This picture was taken after the “Leadership Team” AKA public RBKC Cabinet PR exercise meeting – yesterday
THINK were disappointed to hear that despite the recommendations of the Grenfell Scrutiny Committee and the success of our friend Isis Amlak’s petition , there is not a guarantee in stone that RBKC will not charge traumatised people from the Walkways extra rent after the 30th of September.
Maxine Holdsworth , RBKC director of Housing Needs gave such a vague answer in response to questions on this – she might as well have been talking in some sort of obscure code.
We received a clearer answer from Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for housing Kim Taylor-Smith after the meeting who told us every case will be dealt with on an individual basis – really? .
Well that is not quite what “Muddler Maxine” said in the meeting ! Seriously, do individuals and group representatives have to sidle up to our council and their officials AFTER a public meeting to get a semblance of a straight answer? Ms Holdsworth’s tendency to talk to talk and talk and talk and give very little information away. makes RBKC’s housing policy about as clear as mud!!
As for extra money from the Government, All RBKC Leader Cllr Elizabeth “Dizy Lizzy” Campbell, could supposedly do on this was to say “that our council but other councils too are asking for Government funds How ridiculous is this? Other local authorities do not have a disaster like Grenfell to deal with right now. If this is leadership, God help us! The best she could do for the communities that she is supposedly elected to serve, is to abandon ship, go right now (and not just take a sabbatical on her husband’s yacht this time.)
As for services to traumatised residents, well money (or lack of it) is supposedly their big concern, they scrap valuable services and information for residents and ask people to simply go online; but they can’t even manage to update information there! (Still no copies of the Grenfell Newsletter available to nearby traumatised locals by the way .)
Well they appear to regard spending our taxpayers’ money on their legal fees (yes over Grenfell) as a more important priority then helping traumatised nearby residents!
Other people in other parts of the Borough have also told us of their cuts to vital services. Well what sort of local authority supposedly taking a money saving” and “pragmatic” (not our words) approach to coping with a disaster would have a chauffeur driven Bentley ferrying their shopping about?
No – the title is not a misprint and THINK have not lost our minds – we genuinely have good news to share. On Monday we shared a petition from our friend Isis Amlak demanding that the Grenfell Recovery Scrutiny Committee remove RBKC’s recommendation for a deadline set for the 30th September for residents from the Walkways, Treadgold House and Bramley House to either move back to their homes or stay in temporary accommodation and lose their secure tenancies.
This was a cruel and insensitive policy recommendation in our view. because many of these homes are located very close to Grenfell Tower and many of the residents are still very traumatised and not ready to make such a decision.
Yesterday the Grenfell Recovery Scrutiny Committee returned and really did do its’ job of scrutinising the council effectively this time – in this case by changing the wording of the recommendation to not setting a deadline.
We thank Isis for starting the petition, all who signed and shared, the residents who spoke at the meeting and the committee for listening to residents.
We have more on the meeting to report of course, but THINK are now off to the Leadership Team meeting at the Town Hall now to see if the council really does mean to listen to residents and take our points on board – we hope so but aren’t exactly convinced……..
Our community will take years to recover from Grenfell and we are not ever going to let those who have a duty of responsibility to forget it.
Just when some of us thought that some at RBKC could not sink any lower; they have hit a new low with regards to housing policy for some in our community who are affected by Grenfell.
Yes, shockingly this council has made recommendations on housing residents from the Walkways, Treadgold House and Bramley House, which basically amounts to an ultimatum to force residents to either move back into their former homes by the 30th of September this year (only two months away) to keep their secure tenancies or that if they stay in temporary accommodation they will lose their secure tenancies.
This is an urgent call to our readers to please sign and share this petition from local campaigner and friend of THINK Isis Amlak, demanding that the Grenfell Recovery Scrutiny Committee – which meets tomorrow – remove the recommendation from this report before it goes to the Leadership Team meeting, which is meeting on Wednesday.
We apologise to some who may think our pictures on this serious post may appear to be rather in bad taste, but if anything leaves a bad taste , it is a local authority that lacks a heart in having little to no compassion for people affected by Grenfell, the brains to communicate with residents effectively and the courage to face up to the consequences of their actions.
