Wringing the wrong numbers: A poor reception for Shaun Bailey

Conservative London Mayoral candiate, Shaun Bailey, is making a long overdue return to tbis blog today.

The Dame on From The Hornets Nest http://fromthehornetsnest.blogspot.com/?m=1 had this to say on him last December:

Over a sandwich lunch, the Dame endured an hour of Bailey talking incoherent rubbish. Not once did he ask a question. He behaved like a mobile phone salesman not the potential mayor of a super city. So we thought we would do the Photoshop honours….

Recently, THINKers received a copy of his election leaflet disguised as a magazine “London Life”

In this publication, Bailey seems very keen to play up his less privileged background in North Kensington …

Here’s what homes in the North Kensington street Shaun Bailey grew up in go for these days:

Rags to riches? But Bailey’s supposed answer to homelessness and the housing crisis in the capital was to ridiculously suggest encouraging London’s 62,670 homeless households (and that official figure doesn’t include “hidden homeless” – people “sofa surfing ” or living in overcrowded households) to apply for shared ownersbip!

No answers as to how cash strapped homeless bouseholds might somehow out of thin air, be able to get the ÂŁ5,000 deposit together or acknowledgment of the fact at all that unemployed people, those on lower incomes and some who work but do not always have the guaranteed regular level of regular income, wouldn’t be accepted in the first place.

Rightly, fellow Kensington blog The Steeple Times was very scathing about this, calling Bailey “Moron of the Moment”:

https://www.thesteepletimes.com/the-fog/shaun-bailey-homeless/

Here’s more from Shaun Bailey’s political leaflet-disguised-as-a-magazine, an interview with Karren Brady:

Still on housing, he talks about building more supposedly “affordable homes” . Well we have a few of what are deemed as these , built by Catalyst Housing on the regenerated former Wornington Green Estate (now Portobello Square) – another part of North Kensington where Bailey used to live – they start at ÂŁ600k and many are sitting empty, but hey, who cares, let’s just go and build some more! Like that’s going to solve the ptoblem….

Perhaps he could look into building more SOCIAL housing to help with the homelessness issue? Though it’s clear he isn’t even prepared to bother entertaining that thought and social housing is not mentioned ANYWHERE in this leaflet

Bailey does mention Sadiq Khan spending money on building homes to rent and that he will instead divert the cost for that into homes to buy – but who for?

Also, if Bailey doesn’t want to be “moron of the moment” he might just spare a thought for some of the Londoners who did buy into the dream of owning their own home under the shared ownership scheme, only for that dream to turn to dust, because of costs due to the cladding and fire safety scandal leaving them facing bankruptcy and homelessness (the Fire Safety Bill returns to the Commons today); but no, it appears Mr Bailey has absolutely nothing to say on this – he is merely aspiring to be Boris Johnson’s puppet at City Hall and is perfectly content to sit there while his “master” happily pulls the strings and sends hard-working people down the river…..

https://www.standard.co.uk/news/london/thousands-trapped-decade-london-cladding-scandal-b917899.html

As for crime prevention, for someone who has masses of experience as a youth worker , Bailey has previously made positive encouraging noises elsewhere about providing 62 new youth centres to help , but where is the money to do this actually going to come from? Who knows, he seems to have completely forgotten about that.

He also seems to have forgotten about this

http://fromthehornetsnest.blogspot.com/2020/02/bail-out-of-bailey.html?m=1

What little the magazine does say of his policies on crime is of him supposedly providing 8,000 more Police Officers. How? He just says he will cut bureaucracy such as offfice costs but fails to say anything more about that. He does mention that he will partly fund this with revenue gained from introducing corporate sponsorship of the tube lines and stations, but this also appears to be the only solution he offers to sort out the TfL financial crisis. Again, no costings, no further details.

As well corporate sponsorship of the tube being a much-loathed and vulgar idea in the eyes of many Londoners (“Coca- Cola Hill Gate Station” anyone? ), Bailey, despite the mentions of where he grew up, again forgets his roots and perhaps ought to be aware of the public outcry and upset around here that happened a few years ago when someone made the suggestion of changing the name of Latimer Road Station .

