Scandals? News? Here’s what’s really scandalous

Various different emails that might be considered of interest get sent to our blog, and in a boring long hot Summer of lockdown, people send us all manner of things – some of which unfortunately we cannot share.

We’re sorry that we cannot share everything with our readers – we are a public blog and have a responsibility to be careful and not to get in too much of a spot of bother..

But we are concerned as to what our council decides to share and not to share with residents.

One thing we are bothered about is the question of how much council effort and how much of our public money is being wasted on the RBKC PR magazines and newspapers that keep flooding our doors.

Every month, residents of North Kensington get a copy of North Ken News (which we’ve mocked up a cover of! ) . There is usually very little information usually provided in this – same goes for the other council magazines.

Another thing we are really bothered about and sonething which will bother plenty of other residents receiving North Ken News this month is seeing RBKC’s self measuring of their Grenfell Recovery Strategy in millions – without actually answering directly exactly where all that money is going. Because many locals here certainly have questions about the lack of transparency over the money see this.

We also note in RBKC’s PR self- analysis of the supposed Grenfell Strategy , that they appear to think that affected older residents do not exist……

Anyway, there are far too many of these publications and most of them end up in the bin It is also confusing to the few residents who do read them, where to find what.

So how much do we pay for these PR exercises? Well, they usually don’t say (and an FOI request is likely to get no response) but the council website does actually give the costings of North Ken News (probably because they’re tired of angry residents asking them how much they are wasting on it) – which works out at an estimated total (they might decide to spend more or less later in the year we guess ) of ¬£93,684 per year – on a publication that nobody round here actually wants. Who knows how much all the others cost?

Also not included in North Ken News, Our Borough, Housing Matters. etc (could be here all day listing them) are forms for important consultations and surveys . Like this one, below, on the Scrutiny programme at the council. As well as asking for more council Scrutiny meetings and for the re8nstatement of the Grenfell Recovery Scrutiny Committee, we are also asking that RBKC Communications and PR and spending on this comes under Scrutiny from councillors too. The deadline is tomorrow Friday July the 31st – and we encourage all our local readers to join us in putting their views on Scrutiny too:

https://www.rbkc.gov.uk/survey/scrutiny2020/scrutiny.htm

RBKC tell us that they put all these magazines out to be inclusive to residents who aren’t online – but then they exclude these particular residents from all the important consultations!

We think that RBKC wasting our money on pointless PR while still neglecting many affected North Kensington residents and then the refusals to listen to and be open and honest with people, is truly what is outrageous and scandalous.

For those who are really interested in goings on at RBKC , local blogs like the excellent From The Hornets Nest are a far better and more entertaining and informative read anyway – and like our blog, costs the taxpayers zilch.

So the council really wants to know our views on Scrutiny? THINK gets on the case….

(L to R: Greg Hammond, Max Chauhan, Pat Healy, Janet Evans & Marwan Elnaghi)

RBKC Residents have until this Friday, July the 31st to complete this survey¬† and give their views on the¬† Scrutiny programme –¬† here.
Well,¬† since they asked…..

We feel that since RBKC councillors  brutally took an axe to the Gremfell Recovery Scrutiny Committee by voting for the changes  last year, residents have been left with not only  fewer  meetings in general, and Grenfell-related issues have been scattered around  various commttees;  effectively residents have been left with what is just a skeleton of Scrutiny since.

Let’s look at some of¬† the evidence:

Scrutiny? You’ll have a long wait ..

The fewer Scrutiny Commitee¬† meetings taking place¬†¬† have resulted in less time alloted to both councillors and residents to ask questions.¬† While a few ¬† have pointed the fingers of blame at Labour Commitee chairs Marwan Elnaghi and Kasim Ali for having guest speakers at meetings and time running out for councillors to ask questions, we¬†won’t, as we feel that under the previous system this wasn’t much of an issue because there were sinply more meetings and more time¬† afforded to Scrutiny.
Not only that, but Labour councillors voted against the committee changes last year in the first place.

