Miscellany 31.10.2018: The Olive Trust, Mumbles Pier, Cartrefi Croeso, Welsh Clearances, The Disaster that is Devolution

It may be Hallowe’en but you’ll find no ghosties or ghoulies here, just the usual parade of grotesques and exhibitions of idiocy and cupidity that haunt modern Wales. Night and day. All year round.

Seeing as I haven’t put anything out for over a week this is a bumper issue, around 4,000 words, but there’s no single, linking theme other than the sheer fuckedupedness of Wales. I have, as old Nennius said, ‘made a heap of things’. On the plus side, because this is a meal made up of a number of courses, you can take your time.

Enjoy.

And if kids come knocking on your door, demanding money with menaces, set the dog on them.

THE OLIVE TRUST

In the previous post, Hate Crime, I told you about the insults aimed at me by Denise Kingsley-Acton, a very strange woman currently domiciled in Kidwelly. A very strange woman indeed. That anyone takes her seriously is difficult to believe, but if they do it may be due to the fact that she has a ‘minder’ in the form of Swansea Labour councillor for 43 years, and now Alderman, Alan Lloyd.

While Lloyd obviously opens doors for Denise Kingsley-Acton, it’s difficult to see what he gets out of it. But being a former Labour councillor we can be sure that he’s not acting as her guide and guarantor for altruistic reasons.

Since posting that piece last week a bit more information has come to light, some of which was added as an update, some of which will be fresh.

You no doubt shared my astonishment that this woman had been given a grant to educate young people about hate crimes. According to her Facebook page she had received a grant from the “Police Commissioner for Dafed (sic) Powys”. So I wrote to the PCC.

The initial response from the office of the PCC said, “The Police and Crime Commissioner has not awarded a grant to the Olive Trust.  The grant was awarded from the Safer Dyfed-Powys Diogelach charity, to which the Commissioner is a trustee.”

After a follow-up e-mail I was told, again from the office of the PCC, “The grant was awarded to the Olive Trust as an organisation and it was for £1000.” The wording suggests that we should regard the Olive Trust as something unconnected with Denise Kingsley-Acton, when in fact she is the Olive Trust, and the Olive Trust is her.

I’m still waiting to hear if the grant offer has been withdrawn.

The latest entry on the Olive Trust Facebook page is shown below.

click to enlarge

Denise Kingsley-Acton says I have harassed her “continually for many years”. The truth is that in 2012 I wrote about her attempt to screw £1,000,000 out of the Wales European Funding Office. There was a passing reference in September 2014, before two pieces about her in March this year after someone had drawn my attention to an article in Llanelli Online.

That was it, until the bizarre and slanderous allegations that came out of the blue on October 19. Had I not received those insults it’s unlikely I would have written about her ever again.

But if I learn that the Olive Trust or Denise Kingsley-Acton is trying to rip off the public purse, again; or if she posts slanders about me, again; then I shall write about her, again. And that’s a promise.

MUMBLES PIER

Mumbles and its pier is close to my heart. I can remember as a young boy riding the old Mumbles Train that used to clatter along the seafront.

In my early teens I spent many happy hours, whole days even, fishing. We’d usually cycle down, fishing rods strapped to our crossbars, bags on our backs containing tackle, bait, sandwiches (which often got mixed up).

At the pier we’d follow the tide out, which meant, once the two top bars of the safety rail around the eastern ‘well’ on the intermediate level became visible, working our way along, standing on the middle bar and holding tight onto the top one with one hand while holding our rod in the other, with bag on back, until we reached the far side, so that the fast ebbing tide could take our lines. And as the tide ebbed further the death-defying stunt was repeated on the bottom level.

I look back at what we did then and I wonder how we survived. Because anyone falling into the ‘well’ would either have been trapped under the floor and drowned, or else been taken out to sea so fast that they would have been lost unless a nearby boat could have reached them quickly.

From home to pier was a seven-mile ride, which was great on the first leg, partly because we were fresh and partly because it was downhill into town and then flat along the Mumbles Road. Coming home after a day’s fishing the pedals would always be heavier, especially if there were no nice fish to show your mam.

As an older teenager I did the Mumbles Mile on a Saturday night. Often after watching the Swans. We’d come out of the Vetch, have a bite to eat in a little caff we used in Wind Street, wash and brush up in one of those old public conveniences with an attendant, then catch the bus (was it the 77?) to Mumbles – White Rose, Pilot, Prince of Wales, Antelope . . . before walking home, which with diversions and digressions might mean getting home in time for breakfast

But then, I’m sure Mumbles and the pier plays a role in the life of anyone from Swansea and the wider area.

So it’s understandable why there is such interest in the proposed development. Now I shan’t comment on the development itself because it’s complicated – obstruction of views, etc – and I don’t have the space here, but there are a few points worth raising.

Someone we’ve encountered on this blog more than once is Lawrence Bailey, former leader of the local Labour Party, former Lord Mayor, and of course leader of the council. Or, rather, he was fulfilling these roles when he could tear himself away from his real interest of pornography. For which he was awarded the coveted Private Eye Pornographer of the Year award.

He also used to write to the Evening Post as Phyllis Evans of Cwmrhydyceirw, Disgusted of Dunvant, and a host of others who all seemed to support the Labour Party. Fancy! It seems likely that the Beans on Toast was complicit in this deception.

After these unfortunate revelations Bailey resigned from the council and branched out into public relations with a company called Whiterock, which first came to my attention when ‘Stan’ pointed out that this outfit was receiving regular payments from the dike-bashing MP for Swansea East, Carolyn Harris.

(Who, let’s be brutally honest, needs all the image-massaging she can get.)

Bailey seems to have used the Whiterock name for some time before registering it with Companies House in August 2015. Nothing else was ever filed with Companies House and Whiterock-Wales was dissolved in January 2017.

