Staying in Llangefni


I never thought I’d be saying this, but following the previous post on the sale of the Shire Hall, we are staying in Llangefni!

The old town took a bit of a hit last month with the closure of the Marco Cable Management plant. Losing 40 jobs may not seem like a big deal to many of you, but in a small town like Llangefni it matters a lot. And just a few years earlier there had been more than 70 working there.

As recently as September 2015 the company was talking of expanding. And here’s general manager Brian Pigott talking to BBC Wales earlier that year in a similarly optimistic mood.

So what went wrong?

An old friend back in Swansea was moved to write to the self-styled ‘Welsh Government’ asking if Marco Cable Management had received any public funding. Or rather, how much funding, because it could almost be guaranteed that funding was provided as an inducement for the company to set up on Ynys Môn in 2003.

The reply he got from the Department for Economy and Transport (Prop. K. Skates) can be read here. You’ll see that the company received at least £1,191,771.68. In addition, there was funding from the county council and HSBC.

Though it was the parent company Marco Gearing Ltd that received the funding. Which I thought was a bit odd, so I went to the Companies House website to check on them both. I learnt that Marco Gearing Ltd was formed in April 2002, while Marco Cable Management Ltd was born July 2003.

Something else I thought was odd – though it probably explains the funding going to the parent company – was that throughout its existence Marco Cable Management Ltd, the name under which the factory operated, was a dormant company.


Let’s start at the beginning, with parent company Marco Gearing Ltd. What does the name mean? Who or what is Marco? And does ‘Gearing’ refer to a gear system on a car or machine or is it used here in the financial sense?

From the start on 9 April 2002, Lillian Turner MacGregor of Betws yn Rhos, Abergele was a director of the company, with chartered accountant Philip Matthew Deakin as secretary, but he left 24 May. (Deakin has been involved in many companies since Marco Gearing.)

Deakin was replaced by Andrew Ian MacGregor as secretary, and in November the family group was completed by Ian Charles MacGregor coming aboard as the second director. For I suspect that Ian Charles is Lillian Turner MacGregor’s husband and Andrew Ian is their son.

July 2003, coinciding with the launch of Marco Cable Management Ltd, saw both a major share issue and Terry Deakin of Colwyn Bay joining the board. After Deakin’s arrival the share distribution was 230,000 with Ian Charles MacGregor, 120,010 with Lillian Turner MacGregor and 50,000 each with Deakin and his wife Janet.

Deakin’s other active directorship was with the National Zoological Society of Wales, better known as the Welsh Mountain Zoo in Colwyn Bay. Though he had been in business for himself with a number of companies. It could be that the Deakin we met earlier, who served briefly as secretary, is his son.

There were two further appointments to the board of Marco Gearing on 22 April 2010. These were Bernard James Pigott (the ‘Brian’ of the video?), and Paul Stewart Diggins of Buckinghamshire, who may have been the sales director.


Turning to Marco Cable Management Ltd, the sole director, from Incorporation 17 July 2003 was Lillian Turner MacGregor, with Andrew Ian MacGregor as secretary.

There were just 9 shares and these were held by Mrs MacGregor, with what appears to be a further issue of a single share a year later in 2004.

And that was it, the company filed accounts for a dormant company every year, there were returns filed showing the shareholder, and then, on 18 May 2017, we saw the MacGregors step down and two new directors arrive. These were Carl Edward Jones and Paul Graham Merrick.

So who are Messrs Jones and Merrick, who also joined Marco Cable Management Ltd on the same day?


On 7 July 2017 all the shares in Marco Gearing Ltd were transferred to Unistrut Ltd of West Bromwich. (Though it took until 11 April 2018 before the information was notified to Companies House.) Unistrut Ltd is a subsidiary of Atkore International, of Chicago.

The takeover of the Marco group shown in the Unistrut figures. Image courtesy of Endole. Click to enlarge.

Which means that some time between May and July 2017 the Llangefni factory of Marco Cable Management Ltd was taken over by an American company – but no one seemed to notice! Or rather, there are a number of references to the takeover in the specialist press – here, here and here – but I can find nothing reported in the ‘Welsh media’.

Didn’t our Welsh journalists know? Did the workforce in Llangefni know? Did the council and the ‘Welsh Government’ – both owed money by the Marco group – know that the decision on whether a Welsh factory closed now lay with faceless men in Chicago?

The MacGregor family sold out to an acquisitive and ruthless US corporation that they must have known would soon close down a competitor in a peripheral location. Did they feel no obligation to the workers who had given so much?

It seems that Carl Jones, who joined Atkore in 2011 has spent the years since then acquiring UK companies such as Marco Cable Management Ltd for his American bosses. The most recent would seem to be Modern Associates Ltd. Again, working with Paul Merrick.

And we have no defence whatsoever against predators like these. I’m surprised they didn’t ask the ‘Welsh Government’ for a grant to close down the factory. I’m sure they would have been given one.