The last Family Services Committee saw Labour’s Judith Blakeman becoming frustrated at not being allowed to ask questions and put points and there were quite a few exchanges between Cllr Blakeman and Conservative Chair of that committee, Janet Evans¬† in that meeting, so even through it was without “guest speakers”, some of the same frustrations came through – and Family Services is usually an area in which RBKC does outstandingly and doesn’t have nearly as many issues as some others –¬† Housing¬† in particular.
(And on housing, residents  will now hace to wait until October to see councillors get through the rest of the agenda of the last meeting.)

Which also brings us to…

Grenfell non-recovery

As predicted by us before, Grenfell-related issues scattered across various councol  committees has made things far harder for residents to  follow and to take part in.

That last Family Services Committee (we have a post coming up about that)  had two topics of importance to residents in the North Kensington community: the issue of childcare provision for the under 5s in North Kensington and the issue of expulsions from schools. Needless to say, many residents concerned will have missed these. We cannot place too much  blame on the RBKC Communications Team for lack of publicity even though they seem to be rather too reliant  on Nextdoor these days and people have to trawl through a lengthy feed of classifieds, recommendations, lost cats and plumbers to find consultations and meeting announcements  (we missed the chance to publicise the  Family Services consultation as only found it on there TWO DAYS TOO LATE!).

This is the system we have and it isn’t working – it is a mess quite frankly.

While watching meetings (and in pre-lockdown times attending meetings)  is part of our job, many  other residents in our community simply do not have the time to be following several different committees. This inevitably means a lack of participation in  matters of importance to the  affected community and that some other subjects  will either get bounced around  without anything happening; such as possible  contamination around the Grenfell area,  or not be considered for Scrutiny at all, such as resident  engagement. not that  Рapart from Anne Cyron promptly responding  to us Рwe have actually seen any evidence of much of that taking place

Both North Kensington residents and Grenfell survivors and the bereaved have on several times, expressed their feelings of frustration that they are feeling  that the issues are being ignored and  they are feeling left out of the process; there really is only one way in the committee system to deal with Grenfell matters that can help to address this,  and that is to BRING OUR COMMITTEE BACK.

Also Working Groups. It is unclear as to whether residents can join these or not . Neither suits nor senior  councillors have made this clear to residents or indeed seem to be too  clear about it themselves.

Let’s hope (fingers crossed) the council does¬† listen to us this time unlike last Summer when complaints, reservations and concerns fell on deaf ears and they went ahead with the changes regardless. We tried, despite our issues and concerns,¬†¬† to give the new system a chance. However what we are left with really¬† isn’t working –¬† not for councillors and definitely not for residents –¬† but then again, a few members of the Leadership would probably rather¬† their policies and actions weren’t subject to¬† any council scrutiny at all….

North Kensington residents are far from clueless as to what sort of  council Scrutiny system changes we need. Please listen to us!


My not-so beautiful launderette: Are the RBKC opposition on spin cycle?

Sources tell us that Leader of the RBKC Labour Group, Pat Mason is nicknamed “the tumble dryer” by local Tories because they say he just goes round and round with lots of hot air.

We think that’s a bit harsh. As North Kensington residents, THINKers have known Pat to be a formidable campaigning local politician for many years over social issues.

But we have very disappointed by him and some of the Labour frontbench in recent times…..

We sent this post regarding our concerns about providers of temporary accommodation to all the councillors on the RBKC Housing and Communities Select Committee, to Kim Taylor-Smith, and to Pat Mason:

https://thisisnorthkensington.wordpress.com/2020/06/30/slumlord-millionaires-and-the-disgraceful-dumping-grounds-for-our-homeless-and-vulnerable/

We received responses from just TWO members of the committee – Deputy Chair of the committee, Greg Hammond and from Tom Bennett. Cllr Hammond said he had raised the matter with Kim Taylor-Smith Cllr Bennett emailed us to say he would raise with the chair of the Committee.

But we received NO RESPONSE from the Labour Chair of the Committee, Kasim Ali.

Fellow Labour councillor Mo Bakhtiar, who also sits on the committee also did not respond.

Who would have guessed that two Conservatives on the Committee would show more concern over the issue of conditions of Temporary Accommodation than the Labour chair Cllr Ali and two of his Labour colleagues?

