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.

Friday, 28 February 2014


You would expect the imbecilic Cllr Palmer(when did you last stop beating your wife?!) to have got a warm reception when he wrote his garbled rubbish in Conservative Home
Despite having a friend to check his bonkers grammar and spelling, his foolish, infantile rant attracted just twelve comments(the norm for anything intelligent is around forty)

And the funny thing is that each of the comments tore into Cllr Palmer's weird ramblings. 
It seems even True Blue Tories find him a liability. 

That eminently sensible pair, Nick Paget-Brown and Tim Ahern, really need to take him to one side and forbid him posting comments under the pseudonyms of important people......

One comment even accused him of being a closet supporter of the Filthy Phelpsie and the convicted paedophile, Andrew Lamont!
The Dame cannot believe the rumours that Palmer has been encouraging Filthy Phelpsie to stand in the May elections.

Thursday, 27 February 2014


The comment below was put up by a member of the Conservative Group.
We can surmise who this might be....Walker-Arnott is the evidence is even stronger!
Richard Walker-Arnott also happens to be the former senior partner of that great firm of lawyers, Herbert Smith.
Mr Walker-Arnott is listed in the telephone directory as living in Gloucester Place, NW1.
The Dame took the trouble to call Mr Walker-Arnott(it's unwise to be off side with heavyweight lawyers) and mentioned that his name had been used without his consent.
A furious Mr Walker-Arnott denied ever having heard of the Hornet, let alone commenting in it. 
When asked whether the Dame could assist in identifying the poster he replied that he would deal with the matter himself: his tone was cold and hard!

The Dame does not accuse Cllr Palmer, but two things should happen. He should volunteer to have the hard drive of his computer checked, or Mr Holgate and Cllr Paget-Brown insist that he hand over all computers in his possession for checking by the IT Dept. This is a serious matter......

How about the public want to know the names of the Paedophiles, Wife beaters, and Labour activists that write under the name of the Hornet.


Dear Dame

Thank you for allowing me the freedom of your columns to give my thoughts on the news that the Chelsea Independents intend to oust Cllrs Cockell, Warrick and Pascall.

In years gone by an Independent faction on any council was seen as a ‘good thing’. The over politicization of local politics has gone too far and nowhere is this more apparent than within RBK&C.
In his years as leader Merrick Cockell prove to be a disaster.
With no external income he clung to power in an undignified and unscrupulous way.
His use of £40,0000 a year Special Responsibility Allowance to cement his leadership smacked of the worst excess of a kind of associated with Tammany Hall /pork barrel politics.

Leaving aside his abuse of the expenses system to fund his love of First Class air travel, luxury hotel suites and £600 discreet dinners for two there is the question of his (at one time)
£120,000 a year taxpayer funded allowance.

It is right that the Chelsea Independent candidates seek to rid the council of Merrick Cockell and his two fellow councilors, Warrick and Pascall. The trio has no interest in residents and is never available to help us when in need.

I will take great pleasure in seeing these three replaced by Ian Henderson, Heinz Schumi and Andrew Barshall: all three are deeply committed to Chelsea and its residents.

Cockell’s only commitment was to his self-interest.

Yours sincerely

J. Bagley

Wednesday, 26 February 2014


It appears that the Holland Park Academy is beginning to appear more like a rather mediocre minor public school-the sort of place that her ill bred brat of a nephew, Ludo, might have attended!
The Dame has been told of some dodgy doings on Britain's only £100 million State school. 
It appears that the school has picked up some bad expensing habits from Sir Pooter Cockell.....
Last summer thousands of pounds were spent on splendid lunches, first class luxury travel and taxis for the benefit of the senior management team. 
Some lucky fellow even got hold of a £3,000 i-pad.....
Anne-Marie Carrie, the newish chairman of the Board of Governors claimed a taxi to transport her to and from a 'cut glass', Hello style dinner party at the elegant home of dear old Cllr Rutherford. 
Cllr Rutherford is all at sea over the goings on at the Academy so doubtless Miss Carrie was putting a bit of steel into the old dear's back....and making sure she towed the line....
The Dame wishes to know why the senior management team could not pay for their own lunches like any other person at work and whether each team member has declared these to HM Revenue and Customs, since they attract income tax as benefits in kind. 
The Dame would like to know why the School has not claimed back the VAT on these invoices. 
And the Dame would also like to know why the Academy is trying to persuade the Council to foot these bills. 
Napoleon Hall surely has some explaining to do!'


