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Tuesday, 7 June 2016


Mr Holgate

Dearest Dame
I was at the council meeting on Wednesday 25th May to hear the case for the Odeon. 
It struck me that there was an issue with how the Localism Act 2011 was being applied. Section 88 lists the criteria under which an asset can be designated Asset of Community Value (ACV). 
Its criteria are completely unrelated to financial viability, and intentionally so. 
This part of the act was designed to give communities the *appropriate time to put together a viable bid to run the asset*. 

I understand that in the meeting, the council set a deadline for financial viability that they then completely ignored anyway by taking the decision the following day, before their (in any case clearly prejudicial and unworkable) deadline. 
But granting ACV on condition of meeting financial criteria is not only unsupported by the law, it is contrary to the spirit in which it was written. 
As I understand it, the council should look at granting ACV status on the criteria of section 88 of the Localism Act 2011 alone. 
This is precisely because it designed as a tool to give communities powers against property developers (it was targeted to allow communities to ensure village pubs and shops can't just be turned into expensive second homes). The status is granted separately to whether or not there is, at that stage, a financially viable bid to run the asset.

As I understand it, AVC status can only be denied on criteria of section 88, and the council must give written reasons why the proposed asset does not meet them those specified criteria. 
Once the asset has ACV status the community then has 6 months to put in an expression of interest when the current landowner proposes to change its use. 
They then have a further 6 months to put a viable bid together. 
This means that the community can take up to a year to develop a financial plan for the asset. 
The Act was designed to give precisely this space to communities whose assets are under threat *even when that threat is precisely that the asset is not financially viable*.

When I was in the meeting, the application for ACV was being conflated with the viability of the community bid to run it. 
This must not be allowed to stand. 
ACV status should be granted independently of financial considerations. 
The law was created in order to protect financially challenged, but vital community businesses. As a result, financial considerations HAVE to be separate from the conferment of ACV status. 
I don't think the council's decision is legal: as I've said, financial criteria are not listed by Section 88 and applying them is *contrary to the purpose of the laws pertaining ACV.* Unless the council can find reasons under Section 88 why Kensington Odeon doesn't meet ACV criteria then ACV status should be granted and the community will have a full year to pull the finances together to run the building.

What was also clear at the meeting that while there was a party political split about the future of the Odeon, all the councillors that I heard speaking were speaking as if ACV require financial plans for their future. 
They do not, and must not. 
Otherwise, there is literally no point to this area of law because such community assets are only thrown into uncertainty by financial challenges. 
If the same challenge that puts the asset under threat can be used to deny its status as an Asset of Community Value, it would be an unwinnable status for precisely those assets that the legislation is designed to protect.

RBKC as ever need careful scrutiny (and perhaps some basic training).

Yours ever



  1. PlumBlossom is onto something. Leviathans like Hornton Street are lazy, steeped in the past, and beholden to the brown envelope givers. Legislative change is as welcome as a python in a hamster cage. Without prodding from the likes of PlumBlossom the new laws will simply be ignored.

    The planning Officers and Councillors will continue in their comfortable cul de sac with the nice little earners on the side.

    This is a failure of Leadership. Paget-Brown is encouraging and tolerating a slothful organisation and the Chief Officer (Mr Holgate) is failing in his statutory duty to apply the law.

    The Dame needs to put a firecracker up their backsides.

    1. Long live the Dame and more power to her elbow

    2. Kerr M'Udgeon7 June 2016 at 11:51

      Owl's observations refelect the view of many in this most rotten of Rotten Boroughs. The Planning Officers'activities alone warrant a thorough investigation -- which councillor will be principled enough to take them on... Principles are a rare attribute in our Rotten Borough ...

  2. Moylan Is Back7 June 2016 at 20:25

    This is the kind of situation that needs a Moylan to understand it, break it up, and reform it. The whole problem lies outside the ability or inclination of Cllr Paget-Brown to reform

  3. Cllr Daniel Moylan7 June 2016 at 22:07

    Though I appreciate your unambiguous support it is quite incorrect that I have questioned the leadership qualities of my colleague and good friend, Cllr Paget-Brown.
    Moylan is Back, I have no idea who you might be and I have never visited a hostelry called the Belvedere.

    1. Evidence of more trash in the Hornet. Rest easy PB

    2. Fly On The Wall8 June 2016 at 15:46

      I remember William Hague telling David Cameron in the early days to be "most wary of those who profess friendship"

    3. Is there a Moylan impersonator around the Royal Borough?

    4. Moylan is Back9 June 2016 at 13:59

      That's what I thought. Is someone impersonating me, too?

    5. Moylan is Back9 June 2016 at 17:41

      Ignore all tasteless imitations....I am the real Moylan is Back.

    6. Cllr Daniel Moylan9 June 2016 at 17:43

      May I make it abundantly clear that I am Cllr Daniel Moylan. Someone seems to be impersonating me.

    7. Moylan Is Back9 June 2016 at 19:10

      This abundantly clear, Cllr Moylan. And if I may so, we have missed you

    8. Moylan is Back9 June 2016 at 20:54

      Well, not really

    9. Moylan Is Back10 June 2016 at 09:58

      Oh for goodness sake

    10. Moylan is Back10 June 2016 at 12:52

      Can you stop being annoying and using my name. I am really fed up.

  4. We really are hampered by the feckless journalists in the London media. With Evening Standardiski, Chronicle, London Weekly news & Daily Mail all seem to be unwilling to spill the beans on the corruption within the borough. Which is why so many come to the Dame's blog.

    If someone can bend the ear of a journalist about what is going on in this borough it would be a miracle.

    1. The Standard journos are held back by their lawyers. The newspaper has a big file on Moylan.

  5. Moylan has ruined himself. He has no one else to blame.

    The Rotten Borough has a longstanding habit of ignoring the law when it feels the need. This attitude is so entrenched, it no longer bothers to hide it.

    1. Kensington Tory9 June 2016 at 15:55

      Toryism at its most noble. The last bastion of aristocratic values and behaviour. Long may it continue and lets not talk about it just in case the Socialists make a nuisance of themselves

  6. Run a story that includes Cllr Moylan and it excites loads of comment. Interesting. Sure sign of a mover and shaker

    1. There's a lot been written about Phillip Green too.... make of that what you will

    2. If there was a job of work to do I would hire Philip Green and not piggy. If I wanted some pleasant company for a coffee on the Kings Road I would hope to run into piggy and not Philip Green.

    3. If you thinking hiring a man, who cares so little about his loyal workers, that he would ruin the retirement by callously and recklessly selling them to a thrice bankrupt...... then you are either very wicked or just plain stupid. Your attempt to be clever falls flat.

    4. Business is a tough world. Success brings a bonus to us all - even if the odd one loses out in the short term.

    5. Forthright. I doubt you know what you are talking. This comment of yours makes no sense. You devalue capitalism when you allow crooks to run rampant. Stop pretending to be some macho business type.

  7. Philip Green is more nasty than Danial Moylan. Official

  8. They're two sides of the same rotten coin. Bullies.

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


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