So another factory closes, more Welsh workers lose their jobs, Cyngor Ynys Môn has lost money, so has the ‘Welsh Government, and there remain two outstanding debentures held by HSBC Bank against Marco Gearing Ltd (which might account for the ‘liabilities’ in the graphic above).

Just another paragraph in the ever-growing volume ‘How Not to Run an Economy’, by the ‘Welsh Government’.

I’m writing this on the day that Citizen Woodhouse made the news again. The man who bought Welsh hotels then sold the rooms off individually with the promise of huge returns. A child of four could have seen that he was a con artist, but the ‘Welsh Government’ promised him £500,000 for his Caer Rhun hotel near Llanrwst, and then, because they lack the critical reasoning of a four-year-old, those clowns down Corruption Bay gave him a few hundred acres of public land for his Afan Valley Adventure Resort.

Click to enlarge

In the previous post we looked at the sale of Llangefni’s Shire Hall to The Man From God Knows Where* who, according to North Wales Live, is a wheeling-dealing miracle-worker set to bestow the riches of the Orient on poor old Llangefni.

Just over the water we have the crooks of Bryn Llys; and just a few miles from them is Plas Glynllifon and the Williams gang, now being replaced by Myles Cunliffe and his cohorts. Further east we see Clwyd and the A55 corridor being turned into Commuterland.

Elsewhere we have zip wires, or hippies, or retirees, or social dumping, or . . .

There’s room, and funding, jobs and housing, for everybody . . . except us Welsh.

I’m told that the Brummie manager of Transport for Wales’ Machynlleth depot has just hired an apprentice – from Blackburn! Despite any number of local lads wanting the job.

Wales is being overrun and colonised but never mind, let’s suck up to Guardian readers by doing a deal with the party that will back a minority Tory government and revoke the Government of Wales Act.

Down south the news is no better. TVR will not be coming to Ebbw Vale, and Aston Martin is about to go belly-up. Cardiff airport is in the wrong place – but never mind, let’s pour in more public money.

Decisions made by arseholes. And hypocrites. The kind of people who condemn others for withholding the truth or subverting democracy while protecting themselves and their lobbyist and third sector friends by refusing us the truth on the circumstances surrounding Carl Sargeant’s death.

Wales doesn’t need any more elections or referendums, what we need is a revolution of the soul, to reject this whole stinking colonialist system, and those down Cardiff Bay who profit from maintaining it.

♦ end ♦

*The Man From God-Knows Where is a poem, one of Cayo’s favourites.


18 thoughts on “Staying in Llangefni

  1. Stan

    Carwyn Jones reckons yesterday’s events in the Senedd were the worst day for decent politics there in 20 years. I thought he was a national embarrassment as First Minister but there’s really no need for him to audition for a job as a village idiot, not on his pension. If you can see his Twitter feeds, it’s worth a look – just to see how he he was schooled by Mark Reckless.

  2. Anonymous

    Brexit Bites – take the money and run; next stop airbus in flint.

    Watch John Harris in Stoke, 3.13 minutes in the Dudson – the pottery manufacturer in Stoke has closed down with the loss of nearly 500 jobs. Management voted remain, staff leave. Would have been good if John Harris had tracked down some of the staff to ask them how they felt about the closure of the factory due to brexit uncertainty.

    1. Mel Morgan

      À propos obliquely to the above et hoc omne genus, I trust that as many of us as possible will tune in to Mr. Neil McEvoy’s nrws conference this morning.

        1. Mel Morgan

          I trust that we shall soon be reading Jac’s pronouncement “urbi et orbi* on matters arising from yesterday’s press conference.

      1. Brychan

        The plenary session this afternoon was also interesting. Elin Jones accused Neil McEvoy of shouting while he was drinking a glass of water. The shouts were from elsewhere in the chamber.

        I see that South Wales Police have been asked if there has been a contravention of Section 170 of the Data Protection Act 2018. This relates to Neil McEvoy ‘covert recording’ of sexist and abusive comments uttered by Roderick Evans the Senedd Standards Commissioner. Unlike both the Westminster and Scottish parliaments no specific legislation applies to the Assembly estate other than ‘official proceedings’ under crown remit, like a plenary vote to exclude for private session.

        The law that does apply to Roddy is here.

        There are THREE separate applicable defences against such a charge.
        170(2)c. person acted in the public interest.
        170(3)a. person acted in the reasonable belief that he had legal right to do so.
        170(3)c. source was of journalistic interest (and not sold) in the public interest.

        I have no doubt whatsoever that Roderick Evans would have himself obtained such nuanced legal opinion and that he subsequently resigned due to ‘not having a leg to stand on’. So would Elin Jones have had such advice. Not only is her report of this as a crime to South Wales Police ridiculous, it is wasting police time.

        So who’s the crocodile?

        1. Stan

          The former First Minister seemed particularly concerned that there might have been bugging devices employed at work. He’ll sleep easier tonight now that Neil has fessed up it was only his mobile phone set to record. Here’s his tweet.

          “If there’s going to be a sweep of the Assembly estate does that mean that they suspect that bugging devices have been placed unlawfully in different locations?”

