Meryl Gravell & Robin Cammish, Only in Carmarthenshire

After posting my previous piece on colonialism, and using as an example the thwarted biomass plans of Welsh businessman Clive Hughes, I received some very interesting feedback naming Hughes’ nemesis as Robin Andrew Cammish. ‘Who him?’ you demand. Well, make yourself comfortable and settle back for a quite remarkable story.

Robin Cammish 1

First of all, read this Llanelli Star report from October 2012 in which Cammish explains how he got involved in the campaign against Clive Hughes’ proposed biomass power station at Coedbach, and how he became chairman of the group opposing the plan. Note that in the second paragraph it says, ” . . . the 58-year-old, who leads global purchasing and supply chain consultancy QP group”. So naturally, I checked up on the QP Group, and found that it had liabilities in excess of assets to the tune of £100,000 when it was struck off in June 2009. Which means that at the time the Llanelli Star piece was written, the QP Group had been defunct for over three years.

Or perhaps the Star meant QP Group (France) Ltd (based in Aldershot!). Or QP ES Group SA of Luxembourg. How about QP Group Sas, with an address in central Paris. Or maybe it’s QP Group Gmbh in Germany. There are even QP companies in the USA and Australia! So take your pick. In fact, Cammish has been involved with over thirty companies, some of which I shall explore below. (Note that the address given for him by Company Check is in Birmingham.)

QP companies

Maybe I’m being a little unfair to Cammish, it’s so easy to get confused when one has so many companies using the QP name (an abbreviation for quality and performance). Perhaps what he told the Star was that he ran Quality and Performance in Development Ltd (Co. No. 03391150), which seems to be the main vehicle for his business activities and currently enjoys a net worth of £944,053.

Though Quality and Performance in Development Ltd threw up another mystery. Cammish’s address is Llandyri House, between Kidwelly and Trimsaran, but the address given for his main company is Coomb Mansion, Llangynog, a truly ugly nineteenth-century ‘mansion’ that has served as an approved school and a Cheshire home for ex-servicemen. In addition to Robin Cammish the other directors of Quality and Performance in Development Ltd are his partner, Pauline Bowers, and a Craig Thomas Henry Warrington of Wokingham, in Berkshire.

Naturally, I got to wondering who owns Coomb Mansion, so here is the title document. Coomb Mansion was bought by Robin Cammish for £200,000, 06.11.2012. I wonder what plans he has for this grotesque pile? And will he get planning permission? Read on for the likely answer to the second of those questions. (You’ll note that Coomb Mansion is in Cammish’s name alone, whereas Llandyri House is in both his and Bowers’ names.)

Cammish and Warrington have collaborated elsewhere, with Summit House Close Estate Management Ltd, also in Berkshire, Co. No. 08959266, Incorporated 26.03.2014 and apparently sold on 09.10.2014. Incorporated on the same date and from the same address was Summit House Close Flat Management Ltd, Co. No. 08959172. Cammish and Warrington resigned 24.09.2014 when five new directors took over.

Though I find it strange that Warrington is named as a director for both companies but Cammish appears as QPB Ltd, Co. No. 06687464. Seeing as Warrington is a long-serving director of QPB, why is he listed separately; or should the question be, why isn’t Cammish listed under his name, rather than the company’s? QPB was Incorporated 02.09.2008 with a debt of £1.3m, presumably mortgages, paid off with the sale of the two Summit House companies.

We shall return to Robin Cammish’s many companies anon, but for the time being I want to explore how successfully this man has put himself about in his adopted community, how he has found favour with local power-brokers, and how favour and patronage has resulted in some remarkable appointments.

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To recap . . . As the Llanelli Star told us, Cammish began to make himself known in Carmarthenshire when he got involved with the protest against Clive Hughes’ plan for a biomass plant in the Gwendraeth valley. Those protesting against this project called themselves the Coedbach Action Team.

Though there was also a company set up, Incorporated 01.08.2008, called Coedbach Action Team Ltd, Co. No. 06662006. The sole director until the company was struck off in December 2014 was Robin Cammish. This company never had any assets and existed only on paper . . . but for what purpose? Was it for legal reasons?

I strongly suggest that you scroll down in this judicial review document from September 2010 to paragraph 18, and paragraph 19, in which we read, “Mr Cammish says that the Claimant (Coedbach Action Team Ltd) does not have the resources to fund its own costs in this judicial review and to pay the costs of an opposing party if it is unsuccessful. That is at odds with a letter sent to the solicitors for the Interested Party (Developer) dated 21 July 2010 in which the Claimant’s solicitor asserted that it did have the funds to pay the costs of successful parties if the claim for judicial review failed.”

Which suggests to me that in order to secure the judicial review Cammish said he / the group had the money needed to meet any costs, but when push came to shove he / the group claimed to be skint. Draw your own conclusions.

In fact, I strongly suggest that you read the document to the end. Essentially, Cammish was told to piss off because a biomass plant at Avonmouth had nothing to do with, and would have no impact upon, a bunch of people living in Carmarthenshire. They seem to have escaped payment of costs due to having formed a private limited company, with Cammish as its sole director. But why were they fighting this project in Bristol anyway?

Kidwelly map

The biomass plant that made a star out of Cammish was planned for a location not far from Pembrey airport, and only a few miles from Ffos Las racetrack. Now keen watchers of Carmarthenshire County Council will be aware that this area is dear to the heart of Meryl Gravell, Mam to the Independent group on the council, former leader of the council, and right-hand woman to and mouthpiece for the man who runs Carmarthenshire, Mark James, the chief executive.

Which makes this the appropriate time to give some background information about this area and those entertaining grand ideas – who said ‘grandiose’? – for this part of Carmarthenshire.

