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.

Monday, 31 July 2017


The Dame fears it will not be long before PA Consulting dumps Sir Pooter as a potential embarrassment; after all, it did not take Shelter long to see that his friend, Sir Delboy Myers, might be bad for business.
A reader, new the shenanigans that went on under the regime of Pooter Cockell and Delboy Myers, asked the Dame to put up links to Hornet pieces on his life of luxury at the expense of hard done by local taxpayers.

From abuse of the Mayor's spanking new Bentley to luxury stays at US 5 star hotels it's all here.
It's shocking in its excess.  

The Sunday Telegraph's Doctor Heffer(a dear friend of the Dame) wrote a particularly cutting piece about the expense licentiousness of Sir Pooter.
So angry was Sir Pooter that he called the good Doctor Heffer at lunchtime that Sunday, in full fury.
A unamused Heffer reprimanded Pooter, "Pooter, how dare you disturb me. Call me in office hours"

LINK read of the time Andrew Pierce, another dear friend of La Dame awarded Sir Pooter a gold star for imaginative expense accounting.

LINK and another when the Telegraph exposed the old rogue!

LINK and here's one where Pooter commanded dear old ex cllr Tony Holt to defend him.

Sunday, 30 July 2017


The old Dame is proud of one thing. 
Relentlessly, she fed the press with so many stories of Pooter Cockell's greed and expense manipulation it cost the bounder his much lusted after peerage.
Pooter so yearned to sit his gigantic backside on the red leather of the HoL; pick up a few NED's and the £45,000 a year tax-free allowance....but, thanks to the Dame and her Hornet's, the rogue was left with a mere K...something he never deserved.

The Dame hears that the Met are anxious to discuss historic matters pertaining to Grenfell Tower with Pooter and former CE, Sir Derek 'Delboy' Myers...a real couple of rascals!

Could that be the reason Pooter has edited out any reference to his money grubbing days as Leader of our Council? 
It seems so looking at his CV.
Odd too, he neglects to mention his career flogging fags to African natives.

Sir Merrick Cockell 
Linkedin profile 

Company Name
 London Pensions Fund Authority 
Dates Employed 
Oct 2010 – Present Employment Duration 
6 yrs 10 mos Location
169 Union Street, London SE1 0LL 

Deputy Chairman 2013-15. Appointed Chairman by London Mayor Boris Johnson September 2015.  Re-appointed by London Mayor Sadiq Khan December 2016. 


Company Name
UK Municipal Bonds Agency plc 
Dates Employed
Jan 2015 – Present Employment Duration 
2 yrs 7 mos Location
London, United Kingdom 


Executive Chairman
Company Name
 Cratus Communications 
Dates Employed
Jul 2014 – Present Employment Duration 
3 yrs 1 mo Location
West Wing, 25 Lavington Street, Southwark, London, SE1 0NZ 

Senior Advisor
 Company Name
PA Consulting Group 
Dates Employed
 Jan 2014 – Present Employment Duration 
3 yrs 7 mos Location
123 Buckingham Palace Road London SW1W 9SR United Kingdom 

 Company Name
 Kensington Aldridge Academy 
Dates Employed 
Jun 2014 – Present Employment Duration 
3 yrs 2 mos Location 
North Kensington, London 

Pierrepont School, Frensham, Surrey.

Local Government 
Local Government 

Political Campaigns 
Political Campaigns 

Public Policy 
Public Policy 


Sir Merrick has 1 publication

How minor parties could dictate the next government’s approach to local authorities



Dear Friends 

Our organisation is a registered company formed to fight against any reduction in social housing places on the Sutton Estate. Affinity Sutton applied in 2015 to pull down most of the estate and replace it with a mixture of luxury flats, “mews houses” and 146 fewer social housing homes. The application was refused by the Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea at the end of last year but Affinity Sutton are appealing – and in the process likely to cost a great deal of time and expense to RBKC when it has other, very serious housing matters to deal with.
If you have already commented on the application your original submission will have been forwarded by RBKC to the Planning Inspectorate, but a new submission direct to the Planning Inspectorate would help to strengthen the Council’s case. And, if you didn’t object in the first place but would now like to comment, the door is open to you until 18 August 2017.
The application was rejected on three specific grounds:
  1. The net loss of social housing.
  2. The architecture of the proposed buildings fails to contribute positively to the surrounding townscape.
  3. The impact of the development on the wider area is not properly addressed (this is a question of financial contributions by the developer).

The full report by Council is available at this  LINK

It records 354 objections (including from the Chelsea Society and The Victorian Society), 28 supportive comments and a survey conducted by the tenants association showing 80% of respondents in favour of refurbishment rather than demolition; in addition a petition against the proposal was signed by more than 1,000 people.

