Poor Wales: magnet for property spivs, fraudsters, and enviroshysters

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

I’m kicking off with an update of last week’s piece about the old Gwynfryn mansion near Llanystumdwy. The ‘main course’ will be a fuller account of the crooks behind the Glynllifon project on Ynys Môn. But I’ve also slipped in a couple of tit-bits: news of the latest windfarm, and the curious business career of the guy at the centre of the cladding scandal in Corruption Bay.

GWYNFRYN

To recap: Plas Gwynfryn / Gwynfryn Plas is a 19th century gentry mansion near Llanystumdwy that ended up as a hotel and was badly damaged by fire in 1982. Since when it has lain empty. Deteriorating.

As I reported last week, plans have recently emerged to convert the old pile into ’30 residential units’.

A planning application has been submitted by Partington & Associates Ltd on behalf of DM Property Group Ltd with David George Taylor a director of both companies. The details can be found by following this link.

Image: Daily Mail. Click to enlarge

The Gwynfryn ruin itself is owned by Aaron Hill, a self-styled ‘property developer’ who drifted into Gwynedd a decade or more ago. He is an associate of the Duggan family of Bryn Llys, criminals of whom I have written a number of times. Most recently, last month, in Bryn Llys, the Liverpool connection.

Though the ‘developers’ in this instance are Anthony John Wilmott and James Edward Armstrong. The latter has a company called Acquérir Ltd; Wilmott has a few companies of his own; but they get together in Armstrong Wilmott Ltd.

OK, so what’s new?

Let’s go back to the fire in 1982. I’m having this second-hand, of course, but a member of the fire service told a local that the fire was started in a number of different places. Arson was suspected.

Soon after the fire, the owner of Gwynfryn, Philip Andrew Bush, disappeared, and was not seen again until 1995. Around the same time a John Day appeared, apparently acting for Bush, sometimes posing as a prospective buyer.

Day was in fact a scrap dealer and, “Over the next few years he filled the derelict building and grounds with scrap from various locations in the area including the old Butlins, a wood-yard and chapel and many scrap vehicles. This caused great disturbance to the surrounding neighbours”.

Bush seemed to vanish again around 2001/2. Day too, leaving the accumulated junk at Gwynfryn.

Day moved to Llanwnda where he ran a junk/antique business. On the death of his partner a dispute is reported between Day and his late partner’s children, with them getting access to Gwynfryn. I’m told that £20,000 was realised from the 80 tons of metal and vehicles cleared away.

The plastic chairs and other junk from Butlins and elsewhere was left. And is still there.

In the earlier piece I told you, ” . . . in April 1980 a couple named Hooper sold what remained of the Gwynfryn estate to Global Leisure Ltd. In 1995 it was transferred to Magnet International Holdings Ltd, a Guernsey-registered company. Magnet was compulsorily struck off in 2006.”

I have since learnt that on the passing of Magnet International Holdings ownership transferred to Casablanca Investments Inc of Monrovia, Liberia. There are many companies with the same or similar names but I can’t track down that one.

Liberia makes sense given that Bush is said to be in the shipping business. Though some suggest he is not so much a shipping magnate as another scrap merchant. Perhaps involved in this kind of activity.

Also, while Bush may give an address in Switzerland, and perhaps claims to be a tax exile, many believe he lives in England. Kent, to be more exact. And to take exactitude to an even higher lever, the Canterbury-Faversham area.

This Steptoe of the Seven Seas resurfaced again around 2017 and a sale was agreed with Aaron Hill. After which the new owner of Gwynfryn became quite the busy boy, cutting trees, tidying up the drive, and you’ll never guess who helped him – the Bryn Llys gang!

Knowing how altruism weeps from every tattooed and stretched pore I’m sure there was no ulterior motive in them doing this work. Perish the thought!

Then again . . .

To give you some idea of when the latest dynamic duo got involved, Wilmott put out what you see below on his Facebook page 23 April, and Armstrong put out this video a day later.

Click to enlarge

Which means that Wilmott and Armstrong have been involved for at least six months.

It’s also clear that they’ve been dealing with Gwynedd’s planning department, and they’ve found these discussions encouraging. One of them told neighbours that planners are ‘desperate’ to see something done at Gwynfryn.

I do hope this ‘desperation’ hasn’t beguiled the boys into thinking this is in the bag.

Though they might believe they have an ace in the hole. For one of them has stated that there exists legislation allowing old buildings to be developed without restrictions if costs are too high to restore to the building to its original state.

