Coleg Soros And Associates

This wasn’t planned, but it’s too big and complicated for a tweet, and so I’m putting it out as a quickie. As the title suggests, it concerns Coleg Soros in Talgarth, otherwise known as Black Mountains College.

For those new to this blog, or regulars with short memories, I have written a few times about Coleg Soros, so just type the name in the search box to the right. This piece from June 2019 will explain why I’ve renamed Black Mountains College after that evil old bastard (scroll down).

COLEG SOROS GROWS!

Over the years I’ve become aware of two Coleg Soros entities: the now dissolved Black Mountains College Ltd, and Black Mountains College Project Ltd.

But there was a third company I’d somehow overlooked. In my defence I’ll say that this other company wasn’t launched until just before Christmas 2022. It’s Black Mountains College Operations Ltd. Scroll down on the overview page and you’ll see that it’s devoted to education.

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It began life with a single £1 share held by director Ben Rawlence, who’s been involved with Coleg Soros from the off. But then things moved on apace.

INTEREST FROM AFAR

In June 2023 there was a share issue with a total value of £4,480,000. A couple of weeks later, William John Lana became a director. In November 2023 the company produced a breakdown of shareholders. Here it is.

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Like me when I first saw it, you’re wondering about Rewilding Wealth Ltd. So here’s what I found. It’s registered with Companies House as an Overseas Entity. Located in that bastion of probity and openness, the British Virgin Islands.

But using a Hong Kong correspondence address.

When we seek the beneficial owner(s) we see named, Andrew James Kadoorie McAulay, of Hong Kong, and the Bermuda Trust Company Ltd based, as you’d expect, on the sun-drenched isles of the same name.

Trying to make sense of it I wondered who McAulay is. What I found interesting is the Kadoorie element of his name. Because the Kadoories were a family of Jewish merchants in Baghdad who moved to China. And became very, very rich.

AND CLOSER TO HOME

William John Lana, who we met earlier, may be the UK representative of Rewilding Wealth Ltd (RWL). I’m guessing that because in the Articles of Association for Black Mountains College Operations Ltd (page 12), it says:

For so long as RWL holds any shares in issue from time to time, it shall be entitled to nominate, appoint and maintain in office one person as a director of the company and to remove (or remove and replace) such director from time to time.

So what do we know about William John Lana? Well, let’s start with his Linkedin page, which mentions a number of companies he’s involved with. Partly confirmed by this Companies House entry.

But no mention of the one run by him and his wife, Greenfibres Ltd. It’s one of those companies that charges Guardian readers over the odds for linen and suchlike so they can sleep easy at night knowing they’re superior to the common herd destroying the planet.

Though I did find Greenfibres listed separately.

MAKING SENSE OF IT

I think the key here is Rewilding Wealth Ltd. For while there is a Caribbean connection, I believe the majority holding lies in Hong Kong, with Andrew James Kadoorie McAulay.

As I’ve told you, his mother is a member of the ultra-wealthy Kadoorie clan, and his father, Ronald James McAulay, is a Scottish-Hong Kong billionaire, now in his late 80s.

Apart from McAulay Jnr being chairman of Kadoorie Farm and Botanic Garden, it’s difficult to know how he whiles away the hours, or how he makes his contribution to the family pile.

Hong Kong was handed over to the People’s Republic of China at midnight on July 1, 1997, and Kadoorie Farm and Botanic Garden was quick off the mark. For Wikipedia tells us, ‘Conservation work has been extended to Mainland China since 1998’.

‘Lo, all our pomp of yesterday Is one with Nineveh and Tyre!’ Click to open enlarged in separate tab

In fact, digging around, it became clear that McAulay works quite happily with communist China. It looks as if he and his family are ‘flexible’ in dealing with the comrades, and have been for some time.

An example might be him sitting on the board of the China Light and Power Company (CLP) from 1997 to 2000. Which coincides with his time as a director of UK-based Solar Century Holdings Ltd, now owned by Norwegian state-owned Statkraft.

SOPHIE GETS IN ON THE ACT

Clearly, someone has plans that involve Wales, but will probably have little or no Welsh input. (Rather like Coleg Soros itself.) Other than the necessary permissions to go ahead. But why is whoever’s behind it all using a small education establishment in Powys?

To make sense of it, let me first make clear that Black Mountains College Operations Ltd is controlled by Black Mountains College Project Ltd.

Within days of William Lana becoming a director of the new creation, Sophie Joyce Howe joined the board of the parent company.

She is of course the former Future Generations Commissioner. Her Linkedin profile claims she’s now a ‘freelance’. Which may be true, but she’s not averse to picking up a few well-paid gigs on the side.

Because a good source told me Howe’s another of the many Labour insiders on the payroll of Scottish company Bute Energy, which wants to cover our beautiful country in wind turbines and pylons.

And then, when I checked the Charity Commission entry for Black Mountains College Project I could see that Sophie Howe is also a trustee of the Wellbeing Economy Alliance. She joined in July 2023.

And let’s not forget that in the extract I used from the Articles of Association of Black Mountains College Operations, and the reference to appointing a director, Howe might also fit the bill if the clause extends to the controlling company.

But if she is the designated RWL director, then who is Lana representing?

WHAT DOES IT ALL MEAN?

Rewilding Wealth Ltd may do what it says on the tin, by which I mean it seeks investors for rewilding projects. And as the Guardian told us a few years back, there’s serious money to be made.

In which case, Coleg Soros will serve as the entry point, perhaps facilitator, for foreign investors buying up Welsh farmland. Something the self-styled ‘Welsh Government’ fully supports, and which might explain Sophie Howe’s involvement.

Another possibility, is that Kadoorie-McAulay is fronting for the Chinese Communist Party, and they want their slice of the Welsh renewables cake. For in its blind acceptance of the Globalists’ climate scam the ‘Welsh Government’ has laid our country wide open to exploiters from around the world.

Neither corporate rewilders nor Chinese Communist party should be acceptable to any Welsh man or Welsh woman who cares about this little country of ours. It’s all we’ve got.

Something else that is unacceptable is the way Labour insiders benefit from cwtshing up to those exploiting Wales. Selling political influence for personal gain is exactly what Labour politicians accuse their Conservative counterparts of doing.

Deluding yourselves that taking the money is justified because you’re saving the planet is rank hypocrisy. Which is of course Labour’s stock-in-trade.

♦ end ♦

© Royston Jones 2024

The Tramshed, The Loans, The Leases, The Lord 2

This began as an update to the piece I put out a few days ago. But it grew too big. So I had to admit that the only way to do it properly was as a follow-up, a second part. Which explains what you’re about to read.

LEO FROM THE OLD SCHOOL

A source, someone who’s given me some good stuff in the past, tells me a name to watch for in relation to the Tramshed and other matters is Leonora ‘Leo’ Thomson. She already plays a big role, and may have an even bigger role in future.

Leonora Thomson was educated at Oakham School, and then Leeds University, where she did philosophy. Yet another product of a public school helping to fill the thinning ranks of Labour in Wales.

One day I might put aside some time and see just how many of them there are. For now, I’ll just remind you of two.

There’s Senedd Member Jenny Rathbone of the uber wealthy Rathbone dynasty, who goes big on the environment, and whose partner, John Uden, was given a sinecure by Bute Energy, which wants to cover Wales in wind turbines and pylons.

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And of course, there’s the Green Goddess herself, Jane Davidson, who wrote the Well-being of Future Generations legislation that dictates so many of the restrictions on our personal freedoms, and also the damage being done to our economy.

What was once the party of the Welsh working class has to keep applying an increasingly unconvincing Welsh veneer as it falls further under the control of pressure groups, fanatics, sexual deviants, and career politicians.

Among them we find the privately-educated, conflicted between guilt at their privileged upbringing and the old impulse to shout at the natives.

WHAT LEO DID NEXT

To help you start, here’s Leo’s Linkedin profile. It’s all media, arts, PR. Also a brief stint with the Metropolitan Police, plus 8 years as a Labour councillor in Ealing. All in London until she arrived in Cardiff, December 2015, to become managing director of the Welsh National Opera Company (WNO).

If you go to the About panel on Linkedin, and click on ‘see more’, you bring up what you see below. I’ve highlighted parts that I’ll be referring to as you read on.

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There’s nothing listed after she ended her stint with the WNO in August 2019. What followed is partly explained in the image above, with the rest filled in as we go along. But now, let’s turn to another line of enquiry.

Here’s the relevant page from Companies House. There are some interesting entries there. Let’s go through them.

The oldest active directorship is with English Touring Opera Ltd. She joined 7 June, 2021. Less than two years after leaving the WNO.

On 18 November, 2021 Leo became a director of the Wildlife Trust of South and West Wales Ltd. Well, when I read that you could have knocked me down with an illegally-released-into-the-wild beaver!

Yet nothing I see in her background suggests an interest in flora and fauna. Truth is, this was a political appointment to an organisation the ‘Welsh Government’ wishes to use in its war on livestock farming.

In November 2021, with another woman, Thomson set up Studland Hill Ltd. This is a property management company in West Ealing, London. The other director gives as her address a house being renovated according to this Google map for January 2021.

On 23 March 2023 Thomson and three others set up Omidaze Productions Ltd in Penarth. Here’s the glossy website.

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Once you read, “fairer and more equal society” you know it’s about leftist propaganda rather than theatre. More ‘Waiting for Gramsci’ than anything Beckett wrote.

Can’t help wondering where the money comes from, cos I’m damn sure Omidaze don’t pay for itself.

Monk Racing Ltd is an odd one. Formed in 2000 it’s always filed as dormant. The key to Thomson’s involvement is probably Anthony Kenneth Lewis, who was a founding director, and is the joint owner with her of a house on the Taff Embankment.

Lewis resigned from Monk Racing 9 April, 2023. Thomson joined 27 June, 2023.

There have been two stints where Leo served as a Labour councillor. The first you’ve already read about, from 1998 to 2006 in the London Borough of Ealing; and now, from May 2022 for the Riverside ward in Cardiff.

Given the Philistines in Labour’s ranks, both on Cardiff council and in the Senedd, I’m sure the comrades have deferred more than once to Thomson’s knowledge of the finer things in life.

How do ew spell opera, love?’

Though I’m beginning to wonder if Leonora Thomson is bad luck. Let me explain.

HARD TIMES, FOR SOME

Towards the end of September last year, it was announced that the ‘Welsh Government’-controlled Arts Council was pulling the plug on the National Theatre of Wales (NTW).

In March we learnt that Thomson was joining as interim CEO. Having already served as Interim Joint Chief Executive from October 2019 to June 2021. And now NTW has moved to the Tramshed, a nest of Labour cronies and insiders.

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Another body to lose funding recently was the WNO. Where Thomson was managing director for almost 4 years until August 2019. (Though I believe she returned in some kind of temporary capacity.)

Which means the WNO lost funding after Leonora Thomson had been involved, and while she was Chair at English Touring Opera. Seeing as the WNO performs at English venues some might see the WNO and the English company as competitors.

Though it’s difficult to explain these cuts to two such important cultural bodies as the WNO and NTW when one of their main funders, the Arts Council of Wales, saw its income increase by more than 50% in just 4 years.

Where did the extra money go? Surely it didn’t all go to Theatr Clwyd?

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A third organisation to lose funding following an association with Leo Thomson is the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama and Creative Lives (RWCMD). She was working there in some unspecified ‘freelance’ role.

One organisation linked to Leonora Thomson suffering a funding cut, I could dismiss; two, I might, just, accept as coincidence; but three, and in such a short space of time? Do me a favour!

UNDERMINE, TAKE CONTROL

What we’ve just looked at is a phenomenon I’ve seen regularly in recent years. I wrote about it a year ago in Taking Control, Of Everything. I focused then on the Welsh Rugby Union (WRU) and the Football Association of Wales (FAW).

It’s the ‘Welsh Government’s method for taking control of an organisation.

The first stage is to discredit and undermine the target organisation, maybe also those running it. (Sometimes with inside help.) Stage Two is the reduction or withdrawal of funding. Stage Three, the takeover; done through a combination of restored / increased funding and the appointment of politically loyal or malleable individuals to the organisation.

A bit like the CIA handbook for regime change.

What we’ve seen done to the WNO, NTW and RWCMD could only have been achieved with the assistance of the Arts Council of Wales; which had already undergone the same treatment.

I wrote about it back to August 2021.

First in Corruption Bay and a tale of Cymrophobia (23.08.2021). In which I reported that the Arts Council and the National Museum commissioned three reports in June 2020 to look into ‘widening engagement’.

To make sense of it, remember that George Floyd died the previous month and there was fierce competition as people fought to honour his memory capitalise on his death.

The three groups commissioned were:

An unregistered entity run by Labour insiders Lu Thomas and Jon Luxton.

Richie Turner Associates. Here’s the image then being used on his Linkedin page.

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(Though the company of that name wasn’t formed until February 1, 2022.)

The third outfit commissioned was The Welsh Arts Anti-Racist Union (WAARU). Which had no presence anywhere – yet its anonymously submitted report was accepted!

And remember! 31 other applicants were rejected in favour of these three.

The piece in which you’ll find these joys unalloyed was followed with Arts Council of Wales and Welsh Arts Anti-Racist Union, an update (31.08.2021).

And then (06.09.2021) Welsh Arts Anti-Racist Union unmasked, in which I identified those behind WAARU. The usual mix of chip-on-shoulder race grifters and middle class leftists trying to live out their slogans.

Woke employees of Welsh national institutions collaborating with their Woke allies outside to discredit and undermine the organisations they worked for.

FINALE: FITTING LEO INTO THE BIGGER PICTURE

The evidence might suggest that Leonora Hope Thomson has been employed by the ‘Welsh Government’ as some kind of hatchet woman; sent in to various bodies and asked to recommend ‘economies’ and ‘restructuring’.

Part of a pattern that sees ‘Welsh Government’ /  ‘Welsh’ Labour, take control of our public, artistic, and sporting life. Done at the behest of the shrieky and the unhinged to promote the Woke agenda.

Which explains how we see Leo, and National Theatre Wales, of which she’s interim CEO, joining the migration to the Tramshed. Which is of course good news for the owner, Cardiff council (Labour); and the lessee, the Count of Abbasock (also Labour).

And it contributes to the circular economy of which I wrote in the previous piece.

Welcome to socialist Wales 2024. The circular economy, benefitting those lucky enough to be in the ‘circle’. Where there’s no private investment, and everything is state funded, but only those close to the ruling party can benefit.

And having mentioned Cardiff council, it’s worth adding that even though she was only elected in May 2022, Thomson, who hardly knows Cardiff, is now Chair of the council’s Labour group.

I wonder who decided to give her such rapid promotion?

I suggest we watch Leonora Hope Thomson, and the Tramshed with which she’s now linked. Both might have roles in the political and public life of Wales.

In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if Leo’s name isn’t already pencilled in on one of the closed lists for the 2026 Senedd elections.