The outside of Latimer Road is currently about to be redecorated as part of a local arts project, but we guess since he hasn’t been here for years, Bailey doesn’t seem to know or care how offensive and upsetting it would be if green hearts and children’s artwork outside the nearest tube station to Grenfell, the site of our comnunity’s loss, were replaced by garish advertisement signs, billboards and disrespectful name changes. As it is, despite this leaflet/magazine being received right around the corner from Grenfell, there is no mention of Grenfell or any present day acknowledgment of his former community in it at all.

“You’re hired”? We wouldn’t hire Shaun Bailey to run a bath!

His wife Ellie Bailey isn’t standing of course, but obviously his party only just realised just how flimsy and daft Bailey’s supposed policies are, have given up and decided to desperately look for votes by going with the “nice guy” “family man” personality angle.

Just how “hugely passionate” about the environment is Shaun Bailey? His wife doesn’t say apart fron the obvious how bad London’s air is and neither does he. Nothing at all on a subject which many Londoners are genuinely ” passionate” about. .

As for Shaun Bailey in the classroom, it has been reported elsewhere that he was apparently described by a teacher as “gobby and dangerous” – make of that what you will….

Finally we get “9 Questions with Shaun Bailey” Disappointed THINKers saw no burning questions get put to Mr Bailey here, just silly small talk. We’re only surprised they didn’t ask him what his favourite biscuits were….

Also Ellie Bailey might want to send the makers of this leaflet/magazine back to school as they managed to get the year of the election wrong; it’s this year – the 6th of May in fact.

And no, we don’t think he will win.

We think that, with his constant gaffes like this recent one –https://www.standard.co.uk/news/politics/downing-street-refuses-to-say-stand-by-shaun-bailey-sarah-everard-comments-b923546.html which has appeared to alienate some of those on his own side, the absence of genuine policies and his lack of knowledge over most of the serious issues this city faces, that Shaun Bailey might struggle to scrape second place.

That phone sbop beckons……

Last orders at Ariadne’s Nectar Bar? Bad news as licence revoked

We’re sorry to be the bearers of bad news but we have heard that the licence for much-loved independent local North Kensington pub Ariadne’s Nectar Bar has been revoked.

Last Thursday, the RBKC Licensing Sub- Committee met for a review over the future of the pub. The Committee consisted of Cllr Dori Schmetterling (Chair), Cllr Malcolm Spalding and Cllr Tom Bennett.

This review had heen called by Winston Labarr, a senior Environmental Health officer from the Noise and Nuisance team and was supported by Fiona Johnson, a Licensing Officer and Ashleigh Wilson, a Planning Officer. The Committee did not make the decison there and then, but yesterday we received the bad news.

Back in 2018, the Licensing Committee had a previous review (called by former councillor Eve Allison) and the outcome was that tighter conditions were put on the pub and it’s licensee Demetrios Kotsakis.Among these conditions were that there was no music – live or amplified – after 10pm and that the outdoor area was cleared of people by 10pm, which was reported in the local press here.

Here is some further background to the matter from us:

“Ariadne’s Nectar Bar under possible threat of closure by the council “

“Ariadne’s Nectar Bar under threat of closure AGAIN”

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

Review: The case for the prosecution

Sarah Lefevre, the barrister acting for the applicant Mr Labarr had talked of Groundhog Day or dèja vu referring to what she desctibed as “same people, same problens same revuews and same outcome” all over again this being the third Licensing review thr pub had been subject to (there has also been another one in 2009) .She had pointed out that there has not been an alternative Licensee for the pub.

Ms Lefevre stated that action against Ariadne’s since 2009 had included a noise abatement notice, a Police interview under caution and fines, as well as the two previous licensing hearings.Winston Labarr said that there had been numerous complaints receive being made about noise that resulted in visits. On those occasions officers had found, music being played after 10pm, and/or people sat outside the outdoor area after 10pm.

Cllr Schmetterling had asked, going back to points raised by residents’ written submissions supporting the pub, as to why the Noise and Nuisance officers had not used devices to record the measurement of sound?

Mr Labarr said that it was not a legal requirement for officers to carry sound monitoring devices and record levels of noise.

