Lawless, pointless, clueless and hopeless RBKC Housing: Residents made to suffer

Sometimes we are so exasperated by this council and its housing that we don’t know where to start.


Just what sort of local authority refuses to move tenants who have been attacked previously around their building (they asked to move before – no help provided).

Then when same tenant is threatened with violence – again no help provided. RBKC Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Grenfell Recovery, but Housing amd Property Kim Taylor-Smith did tell the tenant (who lives around the corner from Grenfell in fact) to get in touch with him so they did – to absolutely no response whatsoever. As it is, the tenant’s safety is at risk but the Rotten Borough of Kensington and Chelsea do not care. There has already been one untimely death of a resident in the same block; a very cynical person could almost think that this is RBKC’s preferred method of freeing up housing stock….

The tenant that “Tailored-Sloth” is ignoring has been reporting antisocial behaviour in and around that block for years to little avail (our council expects social housing residents to live in lawless slums?)

But they are not the only tenants who are expected live with threats, violence, drug dealing amd other forms of antisocial behaviour because our council cannot be bothered to do anything. What a disgrace.


There is no point in asking residents to go to the Police if there are hardly any local Police left (with knowledge of background and circumstances as well as the area and the Police do not have the power to move them or in other cases evict the problem neighbours. On occasions when Police try to help, their hands are tied. As housing staff fail to keep records of incidents, trying to report things or indeed having any sort of conversation on these matters with them is absolutely pointless. Not all housing staff are terrible of course, but how are some decent and hardworking staff supposed to help if they do not have enough information because some of their colleagues amd predecessors did not think it worth their bother to provide any?


If there is a senior member of RBKC staff who appears to embody cluelessness, step forward Rachel Sharpe, Director of Housing Needs and Supply.

We have written about housing needs (and lack of support) before:

It appears Ms Sharpe is not only ignoring residents; she ignoring her very remit.

Disabled and ill tenants who are being inadequately housed have actually been told by her to apply for suitable housing outside London!

She might want to check the title of her job again.

Deluded and clueless Rachel “Wendolene” Sharpe actually thinks our council has a very good level of community engagement:

With concerns of so many residents outside big estates not being listened to (and even a lot of those are ignored) Who is she kidding?

It is all very well that the council wants to improve fire safety, but they have one hell of a long way to go. Some issues that were pointed to by both residents and the Fire Brigade have still not been dealt with.

We had hopes for Doug Goldring, Director of Housing Management but he appears to have fallen into the same patterns we had at the TMO.

Where is the fresh thinking here?

Not to mention some residents and RAs being favoured over others, to the point where it is causing divisions and hostility between people. Just how does he imagine this will help matters?

Sometimes many residents are not seeing the point in attending meetings or contacting senior staff if their concerns stand no chance of being taken seriously.


It is hopeless of Kim Taylor-Smith to have high ambitions for RBKC and its housing if he and his colleagues are failing on the basics such as resident communication, engagement and safety for starters. We have seen a couple of steps in the right direction and heard the righr noises, but there is a lot of talk and not enough action. We remind Kim and his colleagues that putting on a PR show will not make this all go away.

A number of residents whose safety is at risk and others who are being ignored feel they are drowning in a sea of utter hopelessless and despair while the same old TMO “Pirate Ship” continues to steer the same sorry old course. Not that we hold out much hope ourselves that pointing this out will ever make a difference as it appears those in charge do not care one bit – shame on them.

Happy New Year, new decade and all that (and why our blog is taking a break)

We wish our readers a very Happy New Year and we hope all had a good Christmas.

Following what has truly been the “Winter of our discontent” – well for us and many North Kensington residents anyway – our blog is taking a break from things.

2019 has actually been a very difficult year for us (we’ll just briefly mention election results, Grenfell, scrutiny and housing here) finishing with fallouts aplenty – sometimes things can just get all too much.

THINKers are also personally dealing with a lot on our plates right now and we don’t mean festive leftovers .

We are feeling drained and worn down from everything and there is no point in us going on autopilot and blogging just for the sake of it.

There are a lot of issues we are concerned with and perhaps we really ought to be to be doing more , but maybe this is a good time for others to become more involved in local issues?

