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, 30 April 2014


Since Crystals were banned from tendering for the contract they had successfully operated for ages Special Needs transportation has descended into dangerous chaos. 
The Dame will soon be examining a glaring example of how the new system puts at risk the young and vulnerable.

Cllr Elizabeth Campbell presides over this mess. 
She should never have been given this post. 

She has neither the intelligence or skills to exercise this heavy responsibility. 

She should resign with immediate effect....another lousy appointment made by Pooter Cockell: a man who liked sycophants around him. 
And it's not only E. Campbell who needs to get a grip. 

David Lindsay need to show some muscular Christianity and set an example. 
This whole issue was raised at Family and Childrens Scrutiny Committee and members were fobbed off.
It's time Scrutiny Committees acted as Parliamentary Select Committees do....with sharp teeth.
So Nick....stop Scrutiny being just a "signing off what the Cabinet members says" exercise.
Give it proper back up; a secretariat and rigorous accountability.


Another reader writes...

Dear Dame

Not just from London, but from all over the UK, the petition to the Council has fired the interest of thousands.It demonstrates the huge loyalty and affection people have for the Royal Marsden.

But tomorrow the Petition closes.....

So today is the last day to add to the numbers by signing the Petition forcing the Council to debate it in Council.

If you haven't signed please take the trouble to do's literally the work of seconds.

Here is THE PETITION please do sign it. It would be good to hit 7,000.

Thank you, dear Dame!

A Loyal Reader and supporter.

Tuesday, 29 April 2014


A resident writes to the Dame


Dear Dame

I'm reliably informed that a senior RBKC planning officer recently warned a MAJOR Notting Hill property owner not to apply for planning permission till after the local election: why? - because the project may prove contentious and lose the council (aka the Tories) votes.

Yours  faithfully

xxxxxxx    xxxxxxx

Sunday, 27 April 2014


So Labour have decided to waste their time challenging Pooter and pals in Stanley Ward.

What they could and should have done was stand aside and help the Chelsea Independents wreak havoc with Pooter's majority.

What crass stupidity!


Cllr Dez O' Neill is a typical example of the luck of the Irish.
The old Dame is not one to be envious,but reading the story in the Standard about his burgeoning property empire(on land and water) she felt just a little green.

And then she read about his motor cruiser....not as grand as the Dame's steam yacht, SS The Dame Hornet, yet fairly impressive for a man of supposedly little means.

Maybe financially challenged Colville voters might ask him how they too can build a property empire

Friday, 25 April 2014


Eric Pickles huffs and puffs about councils using taxpayer's money to fund  'newspapers'.
As usual, he is ignored
But RBK&C has not just ignored Fat Eric: they have slapped him in his ample chops by using the front page of the unreadable Royal Borer to tell residents a lot of bilge about saving money.(like spending £100 million on a school that could have been built for £30 million)
It's even more ironic when set against the cost of publishing this embarrassing rubbish. 
At the last count it cost around £150,000 a year to produce Royal Borer.
But it does keep the nine strong £460,000 a year PR team busy.
A furious candidate wrote to LeVerne Parker, the Chief Solicitor, complaining about the blatant use of the Borer for electioneering purposes. 
In her first paragraph Miss Parker tries to rationalise the misuse of the Borer, but in the final paragraph admits to guilt, assuring the candidate all copies would be removed from Council premises! 
However, her boss, Tony Redpath, countermanded her instructions and ordered the immediate reinstatement of the about right and left hands......

Dear Mr xxxxxxxx

Thank you for your email.

As with any Council publication, the latest edition of the Royal Borough Newsletter was published having regard to both the relevant legislation on local authority publicity and the code of recommended practice on local authority publicity. The code is the document issued by the Secretary of State which we discussed when we spoke on the telephone.

The Council buildings from where the newsletter could be picked up have been checked and I understand that no copies remain. The libraries are also been checked and, where any copies remain, these will be removed.


LeVerne Parker
Chief Solicitor and Monitoring Officer
Bi-Borough Legal Services

Thursday, 24 April 2014


The Dame was delighted to see that RBK&C and Westminster are looking to fill apprenticeship posts London Apprenticeship

For a bright and committed young person starting a career as an apprentice is major step in the right direction.

