Landfill Is A Murky Business

Our story begins in Pembrokeshire, to the north of Haverfordwest. To be exact, at Withyhedge landfill site. Which lies to the east of the A40 and just south of the railway line to Fishguard.

WHERE?

You can see the site for yourselves in the OS map below. Circled towards the top.

I believe the site was originally managed by the county council. Then, 1995 saw a new arrangement involving Resources Management UK Ltd. This company was taken over by SITA UK – now Suez Recycling and Recovery UK – from whence it transferred to the Potter Group of Welshpool, Wales’ biggest recycling company.

Click to open enlarged in separate tab

In March 2022 Potter sold Resource Management UK to the Dauson Environmental Group Ltd of Cardiff, helped by a loan of £1,143,000 from Walters Land Ltd of Hirwaun. (Though this may have taken the form of writing off a debt incurred in January 2020 by Potter.)

Throughout changes of ownership Resources Management UK Ltd has remained the registered operator of the Withyhedge site. Here’s the Land Registry title document complete with plan. (Which needs to be updated.)

It may be worth mentioning that some three years ago Walters extended the Withyhedge site for the Potter Group. And as the Walters Linkedin page tells us, “As a result of delivering this project, Walters have been awarded a new landfill cell construction project (by Potter) in Telford.”

Walters Land is part of the Walters Group of Hirwaun, which has a history in opencast mining but is now rehabilitating itself with the planet-botherers with wind turbines. Even wind turbines on former opencast sites.

Anyway, that’s the background, so let’s push on.

WHAT’S NEW?

I’m writing this because people living in the vicinity of the Withyhedge landfill site have had enough of the increasing smells from the site, suspected water pollution, and the traffic problems caused by a constant stream of trucks bringing waste from Cardiff and even from England (via Cardiff).

As if that wasn’t enough, a local farmer has even told me, “This site is why so many of us have gone down with (Bovine) TB in the last ten months! Cleared the woods and disturbed all the (badger) setts.”

Here are some very recent reports of locals complaining and politicians getting involved.

The Pembrokeshire Herald on December 21. Western Telegraph from the day after Boxing Day. And then a statement last week from Natural Resources Wales, which may have resulted from a complaint made by local Senedd Member Paul Davies.

In addition to the noise, the traffic, and the smells, there was also a fire on the site in July, 2018.

The image below shows trucks queuing up to dump their rubbish at Withyhedge. The blue trucks belong to Atlantic Recycling Ltd, part of the Dauson Group which, as we’ve seen, owns the site.

Click to open enlarged in separate tab

The Dauson Group itself is owned by David John Neal of Rumney, Cardiff. Who runs many companies.

Neal seems to have been in this business for a long time and, perhaps inevitably, has had his brushes with regulatory authorities. Here’s a case from May 2013 involving the sensitive Gwent Levels.

Neal was in court again in November 2017 for having done nothing to clear up the mess he’d made. “Neal was fined £30,000, ordered to pay £20,000 costs, and given an 18 week prison sentence, suspended for 12 months.”

Click to open enlarged in separate tab

I must confess I hadn’t given landfill much thought lately, I assumed it was being phased out in favour of recycling. Because you don’t have to be an enviro-loony to think that putting thousands of tons of waste into the ground may be a bad idea.

So I was surprised to find so many landfill sites in Wales, and so many operators. Here’s the list provided by the self-styled ‘Welsh Government’. (Updated 16.08.2023.)

One that caught my eye was the site at the old Tir John power station in Swansea, where I had family and friends working. The site is operated by Enovert South Ltd of Stafford. There’s also an Enovert North Ltd, which runs the Hafod landfill in Wrecsam.

Both companies are owned by Enovert Management Ltd, which is in turn owned by Brad Scott Huntington, a Canadian living in the Cayman Islands.

In fact, most companies operating Welsh landfill sites are based over the border. Making me wonder if these sites are used for local waste, or if they’re taking – as at Withyhedge – garbage from England.

It seems obvious that David John Neal would not have been interested in the site unless there was money to be made. Either in the form of an extended lifespan for the site, or an increase in capacity. Maybe both.

And indeed, I’m told that a new 250,000 tonne extension has been issued. It is even suggested that old waste is being dug up to make way for new deliveries, and that this accounts for the recent deterioration in air and water quality in the vicinity.

What’s more, local sources say that last year the site accepted 44,000 tonnes more than its permit allowed.

CONNECTIONS

Despite the bad odour around landfills, and his record, Corruption Bay – in the form of the Development Bank of Wales (DBW) – has been generous to David John Neal and his many companies.

Despite the damage caused to the Gwent Levels DBW has made three loans since 2020 to Neal Soil Suppliers Ltd, one of the companies named in the court proceedings.

There are other outstanding DBW loans going back to 2013.

As we’ve seen, a name that crops up regularly in connection with David Neal and this saga is Dauson. The Dauson Group owns both the Withyhedge site and the ‘Atlantic’ trucks that deliver there.

I knew I’d seen the Dauson name before, and so I did a bit of digging. Sure enough, I turned it up – on this very blog!

Back in October 2019 I wrote about ambitious plans for the old Ferodo site in Caernarfon. Scroll down to the section ‘Brakes off at the Ferodo site’.

The Ferodo plant in Caernarfon in its hey-day. Click to open enlarged in separate tab

As originally written, this was a complicated story, a number of players. I’ll try to keep this recap simple, but you can read the original piece if you want the fuller picture.

So to cut a long story short . . . after the successor company to Ferodo pulled out, and the plant finally closed, the site passed into the possession of the ‘Welsh Government’. (Here’s the title document.)

