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, 30 May 2014


The Dame wishes more of her readers would write to her on topical issues.

The Dame is happy to publish this email from Justin Downes....

Dear Dame 

I have been following Private Eye's coverage of the 'teething troubles' associated with the Tri-Borough appointment of Olympic South Ltd(OSL)to transport vulnerable children with special needs.
For years, a local firm, Crystals, held the contract and they discharged their duties with care, efficiency and economy.

But, surprisingly Crystals, were booted out and refused the opportunity to tender. 
Instead, the contract was handed to OSL.

In the latest issue of the Eye we read that in 2010 Croydon handed a £5.2 million contract to OSL, but, embarrassingly, were forced to cancel the contract after discovering the officer involved in the appointment, Michael Lawrence, had subsequently joined OSL! 

Bad move on the part of OSL....the contract had to be torn up!

But, my point in writing is to refer to my own experience as a councillor.

Many years ago I was a member of Somerset County Council. 
In those far off days( yes, I am as old as the Dame) the idiotic Cabinet system did not exist.
Instead, the Council leader was able to draw upon a whole gamut of skills. 
One would find that the Conservative leader of the Council( in this case, the admirable George Wyndham) would appoint a councillor solely because he or she had a set of skills relevant to the committee function. 
Wyndham cared not a jot for the political affiliations of the appointee: his only criteria was their competence.

So it's embarrassing to see Cllr Elizabeth Campbell helplessly flailing around attempting to sort out the mess created by OSL. 
Clearly she is quite out of her depth.

On the other hand it is refreshing to see Cllr Blakeman ferociously and forensically holding the hapless Andrew Christie to account.

Well done, Cllr Blakeman. 
From what I understand many Conservative councillors are four square behind you.

A thing we can be certain of....the late Shireen Ritchie would never have allowed the vulnerable of K&C to be so put at risk..


Justin Downes

Wednesday, 28 May 2014


This is the Boris Johnson equivalent of  RBK&C's  'We hear, but we don't listen'
What an absolute waste of money even commissioning the research when the results are considered of so little import.

Dear Stakeholder
 Consultation on changes to the Congestion Charging Scheme

Thank you for taking the time to respond to Transport for London (TfL) consultation on a number of proposed changes to the Congestion Charging scheme.  These changes included:

  • Providing the option to pay CC Auto Pay accounts by Direct Debit
  • Enabling discount applications and renewals to be made online
  • Increasing the daily Congestion Charge
  • Changing the NHS Reimbursement Scheme to allow reimbursement for CC Auto Pay payments
  • Providing the option for customers to amend the date of a pre-paid charge on the day of travel
  • Minor Congestion Charge Scheme Order changes

TfL welcomed the wide range of feedback received which was useful to our analysis and helped inform our final recommendations presented to the Mayor. 

This is to let you know that the Mayor of London has confirmed his final decision on our proposals today which is to proceed with the proposals as set out in our consultation.  

A link to the report on final decisions and proposals can be viewed on our consultation web page:

If you have any further queries, please do not hesitate to contact TfL’s Congestion Charging team on

Yours sincerely
Peter Bradley
Head of Consultation Delivery
Surface Transport
Transport for London

Friday, 23 May 2014


All the the talk at the Count today was of the anger of  H&F Conservative activists being dragged from Fulham Broadway to save Cockell's sorry posterior in Stanley Ward.

The Dame, discreetly veiled, managed to overhear that the H&F gang were blaming Pooter for diverting them from what they considered could have been victory on their own patch.
Had they not done so they might have done better in H&F...or at least, that is their moan.
And had they refused the Stanley Ward results might have been a bit different.

But many are asking whether this could be a 'UKIP Moment' for the Chelsea Independents.
With no political organisation behind them and none of the postal votes, crucial to Conservative success, they made massive inroads into the Conservative vote and left Labour well behind them.

So three inexperienced campaigners  managed an aggregate of 1376 in the most Tory of strongholds.
By any measure Barshall, Henderson and Schumi did well.


An anxious reader has emailed the Dame....

Dear Dame

Was it a good idea to merge with H&F?
I am worried that there will be so much political in-fighting that the whole Triborough project will fall apart with dire consequences for us K&C residents.
Was it ever a good idea to construct this alliance knowing that H&F would go Labour?

Can your better informed readers help me on this....or maybe you, yourself have an idea.

Can I, in conclusion, congratulate you on the huge number of page views you have been achieving. 
Maybe, you can stop showing off about it for a while?

Best wishes

Emily Fortescue-Smith


It seems that the Chelsea Independents innocently used a story from the Dame suggesting that local voters might want to ask Colonel Sir Pooter Cockell ten questions about his historic expenses.

Well, despite not identifying Pooter as the spendthrift in question it 'got his goat'!

