send the Dame your information, discretion assured.
Comments are welcome but do not necessarily reflect the view of the Dame.
Offensive/inappropriate comments will be deleted and the poster banned.

Tuesday, 31 July 2012


Dear Friend and Neighbour
Re: TBLC/12/118006 Application by The History Studios 164-166 Brompton Road, SW3 1HW to place 10 tables and 20 chairs on the public highway.
I am writing to ask you to object to this application for tables and chairs on the public highway.             The History Studio, at 164-166 The Brompton Road, SW3 1HW (on the raised pavement next to Area Café)  has applied to RBKC to place 10 tables and 20 chairs outside  their premises and that of the Souvenir Shop next door at 166 (which is owned by the same company). The History Studio is not even a café or restaurant. I was told by the Manager that they only wanted to use the tables as a waiting room for their photography studio but they finally admitted to Brompton Ward Councillors that they are applying on behalf of Area Café, one of the premises in Knightsbridge selling shisha at tables in front of their premises. Therefore the tables and chairs would even not be in front of the operating premises. If this application is granted residents will have to walk through shisha smoke on both sides of the pavement for the length of three shop fronts.
The directly neighbouring Westminster City Council permits Tables & Chairs to be deployed "only directly outside the premises at the back of the footway” (WCC Supplementary Planning Guidance, March 2005). In other words, applications will not be considered for tables and chairs outside neighbouring premises, or on the far side of the footpath away from the premises’ frontage.

Cllr Buckmaster agreed at a meeting with the Knightsbridge Association last year that this was good practice and that the Royal Borough would do its best to emulate it. Permitting Area Cafe to have tables and chairs outside the History Studios, the souvenir shop and on the far (railings) side of the footpath would clearly violate both of these provisions. It would also suggest that RBKC disregards the Government's requirement under S182 that neighbouring councils should coordinate to ensure consistency across local authority boundaries.
PLEASE WRITE IMMEDIATELY and send objections to Mahmood Siddiqi, The Director of Transportation and Highways, Room 114 Council Offices, 37 Pembroke Road, London, W8 6PW, quoting the reference number TBLCH/12/118006 or e mail:                   
The raised pavement section of the Brompton Road is already an area of major concern . Grounds for objection could include noise and nuisance, that it would attract beggars, pedicabs and people hanging around, that the pavement is not wide enough for this many seats. That there are already too many tables and chairs. etc. It would impede pedestrian flow and add further visual clutter to an already cluttered street scene. It would create a precedent for other premises which are not even restaurants or cafes to apply for tables and chairs.
IN YOUR OWN WORDS strongly urge the Royal Borough to reject this application. All objections must contain your full name, full postal address and the reference number TBLC/12/118006

Maddie Elsdon
Knightsbridge Association


Cllr Mosley

These three represent the interests of residents and have a duty to arrest the decline of an area once a byword for simple elegance. 
Knightsbridge-under their watch-has become a byword for vulgarity and money obsessed squalor. 
Cllr Barkhordar
The Dame has already pointed out that not one of the three bothered to turn out for the police spot checks on Gulf plated super cars:this despite Cllr Barkhordar proclaiming it was his 'No 1 Priority.'
Cllr Marshall
Cllr Marshall is a past master at writing streams of emails, but does little more than that. 

Come on you three....let's have less chatter and more action! Follow the example of the late Cllr Ritchie who got things moving without sending out copious emails.

Monday, 30 July 2012

Another Time Extension: Please Object

Not to be outdone by their next door neighbour-The History Studios, the Area Cafe have also decided to extend the time they can place tables and chairs on the Brompton Rd pavement.
Historically, the cafe has been allowed to place tables and chairs from 7.30am to 10.30pm, Monday to Sunday. They have now applied to extend that time until 11.00pm. As far as residents are concerned it is the beginning of a slippery slope. 
Once this precedent is set it won't be long before  other cafes and restaurants try to extend hours.
Anyone visiting Edgware Rd can see what could happen to Brompton Rd.
It would be unfair to impute bad motives for putting in these sorts of contentious applications during holiday periods, but one has to wonder..... 
You have until the 15th August to write to  Council objecting to the is the lady you should email.
If we don't object Brompton Rd cafes will all end up like this...