The Dame has been sent a note from Mr Bore who cannot resist a note of triumphalism!

Quite correctly, the Planning Committee sought to act in the interests of residents by refusing the owners of 115 Elgin Crescent permission to excavate a basement which would have extended under the Crescent itself(!)

The Committee also took into account the noise and inconvenience that would have be generated.

Sure enough, the applicant appealed to the Planning Inspectorate who not only allowed the Appeal, but awarded costs against the Council.
Any suggestion that Mr Bore might have incited the applicant to appeal would be mischievous and unfair.
However, there is no doubt that the decision by the Planning Inspectorate adds muscle to Mr Bore's Iron Fist.

Tuesday, 25 February 2014


The Dame has just received this update from the Chelsea Independent Group

The Group are now running for the three Stanley Ward council seats.

Their candidates are:

Heinz Schumi
Ian Henderson
Andrew Barshall

Their message is pretty straightforward....." CHELSEA FOR CHELSEA PEOPLE"

Monday, 24 February 2014


It looks like Heinz Schumi is whipping up a press storm. 
If he carries on in this way he will become the Standard Bearer in the movement to stop foreign investment companies wrecking Chelsea.
Never forget that ex Leader Cockell loved toadying up to the likes of the sinister Ritblats.... pere et fils.

Nothing gave Cockell more pleasure than secret meetings with the boss of Hutchison Whampoa.
He refused ever to disclose the contents of such meetings.

Heinz Schumi and Ian Henderson will need financial muscle to boot out Cockell and Warrick.
The Dame will be contributing to their election expenses and hopes all those keen to see the back of Pooter and Warrick will do the same.

A good piece in the The Standard today


The Dame was perturbed to read that two insolent Chelsea types have announced in the national press peasant's revolt that they intend to stand against Sir Pooter Cockell and Dracula lookalike Paul Warrick, a local solicitor with a very keen interest in planning issues.....

Heinz Schumi, is a well known Chelsea figure. 
Doubtless he will draw massive support from his wide circle of clients and friends: after all, 3,000 people signed the petition to save his business from the rapacious hands of a foreign property developer.
Ian Henderson, is a popular and influential tenant of the iconic and about to be demolished Sutton Buildings. 
The Dame has previously reported on Affinity Suttons' plans to demolish a major portion of this wonderful community asset so Affinity Sutton can make more money and thus boost the senior management team's bonus pool.

Schumi and Henderson present a real and present danger to Pooter's earnings. 
The elections are in May.
In that same month Pooter is forced to step down from from his lucrative £55,000 a year chairmanship of the useless LGA. 
Kicking him off the Council means he will no longer have taxpayers funding him and his family.
Pooter likes to pretend his wife has lots of money to divert attention from his scrounging off the taxpayer: the Dame understands it's a myth.
The Dame hopes that Schumi and Henderson will not focus on Pooter's massive expenses whilst leader: it would be quite unfair to point out the lush hotels, First Class air travel and $600 dinners for two in swanky New York eateries read all about it here.....Greedy Pooter
It's the sort of gossiping that could prove damaging to Pooter: particularly if their leaflets were a collage of all the negative press comment on Pooter and his ex's......

As for Warrick....he is just an odious and unattractive little fellow with little interest in residents. 
Kicking him out will give a lot of pleasure to many.

