PLEASE APPRECIATE THAT I GET SENT MORE INFORMATION AND LEADS THAN I CAN USE. I TRY TO RESPOND TO EVERYONE WHO CONTACTS ME BUT I CANNOT POSSIBLY USE EVERY BIT OF INFORMATION I’M SENT. DIOLCH YN FAWR
This is a subject I’ve tackled before; I’m returning to it because the problem seems to be spreading, yea! even unto the city of my dreams.
This is another ‘biggie’ but, as usual, broken down into easily-digestible chunks. Enjoy!
For those new to the subject, One Planet Developments were introduced and encouraged by the Labour-Plaid Cymru coalition management team (2007 – 2011), at the instigation of – among others – Jane Davidson, who served in that team as the Minister for Environment, Sustainability and Housing.
The issue being addressed was, we were told, how Wales could play its part in saving the planet. Yet this excuse was – as we political commentators are wont to put it – bollocks. The lie is exposed by the claim that OPDs will reduce Wales’ carbon footprint – by attracting more people into the country.
For Wales is the only country on Earth to allow OPDs. No one else has been so stupid.
The true motivation was that Davidson’s ‘alternative’ friends wanted smallholdings in Wales but didn’t want to pay commercial property prices. Enacting legislation –TAN 6 strengthened with the Well-being of Future Generations Act – allowed hippies to settle just about anywhere by claiming OPD status, then demanding – and getting! – planning permission for structures that no one else would be allowed to build.
This meant they could set up a smallholding on a shoestring.
Her work done in Corruption Bay, Davidson moved on after the 2011 election to take advantage of the group-think she had helped engender. A post was created for her at UWTSD Lampeter with the Institute of Sustainable Practice, Innovation and Resource Effectiveness (INSPIRE), a department that began life with her arrival in January 2012.
Perhaps in the hope of disguising the relationship between the Labour Party and higher education, and to give her some academic credibility, Davidson is billed as ‘Dr Jane Davidson’, but her doctorate is purely honorary, and from another Labour-linked institution in Pontypridd.
Predictably, ‘Dr’ Davidson lives on a smallholding of her own.
The majority of OPDs are to be found in Pembrokeshire and west Carmarthenshire, but as I’ve suggested, they’re creeping east.
Earlier this month a planning application was submitted to Carmarthenshire County Council for a OPD at Llansteffan. To be exact, in ‘Pentowyn farm yard’. Here’s the full planning application.
Pentowyn farm is located across the Tâf estuary from Dylan Thomas’s boathouse at Laugharne. Nice.
Note that the work on this OPD started on 1 May last year, so it’s taken over a year for what is now the retrospective planning application to be submitted. Which is how OPDs operate, knowing that no matter what the local planning authority might say, the ‘Welsh Government’ or the Planning Inspectorate will always grant planning consent.
To help you follow the tale, here’s the plan submitted with the planning application. It shows a long, thin section of land to the east and north east of the farm buildings, with a more compact area to the south and south west, on the other side of the road. The planned buildings are located on this second area.
A number of things struck me about this application. First, the agent is Tao Wimbush; and if that name rings a bell, then it’s because he is a hetman in the Lammas commune not far away, up towards Crymych.
I’d always assumed that these enviro-colons were vegans, or at least, vegetarians – so why is there a ‘butchers unit’ and a ‘mobile refrigeration unit’ at this OPD? But then, Wimbush is only the agent, the adviser.
The applicants are Mark and Ann Oriel, and even though their company name as given on the planning application is ‘Lammas Earth Centre’, and their address that for the Lammas commune, I suspect the Oriels live in Bancyfelin, and Mark runs a slap, rub and squeeze outlet in nearby Sanclêr. (No, not that kind of establishment.)
Which might suggest he too lacks the necessary background in the butchering of livestock and the preparing of meat for sale. So why the ‘butchers unit’? (I wish to God people would use apostrophes.)
Certainly, the Oriels own the land to the east of the farmhouse, the land edged in red on the Land Registry title document plan (scroll down). But the land to the south of the farmhouse, where the shack and the butcher’s building will be located, is not on that title document. So who owns that land?
When I tried to get the document from the Land Registry I drew a blank. The land is either not registered or not yet re-registered.
If you go back to the planning application (20) you’ll read, ‘A butchers unit for processing meat grown on the farm’. I’m not sure that the Oriels have enough land to graze many animals so this must refer to other land.
When asked if neighbours or the local community have been consulted about the proposed development (23) the applicant answers, ‘I have discussed the proposal with my direct neighbours’. So who are the ‘direct neighbours’?
The farm buildings and the land down as far as the road are owned by a woman living in Sketty, Swansea. Shown here edged in red on the Land Registry title plan. I suspect they (or some of them) have been converted into holiday cottages.
The land across the road to the south east, adjoining the land for which planning permission is sought, is owned a local farming family. Are they the ‘direct neighbours’?
The more I think about this, the weirder it seems. We have a hippy asking for planning permission for a sports therapist to have a OPD complete with what reads like a mini abattoir. And we don’t know who owns the land on which the new buildings are to go.
Is someone using the near-certainly of planning permission being granted for an OPD to get consent for something that might otherwise be difficult to get past the planners and other authorities?
If so, then this is a dangerous development, and might signal that OPDs are now being used in a way that I’m sure was not intended by the buffoons who agreed to this idiocy back in the days of the Labour-Plaid Cymru coalition.
ANOTHER STRANGE ONE
Someone has also directed me to a property being advertised by Rees Richards, a long-established firm of estate agents in Swansea and the surrounding area. The company was advertising a property with ‘Potential for ‘One Planet’ development (subject to planning)’.
As we know, planning is never a problem for OPDs, so we can take that for granted.
Of course, if someone wanted to repair and renovate the old house then they wouldn’t need planning permission for an OPD. But that house needs a lot of work, and it would cost a lot of money.
So I assume that the house and the outbuildings are not the big selling point.
Certainly, Cwm-Garenig is a bit off the beaten track, and there’s no mains electricity, so that might attract potential OPD dwellers. But it’s still only 19 acres, and the area round about has been mined for centuries.
I’d hate to switch on the Evening News to hear that, ‘Police and rescue teams are still searching for survivors after a yurt-full of tofu tasters disappeared today down the old Number 9 shaft . . . ‘.
Wouldn’t that just be too, too awful!
It seems to me that Rees Richards is selling 19 acres of land, some of it possibly unstable. Not only that, but we have a Swansea-based estate agency cottoning on to the possibility of bumping up the price of low value land by adding the magic letters ‘OPD’.
Clearly, this is no longer a rural thing, as you’ll learn from reading on.
If estate agents and others have latched on to the fact that OPDs are a sure-fire way of getting planning permission for dwellings in open country (and maybe not just open country), then who knows where it might lead?
It certainly leads us to Swansea.
BRIGHTON COMES TO GOWER
I introduced this
scam scheme to you in Miscellany 06.06.2020, just scroll down to the section ‘Brighton Greens discover Gower’. It’s called the Furzehill Project. Here’s the link to the article from which the image below is taken.
The Brighton gang goes by the name of the Ecological Land Cooperative (ELC) and want two smallholdings on an 18 acre site it bought in December 2017. These smallholdings will be of 5.5 acres each because the rest of the land is already being used by the ELC’s local partner, Cae Tân CSA (Community Supported Agriculture).
Though there are very few locals involved with Cae Tân and so it’s questionable how well it’s supported by the wider community.
The leading light in Cae Tân would appear to be Anthony ‘Ant’ Flanagan, who has set up a string of companies, none of which seem able to survive without public largesse, and at least one of which has entered into a disastrous partnership.
It may be worth listing these companies, seeing where their money comes from, and checking on their fates. (CIC means Community Interest Company.)
- CORDELIA COMMUNITY ENERGY CIC. Formed 15 June 2015; 5 loans taken out 2017, three with Finance Wales, all still outstanding; 4 new directors appointed February 2017; either merges with or is taken over September 2017 by YnNi Teg Cyf.
- KILLAN SOLAR CIC. Formed June 2015; 3 loans taken out 2016/17 all with Finance Wales, still outstanding; April 2017, registers with FCA as Community Benefit Society Gower Regeneration Ltd.
- WOLFIE COMMUNITY ENERGY CIC. Formed June 2015; Dissolved December 2017.
- HERMIA COMMUNITY ENERGY CIC. Formed June 2015, but Flanagan joined by others and address moved from Gower to London; in the red.
- MARBLE COMMUNITY ENERGY CIC. Formed June 2015; Flanagan sole director; Dissolved December 2017.
- MARIANA COMMUNITY ENERGY COMPANY. Formed June 2015; Flanagan sole director; Dissolved December 2017.
- SHUFFLES COMMUNITY ENERGY CIC. Formed June 2015; Dissolved December 2016; Flanagan’s co-director was John Christopher Whiten.
- BABS COMMUNITY ENERGY CIC. Formed June 2015; directors Flanagan and Whiten; Dissolved January 2018.
- CLEOPATRA COMMUNITY ENERGY CIC. Formed June 2015; directors Flanagan and Whiten; Dissolved December 2016.
- PEASBLOSSOM COMMUNITY ENERGY CIC. Formed June 2015; directors Flanagan and Whiten; Dissolved December 2016.
- HERMIONE COMMUNITY ENERGY CIC. Formed June 2015; directors Flanagan and Whiten; Dissolved December 2016.
- MIRANDA COMMUNITY ENERGY CIC. Formed June 2015; Flanagan sole director; Dissolved January 2018.
- CAE TÂN COMMUNITY SUPPORTED AGRICULTURE LTD. Formed April 2015; 8 directors (one or two may even be Welsh); latest accounts show Total Net Assets of £5,918.
- GOWER POWER CO-OP CIC. Formed June 2013; 5 directors including Flanagan and Whiten; net assets £21,956.
- COIGACH COMMUNITY CIC (originally Willowcroft W. Community Energy CIC). Formed June 2015; address moved from Parkmill to Manchester July 2016, when Flanagan ceased to be a director; net assets £10. (‘Coigach’ is a Scottish Gaelic name.)
I suspect that the inspiration for all these start-ups in June 2015 were the municipal energy companies in England, such as Bristol Energy. But Bristol Energy is docked in Shit Creek. The council is hoping to find a buyer.
Others are Robin Hood Energy in – where else? – Nottingham, which lost £23m last year; and Victory Energy in Portsmouth, which in May had its licence revoked by Ofgen.
So why did Gower Power enter into a deal with Bristol Energy in January?
These council-owned energy companies end up costing council taxpayers a hell of a lot of money. We know that Swansea council has been very generous to Ant Flanagan, so how indebted are my fellow-Jacks as a result of this generosity?
Ant Flanagan and his playmates are responsible for the arrival in Wales of the Ecological Land Cooperative of Brighton, who want the smallholdings at Ilston.
A point I made about the planning application in the earlier piece was that letters of support for Furzehill were coming in from all over England but there were few letters from locals. Well that’s changed. And the locals haven’t held back in their criticisms.
