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DAMESATHOME@YAHOO.CO.UK
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Tuesday, 25 July 2017

A LISTENING COUNCIL AT LAST?

In the light of Grenfell the Council is now reviewing its decision to lease the Kensington Library to Notting Hill Prep.
LINK

25 comments:

  1. North Kensington Library was one of many 'shady deals' by Cllr RFM and his dept head Michael Clark. What happened to the Citizens Advice Bureau on Ladbroke Grove (Prep School?) Next the proposed Wornington College closure and its undisclosed fate (Prep school?).
    Then the many hidden land swaps with the Westway Trust. Followed on the closure of the Maxilla Nursery. RBKC property has many questions to answer, there's a pattern, an deeply undemorcratic and social cleansing pattern, (like wise the Kensington Housing Trust & the Westway Trust)...
    Were some. RBKC officers given bonus related contracts? If so were these officers incentivised by 'property developer' Cllr RFM, if so why?
    The North Kensington Library must be returned to us, the public. Its our civic asset not a chip to be unaccountably traded on the property market!

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    1. Oh dear, where will the white middle class kids go, I hear myself cry?

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    2. Michael clark a dastardly fellow and absolute awful yoke who destroyed FM dept in council drove away decent workers and presided over very dodgy deals including wanting to sell Chelsea old town hall and I know this because I worked in FM DEPT for years

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  2. RBKC S106 fund is currently estimated to be over £60million, this is the money developers pay RBKC for social/ affordable housing or civic improvements. Not one penny has been seemingly spent on much civic or housing improvements. It seems Cllr Coleridge and John Bore (planning) were holding the S106 for the white elephant that is 'Portobello' cross rail station... For nearly a decade now the land behind Sainsbury on Ladbroke Grove has been readied for property developers.
    In February 2009, eight years before the Grenfell, Urban Initiatives Studio, a practice specialising in 'planning and change management', was appointed by the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea to create a masterplan for the regeneration of an 18 hectare site in North Kensington containing the Silchester and Lancaster West estates, including Grenfell Tower. They produced Notting Barns South: Draft Final Masterplan Report, which included the following recommendations:

    ‘The area suffers from housing stock in need of ongoing and expensive refurbishment, a range of social deprivation and other issues often associated with large post-war housing estates. This context means that land values are artificially depressed closer to the centre. The Far-sighted Option aims to maximise overall value in the long term and create a high quality new neighbourhood. This requires a number of significant interventions. We estimate that the project could deliver significant returns to the council. In order to present the most attractive offer in a competitive bidding process the winning consortium.

    Why did RBKC, the second richest Borough, want to seek 'significant returns to the council"? Those returns could have created the best civic environments for all residents, but that didn't happen, why? What did happen was civic assets were sold, blocks like Grenfell were down specced, & the never spent money built up, KPI bonuses were paid across consultants, Kctmo & Rbkc , why?
    But most critically, how did elected Cllrs, like Cllr RFM, go from elected civic leader's to Norman barons in control estate land as they wished?
    RBKC is rightly called a swamp, since 2009 something very wrong has happened in Horton St.

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    1. A well thought out reply. Thanks
      Tony

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    2. Who owns or has personal vested interest in the 'Urban Initiatives Studio'. Merits some research, me thinks.

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  3. Sweet Dame,

    Have you woken from a delicious sleep wrapped in your swansdown comforter after a beautiful dream of goodwill and fairness throughout the land?

    These venal shysters know the PR fallout from just grinding on with their privatisation and demolition plans would affect share value so they've donned a long black veil and are humbly hanging their heads. Perhaps they may give alms.

    Deals are still being done, brown envelopes filled, dinners had, the usual. This is RBKC.

    A valium may help, now. Dame's little helper.

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    1. Why don't you read what the dear Dame wrote....she put a ?????>

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  4. Council will now hope no one asks about Kensington Odeon, Marlborough School or Earls Court; these three would be the find nail in their coffin.

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    1. it is perhaps time for us, collectively, to ask about these misdemeanours(?) - I say this, as there may be, somewhere, a breach of planning law or something to hang them with.

