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.

Saturday, 29 September 2012


Last Thursday the Deputy Mayor was delighted to welcome over 80 guests to a reception at the Town Hall. Next week the Dame will be publishing pictures from that excellent evening!

 Earlier in the Summer: William and Strider

The event was to promote the good work of Family Holiday Association. Guests listened to a moving speech by John McDonald of the FHA which has sent over 130,000 deprived families on simple seaside holidays since it started in 1975 and this year a further 2,000 families will be able to go away for a life- changing break.

The purpose of the reception was not just to introduce the FHA to the local community, but to showcase an epic 2,500 mile charity horseback ride, which will raise money for both the FHA and Wormwood Scrubs Pony Centre. William Reddaway and his horse Strider, who enjoyed the reception from the Council courtyard, will set out on this most ambitious adventure in May 2013; he expects it to take six months. The duo will travel to all four corners of England via thirty Cathedrals to raise awareness for the two charities.

It was also a bit different to the usual more formal events hosted by the Mayor, including people who had never stepped foot in the Mayor's Parlour such as Sister Mary-Joy from Wormwood Scrubs Pony Centre, who gave an excellent speech explaining the work of the Centre using tackle as metaphors!

There was a good turnout of Councillors including Tim Ahern, Nick Paget-Brown, Tim Coleridge as well as Judith Blakeman and Emma Dent Coad all busy making sure the guests felt relaxed and cared for.

FHA Patrons present included Prunella Scales and the founder of the FHA, the 92 year old Joan Lawrence as well as guests from the Grocers Company and Lorimers Company.

Cllr Dent Coad said: 'I hope the Dame and her followers will support this amazing adventure and the target of raising £250,000. The website of will be up soon to accept donations.'


The Boundary Commission wants your views on this important local government representation issue. The below has been sent out by the good Mr Sheppard to all Resident Associations.

It is an opportunity to make a serious contribution to the although it might be tempting to be sarcastic or ironic comments should try to be constructive....

Friday, 28 September 2012


When Kensingon & Chelsea residents are asked what Jason Gwillim achieved in his short stint as Borough Commander the consensus view is that he started to rebuild community relations...prior to his arrival at an all time low. 
Police insiders say he eradicated the police on police bullying that had become prevalent. In themselves these are substantive achievements:but better still he had started to get a grip on crime reduction.


So what does the Met do with such an outstanding senior police officer? They send him off to do a non job at Empress State Building!

What a waste of a highly talented senior officer....but it begs the question WHY? 
Clearly it does not help if your superior feels that another favoured officer should have got the job. He tends to make them and others brief against you.....

It had not been an easy time for Jason. He had the double sadness of his mother becoming seriously ill and his father dying within days: something that would knock the wind out of most peoples' sails. He also had to deal with his key officers being taken from him to manage Olympics security.

Big decisions such as the closing of the Notting Hill Custody Centre and the opening of a major detention centre in Wandsworth were taken out of his hands and it now appears that the new centre turns out to be unfit for purpose!

Good men do not get the plaudits that have come Gwillim's way. As one community activist said, “He is a decent man and not given the time to do the job properly. Crime figures, were actually starting to improve and Jason should have been given the opportunity to implement his action plan.”

Another said, “ His  departure been been subject to swirling rumours and a raft of innuendo: he has been very unfairly treated and residents have a right to know why."

It is rare to find a senior community police officer enjoying such well deserved local popularity. 
We need him back-not wasting his talents in some humdrum admin job.

Wednesday, 26 September 2012


It is no exaggeration to say the Dame's postbox has been inundated by residents and community activists upset at the loss of Jason Gwillim, until very recently our Borough Commander.

 Jason was an effective and highly popular figure in the community and losing him is a blow to community policing.

The Dame has put her ear to the ground and will soon be in a position to tell all. 

It is wrong that good men like Gwillim are pushed aside in this way. It is not just RBK&C that is suffering: Westminster has also seen popular officers moved from proper policing duties into dead end and undemanding roles.

More to follow........

Monday, 24 September 2012


The Mayor and Deputy Mayor will be hosting an important reception in the Mayor's Parlour on Wednesday, 7th November.

