Gavin Lee Woodhouse, the picture darkens

PLEASE APPRECIATE THAT I GET SENT MORE INFORMATION AND LEADS THAN I CAN USE. I TRY TO RESPOND TO EVERYONE WHO CONTACTS ME BUT I CANNOT POSSIBLY USE EVERY BIT OF INFORMATION I’M SENT. DIOLCH YN FAWR

Yes, I know I’ve promised Weep for Wales 13, and I’m working on it (there’s just so much to process), but fresh information on Gavin Lee Woodhouse justifies another post on the wonder boy of the Afan Valley Adventure Resort. (The AVAR website is ‘currently under maintenance’.)

WHERE WE LEFT OFF . . .

At the end of last month I published Gavin Lee Woodhouse, the ‘Wolf of Wharf Street’ – you were warned!, with this piece following earlier postings of mine going back to April 2017, and more recent interest from the Guardian and ITV News.

There have been a number of follow-ups by both media outlets, with these being the most recent I can find: Serious Fraud Office assesses Gavin Woodhouse businesses in Thursday’s Guardian; with the same headline used by ITV News.

It is understood by all that Woodhouse operates by selling. or more usually leasing, rooms at hotels he owns. Had he been able to proceed with the Afan Valley Adventure Resort then he would have been selling/leasing more hotel rooms there, plus lodges or cabins. In fact, they were already being advertised, even though nothing’s been built. So have any been sold?

FISHGUARD

In my earlier piece I also said that I was unable to find the title document for the Fishguard Bay Hotel on the Land Registry website. I kept getting a ‘too many titles’ message which I attributed to rooms having been sold.

A recent comment to this blog assured me that the title document could be found, and eventually – by a counter-intuitive method I won’t bore you with by explaining – I did find it.

Fishguard Bay Hotel. Image courtesy of County Echo. Click to enlarge.

It tells us that the Fishguard Bay Hotel (actually in Goodwick) was bought 13 July 2017 for £966,720 by Wyncliffe House Hotel Ltd (formerly Fishguard Bay Hotel Ltd) a company formed 1 May 2016. We see that the company was formed over a year before Woodhouse actually bought the hotel, so presumably he was in negotiations. Or even on site prior to purchase?

If you scroll down on the title document you’ll see that leases for 45 rooms were sold in 2017. All of them 125-year leases, and irrespective of the date of sale all leases started on New Year’s Day.

Now obviously I couldn’t buy the title documents for all the rooms, so I limited myself to five. Which was enough to pique my curiosity. For the titles I bought, the prices range from £45,000 to £70,000.

All bar one were sold between 13 July 2017 and 28 September 2017; with the outrider sold 13 March 2018. Which could suggest impressive sales techniques, or even buyers already lined up.

Of the five, just one hints that it belongs to a genuine, small-time, private investor. This was the title document for an SSAS, which stands for Small Self-administered (pension) Scheme. The other four – certainly, three – looked iffy.

Judge for yourselves with the panel below made up of the relevant details from four of the five room title documents supplied by the Land Registry.

Click to enlarge

The top two, one in Slovakia and the other in Poland, are impossible to check. They could be genuine buyers or they could be names plucked out of thin air, or from some database.

The two on the bottom supply UK addresses, but even so, something’s not right. The one on the left gives a Dubai address and ’24 Cheapside, Wakefield’. The one on the right gives a Welsh address, but also uses the Wakefield address. So what do we find at 24 Cheapside?

It’s a commercial building, with a number of tenants, among them the ‘Williams & Co’ mentioned in the document for the Dubai buyer. This is a firm of solicitors and everything seems to be kosher. My one concern being that the website does not give a Companies House number.

And then I stumbled on Williams & Co (Cleckheaton) Ltd, a company formed in January 2018. It’s registered at the address given on the Williams & Co website, with two directors and a further two shareholders.

Also found at 24 Cheapside, Wakefield is Immigration Advice Service (IAS), whose website, some might think, tries to give the impression that IAS is a UK government department, but it is in fact a private company.

Though, curiously, under ‘Nature of business (SIC)’, for IAS Companies House has: “69109 – Activities of patent and copyright agents; other legal activities not elsewhere classified”. What the the hell do patents and copyright have to do with immigration advice?

Immigration Advice Service was also registered as a charity, number 1033192. In fact, the company may be a ‘phoenix’ that grew out the defunct charity.

The cynic in me thinks that a company like IAS would be a great source of names and addresses for potential overseas buyers for hotel room leases . . . or even just names and addresses.

Others may argue that I’m clutching at straws here, but Woodhouse once had a company called MBI Immigration Services Ltd. So at the very least, he would appear to have shown interest in this line of business.

Let us head north now, to the Caer Rhun hotel in the Conwy valley.

CAER RHUN

Let’s go straight to the title document, where we see that this hotel was bought for £1,500,000 with a loan from North West Asset Finance Ltd, which has a registered address in Todmorden, Lancashire, hard up to the frontier. I have stood there myself more than once and gazed into Yorkshire.

North West Asset Finance is hardly a rival to the big boys, for it’s a one-man band and the solitary director is Robert Ashley Hall. All the shares are owned by Shays Assets Ltd, another Hall company that takes its name from what I assume to be his home address, Shays Farm, near Skipton.

Caer Rhun. Image courtesy of Hitched. Click to enlarge.

Both companies were formed 11 February 2014, around the time Woodhouse embarked on his hotel-buying spree. While the accounts suggest that the only real asset may be the money loaned to Gavin Woodhouse to buy Caer Rhun.

Which made me wonder whether Hall and Woodhouse are known to each other. Sure enough, they are in business together. In a company called Gramra Ltd, formed by Hall 2 January 2018, which Woodhouse joined 13 June 2018.