When The Dame's Away....The History Studios begin to play with our pavements

Attempts by cafe owners to accelerate the ruin of Brompton Road continue apace. The Dame, from her 'luxury' villa above Portofino, has been alerted to one particularly devious attempt to take advantage 'vacationing' residents
The Dame's Portofino Retreat
The History Studios at 164/166 Brompton Rd, that ghastly, tacky place next to Area Cafe, on the raised pavement of the Brompton Road-has applied for 10 tables and 20 chairs to be placed on the pavement outside. The pavement is already so congested that one can hardly squeeze by, but now the owners have seized the moment to try and colonise the pavement. 
The table and chairs will be a permanent feature from Monday through to Sunday, from 10.00am to 10.30pm....that is unless we all object in the strongest possible terms. Unless we do Brompton Rd could end up looking like Edgware Rd
Brompton Rd 10 years on

We have just until the 6th August to make our objections felt so please email

Sunday, 29 July 2012


The Comment is important enough to include. It would be good to have an observation from Tony Redpath of RBKC
Dear Dame,
I am having a distinct sense of deja-vue.  May I refer you to pages 10 and 11 of which deals with the 2001 underenumeration.
I have produced the same response rate graph for 2011, see attached, for comparison.
I see the Consultation and Partnerships Team say 'Despite an 18 per cent increase, from 64 per cent in 2001 to 82 per cent in 2011. . . . . ' I sense they are trying to claim responsibility for improving (by 'consultation and partnerships'?) K&C's response rate in 2011. If you compare the graphs you can see that actually *everyone* has improved their response rate - due to ONS's new procedure of post out / post back and targeting the defaulters from that.
You can also see that the two graphs have exactly the same form, with three peaks, a tail, and K&C an obvious outlier even from the worst by the same margin proportionally as in 2001. So the response rate may have improved, but the performance of K&C relative to everyone else is identical to 2001 - no improvement at all, and certainly no cause for self congratulation.
It was generally reckoned that Westminster spent near £1m challenging their 2001 census figure, and whilst they did eventually get ONS to increase the figure, which would have cascaded down the subsequent Mid Year Estimates, because the Standard Spending Assessment Formula is a zero-sum game it was by no means clear that it was financially worth it.  Just a word of warning for K&C.

The Council is entirely correct to contest the ONS estimate for the population decrease in the Borough. This well put together paper gives a good rationale for fighting the estimate. 
Getting the right result is very important for Labour wards and the poorer community areas in terms of education, social services, and the rest.



1 Introduction

    1. The first release of the 2011 Census estimates that the population of Kensington and Chelsea has decreased by 2.2 per cent in the intercensal period (2001-2011). The estimates suggest that the population of every other London borough has increased and that the overall population of London has grown by 11.6 per cent.

    1. The first release of the census data also suggests that the number of households in Kensington and Chelsea has decreased by 0.6 per cent to 78,500.

    1. This summary highlights the difficulty the Office for National Statistics (ONS) has had estimating the population of Kensington and Chelsea in the past, and examines the grounds on which the Council might seek to challenge the initial estimates.


    1. ONS has traditionally found it difficult to produce reliable population estimates for inner London boroughs, especially Kensington and Chelsea. The reasons for this are well known. The Royal Borough exhibits all of the physical and demographic characteristics associated with poor census return rates and problems in producing reliable population estimates namely high population density, a large proportion of flatted properties (many of them with concierge entry or other forms of restricted access), an ethnically very diverse population and very high churn rates (over 70% a year in some parts of the borough).
    1. These difficulties were illustrated at the previous (2001) census and are evident again with the 2011 census. The initial 2001 population estimate for Kensington and Chelsea (158,919) was far removed from the preceding mid-year estimates (190,300). This discrepancy led to a review and ultimately the rebasing of the 2001 mid-year estimate several years later to 162,600.

    1. There is now a marked difference between the 2011 census population estimate (158,700) and the 2010 mid-year estimate (169,494) a difference of 10,794 residents or -6.4%

    1. Despite an 18 per cent increase, from 64 per cent in 2001 to 82 per cent in 2011, Kensington and Chelsea still has the lowest response rate nationally. The confidence interval on the 2011 Census estimate is 3.79 per cent, the highest percentage nationally and equivalent to a margin of error of around 3,600 people. Because of the comparatively low response rate the census population estimate for Kensington and Chelsea is more heavily reliant on imputation, which accounts for some 29,100 of the total estimated population. Imputing the characteristics of non-respondents based upon the characteristics of respondents is notoriously difficult because the characteristics of these two groups may vary markedly (e.g. in household size, ethnicity, age profile).


3.1. Arguments for a review of the initial census population estimate might be based on a number of grounds:

  1. The intrinsic difficulty of estimating population in an area such as Kensington and Chelsea

Certain characteristics of Kensington and Chelsea make population enumeration and estimation difficult. The borough has the second highest population density nationally (131 people per hectare) and many residents live in flats that are accessible via buzzer-entry, security gates or a concierge style system, which inhibit efforts made by enumerators to ascertain who lives in a property but also whether a property is properly classified. Furthermore the borough is culturally and ethnically diverse with many non-English speaking residents. The ONS have also previously cited the large weekday populations that are drawn to the borough due to its proximity to large financial districts as another contributory factor.

