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Tuesday, 30 April 2013

NICK PAGET-BROWN ADDRESSES FELLOW COUNCILLORS

NICK





My Experience and Achievements

In my earlier letter, I described why I would like to be Leader of the Council and what my priorities and ambitions would be. I would now like to explain why I believe that I have the necessary experience, gained in a variety of challenging roles, to undertake this responsibility.

During my time on the Council I have been able to play a key role in delivering successful, ground-breaking policies, controlling budgets, communicating openly and clearly with colleagues and building trust and rapport with residents and partners. Here are some examples:-

Breaking new ground – delivering successful policies

Community Safety
I was responsible for negotiating with the Metropolitan Police to obtain the first Community Support Officers, for rolling these out across the Borough and for setting up and chairing the first Safer Surer Board in London. This body enabled the Council to develop a close working relationship between the Borough Commander and senior officers in order to address public concern about crime and anti-social behaviour on a ward-by-ward basis.

Regeneration.
I was responsible for managing the Single Regeneration Budget in North Kensington. My achievements included the commissioning and letting of Baseline Studios under Lancaster West to create local affordable business space and supporting the development of Westbourne Studios. I was successful in lobbying to ensure that North Kensington, rather than Westminster was the location for the new Job Centre Plus. I oversaw the merging of the two Social Councils into one body.

The Royal Borough Environmental Project (RBEP)
I established this originally to clean up “grot-spots” and to encourage greater community pride in the neighbourhood. It now has several thriving locations and a wide range of award-winning Community Kitchen Gardens. Residents have had new opportunities to make friends and meet neighbours. Their children have also had an opportunity to grow fresh produce and to learn about food and nature.

Market Streets
I set up the Market Streets Action Group to establish a strategic vision for revitalising Portobello and Golborne Roads. It has delivered refurbished toilets, improved bridges and lighting, art on Portobello Wall, the refurbishment of Tavistock Piazza and the closure of the Portobello Road to traffic on Saturdays. I have also sought to improve the promotion of the markets and succeeded in resolving the long-standing dispute over traders’ waste charges.

Taking tough financial decisions

Budgets
I have not been afraid to take firm action to cut costs and to share plans with colleagues at an early stage. The environment department has seen a number of senior managers depart and I have consulted the group before making major changes to waste collection, street sweeping, parks and arts budgets. I took the decision to end the York-stone paving programme having first discussed it with the group. I believe that these decisions have been largely understood and accepted by residents.

I have supported the tri and bi-borough programmes for reducing back-office costs and duplication rather than front line services. I have set mechanisms in place in environment and transport to ensure that members continue to control policy and overall management - in line with the sovereignty guarantee. Despite a much thinner officer team, we continue to operate very distinctive policies from our neighbours.

I have taken opportunities to increase income, especially from disruptive road works and parking bay suspensions, listening to our group’s recommendations on charging.

Working with residents

Roles in housing, social services and the voluntary sector
In my earliest days on the Council, I chaired the Public-Sector Housing Committee and the Tenants’ Consultative Committee. I was also vice-chairman of the Housing and Social Services Committee. Housing allocation, management and estate refurbishment and regeneration will not succeed without the establishment of good and open relations with tenants and leaseholders. My first Cabinet position gave me responsibility for working with the voluntary sector, with a particular focus on North Kensington, and I believe that I helped to win the Council new friends there.

Parks
I believe that our consultation with residents over refurbishment of parks including St Luke’s, Westfield and Little Wormwood Scrubs has set a high standard for involving park-users in the proposed changes. A carefully managed capital investment programme has seen our parks become some of the best in London with top quality play equipment, improved landscaping and planting and the upgrading or replacement of many tired and ugly park buildings. Our innovative and dedicated horticultural programme has ensured repeated success in “London in Bloom” and “Britain in Bloom”. Little Wormwood Scrubs has been transformed from little more than waste ground into one of London’s best parks. I was instrumental in setting up a campaign to lobby the Mayor of London to designate LWS a priority park thereby winning £400,000 of additional funding.

