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DAMESATHOME@YAHOO.CO.UK
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Tuesday, 30 October 2018

NO MORE DIPLOMATIC EXTRAVAGANZAS, PLEASE!

DIPLOMATIC RECEPTION AT TOWN HALL

A few years back Sir Merrick Pooter-Cockell thought it would be fun to institute a lavish annual reception at the Town Hall for the Diplomatic Corps.



The more prescient of the Dames' readers might wonder why Prime Minister Cockell was doing the job of our Foreign Secretary
Anyway, the Dame heard social interaction between 
Their Excellencies Accredited to the Court of St James's and our councillors was somewhat strained: it seemed that the diplomats were struggling to make conversation with our councillors....some even wondered about the purpose of the evening...apart from massaging the fragile ego of Cockell. 

The only purpose could be to castigate certain 'excellencies from sandy places'  about their people racing around our streets in their vile cars making our lives hell.

Anyway, we hope Barry Quirk tells councillors...."sorry, you lot, Ferrero Rocher is off the menu this year"


Monday, 29 October 2018

THE DAME PICKS WINNERS

The Dame is someone who doesn't take kindly to being upstaged. 
MISARA has it wooden spoon prize and so the old girl has decided to have her own award....it's a bit like the Mayor's Award.
With the new crop of councillors some winnowing is required to separate the wheat from the chaff. 
Yes, Palmer, chaff, like you. The Dame invites you all to nominate the good and the bad and starts the ball rolling by looking at Hans Town and Brompton.

Sadly, we have two hardworking and effective councillors and one lazy, overpaid one who does nothing.

It's with great pleasure that the Dame casts her first vote for the two outstandingly good ward councillors...

Idris
McVeigh


We have two excellent examples of the good in Cllrs Idris and McVeigh.
The best advice the Dame can offer is this...don't let officers bamboozle you and keep up the excellent work.
Cllr Weale could learn from your example.... 
The Dame expects to see you both being given more responsibility very soon.

Sunday, 28 October 2018

NO DOLCE VITA FOR NEIGHBOURS OF HARRY'S BAR, K'BRIDGE

The billionaire owner of Dolce Vita Harry's Bar opposite Harrods is Sir 'Shifty' Phillip Green's best friend, Richard Caring.
Neighbours of this flash and vulgar place find Mr. Caring's attitude towards them most 'uncaring'.

Ever since its opening, this place has been a law unto itself. 
Every planning and licencing law is disregarded by the management with council officers seemingly reluctant to ever enforce.

Image 1 shows tables, chairs and blankets cluttering the pavement at 02.08 in the morning-five hours after they are supposed to be cleared.
Image 2 shows tables and chairs already in place every morning at 7.10 am-2 hours before the permitted time. 


image 1
Image 2

Is this because Mr. Caring is just too rich and powerful; or is there a more sinister reason behind this 'hands-off' attitude?
Residents are beginning to wonder why the owner of Caprice Holdings gets treated with kid gloves yet when some small and powerless cafe steps over the line the council officers come down on them like a ton of bricks.

Saturday, 27 October 2018

RESIDENT ASSOCIATION SPONSORS MAGNIFICENT AWARD!





The Milner Street Area Residents  Association (MISARA) is inaugurating an annual award for the ugliest new building in Chelsea....The 'Chelsea Carbuncle' Award. 
Everybody can submit nominations and the winner will be chosen by a panel of three distinguished judges: Dr John Martin Robinson, one of our best known architectural historians; Will Palin, Director of Conservation at the Old Royal Naval College, Greenwich; and Anthony Delarue, the award-winning church architect. 

At great expense, MISARA will donate three ebony inlaid wooden spoons using wood salvaged from the much loved Art Deco Odeon cinema(which the council allowed to be vandalised).
Representatives of the architects, the developer and the relevant planning officers and councillors will be invited to the MISARA Annual General Meeting in November to collect their prizes (if they attend!) 
The winner of the first award will be announced in October 2019, so that the first distribution of prizes will occur at their AGM in November 2019. 
Gentlemen and ladies of the press will be on hand to record the occasion.


The idea behind the prize mirrors the widespread concern about the poor quality of some new buildings-residential and commercial-and their 'carbuncle like' unsuitability for Chelsea.  
It's also about the process allowing council officers to recommend quite unsuitable applications for approval and their disdain for residents’ objections. 
In recognition of the problem, the Chelsea Society is considering an annual award for the best new building design. This would be complementary to the initiative by MISARA and we all hope that this will lead to a visible improvement in new buildings in Chelsea over time.
MISARA aim to publicise the competition through the King’s Road Association of Chelsea Residents (KRACR), and the Chelsea Society, and in local and specialist publications. Residents and others will be encouraged to submit candidates for the award by sending photographs of the buildings by email to MISARA, with a cut off date in September of each year.  In the first year, the award will not necessarily be restricted to buildings which have been completed during the previous twelve months. The judges will also be at liberty to decide, in any year, that there is no new building sufficiently ugly to merit the award – if this happens it will be good news for Chelsea.
For the purposes of the award Chelsea will be defined as the Stanley, Chelsea Riverside and Royal Hospital wards, plus that part of the new Brompton and Hans Town ward which used to fall within the old Hans Town ward, i.e. south of Walton Street (including the houses on the north side of the street) and Pont Street (excluding the houses on the north side of the street). In Fulham Road the houses on the south side of the road are included but those on the north side are not.




