Aug 312017
 

REFRESHER

In my previous post I wrote of Cymdeithas Gofal / Ceredigion Care Society, and its sister-outfit to the south, the Pembrokeshire Care Society, but I focused more on The Wallich. All three are involved in the homelessness business and are funded by the ‘Welsh’ Government and local authorities.

Due to something niggling away inside the old Jac cranium, which prompted me to make more enquiries, I am returning to Cymdeithas Gofal.

CYMDEITHAS GOFAL WHO’S WHO

The homelessness that keeps Cymdeithas Gofal in business tends to be a consequence of behavioural and other issues like drug addiction and alcohol abuse, psychiatric problems, recently leaving prison, etc.

And yet, when I looked at the directors of the company Cymdeithas Gofal and the trustees of the charity (the same as the company’s directors apart from one), I was struck by the fact that despite catering for people with problems requiring treatment, counselling and other help, I could see no one among the director-trustees with a medical – let alone a psychiatric – background, or any experience in probation or social work. In short, none of them seemed qualified to be dealing with the people they claimed to be ‘helping’.

So who are these director-trustees, and what expertise do they bring to Cymdeithas Gofal?

The first name we encounter is Guy Hamilton Evans, of whom more later.

Which means we’ll start with the second name on the Companies House list of directors, Brian Craig Forbes. He is the managing director of Crystal Catering Equipment Ltd, an Aberystwyth company supplying various establishments with glassware.

The next name is Robert John Gray, listed as an accountant and a director at Francis Gray Ltd of Aberystwyth. (Formerly Francis, Jones & Davies.) Gray is also a director of Constitution Hill Ltd, the company running the cliff railway. We also see him associated with CGC Trading Ltd, of which more anon.

Next up is Anthony Philip Hearn. His other interest seems to be Circle Square Star Ltd, based in Cardiff. Though I doubt if this is his day job.

The only woman serving as a director is Susan Jane Jones-Davies. A Plaid Cymru town councillor, former mayor, and Judith Iscariot in Monty Python’s Life of Brian. She is also involved with Menter Aberystwyth.

Now we come to Tony Kitchen, also listed as an accountant, but with no other directorships.

Within a year of moving to Wales he’s a trustee of Cymdeithas Gofal. Amazing!

Next is Mark Anthony Strong, a librarian at the National Library and the Plaid Cymru county councillor for Aberystwyth North. (Though this bio insists on calling it ‘The Party of Wales’.) Strong too is a director of CGC Trading Ltd and Menter Aberystwyth. More surprisingly, he is also a director of the cliff railway company, Constitution Hill Ltd.

One who joined the board on May 10 this year, at the same time as Judith Iscariot, was Charles Alexander Symons, who is a director of Thin Place Productions, along with a Jamie Walker. (They were also involved in a now-dissolved company called Insukit Ltd.) Thin Place Productions is in the movie business, but little seems to be moving at the moment as the company is dormant. The address given for TPP is c/o Francis Gray, where of course we encountered Robert John Gray above. Again, day job unknown.

Is it me, or is this beginning to sound rather incestuous?

Bringing up the rear, understandably, we have the other new arrival in the form of Richard Graham Wells. Now I’m all in favour of experience, but still rather surprised that Cymdeithas Gofal should recruit a 77-year-old as a new director. He seems to be retired and all I could find about him is that he’s recently had a run-in with the county council.

So while the business community of Aberystwyth seems well represented – especially accountants – there is no one among the directors who seems in any way qualified to deal with the people Cymdeithas Gofal traffics, people with alcohol and substance abuse issues, criminal behaviour, psychiatric disorders and other complex needs.

THE MAN OF THE WOODS

Now let’s turn to the man who seems to be running the show, Guy Hamilton Evans, the chief executive and the only one of the directors who does not also serve as a trustee. What does Evans bring to the party?

In a word – wood. For when left to his own devices he’s a director of Tir Coed, which might ring a bell, for I wrote about them a year ago in Grant-grabbers, How They Are Related. I urge you to read that article to understand what sort of people we are dealing with. Tir Coed is also a charity.

Tir Coed has a linked social enterprise outfit called Wisewoods Wales. The three other directors – John Wildig, Basil Keith Blacker and Robert Shaw – are also directors of Tir Coed. All belong to that milieu of grant-grabbing Greens that infest our rural areas and wonders how we managed without them telling us how to look after our country.

Then there’s Kick The Bar Brewery (formerly Guy Hamilton Ltd) where Evans’ partner is Robert Lewis Bates. A dormant company.

The other company of which Evans is a director is CGC Trading Ltd, mentioned above. If we look at the capture from Evans’ Linkedin profile we see highlighted “I have orchestrated the growth of the charity including establishing a trading subsidiary”. This of course is CGC Trading. (Cymdeithas Gofal Ceredigion?)

Though as the latest group accounts (foot of page 3) tell us, “The subsidiary reported a trading loss for the year of £24,879 (2015: £12,784).” Evans’ ‘orchestration’ seems to have hit a bum note.

But the question many of you must be asking is, ‘How and why did this man of the woods get involved with Cymdeithas Gofal, which I described in my previous post as a human trafficking organisation?’ The answer lies in the post from last year I referred you to earlier.

BIRMINGHAM TAKES BUT ELAN GIVES . . . TO CYMDEITHAS GOFAL

What I was writing about then was a scheme called ‘Elan Gives Back’, run by Natural Resources Wales and Dŵr Cymru, to “reconnect the people of Birmingham with their water source”, because of course the dam was built by the old Birmingham Corporation.

The whole premiss was insane, seeing as the land for the reservoirs had been stolen by Birmingham. It should have been Birmingham ‘giving back’ not us. But then, this is the upside down world of colonialism.

The outfit doing the ‘reconnecting’ was Tir Coed, which sent emissaries to Birmingham to meet various bodies and to find individuals worthy of enjoying “weekend retreats and bespoke activities in the Elan Valley”. I’m sure you don’t need me to tell you what sort of people Tir Coed was looking for.

It’s spelled out on Tir Coed’s Charity Commission webpage.

So through the ‘Elan Gives Back’ scheme, and regular visits to Birmingham, Tir Coed – in the dapper form of Guy Hamilton Evans – built up links that could provide a regular supply of clients for Cymdeithas Gofal. Didn’t that work out well, boys and girls?

In fact, seeing as Evans became a director of Cymdeithas Gofal back in May 2011, he was using Tir Coed and the ‘Elan Gives Back’ scheme last year to recruit criminals, drug addicts and young tearaways for Cymdeithas Gofal. I wonder how Natural Resources Wales and Dŵr Cymru feel about their project being used in that way, and what about the bodies that funded the project?

TIR COED AS SNAKE OIL

This may be a good point at which to visit the Tir Coed website.

Perhaps the first thing of note is that under Our Partners we see Cymdeithas Gofal listed. Which is odd when you think about it, and look at the other Partners.

Unintentionally revealing is the Tir Coed Theory of Change which manages the near-impossible in being both laughable and insulting. Listed among the ‘Issues’ (ishoos) leading to the ‘Consequences’ of ‘Low self-esteem’ and ‘Anger and violence’, which in turn feed into the ‘Possible Outcomes’ of ‘Criminal activity’ and ‘Substance misuse’, we find ‘Rural location’.

‘Tir Coed cures all known ills’ (click to enlarge)

As I say, this is very revealing, because people born and bred in the countryside and small rural towns are less likely to follow those courses than people born in towns and cities. However, people from large towns and cities who have been trafficked into rural areas will certainly be more likely to suffer these problems – but they will have brought the problems with them! Talk about self-justifying bollocks.

It can only be a matter of time before erectile dysfunction is added to the Tir Coed Theory of Change and sales of Viagra and Cialis plummet.

BRITISH, BRITISHER, BRITISHEST

Fundamentally, you have to ask how an organisation like Cymdeithas Gofal can carry on a business that is so obviously damaging to Wales. Perhaps the answers can be found by looking again at Evans’ co-directors. The panel below shows the directors’ details taken from the Companies House website.

click to enlarge

Of the nine, just two appear to be Welsh. Evans himself, and Judith Iscariot. Which means that of nine directors of a Welsh company, just two are in fact Welsh.

What I also find worrying is that, despite Companies House offering directors the option to give their nationality as Welsh, even Evans and Jones-Davies are described as ‘British’, as is Strong, the other Plaid Cymru councillor. Only two have ‘Wales’ as part of their address, for the rest it’s ‘Aberystwyth, United Kingdom’ and ‘Borth, Great Britain’.

So stridently British does Cymdeithas Gofal appear, despite the Plaid Cymru connections, that it could be the local branch of Ukip.

Although I said that Guy Hamilton Evans is Welsh, and he certainly attended Aberaeron Comprehensive, it’s suggested that despite the name he might not be Welsh. As for Sue Jones-Davies, she only came aboard in May this year, perhaps representing the town council, Menter Aberystwyth, or just recruited to give a little Welsh flavour to this overwhelmingly English organisation.

