Grenfell protestors pay “Dinosaur Dave” Lindsay a visit…..


On Monday there was a protest around North Kensington . Many of the protestors were local, others were housing campaigners ¬†and political groups who lent their support. The protestors paid a few visits to some of the RBKC Tories’ homes.

One of the councillors whose home they visited was David “Dinosaur Dave” Lindsay.The protestors intercepted “Dinosaur Dave” when he out walking his dog. He at least was the only councillor who actually made an effort to speak to the protestors, who were very upset and frustrated by RBKC’s poor response to Grenfell, the fact that many survivors are still living in temporary accommodation and this council’s general lack of concern and neglect of those living in social housing.

At the ¬†last full council meeting, a month ago, Cllr Lindsay (opposing a Labour motion put forward by Cllrs Robert Thompson and Bevan Powell to exempt all care leavers in RBKC from council tax up to the age of 25), ¬†made some offensive comments regarding child migrants – ¬†who make up a number of children and young adults in care in this borough – saying they are “of indeterminate age” and that according to him were “less likely to need our help”.

Well let THINK tell him that one of our group was at a meeting and panel discussion about child refugees at the Town Hall yesterday. There it was pointed out by some of those who work closely with child refugees, that the ones who tend to give a false age are usually younger than they say.

This is because many have had to grow up very quickly as have faced unimaginable circumstances in their home countries and also face exploitation and abuse when fleeing their countries of origin too. Also many are keen to start work and are therefore keen to present themselves as adults.

THINK believe that the least David Lindsay could do would be to issue an apology for his offensive comments. It is heartbreaking enough to hear what many  of these children and young adults have to go through without a Conservative councillor and member of the RBKC cabinet stirring up hatred and prejudice against these vulnerable young people Рhe should be ashamed of himself.

Also at the last council meeting, the Tories voted down a Labour motion to reopen the Maxilla family centre and nursery, with Cllrs Faulks and Cyron wrongly claiming that people could see Grenfell Tower from it.

When the protestors confronted him, Dinosaur Dave made out that the failures of this council were little to do with him, well let THINK not only point out that he is a member of the cabinet now, ¬†but that also he was chair of the Children’s and family services scrutiny committee during the disastrous tri-borough services and special needs’ children’s transport fiasco – which led to numerous complaints from parents and one child being taken to hospital – ¬†and when RBKC took the decision to close the Maxilla in the first place.

Also there is a very clear view of Grenfell Tower in the street where Cllr Lindsay lives, which ought to serve as a constant reminder to him to get something urgently done about the living situations of those affected.

Dinosaur Dave Lindsay did tell the protestors that his wife got Clement ¬†James Centre ¬†to open at 5am on the 14th June when the fire occurred, ¬†but we have been informed that when the fire broke out in the early hours, several locals were in distress, only for Cllr Lindsay’s wife to tell people off for making too much noise.

Belated Thanksgiving post: Thanksgiving and Misgivings: Is Cllr Julie Mills doing a “turkey run”from Norland?

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One of our group is Anglo-American and she has wished all our American readers a happy belated Thanksgiving.

Many who are ¬†local to our area do have some very real misgivings with regards to the RBKC Tories who pull the strings and their present and future plans for the borough”.

As we have mentioned before, Julie Mills is one of the Conservative councillors for Norland Ward in North Kensington. She is also chair of the Kensington and Chelsea  Conservatives Association.

Cllr Mills is also to blame for the shameful survey asking people in Courtfield Ward to rate issues from 0-10 including the tragedy of Grenfell Tower.

Well Labour have informed us that there has been plenty of support for them  on the doorsteps and iNorland does adjoin Notting Dale Ward (that Grenfell Tower is in). So many there will either be affected or know someone who is.

Also some from Norland Ward have informed us that they are frustrated and angry with the failure of the RBKC Tories  to stop people from having basement extensions in terraced and semi detached properties in the borough  Рand some streets in Norland are now resembling a building site.

One Norland ¬†local has told us of the noise, dirt and damage to her property that ¬†her neighbours’ vanity projects ¬†have caused. Another ¬†– a former Tory voter there ¬† has told us ¬†that he will not be voting Conservative anymore “as I have had to live with the ongoing consequences of noise and nuisance because of their planning cowboys ¬† – turkeys don’t vote for Christmas”.

This disgruntled former Tory went on to say “and after their shameful response to the Grenfell Tower disaster – enough is enough, they have taken peoples’ votes for granted for too long – we need change in the governance of this council”.

