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.

Thursday, 26 June 2014



The 'common and the poor' are no longer welcome in the Rotten Borough.
For centuries, all classes of and poor, rubbed along well together. 
It was a defining feature of Borough life making it the characterful place it once was-but increasingly less so. 
In decades to come it will be just a ghetto for ultra rich foreigners to hide their ill gotten gains, looted from their own impoverished countries.

According to this reader Nick Paget-Brown told her 'that retaining the social mix made the Borough so special'.

Could Nick have been 'avin a larf? Or just lying through his back teeth?
Its seems Affinity Sutton have been given the 'nod and the wink' to wreck Sutton Buildings and right behind come TfL ready to smash up the Cremorne Estate. 
Hundreds of millions of pounds will be made by forcing out residents, many doing essential jobs in K&C, just so soulless developers can build soulless developments.

A reader writes....

Dear Dame

Yesterday my friends received a letter telling them that the Cremorne Estate Worlds End where they have lived for years is going to be demolished. 

Apparently the revered Paget Brown is fully in agreement with this. 
What a hypocrite the man is and how does he sleep at night. 
When he came to a charity in North Kensington a few months ago I brought up the subject of social housing in the borough. 
He told me that it was imperative that we keep the social mix as that is what makes this borough so special and that we must keep the levels that we have.

This is the first that the tenants have heard about this but they should not worry because they will be rehoused in DAGENHAM according to the letter. 

Who said that social cleansing finished with Lady Porter. 
Many of the families who live there work in local schools and hospitals as well as local government workers. That's a long commute from Dagenham.

The whole estate is in uproar and as more locals find out they will be wondering if they are next. This was kept very quiet and has only now come out after the local elections.


A resident

Wednesday, 25 June 2014


Click on text to enlarge
Emma Dent Coad's eminently sensible letter in the Standard focuses on a more intelligent approach to property taxation. 

She points out that of the 12,000 homes in the Borough worth over £2 million, 7,000 have been owned by the same families since 1999.
So why lump them in with the super rich- many here for all sorts of nefarious reasons?

As EDC points out..'The prospect of a Mansion Tax as currently envisaged would drive out these families and long-term residents, whether owners or renters, who tell us ‘it’s my borough too’.

There is another unintended consequence of the Cable/Balls plan....those ordinary Londoners, with little cash and fixed incomes, will be forced to sell to the likes of the hideous gay and woman hating Sultan of Brunei.....

And not a murmur of support from our pathetic Lib Dem councillors.

Tuesday, 24 June 2014


For the last few months Pooter Cockell has been carefully counting the pennies in his purse: absolutely vital in view of the dramatic drop in his allowances from the poor old taxpayer.
But it seems that a rather controversial lobbying operation has taken pity on Pooter and given him a job as chairman.

Pooter can thank failed ex Communities minister, Bob Neil for the job. 
Bob has already got his feet under the table at Cratus and wants to get a few of his mates in......

The Dame warns Cratus about Pooter's desire for the high life and suggests they will keep a sharp eye on his monthly expenses.
And absolutely don't allow him to buy a Bentley!

Monday, 23 June 2014


OLD BOY says.....

"Following on from the local elections and Labours win in H&F, it will be interesting to see whether the good old RBKC will continue to bail out our friends across the border. 

There’s already suggestions of H&F merging with Camden and Islington.
RBKC have been subsidising H&F staff costs with so called bi-borough managers, the vast majority being from H&F. 
From first hand experience all that happens is that RBKC staff continue to manage themselves while H&F staff work on their own borough's business....all in the hope of keeping H&F a Tory borough. 
Maybe this was how H&F kept on dropping it’s council tax, advertising on every street column how wonderful they were.
If you look across the board, most of the senior bi borough positions are held by H&F staff. 
Do you think they will allow negative feedback to the councillors of RBKC. Not a chance. 
And I don’t think the councillors of RBKC are bright enough to work it out for themselves."