TAKING WORK HOME

We’ve noted the absence of relative expertise among the directors, so what of those running the show day to day, do they provide it?

According to the website, the senior management team is composed of head honcho Guy Hamilton Evans plus Richard Lucas, Jeremy Brown and Amanda Gwalchmai. Lucas and Brown are both English as, I suspect, and despite the name, is Gwalchmai.

Ms Gwalchmai’s interest in property management doesn’t end when she leaves Cymdeithas Gofal Tower in downtown Aberystwyth, for with her partner, Luke John Veasey, she runs L&A Real Estates Ltd, a letting agency. In addition, both are directors of building company LJV Construction Ltd.

So no obvious medical qualifications, social work experience, background in probation services, etc., to be found among the senior management either.

THE RENTIER CLASS

I now know enough about Cymdeithas Gofal to know that, yes, it does as it claims on its Charity Commission entry, in that it helps those threatened with homelessness. What it won’t tell us – for obvious reasons – is that most of these it helps have been brought into Ceredigion through links with English charities and agencies and are likely to be both a burden on health and social services and disruptive to Welsh communities.

We know that some of those links were established by Tir Coed through the ‘Elan Gives Back’ nonsense, which was yet another insulting waste of Welsh public funding. Tir Coed, remember, run by Cymdeithas Gofal’s chief executive Guy Hamilton Evans.

I think we have found enough connections and extra-curricular activities to warrant serious questions being asked about the real purpose of Cymdeithas Gofal. Given the interconnectedness we have found, we might start with, what is being withheld in “related party disclosures”? (See capture from the accounts, below.)

It might help evaluate this decision if Cymdeithas Gofal was more specific and quoted the section of the Financial Reporting Council guidance it’s using to justify withholding information.

Is this refusal to disclose “related party transactions with wholly owned subsidiaries” a reference to the Estates and Lettings agency run by Cymdeithas Gofal? If so, what would it have to hide?

A cynic might suggest that Cymdeithas Gofal exists in order to benefit none but the rentier class of Ceredigion. For not only does Cymdeithas Gofal ensure a steady supply of tenants for private landlords, those it brings in carry premium payments.

Because of course any private landlord will demand a lot more money to house ex-cons, drug addicts, etc., and why not, when he or she knows the money is readily available from probation companies, charities and other agencies, and of course from our very own ‘Welsh’ Government.

WALES GETS POORER BUT THE THIRD SECTOR GROWS. IS THERE A CONNECTION?

Cymdeithas Gofal is a perfect example of the Third Sector we’ve seen grow at an alarming rate since the advent of devolution. A Third Sector that soaks up a vast chunk of the Welsh budget every year, and yet, when looked at closely, seems to be largely irrelevant to the needs of the indigenes.

The time has surely come to start asking the difficult questions about Cymdeithas Gofal, such as:

  • How many of Cymdeithas Gofal’s clients were living in Wales a year before first being ‘helped’ by the Society?
  • How many directors or staff of Cymdeithas Gofal benefit – other than through salaries and other authorised payments – from the work done by the Society?
  • How many third parties providing accommodation or other services for Cymdeithas Gofal enjoy close links with directors or staff of the Society?
  • Might there not be a conflict between Cymdeithas Gofal being both a charity helping the homeless and others while simultaneously acting as a commercial lettings agency? Shouldn’t the two roles be split?
  • Seeing as Cymdeithas Gofal works with those having substance or alcohol abuse problems, people prone to disruptive – often violent – behaviour, others recently released from prison, where does the necessary expertise come from, for there seems to none among the senior management, trustees or directors?
  • Why are so few Welsh people involved with Cymdeithas Gofal?
  • Why can the ‘Welsh’ Government, local authorities and other bodies, find no better use for hundreds of millions of pounds every year than taking on problems that should be nothing to do with Wales?
  • Apart from those directly involved, and the local rentier class, who in Wales benefits from the activities of Cymdeithas Gofal, the Pembrokeshire Care Society, and their counterpart organisations across the land?

♦ end ♦

UPDATE 01.09.2017: Word on the street is that a ‘merger’ is being lined up between Cymdeithas Gofal and Tai Ceredigion. Any further information anyone might want to send me will be used in strictest confidence.

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89 Comments on "Cymdeithas Gofal – Cui Bono?"

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Brychan
Guest

The “take the anti-social and criminal elements into the woods” theory was pioneered in Germany by the Nazis, and reached its peak in the 1930s. It was a theory based on a fallacy that the ‘lumpen classes’ could be reformed by introducing them to a more traditional rural ‘way of life’ in some glorious invention of a pre-industrial teutonic idyll. It was, of course, bollocks. There have, of course, been some repeats of this theory, most notably the ‘year zero’ policy of the Khmer Rouge in Cambodia. That was also based on a theory that the urban poor was a natural product of capitalism and the solution was to re-locate them to the countryside for re-education.

There is no evidence or scientific studies, which find such as practice to be effective.

It does not surprise me that there are no professional criminologists, social workers, probation experts, or qualified medical practitioners in mental health at a senior level in Cymdeithas Gofal. This is because current thinking is that…

(a) The best location for rehabilitation of offenders in within the community which they already have roots, using existing support networks such as family, friends, and a community which can address the offending.
(b) Formal monitoring of probation, physical curfews such as tagging and signing registers are best conducted in the community where the ‘agencies’ like police, probation and social workers are familiar with the offender, offences and causes of such offending.
(c) Homelessness is not just a question of providing accommodation but also developing a sense of pride and belonging, which also works in tandem with obtaining employment within an existing support network. Isolation promotes homelessness.

There are two some notable exceptions.

(1) Such as periods of formal isolation for addicts (rehab) but essential in this is clinical intervention (substitute narcotic) and isolation the addicticted from access to their chemical of choice. This is an institution and we’ve seen that the previous initiative at this at Rhoserchan was used mainly by referrals from outside of Wales, and thus became financially unviable. The whole objective of rehab is also to return the ‘clean’ back from whence they came, which is the only measure of success.

(2) Removal of preditory sex offenders from their prey. A substitute for incarceration. This process is formalised in ‘Sexual Harm Prevention Orders’ laid down by the courts. I suppose it is possible to argue that there are fewer children in a village in Ceredigion to fall victim to re-offending than inner city Birmingham, but if this is the purpose of Cymdeithas Gofal then they should be honest about it.

I note that one of the directors of Cymdeithas Gofal is a Plaid Cymru councillor. Uniquely, Plaid Cymru is led by a former probation officer, has two of the four elected Police and Crime Commissioners and is well endowed in the Senedd with qualified medical practitioners. I recommend the party review the points I have made in this comment and formulate a policy on the matter. Is it a ‘Party of Wales’ or just a receiver of failure from England, eating up Welsh funding, and putting the native population to risk and harm? Valid question?

Back to my original point. The logic of 1930s Germany to “use the woods” is that ‘imbeciles’, undesirables and delinquents are housed in camps with the theory embossed on the entrance. It was Arbeit macht frei. All such camps were ‘in the woods”.

Sibrydionmawr
Guest

Now that I’ve just picked myself up off the floor after reading about Jac railing against the rentier class, (especially after he assured us a couple of post back that he would describe himself as conservative, a Tory even!) I feel able to post.

Having read it a light kind of went on in my head. Government policies for dealing with social well being have increasingly been farmed out to either the Third Sector, or to private businesses that are equally corrupt, and perhaps more glaringly so, and though those agencies tend to be operating in the areas not devolved to the Welsh government, they do in a very real way have a huge impact on Welsh people, and Welsh society. Here I’m thinking about the hugely expensive and hoplessly inefficient DWP Work Programme that actually saw that fewer people got into jobs than if clients were left to their own devices. The companies that run them are eually dodgy as Cymdeithas Gofal seems to be, and include such companies as G4S that have been found guilty of false accounting, and also of having botche the security arrangements at the 2012 Olympics. It doesn’t seem to stop them continually getting goverment contractd though. Of course, these policies were pioneered under Tony Blair’s New Labour governments, who were nothing other than Tory light in anything but name, pursuing a neo-liberal economic agenda. Whether the bodies that have taken over many of the services formerly operated by the state are in the private sector, or the Third Sector, they have one common link: they are more about making money that they are about social welfare.

Ostensibly, these polices were about saving money, but increasingly we are seeing that rather than saving money, it’s actually costing more and more for less and less, with outcomes that are socially injurious all round. Service users are uprooted to areas where they are distant from family and friends, and the areas they are move to are left to deal with the fall-out due to the lack of help the service users receive to address their issues. The people affected by all these policies aren’t being regarded as humans, but as commodities, or as Lord David Freud was once overheard saying in and unguarded moment, ‘stock’. Though of course the Tory regime is nowhere near as nasty as that of the Nazis in Germany during those dark days, it seems that ordinary people are now only regarded in terms of their financial value – IG Farben was billed by the Nazi state in terms of sum per head for the slave labour they were provided with.