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  5. KTS stated on the News that 'the Council may perhaps consider NOT getting paid for allowing NIL social housing... He is joking, of course. It is highly unlikely that any of our dear Councillors will agree to this. It is nothing by unbelievable crap. The gravy train and the brown envelopes just keep rolling on and on

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  6. From Inside Housing
    Kensington and Chelsea Council pauses schemes by Danielle Aumord

    Kensington and Chelsea Council has paused several major regeneration projects, including an estate neighbouring Grenfell Tower, following last month’s tragic fire.



    Plans to regenerate 500-home Silchester West were still in their consultancy and planning stages before the fire, although the borough has already spent £200,000 on an options appraisal for the plans.

    The borough also had several smaller regeneration projects at various stages of planning and implementation including Barlby and Treverton, Trellick Tower and Edenham Way, Pembroke Road, and four smaller council-owned blocks in north Kensington.

    At a meeting with residents earlier this month, Laura Johnson, director for housing at Kensington and Chelsea Council, discussed restarting the consultations afresh following the fire.

    The council’s cabinet had approved an options appraisal for Silchester in July 2016 examining three possible approaches for the future of the estate. These included both partial and full redevelopment options – and looking at the possibilities of including neighbouring land in new development.

    A council spokesperson said: “We were halfway through this options appraisal, [but] given the circumstances, it would have been deeply inconsiderate to the community to go ahead.

    “All work now on this has ceased, with resources diverted to help with residents affected by [the fire at] Grenfell Tower. If the options appraisal were to restart on Silchester, it would be in response to what residents wanted – likely to be resident-led and with a test of opinion such as a ballot.”

    Piers Thompson, a campaigner opposed to the demolition of the estate, said: “We’ve had anxiety about our homes for eight years now. These schemes need to be aimed at the needs of existing residents, not the construction industry. Successful development needs to be resident led.”

    The fire at Grenfell Tower killed at least 80 people, with the cladding installed during a refurbishment later found to be flammable.

    https://www.insidehousing.co.uk/news/news/kensington-and-chelsea-council-pauses-schemes-51587

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  7. Thanks 23.45 for the inside-housing article. Really does beg the question why Laura Johnson, Cllr RFM's 'regeneration' 'enforcer', is still in post?
    Johnson is listed as one of the 60 persons directly linked to Grenfell, as documented by ASH, via decision, negligence, or process to the fire.
    Shouldn't she at the very least be suspended pending interview?
    Remember these are the same RBKC individuals, group of people in Housing, Property and Regeneration who issued legal desist notices against two critical Grenfell residents, who are now presumed dead.

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    1. Indeed Laura Johnson is guilty of many heinous, truly nasty actions against the residents and must be held to account.

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    2. Truly, nasty, vile piece of work. Must be held to account, should you find her. Apparently absent.

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    3. 'Regeneration' construction work in Notting Barns resumed two weeks ago. It is noisy, dirty and very distressing to the many elderly social housing tenants who are yet again subjected to it while the blackened husk of Grenfell looms over their homes.

      So what.

      The Cabinet say one thing in public and continue on their merry way.

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    4. Black and Johnson27 July 2017 at 07:13

      I've never been a fan of the Council or the KCTMO. Tenants did not get blacklisted under Kingsford and Alafat, Perry and Daintith, Evans and Daintith. Johnson and Black started the Black List.

      08.37. The Black List is down to Johnson and Black.

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    5. They must go.

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  8. I understand that another nasty matter has arisen: the role of the Tower in the Academy's planning process. Apparently, the emergency/fire access to the Academy would have been 'inadequate', should the Tower remain in situ. Therefore, a 'phantom' 'demolition application' was made for the Tower, to satisfy the planning requirements. When pushed through, it was gracefully forgotten. Inadequate access to the Academy from the Tower side now exists. The Academy planning process and what role, if any, the Tower played in the process must be properly investigated. Those involved in any questionable actions must be brought to book. However, I doubt whether this will ever happen, as Mrs May is cleverly involved in a cover-up of the whole tragedy, which happened in an allegedly 'flagship Tory Borough'. It would be unbelievably optimistic to imagine, let alone believe, that we will ever get to the bottom of the matter, whilst we have a Tory government

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    1. apparently, true. On Victoria Derbyshire's BBC2 programme this am. Serious accusations, borne out by the above piece.

