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Wednesday, 13 November 2013


One of Pooter's idiotic ideas was to waste £500,000 on the nearly non existent Wedge card.
The Wedge card was supposed to be a sop to local businesses facing extinction through Business Rates. 
Rapacious Business Rates means the small business man or woman paying a rent of £40,000 a year pays £20,000 in tax...and gets nothing in return. 
Unlike Amazon, et al who avoid paying tens of millions in tax and do little for employment.

Instead of taking up arms on behalf local business, Pooter frittered away half a million quid on the Wedge Card.

Pooter's career-before cannily seeing there was money to be made as a local government entrepreneur, was flogging cigarettes in Africa. That should have been a 'no brainer'. However, like Danny Boys's mysterious career in Africa, it ended in failure. 
So no surprise the Council has written off all the half million quid 'invested' in the disaster which is the Wedge.

Our new leader, Nick Paget-Brown has a perfect opportunity to take up the cudgels on behalf of local commerce and demand Central Government stop driving business to the wall.
The sad fact is that few councillors have any experience of the harsh realities of business....
Time they understood that local economies are integral to the health of the community.


  1. WEDGE and Chelsea Care - two outstanding examples of what happens when Councillors with ideas beyond their station dabble in the risk business. Hopefully Cllr Paget-Brown now understands and will not waste and abuse more tax payers cash

    1. He is still squandering tax payers money on Holland Park Opera and the ridiculous Arts Programme that delivers "thrills" like unidentified UFOs landing in Ladbroke Grove.

    2. If only the aliens would do us all a favour ...

  2. All of this is a self inflicted wound by the Tory Councillors. What can be expected when a failed fag salesman is elected as Leader of the Council? Hopefully this will not happen again. Cllr Paget-Brown needs to change the culture and values at the Town Hall. In short, some Leadership is required

  3. Long ago Governments learned that business is business and Government is Government. And both should stick to their knitting. When people trained in Government start to dabble in business it always turns into a universal waste of tax. Poignant that this particular example of stupidity should take place in the home Borough of Margaret Thatcher.

  4. Wedge died a quiet death a couple of years ago. Neither Wedge nor Chelsea Care were the product of Cllr. Cockell’s thoughts but were sold to him by Council officers. Chelsea Care was the brainchild of Derek Myers and the Wedge – and also the ludicrous Project 2028 that also cost a lot of money to no avail – were the brainchild of Tony Redpath, a failed civil servant who once aspired to succeed Myers.

    The much loved Councillor Fiona Buxton, whom you condemn for Chelsea Care, was just the unfortunate Cabinet Member who had responsibility for it at the time of its collapse. The irony of this is that Councillor Palmer chaired a scrutiny group which he determined would “get to the bottom of the Chelsea Care waste” but just as he was getting close to the truth, Myers came down on him like a ton of bricks. By then too frightened Palmer, to the delight of the Council leadership, produced a lame report that whitewashed the whole Chelsea Care saga. No wonder the Cabinet and Corporate Scrutiny Committee refused to send his weak report to be endorsed at a full Council meeting. And Palmer has now been promoted to the safe seat of Queens Gate.

    Whatever you say about the lavish spending on the arts, at least they provide some enjoyment for residents. Wedge, Chelsea Care and Project 2028 were follies that cost the Council Tax payer £millions and produced nothing for residents.

    Another One Who Knows

    1. Very interesting comment from "Another who knows".The comment highlights the importance of strong and wise Leadership. Which was absent for too many years in Hornton Street under the Cockell regime. Here's hoping that the current Leader measures up. And of course it is not only the individual who happens to be Leader at any one time. It is also the team that he or she assembles to lead.

    2. Lets hope that the Fiona Buxtons of the future have the courage, common sense and conviction to strangle silly ideas like Chelsea Care at their birth.

    3. Thank you Cllr Blakeman for that piece

    4. I doubt Cllr. Blakeman would defend lavish spending on the arts, irrespective of whether or not some residents enjoy it.

      The Council's lavish spending on the arts is a moral travesty that no decent, moral person could defend when so many residents are suffering as a result of cuts to the services they depend on.

      But I suppose Marie Antoinette must have her ball ...

  5. What was project 2028?

    1. An expensive round of consultation with officers, councillors and the public to “envision” what the Borough would look like in 2028. A large sum of money was spent on consultants to “facilitate” it all. The resulting report was a damp squib that was quickly buried.

    2. Yes, I think I still have the resulting tome somewhere.

      It was, to be blunt, a load of twaddle. And in some cases out of date before it was published. Unless there was a statutory reason to produce something like it, it was just a monumental waste of everyone's time.

      (Having said that, contributing to statutory documents is also often a waste of everyone's time as the Council ignores them whenever it suits. c.f. the Core Strategy etc etc).

  6. Wedge should go down in history as the occasion on which opening a letter sent by the Council resulted in the greatest number of residents exclaiming "what the f**k?!?" at the same time.


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