This brings me to another thing you mentioned in your post, Tir Coed’s subsidiary company, WiseWoods Wales. From their website I note that they offer ‘training’ and that people can volunteer, but hang on a minute, isn’t it supposed to be a social enterprise? It seems to me that this company is being run as a company making outdoor furniture masquerading as a charity and using ‘trainees’ and volunteers as cheap labour. I have no problem at all with it being a social enterprise, but to then exploit workers, who won’t be getting paid in order to justify more grant money seems to me to be nothing other than a form of slavery. As with the slavery of old, there are some who are doing very nicely, thank you very much, whilst the trainees will end up with some mickey mouse NVQ that’s not worth the paper it’s printed on, which is hardly going to do anyone’s self-esteem any good. If WiseWoods Wales (horrible English name, why not something distinctly Welsh?) as a social enterprise will not be prevented from actually covering it’s costs from it’s commercial operations, and indeed, were it to do that it would possibly do as much as anything else to boost the morale of those working for it as they’d be able to see that the work they are doing has real, commercial value rather than them just being a number that is worth so many pounds in grant money to the company that takes them on. And even if it does provide bona fide decently accredited training, (which I very much doubt, as, whilst not prevented from doing that, to do so would eat deeply into the finances, decent, worthwhile training costs a lot) what are the graduates of these courses supposed to do subsequently? WiseWoods Wales almost certainly won’t provide them with employment, as I suspect that it’s not a real social enterprise set up with the ideal of creating sustainable jobs that pay a decent wage that allows individuals to thrive. Pretty much all of these Third Sector companies are just a front for the exploitation of vulnerable people, whether they be the unemployed, or in the case of this post, people who have dependencies.

I think Jac asks some very valid questions about the backgrounds and qualifications of the people running these schemes, and I’m sure there will have been some people on the staff side who will have questioned how these scams are run. Indeed, Dr Sally Baker has enlightened us greatly as to how these schemes are run, and in whose benefit, and it certainly isn’t the service users, or you and me.

What remains so striking for me is the sheer abuse of people that all these schemes represent, but they need to be seen in the context of wider, Westminster government policies, (policies of the WAG are but a regurgitation of those same policies) which has spawned this situation. It was never about saving money, (which it certainly hasn’t, in fact it’s cost hugely more) but about channelling huge amounts of public money into the coffers of the Third Sector and huge multinational corporations. I’ve never been a huge fan of charity, (as opposed to genuinely helping people as equals) and have, since the Third Sector increasingly has taken over the role of the state in social security provision. Once proud, independent organisations, which some charities managed to be, and which some remain, were changed, almost overnight, into mass exploiters of human beings, all because they receive government money for doing so under the pretence of providing ‘training’ which merely amounts to cheap labour.

Dr Sally Baker
Guest

Another excellent piece of research Jac and Sibrydionmawr, you have provided the best summary of how the current ‘model’ of ‘care’ operates that I have ever read. Thank you for your complimentary comment in my direction. Jac, you observe that there aren’t any psychiatrists, social workers, probation officers etc on the Board – there won’t be, they know what a scam it all is, they know the potential for catastrophe and they would not be prepared to sit on the Board. However they do know what is happening, they know that their patients will end up in the hands of this bunch of sharks, indeed they may even ‘refer’ them to Cymdeithas Gofal – but they won’t actually leave their paw prints behind. They are colluding with this scam – they are not blogging about it, Jac is.

By the way, their IS one Third sector organisation that does have psychiatrists, social workers and nurses on it – CAIS. The charity that is receiving millions from the Welsh Gov’t to provide substance abuse services for north Wales – CAIS have been receiving millions for years, which is obviously why there’s more and more drug use in north Wales and gang warfare with recent shootings and stabbings. But then the ‘professionals’ sitting on the Board of CAIS have all been involved with failed ‘services’ and one of the Board numbers was named in the Waterhouse Report as knowing about the north Wales paedophile ring but didn’t act.

Dr Peter Higson, the Chair of the disaster that is the Betsi Health Board, is on the Board of Cartrefi Cymru. Some homes managed by Cartrefi are good, but there has been criticism of others.

You won’t usually find the names of the scammers with the brains on the Board Jac – they know that they can be traced. But they’re in the food chain nonetheless. Of course, one way that doctors manage to involve themselves in ‘care’ scams without being detected is by the establishing of ‘shell’ companies, or by bankrolling the scams, thereby ensuring that their name is not on the books. There is one retired psychiatrist in north Wales that I KNOW is involved in numerous care homes/charities etc that have overseen patient abuse – his name is not on any of the books and doesn’t appear on the lists of Directors. But people working for those organisations have told me that he is their boss – they ring him for ‘advice’. Patients living in the appalling ‘care homes’ who were fleeced told me that he recommended that they go into ‘his’ care home. He is using sharp lawyers and accountants and I very much doubt that they are based in north Wales. These scams, as we have discussed on previous posts, are often branches of organised crime. There are crooked professionals to advise on such businesses. I suspect that the nearest such people to north Wales are to be found in Manchester.

Where you will still find the names of ‘respectable’ people is associated with the big care charities – MIND, WRVS, Age Concern etc. Don’t be fooled – all those big charities know exactly what is happening to ‘service users’ on the ground and they all remain silent.

Red Flag
Guest

He is using sharp lawyers and accountants and I very much doubt that they are based in north Wales.

Pannone in Manchester? They are pretty sharp. Probably the sharpest in the northern half of Britain.

Dr Sally Baker
Guest

Indeed – Pannone. I discovered Mr Pannone and his connections a few weeks ago – full details are on my own blog…

Red Flag
Guest

Guessed as much. They specialise in litigation and are very very good at it.

Myfanwy
Guest

Indeed, bending the law is the art of the crafty lawyer in a corruptible system. It has always been this way, in the 1960s and 70s it was Lord Goodman bending the law for the likes of Lord Boothby and Driberg. This demonstrates how corrupt the system is, that libel laws etc, have been used to cover up crime committed by establishment figures and serious organised crime, by the likes of the Krays, because of the dirt they had on the establishment people they knew!

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1304827/Sex-lies-Downing-Street-cover-left-Krays-free-kill.html

Dr Sally Baker
Guest

A really interesting link Myfanwy – I remember Lord Goodman from the Jeremy Thorpe trial, he represented Thorpe. I note that not only does the link you’ve given explain how the Krays were protected as a result of politicians’ desperation to shield each other from sex scandals, but it makes clear that the ramifications were felt throughout successive generations.

This is the very reason why even today no politician has the will to expose what went on in the North Wales Child Abuse Scandal. As far back as the 1960s children in foster care or in children’s homes in north Wales were abused, including by some high profile public life. If those kids told anyone what was happening they were declared psychotic and banged up in the North Wales Hospital Denbigh. This went on until Denbigh closed in the mid 90s. I have researched the whole network of politicians who either represented Denbigh or who stood for election there – every one of them colluded with what was going on. The town of Denbigh was composed virtually entirely of people whose livelihoods were dependent upon the North Wales Hospital – the inmates didn’t have a vote. No-one stood up for those patients – and a lot of them were people who had been abused as children and wouldn’t shut up about it.

It is possible to trace the pattern from the 1950s (and probably before) to the present day. Sir Henry John Morris-Jones was a GP and the National Liberal MP for Denbigh until 1950. He remained busy in public life after he stood down as an MP. He was mates with other doctors in the region, including I suspect the surgeon who became VC of Bangor University (then called UCNW), Sir Charles Evans. They all knew and closed ranks. To gain election in Denbigh, no matter what political hue you were, you had to keep schtum – and they all did. It went on down through the generations. The MPs following Morris-Jones weren’t doctors – but they were lawyers. So you then had the corruption extending into legal circles.

This went on until very, very recently – a series of lawyers and doctors in politics, all keeping quiet. Of course they didn’t all get elected in Denbigh – the losers subsequently stood in seats in other parts of Wales and some of them were elected there. But none of them could reveal what was going on in Denbigh or who so many of the patients were. Denbigh closed down in 1995 – the Waterhouse Inquiry into the child abuse in north Wales opened in 1996. The judge who Chaired it, Sir Ronnie Waterhouse, grew up and went to school in Flintshire. He and his family were mates with many of the lawyers and doctors who had concealed what went on at Denbigh. Are we surprised that it has been demonstrated that the Waterhouse Inquiry was a cover-up?

Many of the social workers who were accused in the Inquiry of ignoring the abuse of children trained at UCNW. Not only was the VC of UCNW a mate of the medical superintendent at Denbigh as well as of a few of the politicians involved in the cover-up, but some of the Presidents of UCNW were public figures who were mates with those involved in ignoring the abuse of children and patients. For example Judge William Mars-Jones, President of UCNW in the first part of the 1980s. Mars-Jones was from Denbighshire but really hit the big time as a lawyer and went to London. He joined the Garrick Club, one of the most elite clubs there, full of other lawyers and judges. If you’ve got a member of the Garrick on board you can get away with pretty much anything. As indeed they did.