UPDATE 15.12.2015: I have been directed to a film made for HTV in 2008 featuring both Clive Hughes and Robin Cammish.

Meryl Gravell – who does not appear – is quoted as saying that the area’s economic future lies with “leisure and tourism projects”, which as we know, will provide very few worthwhile jobs for locals, whereas Clive Hughes wants to create jobs for locals.

Cammish, who, it could be argued, has retired to the area, represents a type we find all over rural Wales nowadays. His rural idyll is more important than jobs for those who belong here.

It is alleged that during the filming of this programme Cammish claimed that Hughes owed £18m to his accountants. This was not broadcast.

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Her affection for this area means that Meryl Gravell will tolerate nothing jeopardising her grand vision, be the threat a biomass power station, an opencast coal operation or a vast solar energy complex – against all of which Robin Cammish has taken up the cudgels in recent years. Only developments approved of by Meryl Gravell are welcomed, or allowed.

One such enhancement in the pipeline is Robbie Savage’s luxury hotel at Ffos Las, though earlier this year he had to apply for a planning extension, which makes many locals sceptical that it will ever be built. Then there are the executive homes in open country to further improve the Gwendraeth’s cachet. Though quite how either project will benefit locals is matter for conjecture.

Llanelli news with James story Wednesday 19th November 2014 Meryl Gravell with her new bookFor Pembrey airport, there was – and may still be – a plan to turn it into some kind of international duty-free business hub. As it was worded on the airport website until quite recently, Pembrey was “one of the few Airports in the United Kingdom that has 5000 acres of adjoining land available for joint venture with very little planning and environmental constraint”. (Unkind souls might suggest that ‘very little planning and environmental constraint’ could apply to the whole county.)

What’s certain is that by 2011 Cammish had his feet under the table with Meryl Gravell, literally, as this film shows (at 23 minutes in), where we see Cammish discussing with Meryl how Pembrey airport could be improved, and made more profitable. A carefully rehearsed bit of play-acting it may be, but it nevertheless tells us that Cammish was by this stage ‘in’ with those who dispense patronage, funding and planning consent thereabouts.

As was proven a few years later when on 06.09.2013 he was appointed a director of the Scarlets, one of the three vanity projects accepted by the Welsh Rugby Union as ‘regions’. Most people will know that the Scarlets are effectively bankrupt and largely kept afloat by Carmarthenshire County Council writing off debts and doing the Scarlets countless other favours. The most recent figure I can find gives the Scarlets a net worth of £-4,164,241.

Cammish’s appointment to the Scarlets’ Board is quite remarkable. For when we look at who has served as directors we see some great players of the past, Phil Bennett, Derek Quinnell and the late Ray Gravell, these supplemented by local worthies brought up at Stradey Park. By comparison, Cammish, the Englishman who has lived in the area for a few years, and may know nothing about rugby (certainly little about Llanelli), sticks out like a sore thumb. The only explanation is that he was appointed by the council . . . or rather, Meryl Gravell.

Cammish’s appointment to the Scarlets’ board may have been surprising, but what came next was almost unbelievable. Just a year after being imposed on the Scarlets by Meryl, he was appointed chairman of Regional Rugby Wales (RRW), since renamed Pro Rugby Wales, the body representing the Ospreys and the three vanity projects. An incredible promotion for an unknown after just one year at the Scarlets. What possible experience or understanding of Welsh rugby could he possess to qualify him for the RRW job?

UPDATE 23.12.2015: I’m hearing that Robin Cammish has today resigned as chairman of Pro Rugby Wales. Here is his e-mail of resignation.

Note that it was sent just a day after a meeting of Pro Rugby Wales at which it became clear he was being given the old heave-ho. Note in particular the reference to PRW wanting an “independent chairman”. So why wasn’t Cammish considered independent?

Whatever the answer to that, this is good news and it could mark the start of Cammish being exposed for the bullshitter he surely is. But it still leaves the concern that this man is dangerously close to the centre of power in Carmarthenshire. He must be removed.

Gentlemen,

As a follow up (sic) to the PRW Ltd board meeting on 22nd December 2015, I offer you my resignation as Chairman of Pro Rugby Wales Ltd, and I would propose to make that effective from 7 January 2016, which will enable to me complete some previously arranged meetings associated with the Welsh Rugby cost down and revenue up opportunity analysis.

I fully understand your desire to have an independent chairman of PRW Ltd , and during my short tenure as Chairman I have worked diligently and with complete integrity to ensure that I have acted objectively and impartially in all aspects of the PRW role when discharging my responsibilities and conducting myself on behalf of PRW and the Welsh regions.

It is ironic that having worked hard in the background to identify the collaborative opportunities across the 4 Welsh regions and the WRU, which if implemented, has the potential to deliver £+1million in cost down and revenue up in 2016-7, it is clear from our discussions on 22nd December that I do not have your full support as Chairman of PRW Ltd.

As I’m sure you will understand this position leaves me with no alternative but to offer you my resignation.

I am, and will remain, a very strong advocate and supporter of having 4 strong financially sustainable high performing Welsh regions, and as we discussed on the 22nd, previous management in the WRU created a set of relationships and behaviours which we described more associated with being at war. This is now changing to a much more collaborative environment, which has significant implications for the way that you lead and manage the regions affairs going forward.