One of us has lived in some terrible conditions in temporary acccommodatiom before and can tell them that it is a dehumanizing experience in which you feel forgotten about and spend part of the time there in fear for your life and part of your time there not wanting to be alive, but it seems some of our Labour councillors obviously do not care one bit about the “forgotten residents” exisiting in these conditions.

Undeterred we emailed our local Labour councillor Judith Blakeman and RBKC’s only Lib Dem councillor Linda Wade….

Both got in contact with us to say they would raise these issues with Kim Taylor-Smith too and later we received this from Kim Taylor-Smith:

” I have asked for a brief on the Landlords/Issues you have raised and will revert

Otherwise some initial comments

With over 2,300 private rental agreements with private Landlords all over London, accommodating our homeless, we are always going to have some problems. Improving the accountability, supply and standard of TA is a key area in the Housing Strategy (on the website) and we will be reporting on this at every scrutiny meeting. Suggest we are dumping residents into expensive slums is not correct. Our policy requires that every property is inspected before occupation but given that 75% are out of Borough it is a challenge to inspect them on a regular basis so we do rely a lot on residents (and you) to highlight problems so we can take the Landlord to task.

After trying to chase up Pat Mason and Kasim Ali over the issue again, what we got back from them were angry responses saying they had been too busy with casework and Cllr Ali referred us to his response to the RBKC Homelessness Strategy ‘which shows that he clearly did not read our blog post at all.

As for that response and also the Labour’s response to the SPD , our blog has received numerous complaints from residents – many of them Labour supporters – calling the responses “weak” “lazy” and “copy and paste”

From The Hornets Nest has today posted this, and while our upcoming takes on Committee meetings and opposition councillors may be rather different to this, the fact that at yesterday’s Housing Committee meeting, they ran out of time for councillors to ask questions and to get through the agenda yesterday does concern us. We expect better and so do others – many of whom voted and campaigned for these councillors in the first place…

Come on Labour – this really isn’t good enough. Unlike some, we are not calling for resignations, but this is far from a positive start and we are losing confidence fast. We wish we didn’t have to put this post up, but what else can we do, if those who are supposed to be listening to the poor and disadvantaged most, are failing to do so. Please get your act together.

Foster and Reid:¬† The Planning “Duo of Destruction”

Sue Foster and Amanda Reid: Now fighting with residents at a venue near you


Two tone deaf¬† RBKC¬† planning suits with backgrounds in regeneration¬† appear to have¬† been in the act of picking fights ¬†with this borough’s¬† residents and waging war on our communities.

We have posted about Sue Foster, Interim Director of Planning and Place who came to us from Lambeth before here Рbut she seems to have had a short stay at Hornton Street  and now,  Amanda Reid who  came here from Newham has taken over the top job

From The Hornets Nest have been reporting on the controversial plans for Avon House in Allen Street Kensington¬† – which have over 120 objections from local residents and we suggest our readers pay a visit to The Dame’s excellent blog here¬† and here for further background on the matter


Not satisfied with getting on the wrong side of residents in Allen Street,¬†¬† Foster and Reid¬† appear to¬† have¬† formed¬† a “tag team” duo and have also been in the act¬† of harassing the owners of a much-loved North Kensington independent pub.

The owners of Ariadne’s Nectar Batin Latimer Road¬† have been issued with planning notices from both Reid and Foster over the temporary front porch that was¬† erected to keep down noise levels and also the¬† outdoor smoking area and awning¬† – which have¬† been¬† there¬† for years and help to keep down noise and also¬† to keep¬† people who aren’t customers of the pub from hanging around outside
The “offending” outdoor area

Some will be wondering why, when many other pubs and restaurants in the locality also have these  , what is the problem?


As both Amanda and Sue come fron from out of town, we  have to explain to them that the problem is  just ONE  household  who converted a chip shop nearby to a  residential property and has been harassing the pub  owners for years and making  various complaints about them just because they do  not  happen to like having a pub in the locality, even though this pub has been in business for 18 years and a pub has been on that site since 1888

The ” tag team duo of destruction ”¬† were very keen to point out¬† to the owners of Ariadne’s that the pub is located in a conservation area – but what they might not know¬† is that the pub has the support of most of the residents who live there and that the local¬† St Quintin Woodlands¬† Neighbourhood Forum some time back applied for the pub to have Asset of Community Value status.