Just for good measure, no-one was going to question Sir Charles Evans too closely about anything, let alone accuse his colleagues and graduates of concealing a paedophile ring. Not only had Charles Evans worked as a neurosurgeon in Liverpool and thus had the upper hand in the network of doctors that spanned Liverpool and north Wales, but Charles Evans was of course, along with Edmund Hilary and Sherpa Tenzing, in the team which made the first successful ascent of Everest. Evans was a national hero and he did what he wanted. The icing on the cake was that UCNW was a college of the University of Wales – the Chancellor was one Prince Charles. Would anyone ever allow a scandal that big in one of the constituent colleges?

Younger colleagues of these people and descendants of their families are still in positions of influence today. None of them have an interest in getting to the bottom of why Denbigh was such an abusive institution or why a vicious paedophile ring thrived in rural north Wales for decades. Many of the people abusing the kids in north Wales were also involved in gay brothels, drugs and child porn and had links with organised crime in London, Manchester and Brighton. An awful lot of very nasty people sheltered under the umbrella provided by some crooked doctors, lawyers and politicians in north Wales.

Myfanwy
Guest

Thank you for what you are doing to reveal such a vast and dark network of corruption, which has damaged so many peoples lives and had such a negative effect on Wales. The sheer scale and the level of complicity and corruption you discuss is staggering and it’s hard not to imagine the orchestrated purpose of it all is to maintain power and to be as destructive as possible for those in Wales.

Regarding the wider web of corruption, going back to “Mr Fix it” Lord “Two dinners” Goodman, it’s interesting to note that he apparently shared a “unique” relationship with the Scottish MP and wife of Nye Bevan, Jennie Lee.

There is a closed Government file, which can’t be opened until 2056(like many other files and “D” notices, which are withheld from the public), this file relates to the arrest of Colin Peters and Alastair Laing, who were working for the Diplomatic Service in Naples, it is alleged that not only were they abusers they may have been procuring “Scugnizzi” or street urchins for the establishment (B.Britten, Auden, Foster etc). Jennie Lee was the person who organised bail for them, after which they received diplomatic immunity, why did she step in to protect them? What tangled webs, particularly when the barrister Colin Peters went on to be a repeat offender of the very worst kind. Alistair Laing followed a long career at the National Trust and was under the tutelage of Anthony Blunt, whose name, as you probably know, comes up time and again, in this web of corruption.

http://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/details/r/C6100084

https://scepticpeg.wordpress.com/2017/03/02/operation-hedgerow-colin-peters-alistair-laing/

Dr Sally Baker
Guest

Thanks for the names and links Myfanwy – an interest in history is a useful thing isn’t it? Since you reminded me of his name I’ve looked up Lord Goodman, he who defended Jeremy Thorpe. Ingratiating obituaries appeared after he died, no-one with a bad word to say about him. I wonder why? He was massively influential, I hadn’t realised – the Peter Mandelson of his day, private meetings with the PM, giving him advice etc. I notice that even the most toadying obits had to admit to Goodman’s ‘failures’ – Biafra and Rhodesia. They were pretty bloody big failures…

What all these scandals tell us is how dangerous it is to have a system which relies on one’s silence in order to gain promotion – in any sphere. It simply means that the most spineless, unscrupulous people reach high rank. Because ‘networking’ is an essential ingredient, they all end up covering each others arses and won’t blow the whistle even in the face of the most serious criminality.

After reading your comment about the connections between the Krays and Lord Boothby the other day, I read up a bit more. The Krays were of course notorious for their ‘showbiz’ connections. They were mates with Ronnie Wood of the Rolling Stones. Who was a good mate of Mick Jagger – who was for years the partner of Jerry Hall. Who is Jerry now married to? Murdoch. Such connections matter. It is this sort of network that leads to Murdoch’s papers not publishing the names of people involved in, for example, organised sexual abuse. The only way to stop this cesspit is for more people to say ‘sorry I am not interested’ when they are offered a cushy number in return for their silence.

It is this phenomenon that allowed Jimmy Savile to die a national treasure.

Tessa
Guest

You can be pretty sure the salaries and authorised payments themselves (to the directors, and even before considering their other advantages) make this a very rewarding set-up for them.

Wynne
Guest

I think your excellent post should be forwarded to; Public Accounts Committee, Wales Audit Office, Welsh Government Auditors and Local Government Auditors. It is time for this misuse of public funds to be brought to an end. Whatever the source of public funds {European, National Government or Local Government} there is a requirement for monitoring and evaluation of programmes and projects. It is the role of auditors to ensure that these monitoring and evaluation processes are in place.

I have only today realised that WAO published a report dated January 2017 entitled “Local Authority Funding of Third Sector Services”. It is a lengthy report {80 pages}. I have not yet had an opportunity to read it and study the recommendations. I shall email a copy to you Jac. Thanks again for bringing these matters to the attention of a wider audience in Wales.

Dr Sally Baker
Guest

There could be a problem there Wynne, although you are of course pointing Jac in the right direction – because one member of the Public Accounts Committee is Neil Hamilton who lost his seat in Tatton many years ago after the Cash for Questions scandal and the Auditor General for Wales is Huw Vaughan Thomas, who was Chief Exec of Gwynedd County Council who refused to meet Alison Taylor, the former social worker from Gwynedd who blew the whistle on the paedophile ring that was operating in Gwynedd and Clwyd Social Services.

I don’t know who was responsible for funding the latest scam that Jac has exposed, but one woman who knew pretty much how these Third sector organisations work and what they turn a blind eye to was a Jane Hutt. Hutt was involved with Welsh Women’s Aid and was then a leading light in Chwarae Teg. Anybody with a nodding acquaintance with those organisations (like me for example) knows that they did not speak out about some terrible things. Jane Hutt later became Minister for Health and Social Services and then Finance Minister. Jane is the sort of person who knows better than to actually sit on the Board of the likes of Cymdeithas Gofal. But she’ll certainly know how she and her mates can ensure that they are funded.

Wynne
Guest

Thanks Sally. Yes, I am aware of Neil Hamilton’s background and the brown envelope scandal but Neil McEvoy is also on Public Accounts Committee and he is not afraid to ask the right questions.

Trailorboy
Guest

Since you mention Jane Hutt and the art of distancing from anything bad, I thought I’d quickly look up info on Michael Trickey her husband. He is a very important person I think in this whole third sector housing and planning area. A trustee or member of many highly respected things, like the Joseph Rowntree housing trust, Bevan foundation and active involvement with Wales audit office etc.

The research of JRF is very interesting and rarely, if ever considers Welsh culture or re-evaluates or considers unintended consequences of their ideas fot social interventions.

I’m not suggesting any dirt here, although an article on Wings Over Scotland about the Joseph Rowntree Reform Trust, suggests that some in Scotland are concerned about things some if their affiliates get up to

Dr Sally Baker
Guest

I notice from the Linked In profile that Jac has supplied for Michael Trickey (below) that he’s involved with the CAB – Lucille Hughes, the former Director of Gwynedd Social Services who was named in the Waterhouse Report as knowing about the paedophile ring operating in her social services but taking no action, is involved with the CAB at a senior level.

Regarding the JRF – they are absolutely notorious for only giving funding to their mates. I and a colleague applied for funding from them in response to a call for work on ethnic/cultural/linguistic minorities in disadvantaged areas some years ago. We proposed a comparative study of Welsh speaking hill villages in Gwynedd (we even had local community organisations willing to partner us) and inner-city South Asian communities in Bradford (our academic partners were from Bradford). A friend of mine – a senior academic from England – told me straight away ‘don’t bother, all JRF grants go to their mates, usually in Bradford’. It was another Bradford team who were the lucky winners, rather than the Bradford team who were partnering a north Wales team. Well it might just be sour grapes on my part – but I’ve noticed that Professor Danny Dorling lands grant after grant from the JRF and there’s an awful lot of other people in Bradford landing grants as well…

Wynne
Guest

You have raised an interesting point in your post Jac regarding the apparent lack of expertise in processing people with psychiatric and other issues. As you are aware, there is a requirement to undertake a robust risk assessment when transferring MAPPA – eligible serious offenders to a local community. It is a secretive process. Their presence in the community is not known to elected representatives of the community but is known to the Responsible Authority {Police, Probation and Prison Service} and all other authorities that have a duty to cooperate with the Responsible Authority. So we now have a situation where a Housing Authority’s duty to cooperate with the police has been delegated {through a management agreement} to a third sector society that is not accountable for its actions to the local electorate through the ballot box. The Housing Authority’s duty to cooperate with the Responsible Authority should not be delegated to a third sector society. Local Authorities have the necessary expertise to undertake these risk assessments and they are accountable to the local electorate.