Wishing you all the best for Christmas and the New Year

Regards

ROBIN CAMMISH

Chairman Cadeirydd

Pro Rugby Wales

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What else has Cammish been up to since he first graced us with his presence? Well, for one thing, he joined forces with Julian Ruck, the Welsh-hater who was recently badly injured when hit by a car. They teamed up to run an e-literature festival in 2011 that flopped badly, some suggesting its failure was due to it being held at Ffos Las racecourse, rather than somewhere easier for visitors to reach by train and bus. But then, by 2011, Cammish was best buddies with Meryl Gravell, and Ffos Las is her baby, to be nourished with all manner of bookings. Or it could have been the combination of Ruck and Cammish that ensured local attendance was zero. Among those booked to perform at this disaster were the Three Welsh Tenors.

Read Ruck’s response to the Tenors when they asked to be paid. He came out with one anti-Welsh barb after another, ‘. . . bastions of Welsh language birdsong . . . my insistence on the reduction of Welsh language songs . . . Welsh hymns and nationalist rugby songs . . . one of them is a North Walian (sic) . . . go and sing for your money . . . rugby ditties . . . a tenner for each of you. A tenner for a tenor!’ What an odious little rucker he is, easy to understand why he’s banned from his local Spar store.

I wonder if Robin Cammish found this anti-Welsh diatribe funny, did they perhaps share a chortle or two? Whether he laughed or not, for a man trying to ingratiate himself with his new Welsh neighbours Cammish made a serious misjudgement by getting mixed up with the odious Jools. Though if you hurry you can buy some of his books through Amazon for . . . a penny! (Postage £2.80.) What am I saying! There’s no need to hurry at all, they’ll still be there in 2025.

Ruck on Amazon

When he’s not consorting with yet another Labour Welsh-hater Cammish gets himself into scrapes, either through indiscretion or else an overweening desire to promote himself. Here are a couple of examples of the latter.

The first comes from 2000 and an article entitled ‘Man on a Mission’, to be found on a site called Supply Management. It’s such a shameless puff that it could only have been written by Cammish himself. As he modestly puts it when talking of how his company has grown, “The site is the second that the consultancy has occupied. The first quickly became too small, not long after Cammish set up the company as a one-man band five years ago. He quickly found that he needed to take on more consultants and since then the firm has doubled in size every nine months or so. It now has offices in four other countries – the US, France, Germany and Australia – and employs more than 100 consultants. It’s long list of clients includes Viagra-producer Pfitzer, Cable and Wireless, Cathay Pacific, Caterpillar, BT, Carlsberg and Glaxo Wellcome.” He employs more than “100 consultants”!

I hate to sound pedantic, but the name of the massive pharmaceutical company is Pfizer, not Pfitzer as Cammish spells it. You think he’d know the name of the company that is one of his “doubling in size every nine months or so” empire’s major clients.

Here’s another OTT self-encomium from the QP Group UK website. This website is current because if you click on the History tab you’ll find, “In 2014, we partnered with Procurement Academy to provide a world-class blended learning Procurement offering to the market.” Very impressive, until you remember that the QP Group Ltd, of Llanydri House, Llanydri, Kidwelly, was struck off in June 2009 with a net worth of £-100,000. So why is the website still being updated as if QP Group UK was a going concern? Is this another example of the ‘confusion’ arising from having so many companies sharing the QP element in their names?

Read the two puffs together and just look at the companies he claims to have worked for or ‘advised’, they are some of the biggest companies in the world, which is no more than we should expect from Cammish. On the QP Group UK website go to Training > Overview and scroll down to the ‘Testimonials’. Do you believe those are genuine testimonials?

As for his indiscretions, these seem to be spawned by the same devil, Ego, that takes control when he attempts to write anything about himself. He has to exaggerate his own importance, his contacts, what he knows. After the famous dialogue with Meryl at Pembrey International it is rumoured that he was describing himself as an ‘advisor’ to the council, and Mark James had to put the record straight.

Then, before a London audience, he accused Clive Hughes of using bribery to promote his biomass project. What’s more, he claimed to have been told this by “the council”. Unfortunately all this was recorded, and while Cammish himself refused to say any more, Mark James, Carmarthenshire’s chief executive, was forced to issue a statement, part of which said, “I am perturbed to hear what Mr Cammish says. I am not aware that the council has made any such comments to Mr Cammish. As you are aware, Mr Cammish does not work for the council and I am therefore not in a position to control or question what he might say.”

I find it intriguing that Mark James says, “As you are aware, Mr Cammish does not work for the council”. ‘As you are aware!’ Does this refer to the previous such statement I suggested above? Even though Robin Cammish may not have been on the county payroll, there’s no question that he was close to Meryl Gravell and, according to one well-connected source, “had the run of County Hall”.

Ironically, it was Cammish who took legal action against Hughes, alleging that the Welsh businessman had suggested Cammish’s business record was less than spotless. (Surely not!) Cammish won, but I’m told Clive Hughes is refusing to pay.

Another avenue explored, perhaps with the encouragement of La Gravell, was the Kidwelly Heritage Trust, Charity Number 1153260, formed by Robin Cammish 15.08.2011. When I read what this lot planned to do – take over the Town Hall (owned by the County Council) and turn it into ‘community space’ – it was like deja vu all over again. This piece from the Llanelli Star (August, 2013) shows the Trust members standing a respectful distance behind Cammish while in the blurb the man himself mentions what has been done in Llandovery as one of his inspirations.

What happened in Llandovery was that a bunch of English drifters saw the chance to pull in hundreds of thousands of pounds of public money (including salaries and pensions for themselves) to create ‘community space’ not for locals but for them and their friends to hang out drinking Fair Trade coffee, swapping tales of Kathmandu while listening to Joni Mitchell and planning the next organic Morris dancing festival. Scams like this are happening all over Wales. I wrote about the Llandovery racket in The Impoverishment of Wales 26.08.2014 (scroll down to ‘YMCA Wales’), and more fully in Ancestral Turf 02.09.2014.