Finally, what I found perhaps most disturbing when writing this was that I had difficulty telling the Labour party and the ‘Welsh Government’ apart. They should be two clearly separate entities.

That they’ve effectively merged is, for me, confirmation that Wales is a one-party state.

♦ end ♦

© Royston Jones 2024

Segregation Makes A Comeback

As I’ve said before, 2016 was a watershed year in Western politics. Brexit coupled with Donald Trump’s victory told leftists they’d lost large sections of the (white) working class.

This resulted in a desperate search for a replacement ‘proletariat’. Groups and issues that had been around for a while were cleaned up, eagerly adopted, and zealously promoted. Which explains many things.

Among them, the rise of climate hysteria, a career criminal named George Floyd achieving something close to sainthood, and otherwise intelligent people pretending to believe that men can have babies.

It also explains why Wales is rapidly falling apart, as the intellectually debauched denizens of Corruption Bay turn their backs on the real world, preferring to serve the Globalist’s Woke-Green-Left agenda.

CITY OF MY DREAMS GIVING ME NIGHTMARES

There’s an outfit in Swansea called BAME Mental Health Support (BMHS). For those unfamiliar with the term, BAME stands for Black Asian and Minority Ethnic. (Here’s the Companies House entry.)

A clumsy term applied to all who aren’t white. Pretending that every non-Caucasian shares similar problems in mental health or anything else is absurd. The UK government agrees, having dropped the term a couple of years back.

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This crew in Swansea could, more honestly, call themselves the Nigerian Mental Health Support CIC, for all involved hail from that West African country.

They’re based on the High Street, sharing with the trade union Unite and Swansea council’s Housing Options, next door to Not Only Sofas Clearance Outlet.

So who’s who at BMHS?

ALFRED THE GREAT

The driving force is Alfred Oluwafemi Oyekoya. His wife Nancy Buka is the secretary. I’m told she has a hairdressing establishment nearby, specialising in beads, braids, and extensions.

The couple achieved fame, of a sort, when they met Simon Cowell and David Walliams. Though the remark about, “doctors spreading conspiracy theories“, has not aged well. (Unless you swing it 180 degrees, perhaps.)

Oyekoya was awarded an MBE in this year’s New Year’s Honours List.

His Linkedin page tells us he got a Master’s in Accounting and Finance from Swansea University. He’s also worked for the ‘Welsh Government’ and a WG-funded outfit called Inspire Training.

Now he’s treasurer for the Books Council of Wales.

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All of which suggests that Alfred Oyekoya is well thought of in Corruption Bay.

And when he finds time he also works for the MoD in Bristol. Which either means a long commute from his Swansea home, or else he works from home.

THE REST OF THE GANG

As I’ve said, Alfred Oluwafemi Oyekoya is an accountant. We find two other bean-counters among the directors; Adewale Dare and Monday Noutouglo. Dare lives in Nigeria, Noutouglo lives in Canada.

Why does a mental health outfit in Swansea have an accountant in Canada, and another in Nigeria? Or, to rephrase it, what possible use can they be to people suffering mental health issues in Wales?

What also struck me was that these two joined BMHS on the same day, 12.01.2023.

Fortunately, there are doctors on board.

Though Dr Adesola Samson Ademiloye is a lecturer. With a company registered to him that links back, by a tortuous route, to this private equity firm.

Then this suggests he’s a civil engineer. While this page from the Swansea University website mentions ‘biomedical engineering’.

Is any of this relevant to mental health?

While Dr Oluyinka Emmanuel Olutunde might be a medical doctor, and allowed to practise in the UK. But if this is him, then he’s certainly not registered as a GP.

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To confuse matters further, I found a Linkedin profile for an Oluyinka Olutunde, a paediatrician, who seems never to have worked outside Africa. But then, I also found this. Is it the same picture?

THERE’S MONEY IN BOOKS

New Audiences‘ is a funding scheme launched a couple years ago by the Books Council of Wales.

Below you see how the grant to BMHS was listed in the projects for 2022/23. Together with a couple of grants from 2023/24 to give you a flavour of how the scheme is going.

Does being in a room with a lesbian make someone ‘lesbian-adjacent’?

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Which means that Alfred Oyekoya joined the Books Council in October 2021. Less than a year later we find his own brainchild BMHS trousering a £39,000 grant.

Do you find that mildly troubling?

Another BMHS funding source I found was foodbanks in Swansea.

But I can’t see what books or food have to do with BAME mental health; though no doubt a good book and a full belly help people feel better.

But you could make a case for sex, alcohol and a nice holiday. So if I’m feeling a bit down can I apply for a week in Tenby with a bodice-bursting slapper and a crate of Malbec?

What passes for the BMHS accounts (‘unaudited statutory accounts’) gives a turnover of £183,000 for y/e 31.03.2023, but ‘turnover’ refers to un-itemised grants and donations. ‘Administrative expenses’ totalled £164,000.

And while there was just one employee the previous year, this had risen to four in the latest accounts. What do these ’employees’ do?

BAME Mental Health Support is a misnomer in every sense. All involved are Nigerian. And it might have little to do with mental health.

WARPED PRIORITIES

But this happens when the Woke lead the none-too-bright.

We’ve reached a stage where two Haitians in Tonypandy could launch The Haitian Anti-defamation League, demand ‘Welsh Government’ funding, and then get rat-arsed every night in The Gartered Gombeen, before rounding the evening off with sweet and sour bat (with fried rice) from the Star of Wuhan.

To ask them to account for how they spent the grant money would amount to racism. And you will be reported to – The Haitian Anti-defamation League.

Getting serious again (unless of course there are two Haitians in Tonypandy thinking along those lines) . . .

What we see at the Books Council of Wales is an organisation having to spend a bigger portion of reduced funding on Woke twaddle, of interest only to narcissist ‘artists’ and a few equally unhinged admirers.

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And everywhere we look in Wales we see the same thing: services being cut, and what is specific to Wales and its people treated with less respect than is given to assorted grifters, especially those shrieking about climate, race, or gender.

GRIFTING AT THE GRAND

What I’m writing about is an imagined victimhood that can be a nice little earner for those who’ve figured out how to manipulate politicos and others into funding them.

An example might be British Virgin Islander Nkechi Allen Dawson, director / trustee of the African Community Centre (ACC), at the Grand Theatre’s Multicultural Hub.

I’m sure you won’t be surprised to learn that Nkechi Allen Dawson works for Coleg Gwent, as a Diversity, Inclusion and Well-being manager.

How did we manage before such jobs were invented?

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ACC’s 2023 ‘accounts’ show £258,665 in readies, and 7 employees (3 in 2022), but no indication of where the money came from. And the website is no help – it’s ‘being updated’.

Fortunately, we can turn to the Charity Commission, which tells us that in the past two years ACC received £263,560 in ‘government grants’. That information should be available in the ‘accounts’, and on the website.

Incidentally, the African Community Centre has 7 directors / trustees. We’ve met the two from the BVI, then there’s a Kenyan, but the other four are Nigerian.

Also appointed a director of the ACC on the same day as Nkechi Allen Dawson was another woman from tax haven BVI (Pop: 31,000), Charlotte Ajomale Evans,

BLACK SWIMMING

Charlotte Ajomale Evans’ Linkedin profile tells us she works full-time for the Black Swimming Association (BSA).

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Yeah, that’s the way to ‘break down barriers’ – segregated swimming. Didn’t Martin Luther King, Nelson Mandela, and a host of others fight against that sort of thing?

But then, everywhere you look in the world of DEI you encounter self-serving hypocrisy and doublespeak.

Here’s where BSA’s funding came from in year ending 31.08.2022.  (RNLI = Royal National Lifeboat Institution. LMCT = London Marathon Charitable Trust.)

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RNLI, eh? Do drowning black people have to be rescued differently to drowning white people?

Here’s the explanatory note for the RNLI in the BSA accounts, page 23:

Funds received for consultancy services, including research and
development, and community engagement.

No surprise there, because so many of the Wokie scam outfits I’ve looked at over the years have minted it from ‘consultancy’ fees.

Just think of Stonewall, which virtually blackmailed public bodies into paying to be lectured (and misinformed) in order to be a ‘Diversity Champion’.

We’ve largely freed ourselves from that particular nightmare, but there are plenty more lurking out there.

GROWING CONCERNS” AND “UNCONSCIOUS BIAS”

And now a report from Arise News, a Nigerian site I’ve never quoted before, and probably never will again. I do so this time because it’s about Alfred Oyekoya. It begins:

Amidst growing concerns surrounding fair treatment for ethnic minorities in the Welsh workforce, Alfred Oyekoya MBE . . . has advocated for the implementation of labour laws to tackle discrimination and unconscious bias faced by Nigerians and other ethnic minorities in Wales.

That opening paragraph gives the clear impression that racism or discrimination against “ethnic minorities” is rampant in Wales.

Or, rather, that’s the impression given to Arise News by a man who studied at a Welsh university, who’s worked for the ‘Welsh Government’, who’s treasurer of the Books Council of Wales, whose company has received tens of thousands of pounds in public funding and, on a recommendation from within Wales, got an MBE!

A man who’s been treated better since he arrived in Wales than most Welsh people ever will be – repays us with accusations of racism.

Let’s look at another worrying element of the paragraph I quoted – “unconscious bias“. It’s mentioned twice.

Legislation can tackle overt discrimination, the kind of thing perhaps exemplified with the old lodging-house sign. We’ve had such laws for 50 or 60 years.

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But Oyekoya’s “unconscious bias” takes us beyond overt discrimination. I think it even takes us beyond ‘thought crimes’, to somewhere rather scary.

For I think we’ve arrived in a place where you can be accused of prejudices you weren’t aware of, and of which you are innocent – because someone claims to know you better than you know yourself!

If “unconscious bias” can only be observed or detected by others then this will encourage false testimony from those with an axe to grind, and those who can benefit from such accusations.

And of course, an accused person will have no way to prove their innocence. If that’s not Kafkaesque, then I don’t know what is.

Just think of The Trial, which begins: “Somebody must have slandered Joseph K., for one morning, without having done anything wrong, he was arrested.”

FINAL THOUGHTS

Alfred Oluwafemi Oyekoya MBE needs to explain the interview he gave to (or the piece he submitted to) Arise News. From what I can see, Nigerians in Wales are doing very well. As are members of the BVI diaspora.

And I’d like to hear his explanation for, “Labour laws to tackle discrimination and unconscious bias faced by Nigerians and other ethnic minorities in Wales“.

Is Alfred Oyekoya dreaming of what we see in the States, where white people are barred from applying for certain federal government and other jobs, some colleges, and preferential treatment is given to minority groups?

So don’t be surprised if certain lobbies and individuals start demanding ‘affirmative action’ legislation to combat a problem that doesn’t exist. Legislation that they will help write, and from which they will benefit.

Let us be vigilant against any movement in that direction. And let us also ensure that the Corruption Bay Clown Show isn’t persuaded to add “unconscious bias” to the list of Wokie ‘crimes’ in another desperate attempt to appear ‘progressive’.

We don’t want some poor bugger dragged off by the Unconscious Bias Squad.

It could be me!

♦ end ♦

© Royston Jones 2024

Bute Energy And Friends: Corrupting Wales

For a second week running, I’m focusing on Bute Energy. This time, looking at its links with the Labour party, and how, through that and by other means, Bute encourages corruption and spreads discord.

This will also serve to bring those who haven’t been following the Bute saga up to date.

THE FLOODGATES OPEN!

I first became aware of Bute’s links to Labour when I was told that someone was visiting people close to a planned wind farm. This was (the now abandoned) Moelfre site inland of Colwyn Bay, a real outlier from Bute’s other projects.

This Bute representative was David James Taylor, Labour insider who’d been Spad to a number of high-profile figures; UK government minister Peter Hain and Wales first ministers Rhodri Morgan and Carwyn Jones.

In 2016 Taylor stood to become the North Wales Police and Crime Commissioner. After losing maybe he considered his career options. Or perhaps he was approached, for Labour was already helping wind farm developers.

We saw this when Anna McMorrin lobbied Powys councillors on behalf of Hendy wind farm in April 2017, just a month before she was elected Labour MP for Cardiff North.

Taylor formed three companies in October 2018: Moblake Wind Ventures Ltd (which became Moblake Ltd 11.11.2020); Moblake Energy Trading Ltd (folded 2020); and Moblake Associates Ltd (now being struck-off).

The timing is intriguing, because Taylor’s companies were formed a week before his friend and colleague, Lesley Griffiths, set the precedent of over-ruling a planning inspector to give Hendy windfarm planning consent. She did so using the relatively new Developments of National Significance (DNS) legislation.

DNS made it clear that Wales was free range for wind turbines; free of interference from locals, their council representatives, or even planning inspectors.

Taylor was rewarded by Bute with shares in Windward Enterprises Ltd (now Windward Energy Ltd), both in his own name and that of Moblake Associates Ltd. He was also a (non-designated) member of Grayling Capital LLP.

Money magically appeared in Moblake Ltd, which Taylor then paid to himself in ‘loans’ totalling over £600,000 that did not need to be repaid.

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There was an attempt to liquidate this company a couple of years ago, but the liquidator was removed last August. Since when there’s been no further news.

Taylor was useful to Bute because of his closeness to Lesley Griffiths, and his insider knowledge of the Labour party machine.

Which is why it’s suggested that Taylor’s personal payment came in shares and other ways; and that most if not all of the £600,000+ was really a donation from Bute to the Labour party.

‘YOU SAY VISTRA, AND I SAY, ER . . . VISTRA‘?

Someone has contacted me arguing there are two companies called Vistra, and in last week’s post I conflated them. One is a big Texas energy company, the other is a provider of secretarial services.

To explain . . .

Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners (CIP) is funding Bute through CI IV Dragon Lender Ltd, owned by CI IV Dragon Holdco Ltd. All holdco shares owned by Copenhagen Infrastructure V SCSp, which has its address at 16 Rue Eugene Ruppert, L2453, Luxembourg. At the same address is ‘Vistra’.

Now I took this to mean the Texas energy firm, but my contact insists it’s the other one. He’s probably right. But in my defence:

Vistra Company Secretaries Ltd of Bristol (which you’ll read about in a minute) was, until April 2019, Jordan Company Secretaries Ltd. The Vistra name was adopted because it was taken over and joined many companies under the Vistra banner.

Vistra is now owned by Sweden’s EQT, an equity outfit big in green energy.

So there are two Vistra companies. But with both involved in ‘renewable energy’ projects, often the same projects, confusion was almost inevitable.

Especially when we see BlackRock, State Street and Vanguard behind both.

THE GANG OF FOUR

Soon after landing in Wales, and perhaps in an attempt to establish Welsh credentials, Bute set up a Welsh Advisory Board. You can see the members in the image below.