I take the view that there is also a requirement to undertake an assessment to manage / mitigate risk of harm to the community when transferring others with psychiatric problems and other issues. It remains unclear who, in Gofal Care Society, is qualified to undertake these risk assessment. In my view a copy of these risk assessments should now be made available to elected representatives of the community {Councillors, Member of Parliament and Assembly Member}. It is ludicrous that these people are housed in secret locations by a third sector society without the knowledge of community leaders.

gaynor
Guest

cannot find your email – here’s another lot coming our way – or already here
https://kindavillage.org/1st-kindavillage/

Sibrydionmawr
Guest

Ych a fi! This is blatant colonisation, even worse, if that were possible, than CAT. I note that there is a place to make comments on the attached blog:

https://kindavillage.org/founders-note/

I suggest we all leave ‘polite’ but challenging comments asking what their policies are towards the Welsh language, given that they are a major threat to the language by their very presence, unless they have an enlightened policy that stipulates that members of the colony will not only learn Welsh, but adopt it as the colony’s working language – that should upset them lots!

But really, this kind of thing needs to be opposed robustly, and should be subject to change of use planning consent where linguistic considerations play a significant part.

Dr Sally Baker
Guest

Gaynor and Sibrydionmawr – I think you’re conflating two syndromes here, no matter how you feel about the sort of folk who will be settling into ‘kindavillage’, they certainly won’t be people being rehoused in Wales with long term mental health problems/past convictions at the hands of the trafficking sharks funded by the Welsh Gov’t under the umbrella of ‘care’.

Jac mentioned the privatised probation service – yes and that particular initiative is encouraging the most inappropriate people to set up in business providing ‘services’. I know of two such chancers in north Wales planning such a business – one is a ‘peer support worker’ for the charity CAIS who deals drugs to those whom she is ‘supporting’ and her partner in crime (literally) is a former addict who then trained as a probation officer and worked for the North Wales Probation Service. Whether he still indulges in recreational chemicals I do not know, but I do know that he has so much knowledge of serious criminal activities that he ought to make his way down to the nearest cop shop and provide a statement.

gaynor
Guest

I have sent them an email asking them what exactly is it they do to save the world? As there is no reference anywhere to any concrete projects just a lot of the use of the words, kind, holistic and ethical . I also asked them whether the kind village will be a Welsh language one, will they be using & promoting the language and host culture and what kind of people they will be attracting, ie casualties from England or the local community. TBH I have never read so much bullshit on a website . Dr Baker I have not got a clue what your are on about , and i don’t think that particular bee in the bonnet is relevant to this. Watch this space to see what Kindapeople will be involved in this snakeoil set up

Wynne
Guest

The interesting question Gaynor is what grant funding is to be provided for their “social projects” and the source of that funding {WEFO, National government, local government etc.} These projects will end when the source of grant funding is cut off. I think they come under the category of “eco grant-grabbers”.

mawkernewek
Guest

The same organisation has also acquired a hotel in Paignton, Devon.

mawkernewek
Guest

There is here also another one of the web of linked businesses: The Missing Sockthemissingsock.co.uk near Cambridge, which traded as a restaurant for a time, though now just for events.

Brychan
Guest

The ‘Old Sock’ defunct restaurant (now only doing ‘events’) was created in 2009. Link to planning details below. This was a substantial ‘country pub’ renovation formally known as the Prince Albert. The property would be worth millions. A land registry check will find if any recent charges upon or sale of the property to see if it has financed the setting up of the Kinda Kolony.
http://plan.scambs.gov.uk/swiftlg/apas/run/WPHAPPDETAIL.DisplayUrl?theApnID=S/1300/09/F&theTabNo=3
It is located inside a ‘greenbelt’ area just outside Cambridge, an area of cosmic property prices, yet limited by enhanced planning rules. The purchase of the ‘holiday cottages’ at Glanrhyd Y Pysgod would usually attract enhanced stamp duty at 5% of freehold value of each residence, unless one of the properties is occupied by the owner as the main home, or occupied as an agricultural holding.

Dr Sally Baker
Guest

My comment was a direct response to a comment in Jac’s response (above) when MAPPA and the probation service was being discussed – sorry, it might count as another ‘thread’ and I’ve confused matters. I’ll be interested to see what you do find out about ‘kinda village’, I doubt that there’ll be ‘casualties’, probably fairly benign but not very together people – but you’re right that it’s highly likely that they won’t be aware of Welsh language matters. As Wynne (below) notes, it is probable that their ventures will come to an end when grant funding is cut off, because it won’t be a sustainable business.

Trailorboy
Guest

Very nice to see West Mercia Police using some Cymraeg on their website here Shows that anyone can do it when there’s a will

https://www.westmercia.police.uk/article/5625/Welsh-Womens-Aid

I was trying to find a little more about Welsh womens aid and this popped up number four hit on google.

Sibrydionmawr
Guest

I was aware that these are two separate, (but linked, when the purpose of KindaVillage is considered) but was responding to Gaynor, as I’d had a look at the website, and was immediately horrified at the prospect of what is basically an updated, 21st century version of a commune.

Most of the communes that started in Wales in the mid 60s to early 70s fizzled out for a whole host of reasons, and the only successful one that I know of succeeded, (relatively speaking) largely because it became genuinely integrated into the local Welsh economy, providing genuine services useful and complimentary to the locality. It seems to me that the earlier wave of ‘hippies’ (and only those from the period of the mid 60s to early 70s can really be considered as such) did come to Wales with a genuine intention to settle down and become part of the landscape, doing their own thing. The ones that stayed, tended to integrate well, became fluent Welsh speakers, and had little, or no negative impact as they were in general moving to an area that had been suffering from serious depopulation – the population of Ceredigion in 1970 was a lot less than it was in 1870. So no local people were being denied housing, and indeed, property prices were really depressed in most of rural Wales until the mid 80s.

I also think the migrants into Wales between the mid 60s and early 70s were of a very different mind set to subsequent migration waves. Being fewer in number also helped in that rural Welsh communities were better able to absorb these new arrivals, and they became much better integrated as a result.

What worries me abut the KindaVillage set up is that they are just lifestylers, of which we have far too many in Wales. Added to the fact that they seem to be on some kind of a mission, that looks suspiciously like they’ll be attempting to land grant funding streams from the Welsh government. There is nothing ostensibly bad in anything they seem to be supportive of, but their presence in Wales will be injurious simply because they are yet another well meaning English organisation located in Wales, furthering colonisation. About the only way they could counter that would be by being completely radical and imposing an English Not on the whole venture, and quite simply, that’s not going to happen.

Brychan
Guest

“no matter how you feel about the sort of folk who will be settling into ‘kindavillage’, they certainly won’t be people being rehoused in Wales with long term mental health problems/past convictions at the hands of the trafficking sharks funded by the Welsh Gov’t under the umbrella of ‘care” – Sally Baker.

I’m not sure I agree with you. The Kinda Kolony is only a viable concern as long as they continue to be exempt from VAT, business rates and corporation tax. In order to do this they will fish for ‘social purpose’. This may include actual fishing on the Teifi. I have no doubt that one of their ‘incubator’ businesses will include a CIC providing rehabilitation services to the probation sector. A bit of shed building, fish breeding, countryside workshops and bonding sessions in the rain. Obviously, these shysters are too posh to allow these vagabonds any overnight accommodation. The barn conversion will be reserved for school groups, but I’m sure they’ll milk the probation sector for a wedge, and maintain their ‘social purpose’ getting the relevant tick in the box. Maybe a zip-wire for people with ADHD with lentils for lunch.

Dr Sally Baker
Guest

Yes that’s a good point actually, they could well be thinking rather more creatively that I assumed.

Brychan
Guest

Kinda Kolony is run by a very ‘innovative’ man, Mr Callacher. He previously ran Glazing Innovations Limited, which was wound up in the high court with a deficiency of £629,073.64 of which £230,860.11 was owed as trade creditors. Presumably these were local tradesmen in Norfolk. Not a very kind thing to do. He also runs a caravan club site and ‘events’ venue at Stow-cum-Quy near Cambridge. His catering off-shoot is called the ‘Old Sock’ which may refer to his customers, his investor mugs, or the quality of the food.

Brychan
Guest

There is a charity called ‘The Missing Kind’ (which Mr Callacher is trustee and the main contact point) and they are a supporter of ‘Emerging Proud’ a spiritualist sect which preys on affluent middle classes who have had mental breakdowns. They make the quackery claim that they can ‘heal their spirit’ for a financial contribution. More details here..
https://emergingproud.com/supporters-of-emerging-proud/
http://missingkind.org/
It’s obviously a ‘healing scam’. This is how the snake oil operation works. I presume they intend to cream off some mental health or social care budget for their Kinda Kolony, a sort of ‘mental healing farm in West Wales’. Take a look. Your professional opinion would be valuable. Beware of bearded quacks.

Dafis
Guest

Shame really that the Cardi or North Sir Gar equivalent of marauding bands of Apaches or Comanches don’t exist. Burn down the buildings, maybe even lift a few scalps and show these colonists that life on the frontier is not a little dawdle down by the river. In my dreams !.