The terms on which they use to establish if noise is a nuisance are

– Proximity

– Frequency

– Whether there is a pitch

– Loudness

– The experience of whether the person complaining is a “normal” person (those were his words)

.Some of the Noise and Nuisance officers had turned up to see what a appeared to be private parties goung on as had some Licensing Officers in previous years , and often seen signs saying “Private Party ” out front or officers told there was a private function taking place.

Fiona Johnson, Licensing Officer, had said that for events, Mr Kotaskis needed to apply for a “TEN” – Temporary Events Notice – and that there was no record of one since 2017.

She said that this was the first time she had heard of 3 of these review proceedings taken place against the same premises and same licensee.

She referred to Mr Kotsakis being dismissive in response to action taken against the premises and called for the licence to be revoked.

Cllr Spalding questioned Ms Johnson witu regards to noise, private partoes, people reportedly drinking in there when council officers arrived and with regards to people not being moved from both the seating area outside and being dispersed from outside the pub – all which she had mentioned.:”Can you confirm that all four of these is an absolute breach of the licence?” Ms Johnson: “Yes”

Ashleigh Wilson, the Planning Officer said that the porch and shelter did not comply with planning regulations She told the committee that Mr Kotsakis had failed to comply with the planning enforcement notices served on him .

Ms Lefevre had said it had not just been one neighbour complaining about the noise and that the neighbours have asked to remain anonymous for fear of reprisal.

She said that just because some neighbours living near the pub did not mind noise it didn’t mean that others did not find noise fron the pub disruptive.

Review: The case for the defence

The subject of the neighbour’s conversion had been raised by Mr Kotsakis who suggested that if the walls at the neighbour’s conversion has not been sufficiently insulated then noise – any noise – would leak through to the nrighbour’s property.

Mr Kotsakis asked Ms Johnson if she could confitm that he did not need a TEN to hold a party within licensng hours and Ms Johnson confirmed this.

Mr Kotsakis said that the premises did not apply for a tenporary events notice because there were not private parties held there outside hours. .

Because the previous review had been brought up and added to evidence to this review, Mr Kotsakis then brought up the 2018 review and Eve Allison and claims thay there were fights;, children being harmed etc. “The saga goes on” .He spoke of lies and misrepresentation. “There has never been a fight in this pub”

Ms Johnson :” I wasn’t party to those so I can only go by what was in the review applications and decisions”

Mr Kotsakis: “So is the application the Bible then? and what you take from it is true? Is that how you see it?”

Ms Johnson: Well that is to the best of the applicant’s knowledge I can only report hy what they said in the application”

Mr Kotsakis :All these allegations were dismissed. I remind you why I call it slander”

(Ms Allison the applicant in 2018 had made herself or submitted for others several allegations, all of which , apart from noise escaping were unproven and she admitted to never having been in the pub herself ).

Mr Kotsakis took issue with evidence for this review including evidence that had been submitted to the 2009 and the 2018 hearings and evidemce which was disputable .

Robert Larkins, a resident supporter of the pub present at the review questioned Fiona Johnson about the list of complainants listed A to E and also a question of anonymous complaints: “In most criminal cases anonymous evidemce is rarely accepted and it seems rather bizarre that you accept anonymous complaints regarding noise”

Ms Johnson : “Anyone can make a complaint, they don’t have to divulge thei details Those who I have spoken to have asked that their details are not divulged because of fear of retaliation or reprisals from both the owners amd the customers of the premises. There’s nothing in law to state that a complainant has to give their details ”

Mr Larkins: “That in itself sounds quite derogatory that you’re suggesting thay the licensee would resort to taking reprisals”

Fiona Johnson: ” I can only report what’s been reported to me”

Mr Larkins questioned that if the complainants are anonymous how much weight can be attached to them?

He also pointed out that descriptions of violence seem to refer to 2009.

“So can we draw the conclusion thay since 2009 there has been less violence and less disorder.?””

Fiona Johnson: ” I cannot Sir, no and I can refer refer to the complaints of violence and disorder in 2018 and alnost certainly in 2019 as well”

( These being anonymous unproven written allegations of violence and disorder)

Mr Larkins also commented that it was “interesting” that one complainant was writing “on behalf of residents” .

In response to the Planning Officer, Demetrios Kotsakis said they had erected the porch on the front of the pub to help keep out noise with the advice from sound engineers .