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Left to right: Derek Vaughan, redundant MEP; Dr Debra Williams, businesswoman and academic; John ‘Cwmbetws’ Davies, man of many hats and big shot in the Royal Welsh Agricultural Society; John Uden, partner of Jenny Rathbone MS.

THE NEATH PORT TALBOT-BRUSSELS-COPENHAGEN CONNECTION

Derek Vaughan was leader of Neath Port Talbot (NPT) council and would certainly know Stephen Kinnock, the Labour MP for Aberavon, the Port Talbot seat.

Vaughan was an MEP from 2009 to 2019, preceded by the late Glenys Kinnock. The wife of former Labour leader, Neil Kinnock, and mother to Stephen.

Stephen Kinnock MP is married to Helle Thorning-Schmidt, former Danish PM. She serves as a director of Danish wind turbine producer, Vestas, reputed to be the biggest in the world.

From Windpower Monthly of March 2024. Click to open enlarged in separate tab

In 2020 Vestas took a 25% stake in Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners. As you’ve just read, CIP is the conduit for funding the Bute projects.

Derek Vaughan’s political background and contacts explain him being chosen as the chairman of Bute’s Welsh Advisory Board. He was a ‘good fit’.

THE ACADEMIC BUSINESSWOMAN

I can’t tell you much about Dr Debra Williams other than the fact that she was managing director of Confused.com. Now she’s taken a gig at Lampeter, which some might view as a step backwards.

I suppose ‘Top things to do in Lampeter’ is part of the Creative Writing course. Click to open enlarged in separate tab

That said, since Jane Davidson landed there after ‘leaving’ Corruption Bay, Lampeter has tried to re-invent itself as a centre for alternative living. And why not, there are enough ‘alternatives’ in the shacks, tepees, and OPDs thereabouts.

Even so, I keep thinking there’s something I’m missing about Dr Williams, unless she was viewed by Bute as their entry to what passes for the Welsh business community.

GALILEO AND THE FAVOURED SON

A number of sources have told me that Bute has assiduously courted the Royal Welsh Agricultural Society (RWAS). Which makes sense, for the RWAS gives access to many of the landowners on whose property Bute would like to erect turbines and pylons.

And this explains Bute’s recruitment of John Davies, who from 2012 was RWAS chairman. As I read through his other appointments I recalled Harri Webb’s reference to, “the public men on the boards and panels“.

Put it all together and it made him very attractive to Bute.

I have been told that John Davies was instrumental in seeing Aled Rhys Jones appointed CEO of the RWAS. Nothing wrong, I suppose, with a man of John Davies’s standing promoting a protégé. But there may be more to it.

As you might have read in the link, Aled comes from, “the family’s hill farm near Cwrt-y-Cadno in North Carmarthenshire“. To be exact, Tyllwyd, which I’m told the family still owns, but rents out.

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The thing about this area is that it’s being targeted by other wind farm companies in addition to Bute. As I wrote last November, in ‘A Change Of Tack?

One of those companies is Galileo Green Energy UK, eyeing a site at Bryn Cadwgan. With another Welsh site planned for Mynydd Ty-talwyn.

The parent company, Galileo Green Energy, is headquartered in Zurich.

Curiously, when based in Bristol – at the Vistra address – Galileo was known as GGE Machynlleth Ltd. Now it’s using a Cardiff office and the name has changed to Galileo Empower Wales Ltd.

From what is now Galileo Empower Wales Ltd documents filed with Companies House when it was knowns as GCE Machynlleth Ltd.. Click to open enlarged in separate tab

A quick shufty at the directors will tell you how Welsh it really is.

Anyway, I hear that Aled Rhys Jones, CEO of the RWAS, stands to gain financially from the Bryn Cadwgan wind farm. A map I’ve been sent shows the outline of the wind farm in red, with the Tyllwyd land edged in green.

You’ll see four turbines planned on Tyllwyd land. With access to the others perhaps over Tyllwyd land. All perfectly legal, but it don’t look good.

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The forested land is owned by Natural Resources Wales, which will mean mature trees felled to accommodate wind turbines, access roads, cable trenches, etc.

That’s protecting the environment, that is.

Correction: Just received some clarification: ‘I am informed: There are two machines on Tilhill managed land, but nearly all the others are on ——— — ——– (Ilchester Estate) plantation, with a few on Tyllwyd and other individual land owners.’

THE MAN FROM GOD KNOWS WHERE

The fourth member of the quartet is John Uden, whose only qualification is being the partner of Senedd Member, Jenny Rathbone, who sits on the Senedd’s Climate Change, Environment and Rural Affairs Committee.

And so to understand why Bute recruited Uden we need to focus on Rathbone.

Rathbone was born in Liverpool and is a member of the Rathbone dynasty, once very influential in that city. The influence continues through Rathbones Wealth & Investment Management.

Jenny Rathbone and other family members are looked after from the investments made. This presumably accounts for the shares in her Register of interest.

An earlier declaration of Rathbone’s says that Uden was getting payment from Bute, but that’s absent from the latest Register. So is he working for free, or is payment being made in some other way?

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Interestingly, he set up John Uden Consulting Ltd in March 2020. A company that (apparently) has never turned a penny. Was he planning to go down the same route as Taylor, but backed off after I first mentioned Taylor and Moblake (August 2020) in Corruption in the wind 2, Labour snouts in the trough?

I shall conclude this section by dazzling you with yet another example of propinquity.

A fascinating connection revealed itself shortly after I put out the previous piece. Copenhagen Offshore Partners A/S has an office at 10 George Street, Edinburgh. In the same building we find Rathbone Investment Management (£60bn assets).

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It’s probably just another of the coincidences that plague the Bute saga.

SLICING THE PENSION POT TURKEY

As an example of how Wales is ripped off by the pushers and pimps of the ‘renewable energy’ industry, the Wales Pension Partnership investment takes some beating.

The Welsh local government pension pot (WPP) is investing at least £68m in Bute Energy. Reading the article on the WPP website you might think this money is going directly from the pension fund to Bute. For no intermediaries are mentioned.

Yet the WPP was ‘advised’ by law firm Burges Salmon of Bristol. Then this article in renews.biz gives more names: ‘WPP has been advised by independent clean energy asset manager Capital Dynamics and by the law firms TLT and Burges Salmon’.

That is, Capital Dynamics of London, Birmingham and various cities around the world. Top man is Thomas Kubr, who can be found at the Zug office, south of Zurich.

The registration with Companies House tells that Capital Dynamics has 49 outstanding charges, and is heavily indebted to if not controlled by State Street.

TLT is another Bristol law firm. (It’s s shame we don’t have lawyers in Wales.)

QUI BONO?

After all is said and done, do we really know who owns the wind farms in Wales? For as I suggested in last week’s piece, Bute Energy, run by Oliver James Millican, is an offshoot of the property and investment company Parabola, run by his father, Peter John Millican.

Also, in last week’s piece (and elsewhere in recent years) I mentioned Njord Energy Ltd and Steven John Radford, the man behind Hendy wind farm, where we earlier met lobbyist – now Labour MP – Anna McMorrin.

Another of Radford’s projects, not far away, was Bryn Blaen. The ownership history is instructive. It starts with Radford leaving Bryn Blaen Wind Farm Ltd in February 2020.

Bryn Blaen is now said to be owned by Elm Wind Holdings Ltd. Which leads back to Elm Trading Ltd, where the latest accounts say:

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But does this apparently leaderless outfit have any connection with a foreign entity of the same name registered on the Isle of Man?

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Or is this just another coincidence?

If so, then maybe we should focus on the labyrinth of companies linked with Elm Trading at the London address. Companies like Time Nominees Ltd, which holds all the Elm Trading shares and is controlled by Alpha Real Property Investment Advisers LLP. Which is owned by Philip Sidney Gower of Guernsey.

Who’s Gower? Well, he’s described here as a ‘serial entrepreneur’.

The point I’m making is that when it comes time to dismantle, recycle, or bury, the clapped-out wind turbines on Bryn Siencyn, and restore the site to its earlier condition, the ‘Welsh Government’, the local council, and Natural Resources Wales, will be met with, ‘Nothing to do with us, squire, we sold it to a company on an island somewhere‘.

And we’ll have to pay for dozens of Bryn Siencyns.

CONCLUSION

But the immediate danger remains the corruption engendered by wind farm ‘developers’.

Through the influence they wield inside ‘Welsh’ Labour, where corruption is endemic. As we’ve been so recently reminded by the new first minister. Now the poison has spread to Plaid Cymru, exposed to the world when Carmen Smith, Bute lobbyist, was made a peer.

Beyond politics these ‘developers’ cause resentment within the farming industry by making some farmers offers they can’t refuse – a position into which many have been manoeuvred by the ‘Welsh Government’s war on livestock farming.

And finally, there’s worry and division inflicted upon communities across Wales.

It really pisses me off to see the country I love reduced to third world level; where a few chiefs can be bribed so the rest of us can be exploited, our country wrecked.

We’re in this mess because leftists believe they’re fighting the evils of capitalism by buying into the climate scam dreamed up to further the ambitions of the wealthiest individuals and the biggest corporations on Earth.

♦ end ♦

© Royston Jones 2024

Tutti Frutti, Good Booty (Little Richard)

No, this is not a homage to the founder of Rock ‘n’ Roll, but I’ve used the title of his timeless classic because it kinda fits. But my use of it is not an endorsement of the original (and thankfully expunged) lyrics.

Truth is, I used the song because Tutti Frutti can of course refer to ice cream. It’s Italian for ‘all fruits’.

To explain . . . About a month or so back someone drew my attention to an article in the Daily Post about an ice cream company on Ynys Môn coming back from the dead.

This report can be read as written, though my source hints there’s more to it than meets the eye. So I delved, and it took me on quite a journey.

MAYDAY! MAYDAY! RED BOAT SINKING!

The company you’re going to read about is The Red Boat (Ice Cream Parlour) Ltd. Set up 9 December 2012. The two shareholders / directors, Anthony Green and Lynda Green. Presumably husband and wife.

To set the scene, here’s the company’s main retail outlet, 34 Castle Street, Beaumaris. (Image from December 2021.) There were other outlets, including Prestatyn.

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Also, a ‘production hub‘ on Pen yr Orsedd industrial estate in Llangefni.

Though just down Castle Street, at the Liverpool Arms Hotel, we find a company called Red Boat Ltd. Owned by a couple named Ormond. It was formed over two years before Red Boat (Ice Cream Parlour) Ltd.

Seeing as it’s always filed as dormant it might be a ‘spoiler’, set up to grab the ‘Red Boat’ name. Which would account for the brackets in the other company’s name.

The Red Boat (Ice Cream Parlour) Ltd (hereinafter referred to as RBICP) was put into administration on January 30. After which things moved very quickly.

And for a small company there are interesting players involved, some as far away as San Francisco; and considerable governmental involvement.

I just hope I can make sense of it all. Anyway, sit back and enjoy!

THE SHAPE-SHIFTING ACCOUNTANTS OF FLINTSHIRE

RBICP used as its registered address accountants Hill & Roberts, at 50 High Street, Mold, Flintshire. It’s the doorway next to the bank, plus the top floor.

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There seem to be a number of entries with Companies House for Hill & Roberts Ltd, but the only entry I can find for the company itself is this one.

The address is right, but the company name uses ‘and’ rather than an ampersand (&). And if that wasn’t confusing enough, the only director of Hill and Roberts Ltd is Dylan Vaughan Evans.

There was a Maes Hyfryd Cyf, of Mold, formerly known as Cyfrifwyr Hill & Roberts Accountants Ltd (until 31.10.2019). The directors were Hilary Baines, Ffion Eleri Hampson, and Richard Andrew Roberts.

And also Baines & Roberts Ltd (27.06.2017 – 05.01.2021), with Roberts the majority shareholder. Ffion Eleri Hampson set up Cyfrifwyr H & R Accountants Ltd, again in Mold.

But let’s not overlook HB Accountants, found behind another Mold doorway. This one 8A Chester Street, next-door to and above the constituency office of Bob Roberts MP.

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Heading into the sunset, I also found a Hill & Roberts office in Bala. At 76 High Street, behind the war memorial.

The entities not using ‘Ltd’ or ‘Cyf’, are almost certainly partnerships. Perfectly legal, but confusing when we see the same people pop up in different combinations and under slightly different labels.

But what might cause me some concern would be that the companies registered with Companies House (apart from Hill and Roberts Ltd) seem to be very short-lived, and file hardly anything.

Anyway, let’s zip along the A55 back to Beaumaris.

REARRANGING THE DECK CHAIRS?

As the article I linked to explains, to get around the financial difficulties afflicting RBICP, a new company was formed in January this year. This was The Artisan Gelato Group Ltd (TAGG). When formed, with a single penny share, the sole director was named as Kelly Donald Pattullo.

TAGG then bought RBICP. To quote the Daily Post article . . .

KBL Advisory approached in January. After discussions it was decided that a pre-pack administration was the best way forward . . . A formal offer was received by (sic) Artisan Gelato Group Ltd.

This was recommended for acceptance by JPS Chartered Surveyors. It was sold to them for £42,000. Employees were transferred over to the new business . . . 

So, in February 2024, RBICP went into receivership owing trade creditors money; £213,000 to the ‘Welsh Government’s Development Bank of Wales, and over a hundred thousand to solicitors, administrators, and other professionals.

Another debt mentioned in the administrator’s report (2.6), alongside DBW, is ‘White Oak’, which I hadn’t encountered in the company’s accounts. White Oak Europe, Ltd offers credit facilities, with the directors all US citizens giving the same San Francisco address.

RBICP’s two outstanding debts with the Development Bank of Wales seem to have transferred to TAGG.

So who is Kelly Donald Pattullo? Well, that’s a good question. And while I may not have the full answer, I can at least give you some more information.

It seems Kelly Frances Donald-Pattullo and Samuel Malcolm Pattullo now own the premises used by Red Boat (Ice Cream Parlour) Ltd at 34 Castle Street in Beaumaris. They bought it at the end of May 2022. The stated price being £525,000.

This is corroborated in the Administrator’s report (2.5).

From the Administrator’s report / proposals for Red Boat (Ice Cream Parlour) Ltd. Click to open enlarged in separate tab

A year later the Pattullos formed 34Castle Ltd, a company involved in the ‘Manufacture of ice cream’. So what’s the relationship between the Pattullos and the Greens?

There has to be one. And it must go back to at least the May 2022 purchase of 34 Castle Street. Almost two years before Kelly Pattullo formed TAGG and took over Red Boat (Ice Cream Parlour) Ltd.

Yet to read the documents filed with Companies House one might think that TAGG came out of the blue.

(Seeing as we’re talking of Italian ice cream, and in case you’re thinking the ‘Pattullo’ name is Italian, it is in fact Scottish. I believe the first element is Pictish, the second Gaelic.)

In the documents filed with Companies House, and specifically the Administrator’s report, we read that Covid is claimed to have played a big part in the RBICP downfall. But the company was already in trouble before the Covid virus was released from a Chinese laboratory.