Monday, 22 October 2018

BETWEEN A ROCK AND A HARD PLACE

It seems that Rock Feilding Mellen is being gently ostracised by some of his socially conscious gentry friends.
The old Dame hears that Rock is no longer persona grata at Highgrove where the Prince of Wales likes to pontificate on the state of the world.  
Anyway, this investigation by Kroll makes interesting reading. Rock was the one who stands accused, in the words of Barry Quirk, of pushing the council to masquerade as a property developer....
But how did he manage to sell off Kensington and Chelsea College so cheap?  
Not so smart...or maybe too smart?


Bring me the head of Rock FM



Click to enlarge

Wednesday, 17 October 2018

POLICE & CRIME COMMISSIONERS? "ABSOLUTELY BLEEDING HOPELESS" SAYS TOP COP

The Dame has been trying to find out how many tens of millions are being spent on thoroughly useless Police and Crime Commissioners...as Doctor Heffer says 'another dimwitted idea from Mrs May, the then Home Secretary'. 
Why do we throw money at such a useless organisation: one so embarrassed by its sheer uselessness it dare not disclose its budget?

No doubt, Miss Hancock enjoys a £200,000 a year salary and a platinum-plated pension. 
Come on, Miss Hancock...spill the beans!
The Dame and Doctor Heffer are on the case!


MISS HANCOCK...TOP CRIME COMMISSIONER!










Dear Doctor Heffer,

What on earth is the point of police commissioners?
The National Police Chief's Council thinks them a waste of time and money and it seems most of the commissioners are recycled oddball and inexperienced councillors.

I wrote several weeks ago to the APCCS asking them to divulge the full cost of police and crime commissioners yet have received no response. 
It would also be interesting to know the establishment costs of the APCCS itself.

The NPCC is scathing about PCC's. 
One source described them as 'absolutely bleeding hopeless'!
Evidently, this was a coalition government initiative
I cc'd Mr. Hurst as the APCCS's PR man.

Kind regards
The Dame


Dear Dame

I fear police commissioners are largely useless. 
Most members of the public regard them as the first port of call, for example, if the police deal with something unsatisfactorily - such as not investigating a crime properly. 
They are then told that the commissioner cannot respond to inquires about specific cases. 
Sadly, it was a Tory government who brought these useless people in - not least, as she was Home Secretary at the time, the present prime minister.

Yours ever

Simon Heffer


Simon Heffer PhD

Tuesday, 16 October 2018

CLEARER REQUIREMENTS FOR CONSTRUCTION METHOD STATEMENTS NEEDED

Dear Dame,

RBK&C's Code of Construction Practice states that "planning applications that include significant construction work will usually be required to submit a CMS". 
We have recently had a case involving "significant construction work" (a demolition) in which the planning officer told us that no CMS was required as the application did not include a basement. 
Since the policy does not limit the requirement for a CMS to basement applications we believe the officer simply misinterpreted the text, but the wording could usefully be amended to clarify that it applies to all applications involving significant construction work, not just basements.



A Resident

Monday, 15 October 2018

THE DAME WRITES TO A MIDDLE EASTERN AMBASSADOR



His Excellency Sulaiman Hamid Almazroui 
Ambassador of the United Arab Emirates to the Court of St. James's.

Your Excellency,


Were you to live in the Knightsbridge area you might be less than diplomatic about the behaviour of your countrymen.


We residents have to endure their high speed driving around our streets at all times of the day and night. 

They drive their idiotic supercars in a way to create maximum noise levels with a risk to pedestrians and other road users: they respect no one.

Were we to behave in this way in your country we would soon find ourselves thrown into one of your primitive prisons so why do you expect us to endure the arrogant ways of your fellow countrymen just because you are all loaded.

It is astounding that your embassy ignores such appalling behaviour.  

It reflects badly upon your country and its people.

It is high time you made clear to those visiting from the UAE that the natives, though impoverished, deserve a modicum of respect.


Yours 'sort of' respectfully, 

The Dame

Sunday, 14 October 2018

MR. STALLWOOD CALLS UP HIS 'HEAVIES'

Community Activist

Dear Dame,

You and I have long spoken of the need for a new borough-wide plan ( with a number of community consultation planning weekends/meetings) clearly delineating where development can and cannot happen and what would be permissible. 