When we look at who owns the shares in Gramra we find that at least half are owned by Woodhouse through the company Woodhouse Family Ltd, which has the controlling interest.

Woodhouse Family Ltd, where we find Gavin Woodhouse as sole director since his wife resigned last month when the shit hit the fan. For this company is alleged to have been the ultimate depository of some investors’ money, rather than the companies to which the money was ostensibly paid.

Shareholders in Gramra Ltd. Click to enlarge.

Returning to Caer Rhun, we find that 125-year leases have been sold on 57 rooms. Again, I downloaded the title documents for just five, and in price these range from £75,000 to £170,000. All were sold between July 2016 and August 2017.

The buyers we find in Bristol, Birmingham, and rather more exotic locations. Here are the three beyond these shores. Even if we accept that the one on the left refers to a UK couple living in Spain, that still leaves buyers in Italy and Taiwan.

Click to enlarge

To have so many overseas buyers is not in itself cause for alarm, but I can’t believe that someone in Taiwan or Dubai or Slovakia woke up one bright morning and said to himself or herself, ‘I know! – I’ll buy a hotel room in Wales!’ 

We all know about Arab sheikhs and Russian oligarchs paying millions for London mansions, so is a room from which you can watch the Rosslare ferry the fag-end of the market?

Joking aside, maybe the real questions are:

  1. Do these overseas buyers really exist?
  2. If they do, did they really pay any money or are their names being used?
  3. And if they did pay money, where did that money come from?
  4. And where did it go?

BELMONT HOTEL

As far as I can make out, Gavin Lee Woodhouse, through his various companies, owns six hotels in Wales. It’s reasonable to assume that the same business model of selling the leases on individual rooms is found in all of them. That is certainly the case at the Fourcroft Hotel in Tenby (aka Carmarthen Bay Hotel) and the Belmont Hotel in Llandudno.

I want to focus on the Belmont.

From the title document, we see that it was bought in 2015 by MBI Heritage Hotel Ltd (now Belmont Hotel Ltd) for £381,250. Though in the latest accounts it’s valued at £2.62m and shows a profit of £1.55m. Though as the Guardian told us, the increased valuations on other hotels are even more dramatic.

Click to enlarge

At the Belmont, leases for 26 rooms were sold, all of them in an impressively short time in 2015, so another gold star for the sales team. I haven’t bought any title documents for these sales because I’ve already splashed out £36 on Woodhouse, and I’m sure the picture will be little different to what we found at Fishguard and Caer Rhun.

But what appears to be different at the Belmont is, first, that Woodhouse does not own the Belmont (I think it’s owned by Mostyn Estates), he only leases it. Which means he’s selling leases in a property he himself leases.

Click to enlarge.

Which raises the question of whether Mostyn Estates Ltd is aware of this interesting development. Or whether it’s even legal.

What also struck me about the Belmont was that there are three charges outstanding. The first, from 2015, is for Mysing Properties Ltd, which changed its name to Mysing Capital Ltd before two further loans in December 2018.

But why would Woodhouse need to take out loans on the Belmont, a property he’s leasing, and for which he’s more than covered his outlay with the sale of the rooms?

Whatever the answer, Mysing is based in Wakefield, on Woodhouse’s patch; where we earlier saw hotel room buyers linked to the Wakefield solicitors, Williams & Co. The latest unaudited abridged accounts for Mysing paint a very healthy picture, with net current assets of £16,501,830 and total net assets of £1,475,344. The difference accounted for by creditors owing £14,977,000. Creditors, presumably, like Gavin Lee Woodhouse.

But from where does Mysing Capital – a company only formed in July 2014 – get that kind of money? ‘Unaudited abridged accounts’ tell us very little. And it’s perfectly legal.

Click to enlarge

There’s no question in my mind that the directors of Mysing Capital are known to Woodhouse, and that these ‘loans’ may not be the kind of loans you or I are familiar with.

UPDATE 15.07.2019: Mysing Capital links with a string of Mysing companies, many of which are in the care home business (as of course was Woodhouse). But these other companies seem to have been formed after Mysing Capital.

Which still leaves the question of where the original Mysing Capital money came from.

In addition to the loans and mortgages taken out with Mysing towards the end of last year Woodhouse took out other loans around the same time, these with the equally mysterious Fiduciam Nominees Ltd. Why do I call this lot ‘mysterious’?

Well, after reading this at the foot of their website, how would you describe them?

“The content of this website has not been approved by an authorised person within the meaning of the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000. Fiduciam does not enter into regulated credit agreements within the meaning of the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000 (Regulated Activities) Order 2001.”

Fiduciam is a lender of last resort. If your bank turns you down you go to a company like Fiduciam. Which, as the Companies House entry tells us is in the business of ‘financial intermediation’.

This means that it finds borrowers for people who have money to lend. We can see who the borrowers are, but who are the lenders? Well, if we go to the latest available accounts, we read at the bottom of page 10:

Click to enlarge

“The directors (of Fiduciam) deem BWCI Pension Trustees to be the ultimate controlling party”. ‘Deem’? Aren’t they sure? Anyway, here’s the website for BWCI Pension Trustees Ltd.

Now don’t get me wrong, what Fiduciam and BWCI do may be perfectly legal (in an offshore kind of way), but – as with Mysing – where does the money originally come from that they loan to people like Woodhouse?

In the case of Fiduciam we’re asked to believe it’s pension funds, but in practice there’ll be few questions asked if a drugs baron, oligarch or member of a third world kleptocracy washes up in the Channel Islands looking for a good investment for his ‘pension pot’.

What we can say for certain is that in December last year, the nearest vehicles Woodhouse has to parent companies, Northern Powerhouse Developments Ltd and Giant Hospitality Ltd got themselves heavily indebted to a company that finds desperate borrowers for offshore lenders whose money could come from anywhere.

