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DAMESATHOME@YAHOO.CO.UK
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Wednesday, 31 January 2018

NEWCOMBE HOUSE TOWER-AND A POLITICAL SEA CHANGE?

Sensibly, the Planning Committee has done the right thing and refused permission.


NO!


A resident writes....

Dear Dame
Incredible news about the Planning Committee decision.      

This just shows the nature of power -Tories rattled about prospects at the next local election and starting to respond to resident opinion

I think the Hornet has been a central part of “sensitising” the Hornton Street reptiles. 

Do not underestimate the importance of this achievement

The developers put huge legal fire power behind their appeal (that top solicitor guy with the great track record for these things that they used for their appeal) 

It will be interesting to see if they keep going. 
There was plenty of financial incentive for them to carry on because of the false financial assumptions that they were using to mask the true profits of the original proposal. 
But, with the downturn of the property market, maybe the project has become more marginal and they will walk away
but the old lesson holds good for Hornton Street - monopolies are a plague


ANARCHIC ALISON TO STAND AS CONSERVATIVE?

The Dame is being kept in the dark as to Cllr Mills's candidates but could she have selected Alison Jackson? 
Candidate?


Alison would seem a bit too 'outre' for the Royal Borough.
The Dame is not sure Alison's pic of the Dame's old friend is really on....



'Artist Alison Jackson has a long track record of mocking the rich and famous with faked pictures of them in comical set-ups. 



Let’s hope that she doesn’t lose her satirical bite, as I hear she is standing as a Conservative councillor in London’s Kensington and Chelsea.
‘It’s such a beautiful area,’ she tells me. ‘There are things I really care about and I want to contribute to society.’ '

THE DAME URGES RESTRAINT

Dear Dame

My understanding is that Cllrs Campbell, Pascall and Taylor-Smith are all independently rich.
In fact, Taylor -Smith has a flock of Ferrari's whilst Pascall a flock of properties.

It would be a magnificent gesture if the three leaders of this council offered to reduce their £50-70,000 year allowances to a nominal amount to show we are(in the words of the ghastly Osborne) 'all in it together'.

With the May elections coming up fast it would prove them to be the enemies of personal greed.....

I note that the Leader of Conservative Group in Lords, Lord Borwick, refuses his very large allowance.
Saving haircut money

Your affec. reader

Cllr D******    M********




PS, I do wish Cllr Taylor -Smith would get a haircut...I know he wants people not to know he's an accountant but really!


Tuesday, 30 January 2018

CLLR MILLS....WHY ARE WE WAITING?

Let the Dame start with a controversial statement....

There are some good and solid Conservative councillors; equally, there are others who just don't cut it.
We are waiting for Cllr Julie Mills to release the names of the candidates who will be replacing those she kicked out. 
The Dame hears some are young and rather good
The surprise for us all is how Cllr Palmer managed to evade the purge...what could he be holding over Cllr Mills?

Anyway, other who unfairly escaped the purge include Cllrs Weale and Pascall.
Between them, the husband and wife Pascall team are pulling in over £50,000 a year. 
FAT CAT FAMILY!


With that sort of dough, the Dame expects him to get off his backside and put in some hard work.
As this comment suggests Pascall has been his usual, overpaid and useless self.
Come on, Pascall, buck your ideas up or Advance Together will push you out.


'young Nigel Havers' is right and must be commended. 
More loud voices, but not loud mouths, should join the chorus to whip our Council (and City Hall, and Her Majesty's Government) into taking early meaningful action - rather than more 'talking shop hot air forecasting years ahead. 
Idling engines anywhere, anytime, whether cars, coaches, commercial vehicles, black cabs, all contribute hugely to PM etc pollution, with young undeveloped lungs, anyone with a lowered immune system and the elderly (i.e. anyone over 10 and a half) instantly impacted. 
Legislation covers idling engines, but awareness and penalties are so low as to be a sad joke. 

And who in RBKC lands enforces? That's not in the traffic warden contract, Council enforcement officers are depleted and overheated, and the police won't or can't or don't know (one motorised policeman even admitted to keeping the patrol car engine running to keep warm.. - we sympathise, but can that be right?). 
Come on, Lead Member for Environmental Health Cllr Will Pascall - we heard your undertakings at last week's Council Meeting, so lead from the front to put some steam, not hot air, into this, and into other counter-pollution measures - FAST! 
Pollution knows no post code, and those in positions of influence have a responsibility to make a difference, and not to continue killing us softly with inaction, honied words and reasons why not.

Monday, 29 January 2018

COME ON KHAN...DO YOUR JOB!

The Dame's very dear friend, Mr. Nigel Havers, rages against drivers who sit in their stationary cars with idling engines.