And yet, if we go to the Whiterock website and scroll down we read ‘© whiterock wales (2018)’, suggesting the company yet breathes – but under what name, and in what form? Is it Whiterock Wales; Whiterock Public Affairs, as on the website; Whiterock-Wales, as with the defunct company on the Companies House website; or Whiterock Consulting as on Bailey’s Linkedin profile.

This is something I come across regularly, many different but similar names designed solely to confuse. So tell us, Lawrence, what is the name of your company and is it registered? Nobody’ll care if you’re just a one-man band. We all know you enjoy your own company.

Of course, Bailey’s big attraction for any potential client is that he knows the local Labour Party, he’s another like Lloyd who can open doors. So it should surprise no one to learn that he is representing owners Ameco who are hoping to make many millions of pounds from luxury housing in the vicinity of the pier as the ransom price for renovating the pier itself.

There was a meeting a couple of months back between the developers and the council, or at least, the council leader, Rob Stewart. Someone sent me a link to a secretly-filmed video, which I can no longer find, but fortunately I took a few screen grabs which you can see below.

click to enlarge

Stewart is the one in the dark suit and Bailey is the grey-headed geezer.

This is all run-of-the-mill stuff for a Labour council, but now protesters are arguing something very odd may have happened around the time the outline planning application (2010/1451) was received by the council on 17 September, 2010.

This was during a period when the city was enjoying a respite from Labour rule with a Lib Dem-led alliance in charge. Which of course meant that Bailey’s political connections would have counted for naught.

What’s being suggested is that during a process of digitisation in 2010, by the council’s officers, the boundary of the Gower Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty was moved so that the land on which the housing development is now planned was somehow moved outside the AONB. Here’s a BBC report.

Now if this suggestion is true, then it could scupper the whole development. If the boundary change was deliberate rather than error, then who might be responsible? Names of people – who may or may not be connected with Lawrence y Garreg Wen – carry on zephyrs wafting up from Mumbles.

Anyone with information is welcome to get in touch, with the usual guarantee of anonymity. Either use the contact box in the sidebar or write to editor@jacothenorth.net.

UPDATE 03.11.2018: The whole thing has now been put on hold by the ‘Welsh’ Government. It seems Swansea council has the power to refuse planning permission but it does not have the power to grant planning permission.

UPDATE 07.11.2018: In a strange twist, Swansea council’s planning committee has unanimously voted to approve the scheme. Does this mean that the Labour Party in Swansea is starting to stand up to London’s management team in Cardiff? Does it suggest that opponents of the scheme may not be as representative of the wider public as they might like to believe?

A LITTLE PLACE IN THE WEST

You may recall that the chief executive of Carmarthenshire County Council, Mark Vincent James, has a keen personal interest in property, with properties of his own in Cardiff Bay. I wrote about this in Baywatch and Baywatch 2.

Now I learn that he is branching out with a company called Cartrefi Croeso Cyfyngedig (CCC, geddit?) This report from 6 June tells us, among other things, that, “The council is the sole shareholder in Cartrefi Croeso, which will have five directors – two council officers, one councillor and two external appointees.”

As I say, that was early June, here we are at the end of October and according to Companies House there are just two directors, both employees of the council, and therefore answerable to Mark James not the elected representatives. But James’s hold over this new company doesn’t end there.

This report from 23 October tells us that plans are well advanced for “32 new homes costing £4m” in Burry Port. The report also informs us that the managing director of Cartrefi Croeso is Robin Staines. So who is he? Well, he’s ‘Head of Public Protection, Housing and Care & Support Services, Carmarthenshire County Council‘. Staines is a Cockney, imported by James, and therefore totally loyal to his master.

Cartrefi Croeso’s new retirement housing in Burry Port, with a stout fence to keep out the indigenes, click to enlarge

So we now have a company, Cartrefi Croeso Cyf, using public money, run by people answerable only to Mark James, but with no democratic accountability whatsoever. What the hell is the Plaid Cymru-led council doing?

A regular source whose judgement I trust reminds me that Cartrefi Croeso is another arms-length company of the kind that Mark James seems to favour as a way of running and controlling things without having to worry about answering to those who pay his salary. Or anyone else.

Another such company is CWM Environmental Ltd. (Carmarthenshire Waste Management.) Something similar has happened to social care, and leisure services will be next. While looming at Delta Lakes is the Wellness Centre Village, where the lame shall be made to walk, one-eyed Scarlets’ supporters will be blessed with 20/20 vision . . . and some shifty buggers will make a fortune from the public purse thanks to Mark Vincent James.

From the perspective of a man like Mark James setting up private companies run by his placemen offers many advantages. Like some Mafia don he controls things but his underlings take any flak. Being private companies they are not subject to Freedom of Information requests (as they would be as in-house council departments). And of course rules on the use of the Welsh language do not apply.

It is quite amazing how, in a Western democracy, the employee of a public body can take over that body and run it as if it were some private company he had created himself! Which would be bad enough, but neither the elected representatives of those that employ him, nor the superior level of government that should be holding him to account, are prepared to do anything!

But as I keep saying, Wales has more in common with the third world than with Western Europe: Poverty, colonialism, exploitation, colonisation, widespread corruption, no oversight and monitoring of public officials and public bodies, etc., etc.

A FAIT ACCOMPLI

Midnight yesterday was the deadline for submissions in a consultation process launched on July 10 about the Basic Payment Scheme (BPS) to farmers. It’s been pretty clear for some time that the whole  issue is being controlled from London and that the management team in Cardiff docks is simply doing what it’s told, and saying what it’s told to say.

This is fall-out from the EU (Withdrawal) Bill debate earlier this year. Remember? After first making a bit of a show of standing shoulder to shoulder with Nicola Sturgeon and the Scottish Government Carwyn Jones did what we always knew he’d do – surrender to England.

