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.

Saturday, 31 January 2015


The Dame is not ashamed to admit young Ludo, her dissolute nephew, has given many sleepless nights. 
But since leaving his treatment centre in S. Africa he has taken on a new lease of life.
He is full of money making ideas. 
One involves flogging cheap 'past sell by date' fags to Africans.
Though the Dame doesn't approve she thought that Sir Pooter might have some words of advice: after all, was not part of his career spent marketing very cheap 'tobacco products' on the African continent?
Young Ludo took the Dame's advice and dropped an email to the great man. 
Imagine the Dame's astonishment when Ludo showed her the reply. 
It seems our 'nearly Lord' has become very grand. 
He has a vast private office and a team of staff headed by an Executive Assistant! 
One hopes the Mayor has not been lending him the Bentley. 
We know how addicted to status symbols the plump little chap is.....

Lauren, our grand friend's Executive Assistant, has experience dealing with Cabinet Ministers like the self important Pooter. 
She says she has a "proven ability to manage complex assignments on behalf of Cabinet Ministers, HNWIs and sector-leaders in a diplomatic and discreet manner"

From: Lauren Bennie - EA to Sir Merrick Cockell []
Sent: 31 January 2015 13:14
Subject: Special prices on really cheap smokes

Thank you for emailing the office of Sir Merrick Cockell.

I will be out of the office from 15:30 on Friday 30 January. 

I will respond to your enquiry on my return to the office on Monday 02 February.

Thank you,


Lauren Bennie
Executive Assistant to Sir Merrick Cockell

Thursday, 29 January 2015


If it's not the corrupt and incompetent TMO, it's dodgy dealings at the "Flop Opera' at Holland Park.
According to the Dame's Operatic Correspondent Mr 'Foxy' Volpe is really putting the squeeze on a council who just cannot get him off their backs.
Now scandal-riddled Opera Holland Park is being ‘let off’ from making essential improvements whilst it is in the process of ‘potential externalisation’. 
The loss-making opera - the only civic opera in the country - has managed to lose us residents a staggering £6.6m since 2001, against revenue expenditure of nearly £30m in the same period, plus capital investment of over £2m. In 2009-10 alone the opera lost the Council nearly £1m. 
Only the current modest annual sponsorship deal brings it just below that figure every year.
The latest outrage has seen Foxy Volpe refusing to implement some improvements that were proposed after an Internal Audit in 2013. 
Auditors gave the organisation a ‘Limited Assurance Report’, demanding that various improvements be made, including: drafting clear procedures and guidance notes; delivering transparent financial accounting; having a transparent tendering process for the residential orchestra and costume suppliers; maintaining an inventory; maintaining a hospitality register stating outcomes and registering resultant donations, plus controlling the use and number of complimentary ticketsagreeing guidance for appropriate use of purchase cards, and retaining full VAT receipts 
It seems that some staff are ineligible to work in the UK and employee contracts need regularising.
The Audit was conducted soon after the Council failed in its first attempt in 2012 to off-load responsibility for the opera by handing it over to a controlling group to run it as a mutual. The current attempt goes a step further, by offering £5m to take it away!

Someone who knows says, "It beggars belief that a non-viable organisation funded and run by the Council has such poor accounting and control systems.It is indefensible and frankly shocking that staff are refusing to implement proper standards demanded by Auditors because they are waiting for a further bail-out. 
No voluntary organisation in receipt of Council funds would get away with such conduct. 
The Council must discard their plan to give a dowry of £5m to off-load this financial black hole. Instead OPH should have a dignified demise use the funds saved to protect frontline services that people so need. 
This would also save the  ‘backroom costs’ that have reached £412,000/year, which is more than the sum the Council says it cannot find to continue to provide Play Services that enable low-income working families to work full-time.’  

Wednesday, 28 January 2015


A local resident has written to the Dame in support of the Mayor....

Dear Dame

I have read the 172 comments regarding the TMO and the Mayor.

The TMO's reputation is an such a low ebb that anyone on the council connected with it seems to get tarred with its negativity.