Aidling engine can produce up to twice as many exhaust emissions as an engine in motion. Exhaust emissions contain a range of air pollutants such as carbon monoxide, nitrogen dioxide, and particulate matter. 

Anyway, young Mr. Havers, was on the radio telling listeners that he now asks drivers to switch off their engines.
GASSING US ALL

The Dame has been doing the same and has been amazed by how polite and apologetic drivers are. 
Most work for chauffeur companies and the hopelessly inadequate Mayor of London should be writing to ALL these companies insisting that their drivers cut their engines. 
He should also do the same with taxi firms and individual drivers; after all, TfL is under his control and TfL control taxis. Really, Khan is an abject failure.
Idling engines are unlawful and he should be enforcing the law.

Sunday, 28 January 2018

THOSE WHOM THE GODS WISH TO DESTROY.....

The Dame will often get what Ludo, her nasty nephew, describes a 'wind up's' but this from one of her regular readers seems genuine....or could it be a 'wind up' from the Dame's old foe, The Honourable Sir Rocco Forte? 


Hi Dame,

Hope you're good.

Mr. Corbyn, is going to compulsorily purchase empty luxury flats and hand them over to homeless people.

I have a refinement to that idea.
There are many luxury hotels with low levels of occupancy. Surely these rooms should be commandeered for the homeless? 
A SUITE SPOT
I am not suggesting that they should enjoy full room service but it would be good if they were able to pop into the Connaught and Claridges with the bill being split between the hotel and the council. 
It would bring home to those posh and entitled fellow guests that there's another world out there.

I see that 30% of those sleeping rough are now foreign so there's an irony about foreign owners of London property having their property forfeited to advantage fellow foreigners with nowhere to live!

Yeah, there will be Brits moaning that they can't get on the housing list or have struggled to work to get a deposit but they need to start thinking of others.

Best wishes and keep up the good work.

Pete Thomson


A LISTENING COUNCIL?

The Council wants to hear from you.....
             CLLR WEALE?

Could this be the beginning of a sea change? 
In times past the Council would commission such surveys and then doctor the results to fit with the answers it wanted.
Maybe times are changing and this is not just lip service. Anyway, the Council is undertaking a 'governance' review looking at the way the Council.....


  • makes its decisions, 
  • how open and transparent they are 
  • how residents are involved in Council decisions 
  • and how decisions the Council makes can be challenged.

 
Experts feel the survey questions are complex and difficult to answer if you are unfamiliar with Council’s processes. 

Worse, they seem expressed in local government jargon most people won't understand.  
 
The researchers would welcome all views, particularly on what the Council could do better in its decision-making arrangements, and how it communicates and engages with the public.
 
The questions so far discussed with the researchers included:

  • could the Council’s formal decision-making processes be made easier for the public to understand, in terms of roles and responsibilities at councillor and officer level?
  • are you happy with the current arrangement? Is there enough scope for public views to be taken into account and influence decisions?
  • when consultation exercises are used, are they open, neutral, with genuine options and productive?
  • should there be a clearer ‘social contract’ between the Council and its electorate?
  • how has been the Council’s response to issues you have brought to them?  Are you happy with the Council’s response?
Other questions could be:


  • are there too many councillors per ward
  • is not the committee system more democratic?
  • Is the Executive Team overpaid compared to similarly sized councils? 
Time is now short as responses from community groups should be received by 9th February. All responses will be treated anonymously.   The link is: HERE
 
You may like to provide some feedback in an email or letter, rather than attempting to complete the survey, if so, you should email: info@cfps.org.uk 

If you need this information in an alternative format, you should contact CfPS on 020 3866 5100 or email info@cfps.org.uk 

                       

"WE HEAR: BUT WE DON'T LISTEN"? A WARNING TO THIS COUNCIL

A BLOT BEARING DOWN ON US
The Dame can think of no other planning application attracting over 900 resident objections.
On Wednesday, the Planning Committee will decide whether to side with developers-or, as they should do, heed residents.
Next May, voters will have a chance to decide whether this Conservative council is sincere when it says it's turning over a new leaf and is now a 'listening and learning' council.
If residents are once again ignored there will be Payback Time come May.
This recent article LINK sums up the issues of luxury tower developments.
MONOLITHIC MONSTER

The Dame is hugely impressed by Hillgate Village Residents’ Association. 
They have raised funds and are putting considerable legal muscle into the defence of their low-rise village.  

Large numbers of supporters of the campaign are expected (and encouraged) to turn up at the planning meeting to quietly demonstrate that this overbearing and ugly tower is not wanted.
Please click HERE for more info on HVRA and the timing of the Planning Committee.

