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, 31 October 2012


In the Mayor's Parlour Cllr Buckmaster is drawing up his Christmas Party list: in this he should be judicious-and wise.  
For the Mayor and the Deputy Mayor, Cllr Borwick, it has been an excellent far.
Cllr Donovan, Mayor of H&F and Cllr Buckmaster
supporting British companies
They have both greatly enhanced the scope of the Mayoral Office and made a dynamic and effective team. And that leads the Dame back to the Invitation List...... 
It would be a grave error of judgement were the Mayor to invite his old chum, ex mayor Barry Phelps, to his Christmas bash. 
Last time round the Mayor gave the excuse that Phelps had not been prosecuted for circulating, on the RBKC email server, images of young boys in suggestive poses.
Twelve months is an age in politics. With the Savile affair in our minds people are far more judgmental about the behaviour of figures in public life...even at a lowly level.
The emails Phelps sent out may not be the stuff of a criminal prosecution, but they bought shame upon the Council. If only for that reason Phelps should not be invited.

Err on the side of caution, Your not ask this man to your party.

Monday, 29 October 2012


An URGENT update from our friends at the K&C Chronicle.....

"AN ENVELOPE of excrement has been found in a Conservative party building on Manor Street Chelsea this morning.
The Bomb disposal unit, police and the ambulance service were called to the Kensington and Chelsea Conservative's building on Manor Street at 9:30 this morning after reports of a smelly suspect package which turned out to be an envelope full of poo.
It is not known if the faeces was human or from a dog.
Police received a call from Mr Fraser-Howells at the Conservative offices who said he had found an envelope which must have been delivered over the weekend which 'did not look or smell right and was soft to the touch'. "
It would be wrong to conjecture that this was a politically motivated crime: it could well be a revenge attack on Mr Fraser-Howells....he has made many enemies, besides being cordially disliked by Pooter.....

Who was the Louis Vuitton clad character screaming hysterically in Chelsea Manor Street this morning? It seems it was our local agent, Jonathan Fraser-Howells warning all who would listen that a suspicious package had been found in the local Tory Party HQ.

In moments the entire street had been sealed off with the Met's finest and the Bomb Squad checking over the suspicious item. So serious was the threat that local flats and offices were evacuated.

Fortunately, the suspicious looking package turned out to be nothing more dangerous than some male beauty treatments that Jonathan had ordered and forgotten all about....



Those who socialise with the Dame know she is a fair minded old thing. So she is delighted to print this riposte from Malcolm Rifkind....and even more delighted to know that in between getting to his many NED meetings he has time to read the Dame.....what a charming old 'flatteur' is Malc!

Dear Dame,
Sir Malcolm Rifkind has asked me to pass the following message to you and your readers:

I have no complaints with your recent piece on my role as Kensington’s MP. You are entitled to say what you like – comment is sacred!  However I would much appreciate the opportunity to make two brief observations.  Most of my constituents are delighted to be invited to the House of Commons for a meeting but if anyone prefers, I see them at the Town Hall in Hornton Street.  I also visit constituents at their homes when necessary – indeed last week I was at Dalgarno Gardens in North Kensington visiting a constituent who wished to see me.

As regards my old website, your comment was entirely reasonable!  However a brand new website has just been completed, and will be online shortly.  I look forward to welcoming your readers to it very soon.

Malcolm Rifkind

Sunday, 28 October 2012


The Dame hears Br'um Boy Moylan is to return to a Cabinet post. The question is what portfolio could the 'aviation specialist' be in line for. 
Those who think they are 'in the know' suggest that he could nick the planning portfolio from fellow Oirishman Cllr Ahern.

Br'um Boy is picking up £120,000 a year. If he gets a Cabinet position he could boost that by another £40,000 or so.

These are all rumours......optimistically....

Friday, 26 October 2012


Having thought he could unilaterally close down key fire stations Boris realised he was facing a deluge of public opposition so, furiously back pedalling, he got a minion to put this out!

"On Wednesday 17 October there were numerous reports in the media which purported to set out proposals for fire stations in London.  I am afraid that these reports misrepresented our current position.  I would like to try and clarify matters.

The London Fire and Emergency Planning Authority has been asked by the Mayor of London to examine the opportunity for reductions in the budget available to London Fire Brigade.  As part of that process, the Commissioner and the Chairman of LFEPA have been talking to the party Group Leaders on the Authority about the various ways in which that might be achieved.  There are many different options under consideration.

