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.

Wednesday, 29 August 2012


There is something pathetic about Pooter ordering the RBK&C IT Department to block The Hornet.
Pathetic because it just encourages the subjects of his censorship to visit the site though other channels. But beyond all that is the patronising way he insults the intelligence of his colleagues. 
Does he not think they have a right to read one of the fastest growing blogs in K&C?

Councillors already find all negative references to Cockell deleted from the weekly press distribution digest: now they are blocked from an important source of residents' views.
Let us hope that the Leader of the Minority Group will raise the matter at the next Council meeting. And let us also hope that she will get all party support because censorship crosses political boundaries.

What is particularly sickening about the affair is this. Cockell's family fled Germany before the war to escape persecution. If anyone should value freedom of expression it should be him.

Tuesday, 28 August 2012

Well Done Kathy May and Cllr Paget-Brown

Nothing gives the Dame greater pleasure than praising the Council and staff for the good things it does.

Keeping our streets clean is one of those 'good things.' The aftermath of Notting Hill Carnival is a load of old rubbish littering the streets and presenting massive problems for the clean up teams. And it is not just a few streets....around thirty are affected.
Logistically, it is the stuff of  nightmares..... all the streets have to be kept closed off so the clean up teams can work unimpeded by cars, etc.
Is it all worth it? Most residents probably think not: for them the Carnival is entirely in the wrong place.
But praise has to go out to the clear up teams for the excellent job they do and to Kathy May, Head of Waste Management and Markets for keeping it all together. 

The Dame was also pleased to see Cllr Paget-Brown, as the responsible cabinet member, taking the trouble to be out there thanking crews and making sure they delivered.

Well done to all concerned.

We should never forget that what residents want is this sort of day to day efficiency....not 'show off' £30 million roads or shiny £100 million schools offering not one extra place.

Saturday, 25 August 2012


This is a vital meeting for all residents:we all should try to attend......

Meeting to discuss A&E closures in west London

24 August 2012

The Council is holding a meeting to discuss proposed A&E closures in west London on Tuesday 11 September at 6.30pm in the Small Hall, Kensington Town Hall, Hornton Street. 

Major changes are being planned for hospital provision in west London. By concentrating some services onto fewer sites the NHS hopes to deliver better health care because specialists will be less thinly spread.

One of the options under consideration is to reduce the number of accident and emergency units in the North West London region from nine to five.

The NHS is consulting on its proposals and you can find out more at 
The Council's Health Scrutiny Committee is holding a public meeting to discuss the options and give you an opportunity to question the NHS Team. 

Put the date in your diary now and join the debate.

For more information visit 

Council uses eco tactics to outwit basement builders

Very stupid people often whine the Dame is anti-Council....what nonsense........
When the Council uses ingenuity, to protect the interests of those who pay officers chunky salaries, she has nothing but praise. Take this example here. 
Residents have voiced their anger at the disruption caused by basement excavations: it seems from this article in the Standard Mr Bore and team have found a way to deal with the issue. 
Well done Mr Bore and team.....

Council uses eco tactics to outwit basement builders

17 August 2012
A London Council has declared war on basement developments by insisting homeowners carry out a costly eco-upgrade of their entire property before they are allowed to dig for space beneath it.
The first salvo of the battle has been fired by Kensington and Chelsea council, which has fielded more than 1,000 applications for underground extensions in the past five years — including ones from Chelsea footballer Frank Lampard and his girlfriend Christine Bleakley, and Take That’s Howard Donald.
It has now refused the owner of a home in Elgin Crescent, Notting Hill, permission to create a basement complex because he “failed to detail how he would improve the terrace property’s overall carbon efficiency”.
The architect of the scheme condemned the council for “entirely inappropriate use of guidance” which will cost the homeowner thousands of pounds, making it financially unviable. 
Jonathan Bore, the council’s executive director for planning, threw out the proposals and said: “The applicant has failed to demonstrate appropriate mitigation for the environmental impact of the proposed subterranean development, in particular the impact of the development on carbon emissions.”
Kensington and Chelsea has introduced a policy directed specifically at basement extensions, amid growing pressure after complaints of noise nuisance and the prospect of damage to neighbouring properties.
It will insist anybody who wishes to build a basement must prove their home meets tough eco-standards before it gets planning consent. The architect for the Notting Hill scheme, Stuart Brown, said: “I can understand the need for new guidelines to regulate the current rash of massive full site basements.
But to insist that the environmental performance of an entire house is upgraded in order to develop an
extension of some five square metres is clearly an entirely inappropriate use of guidance.”
He added: “The costs of complying are prohibitive and out of all proportion.”