Maybe there is “no place like home”, but it is utterly inhumane for RBKC to expect these traumatised residents to either return to a property in very close proximity to Grenfell Tower , where they witnessed things on the 14th of June last year that nobody should ever have to experience within a deadline . Many saw the fire and saw people in Grenfell Tower calling for help, not all of whom survived . (Some of the sights they have seen to us, as traumatised residents around the corner, are far too upsetting for us to describe).Some wish to leave; others wish to come back at some point but are the in a mind to face it now. Yet callous RBKC tried to force them to make such h a decision within such a narrow timeframe .
Neither Maxine Holdsworth, Director of Housing Needs, nor Kim Taylor-Smith, Deputy Leader of RBKC and Cabinet Member for housing, are in a position to fully comprehend what these residents are going though, and so neither are most of the Leadership Team (Cabinet) who are likely to approve this recommendation.
It is also utterly heartless to expect these residents to give up secure tenancies that many had waited years for – only to now for this council to further add to their trauma and stress
Yes, RBKC did go spending council reserves on properties, but they completely failed to assess the needs of each and every household first – hence many offers of accommodation not being taken as unsuitable for some residents’ needs (for example, disabled residents being offered places that are difficult to access).
And RBKC also gave £40million to Notting Hill Housing to help rehouse residents in the full knowledge that legally many of their secure tenancies would not be renewed. They did not bother to consult residents; they just threw money at a housing association in blind faith.
Our local authority also severely failed residents with regards to just basic communication (and has done so on a regular basis since the disaster) only just getting in touch with residents affected by this to notify them of this policy decision last Tuesday – beyond unacceptable.
So much for their extra money spent on communications if they cannot even arrange to meet with and fully discuss their proposals for residents within reasonable notice.
And of course, poor communications with helping traumatised residents who are struggling to cope around here has been a consistent and outstanding failure of theirs since the disaster. See our “Dumb and Dumber” post here :
It appears that some at RBKC either do not have a clue as to what they are doing and others appear to think that by trying to hide away from some or to try and pull the wool over residents’ eyes, that this will somehow remedy the situation – it more than certainly won’t.
THINKers have attended many of the Housing and Property Scrutiny Committee meetings and also the Tenants Consultative Committee meetings for some time now and we know that it has been admitted by RBKC that there are a considerable number of empty properties that have been left in a state of disrepair for ages – and this is still the case now.
The TMO and what is happening with the dismantling of it is a long and sometimes legally complicated process. But there is an urgent need for these homes to be repaired and to be put back in use as soon as possible.
The Rotten Borough did not have the courage to admit that it was not equipped to deal with both Grenfell and the housing situation and should have gone to the Government and asked to be put into special measures. Instead the RBKC Tories decided to posture and carry on and go ahead with “business as usual” try to act like a “normal” local authority in an unprecedented situation of a disaster.
They would like to draw a line under this and would rather most people forget that it was their behaviour towards residents of Grenfell Tower as well as the dangerous refurbishment of the building which for the most part caused the fire in which at least 72 people died – yet they do not seem to care that their policies and recommendations are further ruining lives.
The council’s strategy appears to be to sweep Grenfell and all affected under the carpet and then to be more focused on offering occasional help to people (in wards which voted for them) and putting on a PR show for the media (despite the fact that there is an inquiry going on which eventually will be examining policies and strategies of policy orchestrated by them and the consequences ).
This council not only lacks, a heart, a brain and the courage to deal with this situation in a competent, calm and compassionate way; the Rotten Borough of Kensington and Chelsea has no shame.
He also has been going around at times taking pictures of people without their consent, including bizarrely and distastefully sneaking up and taking photos of people at the Grenfell Silent Walk.
He also offended several locals by posting Andrew O’Hagan’s The Tower on social media (a piece which had already upset, offended and misrepresented many in our conmunity) and describing it as ” a better insight as to what happened at Grenfell” .
Fortunately for Matthew Palmer, his council ward (that he did a chicken run to) , is in safe true blue Queen’s Gate – he never has to worry about the electorate voting him out.