The Mayor , Cllr Buckmaster

Between 6.00-7.30pm they will be greeting residents whose hard work and enterprise this summer drove the success of the many Diamond Jubilee street parties and celebrations held in K&C.
The Mayor and Deputy want to personally thank those residents who gave up their time so the many could enjoy themselves.
The Deputy Mayor Cllr Lady Borwick

The Dame knows these public spirited individuals are often shy about coming forward to get the recognition they deserve. If you can think of residents who deserve a commemorative award why not send their names to the Mayor’s Office.
You can email:
or write to....
The Mayor’s Office
The Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea
The Town Hall, Hornton Street, London, W8 7NX


A message from the excellent Licensing Department at RBK&C. 
The Dame is pleased to bestow praise on hardworking Maggie Elsdon of the Knightsbridge Association and Farih Tabbah, a resident activist. Without them rallying residents to oppose this unwelcome application we could move towards the horrors in the image below. 
However, we must be ever could easily come back to haunt us.... for the moment the Qatari owners are feeling nervy.....


The Dame has no praise for Brompton Ward Cllrs Marshall, Mosley and Barkhordar.....once more asleep on the Watch

"We have been advised by Harrods solicitors that this application is to be withdrawn, with immediate effect.  We have been advised that the applicants will review their licensing requirements, with a view to submitting a new application in the near future.  If a new application is received, and after consideration you decide to make representation, you would need to write in again to this department, outlining your grounds for your representation based on the application and one or more of the licensing objectives."

Saturday, 22 September 2012


The Liberal Democrat councillors have proven to be a huge disappointment to residents. There was a misplaced belief they would actively engage in the struggle to impose checks and balances on Pooter Cockell and crew. Instead they have kept their heads below the parapet refusing to do anything which might compromise their relationship with their patron, Pooter.
When the Dame denounced the disgusting Phelps for his vile emails she created an opportunity for the Lib Dems to win in Earls Court. She had hoped that Linda Wade would have used that opportunity to help clean up the Rotten Borough: she and her lacklustre colleagues have done nothing. They are a complete waste of space.
It is interesting to refer back to the Dame when she mentioned Cllr Caruana's attempt to wrest a Special Responsibility Allowance for being Leader of her flock of two! Here it is......

"A little bird has been squawking that the Leader of the LibDem group has been putting it about that she deserves a Special Responsibility Allowance (SRA) for being Group Leader and Chief Whip of their little velour wearing band!
A group of three is hardly demanding, and lets face it the positions "Group Leader" and "Chief Whip" are not Ward related, they are political positions albeit ones that do attract allowances in the other groups. Must be hard work keeping those two other LibDems sitting squarely on that fence.
Maybe the new found coalition spirit between the ruling Conservatives and their junior partner will see their dreams come true and they will be given a special allowance ticket onto the gravy train. Or perhaps our LibDem readers can explain what is going on..."


It will also be interesting to hear their views on their silly leader's attempts to tax anyone with a home in the Borough worth in excess of £1million. Do our councillors believe the tax should be implemented across the board, or should it be means test driven? If the resident has a mortgage should that be taken into account?

They had better start thinking about the answers.... a considerable percentage of those they so fecklessly represent may have a property asset in excess of  £1million, but don't have surplus income to pay yet another tax. Here is a link to a singing Clegg



An ex RBK&C employee has written to the Dame highlighting the possible fraudulent claiming of car travel allowance. 
The Dame has great respect for Mr Holgate and hopes he will rectify this unsatisfactory state of affairs...

I worked for RBK&C for 20 years in a very humble capacity - I had no management responsibilities and never interacted with the public; but occasionally I had to attend meetings in far flung places. Generally these could easily be reached by train, but sometimes this was irksome.
I was aware that some council jobs carried a 'car user allowance' as part of the job specification, but I wondered if one-off casual use could be reimbursed. Finance confirmed that it could, if authorised by my Team Leader, and sent me a form.
Buried in the small print on page two I was required to confirm that I had insurance for using my car for work purposes, and at the end I had to sign that everything I had said was true.
Well, getting special temporary cover for non-private use was clearly a non-starter, so I enquired around of people I knew who had car user allowances (both as part of their job and casual). 'Oh, I've never bothered about that, just sign' was the general response.
Now I have a natural reluctance to sign I am telling the truth when I am not, so I became curious as to how the system was policed. I contacted the Finance officer who dealt with the claims and asked if they required proof that claimants had in fact the requisite insurance. 'No, we trust them;  if they want to take the chance of their insurance company not paying out if they have an accident it's their choice' was the reply.
I thought about this, discovered that the allowance was based on the AA estimate of how much it cost to run a car for work - which included an amount to cover the necessarily greater insurance required for non-domestic use.  I contacted Finance again and pointed out that a part of the allowance was to cover this extra cost, and if the recipient wasn't in fact paying it but saying he was, then it was fraud, not just taking a voluntary risk.

