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DAMESATHOME@YAHOO.CO.UK
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Wednesday, 24 December 2014

THE DAME SENDS SEASONAL GREETINGS....


The Dame wishes all her lovely and loyal readers a very....






Monday, 22 December 2014

K&C CONSERVATIVES MOVE OFFICES TO AN INDUSTRIAL ESTATE

UNHAPPY BUNNY!
K&C agent, tantrum prone Jonathan Fraser-Howells and chum, convicted thief Michael Asher Vearncombe, planned the first Spanish gay village.


All the houses were to be painted pink and the streets re-branded for famous gay artists.
When the Dame mentioned the concept to a few of her gay friends they thought the old thing was pulling their legs. 


Only after being directed to this BLOG did they realise the full extent of Jonathan and Michael's hideous plan....since aborted, because most gays have good taste and could think of nothing more appalling.

Anyway, the Dame digresses...

Jonathan thinks he's a bit of an aesthete. 
Imagine his horror when told by Association chairman, Milord Carrington, that he would be leaving Chelsea and locating to an industrial estate in the north of the Borough!

Here is a pic of Jonathan's new office. The marketing johnnies have rather gone overboard suggesting it's close to the amenities of Portobello Rd....small recompense for having to work next to tyre fitters.
Let's hope he has no plans for a 'pink' industrial estate.....





Thursday, 18 December 2014

GREENHALGH APOLOGISES FOR NOT TOUCHING LADY'S BOTTOM



GROSS!
Back in 2012 Mayoral hopeful, Stephen Greenhalgh did something astonishing....he apologised for something he claims not to have done.
MAYOR HOPEFUL APOLOGISES
The 'something he did not do' was to touch a young City Hall worker's bottom in a crowded lift.



Sensible people might wonder why he needed to apologise for 'something he did not do'.

More confusing still was his wish to 'apologise for unreservedly for anything that could be or may have been construed as inappropriate on my part'.

Stevie is responsible for Met policing so, being 'the long arm of the law', his hands may have found the lift cabin too constraining thus causing inadvertent contact with the lady's anatomy.

It's all most odd. 
If he didn't touch the lady's bottom why did he not come out and say so?

This sweaty and overweight small time local politician is not suitable material as London's Mayor: senior Met officers think him a joke and the joke is on us Londoners if we elect him. 








SAVE SUTTON ESTATE CAMPAIGN GOES TO PARLIAMENT

​Andrew Barshall and Ian Henderson who both ran as independents in the local council elections earlier this year have now been invited to the Houses of Parliament. 
They were there on behalf of the Save the Sutton Estate campaign to meet an all party group of Peers and members of Parliament. 
The group discussed the social housing situation in London, and specifically Affinity Sutton's plans to sell off half of the historic Sutton Estate in Chelsea.​
If the sale to the private sector is allowed to go ahead Affinity Sutton, the supposed "charity", will end up with a potential surplus of £250 million!
L-R Barshall, TomWatson MP, Henderson

"We were very appreciative to have the backing of so many Peers and MPs for the Save the Sutton Estate campaign, and  by the level of support from MPs and Peers from all parties for social housing in London. 
Peers and MPs from across the political spectrum expressed a deep discomfort and anger with the selling off of social housing to buy-to-leave investors from overseas. They also expressed deep concern about the transformation of our housing trusts and charities into commercial businesses putting profits, or surpluses, before the people they were set up to serve." 

Monday, 15 December 2014

TMO ANSWER FOI ON COMPLAINTS















Dear Aunt Dame

You asked me to look at TMO complaints....

Here we have it: complaints to the TMO nearly doubled in the last quarter, they went up by 79.16%. 

Complaints in the current quarter are also looking on the high side.

The figures flatter to deceive....far more people complained than the figures suggest. 
Unless the matter complained of is about "customer service failure" the TMO does not treat the matter as a complaint. 
It it's a cunning ruse for keeping complaints off the books.

Yours ever

Ludo
  

OPERA HOLLAND PARK'S PERMANENT BLOT ON THE PARK

PERMANENT FEATURE?
Friends of Holland Park and the Kensington Society will be pleased to know £650,000 of the £5 million taxpayer's gift to Michael "The Fox" Volpe may pay for a nice, shiny new permanent 'structure'. 



Let's just hope that 'man of culture', Danny Boys Moylan, is not put in charge of deciding the design:if he is, it will be a real blot on the landscape.