Exhibition Road and Highways upgrades
I oversaw the delivery of this huge improvement to the streetscape on time and on budget and made sure that we had regular meetings with residents’ representatives around South Kensington. Significant changes to original plans ensued.  I have overseen the introduction of other streetscene projects including Holbein Place, Hans Road/Basil Street, Tavistock Square and the refurbishment of Albert Bridge and have, in all cases, taken careful account of the comments of residents and users.

Getting agreement from colleagues

As Chief Whip, I believe that I struck the right balance in a Group with a large majority. I sought to encourage committed colleagues. I have been firm where necessary and our Majority Party Rules and Conventions attempted to strike the right balance between independence and discipline. Induction courses, mentoring and briefings for new members were introduced during my period. Where possible, I have sought to encourage a consensual, collegiate, problem-solving approach to our work.

As Cabinet Member I have been fortunate to be supported by both formal and informal lead members who have been involved in policy discussions and options at an early stage. I would like to see this extended to other members with an interest in decision-making.

Useful experience from beyond the Council

In business I worked for a small start-up company in the City which established the UK’s first online research service for financial institutions. This was acquired by Reuters in 1985 and I was appointed international marketing manager for a range of Reuters’ research products with global responsibility for promoting them. In 1991 I was head-hunted by Knight-Ridder Information of the US to set up their London office. Subsequently I set up a small consultancy business which produced a corporate newsletter on energy and environmental policy and offers training and consultancy on a range of public affairs issues.

I was Parliamentary candidate for Don Valley (a South Yorkshire Mining seat) in 1992 and chaired Kensington & Chelsea Conservative Association between 1999 and 2001, which included the period of Alan Clark’s death, the selection of Michael Portillo and the subsequent by-election.

I do hope that, taken in conjunction with my earlier statement, you will feel that I have the right degree of commitment, vision and experience to prove an effective Leader of the Council.

Yours sincerely
 Nick 

DOREEN AND MAIGHREAD FOR CABINET JOBS...WILL THEY GIVE UP THEIR OLD AGE PENSIONS?

It looks like Danny 'Boys' is going for the 'Ladies in Lavender' vote....with Dotty Doreen Weatherhead seconding him and Mad Maighread managing his campaign one begins to wonder whether he has a clever election strategy. 
If rumours are correct both have been offered Cabinet posts...but who will get what? Answers on a postcard to La Dame please.
DOTTY DOREEN!

MAD MAIGHREAD!



THEN THERE WERE THREE

Sadly the Two Tims will announce later today they have dropped out of the leadership battle.
Councillors in coming to a decision should have this in the forefront of their minds......
You will soon be looking for a highly qualified Chief Executive. Any Chief Executive from another council, worth his salt, will have extreme nervousness working under Feilding-Mellen-someone quite untried and tested and Daniel Moylan-a man with a reputation for needlessly bullying officers and being very difficult to work with.

The fate of the Royal Borough is now in hands of councillors....they have to make the right choice.....


'LORD' ROCKY FEILDING-MELLEN












DANNY 'BOYS' MOYLAN









NICK PAGET-BROWN


Monday, 29 April 2013

OIRISH LEADERSHIP BID

BRAIN BOX
Supporter of  Moylan has been identified as none other than Danny 'Boys' campaign manager the quite bonkers, Cllr Maighread Condon-Simmonds. Danny 'Boys' and Mad Maighread have a couple of things in common: they both hail from Oirland(like Ahern) and both devout Oirish Catholics...
The Dame dug this up about  M C-S



Deep in the depths of Cremorne lurks Cllr Maighread Condon-Simmonds. By popular demand-from mischief making Cremornites, the Dame has decided to remove the bushel that hides Maighread's very bright candle.
Evidently Maighread had a spot of trouble which led her to come before the Lack of Standards Committee. According to 'one who knows', she she applied for 'regeneration' funds for Cremorne estate: it's for small local projects that benefit social tenants, often bin tidying, playground projects etc. Now that sounds rather good-until one digs around.....
The particular application was to fence off part of a communal space-a rather lovely patch of grass and plants.
One who knows says was to be a gate from a particular person's balcony or something, which would give them pretty well exclusive access to it. It would also mean that only people from that block could use the garden so it would not have been a communal/amenity space. It's supposed to go out to consultation-it didn't. Condon-Simmonds signed the papers saying it had. Residents were absolutely furious and reported their councillor to the Lack of Standards Committee. 
What happened? Nothing, of course

What she did was deliberate, misleading and disgraceful. The Dame is awaiting a solicitor's letter-if Condon-Simmonds dares!