At a very early stage in discussions, papers prepared for consultation with senior members of the Authority have become public, and the specific content of these papers misrepresent where we are currently.  I regret this and I would like to apologise to you for this premature disclosure of work that is unfinished and which will almost inevitably change before it is completed.  At this stage the Authority is not considering making a firm decision on any of the options put forward.  The Commissioner has set out the attendance time impacts and deployment consequences of response time modelling, but has been absolutely clear with Authority Members that his work is not yet finished and that there are more considerations yet to be taken into account.

Before any decisions are made about fire stations in London there will be a full public consultation and I will ensure that you, and all other Members of Parliament representing London constituencies, are informed directly and not via the media, and I hope you will take part in that consultation

Thursday, 25 October 2012


Town Hall lackeys find it increasingly difficult to satisfy the ever weirder demands of the Leader, Pooter Cockell.

Fitzpatrick of PR bears the brunt of Pooter's obsession with self image. When a national newspaper or Private Eye publishes hilarious stories about Pooter's escapades Fitzgerald is called to Pooter's eyrie on top of the Town Hall. Once there he receives a terrific bollocking.
Pooter is now beginning to bore all who will listen-or cannot escape-of his concern for his 'legacy.'....
Yet another Pooter obsession is the ever growing and all encompassing readership of the Hornet.
He has now discovered the Hornet is avidly read by Council staff: attempts to prevent staff reading it have failed abysmally.

Desperately Fitzpatrick gathered his top team for a brainstorm on ways to 're-engineer' Pooter's laughing stock image amongst staff and councillors. 
One go-getter came up with an idea ticking all the boxes....even Kim Jong Un's Propaganda Unit would be proud to 'own' it.....
Why not pretend Pooter helped win Gold Medals?" suggested the mischievous Unit member.
So now  those entering the Town Hall lift come face to face with a overweight Pooter pretending that he had something to do with all those medals. 
The Dail Mail had a very different take awarding him a Gold for hypocrisy! Read what they said about Pooter's Olympian hypocrisy...what an Olympian twit!

As that lover of images of young boys, disgraced ex Mayor Phelps... and Pooter friend, was wont to say, “You could not make it up”!


A 'Sophie Dixon' has posted two comments about a Conservative councillor. They have been removed due to their defamatory nature.

If followers of the Dame have information about councillors she prefers they contact via her personal email. The Dame is then able to judge whether they are fit to publish.
It is really not fair to post comments of a defamatory nature...not fair to the Dame who becomes liable; nor fair to the subject of defamatory comment.

Comments are unmoderated so followers are expected to use their judgment and act maturely.


When a politician tells you Londoners' lives will not be at risk by the closure of  local fire stations you can be sure he is lying.
Boris Johnson wants to close down 17 local London fire stations. Fire Brigades Union chief, Paul Embery, describes this as the biggest threat to the service since it's heroic work firefighting during the Blitz.
We live in a topsy turvy minute we are told there is no money to maintain an essential service: the next Boris and Pooter Cockell splash out close to £30 million tarting up Exhibition Rd!
We need our local fire stations: without them our lives are put at risk.
It would have come as no surprise to hear Boris claiming that closing down stations would actually enhance response times!

Mike Cotton, Knightsbridge Station won Bravery Award
The fact is London building are growing ever taller and thus the need for localised and professional fire fighting services ever more critical
Make your views known to Kit Malthouse, our GLA representative and one of Boris's top team, or ask your local councillor/s to get lobbying on behalf of residents.

Sunday, 21 October 2012


Malcolm Rifkind is an indolent MP
But that is no great surprise......his base is in Scotland:that, with his substantial portfolio of lucrative non exec directorships, plus his media work, leaves him little time for the tedium of constituent contact Malc tells us... "I am honoured to represent the people of Kensington, and I am keen to provide assistance to those who require it. I am especially eager to hear from those who reside in North Kensington, who since the 2010 General Election I represent for the first time."
The problem is residents in the north of the Borough he says 'he is eager to hear from'  find it difficult get a meet with Malc. 
Why? Well, Malc holds his surgeries in the Commons!
He probably knows the hike will deter all but the most determined bothering him!
Rifkind's family fled Lithuania-in impoverished circumstances-to escape religious persecution.With such a background it is frankly astonishing he seems to have little sympathy for those needing his help.
If he can't be bothered doing the job properly he should move aside for someone who can. 
Now go to Greg's site to see the vast amounts of work he does for his constituents Busy Hands
Rifkind's News section below is devoid of any reference to Constituency activity

Rifkind.... you should hang your head in shame if you can only report these two bits of boring non constituency news!