Though in fairness it was all play-acting, for his masters had decided the outcome long in advance. The showboating and the bluster, the trips to Edinburgh, the ‘strong words’ for Mrs May’s government, were designed to placate a certain audience that in Wales often seems to care more about the EU than it does about Wales.

As a direct consequence of the Labour management team agreeing that the London Government could effectively withdraw BPS we now face the destruction of Welsh upland farming, together with the jobs, plus the language and the culture, farming sustains.

But this has little to do directly with Brexit, for if Carwyn Jones had not surrendered powers to London Welsh farmers could be receiving the same treatment as their Scottish counterparts, who have been guaranteed the continuation of the Basic Payment Scheme.

Some of those directing the Welsh Clearances, click to enlarge

The sad little mouthpieces of the collaborationist regime in Cardiff docks, are reading from scripts prepared for them by civil servants like those you see above, one of whom has been heard to say that he hates farmers! Making it clear that Welsh farmers are to be forced from their land to make way for more English settlers. I wrote about it in The Welsh Clearances.

I can hear the objections – ‘But you misrepresent the proposals, Jac!’ Do I? Let the readers decide.

Funding is to be withdrawn from farmers and given to environmentalists, ‘re-wilders’ and others without whose help Mother Nature would simply give up and go home. The losers will almost all be Welsh, while the winners will be overwhelmingly English, but we’re expected to believe that this is pure coincidence.

Though it must be said, that over many years there have been some people (especially in Plaid Cymru) who have been very supportive of this replacement population. In fact, some seem to have identified more strongly with incoming ‘environmentalists’ than with their own people.

While Remain fanatics argue that farmers have brought it on themselves by voting for Brexit. Ignoring the fact that this is a decision taken by the London government using Brexit as a pretext.

Wake up! This is undisguised colonialism. Taking land off the natives is what our masters are good at, they’ve been doing it for centuries. That so much Welsh land is still in Welsh hands is an affront to everyone in whose veins runs the blood of pith-helmeted district officers and their crinolined memsahibs.

THE DISASTER OF DEVOLUTION

Reading this blog can I’m told be both entertaining and informative, but often depressing. (It’s the same writing it, but I take my ‘medicine’.) While things at the moment may look more depressing than usual I’m strangely – perhaps perversely – encouraged by recent developments.

First, the crushing defeat dished out to Leanne Wood in the Plaid Cymru leadership election made her acolytes realise how little support there is for niche politics. And if there is little support within Plaid Cymru for such nonsense then there’s even less support in the wider population. But then, when you debate issues in echo chambers you can persuade yourself that everybody is discussing what you and a tiny group of friends think is important.

That said, I can’t see Plaid Cymru getting its act together over the longer term. It will fall back into its old ways, because despite being a minority, the niche left knows how to inveigle itself into positions of influence and authority, and to intimidate others into silence. The ‘nationalists’ will have to reach some compromise with LW’s supporters.

Which means that eventually, a new party will be needed to prioritise the needs and interests of Welsh people while working towards the independent state that alone can permanently safeguard those needs and interests. Ein Gwlad already exists, and will grow into that role.

Looking at the wider picture it should now be obvious that devolution is a sham. But worse than being a sham, devolution, and the existence of a ‘Welsh’ Government, allows the UK government to get away with things that might have been very difficult without devolution.

Let’s take a few very recent examples to explain what I mean.

THE FLINT RING

This ‘initiative’ came from Cadw, which is just English Heritage West, ensuring a ‘safe’ and acceptable interpretation of Welsh history. That being so, we can be sure that the Flint Ring idea originated over the border.

To give an example of how Cadw operates I’ll go back a couple of years to something I found on its website. Cadw was promoting, “It’s 1295 and peace reigns in Caernarfon”, before going on to paint a picture of English soldiers flirting with Welsh maids. (Yes, honestly!)

click to enlarge

The truth is of course that in 1294/5 Wales was in rebellion, and Caernarfon Castle was taken by Madog ap Llywelyn’s men. Any English soldiers still in the castle would either have been lying dead somewhere or, if they were lucky, languishing in the dungeons.

After I put out a tweet Cadw immediately took the page down. But why did the body entrusted with interpreting and presenting Welsh history get it so wrong, giving out a picture of Welsh and English living happily together in conquered Wales, us Welsh not at all resentful?

Shit! I’ve just answered my own question.

Interpreting a colonial people’s history is fundamental to maintaining a hold over that people. This is Cadw’s role in Wales. (And of course, ensuring that no Welsh are employed at our castles and other monuments.)

Far easier to do this with a Welsh name and the pretence that Cadw is an agency of a ‘Welsh’ Government.

PRINCE OF WALES BRIDGE

Yes, I know, this was announced by Alun Cairns, Conservative Secretary of State for Wales, but Labour First Minister Carwyn Jones was involved from very early on, and to a considerable degree Jones’s approval was used to justify the whole thing. A kind of joint enterprise, sharing the blame.

click to enlarge

Had the naming been imposed directly from London there would have been far more opposition, maybe even from within the Labour Party. Devolution served to confuse what was a clear, colonialist imposition.

TOXIC MUD

This was another clear, colonialist imposition. But because the ‘Welsh’ Government, and Natural Resources Wales were so co-operative, and so devious about their involvement, it served to confuse the picture. It left those objecting uncertain who to blame.

Which, again, could not have happened without the ‘shield’ of devolution.

M4 MONEY

The ‘M4 improvements’ is a long-running saga.

‘Business’ believes that the M4 must be upgraded to do away with bottlenecks and speed up travel between England and Cardiff. Most politicians seem to agree.