I’m reasonably certain that this was the path Cammish intended to follow – he was certainly looking for funding – but then came the call from Parc y Scarlets, soon followed by promotion to Regional Rugby Wales. Cammish jacked in the Kidwelly Heritage Trust Ltd in April 2015. The company, No 07741052, struggles along with just two directors and £40 in the bank.

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Let us return now to Robin Cammish the businessman. As I said earlier, he has been involved with over thirty companies. Most of these have been liquidated, struck off, dissolved, often with big debts. None more so than the company I mentioned earlier, the one referred to in the screen capture, Hacer Consulting Ltd.

In my years of blogging – and indeed in the years before I started blogging – I have made many enquiries into assorted individuals’ business dealings, some of these individuals have been absolute rogues, but never have I come across a company like Hacer, that started life in 2003 with a net worth of £-762,000, then rose to the giddy heights of a net worth of £6,521,00 in 2005, before plunging to a net worth of £-18,651.00 in 2006. Hacer was struck-off in June 2009 with a net worth of £-18,643,595. (See panel below, click to enlarge.)

Hacer Consulting Ltd

As you might expect, I paid for and downloaded the accounts for Hacer, and for the period when the company’s fortunes deteriorated by £25m, leaving the company valued at £-18.6m. You’ll find the accounts here. It seems to have been a company with no assets, a company that just shuffled shares around. I would appreciate feedback. An incomplete list of the companies he has been involved with can be found here. Check them out for yourself.

The only companies listed with Company Check as active are: Earls Removals Ltd, Pro Rugby Wales Ltd, QPB Ltd and Quality and Performance in Development Ltd. Of these, the only company that is his, and worth anything, is Quality and Performance in Development Ltd. Here are the abbreviated and unaudited accounts up to September 2014. They tell us that the ‘assets’ of Cammish’s sole viable company are made up of debts. In other words, debts that were either bought or inherited and will probably never be paid. But in the crazy world of UK business these count as ‘assets’ and can be used to misrepresent the financial health of a company

UPDATE 04.12.2015: QPB Ltd is being wound up. “First notification of strike-off action in London Gazette (Section 652)” on 12.11.2015. Which leaves Cammish with just two companies. The removals firm in Brum and Quality and Performance in Development Ltd, a company whose ‘assets’ are made up of debts unlikely to ever be paid.

Other than that, what have we learnt about Robert Cammish? I could be generous and dismiss him as a bullshitter, because he certainly is a bullshitter, but there might be more to him than that.

I don’t entirely agree with Clive Hughes that Cammish having so many failed companies to his (and his partner, Pauline Bowers’) name is in itself damning, but this pattern might suggest a ‘business’ that most people would find unpalatable.

The value of Cammish’s companies seem to consist largely of share issues and debts; nothing is produced and there is little to show in the way of assets. He advertises himself as someone who ‘advises’ other companies, he even lists blue chip multinationals like Cathay Pacific, SmithKline Beecham, you can believe that or not, but what does he really do?

When I asked someone more au fait with such matters to look into Cammish’s affairs his description of Cammish’s activities involved the use of a large, scavenging bird. Alternatively, a woman paid to disrobe in public.

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Whatever the truth of that suggestion, I am perhaps more concerned with Cammish’s relationship with Carmarthenshire County Council. I think we have established that he came to the attention of then council leader Meryl Gravell through his opposition to Clive Hughes’ biomass project for Coedbach. Cammish then further endeared himself to Meryl by opposing other unwanted developments. Was there a quid pro quo?

What did Cammish get in return for acting as Meryl’s rottweiler when she pointed him at anything threatening to sully her vision for the Gwendraeth? I think we can assume that the appointment to the board of the Scarlets was one ‘biscuit’. Maybe Meryl even believed Cammish’s bullshit and thought he might be able to staunch the flow of money out the gates of Parc y Scarlets.

Then there’s Coomb Mansion. No sane person would have bought that Hammer House of Horror, and taken on the expense of maintenance and upkeep, without clear promises of planning permission, clearance for change of use, and who knows what else. It will be interesting to see what Cammish does with Coomb Mansion.

Then there’s the film I linked to, that excruciatingly staged ‘discussion’ between Meryl and Cammish at Pembrey International Airport. Cammish was claiming at that time to be an ‘advisor’ to the council, he is said to have “had the run of County Hall”, he was recorded in London saying that he had been told by the council that Clive Hughes was bribing people in order to facilitate his biomass project.

All this tells me that Carmarthenshire County Council, or certainly, Meryl Gravell, fell for Cammish’s shameless self-promotion and the fanciful stories of his glittering business record. Given that she is the chief executive’s representative on earth how much confidential council business has she involved Cammish in? How many council decisions has Cammish influenced? What is his relationship today with the Council?

And yet, there is something so quintessentially Carmarthenshire about this story. A smooth-talking stranger turns up, no one knows anything about him – so they accept what he tells them about himself! – and before you know it he’s got the key to County Hall, and those running the council are hanging on his every word! Sod background checks! Ignore probity! Bugger democracy!

There must come a point when even the size of Mark James’ redundancy package is no longer a deterrent to the ‘Welsh’ Government taking Carmarthenshire County Council into special measures. God knows they’ve done it with less cause in other areas.

49 thoughts on “Meryl Gravell & Robin Cammish, Only in Carmarthenshire

  1. Ian Perryman

    I followed the link and scrolled down to the ‘Testimonials’.
    And yes I believe those are genuine (extracts from) testimonials.

    During my many years in industry I have been on many courses. At the end you are given a piece of paper on which you scribble a few comments before you leave.