Sir Malcolm Rifkind

Speaker's Lecture:On the 24th of April I delivered a Speaker's lecture, reflecting on my time as Foreign Secretary, and the office itself. Text of the speech will be available here after the event...
Iran Panel, March 8thThe Royal United Services Institute (RUSI) hosted a discussion panel on Iran on the 8th of March. I took part as one of the panellists alongside Peter Jenkins, former UK representative to the IAEA, and Shashank Joshi, RUSI Associate Fellow. Video of the event is available here:

Saturday, 20 October 2012


Whoever advises Harrods is running rings around the Planning Department. 
Residents are asking why they have not received notification from the Council for the second application( the letter below refers) and why their  first (and numerous objections) could not be applied to the second application. Residents know Harrods is manipulating the system. They withdrew the first application but two weeks re-lodged it to ensure first objections would not be counted! Smart and devious stuff..... 
 Harrods dominates Knightsbridge. They have a duty to diminish the nuisance they cause residents. It is time the three councillors started to work for residents, rather than accepting hospitality from the store-as one did at the horrendous Lady Gaga launch.
The Cutting Edge programme due out soon on C.4 will prove a major embarrassment to Harrods, the Al Thani family and the Council
Farih Tabbah's letter to Mr Bore, Head of Planning neatly encapsulate the problems: it is well worth reading....

Dear Mr. Bore,

Ref. Harrods/planning application no. PP/12/03667

I wish to object to the above planning application for “temporary change of use of food retailers at second and fourth floor and Georgian restaurant at fourth floor level within Harrods from ancillary A1 use to A3 use during the hours 20.00 pm to 23.00 pm 30/10/12 until 30/1/2013”. 

The main issues are the loss of amenities to local residents:

1. If approval is given this will be a continuation of the agony that the residents are already suffering from LADUREE CAFE  which starts at 8 a.m.ends at 9 p.m.

2.  Large number of patrons will be entering and departing Harrods premises  from 8 p.m. o'clock until the end of the evening , and this is  outside Harrods permitted hours of business (Could we please remind the Council Harrods is a Department Store not an entertainment Center).
3. The areas identified on the plans for the later evening use are quite large and the capacity for these parts of the premises could  be substantial (my personal estimate of 3000 people)l. In the worst case scenario a large number of patrons will be  departing and entering the premises until late 23;00 hours in a residential area. Queues will be formed at entrances although the Council and Harrods don't tell us which entrance will be used (we think most assuredly HANS ROAD, THE RESIDENTIAL SIDE). PLEASE CLARIFY WHICH ENTRANCE THEY ARE ASKING FOR ????
- Harrods setting the precedent. The next application is either extension of the hours and / or a permanent whole year round permission (Typical Harrods ploy). 

 Rumors are already circulating amongst the Qatari and Middle Eastern community that Harrods is planning to open a NIGHT CLUB soon. Is the application the first step? 
The area will be clogged (as it is already is because of Laduree) by private very very fast cars, taxis, rickshaws, normal traffic, chauffeur driven cars, invasion of residents parking spaces, honking, street rage,  etc....  (The Council have not been able to solve the traffic issue in Hans Road, Basil Street for the last four years).
Drunkness, urinating in the street, garbage  and unsocial behaviour are a feature of the area. 
The residents have just recently experienced the most outrageous breach of peace by the Council approving the Gaga Perfume circus. PAMPERS were found in our gardens not to mention all kinds of garbage. The Council is already aware that the whole world has written about, televised and described the area around Harrods as being  a racing circuit by the Qatari Teenagers with the Council doing nothing and the police helpless. Any approval by the Council will be extension to all these activities till the  midnight hours.

- Drug dealers, prostitutes and Albanian/ Romanian beggars.

- The recently opened terrace with parasols adjacent to the Georgian Restaurant WILL BE USED for tens of smokers attending these venues. This will result in complete loss of privacy for Hans Road residents , not to mention the noise. The terrace is overlooking all Hans Road bedroom windows !!
- Harrods will not comply with any Council restrictions when they say 23.00 a.m. it is most likely the departure of the patrons will end at 2 a.m.
In brief Mr. Bore , if application is given this will be a catastrophe for the area. May we please ask you and your colleagues to stop ruining KNIGHTSBRIDGE.