  1. Counter-veiling evidence to suggest that ONS estimates of population or household numbers are not correct

The Council holds a wealth of time-series service data about the properties and residents of Kensington and Chelsea. Analysis of this data may challenge some of the assertions from the first release, especially the assertion that the resident population has decreased.

  1. Technical critiques of the imputation methodology and other elements of the census calculation

Some 29,100 residents were imputed for the Kensington and Chelsea population estimate. As mentioned previously (2.4) the weakness of a population estimate that contains a large number of imputed residents is that there may be a poor match between the characteristics of non-respondents and the respondents from whom data is imputed.

  1. A critique of the quality assurance methodology used by ONS to verify their estimates.

The Quality Assurance process is undertaken by the ONS to ensure that census estimates are fit for purpose. The Main Quality Assurance Panel met 31 times to assess estimates for each of the 348 local authorities. This panel could request further work to be undertaken on the mid-year estimates and comparator data and ultimately consider adjustments to the census estimates. The ONS have stated that some Local Authority estimates were reviewed multiple times but no specific details have been published.


Our best chance of a successful challenge to the ONS estimate is to mount a case based on a combination of the above grounds. Officers therefore intend to

  1. meet with the National Statistician to query the reduction and discuss the impacts on future mid-year estimates.

  1. request disclosure on whether Kensington and Chelsea was discussed by the Main Quality Assurance Panel. Specifically information on the nature of any discussions regarding Kensington and Chelsea, whether any recommendations were made and crucially if any adjustments were escalated and ultimately signed off by the National Statistician.

  1. obtain and analyse a slice of service data (e.g. data from the electoral register, Council Tax information, the property gazetteer, and planning data) that relates to the number of households and residents in the borough to challenge the argument that the population has decreased since 2001.

  1. understand the imputation methodology more fully. The Quality Assurance Pack that forms part of the first release of Census data gives details of the various types of imputation that combine to give the population estimate (e.g. overcount adjustments, bias adjustments, estimation and sample bias). Officers from Kensington and Chelsea should work closely with Westminster, who are pursuing a challenge along similar lines, to share expertise and results. This is likely to be the most technical aspect of a challenge and would require careful consideration as the ONS are the experts in this field.

Consultation and Partnerships Team
July 2012


Dear Local Residents,
We, in the BRA wholly agree with your stance over this current licencing issue. Sadly Harrods and many other "large isolated named organisations  in Central London have no longer any community liason function and apopt the mantra of "Minimum input for maximum output ". Disregard for local residents has been evident in Harrods applications for several years but they were not always so callous in years gone by.
As the Chairman of the Belgravia Residents Association,and thus a seasoned campaigner, I would like to offer you all the following advice.
The BRA saw off the Lord Rogers and Candy brothers plans for Chelsea Barracks most recently and prior to that orchestrated the Save Sloane Square campaign to stop RBKC turning it into a crossroads. Other notable victories against the status quo have also been achieved in the last 15 years locally, but I will not bore you with trophies !!
Suffice to say I would suggest the following.
Rather than rally and e mail each other, and all and sundry, you need to arrange to meet collectively as a united group. I would suggest you attack on two fronts.
1. Certain of you find out who actually owns Harrods and seek an audience with them. If not the owners who may be overseas, then the MD of the store itself. Invite him/her to come to see you on your own territory and not go up to some gilded office in the store itself. Simply tell them the truth that living next to the  store has its advantages but it also has some serius negative impact and invite hiom to come and see for himself and discuss the matter. If he or she refuses then a little publicity in the Evenijng standard would do them no good at all and yourselves no harm. I am sure you could get the likes of Mira bar Hillel at the Standard involved should that set of cuircumstances arise.    
2. Collectively get your ward councillors on board to support your objections and obtain  the support of the Knightsbridge Association.your local regognized amenity group.
The local amenity society holds far more sway than a group of residents not linked to the registered amenity association.
These two  functions should in themselves sort out the immediate problem of the licencing and also you then have some good direct contacts at the store itself.
These tactics we adopt time and time again and they have never failed us.
In the case of Chelsea Barracks we even met with the Emir of Qatar and he sent his Prime Minister to meet Randa Hanna who heads our Planning sub committee. These measures saw the entire scheme being scrapped and the arrogance of The Rogers Partnership and all the PR of the Candy brothers go up in flames. Local common sense won the day but targeted planning needs to be executed to vensure you win.
I wish you luck but by simply sending e mails all in protest will NOT win the day and you leave yourselves open to there being a possibility such an capplication will succeed.
 Do as I suggest and the outcome of the licensing meeting will be a foregone conclusion for you all and you will WIN .
Good luck

Belgravia Residents Association
Mob/cell 07973 700525
Office 020 7700 2834/1896
Fax 020 7700 2744
e mail:
Skype: james.wright43

Friday, 27 July 2012


Here is Pooter Cockell desperately horning in on the Olympics Act....sadly, the organisers had decided to  turn off the power. 
Don't we all wish we could turn off Pooter's power too?..More Olympics events pics will be welcomed.