In April 2009 there was an agreement between our respected tribunes and Bluefield Caernarfon Ltd, a company formed July 2007. There was also a Bluefield Caernarfon Management Ltd.

Both companies dissolved in January 2016. With Bluefield Caernarfon leaving four outstanding charges.

Click to open enlarged in separate tab

A familiar name because Bluefield Land Ltd, formed in 2004, is another David John Neal company. With five outstanding charges with the Julian Hodge Bank.

Neal did not figure among the directors of the Bluefield manifestations in Gwynedd. He may have been represented by associates. But he definitely held shares.

The 100 shares for Bluefield Caernarfon were split 35 for Bluefield Land and 65 for Twenty20 Homes Ltd of Bridgend, which also dissolved in January 2016, the same month as the Bluefield Caernarfon companies.

A majority of the shares in Twenty20 Homes was held by Macob Property Holdings Ltd, also of Bridgend. Macob finally went belly-up in January 2020, though an administrator had been appointed as early as March 2014, just 26 months after formation.

We seem to be looking at considerable shuffling around and interplay between companies destined to fail.

One of the Neal ‘associates’ I find particularly interesting is Gary Goodman of Liverpool. Interesting because all the others involved are from south east Wales.

Goodman was a director of both Caernarfon Bluefield companies and the Cardiff company of the same name. But more than that, Goodman was also a director of Bluefield Sandbach Ltd.

And among the other directors of Bluefield Sandbach I saw a name I’d noticed earlier in the research for this piece, Daymion Jenkins. In fact, he seems to have had a Nap hand of Bluefield companies.

His Linkedin page mentions Bluefield but would have us believe he quit in 2009. But as we’ve just seen, according to Companies House he hung on until April 2014. Why the discrepancy?

Bluefield Sandbach also threw up a new name, Howard Wyn Evans of Haynes Watts, accountants of Cardiff. And yet another Bluefield company in Bluefield Energy Ltd. Though I can’t see any connection to David Neal.

Evans has been director of quite a few companies, many in the ‘renewables’ sector. One that caught my eye was Sundorne Products (Llanidloes) Ltd, owned by Potters Waste Management Ltd of Welshpool.

Remember Potters, former owners of the Withyhedge landfill site in Pembrokeshire? Small world, innit!

CONCLUSION

As I was writing this I kept thinking of the remarkable case of Stan ‘The Pies’ Thomas and the publicly-owned land he was able to buy at knockdown prices.

I wrote about the case early in 2016: Pies, Planes & Property Development, and Pies, Planes & Property Development 2. (I try to be imaginative in naming follow-ups.)

Back then, I and others tended to point the finger at the Regeneration Investment Fund for Wales LLP (RIFW), which had responsibility for disposing of public land for the best possible price. Or so we were led to believe.

Fingers were also pointed at one of the LLP partners, Amber Fund Management, and valuers Lambert Smith Hampton.

Following the Stan Thomas fiasco, RIFW was reorganised, with now just two partners (Amber was given the heave-ho), and has some £50m in the bank. What it actually does nowadays is open to question.

But thinking back, I can’t help wondering if instead of – even in addition to – dodgy dealings there might have been political intervention in favour of Stan Thomas. And perhaps others.

For over the years I’ve come to suspect that certain businessmen, in and around Cardiff, in positions to smooch Labour politicians, get favoured treatment. Maybe ‘pointed’ in certain directions.

This obviously works against those further from Cardiff, and those who would prefer not to get too close to those reptiles.

Looking back, with all we now know, there’s also something of a whiff about the Ferodo deal; the site being gifted by the ‘Welsh government’ to people who couldn’t find Caernarfon on a map – but were already known to Corruption Bay.

And when we learn that the principal in this case, David John Neal, was so generous towards his local Assembly Member you have to fight your rapidly elevating eyebrows.

Click to open enlarged in separate tab

For God’s sake, three donations, from three different Neal companies, to Vaughan Gething’s 2018 leadership campaign! Was making it look like three separate funders supposed to help Gething?

Will Dai Neal be contributing to Gething’s current leadership campaign? Why not!

As a much-loved sitcom character might have put it – ‘Lubbly jubbly!’

♦ end ♦

© Royston Jones 2024

Taking Control, Of Everything

I hadn’t planned on writing this, but thinking about what’s happening to our major sporting bodies left me little alternative. It’s dressed up as reorganisation, or combatting sexism, misogyny, and other evils, but I believe these are a smokescreen for the true motivations.

Don’t worry, I haven’t forgotten about the promised piece on Bute Energy. That will still come out early next week.

FOOTBALL ASSOCIATION OF WALES

Let’s start with an announcement made last Monday, June 11. You can see a clip below, and here’s a link to the article that appeared on the Football Association of Wales (FAW) website.

Click to open enlarged in separate tab

My first thought – betraying the parochial side to my otherwise angelic nature – was, “I don’t remember any of them playing for the Swans“. I immediately slapped myself on the wrist and went on to read the article.

So who are these Independent Non-executive Directors of the FAW?

Chair Alys Carlton, on the left in the image above, was educated at Cheltenham Ladies College, Edinburgh University (French, Italian), and Nottingham Trent (Law).

She is clearly a ‘Welsh Government’ insider because nobody who wasn’t well-regarded in the Swamp would be ‘Vice Chair of Welsh Government’s Expert Panel on Supporting Entrepreneurial Women’. Nor would they be, ‘First Tier Judge – Mental Health Review Tribunal for Wales’.

Before branching out on her own, with Alys Carlton Consulting Ltd, in April 202o, Alys worked for Capital Law, one of the ‘Welsh Government’s favourite law firms, an outfit that sees a great deal of our money.