Somehow, Cllr Condon-Simmonds seems to have got herself-wittingly or unwittingly, tied to the TMO.

This is a shame as this coucillor means well and is a very caring person. 

Her lack of guile means that she probably goes where angels fear to tread and, as a result, attracts unfair and sometimes harsh comment.

Anyway, I just wanted to try and give another view of someone who is basically a good, well meaning person.
Please do not reveal my name.

Yours etc


Tuesday, 27 January 2015


The police continuously underline the correlation between speed and serious accidents. 
Click to enlarge
The only person who enjoys driving recklessly around the Borough is Cllr Palmer aka Mr Toad...judging from his fatuous comments.

We now have an excellent Borough Commander in Chief Superintendent Ellie O' Connor.
Listening to various councillors it seems Ellie has made excess speed and bad road manners one of her priorities. 
She has made the observation that it's not just overseas drivers who are guilty of speeding: residents themselves are as guilty. 
She is correct.....

It seems very odd that anyone would need a 120MPH plus car in what is, after all, a village!
Please sign  this petition and make our Borough more habitable and much safer SLOW DOWN TO 20 MPH

Monday, 26 January 2015


Is our Mayor(no, not the gardening enthusiast one here) going around the bend.
Instead of Johnson sorting out London's transport problems the motormouth spends most of his time travelling around the world having a larf.
One of his favourite things is to hang out with the super rich and super corrupt Qatari and other Gulf State despots. 
To quote the wonderful John Le Measurer..."he doesn't just have his head up their posterior....he has an entire apartment"

These truly ghastly people may not directly support ISIS, but they don't make much much effort to stop their people doing so.

So it's a bit of surprise to read in the Telegraph today Johnson suggesting we fund the Kurds.
It might be a better idea if this grovelling sycophant persuaded his Gulf State buddies to halt the financing terror groups.

Sunday, 25 January 2015


The Dame will again be scrutinising the behaviour of one or two TMO Neighbourhood officers. It appears that they are not quite as even handed as they should be....but enough... that's for some other time.

The Dame has received this email. 

It appears that being a perennial winner of the TMO's Gardening Competition is not so much about being a Greenfingers but more about having friends in high places...

Dear Dame, 

Your readers may be interested in the results of the TMO's latest gardening competition. The result has left many of us baffled as to just what exactly is going on.

For yet another year TMO residents have been left utterly bemused by the results of the TMO’s latest gardening competition. 
The winner, best friend of the Mayor, Maighread Condon-Simmonds(and former housekeeper of Daniel Moylan) appears to have won a prize for her garden......yet again!

Oddly, she has no garden to call her own....... 
She appears to have been awarded a prize for the upkeep of her estate's communal gardens, those maintained by the TMO and its contractors. 

One can only wonder at what may have possessed the TMO to award her the prize. 
Perhaps she has been awarded a prize for "directing the workmen"? 

Or perhaps there is more than a hint of truth to the persistent rumours of “political influence from above” and of “rewarding one’s closest friends”?

It has been remarked that the prize may have actually been awarded for services to the Mayor’s electoral campaign rather than anything remotely horticultural given how often the Mayor and her party workers drop by for tea!


K&C Police have been ordered to stop all newish Range Rovers being driven late at night in case they've been stolen.
The local police should extend the same interest to the supercars driven around the borough at dangerously high speeds and with excessive exhaust noise.
Most of these drivers ignore speed restrictions and irritations like pedestrian crossings.
Their anti social activities mean that at all hours of the day and night we are subjected to the thunderous noise of their ridiculous cars. 
The elderly and young families are especially at risk as these supercars  drive recklessly through our narrow streets.

Rod Abouharb, the talented PPC for Kensington, has suggested the speed limit be reduced to 20 MPH: it's not a bad idea. 
Driving at anything over 30MPH in this Borough is just idiotic.
Such a measure would reduce pollution, noise and the discomfort residents have to endure 24/7.

The Dame calls on the well regarded Borough Commander, Chief Superintendent O' Connor to start cracking the whip and use teams with mobile radar scanners to stop this menace.
Offenders could end up having their licences taken away: most are accelerating to well in excess of 70MPH.