Saturday, 21 June 2014


It is my opinion that HATS/Olympic South continues to operate illegally while enjoying the bulk of the Triborough's lucrative Special Education Needs Transport Contract.
All HATS staff are only allowed to work on a self-employed basis! This means no National Insurance payments, no holiday entitlement, no pension entitlements, no job security, no employment protection, therefore saving HATS at least 20% on their wage bill. But worse still, where does this leave the insurance relating to their service? If there is an accident with a child on a vehicle which the driver or assistant are responsible for (not a motor accident but a child being dropped etc)  clearly the driver and assistant do not have their own personal insurance. The parent would go to HATS for this insurance claim. HATS cannot insure self-employed staff, so the claim would have to go back to the Triborough. Yet another case of HATS therefore being subsidised by the Triborough. 

Thursday, 19 June 2014


In the last few weeks there has been a torrent of comment-press and elsewhere, over the mess created by the new transportation arrangements for vulnerable children.
Fortunately, Judith Blakeman has been assiduous in challenging H&F officers constantly trying to pull the wool over councillors' eyes.
And to be fair to Cllr E. Campbell she has been wholehearted in meeting the parents of all children affected.

However, it's difficult to see how useful Cllr David Lindsay has been in getting stuck in to sort out the mess. 
Lindsay is chairman of the  Family and Children's Services Scrutiny Committee yet has been conspicuously NOT the 'Muscular Christian' that people claim he is: in fact, he has been a pathetic church mouse...

This is one of the most vital of committees. 
If David Lindsay is too timid to do the job required of him he should move aside and let someone with guts take charge.

Wednesday, 18 June 2014


The Dame sat up late to watch the admirable Jeremy Paxman ride off into the sunset.
But whatever possessed Paxman to involve Boris Johnson in his going?
We all recall wriggling with embarrassment listening to some crude and humourless speech.
Well, watching the Mayor of our great city hamming in up with his silly schoolboy humour, whilst playing the eccentric Englishman, was just as gruesome.
And to discuss the appalling death and injury rates amongst London cyclists as he clowned around on a tandem was sheer bloody bad taste.
The day this man becomes Prime Minister will be the day the Dame sails off to foreign lands aboard SS Hornet.


Loyal Hornet readers often demand the return of the Mole so the Dame is delighted to welcome back our little velvet coated artist.
Here is Mole's interpretation of Her Majesty's true feelings about the 'knighting" of Sir 'Delboy' Myers.

It will upset his ex lackey, George Bishop, but to use one of his favourite expressions..."Get over it, George"

Tuesday, 17 June 2014


Fiona Buxton, who has just sadly passed away was hugely liked and respected, not just in Kensington & Chelsea, but well beyond.
A parent with a severely disabled child said this about her..."she was a very decent human being and her death is a tragedy".

She was one of a small group of councillors with a reputation for really wanting to make a difference to the lives of those she represented. 
She also had an excellent sense of humour and once or twice the Dame was in receipt of tart, but well deserved corrections.

This council can ill afford the loss of councillors of Fiona's calibre and quality and she will remembered by all with great affection.

The Dame sends her heartfelt condolences to Fiona's family.


For many years Sir Merrick Cockell survived in great style at the expense of the taxpayer.
In his LGA biog entry he tries to insinuate that he gave up the helm of an 'international trading conglomerate' to 'devote himself to public service'(his weasly words).
The truth is very different....
His 'international trading conglomerate' was, in reality, a two man affair operating out of a dank basement rented in the Conservative Association's Chelsea Manor St office.

His company, Abingdon Cockell, ceased to trade many years and never seemed to have made anything in the way of profits.

Cockell, like his friend, Daniel Moylan, was one of the first of the local government entrepreneurs to see there was a good income to be had as a councillor. 
Daniel, however,being clever, did give up a lucrative City job.

For years Cockell's allowances topped £100,000, but the gravy train is about to run into the buffers.

In July, his £55,000 a year tenure as chairman of the Local Government Association ends and his income reduces to just a £11,500 councillors allowance.

Let's hope that £44,000 a year peerage comes soon otherwise it could be a bit like below. 
Or maybe Sir Del Myers can fix him up with something on an old pals basis?


  1. George Bishop, presumably now retired on a fat, platinum proofed pension, ran the Personnel Department at Hornet Street.
  2. For that onerous position Derek Myers authorised his vast all inclusive near £150,000 a year salary: a salary not unadjacent to the Prime Minister.
  3. Small wonder George springs to the defence of his patron!

