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Thursday, 11 June 2015


The decision to hand over £5m+ of taxpayers' money is being made, tonight, at Cabinet. Does the chairman of the Opera Holland Park Trust, Charles Mackay, know what he's getting into?
Has he even seen this extract from the Limited Assurance Auditor's report follow up of January 2015?

Would he know that Volpe and Clutton REFUSED to deal with the issues raised in the report? 

Click to enlarge

Hardly the sort of good corporate governance Mackay would expect from the many companies he has managed.....

So why has Charles Mackay agreed to chair Opera Holland Park?
Mackay has a reputation for being a 'no frills', hard nosed Scottish businessman. 
His career has mainly been spent with the very unsentimental Inchcape Group.
It seems improbable, at the end of a long and distinguished career, an ex INSEAD council member would agree to involve himself with a failing and badly managed amateur opera company..... paid for by taxpayers....
For years, ex travel agent, Michael 'The Fox' Volpe, has made a lucrative career out of taxpayers. 
The arrival of Mackay might make things just a little harder for him.
As it is Volpe has now cost Kensington & Chelsea taxpayers the thick end of £9 million.....


  1. I don't understand why Volpe and Clutton are part of the 'deal'. Surely they're part of the problem, not part of the solution ... and they work on contract not as employees.

    Are we missing something here?

  2. Retired Chief Executive11 June 2015 at 20:04

    This is a disaster of common sense. The decision process lacks leadership and is an attempt to please all parties but satisfy none. It has lost sight of the fact that the undertaking is not sustainable but a £5 million "bung" puts the problem on someone else's plate in a couple of years and takes the heat away from the politicians.

    An abuse of power.

    It is another example of the flawed decision to keep the Nottinghill Gate library open because there was noise to keep it open.

    The voters of Kensington and Chelsea should take note that their leaders are not up to scratch

  3. The Chairman of Holland Park Opera is at the stage of his minor career when he is looking for a minor gong. He knows a few people in Hornton Street and is caught up in the "nudge, nudge, wink, wink" world of" take this off our hands and we will look after you".

    "We have a direct line to Downing Street. No promises but your name will be mentioned in dispatches"

  4. Your criticisms of Opera Holland Park are unjustified. Give credit where credit is due.

    John Clutton and Michael Volpe have, in a few years, created an opera company of standing and with a great reputation. It was started in a very modest "village hall" style and these two took it over and developed it into something of national, if not world, standard. Yes, the Council has encouraaged it and supported it financially. Now they are devising ways for it to stand alone on its own two feet.

    Please stop fostering these claims of thieving funds from helping the under-privileged and give credit where credit is due. What fun it is to criticise without responsibility.


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