Friday, 23 January 2015



A well known and influential resident-who will be nameless, dropped the Dame a note reminding her the Chelsea Society had form for collaborating with the Council.

For example: during the battle to save Sloane Square from becoming a cross roads, the then chairman, David Le Lay, gave vocal and active support to Danny Boys Moylan's hellishly vulgar scheme. 
Le Lay is a weak man and putty in the hands of Cllr Moylan....
Not being satisfied with that piece of odious sycophancy Le Lay went on to support Moylan's other plan to Brummify the elegant King's Rd by replacing the much loved black cast iron lamp posts with the hideous silvery coloured monstrosities that now pollute the Road.
Moylan,now with the support of the Chelsea Society, had the bit between the teeth, 
He persuaded the powers that be at the Society to scrap the beautiful green 'heritage' litter bins and replace them with stainless steel bins mounted on the awful new lamp posts. Having been made in China it's no surprise they leak, as well as being too small for any practical purpose( one wonders about Moylan's interest in things Chinese....marble etc....

Finally, Moylan coerced the Society into agreeing to remove the attractive black "heritage" bollards and replace them with new stainless steel bollards if there were a demand to reinstate them (stopped), and (iv) to remove the attractive dark green wrought iron benches and replace them with new "Scandinavian style" steel benches (stopped). 

Michael Bach wrote a dreadful piece in the Society's newsletter praising this as a welcome "decluttering" scheme. As Bach is normally on the side of the angels one assumes Moylan simply manipulated and misled him. 
MISARA objected strongly to all 4 parts of the scheme, but credit for getting half of it stopped goes to Doctor Gordon Taylor.

Moylan also persuaded Terence Bendixon(normally an archangel) to support the Sloane Square cross roads scheme, goodness knows how................ 

And then when Le Lay stood down he was replaced by Stuart Corbyn( ex CEO Of Cadogan Estates) without any consultation or democratic process, but simply on the order of Lord Salisbury. 
Doctor Thompson, who was hoping to stand as a candidate, was  sidelined.

As the Dame's friend said, " I refuse to join the Chelsea Society whilst it's run in this way'


The Dame has just received this
puzzling missive. She normally won't
have 'toilet talk' on her little site,
but this was just too intriguing.
What can this chap mean?

Bollocks Bollock

(47 minutes ago)
to damesathome
ask members of the planning committee about rocks behind the scenes work as cabinet member and square it with his job as ward cllr

Wednesday, 21 January 2015


A reader writes.....

Dear Dame, 

I was for a short while at the PAC meeting yesterday.  

Freeman was chairing.

Freeman and Mills were brilliant.  


They were dealing with the applications in detail and challenging them.

Mackover may have just had a bad day.  

He was accepting everything that the planning department said and didn't seem to understand why the other councillors weren't accepting the report and recommendation of the planning department

Sent from my iPhone



The Dame hears of rebellious mutterings down at the Chelsea Society.
Click to enlarge
The chairman of the Council is the charming Mr Greenish.
Mr Greenish and his Council took a unilateral decision to recommend the  Fire Station in King's Road as the Crossrail site.

This has gone very badly with many members. 
They felt it to be a subject of such import it should have been discussed and voted on by all members.

Mr Greenish is a chap who likes to hurry things along and that means bypassing the rank and file. 

He needs to be a bit careful: many don't like his idea of keeping them out of the discussion.
Non members also complain that the Society has been trying to claim credit for the new rules on basements when the main driver for change was the delightful Terence Bendixon.

Tuesday, 20 January 2015



Residents of the Royal Borough have a powerful and well equipped enemy. 
With billions at his disposal he is adept at building his fortune at the expense of our rare and much loved open, green spaces.

He is the Developer and his influence within our council is profound and worrisome

But he doesn't always have to win......

That was proven just a couple of weeks ago. 
A brave planning committee, in the face of bullying from planning officers, threw out proposals from the ubiquitous Candy brothers and the 'many fingers in many pies' Ritblat family, determined to destroy the much loved Odeon Cinema.