  4. George Bishop16 June 2014 10:31
    What a lot of small-minded, mean-spirited, jealous comments. I worked for Derek for about 10 years and thought he was a first class, inspirational Chief Executive. I don't know of any of his senior staff who thought otherwise either. During his time, the Council saved tens of millions of pounds to offset poor Government settlements and which kept important services running which would otherwise have been cut or reduced. His work with SOLACE and in local government generally points the way for Councils in the future. He well-deserves the honour. Instead of carping on, why not be pleased that the Council, through Derek, has been given the recognition it deserves.
    Incidentally, why are most of the comments on this blog anonymous - too frightened to be identified? Anonymous comments are in the same category as anonymous letters - to be ignored.
  5. So you worked with Myers and expect us to take your character assessment of him seriously? Yours is the usual sort of flimflam we expect from this club of overpaid senior local authority officers. As for's no more than a talking shop for self serving senior officers....none of whom would survive in the profit driven private sector.
    You claim Myers saved 'tens of millions of pound'. Is that not the job of a well paid Town Clerk of any competence.?
    RBK&C is the smallest, richest and easiest to manage of all UK boroughs.
    It is one of the great mysteries of our times how Myers and Cockell managed to position themselves at the top of the salary and allowance heap.
    For the Town Clerk of a small council to be paid close to £280,000 a year beggars belief. And Myers's defence of Cockell's abuse of the Bentley by suggesting it 'saved taxi fares' is just beyond priceless.
    But congratulations Mr Bishop.... a superb piece of sycophancy!
  6. What a paean of praise for Sir Del...
    And who might Mr Bishop be.... so obsequious in his praise?
    Mr Bishop has every reason to be over Sir Del like a cheap suit. There aren't many humble personnel officers with salaries and add ons matching our Prime Minister.
    And who should he thank? None other than Derek Myers.
    Put a sock in it never deserved close to £150k a year. More than the personnel manager of a FTSE 250 company
  7. Donald Cameron16 June 2014 21:11
    This little bit of indignation from Mr Bishop made me smile. Proof positive that a cabal of self indulgent and self satisfied honchos were running Hornton Street under Derek Myers. "He saved money and was a great boss". Well, Mr Bishop, on £250k plus we expect nothing less from a Town Clerk. But senior managers need to be sensitive to their environment (which is usually unique) and show that they are up to the challenges. Mr Myers' environment at K&C was a Conservative monopoly, a Leader seduced by 14 years in office and a complacent electorate of residents working hard to pay the school fees and the mortgage. Hornton Street was out of site and out of mind so long as the dustbins were collected on time. But when rate payers had occasion to lift the stones and find that the Town Clerk was authorising jollies for the Leader in North America, including expense claims for entertaining strangers, and improper use of facilities such as the Bentley, it became clear that the Town Clerk was too inclined to expediency. And so he was hammered by the Hornet. And rightly so. If you have a different opinion of these specific assertions I would be interested to see them. Please blog.

Saturday, 14 June 2014


The Dame is getting super steamed up!
She has just heard that Ebony Riding Club has had its beady and greedy eyes on Sarah Turvey's stables for many months. 
A year ago Ebony paid a visit surreptitiously 'casing the joint' before reporting back to McConville that her site would suit them 'just nicely'!
So the Dame took a look at the powerful patrons behind Ebony and discovered that the Duchess of Cornwall was one patron and Val Shawcross another.
Now Val is a member of the London Assembly. The Dame expects every reader to email Val to express their disgust that her charity could collude in the destruction of Sarah's Stable. You can email her

Clara Hoalim Jones writes......

I am disgusted and appalled by the actions of the Westway Development Trust towards Sarah Tuvey and her stables. 
I cannot believe the decision not to renew her lease simply because of the Trust's CEO's bloody mindedness, and/or that of her advisors. 
Angela McConville is the new CEO of this so called charity and may be unaware of all the facts that resulted in her poor decision. 
I have been involved with the stables for some 8 years and it has been a haven for some of the most deprived, the disabled and the local community in West London. 
Despite the odds, Ms Tuvey has transformed this site into wonderful place in the centre of London with her animals allowing many who could only dream of relating with the horses and learning to ride in an urban environment. The delight and joy on the young faces speak volumes. Has anyone at the Trust even bothered to visit the stables?
This has taken years of hard work, perseverance and dedication to get this far, why would anyone with a heart not allow Ms Tuvey to carry on the good work. 