I never had a reply. Clearly the 'car allowance' system was so universally and deeply embedded as a perk, for both Officers and Councillors, that nobody was going to rock the boat. Valuing my job I gave up (and didn't claim the allowance).
Still, lying is lying; and taking money for something you claim to be doing but are not is not only lying but probably criminal.  This was some time ago, but I expect it is still going on.


Cllr Palmer has requested that the Dame reproduce his reasoning as to why he should be supported for the Leadership. 
The Dame did warn him that its reproduction could seriously damage him....but he insisted! 
Should he be using the Council server for electioneering purposes? Doubtful....


Palmer says......

"Palmer for leader - the man who made 
it his business to find out who was 
leaking from the Conservative group to 
the Hornet. And found them!

The man who knocked out three sitting 
labour councillors

The man who got re-elected (unlike his two conservative 

The man who beat the london wide trend in the local elections 
and has done every time he has stood.

The man who has a regular newsletter listing LIES the labour 
party tell.

The man the Labour party hate."

Seems a good idea he became the leader of K&C please 
write to to pledge your support 

Friday, 21 September 2012


Here is the Private Eye story


The Dame has received an email from Councillor Matthew Palmer declaring himself as a candidate at the upcoming leadership election for the Rotten Borough. 
He has put forward his manifesto as a 'comment' (which you can read) and the Dame advises all councillors to do so before taking any decisions.......
The Dame has little knowledge of Cllr Palmer's eccentricities, but he could be a 'fun' leader.
He has asked the Dame to provide his email address so you can write to him offering your support-or otherwise.....

To support Cllr Palmer please email


He has also asked that you copy in his colleagues:


The Dame is recipient of many strange rumours-but none more so than this......

The source was a highly placed Rotten Borough officer-and one without a sense of humour thus we can be sure he was not playing some cruel practical joke upon La Dame.

It truly is one of the bizarrest of stories and one that the Dame is anxious to 'put some legs on.'

Here goes....It would seem Pooter has promised he will step down at the end of the year having enjoyed the opportunity afforded to hobnob with “The Royalty”..... as he so charmingly puts it-and 'press the flesh' with the various “high ups” in the Olympics industry. He believes that with the contacts he has made, plus his peerage, he will get some lucrative non exec directorships.

So with the going of Pooter there is some concerted jockeying to grab this lucrative £70,000 a year sinecure. cut to the chase.... the Dame's officer friend tells her that there is a 'dark horse' candidate quietly and persuasively pitching for the job. 
You could have knocked the Dame down with one of her boa feathers when she heard that this 'dark horse' was none other than Cllr Matthew Palmer!


Palmer has been telling people that he will be a conciliating force in a council which has lost it's way and is riven with jealously and intrigue. He also tells those dumbstruck enough to listen that his candidature has the blessing of none other than Pooter himself. The Dame suspects that Cllr Palmer may end up rather more of a 'stalking horse' than a 'dark horse' and we all know what happens to stalking horses....


A controversial London councillor has been arrested after an alleged assault following a dispute over a parking space.