Friday, 21 February 2014


Every year RBK&C, in its pathetic desire to appear 'street and edgy', slaps taxpayers in the face by throwing thousands of pound at a pointless and unwatched series of 'manifestations', which nobody has the slightest interest in.
Under the leadership of Nick Paget-Brown one might have thought a halt would be called to this squandering of money and the savings deployed to facilities that make a real difference.

A reader has written this to the Dame

Dear Dame

The below is currently being advertised on the RBK&C website:
 InTRANSIT street festival returns
 Art will be taking to the streets again this summer when Kensington and Chelsea's InTRANSIT festival returns bigger and better than ever before from 18 to 27 July.

I note that the web blurb includes the following:

This year the Council has commissioned design and production team O' Neill(Cllr?) Ross to curate the festival. Their experience includes production and design of Secret Cinema (2010 to 2013) as well as site-specific projects with The London Contemporary Orchestra and Silent Opera.

This couldn’t be Cllr Dez O’Neill could it?

Thursday, 20 February 2014


Dear Dame
Thank you for allowing me space to make a point or two.
Some years ago, the unpleasant Tiny Rowlands was asked the point of non executive directors. 
His dismissive response? "They are decorations on a Christmas Tree: you need them."


So can we surmise that our councillors are about as useful? 

Not long ago, the chairman of the Kensington Society, Amanda Frame, made a trenchant appeal to prevent the demolition, by Malaysian investors, of much loved Lancer Square.

On Lancer Square, Amanda Frame made an impassioned appeal to the committee to stop this greed based vandalism: she failed....despite her well reasoned below...

 the proposal represented a significant loss of public space and 
 the new park would be set well back into the development and 
was not usable public space; 
 despite requests made from last summer, detailed plans for the 
children’s play space had not been submitted and it was unclear 
where play equipment would be located; 
 the north-south vehicle axis took up valuable outdoor public 
space and divided the site in half; 
 the National Planning Policy Framework required any planning 
authority to consider the public benefit and access route for flat 
owner vehicles should be pedestrianised; 
 Mr Cleave challenged the traffic planners’ contention that traffic congestion on Kensington Church Street would not increase and he believed vehicle movements needed for removal of spoil 
would exacerbate traffic congestion; 
 assessment of traffic impacts should take place before approval 
of the application; 
 contrary to the report, residents of the Old Court House would 
experience less privacy, and 
 The decision should be deferred until the scheme had been 

The only reason for destroying the Square-like the proposal to knock down the King's Rd Curzon, was to boost square footage and the yield. The only beneficiaries being landlords and developers .
So, Dame, if powerful resident associations can be ignored by councillors does it not make sense for resident associations to put up their own candidates?
They would be of more use than the 'Christmas Decoration' councillors....

Kind regards

xxxxx    xxxxxxxx-xxxxxx

Wednesday, 19 February 2014


Hugh Seaborn, Chief Executive of Cadogan made a spirited defence of the company's consultation with locals, but it seems to have cut no ice with this reader who has written to the Dame, as below.....
It's a punchy riposte....your turn, Mr Seaborn. Is Point 1 correct?

....As you might imagine some of the points Hugh Seaborn makes don’t really tell the full picture. Here are some key points that we feel Mr Seaborn has missed:

1.   During the consultation only 9% of respondents to Cadogan’s public consultation selected a boutique cinema as their first choice and yet this has been the only cinema option included for comment.

2.   During this process the Cadogan Estate did not consult with Curzon Chelsea,  despite being a leaseholder within the scheme, until Curzon forced the point themselves.

3.   The Cadogan Estate firstly claimed that to devote additional floor space within the redevelopment to cinema use would result in the loss of  more profitable retail floor space.

4.   Recently Cadogan have suggested that the loss of the large screen would, in its view, bring benefits with it.  However, this has been derived from comments made by proposed cinema operators rather than that of local residents and Chelsea cinema customers.