Ms McConville states the option to exercise the renewal of the lease between 13 Sept 2012 and 21 May 2014 is incorrect. 

As far as I am aware the final draft was only signed towards the end of September. I even sent an email to the lawyers who were making changes to the final document dated 12 September 2012. 
In any event if the Trust's intensions were honourable, could they not have sent a reminder to Ms Tuvey as promptly as they did with the notice under the Landlord and Tenant Act? Notice was sent out on the 22nd May 2014 precisely a day after the deadline!!

I also wish to state that in all my dealings and subsequent conversations with the management team of the Trust none said that the lease would not be renewed. 
I have attended meetings and even then the outgoing CEO assured me that there would be stables as part of the regeneration programme. 
I was even told that the lease offers greater protection for the lessee etc. etc. and that the Trust were always willing to work with Ms Tuvey going forward. 
My understanding too was the trust had been tardy in reviewing and renewing the present lease. It took months to get an initial response simply to agree the heads of terms. 
Then again months to submit the requested documents to the lawyers. 

Could Ms Conville clarify whether the scrapyard merchants, garages and music studio all around the area would be denied renewal of their leases or could stay in the area?
Could she also clarify when this regeneration would take place as the supplementary planning does require stables and arena. 
Lastly she maintains there is not a viable future in the current location.
Well, of course, there will not be as the land is being regenerated and the stables relocated. 
Will the trust fund the relocation costs?
As time is short should there not be proposals in place if you seriously have the intension to help retain the wonderful services of Ms Tuvey's yard?

I personally have a pony there for children and adults to ride where do you suggest I liver him?
 It has been home to him for over 5 years. 
I am hoping that you would reconsider your decision. I appeal to your better nature. 
The stables will work and I hope the trust will give it the opportunity to do so. 
I fully agree with Paula's take on this. 


You could not make it up as disgraced ex Mayor and a man fascinated with young boys, Barry Phelps would say!
Obviously great due diligence was carried out!


It didn't take long for the old Dame to find out the Westway Trust is a dirty little charity.
Like so many 'dirty little charities' it should come with a Health Warning.
Click to enlarge
It has been the subject of a powerful and damning critique of its activities and residents should take the trouble to read what BRIAN DEER of the SUNDAY TIMES had to say about shenanigans at Trust.

A few blogs back the Dame reported that using chicanery and subterfuge this 'charity' was attempting to evict Sarah Tuvey and her much loved riding school from Westway.

It now seems that McConville, the Chief Executive (and a frightful little snob) has plans to replace Sarah's stables with an up market stables. 
The replacement, the Ebony Horse Club, has royal connections and the social climbing McConville is doubtless relishing the chance to hobnob with 'The Royalty'....
There is no more assiduous social climber than your humble middle class person!
So small wonder that the Trust has been working overtime to get rid of hardworking and humble Sarah.
Our council appoint trustees to Westway Trust: it's time Nick Paget-Brown and Chief Executive, Nicholas Holgate got stuck in to see what the Trust is getting up to.

Friday, 13 June 2014


Derek Myers, ex Town Clerk of the Rotten Borough and architect of  the Tri-Borough disaster represents all that is bad in local government.

Despite this the Dame hears that Myers-quite unemployable outside local government, has been given a knighthood!

Not that a K carries much kudos looking at the low life types who pick 'em up these days....(yes, Pooter)
But it says a lot about the decline of this country when one looks at the quality of recipients.

At one time K's were reserved for  self effacing people:those who had made a major contribution to public life-not enriching themselves at the expense of the taxpayer. (yes, Pooter)

Let's take a look at Myers....

This is a man who cost K&C taxpayers the thick end of £280,000 a year and a platinum plated pension of over £100,000 a year.
Myers refused to ever countenance a salary reduction, despite continual adverse press coverage. 
Dismissing comment by Fat Eric Pickles that no local government pen pusher should earn more than the PM Myers said it was none of his business!