If you know a young person looking for a apprenticeship, or if you a company wanting to create a position, please contact the admirable Tim Ponsford

call Tim on 0203 651 4747 

or email him

 Click here to Request candidate CVs

Current Westminster and RBKC Apprenticeship Vacancies We’re currently recruiting for 3 more Apprentices to work in roles at Westminster City Council

Rounded Rectangle: Like Like   Rounded Rectangle: Tweet Tweet   Rounded Rectangle: Pin Pin   Rounded Rectangle: +1 +1  

LAC Final Logo transparent

Current Westminster and RBKC Apprenticeship Vacancies

We’re currently recruiting for 3 more Apprentices to work in roles at Westminster City Council and 4 more to work in the Royal 
Borough of Kensington and Chelsea. To be eligible applicants need to be aged 16-23 and available immediately for full-time 
work. These are really great opportunities to kick-start your career:

Westminster Council

The following vacancies are for Westminster residents only
1) Operational Support Assistant
This is a brilliant opportunity to join the Street Management team at Westminster City Council as an Operational Support As
Find out more and apply for the job here!
2) Operational Support Assistant
This is a brilliant opportunity to join the Street Management team at Westminster City Council as an Operational Support Assistant.
Find out more and apply for the job here!
3) Procurement Apprentice
This is an excellent opportunity to work primarily with the Housing and Construction Category Unit within Westminster’s Strategic and Commercial Procurement Team to provide support and learn and work towards competency and qualifications in the profession. This post will include some rotation within the larger Team to get a broader understanding of procurement and contract management. They may develop a wish to concentrate further on one of these other areas and that would be possible
Find out more and apply for the job here!

Kensington and Chelsea

The following vacancies are for Kensington and Chelsea residents only
4) Business Administration Apprenticeships
We are looking for a number of young people aged between 16-23 from the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea interested in making a difference in the local community and willing to learn on the job.
Find out more and apply for the job here!


Interested in Creating a New Apprenticeship?

We’re always looking for more opportunities for our Westminster residents! There are literally 100s of different kinds of Apprenticeships. We work with more than 30 training providers so we can offer nearly all of the Apprenticeships that are available. We recruit for about 50 Apprenticeships a week. Looking at our Jobs Board is a great way to get some ideas but we’re much more than an ‘online presence’ so you can simply call and speak to a human and we’ll be happy to chat through ideas!

Tuesday, 22 April 2014


In connection with this story the Dame has been sent a copy of a letter from Cllr Blakeman to colleagues.
Amongst the forceful points she makes about the way Crystals Coaches have been jumps out...
If one was suspicious one might feel that palms have been greased.....
What the hell is going on?

12. Why did Tri-borough not provide the EU waiver that would have enabled the previous contractor to bid for the contract?


Despite reassurances from councillors, staff in RBKC borough have been made redundant in the wake of the new council transport contract.

Hammersmith and Fulham, Kensington and Chelsea and Westminster have merged their passenger transport services for disabled children and elderly residents in to a Triborough initiative.

As a consequence, family-owned company, Crystals Coaches Ltd, closed its doors on Friday (11th April) after they were excluded from the new contract.

Despite 21 years working only for RBKC, delivering Special Education Needs Children to schools across London, the small company, employing 100 staff, was not allowed to tender for the new multi-million pound contract. Says Managing Director, Chris Springham, "We are devastated. We made a decision years ago to only work with RBKC, to make it personal and family-orientated, to cater for the very specific needs of the vulnerable children in our care and to ensure an excellent working relationship with parents. We have no other commercial interests. We've now paid the price! Without working for a further two London boroughs, we were not allowed to re-tender". 

The closure sees the redundancies of 14 Crystals staff, many long-serving, including the entire management, all residents of RBKC. Other staff have been able to transfer to the new operators under the TUPE laws but at the time of going to press, many of the staff largely remain in limbo, unsure of their position when schools go back next week.

The new contract sees HATS/Olympic South Ltd from Wimbledon take over the majority of Crystals work, along with Star Bus from Barnet and Radio Taxis from North London.


Monday, 21 April 2014


The Dame has been castigated in a comment for purportedly being homophobic.
What utter tripe! She admits, however, to being pornophobic....whether gay or heterosexual.