But recently residents have been surprised to see that Chicken Run” Palmer has been unusually well behaved (and even was quite civilised to us in one meeting!) – let us explain why: he was under investigation for this:
He was reported to the council after his outbursts at the RBKC Full Council meeting in March caused offence to Eddie Daffarn and other Grenfell survivors. Palmer had shouted out several times “where are the sprinklers” (referring to sprinklers at Grenfell Tower) when Labour were proposing amendments to RBKC’s budget.
Cllr Palmer denied the charge, but some of us were not sitting too far away from him and we can confirm that he did indeed say this.
Yesterday, the Audit and Transparency Committee ruled that “Chicken Run” Palmer violated the councillors’ code of conduct and now has to make a public apology.
We think this is a slap on the wrist and we’re not convinced that Cllr Palmer is either truly sorry or that he will ever learn any lessons from this.
Some of the activities that go on at Kensington Town Hall in our opinion, are not whiter than white, shall we say? Sometimes mud and dirt stick and they appear to stick to a certain number of both former and some present councillors and senior members of staff – we don’t call it the Rotten Borough of Kensington and Chelsea for nothing!
On the other hand the building of Kensington Town Hall itself is clean for the most part and is kept this way by the borough’s hard working cleaning staff. THINKers tend to spend a considerable amount of time in the Town. Hall and we thank the cleaners for keeping the place clean and helping to make our visits there more bearable.
Sadly some do not appear to share our gratitude and respect and the council’s contractor Amey, does not pay its cleaning staff a decent wage; they are only being paid £7:83 per hour by this contractor. The London Living Wage is 10:20 an hour – this is shameful.
Others who do not pay their cleaning staff a reasonable wage are the Ministry of Justice and some privately-run hospitals and clinics run by Health Care America.
Most of the cleaning staff who are not being fairly paid are hard working migrants who are basically being exploited by their employers.
Some of the conditions they have to work in are unacceptable too- the Ministry of Justice, for example, does have separate changing rooms for men and women.
Union UWV (United Voices of the World) are holding simultaneous strikes between the 7th and the 9th of August. We will be at Kensington Town Hall to support them.
THINK support the cleaners and their industrial action and we urge others do to do too. Our readers can donate to their fund here:
Low paid workers more than deserve to be treated dignity, respect and fairness .
THINK say to all the shameful employers, contractors and companies who do not pay a fair wage and expect their employees to work in unacceptable conditions, shame on you and it is time for you to clean up your act.
This is Damien Smyth, he is the landlord of the Jameson Arms pub in Blythe Road, West Kensington. Mr Smyth, in a publicity stunt organised for Donald Trump’s Uk visit a fortnight ago, changed the name of his pub to “The Trump Arms”this was organised by Patrick Sullivan, CEO of right wing think tank Parliament Street and Lucy Brown who used to work for EDL’s Tommy Robinson and filmed some of his offensive videos:
The story was covered in Private Eye here :
This cheap publicity stunt was for a supposed ” welcome party” ” for President Trump held at the pub for £30 per head.
As THINK are very concerned about these dubious persons up to no good near our local area, here are their photographs:
This is Patrick Sullivan
This is Lucy Brown
Looking up Ms Brown led us to a variety of offensive far right websites but here is a description of her from one: ” Lucy is a firm believer in common sense, reality, and being as offensive and stupid as you possibly can.”
And here she is pictured with Tommy Robinson (in the middle).
So no visit was made to the pub by Donald Trump of course but here is a politician who did attend the Trump Arms shindig:
Pictured above, on the right (literally!) at The “Trump Arms” is David Campbell Bannerman, Tory MEP for the East of England, former UKIP Deputy Leader (he rejoined the Tories back in 2011 having defected to UKIP in 2004), former Tory councillor in Tunbridge Wells, former special adviser to Sir Patrick Mayhew (Secretary of State for Northern Ireland in John Major’s Conservative Government n the late nineties).