So why did Cameron reward this mediocre ex social worker, already fat at the poor taxpayer's expense.....we should be told!


'A week is a long time in politics'....
The boring old cliche beloved of boring little political anoraks, is never truer than in the dankly depressing little world of local government  'minipolitics'.
Stanley Ward voters sent a short, sharp message to the Conservative group b​y handing nearly 1500 votes to the local Independent candidates.
There was a mixture of fury and breast beating on the part of the Conservative Group.

Fatuous little 'Squeaky' Warwick Flatfoot(in his Wilki entry he describes himself as a 'British Politician'! Hilarious) berated Ian Henderson, whilst decent Nick Paget-Brown said there would be no collusion between councillors and developers.

The other evening 'property developers' Affinity Sutton, held a meeting with Sutton Estate residents to try to con them in to believing that smashing the estate to pieces was a good idea!
Barshall, a local mover and shaker attended and was met with a barrage of hostility from the Affinity Sutton team who then tried to isolate him from the residents!
How did they know who he was? It seems one of the councillors had taken the trouble to provide them with a photograph of Barshall!

And an email from Independent candidate and campaigner, Barshall to Cllrs Paget-Brown, Pascall as well as Richard Blakeway and Kit Malthouse at the GLA is leaked to Affinity Sutton!
Affinity Sutton's Rachel Underwood, responsible for the demolition had been fully briefed up on Barshall and his email.

So who leaked the email? Probably, the two faced Pascall.

Thursday, 12 June 2014



Angela McConville, the Irish CEO of the Westway Trust has had great success with the Blarney Stone.....judging from the embarrassingly self promoting guff in her Linkedin entry.

'The Westway Trust was formed in the 1970s, to take on the challenge of regenerating and managing 23 acres of derelict land under the A40 flyover, which had sliced through North Kensington.
That is just the beginning of the story …
I joined the Trust in 2013 and have reinvigorated the Trust’s future strategy – creating a ‘Destination Westway 2030’ strategy, which seeks to establish Westway as one of London’s premier destinations for culture, enterprise, sport, fitness and artisan retail. I am passionately committed to the Trust’s core aim of maximising social impact through improving the health and economic well being of the community in and around Westway.'

So is part of the 'maximisation of social impact' kicking the West London Stables off the site?
Sarah Tuvey has been running the stables for years.
Her work for the disadvantaged, the disabled and local schools has won her Mayoral awards and the praise of the local community. 
And it's that community who are shocked at the underhand ways used by the Trust to remove Sarah

McConville seems not have the foggiest idea about strategic direction: one minute the land is going to be developed....the next the plans are shelved.
What is clear is that Sarah's riding school is an integral part of the strategy of promoting 'sport for all' in the area.
So why is Miss McConville so determined to get rid of a major component of that strategy?
The Dame will be pursuing this one and talking to her friends at Private Eye....she smells the stench of naughtiness!
All information welcomed.

Tuesday, 10 June 2014


The Dame, for all her affectations and pretentiousness, is really very common. 
So when she saw agents' particulars for this hideous travesty she assumed it was the home of one of her rich Surrey friends 'done well' in the motor trade, selling Bentleys to Pooter Cockell.
Not a bit! It's a design approved by Mr Bore and the Kensington Society! Come on, Miss's bloody awful!
The Dame has asked the architects if they can fit in a 'car port'...

Here’s what the new kid on Britain’s most exclusive block - Kensington Palace Gardens – is going to look like.
The practice received the thumbs up for the scheme from planners at the Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea a few weeks ago, after developing the design in conjunction with English Heritage, the Kensington Society and the Crown Estate’s heritage advisors.
Work is due to start later this year for the client, Hasib Holding Company Establishment, although the main contractor is yet to be confirmed. It’s thought the build cost could top £18m, with the finished article set to be worth upwards of £40m.
A 14,000+ square footer was launched further up the street by Aylesford International last year, sporting a price tag of £110m. You can take a look around here.

Monday, 9 June 2014


When Tfl asked residents where the new Crossrail station should go 75% said it should be sited at the far end of Kings Road, near the Cremorne Estate.