We did see one terraced house around there ¬†(not too far from where Cllr Mills lives!) that was wedged between two houses that are both having basement extensions and we wouldn’t like to imagine what they are going though.

Fellow blog From The Hornets Nest is abuzz with talk that Julie Mills might be actually looking to stand in a safer council Ward this time? ¬†We doubt she would receive a warm welcome ¬†in Courtfield Ward…..

http://fromthehornetsnest.blogspot.co.uk/2017/11/julie-mills-hedge-betting.html?m=1

Well regular readers will know that Cllr Matthew Palmer did a chicken run to Queens Gate a few years back so we won’t be surprised to see Cllr “Henchwoman” Julie Mills doing a “turkey run”……

In support of our MP Emma Dent Coad

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Regular readers of our blog will know that we at THINK are proud supporters of our Labour MP for Kensington, Emma Dent Coad.

Emma has been through a lot as an MP, with the Grenfell Tower fire disaster occurring just four days after she was elected, harassment from deranged people including death threats and an attempted assault by a disturbed individual at a local public event and yet she has still found the time and strength to help out her constituents with all the difficult issues many face (especially after Grenfell) and attend many community events and meetings.

Recently, certain Tories and some right wing journalists appear to have orchestrated what amounts to a smear campaign against Emma, even stooping as low as to accuse her of racial slurs (see our previous Shaun Bailey post).

THINK strongly disagree with the recent criticisms of Emma and we have decided to take some of her detractors to task and examine some of her critics and their criticisms rather more closely……

So let’s start with yesterday’s onslaught in an article in the Daily Telegraph here:

https://www.google.co.uk/amp/www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2017/11/27/emma-dent-coad-criticised-sexism-sharing-post-calling-theresa/amp/

If anyone looks at the Tweet that she responded to, they can see that Emma didn’t in fact call anyone “ugly”. The Tweet that quoted Roald Dahl’s The Twits In fact refers to ugliness in a person’s attitude. But some clearly do not bother to read something properly and take in the full meaning of it before posting their 10 cents worth online…..

But it appears that some Tory MPs have been briefed by the whips office to all jump in and have a go. We decided to have a closer look at one of them here:

Yes this is Hugo Swire, Conservative MP for East Devon who voted against raising welfare benefits in line with prices, voted against paying higher benefits to the sick and disabled and voted for reductions in housing benefit – yet thinks that it is perfectly acceptable to claim over ¬£100,000 a year in expenses on top of his ¬£74,962 MPs’ salary!

A blog local to Mr Swire’s constituency, The Real Zorro, had something to say about this:

http://realzorro1.blogspot.co.uk/2015/03/what-hugo-swire-costs-claims-from.html?m=1

And here’s another critic, step forward Brandon Lewis, Tory MP for Great Yarmouth:

Oh wait a minute, isn’t this the same Brandon Lewis, former housing minister, who was against including sprinklers and extra fire safety regulations because he thought it would discourage housebuilding? Why yes!

Perhaps if some really are interested in what Emma Dent Coad has to say and to see what she is doing they might care to discuss some of the issues such as social housing, that Emma has been a long time campaigner on, but we know the Conservatives, particularly in Kensington and Chelsea have a truly shameful record on the subject. Let us remind them that this community in particular, is far more interested in what our public representatives have to say about the genuinely serious issues.

Maybe if some really want to drag up old blog posts written by Emma Dent Coad, they can look at this one on Kensal Town in Emma’s Golborne Ward :

http://emmadentcoad.blogspot.co.uk/2015/05/the-battle-for-kensal-town-stark.html?m=1

Or maybe this one about redevelopment of the Wornington Green Estate:

http://emmadentcoad.blogspot.co.uk/2014/05/anti-social-landlords-portobello-square.html?m=1

Maybe some of the Tories would like to read these and answer the points that Emma makes? She is a long time campaigner for social justice and housing in the community and one of the very reasons she is very popular in North Kensington is because she has highlighted much of what has gone wrong in RBKC over many years. Some really should actually take a look at her council career and the issues she has campaigned on before they embark on such a ludicrous smear campaign.

We note the complete absence of Conservatives commenting on the issue of social housing in RBKC – a matter that has become more important than ever when many Grenfell survivors and residents of neighbouring blocks are still living in hotels. The Tories do appear keen to take the real focus on the important issues away from the spotlight – but as we know, that is because most of the blame for this dire situation lies firmly at their door, which is why they are so silent with regards to having a genuine debate and discussing solutions.

We will also mention that the Rotten Tory Borough of Kensington and Chelsea has built just 10 social housing properties in the last 28 years – where is the media storm over that? – then maybe some of them can go on social media and try to make their excuses but we doubt it.