Why did he need the money? Was it for the Afan Valley venture? If so, then Woodhouse is now well and truly up that narrow waterway known colloquially as Shit, with his business model exposed in the mass media, creditors beating on his door, and the Afan Valley Adventure Resort a fast receding dream.

Though the local council leader in Neath Port Talbot is wailing about the loss as though it’s somebody else’s fault! But then, that’s ‘Welsh’ Labour for you – always somebody else’s fault.

Click to enlarge

My response was summed up in a tweet I put out on Saturday to accompany the article: “Listen, Rob, if you and your mates down Corruption Bay had done the basic checks into Gavin Woodhouse and you would have laughed him away and wouldn’t be ‘disappointed’ now. You’ve got no one to blame but your council and .”

EPILOGUE

When I first encountered Gavin Lee Woodhouse I thought he was a bit of a lad who’d over-reached himself. (As opposed to an out-and-out bastard like Paul Williams who ‘succeeded’ him at Plas Glynllifon.) Now I worry that there may be darker elements to his business ventures.

The foreign buyers for so many of his hotel rooms certainly start the alarm bells a-trembling. As does the lack of information about his financial backers.

But then, as I’ve said before, this is business, this is finance – English style. Where the City of London sits at the centre of a web of offshore tax havens and money-laundering centres that welcome anybody’s money. Once it’s in the system, with the origin disguised, that money can be used anywhere.

The Isle of Man and the Channel Islands are the oldest, and nearest of these centres.

But this does not excuse the ‘Welsh Government’, which obviously did no due diligence into Woodhouse before giving him £500,000 for Caer Rhun and then welcoming him with open arms when he ventured to the Afan valley.

Click to enlarge

Unless of course they were over-ruled from London. (It happens regularly.) Which would make them complaisant rather than gullible. Is that an improvement?

So it’s good-bye Gavin Lee Woodhouse, and hello, . . ?

For you can guarantee that the next Gavin Lee Woodhouse is already here spinning his lies and courting the politicians. And he’s not alone.

In Return Journey Dylan Thomas goes home to a blitzed Swansea searching for the places and people he knew. Eventually he reaches Cwmdonkin Park, where the park keeper responds to his questions about a boy from long ago with, ‘I’ve known him by the thousands’.

I’m beginning to feel like that parkie, due to all the crooks infesting our country. They keep coming because we have thick-as-shit politicians more concerned with shagging and back-stabbing than with making Wales honest, healthy and prosperous.

And a media unworthy of the name.

♦ end ♦

65 thoughts on “Gavin Lee Woodhouse, the picture darkens

  1. Derrick Towlson

    Another brilliant in depth report. Not good news for us victims but great to have the info. 👍

    1. On the plus side, the hotel is there, it has been built. Whatever happens to the Woodhouse empire you have a very strong claim for compensation, or refund.

  2. Dianosh Dinparvar

    The Williams and Co law firm is paid by the NPD to act as our solicitors. Is that legal at all?

      1. Anonymous

        Wow, well all I’m going to say is she definitely didn’t resign (the wife) a month ago when finding out it was going tits up. She never worked a day in her life, too busy spending all the cash of course darling! Interesting read to find out the true lengths behind their fake life!

    1. Unhappy

      We are investors in NPD, have been told we will not get our yearly return next week. Have you been told to get a Solicitor ? who has told you to get Williams and Co ?

  3. Dianosh Dinparvar

    I have paid 180000£ for a room at the Monk Fyrston hotel. Based on Your excellent report, I should consider the money gone?

      1. charlesfoxtrot

        Northern Powerhouse Developments (NPD) has added to its portfolio of Yorkshire hotels with the acquisition of a grade II-listed property between Leeds and York.

        The Elland-based group has exchanged contracts on Monk Fryston Hall, with plans for a multimillion-pound renovation.

        Dating back to the 12th century, Monk Fryston Hall, which is surrounded by 30 acres of parkland, woodland trails and gardens, was originally home to the Benedictine monks from nearby Selby Abbey. It later boasted its own private zoo.

        The hotel will remain open throughout a planned rolling programme of renovations, which include upgrading the 30 bedrooms and existing terrace restaurant and building a new luxury spa complex. Under NPD’s proposals the hotel’s two large function rooms will also be sympathetically refurbished to support its wedding offer.

        AKA – ‘Lakeside Manor Hotel’

          1. charlesfoxtrot

            I believe rooms have been sold in lakeside manor.
            i must confess i ‘bought a room’ in the dunsmore hall hotel – bourton hall near rugby, encouraged by the presence of richard lewis and peter moore on the board.
            i think he uses (or used) a network of agents in UK (investment managers and estate agents – like ‘select portfolio’) to sell the rooms quickly with a rather large commission; probably the same abroad.
            In any communication from NPD the dates for refurbishment are continually pushed back without any acknowledgement that they are reneging on earlier promises.
            estimates are that 80 – 100+ million pounds have been invested in MBI & NPD. Assets (my guess) are the hotels, land and buildings at c. £1 million x 15 = £15 million. where has the rest of the money gone?
            selling leases on property you do not own (yet) would be illegal in the US apparently.
            I am worried and curious about loans to mysing capital and others also. If i read it right (and I’m no expert) many of the NPD properties are collateral on the loans. I figure if the hotels go into administration and are sold these lenders will get most of any available money, leaving little or nothing for investors. I would not be surprised if GW had connections to these lenders (his exit strategy?)
            on a personal note, the challenge is not to walk down the street rather forlornly every day, thinking how I could have used the money if I had not invested it so.
            I found an article from 2016 describing leases for Caerau Park for sale (now Afan valley) – ‘The first phase of the project, set in the Afan Valley, is scheduled start in late 2017’; also ‘Starbucks, Wagamama and Hawkshead Clothing have reportedly already signed up to have a presence on the site.’ 2 years later work is set to start in late 2019 and B. Grylls, land rover, youtube etc. have reportedly already signed up to have a presence on the site.’ there is a pattern.
            If GW had not been found out I would no doubt be receiving mails in 3 years time saying something like – work on dunsmore hall will commence in 2023 after the latest round of crowdfunding has raised sufficient funds etc. (even though that is what my original funding was for).
            I have written the money off in my mind, I am not sure paying any solicitors will help me recover much of my investment. If I got anything back it would be an unexpected bonus.
            It is rather intriguing – the full story, when it gets out, will make interesting reading.
            I still haven’t worked out where exactly on the corrupt – reckless – inept spectrum Mr. Woodhouse lies. Someone who knows more about these things than I do though said to me ‘these people are dangerous – they need to be stopped.’
            thanks for the opinionated blog! good stuff!

