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DAMESATHOME@YAHOO.CO.UK
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Saturday, 30 January 2016

POINTLESS ADVICE FROM CLLR QUENT




The advice below, from Cllr Quentin Marshall, is just plain silly.




Quent is a lovely chap and well meaning, but really....!
For the past few years, hundreds, if not thousands, of residents have complained about the constant roar from Arab-owned supercars tearing, at great and dangerous speed, around our streets. It's been flagged in the national media on a constant basis.
PUBLIC ENEMIES

If the police haven't got the message yet, they never will.
In those circumsances, Quent's advice is fatuous.



The police need to get on with undertaking late evening/ early morning speed controls NOW.



Dear neighbour

You may know that a Public Space Protection Order is now in place in Knightsbridge to try to control the nuisance caused by supercars.  However, the Order is of no value if it is not enforced.  The Police will only prioritise enforcement if they receive a significant volume of complaints.  We therefore need to ensure we log breaches as often as possible if we want action taken. 

If you experience nuisance caused by the cars, e.g. loud noise at night, please call the Police on 101 (not 999).  You can call at the time you experience the problem or the the next day.  You will be asked why you are calling and should tell the operator you are calling to record a breach of the Knightsbridge Public Space Protection Order.  You do not have to see the cause of the nuisance (in the main, I think we hear rather than see the cars).  You will be asked your name and address.  In all it takes about four minutes.

Please do take action if this is something about which you care.  We need to demonstrate we as a community want this issue taken seriously.  If we don't report breaches, nothing will be done.  You can log calls daily (I am!) if necessary and you have time.  The operators are friendly and understanding and it is entirely reasonable to be reporting the nuisances which are now Offences as a result of the Order.

Best regards

Cllr Quentin Marshall

PS please do pass on this email to local friends and neighbours

Friday, 29 January 2016

AN IRANIAN MONSTER IN QUEEN'S GATE?

If the Dame's usually impeccable source is correct, we may soon expect the Rotten Borough to play host to a representative from the holocaust denying and brutal Iranian hellhole: where children accused of capital crimes have to wait until their eighteenth birthday before being strangulated. 
Still, one has to give these terrorist funders credit for so successfully pulling the wool over the eyes of the world.
On Holocaust Day, it's vile Supreme Leader, Khamenei, once again described the idea of the Holocaust as a fiction.
UGLY BUILDING/UGLY REGIME
The Dame fears Israel has every reason to be fearful of these thuggish anti-Semites.
Anyway, back to the point. Some years ago we sensibly kicked the Iranians out. At the time, they were planning to build a hideous embassy with a 'learning centre'


Luckily, the Dame was on hand to force the Council to put up the application on the planning website: something the Council attempted to avoid doing on the spurious grounds of 'security'.  
From memory, Cllr Danny Boys Moylan, the self-proclaimed 'architectural expert', was involved in discussions. 
He may even have had mint tea and pastries with the Iranians...we will never know.
Now that Iranian money has blinded us to right and wrong, we may find them trying to build their vulgar horror
The Dame advises Daniel not to go to Tehran to discuss design matters. 
This backwards and wicked regime enjoys hanging gay people from cranes.....








Thursday, 28 January 2016

BYE, BYE TIME IN MAY




The Dame hears, from a brilliantly reliable source,we could be seeing a couple of by-elections come May.

One wonders who could be on the move.....


STOP PRESS:COUNCIL MEETINGS TO BE CONDUCTED OVER DINNER

Last night, the shortest, full Council meeting, on record took place. In future, expect debates to be held over the post-meeting slap up dinner.
The Old Thing turned up to 'check it out' as Ludo puts it.
A Council kitchen
Being doddery, she missed her way to the Council Chamber, ending up in the vast, subterranean kitchens, where liveried chefs slaved away over haunches of venison and sommeliers decanted '70 Chateau Palmer.