Weird Friend of Pooter

Tory councillor Brian Coleman was held in police custody following his arrest last night in connection with the alleged incident yesterday afternoon.
Witnesses reportedly said the Barnet councillor was involved in a confrontation with café owner Helen Michael in North Finchley after she saw him parking in what is believed to be a nearby loading bay.
The Buzz Café owner apparently tried to take a picture of Cllr Coleman after which an alleged assault took place.
Ms Michael was summoned to a meeting with Barnet Council earlier this year after she produced a series of posters accusing Cllr Coleman of “murdering” Barnet’s high streets with high parking charges.
Cllr Coleman was one of the highest profile scalps claimed in the City Hall elections in May.
His defeat was largely blamed on the controversial parking reforms he steered through on Barnet Council, which saw parking fees rise and all pay and display metres scrapped and replaced by a new pay-by-phone system.
He also lost his role as chairman of the London Fire Authority when he failed to hold his London Assembly seat.
The local councillor is no stranger to controversy.
Last week he faced calls to apologise after calling members of the public “old hags” during a fiery council meeting about local authority cost-cutting.
In footage posted on YouTube, the former mayor of Barnet was heard responding to hecklers by saying there were “sad, mad and bad ... and a couple of old hags in the gallery”.
In 2009 he was found to have broken the council’s code of conduct after calling a blogger “an obsessive, poisonous individual” in an email.
A Scotland Yard spokesman last night said: “A man has been arrested in connection with an alleged common assault. He has been taken into custody at a central London police station.”

Thursday, 20 September 2012


It seems the Dame has been praised in Private Eye's 'Rotten Boroughs' this week.

She is sufficiently humble that this new found fame will not go to her bouffant adorned, blue rinsed head.....

The Dame hopes everybody will purchase a copy of this pricker of the pompous and exposer of the venal.....

Monday, 17 September 2012


From the Standard ....

......Plans to close accident and emergency departments at London hospitals are “fundamentally flawed”, according to a damning report.
The proposals to scrap four out of nine emergency units in north-west London also showed a “lack of regard” for the needs of local residents, said former NHS chief Timothy Rideout.


The departments at risk are at Charing Cross, Ealing, Hammersmith and Central Middlesex Hospitals.

Leader of H&F,Nick Botterill, Hammersmith and Fulham says: “We’re not going to let this rest. We’re going to make sure that this whole decision is called in, and that the matter is referred to the Secretary of State.”
A shame Cllr Cockell has not the time to get involved in this vital local campaign. His disinterest in the Borough he leads is now so obvious it is embarrassing .....
Mr Rideout was commissioned by Hammersmith and Fulham council to examine the business case for the downgrade during a consultation period over the plans which ends next month.
  • A failure to explore genuine alternatives to A&E closures.
  • The use of location to decide downgrade options instead of more relevant issues such as current hospital performance.
  • Lack of regard for inpatient and A&E admissions who will be dramatically affected by the proposals.

Friday, 14 September 2012



Unable to arrest the growing numbers of residents reading The Dame a certain Conservative councillor with time on his hands has hacked into the site and unsubscribed enthusiastic followers of The Dame. This is a criminal matter.

For those of you have been the subject of this childish and impotent action The Dame would ask you to re-subscribe.

It shows the depths of desperation....first a crude attempt to block comment and now a flagrantly criminal action.

Thursday, 13 September 2012


Can this really be true?

The Dame understands that Cllr Ahern has NEVER claimed expenses....

She also heard that, as Mayor, he actually PAID in £30,000 to subsidise his year.

Well done Ahern. Perhaps you could have a word with Pooter and some of your colleagues. They seem to think that council work is a way of supporting their lifestyle.


It took little time for staff and borough council leaders to get thoroughly  fed up with Danny 'Boys' Moylan. 
The Standard says he....

"ruffled feathers at the London Legacy Development Corporation, particularly among some borough leaders who disliked his abrasive style."

Someone really needs to take Moylan aside and explain getting people to follow you requires their love and respect: bullying people....particularly other elected local politicians is dangerous......they can gang up against you. This appears to have happened. It is, perhaps, the other reason Boris pushed him out the LLDC.

With this deft of hand Boris scores a double whammy....he gets all the profile and kudos of LLDC and throws Daniel into the ravening lions' den of Westminster. They will not like him in that little village!
Of course, the rather pathetic PR spin is that the Mayor wants an an attack dog to  snap at ministerial heels. The reality is that Boris knows that his Fantasy Island project is just that. 
Having Daniel to take the heat of failure give Boris a useful firewall. But the question GLA members need ask is whether Moylan will still be getting the same chunky wedge.

The Dame has received this interesting view...other views welcome.

.....Boris has no trust in Moylan's ability to deliver any “legacy” post-Olympics. In any case it is such an easy win Boris wants to take all the credit.
The other theory is that Moyan has been “promoted” from a proper job to the management of Boris's campaign to "suck up to everyone living near Heathrow airport (who can vote for him) whilst pissing off everyone living near the Thames estuary (who can't)" campaign.