If we click on the ‘Comments’ tab, then from local residents we read:
‘This is nothing more than a vanity project from a group of opportunists who are hell bent on claiming community grant subsidies and then feeding that funding through its various other side projects . . . ‘.
‘ . . . In the meantime small farmers trying to scratch a living from the earth are being displaced by larger cooperatives, being unable to compete with grant led, subsidised or community funded groups.’
A third says, referring to OPD legislation:
‘The Ecological Land Coop, an organisation based in South England, would not be likely to be investing money in land in Wales if this planning law applied equally to England.’
This writer continues:
‘As a former organic market gardener, serving people in and around Swansea by growing and selling through a veg box scheme between 1994 and 2018, I no longer even try to compete with these market rigging opportunists.’
While a another objector has this to say:
‘I object about this proposal on two grounds
That this a means of laundering and misappropriating WG and any LA grant funds, rather than a being of benefit for local produce growers/vendors, many of which are being put out of business because of the practices unscrupulous organisation.
There were other objections along similar lines. Arguing that these people are exploiting OPD legislation, they’re only here because of easy access to public funding, which then helps them under-cut genuinely local growers and companies. Some objectors make specific claims of dishonesty.
How the hell did we get to a situation where we are funding interlopers to put local people out of business?
Because . . .
Wales is a land of make-believe, especially when socialists are in charge, and image is more important than reality. Being seen to do the right thing has become more important than actually doing the right thing . . . and far, far easier.
Which is how we end up with One Planet Developments, and the mantra that Wales can show everyone how to save the planet. Idiocies that are welcomed in the Guardian, cheered by superannuated hippies in California, and will have Eco-capitalists from Sweden to Australia rubbing their hands with glee as they think about how many bird-slicing, flood-causing wind turbines they can erect on our hills . . .
There are no material benefits for us Welsh from OPDs, and wind turbines, and saving the planet, yet we are lectured that it’s done for some greater good, and for generations to come. Intangible and unquantifiable benefits that may never materialise. But then, virtue signalling is so much easier than coming up with a serious economic strategy for Wales that might create business opportunities, careers and jobs.
When you think about it, the message being put out today by the ‘progressive’ parties in the Senedd is not a lot different to that preached in earlier times by clerics in the pay of landowners and industrialists. It runs, ‘There’s nothing for you in this life, but if you’re virtuous and obedient then your reward is in heaven’.
Those clergymen were serving someone else’s interests, not the interests of those to whom they preached. And it’s the same with the ‘Welsh Government’ today.
In the companies listed for ‘Ant’ Flanagan you may have noticed Killan Solar CIC, which converted in 2017 into Community Benefit Society Gower Regeneration Ltd.
Anthony Flanagan appears to be still in charge, but with other directors on board, prominent among them, Roy Kenneth Church. The Church family has for many years run the Gower Heritage Centre at Parkmill, which seems to be the base for most of the Flanagan Companies.
Roy Kenneth Church is also a director of Swansea Bay Community Energy Ltd, which has now been deregistered and for which documents are no longer available on the FCA website. Yet another ‘Energy’ company, and given the name, this one suggests ambition on the scale of the municipal failures we looked at earlier.
Though on the FCA document Church is also listed as a director of Swansea Bay Community Energy Two Ltd, for which I can find nothing. Did a ‘phoenix’ company rise from the ashes of Swansea Bay Community Energy Ltd?
Church is also one of the two directors of Tourism Swansea Bay Ltd which, despite the grand title, is a shoestring outfit based, again, in Parkmill. But at a different address to the Gower Heritage Centre.
Then there’s Gower Power Solar Ltd, where we find Church, Flanagan and John Christopher Whiten. The only documents filed, in October 2017, tell of a dormant company. Possibly linked with Gower Power Co-op CIC, where we find Flanagan and Whiten among the directors.
But back to Killan Solar CIC which metamorphosed into Gower Regeneration Ltd.
The name ‘Killan’ refers to a couple of farms which give their name to a road in Dunvant, on the western outskirts of Swansea. We need to focus on the land to the right of the land outlined in red on this plan of Killan-fach farm, Land Registry title number WA289902.
The land we’re looking at is covered by title number WA289901.
There we find a solar complex owned by Gower Regeneration Ltd, with Roy Kenneth Church and Ant Flanagan as directors. The money to build the complex came in the form of three loans from Finance Wales Investments. All three loans remain outstanding.
So, in a sense, you and I own those solar panels because like most things we look at in this piece – they were paid for with public money that has yet to be repaid.
A request for pre-planning application guidance has been made to Swansea council for this land. Land that seems to be owned by Dunvant SBG Ltd. The only director of which is Roy Kenneth Church.
Dunvant SBG was formed in 2001 and the five outstanding charges go back almost as far. Roy Kenneth Church was a director from 24 December 2001 until 1 October 2009, and then rejoined in September 2019, probably following the death of his father.
The plan being hatched, it seems, is to build an ‘Eco village’ of 12 ‘farmlets’. Yes, ‘farmlets’. What a twee word, I wonder what idiot thought that up? I ask because even though the land seems to be owned by Roy Kenneth Church the pre-application submission came from Gerald Blain associates of Whitland.
‘Farmlets’ of 2 acres or less. Not much bigger than decent-sized allotments. What the hell is going on? (Here’s a link to the council website.)
Equally perplexing is why Church couldn’t find an architect in Swansea, which might have spared him a trip to Whitland. But wait! Whitland . . . now who do we know in that area? Why, Tao Wimbush’s postal address is Whitland. And having a background in architecture himself I’m sure he knows Gerald Blain and his mate Mark Sanders.
Gerald Blain Associates seems to be another shoestring outfit. The latest accounts at Companies House show total assets of £49. Confirmed by Company Check. Why would Church rush down west to hire this lot?
I say Church, but the applicant for these ‘farmlets’ is named as a Captain Steve Croaker. But I cannot find a Captain Steve Croaker. Who is he? Does he even exist?
UPDATE 01.07.2020: ‘Captain Croaker’ has been identified. He is Steven William Crocker of Cefn Gwlad Solutions Ltd, though I’m assured he has other strings to his bow. A Swansea man with strong links to Roy Kenneth Church and Parkmill.
What we have is an area on the edge of Swansea where development is not permitted because it would result in Dunvant, a part of the city, merging with the village of Three Crosses, viewed as Gower. But OPD promises a way around this problem.
Because anyone who could get planning permission for substantial properties sitting in an acre or more of land, with Gower on the doorstep, could rake it in.
Gerald Blain mentions OPD more than once in his submission. He makes a big play on how difficult it is for young people to get into farming. Which may be true, but this is not farming. You won’t see any of the old Gower families on these ‘farmlets’.
For they are intended for the friends of Tao Wimbush, and the land-grabbers from Brighton. Using OPD almost as blackmail – “If you don’t give us planning permission we’ll scream ‘OPD’ and our friends in Corruption Bay will give us what we want”.
The council clearly sees what’s behind this plan – expensive dwellings in the green belt with planning permission obtained by subterfuge. This extract from the council’s response to Gerald Blain makes that clear.
It seems very unlikely that the council will look favourably on this project when it’s discussed at 2pm today (Monday). It may be possible to follow proceedings by installing this Microsoft app.
But what happens if the mysterious Cap’n Croaker appeals to the so-called ‘Welsh Government’? Will those clowns allow it?
The problems with OPD go beyond what I’ve listed here.
For example, a lady in Powys writes to me regularly with tales of a family that thinks OPD status gives them carte blanche to erect other buildings, to dump vehicles, etc. The parents and adult children who live on this OPD cause havoc on a narrow access track.
It seems they’re now looking for someone to sell what little they produce in the way of vegetables because they’re too busy themselves at the jobs that take them away every day from the ‘OPD’!
One Planet Developments should be self-sufficient agricultural smallholdings, not a little place in the country from which you commute to your job.
The supine behaviour of Powys County Council towards this OPD encourages others to behave in a similar fashion.
As might be expected, Powys County Council’s refusal to act, and local AS’s and MP’s unwillingness to get involved, not only encourages mess like you see in the picture, it drives out decent residents and it deters investors.
I shall return to problems in Powys in more detail at a later date.
Information comes in from various sources about OPD problems in other areas.
For example, a reliable source who has provided information before writes:
‘What I can tell you briefly is that the most, if not all, of the plots at Tir y Gafel are no longer Lammas as such but are freehold properties that can be brought and sold without restrictions.
This is a game changer.’
This source also advises that the hub, central to the Lammas community, and built with funding from the Department of Energy and Climate Change in London, has been abandoned because it is structurally unsound.
Furthermore, it is now surrounded by freeholders unwilling to take responsibility for what was intended to be a shared, community building. Presumably it will now be allowed to fall down.
Another source directed to me to certain Facebook postings. Here’s one from David Thorpe of Cynefin Community Land Trust.
What’s being promoted here is a new village, a new English village in Wales. And note how this new village will be tagged onto ‘an existing settlement’, just like the ‘farmlets’ in Dunvant. OPDs were not supposed to be new suburbs.
Thorpe is a patron of the One Planet Council . . . along with Jane Davidson.
Here’s another contribution from Thorpe.
Andrew Slade? Does that name ring a bell? It should. Slade is one of the English civil servants who run the ‘Welsh Government’. He it was who took EU money off our farmers (Pillar 1) and transferred it to ‘Rural Development Projects’ (Pillar 2).
He’s worked with ‘Game Show Gary’ Haggaty, who’s rogering Lesley Griffiths, the Minister for Environment, Energy and Rural Affairs.
Together they’re all working to get Welsh farming families off their land – so they can be replaced by OPDs, and ‘rewilders’, and Mongolian yak herders . . . any bugger will do, just as long as they’re not Welsh.
This is naked racism. This is ethnic cleansing. Yet this is what One Planet Developments have become.
♦ end ♦
123 thoughts on “One Planet Developments”
Here is the latest contribution which includes Jane Davidson to the Guardian. Readers beware of some catastrophic inaccuracies, listed below.
(a) The Owain Glyndwr ‘rebellion’ was not as a result of the black death of 1347-1351, as is claimed. Owain Glyndwr wasn’t even born then. He was born in 1359, and the war of independence was in 1400-1406, but it’s nice to know he was in favour of independence, even when being a sperm.
(b) Boris Johnson is not in charge of releasing lockdown in Wales.
(c) Lockdown did not result in a sudden dearth of vegetables and a glut of lamb. Fall in restaurant supply was replaced by domestic consumption. The peak domestic lamb season is July to December and there was also no ‘vegetable shortage’ in Wales.
(d) There is no role for the UK government to redefine the role of food. It’s a devolved responsibility, you’d think Jane Davidson would know that.
(e) Keith Lessiter’s stall in Fishguard Market selling “English Onions” is not local food. Fishguard is 132 miles from England.
(f) Lockdown did not result in a fall off of demand for eggs as Rachel Stevens and Daniel Colborne “a middle-aged couple from Worcester” says. It doubled demand for eggs as people went on a home baking spree.