THINK believe that what Emma has to say about the social issues in North Kensington deserves far more media attention than an off the cuff joke about Prince Harry or an irreverent Tweet. It says a lot if the Tories’ sense of priorities if they are more interested in these than in the really serious issues in North Kensington that we reaidents living under the shadow of Grenfell have to face.

Shaun Bailey: Not a “man of the people”

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Pictured on the left with former PM David Cameron, is Shaun Bailey. He is Deputy Leader of the Conservative group on the Greater London Assembly. Of course David Cameron, along with several of his pals ¬†were once labelled “the Notting Hill set” round here and they have little to nothing to do with this community except push it further towards “gentrification”.

Recently there has been a media storm over certain right wing bloggers and journalists accusing our Labour MP for Kensington, Emma Dent Coad of ” racial slurs” regarding this blog post of hers about Shaun Bailey from back in 2010:

http://emmadentcoad.blogspot.co.uk/2010/04/this-is-my-posh-voice-local-boy-done.html?m=1

Well THINK will ask all the Tories who have jumped on the bandwagon to criticise Emma, if they have read the blog post in full?

If they had, they might have realised that Shaun Bailey himself described North Kensington (where he grew up) as a “ghetto”. They might, if they do indeed read Emma’s blog post in full, see that it is simply a witty post that mocks things that Mr Bailey himself has actually said or done.

Well as locals, we can in fact confirm that many ¬†in our North Kensington community were indeed highly offended by Mr Bailey’s description ¬†back then of our local area as a ghetto – instead of ¬†the wonderful, inclusive, ¬†vibrant and multicultural community we know North Kensington to be.

Perhaps some of these bandwagon jumpers would like to know that back in 2010,  Shaun Bailey had, in order to gain favour from his fellow Tories, previously given his story of an upbringing in a terraced house and attending a fee paying school, but when he was out campaigning in Shepherds Bush (his unsuccessful bid back then to become Conservative MP for Hammersmith), he made out that he was a working class boy from a council estate!

Mr Bailey was then, when he got into the GLA, advised by the Conservatives to amend his Wikipedia entry as the apparent discrepancies were too glaring.

And just in case some outside Tory sources think they can speak for our community, here are some local campaigners from Notth Kensington having their say:

Judy Bolton: “with his history of stabbing both black and white working class in the back, protesting their causes and then blatantly voting against them (he did this on local closures of public services e.g., the Post Office in Shepherds Bush) . Emma Dent Coad still very much has my respect and support and that is from a proud black woman and mother who lives and loves in this truly beautiful community of Ladbroke Grove and North Kensington”.

And Lesley Dillon, who is former head of Wornington Green Residents’ Association (where Bailey used to live) informs us that he made a big thing about wanted to get involved in the group but then did not bother to turn up to meetings or events. When Lesley confronted him, Shaun Bailey apparently told her that “you have too much power for a woman”

And here is local campaigner Kasim Ali on Twitter in support of Emma Dent Coad:

Maybe some of those who seem overtly keen on ripping into Emma should realise that she does not and never has held racist views, and she is a popular and well liked MP who campaigns for our community. We support Emma and we just wonder just how low the desperate Tories can go.

If anyone is still in doubt with regards to Emma Dent Coad and her views maybe they can see what Lee Jasper has to say in this Skwawkbox article here:

https://www.google.co.uk/amp/s/skwawkbox.org/2017/11/15/black-activist-defends-dent-coad-defies-mendacious-bailey-to-debate/amp/

Neither ¬†Shaun Bailey or any of his Conservative colleagues has responded to Lee Jasper. So this ¬†“ghetto”story only reeks of a desperate party in trouble (especially the RBKC Tories) ¬†desperately trying to cling on to power, who don’t have the good grace to accept that ¬†the people of Kensington ¬†voted Labour and elected Emma Dent Coad as our MP fair and square. We say to these malicious Tories and their chums – put up or shut up.

Care in our community or lack of? Over to you, RBKC…..

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It has come to our attention at THINK that , the needs of many vulnerable others in the Rotten  Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, are requiring local authority help with housing, social care, physical illness and mental health and  are being delayed or even completely ignored by RBKC.

We are not actually referring to Grenfell survivors, bereaved and those in the immediate community that Grenfell Tower was in, but others in the borough, whom RBKC appears to have forgotten about.

We ask anyone with a conscience, why do you submit severely ill older people who have lived in the borough all their lives, to live in temporary accommodation, where their urgent needs are being neglected on a continual basis?

