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Friday, 21 March 2014


The Council's decision to ignore the recommendation of the Scrutiny Committee could have far reaching electoral consequences.

The Council's friends, the Ritblat family, have fingers in many pies....local schools, the redevelopment of the Commonwealth Institute and the demolition of the much loved Odeon cinema in High St Ken. 

Our council is in thrall to the power of Ritblat money: it denies them nothing, so what the Ritblats, pere et fils, want they tend to get.

When Tony Blair replaced the tried and tested committee system he was warned there was potential for abuse of power- hence the introduction of the Scrutiny Committees as way of protecting residents. Now we know they are useless.

Cockell loved this new Cabinet system. 
Instead of having annoying backbench committee members getting in his way he could appoint his own to the Cabinet and they would acquiesce to his every whim....whether new Bentleys, £30 million follies like Exhibition Rd....or a chunky £70,000 a year allowance for himself.
And if they didn't acquiesce he could threaten them with the sack and the loss of a £45,000 a year plus Special Responsibility Allowance.

No one knows much about Cockell. 
His career, before deciding to become a 'local government entrepreneur', was a bit of a mystery....
Certainly, its high point seems to have been flogging fags to Africans!
So, from that rather squalid way of making a living, he has managed to sort himself out with various other local government sinecures. 
At their peak they gave him an income of £130,000 a year....not bad for an ex fag salesman with nil education!

Anyway, enough of Cockell and his machinations...

Had the Committee system still operated in the Royal Borough the chances are that its members would not have agreed the Ritblat deal.

There is no legal reason why any council should not return to the committee system: it worked well and allowed democracy a clear and strong voice.
The Kensington and Chelsea Residents Group and the Chelsea Independents should make abolition of the Cabinet system a cornerstone of their campaigns.


  1. Wise words from the Dame

  2. Cockle knew how to work the system and build a corrupted organisation to serve his self interest. A monster

    1. It is time for Cllr Paget-Brown to stand back from the day to day workings of Hornton Street and take a long hard look at what is going on. A Scrutiny System that is a joke. A Planning System that is an even worse joke. Certain councillors who are so disrespectful of their office that they spend the whole time at Council meetings playing computer games....

      Time to take stock

    2. ... and councillors checking their shares at Council meetings on Council provided facilities - and demonstrating to the world that they hold shares in property companies with which the Council has a very close relationship!

  3. Retired Chief Executive22 March 2014 at 09:13

    From time to time organisations drift away from their purpose and wise Leaders know that a change of structure is required and they know how to accomplish this. It seems that the time is overdue in the Royal Borough. It has become very clear to residents that there is a growing democratic deficit and all the papers produced by Officials and time spent in committees is bordering on farce.

    1. Paget-Brown needs to make some bold clear moves to recover the Hornton Street organisation from the rot that was put in place by Pooter Cockle

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

    1. This is not pleasant or necessary. I hope the Dame will delete

    2. There boundaries that we should not cross and this comment was one.
      The Dame has deleted it as being unpleasant and irrelevant to the debate

  5. NP-B will introduce a range of changes after the election - when he is not beholden to Cllr. Rock F-M. The only fly in the ointment will be Cllr Moylan, who thinks NP-B is not up to the job.

  6. Above all other considerations - beware of Moylan.

  7. Would the committee system have stopped the take over of services by H&F. There are a lot of upset RBKC staff who do not feel that their leaders are looking them. There are a lot of H&F management lording it up in the Royal Borough.

  8. How is it that H&F wanted help from K&C to improve their services and learn from excellent officers, but 5 years later most of the best K&C staff have been squeezed out and replaced by less quality conscious H&F directors and heads. Staff are hacked off


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