THE COST OF POOTER'S OFFICE

One of Pooters' expensive pretensions was the appointment of a Head of Office at somewhere in the region of £55k a year. The cost to taxpayers of running Pooter and his setup was in excess of £130,000 a year. All candidates need to address how they would radically deplete this cost.

Sunday, 28 April 2013

JUMPING FOR JOY

One of our readers imagines Rocky skipping with joy at the thought of becoming Leader
HAPPY ROCKY

BUMPTIOUS BULLYING YOUNG PRETENDER


It was never apparent why our ex Prime Minister so favoured Rocky Feilding Mellen. One assumes, being a thorough going social climber, he felt it offered an entree into the smart, louche society Rocky inhabits...
YOUNG 'LORD' ROCKY
Any support Feilding Mellen garners is testimony to the lack of succession planning on the part of Cockell.
Rather than fill his Cabinet with talent and quality he sought those who would present no challenge...the sign of an inept and fearful leader.
Thus Cockell's selfishness has allowed a lightweight, inexperienced candidate to even consider himself capable of the job.

Feilding-Mellen currently has a non job in the Cabinet. 
Anyone who has the misfortune to have seen the silly and expensive videos starring Rocky would see he has had a severe charisma by pass operation and quite incapable of oratory: at least with 'Boys' Moylan you get a talented and spirited debater with a track record....good or bad....dependent upon your view.

As the Triborough experiment rolls towards disaster a tough and competent pair of hands is needed to protect K&C residents from the fallout.... NOT a job for an effete young aristo, with no proper job and reliant on family trusts and his Special Responsibility Allowance to keep him. 

Even worse is the gross comment made by this idiot who has never needed to work in his 33 year old life. Like so many of the work shy, he believes that there should be no London or National minimum wage...but why would he....never having done a stroke in his life.
THE DAME'S GORGEOUS SS HORNET

A vote for Rocky Feilding Mellen would be a vote for defeatism....it makes even the Dame ponder upon the merits of Danny Boys:at least he has done things!


The Dame thought, having helped dispose of Pooter, she could sail towards the horizon on her superb steam yacht.....it looks as if she might have to stay around keeping an eye on this young man with his 'secret life'.

For goodness sake Coleridge and Paget-Brown get out there and sell yourselves. 
The residents will never forgive you if you lose by default.

A LEADER'S PRIMER FOR OUT OF TOUCH LEADERS










A Hornet regular writes...

There could be six contenders in the Leadership race.
With the "electorate" being a mere 48 Tory councillors it's easy for the contenders to "bribe" other councillors with promises of high office and privilege. 

With nine Cabinet positions and one Mayor, plus deputy, plus all the Committee Chairmen positions, candidates in a six horse race can bribe/bully(Moylan) their way to get the necessary seven votes to win. Nudge, nudge; wink wink...
But let's get real..... 