Myfanwy
Guest

Sent this message to them, but I’m sure they will be in complete denial mode:

“To Mr Hugh Callacher

I am sure you have been made aware of the contentiousness of your project in Wales. There is no mention of a commitment to the Welsh language or culture in your “Kinda village” project, for instance, will your school be a Welsh Medium one?

I can see no evidence of how you intend to integrate your “Kinda village” into the local Welsh Community. In fact, your project sounds an isolationist one.

You say that your project is about “kindness”, but it actually comes across as arrogant and insensitive, as you haven’t understood the problems faced by the migration of English speakers to rural Wales and the cultural sensitivities this causes.

Given your lack of interest in Welsh Culture, this makes me suspicious of your real intentions around your building project. As a business Man, is your real intention speculation in disguise?”

Myfanwy
Guest

This is the prompt and a tad uppity reply I received from My Callacher and it’s clear he has taken nothing of what I wrote to him on board, “kindness is the language” apparently and “it has no boundary or historical attachment”, so colonialism is definitely the goal then. If anyone would like to enlighten him further, he is apparently happy for you to just “Ask”.

“Good day to you

Shame you never gave me your number or called me first, imy number is transparent as are my actions. I am totally unaware of any contentious feelings towards this project so thank you for that enlightenment.

If you wish to discuss the project with me and understand its intent please call me, you may even have a contribution in the creation of this challenging project, still on the drawing board!

I may be driving but anytime today is fine, the sooner the better will ease your tension and ill feeling

Just in case you wish not to call, please refrain from making such accusations of financial speculation……

Please reflect on Kindness being the language, it has no boundary or historical attachment. I am no expert in kindness or language I am just trying to make the best social impact i can with my life… a better life for those less fortunate, WITHOUT boundary. As sad and as suspicious it may seem, tMK is my life! I have no children, no wife, and very few attachments.

The community is one of our values, both locally and globally! We respect and develop community, not as a means to create cultural barriers but one for integration, sharing and support.

Clear your mind my friend, please call me 07889182924, ASK the questions and you will have no need to speculate further?

wishing you enough,

Hugh “

Myfanwy
Guest

It’s never ending isn’t it Gaynor, I did a company check on the Director, Hugh Callacher a veritable Capitalist with plenty of companies, that on the surface don’t seem to fit the ‘eco criteria at all, glazing etc, then at the bottom of a long list, “The Missing Kind”. So is this just about being a capitalist “Hippy” to access the funding and the move to rural Wales, knowing that’s how to wangle the One Planet “Kinda” stuff the “Welsh”Government has set in motion?
https://companycheck.co.uk/director/904095796/HUGH–CALLACHER/companies

I agree with you, the website sounds completely vague, constant use of the same “kindness Warrior” phrases, probably to keep those who are funding it happy, but without addressing anything about their presence within a Welsh community. The truth is, it will be a hippy commune bubble, with the usual middle class, probably privately educated, indulged people, from places like Totnes or Brighton etc, who considering they are living on an isolated farm, are probably unlikely to be integrating with the local community, the sheer arrogance of it all! The difference this time is, that Welsh people will probably be funding their lifestyle.

When Wales is one of the poorest countries in Europe and when this funding could be far better used within Welsh communities, it is a complete outrage the “Welsh” Government is throwing money at capitalist ventures, whose intention is to colonise Wales. This next wave of English speakers, as others before them, may argue about their good intentions, but most, as we have seen before, will not end up fitting in to Welsh Communities.

mawkernewek
Guest

If one puts a few placeholder entries to their application form to get you through the first page or two, there is a question on Welsh.
9. How would you describe your level of Welsh language?
Great, I am fluent in Welsh
Good, I can confidently speak a bit of Welsh
OK, but I need more practice
I don’t speak any Welsh at all, but I’d like to learn
I don’t speak any Welsh at all

Other than that, the only other thing to be noted from their form was that the first people who set up the Kindavillage will be Pioneers, and then after them will come Settlers. Have they considered the problematic colonial history involved in that kind of language?
This whole enterprise seems like some Kinda™ franchise. I am wondering why Wales, since the core of their existing activities are located in Norfolk. Could simply be financial, that to buy something that size in the East of England is too expensive.

Sibrydionmawr
Guest

It probably does have something to do with affordability, but the cynic in me is also asking questions about funding, given the kind of business field they seem to be in – just another set of third sector leeches.

If it was just about affordability, they could no doubt find something far more affordable than Ceredigion in England’s north east – but I doubt that the grant funding regime is as easy to tap in that area, or maybe the criteria is more robust and adequately policed there?

I’m wondering about the question about the Welsh language on their application form, and it sound about pat for an idealistic organisation of this type – all good intentions, but make no mistake, it will be English all the way, with Welsh accorded a token status, and the sole Welsh speaker trotted out in evidence that they do really take the Welsh language seriously.

However, I’d be quite suspicious of any Welsh speaker who applied, as they’d either be complete sell-outs, or worse, one of those appeasers that Wales is prepared to compromise their own language, to subsume it to more important issues, such as a bogus internationalism, environmentalism etc. None of those is a bad thing, but there is no need whatsover to compromise one’s feelings about the Welsh language and everything else, they are not different issues, but part of the same thing, and in Wales should ideally be addressed through Welsh.

Really, these Saeson dwad organisations are full of it, and though my words may seem harsh, it’s because developments such as this are so damaging to the fragile Welsh language ecosystem – which these organisations seem to be blissfully unaware of.

I left a message on the comments section – I doubt they’ll approve it in the moderation, but here it is for everyone to see:

“Unwaith eto mae Cymru’n wynebu ei choloneiddio gan rhai sydd eisiau chwarae eu gemau twp.
Ydych chi wir wedi ystiried beth fydd effaith o fath coloni ar iaith a ddiwyliant unigryw Cymru? Mi fasai goloni arall o Saeson rhonc yn hoelen arall mewn arch ein haith a’n dwyliiant. Nid oes angen arnom torf arall o goloneiddwyr i’n dysgu ni sut i fyw bywyd, rydym yn gwybod hyn yn ddigon da, diolch yn fawr iawn.
Ni fasech yn gynnig unrhyw beth o werth i ni, ac rydym eich hangen fel yr ydym angen twll mewn pen.
‘Swn i’n amgrymu i chi ystyried sefydlu eich coloni newydd rhywle fel Sbaen neu Ffrainc, lle bydd rhaid i chi parchu’r iaith a ddiwylliant lleol.
Peidiwch ddod i Gymru – does arnom ddim eich eisiau.”

I expect I might have some trouble over that, as I don’t think we’re allowed to express bold opinions about English white settlers coming to Wales. I guess I’ll find out in due course!

Dr Sally Baker
Guest

A lot of spot-on observations here – I lived near Bethesda for many years and the hippies that arrived up there in the late 60s/early 70s did tend to stay, their children went to local schools and a lot of those kids who have now grown up speak Welsh and pretty much identify as such (although I do understand that many correspondents here wouldn’t categorise them as Welsh).

Myfanwy has a point with grant funding going to people who are actually already very affluent, in order to pursue some rather middle class hobbies/lifestyles – I too have noticed how ‘grant funding’ is footing the bill for some quite wealthy people to have a good time whilst other parts of Wales are on their knees. The problem is Myfanwy that these folk don’t realise how privileged they are – they have no understanding of what it is like not to have family money, so they don’t understand how angry they make people like you.

I did see that with some of the hippies in Bethesda – yes they did settle down in the area and their children ‘became Welsh’, but they were cushioned in the way that other people in Bethesda weren’t. I remember one man – who had inherited several large chunks of money throughout his twenties and thirties which sustained his lifestyle – saying to me ‘why do Welsh people work in quarries and factories when they could be free like us?’ Er – because they haven’t all inherited 30 grand when they hit 21 (30 grand in 1970s money as well…)

I noticed the same sort of lack of awareness among English business people who moved into the region. One of the young women in my Welsh class years ago was buying a derelict bakery in Bala for about 200k – she was marvelling that no ‘Welsh people’ had snapped up this bargain and had plans to make organic bread and ‘sell it to local farmers’. Yes, well the best of luck with that, I expect the local farmers already had a supply of bread. And Beddgelert seemed to be full of people who had sold their houses in England for a fortune and purchased a B&B well beyond the reach of local people.

I know that there’s the matter of the language in Wales which adds a whole different dimension to the dynamics of a community when a lot of new people migrate in, but the people setting up in Kinda village will probably not know what it is to HAVE to work for a living and not have mum and dads dosh to fall back on if it all goes pear shaped. That is one of the main reasons why they won’t understand their neighbours…

Sibrydionmawr
Guest

A lot in what you say there Dr Sally. Reading your response put me in mind of an essay I read many years ago, (mid 80s) ‘Blaenau Boys in the Mid-1960s’ Isobel Emmet in

    ‘Williams, G, “Social and Cultural Change in Contemporary Wales” RKP London 1978’

It’s an interesting, if a little dated now, essay that deals with just this kind of cultural difference.

