email Mr W, who is notorious for not answering emails. Then you go back to Mr Bore etc etc. Another trick is to deny there is any problem, wait for a few months, then quietly fix it while 'no one' is looking. But actually, sometimes someone is looking.

    It's a filthy way to carry on a 'semi-judicial' process. I really can't continue like this.

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    Replies
    1. "Denying all responsibility and then quietly fixing it when no-one is looking" is simply how the Council operates. Just about everything seems to work that way, not just planning.

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  11. Actually, I would like to echo that. There are some Councillors who are amazing and we should all be grateful for the time they (you) spend. Those of you who genuinely seek to protect residents know who you are and hopefully understand how grateful we all are.

    Of course, for every one of you good ones, there are some that carry into their responsibilities unhelpful baggage that causes them to not act as you do. It is a shame, because that reflects on the entire Councillor population. All we can say to those of you who protect residents is thanks and keep up the fight.

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  12. When a Tory councillor describes RBKC's planning system as "filthy," it tells us everything.

    Tired Tory Councillor cannot be alone. So why don't these disgusted councillors openly criticise the Leadership? Doubtless not daring to rock the Tory boat. So the wretched hulk drifts on.

    It's not just about planning. Council is a veritable midden of secrets. Yet thanks to the redoubtable Dame, the stench the sewage seeping from Hornton Street now wafts across Kensington down to the River; along with a similarly powerful whiff from the West.

    The Ukip effect will be interesting.

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  13. After Michael French retired, the Council advertised twice for a Head of Planning. The first time round it was not possible to make an appointment because the field of contenders was so dire. So a temporary and very excellent stand-in was hired who sadly did not want the job full time. So it was advertised again. And again the field was so dire that the councillors did not wish to make an appointment. However, the then Town Clerk and Chief Executive told them that Jonathan Bore was "the best you are going to get", so with great reluctance he got the job. It is clear that the reluctance of the councillors to go ahead with him was justified - but they were effectively bullied by their senior officer into making the appointment.

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  14. Thanks for the history on how Bore ended up in his job. I have wondered how he got the job and, perhaps more relevant, why people seem reluctant to fire him for being so poor at it. Does he realize how badly he is regarded? Does he read this site?

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  15. Dear Whoever,

    I posted the "real" comment and note that you still do not reveal yourself. I think you are not real because most of the people who put abuse on this web site are Pro-Labour, Planning Sados, with serious chips on their shoulder. EDC comes to mind.

    Yours

    Not-Cllr Palmer

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    Replies
    1. You are a foolish voice crying ineffectually in the wilderness.
      The Dame knows the writer. And she is neither Labour nor Conservative: in fact, the Dame would venture to suggest she is apolitical.
      But turning to you 'Not-Cllr Palmer'..what exactly is a 'sados'? It sounds something that ex cllrs Phelpsie and the lamentable Lamont might have some knowledge of....

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    2. This is "whoever" who posted the original note.

      I am new to this site and have not posted under an identity simply because it appears that very few choose to identify themselves (including you, I might add). I would be happy to have a direct and open discourse with you on this subject. If you would like to publish your e-mail I will most certainly be in touch and we can discuss this matter in detail.

      As to my political affiliations, I am indeed apolitical. I lean Tory. But in the next elections I will be strongly influenced by which party appeals to my sensibilities and vulnerabilities as a victim of an unscrupulous basement that should have never been allowed.

      As to my concerns about the planning department, I put forward what I believe to be factually based observations as someone with deep sector expertise in planning. You may find my observations to inconvenient truths that you do not want to hear. But what I stated is based in observation of very specific facts and circumstances. I genuinely believe the system here is terribly broken and desperately needs help.

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    3. Having re-read this entire chain of comments, can I congratulate you on succeeding in getting a largely intelligent discussion going, and lifting a stone that the officers and members have spent a long time, energy and residents' money on trying to suppress. I am pleased to see it continues and hope that those involved will finally recognise the actions of the department are ruining a lot of peoples' lives, all for the sake of a handful of developers who doubtless (like the officers) live elsewhere. My question for you is at what point do these abuses by RBKC, members or officers, amount to anything like "Misconduct in Public Office"? As far as I am aware that is the only way of getting true accountability from public servants, whether elected or employed.

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  16. For all its claims to the contrary, the Council studies this blog very closely. The Town Hall is terrified of the power it gives residents. Our comments used to be collected and forwarded to certain parties in Hornton Street, despite officers and Tory councillors being forbidden to read FTHN. It's wise to assume this practice continues.

    I must add that the problems in planning are beyond the power of any individual, even an executive director, to sort out. David Prout took a good look and fled.

    As for the drivel spouted by 21.32, one imagines EDC has enough to do without hosting a Tory anti-Hornton Street blog.



    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Anonymous 00.04, I do have more than enough to do, perhaps 21.32 doesn't?

      While on the subject I would like to thank 21.32 for continually crediting me for work I haven't done. I am honoured to be associated with (some, certainly not all of) the Dame's output, and this makes me appear 'awesome'; long may it prevail.

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    2. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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    3. The Dame has warned Cllr Palmer about coming onto the site and indulging his tendency to defame cllrs known for their probity. His comment, referring to Cllr Dent Coad as a serial liar, has been removed. Whether Lib Dem, Conservative or whatever, one knows this cllr has a reputation for being hardworking and honest. Palmer, you should look to Cllr DC as a case study for one of your ludicrous councillor training courses....if they are still going!
      And....by the way...the Dame has never voted Labour and never will, but she knows quality when she comes across it..... and mediocrity when she comes upon the very odd Palmer....