5.   During this consultation process it has also been disappointing to see that the owners have failed to recognise the popularity of the large screen auditorium and the successful business that has grown out of this. In addition to the thousands of local residents who have signed a petition calling for the large screen cinema to remain the consultation has failed to note the success of the alternative content and special events like the MET Opera and the Royal Opera House that the Curzon provides. For these type of events the Curzon continually has the highest attendance in the country and a successful business.

6.   The grand auditorium that dates back to the 1930’s sets the Curzon Chelsea apart from the typical cinema and has made it particularly popular with Chelsea residents and the local community.

7.   The atmosphere of the auditorium along with the offer of being able to see alternative content and the social aspect of the Curzon Chelsea has led it to be seen by residents as a cultural destination venue rather than simply a cinema. As the range of special events that the auditorium is used for continues to expand it is now the case that the screen may not even be used at all for instance when David Byrne from Talking Heads was recently interviewed at the venue.

8.   The Council’s policy is protective of arts and cultural uses including cinemas with any re-provision to be in the immediate vicinity of the site and to an equivalent or better standard.  The  loss of the large screen would not meet the same cultural standard that the Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea has become accustomed to and would leave residents frustrated as it becomes harder to enjoy the cinema and the Curzon’s alternative and special events in this part of London.

Tuesday, 18 February 2014


No, Pooter...much to your chagrin there is nowt wrong with the old girl.
She is going along next Monday to question the senior managers about the hospital and the future.
We are fortunate to have this centre of excellence in our Borough.

A chance to question managers from the Chelsea and Westminster Hospital

10 February 2014
Residents and community groups will have an opportunity to question the senior management of Chelsea and Westminster Hospital NHS Foundation Trust at a public meeting on Monday 24 February at 6.30pm in Kensington Town Hall.

Chelsea and Westminster Hospital, which has one main site on Fulham Road and four sexual health clinics across London, provides a range of inpatient, day care and outpatient services including A&E and maternity. In addition to this, it offers a range of specialist services including paediatric and neonatal surgery in the new Chelsea Children's Hospital, the most extensive HIV and sexual health service in Europe, high risk maternity care, the regional burns unit for London and bariatric (weight loss) surgery.

The meeting, which has been organised by the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, is the second in a series being held for each of the major trusts providing healthcare in the borough. 

Councillor Robert Freeman, Chairman of the Adult Social Care and Health Scrutiny Committee, said: "This is an opportunity for residents to hear what is happening at Chelsea and Westminster, find out about the Trust's expansion plans and raise any concerns that they may have."

The Trust's Chief Executive, Tony Bell, and Executive Director of Nursing and Quality, Elizabeth McManus, are among the confirmed speakers. They will give an update on developments at Chelsea and Westminster Hospital, including plans for the Trust to become a major hospital as part of the `Shaping a healthier future' programme to reorganise the NHS in North West London. The hospital representatives will then take questions from the public.

Members of the public and local community groups are invited to attend the meeting (booking is not required) and questions can be emailed in advance to or taken on the night. Questions submitted in advance will be asked first.

For more information, contact Gareth Ebenezer, Clerk to the Adult Social Care and Health Scrutiny Committee, on 020 7361 2947.



Dear Dame,

Your blog of 15 November on the cinema has been brought to my attention.  Your reference to localism had a particular resonance as we work hard to be a positive and responsive influence locally.  Cadogan has a major stake in the long term success of the area and as such we approach what we do mindful of the impact it has on the community and on our neighbours.  