And I’m sure Capital Law has written to Old Jac after someone went running to them. “Tell him to stop being nasty!

Here’s Alys Carlton’s Linkedin page. (Here in pdf format.)

Alys Siân Carlton is the daughter of the late Keith James.

Next up is Sameer Rahman Syed, centre in the  above image. Here’s his Linkedin info. (Here in pdf format.)

This guy would also appear to be well-connected with the movers and shakers in that city some 40-odd miles east of Swansea. I suggest that because he is also a non-executive director of the Millennium Stadium and Glamorgan County Cricket Club. The latter being the reason Wales has no national cricket team.

And after a career in ‘Data’ he too went solo, in April 2021, with Datamonet Ltd. Things seem to be going splendidly, with our boy as CEO and, er, sole employee.

The third member of this troika is Dr Carol Bell. (No ding-dong jokes!) Though in her case, she was re-‘elected’.

A coalminer’s grand-daughter from Felindre, north Swansea, she made important contacts at Cambridge which may have helped her land a job with Rio Tinto on graduating.

A former investment banker in the energy field, now turned archaeologist, and another Welsh speaker. Here’s her Linkedin page (Here in pdf format.)

Dr Bell is as well connected in Corruption Bay as the other two, and perhaps well beyond the Bay. We see Millennium Stadium in her trophy cabinet too, along with a few intriguing appointments. Such as non-executive director at the Development Bank of Wales.

But what really caught my eye was Dr Bell being a director at BlackRock Commodities Income Investment Trust plc. Blackrock has been mentioned a few times on this blog; for its CEO, Larry Fink, is a leading Globalist, and big buddies with Bill Gates and Claus Schwab.

WELSH RUGBY UNION

We begin this section with a piece from last Friday’s Llais y Sais. As you can see below, it deals with two appointments to the Welsh Rugby Union (WRU).

Click to open enlarged in separate tab

Richard Collier-Keywood is described as the WRU’s “first independent chair“. Which I take to mean that he was not elected by the Union’s member clubs, as has been done in the past.

The piece also tells us that these are “appointments“, but not who made them. Which is odd. And the WRU website makes it clear that Collier-Keywood is to take over from current chair, Ieuan Evans. So can we assume that the appointments have been made by the WRU Board?

Now, we all know who Ieuan Evans is, he’s one of our all-time great players, but most of you will be wondering, “Who the hell is Richard Collier-Keywood, and where by do he come from?”.

I can tell you it’s not from round by ‘ere. Though both sources are keen to tell us that his mother had some connection to Maesteg and he may have enjoyed an ice cream or two in Porthcawl.

I’ll have more for you on Richard Collier-Keywood later.

Alison Thorne is another interesting appointment. Her Linkedin page will fill in more details. (Here in pdf format.) I draw particular attention to the most recent of her appointments, which you can see below.

Click to open enlarged in separate tab

Beyond any question of a doubt we are dealing with another denizen of the Swamp. A charming lady, no doubt, but as great-aunt Fastidia would say, in her characteristically earthy way: “Shit in the same latrine and you’ll share the smell“.

She even works for the ‘Welsh Government’ on public appointments!

And wearing a different hat, she’s the chair of the National Dance Company of Wales. Which – and I kid you not! – seeks “to deliver social change through dance“. Another way of saying, ‘Straight White men need not apply’.

Finally, she is the chair of trustees at housing association Barcud. This is interesting because, in theory, housing associations are now private companies. But a control-freak administration such as we see in Corruption Bay won’t give up control of anything.

A firm grip maintained by social housing bodies either having outstanding loans, or taking out fresh loans, or acquiring land from, the ‘Welsh Government’.

WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT?

If I tell you that former first minister Carwyn Jones was considered for the WRU chair job it should help you understand where we’re heading.

Maybe someone decided that giving Jones the job would have been too obviously political. Though on the plus side, he is Welsh, and knows something about rugby.

Instead, Richard Collier-Keywood was appointed. And it’s an odd appointment. As was suggested to me by someone who was in university with him.

My source told me the WRU’s new chair was a good tennis player in his younger days, with an interest in other racquet sports. But no interest in rugby; and Collier-Keywood never mentioned Wales, despite knowing that my source is 100% Welsh.

Strange that, for a man with a Welsh mam.

Let’s be clear. These are political appointments.

After creating what was reported by a loyal media as “turmoil” in our sporting bodies the ‘Welsh Government’, with the help of certain individuals ‘on the inside’, was able to engineer a situation that saw people parachuted in who are dependent on ‘Welsh Government’ patronage.

Which is quite an achievement, considering that both the Football Association of Wales and The Welsh Rugby Union are not public bodies but private companies.

In the case of the WRU influence can be exerted because there are two outstanding loans on the Millennium Stadium (October 2020 and March 2022) with “The Welsh Ministers of the Welsh Government“. So it can be claimed that the appointees are simply there to safeguard the public interest.

This is the model alluded to earlier with housing associations. “We lend you money and to safeguard our investment we’ll have a big say in the running of your organisation“. Tony Soprano would immediately understand that model.

But is it ethical to use public assets to exercise political control, and promote a political agenda lacking public support?

It’s less clear how Corruption Bay got its claws into the Welsh FA.

But the important point is that both the Football Association of Wales and The Welsh Rugby Union are very high profile organisations. Many Welsh people can be influenced by them. Controlling them therefore becomes politically desirable.

Not least because either or both might go ‘off-message’. With fans supporting the national football team singing Yma o Hyd some people were getting worried.