We ask anyone with any sense of compassion, why move older people requiring sheltered or supported accommodation and have also lived here all their lives, a long way out of the borough, and in some cases, even outside London?

This council sold off Thamesbrook nursing home in Chelsea ¬†for ¬†– yes you’ve guessed it – more “luxury” accommodation – yes for people with similar conditions, but what fate awaits those who cannot afford to reside there? ¬†This was a valuable care home for those suffering with dementia.

We just thought it right to mention that Warwick Lightfoot, who was in charge of these “cost cutting exercises” is a single man, who lives with his even more elderly mother, in Elgin Crescent, and obviously has time, private health, money and insurance on his side.

We had a post about Warwick Lightfoot here before. He really would make the substance behind a rubbish sitcom Рwhat with being regularly seen staggering (or should that be floundering?) worse for wear around Ladbroke Grove and Portobello Road, his living circumstances and the very real situations that this strict monetarist has created are probably a gift to a struggling sitcom writer somewhere:

https://thisisnorthkensington.wordpress.com/2017/07/02/warwick-lightfoot-sorry-we-have-no-money-but-are-sitting-on-300-million-reserves/

THINK  would like to question the oblivious Mr Lightfoot, since he at least shows up in the Town Hall (unlike some!) and remind him that others have family, work and financial constraints that stand in the way of them being able to care for their relatives unlike himself.

We also ask anyone who considers thenselves to be a decent human being, why still on a regular basis, people with severe mental illnesses are being dumped unsupervised without much available help, again, away from the borough and their families and friends who would be in a position to offer support?

But we fear these questions may never be answered. It is all too convenient to ignore those with less of Р or in some cases without  Рa voice because those in charge  know that  most of the  mainstream media is not watching their response to these people.

It is extremely important that all the Grenfell survivors are rehoused adequately and to their needs, and all the very real needs of all affected are taken care of, as we have mentioned a few times before, but it is also important to not neglect others who are desperately in need.

THINK will tell RBKC that it is not in any way acceptable for them to forget about their duty of responsibility to others with very urgent needs and if the Tories think they can use Grenfell as an excuse for delays in seeing to others who need  urgent help and care, we will not only pursue their cases, but we will also remind everyone just where we believe  the blame for the Grenfell Tower fire should really lay.

Proposed boundary changes: Daylight robbery of our Kensington votes

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Back earlier this year, Labour took Kensington constituency from the Tories overturning a majority of 7,321 votes. Our celebrations were short-lived however as the fire at Grenfell Tower devastated the lives of so many in North Kensington a few days later.

Before Grenfell, there were significant social issues and many questions over the behaviour of the Conservatives in charge. Now there are many more questions and many here have run out of trust for the Tories (including in more affluent wards in the constituency such as Pembridge, Norland, Holland and Earl’s Court, in which Labour topped the polls in at the last election)

THINK do not feel that it is right to extend a constituency that has exceptional disaster circumstances within it either for the survivors and the bereaved, or for the community as a whole within North Kensington or for others in the constituency who have very real issues with the governance of our borough.

THINK strongly encourage anyone who deeply cares about North Kensington and our issues to strongly voice their objections before December 11th 2017 here:

https://www.bce2018.org.uk/node/6485?postcode=W105UQ

We feel like these actions are nothing more than daylight robbery of our votes, and treat us with the same level of contempt that the Rotten Borough Tories do.

But look: here are just a few of those who have commented in favour of merging Kensington with Chelsea :

Cllr Rock Feilding-Mellen (and his wife!) , Cllr Gerard Hargreaves, Cllr Catherine Faulks. Cllr Kim Taylor-Smith, the list goes on…. Yes for those not in the know, these are some of the same Rotten Tory councillors who are in our view partly responsible for the mess we are in.

Their responses might have been posted some time ago (before Grenfell and Rock being a man on the run), but THINK do not believe these individuals represent us and speak for our community. In fact some of these individuals, who also include former leader (before Nick ” Piglet Pie” Paget-Brown) , Merrick Cockell, should in our view face investigation over their decisions when in power of the council in our view.

After the fire, this community requores help, assistance and support more now than ever. THINKers urge the boundary commission to look at the exceptional circumstances of this constituency, do not merge us with Chelsea or any other constituency and remember that we are human beings, rather than just a bunch of statistics.

We believe that Emma Dent Coad as our MP represents us far more than any of her predessors do. And who would these proposed boundary changes leave us with as parliamentary representative in North Kensington? Victoria “Lady Baking Powder” Borwick or Greg Hands (off our Carnival). Enough said.