If a putative councillor feels it's acceptable to star in hard corn porn or straight, then he/she should have the courage to give voters the chance to decide whether they wish to be represented by them. 
If a prospective councillor is earning fees from starring in any sort of hard core porn movie they should, in any case, be declaring that occupation.
And another thing....the inference that if you are gay you enjoy hard core porn movies is a downright lie and many gay people will find that assumption insulting.

One wise reader had this to say....

I can't believe some readers think the Dame is homophobic - far from the case! But some feel that any criticism at all is out of place, that gay people are somehow a special case beyond criticism, which is silly.

As a parent I cannot abide any kind of pornography, which pervades our everyday life in a way I find repellent and frightening.

Sunday, 20 April 2014


When Lloyd North was selected by Jonathan Fragrant-Howells to stand in Brompton Ward the Dame forced Lloyd to speak.

The question that Lloyd needs to answer is whether he has done more filmwork since the time he was ejected from Brompton.
If he has, why is ok now, if it wasn't then.

Come on Milord Carrington...this is one for you

Saturday, 19 April 2014


Rare picture of the Dame
The Dame has been accused of being a blind supporter of the Royal Marsden and refusing to air the other side of the argument.
This reader has challenged the Dame and made some interesting points.....

by email

Dear Dame

It is quite clear that you have backed the Royal Marsden without even bothering to consider the position of the Brompton. 
You claim not to be taking sides, but so far all the blogs have been anti Brompton.

I want to make two very important points and ask the Marsden to comment...

1. The Marsden was offered the Fulham wing at the cost that the Brompton would get for selling it, and turned it down.
They have turned it down several times.

2. The Marsden does not want to expand its hospital for community use, they want to expand it for private patients, this is not the use that the new rules are trying to promote.  This would not be used by the community at all: they want a new hospital for PRIVATE patients. That's all well and good but then don’t play the community card!
If the intention is to run the Fulham Wing as a Private Patient facility then why not get a health insurer like BUPA to fund the purchase?

Fulham wing is a very old bit of the Brompton hospital. It would need to be totally gutted and converted into flats.  
This is too expensive to do for social housing, particularly if you consider the historic nature of the building and the refurbished building opposite which does provide housing.   
If the Brompton is not able to sell for market value it will just not sell it and mothball the building:if they do then there is a gain for nobody.
The Marsden is being unreasonable, rather than coming to the Brompton with a fair price or deal they have said no to any negotiations and gone to the Press.

I end by saying that The Brompton is stupidly not using its right to reply, however, people shouldn't believe everything  the Marsden is saying!

Yours sincerely

xxxxxx   xxxxxxxxxxx

Friday, 18 April 2014


Why does Matthew Palmer bother to attend council meetings?
When not embarrassing Conservative colleagues with mad and garbled interjections, he checks his miserable little share portfolio, or plays an infantile game called Candy Crush on his Council Iphone.
How embarrassing for Queen's Gate residents to have this 'arrested development' moron representing them.

Clearly, the whip has given up attempting to control this debile....

Thursday, 17 April 2014


The Dame is often accused of being partisan and only supporting the Royal Marsden....NOT TRUE!
The Royal Brompton are just too grand to talk to the old Dame: presumably, because they have powerful 'friends at court'.
The Dame would always be even handed....given the chance.

Anyway, a resident association bigwig sent her details of the newly launched on line petition run by RBK&C.

Dear Dame

The Royal Marsden have just launched a petition on the council website and it would be great if you could firstly sign it but also circulate it to other residents and all your faithful readers. Further details are below but due to the tight timeframe any help would be greatly appreciated.

The Council have agreed to extend the consultation period of the Draft Supplementary Planning Document (SPD) for the Royal Brompton’s redevelopment plans until the 30 April, however, they are still only providing residential development as an option for the Fulham Road Wing. As we have previously stated this would lead to even more luxury housing in the area and will have widespread implications for the borough’s local health care amenities. This is because The Royal Marsden needs this building due to it already being at capacity and turning patients away. Therefore, in order to protect Europe’s leading cancer centre in Chelsea, The Royal Marsden is looking to continue with our campaign to reject the SPD in its current form in order to allow a pause so a solution can be found which will ensure both The Royal Marsden and the Royal Brompton’s future in the borough.