(g) Returning peatland and bogs to their natural state is a strange concept. Their natural state is just being peatland and bogs.
(h) The “surge in demand for seeds and plants” experienced Helen and Keith Lessiter (formally of Reading) at Fishguard market in March was not due to Coronavirus, it’s just the best month to plant seeds and plants.
The rest is gibberish.
Just to say that I am now in active communication with both Harvard University and with the University of Wales, Trinity Saint David about the credentials of our celebrated academic & Harvard Faculty member, “Dr” Jane.
Truth will prevail above her amazing delusions of academic grandeur. She must surely realise the game is up. If i was her, I’d hide in the garden plant potting shed (or potty shed) in a dark corner under self imposed “lock down”. How she can dare to call a BA Hons 2.2 (Drama & English) a PhD ?
Back to ONE PLANET and that “Doctorate” or “PhD” being used instead of a BA 2.2 :-
“DEBRETTE’S ETIQUETTE” clearly states :-
The recipient of a doctorate conferred by a university or other body, such as the Council for National Academic Awards, is entitled to be addressed as ‘Doctor’. The exception to this is a surgeon, who is known as Mr/Mrs/Miss, etc.
In practice, when a well-known figure outside the academic world receives an honorary doctorate, the recipient does not generally adopt the title of ‘Doctor’, especially when he or she already has other styles or titles.
Off topic over the border, police testify what we already know
Take any kind of cross section of the English demographic and the yob mentality is revealed. Need any more evidence in favour of independence ?
Ever been in the centre of Cardiff on 6 nations match day. The Welsh are just as capable as any nationality of getting rat-arsed. Not a clever point to make in favour of independence.
Possible, but hypothetical, seeing as we haven’t had a post-lockdown rugby international in Wales.
I was talking about internationals which have taken place in Cardiff and other cities, over many years, and which I have attended. Didn’t expect you to engage in such semantics Jac.
Not semantics at all. Social distancing was unnecessary pre-Coronavirus.
Apart from that idiotic decision by the WRU which left the cancellation of the Scottish match till the last minute I was not aware that any matches had been organised in the shadow of a serious pandemic. You evidently know different so enlighten me.
On the more general matter of loutish behaviours without the pandemic risks you make a valid point. Once independent we can take steps to sort out our own wasters. Right now they are part of the problem egged on by a pro Royalist Unionist WRU who see flogging beer in uncontrolled quantities within the stadium as a sound commercial proposition. Old values of bread and circuses, but novel in that the suckers pay top prices for everything !
Check these out:
Nice houses, if you can afford them ! Should do a good job of reminding young people in Ammanford and Brecon areas of their “left behind” status.
OPD is one part of the problem, buildings aimed at an income level not prevalent in these areas is another part. Any sane clear thinking going on in planning ?
Why is the Development Bank of Wales funding a) an English company, Haywood Homes and b) companies run by a Spanish national, whose companies (Sotero) have documents overdue at Companies House, to build properties Welsh people can’t afford?
a) unable to say “no” to anything from Eng-ger-land, and
b) concept of “due diligence” is beyond them. Indeed there is a body of opinion that suggests it merely means checking that cups of tea are not too hot for these important visitors.
Anyone with a modicum of brain would immediately spot that the marketing is aimed at people of some financial substance, people who can afford a decent class of “affordable” homes in that so accessible 250-500k bracket.
People who need social housing should go and speak to those nice third sector types who may have the odd vacancy when the month’s full quota of dysfunctionals haven’t arrived from an English metropolitan area. Crumbs off the emperor’s table are ever so tasty.
Why would the Welsh Government owned Development Bank of Wales get involved in cash flow (bridging) loans or land purchase for foreign owned start-up construction companies?
There are hundreds of pre-existing building firms who specialise in small-scale new-build houses in Wales consisting of a couple to a dozen houses, particularly in the valleys. The financing of such building is an issue of cash flow, not a profitability issue. You have effectively have to pay the land purchase, utility connection and foundations phase from working capital. Then at the masonry, windows and roof stage you are hit a cash flow barrier. The fitting out stage, plastering, plumbing, bathroom, kitchen appliance and electric is paid for on credit terms prior to sale. It’s the middle stage cash flow squeeze is financed by having a few sites mature to sale at different dates through the year, or ad-hoc maintenance jobs. Ask any building firm.
There’s something very fishy about this. It’s Welsh Government funding used specifically to put pre-existing Welsh firms at a disadvantage.
Bronllys is within a flatbed drive of all those firms in the valleys desperate for work. I question why the Welsh Government has to make loans available for property development at all, other than in pre-fab start-ups or skills tech like ground source heat stuff. But this site is neither of these.
My point – which I’ll be making in the post out tomorrow – is that the Development Bank of Wales should not be funding house building under any circumstances. There are plenty of other lenders to do that. The DBW should be focusing on commercial development creating jobs. Jobs that last beyond the construction stage. Furthermore, given the prices of these properties, especially those at Bronllys, the DBW is, effectively, funding the colonisation of Wales, because there’ll be few local buyers.
Here we see Sonia Mancisidor telling us about herself.
If Sonia’s story is to be believed, DBW is funding working capital of a buy-to-let landlord in Cardiff, to develop a new-build mini-estate to sell ‘life in the country executive homes’ near Talybont in Powys.
It’s a sword of two edges. Preventing young people getting onto the property ladder in the city of Cardiff due to buy-to-let house price inflation and also preventing the natives in southern Powys ever being able to afford to live in the community they grow up in.
Also, Sonia tells us from her parked vehicle at “Drovers Meadow” she is renting an annexe to a farm during the construction phase. So she has not used the equity in her Cardiff portfolio to finance either these new-builds nor her on-site residential requirement, that gap is plugged with taxpayers cash.
Sonia owes money to other lenders. She borrowed money to buy her palatial offices on Bute Street. Three of the lenders she went to before the DBW have now gone bust. If she’s using hand-to-mouth loan companies then it suggests the regular banks do not regard her as a sound bet. If that’s the case, then why is the DBW helping her?
Much has been mentioned above about UWTSD and Medwin
Medwin started being in charge of Carmarthen College which became a UIniversity which then took over the troubled Lampeter University then took over the Swansea Metropolitan University and along the way picked up the University of Wales lot as well
Not bad going but in the end has campuses all over the place – Carmarthen / Lampeter / Cardiff / China – Wuhan / Birmingham / London and the renewed campus on SA1 in Swansea
Its an unsustainable model of a place of learning struggling to keep up with the demands of a modern learning institiution and has poor rankings againist other places
Medwin likes to court favour with the high and mighty – on friendly terms with Prince Charles thru Lampeter University and likes to give jobs to those that he thinks has links to Wales Govt – hence Jane Davidson
It would not surprise me that he is on £500,000 a year with expenses and his grace and favour house but as a University I would tell students to spend their money elsewhere on an education
How it will survive this pandemic will be telling as it up againist Swansea University which is far bigger and has more research going on
But for those academics living in Pembrokeshire and enjoying the landsacpe and environment Trinity is the only option for employment
I agree that Medwin is likely now on a salary of at least ~ £400,000. Vice Chancellors the world over generally seem very keen to award themselves more money.
But — whether justified for not — we can be grateful for the fact that Medwin is not filling the world wide web with bleating statements about how poor he is.
If Medwin is on ~ 400k, how much do we think his Pro-Vice Chancellor be earning?
Dr Jane Davidson is Medwin’s deputy. Jane Davidson’s IS busy telling us how poor she is.
“The family couldn’t afford to install every piece of low-carbon equipment in one go, so they worked out what to prioritise … The couple saved the most expensive addition until last: a ground-source heat pump which cost £20,000 and was paid for using Davidson’s retirement lump sum. It was installed in March. The expense has been worth it, she says. “We bought it in 2009, moved in in 2011, and now, nine years’ later, is the first time we’ve got a house which is warm all the way through.”
My guess is that even the Pro Vice Chancellor’s at UWTSD salary will be in excess of £100,000, and probably well in excess.
Poor, impoverished Jane.
As regards UWTSD, I expect your assessment of the effects of the pandemic are right.
Medwin has had good run. He has been Vice Chancellor for 9 years. His aim now must be to get out before the shit hits the fan. I bet he goes within the year.
There are plenty more sinecures waiting for him in Wales, if he gets out in time.
The pubs are still shut and I can’t go abroad yet so I thought about a visit to Lammas. Somewhere I could get some good positive vibes in my miserable life, even meet the legendary Tao and Hoppi Wimbush. When I looked for directions and some reviews before I set off, the latest one I found has put me right off. So I won’t be bothering now.
“Toppi and tao not their real names (martelle and Paul) have totally destroyed the place and driven away all the productive people.
they put on pretentious parties that go past the 11pm curfew, they swan about in their 4×4, shopping in marks and Spencer, and have taken over the place. Hoppi came from Holtsfield and is not welcome back there.
their hydro turbine is broken and the hub which cost 400k is rarely used.
just watch out for Hitler Hoppi!”
Do you have a link, Dai?
It’s the most recent of the reviews on this link, Jac.
Doesn’t work, Dai. If I hover on that link I see something in Chinese. When I click on it I just go to the Google page for Lammas.
Sorry. Obviously Hoppi has done some black magic on that link so we can’t see it. I’ve emailed you separately with it in the hope that breaks the spell.
The revelation that all was not sweetness and fraternalism within the commune introduces a motive that we were not previously aware of.
When the Dale segment went up in flames a question arose as to how the fire started. Due to the remote location, by the time the fire brigade arrived to site, the property was unsalvageable and the question arose as to how the fire started. The property was unoccupied so conflagration by actions of the occupier, stove, cooking, smoking etc was eliminated as a cause. The fire started within the property.
This led to the next logical explanation of ignition by means of spontaneous combustion within the straw bail construction. This new ‘fractious relations’ revelation introduces a motive of malice to the investigation. Arson by abandonment or arson of malice?
Brychan. Note also response I previously received from Welsh Government regarding requirement for “sprinklers” in new OPD’s. Although a legal requirement I would be surprised if the regulations are enforced by Local Authority Building Control departments.
Yes, from 1st January 2016, any new residential build on the Lammas site or any other OPD dwelling must have a certified sprinkler system installed.
There are two types, the ‘mist’ that uses a cylinder of pressurised aqueous solution that is frost proof but expensive, or gravity fed flow type that includes a dedicated water tank and internally insulated pipes, that must be certified by a qualified technician under the law. The legislation specifies the BS that applies, as well as defining the list of certified installers.
Any such property that does not comply is to be closed from occupation as unfit.
There are a number of dwellings on-site at Lammas that can be identified as having been previously an ‘allowed temporary caravan’ and now a ‘residential dwelling’ since the law came into force, and this is evidenced by the council tax valuation (award of A tax band) as a change since the effective date of the legislation.
Pembrokeshire County Council are liable for enforcement on the advise of an inspection ordered by the chief fire officer.