Many residents around¬† Notting Hill Gate will not miss¬† “Grim Reaper” Sue¬† as she is partly to thank for the RBKC Planning Committee approving¬† this¬† 173¬† bed Hotel last¬† October¬† that over 60 local residents concerned about the size, height and mass of the building¬† objected to – but were compleyely ignored.


Below  is a picture taken from that meeting,   to show  just how intrusive and disturbing to residents  in  Victoria Gardens this hotel will be:

No peace & quiet for residents of Victoria Gardens

Others who share our concerns¬† about regeneration,¬†¬† those who want to support¬† our local¬† small businesses¬† and¬† those who worry about¬† over-development¬† and too many tall buildings in the borough¬† and the character of our neighbourhoods being ruined¬† – ¬† will be concerned to know¬† that Amanda¬† “Newham Nightmare ” Reid¬† before coming to RBKC, presided over¬† controversial regeneration schemes in Newham¬† and the redevelopment of Stratford Town Centre.¬†

It is very worrying  that  some figures  at our council  seem to believe that suits from Newham or Lambeth know more  about our neighbourhoods  than the people who actually live here.

Residents¬† all over RBKC¬† will be sleeping with one eye open and that eye being kept firmly on whatever comes up before¬† the¬† Planning Committee next…..




RBKC Question Time: Put your questions to Emma Will – LAST DAY

Enma Will outside Kensington Leisure Centre

Local RBKC residents have until tomorrow to put their questions on the council’s Covid-19 response to Cllr Emma Will, Lead Member (Cabinet) for Community Safety, Culture and Leisure

Send your questions in to

socialmedia@rbkc.gov uk

Cllr Will is responsible for:

Supporting COVID-19 response and recovery

Community safety, reducing crime and the fear of crime

Parks, community gardens and open spaces and leisure centres

Mortuary and coroners’ services, cemeteries

Registrars and bereavement services

Visitor strategy: museums and galleries; public art; events and film

The council’s role in supporting Notting Hill Carnival

Community safety partnership board (chair)

Ariadne’s Nectar Bar: Under threat of closure AGAIN

Ariadne’s Nectar Bar

Pictured above is Ariadne’s, a small independent local family run pub in North Kensington – and a favourite pub of THINKers.   It is located in the far north of the borough , in Latiner Road itself (10-15 minutes walk from Latimer Road tube station and actually nearer to North Pole Road).

The pub has been there for 18 years and sadly¬† is yet again, facing difficulties all because ONE HOUSEHOLD¬† – who converted the former chip ship nearby into a residential property – doesn’t like a pub in their neighbourhood which was there before them – for 18 years in fact.

If this doesn’t sound ludicrous enough, what makes things even more so, is that some suits at RBKC¬† appear to be taking one  side in the matter……

First of all we’ll go back to 2018 and this post and the consequent¬†¬† RBKC¬† Licensing¬† Committee hearing.


The pub is a very popular and much loved venue in the area, so there were plenty of supporters and messsages of support at the meeting Рand other  neighbours of the pub who had turned out in support too


The only person who turned up to object and speak against the pub was former¬† St Helen’s councillor Eve Allison, who apparently was a friend of the neighbour in the former chip shop and claimed to be speaking on behalf of four neighbours in the area where she was a councillor until losing¬†¬† her seat in May  2018


The written objecting¬† statements – which were anonymous –¬† made some ¬† outrageous claims about the pub – such as accusations of drug dealing, saying that the pub was ruining the area for older people and families (we’ve never heard these from anyone else by the way) and even proposterously  calling the pub ” a den of vice” (!)¬†  and these all appeared to us to be worded by the same person.

Here is a sample of former councillor Eve¬† Allison’s objection¬† – and note the wrongly placed¬† apostrophe after “Ubers”:


Some of the other  written objections -just happened to have  Рcoincidence or what? Рthe very same  exact spelling mistake!


Perhaps the less said about Eve Allison’s¬† objections the better, because   it appeared to us that she was¬† looking for any reason to¬† to object to everything¬† about Ariadne’s and the owners  as a friend of the neighbours –¬† despite having never been in the venue – and even said¬† she thought Ariadne’s Nectar Bar¬† “did not belong in the area” and¬† “was not for people like us” (???) because Rachel Johnson¬† had written a letter in¬† support of the pub (?!)