As well as being a fanatical Brexiteer, Campbell-Bannerman ( a descendant of Liberal Prime Minister from 1905-1908 Sir Henry Campbell-Bannerman) also wrote UKIP’s bonkers 2010 election manifesto, (which they tried to take down).As many of these far right wingers love to go on about how much they believe the freedom of speech, here it is:
Apparently UKIP’s former PR man Gawain Towler was offering landlord Damien Smyth some “help” too. He obviously wasn’t really very helpful to Mr Smyth because here, below are just a couple of Smyth’s aggressive responses posted on local social media site Nextdoor. to an elderly woman, a formidable campaigner who merely aired reasonable objections to the politics of both Trump and Tommy Robinson and called for a peaceful protest outside the pub:
PLEASE NOW RETRACT AND APOLOGISE FOR THE SHAMEFULL DISGUSTING ” FACIST HORRIBLE RACIST LANDLORD ” COMMENT
PLEASE VIEW THE PHOTO I SENT.
And here were a few good and sensible responses from other locals to the story and to Damien Smyth:
J – Brackenbury Village: “Apart from anything else his spelling is atrocious.”
P – Brook Green West :
“We really do not want our multiethnic neighbourhood polarised by the activities of this pub and their friends. We should show it and steer clear of the place.”
A- Shepherds Bush Green: “I certainly wont be going in that Pub again!!!
R – Avonmore: “Damien, thank you for joining the discussion. Please can you stop bullying this 82 year old woman who clearly wrote her post out of frustration at your actions. Action have consequences, you must know that?
There is a strong feeling you sold out our community to the media aims of Patrick Sullivan, the CEO of a Right Wing think tank leading on lobbying for Brexit, and Lucy Brown the self styled producer of Tommy Robinson’s Islamaphobic You Tube channel.
Mr Robinson is the former leader of the EDL. The EDL began in Luton, a town with a huge Irish community and a large Wahhabi community. Mr Robinson enjoys conflating all Muslim people with Wahhabism and grew himself a huge following. This following has been used and built upon by several organisations, such as UKIP.
The leaders of the Brexit movement have enjoyed using this racist energy and its associated votes to exit the EU. (Just as bankers used it to divert the masses away from blaming them for the 2008 crash.)
Trump & Putin hate the EU because of its trading strength and success. Trump retweeting Britain First is to encourage the mislead racism. Trump courting Farage, Boris and Piers Morgan is simply an extension of the wider problem of politicians across the globe courting Popularism for Power instead of genuinely working towards a safer world for all. Remember the biggest losers in Brexit will be from the bottom up.
Trump using his grass roots popularism has caged children, taken away women’s rights over their bodies, undermined hard fought disability rights, courted dictators with atrocious human rights records etc; generally played a game to increase wealth for the rich and poverty for the poor.
The Trump Arms is a symbol of this power play on ordinary people. This is why it has evoked so much emotion and you, Sir, are the man who brought it to our doors.
You are a pub landlord which means you have a responsibility to this community which is greater than the personal opinions of you and your wife. You are the ones who chose to make our community look racist and fascist in the media.
Personally, I feel you need to apologise to us. ”
THINK are not surprised that right wing sympathiser Mr Smyth reacts to criticism this way but are truly appalled that himself and others intimidated the elderly woman into removing her posts objecting to his pub from the site. She had also been allegedly receiving threats.
But as well as Mr Smyth’s crazy outbursts, Things got even crazier when this was posted alongside them:
A , Holland Park·5d ago
“My only comment is re Tommy Robinson and the media take on him. Tommy is an independent journalist and if one cares to watch and listen to his interviews on Youtube, may be surprised. He has one stand which is for stopping the organised child abuse and child rape in UK which is persistently ignored by all media. For 11 years he has spoken about this openly, trying to open a discussion and inform parents. He has been supported by the Times, Stefan Molyneoux and many more media outlets,including Muslin Imam, who discuss this seeming taboo subject openly with him online. He seems to me a reasonable, committed father, husband and decent man.”
“Journalist? “Decent man?”
Good grief! After all the crazy goings on the Nextdoor site THINKers were longing to see the return of “lost cats” and “looking for a plumber” posts on there! Nobody can ever call West London boring we suppose.