            1. A couple of things happened in late 2013 and then 2014. Woodhouse turned his attention from care homes to hotels, and Mysing was formed. Now the Mysing directors are all from Woodhouse’s neck of the woods and I suspect they knew each other before Mysing was formed.

              Because what I suspect happened was that Woodhouse acts as Mysing’s front man, investing their money. He’s a bit of a Jack-the-lad, he’s got the patter, he fits the bill. This is dressed up as loans, giving Mysing first call on the properties and any remaining cash, so they can’t lose. Especially when you throw in the money made from selling the rooms. And as we know, Woodhouse has been allowed to take his cut to do up Barkisland Hall.

              So even when things go tits up, Mysing and Woodhouse still walk away in pocket.

              As for the Afan valley end of the operation, I still have questions. In April 2016 Afan Valley Ltd began life as Caerau Parc Ltd, but Caerau is in the next valley, the Llynfi valley, that runs down to Maesteg and on to Bridgend. I’d be grateful if you could let me have that link.

    1. The first link now gives a 404 message. I seem to recall that report from WalesOnline, but I still don’t understand why the company was originally called Caerau Parc, before changing to Afan Valley in February 2017.

    2. Wrexhamian

      What’s fascinating about this old Walesonline ‘article’ (or, more accurately, promo) is the comments, ranging from the critcal to the naively optimistic. It’s a microcosm of Wales as a whole, when it comes to anything that England brings here, but especially tourism.

  4. Brychan

    I suspect the Serious Fraud Office will just be investigating any criminal application or invention of capital to leverage loans, and triangulation of assets as collateral. Looking for Enron (google it) type activity. It will not be looking at small individual rip-offs on time-share scams unless there is a systemic fraud in the business model, like boiler room activity, or slicing and dicing.

    Those individuals who bought “rooms” in this scam are either..

    (a) mugs who should know better. You’re not a victim. Just a prat who failed to take independent legal advice. Get on yer bike. Wales does not owe you a living, or

    (b) genuine victims, like old people who have been duped into putting in a pension lump sum or life savings. Their bank should have flagged this up to the local plod when the chaps payment was set up, or

    (c) institutional purchase where the money used was a bit iffy like undeclared cash liberated from a deceased estate to avoid stamp duty. This should be case worked by HMRC.

    Over the years I have met people like this, and what you do is smile and shake their hand in the hotel bar and then whisper in their ear “Fuck off you maggot”. The clever ones (like Gavey Woodlouse) heed the advice and leave the country. The thick ones (like Mylo and Williams) do something silly. They are the ones who end up in Wormwood scrubs.

    My real concern is the £500k grant handed over by the Welsh Government for Caer Rhun. Whatever civil servant, or minister, signed this off should be suspended for failing to conduct a basic diligence enquiry, superbly done by Jac back in 2017. There is clear lack of effective ministerial oversight.

    On the Llynfi/Afan fandango, we know that the minister responsible for NRW, the landowner, is personally and institutionally inept. There is only two AMs (party politics aside) who has the backbone to do the shakedown. They are McEvoy, who busy doing his job, great for Cardiff, and Waters, who needs to decide where his loyalties lie. Get in there and sort this out. Your boss won’t mind, he’s just the blancmange at the head of the table.

    Fair assessment?

    1. I agree almost entirely with what you’ve written about the room buyers, but I’d add that I’m not sure all the buyers are genuine, or even exist. And of course on the £500,000 grant, nobody did the most basic of checks.

      But as this goes on I’m beginning to wonder about the funding Woodhouse was getting. From Mysing, for example. Was he really borrowing from them, or was he in partnership with them, investing for them?

      I think this has some way to run.

      1. Dafis

        Useful comments and some challenging questions ( rhetorical perhaps ) from you and Brychan. It occurs to me that this case and any like it should be split into two for jurisdiction purposes.

        First – Gavin W and any others like him or associated with him, should now be the subjects of indepth forensic investigations by Police, specialist fraud agencies and financial conduct regulators on an array of “areas of interest”. It is evident that there is a lot of wrongdoing, and it just needs someone to size it all up and throw the books at however many people are found to be involved.

        Second and possibly the most difficult to initiate with momentum will be the identification of those politicians and civil servants who have fostered the interests of this cluster of sharks. Now the extent to which Woodhouse et al have waltzed off with public funds remains to be quantified but the situation reeks of grey men in suits backpedalling for cover. Scams like Afan Valley were way too big for some silly old Labour time server from NPT to nod through, and the same goes for the other developments in North Wales. The 500k for Caer Rhun may be the only visible evidence at this stage but there may be more in the books of Welsh Labour’s seedy dealings.