Ms Allison, in that meeting also made¬†¬† quite a few unpleasant outrageous and untrue¬† accusations against the¬† pub owners.But unlike the Licensing Comnittee ¬† we would ¬† take her comments with a huge¬† pinch of salt as some of us¬† have heard her in person making similarly¬† unpleasant remarks¬† about some of her former Conservative RBKC colleagues …¬†


Moving on, the video evidence presented in the meeting¬† however did back up some claims about noise escaping from Ariadne’s – which¬† also is occasionally¬† hired as a private party venue – late at night and that a few¬† people had been hanging around the outdoor area out of the permitted hours. 

But other neighbours who turned up in support of Ariadne’s had told us that this was not a typical weekend in the pub and that they had experienced no trouble and very little noise at all. 

In the end¬† the Licensing Committee had given Ariadne’s Nectar Bar a warning and  ordered that the owners took measures to reduce the leakage of noise from the venue and closed the outdoor area after 10pm.

We visited Ariadne’s Nectar Bar  not long after to see that the owners had indeed put new door fittings on the entrance to reduce noise leakage¬† and saw that¬† staff had closed the outdoor¬† area¬† to customers at 10pm.

Ariadne’s had also taken¬† measures such as erecting a temporary  porch at the entrance  in order to prevent noise from parties¬† leaking outside and were also contantly¬† monitoring levels of noise when they had music there to comply with the rules.


Some would think  this would  have been the end of the matter – but no.


Because the same harassing neighbour in the former chip shop still  keeps  on making  more complaints  to the council about  noise  and not only that,   but is now making complaints about the pub to the RBKC Planning officers too – over the porch that the pub owners  installed to cut  noise down in the first place….

The neighbours have bought a place near a pub and  seemingly expect peace and quiet 24/7 and for the pub to shut down just for them! Here is our very simple suggestion to them: MOVE HOME.

We urge others to join us in supporting Ariadne’s Nectar Bar  and standing with the Kotsakis family against the neighbour’s continual campaign to close this much-loved  pub  down

We will keep our readers  posted with more on this,  as unfortunately this saga is far from over.

Impact of Covid-19: Residents’ survey in Kensington and Chelsea

THINKers have not gone bonkers with Lockdown and become the “RBKC advertising blog” but we thought as our council Communications Team do not always manage to send these things out on time and not everyone sees them , that we would publish their link to this Covid-19 survey and share to help ensure that as many residents can take part as possible.

The questionnaire, which can also be completed anonymously, closes on Friday 14 August 2020, is HERE

Maybe if our council sees people responding to this blog posting information, they’ll hopefully cut back on easting our money most of the junkmail council newspapers and magazines that barely contain anything useful (we get five of these) and instead spend on where it is really needed – such as help for small businesses and vulnerable residents who have been affected by the pandemic.

No, we’re not doing the council’s work but we would really like to see them take all the residents’ responses into account.

Just don’t expect us to blog about what days and times our councillors have surgeries or when the rubbish is going to be collected……

Here’s the PR blurb from RBKC below:

“We‚Äôve launched a survey for residents
to have their say on the effect of Coronavirus on their lives. We know this is an extremely challenging time for you and that the Coronavirus pandemic has affected many aspects of your day to day life.
We want to better understand how your life has been affected, how you are feeling now, what support services you are accessing and how Council services can help support your recovery over the coming months.
We would be grateful if could complete this short survey which should take you less than 10 minutes. Your answers will remain anonymous unles you would like to provide us with your contact details so you can be involved in future conversations about service delivery. Survey results will be shared with residents and used to inform further conversations and engagement sessions from September/October 2020. These will help the Council have a deeper understanding of how services can meet your needs.
Cllr Anne Cyron, Lead Member for Communities, said: ‚ÄúThis really is a chance for residents to tell us how Covid-19 has impacted their lives and how services are delivered in the future so they respond to your needs. ‚ÄúI would urge you to complete the survey and invite your friends and family in the borough to do the same, so we can improve how we support our communities over the coming months as lockdown starts to ease. As you have shown throughout this pandemic you, our residents, are key to ensuring our borough bounces back and continues to thrive so we are keen to understand the issues which will inform and influence what we do to support you.‚ÄĚ
This survey does not include detailed questions about residents’ health and wellbeing. Residents‚Äô health and wellbeing is such an important part of the recovery that we will be following up with a detailed consultation in the near future.”