Best Regards

Farih Tabbah
Walton Place

Thursday, 18 October 2012

Baroness Ritchie

Baroness Ritchie

Chelsea Old Church
The Dame would frequently go head to head with Shireen Ritchie BUT one thing she never disputed was Shireen's absolute determination to fight on behalf of those Brompton Ward residents she represented:of that there can be no argument.

One hopes that Brompton Ward councillors will be as assiduous as she was in supporting residents....
Her Memorial Service held today at Chelsea Old Church Street was packed. And from what the Dame hears RBK&C officers were hugely represented reflecting the fact that they enjoyed working with her.
The Dame being an avid dog lover was pleased that Shireen's dog, Cato was present....and behaving impeccably. 
Naturally enough, members of the Cabinet, such as Michael Gove, were present.


There are many elderly and not so elderly people living in our Royal Borough. Often their only asset is a flat-or possibly small house, purchased or left to them years ago. In the intervening years inflation and overseas demand has pushed up the value of that asset, whilst, at the same time, eating away at their smallish fixed income.
We all know at least someone in the Borough in that position.

A by product of Cameron's lust for power was being forced to work with some unattractive and minimally qualified opportunists able to wangle their way into power. 
What a bunch! Ex National Parks PR man, Danny Alexander running the Treasury and 'so so' economist and ballroom dancing aficionado, 'Doc' Cable are just two that come to mind. 
'Doc' Cable has now come up with a ludicrous idea that will cause havoc to the lives of many elderly cash and income poor Borough residents.
According to Cable anyone with a property worth just over £2 million is 'super rich' and should thus pay a mansion tax of 1%. If this man gets his way it will mean that those who just cannot afford it will have to find £20,000 a addition to the tax they already pay on their small fixed income.

The Dame has many elderly neighbours terrified that they will have to sell up their home of many treasured memories and move away.

The Dame challenges the Lib Dem councillors to come into the open and oppose an idea that will impact most savagely on a group of people far removed from Cable's stated target: the investment banker,

This is the moment when all Borough resident associations should come together and collectively denounce this mad and ill thought through idea.
Perhaps our very part time £130,000 a year Council Leader might give us his view. But probably not because Cockell and Cable have one thing in common:they both live off the back of us taxpayers

Monday, 15 October 2012


Adrian Beecroft runs Dawn Capital: he is a great friend of David Cameron. At Cameron's instigation he wrote a much ridiculed report on how to improve UK productivity. 
He describes himself as a philanthropist: by that one assumes he means his vast contributions to the Conservative Party. 
That organ of Toryism, the Daily Telegraph wrote a startling report highlighting how, the loan 'marine predator' was providing 4000% per annum loans to children!

Wonga is a vile company. In other countries it's usurious ways would be illegal. But here, in the UK, unlike the shark, it is a protected species. Wonga's cloying and misleading TV advertising should be banned by the ASA.
Last year it made pretax profits of £45 million providing loans to those already up to their ears in debt and sinking deeper.

So what has Wonga got to do with Mr Cameron? 
Beecroft is a backer of Wonga. His dividend flow from Wonga is immense; in fact, so immense he is able to divert some of the dubious profits to the Conservative Party coffers. In other words the Conservative Party is helped stay afloat through the vast interest payments made by Wonga customers!

In those days when the Conservative Party had a sense of morality the leadership would not have touched Beecroft with a bargepole. Can one imagine the shock Alec Douglas-Home would have felt having to consort with the likes of Beecroft now presumably well on the way to his peerage.
So having looked at Beecroft and his unpleasant company, Wonga, let us take a look at a brilliant and morally sound way of helping families who need financial comes from RBK&C!

Conceived by Cllr Tim Ahern and actively promoted by Cllrs Read and Freeman. These are the details:-
The Credit Union, branded as “Your Credit Union Kensington and Chelsea” has been established with the support of a number of local organisations, including the Council, the Kensington & Chelsea Partnership, the PCT and Octavia Foundation. It received FSA authorisation in May of this year.
The key objective is to make credit available, at reasonable interest rates, to vulnerable members of the community who would otherwise have no alternative but to turn to loan sharks, pawnbrokers or payday lenders.
Residents who can afford to do so are being encouraged to become Founding Members to provide the initial deposits to fund lending to vulnerable borrowers. Savings with credit unions are covered by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme. .
Founding Members who pledge now to deposit between £5,000 and £10,000 will be invited to a Founding Member reception hosted by the Mayor and Deputy Mayor.  Emily Maitlis will be present at the reception and has agreed to be a speaker.
The Dame thoroughly applauds this initiative and suggests that if any of her loyal readers would like to become a Founding Member, they should make contact with the Credit Union by contacting Councillor Read at