You can send your remarks to the Planning Inspectorate in one of two ways:
  • Online at LINK
  • By post to Room 3/26, Temple Quay House, 2 The Square, Bristol, BS1 6PN
However you respond, it’s important to quote reference no. App/K5600/W/17/3177810 and to write before 18 August 2017.
We sincerely hope you will help us all improve our neighbourhood rather than disrupt and destroy it.
Yours sincerely,
Ian Henderson
Chair, Save the Sutton Estate
Registered company no. 9525564                                                                       
26 St. Luke’s Street, SW3 3RP

Friday, 28 July 2017


As an envious Sad Badger correctly observes the Dame is 'aboard' the SS Hornet for a little break so news will be intermittent.
She understands the Leader's hubby, Colin, is a bit of an 'old salt' so is hoping he might come and do a bit of crewing...uniforms provided.


"Our dearest Dame
Looking out of our HP sett at the wet, cold and depressing World around us, I and other readers assume that you on your well-deserved summer break.  

Your luxurious SS Hornet moored in the Monte Carlo Bay, just a short launch trip to the Hotel de Paris.   Enjoying the wondrous, luxurious surroundings of this nice hostelry and its wonderful dining and extensive wine cellar.
I am truly jealous.  We have to rely on Mr O'Sullivan from the Belvedere.
Hope to see you soon, but in the meantime, have fun."


Click to enlarge
The fact the Met put this out doesn't necessarily mean that they are referring to the current council and officers.
This looks as if it's becoming a historic investigation.
Maybe Pooter Cockell will be 'collared'?

Thursday, 27 July 2017


Dear Dame 

Can you please urge ALL of your readers, TENANTS and LEASEHOLDERS alike to put their points into the inquiry team by email BEFORE 28th JULY 2017, to ensure KCTMO and RBKC are fully investigated and held to account.  

Group action should NOT be ignored, when we are all complaining about the same very OBVIOUS problems within both organisations that we suffer on a daily basis.


Everyone's experience counts and must be documented to provide a full account of the appalling RBKC and KCTMO

Extension of consultation period on terms of reference

11 July 2017
Sir Martin Moore-Bick extends the period for consultation on the terms of reference to 28 July 2017.
Sir Martin Moore-Bick and his team have now held discussions with many interested parties to the Inquiry, in particular with survivors of the fire and other residents of the Lancaster West estate. It has become clear that those affected need more time to respond to the consultation on the terms of reference.  Sir Martin is therefore extending the consultation period until Friday 28 July, an extension of two weeks.
Please send any comments to the Grenfell Tower Inquiry Team at:
Or by post to:
Grenfell Tower Inquiry Team
Royal Courts of Justice


Have your voice heard by signing-up as a member of Chelsea & Westminster Hospital. It costs nothing and you'll have the opportunity to shape the services the hospital provides to the borough. The LINK. 

In addition, you'll get invitations to health talks and social events at the hospital. 

It's important to be involved even in a small way to make sure we get the services we need when we need them.
If you have some spare time the hospital would love to have you as a volunteer helper. 
It's a rewarding activity in great company and really does make a difference. Details on the membership link.


This is the composition of the Task Force to advise the Council. Apart from Chris Wood none seem to be terribly relevant or dynamic.
Javed Khan is the £100,000 plus charity boss of Barnado's

Aftab Chughtai
Aftab Chughtai is chair of the West Midlands Police Independent Advisory Group. Aftab also runs a department store in East Birmingham. He received an MBE honours in this year’s New Year Honours List, awarded in recognition of his Services to Business and Community Relations in Birmingham.
Javed Khan
Javed Khan is Chief Executive of Barnardo’s which runs 1000 services in local communities and is the fifth largest charity in the UK. As a British Pakistani, he is the first non-white CEO in Barnardo’s 150 year history.  Previously he was CEO at Victim Support and before that Executive Director to the London Serious Youth Violence Board in the Government Office for London. In 2007 he was London Borough of Harrow’s Director of Community and Cultural Services and Director of Education before that. Previously Javed was Assistant Director of Education in Birmingham. He started his career as a Teacher in the West Midlands, is a member of the Advisory Board for the Children’s Commissioner for England and a lay member on a London Clinical Commissioning Group.
Jane Scott OBE
Jane Scott has been Conservative Leader of Wiltshire Council since its formation as a unitary council in 2009. As the seventh largest unitary council in the country, Jane has led a major programme of transformation that has focused on building strong communities, protecting those who are most vulnerable and growing the local economy. The council is recognised nationally for its approach to working with communities across Wiltshire; empowering local decision making and service delivery.
Jane is chair of the Wiltshire Health and Wellbeing Board, the Military and Community Integration Programme, the Wiltshire Public Services Board and is a member of the Swindon and Wiltshire Local Economic Partnership.
Jane was appointed Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in the 2010 New Year Honours for services to local government. In August 2015, it was announced that Jane was to be created a life peer, giving her a seat in the House of Lords.
Chris Wood
Chris Wood is a partner at Altair housing consultancy. Chris has worked with numerous local authorities and a broad range of public and private sector housing organisations on strategic regeneration planning, asset management and capital programme delivery. Chris has been Director of Housing in three London boroughs and CEO of the London Borough of Newham, leading the borough’s contribution to the 2012 Olympic Games and the development of Stratford City. He was the architect of London’s largest estate-based regeneration scheme at Canning Town.

