RBKC- Snouts in the MIPIM trough?

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The Grenfell Action Group officially became members of the Radical Housing Network (RHN) back in early 2014. One of the first issues that the RHN brought to our members attention was the immoral nature of a property fair held every year in Cannes, France and at Olympia, London called MIPIM, whose sole purpose was to carve up our social housing and public land among property developers.

In the autumn of both 2014 and 2015 members of the Grenfell Action Group supported the mass protest of MIPIM at Olympia organised by the RHN and let delegates know that they are not welcome in our city.

In 2014 a member of the Grenfell Action Group wrote to Cllr Paget Brown, the Leader of RBKC, and received assurances that no representatives from our Council would be attending MIPIM. This assurance subsequently turned out to be invalid after Cllr Cockell (aka Pooter) was spotted and photographed at the event.

It was, therefore, very upsetting for the Grenfell Action Group to hear that Cllr Feilding Mellen may have attended MIPIM in Cannes, earlier this year, as recently disclosed on the Hornet’s Nest website.

The Grenfell Action Group have written to the Leader of RBKC and asked him to clarify if any representatives of the Council attended MIPIM at Cannes in 2016 and to also answer questions with regards Cllr Feilding Mellen’s relations with a property consultant called Mr Bingle

http://fromthehornetsnest.blogspot.co.uk/2016/09/still-on-subject-of-rocky.html

We have published a letter to Paget Brown, written by a member of the Grenfell Action Group, in full below:

“Dear Councillor Paget Brown,

As you are aware there are many members of our community who are very concerned that the position of RBKC Cabinet Member for Housing, Property and Regeneration is occupied by Cllr Feilding Mellen who is the director of a property development company called Socially Conscious Capital.

We believe that this is a direct conflict of interest and that Cllr Feilding Mellen will not be able to listen objectively to those community members who don’t view their homes and lives through a prism of regeneration and developers profit.

Please can you inform me whether Cllr Feilding Mellen or any other Councillor or representative of RBKC attended the MIPIM conference in Cannes earlier this year?

http://fromthehornetsnest.blogspot.co.uk/2016/09/the-dame-puts-feilding-mellen-to.html

If so, please can you provide me with details of who paid for travel, hotel expenses and the conference entrance fee?

Please can you give me specific details of what business was discussed at MIPIM and provide me with any documents, minutes or other record of this meeting?

Please can you also confirm for me whether any Councillors or representatives of RBKC will be attending MIPIM when it arrives back at Olympia in the middle of October 2016?

Last time I posed you this question, in 2014, you responded by stating that no Councillors from RBKC would be attending MIPIM which was an untruth as Cllr Cockell was subsequently photographed at the sordid property fair. Let’s hope that you can be a bit more honest this time around?

Finally, I would also like to draw your attention to the fact that Cllr Feilding Mellen is rumoured to have had a recent meeting with a Mr Bingle who describes himself as running a political and media relations consultancy with a particular focus on property. Please can you inform me why one of your Councillors would want to meet with Mr Bingle and what Council matters were discussed at this meeting? It appears that there was no Council Officer present to record this meeting and I would like an explanation as to why this was so? Please provide me with any documentation, minutes or records relating to this meeting? Was the meeting paid for out of Council funds and has this been declared on Clrr Feilding Mellen’s expenses? If not, why not?

Regards,

Grenfell Action Group”

As soon as we have an response from Paget Brown  we will let our readers know as we believe that there could be a direct conflict of interest posed between Cllr Feilding Mellen’s responsibilities to RBKC and his own property development ambitions.

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Smoke and mirrors. RBKC and NHPS.

002.JPGThe full horror of the RBKC’s decision to wrench the much loved North Kensington Library from the local community has now been realised with the publication of an artist’s impression of the proposed new municipal centre in Lancaster Road (see photo above).

Not only are the Council happy to throw us out of our beautiful existing library building into an unattractive, soulless “multi-plex”, but they are also planning to house the new library in a building that will be primarily constructed to help facilitate the spread of private education in North Kensington. To add insult to injury, this plan, hatched by RBKC, will be financed solely with the use of public money.