THINK are not sure when or even if our blog will be back, but if not, we’d like to thank our friends, supporters and all the many incredible campaigners who have inspired us over the past few years.


Social, Affordable, Potato, Tomato – Let’s call an MP & some councillors out!

This concerns the 600 new homes that RBKC plans to build in North Kensington.

Kim Taylor-Smith says half of these will be “social” , but Elizabeth “Dizzy Lizzy” Campbell says “affordable” KTS says “social”, Greg Hands says “affordable”, KTS says “social” Johnny Thalassites says “affordable”ūüéĶ “Let’s call the whole thing off?!” ūüéĶ

But seriously, which is it? Because the Leader of RBKC, the MP for Chelsea and Fulham and the RBKC Lead (Cabinet) Member for Planning and Transport appear to be saying different things to the RBKC Deputy Leader…..

At the RBKC Housing and Communities Select Committee meeting last month, THINKers were very pleased to hear Kim Taylor-Smith saying that half of these proposed new homes would be for social rent.

So why then, also last month, have Elizabeth “Dizzy Lizzy” Campbell, Greg “Butterfingers” Hands and Johnny “Bambi” Thalassites all said the homes would be “affordable” ? This sounds rather “off” to us.

For the record, social housing and so-called affordable housing are two very different things. We believe the term “affordable ” housing to be a real misnomer as up to 80% of market rate here in North Kensington isn’t exactly very affordable to the average earner.

THINK have actually been impressed with Kim “Tailored-Sloth” in meetings in recent times and we really wouldn’t like to have to dust off one of our Piglet-Pie Awards to give him as an early Christmas present…..

Also for the record, we support these plans, but only if half of the planned homes really are for social rent like KTS has said. London, and this borough in particular, are in urgent need of social housing. What we do not need are more “buy to leave” luxury flats.

We do not ‘throw bricks” all the time and if KTS is right, we are happy to support this. It’s just a shame that senior councillors and an MP do not appear to understand the differences between social and affordable housing.

We will just tell Dizzy Lizzy, Bambi and Butterfingers to do some reading up on this issue – pronto and if RBKC reallly are going to build 300 new homes for social rent – they have our support on this and let’s please not call the whole thing off!

Is Kim Taylor-Smith off his EDMO?

THINKers heard at the weekend that RBKC Deputy Leader Kim Taylor-Smith wrote to housing minister Kit Malthouse, asking for special powers for the council to acquire empty properties for social housing.

Cllr Taylor-Smith said “doing so would make it ‚Äúeasier, quicker and financially viable to target all empty properties that could and should be put to use to alleviate pressing housing needs”

How would he do this? Well “Tailored -Sloth” has been making noises about offering property investors tax breaks if they would rent out their properties to the council – he said: “We want to collaborate with, not clobber, the property investors”

Maybe KTS might consider that many investors would be reluctant to let their properties out to the council for social rent in the first place – we can’t exactly imagine some oligarch letting the council rent out their mansion for a homeless family to live in for some reason. As for overseas investors buying up property here , maybe our Government can look at what the Government of New Zealand have brought in?

Of course we agree that changes need to be made to the law regarding empty properties lying vacant for a long time -but KTS , in his interview with Radio Four on Saturday, talked about Empty Dwelling Management Orders (EDMOs ) which in his words “give power to a council to take properties and manage them for the benefit of the owner in the circumstances where the property has been empty for more than two years or has been subject to vandalism” but failed to give numbers. Oh well, maybe we can try – these orders were put into law in 2004 and by 2010 , only 43 EDMOs had been granted. In 2015, The Guardian reported how only 17 of these EDMOs had been granted the previous year.

We could also point out that plenty of property investors would be dead set against ever allowing RBKC to manage their properties, after seeing how the council can’t even look after its own properties.

Anyway, maybe KTS knows something we don’t and he can think of a few fellow multimillionaires who would give someone their shoe closet to sleep in ?

Perhaps “Tailored-Sloth” could be more realistic and start with the Sutton Estate in his own ward (it was the subject of his maiden speech as a councillor apparently) and try to get Government help to stop the destruction of perfectly decent social housing and make some arrangements to buy back the empty properties from the Clarion housing association fat cats?