On first reading the Dame thought she was having her ancient, but well turned leg, pulled, but in Cockelland anything is possible! 
After the Council's lamentable record with councillors(yes, ex Cllrs Phelps and two!) not being 'checked' the Dame has been assured those close to the young gymnasts have been given the 'OK'

To all Councillors and other guests attending the Road Show Parade, Friday 27 July

Councillors are reminded of procedures for this evening's Grand Parade at Exhibition Road.

Please be sure to allow yourself enough time to reach the Road House at 4 Cromwell Place (generously donated by South Kensington Estates) which is the departure point for the parade. Councillors must be there by 5.30pm for robing; cerulean blue robes for back-benchers, with Imperial purple for Cabinet members. The Leader, Deputy Leader, Mayor, Mayoress and Deputy Mayor will be robed in a separate room by the mace-bearers. Senior officers will also wear formal attire; the Royal Borough Lord High Recorder and his acolytes will be present. The  bar will open at 6pm, and participants will be able to refresh themselves before gathering outside; the Grand Parade will leave at 7pm.

The parade will leave in the following order: first, a band of trumpeters in medieval costume, and Flower Children dressed in white and wearing flower garlands to sprinkle rose petals on the ground (generously donated by Quadron); second, on foot, the Chief Executive of H&F and K&C and the Town Clerk, with the RB Recorder. Third, the following will be carried on litters or 'gloriettes' by youth service volunteers:  the Leader, Deputy Leader, Mayor, Mayoress, Deputy Mayor (accompanied by mace-bearers), and all Cabinet Members. They will also be accompanied by tumblers and acrobats along the route. The fourth group will comprise all backbench Councillors in cerulean blue - you are encouraged to wave and get into the spirit of the evening! 
The final group comprises our tribute to the architect of the Exhibition Road Show, Councillor Moylan, who will ride a live African elephant led by Mrs Brill (in a special but secret costume!) They will be accompanied by young members of the Kensington boys' gymnastic team who will demonstrate their skills where space permits. Councillor Moylan and the gymnasts will also be in charge of throwing Road Show Golden Tokens to the crowd; these can be redeemed for alcoholic beverages at the open air bars which will operate until midnight.

The Grand Parade is expected to last for about an hour, and will finish at the Royal Geographical Society gardens, where a private reception for participants and their guests will take place. At the stroke of 9pm, a thousand white doves, a thousand paper lanterns, a thousand red balloons and a thousand blue balloons will be released to symbolise the four stages of mitosis (the beginning of life) and the start of the Olympic opening ceremony, which can be viewed on the iPads which are to be generously donated this evening by o2.

After a buffet dinner at the RGS, a fleet of cabs will arrive at midnight to transport guests home; these are generously donated by Addison Lee (as a 'thank you' for RBK&C being such spendthrift customers.)
Please note that for health and safety reasons relating to the passage of live animals and to some expected 'fall-out' around the open air bars, Exhibition Road will be covered with a layer of fine sawdust (generously donated by Tree Wise Men).

Thursday, 26 July 2012


The other day the Dame was asked what could possibly precipitate her retirement from the stress and strain of reporting on the sheer awfulness of the Rotten Borough and Pooter and pals.
With a sigh the Dame said, "when the excellent Cllr Coleridge becomes Leader, supported by Mr Holgate, as Chief Executive, I will retire to my little home in Portofino."
So come on Cllr Coleridge...we know you want the job as much as we want you to do it. You are perfectly capable of making a difference!



There are times when we all see something of Captain Mainwaring in our very own leader...Sir Pooter Cockell. This was an occasion when the parallels became laughably obvious! Pooter was determined to grab his moment in the sun and on the soapbox! Sadly it was not to be....

A young student from the Chelsea Academy was the Torch Bearer who lead the procession into Holland Park this afternoon at 2.40 pm. She was welcomed by a choir and orchestra belting out Jerusalem in bright sunshine, cheered by tens of thousands of residents and visitors. The flame then moved on to its next stop in Shepherds Bush.

The Torch Bearer was welcomed at her stop by the Mayor and Deputy Mayor in full fur and jewels (they must have been roasting but managed to smile throughout). Cllr Lightweight and Cllr Paget-Brown stood a few feet behind the Official Party, sensibly dressed in chinos and good London shirts. Cllr Lightweight also sported a racy panama hat.
Of course Cllr Cockell could not miss the opportunity for some personal puff. Standing centre stage, he produced a microphone and stood up to make a speech. The flame had passed but this was no reason to silence our Pooter. “I am Sir Merrick Cockell, Leader of Kensington and Chelsea” he boomed. “I extend a welcome to British, English and our visitors” at which point the amplification went dead and he could be seen mouthing whatever nonsense he had prepared. A swift look around the crowd showed faces full of puzzlement. “Who is this man and what is the point”?