It looks like the private business deal between Cllr Feilding Mellen and the Notting Hill Prep School will see public funds (in the form of our Council Tax) being used to fund the construction of two floors of classroom space that will then be rented out exclusively to either the Notting Hill Prep School or their rivals in private education and occupiers of the Issac Newton Centre, Chepstow House.

The Grenfell Action Group understand that the ground and first floor of the new municipal building will be home to the new library and new youth centre and that the third and fourth floor, along with a roof-top MUGA (multi use games area), will be hired out to private education providers with no chance for the community to occupy this space.

There has been no public consultation on this matter and no chance for the community to challenge Cllr Feilding Mellen’s ability to make decisions concerning the handing of North Kensington’s public assets to the Notting Hill Prep School. Crucially, there is also a direct conflict of interest at stake on the part of Cllr Fielding Mellen, given that his children are set to attend this exclusive prep school.

Even for an outsider, it is not hard to see that the advancement of the Notting Hill Prep School business model (that has also recently secured the use of the old Westway Information Centre) and its continuing land grab around Ladbroke Grove is only possible because it is backed and supported by RBKC Councillors who use OUR public money to further their own self-interest.

It is legitimate to question why Notting Hill Prep School can’t find their own land to build on and find their own finances to pay for their rabid expansion ambitions? Why should precious public space in North Kensington just be given up and handed over to private education? Why should the taxes of the working class community in North Kensington be used to pay for the construction of class room space that has already been earmarked for an exclusive, profit making, prep school’s use?

These are questions that RBKC has remained silent on. But they are also the questions that must be answered for any project of this sort to have any form of public legitimacy. As things stand however, that legitimacy is nowhere to be seen, which once again goes to show how far RBKC has come in prioritising private interests over the public interest of the community it is supposed to protect and serve.

The Grenfell Action Group will continue to expose this immoral use of public funds and demand that the whole of the new municipal building is free from private education and open to free community use.

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TMO-Time to act is now !

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On Thursday 15th September a group of Kensington and Chelsea Tenant Management Organisation residents will be coming together in a meeting room at the Chelsea Theatre in World’s End between 7.45pm -8.30pm. It is an open meeting and anyone who has been impacted by the despicable conduct and sewer like service dished out by the TMO is welcome to attend. It is hoped that the meeting on the 15th September can act as a catalyst for further action at the TMO AGM that is taking place at 9.30am on Saturday 17th September at the Royal Garden Hotel, Kensington High Street and is open to all TMO members.

The meeting at the Chelsea Theatre has been arranged so that tenants and leaseholders can gather to discuss a way to end the reign of terror inflicted upon our lives by the mini mafia disguised as a legitimate TMO. The meeting has been publicised through the excellent Hornet’s Nest website and the comments accompanying the post make depressingly familiar reading:

http://fromthehornetsnest.blogspot.co.uk/2016/09/residents-conference-2016-kctmo-board.html

It seems that the victims of the TMO are legion and are spread pan-Borough. Those of us that are based in North Kensington might be shocked, but not too surprised, that the likes of Black, Maddison, Birch, Jevans, etc are ruining the lives of other TMO tenants in the south of the Borough and, on World’s End Estate, in particular. The hard hitting evidence compiled over recent years by the Concerned Residents of Kensington and Chelsea proves this point:

http://www.barrymcqueen.com/crkc/index.html

IF YOU ARE A TMO VICTIM AND YOU WANT TO CHANGE THE STATUS QUO THEN NOW IS THE TIME TO ACT. LEND YOUR SUPPORT TO THE PLANNING MEETING ON 15TTH SEPT AT THE CHELSEA THEATRE AND MAKE YOUR VOICE HEARD AT THE TMO AGM AT 9.30AM ON SATURDAY 17TH SEPTEMBER AT THE ROYAL GARDEN HOTEL. THE DAYS OF THE TMO ARE NUMBERED AND WE WILL FIND A WAY TO CONSIGN THESE IMMORAL, CORRUPT EVILDOERS TO HISTORY.