Anyway THINK will not be setting foot in the Jameson Arms and we thoroughly condemn the far right politics of hate and prejudice and all who promote them , as well any bullying of a peaceful individual who aired reasonable objections. We also believe that the Conservative Party really ought to take a closer look at some of its members.
Anyway, to end on a positive note, here is a picture from the Stop Trump protest in London to show which Trump event really was very well attended and to reassure concerned locals that there will be no far right takeover of our multicultural neck of the woods happening anytime soon
Picured, in our “bank robbery plot” mock-up photo above, left to right, are Cllr Julie Mills and Cllr David Lindsay – both are local Conservative councillors for Norland Ward in North Kensington.
Back in February, a new “blog” called Norland Noticeboard popped up on the scene. From the outset, it merely looks like a general information site for Norland Ward and surrounding areas, with articles on Grenfell, Kensington Aldridge Academy and also includes a link to Jon Snow’s Channel 4 News interview with our friend from the Grenfell Action Group, Eddie Daffarn (they misspelt his name!) .
Yes some posts (the ones on local events are useful) , other posts concerned with Grenfell and Lancaster West are not up to date and appear to be copied and pasted with links on – in fact the Lancaster West post says nothing except the usual hot air from RBKC’s website (minus the link).
Our “Local and Community Events Page” took time to set up, involved various sources sending things to us and also copying and pasting not just links but information too and it certainly isn’t always an unbiased view of the goings on in and around North Kensington, but at least we are honest about this and do not claim a penny of taxpayers’ to promote our views!
Of course, our last post mentioned RBKC blowing its own trumpet. Well, Mills and Lindsay appear to be using taxpayers’ money – City Living Local Life is meant for local information, events and promotion of the community – NOT for political campaigning and promoting themselves and their Tory colleagues!
Here are just a few pictures of them :
We are not objecting to photographs of Cllr Mills and Lindsay, we are concerned about some of the posts on there amounting to a political campaign funded by the public.
Below is a picture for a ” Conservatives win Norland Ward” post here. (The picture is a Tory campaign photo used during the elections by the way)
(Former Tory councillor for St Helen’s, Eve Allison ,second right in this picture above and on the left in the picture above that) must be a very forgiving sort because it was Julie Mills, when local Tory chair, who deselected her!)
Norland Noticeboard also had a post supposedly about ” What the papers said…” with regards to the election results but has only posted quotes from RBKC leader Elizabeth “Dizzy Lizzy” Campbell in the Evening Standard (Editor: George Osborne) and a quote from the Tory-loving Daily Mail!
Self congratulatory back slapping? Why of course and here is a post about Tory Cllr Laura Round:
“Local Norlander elected to Pembridge ward.”
“I am honoured to have been elected as the Councillor for Pembridge. I grew up in Notting Hill as a child before moving to the Netherlands and returned to the area nearly six years ago for my Master’s degree.
There are many things I wish to promote as Councillor, but one of the issues I am most passionate about is tackling air pollution in London. Furthermore, Pembridge is an incredibly dynamic and beautiful part of London and I want to make sure its character is preserved.
We are lucky to have Portobello Market on our doorstep, and I want to ensure that the market can continue to thrive. It is hard to pick a favourite place for food, but I must say the Ladbroke Arms serves a delicious roast and Taqueria does good Mexican food.
It has been great getting to know the area better and meeting so many residents throughout the campaign and I look forward to representing the community’s interests. Please do not hesitate to get in touch with any thoughts or problems you may have. firstname.lastname@example.org”
THINKERS know many notable ” local Norlanders” in art, music, film, writing , journalism business and community campaigners in the area, but “Henchwoman’s Organ” decides. to promote a Tory councillor!!
Also there are more photographs of Julie Mills than Grenfell Updates on there and the site hasn’t been updated since July the 7th – THINK recommend that “Henchwoman” Mills and “Dinosaur Dave” Lindsay do not give up their day jobs!