I thought you would be interested in the approach we have taken to this scheme and the importance given to the views of local residents in the course of developing our plans.  Incidentally, local Councillors and planning officers have been aware of this approach throughout.
Over the past year and a bit (November 2012 to January 2014) we have carried out extensive engagement and consultation with the local community on the proposed redevelopment of the Chelsea Cinema.
An independent consultancy Soundings has been appointed to carry out the public consultation to ensure that people are well informed about the proposed development and have opportunities to input into the process at key stages and that these views are fed back to the design team.
The process has seen over 1,400 people attend 23 separate events and provide over 600 representations. The events included 4 public exhibitions that were open to the public, held locally and publicised through leaflets door dropped to local residents in the consultation boundary, posters and adverts in the local press. The exhibitions gave people a chance to be introduced to the project, see how the consultation had affected the process, discuss the proposals with the project design team, and provide feedback.
Additionally a Community Liaison Group was created at the start of the process to act as a sounding board for the emerging plans. Members include representatives from local community groups, residents’ associations, and other local stakeholders as well as attendance by me and my team from Cadogan and the design team led by the architects Paul Davis + Partners. The Liaison Group met on a regular basis at key stages throughout the process.
We also created a website which contains all the information to date about the proposed development, results of the consultation so far, and downloadable copies of the boards from the four public exhibitions.
The overall findings from the consultation show overwhelmingly that the single key issue most important to people regarding the Chelsea Cinema is for the provision within the new development of an independently operated cinema with at least one large screen theatre. People understand the need for the cinema to be redeveloped so that it meets modern standards and accessibility, as well as meeting the needs of today’s cinema industry. 
The key concerns consistently recorded by those not in favour of changes to the cinema have been the reduction in screen size and number of seats.
We have been very careful throughout the process to listen to the local community’s views and to use this input to inform our development plans and many changes have been made as a result.  We look to continue to do so and have been reviewing the plans for the new cinema in terms of the appropriate operator, screen size and capacity with the aim of satisfying many of the responses we have received.

Although I completely understand peoples’ concern at the prospect of change, in this case our fervent belief is that it is right to retain a cinema, right to make sure it meets modern standards so everybody can access it and it must be right to ensure it is viable for the long-term. 


Hugh Seaborn

Sunday, 16 February 2014


Every day, in weather... fine or foul, the Royal Borough's excellent street cleaning team is out there, braving the extremities of weather, to keep our streets clean.
So how must they feel when they have to pick up thousands of sodden A5 leaflets haphazardly posted on the windscreens on thousands of cars in the Borough?
A Paris based exhibitor has been sending out teams to illegally fly post thousands of leaflets advertising his silly Art Deco exhibition.
The Dorchester, Connaught and Mandarin Oriental, unwittingly the target of this idiot fly poster, have either cancelled the event or sent a team out to collect this litter.

Not so the Grosvenor House Hotel....owned by US Marriott Hotels and run by Arne Sorenson and Bill Marriott.
(The Dame will send them a link to this piece....)

Having seen the deluge of litter a resident contacted the duty manager, a Mr Sanford McDelling. 
He couldn't have given a damn about a client of this grubby hotel acting illegally and anti-socially. 

The Grosvenor House Hotel likes to boast about the fact it is a 'community facing hotel'. 
Clearly this ethic does not extend to preventing clients like this one using its facilities when big money is involved.
When Mr McDelling was asked whether he was prepared to get a team to remove the litter he replied, "it's not our concern"
His general manager, Stuart Bowery was equally unconcerned.
Residents should avoid using this hotel and the Council needs to come down hard on this Paris based organiser.
It also needs to warn the Events Managers of all Central London venues to insert in their contracts: NO FLYPOSTING.

Saturday, 15 February 2014


Local councillors love to talk about localism without understanding its true meaning. 
Most think it has to do with central government devolving funding from the centre so   it can be squandered by local councils on unwanted pet projects, such as the £30 million white elephant, Exhibition Road.
But localism means allowing local people to really have their say and councillors listening.
In the case of the proposed destruction of the Curzon Cinema in King's Road residents have made their feelings very strongly felt. 
In short order, over 9,000 residents have signed the SAVE KING'S ROAD CURZON CINEMA

But, if we are to save this bastion of Chelsea culture more needs to be done. 

So please sign the petition and forward the link to friends.

Also write to Jonathan Bore, our planning chief, making clear the importance of the Curzon as an important local and national cultural institution. 
Stress to him that its safeguarding is a vital council responsibility. You can email him:

Hopefully, Cadogan, under the enlightened leadership of Hugh Seaborn, will scrap this unwanted plan and save our magnificent Curzon Cinema. 

