send the Dame your information, discretion assured.
Comments are welcome but do not necessarily reflect the view of the Dame.
Offensive/inappropriate comments will be deleted and the poster banned.

Saturday, 17 March 2018


What a clever idea of Wellcome Trust to use one of the City's most expensive law firms to squash an insolent leaseholder like a fly.

That should stop any other leaseholder getting uppity with the Trust.

It's always interesting how judges go hard on litigants in persons: after all, why not? 
They have a vested interest in protecting their professional colleagues!

For those residents thinking of using Knight Frank to flog their home, they can relax knowing KF will drive a hard bargain!

The Wellcome Trust spent £114,000 to defeat a leaseholder in Onslow Square in Kensington over a £6,000 dispute – which came down from £8,247 originally demanded.
The gargantuan bill includes VAT.
The case means that the woman leaseholder will have to sell her home, it is claimed, but the Wellcome Trust has not to date pressed for forfeiture.
The Wellcome Trust – the world’s second largest charity ($27 billion) after the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation – tells LKP that it is “working to resolve this matter”, adding: “We are not in a position to make any further comment as we are bound by a non-disclosure agreement.”
The Wellcome Trusts legal bills were racked up at a property tribunal that ruled in September 2016, although the dispute is still smouldering on, with LKP copied into correspondence over this matter.
These are also directed at the Wellcome Trust chair Eliza Manningham-Buller, the former director general of the internal intelligence service MI5.
The case was yet another leaseholder car crash in the property tribunal.LKP repeatedly urges leaseholders: Pay first. Fight second, to avoid precisely these bills if you do not win.

The leaseholder was a litigant in person, while the Wellcome Trust Limited deployed a barrister with a case prepared by leading solicitors CMS Cameron McKenna LLP. 
Knight Frank managed the building, and there were other professional witnesses.

Monday, 12 March 2018



Our river houseboats in Chelsea have been threatened with eviction and we want to protect them.

People have made their homes here since the 1930s and some of our current residents have lived here for over 50 years. We think that every community in the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea deserves to be protected and cherished. Our Chelsea houseboats are not only loved locally but internationally for their vibrancy and quirkiness.

We want the council to make the houseboat moorings an Asset of Community Value, as they are an important part of our local community. Help us to save what matters in our Royal Borough; people’s homes matter.  
Please sign our petition to let RBKC know how you feel. LINK


Saturday, 10 March 2018


Dear Dame,

I have just read the Centre for Public Scrutiny report:
Change at the Council/ Independent Review of Governance for the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea”.
Whilst there are some welcome suggestions I, and a number of others were appalled to read the paragraphs below from page 18 of the report LINK

We observed a Planning Applications Committee and thought this showed the Council at its best when it comes to involving residents in meetings.
While we have heard people question the length of time allowed for residents to make presentations, the small size of the meeting, the opportunity
for residents to sit at the table and clarity in understanding the process, all suggest good practice that could be used in other council meetings.

Guy Oliver

“We also heard that, before the Grenfell disaster, some of the best moments at council meetings had been the result of public petitions, and some of
the better scrutiny meetings had been those that heard directly from the public – although we know that part of a positive experience for the public
rests on getting a response to those contributions at the meeting ………….We also observed the public being invited to sit at the table and discuss planning
applications with councillors, and we felt this worked effectively. The challenge for the Council, therefore, is to embed this good practice”

This may be an accurate account based on the observation of a single meeting, presumably one at which the Councillors were aware that they were being “scrutinised “but, as a resident, and from my own observation of planning meetings at RBKC, this is most certainly not the norm.

I have witnessed members of the public being barked at, bullied and shouted down during planning meetings ( Cllr Warwick )
There were furtive and secretive non “consultations” with the community over the cinema site.

Cllr Moylan thought it was ok to accept regular hospitality from his friend, Peter Bingle, of Terrapin Communications , who act for the developer of the cinema site and then, on 28th May 2016 , while one of the ACV cases was being heard,  he goes on national television to call the cinema “a flea pit” and that it “should be demolished.” 
Siding with the developer’s agents with whom he sups and ignoring a petition of 30,000 (equivalent to half the adult population of the borough) to save a much loved and historically significant landmark is an insult to the democratic process.

In addition, the “petitions” that are mentioned in this report were circulated by members of the community to force extraordinary general meetings of the council out of sheer frustration by the community at being ignored during the planning process most recently :

  • North Kensington Public Library
  • Save The Kensington Odeon

The CPS needs to add to your list of recommendations that there should be a basic code of Conduct for Councillors
which should include :

  • Not bullying, barking down and ignoring residents
  • No accepting hospitality from developers or their agents or having private meetings with them without council officers present.