Talking of using our sporting associations to influence public opinion, I wonder what Billy Meredith or John Charles would have made of what you see below, from last Saturday’s Pride parade in Cardiff?

The tweet was put out by Jason Webber, who is – and you’d never have guessed! – ‘Senior Equality, Diversity, Inclusion & Integrity Manager at the Football Association of Wales’. If he’s the senior manager, then there must be lesser mortals doing similar work.

Yeah, that’ll help us qualify for Euros and World Cups.

My worry is that, “Football is for everyone” means that full-grown men pretending to be women will be allowed to play with and against young girls. And of course, they must also be allowed to share facilities.

Because on matters like this the ‘Welsh Government’ takes orders from Stonewall.

What we see at the WRU and FAW are not isolated examples of political interference. For I’ve detected a growing trend of such ‘appointments’. One I wrote about earlier this year involved the then Brecon Beacons National Park Authority (BBNPA).

These appointments were justified as being done to promote inclusivity and diversity. Woman of colour, disabled man . . .

Click to open enlarged in separate tab

We then had a contrived and very public debate over the change of name to Bannau Brycheiniog.  Which served to draw attention away from the fact that what had really changed was that Labour had now taken full control of the BBNPA.

So, on one level, these manoeuvrings increase the ‘Welsh Government’s control over public and other bodies. And then, given what I explained in my previous blog piece, it also gives easier access to pressure groups, whose diktats the clown show in the Bay will dress up as its own policies.

But there’s also a third element that becomes obvious the more we look at these appointments.

THOSE WHO WOULD BE KINGS

The rash of appointments being made in Wales obviously extends the influence of the ‘Welsh Government’, for the Swamp is the immediate and obvious beneficiary; and then there are the pressure groups, but it doesn’t end there.

The appointments are also being made in order to implement ESG. And if those letters mean nothing to you, let me explain that they stand for Environmental and Social Governance.

Companies, charities and other bodies are expected to sign up to ESG and, by so doing, follow the Globalist agenda. Here’s how the World Economic Forum (WEF) explains it.

Who could object to such desirable ambitions? Er, me. The awkward bugger at the back.

Because as with so much else produced by the WEF, you have to poke around behind the words to see what they really mean. Read the panel below, from the WEF website I’ve just linked to, and then I’ll explain it.

Click to open enlarged in separate tab

. . . social justice protests have drawn attention to gaps in diversity, equity, and inclusion; and the impacts of climate change and the importance of environmental sustainability are becoming harder, if not impossible, to ignore.

Social justice protests” is a euphemism for the riots that caused death and destruction in so many US cities following the death of George Floyd during a botched police arrest.

And then we get “climate change” and and “environmental sustainability“, straight out of the climate alarmists’ handbook.

Which ties in neatly with Dr Carol Bell of the FAW working for Blackrock.

And it explains Alison Thorne of the WRU delivering “social change through dance“. (Did youse ever in yer natural read such sententious bollocks!)

The terpsichoreans seeking to deliver this social change can be found – in case you’re minded to join! – at Dance House, which is in the Millennium Stadium.

Where else!

SUMMING UP

The self-styled ‘Welsh Government’ is taking control, through appointees, and by other means, such as funding, of as many organisations as it possibly can.

Which means that a political party gaining roughly one fifth of the available votes will soon exert a stranglehold on Welsh life. With Drakeford and his sorry troupe of inadequates just puppets operated by pressure groups and Globalists lacking any mandate at all.

For betraying Wales in this way the so-called ‘Welsh Government’ will get a pat on the head from Uncle Claus in Davos. And then everybody’s happy – ‘Welsh Government’, pressure groups, and World Economic Forum.

But how do you feel about it?

♦ end ♦

The State Of Wales

I’m sorry I haven’t put out anything for a few weeks, but there’s just been too much to write about, and my lack of self-discipline has resulted in me being too easily distracted, too often.

So here goes, again. With a story that in my opinion is not being properly interpreted. What you’re about to read is my explanation for the adoption of the name Bannau Brycheiniog by the national park formerly known as the Brecon Beacons.

BANNAU BRYCHEINIOG

Unless you’ve been trapped underground, cast away on a desert island, or living in Treherbert, you’ll know that the Brecon Beacons National Park recently dropped the English version of its name to be known exclusively as Bannau Brycheiniog.

And the rebranding produced an outpouring of balderdash such as this old blogger has rarely seen.

Though few reached the depth of silliness plumbed by the Park’s chief executive, Catherine Mealing-Jones. The traditional flaming brazier logo had been discarded because it didn’t fit with these times of global warming, she wailed, as she zipped up her Eskimo Nell™ anorak to avoid the icy April blasts.

Here’s the headline from The Times.

Click to open enlarged in separate tab

But the ‘climate crisis’ is a global fear campaign engendered by those, in the UN and the World Economic Forum, wishing to control your behaviour.

They’ve influenced governments around the world to brainwash millions of kids. That we then have so many worried or even unhinged youngsters is used as proof of the ‘climate crisis’, when in reality it’s proof of brainwashing.

In the Bannau debate the climate hysteria angle was bad enough, but certain sections of the English media seemed to view the changes as Woke. Here’s the headline from the Telegraph.

Click to open enlarged in separate tab

Now you know me, nobody’s more alert to the lunacies of Wokeness than old Jac, but I didn’t quite see it that way. Worse, for some English writers, Wokeness seemed to be code for anti-Englishness.

The Daily Mail viewed with horror the prospect of Swansea ‘becoming’ Abertawe, and Aberdovey changing to the unrecognisable Aberdyfi.