Late in 2013 the UK/English government gave the ‘Welsh’ government power to borrow up to £1bn to spend on the M4. On Monday we learnt from the Chancellor of the Exchequer that there was now an extra £300m available, but only if it is spent on the M4.

Huffing and puffing, millionaire socialist contender for the purely figurehead positions of leader of the English Labour Party in Wales and First Minister, Mark Drakefraud, insisted it was up to AMs how the money was spent.

Small but perfectly formed SoS Alun Cairns retorted by saying that the ‘Welsh’ Government had asked for the money specifically for the M4. ‘Liar’ liar, pants on fire!’ shouted Drakefraud, at which point the exchange got too highbrow for this simple old Swansea Jack.

Make sense of it here if you can.

The bottom line is that improving the M4 will help England far more than Wales because improving communications to peripheral regions invariably works against those peripheral regions. It means what makes them attractive can be reached easier and what makes such regions valuable can shipped out faster.

If the M4 ‘improvements’ go ahead jobs will be lost because it will be easier to serve ‘South Wales’ from depots and offices in England, but Wales’s cheaper homes will be brought within reach of more English commuters to Bristol and the Thames Valley.

What the A55 has done for the north on a bigger scale.

How much easier it is to perpetrate this con with the help of a ‘Welsh’ Government that can’t see beyond Cardiff – and then get the silly buggers to put the whole country in debt to pay for it! Self-financing colonialism.

Just imagine no devolution, and the UK government saying it wanted to upgrade the M4 but that Welsh local authorities were going to pay for it.

UPDATE: On the very day this post appeared this letter was published in the Western Mail. I have no idea who David Gwyn Watts of Milford Haven is, but he’s right. (Though I think the Letters Editor went a bit overboard with ‘doom’.)

WELSH CLEARANCES

As you’ve read above, Welsh farmers will be forced from their land in a policy worthy of comparison with Clearances or ethnic cleansing. The orders come from London. Civil servants answering to London will implement the strategy in Wales. And Welsh politicians will pretend it’s their policy out of a combination of vanity, congenital deviousness, and contempt for those who’ll suffer.

If a government minister had stood up in the House of Commons and said, ‘Her Majesty’s Government plans to clear Welsh farmers from their ancestral land and replace them with English environmentalists, ‘re-wilders’ and the like’, there would have been uproar in Wales. There would have been demonstrations, riots even.

But no, get some stupid woman in Cardiff to pretend it’s a decision of her ‘government’ and it confuses the natives. Use devolution as a ‘screen’ and as with the Flint Ring, and The PoW Bridge, and the toxic mud, and the M4 money, and a host of other damaging schemes, we won’t know who’s really to blame, and who we should be attacking.

This confusion can only arise because of devolution. And because of the way London uses devolution, and because of the way our politicians allow devolution to be used. Strip away devolution and we’ll see colonialism for what it really is.

Forget the comforting bollocks about devolution being a ‘badge of nationhood’. Welsh nationhood is being destroyed behind the façade of devolution. Devolution is a Trojan horse.

I predict with certainty that if there is another Tryweryn or another Investiture, it will be presented as a decision of our wonderful ‘Welsh’ Government, and because of that, it will be accepted by more Welsh people than if it had come in the form of a diktat from London.

If we had a vote to abolish the Assembly, I would vote to abolish. And I wouldn’t need to think twice about it.

♦ END ♦

 

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Kristine Preedy
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Kristine Preedy

Jac I hope your well, why don’t you run for government, you know how it is, you say it like it is and Swansea and Wales needs that more than anything, you won’t be bullied, they can’t shut you up, you would be the man for the job x

Exile
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Exile

Excellent as ever, I would vote for you. A Welsh exile who left her homeland because of the corruption. 😁

Kristine Preedy
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Kristine Preedy

I also left, got sick to the back teeth of it all, now live in Portugal and rescue dogs

Brychan
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Brychan

There are three ‘bottlenecks’ on the M4, and they only occur half hour each side of 0800hrs in the morning and half hour each side of 1760hrs in the evening.

(a) Junction 33, commuters from the west into Cardiff.
(b) The Coryton/TaffsWell snarl, commuters from the valleys into Cardiff.
(c) Brynglas tunnels towards Eastern Av, commuters from the east into Cardiff.

So the challenge is to remove those commuters from cars and put them on trains (more carriages needed), as there are railway lines originating from all three areas, able to service all needs. Problem is, everyone doesn’t work at Cardiff Central and need to then get up to Llanishen for offices, Cylverhouse depots, the Bae public sector, Penarth or East Moors industrial estates, and Gabalfa for hospital and distributor roads.

So what did they do to promote ‘integrated’ public transport?

They DEMOLISHED THE BUS STATION outside central station. This is where you used to be able to pick an orange to get anywhere in the city. Where the bus station was they built a new BBC skyscraper! The reality is that the M4 congestion is really because Cardiff does not offer a way of getting to work without using the car.

Has anyone asked the question as to why the queues (especially the Bryngals tunnels) are choked with commuters in their cars? They don’t do it for fun! It’s because there’s no practical alternative.

You see AMs standing up in the Senedd in the morning arguing for the environment and ‘future generations’ and then in the afternoon they want to spend ALL of the transport budget for the next 20 years on an new motorway, on a route parallel to an existing high capacity railway line.I didn’t see anyone in London arguing for the cancellation of Crossrail (financed as a UK project) and build a new motorway through Hammersmith instead. That would be stupid.

Dafis
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Dafis

Cardiff……, Cardiff……, Cardiff …….all congested roads lead to Cardiff because the vested interests needed to sell off “capacity” at premium prices to ensure buckets of moolah all round for the cliques that pull the strings. While the refurbishment of Cardiff Bay was in principle a good thing it was madness to pack it full of Public sector and parasitic “professional services” when a large dose of mixed economy was a far better solution. Why didn’t they do it ? Because it was too much like hard work for the developers and those public authorities fostering the development. So easy solution, cosy deals between various parts of public sector and the developer at premium prices. And don’t believe the bollocks about the Cynulliad site sold for a £ because the true price was amortised into other deals with government in the area. Neat.