After an agonising pause and collective embarrassment, the organisers let him have his way. Power returned and the hapless Leader proceeded to give a history lesson about the second time, after 1948 at Earls Court, that the flame had come to Kensington and Chelsea. Mercifully, all things come to an end.


The Earls Court Society are not happy about this ugly looking building proposed for 125 Old Brompton Rd. And looking at the picture there is no great surprise: it is a cheap, crass intrusion.
There is an excellent comment from Jonathan Choat and a very 'to the point' reply to Jessica from Peter Harris.


Dear Jessica,

Your reply sounds straight as if it came from the PR company “Perfect Curve” of 20/12 fame. You don’t seem to have read our email.
If you mean by pastiche a building similar to that of the local architectural style, then Yes, we would like a 19th century look to the façade. If you mean by “Modern” the 1970’s retro look of your new design, then you are miss-using the word “modern”. There is nothing to associate your new design with the 21st century, other than you plan to build it now.

Yes, the dimensions respond to the 20th century building next door but that is about all. Red tiles are not red brick and have no association in the area.

If you mean by consultation that you ask people from the local area what they think and then completely ignore them. Then it sounds like a bit of PR in order to get a bad design past planning.

This is, in our opinion, a badly designed retro building with little to commend it. In fact, the present building is a far superior design and does actually use brick to match with local buildings. It just needs a clean.

Please let me know when you submit your plans to Kensington & Chelsea council.


Peter Harris

On behalf of “The Earl’s Court Society”,
Kempsford Gardens Residents Association,
29 Kempsford Gardens,
London SW5  9LA.  
Tel: 0207 373 2915   Mobile: 07930 536 818

From: Jessica Stewart
Subject: Re: Digital copy of the newsletter for Glen House proposals

Dear Peter,

Thank you for your e-mail regarding the proposals for 125 Old Brompton Road. We've noted your comments and will consider them within the consultation process, but would also like to clarify our own architectural approach.

The architectural aims of the proposals are to provide a 21st-century answer to the local context. I'm sure you'll agree that a pastiche of Georgian or Victorian styles would not be appropriate, but that a modern interpretation is required.

To that end, the panels are a soft red and buff mottled glazed terracotta, to reflect the brickwork of local buildings. Each panel is individually hand-glazed and fired, which creates colour and texture variation to add character.

The building's location makes it independent enough of other buildings to make an architectural statement, while also responding to nearby norms.

Again, we would agree that the building does not look Georgian or Victorian, like other buildings that were built in those periods. However, it does respond to its neighbours in height, massing, colours, geometry and some defining materials.

Obviously this type of issue is subject to preference and interpretation, but we wanted to ensure you understood our approach. Please let me know if you have any further questions.

Best regards,
Jessica Stewart.


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Jessica Stewart
020 7036 3525


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The Dame is always happy to indulge nostalgia from readers of a rather more advanced age than her. 
Doctor Fruitwood reminisces about that quixotic piece of Victorian Gothic....demolished overnight and quite illegally, on the orders of the sinister Nicholas Freemason-a man idolised by certain councillors....
Freemason committed this gross act of vandalism so he could finance a monument to his vanity in the shape of the "Monster of Hornton Street". 
At least Freemason had a brain-even if he had no heart-unlike the present incumbent!

Thank you 'Doc' for your charming letter......

FROM Dr Melody Fruitwood, Crowborough, East Sussex

Your Ladyship,
As a senior citizen I am very happy to use my Senior bus pass, funded by the ratepayers of East Sussex. I decided to pay a visit to London to revive my memories of when I worked for a certain organisation as long ago the 1950s when we were deep into the Cold war.
Creeping slowly along Kensington High Street on a bus (it is often quicker to walk) I was reminded of the loss of the rather nice Victorian old Town Hall which, if memory serves me well, was demolished at midnight on the orders of the late Nicholas Freeman, barrister and leader of RBKC in the 1980s. (or was it 1970s?)
At the gate to Kensington Palace is a large and very ugly hotel. I cant remember what was on that site before the current building but I am  sure it was less obtrusive.
I walked up to Notting Hill as I thought that I would look at the quirky bric-a-brac shops in Portobello Road, What a shock! Instead of eccentric Victoriana is a plethora of tourist tack, mugs made in China and a large number of outlets selling mobile phones!
At least there are some old fashioned fruit and veg sellers.some belonging to families who have been there for three or four generations. One told me that custom has dropped dramtically since shoppers can park FREE at the giant Sainsbury store at the top end of Ladbroke Grove while parking near Portobello is metered, and of course, expensive.
You may have seen the recent BBC series called THE STORY OF OUR STREETS. What it illustrates is that former middle/working class streets have been tarted up as homes for the super rich so that the children and grandchildren of ordinary north Kensington residents have no chance of living anywhere in central London.
I wonder what Kensngton will be like in another 50 years!
Yours sincerely