Yet the name change, the rebranding, and the bollocks about climate change, was all a distraction from the real story. So pay attention!

Let’s begin by saying that in my view there’s nothing wrong with the name change. ‘Beacons’ may have been a misnomer anyway. Were there ever warning beacons lit there? If so, who were they warning? And who were they warning against?

Look out! A charabanc from Dowlais is heading up the A470!

And as a regular contact pointed out, few people will use the new name anyway. Partly because, unlike the recent name change of ‘Snowdonia’ to ‘Eryri’, it’s too long, and fewer people speak Welsh in Bannau Brycheiniog than in Eryri.

Though to end this section on a lighter note, our ‘Welsh’ TV newsreaders should provide hours of mirth with their mangled pronunciations of Bannau Brycheiniog.

THE TAKEOVER

For a few years I’ve been writing about the ‘interesting’ people turning up in south Powys, an area almost co-terminus with Bannau Brycheiniog.

There’s a temptation to just dismiss them as good-lifers, but I believe there’s more to it than that. Some are on a mission.

That latter interpretation certainly applies to those involved at Black Mountains College (BMC). An institution founded by people who had previously worked for George Soros, a man viewed by some as a philanthropist, and by others – including me – as someone on a mission to undermine Western society.

Black Mountains College is a member of Soros’s Open Society University Network.

The video below, produced by BMC, makes it clear that the college seeks to enrol those who have already been frightened witless over climate change. Attracting scared kids to Coleg Soros with the promise that they can, “re-engineer the future”.

The video also tells us: “our current predicament is man-made”. And indeed it is.

 

I believe that Black Mountains College now acts as a ‘hub’ or information exchange for climate alarmists, and this role is encouraged – and funded – by Corruption Bay. Which uses the same illusory threat as justification for imposing 20mph speed limits, waging war on farmers, and generally making us poorer, and our lives more miserable.

The hub may be needed because there’s quite a lot happening in the area.

For a start, let’s remember that Gilestone farm is just a few miles from Coleg Soros. Whatever was planned for Gilestone before the fan was overwhelmed with excrement, I guarantee it would have been justified on ‘environmental’ grounds.

Then, earlier this year, the ‘Welsh Government’ made a number of appointments to the (then) Brecon Beacons National Park Authority. This was done in the name of ‘diversity’ and ‘access’, for it seems Persons of Colour and homosexuals had previously been barred from entering our national parks.

Who knew?

Nonsense of course. It was done to give the ‘Welsh Government’ greater control over the policies and direction of the national park.

The last Conservative member of the park authority, Iain McIntosh, has now resigned. Which leaves a national park authority, with control over planning and other matters, and in a constituency represented in London by a Tory MP, and in Cardiff by a Tory MS, controlled by the Labour party.

But this is how Labour has always operated in Wales. And we see it again with yet another new body ‘tacking climate change’.

The latest is the Wales Net Zero 2035 Challenge Group. Below is a panel from the ‘About’ tab. It’s funny. I mean, just look at who’s involved.

Topping the bill is former Labour Assembly Member and Minister for Saving Welsh Polar Bears Jane Davidson. She it was who gave Wales One Planet Developments. Hoping to realise her vision of the Welsh countryside repopulated with frightfully nice English smallholders and OPD dwellers.

Little room for the Welsh in that vision. And there’s little Welsh presence in the group headed by La Davidson.

What we do see is the Green Heath Robinsons at the Centre for Alternative Technology, who’ve received tens of millions of public funding. Our non-Welsh universities are of course represented. As is Coleg Soros, in the form of Art Garfunkel lookalike Ben Rawlence.

Returning to the bigger picture, we can’t ignore Y Bannau, the management plan for the national park. (Full version here.)

(How many such bodies and publications does one small country need!)

It’s a strange document. A mixture of platitudes, anguished concerns for the future, and the kind of ‘Welshness’ John Ford gave us with his adaptation of How Green Was My Valley.

For example, there are regular appearances by an imaginary family named Brychan. They also have impeccably Welsh forenames – Ioan, Mair, Dafydd – in an area becoming less and less Welsh through the activities of the kind of people you’re reading about.

There’s even a Brychan family tree (page 127)! It’s truly weird. Almost unsettling.

Take the ‘Letter from Sian (sic) Brychan to her daughter Megan’, February 20th 2042 (page 75). I suppose some reading this will be reassured to think that we’ll still be writing letters in 2042. Or at least the Brychans will.

In fact, they’re writing to each other all the bloody time. Don’t they talk?

By a painful irony the Brychans are described as, “seventh generation farmers here in the Bannau Brycheiniog” . . . which makes them the very people Green zealots want to remove from the area.

Aside from the Brychans a number of old favourites appear in Y Bannau. Coleg Soros, again; the greenwashers at Stump up for Trees; the secretive Beacons Water Group; and many more favourites that have appeared on this blog.

Perhaps all you really need to know about this management plan is that the foreword comes from Julie James, Minister for Climate Change, and the document first saw the light of day in Corruption Bay, not Brecon.

This is the ‘Welsh Government’s plan for Y Bannau. And if they and their cronies can get away with it, they’ll try it on elsewhere.

There must now be hundreds of Labour-connected enviro-shysters whizzing around Wales – in cars we pay for – attending meetings where they earnestly discuss how to cut emissions and save the planet.

A planet in no danger whatsoever.

UPDATE 03.05.2023: It should go without saying that the new Future Generations Commissioner was at the launch of Y Bannau.

WHO’S A LUCKY BOY, THEN!

The most recent development in the Beacons / Bannau saga came last Friday with a fascinating article in the MailOnline.