This is shown in the accounts up to 31 March 2020. These figures cover the summer of 2019 when people were sauntering around Beaumaris enjoying their ice creams.

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The accounts suggest that the little Red Boat was heading up Shit Creek at a rate of knots. Just look under ‘Creditors’ (page 2). That figure, £524,678, has gone up over half a million quid in one year!

And while much of it will be accounted for by the DBW loans most, I suspect, refers to the LDF-White Oak hire purchase loans. For it ties in with the rise in ‘Tangible fixed assets’ (page 6) from £246,829 in 2019 to £648,006 in 2020.

The unaudited financial statement submitted by Cyfrifwyr Hill & Roberts of 8a Chester Street, Mold, does not identify the tangible fixed assets, nor does it tell us on what the borrowed money was spent.

As you’ve read, the Administrator’s report of February 2024 says: ‘In May 2022, the Company sold one of its former business premises to support the cash position.’

This has to refer to 34 Castle Street, sold to the Pattullos for £525,000. This influx of cash should then show in the accounts up to 31 March 2023. But I can’t see it.

Where did it go?

THE RESCUE SHIPS TAKE ON SURVIVORS!

Once it started pulling away from the doomed craft the good ship Artisan Gelato saw many changes on board in a short space of time.

To begin with, two weeks after launch, Kelly Pattullo was joined at TAGG by Anthony Green, who’d presumably swum from the Red Boat. Then we learnt that Green had taken control of the new company at the start of February.

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But of more interest, maybe, was the piping aboard of Richard Elmitt. (Am I overdoing the nautical references? “Yes, Jac”.)

Here’s his Linkedin details. In May 2012 he made a couple of career moves.

First, he formed his own company, Redatum Ltd. (Though according to Companies House, this actually happened in April 2011.)

But of more interest to us is that he joined BIC Innovation Ltd, a management consultancy. This outfit is based in Gaerwen, on Ynys Môn. (Though the Linkedin page says Bridgend.) ‘Significant influence’ is exercised by Huw Geraint Watkins.

Watkins is director at a number of other companies. Including Sector Development Wales Partnership Ltd, an agency of the so-called ‘Welsh Government’, trading as ‘Industry Wales‘.

The thought of those socialist buffoons in Corruption Bay directing any ‘strategy’ for our SMEs is quite terrifying. Especially as the Industry Wales website doesn’t seem to have been updated for years.

You may recall Nicola Kneale, a director of RBICP from January 2016 to January 2018, when she worked for Denbighshire County Council. This was likely connected with RBICP leasing the Roundhouse on Prestatyn prom from the council.

Well, last December, Nicola joined Local Partnerships LLP. Here’s the website, and here’s the Companies House entry.

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I’m fairly sure there’s a connection between Local Partnerships, owned by the Treasury, LGA, ‘Welsh Government’; Industry Wales, owned by ‘Welsh Government’; and BIC Innovation on Ynys Môn, where the Treasury is a major shareholder.

On the surface, all would now appear to be hunky-dory. Everything and everyone has been salvaged, spruced up, and the re-named Red Boat (Ice Cream Parlour) Ltd is ready to sail serenely on as The Artisan Gelato Group Ltd.

CONCLUSION

Fundamentally, I believe we are dealing with a kind of deception; not necessarily illegal, but still naughty.

Clearly, the Greens of Red Boat (Ice Cream Parlour) Ltd and Kelly Pattullo of The Artisan Gelato Group Ltd knew each other from at least May 2022, when she and Samuel Pattullo are said to have bought the ice cream shop at 34 Castle Street, Beaumaris.

Next, I believe it was decided to do away with RBICP. A speedy disposal via a pre-pack administration deal was decided upon, and at the start of 2024 the company was ‘put up for sale’.

Along came TAGG, with sole director Kelly Pattullo, snapping up RBICP for a bargain-basement price of £42,000. Soon after, Anthony Green of RBICP became a director, and now he controls the new company.

But with Tony Green in charge of The Artisan Gelato Group Ltd  since 1 February he effectively sold Red Boat (Ice Cream Parlour) Ltd to himself.

That was always the intention. The ‘sale’ was a charade.

Another worry concerns 34 Castle Street. Was it really sold in May 2022, or was it simply a ploy by a company in financial difficulties to remove a valuable asset from the reach of creditors?

Because as I’ve said, according to the Administrator’s report the money from this sale was ploughed back into RBICP. But I see no evidence of this in the 2023 accounts.

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Which would make sense if the property wasn’t really sold, but merely transferred under some clever arrangement to disguise ownership. These things are done.

So many questions. If you know any of the answers, stick ’em in a bottle and chuck it in the sea. I’ll get it eventually.

To help you follow this saga, I’ve drawn up a little timeline of events.

♦ end ♦

© Royston Jones 2024

Senedd Cymru (Electoral Candidate Lists) Bill

This is my submission to the Reform Bill Committee regarding Senedd Cymru (Electoral Candidate Lists) Bill. The attempt to hijack ‘Senedd reform’ with a closed list system that even hopes to keep candidates’ names from us.

Stripped of the self-serving bullshit it’s a crude attempt by the Labour party to guarantee itself permanent rule. With full support from Plaid Cymru.

Here’s a link to the (slightly different) version I submitted to the Committee.

I urge everyone to make a submission to SeneddReform@senedd.wales.

EXPERT PANEL

I shall start with the appointment of the Expert Panel in February 2017. Set up to look into reforming and enlarging the (then) Assembly.

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The group reported in November 2017. Here is a link to their report. On page 29, the report recommended three electoral systems. The favoured one being the Single Transferable Vote.

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On page 128 of the report we read the ‘closed list proportional representation’ system was rejected. It’s ‘weakness’ spelled out as, “No choice for voters between individual candidates. No accountability for individual Members directly to voters.”

Yet this is the system now being proposed.

COMMITTEE ON SENEDD ELECTORAL REFORM

This group was set up in January 2020, and comprised Huw Irranca-Davies MS, Dawn Bowden MS, and Dai Lloyd MS. The first two representing the Labour party, the third Plaid Cymru.

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Here’s the Committee’s Report from September 2020, and here’s a summary of its recommendations. Note that it agrees with the Expert Panel in recommending the Single Transferable Vote.

Though it also makes a reference to diversity quotas for protected characteristics other than gender”, without making it clear what these ‘characteristics’ might be.

SPECIAL PURPOSE COMMITTEE ON SENEDD REFORM

Now we move on to October 2021 and a new group, with Huw Irranca-Davies MS providing continuity.

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Their report, ‘Reforming our Senedd: A stronger voice for the people of Wales’ was published on 30 May 2022. Here’s a link to that report.

The Expert Panel’s favoured system of the Single Transferable Vote, endorsed by the Committee on Senedd Electoral Reform, was rejected by this latest group because it:

. . . was an unfamiliar system in Wales and that the method of translating votes into seats would be seen as complex and difficult to explain.

Which means that electorates around the world manage to cope with STV, but it seems Welsh voters are uniquely stupid!

The reasoning is so absurd, and insulting, that it suggests something else was going on beneath the surface. With hindsight, we know this to be true.

After considering the three options of the Open List, the Flexible List, and the Closed List, the Special Purpose Committee recommended the least representational of the three.

And when comparing the respective merits of the d’Hondt and Sainte-Laguë divisor systems the committee opted for d’Hondt, which is, again, the less representational.

Now we come to the most remarkable and worrying thing I encountered in all 92 pages. Scroll to page 38, and there you’ll see . . .

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We would anticipate . . . some of the names . . . of candidates will appear . . . “.

There was clearly an attempt from somewhere, by someone, to promote the idea of giving only the party name, and not naming the candidates!

Which means that from the Single Transferable Vote system recommended by the Expert Panel what is now being offered is 16 huge and impersonal constituencies*, and a closed list system using the less representational d’Hondt system. Even an attempt to have anonymised lists.

*The Boundary Commission has recommended that Wales in future has 32, not the current 40, seats for Westminster elections. The proposals being discussed ‘pair’ these 32 constituencies to give us 16 ‘super’ constituencies, each electing 6 Members by the closed list system.

REFORM BILL COMMITTEE

This group was established in July 2023. Its role was to go through the Bill that resulted from the report of The Special Purpose Committee on Electoral Reform. Making recommendations where it felt the need.

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The Reform Bill Committee’s report was published in January, and debated in the Senedd 30 January (No 8).

In his Introduction, the chair, Labour’s David Rees MS, makes clear that he is unhappy with the proposed closed list system.

“We have not reached consensus on all matters . . . But, we are unanimous in our concerns about the proposed closed list electoral system . . . We believe the link between voters and the Members who represent them is paramount.

We therefore urge all political parties in the Senedd to work together to ensure the electoral system in the Bill provides greater voter choice and improved accountability for future Members to their electorates.”

The closed list system was by now drawing fire from many quarters, and from outside of Wales. One notable contribution was from former Labour Home Secretary Lord David Blunkett, in a letter to the Western Mail.

I naturally wondered what the report had to say about ballot papers.

On page 105 the ‘Member in charge’, Mick Antoniw MS, defends the recommendations of the Special Purpose Committee on Senedd Reform.

When asked by David Rees (page 111) why the Bill being presented to the Senedd does not state categorically that candidates’ names will appear on the ballot paper, Antoniw responds that it is being dealt with in “secondary legislation”.

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On page 129 David Rees MS makes it clear that he believes candidates’ names on ballot papers should be stipulated in the Bill itself, not left to secondary legislation.

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A search of the published Bill for ‘ballot paper’ will draw a blank.

CONCLUSION

What may have started out as a genuine attempt to ‘improve democracy’, and by doing that make Wales a better place to live and work, has been subverted by the Labour party, willingly assisted by Plaid Cymru.

To hide the true nature and purpose of the exercise it must be dressed up in self-serving distractions such as ‘gender equality’, but with 26 out of 60 AMs being women we almost have gender equality now, without any special legislation.

Let me explain what I believe is behind this emphasis on ‘women’. For on the Senedd website, under ‘Information about the Bill’, we read: “Require all candidates on a party’s list to state either whether they are, or are not, a woman”.

I think we’re now in the realm of self-identification, and are no longer talking about biological women. I suggest this because the Welsh Government is the largest single funder to the trans activist group, Stonewall, and Labour and Plaid Senedd Members have made their positions quite clear.

Last year Dawn Bowden MS and colleagues insisted we allow biological males to play rugby with and against women and girls – if they identify as women.

You’ll recall that she sat on the Committee on Senedd Electoral Reform which talked of “diversity quotas for protected characteristics other than gender”.

And this goes some way to explaining the attempt to keep candidates’ names off the ballot paper. Because men pretending to be women will not be elected. Unless they can stand anonymously.

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I suspect that another reason for trying to keep candidates’ names off the ballot paper is to facilitate the election of lobbyists, and members of the pressure groups that now seem to direct both Labour and Plaid Cymru.

Again, these would be unlikely to get elected if voters saw their names on the ballot paper and could check on their backgrounds and associations.

Seeing as so many of these ‘campaigners’ are alien to and ignorant of our country, if elected they would simply push their agendas. No matter how damaging those were to the interests of Wales.

We already see it, with Stonewall, but also with 20mph, with the constant attacks on our farmers, and in a host of other ways; serving narrow agendas, but not Wales.

RECOMMENDATION

As it stands, I consider the Bill to be the most dangerous and damaging piece of legislation in 25 years of devolution. A naked power grab.

For in addition to the issues already dealt with, the Bill also makes it more difficult for smaller parties and independent candidates to be elected. This is no accident.

It would have been bad enough if we’d arrived at this point through a mistake, or even incompetence, but I believe we are where we are because this was always the destination.

The Expert Panel was pure window-dressing. It’s hoped we’ll believe that what’s now being offered is merely a ‘tweaking’ of the Panel’s recommendations.

This deception has presented us with a Bill that has nothing to recommend it, and there is nothing of it worth salvaging. It is a step backwards; an affront to common sense, and a threat to democracy.

It must be scrapped.

♦ end ♦

© Royston Jones 2024

Wildlife Trusts, Crazy Money, Hidden Agendas

This is a follow-up to last week’s piece on the enviro-shysters blaming farmers for everything wrong with our rivers, and those behind them hoping to get their corporate claws into farmland.

MERGERS

First, let’s make sure you know where our five wildlife trusts are located. On the image below you can also see the difference in the sizes of the areas they cover.

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Given the other mergers that have taken place over the years it might be worth asking why Montgomeryshire and Radnorshire didn’t join with Breconshire to form a Powys trust? For until 2018 there was a Brecknockshire Wildlife Trust, but then it merged with the Wildlife Trust of South and West Wales.

The Wildlife Trusts Wales Ltd, the umbrella body, dissolved itself 22 March 2022 and the individual trusts joined the English Royal Society of Wildlife Trusts. (Trading name: ‘The Wildlife Trusts’.)

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The WTW charity de-registered.

What had been the Welsh umbrella outfit may even have joined the English body as a separate and individual trust. Certainly, that’s what the website seems to tell us.

When the end came for WTW, the funds were distributed to the five trusts, which makes sense. But I was surprised to see an inrush of grants in the final year.

Why was that, and why couldn’t the money have been given directly to the individual trusts? Finally, what the hell is a ‘Strategic Allocation Grant’?

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Anyway, that’s how we got to where we are now, Wales has five wildlife trusts. Also, Wildlife Trusts Wales, existing is some kind of limbo.

WILD THINGS

Let’s stick with finances, which suggest to me that wildlife trusts have recently been ‘repurposed’. Let me try to explain . . .

There seem to be three main sources of income for wildlife trusts: One is donations or legacies, and a bequest of £1,000,000 in 2003 must have helped keep Brecknock afloat for a while.

The others sources are, either the Lottery (which is little more than disguised UK government funding), and grants and contracts from our ‘Welsh Government’. The table below might help.

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Amazing figures. While total income for the five trusts increased by 133% between 2019 and 2023, for the same period ‘Welsh Government’ funding went up by 760%.

In fact it was more. I didn’t include Radnorshire because I wasn’t sure how to express that increase as a percentage. Should it be 579,620%?

Below I use Charity Commission graphs that I find very helpful. (Here in pdf format.) You can see them individually by clicking on these links: North, Montgomeryshire, Radnorshire, Gwent, South and West.

The other tabs bring up further information.

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For the South and West there’s been little discernible increase. There’s been no startling increase for Montgomeryshire or Gwent either.

Though Montgomeryshire has been getting money for old rope through the Wild Skills Wild Spaces project, worth £700,000 and which, from what I can see, does little more than show people how to go for a walk.

The big jumps in funding are clearly in Radnorshire and the north. In percentage terms Radnorshire really stands out. But why?