Strangely, since this item on OPD was written on this blog, WalesOnline has re-published a story previously written by Mr Dale syndicated from the Daily Mail from last year. In it, Simon Dale and Jasmine Rainbow Dale (nee Saville), who also own a property in Bristol claim their mysterious fire was started by an electrical appliance in the property.
Although the Lammas encampment is off-grid, they did have solar panels (not generating overnight on new years eve) and a supply from a (now derelict) hydro-power turbine which if correctly installed would nave RCD trips to comply with modern electrical safety standards. These trips were in his adjacent workshop which did not burn. What he also fails to mention is that a previous ‘hobbit house’ he had constructed on the site also succumbed to a mysterious fire resulting in a crowd funding appeal of woe. This is the cash used to build his ‘grand designs’ replacement that also took the flame.
It appears that his rush to explain his far-fetched misfortune he is implicating himself deeper into the hole of the improbable.
To paraphase my old pal, Oscar:
“To lose one hobbit house may be regarded as a misfortune; to lose both looks like carelessness”.
Funnily enough there was a repeat of Grand Designs the other day featuring Lammas, everybody interviewed was called Tao, Ximon, Ayres, no Kevs , Blodwen or Islwyn
This exchange of COMMENTS is drifting away from the main platform of ONE PLANET developments exclusively in rural Wales. I’ve just been told they resemble the SHAMBA system in poorer African countries where the poor people build shacks to live in alongside small allotments. I wonder how that scheme was devised to suit colonial Wales so far from Africa?
That drift is quite acceptable as far as I’m concerned. One Planet is a symptom, one of many, of the ongoing “re-engineering” of our country turning it into a haven for avant garde bullshit while placing serial obstacles in the way of people who just want to get on with the business of making a living. One Planet is not responsible for these changes of itself it merely represents the prevalent direction of a segment of the woke/globalist groupthink that sets out to assimilate and homogenize us to their target pattern. Politicians and their allied “influencers” in big business and institutions are the true enemies and we have plenty of those in our little country.
The SHAMBA system was just a mechanism for white colonialists to drive indigenous people off their existing valuable land and into less viable mountainous forest in Kenya, when genocide became unacceptable. It has no environmental worth and was invented as a substitute for shooting natives.
There are two basic flaws in the OPD concept, the reason why there are no Welsh people having opted to live OPD. Firstly the cost of purchasing land it prohibitive, those that have are all wealthy people of the home counties of England, and secondly it’s flawed by the fact that it’s economically unviable even when rules are adhered to. OPD do not pay for on-grid services these occupiers still access like schools, NHS, fire brigade, roads, benefits, pensions and other rural infrastructure.
The example I quoted from Powys – near Knighton – has three adults living on what is claimed to be a OPD but in fact they work at other jobs. Which means that the OPD is being used as a ruse to set up home in open country, which would not otherwise be allowed. My source says others are following this lead in the area.
What’s more, they have 5 years to satisfy the council, or someone, that they are living a One Planet lifestyle. The local council, mindful that OPD is an article of faith for the ‘Welsh Government’, will always be reluctant to take action even when its clear that the OPD system is being abused.
Given that all these buggers need to do is buy or lease a field or two, then move a caravan onto the land – claiming this is a temporary measure until something more permanent is built – and it need not be that expensive.
The truth is that anyone could this. It’s only a matter of time before some shyster buys a couple of fields in an idyllic location, starts off with a caravan or two for an extended family or commune, and then tries to convert these into expensive residences for sale on the open market. The warning signs are there.
The ‘farmlets’ on the edge of Swansea would make expensive properties, set in substantial plots of land, with Gower on the doorstep. And no fear of any other buildings going up because they themselves have exceeded the settlement boundary. If that happened then local authorities and others would demand that the OPD legislation be tightened or scrapped. And the ‘Welsh Government’ would have to concede.
Plaid say independent Wales but no independent language?
Other countries eg eastern Europe and Israel ensured their language became the prime language.
The message I get from Plaid Cymru is that they are now just a protest group jumping on BLM. LGBT issues etc etc. Independence of state and language first, those matters can come later.
Plaid are now the little sibling to Labour, blaming nasty Tories for everything and not recognising Abolish party as a sympton of their behaviour. If the Senedd did what it was supposed to do for Wales and not for guinea pig legislation Abolish would not exist.
Funny old business this total confusion that has erupted within Plaid over recent decades and now coming to a boil with its latest injection of wokey “thought” ( or garbage if you prefer).
At one time language and culture were seen as key components of identity but we have now migrated to a position where colour of your skin is a big deal and fuck everything else. Which leaves a black, or brownish, or pale coffee colouring who happens to speak Welsh and be involved in the native culture in a bit of a quandary. Have those worthy people wasted their time integrating into the native way ? They don’t get abused because of their skin tone except by a stupid ill informed minority of Welsh who desperately want to be BritNat Sais wearing the Union Flag and the Supremacist Cross ( hijacked from the old Celtic cross cos they are too dull and unimaginative to derive their own symbol).
A BAME youngster’s scope for progress is no less than the scope for a native youth of similar education attainment. We live in a country that’s been dumbed down by successive regimes and now those in power seek to divert our attention away from the real issues by using BLM to drive a new false divide between disadvantaged native Welsh and our disadvantaged BAME who have chosen to live, or have been born, here. Interesting that the only politicians willing to tackle the real issues are currently on the periphery – McEvoy being sidelined by the antics of the Plaid Llywydd ( shame on the witch) and Gwlad who are gagging to enter the fray and rectify some of the nonsense that has been peddled as representation of the people of late.
Yesterday in the Senedd the subject of the Welsh curriculum in schools was debated and an important amendment was proposed which was “Calls on the Welsh Government to ensure that the curriculum makes provision for learning Welsh and this is accompanied by investment to make Welsh language intensive immersion courses freely available for teachers an pupils alike.”
The vote was.
For – WNP, Con, Brexit groups.
Against – Labour, Plaid, Abolish, Ukip groups.
For those you are not aware of the history of Welsh language intensive immersion courses, here is something that was established in the pioneering days.
Abandoned by Plaid Cymru.
Is the new vision now to transform this into holiday cottages and install zip wires? There will be no provision in Wales for intensive immersion. This is a tipping point for Plaid Cymru, now completely subsumed by Labour, with their vision of Wales as ‘West Anglia’, a pretty tourist destination. Automatic planning awarded for OPD communes rather than supporting Nant Gwrtheyrn or similar provision throughout Wales.
In a few months time, in the run-up to the elections, Plaid Cymru will be putting distance between itself and Labour in an attempt to get votes. Nobody should be fooled. I’m sure political opponents are keeping track of Plaid’s voting record. The biggest deception in Welsh politics is Plaid Cymru getting people who would never vote Labour to vote for them.
From now on the message for other parties must be – ‘Vote Plaid, get Labour’.
I don’t think Plaid Cymru can pull that off this time round. They’ve sacrificed too many sacred cows. In May, for example, Cymdeithas yr iaith Gymraeg was calling for an ‘immersion’ element to be inserted into the new curriculum and Plaid Cymru voted against this in the Senedd this week, siding with Hamilton and Abolish. I suspect the Plaid Cymru have burnt so many bridges in constituencies across the country and now, even their ‘heartlands’ are asking difficult questions.
The more I find out about Dr Jane Davidson the more she goes down in my estimation. There’s something not quite right about this woman.
For instance, I had no idea she had been found guilty of breaching the Assembly’s Ministerial Code when she applied for her university job. This was actually something our useless Welsh media did report and it’s referred to in the link below. Jane was obviously a tad sensitive that her Wikipedia entry referred to this fact – so she deleted it – and was then found out! She simultaneously deleted other references to her that were unflattering, relating to school closures under her remit as a Minister, and the death of Shambo the Bull (may his soul rest in peace). She also embellished her Wiki page, writing a glowing reference about herself and her achievements.
Then there’s this much more topical puff piece obviously done to promote her new book. This is as recent as 5 June 2020.
Now this appears to be as steeped in bullshit as the organic vegetables she grows on her 10 acre Pembrokeshire holding. Because if we believe all that is written, she tells us that her and her family gave up flying (to help the environment see) on her 50th birthday. So presumably, since 2007 all her international conferences, including the one in 2017 in Boston, Massachusetts, and the recent one in Berlin just this year, she went by boat/train/levitation – take your pick. Maybe I’m doing her an injustice and she has done. But there’s more. Read this article and you’d swear she was piss poor and it’s taken every spare penny for her to finally get warm where she now lives. Really? This was someone who was a Government Minister from 2000-2010 and who actually stood down to go into a good number (probably a better one) in Trinity St David’s Uni. She lived in Cardiff so was not exactly selling up in an impoverished former mining village like Rhigos! This “I’ve had it rough” bullshit is the sort we get all the time from politicians, particularly those in Labour. Remember Tonia Antoniazzi? A comprehensive school Head of Department who claimed she knew what real poverty was and had been forced to use foodbanks! God help if she’d been a checkout operator at Tesco then. When all’s said and done, there are too many of our politicos who are just in it for the good life. Labour/Tory/Plaid/ Liberal – it’s just a fucking mask to wear to fool you what’s behind it. And behind is very often that most basic of human instincts and behaviour – I’m going to look after myself and my own first. Why not just be honest for once and admit it?
Someone should look a lot more closely at the Tales of Dr Davidson. Because I’m convinced there’s a lot more needs to come out yet.
In the article you linked to about Davidson changing her Wikipedia entry she defended her job at UWTSD Lampeter on the lines of: “My role does not involve lobbying the Welsh Government in any way”. Stupid cow, does she expect anybody to believe that! It was her contacts in ‘Welsh’ Labour and Corruption Bay that got her that job. UWTSD and her environmentalist friends expect her to influence ‘Welsh Government’ policy-making in their interest.
Her real CV.
Jane Davidson was born and raised in a leafy suburb of Birmingham. She attended a private school, The Malvern College for Girls (current fee £35kpa), then got a lower second degree in English at Birmingham University. She did her teacher training at Aber, the worked for three years as a teacher in Cardiff. This allowed her access to Alun Michael where she then worked as a Labour Party researcher after a stint with the YHA and on the city council. She was then picked to stand for Labour in the Pontypridd constituency, which launched her career into the fake mitty academic we see today.
Brychan — you missed out an important point.
She was born and raised the child of white settlers in Rhodesia.
So she had had plenty of experience in colonialism.
She has simply moved to a country where the native population is more drugged and subservient than Zimbabwe.
Talk about white privilege. She’ll give someone whose ancestors worked like indentured serfs down a coal mine a fecking lecture on white privilege … but how did her family get the money to send her to an independent school?
They got the money through farming in Rhodesia with the natives doing the work. She should be paying reparations to Zimbabwe for the wealth her family stole.
She is a walking, talking gobbet of white privilege.