Ms Wilson said that there was no proof that this would help to prevent leakage but then admitted she did not know about sound travelling and said that was for Noise and Nuisance officers .

Robert Larkins, referring to the porch ,planning and noise matter said Mr Kotsakis was “Damned if he does and damned if he doesn’t”

A few other points from the review hearing

There were a few points of dispute between Mr Kotsakis and RBKC regarding the legitimacy of this review as Mr Kotsakis claimed the appeal would be on the 9th of September but RBKC said they have not received a date of the Court appeal.

– It didn’t help matters for the “Defence” when a video – submitted by the pub supposedly in their favour – was played that showed live musicians (on a piano, a saxophone and a double bass plus a singer) , playing there and Mr Kotsakis had said these were musicians from “The Jazz Age” at the Playground Theatre who had popped in for drinks and played a set. This might have been a good adverisement for live music and the great atmosphere there, but Cllr Bennett did point out the music was loud and Mr Kotsakis did admit they had been playing after 10pm at tiimes.

– Cllr Bennett had put a question regarding the neighbour’s conversion and noise to Sarah Lefevre who responded by saying that there was no evidence of this and it didn’t change the fact that Noise and Nuisance officers arriving heard noise from outside the pub.

Notes from us on some points they missed

– With regards to noise and nuisance being subjective, does that mean that if we were to complain about being able to hear any noise from a neighbour’s property at any time, such as something like a person running a vacuum cleaner round their flat at 2pm , would that be also be treated as a legitimate source of noise and nuisance by council officers?

– Noted were also complaints about music from the neighbours within the pub’s permitted hours. Unless the music was at an excessive volume (and we do suggest for accuracy, that the Noise and Nuisance officers use sound monitoring devices) there shouldn’t really be a problem, other than that the neighbour appears to find any pub that plays music objectionable…

– Sarah Lefevre did claim the letters of support for the pub were “largely identical” and that most of these were from “people who live some consderable distance away”. But in counting letters of support for Ariadne’s and those against just for this 2020 review , we examined just the addresses of both residents who supported – the pub and those against who supported the review and found that in the immediate neighbourhood (ie Latimer Road and its surrounding streets within 5 minutes walk away) that 8 of these letters were in Mr Kotsakis’ favour and 3 of these were against

.- Also looking at the same addresses , we did note that two of these three letters of complaints about the pub which rather strangely, came from an industrial unit in the neighbourhood rather than residential addresses. and we do question therefore whether they would necessarily be residents of the neighbourhood and/or be present after 10pm to witness breaches of the licence and excessive noise and nuisance?

– On the point of private parties, we do know people who live in, above or next to their business premises will from time to time use them as extended living rooms and have private gatherings in these for friends or family. So just because a few people do happen do be there after hours, this does not necessarily mean that the pub is in operation and they are having events there. The signs could be just to deter anyone who isn’t a private guest of the Kotsakis family from disturbing them or from trying to go in who might otherwise assume that the pub is open. Interestingly council officers entering the premises on these occasions did not witness any drinks being served on these occasions.

– Planning, we do have to point out that the local plan that the Planning Officer uses as a point of reference is the St Quintin Woodlands conservation area, the architect of which, Henry Peterson is a regular and supporter of Ariadne’s and who applied for the pub to become an Asset of Community Value late last year. Both the porch and the shelter were in place then and at no point had Mr Peterson formed any objections to these.We are guessing it was the neighbour or her forner councillor friend who made the complaints to the council Planning Officers

Our view

We’re disappointed in the “Verdict” and we fear for the future of this much-loved pub which is an asset to the community.

Do we think this this is some kind of conspiracy? Perhaps not, but we do believe that some council officers appear to have taken a rather heavy-handed and one-sided approach and that approach has been firmly against the pub and on the side of the conplaining neighbour, and it is our view that the neighbour has persistently complained because she does not like the pub and the Kotsakis family being there.

As we said before, we struggle to understand why someone would move right by a pub and expect complete peace and quiet?

We spoke to some other neighbours in the same street who submitted support for Ariadne’s and who say the pub is relatively quiet.