And here is a post that was taken off the site during the local elections but it is now back up:
“Your Norland ward representatives, Cllr. Julie Mills and Cllr. David Lindsay have put together this website to keep you in touch with all that is going on in Norland Ward and to keep you updated with all the things that may affect you: from planning applications to parking restrictions. You can contact us or sign up for free updates via the contact page. Let us know what information you would like and we will do our best, we want to start a conversation”
Unsurprisingly some people did complain; here is one complaint:
Dear Mrs Parker
Is this an appropriate use of Council resources during the Purdah period?
And here is the response back from LeVerne Parker:
Many thanks for drawing this to my attention. I understand that the website referred to is a City Living Local Life funded project to produce a website and newsletter for Norland residents which is owned and administered by the local community. The officer leading for CLLL has arranged for the pictures of the ward councillors to be taken down and any comments which suggest that this is a ward councillor rather than a community led initiative removed.
Tri-Borough Shared Legal Services
Norland Noticeboard mentions Grenfell (quite a few times) and Lancaster West which are in Notting Dale Ward and completely omits any mention of the local Notting Dale Cllrs Robert Atkinson, Judith Blakeman and Marwan Elnaghi – perhaps because they are Labour councillors?
As this is receiving council funding, we suggest that thr friends of Julie Mills and David Lindsay or whocer it is responsible for the site makes real editorial changes to this site or they could land themselves in hot water again. Otherwise they should stop taking taxpayers’ money, admit the site is politically biased and use Tory Party funds for it.
We also noted amusingly enough that the site promoted “Shirleymander” at North Kensington’s Playground Theatre (now sadly over – we were gutted to miss it! )
THINK should point out that the previous Tory administration at RBKC did indeed have some regeneration plans and proposals for North Kensington which amounted in our view to gerrymandering (including the Silchester Estate, Hesketh & Runcorn Place – in Notting Dale Ward, Raddington Road in Golborne Ward and Elgin Mews in Colville Ward).
All of the plans and proposals were in Labour-held wards of RBKC and would have resulted in the loss of council homes (replaced with “affordable” homes (up to 80% of market rate – beyond the means of a person on an average income).
Julie Mills and David Lindsay were on the council at the time, voted with and supported the previous administration which brought in these plans and proposals in. We won’t be taking any bets that this information will appearing on this “noticeboard” anytime soon…..
Meet Panos Chatzinikolaou, he is a press officer for RBKC.
He was the person responsible for an article in the Grenfell Support Newsletter back in April urging local residents to come down to The Curve to “pray and reflect” with a certain individual (who we will not name here). The individual named in the newsletter has a long history of criminal convictions and troubling behaviour, which can easily be found out simply by entering their name on Google.
It’s a shame that Mr Chatzinikolaou didn’t even bother to do any simple exercise in fact checking before releasing this ludicrous article which not only humiliated his employers RBKC and could have compromised some services at The Curve, also caused distress to many in the community, including the vulnerable individual named in it.
We put out a blog post about this (containing the article with the individual’s name blocked out) at the time:
Word also got round to THINK that Panos Chatzinikolaou was rather proud of this dumb decision! “Paperboy Panos” looks about 13 years old in that picture, which might go some way towards explaining things……
But what is even more dumb is a local authority that has hired extra PR and has still consistently failed to inform many traumatised residents affected by Grenfell of help, support and services available. This has been pointed out to them by numerous residents and opposition councillors on countless occasions for over a year now and in the last Adult Health and Social Care Scrutiny Committee meeting, it was admitted that traumatised residents are not using mental health services because many are not aware that these services exist – this is beyond ridiculous.
Apparently the Grenfell Support Newsletter does have details and information of help and services that many residents could find useful but still RBKC has not sent copies of it to any household outside the Lancaster West Estate.
Well here are a few suggestions for RBKC: Stop wasting money on this (and pictured is the very issue that hid Grenfell in the back pages) :
Also please get rid of this (have they no sense of irony?)
RBKC manages to distribute copies of these two useless publications to all households….