Notice too from the article how air flights are allowed for herself and her family …
“… but I don’t want to outlaw love miles. So I will take my family and relive my childhood with them, because none of them have seen where I was brought up, where my values were created, where I fell in love with nature. We will plant the requisite amount of trees …”
Love miles … when she travels it is love miles, when anyone else travels it is global warming.
I’ve put this link out on Twitter. It deserves the widest possible audience.
She is anxious to peddle her crappy book, so a lot of interesting information is coming out about “Dr”Jane, the famous member of the Harvard Faculty ?
How much is “Dr” Jane paid by University of Wales, Trinity Saint David ?
I mean, they handed out £262,000 in 2014-15 to Professor Medwin Hughes — the great brain who came up with the idea of an Institute of Traditional Chinese Medicine with the Jiangxi University of Traditional Medicine, just as pandemic raged.
Even a more junior member of the management et team at UWTSD is likely to be pulling in a salary in the lowish six figures. I bet “Dr” Jane’s UWTSD salary will astonish us, when we find it out.
This must be public information. If Medwin doesn’t got back to me soon about the amazing news of “Dr” Davidson’s promotion to the Harvard Faculty, I’ll bang off a FoI request to UWTSD.
In fact, I might as well find out what the entirety of the management team is paid at UWTSD.
Medwin must be on more than £350,000 by now. He probably got a big bonus for landing the Institute of Traditional Chinese Medicine !!!
Of course, it is not good times for everyone at UWTSD. Here is “Dr” Jane firing people in June 2019 to pay for her and Medwin’s salary.
“Its pro vice-chancellor for external engagement and sustainability Dr Jane Davidson previously told a meeting of Carmarthenshire Council’s policy and resources committee the university was taking forward 170 redundancies in total, of which just 70 were voluntary.”
There are even some crocodile tears from useless Bethan in the article.
She says “Three incidents over a period of years penetrated my idyll enough to start me seeing the worm in my Eden, the racism underpinning the right-wing Rhodesian Front government after the United Declaration of Independence from the UK in 1965.”
This is strange, as she was born in a leafy Birmingham suburbia in 1957.
Eight years prior.
This means she is not talking about the experiences of Zimbabwe or OF its people, or any life experience in Africa. She is lamenting her privilege of wealth derived FROM them. A wealth stolen to England prior to any independence from the British Empire.
While Universities debate the toppling of statues of Rhodes, mere effigies of stone, the real wealth expropriated sits in Jane Davidson’s bank account. It paid for her private schooling in England and no doubt purchased the land she now squats on in Wales.
As a real medical woman doctor, M.B.B.S (London), MRCS, LRCP, FRCS (Glasgow) Postgrad Diploma in Forensic Medicine and Medical Jurisprudence, who spent a lot of time and money passing real exams and composing dissertations etc to get proper qualifications.Its quite an insult to find this apparently fraudulent woman pretending to be something she is not.
As Environment Minister she decided to ignore the local sewage pollution in my patch, Llanelli, the loss of most of our local cockle fishery and the effect of raw sewage on the many rare species in the Loughor Estuary, which do not seem to have been monitored since. It still really stinks.
She said that she had to give in to the Taylor Wimpey’s development on Stradey Park because they threatened to take the welsh Government to court for millions in compensation if they were not allowed to break environment regs and build 355 homes on a C2 floodplain. And all this time she may just have been a fraud? We still regularly pour untreated sewage into the sea like a third world country.
She has also played a part in the early days of the Swansea Bay City Deal/ Wellness project due to be built in Llanelli with Swansea University Support, which went terribly wrong, and may be something to do with personal accademic greed and a Private Hospital and Medical School in Kuwait . The possibly dodgy business is still being investigated by Tarian, our Welsh fraud squad, although she isn’t in the firing line, as far as I know.
Does she just have a mission to destroy Wales, usher in vandals and grant grabbers and ignore the health and wellbeing of our land and our people? It looks like it.
No reply yet to my email to Prof Medwin Hughes, but if the silence persists, I will send a recorded delivery letter.
I am sure we can get “Dr” Jane Davidson’s claim to be Harvard Faculty taken down.
Any idea how much Medwin is paid to come up with ideas such as the Course in Traditional Chinese Medicine ?
“Prof Medwin Hughes, of the fledgling University of Wales, Trinity Saint David, was Wales’ third-best paid vice-chancellor, having received a total of £262,000 in 2014-15.”:
And that was 5 years ago!!
That really makes Sophie Howe look great value for money. I mean, she is completely useless, but she only gets £93,000.
Wales is really run like a third-rate Central Asian kleptocracy. We are the Kazakhstan of Western Europe.
BarddCwsc Nothing new there old bean. These scams have been thriving since 1999 or before. Only the names of the beneficiaries change from time to time as old mafia beneficiaries kick the bucket or move on and new participants join the feeding frenzy, often bringing new rackets to the party. Very little is ever reported in the media or ends up in court, and only serious investigators like our Jac by ‘ere ever scratch the surface and expose the slime underneath.
Med is the most highly paid Uni Chancellor in Wales and look how he has disembowelled Lampeter Uni? Turned Trinity into an uni for any twp who should never be in an Uni and spaffed millions in Swansea. Even moving courses to Cardiff
Just a follow up to the item on rural projects and grant aid – I noted the report yesterday from the auditor criticising the Welsh Labour govt on its handling of the now last type of grant from the EU – RDP – rural development programme and how pet projects were given money without any assessment of their worth
Think of how many of these OPD rojects have received money as a give me – just handed out
“Many already know, but either Wales doesn’t count for a media exposure, or our Politicians are all too bone idle lazy and useless to publicly question these amazing delusions of academic grandeur of Calamity Jane”. You’ve hit the nail on the head there. Can you honestly see any of the “Welsh” press or TV channels running with this? They are too interested in how Alfie is stressing out during lockdown and when the pubs in Wales can reopen. Not sure if Private Eye would be interested.
Besides Jane Davidson’s seemingly dodgy CV on her Amazon page,the description of her new book entitled “#futuregen” also raises concerns for me, because of what it says about Wales:
“a small, pioneering nation discovering prosperity through its vast natural beauty, renewable energy resources and resilient communities”.
I’m sorry – the prosperity bit must have passed me by. And I appreciate our land’s natural beauty, but around me it’s been despoiled by years of opencast coal mining and now Pen y Cymoedd Windfarm. Easy for Ms Davidson to spout such pretentious bullshit, living in a Pembrokeshire smallholding growing her fucking organic vegetables, having achieved her personal Nirvana by a lifetime sucking on the public tit. Try walking a mile in the shoes of the people who have carried you useless parasites all these years, see what you think about your sustainability agenda then.
Private Eye might be interested in Jane Davidson’s dodgy cv. Can we drop them an email?
I think the really interesting question is did Jane Davidson receive money from the dodgy conference with the exorbitant registration fee? That conference made a lot of money, and the money went somewhere …..
I have run conferences, and to break even with 150 attendees, you need a registration fee of 100-200 pounds.
Jane’s conference had a registration fee that is more than an ORDER OF MAGNITUDE more. Someone made a lot of money out of it.
I think the people who will definitely be interested in Jane Davidson’s cv are Harvard University, which is why I have contacted the Harvard Press Office.
It is not a good look for Harvard if every pipsqueak politician claims to be a “member of the Harvard faculty”.
As regards Professor Medwin Hughes of Trinity Saint David University, my mind simply boggled when I found this.
What brilliant timing! Just as the world suffers from a raging pandemic caused by the devouring of wild animals, Trinity Saint David signs up to deliver courses on traditional Chinese medicine with a very dodgy sounding University in China (the Jiangxi University of Traditional Medicine).
We recollect that traditional Chinese medicine involves consumption of animal parts from tiger, rhinoceros, pangolin, black bear, musk deer, and sea horse.
Trinity Saint David is a national embarrassment.
Or rather, it would be in any other country … but in the Wales run by the spivs and mafioisi of Labour, it is just par for the course.
You could hardly make it up, signing up to deliver courses in Chinese traditional medicine at this time. I see the photo with the Chinese delegation in your link was taken at the end of December 2019. This was after the start of Covid infection in China. I hope the buggers never flew in from Wuhan?They might have actually been among the first to bring Covid into the UK!
Doesn’t matter where they flew from, any visitor from China was at risk of being a carrier. It all depends on any person’s prior contacts. This virus was moving about at a hell of a speed due to the fixation with globalisation. Big business is not happy unless it has loads of people zapping around all over the world buying stuff they could be making in their own backyard yet the Greens and wokes and all the other airheads don’t seem at all concerned by this feature. Less of this unecessary movement would yield lower international transmission rates.
That applies equally to the types who attend events like Davidson’s dodgy conferences. That volume of hot air would be heaven for all sorts of nasty bugs.
We see Hoppi Wimbush running ‘courses’ from the Lammas Earth Centre called “Birth Your Own Shamanic Drum Retreat” which is a drum imbued with healing powers.
Hoppi claims to be a medicine woman and sound healer. Strange, as she has no medical qualification and her ‘practice of healing’ has no scientific studies to indicate banging on a drum and chanting has any effect at healing any ailments.
She’s got upcoming gigs called ‘Yurt in the City’ in Cardiff, and for some reason, possibly real permanent abode, a series of events in Knutsford, Cheshire.
Gong bath cancelled due to virus.
Those who advertise such products usually fall foul of trading standards legislation, as an important public protection, as it can falsely tempt those of a vulnerable disposition who have genuine medical conditions to believe in such ‘magic’ as an ‘alternative’ to proper effective medical care.
There was a time, when mankind was allegedly less well developed and “primitive”, such people as this Wimbush dame were burned at the stake or taken for a trip into the ducking pool for peddling such daft ideas. I used to think that was barbaric but nowadays I am slowly coming round to seeing it as good sense.
We don’t even need those measures, Dafis, there is legislation that could, and should, be used.
That legislation to which you refer is just sitting on a shelf in case some natives start getting ideas above their station. Meanwhile colonists and others who are considered “worthy” by the Labour regime and its fellow travellers are allowed to operate outside the scope of such legislation. Rest my case.
If Hoppi’s any good, someone give Trump her phone number. He can still cancel the Remdesivir order, and grant her and the rest of the cuckoos living with her US citizenship and find them a yurt on a Native American reservation. He could probably solve their virus problem with just one phonecall and by getting them out of our hair, solve one of ours too. Maybe he could be persuaded to take Jane Davidson at the same time. After all, she’s already well connected to Harvard University ?
“Gong bath” ??
Have you read the CV of “Aaron” who gives you one?
“Aaron is currently training with the shipibo community in the Peruvian Amazon rainforest and learning more about their ancient ways of healing with sound, icaros and energy.” As you do then. Beats flipping burgers for a living though. Maybe these alternative lifestylers are on to something after all?