I and others brought these concerns up at one of the so called consultation meetings by the Centre for Public Scrutiny  but perhaps these were inconvenient truths
that is was thought better not to mention in this report ?

Best wishes

Guy Oliver

Friday, 9 March 2018


Pooter Cockell embarrassed the Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea.
His extraordinary expense claims were the subject of constant national media comment and the Dame is proud to have played her part in exposing his bizarre ways and blocking his lusted after peerage....Milord Pooter, my foot!

However, the Dame hears the silly fellow still believes he has influence. He is furiously trying to persuade the planning committee and ward councillors they should pass the application to develop the Heythrop College site for luxury planning without any affordable housing and exploiting a loophole.
You can read about this scam of a scheme HERE

If permission is granted residents and visitors will face years of misery.

Scrabbling around, looking for income, Pooter became chairman of a minor lobbying operation called Cratus so one assumes it's Cratus who are promoting this unwanted intrusion into an oasis of calm.

It would seem that horrid little Cratus has had quite a turnover of shareholders since the arrival of Pooter....oh, and a bit of difficulty about conflict in the Isle of Wight.

This is another Newcombe moment for the planning committee. 
Throw it out or risk a resident rebellion.

Friday, 2 March 2018


Dear Dame,

In all the years as a resident of K&C I have never felt myself to be so much a victim of representational deficit as I do now.

Let me explain myself...

·   We have a council mainly comprising of councillors whose arrogance towards those they represent beggar’s belief. There are exceptions Judith Blakeman and Robert Freeman being two.
·   An MP for Kensington whose only interest seems to be residents in the north of the Borough and tweeting furiously instead of doing a ‘proper job’
·   And an MP for Chelsea and Fulham who seem to think he represents Fulham alone

The Hornet seems to be the only campaigning medium fighting for all of us.
Without it we would never know what was going on.

Emma Dent Coad, when elected, said she was going to represent the entirety of the Borough.
This has turned out to be patent nonsense and a lie. 
I now hear she plans to remain a councillor; the very criticism she levelled at Mrs. Borwick.
She has mercilessly used the Grenfell tragedy as a political platform for her ultra extremist views.

Greg Hands takes no interest in Chelsea issues. 
I happen to live close to the threatened Sutton Estate. 
Has he got involved?
No, he’s far too self-important running around saying, “ I am in the government” !
Come on Mr Hands, commerce is being killed in Chelsea as small shopkeepers struggle to pay business rates, now nearly 40% of rental value and you do nothing.
I suppose you feel there’s no electoral dividend in helping the economic backbone of this country? 
The boat owners at Chelsea are being threatened with eviction and you do nothing.

And do we hear from ‘Hands Off Hands” on Crossrail or Thamesbrook?
Not a murmur.
I hear many moans that getting in touch with self-important Hands can result in a wait of months....if one ever hears back at all. One wonders what the point of the man is!

The same with Dent Coad.

And now I read that this motor mouth, Shaun Bailey is being lined up for Kensington.

Residents deserve better than this. It is just not good enough.

Yours faithfully

Michael Pettifer

(address withheld)

Thursday, 1 March 2018


For far too long local politics has been dominated by the established political parties so when a parvenu comes on the scene with a fresh approach it's only fair to give them a crack of the whip. 

Advance is one such entrant and some of its ideas strike a chord with the old Dame.
Advance doesn't have the same access to oodles of money that Conservative, Labour and Lib Dem's have so this blog feels they should have the chance to raise campaign funds.

Please have a look and see if you feel minded to make a contribution to a new kid on the block LINK


The Dame is thrilled to report that her little blog, started from her elegant boudoir, is now reaching into the very depths of the Royal Borough.
The Dame on her beach holiday

In fact, one informant tells her that the Hornets Nest was much quoted at the recent consultative meetings.

At just over 1200 unique daily views the Hornets Nest is now far more widely read than the local paper.

She thanks all her loyal readers for making it such a success.


A Conservative activist writes to the Dame.....

Dame, can it possibly be true?

I hear tell that Shaun Bailey is pitching himself as the Conservative candidate for the Kensington constituency.

I mean, the man is cunning but really quite stupid. 
To dump him on us just because he's black really is an insult to our intelligence.
Now, if he were a Bim Afolami or Kwasi Kwarteng it would be different, but he's not....he's a narcissistic dimwit with a flair for self-promotion. 

The Tory Party really has lost its way if it thinks putting up a loudmouth like Bailey is a way to beat Dent Coad!

Activist in Notting Hill