Which tells that the genius behind the re-branding was one Jordan Thorne, who is 34 and has a company called Creo, described by the Mail as “a Cardiff-based marketing agency which has in recent years won a series of lucrative public sector contracts”. 

Including of course the Beacons to Bannau gig.

So, what can we learn about Thorne and Creo?

Starting with Creo, there seem to be three companies of that name. They are: Creo Digital Ltd; Creo Interactive Ltd; and Creo Group Holdings Ltd. Here’s the Creo website.

Where we can read Jordan Thorne telling us how he sees himself.

Click to open enlarged in separate tab

I get a wee bit queasy when I hear anyone say they’re ‘trapped’ in the wrong body because it puts me in mind of weirdos and perverts who pretend they can’t tell men from women.

But back to more wholesome thoughts.

Creo was acquired, in a management buy-out, just over a year ago, when Thorne and a couple of others bought out founder Richard Ward. Though Ward retains a 25% share.

As you’ve just read, the buy-out was funded by the Development Bank of Wales (DBW). Which is owned by the ‘Welsh Government’. Here’s a link to more details of that act of generosity. Just click on ‘View PDF’ for the details.

Click to open enlarged in separate tab

But it wasn’t the first time DBW has looked kindly on Creo, for there was an earlier example in December 2018. (Ditto.)

Let’s just flick through the accounts for the Creo companies, see if anything catches Jac’s jaundiced eye. (Though, actually, they’re skeletal ‘unaudited financial statements’.)

Creo Digital shows total assets of £300,172 but has a net deficit of -£55,253.

Creo Interactive Ltd reveals total assets of £522,250 (previous year £365,043); reducing to net assets of £466,437.

Creo Group Holdings Ltd shows total assets of £375,100, made up of fixed assets of £375,000. Taking out liabilities leaves a net figure of -£4,529.

Control over Creo Interactive is exercised by Creo Digital; and Creo Digital is, predictably, controlled by the holding company. Where the 100 shares are split equally between Ward, Coakley, Thorne and Shaw.

Maybe the fixed asset is the Creo premises in the old St Cadoc’s church at 76 Wells Street, Cardiff. Naturally, I wondered who owned it, so I shuffled over to the Land Registry website.

The freehold title document shows four owners. Two are Ward and Coakley, from the image above. A third is Personal Pension Trustees Ltd. The fourth is Andrew Paul Ashton, who was formerly a director of Creo Interactive Ltd.

Turning to the leasehold document we see the two leaseholders named as “David McLeod Lea and others” and Creo Interactive Ltd.

Lea’s another ‘creative’, who shared the old church premises for a while. He was involved with company Still Works Ltd that went bust a few years back owing Development Bank of Wales money.

I’m a ‘creative’, do you think I could get a DBW loan?

On a more serious note, seeing as it’s wholly owned by the ‘Welsh Government’, is there genuine scrutiny or oversight of the DBW? And while I’m not suggesting that Labour supporters are favoured by the DBW with its loans policy, I can understand why some might think that.

The MailOnline went big on Thorne’s politics, without properly understanding them. Though the boy has said some nasty things. As the headline put it:

Corbyn-loving Twitter troll and Welsh separatist whose vile posts tell Margaret Thatcher to ‘burn in hell’ and call Conservative ministers ‘Tory scum’

Why are modern Leftists so thoroughly unpleasant? So vindictive? So personal? The kindest thing one can say is that it’s infantile. For let’s remember that Thorne is too young to even remember Margaret Thatcher.

Clearly, he’s far left, and was a supporter of Jeremy Corbyn. Then, like a number of other Corbynistas, he turned to Yes Cymru. Though not because he cares about Wales but because he sees Welsh independence as a vehicle for his socialism.

Jordan Thorne wants a Welsh socialist republic. Just like the other Corbyn entryists who nearly wrecked Yes Cymru a couple of years back. (I wrote about it extensively.)

I must admit that I’d never heard of Jordan Thorne. Yet it seems Yes Cymru values him highly enough to have put out a tweet in his defence on Saturday.

Click to open enlarged in separate tab

I believe that leaping to his defence can be put down to Thorne being a socialist, and the attack coming from a ‘Tory’ source.

Yes Cymru then tried to reassure us that it is neither left nor right, with this tweet yesterday morning. But just a few hours before, had put out the tweet below.

Click to open enlarged in separate tab

What the hell has Welsh independence got to do with illegal immigrants crossing from France to England? The answer should be – Nothing.

But what the tweet above reveals is that whoever wrote it wants an independent Wales with open borders. A socialist Wales. A Wales following the Globalist agenda.

The stances taken by the loudest elements in Yes Cymru; on immigration, gender ID, climate hysteria, ‘White supremacy’, and all the other Woke nonsense only serves to alienate many in a socially conservative country, making independence less likely.

CONCLUSION

Jordan Thorne and Creo got the rebranding contract due to Labour party connections. Thorne joining Yes Cymru may be part of Labour’s infiltration of that organisation.

For there have been other attempts, such as the absurd ‘Labour for an Independent Wales‘ (linked with, ‘DUP for a 32-County Republic’). Plus individual Corbynistas and Momentum members have been identified on this blog and elsewhere.

And let’s not forget that Labour is a control-freak party that wants to run just about every organisation in the country. Labour will often use the Welsh language to placate the easily duped, and to disguise its true intentions.

The name change was the dead cat thrown on the table to distract the media and those who rely on the media to do their thinking for them. It’s really about the takeover of Bannau Brycheiniog by a political party with no democratic mandate.

Done so that it can implement the Globalists’ Net Zero lunacies, and in so doing, ‘re-model’ the landscape, the economy, even the demographics of the area.