Wednesday, 26 July 2017


Dizzie Lizzie Campbell is rapidly becoming a sort of economic Mrs. Malaprop.

Here are just two of her great insights....more will doubtless follow!

"Holland Park School cost the taxpayer nothing"

Dizzie forgot that the school was paid for from the £100 million sale of the School’s playing field. She could not see that the playing field belonged to taxpayers so, in effect, the school cost local taxpayers £100 million.

"we have saved money by reducing the Cabinet"

It never occurred to the dimwit that reducing the number of members doesn’t justify creating a new and superflous post with the saving.


The Leader of the Council has graciously deigned to reply to the fabulous old Dame.

Click to enlarge
In her reply, the leader notes the reduction in the Cabinet team has led to savings.
This begs the question as to why the Cabinet was so bloated in the first for the boys & gals?
Anyway, it seems that the two deputy leaders are now picking up, with their cllr allowances, close to £50,000 a year each.
This is more than any other UK council.

The Dame is an old fashioned thing. 
Thanks to a string of well-negotiated divorces the old thing is stinking rich.
Cllrs Taylor-Smith and Pascall are both nearly as loaded as the Dame and should thus forgo their £1,000 a week allowances. It's called public service.
Pooter Cockell

Sky high allowances were organised by the appalling Pooter Cockell whose greed knew no bounds. 

Tuesday, 25 July 2017


Last month 66,000 residents of the Royal Borough visited the Hornet's Nest. Without showing off the Dame can claim that the Nest has a reach greater than any local newspaper in the sense that those visitors are deeply committed to the interests of the Borough.
The other day The Dame wrote to Cllr Campbell asking the very simple question...."how much is each deputy leader being paid"? 
So far, not the courtesy of a response. No doubt her own £70,000 a year is useful to fund the hideaway on the IoW....the woman is a disgrace!
The other day Cllr Campbell announced on BBC Radio that she will spend a big chunk of the Borough’s £300 million reserve fund on social housing for the Grenfell victims. 

But is this lawful? 
The money came from hard pressed Council Tax payers.  Dizzie told the BBC that the Council reserves were “put aside for an emergency and that is what we will spend it on”. 
These are the words of any spendthrift housewife who suddenly needs to justify to her husband why she has raided the family savings account. 

Not a single other Local Authority taxes in order to create an emergency fund.

The Leader's new policy needs careful scrutiny. 

All infrastructure spending should come from central Government via the Central Grant. (Schools, hospitals, libraries, council housing). And this needs to be argued for. The Royal Borough is the only Council in the country operating with a big slush fund created by over taxing Council tax payers. 
It has been useful for subsidising Holland Park Opera to the tune of £1 million every year and paving Exhibition Road with pink granite from China imported at a cost of £30 million. 
And the practice of promising a decrease in Council Tax just before local Government elections. (In layman’s terms this is called a bribe). But these practices have to stop.

For the last ten years, the Country has been in austerity. It will be extremely difficult for Hornton Street to argue that the £300 million reserve was amassed from surpluses from the Central Grant. 

The Central Grant should cover what is agreed. And Council Tax should cover what is necessary for central services (garbage collection, the parks, street cleaning etc).

If there is an emergency such as flood, fire, or terror attack, then the established practice is for Central Government to find the necessary recovery resources.

As usual, our Lizzie is dipping her fingers into the nearest chocolate box. This is known as Sloane Square expediency.


In the light of Grenfell the Council is now reviewing its decision to lease the Kensington Library to Notting Hill Prep.

Monday, 24 July 2017


How despicable, at a time like this, to try to demolish much loved and much needed social housing.
We know Exford, the £300,000 a year of Affinity Sutton is a nasty piece of work but the Dame would have hoped this grasping little man would have had the decency to stop this vandalisation of a wonderful community asset. 
Everybody in the area....poor, not so poor, rich and not so rich love Sutton Estate.
The Planning Inspector needs to back the Royal Borough which has made very clear why consent was not given.