In the formal proposal for discussion in February there is no talk of rent for the land, or buildings currently used for free (ticket and admin office next to the main facilities).
And the thorny questions of salaries, pensions and rent and rates for the site are discreetly left 'off agenda'.

Sunday, 14 December 2014

RBK&C TMO TO REPORT A DOUBLING OF COMPLAINTS IN THE LAST QUARTER!

REACTION TO TMO

Information has been provided to the Dame, by one of her 'deep throats',suggesting the number of complaints received by the Kensington and Chelsea Tenant Management Organisation has possibly DOUBLED  in the last quarter. 
The Dame is so alarmed about the TMO shenanigans she has instructed her nephew, Ludo, to see who at the TMO is trying hush things up.
You would think the number of complaints would be logged by the TMO so as to be instantly accessible: it seems not. 
It appears that as part of its job creation ethos the TMO has a specially appointed jobsworth who is there to delay FOI responses. 
So the Dame's 'deep throat' has been told he will have to wait the statutory twenty days before getting a response to this simple request for basic numbers....

Saturday, 13 December 2014

A MONSTER IN HOLLAND PARK

The Dame could not agree more with the writer....what a dreadful out of context building. 
In fact, the only context the building would happily feel at home in is some dreadful inner city Birmingham development. 
Maybe Daniel Moylan felt it sensible to try to complement the hideous mud coloured piles of brick on the right.
Moylan has had a 'taste by pass operation'.....









Dear Dame
These buildings were passed by the council after Daniel Moylan wittered on at the planning committee, persuading them that we couldn't do without them: against massive resident objection.
The monstrosity dominates Holland Park dwarfing the Commonwealth Institute. 
Not quite the "Perfect Cube" the man predicted! 
All on ground stolen from the park in the 1960s.
These ugly boring Corporate blocks of flats are what you will first see when you enter Holland Park.

Yours sadly

A Resident

Friday, 12 December 2014

PRIORITIES, DEAR NICK, PRIORITIES

CLICK ON IMAGE
There is an Alice and Wonderland feel to how this Council allocates( or doesn't) resources.

Pooter Cockell, when leader, sanctioned the spending of £200,000 on a horrible old bit of Gormley metal because he loved the idea of being a patron of the arts using our Money
Those knowing this ex fag salesman and faux Medici know he hasn't a cultured bone in his tubby little body! 

For young children, books are a vital part of their growing up: books allow them to escape from a grey and threatening world. 
So when the Dame read this report in the Standard she was fuming.

We are the world's richest borough: we have close to £300 million in reserves-through over taxation, yet have no money for precious books.

We can waste hundreds of thousands of pounds co-sponsoring the NOUR Festival with the repressive dictatorship, Qatar, but need to call on charities to fill the empty book shelves of the Kensington Aldridge Academy....a school educating children in the most deprived part of the Royal Borough.

It's about time this council decided what is important....nebulous art projects-or our most precious natural asset-our children.

And before the idiot Palmer accuses the blog of being a Labour blog the Dame just happens to be one of those relics of the past....a Tory who believes in fair play.

Wednesday, 10 December 2014

THE DAME NAMES NAMES AT TMO....

SELF EXPLANATORY!
Mrs Yasmin Alam is a name that has come to the attention of the Dame from several different directions.

Graceless and pushy( a polite way of describing her manner)the woman is purportedly a sort of TMO Neighbourhood Officer: in other words she is supposed to have an ambassadorial role, helping tenants and residents to overcome problems.

The feedback the Dame has of this lady is troubling. 
Alam evidently gives the impression to tenants of being hugely important and influential in the higher echelons of the TMO....odd for someone performing a lowly admin role.

The Dame invites tenants and residents to write confidentially to her at damesathome@yahoo.co.uk
and report their own experiences of this woman.
Or you could comment here.
The Dame will ensure your identity is protected so you won't be blacklisted or bullied by the TMO.

The TMO has enough image problems without employing someone who seems to rub everybody up the wrong way.

The Dame has form for avoiding naming officers at mid/junior level, but Mrs Alam forces the exception to her rule.

AN EX CLLR AND HER COLOURFUL EMPLOYER




The Dame has read a comment seeming to infer ex Cllr Marianne Alapini got her hands on a TMO house in St Luke's St with the help of her papa, and in circumstances demanding explanation.
The Company she keeps....