They may believe this gives them carte blanche to do whatever they like at Gwynfryn.

But there are other issues the developers and investors are probably hoping aren’t raised. Which is why I’m raising them!

Image: Google. The entrance to Gwynfryn showing the lodge or gate house. Click to enlarge

For example, there’s the access to Gwynfryn, the only access. Right on a junction. Now this was no problem when the squire was trotting to church of a Sunday in the 1880s; but twenty-first century traffic – especially in the summer months when the ‘residential units’ will be busiest – has to condemn the project to the receptacle marked ‘Trash’.

For I would be surprised, alarmed even, if Cyngor Gwynedd’s Highways Department didn’t have something to say about this accident black spot just waiting to make the front pages of the local weeklies.

Finally, Natural Resources Wales will have to do a bat survey. And although they don’t notice ‘nuclear mud’ when it’s dumped off Cardiff, or iffy timber contracts, they will soon realise that the Gwynfryn ruin is home to many bats.

The bats aren’t alone, for there are owls and other critters to be found in the ruins.

Given the criminals peripheral to this project, and the offshore links, I believe that, to allay the reasonable fears of a number of people, Cyngor Gwynedd must insist that the identity / identities of the investors behind the project be made public.

ANOTHER ‘COMMUNITY OWNED, LOCAL BENEFITS’ WIND FARM. NOT

Do you remember those far-off days when devolution was young, gambolling in the yet empty meadows of Cardiff Bay? When there was hope in the collective Cymric breast as we looked forward to a new era of progress and prosperity?

No, nor me.

Though I do recall that when the ‘Welsh Government’ started implementing the legislation that it insisted was to be our contribution to saving the planet we were promised bounty unlimited in terms of jobs and benefits for hard-pressed rural communities and post-industrial urban areas.

This was the sugar to sweeten the pill of tearing up our forests and peat bogs to plant thousands of wind turbines. And it probably explains Natural Resources Wales, which came into existence, fittingly, on All Fools’ Day 2013.

Since then it’s been a succession of wind farms across the land owned by hedge funds, companies nobody’d heard of ’til they crossed the Dyke, government-owned companies from Germany and Scandinavia, with the only Welsh beneficiaries being hard-pressed – sometimes absentee – landlords.

And now there’s to be another, on Mynydd Margam, above Port Talbot. Though it was announced over a year ago only now is the opposition organising. And that opposition seems to include local Tory MS Suzy Davies.

Image: Beryl Richards. Mynydd Margam. Click to enlarge

Perhaps to vary the mix, this particular project is a joint English-Irish venture. From Ireland we have state-owned ESB, while from England (possibly Scotland) we have Coriolis Energy Ltd.

But of course, no Welsh involvement.

The only director of Coriolis is David Charles Murray, who doubles up as secretary. The company is in debt. Murray is also secretary-director of the Vale of Leven Wind Farm Ltd, a company formed in July last year.

But perhaps both come under the umbrella of Coriolis Energy Developments LLP. Yes, a Limited Liability Partnership, which itself was only formed in July 2019.

There are other Coriolis companies associated with Murray, but they’re either too new to have filed accounts, or they’re in the red, or, in the case of Coriolis Renewable Energy Ltd – the oldest of the Murray Coriolis companies – it was dissolved in 2015.

There’s not a lot there to inspire confidence. Little experience and less money. So why has Murray got the Margam Mountain gig? Well, boys and girls, I suspect he has connections . . . in London.

Which brings me back to Natural Resources Wales. For NRW has given permission for this new wind farm on land it owns.

If you look at the NRW board, then from the chairman down, you’ll find people who would have had trouble finding Wales on a map. That’s because they’ve been appointed by someone, or some committee, outside of Wales.

If we go back to the origin of the NRW, it’s widely known that the new agency took over the responsibilities of Forestry Commission Wales, The Countryside Council for Wales and Environment Agency Wales. What is less well known is that NRW also took powers from the ‘Welsh Government’ – yet we are asked to believe that NRW answers to the buffoons in Corruption Bay!

No, Natural Resources Wales was set up at the instigation of London to facilitate the kind of developments we’re looking at here. But not only wind turbines.

For once you realise the nature of the beast, other things become clear. Such as the matter I hinted at earlier, why NRW was so easily satisfied that mud being dumped off Cardiff from Hinkley Point nuclear power station is safe.

