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Tuesday, 21 March 2017



Dear Dame 

No matter how senior you are within Sainsbury's you are expected to get down and dirty for a few weeks a year.
This means toiling in a store shelf stacking, or worse, to get some idea what those at the bottom of the heap have to endure.

Having just received my business and council tax demand I took a look at the career profiles of our senior officers. 
It was no surprise to find that none had ever held down a job outside local or national government: in fact, most had spent their entire working lives depending on the public purse for their bullet proofed lives

Would it not be a good idea to force the likes of Messrs Stallwood and Holgate to work for a month in some hard-pressed local business? 
In that way, they could get a better understanding of the effort and sacrifice required to fund their obscenely high salaries and pensions of our senior council officers.

Yours respectfully,

A Notting Hill Shopkeeper


  1. Cracking idea. Applies to Cabinet members too.......

  2. Amazed they don't volunteer themselves. They need to understand that plonking your fat backside in Hornton St every day leads to self satisfaction and inertia.
    I can see Holgate working in my bakery!

  3. Make it mandatory! Voters rejected the Brussels gravy train. Time to derail the government mandarins' first-class only local 'service.'

  4. Oh, come on - dear friends! How could any of these self important people, full of BS,could ever agree to such a demeaning stint...
    Most importantly, NONE of them have ever had a 'proper job' in their lives. So if they had a post of responsibility, these outlets may face early bankruptcy, due to their 'decisions', should they be asked for any... Shelf stacking is about the limit..

  5. Hear Hear. While you're at it, you could also force TMO staff to live fo a while in the council flats they manage, as this might speed up repairs and improvements.

    1. How right you are, 11.46

    2. 11.46. Six tenants of the Council and two Leaseholders of RBKC sit on the TMO Board. Therefore, at least eight people on the TMO Board know what living in a Council flat is like.

    3. The eight Non Executive Directors on the TMO Board, who live in Council flats, know what a miserable existence it is. The TMO buys them off by paying them an allowance every month. In return for this bung they keep their gobs shut. I should know I was on the TMO for years and paid for my fags every month with funds given to me by the TMO.

    4. Tenants on the Board get special treatment when they report repairs.

  6. What a silly idea!
    What good would it do the borough if the RBKC head of finance, Nicholas Holgate, or its the head of planning, Graham Stallwood, were forced to work as bakers or cleaners in private companies once a year? They are council managers, forced to follow orders or regulations created by local and government politicians. It is also very doubtful that such an experience would have any relevance to the work they are hired to do. How could a week working as a baker make Holgate a better finance man for the council, or a week stacking shelves at Sainsbury's make Stallwood a better town planner?
    Also I doubt very much that you'll see David Tyler and Mike Coupe stack shelves in a Sainsbury's Local a few weeks every year. If they did, Sainsbury's shareholders would get furious, as they expect their well paid top brass to devote all their time on running Sainsbury's.
    And, if Holgate and Stallwood should be forced to work in lowly positions in private companies, then Tyler and Coupe should not be allowed to work as stackers in their own or any other private company, but as healthcare assistants in the local NHS hospital (those who wash and dress patients). But I guess such jobs aren't regarded as "real jobs" as they'e not in the private sector.

    1. Tom, I don't know if Mike Coupe has ever stacked a shelf in a Sainsbury's Local. I do know that the Chief Executive of the Co-op started stacking shelves in the Co-op when he was 17. After the banking crisis, the Co-op Group of Businesses, (Retail, Pharmacy, Funeral Parlours, and Banking) had a massive black hole in its accounts. The Co-op has now completely recovered with a brighter future. I am certain that Holgate would not be up to pulling round any sort of business suffering a change of fortunes. With Councillors' agreement, all he has got to do is put up the Council Tax to cover Town Hall waste, inefficiency and profligacy.

      Councillors go along with it so long as he finds the money to pay their excessive expenses' allowances. We might get better Councillors, if we stopped them from boarding the Hornton Street gravy train.

    2. @Tom Why is it silly ??? unless of course you are a top bod who would not lower themselves to do the work of the masses. I run a business and am with staff all the time, that way I get to see how things work on the coal face (and having come from the bottom myself I know that any decent manger should do) so how rules I may cerate actually work and do not work and what is or is not practical . If some of those at the top of council and its managers were out and about and saw how their rules that they all help make affect business they may think twice when making some rules , or they may try and help business rather than put more burdens on them. They treat SME's as an inconvenience and slam the rates up high when they have it within their power to lower them if they wanted, they need to remember that they need SME's more in fact than the big companies.

  7. AN ENTREPRENEUR22 March 2017 at 13:36

    "What a silly idea!
    What good would it do the borough if the RBKC head of finance, Nicholas Holgate, or its the head of planning, Graham Stallwood, were forced to work as bakers or cleaners in private companies once a year?"
    Tom is clearly someone with no experience of industry. It's a very smart idea. It would make Council managers much more aware of the hard work that goes into
    creating a profitable business. Clearly, they have no idea of the huge pressure on smaller business.
    In reality, the role of Town Clark is quite superfluous to the efficient running of the council. Departmental directors should have sufficient control of their departments working with the leader.

  8. The mind boggles26 March 2017 at 11:55

    Dear Dame,

    I think you could also say that most of the elected members of the Council, both Labour and Tory, have failed to achieve anything of significance in the world of business or commerce. Why bother, when getting on the Council is so lucrative?

    Can you imagine Sir Pooter, Condon Simmonds, Dent Coad or Blakeman with a mop and cleaning bucket. They might be capable of cleaning Town Hall Offices but would they be able to manage operations in a bastion like Sainsbury's or Tesco when they so are so bad at running a tin pot Inner London Town Hall?

  9. Just three objections to the basement under the Orangery. One from Justin Downes. Any relation to the Colonel John Downes, the crooked lawyer and friend of Cromwell who signed the death warrant of King Charles? That might explain his objection to the quite harmeless plan to accomadate more staff. I think we should be told.

    1. Fly On The Wall27 March 2017 at 09:51

      Crooked ancestor or not, Justin Downes writes clear, concise common sense about the proposed Orangery basement. It has no place in a park or a listed building.

    2. Hear, hear Fly on the Wall.

      Royalist, most of us are Monarchists but the Kensington tennants are acting like chavs and these offshore billys who come over here and dig needlessly underground. Must be mater Middleton who instigated this.

      Expect this planning application to be scrapped.

    3. Startled Resident (Tory)27 March 2017 at 19:39

      The "firm" has gone down market in recent years. "Doors to manual" and B movie actresses with passes to the Palace. Not surprising that courtiers are thinking basements - and worse.

      The Queen needs to get a grip.

  10. Notting Hill Shopkeeper needs to be careful about espousing the virtues of those who work in the real world of private enterprise. The TMO is a private limited company. Those who sit on its Board are good for nothing and those who work in the busines are completely useless.

    1. From time to time, someone capable gets a job at the TMO. Within a short period of time, sometimes a matter of weeks, this capable person leaves. Why? Because, as a capable and competent person, they can get another job. The result is tenants are left with the residue of unemployables and "completely useless" staff.

  11. Re: Orangery - there is still time to write an objection.


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