Managing the Margaux
But back to the business of the meeting. In just forty minutes it was over! First up to be shot down was step-free access for Rotten Borough tube stations. It was agreed to be a 'good idea', but the infirm would need to sort out their own access. 

The Council was not going to stump up; the money was desperately needed for more important things, such as Opera Holland Park and marble for Exhibition Rd.
What got everybody staring down at their desks, except for Cllr Palmer, busily trading his penny stocks on his council laptop, was the item noting he had been reported to the Ombudsman for gross and vile behaviour.

A great innovation in the proceedings was the preparing of questions for Cabinet members. 
In future, denser members, like Cllrs Campbell and Weale, could be pre-briefed by long-suffering officers to prevent them putting their feet in it all the time.

After just thirty-five minutes, the Dame could hear a chorus of rumbling tummies. 
Our councillors were getting impatient for the dinner gong, and a chance to get on with the important part of the evening...a feast on the tax.









Tuesday, 26 January 2016

SOME BEAUTIFUL WORDS TO THE DAME FROM JOANNA LUMLEY

A very touching letter from Joanna Lumley, before knowing of the sad death of Jim Vickers.
Jim and Joanna's father were old Gurkha friends


Dear Dame
Please forgive the long delay in responding to your letter about Major Vickers: what a sad and sorry tale. 
Will you please add my name to the list of supporters who believe that the landlords should show clemency to this valiant old warrior, and allow him to live the rest of his life in the place he loves as home. 
It is such a small thing to them, and such a huge and horrible drama for him. 
In the great stretch of life and all it contains, a small deed of mercy and kindness will reap the landlords many rewards, not least knowing that they have shown true kindness to someone whose happiness or despair lies in their hands.
With very best wishes and I do hope for the best for Major Vickers: do send him my salaams and warmest good wishes. Joanna

WOT NOTHING ON THE AGENDA TONITE?


Just days ago, with great fanfare, Cllr Coleridge announced there would be transparency in all conversations between council planning officers and applicants.


Mr Fairholme, and his spivvy advisers, Savills, have clearly had conversations with Stallwood's team. 
This has led to the withdrawal of the application to have been discussed this evening.
Cllr Coleridge should immediately put out a statement on the Council website explaining what the hell is going on and publishing any conversations.

"A man of words and not of deeds is like a garden full of weeds"....as the Dame's old Scottish nanny would say...

Monday, 25 January 2016

FAIRHOLME'S 'WILD WEST' BASEMENT IN STANDARD

ILLEGAL BASEMENT

The Evening Standard runs a story on the awful Fairholme and his very controversial basement

Read it HERE

Saturday, 23 January 2016

A TRIBUTE FROM VICTORIA BORWICK MP

Victoria Borwick, both as ward councillor and MP, worked hard to help Jim Vickers and became his good friend.





She had this to say about Jim.... 

"I feel so sad that Major Vickers was not able to die in his own home, surrounded by those who loved him, and all his possessions that represented every stage of his varied and long life.  
The glamorous photos of this youth, his friends and his service days..... then on to tea planting and the good friends he made in that time, and throughout his life.

He was always helpful, courteous, a fund of fascinating stories, and always interested in what was going on in the world.

In his later years, he very much enjoyed the internet and following the news, and had been an avid crossword doer, with his sharp brain.

He was one of the most interesting of my constituents and I shall treasure my memories of him"

Friday, 22 January 2016

NOT A STELLAR PERFORMANCE, STELLA.....

GETTING FIGHTING FIT
Thanks to the amazing staff at C&W Hospital, Major Jim  Vickers is now in good battle fettle, despite having had to deal with the Council, collaborating with a gang of Italians, using every tactic to kick him out of his home of 42 years. 