He lashed out at one Independent candidates accusing him of a 'personal attack'.

Hilarious, does he really think that he can waste our money in this way and remain unscathed? 
You don't go into politics if you object to your personal ethics being examined.....


There is one councillor who will be reading the news from Thailand with trepidation.

It's our very own £160,000 a year, taxpayer funded Danny 'Boys' Moylan.

Despite the fact that only 1 in 6 Londoners wanted Boris Island, Danny 'Boys' is still being paid £75,000 a year as Aviation Adviser to Boris.

Danny has no real knowledge of aviation matters-apart from when he flies off to his Thai Pleasure Dome or has DHL fly out 'very important' documents at a cost of thousands.

Anyway, the Thai Army are likely to be keeping a close eye of the man who works 'eight days a week'

Thursday, 22 May 2014


A Stanley Ward snapshot....

It was all good natured bonhomie at the beginning of the day.
Friendly banter as Paul Warrick and Mr Pastille joked that they needed to do more to 'relate' to residents; though not to the extent of holding surgeries. 
This they said was not the Conservative way of doing things...

Then something happened......the skies darkened and so did the atmosphere....

It became increasingly hostile with  dark looks being exchanged with the friendly Independent candidates and accusations flying around.
One lady teller said, " you are electioneering because nearby residents are saying hello as they go past to vote and we are ignored". 
And glowering looks from the incumbent councillors clearly fearing that they might be out on their ears.

Ian Henderson, Independent candidate, tried to explain that he was a long time resident of Sutton Buildings and as chairman of CATS it was inevitable that he would be better known than the phantom like ward councillors.
Well, he didn't really say that. Ian is far too polite to mix it.

Anyway, The Dame, from the comfort of her limousine, noticed 'Colonel' Cockell marshalling his troops, but sadly they were few and far between.
It wasn't so long ago that the area would have been flooded by eager Conservatives rushing around the place.
This time there was just one charming old chap ticking off the names as they came into vote.

It's going to be a close run thing.....

Wednesday, 21 May 2014


Dressed for the Count tomorrow
The Dame is not one to show off but her technical director just sent her the latest  Hornet viewing figures....she was stunned; yesterday 1,191 PAGE VIEWS... today 277 and counting!
So why have the Conservatives and Lib Dems turned down her three invitations to promote their policies?
After all, the Dame musings reach to voters in a way the local paper was unable.
Anyway, the Dame sends Pooter and pals a final invitation to tell us what they plan.... if elected.
Come on, you must have something interesting to say?

Pageviews today
Pageviews yesterday
Pageviews last month
Pageviews all time history

Tuesday, 20 May 2014



STOP PRESS...The Dame has just received this from Sutton Dwellings resident. Demolition seems to be on plan...

"I just wanted to let you know that there were several workmen around the estate yesterday, chalking on the ground.  I asked one of them what they were doing and he said that there job is to map what is underground, such as, gas, electric, cable, sewers and drains.  I told him about the proposals for the estate and he said that they are normally called in before the buildings are due to be pulled down.  I explained that AF haven’t even got planning permission yet but he just reiterated what he had said before.
Is there something going on that we are not aware of?"

More news from another Sutton resident.......
'spoken to the offices of MTT Consultants. They have been told not to refer to it as the Sutton Estate project but it is only to be known as the "Chelsea Redevelopment" Project for fear of creating panic'

The man in charge of the MTT project is Peter Kirk. Give him a call 0207 836 1133


The Dame has allowed all candidates to poke their heads above the parapet and have a last minute appeal to their far only that disarmer of armed robbers has taken up the challenge.
Over to you Andrew Barshall...

Dear Dame,

Thank you for allowing me to update you on the Independent's progress in Stanley Ward.

For the past few weeks three Independent candidates Ian Henderson, Heinz Schumi and myself Andrew Barshall have been incredibly busy, out and about in the ward, meeting hundreds of residents: exhausting; exhilarating..... but incredibly rewarding!

No huge wealthy Party machine supports us. 
We are just three local residents fed up with our three  councillors unwillingness to listen to the residents. 
We want our residents' voices to be heard in the Council chamber, not those of property developers and overseas investors, groups who seem so close to the council and get whatever they want.

We have spent many hours over the past weeks talking to the local residents, many of them our neighbours and friends. Time and again the same themes emerge,  ' we are fed up with never seeing our councillors'  
or 'they never hold surgeries and don't give a damn about our views' and 
'their policy on planning and development is done in the interests of outsiders and overseas investors'

We are within a whisker of beating three local Conservative councillors and sending out a message that councils and local politicians can no longer take their electorate for granted, or ignore the wishes of residents. 