        Who at Y Cynulliad has enough guts to call out the complicit players within this Government and its servants ? If Adam Price displays a lack of interest does that suggest that his own aborted venture of some time ago had sucked in more funds that it should have ? or does it just highlight a lack of stomach for a fight ? If it’s the latter he should set his best fighting “dog” loose, but, tut, he’s no longer welcome on the Plaid team sheet. Will Lee Waters turn on some of his party colleagues as part of his recognition that 20 years of “making it up as we go along” is far too much? or has he been pulled back into line and told by his betters that telling the truth is O.K in the right place but in the Cardiff Bay bubble it’s not de rigeur.

        1. Brychan

          The SFO don’t get up in the morning unless there’s bacon in the pan. They’ll pull all the records, and will easily identify any closed loop property purchases. Jac has identified ‘buying hotels and diced real estate which they already own’. In the case of the Williams gang, buying hotels they already own at inflated prices. This means somewhere in the closed loop is understated long term creditors. In the case of Woodlouse the same assets being used as collateral for different loans, a bit more difficult, if offshore. The boiler room activity relies on victim statement, but dummy enforcer bids at room auctions (as Jac may have identified) will have a paper trail.

          Plod shout suggestion 1.

          I mentioned the pensioner type duped out of their life savings to buy a ‘room’. Banks have a duty of care process and are required in law to tip off the police if they suspect. It’s an easy call, plod goes round to victims house for ‘welfare concerns’. And while sharing a panad, find out any friends and family. You then phone them, and ask someone to check things over, the words used are ‘bank thinks your auntie Sioned is doing something silly, come over and check it out’. If the bank has not done the call, they have not adhered to their own procedure, and may compensate or claw back the payment. Depends on ‘vulnerable’ assessment.

          Plod shout suggestion 2.

          There’s been a lot of rural burglary and machinery theft in Gwynedd. This is a major concern for the community safety team. One DC, a uniform and a dog goes to the Plas and starts peering through windows and checking the doors. Even better if you get inside. If apprehended by the occupant you give the lecture about keeping things secure and give then the door bolting leaflets. If you get the ‘have you got a warrant, please leave or I’ll call my solicitor’ response, you know that they have something to hide. Better still if it gets physical as the bruisers of the gang turns snowflake under interview. There’s plenty of empty properties in the Williams trail of destruction.

          Plod shout suggestion 3.

          I’m not convinced that the proper and experienced civil servants both in WG and council did not flag up concerns on the Llynfi/Afan fandango. They might have been outranked by the ‘skinny latte policy advisors’ and ministers coming back to the office after lunch with snake oil salesmen dishing out shortcut orders. You knock up the ‘advisors’ asking if they have any concerns on what’s gone on. Wear body cam. Wasn’t Llinos Datganoli Price one of these at NRW at the time? You get the ‘not a liberty to disclose’ response and pass the footage to SFO who can apply for court warrants. This might even get Shippo the Mule interested in a trip to Ceredigion.

          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5l5PEdTKFiQ{removetopaly}

          That’s what’s called a “shakedown”. If Lee Waters AM doesn’t ask the right questions in the chamber, now, when given the opportunity, then we’ll have to arrange for Sian Caiach to be there to ask those questions. Interesting times ahead.

    2. Wrexhamian

      The stupidity of the Labour croney who sanctioned Woodhouse’s five hundred thou can be easily explained, Brychan. All that anyone out to make big money in Wales has to do is to dangle the carrot of ‘jobs for locals’, and in Wales, that usually means tourism.

      It used to happen in Wrecsam in the days before devolution whenever someone wanted to stick a factory on a greenfield site on the edge of town. Locals protested, the Council rejected the scheme, the wannabe factory owner appealed to the Welsh Office with the promise of jobs, and Bingo! the Welsh Office overruled the council.

      It never fails.

      1. I wish I could agree with you, but a major problem is that even when the ‘Welsh Government’ gives out grants it does NOT insist on the jobs created going to locals. It’s insane.

        I recently submitted an FoI on this subject. They wriggled by quoting EU law. So what’ll be the excuse after Brexit? Read it for yourself.

        1. Wrexhamian

          You’re right, it’s never an actual condition of awarding a grant; councils and the WAG will be satisfied if SOME of the lower jobs go to locals. My guess is that if they did insist on locals getting priority, they’d be challenged in the courts, possibly by the Race Industry or the EU. The same goes for affordable access to the private housing market, of course (cf. Seimon Glyn).

          In fact, as for jobs, it’s probably taken as read that outside S4C and a few other organisations, the top managerial and technical positions will go to professionals imported from outside Wales, even in the Bro Gymraeg. Woodhouse wouldn’t give a gnat’s tadger about this, naturally, but neither would the local authorities in NPT or Conwy.

  5. Philip

    Fantastic reporting. Just to add Woodhouse was apparently sniffing around Fishguard quite some time before the hotel was sold. There was a suggestion as well that a number of rooms had been sold before the hotel was purchased. I was amazed when I saw the purchase price. Was far more than other similar rundown hotels are going for. Needs £1m to get it anywhere near decent standard. See trip advisor reviews . Not a penny has been spent since the sale..
    As usual the local press seem to be ignoring what could turn out to be a major story in Pembs.

  6. Anonymous

    Very interesting research, all so avoidable if certain people had done due diligence.
    I went to school with Gavin Woodhouse, he was in my class.
    He is certainly not a son of Norfolk who makes anybody proud!
    I have a business venture I’d like to run by him though…..I might contact him and ask if he fancies investing in a new hotel venture….hundreds of 8 by 6 rooms in large buildings with tiny windows and steel bars.
    The gruel masquerading as meals might help him lose a few of those chins.