Daniel Moylan and Julie Mills – the axeman and the henchwoman

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This is Julie Mills, Conservative ¬†councillor for Norland alongside “Dinosaur Dave” Lindsay. Cllr Mills ¬†is Kensington and Chelsea Conservative chair and is largely responsible for the selection of Tory candidates at next May’s upcoming local elections.

Many others have pointed out that Cllr Mills is also responsible for the awful survey that was sent out to residents in Courtfield Ward, asking them to raise how important certain local issues are for them from 0 to 10 (i.e. 0 = not important at all and 10= very important).

One such issue was “The tragedy of Grenfell Tower and help for the families affected and the wider community”

Well excuse us while we catch our breath here, but how utterly tasteless. We are beyond disgusted with this, and if they couldn’t appear any less out of touch than they already are, they actually had the issue of “rubbish collection” ranked on this sorry excuse for a survey a few questions down.

Cllr Mills is also close to Cllr Daniel Moylan. Some ought to me more aware of Daniel Moylan’s activities, particularly as he has been responsible for the ¬£26million redevelopment of Exhibition Road, South Kensington, which mixed pedestrians and traffic and completely ignored the concerns of many of those concerned with road safety ¬†, and earlier ¬†this year resulted in a traffic accident in which 12 ¬†people were injured.

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Also Daniel Moylan (above)  has had more meetings with dodgy PR property developer consultancy firm Terrapin Communications and Peter Bingle than Rock Feilding-Mellen has.

We are concerned that Cllr Moylan, who has the leadership in his sights, is dangerous, and not being content with being rejected for leader three times, has teamed up with Cllr Mills, and   candidates who do not support Moylan are being deselected. We do wonder exactly how many have retired and how many have been pushed out.

Also close to them are THINK regular Cllr “Chicken Run” Matthew Palmer and ¬†Cllr Sam Mackover. Cllr Mackover chairs the Housing and property scrutiny committee and Cllr Palmer sits on it. Both are councillors for Queen’s Gate Ward alongside Daniel Moylan and supporters of his being the next Tory leader (coincidence? we think not)

THINKers know in fact, that there are zero TMO properties in Queen’s Gate Ward , so we question why these two are on this particular committee when housing and the TMO is such an important subject right now.

We are also worried about the future of our community after Grenfell and particularly our local assets and social housing. We believe that the KCC site at Wornington Road, North Kensington, will be instrumental to the long-term recovery of our local community after Grenfell (which will take some years).

We do not believe that such a ruthless trickster like Moylan would ever protect our housing and our education and would likely force many in our community out of the area, sell off their housing and our College as flats ¬†to absentee overseas investors, We believe that the well-connected to the media ¬†Moylan would likely try and spin this as a “fresh start” for the community

THINK believe that not the entire character of the borough could change if this pair of characters take charge in May. The arrogant and unscrupulous Moylan shows  little regard for historic buildings, roads  and for the lives of ordinary citizens.

If many thought Elizabeth “Dizzy Lizzy” Campbell was bad, at least she is too clueless to know what she is doing. The same cannot be said for Daniel Moylan who will wreak havoc and chaos, and thanks to Cllr Mills, could likely have enough backing to do so if the Tories are re-elected. Voters¬†– you have been warned…….

“Dinosaur Dave” and the Rotten Borough Tories that time forgot

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This is  RBKC Conservative  councillor for Norland Ward, Cllr David Lindsay. He also is cabinet member for corporate services and he does live around the corner from some THINKers.

When Cllr Lindsay joined the cabinet, THINK had hoped that this would be the start of some positive change as ¬†he is a North Kensington local,some had described him as a “one nation” Tory and we had heard positive things about his views on conservation in the area. But sadly we have been disappointed particularly when we heard him speak last week.

At last week’s RBKC full council meeting a motion from Labour’s Cllr Robert Thompson. (Dalgarno Ward) to make all care leavers in RBKC exempt from council tax until the age if 25 was rejected.

We at THINK fully support Cllr Thompson’s proposal and we were scratching our heads as to why the Tories find a compassionate policy that had the recommendation of the Children’s Society ¬†and was intended to help support vulnerable young adults so objectionable.

Robert Thompson brought up the fact that these are a disproportionally group of vulnerable people and many can get into debt as have a lack of financial education. He pointed out that there were benefits to this as some other local authorities had noted that this resulted in a significant decrease in emergency payments and dependency on council services.