One campaigner knocked on the head those support letters suggesting the Tower was needed to provide a new surgery- saying not one letter supported the design and height of this monster.

Another resident wrote in objection stating....

  1. We need a new doctor’s surgery but that can be well provided for by Notting Hill Police Station
  2.  There is an acute need and widespread interest in the provision of proper Social housing, as well as housing for other long-term residents to live and work in the city
  3. Residents do not want to see another tower of empty luxury flats, sold off-plan abroad
  4. The proposed tower is deeply unpopular with residents for reasons of both height and design


The now doomed Notting Hill Police Station, which RBKC recently designated an Asset of Community Value, would make an excellent doctor’s surgery, with disabled parking. 
It would be wrong to permanently scar the cityscape simply to provide a new medical facility or to satisfy the hunger of developers. 
Much has changed since the earlier, but similar application for this site, which was rejected at planning committee by a narrow margin.  There is a widespread concern about fostering properly mixed communities.  The shadow of Grenfell looms over this decision and RBKC must be clear that it is their residents they have been elected to represent, not financiers and developers.
I urge planning committee members to do the right thing, however uncomfortable, and reject these outrageous and unsuitable proposals.  

Remember, it's residents, not the developers, who will be electing Councillors in May 2018.

Tuesday, 23 January 2018

URGENT: SAVE THE FORMER ST JAMES'S HALL/DRILL HALL

Dear Friends within Norland and Notting Barns,

The Kensington Society has applied to have the former St James’s Hall/Drill Hall listed but has run into a snag. 
This historic building lies in the shadow of Grenfell Tower and under threat of being developed into a personal pleasure spa with a basement spanning the entire site.  

All looked promising with our listing application to Historic England but, to our surprise, the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport refused the application. 

We challenged the refusal and have been given a short period of time to present our objections and submit additional support information.  
I could explain further and if you want to know more, please ask, but the long and the short is we need your support.

The building was built on the site of three former homes on what was then Katherine Street and now Wilsham Street.  The primary purpose was community use.  
One must remember that nearly half the babies born in this area died before they were a year old.  


There was a total of fifteen hundred families in the most congested area of the Piggeries and Potteries, at least one thousand occupied one-roomed tenements furnished or unfurnished. 


There is so much the hall and those Victorian volunteers did for the community. 
Listing is not just about the architecture.  
It is also about the social contribution and role a building played in its time.  
Listing this building is exactly the type of signal the Government should be sending to the local community – in fact, the wider community.  
This building represents a major social contribution; one which the Victorians held dear to their hearts but sadly less apparent today.
By recognising its social importance and the contributions of the likes of Octavia Hill a message could be sent as an endorsement to just such endeavours and the contributions they made. 
On the other hand, by refusing the application for listing the Government signals that it does not recognise historic and present needs for community and former social contributions.

Can you please urgently email a support letter to: 
Andrew Doidge andrew.doidge@culture.gov.uk 
and 
Philip Seely Philip.Seely@HistoricEngland.org.uk
Reference: 97-101 Wilsham Street, London, W11,     HE Reference Number 1452223

Please also pass this along and ask your friends to support the listing.
Yours sincerely
Amanda Frame, Chairman

The Kensington Society

Saturday, 20 January 2018

THE WRONG SORT OF MOTOR

The Dame thought the Bentley was mothballed....she was wrong.

When residents see a shiny Bentley with a sort of RBKC personalised number plate(so Chobham!) they must wonder whether the story of dire financial straits at the Town Hall is 'all my eye and Betty Martin'.
Mayoral Monster
One of the first things Quirke should have ordered was the immediate disposal of this nonsensical machine.
When the Dame's chauffeur goes to renew the permit for the Armstrong Siddeley she is told she has to pay more to discourage her and others from driving massive polluters around town.
So what an appalling example is set by driving this behemoth around our streets.   
At least, convert it to gas, but better still flog it and use the perfectly serviceable Jaguar.
Against the wishes of Conservative and other councillors, Pooter Cockell insisted on a carriage suitable for his status! This, despite the fact that a local Jaguar dealer was just minutes away from the Town Hall and supplies cars to HM The Queen.
The Bentley is a remnant of a council that was never fit for purpose.
The new leader needs to start showing there really is a wind of change blowing through the Borough.



Friday, 19 January 2018

CABINET DISSOLVED AND CHANGING TIMES




Pooter
When Pooter Cockell was the disastrous leader of the Royal Borough he rejoiced in describing himself as the 'Prime Minister' of the Council.
Just one of Pooter's bills!
To flatter the fragile ego of the mad Warwick Lightfoot he designated him 'Chancellor of the Exchequer'.