One reason may be that the local trust now has a farm, Pentwyn, which is planned to become ‘Wilder Pentwyn‘. The Trust is well-favoured in Corruption Bay, and gets visits from Minister for Rural Affairs Lesley Griffiths (and Gary?), helping her promote the Sustainable Farming Scheme (SFS).

The SFS demands that all Welsh farms give over 10% of their land for trees, and a further 10% for ‘wildlife habitat’. Farmers are, understandably, resisting. And things may be coming to the boil.

But it could get worse, for in its latest annual report the Radnorshire Wildlife Trust (RWT) demands that by 2030: ” . . . 30% of land and water in Radnorshire is managed in a way that creates extensive natural habitats for a wide variety of species”.

How will RWT achieve that target in just six years, considering it owns only one farm?

And how much input did RWT have to the Sustainable Farming Scheme?

Here’s an interesting group photograph. Unfortunately, I don’t have a date, but it can’t be that old. We’ll work left to right:

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Far left is Martin Wilkie, another environmentalist who’s come to tell us how to look after the country we’ve been looking after for over 2,000 years. Wilkie was with the RWT but has now branched out on his own with Wild Borders Ecology.

Next to him of course is Lesley Griffiths.

In the centre is James Hitchcock, RWT CEO.

To his right is Jenny Chryss, an investigative journalist. I’m told she broke with RWT when the Trust became, as my source put it, “corporate shills“. Chryss now fights Bute’s wind farm plans.

Far right is Rachel Sharp, CEO of Wildlife Trusts Wales (WTW). No friend of farmers, that one.

And talking of WTW, let’s not forget Tim Birch. A few years back he was virtually run out of Derbyshire for his extreme views . . . so he came to Wales, where he was welcomed with open arms by the ‘Welsh Government’.

For as I pointed out not so long ago, the ‘Welsh Government’ has regular chats with Extinction Rebellion.

Birch did somersaults when Lee Waters announced the end to road-building in Wales. This legislation was the brainchild of Dr Lynn Sloman, author of ‘Car Sick‘ . . . who lives in London but drives to her holiday home near Machynlleth.

These are the people deciding the future of rural Wales.

They don’t give a toss about us. For them our country is just one big experiment to see how many of their lunacies our idiot politicians will implement.

What we’ll see with Radnorshire Wildlife Trust at Pentwyn (and with others elsewhere), is that nature reserves will have a few sheep, a couple of cows, a rescued donkey for kiddies to pet – and they’ll be hailed as “the future of farming in Wales“.

In fact, that’s exactly what it says on the website: “A new model farm for the future“.

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I believe Radnorshire has been chosen by the ‘Welsh Government’ for a number of ‘initiatives’, and it’s been thrown open to all-comers.

For example, a source drew my attention to Protect Earth, a charity that’s applied for a grant to plant 14,000 trees at Goytre wood, near Knighton. No matter how it’s dressed up, this is just another carbon sequestration scam – and we’ll pay for it!

Protect Earth seems to have other projects in Wales.

Staying in Radnorshire, another new venture is Wilba Conservation Ltd, formed in April 2022, and also into ‘silviculture’. So more carbon sequestration scams.

Wilba is owned by Marches Business Group Ventures Ltd, which itself was formed just a month earlier.

When Wilba need a professional ecologist they turn to Martin Wilkie of Wild Borders Ecology. Ain’t it cosy?

‘Environmentalism’ has become a racket.

As I explained, Wildlife Trusts Wales Ltd was dissolved as a company 22 March 2022, and is no longer registered with the Charity Commission. Yet the website is still active and quotes the defunct registration numbers.

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Rachel Sharp’s LinkedIn page confirms she’s still with WTW, and we know Tim Birch works with her. How many more work for this non-existent outfit?

Seeing as Sharp and Birch serve as the ‘Welsh Government’s attack dogs I’m beginning to wonder if WTW is now ‘in-house’, funded by Lesley Griffiths and her gang.

Here are three questions for The Wildlife Trusts Wales:

  • What is the legal status of Wildlife Trusts Wales?
  • Where does the money to run it come from?
  • Where can I examine the accounts?

WHAT BORDER?

A few years back I was surprised to learn that the Shropshire Hills AONB might be extended into Wales. Here’s one reference from 2019. The article also suggests that the current AONB might be elevated to National Park status.

But if it were to cross the border, where would it go?

To help answer that question I’ve been busy on Photoshop. And when you fit the pieces together it makes a lot of sense, it even ties in with what I described earlier.

On the right in the diptych below we see a tourist map of Shropshire with the AONB shaded in darker green, in the south west. While on the left, I have fitted that map into the wildlife trusts map I used earlier.

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Any extension into Wales would affect both Montgomeryshire and Radnorshire, but more so the latter.

Which I’m sure would make Trust CEO James Hitchcock ecstatic. For he is on record as saying: “We’re in the Welsh Marches. The Marches is a mindset and a cultural identity. Nature does not heed boundaries.”

And let’s remember that before crossing the border Hitchcock was CEO of Herefordshire WT. Which presents a puzzle.

When Hitchcock left Herefordshire that trust was pulling down an average of £1.6m a year. By comparison, Radnorshire wasn’t scraping together a third of that. So it could be argued that Hitchcock took a step down when he started his new job 1 February 2021.

Two months after Hitchcock laid out his pens on the CEO’s desk Wildlife Trusts Wales decided to dissolve itself, with the individual trusts joining the English body. Is that just a coincidence?

No.

I believe Hitchcock was recruited to promote the ‘Welsh Government’s agenda. (Maybe a bigger agenda.) And this explains why he and the Radnorshire Wildlife Trust are feted by Lesley Griffiths and other denizens of the Bay.

Yes, I’m flying a kite by theorising on why Hitchcock came to Wales, but extending the Shropshire Hills AONB into Wales came from somewhere else. And it all ties in perfectly with the ‘Wilder Marches’ project.

But plans for new National Parks and AONBs do not end with a cross-border extension of the Shropshire Hills.

You must be aware of the decision to make the Clwydian Range and Dee Valley AONB into Wales’s fourth National Park. Here are some details from Natural Resources Wales.

An argument I’ve heard used to justify the new NP is that the south east has one with Bannau Brycheiniog; the south west has the Pembrokeshire Coast; the north west, Eryri; so it’s only fair that the north east should also have a National Park.

But if the ‘geographical fairness’ argument has been accepted, then there’ll be just one area without a National Park – central Wales. And why not make it a cross-border National Park?

Co-operation, innit? ‘Hands across the Dyke’ an’ all that.

UPDATE: A comment to this blog reminds us that the area covered by the Radnorshire Wildlife Trust and it’s Montgomeryshire neighbour is almost the same as the area of  Severn Trent Water.

Given that environmental groups and river ‘saviours’ in other parts of Wales have been used (and funded) to blame farmers, in order to cover up for Dŵr Cymru’s spillages and other misdemeanours, might that also be happening in Powys?

CONCLUSION

There’s nothing intrinsically wrong with National Parks, AONBs, wildlife trusts and nature reserves. But they’re no longer just about protecting landscapes, nurturing flora and fauna. They have been politicised, and funded, to serve other agendas.

And the attacks against farming keep coming. Saturday saw the contribution below from Jenny Rathbone MS. And if you want a full tote bag of Green-left hysteria then here it is. And here’s the link to the article she quotes.

She brings Brexit into a truly weird conspiracy theory. Most absurdly she seems to believe that putting our farmers out of business somehow guarantees food security. What do these people have between their ears?

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And what “nature catastrophe“? Things have never been  better. Hasn’t she heard that ospreys are nesting on the farm her government bought for £4.25m?

Though we won’t know if they’re coming back, or not, until Vaughan Gething is safely installed as the new Labour leader. Phew!

But they were definitely there last year, oh yes . . . even though nobody saw them. And no photos or videos have emerged.

By “food security” what Rathbone means is an endless supply of free range radishes from the OPD that daddy bought for Guy and Clarissa.

Rathbone herself is sprung of a wealthy Liverpool family and does well from her cut of the various trusts and other bodies bearing the Rathbone name.

She sits on the Senedd’s Climate Change Environment and Rural Affairs Committee. Her partner, John Uden, was given a no-show job by Bute Energy, the Scottish company wanting to throw up a few dozen wind farms in Wales.

How the other half lives, eh!

I was directed to another Saturday posting on X, this one from Jeremy Clarkson.

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Other people have the same problem, Jeremy. And the explanation is that the ‘Welsh Government’ tells porkies.

Lesley Griffiths, Julie James, Jenny Rathbone et al say they’re saving the planet, fighting a “climate catastrophe“, but in reality they’re forcing farmers out of business so that big corporations can buy the land, and make yet more money, from carbon sequestration, wind farms, and other scams.

With ‘environmentalists’ disguising this land grab and hoping to be rewarded with vast acreages for rewilding and other anti-human activities.

And that’s why only 3% of farmers trust the ‘Welsh Government’. (Though I’m surprised it’s that high.) It also explains why the protests have started.

This dishonest behaviour is not confined to agriculture,

Last year the ‘Welsh Government’ introduced it’s 20mph legislation. The justification was road safety. But Lee Waters and the rest also want to sneak in legislation on noise, and emissions; to make ‘idling’ an offence, introduce road charging.

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‘Safety’ was just the pretty wrapping – it is ultimately about taking away our cars, and keeping us penned in 15-minute ghettos.

Environmentalism and restoring biodiversity are also pretty wrapping for something more sinister. And it’s not just farmers under attack.

The ‘Welsh Government’ is implementing the Globalists’ de-growth agenda. And among other targets this agenda wants to destroy traditional farming and food production because if they can control the food supply, then the Globalists will control the world.

Don’t let it happen. The farmers’ fight is your fight. Stand with the farmers!

♦ end ♦

© Royston Jones 2024

Labour And Plaid Cymru Plot To Destroy Welsh Democracy

In this post we’ll look at the proposed Senedd ‘reforms’, focusing on the closed list system, the method of counting the votes, the design of the ballot paper, and then I’ll try to explain it all.

There have been calls for many years for a bigger Senedd so that it can give better ‘scrutiny’. That may have been the original intention, but I believe other considerations came into play. And these account for the deviations from the original proposals made by the Expert Panel in 2017.

At present, we have 60 Senedd Members. One from each of our 40 Westminster constituencies, elected by first past the post; the other 20 from 5 regions, each returning four Members, these elected by the less than perfect d’Hondt system. Explained here by Labour MS Mike Hedges.

Wales’s representation at Westminster is being reduced to 32 MPs. Those controlling Senedd reform have decided to ‘pair’ these seats to give 16 huge and unwieldy constituencies each of which will elect 6 Members by the d’Hondt method.

1/ THE EXPERT PANEL

The process that brought us to this point seems to have begun with the appointment in February 2017 of an Expert Panel (EP) to look into expanding the (then) Assembly.

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This group reported in November 2017. And among other things, suggested three possible electoral systems (p 129). These were:

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The system favoured by the Panel was the Single Transferable Vote.

You’ll perhaps note, by it’s absence, any mention of the closed list system that has been decided upon, and is now being widely criticised.

Or rather, the closed list was mentioned, and rejected (p 128).

This EP report was studied by our esteemed tribunes, its recommendations initially accepted, before being cast aside. Not because it wasn’t a fine piece of academic work, but because, as time went on, it could not deliver changed priorities.

Making the whole EP exercise a waste of time. Unless the hope was that the public would think what politicians subsequently came up with had the imprimatur of those experts.

2/ COMMITTEE ON SENEDD ELECTORAL REFORM

The next step was the Committee on Senedd Electoral Reform, which first met in January 2020. The Committee was dissolved following a debate on its report on Wednesday 7 October 2020.

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Here’s the Committee’s Report from September 2020, and here’s a summary of its recommendations. Note that it agrees with the Expert Panel in recommending the Single Transferable Vote.

Though it also makes a reference to “diversity quotas for protected characteristics other than gender”. I think we can guess where that’s heading.

3/ SPECIAL PURPOSE COMMITTEE ON SENEDD REFORM

Now we move on to October 2021, when a fresh Committee was established to take things forward, with Huw Irranca-Davies providing continuity.

Here are all the members. From what I can see, the only Conservative, Darren Millar, soon distanced himself. I guess he could see the direction of travel.

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The Special Purpose Committee on Senedd Reform published its report ‘Reforming our Senedd: A stronger voice for the people of Wales’ on 30 May 2022. Here’s a link to that report. Let’s pick out a few choice bits.

In the ‘Recommendation’ (pages 9-12) two that caught my eye were . . .

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In 14 we read that all political parties are to be ‘encouraged’ to publish “a diversity and inclusion strategy”. More ‘diversity’!

I found 17 remarkable in that it says those framing these proposals fear being referred to the Supreme Court. Suggesting that what they’re proposing may be unlawful.

Moving on to ‘Electoral System’, on page 26, where we read, solemnly inscribed: “Electoral systems are one of the fundamental building blocks of democracy”.

Too bloody right, Comrade! Let’s all remember that.

The Expert Panel’s favoured system of the Single Transferable Vote, endorsed by the Committee on Senedd Electoral Reform, was rejected by Huw Irranca-Davies and his new playmates because it, ” . . . was an unfamiliar system in Wales and that the method of translating votes into seats would be seen as complex and difficult to explain”.

In other words, electorates around the world may have got used to STV, but Welsh voters are uniquely stupid.

So why not elect three Members from each of the 32 new constituencies in the same way we elect councillors? It’s a system we twp Taffs are familiar with.

Jane Dodds (Liberal Democrat) favoured STV, so did Siân Gwenllian (Plaid Cymru), but, “in the spirit of achieving the supermajority required to deliver Senedd reform” Siân Gwenllian fell into line.

Not a whimper of dissent was heard from Elin Jones (Plaid Cymru).

So the Committee rejected the Single Transferable Vote, also the other two options  recommended by the Expert Panel. Instead, and for no obvious reason, went for what it calls, “the closed proportional list” system.

Certainly, the current method for electing our regional list MSs is a closed list, but does any country elect all its politicians by the closed list system?

When it comes to working out who gets to go to Corruption Bay the EP looked at two methods. The d’Hondt and Saint-Lagué divisor systems. The latter gives a more proportional outcome, and also gives more of a chance to smaller parties and independents.

Irranca-Davies and his friends of course plumped for the d’Hondt method.

Now we come to the most remarkable and worrying thing I encountered in all 92 pages. Scroll to page 38, and there you’ll see under ‘Ballot Papers’ . . .

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We would anticipate . . . some of the names . . . of candidates will appear . . . “.

ALL candidates’ names on the ballot paper should be a ‘given’. That it’s even being discussed strengthens my suspicions of the true motives behind this exercise.

So, let’s recap . . .

This Committee not only rejected the voting system recommended by the Expert Panel and accepted by the Committee on Senedd Electoral Reform in favour of the closed list, it also opted for the less proportional system for allocating seats, and finally, it even suggested not naming candidates.

How the hell does this improve democracy in Wales?