Then Tory Cllr ¬†Anne “Cyborg” Cyron ¬†(Abingdon Ward), opposing, who said that “our experts recommended a 3 year exemption from eligibility (from paying council tax) as they thought 5 years would discourage them from working when they leave education and training”

Next came Tory ¬†Cllr David Lindsay: “Disproportionately many of our looked after children are asylum seekers – the cohort of many of whom are Albanian or African. They are often of indeterminate age who come here ostensibly as children and attend school at least initially”

Oh wait, there’s more:” Precisely because they are migrants they tend to have the initiative in resources and characteristics that means they are better able to care for themselves than typical care leavers”

THINK strongly condemn “Dinosaur Dave” Lindsay and “Cyborg” Cyron and ¬†thoroughly disagree with singling out nationalities and backgrounds and stirring up ethnic prejudices against others. As well as an attack on some of the most vulnerable in our community . They should be ashamed of themselves. We say to all ¬†Conservative voters to seriously consider the individuals ¬†and groups who make up the local council ¬†you give a vote to.

In our view, Cllr “Dinosaur Dave” David Lindsay’s ¬†prejudiced views screech “Daily Mail” and do not belong in modern day society and ¬†certainly do not fit into¬†our multicultural ¬†community of North Kensington. As Robert Thompson pointed out: “It seems to be that people who come here as unaccompanied child migrants are people we should be supporting for a longer period”.

As ¬†Labour Cllr Pat Mason (Golborne) who has worked in youth projects since the 1990s ¬†pointed out, many of these people could end up on the street. He said that “these people are at the bottom of the pile and we are kicking them when they are down”.

THINK agree wholeheartedly with Cllrs Thompson and Mason and say to the Tories: where is your compassion? Especially in a borough where people are already deeply traumatised by Grenfell on top of that and will need the extra support.

We mentioned the Maxilla childrens’ ¬†centre in our a previous post and the disgraceful Rotten Borough Tories voting down a Labour proposal to reopen it. As Cllr Judith Blakeman explained, there were places at some of the other local nurseries due to ¬†locals avoiding them because Grenfell Tower can be seen from them.

Well the ¬†street where “Dinosaur Dave” Lindsay lives has a full view of Grenfell from it, so he really ought to as a member of our North Kensington community, be more civilised ¬†and respectable towards many residents here who come from backgrounds that are very different to his.

His street also has an empty house at the back of it  that has been empty since before the general elections and is boarded up. Here:

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Maybe he can speak about the housing crisis in RBKC and make some suggestions  as to what to do with this empty property when RBKC has such a high waiting list, but then we had a look around the corner and saw that the property was falling apart Рjust like this utter disgrace of a council.

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Alongside “Dinosaur Dave” ‘a fellow ward councillor for Norland is Cllr Julie Mills. Some THINKers have met her a few times and find her personally rather likeable. But the thing is Cllr Mills is ¬†chair of K& C Conservatives and is partly responsible for selecting the local RBKC candidates, as some disaffected Tories unhappy with some of their candidates have pointed out to us.

Well Julie Mills only has to look at the views of¬†her fellow Ward councillor to see even more reasons why this will cost the Conservatives votes and could also see her losing her seat in next May’s local elections.

THINK believe that the Rotten Borough Tories are an absolute shambles with a weak leader, no empathy with local residents and their time is up.

We say that ¬†come next May it should be ¬†about time that the voters of RBKC ¬†make ¬†the presence of “Dinosaur Dave” Lindsay and his disgraceful fellow specimens history.

Grenfell response? Clueless Dizzy Lizzy tries to get by on a wing and a prayer……

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An interview with the leader of this Rotten Borough of Kensington and Chelsea “Dizzy Lizzy” Elizabeth Campbell was published in the Independent recently. See it here:

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/grenfell-tower-fire-council-leader-kensington-elizabeth-campbell-deaths-block-flats-a8023631.html

THINK reported on the TMO vote some time back and why, despite the fact that the KCTMO is a complete mess, we believe they have to stay in place.

Many in this community, including the Police believe that there are sufficient grounds on which to prosecute some at both RBKC and the TMO on corporate manslaughter charges over the Grenfell Tower fire. The vote to disband the TMO and make RBKC the sole member would have exempted some who have been in charge from being prosecuted.

Dizzy Lizzy says in the interview that RBKC cannot guarantee fire safety in flats while the TMO is still in place unless the council is not the sole member of it. Well many local residents, particularly Grenfell survivors and the bereaved, are appalled by the prospect of an exemption from prosecution of some at the TMO if that goes ahead. Many here in this community have zero confidence in the Rotten Borough Tories and their likely intent to escape justice and let their TMO manager friends off the hook if they were in this position.