And do give some of these useless PR staff their P45s and instead spend the money saved on circulating a newsletter with details of services and support to all households within two miles of Grenfell. Oh, and please proof read and verify articles in newsletters before sending them out (and perhaps get someone other than “Paperboy Panos” to do this)
Anyway. here for many residents who have not received a copy of the Grenfell Support Newsletter, is the link to read copies of it online:
When our post about the Grenfell Support Newsletter and The Curve was out and a story about it also came out in the Evening Standard, one THINKer was angrily confronted by RBKC Deputy Leader Kim Taylor-Smith.
Well let us remind Cllr Tailored-Sloth that what is also dumb is not only blaming a blog for pointing out your mistakes , but also to continuously fail to act upon your mistakes and to not even begin to attempt to try and put things right.
But this is sadly what we get when we are stuck with a council that prefers blowing its own trumpet to listening to and engaging with local residents. We should say that we are used to this kind of behaviour from RBKC, but this is totally unacceptable and we will remind them that this attitude of arrogance, contempt and outright dismissal towards our local community was meted out by the council towards residents of Grenfell Tower before the fire.
Today, 13 months on from the Grenfell Tower fire disaster which claimed at least 72 innocent lives, we walked in remembrance, love and solidarity for Grenfell and for our North Kensington community.
We were thinking of the survivors, the bereaved and all who are no longer with us but are with us in spirit.
Also in our thoughts are each and every person from in or around North Kensington and further afield who are affected, who remember and who care.
THINK say a big thank you all who organise the Silent Walk, all the people who took part and everyone who simply has Grenfell in your thoughts. This means a lot to us.
Sadly for this community, we have a council whose actions and inactions had a role in causing Grenfell and who wish to sweep it under the carpet and either portray us as troublemakers, nuisances or simply prefer to pretend that we don’t exist and just go ahead with “business as usual”.
The Silent Walk for us is a time for remembrance and reflection, and for THINKers; the 14th of every month . is very personally important to us.
We are only at the beginning of a long road, a road which we hope will eventually lead to justice for our community.
Many here are frustrated as so many of us still live with not just Grenfell, but see the attitudes that caused this projected at us from some on the ruling side at RBKC, such as trying to shut people down, shut people up or shut people out – on a regular basis. This council should not be allowed to forget that this is how they treated some residents of Grenfell Tower – some of whom are no longer with us, others who are still without a permanent home and others whose lives will be forever scarred by the traumatic memories of not only the fire, but the arrogant, contemptuous and dismissive manner in how RBKC and the TMO treated them and the real concerns they tried to bring up.
On Wednesday the 18th of July at 6:30pm, RBKC is holding a full council meeting at Kensington Town Hall But instead of holding it in the chamber; they are holding it in the Great Hall. Some may wonder why? It couldn’t possibly be because a few local residents have been holding up protest signs behind some of the RBKC Tories? Surely not.
The Rotten Borough of Kensington and Chelsea is also saying that they are inviting residents to address the full council meeting, but then they are asking people to apply first. Again some others will wonder why? Well let’s just say they might not like what some residents have to say in answer to that.
Well THINK do not believe that this council should censor residents or cherry pick speakers of their choice as a PR exercise. We ALL matter. This is why we are going to be holding up and handing out signs in and before the meeting and we urge all residents and friends from nearby to join us. We encourage people to bring their own signs in and we are also bringing blank signs and pens for others to write their own signs and express their own thoughts, feelings and points. The council is not listening to our community; it is time we had a Silent Protest at every full council meeting and held up our signs together to make our voices heard in a dignified and peaceful way. We do not have to shout to make our voices heard and we will not be prevented by the council or their security guards from having a protest which by being silent, causes no disruption or disturbance to the meeting. Please join us on Wednesday and let us all ensure that even if they refuse to listen to us ; they have to face up to us. After all, they cannot hold a public meeting with their backs turned to the wall…..💚💚💚💚💚💚💚💚💚💚💚
Here is Cllr Elizabeth “Dizzy Lizzy” Campbell, Leader of RBKC at a garden party last weekend . (Perhaps a caption competition is in order?) Here are a few more pictures from the same event we have come across:
Pictured above, is Dizzy Lizzy with Cllr “Tory Boy” Maxwell Woodger. Some may wonder why THINK or others should be so concerned at a few councillors letting their hair down , but then again we can always remind some of a previous post of ours, when Maxwell Woodger made utterly disgusting comments regarding Grenfell and making out that survivors were “milking the system” . Here it is:
And who was hosting this garden earlier this month Why, Cllr Maxwell Woodger of course! We do not see any objection let alone opposition to his offensive behaviour from our council leader, so let’s also share some more pictures from ” Tory Boy” Woodger’s party:
With many Grenfell survivors still not permanently rehoused, poor communication from RBKC regarding newsletters and leaflets with details of meetings, help and support not getting to residents, leaseholders facing an 89% hike in their insurance premiums, most of the council’s once plentiful reserves gone and residents having to pay a 5.99 % council tax increase; many locals here have little cause for celebration…..