People 'in the know' understand that the "here and now" is:
(i) we are in recession and it will continue for maybe five more years. National and local spending needs to be cut to the bone and the elderly are most vulnerable
(ii) K&C has become a notorious national centre of profligate spending:Holland Park School, Holland Park Opera, Exhibition Road, Chelsea Care, The Wedge, Arts sponsorship etc, all fuelled by £170 million in reserves from annual over taxation.
(iii) K&C suffers from one of the most resident hostile Planning Departments in the land. eg basement excavations, property developments for absentee foreign 'investors'
(iv) the Tri Borough was ill conceived and it is starting to fail. And it will get worse and with H&F going Labour it will be impossible to manage.
A worthy Leader would promise something along the lines of:
  • no more profligate spending. 
  • Immediate termination of the "Resident Artist" 
  • No more subsidy for Holland Park Opera 
  • A voluntary cut of the Leaders SRA from £65k to £30k. 
  • A pledge to focus spending on "essentials". 
  • No more "forced marriage seminars" (Cllr Fielding-Mellen) 
  • No more seminars about 'birdsong in the park' (Cllr Paget-Brown). 
  • 80% of the £170 million reserve ring fenced for 5 yrs to provide services to 70 plus year old residents 
 and then some more....
  • The Kensington Society, the Chelsea Society, and all Resident Association Chairmen  to be invited to make submissions about the desired Planning Policy for the Borough followed by a workshop 
  • Massive reform of the planning culture in Hornton Street to follow.   
  • a K&C Chief Executive(Holgate?) to be appointed as soon as Derek Myers quits and tri Borough activities to be restricted to joint purchasing eg dustbin collection
and finally and vitally...no leader to stand for more than two terms.

DON'T HAND BACK YOUR BENEFITS: IGNORE DUNCAN-SMITH


IGNORE HIM
Ian Duncan-Smith tells rich pensioners- like the Dame-to hand back pensions, benefits et al to the government.

This is tantamount to giving an alcoholic drinking money

The Dame has a far more effective alternative....

.....give it to a councillor you trust(yes, there are a few) and ask them to use it as emergency funding for any resident in their ward in dire straits. It could be for a much needed holiday or clothes for the children.
So much more effective than handing it back to a bunch of fools.

The Dame gave her Winter Fuel Allowance(why would she need it when she winters on her island in the Bahamas?)
She was delighted to know that the councillor had been able to give direct aid to someone in great need in our Borough.