Moving on . . .

4/ REFORM BILL COMMITTEE

A Reform Bill Committee was established 12 July 2023. In the panel below you can see the Committee’s remit and its members.

The role of this group was to go through the Bill that resulted from the report of The Special Purpose Committee on Electoral Reform. Making Recommendations where it felt the need.

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The Reform Bill Committee’s report was published last month, and debated in the Senedd 30 January (No 8).

The motion: ‘To propose that Senedd Cymru in accordance with Standing Order 26.11: Agrees to the general principles of the Senedd Cymru (Members and Elections) Bill.’ was passed by 39 votes to 14. All Conservatives voted against.

It’s a weighty tome, 224 pages, and you can read it if you’re so minded. But I’ll focus on the issues I’ve already discussed, and see what, if anything, has changed.

In his Introduction, the chair, Labour’s David Rees MS, has this to say:

We have not reached consensus on all matters . . . But, we are unanimous in our concerns about the proposed closed list electoral system . . . We believe the link between voters and the Members who represent them is paramount.

We therefore urge all political parties in the Senedd to work together to ensure the electoral system in the Bill provides greater voter choice and improved accountability for future Members to their electorates.

He’s clearly not happy with the closed list. Neither is former Labour minister Lord David Blunkett. But as things stand, we’re stuck with it.

Next, I went to check on the design of the ballot paper, which Huw Irranca-Davies’s Committee had suggested need not carry the names of the candidates.

On page 105 I found what you see below. The ‘Member in charge’ is Mick Antoniw MS, Counsel General and Minister for the Constitution, who defends the recommendations of Huw Irranca-Davies’s group.

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If the closed list is used in 2026 then it’s unlikely it will ever be changed, because those who’ve benefitted from it, and then control the Senedd, will not vote to change it.

On page 111 Antoniw is pressed as to why the Bill being presented to the Senedd does not state categorically that candidates’ names will appear on the ballot paper. He gives the mealy-mouthed reply that it didn’t need to be set out in the Bill, but the matter will be addressed in “secondary legislation“.

On page 129 David Rees makes it clear that he believes candidates’ names on ballot papers should be stipulated in the Bill itself, not left to secondary legislation . . . which may never happen:

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In fact, a search of the published Bill for ‘ballot paper’ draws a blank.

I cannot believe that we have got this far in the passage of a ‘reform’ Bill that won’t promise candidates’ names on ballot papers.

But then, Antoniw is Zelensky’s man in Corruption Bay. And Zelensky’s not a big fan of democracy; he’s banned opposition parties and closed churches. But we’re still expected to believe that he’s fighting the Ivans in defence of democracy.

MAKING SENSE OF IT

When this process started, back in early 2017, with the appointment of the Expert Panel, there may have been a genuine intention to ‘improve democracy in Wales’.

Somewhere along the way the focus changed, it became more politicised, more partisan, and less democratic. I believe we can pinpoint when this happened. And also explain it.

It happened some time between the Committee on Senedd Electoral Reform reporting in September 2020 and the Special Purpose Committee on Senedd Reform publishing its report 30 May 2022. A year and a half in the time of Covid.

And here’s why it happened . . .

There’s a phenomenon I’ve reported on more than once and why, last June, I published, Wales: Ruled By Pressure Groups.

Pressure groups and organisations, some global, others organised on a UK-wide basis with a Welsh branch, but all pushing the Globalist holy trinity designed to destabilise and weaken the West:

  1. A climate-nature ‘crisis’ that demands a ruinous drive to net zero
  2. Constantly reminding White people how evil and privileged we are
  3. 101 genders that means men can have babies by ‘chicks with dicks’

This also explains calls to constantly lower the voting age. For children who’ve come through a school system influenced by Stonewall and other groups may be unable to read and write but they’re more likely to be suckered by a charlatan pushing the Globalist agenda.

The so-called ‘Welsh Government’ is now controlled by Agenda-loyal pressure groups. Having just mentioned Stonewall, you can see from this table that the ‘Welsh Government’, whether directly or through bodies it controls, is now that group’s largest single UK funder.

Another worrying feature that I’ve observed recently is the ‘Welsh Government’ taking over various organisations that should be independent. This is invariably achieved through funding, in the form of loans or grants, which is then used to justify ‘appointees’.

We’ve seen it across the board, from the Welsh Rugby Union and the Football Association of Wales to Bannau Brycheiniog National Park. I wrote about this dangerous trend, also last June, in ‘Taking Control, Of Everything‘.

What we see happening with the subverting of the Senedd reform process is a synthesis between the growing power of pressure groups and the increasing control freakery of a Labour party wholly committed to the Globalist agenda.

It will give Labour bosses control over the electoral system, and Senedd seats for pressure group parasitoids. Making the Senedd less representative because it will have more Members for whom the interests of Wales will be largely irrelevant.

It will also give the Senedd a near-permanent left / far left majority.

The only way to achieve a Senedd that works solely in the the interests of Labour and its rural variant (Plaid Cymru) is through a closed and anonymised list system.

Such a system also makes Plaid Cymru more of a hostage than a partner.

CONCLUSION & RECOMMENDATION

Until I started flicking through the various reports and other documentation I hadn’t fully appreciated how corrupted and dangerous the ‘reform’ plan had become.

Ask yourself – would anyone believe that in a European democracy in 2024 politicians could seriously propose closed list elections that are also anonymised?

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Why recruit an Expert Panel and then reject all three of its proposals for organising elections? And then, after comparing the d’Hondt and Saint-Lagué divisor systems, why choose the one that’s less proportional?

The answer is obvious, and so I repeat – these ‘reforms’ are not to make Wales more democratic, or provide ‘greater scrutiny’. They’re intended to give the leftist political class total control through an electoral system that can almost ignore the wishes of the people.

It’s a very obvious power grab. 

Power to serve The Agenda, that will demand the end of farming; 10mph (or no traffic at all to allow for daily Pride parades); 15-minute ghettoes; butchering confused 12-year-olds on the NHS; re-writing history; more foreign-owned wind farms; ‘inclusivity’ that will exclude most Welsh people, etc., etc.

While away from the noise of articulated idiocies and the din of clashing egos, out ‘there’, in the real Wales, people die in ambulances outside hospitals, and kids go hungry.

What has been stitched up by Labour and Plaid Cymru is so obviously anti-democratic, bordering on the dangerous, that it must be fought all the way.

To the Supreme Court, if necessary.

♦ end ♦

© Royston Jones 2024

Landfill Is A Murky Business

Our story begins in Pembrokeshire, to the north of Haverfordwest. To be exact, at Withyhedge landfill site. Which lies to the east of the A40 and just south of the railway line to Fishguard.

WHERE?

You can see the site for yourselves in the OS map below. Circled towards the top.

I believe the site was originally managed by the county council. Then, 1995 saw a new arrangement involving Resources Management UK Ltd. This company was taken over by SITA UK – now Suez Recycling and Recovery UK – from whence it transferred to the Potter Group of Welshpool, Wales’ biggest recycling company.

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In March 2022 Potter sold Resource Management UK to the Dauson Environmental Group Ltd of Cardiff, helped by a loan of £1,143,000 from Walters Land Ltd of Hirwaun. (Though this may have taken the form of writing off a debt incurred in January 2020 by Potter.)

Throughout changes of ownership Resources Management UK Ltd has remained the registered operator of the Withyhedge site. Here’s the Land Registry title document complete with plan. (Which needs to be updated.)

It may be worth mentioning that some three years ago Walters extended the Withyhedge site for the Potter Group. And as the Walters Linkedin page tells us, “As a result of delivering this project, Walters have been awarded a new landfill cell construction project (by Potter) in Telford.”

Walters Land is part of the Walters Group of Hirwaun, which has a history in opencast mining but is now rehabilitating itself with the planet-botherers with wind turbines. Even wind turbines on former opencast sites.

Anyway, that’s the background, so let’s push on.

WHAT’S NEW?

I’m writing this because people living in the vicinity of the Withyhedge landfill site have had enough of the increasing smells from the site, suspected water pollution, and the traffic problems caused by a constant stream of trucks bringing waste from Cardiff and even from England (via Cardiff).

As if that wasn’t enough, a local farmer has even told me, “This site is why so many of us have gone down with (Bovine) TB in the last ten months! Cleared the woods and disturbed all the (badger) setts.”

Here are some very recent reports of locals complaining and politicians getting involved.

The Pembrokeshire Herald on December 21. Western Telegraph from the day after Boxing Day. And then a statement last week from Natural Resources Wales, which may have resulted from a complaint made by local Senedd Member Paul Davies.

In addition to the noise, the traffic, and the smells, there was also a fire on the site in July, 2018.

The image below shows trucks queuing up to dump their rubbish at Withyhedge. The blue trucks belong to Atlantic Recycling Ltd, part of the Dauson Group which, as we’ve seen, owns the site.

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The Dauson Group itself is owned by David John Neal of Rumney, Cardiff. Who runs many companies.

Neal seems to have been in this business for a long time and, perhaps inevitably, has had his brushes with regulatory authorities. Here’s a case from May 2013 involving the sensitive Gwent Levels.

Neal was in court again in November 2017 for having done nothing to clear up the mess he’d made. “Neal was fined £30,000, ordered to pay £20,000 costs, and given an 18 week prison sentence, suspended for 12 months.”

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I must confess I hadn’t given landfill much thought lately, I assumed it was being phased out in favour of recycling. Because you don’t have to be an enviro-loony to think that putting thousands of tons of waste into the ground may be a bad idea.

So I was surprised to find so many landfill sites in Wales, and so many operators. Here’s the list provided by the self-styled ‘Welsh Government’. (Updated 16.08.2023.)

One that caught my eye was the site at the old Tir John power station in Swansea, where I had family and friends working. The site is operated by Enovert South Ltd of Stafford. There’s also an Enovert North Ltd, which runs the Hafod landfill in Wrecsam.

Both companies are owned by Enovert Management Ltd, which is in turn owned by Brad Scott Huntington, a Canadian living in the Cayman Islands.

In fact, most companies operating Welsh landfill sites are based over the border. Making me wonder if these sites are used for local waste, or if they’re taking – as at Withyhedge – garbage from England.

It seems obvious that David John Neal would not have been interested in the site unless there was money to be made. Either in the form of an extended lifespan for the site, or an increase in capacity. Maybe both.

And indeed, I’m told that a new 250,000 tonne extension has been issued. It is even suggested that old waste is being dug up to make way for new deliveries, and that this accounts for the recent deterioration in air and water quality in the vicinity.

What’s more, local sources say that last year the site accepted 44,000 tonnes more than its permit allowed.

CONNECTIONS

Despite the bad odour around landfills, and his record, Corruption Bay – in the form of the Development Bank of Wales (DBW) – has been generous to David John Neal and his many companies.

Despite the damage caused to the Gwent Levels DBW has made three loans since 2020 to Neal Soil Suppliers Ltd, one of the companies named in the court proceedings.

There are other outstanding DBW loans going back to 2013.

As we’ve seen, a name that crops up regularly in connection with David Neal and this saga is Dauson. The Dauson Group owns both the Withyhedge site and the ‘Atlantic’ trucks that deliver there.

I knew I’d seen the Dauson name before, and so I did a bit of digging. Sure enough, I turned it up – on this very blog!

Back in October 2019 I wrote about ambitious plans for the old Ferodo site in Caernarfon. Scroll down to the section ‘Brakes off at the Ferodo site’.

The Ferodo plant in Caernarfon in its hey-day. Click to open enlarged in separate tab

As originally written, this was a complicated story, a number of players. I’ll try to keep this recap simple, but you can read the original piece if you want the fuller picture.

So to cut a long story short . . . after the successor company to Ferodo pulled out, and the plant finally closed, the site passed into the possession of the ‘Welsh Government’. (Here’s the title document.)

In April 2009 there was an agreement between our respected tribunes and Bluefield Caernarfon Ltd, a company formed July 2007. There was also a Bluefield Caernarfon Management Ltd.

Both companies dissolved in January 2016. With Bluefield Caernarfon leaving four outstanding charges.

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A familiar name because Bluefield Land Ltd, formed in 2004, is another David John Neal company. With five outstanding charges with the Julian Hodge Bank.

Neal did not figure among the directors of the Bluefield manifestations in Gwynedd. He may have been represented by associates. But he definitely held shares.

The 100 shares for Bluefield Caernarfon were split 35 for Bluefield Land and 65 for Twenty20 Homes Ltd of Bridgend, which also dissolved in January 2016, the same month as the Bluefield Caernarfon companies.

A majority of the shares in Twenty20 Homes was held by Macob Property Holdings Ltd, also of Bridgend. Macob finally went belly-up in January 2020, though an administrator had been appointed as early as March 2014, just 26 months after formation.

We seem to be looking at considerable shuffling around and interplay between companies destined to fail.

One of the Neal ‘associates’ I find particularly interesting is Gary Goodman of Liverpool. Interesting because all the others involved are from south east Wales.

Goodman was a director of both Caernarfon Bluefield companies and the Cardiff company of the same name. But more than that, Goodman was also a director of Bluefield Sandbach Ltd.

And among the other directors of Bluefield Sandbach I saw a name I’d noticed earlier in the research for this piece, Daymion Jenkins. In fact, he seems to have had a Nap hand of Bluefield companies.

His Linkedin page mentions Bluefield but would have us believe he quit in 2009. But as we’ve just seen, according to Companies House he hung on until April 2014. Why the discrepancy?

Bluefield Sandbach also threw up a new name, Howard Wyn Evans of Haynes Watts, accountants of Cardiff. And yet another Bluefield company in Bluefield Energy Ltd. Though I can’t see any connection to David Neal.

Evans has been director of quite a few companies, many in the ‘renewables’ sector. One that caught my eye was Sundorne Products (Llanidloes) Ltd, owned by Potters Waste Management Ltd of Welshpool.

Remember Potters, former owners of the Withyhedge landfill site in Pembrokeshire? Small world, innit!

CONCLUSION

As I was writing this I kept thinking of the remarkable case of Stan ‘The Pies’ Thomas and the publicly-owned land he was able to buy at knockdown prices.

I wrote about the case early in 2016: Pies, Planes & Property Development, and Pies, Planes & Property Development 2. (I try to be imaginative in naming follow-ups.)

Back then, I and others tended to point the finger at the Regeneration Investment Fund for Wales LLP (RIFW), which had responsibility for disposing of public land for the best possible price. Or so we were led to believe.

Fingers were also pointed at one of the LLP partners, Amber Fund Management, and valuers Lambert Smith Hampton.

Following the Stan Thomas fiasco, RIFW was reorganised, with now just two partners (Amber was given the heave-ho), and has some £50m in the bank. What it actually does nowadays is open to question.

But thinking back, I can’t help wondering if instead of – even in addition to – dodgy dealings there might have been political intervention in favour of Stan Thomas. And perhaps others.