It’s because the word came down – to both NRW and the ‘Welsh Government’ – that the decision had been made. Accept it!

Why couldn’t the ‘Welsh Government’ have set up a company to design and build wind turbines in Wales? It could have created a few thousand jobs and kept a lot of money in the country. And if we’d been good at it, then that company could have competed for contracts around the world.

I’ll tell you why – because that’s not how a colony is allowed to operate.

GLYNLLIFON, YNYS MÔN

Last month I wrote about a development at Marianglas on Ynys Môn. Click here and scroll down to section ‘Glynllifon Ltd’. I suggest you read it to avoid me having to repeat myself, again.

More information has been received. Much more. It’s pretty disturbing to realise that creatures like those you’re going to read about are walking around free. Worse, that they can still find ways to invest money they don’t officially possess.

Money they’ve conned out of decent, hard-working people.

The two I’m going to write about are Neil Moir, a native of Cheshire now living on Ynys Môn, and Rhys Wyn Williams, a local.

Glynllifon. Click to enlarge

Let’s deal with Neil Moir first.

As we read in this report from 1999: ‘THE winner of top TV quiz Who Wants To Be A Millionaire is set to lose his fortune – because he is a crook.

Millions saw 51-year-old Neil Muir (sic) land a £64,000 prize this week. But under the programme’s rules he is BANNED from entering.

Muir has convictions for theft, deception and forgery. And Rule 6 says: “You must . . . have no criminal convictions (subject to the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974).” London TV company Celador launched an investigation yesterday.’

Moir is a fundamentally dishonest individual. A career con man.

By one route or another he found his way to Bodorgan. From where he now runs a number of companies. Here are some more. But Glynllifon Ltd, which owns the Glynllifon Hotel (click for title document), uses an accommodation address in London.

You’ll see that the purchase was made with loans from one of the many ‘specialist lenders’ in Manchester. This one being Goldcrest Finance Ltd. Remember the name, for we’ll return to it later.

Also worth noting is Moir’s company Impactt Properties Ltd, which changed its name from NE11 Ltd in August 2017. There is significance in the ‘tt’ that will be also become clear.

A few years back Moir got involved with local con man Rhys Williams. I can call him that with certainty. Here’s a report from the Daily Post of Williams’ appearance on Y Byd ar Bedwar, complete with video.

Rhys Williams with his wife, Lisa Alaw (nee Saxon). On the right a poster compiled by a man who has lost hundreds of thousands of pounds to Williams. The reference to ‘sex addict is about a trip made, from Spain to Dubai, in which Williams convinced his companion that the investment was sound. While there, Williams spent a lot of time trying to hook up with, er, hookers. Click to enlarge

And because so many of his victims were resident in Spain, here’s a report from Canarian Weekly. He also made the Olive Press. Note that both reports make sure we know Williams is Welsh!

This is a rather complicated story with the potential to overwhelm and confuse, so I’ll try to simplify it.

1/ Rhys Wyn Williams is a fraudster and a con man. He has ripped off many people and owes millions of pounds.

2/ Much of this criminality took place in Spain and the Gulf of Iran. A great deal of the money was channelled though Dubai.

3/ These criminal assets are now being repatriated back to the UK.

4/ Neil Moir acts as front man, helping launder the criminal assets through property deals.

To confirm the Williams-Impactt-Moir link, the three documents below should help. They’re set out in chronological order.

On the left we see an announcement from January 2016 that Rhys Williams was appointed the legal representative of Impactt General Trading Ltd of Dubai. The document signed by Brian Balachander, director and shareholder of Impactt.

In the centre we see a letter(?) from Neil Moir, using his Bodorgan address, and Impactt headed notepaper, telling Czech company Via Aurata Europaea SE that he is ready to receive the “underwriting fee of £150,000.00”. To be sent to the Commercial Bank of Dubai. The UK face of this company is Via Aurata Ltd, but the only director is resident in the Czech Republic.

On the right you’ll see a capture from the Companies House filings for a company called Golden East Limited. This company brings together Moir and Balachander.

A further link comes with this Impactt document signed by Balachander which uses the same font and logo as on the one below used by Moir.

Click to enlarge

(In case the image is a bit large to handle, it’s also available here in PDF format.)

The address for Golden East is Kemp House, 160 City Road, London EC1V 2NX . . . the same address as Moir’s company Glynllifon Ltd. What’s more it was set up 14 June – just 4 days after Glynllifon Ltd. Such coincidences!