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    2. 08.44, you're correct, the nearby K.A.Academy as sought by RBKC consultants, Urban Initiatives, wanted Grenfell demolished to establish some guff called 'London zero carbon neighbourhood'. However the built Academy, designed by Grenfell reclad architects Studio 4- & has similar cladding to Grenfell which is still in situ- saw Grenfell retained. The K.A.A was built on Grenfell carpark, so limiting access. Also on the night of fire L.F.B could not just adequately access the tower but found limited water points.
      Seemingly Urban Initivites/ RBKC proposed longer term plan was to sell much of the Lancaster Estate inc Grenfell to the private market. Urban Initiatives advised when a property needs to be demolished or needs to be extensively refurbished... "In accordance with advice provided by RbKc, we have assumed a cost of £10,000 per affordable unit for securing vacant possession." Vacant possession supposes for the 'Social Housing' tennant a 'single move' rather than 'the right to return'.

      Urban Initiatives highlight in their 'RBKC scooping report' in Appendix 1: "we have assumed social for rent values of £1,000 per sq m NIa, we have assumed shared ownership values of £2,500 per sq m NIa...the high value sites are at the eastern end of the study area, closest to Ladbroke grove and Notting hill... 'the lower-middle value sites' are situated between the a40, the a3220, and the railway line... We have spoken to a number of estate agents active in the area including savills, Knight Frank, strutt & parker and hamptons International." 'The lower-middle value sites' as described are blocks like Grenfell... a "phased approach to provision of 1,116 mostly new private homes in the area, some of which serve the high-end market present in neighbouring Notting hill."... "a change in the tenure mix from 80% affordable to 57% affordable." Ie: no 'Social' long term tenancies, 'affordable' is up to 80% of market rent at 5 year leases was supposedly at the plans core

      Certianly the K.A.Academy was an s106 bonus to the neighbourhood, but it could be argued the new school and leisure centre upgrade could've come from reserves or a lease build agreement. What is clear is RBKC's appetite here. The Urban Initivitives roll out, had within a hidden social cleansing and land value catpure agenda, leading indirectly to a deaf ear to Lancaster residents concerns and onto the deadly fire.

      RBKC property and regeneration require investigation. If you intellectually seek to marginalise, one consequence could be a meanness to cost and quality provided to the 'lower mixed value sites'. Time will tell.

      Pls see 2009 report by: MatthIas WunderlIch/Stuart Gray/Dan Hill
      https://grenfellactiongroup.files.wordpress.com/2015/08/notting-barns-south-masterplan.pdf

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    3. I trust this information will be made available to the Grenfell Public Enquiry. It's just the sort of information that will be needed if we are ever to learn what the rotten borough has been up to in the last decade or more.

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  9. Who is Laura Johnson?

    Laura Johnson has been the Director of Housing at RBKC from 2009, responsible for housing advice to regeneration and development. Current projects include managing the Council’s response to welfare reform, overseeing the development of a new school and leisure centre in North Kensington and examining the borough’s financial options for renewal and regeneration of the Council’s housing estates. Prior to working there she has worked for Islington Council as Director of Housing and Head of Regeneration & Development... Laura Johnson was Cllr RFM right hand if you like...

    Please read Laura Johnson's HOUSING AND PROPERTY SCRUTINY COMMITTEE 11 MAY 2016 GRENFELL TOWER REPORT BY THE DIRECTOR OF HOUSING.. after many residents complaint, this 'report' does makes for astonding reading, such casual dismissal, a 'white wash' even.

    Click: http://drdavidlowry.blogspot.co.uk/2017/06/wrong-priorities-and-poor-judgment.html

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    1. Why is Ms Johnson still being allowed to work at RBKC? She is deeply implicated in the ill treatment of Grenfell Tower residents.

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    2. 22.56. Tell me about it. Why are Black and Johnson still there?

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