Others in the area who too support Ariadne’s did tell us that the pub that was there before did have a bad reputation for violence and trouble and that this welcoming pub has been a “breath of fresh air”

Many of the complaining neighbour’s letters and supporting letters to both the 2018 and the 2020 hearings mentioned smashed glass, broken glass around the pub – anyone who goes to that locality at any time can see that this is patently isn’t true.

Also some of the neighbours letters paint a picture of the pub and its patrons being dirty, smelly and threatening. Again, anyone who visits there can see that this is not true.

Actually the majority of Ariadne’s regulars tend to be either just ordinary people who live in the immediate neighbourhood, creative/artistic types such as musicians actors, and artists, or local political types from the Labour Party in North Kensington – most Labour councillors have attended the pub at some time or another

In fact the two Labour local St Helens ward councillors Mo Bakhtiar and Portia Thaxter, support Ariadne’s and turned up to speak favourably of the pub at the review.

Cultured types who are fond of live music or vocal political debate do not exactly fit the same profile as mindless hooligans glassing each other or gang members lurking in the backstreets, peddling hard drugs to the community and endangering our local children.So we do question the sanity of the person/people making the complaints because if these depictions aren’t crazed exaggerations that go far beyond the boundaries of. reality,; we do not know what isn’t……..Yet these have somehow been taken seriously and added to evidence at reviews while being completely unproven.

Much like the last time, there was repetition of expression and parts of sentences in the complaints letters duplicated: implying the letters were written by one or two people.In our opinion, as we have been regulars at Ariadne’s over the past five yeats, is that it is not a noisy pub and there are far noisier and more crowded pubs in the area situated on main roads and that perhaps the out of the way location of the pub on a quiet street makes any escaping noise far more noticeable than would be on – say Portobello Road or Ladbroke Grove.

We accept that on a few occasions that Ariadne’s have been found to have broken the rules over playing music and over not clearing the outdoor area after the stated time. While the breaches must be dealt with, we feel that stripping Ariadne’s Nectar Bar of their licence is unduly harsh.

What next?

If some people now assume all this will be the death sentence for this pub, we have to point out that Ariadne’s Nectar Bar is a comnunity pub that has the support of many residents from North Kensington and beyond – and there are hundreds of local supporters here who will fight to keep the pub going as an independently run pub with character and live music, and not as some sleepy little “village pub (hardly anyone would go there and it would close) and not a high end “gastropub” (there are plenty of these already), both of which no doubt that the vexatious neighbour would prefer.

We North Kensington residents have had to deal with more than our fair share of experience of fighting battles – and the number of us who wish for our community pub to continue in business far outweighs the one or two residents who do not . It looks like we now have yet again, another local community campaign on our hands…..As for the dispute bween Mr Kotsakis and RBKC over appeals , we have since been shown this:

This would appear to confirm that Mr Kotsakis’ appeal is not null and void as RBKC ‘s Legal Officer had said and he does have an appeal over the previous review decision (which imposed tighter conditions on his licence ) due at Westminster Magistrates on the 9th of September.

Ariadne’s Nectar Bar may he closing for now, but this is far from over…..

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 – but 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…..




Urban Dandy Post: RBKC bites back @ Canalside House and the community

The council of Kensington and Chelsea has revived its plan to get rid of North Kensington community asset Canalside House and replace it with flats. The resurrection of the plan will be viewed by many as signalling the explicit return of the council’s long-standing policy of asset-stripping North Kensington. Will it be third time lucky for the council?

What is Canalside House and Why Does it Matter?

Opened in 1929, Canalside House is an integral and much-loved part of the North Kensington community, serving many hundreds of local people each year, including hundreds of children, the disabled and other vulnerable groups. It is ideally located at the north end of Ladbroke Grove, with excellent transport links. It continues to play a vital role for people in West London, including with its role as a hub for Grenfell recovery and support.

Background

In 2016 the sale of Canalside House to property developers was agreed by RBKC. This was initiated by the then deputy leader of the council, Rock Feilding-Mellen, who has since resigned following the Grenfell Tower fire, which killed 72 people. He is widely believed to have been culpable for decisions made that led to the fire, as well as cultivating a culture at the council in which people in North Kensington were ignored and their assets stripped for the benefit of property speculators.