Sunday, 14 October 2012


Stephen Bayley is a leading UK leading design authority.
When someone of his stature lends his muscle to a campaign supported by in excess of a thousand residents we should heed him....
You Tube 

What has so angered residents of Chelsea and beyond? 
According to the Dame's impeccable sources RBK&C's Planning Committee has behaved in a quite disreputable and discreditable way.

Well known Chelsea hairdresser Heinz Schumi has run his salon at 18, Britton Street for twenty years. 

Two years ago, a 'Middle Eastern investor' acquired the building for £900,000. 
It has two tenants on the upper floor on an unprotected let-and Mr Schumi, on the ground and basement floors.

A local and longstanding resident, Michael O'Brien described to the Dame what made the little business so special....

"It is a wonderful meeting place in the character of old Chelsea. There are the hairdressers' own paintings on show, together with those of some of his clientele. There is even a piano which anyone with any talent is welcome to play."

Another, David Cameron's aunt, Lady Dugdale, is quoted in the Independent.....

"I'm very upset by the treatment Heinz is getting, he has become a good friend. Whenever I go up to London I have my hair done there. He and I always talk about painting, which we both do a little. He always had an easel up in his salon, and we had fun talking. He'd cross the road to help anyone. But it's not just that he offers a good, straightforward haircut. It's a very social place, a real part of the community. It's very unfair at a time when we should be helping small businesses. The council are entitled not to give planning permission if it will have an impact on the character of an individual area, and this certainly will do that. It's terrible what the developers are doing."

The Inde goes on... "Schumi's hairdressing salon in Chelsea's Britten Street faces closure next month, because the landlord has been granted permission to alter the building. Now, customers including Jilly Cooper, Stephen Bayley and Jenny Agutter, are calling for the council to repeal the permission. Austrian-born Heinz Schumi opened his first salon in 1973, and tended to high-profile barnets belonging to Diana Ross, Julie Christie and members of The Who."

Having bought the freehold our 'offshore investor' sought to enhance the value of his 'punt': he applied for planning permission to alter the ground floor.....

Now RBK&C is a council which pretends to support small business so no surprise to find in this case they have done all they can to destroy Mr Schumi's business. 
Not one member of the Planning Committee had the common courtesy to carry out a site visit: not quite councillor did come to look.
Mr O'Brian said, “ It is extraordinary that it took a Labour Councillor, Bob Mingay, to lend support and vote against the application.”
We need to know why no ward councillors got involved in assisting Mr Schumi.

So now the Freeholder has been granted permission to make a staircase to the basement in the only small area of the salon suitable for client seating:this, despite over a thousand letters, emails and Petition signatories all violently opposing the changes. 
Mr Schumi will now have to close if permission is not revoked and another feature of old Chelsea will be lost forever.

The Council has now enabled our Middle Eastern investor(who doubtless does not live in the Borough) to serve a Section 25 Notice on Mr.Schumi telling him to quit the premises.

So, in just two years, the owner will have forced out a local business and made himself £3 million in the process.

The Planning Committee have made a very serious error of judgment: they need to issue a Revocation-which they are legally entitled to do-without payment of compensation. There is a great mystery to this which The Dame needs to investigate......more info needed please.

Friday, 12 October 2012


To Birmingham and a busy week for The Dame. An old friend....a  shady 'entrepreneur' and Conservative Party Donor, asked The Dame to be his guest at last week's  Conference  'Business Dinner' hosted by none other than the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Mr Osborne! 

Clearly this vulgar man thought he would bathe in the reflected glory of The Dames' inimitable class and style and thus assist in grooming himself for his peerage.
Amongst, the assembled guests The Dame spotted our local Br'um Boy made good, Cllr Moylan.  Cllr Moylan seemed less than keen to greet the Dame......
Talking of peerages-which every common little politician seems desperate to get, the Dame picked up some very bad 'local' news.... 

The Dame fell into conversation with a rather important Treasury PPS. When the dreary little fellow found out the Dame was from Kensington & Chelsea he detonated with anger. " Is not the Leader of your Council Cllr Sir Merrick Cockell." Replying in the affirmative the Dame's new found friend said, " I can tell you that he will not getting a peerage he has been lobbying so hard for:George and the Prime Minister are furious with him."