As for the bereaved and the council’s treatment of them, one man, Ahmed, who lost two close relatives in the fire, spoke at the last Full Council meeting. Ahmed had asked his key worker for a meeting with Elizabeth Campbell with and other relatives of the deceased from the fire and this was denied to him and he was told that Grenfell Response or Gold Command would meet with him instead.

Ahmed stated that he was also speaking for 30 other families from Grenfell Tower and that in doing this he was taking time away from his own family. He pointed out that many of the bereaved do not have the time and energy to organise meetings. Apparently one of the bereaved encountered Cllr Campbell in the hotel they were staying and it was eventually agreed that she would meet with them. He said “however, I shouldn’t have to be begging as a bereaved family member to try and arrange that meeting privately”.

Ahmed also pointed out that he received an email from RBKC on which the council had spelled his name wrong on it and the email did not contain an apology for the fire; only an apology for the response “This council is partly responsible for the murder and cremation of my family” he said. He also mentioned that another member of the bereaved families had received a timetable for half-term for his children whom had perished in the fire. THINK believe that this is beyond appalling and we were lost for words when we heard this.

In the end Ahmed told the Town Hall that he was privately invited to the Grenfell Scrutiny Committee along with 20 other of the bereaved, but was was offended by the fact that this council hired a security guard into what was supposed to be a private meeting .

He also found it troubling that the scrutiny committee consisted of a few members who were part of the Housing scrutiny committee prior to the fire and that Kim Taylor- Smith, RBKC Deputy Leader had stated that he was “unaware of resident’ concerns” at that time.

But Ahmed wasn’t finished with them yet “What you should have is a scrutiny committee that scrutinises the lead up to this failure”

When Ahmed had apparently asked one member of the committee if there was an internal investigation, the member had said “yes” but Elizabeth Campbell had apparently answered “no”

Then Elizabeth Campbell gave her usual “we are determined to do everything we can” answer with the usual platitudes. And then couldn’t even remember the dates for the consultation as to the terms of reference for a steering group for bereaved and survivors and people shouted out from the gallery: “you should know that!”

Dizzy: “I’ve got the paper on my desk! But I do know there are plans to do that”

Well THINK send our support and solidarity to Ahmed and all the bereaved families of victims of Grenfell Tower and we will not forget about our community even though RBKC clearly do regularly – disgraceful.

But if Dizzy Lizzy couldn’t appear any more incompetent even for a newspaper interview. In the interview in The Independent ,she also referred to “lazy” media coverage after negative press she received when it was revealed that she had never set foot in a Tower block.

THINK say to Dizzy Lizzy, it is not “lazy” to criticise this council’s less than adequate response to Grenfell, or your complete lack of understanding towards North Kensington, particularly Grenfell victims and all relatives and friends affected.

It is not your coming from a more privileged background that people are criticising; it is the fact that you have very limited knowledge and understanding of those from less privileged backgrounds despite so many residents telling you their problems and concerns on a regular basis.

As for “lazy” – what about someone who sits on RBKC as a councillor to 11 years and cannot even be bothered to pay a visit to social housing tower blocks in the borough? There is quite a bit of social housing in her Royal Hospital Ward in the borough by the way (we checked) , as well as her ward not being all that far away from the tower blocks in Chelsea’s World s End Estate.

THINK also believe that it is “lazy” for a council leader to stand a minute down the road from the Grenfell vigil and talk to the media and cameras, but not even have the decency to pay Grenfell survivors and families a visit at the vigil. In the interview she says for people to “judge me by what I am doing, and not by where I am living” . Well maybe some of our readers can see some of what she is doing or not doing by having a look at her response to being confronted by angry Grenfell families and survivors after she snubbed the Grenfell vigil here on a live Tweet here:

In the interview, Dizzy Lizzy referred to the delay in rehousing Grenfell survivors, saying “It has been absolutely awful and for people who were on the phone to people it’s beyond imagining and yet we’re expecting people like that to say “yes I like that flat, I’ll move in next week. I’ll have Peter Jones’ furniture and not somebody else’s furniture”

Dizzy Lizzy is referring to Peter Jones department store in Sloane Square, not the Dragons’ Den entrepreneur by the way. We have to point out to Dizzy Lizzy that we know of people who are still living on charity donations, one who has no money as had to use his savings to pay for the funeral of his wife (who died in the fire) and many who have been offered places, only for RBKC to withdraw the offer.