There is now a very distinct possibility TfL will ignore this overwhelming weight of local opinion and decide the Borough will have no station at all. 
If they do it will deprive residents in the extreme of the Borough with all the exciting opportunities this transport link opens up.
Reading between the lines it seems TfL are working towards the idea of abandoning any Crossrail station....whether sited at Dovehouse St or Cremorne.
Now is the moment for residents to make a real noise and push TfL for our Crossrail station.
Here are the details. 
If your eyes are as feeble as the old Dame just click on the image to see where to go make your voice heard.


Bendixon: Chelsea Society planning guru

We Chelsea residents are fortunate to have the powerful Chelsea Society checking and balancing the Council Planning Dept.

The Chelsea Society plans a public meeting THE ROYALS DEBATE about the future of the Royal Marsden and Royal Brompton hospitals in the autumn.
In the meantime, it may be useful to ask some questions.
  • Should sales of land by the Brompton be limited to what is needed to enable it to rebuild in Chelsea? Would that reduce the loss of buildings with ‘community’ uses?
  • Could private fund raising in Chelsea and beyond help solve the financing problem without recourse to selling hospital buildings?
  • Might it be best to combine the two hospitals, expand their work in cancer treatment and research and cut inefficient duplication? Both already treat cancer so this would be an administrative not a medical change?
  • Should the Borough Council refuse large-scale change of use of hospital and community buildings to upmarket houses and flats?

It's suggested that members wishing to discuss this further get in touch with Terence Bendixson or a member of the planning committee.


On Sunday afternoon tourists and residents were treated to the extraordinary sight of several supercars tearing down Sloane Street and then skidding around Sloane Square to race back up Sloane St at speeds in excess of 80mph.
A peaceful afternoon for residents and tourists was ruined by a bunch of selfish arrivals from the Gulf showing off their ridiculous toys. 
And the same disturbances take place in the early hours of weekend mornings.
It's time the police organised radar speed checks and prosecuted these idiots for dangerous driving.
These cars have exhaust options to enable maximisation of noise levels and our friends from the Gulf set their cars for maximum volume.
There has already been one serious accident caused by an out of control Lamborghini, yet no police action seems to be the order of the day.
We know that the Gulf States own most of prime Central London, but do they need to rub it in our faces by treating us with such contempt?
If foreigners behaved like this in Doha they would be locked up.
No wonder these people are so disliked in London.

Thursday, 5 June 2014


The Dame is a bit of a party animal....a few glasses of mediocre Chilean wine and some 'finger food' and she tends to get 'over the top' as her vile nephew Ludo describes it.
Last night she barged into the Mayor's Parlour to take part in the Mayoral Awards for outstanding residents.
Her plan was to personally congratulate Ian Henderson, the Inde candidate at the last election....and, more importantly, a driving force behind CATS and an award winner.
So wasn't it all peace and light? 
One funny little economist was far from being in a party mood. 

The Dame was astonished to hear little Warwick Lightfoot deliver a most terrible bollocking to the amiable and somewhat puzzled Ian Henderson. 
Now no one is accusing economist Warwick of being uneconomical with the heady Chilean wine but.....
He started off his rant by berating Henderson accusing him of 'not knowing the damage he had done in running in the election'.
The inference in all of what he had to say was that little 'locals' had no business opposing the sitting councillors and that they should 'know their place'. 
Henderson sought out the Dame for some consolation. He told her it had never been his intention to go into politics, but had been driven to it to ensure Sutton Estate did not become a target of greedy property developers.
And, of course, being chairman of CATS that is his responsibility.
Ian attempted to explain to angry little Warwick that he had been exercising his democratic rights and explained he was being presented with a mayoral award for service to RBKC and the Sutton estate. 
The still fuming Warwick scuttled off to the canape area for some comfort food....and a glass or two...
Fortunately, it seems that Mr Batten of UKIP has been getting up close and personal with Sutton residents,filling the vacuum left by the disinterested Cockell, Pascall and Warrick.