    Most people write any old rubbish. But there is always one who will write polite things because they don’t want to upset the nice presenter person or risk losing him/her their job.

    And there are also people who will tell you that every course is wonderful so that they can get another day off work to go on another one.

    I would doubt if any intelligent, experienced training manager would take comments like that seriously – county councillors on the other hand ..

    1. Equally, being so generic and unspecific, they could have been lifted from any other site or source. The point is that we are asked to believe that Robin Cammish – or his many employees – runs training courses in all those locations. I don’t.

  2. dafis

    So that fat smug bastard is the subject of your article, even from this distance he looks like a real creep. How is it that people persistently fall for this kind of crap ? He must have a high ranking handshake or something similar. As for the Plaid man and his barns, well say no more, just ample evidence that Plaid is now happy, content and comfortable operating at the grubby level of the traditional masters of these type of games.

    1. It’s sad on so many levels. So many people had high hopes that Plaid would make a difference, but nothing has changed, Mark James still rules.

    2. Big Gee

      It never ceases to amaze me how nieve & gullible people are. From Tony Blair’s cheesy grin and second hand car salesman look and feel to ‘Jabba The Hut’ Cammish’s track record and general looks & actions you’d think that anyone coming across them would have alarm bells ringing, but not so apparently.

      Little wonder that con men and shysters do so well in our society, it’s easier than taking sweets from a baby. I was also interested to read that Jabba first came to Cymru with his girlfriend for a break & then like many before him, decided to settle here where the people are a bit soft and trusting and the scenery is too good to be wasted on the natives anyway.

      Also like most before him I wouldn’t be at all surprised that he’s run west over Offa’s Dyke to keep ahead of the hounds. It’s usually one of the two, they’re either dumped here as undesirables, or they’re fleeing for some reason – usually to escape bailiffs.

  3. The Earthshaker

    Why just signal out Carmarthenshire council, there’s plenty of Valleys councillors stupid enough to get taken in by the likes of Robin Cammish, a sharp suit, a posh accent, some guff about job creation and freebies and Councillors are whipping out the cheque books quicker than you can say, you’ve been scammed.

    He’ sounds like a chancer and a charmer who probably fluttered his eyelashes at Meryl and she took advantage of the gift that fell into her lap.

    As you said being a Director of a few different companies wouldn’t normally raise any eyebrows, but 31 in 20 years, resigned from 7 of them and all 19 of his own business were dissolved, looks like Robin’s a liability with no business acumen, that’s probably why he got on so well with the Councillors, a meeting of tiny minds.

    The other thing about multiple businesses/names, it’s often a way of avoiding or paying less tax or worse and with his financial problems who know what he’s up to. And as you found out with Nathan Gill’s crowd a few business names can be a front for shady dealings and possible criminal activity, but Robin doesn’t strike me as that clever.

    He probably was involved with QPD changing and improving organisations, systems and cultures at big multinationals, but there are no company specific details and no dates. It could be something as straight forward as installing new software and offering a few training sessions for staff and senior managers, change management and efficiency is all the rage.

    He also got his last award recognition back in 2005, 10 years ago, is he living off his reputation or is it more bullshit? I reckon he’s stayed at QPD because he needs the money and is kept at arms length as Chairman where he can’t do so much damage.

    As for Ffos Las, I’ve no problems with a horse track, but Ffos Las is the future for the Circuit of Wales, a purpose built venue with poor transport links in this case for horse racing that doesn’t earn enough in the off season to pay it’s way and will need tax payers money to bail it out every year, which the Council will happily provide of course to avoid awkward questions, another white elephant to add to long list sucking vital investment away from genuine business and cluttering up Wales to boot.

    Even if he hasn’t done anything wrong, it still good to expose his track record and business dealings so people in Carmarthenshire can make up their own minds about what Robin Cammish and the Councillors were up to on their behalf.

    Are you sending the info to the local papers in Llanelli and Carms?, I think it’s worth it if you haven’t.

    1. As I say, I’m less concerned with his iffy track record in business than with his connections to the council, and in particular, Meryl Gravell. As for the local media, I wouldn’t count on the Carmarthen Journal or the Llanelli Star, but the Herald has shown some independence and might use this.

  4. phil edwards

    Why is everyone so surprised? C’mon……. Meryl and C.C.C. are not exactly the sharpest knives in the box, and never have been!!! And incidentally, all this has happened before Plaid’s time so lets see if they now will do anything about it? We await with bated breath!

  5. Colin

    I’m commenting without reading your article, I can’t get past that picture; repulsive is an understatement. I’ve read the comments, seems I’m not alone in thinking that! I’ll have a read in the morning, something to look forward to

    Where the hell do you find all these unsavoury characters, do you have a saismograph or something?

      1. Colin

        Well you’ve got to try and raise a smile, there’s enough dismal reading above.

        Jabba the hut, that’s exactly him!

  6. Mark James

    Excellent blog, covers Mr Cammish very well. Ms. Gravell is either stupid enough to believe his stories and fallen for his smooth talk (and of course he’s also an expert in everything, including Biomass, airports, Rugby Football, Solar Panels, Nursing homes and more) OR, she’s been clever enough to use him to manipulate/influence Planning developments and other matters: the council’s own little private sector Fixer to mess with airports, Biomass developments and now Parc y Scarlets!
    There is more to this……………

      1. dafis

        oh yes, if only it was he …………………more likely an underling deployed for menial tasks.