Our readers can look at this from last year about the situation regarding the Sutton Estate and proposed (and thankfully rejected by RBKC) plans

THINK believe that it is time for housing associations to return to their roots and while all sides accept there is a real shortage of social housing here, this Government appears to not be doing anything at all about housing associations selling off social rent properties in higher value areas like ours. Perhaps Taylor-Smith and his colleagues should really be writing to the housing minister about this instead of all the PR bluster?

THINK say to RBKC that it is all very well to pretend to care about social housing and make nice warm noises in front of the media – but it is your deeds and not your words that you will be judged upon and residents from all over the borough and from very differing political views and social backgrounds are sharing our scepticism on this.

We will also remind this council that most of the people who were on the housing waiting list before Grenfell are being housed outside the borough, or in some cases – outside London. Since 2014, when RBKC changed its housing eligibility rules, anyone housed outside the borough for more than two years, becomes the responsibility of whichever council they find themselves being temporarily housed in.

If Kim Tailored -Sloth is really serious about wanting to do something about the social housing situation, then he should make changes to RBKC housing rules right away and abolish this punitive and socially damaging two year rule – perhaps he might respond to us and try to explain why he hasn’t bothered to do anything about this – despite being in his post for over a year?

Dumb and Dumber

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.

Anyone hear the one about Malcolm Spalding, Earl’s Court and the dead parrot?¬†

Word has got round to THINK of a speech made in the Town Hall by Tory councillor for Earl’s Court. Malcolm “Bananaman” Spalding, in which he compared the Save Earl’s Court campaign to a “dead parrot”

He also called the campaign to Save Earl’s Court the “biggest and most spectacular failure in local history”.

Bananaman Spalding also in the speech said about the demolition works: “Everything is working beautifully. Despite a Cllr (Linda) Wade’s best efforts and the Save Earl’s Court campaign, they haven’t saved it. It is going to plan”.

Well THINK believe that Cllr Spalding should explain himself to residents and businesses in and nearby the area  who have suffered greatly due to this ruinous plan. We think he needs to explain his position on the issue  to his electors  in full. 

When the issue of the  masterplan was last brought up in Kensington Town Hall by Earl’s  Court Lib Dem Cllr Linda Wade, earlier this year who sought a statement from RBKC Deputy Leader Kim Taylor-Smith at the time, we saw Spalding sat in the chamber, yet he was strangely very quiet…….

See our post from back in February here:

We have not found any record  of Malcolm Bananaman Spalding actually opposing the masterplan and we believe any support for this unworkable plan is simply bananas…..

What we do see  sense in supporting however, is the petition by the Save Earl’s Court campaigners to build the world’s greenest venue on the site of the former exhibition centre. We urge all our readers to  sign, share and support this here:

We will leave the last word  on this to the Save Earl’s Court supporters. A campaigner has told THINK:”The dead parrot is in fact Capco’s  Earl’s Court Masterplan which is in chaos and which is no longer viable. The Save Earl’s Court campaign has always highlighted  how risky it was. Spalding is not crowing any more.”

THINK’ s election night(mare) ¬†and the results¬†

 The local elections are over and so are THINK’s hopes for real positive  change in our community. 

For those who would like to see the results in full  (and for those who can bear to), you can go to this link which has the ward by ward results:

Some THINKers were at the Town Hall for the count that night. We were there for quite a few hours before the results came in. One THINKer needing the ladies walked in and saw something  odd in the cubicle our leader, Elizabeth “Dizzy Lizzy” Campbell was coming out of – who knew Dizzy Lizzy eats bananas in the toilets? 
On seeing big piles of ballot papers in the red trays , we did have our hopes up, but sadly as everyone now knows, the postal votes came in and we were left with huge disappointment.

One of the results that we were particularly interested in was Earl’s Court as the Tories there have long benefitted from a three way split vote there.

We heard one bit of good news in hearing that the brilliant Liberal Democrat councillor and local campaigner Linda “Wonderwoman” Wade had not only been re-elected but she polled more votes than any other candidate. Unfortunately Tories Cllr Malcolm Spalding and Hamish Adourian were also elected there (but not Lloyd North, whose past as an “actor” may well have contributed to him having fewer votes than the others) 

We also saw former Tory MP for Kensington, Victoria “Lady Baking Powder” Borwick at the count -she was hugging Tory chair  and nasty bully Andrew “Bully Beef” Foster at one point. 