Saturday, 27 April 2013

MY VISION FOR RBKC FROM CLLR PAGET-BROWN

Thank you for gracing our columns....now come on the rest of you! La Dame

Kensington and Chelsea is a very special place in an extraordinary city. We all have a vital part to play in keeping it that way and, over the next couple of weeks we, as a group, have an opportunity to consider how we want to see the Borough develop under a new Leader.  I have spent the last few days listening to colleagues and thought it would therefore be helpful if I set out what my vision would be for the majority group, the Council and the wider Borough if I were fortunate enough to be elected.
Although the financial clouds are darkening, our residents continue to have the highest standards and expectations for the place they live in. They want a Council which is effective, responsive and puts their interests at the heart of all it does. To deliver this, it is clear that we need better engagement with Councillors and to involve them more closely at an earlier stage in decision making.
The Majority Group
Many colleagues have told me that they currently feel insufficiently linked to our decision-making structures and unable to contribute as much as they would like to shaping future policy. I want to change this. As Leader I would start as I mean to go on by overhauling the structure of the Group Meeting to make it less dominated by the Leader and the whips and more responsive to what colleagues wish to discuss. 
To ensure that a strong focus is kept on policy direction, I would ask one Cabinet Member each meeting to lead a focused discussion of the key issues they are facing and to engage in debate with the meeting, seeking agreement before decisions are taken.
From the formation of a new Cabinet, if the Leader wishes to keep a person in the same post for more than four years this would be subject to agreement by the Party Meeting. 
A majority vote by a group meeting could require the appropriate Scrutiny Committee chairman to place an item of concern on their next Committee agenda for more detailed examination.
I would make it easier for any colleague to raise issues at short notice either for immediate response or response at the next meeting.
I will also ensure that in my first year I meet individually with every member of the group who would like to discuss their particular ambitions and aspirations. I will always be enthusiastic about meeting colleagues and groups of ward Councillors with their residents.
I would be supportive of the establishment of a “backbench” committee that could co-ordinate and represent interests to the Leader. It may well want to take a view on alternative ways of organising the timing, content and structure of the group meeting and to form a view on other matters of how we operate.
Council and Scrutiny Meetings
There is a huge opportunity to make better use of the Council meeting as a channel for communication, debate and information and for involving residents more in this. Cabinet Members in roles which serve the public, should with their Executive Directors, hold an annual session with questions and answers open to all members of the Council and the public. This could be organised by the relevant Scrutiny Committee either within the body of a Council meeting or as a special Committee session in the Chamber. Something along these lines was recently pioneered by the Public Realm OSC  and I was happy to be the guinea-pig!
Key partners such as the police commander, TfL and NHS should be subject to regular cross-examination by the whole Council. In addition to the current arrangements, petitions signed by more than 150 residents could be presented by a residents’ representative able to speak for (say) three minutes with a short response from the relevant Cabinet member. Speeches by members on matters relating to their ward should receive a brief verbal response at the following meeting.
Overview and Scrutiny Committees should also provide opportunities for interested residents and other external interests to explore particular policies in more detail (as happened very effectively at a recent Committee hearing on issues relating to Exhibition Road). We could consider setting up ad hoc scrutiny groups to address a particular subject across departments (e.g. regeneration, use of consultants etc).
The Cabinet
As stated above, longer than usual tenure will need to gain agreement from the party meeting. I will expect Cabinet Members to devote a considerable part of the working week to their role. This should include regular meetings with officers, residents, ward councillors, outside organisations and sites for which they are responsible. They should build up a short file of “success stories” which can be used to communicate with our electors.
Most Cabinet Members chair departmental advisory Policy Boards on a regular basis at which policy options, strategies and specific problems are discussed. To ensure greater input into decisions, Cabinet Members will be asked to ensure that their Policy Boards involve members with expertise or interest in a particular subject so that they can contribute to the relevant discussion at an early stage.  I have pioneered this in the area of transport.
Being more political
I think that we need to do more to reap the political dividend of decisions reached by the Council. There have been many significant achievements but we have not always succeeded in extracting maximum political capital from them. Our funding of PCSOs, improving the quality of all of our parks and regenerating the street markets have all made a tangible difference to the quality of life in Kensington & Chelsea but, as Conservatives, we do not always take sufficient credit for this.
Our annual Saturday meeting should focus on key choices and political priorities. Revitalised group meetings can pick up on more general strategies. Detailed check-listing and cross-examination of the smaller budget items should be devolved to the appropriate Scrutiny Committee..
I am greatly concerned that our election fighting strength is diminishing whilst our demographics are changing fast. As the Borough’s resident population changes and dwindles, we need to re-establish a strong link with the Conservative Association to ensure that we have an effective electoral machine at a time when new Parliamentary and ward boundaries have uprooted existing loyalties. We must exploit new technology, identify better ways of communicating and be alert to the concerns of new residents. My working group has started to address this and, as Leader, I will hold regular meetings with the chairman and use the group to improve liaison with the Association and its officers.
A vision for the Borough
A key element in my vision as a Conservative is that one of the Council’s main ambitions should be to give everyone an opportunity to succeed. That requires a cross-departmental approach to regeneration, with an effective, integrated approach to housing, training, transport, employment and crime-reduction. We must continue to work with our long-established voluntary sector to build a sense of belonging to the community.
At a time of hugely demanding financial pressure on local government, we must continue to set one of the lowest Council Tax levels in the country. To deliver this, we need to manage our budgets prudently, to keep costs down and to ensure that our back office staffing is not out of proportion to our front-line provision. To achieve real reductions in our unit costs, the tri-Borough initiative needs to deliver continued downward pressure on staffing and consultancy budgets and to give us good-quality benchmarking data about value for money. We must also ensure that our assets generate an effective income.
I know that all our residents want to see sensitive and appropriate policies to protect vulnerable children. Early intervention can prevent the growth of problems which are difficult and costly to resolve later.
We also want to ensure that services for the elderly enable people to remain in their homes for as long as possible, with appropriate and flexible levels of support. Structures and legislation can only deliver part of this: effective, competent, sympathetic, properly managed staff are essential.
Our public housing stock is not in the best shape. Many estates were designed long ago and have become high-maintenance unattractive places, too often creating their own social problems. Many appear to sit apart from the community around them. Our land values and new freedoms under the Localism Act will enable us to regenerate these spaces to provide better quality homes for tenants, houses for private rent and sale and more mixed retail and commercial space to boost local employment. We can aspire to build neighbourhoods rather than mere “housing units”.  This will be a priority if I am Leader.
Household and commercial waste must be managed to the highest standards to keep it as invisible as possible.  
As one of the most desirable places to live in Europe, the Borough’s planning, environmental and transport policies need to be balanced and sensitive. Our streets, parks and public spaces should be beautiful, high quality spaces to enjoy. I believe that the consultation methodology used to involve residents in upgrading our parks set a high standard for engagement. We are now learning to improve our engagement with residents and amenity societies on changes to the Core Strategy and this must continue.
To be genuine and effective, consultation must be able to recognise that the loudest volume does not necessarily represent the quietest voice. I will not re-open the debate over Sloane Square, but would be keen to identify other locations where, when financial circumstances permit, we can enhance the quality of the street-scene, recognising that our heritage of beautiful architecture does not always come with private spaces and gardens.
We need to be prepared to fight against plans to convert offices to residential use across the Borough. This will greatly damage the prospect of local employment and make us more of a dormitory and less of a community. Likewise a Liberal/Labour mansion tax will have profoundly destructive consequences for those who find themselves asset rich but cash poor simply through having lived in their home for a long time. Retaining a share of the business rate will also put us under new pressure.
Over the next day or two I will set out my experience and achievements during my years on the Council and outside, as I believe these will indicate why I am a team-player with an appropriate background to undertake the role of Leader.
In addition to the hustings that have been arranged, I am, of course, available to any member of the group who would like talk to me about their policy concerns or to cross-examine me on this agenda in more detail. 

