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Sunday, 17 November 2013


This is Lady Hanham,Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Department for Communities and Local Government.

So why is this Dame interested in another old dame?
Prior to working for Big Eric Pickles she proceeded Pooter Cockell as leader of K&C(and...if the truth be known, Pooter wants Joan’s job...her being about 110!)

Anyway, back to the point.

You would think that our Joan, with all her Borough connections and affections, would be rushing to our aid and supporting legislation to restrain basement development. 
But not only has she done nothing, but made clear she has no intention of doing anything in the future to halt the basement plague.

Above are Joan's contact details…ignore her email address there and use this one

So don’t just write to your MP…tell Joan what you think of her disinterest.
You can


  1. Don't waste time Hanham ignores contact from Members of the public. Unless they happen to be very rich or very famous. She is now puffed up to such a level of importance that her eyes and ears are closed

    1. She is not quite the wise monkey yet. She still speaks.......

  2. London Councils would be a more useful organisation to drum up support for the Karen Buck MP Early Day motion. Is this something that our Labour Group could ask for?

    The problem in Hornton Street is that the Tory Councillors have decided that they do not want to prevent basement developments and are giving lip service to doing something. But on the quiet they are sympathetic to the developers and "our house is our castle to do what we want with".

    1. Presumably these Tories think that incest is just fine so long as it is confined to the castle?

    2. In some cases ... probably.

    3. Exactly.

      Voters really need to take their blinkers off.

      K&C Tories are naturally inclined not to really care about this. And their ideologically driven policy of "we won't tell our residents what to do" prevents them from taking any meaningful action against those who employ basement developers.

      Remember: at the end of the day it is a resident, whose home is apparently sacrosanct, and who the Council refuses to "lecture to" in any way, who has decided to have their basement excavated by one of these developers. Interfering with this is an anathema to far too many Tories.

      The end result is all talk and no trousers, driven by a fear of some kind of electoral reprisal (fat chance, given the propensity of far many voters to vote Tory come what may, rosette bearing potted plants included) rather than any kind of conviction that they are dealing with a real issue that is blighting people's lives.

  3. Person Familiar With The Situation18 November 2013 at 09:47

    Cllr Coleridge has told friends that his heart is not really in this basement struggle

    1. Of course it isn't.

      As noted in a previous thread: it is abundantly clear that many on the majority party benches can't actually see anything wrong with basement developments. If you doubt this is the case take a look at how they've all voted when the issue was previously debated in Council.

      Their meager and pitiful actions to date are the result of a tiny sliver of fear that the issue might come to bite them on the behind during next year's Council elections. But given the choice they'd rather do nothing.

  4. The party wall legislation is useless for the damage caused to neighbouring houses by the digging out of these enormous basements. The Council should make the developers provide all neighbours with large and permanent bonds against future subsidence and/or flooding etc. The Council can make such bonds a condition of planning permission.

  5. e mails to Baroness Hanham bounce back thus:
    The PSBaronessHanham account is now closed. Your email has been forwarded to the PSBaronessStowell inbox - please send all future emails for the attention of the Lords Minister to this account instead.


  6. according to the Lords the Baroness's e-mail is

  7. The Lady replied thus:
    'As the immediate past Minister for Local Government in the Lords, I have supported a private members bill to restrict Basement development, i also chaired a working group of affected Councils to see what restrictions might be able to be imposed by LAS’s – When a councillor on the planning committee – i was consistently opposed to these developments – recognising the anxt they caused neighbours. So, I don’t know where you got the impression that I was against trying to limit or stop their impact. There is, of course, a real dilemma and that is that they are ‘permitted development’ in planning terms – though K&C are working very hard, with their new regulations to do as much as they can to bring them within the planning process.'

    ' As I am not a Councillor and now not a Minister, I have no means of influencing anything to do with this matter, except to speak as a back bencher if the opportunity arises. I have done as much as I can.'


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