The tenants of Canalside House were presented with a fait accompli and told they would be moving to a building on Latimer Road. The building was wholly unsuitable and the decision by the council was an existential threat to most of the Canalside organisations.

In 2017, after the Grenfell fire, when the Canalside residents played a notable role in supporting the affected local population (in contrast to the council, who by their own admission were not up to the task), RBKC paused the sale of the building.

In January 2018, the council issued an executive decision to sell Canalside House, with Director of Corporate Property Richard Egan taking up Feilding-Mellen’s plan. Egan, along with deputy leader of the council, Councillor Kim Taylor-Smith and Councillor Matthew Palmer, told a series of lies to try to force through the sale. It was also revealed that zero social housing was to be included in the “3,500 new homes” earmarked for the Canalside site.

RBKC’s lies were exposed by local activists and blogs and the council did a U-turn. Taylor-Smith stated: “Kensington and Chelsea Council has no plans whatsoever to sell off Canalside House, the building is a key base for charities and the voluntary sector, as well as small businesses and other local enterprises, all of which create important job opportunities in the north of our borough”.

He also vowed that the council would work on improving the building. This has not happened. And Taylor-Smith ignored all emails from the Canalside User Group, which represents the 14 resident organisations, until September 2018, when he notified the group that the sale was back on, albeit with the word “demolish” replacing “sell”.

Some Lies

At the 13th September RBKC Housing and Property Scrutiny Committee meeting, a report from Conservative Councillor Mary Weale justified the plan to demolish Canalside House using exactly the same language that has been used by the council in their grab of other local public assets including Ladbroke Grove library, Wornington College and Lancaster Youth Club. Namely: that there are issues of disabled access and that the building is too costly to refurbish. Weale also claimed that a number of the offices are only used “on an occasional/part-time basis”. The crucial work undertaken by Canalside organisations was not mentioned.

The renewed move to sell/demolish the building suggests that the RBKC’s (repeated ad nauseam) claims that it would “change” after the Grenfell fire amount to nothing more than platitudes and propaganda, smokescreens for business as usual.

Some Facts

The council turned down a grant from the Tudor Trust to install a lift for disabled people at Canalside House; the council has made no effort to refurbish Canalside House and has let it slide into decline; all of the offices at Canalside House are used full-time, except for one, which was vacated by the Volunteer Centre when the council first announced the building’s sale. After that it was left empty by the council and has only just reopened as a hot-desking service, which has started to become popular.

The Canalside User Group told us that they will demand the council do another U-turn and abandon the plan to make Canalside House another victim of the North Kensington asset strip. They will not be alone in making this demand: service users whose futures depend on the Canalside organisations will oppose the move, as will those who will not understand how politicians can promise change, explicitly state they will not sell a building and then do the opposite. And just maybe the national government, or their Grenfell Taskforce, will call the ruling party at Kensington Town Hall and demand an explanation for this textbook example of hypocrisy…

Hypocrite – from the Greek work Hypokrites, meaning “an actor”

Canalside House is home to: Abundance Arts; African Women’s Care; Baraka Community Association; Colville and Clydesdale Housing Cooperative; French African Women’s Association; Hodan Somali Community; Hope Care Agency; Kensington and Chelsea Mental Health Carers Association; Munro Health Cooperative; Portobello Business Centre; Rain Trust; Sudanese Community and Information Centre; Sudanese Nubian Association; Talk Together CIC; Worldwide Somali Students and Professionals.

Full Canalside backstory part one: https://urbandandylondon.com/2018/02/08/rbkc-council-selling-vital-community-aset/

Part two: https://urbandandylondon.com/2018/03/16/councilcanalside/

Written by Tom Charles @tomhcharles

Art and other help from THis Is North Kensington

Urban Dandy London | October 2, 2018 at 6:59 pm | Tags: Canalside House, Grenfell Tower, Jailhouse Rock, Kensington and Chelsea Council, Kim Taylor-Smith, Ladbroke Grove, North Kensington, RBKC, Richard Egan, Rock Feilding-Mellen, Sharks, THINK, THis Is North Kensington | Categories: Grenfell, Politics | URL: https://wp.me/p1wRQz-2r4

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