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    4. one knows this cllr has a reputation for being hardworking and HONEST.

      More lies

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    5. Was it Cllr Palmer who made telephone calls to Australia on the 1A Manor Street phones, got found out, and was forced to pay back?

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    6. yes, it was. Come on Palmer. Who were you calling....

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  17. We too have been frustrated by Mr Bore and the Planning Department. Planning officers misled the PAC by offering up an unenforceable condition in order to push through a planning application that was against their own Core Strategy. Additionally, they gave incorrect information to the PAC in the same case.

    We are considering filing a formal complaint with the Council against Bore and his band of merry men and trying to get some action from the Legal Ombudsman. Additionally, what about a petition? It seems there are quite a few people who feel this way.

    Planning in RBKC is rotten to the core with side deals being done offline so it doesn't show up on a FOI.

    Time to take some action!!

    ReplyDelete
  18. How much longer can Cllr Paget-Brown allow this to go on? He took up his Leadership a few months ago and raised his eyebrows when colleagues told him that residents are up in arms about the Planning Department. He pretended to be surprised. Well, Nick it has been spelt out for you clearly now. So get on with what you have to do

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  19. The failure of Cllr Coleridge to act has made him a laughing stock

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  20. Before Mr Bore's time, over 2 decades at 20 addresses along 2 short blocks of Portobello Road, the planning department repeatedly and unreasonably favoured or obstructed various applicants. A clear pattern emerged and there was no reason to suppose that it was confined to the area. Nothing has changed since; so it's likely the same pattern exists today borough wide. "Tired Tory Councillor" regards the system as: "Filthy."

    Thanks to the Dame, formerly isolated residents now have a channel to exchange information on the planning department's many failings. We must of course bear in mind how very busy Her Ladyship is; but if those concerned forward the briefest details to the Dame's private email address above, perhaps a group of those most concerned may emerge.

    At the meeting referred to yesterday at 14.34, Mr Bore's predecessor demanded to know if a citizen expected a "One size fits all planning process." The resident said: "Yes. It's called a level playing field."

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  21. Council Officers like Bore from Planning and Johnson from Housing are totally running the show at Horton Street.
    The new Leader of RBKC and and his fellow Councillors do not have the integrity or the courage to stand up for residents against these malevolent forces.
    Get ready for more collusion between RBKC Planning and Housing Depts and the estate agents firm, Savills, as the Council set about the "social cleansing" of the "ghettos" of North Kensington.

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    Replies
    1. Housing is certainly one of the other Council departments where "denying all responsibility and then quietly fixing it when no-one is looking" most definitely applies.

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  22. I was sent an e-mail link to this site by one of my neighbours who is aware of my horrific experience with the planning department. Congratulations to whomever runs this site; this is a great public service and a long overdue discussion.

    My experience with the planning department was pure misery. The officer, Mr. Taylor and Mr. Bore were all so lacking in ethics I was infuriated but left with almost no ability to have common sense prevail. I approached a well regarded planning lawyer to see if I could fight the case. He told me that the reputation of the Kensington & Chelsea planning department is horrible among planning professionals and that they do not follow the rules and often misrepresent the law. He said he has been approached by well over thirty or forty residents that wanted to take legal action but few could afford the costs it would take to see a case through to a judgment. As I am also of limited means I could not pursue my case either. What does it say about a council when so many of its residents want to take it to Court? Do we not deserve better?

    Thank you to all of have written. It is nice to hear that others share the same views about the planning system in our Council.

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  23. It is time for Councillors to take stand! Residents vote, developers don't. Remember Councillors, elections are coming up...

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  24. The residents of K&C don't have a track record of voting "intelligently". The vast majority vote out of habit.

    How many, for example, have ever changed who or what they vote for? I suspect a fraction of a fraction of an infinitesimally tiny percentage.

    The incumbents have very little to fear.

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  25. The scale of responses to this issue tells its own story. We should be proactive. If the Dame would invite those who know themselves to be victims of RBKC Planning to send her their contact details, they will be able to compare notes and in time form a group. Who knows? It might lead to a revolution in Hornton Street.

    NB no Town Hall or party political stooges need apply.

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  26. I agree with the previous commenter that the scale of responses on this issue has certainly increased. Thank for you to the organizer of this site for allowing a way to increase the debate on this, which in my opinion is just touching the tip of the iceberg of bigger issues with planning in Hornton Street.

    I have long felt that the head of planning never really wanted to resolve the basement issue. He seemed quite content to just check boxes, let developers build what they want and claim that "his hands were tied" by the central inspectorate.

    It was always my impression that the only reason we saw progress on the basement policy was because Councillors like Ahern showed leadership to force reform. Bore seemed to be an impediment rather than a leader. Indeed, the legal challenge by Cranbrook is illustrative of the problem. Any credible planning officer would have foreseen the challenge and would have prepared for it so as to not let the process get derailed.

    It would appear that the public have made their views clear - basements are a major problem and the current system is broken and horribly unfair to victimized residents. As basements are only really being built in Kensington and Westminster, this is not an issue for the two Boroughs to delegate to the inspectorate. It is an issue where we need the head of our planning department to lead effectively and persuasively.

    Perhaps Mr Bore does not agree with the view of residents and does not want to see a curb. If that is the case, perhaps he should declare his bias and take his services elsewhere. The residents deserve someone who will stick his our her neck out however necessary to get this done.

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