The other blot on her copybook was acting as informal mayoress to disgraced ex Cllr Barry Phelps. Phelps was fingered by the Dame for his love of images of young boys.



But the Dame decided to do a bit more digging up around the saintly Alapini.
It seems, besides having been a director of InternationalMineral Resources(Coal Kenya) Ltd, Alapani advised/advises a fund run by a very colourful Indian 'entrepreneur Deepak Kuntawala. 
Second from Left: Kuntawala
Kuntawala was exposed by the Indian press after having lied about his role rescuing hostages during the Mumbai massacre. 





You can read about this 'interesting' man HERE





TMO TO BE REPORTED TO LOCAL GOVERNMENT OMBUDSMAN


It seems that the poor old TMO is getting hit left right and centre...racism; corruption; bullying....what a mess.






Dear Councillor Paget Brown,

I am writing to you, on behalf of the Grenfell Action Group, in your role as Leader of The Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, to ask you to investigate the actions of the Council's Planning Dept and the TMO who are brazenly breaking the law by failing to consult with residents during the Grenfell Tower Improvement Works. 
I would like to lodge a formal complaint against the Council and ask that this matter be referred for immediate investigation to your Monitoring Officer, Leverne Parker, so that it can eventually be brought to the notice of the local Government Ombudsman. 

In particular we wish to highlight the fact that we believe the TMO have acted illegally by not consulting with residents with regards the latest type of windows they plan to install in our properties as part of the improvement works and we believe that the TMO and their building contractor, Rydon, are planning to replace their original choice of window with a inferior and cheaper aluminium model much to the detriment of residents long-term welfare. 

We believe that residents have a right to know what is really going on with regard to the proposed works to our properties and that the TMO and Rydons have a legal duty to consult and be open with us which they are patently failing to honour. 

As an example, our recent attempts under Freedom of Information legislation to obtain the minutes to the "end of month" meetings between the TMO, Rydons and the architect Studio E have been refused by Fola Kafiydia (Head of TMO Governance). 
The Grenfell Action Group believe that this refusal to share legitimate information with the residents of Grenfell Tower shows that the TMO and Rydon have something to hide from our community and they should be ashamed of their need for secrecy. We are tenants not terrorists! 

In addition, we believe that the latest attempt by the TMO to apply changes to the planning permission granted by the RBKC in January 2014 (Ref: PP/12/04097) are illegal, as they have been proposed without any consultation with residents, and we are asking you as the Leader of the Council to investigate these allegations as a matter of urgency. 

According to the TMO Tenancy Handbook, and in line with residents rights under Acts of Parliament and Government Regulations, tenants and leaseholders have a right to be consulted on any modernisation or improvement planned for our homes. 

We believe that the TMO have patently failed to abide by their obligation to follow the Law in this respect and, therefore, do not have the authority to apply for a change to their original planning permission. While most residents in Grenfell Tower welcome the improvement works we also believe that we should be properly consulted before we simply surrender our homes to the TMO's building contractor. 

We were originally promised by Paul Downton, the previous TMO Lead on the Grenfell Tower Improvement Works, that residents would be consulted and given the opportunity to view and comment on a variety of different windows. We were informed at the time that the TMO would be open to engaging with residents and taking on board their feedback. To date (and nearly two years later) these promises have been broken as no residents have ever been provided with an example of the proposed windows or been given a formal opportunity to submit comments on the type of window that will be used. This is illegal. 

Now we hear that residents will, in fact, never be given any opportunity to comment on the final choice of windows that we are to receive as they have already been chosen by the RBKC Planning Dept. Residents in Grenfell Tower that we have spoken with feel most aggrieved and believe that we should have been consulted before the final choice of windows was decided and  residents should have a say in the type of window that we receive. 

We have taken the liberty of copying this correspondence to our elected representative at Parliament, Sir Malcolm Rifkind and also to the local Press and can assure you that we will not let this matter drop until the Council, the Planning Dept and the TMO start treating residents with some respect and consult with us about the proposed improvements to our homes as you are required to do by Law. In the meantime, please can you assure our community that the current application with regard planning permission changes will not be sought by the Council without first properly considering the views of residents? 

Regards, 

Tuesday, 9 December 2014

CAMPDEN HILL RESIDENT'S ASSOCIATION SALUTE THE DAME!

Click to enlarge
Campden Hill Resident's Association is one of the Borough's best. 
Chairman, David White, puts up with no nonsense and fights hard to promote the interests of residents.