        These local chieftains running councils like Carms, and until recently Pembs, are only acting out the modern fashion for political gangsters all over the globe like A.Q, Daesh, and nearer home YBF/Cameron/Shapps, and dear old Carwyn & WelshLabour. Elected democratic representatives in all sorts of assemblies are quick to defer to some charismatic twat with the oily aptitudes of snake oil peddlers. People on the outside ( like us ) see it as it is yet the democratically elected tossers , presumably because they offer something “special”, don’t get it. Does someone put something into their water or air supply that immediately erodes their capacity for critical thinking?

        1. Big Gee

          Now funny you should mention that dafis! Sodium Flouride has been added to drinking water – called water fluoridation – since the end of WW2. It is now a widespread and increased practice. The excuse is that it protects teeth & kills bacteria in the water (how many do you know who have been killed over the centuries through drinking well/ spring water?).

          Fluoride is not an essential nutrient needed for your health—dental or otherwise. There is not one single metabolic process in your body that requires fluoride. On the contrary, fluoride is a cumulative poison. Those who bother to delve into the science behind water fluoridation will inevitably come to see that there’s an abysmal lack of evidence supporting this routine practice, and an awful lot of evidence stacked against it.

          Health Hazards Linked to Fluoride Over-Exposure

          As the number of studies into the toxic effects of fluoride has increased, there is now support for a rather long list of potential health problems related to fluoride accumulation in your body.

          For example, according to one 500-page long scientific review, fluoride is an endocrine disruptor that can affect your bones, brain, thyroid gland, pineal gland, and even your blood sugar levels.

          Forty-two human studies have also linked moderately high fluoride exposures with reduced intelligence, and over 100 animal studies have shown that fluoride exposure can cause brain damage.

          Most striking among these are 30 (out of a total of 32 investigations) that have shown that fluoride lowered the ability of animals to learn and remember. The following list contains 20 of the most commonly mentioned health hazards and diseases associated with fluoride exposure:

          Lowers IQ
          Brain damage
          Bone fractures
          Disrupts immune system
          Increases tumor and cancer rate
          Hyperactivity and/or lethargy
          Dementia
          Bone cancer (osteosarcoma)
          Inhibits formation of antibodies
          Increases aging process
          Increased lead absorption
          Muscle disorders
          Dental fluorosis (staining and pitting of teeth)
          Genetic damage and cell death
          Reduces melatonin production and leads to earlier onset of puberty
          Disrupts synthesis of collagen Arthritis
          Thyroid disease and lowered thyroid function
          Inactivates 62 enzymes
          Damages sperm, increases infertility

          Hence in recent years the explosion of diseases like Alzheimer’s, cancer, attention deficit and hyperactivity disorders in children & Type 2 Diabetes – more especially since the decision to include flouride in our drinking water.

          So why do they do it? I think you’ve answered that when you said “Does someone put something into their water or air supply that immediately erodes their capacity for critical thinking?”

          Yes – it has LOTS of practical advantages in suppressing intelligence and making the general public more gullible, malliable & compliant. Soviet scientists realised that they could control prisoners in labour camps with a reduction of 75% of guards needed by feeding sodium flouride to the inmates. If you don’t believe me check out the facts for yourself.

          1. dafis

            This 1 page info sheet comes courtesy of Dwr Cymru

            https://www.dwrcymru.com/~/media/Files/Publications/ci_fluoridation.ashx

            apparently we are not yet being “treated” but it could be introduced after a request from a “strategic health authority” or Wales Assembly subject to consultations, and some technical issues being overcome ( like can we have a new wheelbarrow ! )

            So far so good. Then courtesy of google I read that the Chief Dental Officer is in favour of its introduction – see http://www.walesonline.co.uk/news/wales-news/fluoride-water-supply-improve-health-6329804.

            These remarks were being made in late 2013 and are likely to be still in vogue. Chief Dental Officer was recently examined and found to have perfect teeth but key parts of his brain was missing !!

            1. Big Gee

              Do you trust everything governments say? Do you believe that everything that is “official” or spouted by so called “experts in the field” is always beneficial to the public? I don’t. Call be a cynic, but a world without cynics or questioners is a dangerous one. That’s why I support this blog, because it flies in the face of what most people accept as fact because it’s “official” – stop thinking for yourself and you stop living.

              Classic example. During world war 1 the government encouraged everyone to grow their own food. They even told the public that they could boil rhubarb leaves as an alternative “green” veg. The result about 20 people died of oxalic acid poisoning – thanks “experts”! Most gardeners already knew that rhubarb leaves are poisonous, but the government in a time of crisis thought they’d push their luck, in the hope of getting away with it. Nice one! They were then forced to issue another warning about the use of rhubarb leaves.

              If they ever allow floridation of our drinking water in Cymru one hombre from Ceredigion will be digging a well! The rest can go and stew in their own juices for being naive, gullible and stupid enough to listen to the “experts”.

              And don’t get me started on subjects like thalidomide – and the evils of pharmaceutical companies that just want to make money or are used by governments to control the masses.

              Anyway – back to unravelling the machinations of local government in Sir Gâr with the aid of dodgy motor-mouth imigrants!

            2. Colin

              I had a friend back in the 70s who was a dentist, he told me that children on Ynys Mon had better teeth than those in Caernarfonshire as was because of the addition of fluoride in the water, I remember it had a very distinctive taste and probably accounts for my current mental state

              Thalidomide, Christ alive someone needed executing over that! There was a story just last week that a young girl here on Ynys Mon who had been given some acne treatment that caused necrosis of her pancreas

            3. Big Gee

              Makes you shiver doesn’t it?

              If you’re REALLY interested in this subject of flouridation then Professor Paul Connett is the ‘go to’ guy. Believe me he trumps anything of primary school standard that Dŵr Cymru have to say or that fart David Thomas (chief dental advisor for the Senedd – or whatever other rubbish title he has).