Thursday, 23 August 2012


The Dame's reverie was broken by a discreet cough. It was Phelps, her loyal, but totally disgraced house servant.
Phelps was bearing a copy of the Times, neatly folded to display an opinion letter from that important personage, Mr Bob Neill, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at Communities and Local Government. 

Neill-Pooter's  Red faced Mate
Mystified, the Dame demanded to know why Phelps would be wasting her time with the views of some insignificant and unknown junior minister. With a slight inclination of his heavily bearded head Phelps explained. " Dame, Mr Neill writes about the scrapping of Standards Committees. As you know, I and the Leader, Sir Pooter, have had some tiresome run in's with people reporting us for various misdemeanors: thus it's dissolution will be a good thing. Mr Neill correctly says it's a forum for troublemakers and non-right thinking people stirring  problems for grandees like Sir Pooter."
Puzzled, the Dame pondered why Mr Neill would be so keen to get rid of these bastions against greedy, corrupt and amoral councillors. Then it all became clear. Bob and Pooter were old friends. Could it be that these two nonentities had machinated together to bring about the destruction of Pooter's major irritant? It does seem very likely thought the Dame.......


This, from the Daily Mail, a True Blue paper should set alarm bells ringing. It shows the utter disdain the paper has for Pooter. Interesting that we all paid for his flash pad with the huge allowances we pay him.....If you go to comments you will find some rather amusing ones. Pooter, you shame the Rotten Borough with your two facedness and it is no good getting your mum in law to ring up and complain to the Mail...silly man!

You win gold for hypocrisy, Sir Merrick ...

When it comes to gold medals for hypocrisy, Westminster politicians normally stand proudly at the top of the podium. But how about this challenge from the Tory leader of Kensington & Chelsea Council?
The grand-sounding Sir Merrick Cockell (who’s also chairman of the Local Government Association) was keen to bask in the reflected glory of the London Olympics. He even filmed messages on YouTube urging everyone to give ‘full support to Team GB’. When the Games ended, he was bursting with pride.
‘I enjoyed almost every tense, drama-filled minute of it,’ he said. ‘Most of the country was proud and honoured to share the experience with millions of people around the world.’
Hypocrite: Merrick Cockel tried to cash in on the Olympic glory despite being out of the country for the second week of the games in a luxury villa in Spain

Sir Merrick, you’d have presumed, must have been there in Kensington, cheering near the Serpentine as Britain’s Brownlee brothers sprinted to gold and bronze in the triathlon.
Er, no! The two-faced chump had gone on holiday to Spain for the second week of the Olympics. He hired a £2,570-a-week, three-bedroom villa (with pool) which is hidden away in woods in the Ronda mountains near Malaga.
The villa’s website reads: ‘It enjoys one of the most fabulous views in southern Europe, stretching across the Genal Valley far below to the straits of Gibraltar, the Mediterranean Sea and the Rif mountains of Africa.’

Read more:


A Planning Expert writes.......

When the planning application for the former Holland Park School playgrounds was considered, the Planning Committee pointed out that it was “over-developed” with the amount of housing that was proposed and insisted that this element be reduced. So the affordable housing element was deleted and moved over to the Silchester Estate in North Kensington.
Now a similar situation has arisen with the planning application for the proposed Kensington Aldridge* Academy in North Kensington. Again, excessive housing has been plonked on to the proposed development, out of scale with the rest of the proposals and badly designed. Although this element of the scheme is greater and far less appropriate than that proposed for the Holland Park scheme, there is no doubt that it will be approved, despite many local objections,for two reasons: [1] This is not “affordable” housing but private market housing, intended to be sold off to a property developer; and [2] the receipts for this housing will go towards paying for the new Kensington Leisure Centre.