As for Dizzy Lizzy’s choice of friends, Woodger who had a particular discussion with his colleagues regarding “how to spin Grenfell on the doorsteps”, one THINKer’ had an elder relative who used to say that “you can judge a person by the company they keep”!
RBKC Tory councillors Sof McVeigh (Brompton and Hans Town Ward), Hamish Adourian (Earl’s Court Ward) , Josh Rendall (Stanley Ward), Janet Evans (Courtfield Ward) and Greg Hammond (Courtfield Ward) also present at Woodger’s “event”
Some sharp eyes have spotted in the picture below, that former Kensington MP Victoria Borwick was in attendance too:
Also present and pictured is Lloyd North, who has made an appearance in THINK before:
North (who failed to be elected in Earl’s Court) was overheard by us during the local elections whingeing about blogs and press for mentioning his past as an “actor”! Well maybe this muppet ought to be more careful with what he shares in public in future if he plans to be a public representative!!
Some RBKC Tories really do have no shame amd here, on the Daily Mirror’s picture from the Ladbroke Arms incident, we can name and shame a few others:
Circled in purple is Tory agent Emily Maister, in blue is Cllr Laura Round (Pembridge Ward) and in green, is Tory chair Andrew Foster who has made a few appearances in our blog before and is also pictured again at Woodger’s party……
After the resignations of both David Davis and Boris Johnson from the Government, THINK can bring even more good news. – this time some news of another very different resignation, but one of real importance to our local community.
Mary Curnock Cook has resigned as Chair of the Board of Governors at KCC (Kensington and Chelsea College).
Now some will have not heard of Mary Curnock “Crook”, but has made the day for many of us who care about the future of our College in North Kensington. Ms Curnock Cook repeatedly ignored and even obstructed residents, students and staff who objected to the planned merger with Ealing, Hammersmith and West London College (EHWLC) – which would have more than likely meant the closure of the KCC Wornington Road site – so many of us in and around our community are very pleased about this.
Read more about it in today’s FE Week article here:
Of corse the merger was called off by the FE comissioner after the meetings between the Save Wornington College campaign and Governmnet officials and ministers.
This community needs a chair of the board at KCC who will listen, engage and work with the local community rather than push an unwanted merger upon us. So of course we welcome Mary Curnock Cook’s decision to resign (it’s about her only decision we have welcomed!)
However, THINK will not be opening the champagne just yet as we still feel the future of Wornington College is at risk. We believe that there is still a real possibility of super colleges and a merger and then the ending of provision of many courses at Wornington, redundancies , and the reduction of the campus to a mere threadbare presence of a sixth form centre in the community – would not only not help further education here, but would lead to eventual possible closure.
Wornington College matters more than ever to North Kensington especially after so many locals are affected by Grenfell. THINK believe that the opportunities and skills offered by courses at Wornington are vital to the recovery of North Kensington.
Some regular readers of this blog may also recall some of the management of KCC not exactly being truthful with us before here:
The Save Wornington College campaign has invited the community to have their say and share their ideas and visions for he future of Wornington College at a meeting this evening at 6:30 pm at KCC Wornington Road, London W10 5QQ. College Governors and Further Education Commisioners will be in attendance.
We will leave Mary with a special leaving present that we were unable to give her at the time – the Piglet- Pie Award for KCC management and our own special blog picture of her receiving it at a faux awards ceremony.