Dr Sally Baker
Guest

Isobel Emmet’s work is fantastic – she was a social anthropologist from Manchester who married a man from Llanfrothen, so she really knew the area. Her work is excellent – especially her classic ‘A North Welsh Village’ (a study of Llanfrothen in the early 60s). The world has changed since Isobel published, but there are so many answers in there regarding questions people ask about Wales today. One man in Llanfrothen told me that the one thing that he didn’t like about Isobel’s book (all the locals read it) was that she talked about them as though they were ‘natives’ – that’s because she was a social anthropologist who trained in the med-twentieth century, it doesn’t reflect a bad attitude to the people that she was writing about.

The best sociologist of Wales since Isobel is Graham Day. Graham and his colleague Howard Davis published work on the attitudes of incomers in Gwynedd to the Welsh language and the neighbours. Howard is currently leading the Bangor branch of ‘WISERD’, a research collaboration with other Welsh universities – Howard and his colleagues have been carrying out community studies across north and mid Wales over the last three years or so.

There is good work going on in these fields – but because it doesn’t tell the dipsticks in the Welsh Gov’t what they want to hear it is ignored. Then they wonder why their policies don’t work…

Dr Sally Baker
Guest

Sorry, got the title of Emmet’s book incorrect – it’s A North Wales Village. That’s what comes of commenting on Jac’s blog as soon as I get up…

mawkernewek
Guest

To be honest though, I haven’t found any evidence that this web of businesses / charity is funded by grants from taxpayers money, rather than their own resources and business activities. Perhaps the founder made his money in business and the next generation of the family is in the process of burning through that money in these ventures.
The property in Wales in question, Glanrhyd Y Pysgod appears to have been sold for approximately 1 million pounds, so this organisation obviously has some money behind it. It was used by its previous owners for a holiday cottage business mainly focusing on anglers.

Sibrydionmawr
Guest

No, but it would seem likely that grant funding would be the kind of thing that would be applied for, if it were available, for the kind of activities this charity says it’s involved with.

It seems that the founder is quite affluent, having a net worth of some £7.9 million according to the results of a web search I did.

Wynne
Guest

They probably access funding for “social projects” through Social Investment Cymru administered by Wales Council for Voluntary Action {WCVA} on behalf of WEFO. This link should give you an indication of the various funding schemes on offer.

https://www.wcva.org.uk/funding/social-investment-cymru

Andy
Guest

Never mind the grants, part of the kindavillage plan is to use bogus recruitment to press-gang the indigenous population into ‘building’ the village. The jobs were advertised on Gumtree as permanent roles:

https://www.google.co.uk/url?sa=t&source=web&rct=j&url=https://www.gumtree.com/p/other-voluntary-charity-jobs/kindavillage-volunteers-and-pioneers-wanted/1248910806&ved=0ahUKEwi7oPHzjozWAhUlAcAKHRWvD1EQFggjMAA&usg=AFQjCNEMJfzLsnuKfwiDsVaLVywQ3co0uQ

daffy2012
Guest

“Permaculture
Social Enterprise business hub
Organic food source
Democratic school
A dignified interactive care-home
Co-housing initiative for low income care workers
An animal rescue and therapy centre
A farm shop and cafe
and whatever transpires from the passions of others”

I don’t think I’ve every read such b*****cks.

“We already have the land and in the process of securing funding to complete by September 2017 ”

Where is this funding coming from? That is the question.

Myfanwy
Guest

If they are creating a “village”, how large is this village going to be and what planning have they been given? The “eco” criteria with the “One Planet” land grab movement, has meant the planning laws will be a lot more lax now and as can be expected, there will be far more room to exploit this new situation, particularly from those who are used to such manoeuvrings.

Recruiting volunteers to “build” this village and work there, sounds exploitative, this is a new concept and there are many unknowns, it is not an established, volunteering community like the “Camphill Communities”, where people know what they are volunteering for. Ultimately the owner has nothing to loose and much to gain from using, what could be, slave labour, if the whole thing falls through.

It is very doubtful that the school will be Welsh Medium one, the Steiner school in Wales is not a Welsh Medium one, the setting up of independent schools in Wales, encourages colonialisation and completely undermines the Welsh language. The message should be, if you move to Wales, you should respect the language and culture of the Country you have moved to and you should try and fit in, not create an ex-pat anglicised social bubble from where you came from. The issue of Home schooling is very worrying, the very tragic case of Dylan Seabridge, should be reason enough not to support any Home schools, however worthy some home schools may be.

http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-wales-south-west-wales-35380182

Dr Sally Baker
Guest

The Dylan Seabridge case was awful, but that case was a lot more complex than Dylan being rendered invisible after being home-schooled. Dylan died in full public view, the welfare services were involved with his family – I think his mum had mental health problems and his father was known to order the whole family about. Dylan had scurvy – that is not a condition which can be concealed. Every time anyone saw him, it would have been obvious. No matter how domineering his father was, his father couldn’t have concealed what was happening – Dylan and his mum were left at the mercy of an irrational man and no-one offered to help.

I note that the NSPCC felt able to comment after Dylan’s death. This is the NSPCC who ignored phone calls from concerned people about a little girl in London some years ago who was later killed by members of her family. The NSPCC who were in partnership with Esther Rantzen and Childline who ignored calls from children who said that they were being abused in the care of the local authorities.

Dylan’s family were known in the locality – they did not live in an isolated place. But they were weird, so no-one bothered to enquire what was happening to Dylan or his mum. After Dylan died everyone absolved themselves of responsibility by blaming home schooling.

Myfanwy
Guest

If Dylan had been going to school, he would have had regular contact with teaching staff, who could have been monitoring him on a far more regular basis, he would also have been eligible for school dinners etc. The problem is, there will always be situations like the Dylan Seabridge case because the whole Social system is flawed, is it OK to keep risking the lives of other children to offer alternative schooling to others? Home schooling is not advocated in some European Countries as the variables again mean that social skills of some children will suffer.

Sibrydionmawr
Guest

I think you’ve answered your own question there Myfanwy. If there are going to be other children suffering like Dylan Seabridge because of the flawed social system, then whether or not children are in mainstream schools or not isn’t going to make a h’porth of difference.

Reading about that sad case leads me to think there was not just a systemic failure, but also a failure, as Dr Sally points out, of people in the community to whom Dylan was in plain sight, but yet did nothing to flag up his dire predicament. Whether or not he attended the local school is in this case, irrelevant.

If home schooling isn’t advocated in some European states it won’t really be down to concerns about a child’s welfare. It’s likely that home schooling is frowned upon because there is a grave danger that kids will grow up able to think for themselves. In the history of education for the ‘masses’ you will find this a common theme, fear on the part of the authorities about education that they are not delivering. If you read the Blue Books that pertain to our own education system, it wasn’t the lack of an education system that was the issue, but that much of the education available was in Welsh, and given the historical context, 1847 was pretty soon after the triple shocks of Merthyr 1831, Newport 1839 and of course, Rebecca between 1839 and 1843. They may have failed, but they certainly scared the shit out of the authorities, who reasoned that schoolteachers teaching propaganda were both cheaper and more effective than an army in controlling an unruly and restless people.

In many ways, education can be compared to freedom, indeed, there can be no real freedom without education. And like freedom, there can be no education without eternal vigilance.

Dr Sally Baker
Guest

The reality is though that many teachers don’t monitor children in the way that everyone presumes that they should – I think it was Daniel Pelka who was going to school as he was starved and beaten over a period of several months. In the Review after his death no one from the school was able to explain why they did and said nothing as he came in day after day with bruises and getting thinner and thinner – he weighed about 3 stone when he finally died. He was going to school until the very end.

In 2000 I discovered that a 12 yr old boy living in a village near Caernarfon was being beaten by his step father. The cruelty that this little boy was being subjected to was suspected among villagers, but I was the one who was actually told because he was friends with my landlady’s grandson. One night they both turned up at my place – they had ‘run away from home’. On questioning them I found out that they were running away because they were unhappy at school – but also because the boy who was being beaten by his stepfather was too frightened to go home. I heard it from the horses mouth – the boy himself told me what was happening to him and my landlady’s grandson confirmed it, he had witnessed some of the violence.

I was a teacher myself at the time – in another school – and I knew the system. I also knew that the boy being beaten was an SEN pupil. My landlady let him stay at hers the night as a sleepover and the next morning I rang the school. It transpired that the school’s SENCO (teacher with responsibility for special needs) was also this boys form teacher. I thought that I was home and dry – I told her what was happening to this boy. She did not want to know. She sounded as though she was an older woman in her 60s and I wondered if she just wasn’t aware of child protection guidelines, so I impressed upon her what was going on and how worried I was. She told me that she would ‘speak to him’.

I rang again the next day. The teacher to whom I spoke told me that she had asked the boy if his step-father was cruel to him. She asked him this IN FRONT OF THE CLASS. He said no. That was good enough for her. She smugly told me that not only was her pupil definitely not being assaulted, but she then accused my landlady’s grandson of lying and asked if I knew that he was a thief. So I investigated that accusation. He wasn’t a thief. A friend of his had broken his watch and given it to my landlady’s grandson – who had then stored it in his locker. But who cares about the truth – a neglectful callous teacher was able to dismiss one child as a fantasist and another child who was a witness as a thief. Therefore nobody needed to investigate and make work for themselves.