The petition is called ‘Petition to reject the Royal Brompton SPD’ and asks the next Full Council meeting and the Public Realm Scrutiny Committee to discuss the SPD before any decision on the draft has been taken and for them to call for it to be withdrawn so a solution can be found.

In order for this petition to meet the council’s requirements to allow for a meeting of the Full Council on the topic we need 1500 signatures by 1 May. 
Therefore it would be great if you could help us by signing the petition and encourage friends and other residents to do the same. 
If you have a website we would also be extremely grateful if you could share it on there.

The petition can be found on the council’s website here and is called ‘Petition to reject the Royal Brompton SPD’

There will also be a paper petition in the main entrance of The Royal Marsden.


The Dame has been looking at the Royal Brompton and Harefield Hospital Board minutes. 

She is not surprised that Mr Bore is all over the Royal Brompton like a cheap suit.
It seems that Bob Bell, the Royal Brompton's CEO has agreed to bung RBK&C the princely sum of £200,000 for the Planning Performance Agreement....(by the way can anyone explain to the Dame what 'a calibrated vision' is?)
It also seems Pooter Cockell has been lobbying to get the consultation period extended....he has become nervous about the public feeling, which could impact upon his future as a councillor.

By the way, rumours that Mr Bore's remuneration package might be related to planning fees must be wide of the mark.

.....Discussions with the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea (RBKC) had led to the signing of a Planning Performance Agreement (PPA) to produce a supplementary Planning Document (SPD) The aim is to optimise the value of the estate. The SPD had been suggested by RBKC and the process should be completed by the second quarter of 2014. This was being led by RBKC and paid for by the Trust. Local consultation would be part of this. BB added that once SPD was passed, the Trust will be able to submit detailed planning applications for the estate. The Trust will only be a developer of the RBH estate. Our advisors hoped that the Trust would have planning consents by spring 2015. The Trust would be paying RBKC £200k for the PPA and the level of application fees for planning consent was expected to be around £8m......

Tuesday, 15 April 2014


The Dame reported that Pooter followed Fragrant-Howells's advice and pootled down to Sutton was not a success.....
Here is a pic of Pooter looking lost and lonesome....not one resident could be bothered to meet him. 

Where the hell am I?

Why don't they talk to us?

Monday, 14 April 2014


If you live in Chelsea Green and see a lost looking chap studying a map offer to maybe a rare sighting of Sir Pooter Cockell.....odd that it comes just before an election, but it must be one of life's coincidences....
Pooter Cockell has been told by Jonathan Fragrant-Howells, Association agent and part time Spanish hotelier, to get out and meet the locals: something Pooter has always felt to be beneath him.

Fragrant-Howells instructed Pooter to go and visit Sutton Buildings and pretend to be interested in what residents have to say.

The problem is that Pooter and Fragrant-Howells detest each other and Pooter is suspicious that he may be being 'set up' and likely to be set upon by residents worried their much loved homes are to be torn down.

The Dame advises Pooter to be wary of the machinations of Fragrant-Howells......


New book slams ACCUSES Lib Dems of cover up

Sunday, 13 April 2014


Click to enlarge
The proposed Mansion Tax will destroy the lives of income poor Borough residents.
Most bought their property years ago. 
Thanks to Vince Cable they will be forced from their homes and the Borough. 
And the beneficiary? 
More buyers using dirty off shore money. 
They will now be able to pick up those long term residents' properties 'on the cheap', at fire sale prices.
The money raised by this stupid tax will be minimal. 
It will hardly compare to the £2 billion lost by that economic genius Cable through miss-pricing Royal Mail.
Again, not a word from the ludicrous Lib Dem trio on our council....probably too busy trying to grasp a Leader's Allowance.

In Touch circulating in Stanley Ward has Cockell and his crew perpetuating the blatant lie a Conservative council would be able to kill off the tax....
What a bunch of liars: they will have nil influence on the introduction of this tax...
But maybe this is what Cockell calls a 'political lie'. 
Cockell should be called to account and asked to substantiate his extraordinary claim. 
But good to see he now supports the Royal Marsden!