Some locals here may have seen Borwick along with Tory Cllr Matthew Palmer upsetting some residents by  posting about Grenfell on Nextdoor when an election campaign was on. 

Yes, Matthew “Chicken Run” Palmer was there too, but as he represents safe Tory Queen’s Gate Ward, there was no chance of him losing his seat.

RBKC Deputy Leaders Kim “Tailored Sloth” Taylor-Smith and Will Pascall were re-elected in Stanley Ward

Labour only made one gain – St Helen’s Ward, where the Conservative councillor Eve Allison had just a majority of only one vote, so no surprises there. 

All in all it was a dreadful night and some of us were there until 7am in the morning, just hearing the bad news. We expect social housing and all council owned buildings (including Canalside House and Wornington College) to now be at risk as RBKC’s reserves are running low and because the Tories will now feel that they have the public’s full support – this was the one election that could have made a difference, but no. We will not in our lifetime likely ever see a real posintive change at RBKC. Earlier, we saw Justice 4 Grenfell  illuminating their logo  outside the Town Hall. THINK do not expect to see this in our lifetime either:

We hear that the Labour campaign was late in getting going, that their postal votes were not as organised as the Conservatives, but we won’t look around for someone to blame here. 

THINK will watch this council’s every move  like a hawk  – we particularly wonder who will now chair the Housing and Property Scrutiny Committee now  (decent Tory) Sam Mackover has stepped down from the council – it will be more than a bad joke if Matthew Palmer (who sits on that committee)  takes his place…….

We do not feel safe in our homes or convinced that RBKC will not bring back regeneration and “CON”sultations under another guise. In fact we won’t be surprised to see them trying to force us away from our homes and communities and out of North Kensington . 

And if anyone thinks that making noise, waving a banner about or having countless meetings will make the slightest bit of difference to what happens;  let us tell you it won’t. It is all about the balance of power and there are 36 Tory councillors and only 13 Labour councillors and one Liberal Democrat and this make up will decide everything regardless of how others feel about it.

Is this Rotten Borough Tory council flagship about to sink?

Apologies for the funny picture, but let it be known that THINK have heard words from the doorsteps, about what many others in the borough (outside the Notting Dale Ward that Grenfell is in ) feel  about the Rotten Borough of Kensington and Chelsea. It won’t make for comfortable  hearing for this council , and we believe their complete neglect of social housing, which culminated in the Grenfell Tower fire  disaster has impacted many all around the borough.

Sadly as well as losing 72 innocent members of our community, we still know that only 89 Grenfell survivors have been permanently rehoused.

Also we know of many TMO properties all around the borough which still aren’t safe. Still they waste money in outsourcing  contracts out to places far away and on useless consultants who do not have any understanding of what they are dealing with here.   There is no excuse and there are no excuses that this disgraced local authority should be ever making.

It may be fine for Kim Taylor-Smith to go on Radio Four and seem apologetic, but we think  he and his colleagues should be going to Theresa May and asking for some more money now.

If this is not a severe disaster; we don’t know what is, and this Government has appeared to have purely sat on its hands for political purposes  because other  local authorities  that have far less of a greater need in the past, have been put in special measures. But never worry about this Tory “flagship” of a council?

We believe this Tory Titanic of a council  is about to sink and we urge those still in charge to take responsibility for their actions and at least, if they don’t care about their residents, to try to restore their damaged reputations and just do the right thing,  Here it is  a list – in capital letters below in case some still don’t get it



But of course we are in local elections now and it won’t be long before residents make them walk the plank…..

A bit of news from the RBKC Housing and Property Scrutiny Committee……¬†

Yesterday at the Housing and Property Scrutiny Committee meeting, ¬†THINK “regular” Tory ¬†Cllr “Chicken Run” Matthew Palmer attempted to bring up the dubious ¬†(and false) TMO surveys that claimed that 95% of residents before Grenfell, were satisfied with the services they were receiving – this was his pathetic attempt to claim all was well with our social housing.

Cue red faces, RBKC Deputy Leader Kim Taylor-Smith shrinking in his seat and senior council officers wanting to hush  liability Cllr Palmer up!