Thus, the old Dame was thrilled to receive this pat on the back in the Christmas Newsletter.



Monday, 8 December 2014

RACIST TMO NEIGHBOURHOOD OFFICER?

The Dame has been hearing of a very disturbing story involving a TMO neighbourhood officer. 
The complainant believes this officer has been supporting a tenant from her own ethnic background, against the complainant: a tenant of a Afro Caribbean descent.

It looks as if it could be a murky story and the Dame hopes that there is no racial prejudice involved.
FURIOUS DAME....

If there is, expect the Dame to come down heavily on the officer concerned like a ton of bricks. 
And she will be naming names!

Saturday, 6 December 2014

HAMMERSMITH & FULHAM TO CLOSE DOWN PR DEPARTMENT?

There is a rumour H&F have closed down their PR Department saving £400,000 a year:a saving they intend deploying to help the elderly in need.



The Dame has been banging on for ages about the money wasted by RBK&C on Mr Fitzpatrick's unfit for purpose £450,000 a year, seven strong PR empire.
His sidekicks have so little to do they resort to writing about frogs in Holland Park and UFO's landing in  council car parks.
The Dame says Nick Paget-Brown should follow the example of H&F and shut down this total waste of money.

The quality of in house council PR's is lacklustre-most would never survive in the harsh world of consultancy.

It follows then that it's much more cost/performance effective to employ, on an ad hoc basis, a lean and keen external consultancy....

The Dame would like confirmation of the H&F story please.

Friday, 5 December 2014

TMO PAID THOUSANDS FOR THERAPY FOR VOLUNTEER BOARD MEMBER!

It seems that all sorts of dirty little secrets are emerging as the Dame pursues her relentless campaign to clean up the Augean stables of RBK&C's TMO.
This one below, sent in by one who describes himself/herself as 'One Who Knows' shows what a cosily corrupt little organisation it is....

.....There are compelling reasons for disbanding the TMO in order to bring housing management functions back under the direct control of Local Councillors.  If this happened RBK&C Councillors would no longer be able to wash their hands of social housing problems relegating important issues to the TMO Board and the Company's Executive Officers.  One case in point comes to mind.

A former Chief Executive of the TMO, offered Michael Beverley, a former high profile volunteer Board Member, psychological counselling with a private therapist. 
Tenants and Leaseholders in need of such treatment have to use the NHS and join long waiting lists. 

Instructions were given to the Chief Executive's Personal Assistant to settle the private therapist's bill out of the TMO's coffers with the payments being credited to therapist's bank account at Lloyds Bank 499 Oxford Street Branch. 
Whilst it is true that Councillor Condon- Simmonds and Councillor Dent Coad were both serving on the TMO Board when this expenditure was authorised, I am sure that neither of them had any knowledge of the Company paying for private medical treatment for someone doing voluntary work. 
If housing management functions were provided in house by Council Officers, the Standing Orders of the Council would preclude any Chief Officer from authorising expenditure for private medical treatment for any  member of the public without seeking permission from elected members of the Council.

I tried to hold the TMO to account over its decision to pay for Private Medical Treatment for one of its volunteers . The TMO has not surprisingly failed to come clean about the matter preferring to make woolly use of the Data Protection Act to conceal how much it spent on one of its most loyal favourites. 
When I pointed out that the Data Protection Act did not protect the data of the dead, Miss Janet Seward of the TMO wrote to me to say that she could not discuss the matter. 

Thanks to The Dame we can now have this secret out in the open and discuss it in the Court of Public Opinion. 



PUT THE TMO OUT OF ITS MISERY....CLOSE IT DOWN!

TMO...A WOUNDED BEAST
Robert Black, boss of the TMO, took up his appointment with many extravagant promises....'the culture would change'; 'we will listen to you' and 'things will be different now'.

Mr Black has not kept his word. Whether this is due to ineptitude or indolence we can only hazard guesses.
The Dame has a copy of the 2009 Memoli report which RBK&C attempted to hide. 
Reading the report of the dire mis management of the TMO it seems little has changed. 
She will be putting up extracts from time to time

So we have this monster of a failing organisation soaking up £12 million a year from council taxpayers led by a management team who would be out on their ear in any decently run management organisation.

So can tenants and council taxpayers get a better deal?