Well, it seems the Leader of the Council has decided to do away with past illusions of grandeur.


The Dame even hears that Pooter's especial folie de grandeur: the Bentley, commanded and commandeered by Pooter for personal trips, has been mothballed. 

The Cabinet has been replaced by the Executive Team: a more down to earth reflection of how our little council is administered.


One person who Campbell should kick off is Mary Weale.....lazy, hapless and insolent.

She will always be known for her catchphrase..."we hear residents but we don't listen"

Sunday, 14 January 2018

THE DAME ROUNDS UP AND ROUNDS ON.....

COPPING OUT
Having promised us all that she would be around for the duration our Borough Commander has decided, in her 40's, to take early retirement. Lovely if you can get away with it!

Ellie O'Connor was pretty hopeless so won't be missed. A 
measure of her dimwittedness..... 
On a visit to a local police station, she started to lecture fellow officers about being overweight! 
Considering that Ellie was built like a tank it caused much sniggering!
Anyway, now she's off with her £50k a year pension....

We seem to be plagued in K&C by the continual chopping and changing of area superintendents. When O'Connor was last absent with leave Tariq Sarwar held the fort. He was excellent and should have replaced her. Similarly, Superintendent Gwilliam was highly regarded but then shunted off to some admin job. The Met is top heavy and an embarrassment to good management. 

BEING CANDID ABOUT CANDIDATES

The other day the Dame was disturbed at her Noilly Pratt time by a visit from a Conservative candidate for Hans Town.
Her name was Soph McVey(sic?) and her enthusiasm and energy were in stark contrast to hopeless and lazy Mary Weale. Weale was given a Cabinet job after losing her day job at Lloyd's. Like some 19th C MP, Weale believes in being not seen and not heard. Residents have given up trying to contact her. Weale is famous for saying, dismissively,  of residents, " we hear but we do not listen". To try to give herself a connection to Hans Town she gushes in her silly Association biog, " Granny used to live in Cadogan Place. Well, the Dame's Bengal cat was born in a kipper box but it doesn't make it a kipper.
Deposed Paget-Brown and Coleridge had high reputations for always responding to residents.

The Association really should have de-selected Weale: she is not fit for purpose.

THE WISDOM OF MR. STALLWOOD

One of the Dame's gofers was advised by Mr. Stallwood that the Dame should not refer to officers by name in any of her vituperative pieces about Planning favouring 'Big Developer' over little residents. He took particular exception to the reference to Allison 'Flighty' Flight being flighty with DP9.
The Dame does not agree. Officers are fair game if they behave badly. After all, if we followed his dictum we would not be allowed to be nasty about Mr. Black of the TMO.







Wednesday, 10 January 2018

THE DAME GIVES PLANNING ADVICE

The Dame is often asked how to get a really controversial planning application through Mr. Stallwood’s planning officers.

You know, like creating a massive terrace where none previously existed.

Two routes exist to achieve this sort of seeming impossibility.

1.     Pick Le Lay architects noted for their cosy relationship with the Council planners....
2.     Or....make sure that Alison Long is the relevant planning officer.

Well, that might not work as Miss Long has moved to pastures new (where and why one ponders)
Keen readers might remember the other Allison was ‘Flighty’ Flight who got up close and excitedly personal with the DP9 team when Capco won Earls Court.
Mr. Stallwood claims 'allegedly' despite it being witnessed by 30/40 people. 
The Dame is pretty unshockable but was quite disgusted by the unseemly display of hanky panky.

But to the matter in hand.

In 2012  Miss Long recommended the Council allows a very rich Hong Kong-based socialite consent to build a massive terrace at his Pont Street flat.


FRIENDS IN HIGH PLACES
Normally, anything so controversial would require neighbours to be thoroughly appraised of the risk; after all, 70/80 people carousing away on a summer’s evening is a recipe for a nightmare. 
It would also be counter to Core Strategy on the basis of noise and disturbance.

Miss Long, for reasons we can only guess at, decided to notify just a few neighbours.
Now, she could have been honest. She could have warned potential objectors a gigantic terrace was planned. 
She chose not to; she chose to help the applicant.

For reasons best known to herself she referred to the replacement of what she called a ‘lantern’.....

Not very illuminating....after all, who would know what a 'lantern' was? 

Even Mr. Slocombe from Le Lay architects said he was ‘simply amazed’ he got the permission through.

Miss Long is no longer around to be subjected to interrogation and neighbours now have to suffer blighted lives.

As far as Mr. Stallwood is concerned the matter is closed.

In May, there is an election. It's clear residents have concerns as to whose side Council planners are on.
Rich developers and non-locals, or people whose lives are spent living and working in the Borough?

A case like this does make one wonder....