The problem here is that financial receipt is not a planning matter and cannot be used to justify the grant of planning permission for the development. And indeed, the Council continues to sit on over £33million for a Crossrail station that they know privately will never be built. There is no reason why some of this money should not be released to pay for the Leisure Centre, which the Tories are promoting as a benefit for the whole of the Borough –(just like the Design Museum, where they were well able to identify £millions to underwrite that scheme).

If the Planning Committee consider this application with genuine objectivity, then they will throw out this part of the application and insist that the space be retained as the green garden for the residents of the Lancaster West Estate that it currently is.

*It always amuses the Dame that Ron Aldridge stumped up the cost of the Academy: why would he not...Crapita, his company, have earned hundreds of millions from councils like RBK&C too indolent to do the work themselves.....a cheap thank you to a munificent council!


This is not a debate about the rights or wrongs of a school uniform policy: it is about showing commonsense and empathy at a time when parental budgets are squeezed in every direction.
The new Holland Park School is opening soon. It will be well over budget at £100 million and will add not ONE extra place. It cuts right across the Government's guidelines on school construction costs and the Mayor's diktat on not flogging off playing fields. But none of these paltry things matter if it paves the way to Pooter's yearned for peerage. The Dame will have a persuasive word in Dave's ear to get the man his peerage and off our backs.
Breaking rules is something that Pooter loves to do... this particular one is particularly cruel and necessary.
Last year hard up parents were told that that if their off springs turned up to the new school wearing their old uniforms they would be put into a sort of holding pen, segregated from their fellow pupils whose parents could afford the new uniform. The parents will then be summoned to the school to explain why they cannot afford a new uniform: a further embarrassment to the family.
What a bloody silly and uncivilised idea! To make matters worse parents have been told that they cannot buy basic items like shirts and blouses at rock bottom prices from Tesco and Asda, but must use a monopoly supplier. The Office of Fair Trading have ruled that this to be unacceptable. The Dame will be escalating this to her high up friends in Tesco and Asda: they will be unamused and will go public on the issue.
(Incidentally, most continental schools have no school uniform policy, yet far higher levels of academic achievement.)

So the old school clothing has to be thrown away, even though perfectly usable. Like the school- a complete waste of money....

The rich and detached from reality governors will say, “ we warned them last year to save their Child Benefit for the new uniforms.”
Do these clowns not realise that hard pressed families use Child Benefits to stay afloat and feed their children-not to buy unrequired school uniforms.
Pooter Cockell doubtless feels no embarrassment that the situation is now so grave that the Citizens Advice Bureau is using the K&C Chronicle to advise parents to contact them for advice.
When they meet on the 6th September the Governors need to show some British commonsense and kick this damned fool idea into the long grass of the sold off playing fields.

The only blessing is that our Design Champion, 'Boys' Moylan, has not called in one of his designer friends to run up a new 'couture' school uniform......

Tuesday, 21 August 2012


The Dame has received astonishing information about a key member of Tot Brill's staff. The Dame is busy acquiring further details about the appalling behaviour of the assistant. She will also be seeking copies of complaint letters,written by members of public, about this RBKC employee. This is a case 'of watch this in progress'. It's a situation where Mr Myers needs to move fast......
 A £160k a year Assistant Chief Executive

Monday, 20 August 2012


Danny "Boys' Moylan's siren calls to pension funds, to persuade them to invest in the now superfluous Olympic Park, might not provoke a stampede. The property investment funds he is non executive director of have had a hellish time. The British Real Estate Fund has gone belly up and as for the Glanmore Funds....well, the figures below graphically tell the story..... a 5 year return of minus 5.5%

Performance of the underlying Glanmore Property Fund

Total Return % *
Last 12 Months-16.65%
Last 2 Years-19.82%
Last 3 Years-66.48%
Last 4 Years-83.76%
Last 5 Years-83.00%
Since Launch-56.33%
Compound Annual Return-5.46%

You can read his Telegraph interview here Pontification

Danny said, "he would “love to see” investment from British pension funds."
As he well might....but they might be put off by his own rather sorry track the brokers say, 'Avoid"!