Leaflets, lies and Piglet-Pies

A local resident has shown us a¬† local Conservative Party leaflet from March , which tells an absolutely outrageous lie.¬† Let’s see if our readers can spot it too:

Some THINKers  are part of the Save Wornington Colkege campaign and we know that  NOT ONE  Conservative councillor supported the campaign to save the College, let alone worked with  the campaigners Рwhat a nerve!


David Lindsay did reluctantly turn up to the open community meeting Рbecause this THINKer persuaded him to Рas  we still  felt RBKC was not listening to the voices of our community . Cllr Lindsay had not  been  supporting  the campaign or working with any of us to save Wornington College  and the same goes for all his other RBKC Tory colleagues. 

It was former minister Anne Milton and the Government FE Commissioners who listened to the campaigners and the community when they  put the case to them  as to why we need  our College  Рand the Government who  provided the money Рnot Conservative  councillors and not the RBKC Leadership

Also, the FE commissioners were not  exactly too happy with  the  dealings at KCC and the way in which the College was sold to the council at a knock down price for luxury flats Рsomething which  a few  Conservative councillors shamefully had a role in.

We bet they won’t be¬† putting the fact that RBKC Tories were actually otherwise¬† prepared to completely ignore the needs of our community and go ahead with their property development¬† scheme on the Wornington Site ¬† – on a¬† campaign leaflet…..


RBKC had no choice but to agree to the terms Рthey had to because the Save Wornington College campaign, supported by the  community, students and staff persuaded the Government of the vital importance of  locally provided further education in helping the people of North Kensington  recover after Grenfell.


We would like to know who is personally responsible for this leaflet (and they must have something seriously the matter with them  to imagine they could get away with this)  Рbecause THINK cannot possibly give one of our Piglet-Pie Awards  to an entire political party!  Or can we?

We guess their Chairman, Andrew “Bully Beef” Foster will have to do the “honours”…..

So for members of¬† his party campaigning on¬† outrageous fibs,¬† for¬† the¬† claim¬† that Conservative councillors worked with the campaign –¬† which they didn’t of course, – for trying to take credit for helping to save Wornington¬†College (they didn’t help to save it¬† – they didn’t care)¬† and for having the outright cheek to put this leaflet through the door of a member of the Save Wornington College campaign member’s door, THINK present Andrew Foster, Chairman of Kensington Chelsea and Fulham Conservatives (KCFC)¬† with a Piglet-Pie Award:


We know it probably wasn’t¬†Bully Beef who came up with¬†the leaflet but they’ll probably never tell us who did. Whichever idiot¬† is responsible ought to have their¬† party political¬† career put in the KCFC bargain bucket bin for good.

You’ll find our suits doing the Lambeth Walk

(L to R: Sue Foster, Iago Griffith & Rachel Sharpe)

These days  we  have more suits  (senior staff) than ever before and also less accountability  and transparency than ever before.

The RBKC  Leadership Team  (Cabinet) do keep telling us that there will be no regeneration – so why are they hiring so many suits who have cut their cloth in regeneration in other London urban areas then? Let’s look at three from Lambeth….

These suits do not come cheap: Sue Foster – now our Director of Planning and Place  received a ¬£90K “golden goodbye” from Lambeth  bedore arriving here and Rachel Sharpe   – received ¬£84K.  Before she danced off to Lambeth, Rachel was  Head of Strategy and Regeneration at Southwark. But Rachel has itchy feet  and has recently walked off to  sunny Brighton

Rachel “Wendolene” Sharpe was here for a  short and unremarkable time – this post is pretty much all most of us got from her all expenses paid flying visit  to the Royal Borough – she will not be missed- and we wonder how much she was paid off?