The Dame has just received another resident call to arms.
This time the threat is against a much loved open space in Nursery Lane W10.
If these developers get their way they will be thieving our children's open space heritage for ever.

This letter from Rosemary Pettit, chair of the Hammersmith Society needs your urgent attention and action.

Please read Rosemary's letter and support her and residents by signing the petition

Dear All,

Would everyone consider signing the petition to save the Nursery Lane site in North Kensington from development:if we don't we will be allowing greedy developers to steal our children's heritage.

‘We the undersigned ask the council to affirm the continuation of its planning policy not permitting the development of the remaining St. Quintin backland sites and to support their designation as Local Green Space in accordance with the Neighbourhood Plan developed by residents.  We believe this action is urgently needed to protect the character and biodiversity of the Conservation Area.’

The background may be seen on the website and is as follows:

‘A great increase in interest from developers to challenge RBKC planning policy in finding land for luxury housing poses a major threat to the green spaces in our neighbourhood, which are vital to the character of our Borough.
Whilst RBKC has a history of communal garden squares, maintained by residents, the backland sites on the St. Quintin Estates have remained in private ownership. One such site is a former tennis club located at Nursery Lane, W10, which was converted to agricultural use after the courts were destroyed during WW2. The land, filled with beautiful mature trees (including weeping willows), shelters a variety of wildlife and is a green oasis to the homes and Sheltered Housing that surround it.

The Oxford Gardens Conservation Area provides clear protection for these remaining backland sites and planning inspectors rejected proposed housing developments on the Nursery Lane land at appeals in 1972 and 1982. Residents have worked with the St. Quintin and Woodlands Neighbourhood Forum to develop a Neighbourhood Plan designating these backland sites as Local Green Space. A group of residents have also attempted to purchase the land to convert it into a communal garden consistent with its historical purpose.

We have been informed that the land has been purchased by a developer intending to build 21 luxury houses on it and fell nearly all of the trees causing irreparable harm to the character and biodiversity of the area. We urgently need the council to affirm the continuation of its planning policy for these backland sites and to support their designation as Local Green Space stopping such development attempts now and in the future.’

Every open green space that is built on increases the chances of other green spaces being threatened. Please forward to friends and neighbours.

Best wishes,


Rosemary Pettit
The Hammersmith Society

45 Bradmore Park Road
London W6 0DT

Monday, 19 January 2015


The Dame is delighted to support this, just launched, website.... RESIDENTS FOR BASEMENT JUSTICE CAMPAIGN

Launched by a cross sectional group of residents it accepts though there is now greater control over mega basements the council has much work to do to ensure basement developers are properly controlled.

And remember, it was resident pressure, notably from Dr James Thompson, that forced the council to act on 'iceberg' basements....

Basement extensions
"We are a group of residents who have lived through years of disruption from basement developments in the Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea.
Our streets have been chaos; our homes have been unliveable; we have
suffered noise, vibration, damage, dust.
Whatever the individual circumstances, our common experience is that the Council has been little help to us. 
They have failed to reduce the disruption and maintain our amenity, despite this being (in the words of
Cllr Tim Coleridge) the single biggest issue of concern for residents ever experienced".

To find out more about Residents for Basement Justice and how to sign the petition just click on the link HERE

Sunday, 18 January 2015


This motley bunch to the left are Malc Rifkind's co-members of the Parliamentary Intelligence and Security Committee.

Yes, the Dame knows....frightening to think they overlord our security services!
In a self promoting Telegraph interview today Malc Rifkind, suggests the chairman of the ISC in the last Bond film was modelled on him!
He even asserted he would have been willing to take on a cameo role-(if, they could have afforded his fee!)
It's about time Malc stopped entertaining ambitions of being a latter day James Bond and got down to working a bit harder for his constituents. 
Some might say he relishes this sort of silly press coverage in order to garner even more non exec directorships: after all, he can probably regale his board colleagues with tales of cloak and dagger 'derring do'....
Get on with working for your constituents instead of fantasising about playing James Bond.