 As the Dame recently pointed out Pooter has gone head to head with the PM twice....the first time when he got over enthusiastic attacking the Government over plans to interfere with local planning issues. At that time a very serious Pooter warned Treasury plans would transform the Planning Inspectorate into a “super quango” riding roughshod over the wishes of local people. (yes, he an expert on quangos)
And yesterday Pooter said the LGA rejected Government plans to loosen planning regulations on conservatories and extensions.
Pooter now realises that he will never get his fat behind on the red leather of the Lords: thus he decided he has no need to hold back on his fury at being denied becoming the first Lord Pooter. Has the man finally gone mad?

As Mr Powell once said, "All political lives-even Pooter Cockells'- unless cut off in midstream.... at a happy juncture, end in failure, because that is the nature of politics and of human affairs"

Tuesday 9 October 19.30hrs

Monday, 8 October 2012



Looking(left) at Cllr Marshall gives no impression the polo playing councillor for Brompton is particularly 'hip'. However, his equestrian skills have come in very useful-judging from his ability to ride two horses. 
This 'thank you' letter from someone called Mr Shoreman seems to indicate that Cllr Marshall was involved in the launch!!

Dear Cllr Marshall

I am writing to say how much I enjoyed the launch of the Lady Gaga Perfume at Harrods today.
I would like to thank the council for allowing this event to run and congratulate you, and harrods on a well managed event.

I look forward with pleasure to the next event.

Jon Shoreman
Poker in Europe

On one hand Marshall pretends to residents that he does all he can to protect them from the intrusive and commercially exploitative ways of Harrods.....on the other he actively encourages & gets involved in their projects!
His involvement encourages Harrods to continue to disrupt the lives of residents. It underscores the two facedness of Marshall and the council: the man is an utter disgrace. 

To quote well known local resident activist, Farih Tabbah....

"We find giving permission to Harrods  to launch a PERFUME FOR LADY GAGA by closing half of Knightsbridge roads from 6 to 10 o"clock on Sunday evening the most disgraceful thing any Council can do to the residents of Knightsbridge. This is the most appalling precedent and it is obvious that whoever gave this planning permission has no feeling or civility for the people living in this area"


Dear Cllr Marshall
We find giving permission to Harrods  to launch a PERFUME FOR LADY GAGA by closing half of Knightsbridge roads from 6 to 10 o"clock on Sunday evening the most disgraceful thing any Council can do to the residents of Knightsbridge. This is the most appalling precedent and it is obvious that whoever gave this planning permission has no feeling or civility for the people living in this area. Almost three thousand people were standing in Hans Road / Basil Street and Hans Crescent shouting GAGA until 9.30 p.m. with music blaring. ALL THIS TO LAUNCH A PERFUME !!!!!!!!!!!! AND THE HELL WITH THE RESIDENTS AS LONG AS THE QATARI ROYAL FAMILY IS HAPPY. When will this Council understand that THIS IS ALSO A RESIDENTIAL AREA AND HARRODS MUST BE RESTRAINED. ARE WE GOING TO SEE THE SAME THING HAPPENING WHENEVER HARRODS DECIDES TO LAUNCH A PERFUME???????. As I write the time 10 p.m. and still young people are outside in droves shouting.The people in the Council has lost all reality and they have no idea as to what they and Harrods are doing to the area which has deteriorated to unprecedented level.

May we please ask you as our Councillors to put a stop to this most appalling precedent.


1 Walton Place
Residents First

Saturday, 6 October 2012



Annie Redmile is one of those tireless enthusiasts every community needs: we are fortunate to have her in Kensington & Chelsea. She is  Founder of Active Link - 'Connecting Local People in Kensington and Chelsea'. 
On another occasion The Dame will be spending more time on the plans Annie has for Active Link.
However, for the immediate moment, this important letter to the Met Commissioner deserves our close attention.

To: Commissioner Bernard Hogen-Howe, Metropolitan Police

I write to you as an individual who has just spent more than 18 years working with the Metropolitan Police in Kensington and Chelsea. I have chaired a Police and Community Working Group for that length of time and have also served as a member of the Executive of the Community and Police Engagement Group.

I took a decision a couple of months ago that I could no longer continue with this work. I agonized over this decision and I think it is important that I tell you why - and also relate some of my very real concerns about policing and the community here.