Another Moir company at the same address is Helvetia Finvest Ltd. Incorporated in August last year. The other director was Lode Hendrikx, a Belgian, resident in the Netherlands, who I’m told has done bird in Switzerland.

It should be pointed out that the London operation was just a branch of the main outfit headquartered in Maastricht.

The declared directors of Golden East have been Moir, Balachander and John McKenzie, but when we look at the distribution of the shares we see that a majority is held by Vijay Anandan Somu Rao. So who’s he?

Golden East Ltd shares allocation. Click to enlarge

Before moving on, you might as well know that there is also an Impactt company registered in the Netherlands. No surprise there, then!

As we’ve seen, Glynllifon Ltd was the vehicle set up to buy the Glynllifon hotel in September last year for a claimed £850,000. I emphasise ‘claimed’ because the building is worth half that. But paying over the odds is a classic money-laundering tactic.

Though the money to make the purchase allegedly came from Goldcrest Finance Ltd of Manchester, run by a family of Indian heritage. The other directors are John Charles McGuire and Steven Mark Gildea.

I’m fairly sure that McGuire and Gildea both live in Manchester, but Gildea might be of interest to Welsh readers.

I say that because other companies he’s involved with are: White House (Criccieth) Management Ltd; Aber Flats Management Company Ltd and Gwel yr Afon Ltd.

I’m not for one minute suggested that Gildea is up to no good but he is a director of Goldcrest Finance, and there are certainly questions to be asked of any company getting involved with Neil Moir and Rhys Williams.

Though telling Moir and Williams apart may not always be easy. Because there are those convinced Williams uses Moir’s name. It would make sense, because Williams is a bankrupt twice over, and before hiraeth got the better of him in Marbella he pissed off people it’s unwise to piss off.

However it’s being done, Williams and Moir are trying to launder dirty money through various property deals in north west Wales. Another one is the site of the old Marine Hotel in Caernarfon; on North Road overlooking the Menai.

Click to enlarge

Now you know me, I love to make enquiries . . .

The Marine Hotel site was bought in July this year by Malaysian Invest Ltd, a company giving an address we’re very familiar with – 160 City Road, London EC1V 2NX. The only director of this company is . . . yes, Neil Moir!

(Brian Balachander, of Golden East, has associates in Malaysia.)

The money to make the purchase supposedly came from Broadoak Private Finance Ltd of Abercynon . . . sorry! Manchester. Another of those ‘specialist lenders’ that seem to account for most of that city’s financial sector.

But Moir and Williams don’t need to borrow money. So taking out loans could mean:

  • The lender is a distraction to disguise the fact the buyers already have money
  • The lender will be ripped off (as happened with the loans to those who ended up at Plas Glynllifon. See ‘Weep for Wales’).

There was certainly no need to borrow money in this case. Because if we go back to the title document we see that in 2016 this land (with a couple of adjoining titles) was sold for £300,000. This, I’m told, was a cash purchase by Rhys Williams.

So, either Moir has bought the Marine Hotel site off Rhys Williams or, if Williams is using Moir’s name, then he’s bought it from himself. (Again, echoes of Plas Glynllifon.)

Lies, corruption and money laundering from start to finish. And on an inter-continental scale.

Which is why I insist that, as with Gwynfryn, planners and councillors should demand to know who is ultimately behind every commercial property development. Where is the money coming from?

I wish to thank Adrian Parsons, a victim of Rhys Williams, for his valuable contribution to this report.

Having mentioned Plas Glynllifon at Llandwrog more than once you might be interested to learn that Plas Glynllifon Ltd was finally wound up by an order of the court on 21 September. 

At the end, the company left eight unpaid loans with Together Commercial Finance Ltd – yet another of Manchester’s ‘specialist lenders’.

CLAD IN CONFUSION WITH A DOLLOP OF BULLSHIT

If you’ve been following the news then you’ll know that serious concerns have been raised about cladding on blocks of flats in Corruption Bay. And indeed elsewhere in Wales. But as concerns were taken to local MS Neil McEvoy, and given the number of new apartment blocks in Cardiff, that’s been the focus.

Finding the problem was enough of a worry, but now it’s emerged that the certificates saying everything was hunky-dory were faked. This came to light when one of the residents of Century Wharf became suspicious of the signature on the External Wall Fire Review (EWS1).

Image: WalesOnline. Click to enlarge

This concerned resident rang the surveyor – who was horrified to learn that her signature appeared to be on the form, because she had not signed it.