If Genting, a Malaysian gambling group, walk all over local residents a monstrous blot on the landscape will become the site of a giant 24 hour casino.  This is what the multi billion dollar Malaysian owners plan...

Demolition of existing structures and provision of a casino (Sui Generis Use) with ancillary restaurant; facade improvements to hotel podium, associated landscaping, plant, car/cycle parking and other works. (MAJOR DEVELOPMENT)

The  Kempsford Gardens Residents Association has objected to this dreadful application for the following inarguable reasons...
* The site is quite unsuitable for a large 24 hour casino in what is a densely populated residential area.
* Cromwell Rd is already one of the most dangerously polluted roads in London. If granted, this massive increase in road traffic would exacerbate pollution.
* The 24 hour casino would cause great disruption by vastly increasing the number of pedestrians roaming in the area 24 hours a day .
*This is a land-grab (incorporating yet more green space that was meant to remain green space). 
*This ugly tower block already replaced a large garden square, and now the owners plan to steal even more open space. 
* This last remaining open space acts as 'lungs' for an area being adjacent to the Cromwell Road (A4).
* In 2006 two other nearby casino applications failed because of concerns over added pedestrian disruption and excessive traffic problems (parking,noise & pollution) .
* There are at present already 3 other casinos nearby.
* The development will add to demands on water supply and sewage system.
And finally....this building is already a blot on the landscape of Kensington and Chelsea: to extend it further would be madness.

Peter Harris, chairman of KGRA appeals to Mr Bore and the Planning Committee to turn down the application and prevent a further sleazy extension of the Holiday Inn

Saturday, 17 January 2015


The Dame is not a vindictive old cow. When she got a desperate phone call from Cllr Palmer she sprang into action.
The councillor has been persuaded by his colleagues to take up this challenge. As one said to the Dame, " it will keep him out of our hair"!

Dear Fellow Conservative Councillor,

Tomorow, the Conservative Councillors’ Association (CCA) will send out electric ballot papers for the Boards’ election. I have submitted my name for the position of London Representative because I want to make changes to the way we work in London.

I believe the London representative should make the effort to communicate with all Conservative Councillors in London.  To do that, I hope to be able to visit every Conservative Group in London and break the silos(?) that our Borough boundaries create.  Regular communication via email(as long as those f******g filters do get in the way!) and better use of the website,, will also be new features of my term. This may sound obvious, and if so why then has this not been done in the past? And why does it take a genius like me to come up with it?
Although the local ilections for us are 3 years away, I have a set of clear targets:

1 Keep every seat we hold and increase their majorety.

2 Take seats from our opponents...particulary Cllr Dent Coad who is so beastly to me.

3 Continue to control the Councils we already hold and take back those we used to control. Where control is not realistic, we must support those Conservative Councillors and candidates in those Councils.

If elected these targets will be my guide and I hope you agree with them.

Cllr Matthew R Palmer
Queens Gate Ward, Kensington and Chelsea
07967 585997

Dear Fellow Conservative Councillor,

Yesterday I wrote to explane why I was standing in the Conservative Councillors’ Association elections as the London Representative.  
I recieved  a not very positive responses from some of the 600+ Conservative Councillors in London and it is clear that my email hit the right note of disperation that I need something to fill my days.

Today the CCA have issued the Ballots via email. 
Fortunately for many people, their filters have caught CCAs' email to them.

So please check your filters and look out for an email from

Vote Early

Vote Matthew Palmer for London Representative

Cllr Matthew R Palmer

Queens Gate Ward, Kensington and Chelsea

Wednesday, 14 January 2015


And on the subject of greed..... the collapse in the price of oil may have seriously damaged the financial health of our London MEP,  'Doc' Charles Tannock. 
The Doc, a one time psychiatrist, managed to get himself on the board of an interesting little shale gas exploration company, 3 Legs Plc.
Part of his package was half a million quid's worth of share options. 
The Doc did not declare them. Sadly, for him the Dame found out and tipped off the Sunday Times(no, she got no brown envelope) who did a double pager.
In no time at all the Doc went all legal threatening dire retribution. He even went to the PCC who chucked out every one of his whining complaints!