Please keep this “Calamity Jane thread” running until some magazine or news / media outlet, or some Politicians outside of Labour, pick up on it, to publicly expose her. Many already know, but either Wales doesn’t count for a media exposure, or our Politicians are all too bone idle lazy and useless to publicly question these amazing delusions of academic grandeur of Calamity Jane. It really is totally bizarre! Keep asking for details of her PhD Thesis and question the “Emeritus” and “Harvard” bits particularly. It is quite likely she is now hoping next for a Nobel Prize or Ignoble Prize whichever applies. Remember ONE PLANET in Wales is her pet baby.
Bizarrely, in her book, Jane Davidson is claiming she left her poor inner-city Cardiff abode to move to her rural idyll. She was, in fact, living in millionaires row that can be seen from the M4 on the side of Mynydd y Garth opposite Castell Coch. Just outside her constituency.
I’ve never heard of Gwaelod y Garth described as ‘inner city’. It’s where Aled Samuel sips his frappe when researching episodes of 4Wal. She lived almost next door to someone called Talfan.
The woman is a fantabulist.
Bingo!!! Bingo!!! Bingo !!!
There is a searchable directory of all Harvard faculty student and staff online. It is here
You can put in Jane Davidson and search.
There is no Jane Davidson who is a member of Harvard, whether faculty or staff or student. She is not associated with Harvard University in any way.
You can put in Davidson and see all the Davidsons.
There are 20 of them, from Austin Davidson to Zoey Davidson, but no JANE Davidson.
Does it matter? Just another politician caught out lying?
And lying she is, as at WPDD she explicitly claims to be “|a member of the faculty in Harvard University.”
Well, she is aggrandising her cv, and she is trying to make a career in the higher echelons of Welsh academia.
If this false statement is on any job application, then it is fraud — and a police matter.
Though at the higher echelons of public service in Wales, it is all Labour cronyism, so I doubt if Jane even had to put in as vulgar a thing as a job application with a cv.
I am not buying her stupid book, but if this claim is on her book, then it is also fraudulent, as it is false advertising.
I’d say her amazon profile, where the claim is also made, is false advertising.
I think I am right about the conference as well. There is quite some money to be made from fraudulent conferences, it is a major problem in academia — see here:
Notice Tip 9 for spotting a fraudulent conference. “The organisers are charging higher-than-normal fees”.
The fees for the Davidson conference are grossly exorbitant.
Organised crime ? Course it is. It’s the Welsh Mafia, a.k.a Labour Party in Wales, with a smattering of fellow travellers.
Just read that the departing Chief Exec of Cwm Taf M.U Health Board has been awarded a lumper of £131k – the rewards of failure. The culture of rewarding duds is highly prevalent throughout the UK as it keeps cash flowing to those elites who think they are above it all. Welsh Labour, who see themselves as the elite in our little corner of the world have embraced this way of working enthusiastically. No wonder government is forever short of money when we have the likes of this dud and Davidson sucking it out as fast as the bin gets topped up.
Received this on Twitter: “On Linked-In, it says she was an associate of the Harvard faculty for 1 year and 10 months, ending in 2019.”
Jane Davidson wrote that.
It is her own LinkedIn account. She wrote it.
There is no mention of Jane Davidson in any Harvard University Directory.
Believing someone’s LinkedIn account is like believing fairy tale.
We have trapped Jane Davidson in lies.
I am busy this morning, but I will make a formal complaint to Trinity St Davids, and alert Harvard University to her false claims later today.
If she was an associate and her association ended in 2019 then would she still be listed by Harvard?
The only evidence that Jane Davidson was ever associated with Harvard University comes from the writings & web-postings of Jane Davidson.
There is no evidence from any other source.
I am an academic, I have spent time at Harvard & MIT.
The thought that someone with Jane’s nebulous qualification from Ponty Poly would be faculty at Harvard is just ludicrous.
As you point out, she is not even a proper “Dr”.
Dear Professor Medwin Hughes,
I am writing to you as Vice Chancellor of the University of Wales,
Trinity Saint David.
My email concerns claims made by a very senior member of your university
to be a faculty member at Harvard University.
The claims are made by Dr Jane Davidson. For example, her website
at the Wales Centre for Public Policy reads that Dr Jane Davidson “is
a member of the faculty at Harvard University”.
The claims are repeated in a number of places. For example, on the
up-to-date Amazon author profile for her book, published just this month,
it reads that Dr Jane Davidson is an “associate faculty member at Harvard
I am puzzled because there is no mention of Dr Jane Davidson’s faculty
appointment on any Harvard University website. There is an online
Harvard University directory here
It does not seem to show Dr Jane Davidson as faculty or associate faculty or even staff or student.
I can of course request more information from Harvard University
itself. Faculty appointments are, after all, public information and I am sure Harvard University will happily confirm any appointments so made.
But, before that, I thought my first step really shound be to ask the
University of Wales, Trinity Saint David for some further clarification —
just in case there is some misunderstanding on my part.
I am sending this inquiry to you as I understand that Dr Jane Davidson
is a member of your Senior Directorate and Senior Management Team.
I wonder what happened to the £35k that Jane Wells, a friend of the Mr & Mrs Dale, when the Dale house spontaneously combusted on new years day 2018? This was the Grand Designs house on the encampment, yet no mention of it in the 2017 video, above. Was it already abandoned?
The Dales used to live next door to the Wimbush pair, but there was nobody home when the burning happened. Perhaps they were all out in munching eco-pizza at the Carmarthen multiplex.
The Dale plot has now been sold for a sum that I do not recall but I remember being surprised at the sum. It was definitely a substantial profit. I also recall being told that the house having been destroyed needs to go through the planning process again and the use of the workshop as a residential unit would not be permitted.
However the new owners are living on the plot!
Do you know what the brick and concrete ‘OPD citrus fruit’ construction is for?
To be honest, I’m not familiar with the Pembrokeshire Pineapple. It might still have planet saving credentials, though, as they could make their own ‘Hawaiian’ just add some of that Llansteffan Pancetta and they wouldn’t need to go on trips to Carmarthen for pizza in the 4*4 diesel pickup.
One advantage of OPD is that new properties are not covered by the law requiring sprinkler systems. Which is fine . . . until there’s a fire. But these fires are unconnected with straw bale walls and other material features. Just as flooding in valleys is unconnected with hillsides above being ripped apart for wind turbines. When you’re a believer, blind faith will carry you forward. Failing that, just lie, to yourself and others.
I previously directed an enquiry to Welsh Government regarding the use of automatic fire suppression equipment [sprinklers] in OPD’s. I received the reply copied below 5 July 2019. Whether the regulations are enforced by local authority building control departments is another matter.
“If the OPD’s are new dwellings in accordance with Regulation 37A of the Building Regulations 2010 (which would be the decision of the local authority or private approved inspector on the assessment of the application submitted) they would be required to install automatic fire suppression systems.
Building Standards Technical Manager
May I introduce an ‘Earthship’ video.
It takes us on a tour of the Lammas encampment. It starts with the correspondent driving a car (from Prestatyn?) that works off eco-petrol into Lammas. Notice the JCB at the entrance that is fuelled by fairies of the forest, and their recently built road and car park filled with cars fuelled by magic dust. They will be of attendees of a ‘Conscious Parenting course’, run by Hoppi Wimbush, presumably not to be attended by parents of the unconscious kind.
While the narrator explains the building is made of local materials, you will notice the buildings have black uPVC downpipes from the roof and are energy self-sufficient which means the red propane bottle at the side of the buildings is because LNG has been discovered under the Preseli mountains. Notice the new silver eco-volunteer Mitsubishi 2.5ltr 4*4, powered by diesel.
The video shows us more detail…
At 0851 we see the trailer to a vehicle plate which is a 1.8 Peugeot, another diesel powered motor vehicle, and at 0918 we see a new construction being built of concrete breeze blocks, a cement mixer, and a delivery of strapped red house bricks. More propane bottles can be seen next to these ‘eco-houses’, temporary sheds at the top of the encampment. Bizarrely, the commentator says the solar panel operates the ‘alarm system’ presumably to protect against the burglars that roam the mountainside.
At 0948 we see the builders sack of chippings from Narberth Building supplies, delivered by lorry. Then we have the interview with Tao himself, and he says “I do what I want, when I want, live in paradise and can drive to Carmarthen to get a Pizza and go to the cinema”.
At 1748 we see the huge plastic eco-trampoline, and at 1804 we see another such trampoline next to a neighbouring plot with earthworks ready for another concrete construction, with static caravan already onsite. This is the reality of OPD.
I detect a slight cynicism in your tone, Brychan!
And remember – all these buggers have been attracted here in order to reduce Wales’ carbon footprint! I’m still waiting for this to be explained.
The Curious Case of Jane Davidson, the “Faculty Member at Harvard”.
So, after a bit more digging, I find:
1, Jac is correct, the only postgraduate qualification that Jane has is an honorary PhD from the University of Glamorgan.
Honorary degrees should be banned in my opinion You didn’t do any work, you should not get a degree.
She has no PhD thesis and is not an expert on anything.
2. Jane has no link to Harvard University at all. Jane spoke at a conference run by a business organisation that is cleverly made to look up like Harvard University at first glance. It fooled me first time.
Take a very careful look at the link to the poster that Jac found.
Like a Nigerian scam email, it is not what it seems. It is a conference in Harvard (which is the name of a suburb in Boston, Massachusetts), but it is not a conference at Harvard University.
You can sign up to hear Jane and others talk at 4,250 dollars. Two of the speakers are from Harvard University, but there are speakers from all over.
The poster says “Learn More and Apply Here http://www.chgeharvard.org/EESL.”
If it was a proper accredited Harvard conference, you would apply to a website which would start http://www.harvard.edu/… The .edu would show it was an American educational outfit.
The fact that it ends .org shows it is not an educational outfit. Anyone can register a .org domain.
It says ” Come to Harvard to Learn High Impact Sustainability Leadership”.
It doesn’t say “Come to Harvard University to Learn about High Impact Sustainability Leadership”.
It is a business organisation, which is not sponsored by Harvard University. It is trading on Harvard’s name, and it makes its money by charging the gullible 4,250 dollars (plus hotel and flight bills) to hear Jane Davidson & others talk. The only connection with Harvard University is that two Harvard University faculty members are speaking at the conference (and no doubt being paid well to do so).
Jane Davidson has no connection whatsoever with Harvard University. She spoke in the suburb of Harvard, Massachusetts at a commercial conference. She is not a faculty member of Harvard as she repeatedly states on her web profiles, e.g., here:
It is completely implausible that a fuckwit from Welsh Labour, with zero postgraduate educational qualifications, would be a “faculty member at Harvard” — one of the most prestigious universities in the world.
Yet, Jane claims this on her WCPP website.
It is a bad case of the Jeffrey Archers.
In any normal country, Jane would be hounded from public life as a laughing stock.