The inspection was undertaken by Specialist Facade Inspections Ltd, a company set up as recently as last October in Newbridge, Gwent; and with just one director, 22-year-old Joshua Tedstone.

Yet the article linked to says: “Paul Tedstone, chief technical officer of Specialist Facade Inspections, founded the company with his son in October last year. The company offers EWS1 certifications, cladding inspections and remedial works like re-cladding.”

So why isn’t the father a director of the company?

Whatever the answer, Tedstone Snr was adamant that he hadn’t forged the signatures either. And I’ve been told he’s probably right.

Even so, I got to wondering about Tedstone, and his background. What I found out makes for interesting reading. Below is a list of the companies Paul Tedstone has been involved with. Many of them have gone belly-up owing a lot of money.

I suppose it could all be bad luck . . . one episode after another of bad luck. But I find it difficult to believe that anybody could be this unlucky.

Paul Tedstone’s business record can be broken into three parts:

1/ From 1996 he was involved in three companies with a Glenn Dunn, all of which failed, one spectacularly, owing over £1.5m.

2/ From 2011 to 2017 he has parted company with Dunn, yet we see more failed companies, setting new records for debt.

3/ From 2018 Tedstone seems to have teamed up with local businessmen running interlinked companies. (The one exception is Alusafe ACM Ltd.)

Here’s the list of companies Paul Tedstone has been involved with in chronological order by his involvement. (And here’s the table in pdf format with working links.)

Click to enlarge

This story is still being teased out, but few will emerge from it with any credit.

Certainly not the self-styled ‘Welsh Government’, which was given some £60m by Westminster for this very purpose . . . but spent it on something else.

HOW DID WE GET INTO THIS MESS?

For socialists like Labour and Plaid Cymru the 18th and 19th centuries were terrible times, ‘the people’ exploited by ‘evil capitalists’. (Leftists love their labels and their cliches!) And yet . . .

Those ‘evil capitalists’ who owned the mines, the slate quarries, the steel and tinplate works, even the great country estates and the big houses – created hundreds of thousands of jobs. Jobs that supported families, and communities, and a nation.

The countryside was dotted with small, family farms. Homes to Welsh families. Each little harbour had its fishing boats.

God! it must have been awful. Marinas and caravan parks and activity centres and holiday homes and OPDs and managed decline are such an improvement.

Today we are expected to welcome crooks and shysters such as you’ve read about here as ‘investors’. We must accept the wind turbines – all foreign owned! – that trash our hills and increase flooding – but create no jobs – because they contribute to saving the planet!

This is little different to 19th century clergymen urging workers and small farmers to accept their lot because there was some intangible reward at some unspecified time in an indeterminate future.

The real message was that there’s sod all for you in this life, Dai. So just accept your lot. It was, ‘Pie in the sky, by and by.’

And it’s the same message today . . . but without the jobs, and without the little fishing fleets, and with the Welsh family farm under concerted attack from socialist politicians in Corruption Bay and their soap-dodging and rewilding friends.

If exploitation was wrong in earlier centuries why is it acceptable now?

Is it because today we are lied to by a ‘Welsh Government’?

A ‘government’ that behaves no different to a third world kleptocracy in the way it allows the country to be exploited, or stands silent rather than confess its impotence. The only difference being that there are (to the best of my knowledge) no offshore accounts, no French chateaux.

That’s because those idiots in the ‘Welsh Government’ are either too stupid to see that they’re running Wales into the grave, or, it’s deliberate, done in order to maintain the system that has served them for a century: Poor Wales – blame the Tories – vote Labour.

That system has certainly served the Labour Party, but it has not served Wales.

Which is why it’s time to get rid of Labour, and their little helpers in Plaid Cymru, and anyone else who believes that socialism serves anyone other than socialist politicians.

Next May’s elections will be your chance to make a change. Use it by voting for Gwlad or the WNP. They’re Wales’ last hope.

♦ end ♦

 




39 thoughts on “Poor Wales: magnet for property spivs, fraudsters, and enviroshysters

  1. Anonymous

    Diolch Jac, we live in hope that people in Wales grow a spine and change their voting habits come the spring time.

      1. There are, unfortunately, people who will vote Labour no matter what. The same applies to other parties. The secret is to get enough Labour voters to realise that voting Labour has done nothing for Wales.

  2. YBarddCwsc

    Fascinating as always. And very depressing.