Saturday, 18 August 2012


Upon the sad death of Cllr Ian Hanham the local Brompton Association had to scurry around to get a shoo in. 
In their hurry they alighted upon a candidate endorsed by none other than Mr Jonathan Frazer-Howells-that, in itself, should have set off alarm bells...
Anyway, one of the Dame's Brompton Association chums( a dissident!) revealed an odd story to her. Before young Mosley was selected and elected there was another candidate for the seat.
That candidate had a 'colourful past.' Formerly, a former BA trolley dolly, he then went on to have a short lived career as a 'gay porn film star'.
Now, the Dame is a pretty liberated old thing with a sort of 'chacun a son gout' approach to life, but it was felt that residents-like  the Dowager Duchess of xxxxxxxx-might not be so liberally minded.
The Dame's attitude was certainly not shared by one extremely senior Labour councillor......who was the councillor? No names: no pack drill, as the Dame's second husband, the boring old Indian Army general, was wont to carry on with the story.....
In gratitude, 'Oirish' treated the Labour informant to a slap up lunch.

Now on the subject of the slap up lunch..... the Dame has just read a comment to the effect that Oirish sought permission from Pooter to allow the very expensive lunch to go down on expenses. In other words us taxpayers rewarded a Labour councillor for bringing politically advantageous information to the Conservative Group. 
This is a throughly wrong use of taxpayers' money: the councillor needs to seriously consider her does Pooter.
The cost of the lunch needs to be repaid and apologies made.
The Dame will be presenting this horrible story to Private Eye....

Thursday, 16 August 2012


A well and highly respected local resident activist has written this letter on a personal basis. It is interesting to see, in the context of the local sales, the Local Government Association firing a broadside at Gove. Why? Because Pooter Cockell is chair of this impotent quango and it was Pooter behind the three sites the writer refers to.
The Telegraph describes Fields of Pleasure the scandal of flogging of assets, which give so much pleasure to the young, to greedy developers.

Dear All,
Even though we are all still reeling from the successes of the Olympics and team GBR the Government appears to be relaxing the already minimal protections of our playing fields.  We have seen the playing field of Holland Park School sold, minimum open area space for the new Chelsea Academy and now even less for the proposed Kensington Academy Please sign the petition and have our voices heard.
Many Thanks

It’s just emerged that over a million children could lose the fields where they play.The Education Secretary, Michael Gove, has quietly relaxed the rules protecting school playing fields. Many people are worried that this could open the door for them to be sold off to developers.

Without playing fields it’s hard to imagine the children of today - the Team GB of tomorrow - will ever match this year’s record Olympic medal haul. If playing fields are sold off and built on, there’ll be no way to get them back. Once they're gone, they're gone.

Right now David Cameron and his Government won't want a scandal about school playing fields taking the shine off the Olympic legacy. [2] There’s a great chance that if tens of thousands of 38 Degrees members create a public outcry by building a big petition, Michael Gove will back down to make sure the Olympic after-party continues on a high.

Click here to sign the petition to Michael Gove to save school children's play areas:

For lots of people, playing outside at break time left them with some of their happiest memories of school. But happy memories aren’t the only long-term benefit of having proper places for children to play. Running around outside gives children the chance to get into good exercise habits early in life. And it can help them concentrate in class the rest of the time, so they learn faster. [3]

The Government is already feeling the heat - already a national newspaper has launched a campaign on this issue. [4] We can build on this pressure and, together, we can make that final push to persuade Michael Gove to do the right thing.

We’ve already had one great success around the Olympics - our massive petition persuaded sponsors not to take advantage of a tax-break available to them. Together, as the Paralympic Games approach, we have a great chance of persuading the Government to protect the play areas of our future Olympians.

Click here to sign the petition:

Friday, 10 August 2012


 Overheard by the Dame at a swish Portofino Cocktail Party......
Pooter Cockell was at a Conservative Party Conference fringe meeting addressed by then Mayor,  Ken Livingstone. 
After the meeting the great man(Pooter, not Ken) approached and demanded the Notting Hill Carnival route be changed. 
Ken, listened intently and replied in his horrid, nasal tones, “just remind me where you live, Merrick.” "Philbeach Gardens," replied  Pooter. 
Ken smacked his forehead saying, “Ah, now I're on the new route."
A furious and red faced Pooter stumped off.....the laughter of Ken's acolytes' ringing in his ears!

