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Friday, 25 November 2016


Whenever the Dame hears of the Council 'consulting' she emits a long sigh.
So, what's happening at Kensington Memorial Park and why is Cllr 'Oirish' Ahern sounding as if he has been kissing the Blarney Stone.......

No, nothing to do with the ex Mrs. Ahern and her monumental tax problems.
This time it's about unwanted 'improvement' plans for the much loved Kensington Memorial Park..... and the abortive consultation. 
Reading the stuff from the Council (below) it seems that the 'reputable company with over 20 years experience' cocked up.

Users of the park come from well over a mile away so why was the distribution radius a mere quarter of a mile?
Leaflets distribution is as cheap as chips. 
To get a good opinion sample leaflet distribution should have been extended to at least seven thousand homes and that would have cost no more than £800.

And, because of the distribution cock up the cut off should have been extended to mid-December and not the end of November.
A panel of residents should also be appointed to check the feedback. 

How often have we seen blatant misinterpretation of feedback to fit with the Council's plans?

The consultation exercise has not been outsourced, but delivery of the information about how to access the consultation was undertaken by a reputable company with over 20 years experience in London.  Delivery of postcards was undertaken originally within a 400m consultation zone.  The postcards were delivered to all premises within that area, rather than households alone.  This is because the leaflet distribution company does not distinguish between residential premises and other addresses, and because the council is keen to include the views of all park users, including people who may work locally. 
This method has proved to be a cost effective way of distributing consultation materials in the past. The information regarding the number of premises within the consultation zone has been taken from the National Land and Property Gazetteer which every council maintains. 
It was disappointing to learn that some people did not receive the information, and where officers were given contact details a link to the survey or a hard copy was sent out.  The 400m consultation area was selected because this equates to an approximate 5-minute walk from the park.  Although the first round of consultation was publicised via social media, posters within the park, at the Sports Booking office at Holland Park, the two local libraries, via local councillors, and on the Council website, there were fewer than 300 responses. 


  1. And why is it called 'Kensington Memorial Park'? No one seems to know - what is it a memorial to? Wouldn't it be a good idea to put up a notice explaining, otherwise it is pointless.

    1. this may be the answer:

  2. Here is an excerpt from the Grenfell Action Group regarding a forthcoming blog on the very unhealthy and un-democratic relationship between RBKC and the Notting Hill Prep School. The Deputy Leader of the Council, Rock Fielding Mellen, has a vested interest in helping out this private school as his children's names are down to attend NHPS:

    "The Grenfell Action Group have recently been alerted to the fact that the RBKC’s desire to facilitate the spread of private education in North Kensington may not be confined to the disposal of the aforementioned public assets. It has come to our attention that the Council’s recent survey of local residents concerning the Kensington Memorial Park may be motivated to further feather the nest of Notting Hill Prep School and Chepstow House by providing their pupils with outside play facilities in the form of AstroTurf football pitches in the Kensington Memorial Park.
    It is strange that those residents living in close proximity of the park have not been provided with hard copies of the survey while those living in more affluent areas of the borough have. It would be no surprise to us if the parents of local privately educated children had also been encouraged to fill out the online survey and demand an increase in the size of artificial play areas.
    It is a fact that pupils from Notting Hill Prep School are currently using the Kensington Memorial Park for outside sports and are forced at present to occupy the undersized tennis court area. No doubt the provision of more private facilities , unaffordable to the local working class population and available for future block-booking by private education providers, would secure the space they desire so that their children could play away from the toxic fumes of the Westway motorway".

    1. Struth.... nice upper class white kids playing and associating with 'working class' dross in the NKMP? what on Earth, next?

    2. First the Campden Technical Institute, then the Issac Newton Centre,then the Westway Information Centre, then the North Kensington Library and now the lovely Kensington Memorial Park ... when will this blatant asset stripping by the RBKC of public space to benefit private education end.....

    3. Watch The Secret History of Our Streets Portland street on IPlayer about the change of Portland Street in Kensington.

      Best line in the programme was "Look 15 shops and no customers, can't buy a pint of milk, a newspaper, or cigarettes"

      Highlights how the council are not on our wavelegth or morality time for change we are all sick of them.

      All they have to do is maintain but they still get their hands in grubby deals, with grubby people like Sir Shifty's son on Old Brompton road.

  3. Appendix 5 of the Kensington Memorial Park Ten-year Management Plan ( explains it: "The land was bought in 1923 with funds provided by the Kensington War Memorial Committee, and was originally part of St. Quintin’s Park adjoining the Kensington Housing Estate."
    When the park was opened on 24 June 1926 by Princess Louise, Alderman R. Dudley Baxter, who was the Mayor of Kensington that year, said: “I venture to submit there could not have been a memorial more suitable than this Ground in which successive generations of happy children will find recreation and health and we trust will learn to be ever ready to respond to the call of duty as did those to whose memory it has been dedicated”.