I am sending you an ‘Open Letter’ because I want to share my concerns with others, who care also about the need for a strong working relationship between the police and the community in this borough.

Over the years there have been ‘changes’ to adapt to and new people to get to know. That is only to be expected in a working relationship with a complex organization like the Metropolitan Police. But, the pace of change is now too fast in both operational terms and in personnel. I believe that this approach is undermining the valuable working relationship that has existed here between the police and our community.

I had decided that that it had been a ‘change too far’ when a decision was taken – at a level of command outside of the borough – to move Superintendent Simon Rose who was responsible for partnerships and community relations. He had been in the borough for a relatively short time but had achieved some outstanding results in both communications and community relations.

In fact, Superintendent Rose is quite the best senior officer I have ever worked with in the area of communications and community relations. My background is in journalism and communications and I was doing some valuable work with him that may now go to waste.

Having initially said that I would work through to the end of the year, I then became aware that Chief Superintendent Jason Gwillim would no long be our Borough Commander. Both departures have stirred strong feelings across Kensington and Chelsea – most particularly recently with the departure of Chief Superintendent Jason Gwillim.

He is quite the best Borough Commander that I have worked with in my 18 plus years. And he is one of eight over that period!

I would appreciate it if you would place my comments on record, and convey to these two officers my thanks and appreciation for their commitment and work in this borough. I know that they both commanded a great deal of respect from individuals and community groups right across Kensington and Chelsea – and also from the officers who served under them.

This account goes right to the heart of one of my most serious concerns – and I know others share it – lack of continuity. Another example, I have worked with nine Sector Inspectors in this period. People in the area have come to know that I ‘work with the police’, and will quite often approach me, as an intermediary, with their concerns. They have no idea who to approach within the police itself – and they will no longer be able to talk to me!

I could go on, but suffice it to say, I believe the ‘partnership’ police have with their community should be valued, appreciated and made proper use of.

The police should also be cautious about making grand promises –albeit with good will – with every new initiative. I applaud the sentiment, but there is seldom notice taken of context and history. And, seldom does meaningful consultation take place with the communities – residential and business – that you serve.

It is clearly and sympathetically accepted by the people of London, at least many of us, that changes have to be made and costs reduced. There is perhaps too little awareness of the huge responsibility placed on the police today - and the details of a seemingly constantly expanding remit. But, that is exactly why you should ‘work with’ committed members of the community who, and it is marked in this borough, have great knowledge and skills that can be called upon and relied on.

I referred to the fact that I agonized over my decision to step down – and I did – but I still care very much about our policing and I have written to you on that basis.

With regards

Annie Redmile

Monday, 1 October 2012


This letter, from a resident with much property expertise, to the Head of Planning is highly relevant to the current debate about basement excavations and the impact they have on adjacent and near neighbours. 

Monday,24 September 2012

Dear Mr Bore 

Your response of today's date just does not do it for me. What proof do you have that the site notice was genuinely erected, and stayed there ?

Whilst thirteen 'consultation letters' were purportedly sent out, given the controversy, distress and damage basement builds, encouraged wholesale by RBK&C  Planning Dept, in cavalier style over the last ten years, have caused, do you not find it strange that: "No consultation notices were received" ?

What kind of of consultation process is that, given your own, and RBK&C's own current intense concern over its cavalier acquiescence to the said notorious basement builds ? Your department has issued a belated 16,000 addressee panic 'consultative' "RBKC Basement Survey" (Penelope Tollit,
Head of Policy and Design). What use is that now ? As regards the 52 Chepstow Villas basement build, where will you be when things go wrong - as they certainly DID when the/RBK&C's swimming pool planning policy was implemented ?

When in a hole stop digging. It is clear from the traditional institutional obfuscatory responses,we are getting to the basement build issue promoted by RBK&C Planning Department, that no
pragmatic or sympathetic response can be expected.

You have chosen to sweep under the carpet the real issues - namely the menace, inconvenience, danger and distress that your department's passing of so many basement builds in the borough
has caused/is causing to unacceptable high rates/local taxes paying  residents - the worst example of RBK&C's profligacy being the £30million utterly wasted on 'pedestrianising'  Exhibition Road/Prince's Gate.

Clearly we will have to consider all the legal options - both individual, and institutional negligence,
together with abrogation, and dereliction of duties.

Yours sincerely,

Mirek Malevski