It would appear that they have been ably assisted by the frightful Stella Baillie, Head of the Council’s Social Services Dept. One of Stella’s nasty little tricks is to try to suggest Jim needs their help in decision making: his memorable retort was to tell Stella and team to ‘Buzz Off!”
Our Stella enlisted the support of the Council’s hapless 
£450k a year PR team. The Dame has commented, in red, on each of their lies.
As Jim said to the Dame today,  
"I'll be 90 on 28th February. My Council has failed to grasp our Italian landlord has the single objective of gaining vacant possession of our home of nearly half a century. Mrs Pepere has failed to maintain our home, thinking she can use the poor condition of the common parts to get us to move out. It's as if she is trying to constructively evict me, my partner, Peter, and co-tenant, Sam.  I plan to pass my protected life tenancy to my partner, Peter.
I plan to die at home and I want to ensure my partner and carer of many years inherits my tenancy.
RBKC must do everything to save our home. This landlord is playing games  with the Council.  Enough is enough. This has gone on for years. We continue to be harassed and the Council needs to act now to protect us!"

A Council spokesman said: “We are aware of the case and have devoted enormous efforts to support the tenant and resolve what is a very complex situation. 
Untrue, You have allowed a succession of dishonest owners to harass Jim and dilapidate the building to force him out 


“Our involvement began when we discovered the tenant’s accommodation did not meet legal housing standards.
Untrue: you have known of the situation for over eight years and have done nothing

The Council took enforcement action against his landlord to require him to carry out repairs to improve the tenant’s living conditions. 
This enforcement action should have taken place years ago

The landlord appealed to the court, which ruled that the tenant would need to move out of the property into temporary accommodation to allow for these repairs and renovations to take place. This was to protect the tenant’s safety. 

Rubbish, the work could have been completed in one week, during his last stay in hospital.
 
“However, the tenant’s personal wish is to remain in situ and as a consequence the landlord has been unable to start repairs. 
Again, more rubbish. You ignore the fact that he was out of the flat, in hospital, for three months. Had you enforced against the owners then, there would have been no issue. And you were well aware Jim moving out would have jeopardized his tenancy
 
“The Council is working hard to support the tenant and to find the best way forward.”
No, Stella Baillie has been working hard with the owner/developer, in the most unorthodox of ways, to remove Jim from his home
As with her rationale for closing Thamesbrook, Miss Baillie finds it difficult to reconcile fact and fiction.



A KENSINGTON SOCIETY MEMBERS WRITES

Kensington Society Member writes cogently on a disaster waiting to happen.
If we don't all lobby a Lord then the Upper House will pass the bill with the disastrous  Clause 43 included.
Please read what KS member has to say....

The Kensington Society is calling for residents help them prevent the proposed change in the planning laws. The new Clause 43 of the Housing & Planning Bill will receive its second reading next Tuesday 26th January. So this is extremely urgent.

If approved, Clause 43 will enable the major developers to use their own paid consultants as their private planning "Assessors."

These assessors will have the power to decide if their employers' planning proposals are acceptable. They, not RBKC planning planning officers, will recommend granting planning permission to the planning committee.

Any resident objecting to an application will have to rely on the "integrity" of the developers' paid representatives, to even consider their objections. If the assessors claim not to have received any objections, they alone will be able to grant planning permission to their own clients. Apparently, there will be no publicly available records or website detailing the progress of major planning applications. All queries will have to be addressed to the assessors rather than officers.

Under the proposed legislation, the Town Hall will be powerless to prevent any of this. The opportunities for corruption, public anger and litigation will be endless. Officers will leave RBKC to join the assessor firms and Kensington and Chelsea will be left to the tender mercies of the basement diggers etc.

Residents, please write to as many peers as possible, asking them to ensure that the New Clause 43 is deleted from the Bill.

VICTORY FOR THE DAME'S CAMPAIGN TO END PLANNING SECRECY

The Dame's campaigning for an end to 'behind closed doors' secrecy has reached a successful conclusion. The Council has backed down and agreed to publish 'advice' given to applicants, by officers.

Well done, Cllr Coleridge for following the Dame's advice-at long last!

Royal Borough’s planners' advice to be made public

19 January 2016
As part of its commitment to transparency the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea has announced that from March 2016 it will routinely publish any advice planning officers, or the Architectural Appraisal Panel, has given to an applicant about a development proposal before the application was made.  The Council is thought to be the first in the country to open its files in this way.