Wednesday, 25 July 2012


The Dame was astonished to be invited this very private soiree organised, once again, at the expense of taxpayers, by the ludicrously overpaid and pitifully underemployed Tot Brill.  
But how crazy of her to embarrass the Council by getting into bed with a powerful family property company. South Kensington Estates own substantial property in the area of Exhibition Rd. To use their facilities in this way is very stupid: the Council should be at arms lengths from local property developers.

Tot must be the first puppet maker to make Assistant Chief Executive! What does Mr Myers see in the lady...ah well...'chacun a son gout,' as Ludo tends to say when attempting to appear sophisticated.
Anyway, the Dame will be declining:it all sounds rather louche and too lively for a elderly widower!

Dear Dame and Councillors

Exhibition Road Show invites you to Road House, the private member’s club for Exhibition Road Show.
From 28 July to 5 August the exclusive Road Show private members club Road House will provide a creative space to entertain your guests and visitors to Exhibition Road Show.
Located at 4 Cromwell Place London SW7 2JE the Road House is close to Road Show, but just far enough away to give a little privacy.
The club’s bar will be run by Soul Shakers, and will feature the signature Road Show cocktail, along with other superior alcohols, non alcoholic drinks, tea and coffee. (Dame, is this 'superior alcohol' code for your favourite Pol Roger '66? Ed)
Membership of the club gives you and three guests entrance to the club and access to its facilities.  Remember this is a pop up festival club in a building that has been kindly loaned to Road Show by South Kensington Estates.  Amenities will be basic, but it will be fun. 
If you want to take up this offer of membership please visit the club between 14.00 and 18.00 on the 28 and 29 July for your photo ID Membership Card and give your name to the door security.
Only guests accompanied by a member have access to the club.
Opening hours:
28 July  - 5 August 5th but NOT 31 July
Midday – 23.00 at weekends (bar open from 16.00)
18.00 – 23.00 Monday 30 July - Thursday 2 August (except 31July)
Tot Brill
Assistant Chief Executive
2012 and Special Projects
Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea
Kensington Town Hall
Hornton Street
W8 7NX
Please don't print this message
Find out about London's Olympic Games in the Royal Borough at
Exhibition Road Show: London's most elegant festival on London's most elegant road

Monday, 23 July 2012


Merrick Cockell cannot abide criticism of any sort. He likes to surround himself with 'yes men'.
Every week, his PR Department circulate national and local press comment. Anything remotely critical of Merrick Cockell is never included.
 Cockell has now extended this censorship to the Hornet. The Hornet was set up to provide an alternative voice: one which would report on matters Cockell did not wish residents or councillors to know of.
It has been well received. Every week  900 plus visitors check out the site. Since it started over 104,000 people have visited.
It now appears that no councillor or officer, using the Council server system, is permitted access to the Hornet.  By this action Cockell has shown great disrespect to his colleagues.
It is to be hoped, that at the next Council meeting, the leaders of the minority groups....and of course, decent Conservative councillors, will challenge this impertinent abuse of power.
If they won't...they become part of the problem.

Sunday, 22 July 2012


After fourteen long and financially lucrative years, Pooter Cockell senses he can no longer rely upon handing out £50,000 a year allowances to keep his Cabinet cabal quiet. The whisperings and mutterings intensify as conspirators gather in dark corners, fueling Pooter's paranoia.....
Even the fatuous Cllr 'Mad Mat' Palmer has been heard to say his boss needs to step aside 'for the good of the Council.'
Pooter, in a vain attempt to quiet the storm has come up with a extraordinary reason for hanging on. He tells the troops the Prime Minister himself has commanded he stay put, "to see the TriBorough through"!
Of course, nobody believes Pooter, but like most dictators clinging to power, he sees conspiracy everywhere. 
Pooter's dilemma is that he needs the dough and has nowhere else to go....
His venon is mainly directed at the poor old Dame. 
To thwart her he has instructed the IT Department to prevent access to the Hornet through the RBK&C email server system.

It won't work: most councillors and staff use their home email systems. However, there is a principle at stake here: The Hornet, like it or not, is a conduit of important Borough information. By blocking the Dame Cockell is openly admitting he is losing his grip. 
Every councillor should stand up and tell Pooter, "It is not the way we do things here: censorship is anathema to us."


