Wednesday, 29 December 2010

The Good ...

We sweated blood for a brilliant result in May; thanks to everyone who helped us achieve this.

Some of the wonderful things we have achieved with Ward Initiative funds and lots of help and support from residents.

A well-earned Mayor's Award for our Keef, Keith Stirling of Wornington Green who does such great work for his residents of all ages.

Victory of a kind ... just 19 votes away from snatching a Councillor in Tory heartland of Chelsea. Mabel and her family and team inspired us all; Harriet Harman attended our pub quiz. Heady days.

The Bad

Families ripped out of their homes. KHT says they are 'happy' with their new homes; they aren't.

A symbol of the terrible goings-on at Wornington Green, Mrs M and her great-grandchildren. They took her to Court and would have evicted her if she hadn't moved out by 15 Dec; she hadn't moved because her flat wasn't ready. Then KHT denied it all in the press. Another dark day.

KHT engage new tactics to get residents on side - by breaking into then locking them out of their own Residents' Room and refusing to give them the new key.

Sometimes Tory Councillors say what they mean by mistake. This was a classic by a son and heir of the 'sucessor generation', stigmatising a respectable family neighbourhood to justify its demolition.

Finally the message got through that what we had predicted in February would come to pass. The Standard published an article, and it was on ITN News.

and The Ugly

The 'former' CEO of Kensington Housing Trust signs away his soul.

The PM has a magic mirror.

'The greenest government ever', yeah right.

Will the Council stop at nothing to save cash?

KHT staff - and former staff - tell it like it is.

Sunday, 19 December 2010

Yet another fine mess from the former KHT

In a week that has seen the last resident moved out of Munro Mews before demoliton, landlord/developer Kensington Housing Trust have once again surpassed themselves.

Having refused for over a year to accept responsibility for a homeless family, after much persistence by myself and the family, KHT moved them into a temporary flat just in time for Christmas ... but without heating or hot water.

Yet more tales of unfairness and inconsistency as some decantees state they have had standard new kitchens fitted for no charge, some have been bit charged 'a bit' for a style of finish they actually wanted, some have been charged full whack for particular finishes, and others have had precisely what they wanted at no charge whatever. Message to residents in Phase 1b - it's worth making a nuisance of yourself!

For their final trick of the year (but there's a full ten days to go) KHT wrote to all residents stating that because of yet another b**ls-up the planning application may have to be withdrawn and resubmitted with Condition 42 removed, but they don't have time to meet this condition. IF we have this right, Condition 42 requires KHT to submit full design details of how they intend to attain Sustainability Code Level 3 in the first phase.

For the record, ladles and jellyspoons, as you can see in this table, they should be meeting Level 4 minimum in the first phase, and Level 6 by the end of the whole development. They have been allowed to build the first bit of the first phase to Level 3 because the combined heating and power system will not be operational till later. Now they are saying they 'don't have time' to go through the design stage of even meeting Level 3!

The danger is that, if - and it's a likely 'IF' to those who have watched KHT crumble in direct proportion to the amount they spend on PR - the buildings when finished do NOT meet Level 3, they would not be allowed to hand them over for occupation. And frankly, given the number of abandoned and empty developments already in the neighbourhood, this is the very last thing we need. A demotivated workforce, senior staff on the way out, a merger with a parent company, none of this looks good for the future of the 'exciting new urban quarter' of Portobello Bottom.

Sunday, 12 December 2010

Great Granny Maunders: symbol of Wornington Green

More porkies from Kensington Housing Trust as they told the local papers that great-granny Mrs M, left, had been spared Court as she had agreed to sign a Consent Order agreeing to move on 15 December. This is simply not true; the Consent Order means that if she doesn't move that day - the only reason for that being that KHT haven't finished her flat - they can get the bailiffs in straight away to evict her. Wonderful how people twist the truth, isn't it?

Meanwhile, to the utter frustration of all residents on Wornington Green, not only those being shunted about, stories are emerging about what kind of homes will really be available for them once each phase of the development is done. People who have been promised they would decant back into the first phase are now being told 'Maybe'. People being told they would have two bedrooms are now being told 'or perhaps one'. As staff posts are being slashed left, right and centre, rumours state the misManaging Director is being ousted next year and will take up a career as a Tory politician, while the maintenance manager and his entire team have been put on 'indefinite leave' among reports of alleged fraud and receiving backhanders. Residents have been telling me this for YEARS; I reported it but the MD did not believe me.

And what's it all for? 'An exciting new urban quarter' the PR says. Residents calls it 'Portobello Bottom', about as drab and dull as a wet February afternoon, with some notable failures such as the new shops on the 'bello and flats above; just peculiar. Hardly the 'conservation area of the future' that was aspired to. It is unbelievably mediocre, hardly fitting for the first major estate development in K&C, especially right on one of our greatest tourist attractions. Is it worth destroying a community for this?