    1. I’d be interested in understanding how much money would be needed to redevelop Gwynfryn. I am no expert, but it looks like many millions of pounds.

    Is it even feasible they can recoup this money from sale of residential units? The project looks to me like a disaster of Fyre Festival proportions ?

    Still, Gwynedd Council Planning department really does contain the most credulous suckers on the planet.

    2. Well, the board of Natural Resources Wales is fascinating. Who chooses the members?

    Professor Peter Rigby FRS looks a very clever guy, Cambridge, Stanford, Imperial. And I’m sure he is a distinguished molecular biologist. But, he seems to have no connection with Wales at all — he was not born here, he has never lived here, he has never worked here. And molecular biology is hardly very relevant to the work of NRW. Why?

    David Henshaw again seems to have very modest connections with Wales. But, what a track record!

    He was chief executive at Liverpool City Council but was forced to leave in 2006 over allegations about sensitive documents being leaked to the UK Government. He was appointed as chief executive to a North West NHS Trust. This prompted 22 MPs from the region to write an open letter saying they couldn’t work with him. In 2010, he was appointed as chief executive of Alder Hey hospital, prompting the man tasked with rebuilding the hospital to resign in protest.

    Nothing in Sir David Henshaw’s cv suggests that he has any interest in Wales or expertise in climate change or environmental sciences or agriculture or economics. He has absolutely no relevant qualifications or expertise. Who chooses these people?

    1. That’s the point I was making. Some of these people have no connections with Wales and so you have to wonder who, in Wales, knew them. Which is why I suggest that the appointments to the NRW board are made outside of Wales. One exception, though, might be Mrs Hain, but she’s very well regarded in London as well.

      1. YBarddCwsc

        Here is the answer as to who appointed Henshaw

        http://www.seneddtest.assembly.wales/documents/s93923/Recruitment%20information%20from%20the%20Welsh%20Government.pdf

        If I understand correct, it is:

        Rosie Varley (from Manchester, now resident in Suffolk),

        Tim Render (Nottingham High School, Oxford, Cambridge, apparently resident in London though working for the Welsh Government)

        Julia Cherrett (from North Yorkshire, career at Thames Water, retired to Brecon as Obergruppenführer)

        As you correctly surmised, no Welsh involvement needed.

        I also think it is wrong for the Welsh Government to be using civil servants residing in London. It is taking money out of the country. There are few well paid jobs in Wales, & the occupants of those jobs should reside in Wales. (This problem will get worse with the pandemic encouraging remote working).

        So many of the spivs running Wales make repeated appearances in your blog, and Tim Render is no exception

        https://jacothenorth.net/blog/tag/tim-render/

        where you already surmised — like me — that he appears to live in London.

        1. Dafis

          That info appears to suggest that NO London based recruitment consultants were used. Surprising as our Public Sector has been addicted to spending 10s of thousands on sourcing “top talent” through Search Consultants, who generate a bland mix of the sort of grey suited male and navy suited pearl necklaced females that seem to waltz through a series of high level public sector posts without ever leaving any evidence of notably good performance. These are the duds who can trot out some fine opaque drivel when excusing their employer from yet another major blunder – lessons learned, condolences to families of victims, blah blah. The current top of the charts is Dopey Dido at PHE but I’m sure if you are bothered to look you’ll find loads who can compete with her for that top spot. Enough to make me puke. Just wish there was a senior exec sat near me so that I could do it all over his suit.

            1. Dafis

              Nice to know that sort of thing still catches your eye ! As for coming over all…, well just clean up after youself don’t leave it to the missus !!

        2. I love the bit where Henshaw declares he has no conflicts of interest. Of course not – he doesn’t know Wales! Which I suppose is the ‘justification’ for appointing someone like him . . . ‘clear mind, no preconceptions, fresh start, etc.’ But this only seems to apply in situations like ours. Could you imagine Ireland or Denmark or Lithuania bringing in someone like Henshaw?

          And then you have to go back a bit to ask – who appointed Render and the others?

          1. YBarddCwsc

            Can you imagine Scotland putting up with this?

            Can you see the Scots putting up with a recruitment committee (with no Scottish involvement) electing as the head of Natural Resources Scotland (or its equivalent) someone who isn’t Scottish and has no interest in Scotland.

            Of course not. The Scottish Government is not stupid. It knows how valuable the natural resources of Scotland are.