Now here is the point of the story....

The Dame wants to know whether the Doc ever realised his options. 
If he failed to do so he would be down half a million quid. 
Why? Well, look what's happened to 3 Legs's share price...
Luckily, the Doc can self treat for the depression he must be going through....unless, of course, he exercised and flogged the stock on the 'highs'. Ludo, now working as a trainee broker analyst is 'on the case'......

From the Sunday Times....
"A frontbench Tory MEP secretly received share options worth up to £500,000 from a controversial “fracking” company but failed to declare them to the European parliament.

Charles Tannock, the Conservative foreign affairs spokesman, consistently claimed he was “unpaid” by the company, 3Legs Resources, based in the Isle of Man.
When the parliamentary authorities were alerted to the MEP’s secret options they found there were no clear rules to deal with such a case.
It highlights the lax governance in the parliament which critics fear will lead to further scandals, despite recent attempts to reform the rules.
3Legs was set up to extract supplies of shale gas and oil in Europe using the contentious hydraulic fracturing method, nicknamed fracking. 
Critics allege the technique pollutes water with carcinogens.
Tannock, a psychiatrist turned London MEP, declared his position as a non-executive director but failed to mention his lucrative share options."


Kensington, Chelsea& Westminster Today has written a first class summary of the shenanigans surrounding Thamesbrook.

You can read all about it HERE
At a high level Council meeting that master of spin,( just joking...he couldn't spin a top), Mr Fitzpatrick overwhelmed his masters with a cunning plan to announce the public consultation during the Christmas holidays. 
Someone should have told FizzyPatrick old tricks like that are just soooo last year.
Anyway, here is the link to the public consultation.
When you read KCWToday you will see why it so urgent to make your views known
No council should be allowed to get away with such crooked dealings....

As one resident told the Dame, "This is yet another attempt to sell off publicly owned prime property to the cost of the elderly who need critical care."


  1. There is a rump of independently minded members on Planning currently, which is exactly as it should be. The four Labour members led the way on some objection issues, the Conservatives had equal and some additional concerns, and there was wide accord on the main points that were in contravention of our Core Strategy and even the London Plan - AND our new Basement policy.

    This is how Planning Committee should work.

    Both schemes were criticised for elements of over-development, poor design, un-neighbourly overlooking, and what one referred to as 'segregated housing'. The vast sums offered in lieu of providing affordable housing on site were side-stepped, and many members - and the vast majority of the public who attended - objected strongly to the widening gap between super-rich and 'others' embodied in both these designs.

    The Odeon application was criticised for the 'greedy' penthouses and its gated design, while social rented housing was shoved onto Earl's Court Road with no access to community facilities. There was huge concern over the 'poor door' cinema spilling onto Earl's Court Road while the 'bespoke' cinema was accessed through a posh coffee shop. The provision of bicycle parking for the 'elderly' housing (on the street I think) but lack of access to car, motorbike or mobility scooter parking was derided.

    A victory for the community of Kensington, who have been outraged by so many recent applications in contravention of our own policies.
  2. I was there. It was magic. The small hall was packed. Councillors, regardless of political party, asked endless pointed questions and openly criticised officers' slanted statements. There was near universal condemnation of the appallingly divisive nature of both applications. Each twist in the argument was met with applause or groans from the public. The Kensington Society was heroic.

    At the very end Mr Bore warned the committee that by saying the current application was an improvement on the previous one, the Council would lose an appeal. Rather than being cowed, councillors reiterated the profound differences between the two applications and Mr Bore blinked first.

    Overall it was 6 hours of high drama that left the developers speechless. Doubtless a few mega bonuses are forfeit.
      A comic interlude was provided by the architect of the Odeon scheme, Mr Squires, who gave a quite bizarre and irrelevant speech. 
    2. His developer buddies cringed, while the public gallery commented loudly, and the committee tried to keep a straight face. He seemed quite insane.