Of course in the rush to develop they forgot to get a half decent network of roads & rail into the place. Piecemeal, not joined up, is about the only description for a history of muddled thinking. 20 years of devolution later and businesses of all sorts are still shoved towards Cardiff “south of the line” whereas logic suggests that a slice of that work could have gone out to Nantgarw or further north as a big chunk of the work force was feeding down from the Valleys every day. But no, that’s no good as the council tax/business rates would go to RCT or some other valley authority.

By the way Brychan, those bottlenecks often last a lot longer with c.90 mins at either end of the day fast becoming the norm. Granted some of that is often down to nutters in cars banging into each other.

Some good could come from that slurry dumped in the Channel recently. Were it to turn out radioactive it might just drive a lot of organisations & business well north into the old Glamorgan county and up to places like Merthyr.

sibrydionmawr
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The road network in Cardiff Bay is pretty good: it was planned that way, and major criticism at the time was of the wooden tops on the planning committee of South Glamorgan council still having their heads in the 1960s when the car was king. Even now, trying to walk or cycle anywhere safely or efficiently is a nightmare, and public transport an obvious afterthought. Indeed, in terms of cycle provision Lloyd George Avenue, (itself as failed major thoroughfare) is a prime example of how not to implement provision for cyclists.

I totally agree with Brychan, we used to have a functioning (well, sort of) bus station in the centre of the city, and I’m convinced that the whole idea of having a bus station in the centre was something that the council hoped would be forgotten about. Instead of being an essential consideration, the proposed bus station is now an afterthought contingent on how the space in the building above it can be sold – whether it’s student flats, (of which the city already has far too many) offices/hotel or residential, (for sale at hugely inflated prices rather than the social housing so badly needed). Even if/when the new bus station is built, it will be of entirely insufficient capacity, only containing 14 bays – even a small valleys town like Blackwood has nine bays, also Caerffilli, which is also better integrated with the railway station. Even in a one horse town like Swansea, the bus station has 23 bays and 12 reserve bays for buses on down time between journeys. It’s not just the situation with the BBC’s new Wales headquarters in the city centre that is going to cause increased congestion in an already over-congested city centre. There are going to be 300 or so parking spaces for that one building alone, and then there will be the further congestion created by HMRC moving into the city centre from Llanishen. There was no need whatsoever for either the BBC or HMRC to relocate into the city centre as both were already located in perfectly adequate locations. Much better for Cardiff city centre would have been for the council to have compulsorily purchased the car park that cuirrently exists immediately to the south of Cardiff Central railway station, and build a super-dooper bus station on that location, neatly integrating it with the rail network. Central Square could then have become a wide open plaza, which would provide a spectacular welcome to visitors to Cardiff, if skateboarders and suchlike nuisances were kept in check.

It’s certainly more about money than it is about providing a place that Cardiffians can thrive in. The last people to be consulted are Cardiffians!

Brychan
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Brychan

Not long after Jac stopped bothering the fish down Mumbles, I discovered the bright lights of Cardiff.

Have fond memories of a splash in the empire, snog at the Monaco, bag of chips and the catch last tango to Treherbert. I also remember if you walked south of the railway, a distinctive community of people with black faces, uniquely Welsh. To me, exotic, but so friendly. Something I noted on my latest walk down to the bay, is that while the buildings are so obviously dripping with cash, most of the people a bit insular, and rarely do you see any black faces. It’s a kind of place with no soul. Which begs the question..

What did the Labour Party do with all the black people when they made it all posh?

The Labour Party are never overtly racist. They just offer you substandard ‘affordable housing’ that you cannot refuse, and when that becomes a problem, they draw up some plans ‘for your own saviour’, and then ship you out. They introduce middle class people with no roots, fund it with taxpayers money, and then pretend you never existed. What Labour did in Cardiff might be a lesson for what Labour will do to the rest of Wales.

I also notice that the Welsh Government have imported some English people to draw up plans for innovative ‘electric busses’. When I first went to Cardiff all the busses in Queen Street and St Marys were electric. Most streets had overhead cables and there was a day rider. Teaching Welshies to suck eggs.

Dafis
Guest
Dafis

Gentrification is alive and well in Cardiff. Guardian writes ( or wrote) a lot about it when money started dictating who lived in certain parts of London and bigger English cities but bless their soft little metropolitan souls they just don’t see that marginalising of people is rife across the U.K and here in Wales it gathers momentum. Cardiff Bay was a particularly bad case of “soft ethnic cleansing”. As far as I know Globtik Nick ( Edwards to those of younger vintage) never got into bumping off the minorities but his plan certainly included displacement and denied any scale of participation.

Cardiff has been given a right old reorientation with working class communities reduced as jobs disappeared ( yeah, they can still get part time work in some shed or call centre, big deal) and terraces taken over by students or “face lifted” for a new “aspirational” generation paying through their noses, but seldom are the 2 demographics mixed for obvious reasons. Even the Welsh speakers played their part in this as ghettoes like Pontcana built up around S4C, Cynulliad/Welsh Office/3rd sector types. Yet Welsh incomers seem to get along with assorted Muslim and African & Asian groups in Grangetown. Perhaps those people can distinguish between Welsh migrant and the more hostile AngloBrit variety.

As we have read recently on this site and nation.cymru the gentrification process is underway out in the remote countryside. Next stage will be reservations on piss poor lands unless some well funded joker wearing a cloak of ecological bullshit wants to turn it into a haven for rebuilt woolly mammoths.