            This is set from the top. It is the consequence of a pusillanimous Welsh Government that has absolutely no intention of protecting the interest of Wales.

            It is a textbook example of colonialism.

            Three English people select an Englishman to oversee the rape & looting of the natural resources of its colony.

            1. That’s how it’s always been done. Yet I can’t blame those responsible for acting in their country’s best interests. The fault lies in Wales, with the self-styled ‘Welsh Government’. Though I would use words a lot stronger than ‘pusillanimous’ to describe those bastards.

        3. Brychan

          NRW serves no purpose other than to act against Wales and its people. It was the merger of three entities that did have purpose. Commercial forestry, nature conservation and environmental protection. The merger of these three conflicting roles results in a vacuous unaccountable goliath.

          Example of how the Welsh Government floods our communities.

          At Abergwyngregyn there’s been flooding on the A55 and in the village itself. This has been due to NRW. In 2017 they clear felled a huge acreage of conifer trees on the slopes of Llwytmor Bach a few miles upstream. It’s the area between Anafon and

          Here is a photo, 2017, of the damage half way though.

          https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-6uymeBqbqTw/WcltyzPIGzI/AAAAAAACTMA/Cn59w9MOwz4mR1F2730L5VUhD34LjT9rQCLcBGAs/s640/IMG_4962.JPG

          In the foreground is the bracken of the slopes of Moel Wnion, in the middle ground the Coedydd Aber nature reserve, and in the background we see the buttress of Llwytmor, the felled forest and Anafon. The nature reserve and the forestry plantation is owned and managed by NRW.

          Here it is in 2018, satellite view on Google maps. The brown area is the clear felling.

          https://www.google.co.uk/maps/place/Abergwyngregyn,+Llanfairfechan+LL33+0LN/@53.219461,-3.9979031,1682m/data=!3m1!1e3!4m5!3m4!1s0x4865048615da5b13:0x693244a50670335a!8m2!3d53.233669!4d-4.014381

          It takes about two years for the root systems to decay, destabilise the soil structure and provide catastrophic flash flooding run off of the hillside. I predict massive flooding to the village of Abergwyngregyn this winter, which will also lead to the closure of the A55. A similar catastrophe has happened in the south with the clear felling of Coed Morgannwg for the Penycymoedd wind farm. Nothing to do with global warming.

          NRW are an utter shambles. The correct way to harvest a forestry plantation is piecemeal according to demand at highest price, replanting, preferably with deciduous trees, in section, not clear fell the lot with a corrupt below commercial price deal, as has happened here.

          1. Gareth Wyn Jones – celebrity farmer – is on Twitter asking if NRW fannying about with water levels at a local reservoir contributed to the flooding.

            1. Brychan

              Possibly. A dam, even at capacity, acts as a baffle. Without a dam any surge peaks at the same time as all other tributaries experiencing the same surge in rainfall. With a dam in place that surge can be delayed or compounded depending on how it’s managed.

              The volume of flow from a reservoir is determined by the cross section size of the outflow and the ‘head’ or pressure applied at the point of aperture. There are two outflow apertures from Llyn Anafon. The overflow slipway on top of the dam wall, this causes a delay in surge. There is also a draw pipe from the base of the dam, open it and this causes a cancellation of the surge delay. This draw pipe used to supply water to the village and Llanfairfechan but now it just flows directly into the river, just below the dam.

              The cause of the recent flood at Abergwyngergyn may be two fold. When the Anafon bath was full and just using the overflow, Dwr Cymru decided pulled the bath plug. At the same time, on another tributary NRW flushed the loo, this is the clear felling on the slopes of Llwytmor Bach.

              Both causes surge.
              Together this is catastrophic.

              Questions.
              What have they done with the draw pipe setting this year?
              Did they consider the additional surge created by clear felling around other tributaries?

              A bit of recent history – The aperture of the draw pipe at llyn Anafon was opened fully in summer 2013 when Dwr Cymru performed a partial drain of the lake in order to effect some repairs to the dam structure. This caused mud to be exposed below the normal water level causing hazard to livestock (pony and sheep) and also the volume available to fish, which are preyed upon by wildlife (herons). When the repairs were completed the draw pipe was partially closed returning water levels to normal.

              NRW and Dwr Cymru need to provide answers.