For over the years I’ve come to suspect that certain businessmen, in and around Cardiff, in positions to smooch Labour politicians, get favoured treatment. Maybe ‘pointed’ in certain directions.

This obviously works against those further from Cardiff, and those who would prefer not to get too close to those reptiles.

Looking back, with all we now know, there’s also something of a whiff about the Ferodo deal; the site being gifted by the ‘Welsh government’ to people who couldn’t find Caernarfon on a map – but were already known to Corruption Bay.

And when we learn that the principal in this case, David John Neal, was so generous towards his local Assembly Member you have to fight your rapidly elevating eyebrows.

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For God’s sake, three donations, from three different Neal companies, to Vaughan Gething’s 2018 leadership campaign! Was making it look like three separate funders supposed to help Gething?

Will Dai Neal be contributing to Gething’s current leadership campaign? Why not!

As a much-loved sitcom character might have put it – ‘Lubbly jubbly!’

♦ end ♦

© Royston Jones 2024

Snake Oil And Land Grabs

I know, I know . . . I said last week’s post would be the last before Christmas, but those devious buggers in Corruption Bay sneaked out a couple of things that can’t go without comment.

GLOBALIST SNAKE OIL

This section begins with a tweet I picked up last week relating to Bute Energy, a Scottish company that wants to cover Wales in wind turbines and pylons. It claims to be ‘Welsh’ because it operates here.

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So what is ‘Social Value’?

Well, from what I can see, Social Value is on a par with fairy dust, the Emperor’s New Clothes, and the whole Wokie belief system; in that it relies on people denying their better judgement to go along with what they know is unadulterated bollocks.

A kind of snake oil for the senses peddled by earnest, often intense, people who really should be receiving treatment. Alternatively, it’s done by charlatans.

Still, in fairness, I looked for an alternative definition, and this is what the Local Government Association (England) offers.

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It strikes me as a flagrant attempt to inflate the value of something, perhaps a contract awarded; or even a way of salvaging something from a failure. Putting a gloss on something. Dare I say, turd polishing?

Taken ad absurdum you could say, “Well, yes, Hitler may have been a genocidal maniac – but he liked dogs.”

The outfit pushing this with Bute Energy is ANTZ. I assume this is its Companies House registration. Another company using the ANTZ label at the same Manchester address is ANTZ Junction, in the business of social work.

There’s also ANTZ Network Ltd of Ormskirk, a management consultancy. And until 30 March 2021 there was also an ANTZ Group Ltd of Bolton. There are many other companies using the ANTZ name but I know these four are related through the shared directors.

As I say, one is dissolved, and the other three are all in the red according to the accounts filed with Companies House.

But there’s also a charity by the name of ANTZ Junction. I know it’s linked because the entry on the Charity Commission website gives the company number for ANTZ Junction.

But now it gets odd. For the Charity is doing very well financially.

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In my experience, when an entity is both a company, registered with Companies House, and a charity, registered with the Charity Commission, then the directors of the company are always the trustees of the charity. Also, the accounts filed with Companies House and the Charity Commission will be the same.

That is not the case with ANTZ Junction, and I’d like to know why.

In fact, the only director I can find serving as a trustee is (I assume) Nicola Joanne Geddes, who appears among the trustees as ‘Jo Geddes Hold’. I even found a Linkedin profile for a Joanne Geddes-Hold, but with no mention of ANTZ.

So who are the other trustees?

And why is money going into the charity but not showing in the company accounts?

I’m asking these questions because ANTZ is getting a lot of work in Wales. Not least from the South East & Mid Wales Collaborative Construction Framework (sewscap).

And, as we saw at the start, Bute Energy.

ANTZ’s man on the ground, so to speak, is Kerdiff boy Paul Shackson, who has a PR company called Camarilla. And good for him, I say, because Cardiff is desperately short of PR outfits . . . and lobbyists, and nudgers, and shysters of all kinds.

Here’s his Linkedin bio, but again, no mention of ANTZ.

Something’s not right here. But then, when you deal in bullshit like Social Value you shouldn’t be surprised if magic bean salesmen appear.

I suggest questions need to be asked about the structure and financing of ANTZ.

UPDATE: Last week Plaid Cymru MS Llyr Gruffydd left Rural Affairs Minister Lesley Griffiths floundering by asking how farmers would be compensated for their land being devalued by her administration forcing them to plant trees.

She was rescued by senior civil servant Gian Marco Currado; but the best he could offer was . . . “Social Credit”. Which will mean absolutely nothing for farmers.

This takes us neatly into part two of this offering where we look at the wider threat to Welsh farming.

GLOBALIST LAND GRAB?

This section was inspired by a tweet I saw on Saturday morning about the publication of a report entitled Potential economic effects of the Sustainable Farming Scheme.

The Sustainable Farming Scheme (SFS) being ‘Welsh Government’ policy, read about it here. Yes, it’s the one about planting trees everywhere.

The document that came out a few days ago, as the title suggests, calculates the effects of the SFS. You can either go through all the tables, or you can skip to the last page, where you’ll find the Summary.

And you’ll see some worrying figures. Not least, a decline of 11% in “on-farm labour”, which means thousands of jobs lost.

It’s no secret that the ‘Welsh Government’ wants to do away with farming as much as it can. There are a number of reasons for this. Among them, the old socialist hostility towards ‘kulak’ landowners.

I suspect most are using a contemporary fad to serve the pre-existing bias. But that does not exclude the possibility that some of them are stupid enough to really believe in the Armageddon potential of cow farts.

What struck me about the new report was who the ‘Welsh Government’ had chosen to do it. The report tells us, “This work has been undertaken in accordance with the quality management system of RSK ADAS Ltd“.

One of the authors of the report, Dr Liz Lewis-Reddy, works for RSK ADAS.

So what am I driving at?

OK, let’s start with the company, RSK ADAS Ltd. Or rather, ADAS, which is an agricultural advisory service that was acquired by RSK, resulting in the new company, formed some seven years ago.

ADAS has done a lot of work in Wales, scroll down here to see some projects. Much of it has been for the ‘Welsh Government’.

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Tracing the ownership of RSK ADAS eventually gets us to Los Angeles and “global alternative investment manager” the Ares Management Corporation. You may not be surprised to learn that among the largest of Ares’ shareholders we find both BlackRock and Vanguard.

Let’s go back to Liz Lewis-Reddy, the RSK ADAS representative and leading member of the trio that produced the recent report. What’s her background? Well, to begin with, she’s Canadian.

Before joining RSK ADAS Dr Lewis-Reddy worked for the Montgomeryshire Wildlife Trust. At first sight I thought that was a rather startling career change, from bucolic bliss to the cut-throat world of alternative investment.

But when you think about it, it makes perfect sense.

Let me explain that by using Dr Lewis-Reddy’s Linkedin profile. In particular, note her role at the Montgomeryshire Wildlife Trust.

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We are told she: “Maintained the Trust portfolio of Rural Development Plan funding streams and oversaw the management of over 1000acres of Nature Reserve”.

That 1000+ acres was once agricultural land. Bought with funding from the ‘Welsh Government’. The reference to “funding streams” tells us Lewis-Reddy knows how to get money from politicians to buy farmland.

Remembering Ares, and reminding ourselves that carbon offsetting is now one of the most popular alternative investments, RSK ADAS recruiting Dr Liz Lewis-Reddy makes perfect sense.

And just as with the politicians, she can kid herself she’s saving the planet by getting farmers off the land . . . so it can be bought by her employer’s clients.

And it could get even worse. Because the ‘Welsh Government’ and Plaid Cymru have both bought into the climate crisis scam, and the next stage will be governments forcibly confiscating farmland and other private property.

J P Morgan CEO, Jamie Dimon, let the cat out of the bag a few months back.

But of course it’s got nothing to do with saving the planet. It’s about concentrating wealth and assets in the hands of those who want to own and rule the world.

Welsh farmers need to realise that you can’t negotiate with brainwashed thickos who believe farm animals are killing the planet. And the same applies to those pretending to believe it in order to grab farmland for ‘alternative investment’.

And when you see the two coming up the road, arm in arm, singing the same tune, then the only option is to dig in and fight.

Nadolig Llawen a Blwyddyn Newydd Dda

© Royston Jones 2023

Send Us Your ‘Homeless’, Your . . .

This post, the last before Christmas, deals with a ‘consultation process’ that could result in changes being implemented that will prove very damaging to Welsh communities.

PANELS, REPORTS, RECOMMENDATIONS

You may remember that some six years ago I submitted a Freedom of Information request to the ‘Welsh Government’ asking how many homelessness organisations there were in Wales. The answer I got was 48.

It may be more by now. It will certainly be more in the future if the desired changes are made to the legislation relating to homelessness.

Let’s begin in June 2019 with the ‘Welsh Government’ setting up a Homelessness Action Groupto recommend the steps needed to end homelessness in Wales“.

This is the group’s final report to the ‘Welsh Government‘ in July 2020. In it I noticed a reference to the Ending Homelessness National Advisory Board (previously known as the Housing Support National Advisory Board).

This second group also promises to end homelessness. Here’s a link to their riveting report from August this year.

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Let’s return to the Homelessness Action Group. Its report is heavy on recommendations but nowhere could I find the names of those who sit on the group. Nor was it signed off by the chair or secretary.

I eventually found the names of the group members on the website of an organisation called Crisis, the driving force behind the whole exercise. An English outfit that’s done what so many do by renting a cupboard in Cardiff and pretending to be Welsh.

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When I saw the name Jon Sparkes my soul soared, for I hoped it might be a misspelling, and a reference to that great observer of Welsh life who gave us Hugh Pugh, Shadwell, Old Mr Fffff et al; but no, for it was definitely Jon, not John.

Jon Sparkes OBE has moved on from Crisis to become CEO of UNICEF UK.

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Before considering the outcomes of these deliberations and their possible consequences, I want to mention a third assemblage of the wise and the caring. This is the Expert Review Panel, or Legal Reform Panel, announced by Julie James 30 March 2022.

The Expert Review Panel reported to James, Minister for Climate Change, in October. Here’s the report. It was delivered to Chez James because she was the Minister for Housing and Local Government who set up the original Homelessness Action Group back in 2019.

Here’s how Crisis celebrated the Panel’s findings.

Apart from three local authority representatives I don’t see much Welsh representation. It’s the usual melange of third sector chisellers and memsahibs living high on the hog of public funding. (Though don’t get me wrong! – I’m sure they’re all vegans.)

Cardiff University and the Labour party (virtually one and the same nowadays) are also in the mix.

And again, Crisis seems to be playing the leading role in this farce.

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Named with the Crisis Wales policy team is Abi Renshaw. But since October she’s been Business Support Coordination Officer for  Community Housing Cymru (CHC), the umbrella organisation for our Registered Social Landlords (RSLs).

CHC is controlled by the ‘Welsh Government’. Which means that someone who moved from Bristol last year, a woman who knows sod all about Wales, has landed a cushy, well-paid (and almost certainly unnecessary) job, in Corruption Bay.

That’s modern Wales in a nutshell.

On page 88 of the report we read that some on the panel – you can guess who! – wanted to create a new post of Housing / Homelessness Regulator.

I often lie awake at night wondering how we manage without a Housing / Homelessness Regulator, on £100,000 a year. Of course we’d need a Deputy Regulator. And perhaps an Assistant Regulator.

With a staff of 50 . . . until the new department finds its feet and expands.

After all, Wales can afford it.

WHITE PAPER, CONSULTATION

What you’ve read so far leads us to the White Paper put out by the ‘Welsh Government’ on October 10 asking for feedback. So here’s a link to the Consultation on the White Paper on Ending Homelessness in Wales.

As you flick through it you’ll see that it’s laid out in chapters, each one concluding with ‘Consultation questions’.

A number of highlighted ‘proposal’ sections are designed to catch the eye. Here’s a selection, together with my comments:

The first will put you in the mood for the unhinged ramblings that follow. And it would be impossible to surpass this example of what German academics call Bollockssprecht.

. . . the local housing authority should be obliged to ask an applicant from the Gypsy, Roma and Travelling Community whether or not they are culturally averse to bricks and mortar“.

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If they are not “culturally averse“, and they take a Welsh home, does that mean they no longer qualify as members of the, “Gypsy, Roma and Travelling Community” – and can they expect to be evicted?

Come to that, why would anyone from those communities be applying for a home of the hated “bricks and mortar” variety in the first place?

Who could write that bollocks and keep a straight face? But if it was written with a straight face then the poor soul who wrote it needs help.

I’m getting a headache just thinking about it, so let’s move on.

Next up, ‘Intentionality’. A clumsy-looking word that refers to persons making themselves deliberately homeless.

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In practice, changes here could result in someone giving up a secure tenancy in Yorkshire – thereby making themselves intentionally homeless – and then being able to demand housing in Pembrokeshire.

It is a very, very bad idea.

One of the current safeguards against abuse of the system is the ‘local connection’ rule, which says you must have lived in an area for at least six months to qualify for social housing. The qualification period is far too short, but it’s something.

Yet some regard it as asking too much.

This passage from the consultation document exposes the split between third sector chisellers and local authorities. The second paragraph makes clear that the push to drop the local connection rule entirely came from the English cupboard-dwellers in Crisis.

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An existing way of getting around the local qualification rule has been to claim a family connection with the area. I’ve seen this operate.

Someone with no local connection gets housed after claiming some exceptional status, and before you know it, the extended family has moved to the area through being able to claim a ‘familial connection’.

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This proposal seems to suggest keeping the already inadequate ‘familial ties’ rule, but watering it down to where it would be meaningless.

The paragraphs above suggest removing the local connection rule altogether; but something else I’ve lifted, and you can see below, suggests achieving the same objective by a series of changes rather than in one fell swoop.

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I would guess that the reference to “Prison leavers” refers to the massive new prison in Wrecsam, HMP Berwyn, where most of the prisoners are from England. Think how that might work out.

There are clearly three main ‘targets’ where change is sought by the chisellers heretofore mentioned.

Local connection and intentionality we’ve looked at, which leaves access to public funds. The situation at present is that persons subject to immigration control cannot claim public funds unless an exception applies.

A footnote to page 93 reads: “The Welsh Government have (sic) recently launched a supplementary Migrant Victim of Abuse Support Fund, which will be piloted for a year by BAWSO. We intend to use the learning from this pilot, together with the evaluation of the Home Office’s Support for Migrant Victims Scheme to shape the design of longer-term support to meet the needs of migrant victims in Wales.”

BAWSO is an organisation catering for women of colour. It has received vast amounts of funding over the years – over £3m in ‘Welsh Government’ grants and contracts in the twelve months ending 31.03.2022 – and is now a major property owner. Its founder, Mutale Merrill, also has a nice property portfolio of her own.

Though the original, Homelessness Action Group, set up in 2019, in its report recommended, in the section headed ‘Ending Migrant Homelessness’ (page 26), “Providing guidance to local authorities, clearly setting out the duties owed to migrant households with no recourse to public funds.