David Robins
Guest
David Robins

A bus station south of Caerdydd Canolog would mean re-orientating the whole station complex. The point of Central Square was that it directly faced the railway station entrance, ticket office, etc. and was the right side of the tracks for most of the city centre.

The city fathers and mothers have made incomprehensible and short-sighted decisions before, but nothing approaches the stupidity of wittering on about a metro while destroying the premier transport interchange of south-east Wales.

That they did this just so Doctor Who doesn’t miss the last train back to London speaks volumes about who runs Wales, what their priorities are and what they see as the cultural profile of ‘their‘ nation. Still, Temperance Town’s been dug over so many times already it’ll be interesting to see how long the latest lot of shoeboxes last.

Brychan
Guest
Brychan

I’ll put a tenner on a Labour fuckwit saying ‘Bendy Bus’ in county hall next the year. If they really want to bugger things up, and dig up the road every six months, just look at Swansea.

Red Flag
Guest
Red Flag

Unless you can literally walk off a train and onto a bus to the main areas then it’s piss-poor planning. Full stop.

One word – integration.

Unless commuters can literally walk off a train and on to a bus AND it costs less than using their car then there is absolutely no incentive to use public transport – in fact they would be idiots to do so.

Lets have no more ridiculous middle class farcical solutions. If it isn’t a solution to a supermarket shelf-stacker or a call centre worker then it isn’t a solution at all. It has to be a solution to people who in the main earn less than 15k otherwise it’s just total bollocks,

Jacqui Thompson (@caebrwyn)
Guest

Mark James is also ready to step in to these projects, if required, as a co-director of private company Building and Estate Solutions Ltd which, according to its website has ‘access to a wide range of experts’ and offers, amongst other things, planning and legal advice. When I asked last year whether Mr James had declared any of this, or his property management and rental business, to the council, it seems he’d decided not to bother.

Wynne
Guest
Wynne

Another interesting read Jac on all subjects. Like yourself, I find it difficult to understand how Mark Vincent James can set up a private company while employed as CEO of Carmarthenshire County Council. Is this not of interest to Wales Audit Office [WAO] and, if not, what is the purpose of WAO.

On the question of toxic mud, I think NRW are rapidly losing credibility for a number of reasons including failure to ensure value for money through a tendering process.

I agree with Kristine Preedy. We can provide you with a gun !

Anonymous
Guest
Anonymous

Heard what the GMB Union and the Labour Party have been up to in Scotland, stitching up their female members:
https://wingsoverscotland.com/the-last-days-of-pompeii/
https://wingsoverscotland.com/just-enough-rope/
https://wingsoverscotland.com/the-apex-of-the-u/

When that didn’t go to plan, they screamed anti semitism and got an SNP Jewish member suspended, for a virulently anti semitic blog post.The offending blog post –
https://grousebeater.wordpress.com/2018/10/28/gmb-a-cockney-clique/
The lady who led the charge that saw GB get suspended: https://peterabell.blog/2018/10/30/crying-wolfson/
Don’t bother asking what definition they are working to. And don’t bother asking why Labour and the Conservatives never suspend councillors or members for their own recorded bigotry statements. And don’t ask what the SNP are playing at by bowing to unionist demands.

After the SNP administration did this:
https://www.thecanary.co/uk/news/2018/10/21/education-on-israel-and-palestine-just-got-shut-down-in-scottish-schools/
Can’t wait for what they turn up with the Alex Salmond Sexual Harassment Enquiry.

It’s a very simple game to play guys, never mention Hitler, Jews or the Israeli state and stay away from wimmin!

If you want an up to date evaluation of the brexit negotiations from a flexiteers perspective check out http://www.eureferendum.com/ its updated daily.

Wrexhamian
Guest
Wrexhamian

I think we should keep the Senedd but let these gutless rubber-stampers know they’ve been rumbled. We must keep them on their toes with a paper-storm of letters, FOI requests, pestering of AMs, etc, until they’re forced to either confront Westminster or have their lack of credibility exposed.

It’ll take years, but the game-changer will be if and when an Ein Gwlad government is in charge, or if Plaid Cymru elect a leader who adopts a radical policy change. At that point, devolution will begin to work for Wales, because Westminster’s hand will be forced, and a British Government will be seen to be openly acting against the wishes of the Welsh people.

That will be the point at which to announce a referendum on independence.

Big Gee
Admin

Talking of which Wrexhamian . . . .

Have you been over to have a peek at our new Ein Gwlad ‘News Portal’ ?

Here’s the link: https://eingwlad.wales/NewsPortal

Bookmark it everyone. And here are the addresses to our public sites:

https://eingwlad.cymru
https://eingwlad.wales

ENJOY! We’re on our way!

And Jac, OK if I send over a graphic for you to put in your sidebar with a link to the portal?

Wrexhamian
Guest
Wrexhamian

Mae portal newyddion yn ardderchog, Gee. The news portal is excellent. The report on unwanted housebuilding in Caerfili prompts me to agree with you that this is part of the ‘Britification’ agenda being promoted under the umbrella of little Cairns’s Bristol-based ‘powerhouse’. House prices are hitting the roof in Bridgend and neighbouring places, with 60% of enquiries to estate agents now coming from Bristol – now there’s a surprise. Caerfili will be next.

Most locals can’t afford these new dwellings, even if they actually NEEDED them.

The M4 upgrade will greatly facilitate this colonisation. Westminster is bent on having it, and we must fight it tooth and nail. Did we lose a war? Yes, unfortunately.

Dafis
Guest
Dafis

major H.A building site in Bridgend but no indication that local needs for such housing will get any sort of priority. Anyone got some information on this – has local council stuck its oar in to safeguard local interests. There again it’s Labour so they probably happy to fetch people from any part of England before giving locals a look in.