              This link is a MUST watch – you’ll enjoy it. THEN make your mind up.

              https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zo6SnvmMP9k

            4. Rob Bruce

              Do you trust everything a random nutter on the interwebs says?
              This is fun.
              Your turn.

  7. The Earthshaker

    After an initial read and comment last night, the more I read the more convinced I am that Robin Cammish is/was some sort of fixer for Meryl Gravell, what are Cammish’s politics does anyone know?

    It’s also pathetic that Plaid Cymru now in control of Carmarthenshire Council aren’t looking into the projects Meryl and her cronies approved and the deals the Council did and started exposing them to the public, are they really afraid of the fallout or as Dafis suggested too comfy in County Hall to rock the boat ahead of the Assembly elections?

    It’ll be interesting to see what Mark James can add to your revelations; this could potentially be a huge story.

    Keep up the good work Jac

  8. Colin

    How is the wonderful Julian doing, does anyone know? How badly hurt was he, was he/is he in a lot of pain, will he be able to write again? I won’t ask if he’ll be able to think again as I doubt he could before the alleged assassination attempt. The down side of this sort of thing is that his books have now gone up in value and are vastly overpriced

  9. Mark James

    So much to write about when it comes to Mr. Cammish, I’m looking forward to it.
    While I’m on, let’s start with the picture of Mr Cammish which was used by the Llanelli Star in a “feature” on the man himself; this feature was arranged by Mr. Cammish following a series of criticisms from me about his anti-biomass crusading and messing with Kidwelly Town Council (the old Town Hall). I think Mr Cammish at the time felt that he was loosing the PR battle and felt that a bit of positive publicity would be good for him. Also at the time the Llanelli Star were in contact with me, asking questions regarding my criticism of Mr Cammish (how dare I….) and as per usual they distort what I said and omitted all the facts.
    Mrs G surely fixed it with the Llanelli Star for Mr Cammish to have his “full page – self promotion feature ” as a champion of the Community etc etc. Typical Llanelli Star, one quiet call from you know who and the Star obliges with a full page of ego and smugness. The wonderful thing about that ‘feature’ is that even though it made Mr Cammish feel really good for a couple of days, it came across to most people as quite the opposite, the phrase ‘smug git’ has comes around every time.
    Typical Llanelli Star again with their long standing bias CCC-loving ‘editorial’ steered by the then Leader of Carmarthenshire County Council – all in her support of her darling Mr. Cammish. The sooner everyone buys the Herald the better, at least this will take away Carmarthenshire County Council’s mouth and prevent he likes of Cammish getting so much free press to feed his ego, furthering his cozyness with the cronies and the pet projects of Mrs G and the rest of them.
    This of course includes Mrs G arranging for Mr Cammish to join the Scarlets (££) to keep an eye on the Council’s secret interests from within; and typical Cammish, he practices his confidence tricks on Nigel Short and Regional Rugby to a Chairman!! the man is good, very good……………………but some of us spotted it straight away and a long time ago, his time will come and he’ll soon be back off to Hampshire…………..or some other community to leach-off and suck up to public officials & Councilors.

    1. Y Cneifiwr

      The Llanelli Star articles you refer to are still online, and they make for interesting reading. In a nutshell what happened here was that any development which might cloud Meryl Gravell’s vision of a tourist paradise rising from the brown field ashes of a heavy industrial past ran into orchestrated opposition. Projects which would have created long-term, skilled and long-term employment were torpedoed in favour of an airy fairy future based on low-paid, low-skilled jobs in tourism, such as Robbie Savage’s hotel at Ffos Las. That met with an ecstatic welcome from Mrs G, but years after planning permission was granted, not a single brick has been laid and not a single job created.

      1. ‘Saving the area for tourism’ was – given my views on that subject – something I should have explored, but I was already well over 3,500 words. But then, who’s to say that the Gravell-Cammish partnership doesn’t warrant another post?

    2. Colin

      I can’t believe anyone would use such a picture to promote himself, what must the others be like? It’s not often a picture has such an impact on me, what I read isn’t any better the man is repulsive and like a stick of Blackpool rock it looks like it goes all the way through!

      Your post made me think that people like him are widespread, moving into communities (worldwide) imposing their will on the unfortunates of the day who are lucky enough to have him there to educate them, then taking over whatever it is they can, from church halls to corporate boardrooms

  10. Twitcher

    There must be two Robin Cammishes in Kidwelly because the Cammish described by the Scarlets’ website is a global mover and shaker who is surely up there with the likes of Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg. Who would have thought that a quiet little backwater like Kidwelly would attract such a rare and exotic migrant? And what a refreshing change from the common or garden “aderyn brith” which has flocked to Carmarthenshire in recent years:

    “The position of RRW Chairman will now be taken up by Robin Cammish. Robin is currently a Director of Scarlets and will now step down as Vice Chair of the West Wales Region to concentrate on the new role with RRW. Robin’s vast experience of start-up operations is ideally suited to taking on the RRW Chairman’s role through an initial six-month period while the organisation, its governance and operational disciplines are established.

    Originating from Scarborough, Robin has been based in Kidwelly for over 10 years following a successful career operating at Board level in multinational businesses across five continents. Robin’s significant commercial experience and remarkable level of business experience and success will be key in contributing to the next stage of the growth of Regional Rugby.”

    http://www.scarlets.co.uk/eng/news/1385.php#.Vl_g0zDF8Vc

    1. It’s becoming obvious that when it came to promoting himself Cammish said, ‘What the hell? – let’s go for broke!’. Which is what bullshitters do; the real worry is that so many people in positions of authority, and in some cases control of public funding, were not more circumspect in their dealings with Robin ‘I am the Greatest!‘ Cammish.