Sunday, 5 August 2012


Here is a further observation of the crassness of the £1 million 'manifestation' in Exhibitionist Rd.
Despite the expensively produced booklets, sent to every household at a cost of £40,000, the several people sitting around attest to the fact it was not really a 'sellout'!!
Could Sir Pooter, hidden in the space suit, be the Sonic Manipulator?....Whoever it was made a lot of incomprehensible and discordant noise.....very much like our Leader.

Dear Dame
I went down to the 'modern day Great Exhibition' at around 9.20 this evening. I had intended to pop into the V&A only to find that it was closed. I understand that the original intention was for the V&A and the Science Museum to be open until 10.00 in the evening throughout the Olympics. However because of lack of visitors the Museums decided that it was waste of time opening late; this shows what a complete and utter flop the "Road Show" has been. It has been an utter embarrassment and a failure for the Council. I would go as far as the Road Show is the biggest waste of money (which is easy to identify) attributed to any RBK&C and all those responsible should be ashamed of themselves.  
After walking up Exhibition Road earlier this evening at about 6.30, I think the most interesting display is the "The Agreement" which is an agreement between some honey bees and an artist. I was also given a free radio with a commentary called "On Air" about the ambience of the event and what was going on in and around Exhibition Road by Graeme Miller, who describes himself as an artist, composer and theatre maker. In fact all it was was a chat about the various aircraft flying into Heathrow Airport; other than that they hardly spoke about anything of any consequence as far as I can tell. 
This evening I took a lot of photographs which emphasise how completely third rate this whole project is. The performing artists were odd; in particular there was a man dressed in a space suit who was a DJ making strange noises; about six or seven people enjoyed this! 
The photograph makes quite clear-in colour- what an embarrassing disaster this event is.
I do not think that I have seen so many security people for so few customers and most, I am afraid to say, were not much interested in the proceedings.
 Heads should roll for this and it would be terrific if it could hit the Nationals; maybe with the assistance of the Taxpayers Alliance? 
Sir Merrick must be cringing at the thought of the possible damage that this could cause, especially as he presumably supported this farce.


Best wishes

Friday, 3 August 2012


The Dame has published a number of astringent comments she knows have been made by Conservative residents, shocked by the money wasted on Tot's Follies. To think Tot Brill could ever have been made Assistant Deputy Chief Executive says all we need to know about Cockell's leadership! 
A few biting comments have been made by business leaders:people who understand the need to get value for money. Wasting £1 million on this embarrassment has clearly upset them: it has also triggered feelings of guilt, knowing what an impact the money could have made improving the lives of the less fortunate in the Borough. 
So to give balance the Dame is providing a link Minority view to Cllr Dent-Coad's blog. The Dame describes it as a majority minority view simply because it represents the views of the majority of residents, but expressed by the deputy leader of the Minority Group. 
Dent Coad-cares about residents

Tot Brill-Couldn't Care Less About Residents


The Dame received this from a resident reader: again, it highlights the bland and  unimaginative approach to what could and should have been a scintillating event. It will go down as the £1 million flop.
What do other readers thinks.....

I had another look at this event last night again and cannot but think that if the council were intent on holding this type of celebration then they really should have done a lot better than they have. The atmosphere is flat, so many security people talking to each other and other personnel just standing motionless with programmes.  This really could have been tremendous if only it had been organised by people with real vision rather than someone who has absolutely no originality. 
I would have gone for a celebration of contemporary music from around the whole world and there are some excellent musicians in the most strange places! In my view it is something that London is lacking; an event not motivated by profit or commercialism but just original good music. I have long held the view that Jools Holland's show is very poor when it comes down to giving serious musicians the opportunity to play original music and should encourage more genuinely diverse music rather than the usual "world" music or the latest thing from the States seeking a plug for their forthcoming tour. Sadly unlike the days of the Old Grey Whistle Test especially with Bob Harris, the BBC has no serious contemporary music programme; a great shame really but the Exhibition Road Show could have been catalyst for young and old musicians around the world to play good original music in a beautiful part of London.
I also noticed that the some of the programme notes had been lifted from the various band's websites!
I also could not but help notice the state of the expensive paving; it is marked in places already; I just do not know why chewing gum is tolerated; it really should be an instant fine if someone just chucks the gum on the paving. In contrast, the Duke of York's Square is always clean and in meticulous condition. 
On a separate issue, I am surprised that as this Council prides itself as being environmentally friendly it has not focused on banning unsolicited mail such as pizza, taxis and various other trades; the disposal costs the council tax payer a lot of money.  
Maybe the council should concentrate on core services rather than getting involved in projects they have no knowledge or expertise in. 