Interesting. Have you picked up she was at a sustainability conference in Berlin in March this year? Drakeford was listed as a speaker but not sure if he was there or just interviewed for it. Sophie Howe was also there by all accounts. But the CV blurb attached to Jane Davidson has a subtly different ring to it as regards her Harvard Uni connection. There’s a YOUTUBE video of them all but to be honest I can’t be arsed to link to it let alone watch it. Think it has 14 views – they have to be the boring tits that attended, I guess. The blurb on Jane says:
“Dr Jane Davidson is Pro Vice-Chancellor Emeritus at the University of Wales Trinity Saint Davids. From 2007- 2011, she was Minister for Environment and Sustainability in Wales where she proposed legislation to make sustainability the central organising principle of government; the Wellbeing of Future Generations (Wales) Act came into law in 2015. From 2000 – 2007, as Minister of Education, Lifelong Learning and Skills in Wales, she introduced major curriculum changes. Jane is Chair of the RSA in Wales and in 2017 was invited on to the faculty in Harvard University. She is currently writing the story of why Wales was the first country in the world to introduce legislation to protect future generations. Her book will be launched at the Hay Literature Festival in May 2020.”
As you say, being a faculty member is somewhat different to being “invited onto the faculty”.
Davidson is starting to come across as a bit of a bullshitter. But then, she is Labour.
2017 is the date of the conference that Jane Davidson spoke at, in Harvard.
So, I suspect the phrase “in 2017 I was invited on to the faculty in Harvard University” is Jane Davidson’s poetic rendering of I went to Harvard to speak at a commercial conference.
The whole thing is just bizarre.
Does Jane Davidson actually think she is so distinguished that she would be “invited” onto the faculty at Harvard ?
It is a real insight in to the self-importance of these politicians.
We should ring Jane up in October 2020 and put on a heavy Scandinavian accent …. and tell her she has won the 2020 Nobel Peace Prize for saving the planet.
She’d swallow it.
I’ve looked at that prospectus again and if you scroll down to the very bottom the e-mail address does seem to be genuine.
In just five minutes of searching I turned up the following titles for Davidson, all recent:
Pro-Vice Chancellor for External Engagement and Sustainability
Pro Vice-Chancellor Emeritus
Director of the Institute of Sustainable Practice, Innovation and Resource Effectiveness
Associate Pro Vice Chancellor for External Stakeholder Development and Engagement
And I guarantee there are more.
I agree that “SustainabilityLeadership@hsph.harvard.edu” does seem to be a bona fida Harvard email.
I sent an email to them asking about Jane Davidson — if I get a reply, I’ll let you know.
The links to http://www.chgeharvard.org/EESL just don’t work. The link to “View our short 2-3 minute videos” does not work. The link to “Learn more about our world class faculty” does not work.
It is all very fishy.
The conference charges 4,250 dollars per delegate (not including hotels/flights).
Most conference like this have between 100 and 200 delegates. Say, 150 people signed up.
The conference cleared 150 X 4250 dollars = 637, 500 dollars
OK, they have to book a hall, and pay some travel expenses for some speakers — but this is not an academic conference. This is a conference for making money.
Allow 50,000 dollars for expenses, and the organisers must have easily cleared half a million dollars in profit.
I suspect someone at Harvard is involved in the organisation of the company running the conference, and hence they cooked up a harvard email.
The links stop working once the conference is over.
Tell you what.
I’ll email the registrar at Harvard University inquiring about their famous faculty member Jane Davidson.
Let’s see what that produces.
After a bona fide conference, I honestly think you would leave those links up. It is useful publicity.
The other thing worth remarking its that the shocking fee — 4,250 dollars for 4 days — will largely be met by public funds.
The people going to the conference will be third sector-types.
No doubt Jane Davidson encouraged a whole bundle of people from Wales Center for Public Policy to go, so the money for the whopping conference fee was met by the Welsh taxpayers, you and me.
No-one paid the fee out of their own pocket. That means no-one paid too much attention if the fee was justified, or not.
It makes it lucrative to organise conferences like that.?
From 10:13 she’s talking above her environmental epiphany at Rio-20 in 1992. She was there paid as a columnist for that great revolutionary socialist newspaper, the Daily Telegraph, who paid for her flights. She then goes on to explain the origins of her OPD initiative.
For those who were wondering why Mark Drakeford, the First Minister, could not engage with the SAGE conference call on fighting Covid-19 on 22nd May 2020. He was busy on Zoom at the virtual Hay-on-Wye Festival, with Jane Davidson, Eluned Morgan and Sophie Howe.
I see Jane Davidson claims to be Associate Faculty of Harvard University. For example, this is claimed on her Amazon profile flogging her new book:
It seems very curious that there is no mention of Jane Davidson on any Harvard University webpages. If she really were Associate Faculty, then she would be listed there.
I suspect the claim to be Associate Faculty at Harvard is untrue.
Harvard University are not going to appoint someone with zero academic qualifications to an Associate Faculty position.
It is one thing to fool the Welsh Labour Party into believing you are a great thinker — it is quite a different thing to fool a top US University.
The ‘Future Generations Act’ is an awful piece of legislation. We tried to prevent a building in the centre of Dolgellau being turned into a Huge Holiday Home by a Mancunian businessman. The planning application was correctly rejected by Gwynedd Council.
The businessman appealed and the adjudicator at the Welsh Office found in his favour by arguing that the Future Generations Act meant that it was permitted — as economic activity generated by the Huge Holiday Home would benefit future generations.
It is a bit like passing a “Happiness Act” and then saying evening in the world is happy because you have legislated for it. And anything that makes someone happy is then permitted because you can appeal to the Happiness Act.
Only Welsh Labour would fall for such transparent nonsense.
Jane Davidson has a truly appalling and negative effect on Wales.
The Future Generations (Wales) Act 2015 in Wales is very similar to the “Homestead Act 1862” in the United States. The aim of this was to encourage people to move west. All you had to do is be a ‘family’, which excluded indigenous peoples as they weren’t married in a church, and then claim that you could farm it for 5years, pay a registration fee, and claim 65 hectares of land, just like an OPD qualification.
A person with real,worthwhile qualifications wouldn’t waste his/her time peddling all these fake theories and ideas. It’s no better than those Nazis who thought they were descended from some superhuman forefathers. They’ve taken a basic appealing set of ideas about the environment and lifestyles and made them into some kind of irrefutable “laws”- complete and utter bollocks served up with a dressing of bullshit. If that’s the best Chef Davidson and her mates can dish up then it’s a pretty miserable diet all round.
… and the same goes for that Rewilding fantasy. The only people would should engage in rewilding, if they so wish, are those farmers and communities inareas where there is scope and value in undertaking such projects. Keep the colonists out.
She has spoken at Harvard, in 2017, but that seems to be all. Note that she’s billed as ‘Ph.D.’ Is that her honorary degree from Ponty Poly?
Jac, that agrees with my reading.
She spoke once at a conference in Harvard. She may have been invited, but she may’ve also invited herself. Who knows?
However, that is very different from being Associate Faculty, a claim that is repeated on many sites.
(Caution, the site contains a garish photograph of her).
If Jane were Associate Faculty at Harvard, she would be listed on the University’s webpages.
The claim of a position of Associate Faculty carries kudos as it suggests she is employed by Harvard because of her expertise.
I expect that is wholly untrue.
She is not employed by Harvard. And she has no expertise worth imparting.
Davidson sounds a little like a friend of mine. He was always “academically challenged”, and left school at 15 with no qualifications. After some years, he emigrated to New Zealand, then a short while ago, he appeared on Facebook, in which he described himself as an engineer with a degree from “Manchester University”. Some gentle probing revealed that his “Manchester University Degree” was obtained by return of post from “Manchester University, Massachusetts”, a post box run by a charlatan selling degree certificates. His degree is as fake as his (recently purchased) family coat of arms.
More likely a D.Phil, although I was not aware that those were handed out without some record of peer reviewed research. Very common bauble is the D.Litt which is often a gift to likes of politicians or “influencers” who have managed to divert funds to the awarding institution. Did Davidson in her time at the Bay contrive to get some special funds moved up the A470 ? Did she squeeze someone gently so that he was compelled to make a generous gesture ? Someone will have that knowledge tucked up his/her sleeve.
Jane Davidsons new role as director of the newly formed Wales Institute for Sustainability at the University of Trinity St Davids was in a field related to her previous responsibilities as Environment Minister. The independent advisory committee on business appointments said she breached the ministerial code by not informing them when she applied for the job. Here’s a video of her performing on the Jane and Sophie show at the Hay-on-Wye Literary Festival in summer 2016.
Sophie Howe was appointed Future Generations Commissioner for Wales in February of that year. Sophie was of course the failed Labour candidate in Cardiff North in the 2007 Senedd elections (while working for PCC Alun Michael) but was subsequently rewarded with the £93kpa commissioner job as shown, a role created by the Future Generations Act.
It doesn’t matter which area of Welsh public and political life we look into we soon encounter Labour Party corruption and cronyism. It pervades Welsh life.
I understand that Jane Davidson was Err, very friendly with Alun Michael, when they were on Cardiff Council.
Furzehill Farm, a small bungalow with about twenty acres, was listed by Rees Richards. The bungalow has an agricultural restriction, for either someone who works or has retired from working in agriculture. The Bungalow was sold and the land was relisted, again by Rees Richards. The land was bought by someone in Brighton.That land is now used by Cae Tan CSA.
Jac, please watch out for Roy Church. He is an unscrupulous Solicitor and a Grant Junky. He to the best of my knowledge, has applied and been given lots of public money for a number of projects, including Gower Heritage Center. But it’s still damned shabby and looks as if no money has been spent.
Maybe Furzehill gave Rees Richards the idea to advertise Cwm-Garenig as being suitable for an OPD.
Gower is a quirky place not the landscape but the people who live there
The Gower Society of which many members are from away want to keep it exactly how it is with new changes
Then there are the new entrants who say they are there to protect the landscape and are environmentally friendly but have a community based enterprise to promote but how community friendly they are is questionable – funded through grants / companies / self promotion / questionable profit distribution
These people as you point out seem to be woven through all the networks of rural development and tourism all siting on the boards and committees so they are in the fore front of anything going to help their so called businesses – grants / loans / initiatives etc.
A spokesman for Some Lives Matter issued a statement declaring that the recent atrocities in Reading and Glasgow have been overlooked as they failed to meet his organisation’s threshold relating to white violence on ethnic minorities. He went on to say that white people were fair game as they had more money than minorities and any less well off whites caught up in such attacks were “reasonable collateral damage”. Shucks, awful nice of them to explain it all.
There’s an abattoir at Cross Hands and they have a ‘specialist line’. It’s the sort of place you take your yards kept rare breed pig to be slaughtered separately, for a fee. They also process the paperwork and you pick up the carcass in a van the same day. Further processing such has hang and mature, salting, smoking and butchering the carcass needs to be done in your own refrigerated unit and I suspect this is what Mark and Ann Oriel plan to do near Llansteffan using the OPD scam as a work-around for planning permission. I’m not convinced that vegan bacon has just been invented, or there are any reliable parameters for OPD compliant livestock husbandry. It’s a wheeze.
Vegan bacon can only be sold as such when it’s certified as produced from organic, grass fed, low-flying pigs. Not seen any of late.