TEARS AND TANTRUMS...FRAZER-HOWELLS IN SPANISH HOTEL DRAMA

FAWLTY TOWERS
The Dame has been given the link to this ex pat newspapers in sunny Spain. It seems that when not looking after our Prime Minister and Sir Malcolm Rifkind Jonathan runs a troubled boutique hotel there.....

You can read all about it Hotel Mystery Probe HERE

J F-H tells friends that he never reads the awful Hornet so PLEASE don't foward on to him. 
He thinks the Dame frightfully vulgar and common.....

Here is something from some tawdry competitor to the Hornet

You may remember the fraud scandal surrounding former Westminster Councillor, Michael Vearncombe who was jailed for a year  for embezzling community funds.
The Camden News Journal reported on the case:
” A TORY councillor has quit after the High Court on Friday froze his accounts.Michael Vearncombe, who represented Marylebone, was issued with the writ by the Bryanston Court Residents’ Association after they found a £120,000 discrepancy in their accounts.Mr Vearncombe, 50, living in Bryanston Mews East, became managing agent for the Bryanston Court Residents’ Association in 2005.A spokesman from Franklin Price, the finance lawyers representing the Marylebone residents, confirmed: “A claim has been made by my residents.”And a Scotland Yard spokesman said: “CID officers at Marylebone are investigating an alleged fraud in Westminster concerning service charges on properties in the Westminster. There have been no arrests and enquiries continue.”Mr Vearncombe served for 20 years as an officer in the Royal Air Force. He was elected to Marylebone High Street ward in 2002 and in 2006 retained his seat with 1257 votes.He was Deputy Cabinet Member for Street Environment, on the Licensing Committee and a member of the Supporting Children and Families Overview and Scrutiny Committee.
He lives with partner Jonathan Fraser-Howells, the Tory agent for the Kensington and Chelsea Conservative Association, in Bryanston Mews East and has been a vociferous campaigner for gay rights.A council spokesman said: “Councillor Michael Vearncombe has resigned from the council and a by-election will be held for the vacant seat in the Marylebone High Street ward on May 3, 2007.”Mr Vearncombe was not available for comment.”
” Michael Vearncombe, ex-councillor for Marylebone High Street, was sentenced to one year at Southwark Crown Court on Friday for theft.The 50-year-old  pleaded guilty to stealing £94,000 from the Bryanston Court Residents’ Association, for which he was managing agent.
Judge Geoffrey Rivlin gave him the minimum sentence because of his guilty plea.
After the hearing, association member Cheryl Bloom said: “There are many elderly people living in Bryanston Court, some still working, who have been left to pick up the pieces.”Vearncombe, who served for 20 years as an officer in the Royal Air Force, signed off scores of cheques for cash in HSBC outlets in Marylebone, Baker Street and Pall Mall over a period of 18 months.
His solicitor said his “compulsive shopping” had led him to steal the money.The residents’ association is in talks with the Official Receiver about whether the money can be recovered and the level of his assets.Ms Bloom said: “He had given us figures – but we would soon discover they were complete fiction.
“Under the rules of the association, he was legally allowed to write out cheques for cash for less than £700.“These were for the day-to-day maintenance costs. The bank statements show that during November 2006 he was cashing out three or four times a day – for just under £700.”Elected councillor for Marylebone High Street ward in 2002 and in 2006, Vearncombe served as deputy cabinet member for environment, on the licensing committee and scrutiny panels.
Ms Bloom added: “When he took over as managing agent we were all very happy. He seemed like a nice guy and very sociable. “He had a very strong CV. You naturally trust someone who is in a position like that don’t you?”
Could this be the same Michael Vearncombe who was a director of the prestigious Duke of Kent school before his fall from grace?
Could this also be the same Michael Vearncombe who owns a hotel in Spain with  Westminster tory “fixer” Jonathan Fraser-Howells and now goes under the pseudonyms of Michael Barak Asher andMichael Asher?
We haven’t got the foggiest idea