Wednesday, 1 August 2012


The Dame is taking some well earned 'Me Time' at her palatial villa overlooking Portofino. She had left her fool of a nephew, Ludo, in London with strict instructions to monitor Tot Brill's £1 million plus Exhibitionist Rd antics. 
The £1 million wasted by RBKC
This was the first time the Dame had left the boy to his own devices so she was full of trepidation. She had no need to be... young Ludo was as good as his word. 
His report- incoherent in parts- confirmed the Dame's-and a number of senior councillors' worst fears...Exhibition Rd was a desert...just a smattering of bemused visitors

TOT'S £1 million FOLLY-hardly a soul in sight!
Despite Ludo's journalistic pretensions the Dame fears that he has far to go before Mr Murdoch will offer him a job. The Dame made a note to ask Mr Fitzpatrick of PR whether there could be a role for the dear boy on the Royal Borough newspaper. Ludo writes.....
......I left South Ken station in high spirits. I was surprised to be greeted by the usual oil stained paving, temporary barriers, pigeons and confused parents herding their children (is it a road? Is it a pavement?). A scrappy piece of A4 taped to a lamp-post reminds visitors to leave quietly. This is not from a beleaguered resident, it is from the Council.
Is this the Council’s ‘best foot forward’?
The area is infested with security guards, more plastic barriers and a row of portaloos. None of this is in the least bit designerly; it is ugly. There are people around, but not many more than a usual warm summer’s evening post-museum crowd. Cromwell Road junction is a similar story, orange barriers, lots of security, lots of loos. Soon I ventured into Exhibition Road proper, and found a sea of – empty paving.
A group of perhaps 80 people watches acrobats dangling from the Aston Webb wing of the V&A, and similar at Imperial. The atmosphere is more akin to that of the middle boring bit of a cricket match, forced polite clapping included. Past the sound stage are the food stalls and bars, in a line along the middle of the road, which splits the crowd and also does nothing for the atmosphere. At this point the scenario becomes depressing. This is supposed to be the lively core of the events, acrobats, music, food, booze, should be wonderful. Instead it is devoid of any atmosphere, there is no seating for the food stalls, and there are not enough people for half a party. It is simply dreary.
Discussions with the food stall workers give another angle to what is looking like an expensive disaster area. They have paid ‘a lot’ for their pitches (between £100 and £200 for weekends), but after food and staff costs, many are losing ‘obscene amounts of money’ according to one. They are contracted to stay for the full nine days but many are already saying they can’t afford it, they could lose their entire business. One suggested it would not be a good idea for Cllr Warwick Lightfoot to repeat his recent visit stating ‘I’m responsible for all this’, as stallholders could give him more than a piece of their mind.
Other issues emerge, such as the very poor organisation of the festival as a whole, the lack of effective marketing (‘they thought it would be overcrowded’), outrageously restrictive health and safety practices, and a sense that the food and drink stalls are there on sufferance, despite being practically the only attraction there. It is 7.30pm, ‘busy time’. The other busy time is when the Albert Hall closes and visitors pour down to S Ken station, hungry. Unfortunately this is the very time that the food stalls are instructed to shut down, despite the fact that their contracts state they can be there until 11pm or 12, so the two Councils could actually be in breach of contract. Trouble, serious trouble, legal and potentially expensive trouble, is brewing.
Someone points out a woman on a bicycle looking somewhat distraught. It is the ‘landscape of wonder’ organiser Di Robson. 

PLEASE come to my party
She is not a happy woman. The previous night she was seen on BBC news pleading for people to ‘come out and party’. However there seem to be more ‘Olympic Ambassadors’ and security guards than visitors.
Exhibition Road is not the Ramblas. The Road Show is a disaster. It has cost K&C Council  close, if not more than £1m. Someone, Tot Brill or Cllr Lightweight must be accountable.’