So, on Thursday, if you feel, as we do, your councillors just don't listen or don't care about your views or that the council colludes with developers and overseas investors, against the interests of locals, especially, the elderly, the vulnerable and the 'unvoiced', 
or just that they cannot be trusted anymore....send them this message..  

Now is the time for all good men to come to the aid of the Independents!

Best wishes

Andrew Barshall


Promoted by Zara McGlone on behalf of Andrew Barshall 
Agents office: 21 Ellis St., SW1X 9AL


The Dame welcomes Ev Hesketh's appeal to the voters of Royal Hospital Ward.
Unlike the Louisiana carpet bagger Ev has been a resident of this parish for over thirty years. 
She is well known, well liked and highly regarded.
Five years ago, standing as a Green Party member, she got an incredible 550 votes.
Now, as one of the Independent 'loose alliance' in Chelsea, she has a manifesto which will resonate with all of us frightened at the speed at which the area is being trashed.

There is no part of Chelsea she does not know and love.
She will be a doughty fighter on behalf of all those feeling disenfranchised by a Council whose agenda is slanted towards developers and 'BIG MONEY'
Her lawyer opponent certainly comes from Yankee "BIG MONEY"!

So, if you want to make a change and halt to the degradation of Chelsea vote for a change.

Dear Dame

We no longer have a local newspaper so I would be grateful if you could publish this last minute appeal to the voters of Royal Hospital Ward.

I am resident of Royal Hospital Ward and have lived locally for over thirty years.  
Recently, all the things that help to make Chelsea special have been disappearing.  
With your help we need to reverse this trend.  

I am standing for the local election for this Ward on May 22nd 2014.  
By voting for me your views as local residents will be conveyed regularly to the council.  
Five years ago I stood for the Green Party in the Ward and managed to get over 550 votes. 
If elected I will fight on this platform.....

  • I am against selling off our land to developers for luxury unaffordable homes,  many of which go to absentee investors
  • I am against the disposal of our fire stations, police stations and our much needed social housing form the area.
  • I am against being forced to live on a permanent building site, while most of Chelsea is endlessly redeveloped, adding hugely to the traffic congestion in what is already the most polluted borough in Europe.
  • I am against removing our cinemas, public open spaces and genuinely useful shops.
  • And I am against further deep basement excavation.

I say YES to planning and building which considers all the Chelsea community and its history

YES to developing and investing money in our local amenities to be accessible to all.

And YES to retaining The Royal Brompton Hospital Fulham Wing for medical purposes.

Finally, never forget.... before the intrusion of national politics in local government Independent councillors were a brake on the arrogance of 'BIG POLITICS'.
So when you vote for me you vote for a return to voter accountability.

Thank you

.....and thank you Dame

Ev Hesketh

Sunday, 18 May 2014


One of the great joys of life in the world's oldest democracy, as opposed to a nascent and floundering pale imitation... such as South Africa, is that political canvassers are treated with courtesy: after all, without them and their enthusiasm, political debate would be awfully dull.
The Dame mentions South Africa because for decades its Afrikaans leadership did all within its power to stifle debate and suppress democracy.
And that leads the Dame to an incident involving a local election candidate and a Sydney St resident... a South African by the name of de Waal
Our candidate was delivering leaflets with his seven year old son to a Sydney St house made up of flats.
Whilst delivering he was met with a tirade of abuse from Mr de Waal

From his crude manner it was apparent de Waal was of good Afrikaans stock.

In a loud and hectoring manner he told our embarrassed leaflet deliverer that 'that not only did he not want a leaflet, but nor did any of the other residents.'

Unless de Waal owned all the flats, or was psychic, he would have no idea as to the truth of his claim.
But more seriously...interfering with the delivery of election material is a matter of police interest and the Dame has told the candidate to report the matter to the Borough Commander.

Mr de Waal had no right to prevent delivery to fellow residents.

The Dame always has a moment or two to engage with ANY political canvasser. 
Often they find it difficult to disengage from a lady, who, in her youth, was a friend of the Webbs and Mr Lloyd George:thus she does tend to bore on about Keir Hardy and the 'old days'.
But that is her natural good manners and respect for ANYONE prepared to slog the streets for a democratic cause....whether Labour, Conservative, Lib Dems or Independents.

But Mr de Waal would know nothing of these things...and why should he? 
Afrikaners have never been noted for their manners or interest in democracy

Saturday, 17 May 2014



Just a month or so back the Dame reported that Brown's Hotel, owned by the Hon Sir Rocco "Rocky' Forte(yes, he loves appendages....) had allowed a French exhibition organiser to use his hotel for a vulgar Art Deco Exhibition. 

You can read all about here THE HON SIR ROCKY'S WAY
This exhibitor has been banned from all major West End hotels for plastering thousands  of  A5 leaflets on cars throughout the Borough and beyond.
RBK&C have spent hours trying to halt his tawdry and vulgar event promotion because flyers end up in the street, creating huge work for the very hardworking street cleaning teams.
It is also an offence to do what the this exhibitor is doing.