The key is the identification of sensible development opportunities instead of always going for what appears to be low hanging fruit and fast short-term commercial gain. 

This would prevent the need to fight the highly distressing planning applications of avaricious developers on sites such as the Kensington Odeon and the Holiday Inn (which has proposed densities closer to those in Tsim Tsa Choi in Hong Kong than Kensington) 

Such proposals are unwanted and inappropriate. 


I would also like to add that Mr. Stallwood took great pleasure in telling the heavies outside the first council meeting after Grenfell that I couldn’t come into the chamber to watch proceedings. 


I asked him to tell me where in the council statutes it said that residents couldn’t attend meetings and he told me this one was just for Grenfell residents ( I said I would stand down if necessary ) but he still blocked me and I managed to find my way in through another route.


Council officers work for us and should work with us - not constantly try to frustrate our requests


Guy Oliver . 

MR STALLWOOD'S HEATWAVE BRAINWAVE!

During the heatwave of the summer, Mr. Stallwood had a brainwave....


Whilst the Dame and others were luxuriating on their superyachts why not remove all people's names and addresses from planning application objection letters on the website and delete those letters after the application has been decided or withdrawn?

Many planning applications are resubmitted in amended form after they have been refused or withdrawn. 
For this reason, it's vital for interested parties to check back to see what comments were made on previous occasions.
Additionally, people use the planning website as a 'filing system' thus avoiding the need to retain hard copies of comments made and the printing out of vast quantities of paper. 

The Council made these changes in secret and did not disclose them to Residents' Associations or on the planning website. 

Only after the event, during a phone call to the planning officer to find out what they had done and why.

And why should people not have the right to publicise their names and addresses, and to have their comments in the public domain, if they so wish?

The Council's justification, presumably upon advice from Leverne Parker, was this was necessary to comply with the GDPR. 
The Council effectively admitted a few months later that they had got it all wrong and completely misinterpreted the law when, following a storm of protest, they agreed to rewrite the system - although yet again they have made the changes in secret and have not communicated them to Residents' Associations or publicised them on the planning website.

Fortunately, the new system has been described by the Chelsea Society on its website:

Saturday, 13 October 2018

UNIQUE VIEWINGS 1300 YESTERDAY: 1400 TODAY

These stats demonstrate the level of resident interest in planning related matters. 

Councillors? 

Do not dare ignore the message being sent to you by those empowering you.

A VULGAR FACADE

Continuing the Dame's focus on the need for urgent changes in local planning policy we take a look at the hot topic of taking......

Greater control of demolition in Conservation Areas

In a recent case planning officers appear willing to recommend approval of the demolition of a building in a Conservation Area, retaining only the front facade. 
Two changes should be made: (i) "substantial demolition" (as in this case) should be treated in the same way as for complete demolition, and (ii) applications for substantial demolition should be refused unless they can demonstrate strong countervailing public benefit. 

Totally Faux

Ideally, these changes should be made to the Consolidated Local Plan, failing which the Council should use its powers of discretion to refuse them anyway.

Friday, 12 October 2018

TIME FOR RESIDENTS TO WREST CONTROL OF PLANNING

A widespread perception amongst residents is that Graham Stallwood treats them with complete disdain.
Insolent


But there is a wind of changing blowing through the Borough. No longer is the planning committee allowing itself to be browbeaten by Stallwood and his team.

Over the next week or so the Dame will looking at certain problem areas in need of urgent addressing.

First up is... 

Removal of Permitted Development rights in Conservation Areas

Islington, Richmond and Camden have all removed PD rights in Conservation areas. 
We have an equal, perhaps greater, quality of architectural heritage so why are we the odd ones out?




This has undesirable consequences for attractive street settings in our Conservation Areas. For example, with the exception of listed buildings, you can without planning permission remove an attractive (even original or historic) window facing the street and replace it with a new ugly window provided only that the new window is made of similar materials - there is no requirement for similar style or design. 

A prominent resident association chairman says RBK&C should issue an Article 4 Direction to remove PD rights in all the Conservation Areas, making such developments subject to planning permission thus enabling the Council to refuse applications which fail "to preserve or enhance the character or appearance of the Conservation Area" 

Thursday, 11 October 2018

WELL DONE, CLLR IDRIS!

The Dame LOVES to pass on praise where praise has been given. Evidently there is no councillor more worthy of praise(according to a number of Brompton and Hans Town residents) than this lady. 

Please step forward Cllr Walaa Idris!

You stand accused of taking the side of residents and working too hard to protect their interests. 

In days gone by this would have deserved severe punishment. 

Thank goodness we are seeing the emergence of councillors brave enough to serve residents: this councillor is a shining example of this new fearless breed of representatives.