The only flaw is the idea that Moylan has the capacity to charm anyone.....

Tuesday, 11 September 2012


Retrospective consents for monstrous and noisy intrusions-like hotel air conditioning units, are a massive bone of contention for residents. 
A local resident contacted the Dame's assistant to complain about proceedings at a very recent planning meeting.(The Dame is at a health farm in Surrey)
It seems the subject of discussion concerned large, noisy and ugly aircon units for a hotel in Ashburn Gardens.

One councillor, Cllr Paul Warrick(yes, the pompous one who abhors contact with residents) it said to have gone on the record implying commercial interests in the Rotten Borough prevail over residents. 
Residents really need to get a grip! If your councillor has this insolent view then replace him with one who fights for resident's rights. 
In Stanley Ward residents have Pooter Cockell...far too busy ever even to answer letters from residents....Cllr Pascall who has rarely been sighted.... and Cllr Warrick who disdains contact with residents and has made his views clear.
It is scary that a busy local solicitor and councillor should feel large commercial interests override those of residents. It bodes badly for those residents fighting to save the Odeon if Warrick's bad attitude is prevalent amongst other councillors. 
It is time to kick out these useless and over remunerated councillors


Back from her three month sojourn in Portofino the Dame was catching up on 'local issues.'
The disgraced Phelps, her ' SPAD', was at hand to brief her up.
Phelps was jaunty... He told the Dame of the cockup made by his successor in Earl's Court, Cllr 'Jonno' Read. Phelps feels he is on the cusp of a major political comeback....despite the issues with emails of very young boys.
According to Phelps, his dear old friend and one time political ally, Pooter Cockell, had blown the opportunity to lodge an ample posterior on the red leather of that haunt of the greedy and venal, the House of Lords. So how had Pooter sabotaged that lusted for £44,000 a year allowance to add to his portfolio of taxpayer driven incomes?
It appears he got over enthusiastic attacking the Government over plans to interfere with local planning issues. A serious Pooter warned Treasury plans would transform the Planning Inspectorate into a “super quango” riding roughshod over the wishes of local people.

"This is a blow to local democracy," pontificated Pooter “Suddenly, without any discussion, the Government is threatening to take power away from local communities, placing it in the hands of a super quango.”

Well, Pooter knows all about making money from quangos. His huge £130,000 a year income comes, or has come, from sitting on quangos or similar.
But perhaps the real reason he resents central government stepping in is because it interferes with the localism 'job creation' possibilities for him and chums: after all, think of the new Special Responsibility Allowances he can create......
Maybe, he also fears Government might start interfering with his other wasteful pet projects, like building the £30 million Exhibition Rd, or the £100 million Holland Park School, or the £1million a year subsidy to Holland Park Opera to establish his credentials(as a modern Medici) at our expense.
Whilst touring through some of the more important European cities this summer the Dame noticed their economic vibrancy. Hoteliers and restaurants report their best year ever: it was as if the recession had bypassed them.
How odd the Dame thought..... in the Rotten Borough the only spending is by Pooter lavishing OUR money on wasteful projects that do nothing to lift the local economy.

Friday, 7 September 2012


A sharp eyed Dame follower has sent her this. It is a massive enhancement to a contract to a company that has not covered itself, or the Rotten Borough, in glory.The Standard article is worth revisiting Dodgy NSL
But, as interesting, is the fact that the ultimate owners of NSL are a Dutch Antilles based don't expect too much of your money to come back in tax! There should be a rule that no Council or Government agency does business with tax dodgers. 
In the case of NSL we should remember some of it's rather seedy looking employees whom we pay large wedges to.....

Title: Extend the Contract for the Provision of Decriminalised Traffic and Parking Enforcement Services
Decision No: 03838/12/T/A
Decision Rating: *
Detail: Request to extend the existing Contract with NSL Ltd. for a further three years at a value of £5.8 million with the purpose of providing the service for the provision of operating a decriminalised traffic and parking enforcement operation. The breakpoint of the contract expires 2 July 2013. The extension will allow the contract to expire on 1 July 2016.