We do not know what Dizzy Lizzy is thinking if she imagines luxury furniture from Sloane Square to be a priority in the thoughts of Grenfell survivors when they choose to go and view a home or accept an offer of one. We can also tell Dizzy Lizzy that some are also accepting unsuitable properties because they are severely traumatised, exhausted and stressed and just want to get out of temporary accommodation as soon as possible.

Also some properties being offered are by housing associations and they are not necessarily under the same terms of tenancy the survivors previously had (thanks to the shortage of housing in RBKC – another fault of Dizzy Lizzy and her predecessors). All these issues are reported to her on a frequent basis and yet she still really fails to understand.

We do not either rate her as a leader nor rate her chances of success in the position. It is our view that she will have plenty of extra time on her hands to spend going shopping in Peter Jones very soon…….

Wornington College: signing or resigning?

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THINK have received some urgent news from the Save Wornington College campaign.

It is alleged that staff  at KCC (Kensington and Chelsea College)  Wornington site had to sign contracts to say that they agree with the merger with EHWLC (Ealing, Hammersmith and West London College) or otherwise it will be deemed that they have resigned.

Apparently there is also a staff meeting there tomorrow morning (17th November) at 10am where staff will be informed as to what is happening, including more redundancies.

Well we at THINK believe that such an act of  threatening dedicated and hard working staff  if they are only guilty of having the best interests of this community at heart. with the sack is despicable.

We believe that in a supposedly free country that people are entitled to have their own opinions.  The possible news of further redundancies could prove  our fears regarding the merger and the closure of our local College to be true.

THINK say that the staff at Wornington College do an outstanding job and deserve to be treated with decency and respect. We also say, if this is truly what is happening, that KCC management are showing themselves up to be nothing more than a bunch of dictatorial bullies – they should be ashamed of themselves.

We recommend that any readers who are equally outraged by this alleged deplorable treatment of staff please sign this petition to stop the merger and save Wornington College for all the North Kensington  community:

https://www.change.org/p/mary-curnock-cook-chair-of-corporation-of-kcc-and-the-board-of-governors-save-wornington-college

Save Wornington College – A community shows their support!

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On Monday, lots of people from our community came out in force to demonstrate against the proposed merger between KCC (Kensington and Chelsea College) and EHWLC (Ealing, Hammersmith and West London College).

Regular readers of this blog will know that Wornington College is vital to North Kensington; it has changed peoples’ lives over many years, providing many in our community with valuable courses such as ESOL (English as a second language) and Access (which helps people into university) as well as providing vital courses in the vocational sector and arts courses too.

After hearing from so many students and lecturers there, hearing individual stories of how the courses and excellent teaching at Wornington has make such a difference   and also seeing some beautiful  art, jewellery and pottery that students have created there, we recommend that anyone in and around our community interested in gaining extra skills and qualifications or simply would love to learn something new, takes a look at  KCC Wornington and the courses offered there .

http://www.kcc.ac.uk/

Sadly KCC management do not appear to share our community’s love for Wornington College and when the Governors heard about the Save Wornington College demo there, they decided to change the venue for their meeting to the other KCC site at Hortensia Road, Chelsea.

THINK can also reveal that the site at Hortensia Road could be under threat. Staff and students there have told us ¬†about the new building which is poorly ventilated with cramped classrooms. Campaigners have also informed us that the design brief of the building when constructed was to “create a College that can be easily converted into flats” – so we do not believe that KCC management will safeguard the future of our locally provided further education and we think that they should come under investigation in fact – as friend of THINK, Bob’s sign says here : “Investigate governance of KCC now!”

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THINK believe this proposed merger will be the end for both college sites and provision of further education in the borough altogether. We believe that management on fat cat salaries are just purely interested in the financial value of the buildings  will sell off both buildings for luxury flats  Рshame on them.

If the Governors thought that by in changing the venue of their meeting to Hortensia Road, they could avoid members of our local community they were wrong – in fact there were protests at both sites. THINKers joined in with the demostation outside Chelsea – most of our pictures come from there.

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After Grenfell, our community  really needs help and support. Our college means so much to many in this community and we were not surprised to see so many people turn up to both demos  to protest against the merger.

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We at THINK urge everyone to sign the Save Wornington College campaign petition here:

https://www.change.org/p/mary-curnock-cook-chair-of-corporation-of-kcc-and-the-board-of-governors-save-wornington-college

We ask KCC and RBKC to listen to the voices of our community and  to Save Wornington College for the wellbeing and future of North Kensington. Our community have made their voices heard loud and clear Рno merger with EHWLC and keep Wornington as a community college.

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Here is the video footage from the demonstration outside the Wornington site and we thank all in our community who turned up to both sites to show their support.