Most councillors have never run a business so fail to understand a  local economy's lifeblood is the local retailer. 
Harassing local shoppers drives down turnover, with a consequential ripple effect. It all adds to the anxieties of running a business in troubled times, as well as seriously affecting local employment. 
Conservative councils are supposed to be pro business: but RBK&C is definitely anti-small business. It has a parking policy aimed at  harassing shoppers, so sensibly, they avoid the Rotten Borough.
RBK&C uses parking policy-not to ensure smooth traffic flow-but to make a massive income surplus.
Last year it came just behind Westminster with a staggering £21 MILLION
Small wonder our idiotic council can afford to splurge £27 million on Chinese granite in Exhibitionist Rd.
Simply put, motorists are supporting the Chinese economy, whilst local business gets squeezed out of existence. And then the idiot Cockell comes up with that flop of a sop, the Wedge! 
Does anyone use the £1 million Wedge? Doubtful!
Parking enforcement is supposed to ensure smooth traffic flow and prevent gridlock, but all we ever see are wardens patrolling backwater streets issuing tickets to non obstructing overstays.
We rarely see wardens in congestion hotspots, ensuring badly parked cars are ticketed or moved. Why? Because it's difficult to make money out this activity.
RBK&C is prohibited from using parking revenue to bolster income, but it gets round this by earmarking the cash for ludicrous and unwanted schemes-such as Exhibitionist Rd.

Authorities in England and Wales saw their surplus from parking rise to £511.6  million in 2010-11 from £489.4 million a year earlier, according to an analysis of local authority accounts by the RAC Foundation.
Local authorities were warned by Mike Penning, the road safety minister, to stop treating motorists as an easy target to raise funds. But, like many of the diktats issued by central government, it is ignored by Pooter and pals.

Saturday, 21 July 2012


 Your Council has just spent close to £1 million on a few days of jollification in Exhibition Road. This silly and frivolous event will be of no benefit to local residents. There will be no commercial spin off for local business: the only conceivable beneficiaries will be tourists.
In the meantime our council is busy plotting ways to save money by cutting back on essential services for impoverished taxpayers in northern parts of the Borough. The Dame has always said how fortunate we are to have a man of the integrity of Nicholas Holgate at RBKC...we wonder how the poor chap must feel at being forced to sign off on these vulgar displays.
Morally, there is no justification for this extravagantly ostentatious nonsense. This is not, however, a matter of goes beyond the trivia of politics. The Dame knows that some Conservative councillors feel horribly embarrassed and wonder about the moral values of the leadership. We have a council bereft of common decency...but then, with a leader such as Merrick Cockell, there can be no great surprise. 
In New York Cockell happily spent £400 of our money, on a dinner for two, with the convicted fraudster, Ian why would he baulk at wasting £1million or so on some stupid street party?
Readers should call their councillor and demand to know where they stand on the amoral profligacy of the Exhibition Rd 'street party.'
The Dame looks forward to some interesting feedback.


Not long ago financial genius, Warwick Lighfoot wrote a little read tome called "We Have No Money Left." 
Clearly, this mantra does not apply to the Rotten Borough. 
In RBK&C our money is frittered away with gay abandon by Warwick Lightweight and his friend and former business partner, Danny'Boys' Moylan. Those in real need are told 'there is no money left.'
A case in point is this silly 30 page, full colour booklet. It has been sent out to every household in the Borough. The cost would have been enormous and disproportionate to any information value it might have. 
Replete with pictures of Pooter and Lightweight, it is a waste of our money. But we don't expect a cigarette salesman like Pooter, or someone economic with commonsense, like Warwick Lightweight, to have much idea about making/saving money. 
But they could have come up with a logical and TIMELY solution to telling us about the Olympics...though most of us are bored stiff with it.
Currently, the Council wastes something like £400,000 a year on the Royal Borer newspaper, so would it not have been intelligent for the 'dynamic duo' to have coincided an edition of the Royal Borer with the Olympics? It would have saved £70, that could have been deployed to threatened children's services.
No wonder Pooter and Lightweight were far from being successful in their business careers....what a blatant waste of time and our money!

Friday, 20 July 2012


The Dame is a byword for modesty and self effacement. Showing off is not her style. But when Ludo, her aimless and none too bright nephew rushed into her boudoir clutching a piece of paper she was unable to contain herself.
According to Ludo the Hornet is now attracting nearly 900 Unique Visitors a week......and rising!
As Ludo so sagely said, "Dame, you are now a legend in your own lifetime"!