When a resident reported to The Hon Sir Rocky(yes, his office paper are printed 'From the Office of The Hon Sir Rocco Forte) that the exhibitor had been banned from every major West End hotel, he said 'that distributing promotional leaflets in this way was an accepted way of marketing'!
When his staff were pressed about the litter created they replied it was none of their business.

Old man Charlie Forte would have quite agreed. 
He was a man with a 'taste by pass' and who trashed every beautiful hotel he got his grubby ice cream salesman's hands on.
Those who remember the beauty of the Hyde Park Hotel in its pre THF Forte days will attest to that.

But back to the would have thought that the 'outrageously macho' Rocky would have listened to RBK&C and banned this French menace....not a bit of it. 
If you look around your streets you will see thousands more posters littering the streets proudly bearing the name of Browns as they stare up at you from the gutter.
The Dame leaves you to decide whether to use his hotel: The Dame will not.....

Friday, 16 May 2014


Updated: 11:24, 16 May 2014
Three independent candidates will challenge the Tory dominance of Kensington & Chelsea council at borough elections next Thursday.
They are standing to fight what they claim is the council’s lax attitude to new developments — and will contest the seat of former council leader Sir Merrick Cockell, who is chair of the Local Government Association.
Celebrity hairdresser Heinz Schumi said: “I want to preserve amenities and public services, but we all feel let down by this Conservative council which refuses to listen to the views of their electorate.”
He blames the council for giving his landlord permission to convert his premises, a shop since 1810, into flats — forcing him to move out.
The other candidates are Andrew Barshall, who rose to fame 10 years ago for tackling an armed robber at Brinkley’s restaurant in Chelsea, and Ian Henderson, who is fighting to save the Sutton Estate. They are backed by style guru Stephen Bayley, who lives in the borough.


NHS London, the major customer of  Royal Brompton and Royal Marsden is not happy. 
This letter, obtained by the Chelsea Independent group, is a game changer...NHS London is getting heavy...
Reading between the lines it seems NHS London strongly object to Merrick Cockell and buddies narrow and self interested plans for redevelopment. It also seems they are unhappy about the gang's promotion of the Council's pro Brompton's Supplementary Planning Guidance. 
NHS London consider this negligently ignores the equally important fate of the Royal Marsden.
The letter goes on to say that, not withstanding the urging of the Council, the two sides are still at loggerheads.

The Royal Marsden is not just a London centric hospital: its patient base is England wide so many patients are being put at risk.

Dr Rainsberry

30 April 2014

Jonathan Bore
Executive Director of Planning and Borough Development
The Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea
Room G/08, The Town Hall
Horton Street
London W8 7NX

Dear Mr Bore,
Consultation on Royal Brompton Draft SPD
This is NHS England’s response to the current consultation on the redevelopment of the Royal Brompton Hospital.

Since April 2013, NHS England has been responsible for commissioning specialist services from the Royal Brompton and Harefield NHS Foundation Trust and the Royal Marsden Hospital (see below) for all England’s residents. Our estimated expenditure at Royal Brompton and Harefield NHS Foundation Trust (RBHFT) in 2013/14 is over £200 million (84% of RBHFT’s NHS income). For clarity, as a Foundation Trust, RBHFT is regulated by Monitor.

In your report of 7 January 2014, you recorded the Royal Marsden Hospital and Institute of Cancer Research concerns regarding the Fulham Wing (South Block) and the impact of any development on their buildings on either side.  You called upon the two Foundation Trusts to continue to discuss the future use of these buildings. Our understanding is that these discussions have so far failed to reach a resolution that the Royal Marsden and Institute of Cancer can support.

We note RBHFT’s stated benefits of the proposals but we have not yet had sufficeint opportunity to review them in detail nor consider them in the context of the development of specialist services and research in general across London. In any event, the failure to achieve a satisfactory resolution of the discussions with the Royal Marsden and the Institute places NHS England in a difficult position regarding any potential support for RBHFT’s proposals. Whilst we recognise the potential for benefits to patients and services at the Royal Brompton, we could not support a development if there was a risk that it is to the detriment of the future development of specialist cancer services provided by the Royal Marsden or the Institute’s research.

Our view is that there should be a review of the impact of RBHFT’s proposals on the Royal Marsden and the Institute to mitigate any potential risks.  Further more, we would recommend any review should look at opportunities arising from the RBHFT’s proposals to the benefit of Royal Marsden and the Institute. As the principle commissioner of services from both organisations we would be pleased to facilitate a review, involving the regulator if Monitor thinks it appropriate.

Yours sincerely,

Dr Anne Rainsberry
Regional Director (London)
NHS England