  3. Border Dweller

    It appears it’s not only Wales that has its share of dodgy dealers, have you seen the reports about Manni Hussain, perhaps the Serious Fraud office needs to start looking around North Wales, perhaps starting with a hotel in Llangollen to identify the source of the owners wealth

  4. Mel Morgan

    For some useful insights in the origins and dynamics of this milieu and its denizens, I heartily reommend Fran Pearce’s ‘Crimes of the Powerful’. Clear, systematic, and concise: no wonder it was one of my Mam’s favourite books!

    ‘If you want to make a conservative grin, tell him a lie.’ – Dwight D. Eisenhower

    1. Yes, I was surprised to see that. Though in fairness, he does write: “I’m not talking about creating new large-scale tourism developments”.

      1. Dafis

        Most of this kind of editorial is superficially fair. It’s when you start observing what happens afterwards that you get the picture – mostly wide boys with reports scripted by professional advisers ( accountants, PR wonks, even lawyers)who know which buttons to press when scheming past the grey suited muppets down the Bay and in local authorities.

        Am I cynical about all this shit ? Never !

  5. I was an elected Councillor in Wales for 41 years at various levels which included the Unitary County / City level. In recent decades I had cause to deal with various Third Sector Authorities and of course Natural Resources Wales NRW. To put it bluntly and briefly I considered NRW to be rather like an English Parish Council. Before my critics jump in, let me state a FACT (not a boast) that I was elected top of the polls in my Ward for 41 years against all comers. Initially I stood for Plaid Cymru, when Gwynfor and Wigley led Plaid, and then later as an Independent.
    My predecessor had been a Communist. So I must have been doing my job correctly. I retired undefeated over three years ago and have a very able successor – a Conservative lady hill farmer.
    I am giving my name in old age not to hide behind anonymity. Yes, NRW are less useful than an English Parish Council !

    1. YBarddCwsc

      Parish Councillors are not normally paid. The NRW remuneration packages are here

      https://cdn.cyfoethnaturiol.cymru/media/689898/annual-report-and-accounts-2018-2019.pdf?mode=pad&rnd=132109404760000000

      If I am reading page 63 right, the total wage bill for NRW is 75.5 million pounds.

      The reimbursement for the executive team is on page 60. Chief executive 135k, the deputies 100k. There is much talk of substantial accrued pension benefits, pay-off bungs, etc.

      Still, we can’t have the chief exec going without. And there was a danger!

      https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-politics-53348204

      So Drakeford has shoved them another 5 million to make up for money lost on their dodgy timber business.

  6. Sarah B

    Money for shysters and con men hidden in the NDF. People outside of Corruption Bay this is what your government really thinks about you.

    In the Consultation Report for the latest NDF iteration aka Future Wales is the WG response to criticisms about their renewable energy policies.

    4.6.36 The Arup report was commissioned by the Welsh Government in 2018 and
    used a commonly-used methodology for mapping constraints to identify the
    most suitable areas for large scale wind and solar. These constraints were
    discussed and agreed with stakeholders through four workshops, which
    occurred in the autumn of 2018, before modelling of the areas commenced.
    Representations have queried the additional use of residential properties as
    an additional constraint along with road, railway and river corridors. Arup have
    undertaken additional modelling which demonstrates that this would rule out
    much of Wales and is therefore it is unfeasible to do this. This is particularly
    so where residential properties could be purchased or form part of an
    ownership agreement to make a scheme acceptable to nearby residential
    properties, therefore requiring a smaller or no buffer to be used.

    Remember the flooding of villages and farms in the name of progress? Apparently we must now sacrifice our homes for carbon targets so that those outside Wales can get rich. This is already happening but under the radar, now it has government endorsement.

    Can’t wait for the election.

  7. Dafis

    Daily dose of dross from the promoters of our ultra caring sanctuary image.

    https://nation.cymru/opinion/we-must-fulfil-our-moral-duty-and-embrace-refugees-who-are-seeking-safety-and-sanctuary/

    What ever the merits of rolling out the welcome mat to the deserving cases, the failure of these myopic souls to take into account the underprovision of decent accommodation for our own people that are stuck on the margins is unbelievable. Add to that their inclination to take everybody on board regardless of some questionable motives and we will end up with a very unhappy situation. Simple solution – sort out housing etc for needy people already resident, weed out some of the dysfunctional folk dumped out of England, and we should then be able to figure out some space and quality services for new arrivals. That’s what I call proper sanctuary not some flippant gesture from a muddled Liberal.

    1. No doubt hoping Carwyn can get him hand-outs from the ‘Welsh Government’ for his plants at Tredegar and Newport.

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