The obvious solution is to dismantle the TMO and hand back housing management responsibility to the Council: after all, councils used to run their own housing departments quite well.
So the Dame, with the help of her in house research team, started to run the numbers.

Strikingly, the result indicates some huge cost savings as below...



The following TMO Senior Management posts would cease to exist if the Council took management back in house......

  • TMO Company Secretary and all staff employed on TMO Governance issues
  • TMO Director of Finance, (the Council already has one)
  • Director of People and Performance and all TMO Personnel Department posts (the Council has an HR Department)
  • The Council Officer's post monitoring the TMO's performance would no longer exist.
  • The Council would have a Director of Housing (combining the two TMO posts of TMO Chief Executive and TMO Operations' Director)
  • TMO Business Improvement Manager would be replaced with the less expensive post of Policy Officer at the Council 

A senior housing expert adviser to the Dame wrote... 

"There are probably other TMO posts that would be deleted but have not, as yet, come on the radar.
The above mentioned high level post holders at the TMO would have to apply for any posts that they might want with the Council because they would have no assimilation rights under TUPE Regs.  

Of course, there would be a substantial one off costs but substantially  reduced costs going forward

Many staff members could be TUPE'd across to the Council. This would mirror what happened in 1996 when much of the Council's housing department were TUPE'd across to the newly formed TMO. 
But the most senior members of staff (the CEO, Exec team etc) would probably have to be made redundant as their posts would simply cease to exist. 

The current "cost" of the TMO is effectively £12 million/year. This is the management fee they receive from the Council for managing the stock (approx. £1,300/property/year) and is used to cover their operating expenses (staff, offices etc).

Contractors and contracts (for repairs, cleaning, gardening etc) are already directly financed by the Council from the HRA. Those costs won't change until the contracts concerned are re-tendered."


Wednesday, 3 December 2014

TMO PROPERTY 14 ST LUKES ST, CHELSEA LEFT EMPTY FOR EIGHTEEN MONTHS

Leaving homes empty for long periods of time is a major and unwelcome feature of life in Kensington and Chelsea.

For the past year Ludo has been abusing the hospitality of his aunt, the Dame, by 'shacking up' in her palatial Holland Park mansion.
Unable to take the lout any longer she called a friend. 
The friend suggested the TMO might be able to help. 
As Ludo only wanted to be in Chelsea she discovered the TMO had an ideal property for him and his ghastly sister. 

BIJOU TMO PROPERTY!
The bijou St Luke's St property sounded ideal...3 bedroom and a charming little patio for those summer parties Ludo and sis love.

Obviously, the TMO found it a difficult property to rent as it had been empty for the past eighteen months!


When questioned the embarrassed TMO tried to lie their way out by saying that work had started this very afternoon!

Council taxpayers should be furious Robert Black's TMO are so profligate with our money a property can be left unrented for eighteen months. 
Work out the maths...£1000 per week means over £70,000 down the drain.

Come Cllr Quentin Marshall....you are in charge of TMO oversight so tell us what the hell is going on.......

ELM PARK GARDENS RESIDENTS HIT OUT AT THE TMO













What on earth is the matter with the RBKC Tenant Management Organisation?

The Dame hears nothing but complaints about this 'unfit for purpose' organisation. 

She has to ask the question whether, under Mr Black, it's fit for purpose.
Certainly, it's far from helpful having wannabe property developer, Rock Feilding Mellen running the show.
Even the Norfolk bumpkins kicked him into touch when he tried to destroy their ancient woodlands.

There are the elderly and frail living at 71 Elm Park Gardens....sort it out, Rock!


To:      Councillor Rock Feilding Mellen, Cabinet Member for Housing
             Ward Councillors: Sir Merrick Cockell, Councillor William Pascall  Paul Warwick
Nicholas Holgate, Town Clerk and Chief Executive
We, the undersigned residents, of 71 Elm Park Gardens wish to express our dissatisfaction with the repeated failure of the communal central heating service.
We have experienced five breakdowns since October of 2014 and had three breakdowns in the Autumn of 2013 all of which are characterised by the failure of the boiler to ignite in the mornings.
We wish to register our indignation that the Tenant Management Organisation has failed to provide any information or explanation for this situation.  
We have no confidence in the Tenant Management Organisation’s ability to manage the property and provide an efficient, responsive and effective level of service.  
We urge you as our elected representatives to represent our concerns and interests; responding to every signatory.

Flat Number
Name
Signature