      Though I am slightly disappointed to learn that he is only claiming five continents as the beneficiaries of his genius. Surely a man of his undoubted unquestioned talents could have found a venture worthy of his ability in Antarctica?

  11. dafis

    Is Ms Gravell Carmarthen shire’s answer to Fishguard’s Mayor Twat, or is she grooming Mr Cammish for that role ?

    However Cammish may be gone to Antarctica when he needs a new bolt hole. There he may even start an open cast bullshit mine or tap into a promising vein of fluoride to ship back to willing users in Wales and rest of Br Isles.

    1. Now that Cammish has – with M. Gravell’s help – put himself about a bit, made himself known to the local electorate, and received such uncritical and unquestioning reporting in the local media, I wouldn’t be at all surprised if he put himself up for election next May. Maybe that’s where it’s all leading. Watch this space.

  12. Basher

    As the introduction to this lengthy essay makes the bold claim that what follows is “a quite remarkable story”, one would expect some kinda smoking gun…

    …surely someone has been caught red handed…with their trousers down…with their hands in the cookie jar…or at least with crumbs all down the front of their woollen cardi….alas…nothing that comes close I’m afraid.

    Damning evidence may exist somewhere of someone sometime doing something someplace…but this author doesn’t seem to have found it. So many hares set running in the long article yet nothing nailed by the end of it.

    All the effort boils down to = senior Carmarthenshire Councillors/Officers are susceptible to the fluttering eyelashes of a bullshitting Multinational business giant told in thousands of words with lashings of personal slants throughout.

    Not even the chap’s mansion is spared the subjective bias!

    This is the sort of stuff I’d have expected from Jackie Thompson to be honest.

    Only we all know the only subject of her “remarkable stories” is Mark James CBE!

    And look where they got her!

    1. “Multinational business giant”. That, I suggest, is what he’s not. But at least we can agree on bullshitter.

      You also fail to understand the secondary purpose of this blog post, which is to elicit information. ‘Here’s what I know, and suspect, now you tell me . . . ‘.

      This story isn’t finished, you can guarantee that.

    2. Basher

      He’s the one claiming to be a big player in industry, not me. I was just summarising the situation.

      You wonder whether he may stand in next year’s elections, I assume you meant the elections to Carmarthenshire Council the year after that in 2017…unless you think the Monster Raving Loony Party may field him for next year’s Welsh Assembly election?

  13. Jac,
    The subject of Mr Gammish et-al is a bit like the wonders of Fluoride, ………..you will not know whether there was any truth in the claims until such time as you personally suffer the side effects, and then often it would be too late. As much as I would like to see a cure for the ills compounded within society by the likes of the people whose only interest into the well being of society is exclusively by self-interest, irrespective of who pays the bill. In these enlightened times the public should be given explanations by the individuals under scrutiny as to what their true standing is by quantifying exactly how society has benefited by their past endeavours and what benefits will be forthcoming to society now that the individual is starting on yet another flight into fancy. It makes you wonder what do we as individuals do when voting on party political lines when we put in power people who for the most part have been selected by a clique of whatever party-colour looking after self-interests. Consider how long it took for women to get the vote, we men have a lot to answer fo,r but what is new, self interest goes way back in time? Jo public has had to put-up with it from the time that those who pulled the strings made the puppets dance. Nobody likes dancing more than I used to, until old age set-in, but I liked to dance to the tunes that I liked, not at the directives of someone hidden behind closed doors who never danced in his or her life. I shudder at the thought of somebody on the Board of the ‘Scarlets’ who conforms to the claims being made, put him in the team for a few matches and let us see his credentials!

    Shall we ever counter those who confound the records as has been happening since some so called scholars compiled the history from the time of Pytheas circa 325 BC and have been building upon those concoctions ever since, In this new age of the Internet we should be able to get the message to these people more quickly than in the past ………….Your Time Is Up ……….time to move on! NOW

  14. gaynor

    Remember when CCC fell for the dodgy media mogul who was going to transform Gelli Aur Agri College in to Hollywood about 15 yrs ago – £1m lost if I remember correctly

  15. Anonymous

    Resignation as Chairman…..obviously the Regional Rugby club sussed-out that he is full of it and among them as a spy for you know who, or perhaps he was trying to get more business for his International mega-company QP Group? It wouldn’t surprise me, him being a management consultant (seller of bullshit) that he’s tried to secure some fancy contract (financial gain) to sort out the Welsh Rugby. Hopefully we’ll find out soon. On the subject of you know who, Ms. Gravel is clearly stepping back and away from her Council activities, she’s now carving out new opportunities by participating in ‘enterprise promoting cronyism’. Everyone knows that she’s now a spent force so sucking up to new ventures with the likes of Edwina Hart is a natural progression for her sort (Obviously Meryl buys her frocks from the same shop as Edwina). In keeping with tradition, Ms. G is already appointing her old cronies cronies too. So there’s a new club being created by a bunch of has-been’s who now nothing about enterprise or industry, Ms Gravel is now riding on the back of her Council Leader cv to carry on what she does best. So, don’t be surprised if Mr Cammish is invited to join this new club.

    1. With council elections in 2017 and local government reorganisation a few years away MG knows the good times are coming to an end . . . and that’s if things go according to plan, because if there’s another big scandal it could leave the ‘Welsh’ Government with no alternative but to put Carmarthenshire into special measures. So it’s understandable that she will look to use the contacts she’s made and the insider information she’s gained to promote her personal interests.

      She’s obviously taken a shine to Cammish and fallen for his self-glorifying bullshit, so it would be no surprise if they shacked up (in the purely business sense) to make a bit of money.

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