      1. Anonymous

        He went to school in Long Stratton in South Norfolk, left in 1994.
        He was always a wannabe and really not my cup of tea!
        Nickname at school was “Wobble” on account of his err “sculpted” physique

          1. Anonymous

            I hadn’t heard anything of him until his recent 15 minutes of fame courtesy of ITV! He certainly wasn’t thought of as an entrepreneur or businessman down here….his own websites are quite laughable really.
            The slick sculpted image isn’t the image I remember!
            No idea how he ended up in Yorkshire….
            I do know last year he tried to arrange a reunion of old school friends via Facebook. Undoubtedly to boast about his hard earned wealth 🤔

  7. Stuart desborough

    Mostyn estates own the ground the hotel sits on and Woodhouse owns the freehold for the property, its the same as a lot of the hotels and other property in Llandudno

    1. You may be right, but on the title document, and the charges (extract from one attached) the arrangement is clearly classed as leasehold.
      Belmont Hotel charge

      1. Anonymous

        That what they are, owners own tue brick and mortar, its all a bit conveluted butni have had experince of this before

      2. Unhappy

        Hi Jac, Can you tell me how to check if my name is on the title deeds, I have purchased room at Queens hotel. I have tried to go onto Land reg site, when i put address in , it cannot find my room, saying too many titles. Have you found another site I can check with ?, Thanks

            1. Unhappy

              Thanks for that, At least I know we have been registered in owning a room, do not know what will happen next about getting our money back, we have purchased 3 rooms at the Queens, it is a lot of money too loose, not being told much about whats happening, only court case end of August, would like to hear more from other investors … Thanks again

    1. So the courts knew about his NatWest accounts but not his Barclays accounts. I wonder how much more he’s got stashed away that they don’t know about?.

      1. Philip

        The previous owners of the Fishguard Bay banked at Barclays. I suspect the new lot did as well.

  8. Dafis

    The hot weather seems to be causing further deterioration in the sanity of various ishoo driven parts of our nation.

    Meic Stephens, the ageing cantor from down west now residing in Cardiff, during a gig at Caernarfon rather unwisely made a passing reference to the numbers of Muslims that inhabit parts of Cardiff and is alleged to have said something along the lines of ” they’ll be coming here soon”. Instead of putting it down to where it came from the thought police have turned out in force to crow on about how waycist some Weshies are about the “religion of peace” and will probably go online to crowd fund a stoning of said dissident. Their stance ignores the basic fact that Islam is not a race issue, it is about a religion seeking to impose its values on any host community that previously had little or no Islamic presence. In much the same way as in-migration of certain types of AngloBrit supremacists has damaged the rural and small town Welsh demographic, the surge in Islamic population is changing the balance in our larger urban centres. Most Muslims coming to Wales are here with peaceful intentions. However like so many other immigrants most also come with an aspiration to become Brits, i.e Anglo Brits not yet supremacist but aiding those supremacists by dismissing any aspect of the nation’s identity. In that respect they too are tools of colonialism.

    Not hate but plain common sense. If someone can show a way of getting the majority of these people to change their stance I would welcome them as citizens of the new Wales, but that’s a bit of a dream at present.

    1. Current Insider

      If only you knew what it was like in the office in the week leading upto the interim managers taking over…. I could explain more but for now just a bit 👍

      Let me just say shredders and mysterious dissapearances of office equipment,mainly pcs and free standing servers 🤐🤐🤐🤐🤐.

      All junior staff at hq have been sent home and been told they will be paid although this is highly doubtful, last months salary received ok but likely this month not , not sure about hotels and lower end staff🙄🙄🙄.

      In fairness Gavin is an immensely likeable guy away from this, sadly thats how most people fell for all this….. i know he just became too greedy mainly due to Charlie his plastic botox wife, horrible woman who never set foot in any office i assure you 🤐🤐🤐. Horrible fake woman who thinks shes a cut above anyone else including some unpaid investors who she once exclaimed were “Feral Peasants” and yes this is on tape 😁😁😁😁.

      All i will say is they need to look deeper at the Shay farm connection 😁😁😁😁😁😁😁😁😁😁😁😁😁😁😁😁😁😁😁😁😁😁😁😁 and a lot more could become so much clearer…. lets just say Jac, that you were exceptionally close in your comments on this very point earlier 🤐,if they investigate deepy enough they should be able to confirm this connection and the real truth 👍👍👍👍.

      I could post more about the inner workings of elland hq but i fear for my identity being known, and NOT because of Gavin finding out because he is a big cuddly bear in reality and actually would not hurt a fly, its his sales guy B, that one us a nasty piece of work, cannot explain too much about him because his convictions are now “spent” if you get me Jac 🤐🤐

  9. Brychan

    May I use this (off topic) opportunity to redirect the muck away from farmers and towards the BBC.

    There is a pollution problem on the Afon Tywi, whose catchments area is under special protection measures enforced by NRW. It’s now fashionable to blame the farmers for “pollution” relating to muck spreading. A farmer is quite correct in slurry spreading in the months of May, June, July even if there is a light shower when the ground is not waterlogged and the site is more than the required distance away from open designated water courses for incidental run-off.

    There is only one offence I see depicted here…

    From 1st March 2017 penalties for using a hand-held mobile phone or device whilst driving have increased from three to six penalty points and from £100 to £200 when driver is issued with a fixed penalty notice. (The Road Traffic Offenders Act 1988 (Penalty Points) (Amendment) Order 2017/The Fixed Penalty (Amendment) Order 2017.

    I therefore ask Iolo to consider the following points..