Wednesday, 4 June 2014


Health Warning: The Ritblats are busy in the Borough

Dear All
The redevelopment of the Odeon has surfaced again.  
Minerva who own the site have now acquired the adjoining Post Office sorting office and Whitlock House which is a move we had anticipated when the planning application for the PO was withdrawn.  It potentially makes sense and we understand that it has freed things up so that they will now be able to keep the plane trees in front of the Odeon.  There will still be a cinema but not the Odeon.

The downside may be that they are talking about an increase in the amount of residential development.

They are holding two exhibitions prior to submitting the application one on Thursday 12th June 4pm-8pm and the  other on Saturday 14th 10am -1pm .  
Both will be held at St Barnabas Church 23 Addison Road W14 8LH.  They are proposing to make a smaller presentation to some of the ESSA committee and we will of course be keeping a close eye on the actual application.

We do urge you to visit one of the exhibitions and do let us know what you think about the proposals good or bad.  This is a tremendous opportunity and one we must not miss to enhance this part of the High Street.

You can email me on or at

Anthony Walker
Edwardes Square Scarsdale and Abingdon Association


The regal old Dame is not best pleased with puffed up 'Oirishman' Jon Moynihan. 
Jon has described the Dame's elegantly cerebral little political 'jottings' as a 'scurrilous local political blog'.
Her only observation is this....if her little blog is scurrilous it might have something to do with the fact that those she writes about are scurrilous...
Anyway, very soon the old Dame will be paying the insolent fellow back by revealing his current machinations on the Royal hospitals.....

Puffed Up

Tuesday, 3 June 2014



The charming and ever polite Robin Yu, i/c FOI's is determined to prevent any swimming pool 'leaks'. 
The result?  A thoroughly innocent FOI has been well and truly 'legaled'. 

Watch out Shepherd're in line for a good caning!

I am responding to your request under the Freedom of Information Act 2000, which we received on 28 April 2014, for information held by the Council. You requested:
 Holland Park School-Freedom of Information request

Please supply me with the following information regarding the school's swimming pool:-
1. Who has overall responsibility for bringing the swimming pool back into full use?
2. Please provide full details of the problems that are causing the pool to be out of action-when discovered and the proposed remedy?
3. Please provide details of the contractors who are directly responsible for the build of the pool and those responsible for bringing the pool back into full operational use?
4. Was any  advice  taken from  specialist swimming pool contractors as to the design and structure of the pool- please proved full details of all relevant contractors and sub-contractors involved?
5. Please provide full details of all cost incurred  to date in resolving this problem and the estimated future costs of resolving this problem. Who is meeting  all of these costs?  
6. What is the time line for bringing the pool  back into full operational use?

I confirm that we hold the information requested.
1. Shepherd Construction Limited.

2.We have decided to withhold this information for the reasons below.

3.Shepherd Construction Limited.
4.Shepherd Construction Limited as the main contractor, were responsible for the design build of this element.

They engaged specialist subcontractors via a direct appointment.
5. As answer 2.
6. As answer 2.
We have decided to withhold the information for questions 2, 5 and 6 because there is the possibility of legal action to rectify and reinstate. The information relating to these questions is currently subject to a commercial dispute and any disclosure at this stage would compromise our legal recourse.
Under Regulation 12(5)(b), a public authority may refuse to disclose information to the extent that the disclosure would adversely affect the course of justice, the ability of a person to receive a fair trial or the ability of a public authority to conduct an inquiry of a criminal or disciplinary nature.
We are withholding this information because we believe that disclosure would adversely affect the course of justice. The “course of justice” is very wide and open to interpretation. However we consider that this includes both criminal and civil proceedings. As noted earlier, there is the possibility of legal action and we are arguing that release of this information at this time would adversely affect our legal position.
In applying the exception we are obliged to consider whether public interest in disclosure outweighs the public interest in maintaining the exception. It is reasonable to argue that it is in the public interest to release this information for reasons of accountability and transparency. Disclosure of the information would help the public understand the current issues with the swimming pool in Holland Park School, this being in the public interest due to the amount of money spent on redevelopment of the school, and issues with access to the pool for members of the public. However, there is a significant public interest in protecting this information as to not prejudice future legal proceedings. Once proceeding have been completed then the public interest in disclosure will be stronger. Therefore at this point in time, we believe that the public interest in withholding the information outweighs the public interest in disclosure.