Unfortunately at that council meeting, THINK witnessed some senior council officers lying. This was by way of an answer to Labour councillor for Notting Dale Judith Blakeman, who brought up the subject of Hesketh Place and the lack of fire exits. See our previous post here:

The lie council officers told  was that the Fire Brigade had said that the  best emergency exit was at the front door Рwhich was their  attempt at an explanation for a sticker pointing the way to the front door, rather than providing residents with an actual fire exit.

Well, some ¬†THINKers ¬†spoke to the Fire Officers attending that day and ¬†we can state that they in fact recommended ¬†that RBKC provide the building with an emergency exit by way of ¬†a push bar door at the rear of the property – a recommendation that still to this day has not been carried out……..

The Rotten Borough puts on a show…….

This evening, there is a full council meeting  at Kensington  Town Hall.. This will be when the budget is set and RBKC taxpayers will be lumbered with a 5.99% council tax rise this year. THINK  strongly believe that residents should not have to pay the price for  mistakes made by our local authority over Grenfell.

We also bring good news from Dixon House and can inform our readers that both lifts in the block are now in working order. It’s just a shame that it took a blog post and several posts on social media in order to get this resolved . RBKC ¬†should have responded to complaints from residents ¬†living there in the first place.

We also bring news that Kim “Tailored-Sloth” Taylor-Smith has written to TMO tenants and leaseholders informing them of the transition to RBKC in-house services. We ¬†really hope that they also drop the useless TMO contractors who ¬†ignored the residents of Dixon House, plus countless residents of other council properties.

In further news we can ¬†also report that RBKC has sent letters of to residents in all their properties informing them of upcoming fire ¬†safety inspections. We welcome this but we can inform the council that when one such inspection was made on Hesketh Place, their officer did not appear to be too bothered that RBKC has completely ignored the Fire Brigade’s recommendation to have a fire exit provided for the building ¬†and had instead provided residents with a sticker pointing the way to the front door.

Some communications and results are a good start from RBKC, but we have yet to be convinced that they are really listening to residents – we believe this to be more of a public relations exercise after they have read blogs like ours and been exposed on social media for their incompetence and poor services.

Situations like these have been going on for years and ¬†we sadly believe that what occurred at ¬†Grenfell is the tragic reality of the consequences ¬†of their actions and ¬†inactions. ¬†The local elections are due in May and THINK do not have any confidence in ¬†those in charge of the Rotten Borough and ¬†we will not venture to ¬†“take a chance” on them………

Local Elections: Get registered to get rid!

We at THINK are no fans of the “Rotten Borough” of Kensington and Chelsea and we spend a lot of time going on about them of course; but we cannot emphasise enough to our readers the importance of using your vote in these coming Local Elections.

The Local Elections on the 3rd of May, will be the biggest say that RBKC voters have over who is in charge of our council.

The deadline for ¬†electoral registration is on Tuesday 17th April. ¬†This vote is hugely important for those who live in social housing (both council and housing association provided) as we know that the RBKC Tories have only cancelled regeneration plans ¬†temporarily and should they be re-elected, will likely have regeneration plans in the pipeline with a an emphasis on “affordable” (up to 80% of market rate) – not social housing.

With regards to RBKC’s other “activities”, we believe that the council’s policies and their utter complacency ¬†were part of what caused Grenfell. We have no confidence in their ¬†so-called (inadequate to say the least) “Grenfell Response”,their out of touch attitude to most everyday general issues we face, ¬†plus their habit of flogging off public assets – ¬†such as community land underneath the Westway ¬†– obviously there are more than enough reasons to warrant seeing the back of Elizabeth “Dizzy Lizzy” Campbell and co.

We believe that any change of culture in the governance of this council  will not  just come about; all of us who care deeply about our communities  have to make sure it happens.

Your vote will really make a difference so we urge all to register (also to check/amend your details) here:

We also encourage all to vote tactically with the aim of getting the Rotten Borough Tories out and warn the disallusioned and the disinterested that sitting on your hands  will only give this Borough more of the same governance  or worse.

We need change at RBKC now more than ever and believe the Tories will likely feel justified to ¬†embark on some major social cleansing ¬†projects if they think they have an electoral mandate to do so…………