Tuesday, 9 October 2018

FINE OR BAN NO SHOW NHS PATIENTS

When you're a piece of antiquity like the Dame the doctor's surgery becomes an antique restorer.

The other day the old thing was in her lovely NHS surgery and happened to ask how many 'no shows' without notification occurred. 


The charming young doctor pondered and thought about 200 a month. 



This was just one NHS surgery....there are nearly seven and a half thousand NHS surgeries in the UK so a simple extrapolation gives a frightening statistic of millions of wasted appointments.

The people who don't even bother to ring the surgery to cancel an appointment are probably the very people who whine about never being able to get an appointment. 

There should be a stiff fine for not notifying the surgery and if that doesn't work a ban.

Sunday, 7 October 2018

COMRADE KIM IS A RED UNDER THE DAME'S BED

The Dame is a canny old bird. She has always had her doubts about Kim Taylor-Smith. 
With his '70's style hair, she always suspected that he could have been doing some 'entryism' into our council and that deep down he was a member of the Socialist Workers Party. The Dame will be having a word with Emma Dent Coad to see if she can shed light on the matter.


Anyway, Comrade Kim wants to radically solve the housing problem by forcing the likes of Mayor Bloomberg(he has a barely occupied flat in Cadogan Square) to sell his flat at a knockdown price.



The Dame is going through hard times and is putting herself at the top of the list for this one.

Kim? The Dame is very disappointed...with apologies to the great Hilaire Belloc.....


"Kim,you have disappointed us!
We had intended you to be
The next leader
The stocks were sold; the Press was squared:
The Middle Class was quite prepared.
But as it is! . . . My language fails!
Go out and govern New South Wales!"



Saturday, 6 October 2018

A RED COUNCIL?

Dear Dame,

Our council's enthusiasm to show its new 'council of the people' face is interesting.
Commandeering empty property must remind the Dame of her childhood days in Czechoslovakia when her many family properties were taken over by the Commies.
Dame's Ancestral Home
Dame, we know that you are on intimate terms with Her Majesty.....
When you next meet can you ask how she feels about the empty wings of some her palatial homes being expropriated by 'Comrade' Taylor-Smith?
Of course, the Council knows that this wish will never be granted so it's a 'win-win'....makes them look good safe in the knowledge they will never need to worry about having to take over empty property.

Ever yours,
************
(name and address withheld)


Friday, 5 October 2018

COME CLEAN, POOTER COCKELL

SHIFTY LOOKING POOTER


Readers will be aware that the Dame and her readers have demanded Pooter Cockell make an unequivocal statement confirming that he had the correct citizenship qualifications to stand as a councillor.
He has been asked to provide this information by a very senior RBKC officer and we are now standing by to see if he will ease the fears that he may never have been qualified to represent Stanley Ward.
Come on, Cockell, show us evidence that you were a British citizen or that you had dual British and S. African citizen during the period SA was not a Commonwealth member.

Thursday, 4 October 2018

A COUNCIL AT LAST LISTENING....

This is North Kensington reports that the North Kensington Library has been saved. LINK


THE DAME IN A REFLECTIVE MOOD

Autumn is a time to reflect upon change. 
What better moment to look at our council and compare it to the days when Pooter Cockell and his buddies ruled the roost.
Certainly, there is a sense that the Council is trying hard to re-connect with residents: it should be applauded for that.

For example, it is difficult to imagine this Council ever pumping tens of millions into the hideous Exhibition Rd 'makeover'. 
The Dame strolled down it the other day narrowly being missed by speeding cars. 
What a mess! Tawdry, vulgar and unft for purpose.

This, of course, was a folie de grandeur of the unlamented Moylan and cost residents £25 million and an annual cleaning bill of £400,000.
The Dame will be keeping a close eye on Cllr Campbell and Doc Quirk but she has a feeling that the bad old days are behind us and councillors are beginning to heed residents. 
There are councillors-Weale and Pascall- unfit for purpose, but let's hope they will soon get the boot.
Never again will this council be allowed to import granite from China when we have perfectly good granite in the UK. 
One wonders why Moylan was ever allowed to do so.....

Tuesday, 2 October 2018

SUPPORTING OUR VICTORIAN CHURCHES

Click to enlarge
In our Royal Borough, we are fortunate to have a splendid collection of Victorian ecclesiastical architecture.
Keeping these buildings in a good state of preservation is an onerous task and with little or no money from the government the churches have to work hard to raise money. 

The Dame is delighted to feature St Mary's, Cadogan St.
On the 8th November well known Vatican art expert, Fr. Michael Collins will be talking about the 'Vatican Palaces and their Art'. 

Everybody is welcome and it should be an excellent and educative evening with wine and canapes to follow in the Rectory.
If you would like to attend please click on the link HERE