 You could not make it up, as 'boy image' emailer and ex Mayor, disgraced Barry Phelps was prone to say.
It seems Cllr Sir 'Pooter' Cockell has thrown a tantrum and is not on 'speakers' with Mr Myers, our £260,000 a year Chief Executive. 
What has caused the rift?
Those following the Dame may remember Pooter-against the wishes of his saner colleagues-forced through the purchase of a personal number plated £110,000, 1200 HP Bentley limo, RBKC 1.
Fortunately, they stopped him having it finished in metallic gold....vulgar little chap!
Thanks to the Dame, Pooter was forbidden use of the car by bossman Myers....something he was prone to do-until stopped.
 With the Olympics looming, Pooter was anxious to be driven around to various VIP functions using the gas guzzling behemoth: in particular he was keen to sample the exclusive delights of the 'Zil Lanes'.  When he asked permission of Mr Myers to use the motor during the Olympics he was told, “get on the tube”.
Well done, Mr Myers, but let's hope Pooter doesn't get spiteful on the subject of your upcoming pay rise......

Tuesday, 17 July 2012


The Dame has reproduced this paper in it's entirety: it is vital to our health and our families. Please get involved and make sure you make your views felt. Also send the link on to friends.

Shaping a Healthier Future

Consultation on proposed changes to hospitals in North West London NHS area1
which includes Chelsea & Westminster Hospital

It is planned that all 9 hospitals in the area will change their role. In future there will be these kinds of hospitals:
  • Major hospitals (only 5) which will include full A&E2 departments
  • Elective Hospitals for planned admissions
  • Specialist hospitals
  • Local hospitals without full A&E2 departments
The Consultation proposes three Options, Option A is the preferred one.
Option A
This has Chelsea and Westminster Hospital, Hillingdon Hospital, Northwick Park Hospital, St Mary’s Hospital and West Middlesex Hospital as major hospitals. It has Central Middlesex Hospital as a local and elective hospital and Hammersmith Hospital as a specialist hospital. Ealing Hospital and Charing Cross Hospital are proposed as local hospitals.
Option B
This option has Charing Cross Hospital, Hillingdon Hospital, Northwick Park Hospital, St Mary’s Hospital and West Middlesex Hospital as major hospitals.  It has Central Middlesex Hospital as a local and elective hospital, and Hammersmith Hospital as a specialist hospital.  Ealing Hospital and Chelsea and Westminster Hospital would be local hospitals.
Option C
This option has Chelsea and Westminster Hospital, Ealing Hospital (with the stroke unit at West Middlesex Hospital moved to Ealing Hospital), Hillingdon Hospital, Northwick Park Hospital and St Mary’s Hospital as the major hospitals. It has Central Middlesex Hospital and West Middlesex Hospital as a local and elective hospital and Hammersmith Hospital as a specialist hospital. Charing Cross Hospital is proposed as a local hospital.

1 North West London” in National Health terms includes nine hospitals:
Central Middlesex; Charing Cross; Chelsea & Westminster; Ealing; Hammersmith; Hillingdon; Northwick Park; St Mary’s; West Middlesex.

2 Emergency provision: It is important to distinguish between Accident & Emergency Departments and Urgent Care Centres. All hospitals now have Urgent Care Centres that provide GPs and nurses to deal with smaller cases and where admission to hospital is unlikely. Patients who turn up at A&E are assessed (‘triage’) and are seen in either A&E or in the Urgent Care Centre. At present Urgent Care Centres are not always open 24/7.
The future plans are for all the nine hospitals to retain Urgent Care Centres but only 5 to have full A&E departments – these will receive the blue-light ambulances, and have facilities for 24hr surgery, hospital admission, etc.

Why you must have your say:

The consultation has started and will go on until 8 October 2012.

Option A is the preferred option but as this is a 4-month consultation and other opinions are being invited, it is possible that other views might be considered and the preference changed to Option B. In this case Chelsea & Westminster hospital would become a Local Hospital and lose its A&E department, including children’s A&E. As Chelsea & Westminster is a stand-alone NHS Foundation Trust this would impact on its new children’s surgery department and its maternity department which might also close.
Note it is not true to say that, for instance, Charing Cross hospital would have no emergency provision for local patients under Option A as it would retain its Urgent Care Centre (where most patients who take themselves to A&E are treated).

Web links and further information

Home page of consultation:
The website has summaries of the proposals, with reasons, and links to downloads of the consultation document, and the survey.

Summary page of Options:

This is a lengthy survey and expects you to have read the full consultation document and be aware of its provisions. You can complete it online or ask for a paper copy to be sent to you.

Other ways to have your say:
The hospital is investigating ways to help people visiting the hospital to be assisted with completing the survey online.

Go to one of the public forums:
  • Central Westminster Hall
    Storey's Gate, London, SW1H 9NH
Event Date: Tuesday, July 24, 2012 - 14:00 to 20:00

  • Hammersmith Town Hall
    King Street, Hammersmith, W6 9JU
Event Date: Saturday, July 28, 2012 - 09:00 to 14:30

  • Essex Church
    112 Palace Gardens Terrace, Notting Hill Gate, W8 4RT
Event Date: Monday, July 30, 2012 - 14:00 to 20:00