    (a) The reason why your colleague at the BBC, Chris Packham, got a CBE and you didn’t is because he is English. The BBC has already told you to “tone down your Welsh accent”.
    (b) The biggest pollution incident in the area was a major oil company who leaked 140,000lit of Kerosene from their pipeline at Nantycaws. They escaped prosecution.
    (c) Using your mobile phone to take photos while driving puts all the residents and fellow road users in Carmarthenshire at risk. Please stop it. You are not an errant teenager, change you behaviour.
    (d) If you engage with the farming community in Wales like your colleague Adam Henson of BBC Countryfile instead of attempting to demonise farmers, you may garner the respect of the community you sprang from.
    (e) Catch the train to Scotland and get the BBC to hire you a 4*4 on-site rather than driving a highly polluting vehicle to the Cairngorms for filming.
    (f) NRW, unlike Scotland, has a conflicting brief as a result of amalgamation by the Welsh Government. It’s tasked with nature conservation, environmental protection, as well as licensing agricultural activity. This causes blurred lines of responsibility.

    Final point. Why don’t you do a television programme on the real causes of biodiversity decline in the Tywi? The cameraman will not need to film from the driving seat. Topics can include the capacity discharges by Dwr Cymru, the proximity of new housing developments and tourism activity, degradation of blanket bogs by construction of wind turbines, indiscriminate felling of larch plantations without reciprocal planting of deciduous woodland, and the over fishing of migratory species like sewin and salmon out at sea under the common fisheries policy.

    You can do the filming for S4C and put on subtitles for your mates in England.
    £500 for Ty Hafan please.

    1. A good mate of mine (now dead) spent some time with IW in Patagonia, and was amazed to discover how much of a BritNat he is.

      Which would account or his antipathy towards Welsh farmers and his support for those seeking to displace them.

      1. Brychan

        So he has also had the opportunity to see first hand the gaucho of Y Wladfa. He should be very aware of the difference between environmentally sustainable grass fed cattle of Carmarthenshire/Patagonia and the destructive feed-lot operations of Lincolnshire/LaPampa.

        https://calonwen-cymru.com/cy/

        That is the challenge for environmentally sustainable farming, a consideration and branding currently ignored by the Welsh Government. You can also taste the difference. If it’s got a Jack put it back.

      2. Dafis

        I doubt whether there’s any offence there other than his alleged support for those zany oddballs who want to turf farmers off the land, as I suspect that his vehicle was stationary given the definition/quality of the image. I’m a bit surprised about your comment connecting him to the Monbiotic fringe, I had always thought that he was interested in making farmers the custodians of the environment operating within the framework of regulations and attracting whatever grant aid might be sloshing around for delivering the “social good” for visiting townies to come and dump their litter and bother livestock. Me biased ? never !

        Away from Iolo for a moment the problem I have with all of this is that most people can’t understand that the smell of animal shit is an integral part of the rural environment and is healthier than the stink that often rises from the community recycling centres now dotted all over the place. These dumps, and that is what they really are, are so beloved by our politicians as part of making Wales a great place for recycling and environmental integrity ( a.k.a Bollocks of the smelly hot air sort !). No doubt Deryn has told them that such posturing is good for their collective image.

        1. Maybe I’m overstating it, but he is definitely a believer in this sacred Union.

          As for his position vis-a-vis the rewilders and the rest, I’m going by a few very supportive tweets I’ve noticed from him. Admittedly, this may not preclude support for our farmers, maybe I’ve accustomed myself to see this situation in black and white when in truth there might be many shades of grey. (Shades of grey!)

        2. Brychan

          Having turned my back on British, and while waiting for paint to dry, I took a look for solutions elsewhere. I tend to apply a process engineering approach….

          Netherlands. They have ‘slurry barges’ where waste product is shipped around canals and dykes to processing plants which are also owned by creameries. There, Arla take milk and shit, it’s the law. Manure is processed into dried organic pellets used on flower farms. The result is watercourses teaming with wildlife and happy bees.

          Switzerland. They ban large creameries, it’s the law. Dairy farm size is ‘family’ so mega-farms with big slurry storage is very rare. Cattle herds are organic and migrate up to the alp in summer and down to the valleys in winter. Wasn’t this a feature of Welsh farming not long ago?

          Germany. They provide interest free finance for machinery which injects slurry deep into the soil. It’s included in the CAP payment, and is devolved and varies by region. In lower Saxony they have a government agency which measures sub-soil micro-fauna and commissions an injection regime to improve pasture health. German is not my language but it looks like wormscientist.

          The real cause of problems in Carmarthenshire is low product price, slurry disposal cost and incentives to increase stock density. The closure of creameries at Whitland and Llandeilo has played a role. Milk is now shipped to England for processing who take the margin and we are left with shit.

          We need a Welsh Government to develop a native agricultural policy that allows no motive for farmers to go rogue. The environmental legislation should enhance the product and refine the process rather than just snipe at farmers.

  10. Dafis

    You tweeted something along lines of “Adam must choose between Neil McEvoy and the loonie left”earlier. I’m convinced that Adam is a part of that loonie left, a bloody big part of it. Perhaps he has a studious almost academic manner and sounds very earnest but he echoes in finer words much of the silly nonsense that spews out of Santes Leanne and her cronies, so no real difference just a nicer mask.

  11. Martin bowen

    Page 3 of the Pembrokeshire Herald Today-
    “Investors wanted for iconic Fishguard hotel”

    1. I’ve seen it. Incredible that no mention was made of Gavin Woodhouse and all that’s been revealed lately. People should be warned.
      Pembs Herald

      1. Philip

        The Herald is usually the only one of the Pembrokeshire papers that has a dig at stuff. Hints in the article but I have a feeling their solicitors may have warned them off saying too much. Will let you know if I hear anything this end.

      2. Philip

        It seems like Woodhouse has been removed as director of all these hotels, care homes, etc and an accountant put in place. Including the FB hotel. Time will tell if that is good or bad news for investors/employees, but as far as I can make out its business as usual for the moment.