Contact Officer: Jacqueline Joseph
Decision maker: Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Environment, Transport and Leisure
Main consultees: None
Date to be implemented: Not before 12 December 2012
Current status: Scheduled
Report available: No
Scrutiny committee: Public Realm Scrutiny Committee
Decision URL:

Thursday, 6 September 2012

URGENT - Important new Information on the Kensington Odeon

Dear Councillors,

This could be one of the most important emails that you receive whilst in office for Kensington and Chelsea residents.

On Thursday night you have a vital role to play for our RBKC community, one of its major landmarks and places for community fellowship since 1926, the Odeon Kensington is to be considered for demolition and redevelopment.  Also, this may impact as well  for  Kensington High Street, central to our borough, and even London life.
The case for demolishing the Odeon and replacing it with another development requires your full consideration and you will need to examine your conscience carefully when you vote 'for' or 'against' the application for extra time. Pages of information could be provided  but I have condensed as best I can for just 5 minutes of your time. 
(The developers can pay for experts and say what they like, often highly creative, and after I have spoken I am sure I will want to stand up and speak in defence of the staus quo, although this is not allowed.)
Much has changed with the economy and global outlook and safety since back in 2007.
Surprisingly as a housing project this proposal is convincing: what is concerning is the poor cinema provision, safety and the killing of the trees.
Kensington High Street is in decline with competition from Westfield and Duke of York Square, King's Road stripping custom. This proposal removes one of the main 'Attractants' for non-locals to visit this area and shop and eat out. Going to the Odeon, Kensington is viewed as a posh night out or daytime outing in an elegant and spacious building in safe neighbourhood and millions have come over the years and endorsed this community benefit.
THE KENSINGTON CINEMA NEEDS TO BE FANTASTIC TO ATTRACT PEOPLE and this proposal falls short as the proposal is not  'equivalent' or better 'standard' than the existing. Down in the windowless bowels of a 17 metre pit under a car park  - how is that an attractive place to be, equivalent or better? What 'merit' does the plan have other than to create the most sellable units possible for a developer?
Emotional, but close to 20,000 people who signed the Downing street petition want the Odeon saved - 'Save the Odeon' thousands of signatures..ask your conscience. 
Can you vote for that option - a cinema dungeon of poured concrete to replace an elegant and proven local institution?
The public desire is to 'Save the Odeon' and the 'Trees'. 
it is murderous to remove the 21 metre tall trees that are "two of the finer trees in the borough" just to satisfy a developers greed for more units to sell to the few.
The site has six floors above ground - surely room to accommodate flats, a cinema and to keep the trees?
Do you really want to be the one who is recorded as voting to have the huge Odeon trees felled? It should be noted that basements have been turned down on appeal because of the importance of trees.
Trees have gone from the Commonwealth Institute, tower blocks are coming. Do you really desire to see the Odeon fall victim to this change of focus to 'what a developer wants now' in a conservation area by Holland Park? Your conscience should tell you to vote for what benefits the community in the long term - keeping the trees and a 'proper landmark cinema' with a large auditoria with a bigger screen than Leicester Square. Obviously the stars come for Premieres, stars such as Johnny Depp and Madonna, even Prince William and Kate are believed to have sneaked in the other week. The cinema in its current form is of International Importance - would it be in the new format?
Do you want to vote for 'unchartered territory' ie. a sub, sub, sub, sub, basement cinema.
Down, down, down, down - what if there was a fire? Or a random terrorist or human panic event like in the Colorado cinema shooting.
Would you like to pass down a darkened corridor to find one of the convoluted ways up multiple flights of turning stairs (around 70 steps up in the staircases alone) to reach the full foyer and ultimately...daylight? In the half darkness, with smoke and noises of screaming panic? The disabled and even slightly infirm will still be waiting for the firemen,when they arrive on the scene, to take them up in 2 lifts which are simultaneously being used to bring firefighting equipment down? 
Oh, did I mention "the minimum of three means of escape from Cinema Level up to Kensington High Street" which is point 5.15 in the planning report, just 3 means of escape from 17metres down? Can you seriously vote in favour of this this basement cinema location in the light of all the changes to the govenment advice on Fire since 2007 (policies in more detail on the addendum below) and have these been fully considered?
If a tragedy happened, or even a disturbing stampede, in this groundbreaking new concept for London - 'the five floors below cinema' (- could you sleep at night? Do you want to vote to take the borough's main cinema into unchartered waters, deep down where the chance to escape is more of a chance, especially for the young and infirm, than leaving the existing 1926 cinema with '16' easy ground floor exits.
Watch the simwalk, simulated evacuation of a ground floor multiplex, detailed in the addendum below. Look at the enclosed attachments above:
1899 -classic Kensington customers
1499 -A buggy bottle neck trying to get up from a basement in the London aquarium without 'panic'.
1497- The impatient parents then taking the exit into their own hands by taking the escalator. Just a 'mild' basement panic event with no threat.
The developers describe 'a separate fire compartment for each screen' but Government safety Regulations for 2012 say compartments are OK but only if:
"the lowest floor in a building does not need to be constructed as a compartment floor".
see addendum for fuller details.
The 2007 proposal needs to be tested to fit the latest technical safety requirements up to 2012 as well as technological advances such as computer modelling of crowd exit behaviour. This is something the borough should look at for all its cinemas in the light of the fire at the Electric Cinema in nearby Portobello. Fires DO happen.
Think carefully before you vote - is it right for the conservation area to 'try' this on the suggestion two developers? Is is right to demolish this historic building? Once it is gone you can't bring it back or the space back into public recreational use. Cinema attendance  is increasing for not only film but live screening of sport such as tennis, the olympics, the proms and live theatre and opera. Does the proposal for development create an appealing enough arts venue down in the plot's bowels? Should it be our Councillors, in the respected RBKC, that pioneer approval for a 5 stories underground cinema in a concrete box? 
Can you live with voting for something that will kill two huge trees?
Could you sleep after your decision if there were a tragic incident down below?
Questioning and any questions are welcome at the meeting.