 

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Doing us down!

silchesterOver recent months there seems to be a focused attempt by persons unknown to rubbish the working class community of North Kensington, demonise local people as criminals and call for the demolition of our homes.

First of all, in February 2016, a petition appeared on the RBKC website that described Dixon, Markland and Frinstead Houses as “incredibly run down, dirty and abandoned”. In addition, it suggested that the Silchester Estate is both not integrated into the wider community and that it is also a hot bed of criminal activity. The petition called for the demolition of the run down towers of North Kensington and for them to be replaced with “decent” housing — the suggestion being that this would somehow result in a crime free area. The petition attracted four signatories and we have included a copy of the highly offensive prayer below:

Demolish the run down towers of North Kensington and replace with decent housing

No of signatures: 4

E-Petition Status: Live

Lead Petitioner: Andy Comte-Lenestour

Closing Date: Jul 31 2016 12:00AM

Andy Comte-Lenestour, London, Feb 18 2016 12:34PM Pedro Campos, London, Feb 29 2016 4:40PM Julia Torr, London, Feb 29 2016 5:29PM Jordana Yechiel, London, May 18 2016 5:00PM

We do not know the individuals behind this vile attempt to smear our community and we don’t know if it is the same group of individuals who have set up the following rather sinister Facebook page with the apparent sole aim of discrediting our way of life and painting North Kensington as a violent and gang run no go area:

“Silchester and North Kensington regeneration”

https://www.facebook.com/silchestereastandwest/?fref=ts

About:

The benefits of regeneration to the Silchester and North Kensington communities. Designing out crime and antisocial behaviour

Description:

The Silchester area and the wider North Kensington area have been and continue to be a target for gangs and criminals. Everyday in our streets some sort of crime, delinquency or antisocial behaviour takes place. Regeneration has been proven effective in breaking away gangs and organised crimes who are usually part of a local support network. It is important that we embrace the regeneration projects from the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea so we can finally look forward to a safer neighbourhood. It is also likely to create jobs with new retail units and much needed housing.

We do not know, at this stage, if any of the individuals involved with this petition or Facebook page are linked to Cllr Feilding Mellen or RBKC Council, or are acting in the interests of property developers. What we do know is that these individuals are not interested in seeking meaningful solutions to any of the social issues faced by our community. The Grenfell Action Group believe that the supporters and agents of social cleansing are active and we intend to expose whoever is behind the simplistic and ignorant mantra that knocking down our homes will bring any positive benefits to existing tenants or to the wider community.

 

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Flood at the New Pools

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The above photograph is one that the RBKC would rather you did not see. In stark contrast to the idyllic images that adorned the construction hoardings of the new Kensington Sports Centre, this picture reveals a much more slippery reality. Instead of a brand new and functioning sports centre, we find various plastic buckets and accompanying “do not slip” warning signs being placed near the entrance after a rain shower caused the roof to leak. These leaks are not just a health and safety problem. They reveal that in settling for a pure cowboy job in the construction of the new Leisure Centre, the RBKC has also betrayed its promise to this community to deliver up-to-standard facilities.

The Grenfell Action Group have warned all along that the quality of works to both the Kensington Aldridge Academy and the Sports Centre was sub-standard. It looks like our worst fears have now been confirmed. The flooded area at the new Sports Centre is not confined to the entrance hallway, but is also a major problem in the Sports Hall and swimming areas. Being only a year old, it seems like the new Sports Centre building is already not fit for purpose. Let’s hope that the RBKC have a good penalty clause written into the construction contract, and that they don’t find that Robert Lynch (Project Manager) and the construction company, Leadbitters, have done a bunk!

It is telling that the Grenfell Action Group’s photographer was threatened and ordered not to take the above photograph by staff and management at the Sports Centre. Of course, no valid reason for this censure was forthcoming. But we can assume that it has something to do with the RBKC’s embarrassment in having paid so much for a building that only a year on is already tearing at the seams. No doubt, the RBKC will come up with an excuse for the evidently poor quality of the workmanship. We can also rest assured that the RBKC will let this obvious waste of vital council tax resources (on a sub-standard sports hall) slip under the carpet.

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Lancaster West R.A. Fun day

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