Big Gee
Admin

Diolch Wrexhamian, it’s very kind of you to say so. Unfortunately, I can’t take the praise for that particular article. It was sent to us by someone living in Caerffili, who requested to remain anonymous. He’s a very dedicated Ein Gwlad member and doing a grand job down in that neck of the woods.

Why he wanted to remain anonymous I don’t know – I think he’s hiding his light under a bushel. Llike many, he suffers from a lack of confidence and keeps on saying how he’s not as good at writing about political issues as the rest of us. It’s a disease in Cymru, and especially in the south Wales Valleys. They’ve been told so many times that they’re inferior and now they believe it.

It makes you want to cry.

If any of the regulars on here want to give us a story then feel free to drop in. Click this text link:

Submit a News Story

If you want your name attributed to your story, then just click on the ‘Register’ link on the News Portal site.

Dafis
Guest
Dafis

Completely off topic, as I’m inclined to do from time to time, I just got to share these comments from a senior police officer ( female too ) who makes some valid points in response to those precious people who want to take offence at any and every opportunity. Good for her.

Police chief: officers shouldn’t have to log misogyny complaints

https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2018/oct/31/police-focusing-more-on-missing-persons-than-fighting?utm_term=RWRpdG9yaWFsX0d1YXJkaWFuVG9kYXlVS19XZWVrZGF5cy0xODExMDE%3D&utm_source=esp&utm_medium=Email&utm_campaign=GuardianTodayUK&CMP=GTUK_email

Jonathan Edwards
Guest
Jonathan Edwards

West Wales Creameries – yes it was bad when (for example) Whitland closed, with a restrictive covenant. Which led to all the equipment being shipped to the mega-dairies in Somerset, with a ban on a replacement. In Whitland. But what is this? Since that time I have been able to buy fresh/local/organic milk in the Dinas (N.Pembs) village shops, with competing (Welsh) local brands! Brilliant! Well done the local and Welsh entrepreneurs who grasped the chance. But Wales has so little protection against the business cycle for milk, whereby a conglomerate sucks them all in, and Wales has to start again from the ground up. Need proper self-rule and a clear-out in Cardiff Bay.

David Robins
Guest
David Robins

Cyngor Abertawe has no power to alter the boundary of the Gwyr AONB. It’s a national decision, originally made in London but now in the care of NRW/WAG.

A change can’t be made by a slip of the pen, or of the digitiser’s mouse. It requires an order under the relevant legislation, originally the National Parks & Access to the Countryside Act 1949, now sections 82/83 of the Countryside & Rights of Way Act 2000. Section 83(7) specifies that “An order under section 82 may be revoked or varied by a subsequent order under that section”. Section 83(9) requires copies of any order to be available for inspection at various places.

So who’s right about the boundary? It should be a simple case of demanding to see the official map forming part of the order and accepting no imitations.

Brychan
Guest
Brychan

The boundary of the AONB, just like a national park, can be moved, but only by an act of God.

In 2004 the sea wall near Llanmadoc (built at the turn of the last century) was breached by a storm. This area became known as Cwm Ivy. This resulted in the inundation of a large area behined the coastal defence with daily tidal flow. It resulted in the regeneration of a large salt marsh. I think it’s called rewilding. Subsequent studies by various wildlife groups have found a massive increase in species diversity.

Photos here.comment imagecomment image

I see another, great opportunity for rewilding. It’s called Morfa Henddol, but for some strange reason people from Birmingham have decided to call it Fairbourne. A similar breach of the sea defence would present the same, if not a better, natural rewilding opportunity. A massive increase in species diversity could be expected.

Photos here.
http://beachguide.wales/photos/fairbourne1.jpg
http://orapweb.rcahms.gov.uk/coflein/G/GTJ22588.jpg

I actually made this suggestion to an official of Natural Resources Wales while discussing another matter. They obviously agree with the suggestion as they started to make the sounds of the mating calls of the Eider Ducks recently arrived in Gwyr. If you’re not familiar with this sound, just google it.

Patricia B
Guest
Patricia B

Weep for Wales is how Ive been viewing Wales since coming into contact with, not by choice, Mark Vincent James CEO , former Head of Planning E Bowen and the former Enforcement Manager B Canning, 15 years ago. So called professional officers all involved in planning matters. All perfectly comfortable with corruption. Following the former Ombudsman’s report in 2013 relative to planning matters, all wanted his findings challenged. A step too far tho as clearly a challenge would have exposed far more damaging evidence of misconduct in public office. There is a plethora of evidence proving Mr James his Monitoring Officer and a senior member are covering up ‘perverting the course of justice, criminal offences, and fraud. He seems to convince everyone he is untouchable – he is not, and as criminal offences are not time limited he must be investigated. To allow an individual to ride roughshod over the law is to encourage more of his ilk into Wales. Christopher Salmon’s comments re likening Wales to a Sicilian cartel is exactly what Wales has become. It is overtly corrupt. We even now have our own Godfather as everyone, and I mean everyone, runs scared of him no matter how much evidence they are presented with! The road does run out – eventually.

Brychan
Guest
Brychan

Yes. That was my observation. His behaviour suggests that Mark Vincent James has a critical flaw. – Hubris. Seems to me we need to introduce him to Nemesis.

Does anyone know if he likes the ladies and drinks alcohol?

Patricia B
Guest
Patricia B

Hubris – nemesis complex is a very interesting psychological condition and has been the downfall of many. It isn’t sustainsble for many reasons. Members would do well to wake up and smell the coffee or just simply open their eyes.

david
Guest
david

scrapping of the severn bridge tolls and the subsequent increase in traffic will be used as an excuse to build the M4 relief road, and what happens when new roads are built…..traffic volumes increase happens time and time again.
I used to believe in devolution but I might vote UKIP next, they are the only party who are talking about having a referendum on the assembly. I remember when the assembly vote happened some of those generally older men down the pub who didn’t agree said that all it will be is ‘Jobs for the boys’. Now I understand what they meant.