The sadness here is that 12 yr old remained in the family where he was being mistreated. When he was in his late teens he fathered some children himself. They were removed from his care when it was discovered that he was hitting them. If only someone had helped him eight years previously.

I knew of another case, in Gwynedd, in a Welsh speaking village school, where a girl of six or so was sexually assaulted by a FEMALE teaching assistant. The little girl told her mum and her mum reported the matter. The school denied it and the girls parents were subsequently investigated by the social services themselves. The former local MP’s grandchildren attended the same school. All that mattered was preserving the reputation of the school. The girl’s mum remarked to me ‘we don’t stand a chance’. No, they didn’t. The mum became clinically depressed as a result of it all and this just provided further evidence that there was no problem at the school, the problem was with the mum.

The children involved in these anecdotes were children living in rural villages near Caernarfon between 2000 and 2005. People in those villages were not callous, they were concerned too – but they presumed that ‘the school was dealing with it’. Neither school was dealing with it.

Andy
Guest

Based on this extract from the ic.org website, the Kindavillage Wales are planning on a high ratio of women to men; getting planning permission for building more homes and I haven’t got a clue what WWOOF’ing is but didn’t the Rt Hon Ron Davies get found out doing something similar!

Type(s): Commune (organized around sharing almost everything), Ecovillage (organized around ecology and sustainability), Cohousing (individual homes within group owned property), Transition Town or Eco-Neighborhood (focused on energy/resource resiliency)
Programs & Activities: Transition Town (post-petroleum and off-grid communities), School, Educational Institute or Experience, Volunteer, Internship, or Apprenticeship, Neighborhood, Community Housing, or Homeowner’s Association, Ethical Business, Investment Group, or Alternative Currency, Organization, Resource, or Network, WWOOF’ing, Guest Farming, Festivals, Conferences, Events
Location: Rural
Housing
Status: We have land in the permitting or zoning stage
Area: 80 acres
Current Residence Types: Single-family homes, Tiny house, Lots to build on
Current Number of Residences: 4
Planned Residence Types: Single-family homes, Tiny house, Natural built structues, Lots to build on
Additional Comments:
Co-housing

Adult Members: 5
Percent Women: 71-80%
Percent Men: 21-30%
Percent Transgender: 0%

Visitors accepted: No
Open to new Members: Yes

mawkernewek
Guest

WWOOF’ing is according to Wikipedia:

WWOOF originally stood for “Working Weekends On Organic Farms” and began in England in 1971.[7] Sue Coppard, a woman working as a secretary in London, wanted to provide urban dwellers with access to the countryside, while supporting the organic movement. Her idea started with trial working weekends for four people at the biodynamic farm at Emerson College[8] in Sussex.

People soon started volunteering for longer periods than just weekends, so the name was changed to Willing Workers On Organic Farms, but then the word “work” caused problems with some countries’ labour laws and immigration authorities, who tended to confuse WWOOFers with migrant workers and oppose foreigners competing for local jobs.[7] Both to eliminate that problem and also in recognition of WWOOFing’s worldwide scope, the name was changed again in 2000 to World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms. Some WWOOF groups (such as Australia) choose to retain the older name, however.

So what will happen I suppose is the Kindavillage™ will soon have the former holiday lets joined by a collection of caravans, since the owner will no doubt assume there is no reason you can’t have as many caravans as you like at your eco-village, no need to worry about things like planning, or who will empty the compost toilets before they overflow spreading effluent into the river.

As far as education is concerned, I suppose they could probably avoid the requirements involved in setting up a school by officially calling it a group of parents who are home-educating.

Trailorboy
Guest

I knew there had to be a good reason for allowing GM crops to be grown in Wales. That would kill the organic farming hippy industry stone dead in an instant and we could sell cheap produce to the rest of the world like the US who don’t have worries about that sort of nonsense.

I myself, like most scientists have no concerns on the food safety front, but I have some concerns regarding reliance on the sources of seeds etc.

Lets embrace GM

Sibrydionmawr
Guest

There is nothing wrong in principle with organic farming. My grandfather farmed organically when it was merely regarded as a sensible way to farm. There may be many ‘hippies’ producing what is essentially organic food, but I doubt they are major economic players. There is much organic food produced in Wales on a commercial scale, but the supermarkets sell this produce at a premium Many of the chemicals used to control pests are extremely toxic, and whilst I doubt that the residual amounts pose any dangers to adults, it may be a somewhat different case when it comes to children, who are particularly vulnerable..

GM offers significant benefits, but at the current time it is not subject to sufficient democratic control, and seems to be being used as a weapon by huge multinationals to monopolise the supply of seed.

The US is able to sell cheap produce to the world, not because of GM but because the American farmer is hugely subsidised by their government and by the workforce, which contains large numbers of severely exploited migrant workers who are often undocumented and vulnerable to deportation. 0

European, or Welsh produced food could be sold much more cheaply were supermarkets prepared to ditch their ridiculous ideas about shape and perfection. An apple with a bit of a blemish, or a slightly weirdly shaped carrot isn’t going to harm anyone, but throwing away, or ploughing back into the land of so much otherwise perfectly edible food is a scandalous waste.

Brychan
Guest

Trailorboy – The land at Glanrhyd Y Pysgod would already have organic status being a trout and salmon fishery. There are restrictions in place to cover seepage into the Teifi. It would be, and continue to qualify for, Tir Gofal agricultural funding. The natural ‘crop’ of the holding would have been organic livestock, and it’s location affords pasture growth for 10 months of the year. Ideally, the holding could have been a very profitable free-range veil husbandry operation, but unfortunately, the Welsh Government are run by urban aspiring vegetarians who want to plough up cattle county to grow kale and quinoa with vast subsidies. They are diverting funds from the urban and rural poor to donate to the wealthy incomer lifestyle gurus.

Sibrydionmawr
Guest

I think a lot of the concerns you highlight will be addressed, simply because concerned people like us are highlighting them. However, there is a danger that this colony will become ‘old news’ and pass out of scrutiny.

Brychan
Guest

It is no accident that the man behind the Kinda Kolony is from Cambridgeshire.

He previously ran an ‘organic food restaurant’ which got cheap labour to cultivate and harvest market garden crops from nearby small holdings on the fens. When the ready supply of Eastern European slaves dried up, the restaurant was downgraded to an ‘events’ operation, able to ship in the required amounts of lentils and lettuce for the occasional buffet, but not operate a full blown restaurant.

WWOOF UK actively tries to deceive the UK Border Agency to get the required manpower from third world countries by represnting people on ‘visitors’ visa to be wholly volunteers. See here…

https://www.wwoof.org.uk/visas_and_immigration

Unlike genuine charitable organisations that actively utilise the Tier 5 (Charity Workers) visa, WWOOF UK does not. This is because a refundable bond (certificate of sponsorship) is required and there are safeguards against slavery.

People who enter the UK as ‘visitors’ and then find themselves dependent on ‘volunteering’ to provide them with accommodation and food find themselves in a form of economic imprisonment. They sometimes fall into traps of sexual exploitation, slavery, and due to their ‘falsifications’ fearful of seeking help from legitimate agencies.

I would be very interested to see if the County Council (Plaid Cymru) or the Welsh Government (Labour Party) is actively supporting this venture. Kinda Kolony are actively advertising ‘international opportunities’ on their social media abroad.

Dr Sally Baker
Guest

Interesting to see WWOOF discussed on here. I cam across them years ago in the 70s when I was still a teenager and WWOOF was a hippy outfit. I grew up in a farming community and my father could barely believe that people were going to WWOOF and labouring on farms free of charge – in Somerset you got paid for that (although not very much). I came across WWOOF again last year and noticed that it had expanded and was now ‘international’. I had a look at a few of the adverts for UK ‘opportunities’ – what a bum deal they were. It was exactly what my father had noticed in the 70s – free labour. The ‘farms’ were described in terms of the hens, the goats, the dogs – but the work was bog standard labouring, digging the ditch, digging the pond, picking the spuds. The ‘accommodation’ was often a ‘shared caravan’. Some of the adverts stated that they wanted ‘fit young people with experience’ and one advert asked for ‘a pair of volunteers’.

So if you want to be grossly exploited, pop along to WWOOF. It didn’t occur to me that now its gone global it would be a people trafficking opportunity, but of course it will be.

Wynne
Guest

If those behind Kinda Kolony are tuned in to this blog I’m sure they are getting a clear message that their activities will be very carefully scrutinised, particularly how their “social projects” are funded {and whether any funding is to be provided by Welsh Government} and the various “environmental permits” that will be required from regulators. They may end up having to complete more application forms than they currently anticipate. Perhaps they are already having second thoughts about setting up camp West of Offa’s Dyke.

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