  4. It is a fact universally acknowledged that some people invariably claim they have not received a distributed leaflet because they put unsolicited mail into the rubbish bin without looking at it. Happens every time.

    1. Not sure that's a common occurence. Many people check their post these days especially as packages go walkies and claims of leaving a "while you were out" card makes many Kensington & Chelsea residents very careful about checking their post.

  5. Dame, surely in these post referendum days they meant 437 yards

  6. con sultation is a game. We have tried to speak to officers involved in this to no avail. Sounds just like the one they did regarding Borough Boundaries? Closing date is the 5th December? Do the residents know about that one! The gentrification/social cleansing of North Kensington continues, lead by that greedy little snipe.

    1. CapCo Earls Court planning application ends 30th november to dig above railway lines for car park & bikes. RBKC Crooks the lot of em. Vote them out 2018!

  7. N. Kensington residents regularly receive RBKC "consultation" letters about developments in Earls Court and Chelsea etc. This is one of the ways RBKC manipulates the consultation process. Another having Cllr Hargreaves bat away awkward questions from residents during NPB's so called "Meet Nick" public meetings.

    The current public consultation over the partial rewrite of RBKC's LDP is another travesty. The original document was the result of months of detailed discussion between highly qualified planning officers and hundreds of residents. Senior officers have since left. A new, trashed LDP is currently being "consulted" on; virtually without publicity, expertise or wish by the person responsible to listen to public concerns. While other officers do their best, the one apparently in charge is oblivious.

    Meanwhile the Westway Trust announces its unworkable plans to redevelop its site in the Evening Standard - before "consulting" local residents! The key issue of the noxious fumes emanating from the elevated section of the A40 is ignored by both RBKC and WWT. All of N. Kensington's new private schools are within a few metres of the source of air so poisonous, it kills 75 RBKC residents a year. In addition it damages children's lungs and ensures that local babies are born with smaller lungs than normal; leading to a lifetime of ill-health. If they knew the facts, how many middle class parents would send their precious offspring to the new private schools?

    At the same time RBKC declares that: while the WWT is in "negotiations" on the future of the local stables, RBKC is about to sign an detailed agreement with TfL to further investigate building a new underground station on the stables site. Much the same is going on in Kensal. All this is "public consultation" RBKC style.

  8. If only ... RBKC is virulently opposed to a station on the West London Line (which would not be near the Stables, but north of the motorway, using the proposed underpass running between the borough and Hammersmith/White City as the station entrance. But RBKC still believe they can waste £300 million of reserves built up from charging Council Tax payers too much each year on a an unfeasible Kensal Portobello station on the Crossrail/Elizabeth Line. This is so that they don't have to build any affordable housing on the gasworks site - just luxury homes for City workers.

  9. 17.20's comment is most interesting. The K & C Chamber of Commerce is desperately keen to see both the proposed new railway stations built. RBKC recently gave KCCC members the impression that both projects are essentially done deals. However, whichever scenario is the reality, RBKC consultation with the public is not the name of the game.

    It seems possible that the West London line station will be built near the existing travellers' site beneath the spur road next to Westfield. Another example of "cleansing" the area of low income residents.

    Regarding building luxury homes for City workers; without excellent transport links, the thousands of new flats will be fit for no one who actually works. Only offshore money launderers and/or social security recipients will want them. One group will never see the flats - never mind live in them. The second cannot or will not work - in part due to a chronic lack of public transport in the area. In time the lack of public transport connections will create another slum neighbourhood.

  10. Notting Hill Prep think they own North Kensington. When paraded around by their games master, the children completely take over the pavements. One nice old lady pointed this out to the master and was met with silence and a fixed glare. He took no steps to ask the children to move and she and two others had to go into the roadway to get past them. Parents are paying all that money and their children are not even being taught good manners!

  11. There's a car club parking space outside the school. Fee paying parents presume to use it without a thought for the rights of its legal owners. The school can't be bothered with complaints from local residents. It's far too busy exploiting facilities paid for by local residents a century ago.

    The new school is well within the danger zone for the poisonous fumes off the Westway. Young lungs are damaged.

    Without a tendering process, RBKC recently gave the nearby North Ken. library to yet another fee paying school. It's replacement will be built within the NH Prep's grounds. It's flat roof will be a sports area: perfectly placed for privately educated youngsters to practice sport without having to walk past nice old ladies in the street. Unfortunately the raised sports area will receive extra large doses of the Westway's noxious fumes and particulates. As a result, some children will suffer decades of ill health. Fee paying or not, they deserve better; as do local state school children.

    The outer suburbs are far healthier. Like in so much else in the Rotten Borough, in the last 100 years nothing much has changed.

  12. And of course the new artificial football pitch that will blight the lives of residents with late night floodlights and ruin a park that was a memorial to those who died in the First World War is being constructed specifically so that these children do not have to play football in the shadow of the motorway any more.


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