On a more serious note, the proliferation of OPD’s and similar grant-gobbling ventures has strong cultural links to the broader woke movement. These are all people who regard themselves as the sole arbiters of good judgement in all matters be it lifestyle, economics, politics, technology, race, education, culture, heritage, art, music etc etc. A notable example of such self regard in the past was dear old Adolf and his senior team but for some reason they don’t like anyone drawing that conclusion. Perhaps they should spend time in Iran or North Korea and see what sort of grant aid they might drum up in those countries !
Whist I normally read Jac o’r North I find our comments re. OPD Llansteffan quite disturbing. You do appear to have done a lot of research but unfortunately a lot of it is just incorrect. Marc Oriel is very well known locally as a very succesful physiotherapist in St. Clears, and much appreciated by all the local rugby clubs. I think Marc is a native of Crymych (?) and has always had a huge interest in rearing animals on land he owned in that area. Has he a local farming background – very possibly? He has always run his physiotherapy business on a part time basis (2/3 times a week) so that he could devote enough time to his farming interests. As to his “direct neighbours” in Llansteffan – they are a local Welsh speaking family who have lived here for 25+ years with a child in the local school and have always been active in community life. Your assertion that a “woman from Sketty” owns Pentowyn may be technically correct as the family are originally from Swansea and the property must have been registered from there when originally bought 20/30 years ago. But you are inferring that the property is “probably” run by “a woman from Sketty” could not be further from the truth. And yes, they have a holiday business run from the farm and have converted a couple of outbuildings as holiday lets but that is very common in such a popular tourist area. I have no personal connection to either the Oriels or Pentowyn farm apart from being treated by Marc many years ago, and I sing in a choir with the owner of Pentowyn Farm. I read your column regularly but I must admit I’m starting to doubt some of your articles as I KNOW that your research in this particular case is just plain wrong. Byddwch yn fwy gofalus yn y dyfodol – Phil Edwards
I wrote, “The farm buildings and the land down as far as the road are owned by a woman living in Sketty, Swansea”, which is what the Land Registry documents say. What’s the problem with that? And what are you trying to say with, “But you are inferring that the property is “probably” run by “a woman from Sketty” could not be further from the truth.” I don’t ‘infer’ anything of the kind.
You seem to be missing the point. The article is about the OPD system and the abuse of that system. It doesn’t matter if Mark Oriel is from Crymych or Cwmrhydyceirw, or if he’s a direct descendant of Owain Glyndŵr. The issue is why Tao Wimbush is involved, and why Mark Oriel is using OPD when he could surely apply for planning permission through the normal channels.
Stick to the point.
Mark Oriel is local boy, joined the army as a fitness instructor and had a specific role rehab for injured solders. On leaving the army he worked for the fire brigade up until 2000, and then did a cycling trip around the UK in 2005, in aid of the Royal British Legion. It’s his colleague at the Sports Injury Clinic, Ifan Phillips. He’s from Crymych.
The smallholding that Mark Oriel now holds in Carmarthenshire is looking for a use. The income from renting out his holiday cottages is purely seasonal. Mark is does a bit of acupuncture treatment, which is probably where he got to know the ‘faith healers’ of the Lammas Earth Centre. I also suspect he’s been renting out his pigs as preparation land churners for hippy communes after they’ve clear felled.
How to do it in your kitchen, 2013.
It’s with their tutorage he’s hatched the idea on an OPD under-the-counter planning application for refrigerated units to house his specialist butchery venture. He’s about the age when his army pension will kick in, and looking for an off-season hobby business.
In 2014 he ran some ‘training courses’ in ‘field butchery’. £150 per person. The product could not be sold into the food chain so it was on the basis of the attendee of the ‘training course’ getting to keep all their own meat, once prepared.
Another property at Clynderwen, Pembrokeshire.
The reality is that there are loads of small farms in West Wales who would have to submit genuine planning permission for such a business. Like specialist cheese dairies. The barrier for entry is the expense of refrigeration and equipment to pay up front and it’s a nightmare as it’s conditional on food standards and local authority inspections for selling into the human food chain.
OPD is a neat way of circumventing the planning stage and avoiding the up-front fixed asset capital cost by setting up a ‘eco training school’ nothing to do with Pancetta Sir Gâr saving the planet.
Is that not the truth, Phil?
Oh, God! Not another Bore Grylls.
It’s becoming clear that Tao Wimbush has set himself up as an adviser helping people use OPD in order to circumvent the planning laws. Given the Whitland connection with the Dunvant ‘farmlets’ I suspect his hand in this too. How many others are there?
This is a serious development that planning departments need to be aware of. There’s little point in appealing to those clowns in Corruption Bay because it’s all their fault. But there must come a point when Wimbush breaks the law. Let’s be ready for it.
I’m not sure you’re right about the holiday cottages belonging to Oriel, Brychan.
A few people reminded me this afternoon how the OPD nonsense started. It was at Brithdir Mawr, when a bunch of hippies led by a Julian Orbach bought a farm near Newport in 1993, set up a commune in the woods without telling anyone, and it wasn’t spotted until someone flew over it in 1998. There was a long legal case (they’d built without permission in a National Park) but they were eventually given retrospective planning permission. OPD started from there.
Orbach still owns the site and is threatening to evict those who lease from him unless they cough up a lot of moolah.
Someone also told me a story about Tao Wimbush. Does he still have the boat, I wonder?
Julian Orbach now lives with his new partner in Bradford-on-Avon, having moved there in June 2014. He’s been commissioned to revise the “Wiltshire” volume of the Buildings of England series. The now estranged wife, Emma, still lives in her own enclave at Brithdir Mawr.
Agnes-Willow Orbach one daughter now lives in London, Martha, the other daughter moved to Norfolk, and their son Reuben now lives in Brighton, East Sussex. Julian the father, being the landowner, is asking for £1millon in cash for the Brithdir Mawr freehold and has threatened the commune with eviction.
How many organic carrots do you need to sell to raise a million quid but still claim band A council tax?
You’re right, Jac. Tao’ s credentials are laid out on this website wherein he offers himself up as someone who can help others through the planning minefield. He’s an expert on One Planet Developments, don’t you know?
In a post-Covid world, with the property press already talking of an exodus from the English cities looking for an alternative lifestyle, I think we are going to see more and more of these OPD scams.
The worry is that Wimbush isn’t just advising people wanting OPDs, he’s also advising people on how to abuse OPD legislation to get planning permission that might be impossible if it was done ‘honestly’.
I suspect that Steve Croaker is the biochemist at Bristol University. He specialised in plant hormones at Long Ashton Research Station (LARS), until 2003 when it closed. They had a particular interested in apple trees for cider.
He now is a lab manager for undergraduate students and for “outreach” work. It is strange that he claims to be a ‘Captain’, but he’s probably got an inferiority complex in not getting a Phd. His current activity appears to be taking undergraduate students on field trips to orchards.
I’m not so sure, it’a a different spelling. He’s Croker, but the name on the form is Croaker. And then there’s the ‘Captain’.
Yes, that’s Croaker. However, the form is unsigned, and that’s how you’d write the name if taken over the phone. The alternative spelling of Crocker (as in earthenware) appears in the pre-planning guidance. I suspect the actual name is Croker, pronounced verbally, as Croaker.
The pre-planning request for guidance says “Capt. Crocker has a direct linkage to the site. He grew up working on the farm and the property which was leased for over 50 years by his uncle Mr. Gordon Reynolds. Mr. Reynolds was a key player in returning the land back to agricultural usage in the 1950’s.”
The funeral report for “REYNOLDS Gordon Raymond Cyril died peacefully in his sleep on Wednesday, December 25th. Gordon, formerly of Killan Fach Farm, Dunvant and latter of Mill Terrace, Pantyffynnon. Dearly beloved husband of the late Jean, loving father of Raymond and wife Lynette and Dawn and husband John, a cherished grandfather and great-grandfather.”
It is likely to be the case that last year a power of attorney was exercised over the affairs of a frail great-grandfather, and the family decided to hand the lease of the farm to a person with prior knowledge of the workings property, that being the nephew. Croaker/Croker/Crocker has then opted for a speculative OPD venture.
I’m sure you’re right about Crocker/Croaker/Croker but why is he involved at all?
The freehold land to the south of Killan Road is owned by Dunvant SBG Ltd through title number WA289901. This is confirmed by the charge of August 2002 held by HSBC against Dunvant SBG Ltd.
It appears that the elusive Captain Croaker has been found. He’s not the Bristol academic but a resident of Parkmill, Swansea, and a pilot, presumably with designs on the airfield and common land surrounds.
It’s interesting that Captain Croaker’s company changed its name from Gower Badger Vaccination Group to Cefn Gwlad Solutions. There was an ill fated attempt by the Welsh Government to replace it’s proposed badger cull in north Pembrokeshire with a badger vaccination programme to tackle bovine tuberculosis.
Whether cull or vaccinate, both rely on an isolated pocket of the badger population. This is surrounded by ‘peterbation boundaries’, sea, range of mountains, or urban boundary where male badgers don’t wander to infect outside the pocket. Gower is one such pocket.
Unlike culling, which requires a team of farmers with rifles, the vaccination leaves the badger alive so you need a trap, vaccinate and tag process. It’s a pointless waste to vaccinate a badger more than once. You need to be licensed to trap a badger as it’s a protected species, the license being issued by NRW, the Welsh Government. It’s also the case that the vaccine, replicated under commercial license funded by the Welsh Government in laboratories (at Aberystwyth University?) is expensive to make.
The reason why badger vaccination failed is because (a) it was so expensive that once the first batches became available, the supply of vaccine dried up, and (b) the badger population did not co-operate as they reproduce by delayed embryo implantation so it’s impossible to have a systemic vaccination of newborns.
When the first batch of vaccine became available there was great disquiet in the farming community as the contract was awarded ‘under the table’ to phoenix companies rather than issue trap and release training and licenses to farmers. I believe that Captain Croaker’s company was set up to cash in on this lucrative opportunity which involves ‘networking’ with Welsh Government ministers, although the accounts show that the vaccine ran out before decent profit could be made.
Other opportunities now present, hence the name change to Cefn Gwlad Solutions.
That probably explains why the company’s address moved from Swansea to Aberystwyth, a town that is a focus for dollops of public funding. And if they’re no longer in the badger vaccination business then what business are they in, because the SIC is vague in the extreme?
In the original start-up, he teamed up with a retired vet. When the badger vaccination project failed the company moved to Aberystwth and two more directors joined the board. A currently registered equine vet from the west Carmarthenshire and a chap well known in the livestock certification business from Ceredigion. I suspect the new venture relates to the dilemma hobby animal husbandry in OPD will have in maintaining organic status of their charge whilst at the same time as gaining access to antibiotic or vaccination jabs.
I know, I attended a friends appeal, that not all OPD’s are allowed. My guess is that they were the wrong sort of hippy! Tao Wimbush was there, some people have the look but not the lifestyle.