C.McLean - speaker at the Major Planning Meeting


Jennifer Ware, a stalwart of the Earl's Court Society has asked that this be passed to Dame Hornet. The Dame is delighted to oblige......

"At a meeting last night with many people, all property owners and some very wealthy, living in Earl's Court (Jonathon's Ward) everyone was horrified by his views. It is the preservation of our built environment in every detail which makes the area so desirable (and expensive)."


Caryl Harris is the most effective chairwoman of one of the most populous and powerful resident associations.
The Dame is one of her great admirers:unlike the Dame, Caryl is very far from being geriatric and boring!

Dear Councillor Read,

Like you, I also represent a very large section of South Kensington – in fact our Association patch covers from the top of Palace Gate down to the Old Brompton Road in the south - across to the Westminster Borough and Exhibition Road in the west, and to the top of Kensington Gore, encompassing three large wards;  Queen's Gate, Brompton and Courtfield -  taking in The Albert Hall, all the museums, two of London's busiest underground stations, and most of the less liked embassies and consulates in London plus 109 restaurants, night clubs and cafes. The difference is,  we genuinely represent them, because my members have a choice not to join our association every year and actually pay to have me represent them - and have done so for 44 years. 

So speaking, as I do from my time spent happily living (and representing my members) in the Borough for more than 44 years and definitely now falling into your category of the geriatric and atrophied - may I ask this question? From your vast experience having sat on a planning committee for, is it three full months now? (most of which time you no doubt have been in sunnier climes). Did you really write that hog wash  I read like "vast basement excavations are boring and atrophying geriatrics living in the past"?

A simple yes or no will suffice.

Yours sincerely,

Caryl Harris 
South Kensington & Queen’s Gate 

Wednesday, 5 September 2012


In the case of the Dame, the Actonian maxim "Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power tends to corrupt absolutely"  does not apply. (thought it might to Pooter).
But she was astonished to find that her advice to the Prime Minister to get rid of Pooter's pal, Bob Neill had effect. Until recently Bob was bobbing around as minister at Communities and Local Government...he is no longer: his backside is firmly back on the backbenches. 
Alert followers of the Dame will recall that Neill fulminated against Standards Committees-the last bastion against corrupt and amoral councillors. Bob's punishment for this crime against residents is to be cast out into utter darkness.
Neill was a great friend and supporter of Pooter. Let us hope the going of Bob will not have a negative impact on the peerage Pooter so yearns for......