Having succeeded in south Powys Labour can now impose its will – and its supporters – on other areas that do not vote Labour. It must be done this way because . . .

Despite its dominant role Labour is a minority party. Winning the votes of less than 20% of the electorate in 2021. This is another reason why the party must rely on corruption and cronyism to exert control. With many of the cronies imported.

In practical terms this insidious spread of Labour influence, this crony shadow state, means that even if Labour was to lose the next Senedd elections in 2026 (unlikely given the rigged ‘party list’ system it wants to introduce) it could carry on running Wales – for it would take years to dismantle the system Labour had created.

Clearly, Wales is not a democracy. Wales is run as a one-party state. Shame on Plaid Cymru for lending this corrupt system a veneer of credibility with its support.

I for one would shed no tears if Westminster chose to restore some semblance of democracy to Wales.

♦ end ♦

 

Time To Call In The OPD Scam

This week I’m revisiting One Planet Developments. The system, unique to Wales, that allows people to buy a plot of land, build a house, exempt from normal planning regulations, and pretend to be farmers.

Of course, once you’ve erected your house you have a dwelling in open country for which you would never have received planning permission through the normal channels. And which can then be sold for a massive profit.

Not only is the OPD system an affront to planning laws, an insult to local people, but its very premise is nonsense. For this legislation was justified as “reducing Wales’ carbon footprint”. Yet it actually increases our carbon footprint.

For it attracts people into Wales who keep farting animals, drive old diesel vehicles, and have wood-burning stoves. With these now living on land that was previously unused.

LIVING OFF THE (FAT OF THE) LAND

This latest piece was prompted by news reaching me from north Pembrokeshire that someone was looking to buy a farm (or may has already bought one) to be split into One Planet Development plots.

The development is near the village of Mynachlog-ddu. Which explains what you see below. It was sent to me and I assume it’s a Facebook entry.

Click to open enlarged in separate tab

My source was upset by a number of things; not least, the suggestion that another Welsh name was to be lost.

But the way it’s explained in the image above, by project mastermind, Wade William Heames, makes no sense. The village itself is Mynachlog-ddu (‘Black Monastery’), there is no farm of that name.

The farm that’s been identified to me is Caermeini Ganol, just outside the village, on the Crymych road. Below you see, on the left, a plan put out by Heames; and on the right, an OS map on which I’ve coloured in the land in question.

Here’s the sales guff from Savills.

Click to open enlarged in separate tab

There was a Crowdfunder appeal in the name of The Edible Forest that claimed to have raised (or been promised) £650,000. But there’s no update after April 2019. Which I suppose might be explained by the appeal having reached its target.

Scroll down to the bottom and alongside Heames (‘MIQ’?) you’ll see the name ‘Rosie Maunder’. I believe this to be her. An abandoned Twitter account tells us Rosie is / was a Human Geographer at Cardiff Uni (where else?) with an interest in . . . rewilding.

But nowhere in the appeal do I see a location given for this fund-raising. Was it a case of, “Give us the money and we’ll find the land”?

What I do know is that there was a company called The Edible Forest CIC. But it wasn’t formed until five months after the last update on the fundraiser of the same name; it filed no accounts, and was voluntarily dissolved on St David’s Day 2022.

Here’s the Facebook page. We’ll return to it in a minute.

Click to open enlarged in separate tab

And then there’s the name, ‘The Edible Forest’, which seems to be quite popular. I found it in Australia. Also in England. In fact, the term, ‘edible forest’, seems to be in common usage in environmental and vegan circles.

But I still don’t understand why the name was being used to raise money before the company of that name was even formed. And why fundraising ceased before the company was formed.

That seems to be a problem with Wade William Heames. Companies come and go, there’s a vagueness about what’s being purchased, we find multiple social media accounts, and commercial entities mentioned that seem devoid of corporate substance.

Such as . . .

A short-lived, one-man band, Food For Wales Ltd. Launched 12 May, 2020, Dissolved 18 October, 2022. What was its purpose? The SIC says, ‘Retail sale of fruit and vegetables in specialised stores’. So what happened?

There was also a Crowdfunder appeal for this company. Maybe it didn’t raise enough money?

It’s a strange business model. Set up a company, in which you own all the shares, and then ask for donations. Though I can see the advantages!

Someone following developments has suggested that the company actually buying land and then selling it off in parcels is Heames Ltd. A suggestion supported by the fact that nine new directors joined this company in recent months. Would these be investors?

To go back to social media for a minute. Here is Heames’ Linkedin page. But if you go to the column on the right you’ll see three other Wade Heames Linkedin pages. Which he seems to have started, and then perhaps forgotten about.

One, is for Jean Lamour Pest Control, another for Jean Lamour Environmental Services. Are these real companies, or just flights of fancy? There’s certainly nothing registered with Companies House under ‘Jean Lamour’.

Though Googling ‘Jean Lamour’, brought up a restaurant in the French city of Nancy. And it seems Heames was there in 2010, according to ‘Life events’ on this, yet another, FB page.

Is a French restauranteur branching out into catching rats and ‘roaches, with Wade William Heames his local agent? Or is it just a bit of harmless whimsy on Heames’ part?

Click to open enlarged in separate tab

Another imaginary entity might be Unleash The Drones. What the hell is that about?

Click to open enlarged in separate tab

It’s all very confusing, and might make it tempting to dismiss Wade Heames as a bit of a fantasist . . . if it wasn’t for the fact that one of his projects appears to be taking off. Though this is not in Mynachlog-ddu, but in Pontypridd.