The charm and character of the Road has, over the last decades,
been destroyed. 
The wanton and money driven destruction of the Curzon will be yet another nail in the coffin.

Friday, 14 February 2014


The Dame likes to give praise where praise is due. 
Our fabulously efficient street cleaning operation is 'creme de la creme' and a pride of the Royal Borough
Likewise the Noise Control Unit. 
However, this particular team is being radically reduced just when it's most needed.
Which leads the dear old Dame to question how Mr Fizzypatrick's eleven strong team( including support staff) has succeeded in remaining unscathed during the cutbacks. 

It's a question being posed, not just by the Dame....officers are asking the question.

And it's not even as if they do a good job!

There are two questions to ask...... 
The first and obvious revolves around why RBK&C's team could not have been slimmed down to realistic proportions. 

The second....why the communications team was not merged with horrible, common old H&C.

The cost of running the Communications Department is in the region of £450,000 a year. 
For half that amount the entire operation could be handled by an external consultancy.

It's time residents started to ask these very basic questions.
The Communications Department has an appalling reputation with journalists. 
Just today, a senior BBC journalist complained to the Dame about their thickness and rudeness.

The team idles away its time away producing  'A Local Guide to the Media' and media digests, carefully edited to ensure nothing nasty is included
The Dame notices, with horror, that her little organ has been missed by Mr Labey-despite the fact it's required reading by councillors!

Thursday, 13 February 2014


When Pooter is found out for being silly or not telling the 

truth he become very sulky and petulant as this

interesting exchange demonstrates.

How he managed to cling on the leadership of RBK&C 

for so long is one of the great mysteries of the world.

Here Pooter implies to Mr Barker-Main that he had no 

involvement in the commissioning of the old bits of girder 

surplus to the school's building programme....

Dear Cllr Cockell,

Is a report (from 

Hornet's Nest) that 

K&C paid close on 

£200,000 to have a 

Gormley mast added to 

HP School correct? 

If so, how can this be justified, please?

Dear Mr Barker-Main,

Holland Park School is an Academy and therefore 

entirely independent of the Council. 

I suggest that you ask them about the sculpture.


(Sir)Merrick Cockell

Mr Barker-Main wrote again to the useless Pooter...

Dear Cllr Cockell,

Thank you for your suggestion.

However, as the piece alleges - correctly or incorrectly - 

that a considerable sum of “taxpayers’" money was used 

to fund a sculpture, that is why I asked you, not the 

school. As a taxpayer, I - not unreasonably - wish to 

understand whether the Council sanctioned such 

expenditure or not and, if so, how much was paid.

If you are unable to confirm or deny the allegation, can 

you please advise me which of your Council colleagues 

is in a position to do so?

Kind regards

Keith Barker-Main

Dear Mr Barker-Main

I have no idea whether taxpayer money was spent but 

the point is that the school is accountable and that is 

why you need to approach them. Academies are as 

independent of local authorities as the private sector and 

the government (past and present) planned it that way.


(Sir)Merrick Cockell

Pooter is either a liar or has a failing memory...

This is what his council have said about funding in 
response to an FOI......

"Could you also provide me with details of the funding for its purchase and who is providing the finance for this sculpture?" -

The Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea is contributing £100,000 for the purchase of the sculpture through section 106 funds (section 106 is a planning requirement), and Holland Park School the rest. Should the sculpture be sold at some future date, RBKC would receive a pro-rata share of the purchase price. RBKC is also meeting the related costs of £8,720 quoted above, again from S106 funds.
"Who will be the owner of this sculpture?" Holland Park School -  but  should the sculpture be sold in the future the school will have to reimburse the Council's purchase and installation costs.
"Who commissioned this sculpture and how was its commissioning and purchase approved and by whom?"  - The joint Commissioners are The Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea and Holland Park School.