The Council offers a popular advice service (www.rbkc.gov.uk/advice) to those who are considering making a planning application.  The advice is generally confidential between the Council and the customer, but can be published following a request under the Freedom of Information Act or Environmental Information Regulations once a related planning application is made. The advice will now be published automatically once a planning application is made without someone having to make a request under that legislation.

Councillor Tim Coleridge, the Royal Borough’s Cabinet Member for Planning Policy, said:  "Everyone will be able to see the advice our officers have provided, how they have fought to get improvements to development proposals and how they have encouraged applicants to engage with those who might be affected.”

KENSINGTON SOCIETY RINGS ALARM BELLS! SCRAP CLAUSE 43

YOUR FRIENDLY LORD
Clause 43 of the new Housing Bill comes to the Lords for a second reading on 26th January. 
It needs to be struck out.


If it remains it means Savills etc. will be able to “assess” and then “recommend” all major planning applications for the benefit of their developer clients. 
Neither the council nor the public will be able to stop anything!
WRITE NOW TO YOUR FRIENDLY LORD AND WARN HIM.




The Kensington Society writes....

You may have failed to notice a very concerning clause in the new Housing Bill.   We have written to our MP, Victoria Borwick, and Lords whom we know but we need more help and FAST.  
The second reading is on the 26th January in the Lords.  
Can we ask that, if you are as concerned as we are, that you write to Victoria Borwick, Victoria.Borwick.mp@parliament.uk, and to any and every Lord you know asking that this clause be removed from the Housing Bill?  It is not the only part of the bill which is concerning but this is one which was slipped in at the last moment and would ultimately cause great harm to us.  It is a loss of localism and local powers.
If you have any questions, please email Michael Bach (Michael Bach (michaelbach@madasafish.com) 

Your help is greatly appreciated,

Amanda Frame                                    
Chairman                                                
The Kensington Society                  

Briefing on New Clause 
A late Government amendment tabled just before Christmas – New Clause 43 – is a source of major concern. It proposes introducing a freedom for applicants to be able to choose who assesses their application. The applicants would have a choice of having their application considered by the local planning authority or by a private provider, such as a consultant.
Whilst the private provider would not be the competent authority for making decisions, they would be able to accept applications and work up a recommendation to the planning committee. This would mean that a private consultant, who normally work for the very same developers, could be presenting major applications to planning committees in the future, and perhaps even granting applications themselves for other applications under delegated powers.
Our concern is that at committee the Council's officers would be expected to advise the committee members and it is more than likely that a recommendation from a private licenced provider could well conflict with the authority's own interpretation of the local plan.
How residents would be able to object to private providers is another unanswered question, indeed how residents would react to private companies who are currently consultants being in the position to recommend planning permission is another matter all together. We are very worried that consultants with no knowledge of the special local circumstances of the Borough and no understanding of residents’ concerns would have considerable influence over the outcome.
Contrary to the explanation by the Minister – Brandon Lewis – that this is merely "providing competition for the processing of applications" and not about making planning decisions, which would remain with the local authority, this is effectively about privatisation of the Council’s planning service.
This move seems to us to have a number of key problems:
·       reduction in capacity and skills of the planning department would be greatly reduced if both income and responsibilities were eroded;
·       loss of expertise, understanding of local circumstances and local knowledge 
·       risk of loss of public confidence and perceived potential for corruption or at least conflict of interest
·       a recipe for conflict and an increase in legal challenges.

Most of all, the local community will perceive it as totally contrary to and riding rough-shod over the Government’s commitment to localism and reduce confidence in local decision making by introducing
·       the perceived potential for corruption or at least conflict of interest
·       the loss of expertise, understanding of local circumstances and local knowledge 
·       totally contrary to and riding rough-shod over the Government’s commitment to localism
·       a recipe for conflict and an increase in legal challenges.