CALLING ALL LEADERSHIP CANDIDATES


HUSTINGS
There is no councillor-Conservative, Labour or Lib Dem, who does not read the Dames' little jottings on daily life in the Rotten Borough.





With over 800 views a week her influence extends deep into every nook and cranny of the Borough. 
Though forbidden by Pooter even officers furtively log in to see what the wise old Dame is opining.

So it seemed sensible for the Dame to throw open her site to our leaders in waiting so they might press their case. 
Each candidate is allowed one thousand words to convince us they have the 'Right Stuff'....so come on...who is going to be first up?

The Dames’ readers will be allowed to pitch questions to candidates.
This is a chance for each to tell us of their plans-if  elected.

All candidates need do is send their ‘pitch’ to the Dame at her email address prominently displayed on the home page.

WHAT TO DO...A NIGHT AT THE OPERA

VERY LIGHT OPERA






The Dame, being mondaine, is frequently asked advice on matters of ethics, etiquette and how to behave in polite society so was not surprised to be asked for advice.
No, it was not a question about what to wear at a First Night....though the Dame gets many such demands....her being invited to many grand occasions.
Here's the question. Let's hope that by June Cllr Paget-Brown is still Deputy Leader.....the way things are going it might be Danny 'Boys' or Rocky doing the inviting!



Dear Dame
Many Councillors will have been faced with a terrible dilemma on receiving this invitation from Opera Holland Park. Should they attend in black tie or evening dresses and lap up the free drinkies and opera? Should they bring a guest and pay a whopping £67.50! If they do attend, do they have to declare in Members' Interests that they have received a humungous £67.50-worth of freebies from the Council?
So perhaps dear Dame, you would like to ask Leadership candidates for their views on the matter? I'm sure many Councillors would appreciate their guidance.
regards
An Admirer







GREEDY LOCAL AUTHORITY CHIEF EXECUTIVES

Following yesterday's piece in the Standard about the vast salaries paid to Mike More of Westminster and Derek Myers of H&F and K&C (they both get £60 k more than Cameron) a spokesman for the authorities said: “The two councils will be adjusting the salary scale downwards to reflect new market levels.”
What an inane piece of reasoning....a market is based upon supply and demand. As no CE in the local authority sector has ever been appointed to a private sector CE job it's safe to say that there is no proper market. In every sense of the word it is an artificially created market developed to pander to greedy public servants.