  12. Dafis

    I have no presence on Twitter but pick up on some of the stuff going on via the column up the right hand side of this page. Read earlier comments about Plaid’s spiteful posturing in support of an AngloBrit supremacist tool at expense of Neil McEvoy. Such a display of psychopathic hatred from the party of love and tolerance.

    More evidence perhaps that Adam is a bigger wanker than his predecessor ! Only weeks ago we had all his bullshit about tolerating all sorts of sexual orientations, gender orientation and the rest of the pink stuff etc etc and yet he can’t abide having a guy in the Party whose views are highly acceptable to many party members and, perhaps more important, to the Electorate in Cardiff West. This guy dwells in that bubble of permanent opposition content to draw a chunky salary for doing not a lot and waffling his way through an echo chamber of press conferences, briefings and “creative thinking” with the likes of the vultures at Deryn.

    Carry on like this and Plaid will realise the vision of the corpse in the comfy armchair that Gee and others bandied about some years back.

    1. There are elements at the top of Plaid Cymru that hate Neil McEvoy with a vengeance, but this is not the feeling among the rank and file. Which is why a showdown is inevitable that could sweep away the current leadership. (Though I use the term ‘leadership’ in the very loosest of senses.)

      I think it comes down to balls. Plaid Cymru is quite prepared to accept a bloke with balls if he’s wearing a frock and calls himself Deirdre; but a man with balls, wearing trousers, speaking his mind, exposing the corruption that is Cardiff Bay, is anathema to the feminazis running Plaid Cymru and the wimps they control.

      And as you remind us, Dafis, Gwilym’s image of the corpse in the comfortable armchair is powerful, and descriptive.

      1. Big Gee

        Yes for sure – there’s definitely a corpse slumped in the chair that should rightly be occupied by
        Ein Gwlad
        Once we remove it, we can sit down and get started putting this impoverished colony back on it’s feet- as an independent and free sovereign nation. Our focus is on our country and her citizens and not some party political ideology, that is fully compliant with the establishment.

  13. Dafis

    That story about Rosslare Europort is really just about a commonsense response to the UK leaving the EU. Of course the UK could just wave all direct EU to Ireland traffic through on the basis that it is purely transit no transaction in UK but the dimwits in London like to grind their petty axe at every opportunity and Grayling won’t be interested cos there’s nothing in it for him or his mates ! He could consider putting a highways tariff on trucks over a given weight to fund road maintenance but that would mean committing to doing some work on those roads !

    Ireland to European ports is still a tough old journey by sea with only the Atlantic facing destinations being fairly straight line. So Brittany/Normandy down to Santander are moderately doable. However to strike into Germany via Benelux you have to get around and up the Channel to access Antwerp, Rotterdam and beyond. Much better to send trucks across UK or better still send containers by rail to East of England. But some problems evidently don’t warrant solving. Bunker mentality wins every time.

    1. From an Irish perspective it makes perfect sense, though as you say, Germany and the Low Countries remain problematic, but trucks heading there will presumably use Holyhead or Liverpool and cross England.

      But my concern is whether the ‘Welsh Government’ has been involved in these discussions, or even knows about them.

      1. Dafis

        I don’t think for a moment that the muppets who occupy Y Cynulliad have given it much thought other than those who represent that area. They just don’t want to think too deeply about how a major strategic choice such as Brexit presents threats and possibly opportunities to a place like Fishguard and Holyhead. A more conciliatory stance when negotiating the trade segments of the “divorce” could safeguard both these places as “channels” for Irish – EU traffic. Instead we keep getting all or nothing garbage from both pro Brexit and pro Remain talking heads. It remains a pissing competition, who can put out the most outrageous prediction of doom or prosperity, when reality demands people sort out working models for various aspects of life after the separation. I fear that a similar mess will arise as & when Scotland and hopefully Wales secede from UK London ( a.k.a England)

      2. Brychan

        “Secretary Grayling gave a commitment to investigate the complex nature of its ownership and said he could see no reason why Rosslare and Fishguard cannot be decoupled. I don’t think Britain has any particular economic or political interest in the port, it’s just not on their agenda. It’s only right that the future of the [Rosslare] port is secured, and I will continue to liaise with Secretary Grayling on the matter.” – Fianna Fáil TD, James Browne, Spokesperson on Business, Enterprise and Innovation, London, 15th July 2019.

    2. Brychan

      The Irish want to invest in multiple double deck linkspan (the moving bit that connects the port with ships) at Rosslare. This is to expand their direct connectivity to mainland Europe. Such investment halves the turnaround time when the ship is in port. The ‘coupling’ with Fishguard is statutory so the Westminster House will have to repeal the statutory requirements, or finance a similar installation investment at Fishguard.

      Stena Line have already put any investment from Sweden in Fishguard on hold.

      Stena are investigating a joint venture on the LeHavre and Cherbourg routes from Rosslare. Handing Fishguard to Irish Ferries (currently running out of Pembroke Dock) would be an opportunity for them. It also has the advantage of only one ‘hard’ border in Pembrokeshire rather than two, after Brexit. This route is 50% Welsh and 50% Irish on a crewing agreement, so the Irish staff can be retained and the Welsh staff made redundant without any employment law difficulties.

      Mushrooms.
      1 – A term used in the freight haulage business for a time dependant perishable load.
      2 – A term used in Whithall for the Welsh Government.

      Don’t expect any response from Cardiff Bay. They are out of the loop or just sleeping on the job. As for the opposition, the presiding officer is busy on a twitter spat with McEvoy and the regional one is concentrating her efforts on a personal vendetta against transsexuals. I’m sure as I am typing this, our viceroy, Mr Cairns is designing a press release to say it’s because of the cancellation of the Newport M4 upgrade, however, all hauliers know that the Brynglas tunnels run free of congestion at night, and the only real bottleneck for landbridge is the M20 Operation Brock.

Now what do you have to say?

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.