        2. Brychan

          Update 13/11/2019. Neil McEvoy has confirmed that he has received confirmation, in writing, from South Wales Police, that he is not being investigated by them over the matter of ‘covert recording’. No crime took place. It is not a police matter.

          1. Mel Morgan

            Glad to hear that SWP will not be wasting the public’s money on a caper that our Scots cousins would call wrongous.

        3. Brychan

          There is an accusation at 23:30 can be seen in the press conference recorded yesterday by Neil McEvoy AM. He says that Michael Deem in his role as his former office manager had entered secure room and broke into a locked filing cabinet, unauthorised, he then took photos of case work. These photos were of files containing the safeguarding documents in a child protection in a case where a constituent was seeking assistance. Deem forward this to Roderick Evans, and possibly others.


          Was the break-in proactively solicited by Roderick?
          Is Michael Deem still a Plaid Cymru candidate?
          Can Plaid Cymru AMs be trusted with constituent cases?

          This is a matter I’m sure South Wales Police would be interested in. It appears that Deem was solicited and coerced to access case files in order to ‘dish dirt’ on Neil McEvoy. Also, I would expect that the photos of sensitive case files would also have been forwarded to a number of individuals including for and by an employee of another Plaid Cymru AM. I suggest there is a role for South Wales Police, and a number of individuals should be interviewed under caution on the matter.

  3. Brychan

    What Jac has highlighted with grant aid provided to businesses in Wales, (a) lack of indigenous ownership and (b) poor longevity.

    These factors create “Seagull” enterprises. A grant attracts a scavenging investment from outside Wales to set up shop to get a grant, and then when the grant terms expire they asset strip and fly off. There are no net gains.

    Don’t feed the Seagulls!

    There used to be regional development agencies operated in England. It’s objective was to attract investment into economically depressed coastal communities. The classic example was Pfizer, an American pharmaceutical company attracted to the costal strip of the Kent Coalfield by SEEDA. As soon as the grants ran out, it closed. The executive who designed the scheme was Owen Smith, who was sacked and he moved to Wales. Since there has been rapid economic growth based on improving mainly transport infrastructure (M20, HS1, Eurotunnel) and a ‘development zone’ prompted by the 2012 Olympics at Stratford. More recent investment and prosperity is as a result of physical infrastructure. That which cannot fly away.

    Here is my list of what and where economic investment should be directed in Wales.

    (a) A rail/ship/road intermodal facility at Margam (heavy stuff).
    (b) Refrigeration container port in Milford Haven (process agricultural product).
    (c) Docking points for cloud servers in the Menai (tech).
    (d) Electrification and building of new rail lines in the valleys.
    (e) Feel free to add to the list.

    Instead of feeding seagulls we should be building hen coops, but all the suggestions I can think of are ‘reserved’ matters in our colonial status. Instead of asking Westminster for cash, we should be demanding of powers. That includes all infrastructure.

    “Power is not merely shouting aloud. Power is to act positively with all the components of power.” – Nasser (when Egypt turned down offers of sacks of corn and nationalised the Suez canal)

    1. We are reduced to this kind of ‘economy’ for a number of reasons.

      1/ We have a native political establishment that is opposed to entrepreneurialism. It believes in state provision of services and employment – but without the state!

      2/ This suits the interests of England because successful Welsh companies will inevitably challenge English companies in their captive market of Wales. Also, money is given to the ‘Welsh Government’ to distribute to well-connected individual and their companies on ventures that would not be tolerated in England and this can be presented by the ‘Welsh Government’ as ‘inward investment’.

      3/ Much of this ‘investment’ is of no benefit to Wales. It’s not just the crooks, it’s the wind turbines and solar farms that will be installed to help the UK meet its greenhouse gas targets (or whatever), that will provide vast payments in subsidies for the aforementioned well-connected, that will produce yet more energy that Wales doesn’t need, and will allow local politicians to spout bollocks about saving the planet.

      Everybody wins . . . except us!

  4. Dafis

    Following on from my comment on the previously published “not another one” I suspect that we are going to see such scams being perpetrated with increasing frequency. In Wales frauds will happen because our dopey government is often stupid and sometimes complicit. Where the U.K government is involved it’s a case of often complicit and just occasionally dopey,in other words the backhander culture is working flat out.

  5. David Smith

    Transport for Wales and bits of England it should be called. I wouldn’t be surprised if the services in their entirety are declared as “Welsh” as part of that big “Wales runs a 20bn deficit” con. Another one parroted by those with the colonised mindset, like one idiot I see out regularly and wipe the floor with in debate who had the apron on his phone cover when I saw him last nIght. I said why have you got that shit on your phone for, when we’re not represented on it, his response “Wales iz a principality of Inglund ye!”. The archetypal thick Brexiteer, as opposed to one with reasoned arguments, who votes UKIP and wants to “take our country back”. Sadly these are the people we’d have to get on side, as they have one vote in any referendum the same as far more intelligent sorts such as you or I.

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