I suspect that the ‘Welsh Government’ and its third sector cronies are trying to circumvent as much as they can the UK immigration control legislation.

Let’s be clear: Any attempts to weaken or remove the existing requirements can only mean that the intention is to commandeer Welsh housing for people with no connection to Wales. This can only be done at the expense of Welsh people hoping for a home in their own country.

I appreciate that it’s quite a daunting task to read all this stuff, so for a quicker read, here’s the Children’s and Young Person’s version.

BUT WHY?

What we see here is a struggle between three different interests.

First, we have NGO shysters with no commitment to Wales or the Welsh people, concerned only with groups they’ve decided are ‘marginalised’, assorted ishoos, and themselves. These charlatans would flood Wales with ‘homeless’ and others from God knows where in order to increase their funding and their political clout.

Next, we have Welsh local authorities who are in the front line and can see the dangers from further relaxing regulations that are already too lax.

Finally, we have the ‘Welsh Government’, which invariably succumbs to Left-Woke pressure, but doesn’t want to risk alienating local councils too much, virtually all of which are run by Labour or its partner Plaid Cymru.

Though another factor in play with the ‘Welsh Government’ is virtue signalling on the world stage. For Corruption Bay loves to crow about measures it hopes might win plaudits from elsewhere.

We’ve already seen it with One Planet Developments, which has even been noticed by the World Economic Forum.

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Then there was the Well-being of Future Generation Act, and the boast that, “The Act is unique to Wales attracting interest from countries across the world“.

But no other country has copied Wales’ lead. Revealing, that!

And how about the ‘Welsh Government’ being the first in the world to declare a climate emergency? Even though there’s no agreed definition of a climate emergency.

Perhaps the most recent example would be the disastrous introduction of 20mph speed limits. Overwhelmingly rejected in a poll published this week.

And the pattern is repeating itself with what at present is just a White Paper out for consultation. “World-leading“, be buggered!

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But that claim is already being echoed by The Big Issue.

This is no way to run a country; standing on a stage, ignoring your own people to shout over their heads in the hope of attracting the attention of others who really don’t give a fuck what you get up to.

There’s something sad about it. Like a neglected or insecure child desperately seeking the attention and the approval of the adults in the room.

To satisfy these pathetic ambitions the ‘Welsh Government’ might implement the dangerous suggestions of organisations flooding into Wales because they view our country as more ‘receptive’ to their ideas, more ‘manageable’ than England.

I believe a majority of the Welsh public has run out of patience with the virtue-signalling clowns in Corruption Bay.

And increasingly, the politicians there realise it. This explains Drakeford’s departure. Either he realised his time was up, or his colleagues knew he had to go for them to have any chance of saving themselves.

Let’s keep up the pressure.

Make them realise we’ve had enough of grifters living off the Welsh public purse. Enough of perverts being allowed into schools. Enough of the ‘Saving the planet’ bullshit that encourages the exploitation of Wales. Enough of pandering to imaginary or contrived ‘minorities’. Enough of the war on farmers. Enough of the subservience to the Globalists’ anti-human agenda.

They can make a start by rejecting any and all suggestions to weaken the already inadequate rules on who qualifies for housing and other assistance in Wales.

Do that by telling Crisis where they can stick their agenda. And instead, remember our people, who are not “culturally averse to bricks and mortar“.

♦ end ♦ 

© Royston Jones 2023

Come Fly With Me . . . But Not From Llanbedr

For those of you wondering where Llanbedr is, it’s a village in Eryri, just to the south of Harlech. There is a small airfield between the village and the coast.

Llanbedr has made the news in recent years due to it being cursed by a 17th century bridge carrying the A496 road through the heart of the village. The so-called ‘Welsh Government’ promised the area a bypass, but reneged in November 2021.

Then, in April this year, the Transport Minister, Lee Waters, told locals the ‘Welsh Government’ would now support “sustainable transport measures“. Which seems to have been the 20mph restrictions introduced across Wales a couple of months ago.

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As I went through the previous offerings on Llanbedr I realised what a complicated story it is. So rather than deal with peripheral characters, like the alleged money-launderer of Venezuela and Miami, and various dead-ends, I shall instead focus on the main players, ownership and leasing arrangements, and recent developments.

Also, and perhaps more importantly, I shall proffer a possible explanation for what is reported to be happening at Llanbedr airfield now. And if I’m anywhere near right, then this poses questions for officialdom, especially our ‘Welsh Government’.

AIRFIELD PURCHASE AND THE FIRST LEASE

The story so far . . .

The airfield was originally a military site, but bought for £700,000 in March 2006 by the Welsh Development Agency, and then passed to the Welsh Assembly. (Here’s the freehold title document.)

The site was leased for 125 years in July 2012 to Llanbedr Airfield Estates LLP (since renamed Snowdonia Aerospace LLP) with the lessee getting loans from the Secretary of State for Defence and the Welsh Assembly Government. (The leasehold title document.)

The first named director of Llanbedr Airfield Estates LLP / Snowdonia Aerospace LLP, in July 2008, was Putney Investments Ltd, registered on the Isle of Man in 1991, and also giving a desirable Gold Coast property as an address.

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A few days later Putney Investments was joined at Llanbedr Airfield Estates LLP by others, including Lee John Paul. But for some reason there’s a four-month gap between the company being launched and the first directors being appointed. Very odd.

Paul had been involved with another Welsh airfield in Pembrokeshire. He joined Brawdy Business Park Ltd in September 2003 and it went belly-up in April 2013, but the writing must have been on the wall before the collapse

Does the shambles at Brawdy explain why Putney Investments took the lead at Llanbedr? For the Incorporation document for Llanbedr Airfield Estates is signed by Michael ‘Digger’ Cole, representing companies called Lapcrest Ltd and Cromring Ltd. Both launched in 1998 and both Dissolved in March 2022.

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Brawdy Business Park collapsed with a number of outstanding debts, one with the Welsh Development Agency. Yet the last accounts filed with Companies House suggest almost four hundred thousand pounds in the kitty, so where did that go?

At the end, all the Brawdy shares (see here) were owned by Solutions For Storage Ltd (since renamed Ocean Park Investments Ltd), and this company is ultimately owned by another Lee John Paul company, Inspired By Ltd.

From a filing made with Companies House just last month we know that seventy of the Inspired By shares are owned by the Paul family, with the remaining 30 with a family called Lane, who I suppose could be related.

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As I’ve said, Putney Investments was registered in the Isle of Man. The early directors of the company seem to have been a mixture of local agents and businessmen favouring arrangements even more opaque than what Companies House offers.

PUTNEY INVESTMENTS AND GUNMEN IN SIBERIA

Among these ‘businessmen’ is Philip Mark Croshaw, who gets a big mention on the Offshore Leaks website. Another is Simon Peter Elmont, who also favours jurisdictions with relaxed attitudes to regulation. Such as Cyprus. He too gets mentioned by Offshore Leaks.

Below you’ll see Croshaw and Elmont linked in the November 1997 IoM Annual Return for Putney Investments Ltd. The third name is Gillian Norah Caine. We’ll see her name again in a minute.

The directors listed for Putney Investments in the Annual Return of November 20, 1997. Click to open enlarged in separate tab

On this same Annual Return (full document available here), the two shares are split between Aston Corporate Trustees Ltd and Susan Christine Cubbon, both giving the same IoM address.

We shall also see Ms Cubbon’s name again in a minute. In fact, we’ll see Croshaw, Elmont, Caine and Cubbon named in US court documents.

Another company where Croshaw and Elmont would have been found together was International Securities Investments Ltd. They joined and left on the same dates. That said, they’re not Siamese twins; for both men have been separately involved with many hundreds of companies. Croshaw more than Elmont.

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Though there seems to have been a break around 1998/9. Did it have anything to do with a Siberian oilfield and Kalashnikov-wielding thugs working for a couple of oligarchs?

Or could it be Croshaw being disqualified. This certainly explains why Croshaw ceased being a director of Putney on 26 January 1999. (Though not why Elmont should also resign on that day.) Ms Cubbon was left holding the fort.

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Did Croshaw give up the excitement of wheeler-dealing in exotic locales to devote himself to good works? I think not. I believe he carried on, perhaps operating in the IoM through proxies and fronts.

We know he didn’t retire because in 2013 he was called before the BVI Financial Services Commission. What the hell do you have to do to upset them!

Philip Mark Croshaw is clearly a bit of a lad, and all will be revealed in a tick . . . Of course, this does not reflect well on those with whom he associates. And certainly not on Putney Investments Ltd.

What I was referring to by introducing Kalashnikovs and US courts is a case brought by Canadian oil company Norex against, primarily, two Russian oligarchs named ‘Len’ Blavatnik and Victor Vekselberg. Here’s how CBC reported it in July 2001.

And here’s a Guardian report from July 2003. Note the reference to the Isle of Man at the end of the second paragraph. To cut a long story short, Norex lost out by a decision made in a New York court in August 2015. And the case seems to have been finally put to bed in June 2017.

I introduce this fascinating episode because of the IoM reference. And although the court papers (page 2) do not mention Putney Investments, we know that those named were all involved with Putney. And one of them, Philip Croshaw, had by then been barred from holding directorships on the Isle of Man.

Under the names Croshaw, Elmont, Caine and Cubbon we read what each is  accused of or is said to know. Scroll down and you’ll see that a few of the other defendants gave addresses on the tiny island of Sark. What does it mean?

Well . . . the ‘Sark Lark’ is explained here, and it actually mentions Croshaw. Here’s a similar report from The Sydney Morning Herald.

Croshaw, and probably Elmont, sign up as directors of companies in order to hide the true identities of those involved. It’s reasonable to assume this is what they did with Putney Investments, so who is really behind Putney at Llanbedr?

And what happened to Putney after Croshaw and Elmont left in 1999? Well, in January 2002, the shares passed from Ms Cubbon and Aston Corporate Trustees Ltd to Garwood Ltd and Tanwood Ltd. Though Ms Cubbon was still involved, signing for Premier Secretaries Ltd. Gillian Norah Caine works or worked for the same company.

In the Annual Return of November 2008 we see that the Putney shares passed in April of that year to Michael Cole and Christine Cole, resident in Spain. But the Annual Return for 2012 tells us that the Coles are now living on Queensland’s Gold Coast, at the bonzer little property shown in the previous section.

Though that was not Michael Cole’s first flirtation with Putney Investments. For there was a company of that name registered from an address in Hampshire. Cole became a director in December 2003, giving his address in Spain.

Control of that Putney Investments was exercised by Cromring Ltd, which Cole and his wife joined as directors on St David’s Day 1999. This was very soon after Croshaw and Elmont left the IoM Putney Investments. Coincidence, no doubt.

The Coles remained the shareholders of the IoM Putney Investments until April this year, and then, after a brief interval, Putney passed to the Kean brothers at Eximia. A company set up 2 February 2021.

I believe the Coles were also involved in the ‘Sark Lark’. Fronting for others and getting paid handsomely for it.

Anyway, I’m all Manxed out. I’m going to leave it here . . .

Putney Investments on the Isle of Man was a vehicle for Philip Mark Croshaw and Simon Peter Elmont to represent others who wished to remain anonymous.

But what did those wishing to remain anonymous have to hide?

The IoM company and the ‘other’ Putney Investments, linked to Michael Cole, were the same scam registered in different jurisdictions, which is why Cole and his wife became directors of the IoM Putney.

And this indirectly connects Croshaw and Elmont (and God knows who else) with Llanbedr Airfield Estates LLP / Snowdonia Aerospace Ltd.

PUTNEY INVESTMENTS, THE SECOND LEASE, ENDGAME?

So let me don my Columbo disguise and try to sum it all up.

Putney Investments was formed on the Isle of Man in 1991. We know that two very colourful characters, Philip Mark Croshaw and Simon Peter Elmont, of the ‘Sark Lark’, were involved, and implicated in a strange affair in the howling wastes of Siberia.

Then, Putney Investments appears, using an Antipodean address, as the first director of Llanbedr Airfield Estates LLP (later Snowdonia Aerospace LLP), a company that leases Llanbedr airfield from the ‘Welsh Government’. We know it’s the same company as the IoM manifestation because it uses the same IoM registration number, 54168C.

Putney Investments is still busy at Llanbedr.

For in April 2020, a second lease was taken out against Llanbedr airfield, this one by new entity Snowdonia Aerospace Estates LLP, for £1,275,000. (Title document.) With the funding coming from, so we are told, Compass Point Estates LLP.

Since 1 October 2020 control over the new outfit has been exercised jointly by Putney Investment (sic) Ltd and Lee John Paul.

As we just read, the funding for the second lease came from Compass Point Estates LLP. But the ultimate owner, and therefore the lender, is Inspired By Ltd, which we also met earlier. A company in which the Paul family holds a majority of the shares.

Which means that by a convoluted mechanism Lee John Paul is lending himself money, pretending that the loan comes from an unrelated source. Now why would he do that?

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The loans made to the original company, Llanbedr Airfield Estates LLP / Snowdonia Aerospace LLP have been paid off, but that company still holds the lease on the airfield until 2137.

But now there’s a sub-lease, for 30 years, to Snowdonia Aerospace Estates LLP.

Yet it’s the same people – Lee John Paul and Putney Investments Ltd – holding both leases, and controlling both companies. So what’s the point of this arrangement?

I suggest that the second lease, the sub-lease, gives Putney and Paul far more freedom to do as they wish at Llanbedr. Even to the extent of stripping the place bare and flogging off the assets. Which is what I’m told is happening.

And indeed, this paragraph in the ‘Details of Charge’ from Companies House would seem to support that theory. Putney and Paul, as lenders, could get heavy with their borrower selves – and clear the site of ‘chattels’.

It may already be happening, for I’m assured that the bowsers (fuel tanks) from Llanbedr are now at Shoreham (Brighton). The cabling for the runway lights and other facilities has been dug up and is ready for sale. With the trenches they came from now filled.

It seems Llanbedr airfield is being stripped of its transportable and saleable assets.

Which should make us ponder the legality of the sub-lease. Something I was reminded of when I saw the paragraph below in the title document.

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Which serves to remind us that the airfield is still owned by the ‘Welsh Government’ – and that’s us. So do the terms of the first lease between ‘Welsh Government’ and Llanbedr Airfield Estates LLP / Snowdonia Aerospace LLP allow for sub-leasing?

And if it’s not allowed, then what will those clever people in Cardiff do about it?

But if Corruption Bay did give permission, then why didn’t they realise that it was the same people who already leased Llanbedr airfield taking out that second lease while pretending to be somebody else?

Is anybody going to ask the awkward questions? Or are they afraid of the answers?

UPDATE: Six hours after this post went public the following report appeared in the Cambrian News, Centre secures funding to test space tech in Cardigan Bay.

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© Royston Jones 2023