Notice of a Planning Appeal relating to:  William Sutton Estate, Cale Street, LONDON, SW3
Appellant: Affinity Sutton Homes Ltd   Agent: Trowers and Hamlins LLP
A Planning Appeal has been made to the Planning Inspectorate in respect of the Council’s decision to refuse planning permission for : Demolition of existing estate buildings (Blocks A-K and N-O) and ancillary office and  redevelopment to provide 343 residential units comprising 334 apartments and 9 mews houses within buildings of 4-6 storeys; provision of class D1 community floor space with associated cafe; class A1-A5 and B1 floor space. Creation of adopted public highway between Cale Street and Marlborough Street, vehicular access from Ixworth Place; creation of basement for car parking, cycle parking and storage and energy centre fuelled by CHP and works to adjacent pavement. (Major Application and EIA development). This appeal will be heard at a PUBLIC INQUIRY which you may attend and, at the discretion of the Inspector, will be able to speak at the Inquiry. The final date and location of the Inquiry has not yet been confirmed and we will write to you again once these details have been finalised

All comments should be submitted directly to the PLANNING INSPECTORATE in order to be taken into account at LINK TO MAKE COMMENT using the reference number App/K5600/W/17/3177810.  Your representations must be received by the Planning Inspectorate by 18/08/2017 at the latest. Any comments submitted after this date will not normally be taken into account. PLEASE DO NOT SEND YOUR COMMENTS TO THE COUNCIL  
Alternatively, you can send a hard copy representation quoting reference number App/K5600/W/17/3177810 to: Room 3/26, Temple Quay House, 2 The Square, BRISTOL, BS1 6PN.  

Comments made in respect of the original planning application have already been copied and forwarded to the Inspectorate by us and will be considered when determining the appeal. If you made a comment which you no longer wish to be take into account please advise the Planning Inspectorate by 18/08/2017 at the latest.

You can get a copy of the booklet "Guide to taking part in planning appeals" free of charge from the Council or at  Documents associated with this appeal including the appellant's grounds of appeal are available online under the original application number at the Planning Search area of the Council's website:

Yours faithfully

Planning Appeals
Planning and Borough Development
Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea


How do you take on a council determined to ride roughshod over the very people who put them in power?
Well, can wait for the next election but that’s a while off.

It's a very relevant question as we watch Affinity Sutton spending hundreds of thousands of pounds to thwart the wishes of RBK&C residents.

The Dame rarely ‘plugs’ paid services but when they are good value and are super effective she feels no shame in doing so.

Many of you will remember the Canadian billionaire who tried to dig out a mega basement under his 12 bedroom mansion in Walton Street.

It looked very much as if the planning department and planning committee would have allowed it to go through; after all, the planning officers were, to put it politely, very friendly with the applicant! 

Had consent be given there would have been months of disruption to residents and a horrendous impact on already hard pressed local business.


Residents and local business were desperate. The question was how to rapidly build an overwhelming opposition that would shake up officers and councillors.

The residents called in Julian Parge of  #SHIELD.

Quickly and very inexpensively, Julian devised a total strategy encompassing...
  • The design of a traffic map showing all of the affected roads.
  • The design, copywriting and print of 1,000 flyers.
  • The design and development of a single-page       website which simplified the process of objecting and immediately submitted all objections to the Planning Dept point of contact. 
Within days, the Council received over 260 objections from residents within a one-mile radius of the application. 

In the face of such vehement public reaction, the planning dept kicked the application into the long grass and sided with residents

This is what Parge had to say:

“I'm really pleased that #SHIELD was able to help the local residents and businesses. (Having lived in the area for some time,) I am fully aware of the impact that these kinds of developments can have on the neighbourhood and I am completely behind opposing something that was seemingly just the whim of an arrogant and greedy man.

Most of us at some point in life will have a battle on our hands, be it against corporate incompetence, reputation risk or local planning applications: this is where #SHIELD steps in. We have very specific strategies in place to protect our clients best interests and our focus is on pushing the right buttons in the right order. 9 times out of 10, this doesn't fail.

Of course, we can't guarantee success every time, but our pricing is set up in such a way that clients pay an admin fee and a success fee. No success means no additional fee. It's definitely worth a shot.

And this is what a local businessman driving the campaign said:

“Our business was faced with a local issue in Knightsbridge which seriously threatened its future. We needed to publicise a host of legal issues in an effective manner whilst simultaneously gathering support from residents, shops and commerce in the area. Time was short and deadlines loomed. Enter #SHIELD.

Under the guidance of Julian Parge a new web site was created, a blog initiated and leaflets printed for distribution. Within a few days our arguments took centre ground and opinions changed. We won a battle when the odds were stacked against us.

Without #SHIELD we may have lost. We cannot recommend them highly enough.”

Philip Stallibrass – Director, White Room, Walton Street

You can get in touch with Julian here LINK