Both Rachel and Sue had been singing and dancing around Lambeth for some time and are not too fondly remembered by residents there  as they are two of the suits behind the  controversial regeneration and the destruction of several  social housing estates.

Residents of low rise Cressingham Gardens  have been fighting an incredible campaign to save their homes. Read more about this here

Sue Foster before arriving at RBKC,    was “playing the spoons” as Strategic Director of Neighbourhoods and Growth at Lambeth. Foster didn’t just attack social housing though, Network Rail’s redevelopment of Brixton Arches   – which came with termination of leases and rent increases to small businesses  by as much as 300% was aided and abetted  by Foster and her Lambeth colleagues.

A fitting tribute to Foster and her Lambeth colleagues at Brixton Arches

Before she was at Lambeth, between 2002 and 2008, Foster was the Assistant Director for Regeneration and Planning at Hackney but in 2006, Hackney council was heavily criticised by the Local Government Ombudsman in three reports for failing to take action on planning breaches over several years

The Ombudsman had said ‚ÄúThere were very serious failures, with delays in taking action of several years. It is fair to say the planning department was in a state of complete disarray,‚ÄĚ but that didn’t stop Sue from remaining in her post, getting an OBE for her services to planning after being nominated by her friend, Hackney’s Chief Executive and going on to bigger things.

Iago Griffith is not as much of a senior suit as Foster and Sharpe, but he also danced over to us from Lambeth where he was  one of Foster’s underlings and working in – you guessed it – regeneration He is now  supposed to be a Resident Engagement Officer at RBKC but is rarely seen or heard from. Most of us wonder what he is doing here, but we guess that his former boss Mrs Foster put in a few good words….

Back to  local matters in Kensington and From The Hornets Nest reporting on Harry “Bimbo” Hart and his controversial (to say the least) plans for a supposed “luxury care home” at Avon House, Allen Street here

We were warned  by our Lambeth friends about Sue Foster coming to Kensington before and the warnings appear to  have been on point, as she is trying to steamroller the Planning Comnittee and is flying in the face of residents’ objections (127 of them so far) by pushing   for this schene that will bring nothing to the area and wil impact heavily on the lives of the  people nearby – see this From The Hornets Nest blog post

Worryingly, the “Quality Review Panel” that our council now has set up, seems an easier way to get schemes like this through as well as any possible regeneration schemes. We wonder if this was Mrs Foster’s idea?

This comment, below,  from someone  regarding how Sue Foster allegedly has  behaved towards residents in her former borough,  below, is far from reassuring, and so is the nickname that  Lambeth locals give her: The Grim Reaper

RBKC Question Time: Put your questions to Sarah Addenbrooke

Residents have until the end of tomorrow Friday July the 3rd to put their questions regardng the council’s Covid-19 response, to Sarah Addenbrooke, RBKC Leadership Team (Cabinet) Member for Adult Social Care and Public Health.

Send your questions in to socialmedia@rbkc.gov uk

Cllr Sarah Addenbrooke is responsible for:

Public health: supporting COVID-19 response and recovery; promote healthy living; strengthen health and wellbeing and reduce health inequalities
Safeguarding of vulnerable adults
Assessment and care management of social services for vulnerable adults in need
Elderly people services
Services for people with learning disabilities
Mental health services
Physical disability services
Transitions from children’s services
Partnership working and service integration with the local NHS
Friends and Family Assistance Centre (Grenfell)
Discretionary welfare provision and subsidised transport
Chairs the Health and Wellbeing Board

    Tonight, as well as this meeting regarding Covid-19 and resident engagement for RAs and groups in the borough at 5:30pm, there is also a meeting of the RBKC Adult Social Care and Health Select Comnittee at 6:30pm.

    The agenda here includes a report from Healthwatch CWL on Coronavirus and local engagement, a Grenfell update and the Scrutiny report on palliative care in Kensington and Chelsea.

    THINK are very pleased that the RBKC Comnunications Team have listened to us and have made the effort to put the online meetings on YouTube, so we can now either watch the meetings on there via livestream or go on the council’s YouTube page and watch them later. We thank them for this and we hope the recording of meetings does continue even when eventually (when it is safe to return to normal meetings of course) Town Hall business goes back to “business as usual”