David Robins
Guest
David Robins

If the Assembly is abolished, nationalists will get the blame, for being too idealistic, for not embracing ‘the inevitability of gradualness’. There will then follow a couple of decades of imperial bloodlust before we get back to the position we’re in now. Just like 1979, all over again. Rinse and repeat.

Big Gee
Admin

There are other parties now available David – voting for Brit Nat UKIP is NOT the answer – believe me. The flash of success they had previously is directly proportional to the number of voters who ran out of any other parties to vote for. That is no longer the case.

What’s required is independence and not an invitation for snakes to come into your house to get rid of the rats that have set up home there for twenty years.

Keith Parry
Guest
Keith Parry

Devolution is not the problem. It is Labour, ” the Labour Party exists to return Labour MPs to Parliament.” That this is a pointless and fruitless exercise does not matter. It is what Labour wants to do and most of the time fails to do so. Kinnock in 1979 and Drakeford now. We need a Foot or Corbyn government in London. All Kinnock managed to do was give us eighteen years of Tory rule. Drakeford will do the same for us, England won’t vote for student politics left wing crank Corbyn. We need a Wales free of Labour and free of Westminster.

David Robins
Guest
David Robins

Devolution is only anti-Welsh because the management team is anti-Welsh. Welshness is built every day the assembly does something different from the English norm but sadly some of that distinctiveness, like One Planet Development, has a big sting in the tail. It’s Welshness, Jac, but not as we know it. It speaks English and it spends a lot of time in London. Independence under a Labour-type movement would change nothing. I recall Sion Jobbins’ lament for how little a century of independence has done for the Irishness of Ireland. The problem isn’t the constitutional hardware. It’s liveware that lacks the will to work with it.

Is Yes Cymru wasting its time seeking separatists among the unionist parties? Logic suggests so. Real independence is delivered by nationalists. In Wales that has meant Plaid Cymru, but Plaid will never make a breakthrough because it’s ‘too Welsh’. Independence, of sorts, could be permitted, under a regime that always looks east for guidance. Not though under anything ‘too Welsh’ to rouse the masses.

Dafis is spot on – it’ll be a long hard slog. The focus needs to be more on the limitations of devolution than on its faults. Taking a step back seems a poor way to take two steps forward, especially if one backward step leads to another. It’s like those lefties in 1979 cheering for hard Thatcherism because it would bring on the revolution. One reason why the Soviet Union broke up so quickly was that the puppet parliaments it created suddenly found the confidence to do stuff for real. It would have been much, much more difficult without them: contrast Lithuania with Chechnya.

Brychan
Guest
Brychan

The key to Lithuanian independence was longest unbroken human chain in history.
It was before twitter.

http://www.thebalticway.eu/en/history/

Clawdd Offa is a doddle in comparison. Whilst there will be various political parties, while parliament debates, it will be organisations like Yes Cymru that can mobilise. Brexit also provides our independence struggle with new opportunities.

Other member states of the EU will not owe a collective responsibility to the United Kingdom when it is no longer a member.

Dafis
Guest
Dafis

Here I go again, digressing !. Your tweet regarding the Serb footballer attracted an unusually demented response from Jeff Jones (the Jeff? ) Why on earth should a Serb in 2018 set aside his feelings just because the U.K has been party to 2 world wars ? Of far more relevance to a young man of his age are the dirty dealings of U.K in concert with its E.U and NATO cronies in the aftermath of the breakup of Yugoslavia. There again if this is the Jones I suspect him to be he was a card carrying Blairite cocksucker and probably still admires his old idol’s handiwork. Shame on him and his kind. Good work done in 1945 should not excuse crimes of later years.

Anonymous
Guest
Anonymous

This just in: The WAG have ordered that the Mumbles Pier ‘development’ proposals be put on hold, saying that they want the final say.

Brychan
Guest
Brychan

Denise Kingsley-Acton, the claimed ‘CEO of the Olive Trust’ makes much of her Jewish ancestry in her fishing for funding to combat ‘hate crime’ in Carmarthenshire, and no doubt was a key factor in the award of a £1000 grant from Safer Dyfed-Powys Diogel. It was also a key factor in her previous involvement with AWEMA (new defunct due to fraudulent activity) in Swansea.

The Community Security Trust is a UK wide, properly registered charity, which does excellent work on combating hate crime, for, and from the perspective of, the Jewish community. Details are here…

https://cst.org.uk

Unlike many other ethnic-religious groups who combat hate crime, CST, last year declared a fund of £20million from the Home Office, in London. Their last annual report explains that most of their funding was spent in London and Manchester where they play a key role in bridging communities and combating hate crime. They specifically identify Scotland and Wales as a ‘low occurrence regions’, and this is reflected in Wales by last years statistical report by the Crown Prosecution Service.

CST work closely with the crime prevention initiatives run by the Metropolitan and Greater Manchester police. Besides the funding grants they also offer a ‘UK wide’ contact point for crime prevention initiatives, policing in Wales is not devolved, so this would include Dyfed-Powys. It is quite evident that CST have cross-community visits to schools giving guidance to preventing hate crime. This is evident by their work in North London (ironically where Denise Kingsley-Acton is from) and in previous years, South Wales Police sent some senior officers (Commander David Dando?) there to a training and familiarisation event run by CST.

So on what basis did Safer Dyfed-Powys Diogel give £1000 to “The Olive Trust”, an unregistered, unincorporated, unaccountable and unrecognised outfit, for the purpose of providing unverified access to schools in Carmarthenshire?

An explanation is required.

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