To be exact, Lan farm, off Graigwen Road. (Or maybe it’s just the land.) Which he calls ‘Graigwen Farm’. Here’s the estate agent’s puff.

Read more about it as we make the promised return to the Edible Forest Facebook page. You’ll recall that the company of that name was Dissolved almost a year ago. Yet in this recent FB entry Heames promises riches beyond the dreams of avarice.

An acre of land with planning permission for a big house in a nice village or an upmarket suburb would be worth £40,000, perhaps more. Otherwise, stop dreaming. Click to open enlarged in separate tab

And it attracted many unkind comments. When asked to justify the extravagant claims, and valuations, Heames’ response could be interpreted as suggesting using OPD legislation to greatly increase the value of the original purchase with a house in open country for which planning permission would almost certainly have been refused without employing the OPD angle.

Click to open enlarged in separate tab.

I referred just now to a rather confusing number of companies, and there seem to be intriguing women involved. You’ll remember that we saw ‘rewilder’ Rosie Maunder with the Crowdfunder appeal that claimed to have raised £650,000.

The person with significant control over The Edible Forest CIC before Heames returned to the helm was Italian Giulia Pacciotti. This lady has also exercised significant control over Heames Ltd.

Now there’s a company called Heames II Ltd. The company address is 117 Llangrannog Road, Llanishen. (The one that’s ‘rewilding’ the front garden.) Set up in February 2021, yet Wade Heames is not listed as a director. The only director is Czech citizen Vera Schweitzerova. Ms Schweitzerova is also a director of Heames Ltd.

Heames II is obviously a Wade Heames company, so where is he?

Almost every angle of investigation runs up against more questions or dead-ends. And causes for concern.

Another example is a recent entry on the Edible Forest Facebook page (January 6) suggesting that Wade Heames now intends applying to the Development Bank of Wales (DBW) for funding.

Click to open enlarged in separate tab

My understanding has always been that the DBW funds businesses that will create employment and generate wealth within Welsh communities. Surely OPD plots don’t qualify? And anyway, aren’t Heames’ projects self-financing?

Does the DBW do bridging loans?

CONCLUSION

The way OPD was sold to us by Jane Davidson and others suggested it would attract relics of the Swinging Sixties, who’d buy a couple of acres of unproductive land from a Welsh farmer, and live out their twilight years in a fug of marijuana smoke and joss sticks.

All set out in the so-called ‘Welsh Government’s Technical Advice Note (TAN) 6.

The reality soon proved to be very different. Here are some examples I’ve encountered in recent years.

There’s the cult-like commune with an authoritarian leader and its own temple. (Though the planning permission was for ‘a dwellinghouse’.) The leader’s wife’s got a nice line in £185 a head ‘Day Retreat of Powerful Transformation’.

How much time is actually spent tending the organic kumquat?

Then there’s OPDs that are just used on weekends. This is unlawful by the OPD rules laid down by the ‘Welsh Government’. Yet this is what I found at Rhiw Las.

There was a couple there with the husband working in the Met Office in Bristol, while his wife was a Fellow at the LSE.

There have been other examples where both the spirit and the word of the OPD legislation has been flouted by people who soon after first contact realised that Welsh politicians would paint their arses green and chase each other around wind turbines to prove their environmental credentials.

(Try not to visualise that!)

Yet perhaps the most egregious flouting of the legislation comes in examples that are very often never registered as OPDs.

I’m thinking now of unscrupulous, sometimes criminal, operators, who buy sections of woodland and sell them off in plots for people to live on, in trailer homes or chalets: “They can’t touch you, pal – if the council comes snooping, just say ‘OPD'”.

This practice very often follows planning permission secured for a ‘forestry road’.

Click to open enlarged in separate tab

The images above show chalets and trailer homes at ‘Coedfryn Woods’, near Llangynog, Carmarthenshire. None of the properties shown had planning permission when the images were sent to me in early January last year.

The council, however, showed little appetite for getting involved.

I’m aware of forest squatting elsewhere. Meidrim, in north Carmarthenshire, for example. And while most residents of these plots will never apply for official OPD status, they will try to hide behind the legislation when challenged.

Secure in the knowledge that local authorities are reluctant to instigate proceedings because OPD planning consent is assured. So both parties save time and money by accepting these unofficial OPDs as the real deal.

And how could I overlook the ‘farmlets’ in Killay, on the western outskirts of Swansea. Read about them here, just scroll down to the section ‘Back to Gower’. (Though the whole article is worth reading.)

And now we have Wade William Heames and his plans for OPD collectives in Pontypridd and Mynachlog-ddu. All funded by others, including, he hopes, The Development Bank of Wales!

It begins to look like big business. And a wee bit shady. One source described it: “Buy for £5k an acre and sell for 10” (or more). If this is really what it’s come to, then we’re a long way from the old hippy looking for isolation and contentment in his declining years.

There are few Welsh people interested in OPDs, and northern Wales seems to have escaped the plague. This is explained because even Pembrokeshire has good access, via the A48 and M4, to southern England, where OPD-lovers originate.

And so, for the reasons given here (and elsewhere), I urge an end to this failed experiment that invites abuse. And which, like too much of the legislation from Corruption Bay, serves the agendas of others, offering nothing to Wales, or to Welsh people.

♦ end ♦

© Royston Jones 2023


Chisellers From Chislehurst

I’m returning to a couple of devious characters involved in running retirement and care homes in Wales. Both appeared in the previous ‘Miscellany‘ posting; in the section, ‘The Old Folks At Home’.

Reminding us that the care home sector is a bit of a mess, and will inevitably attract grifters like Mohanananthan Kuhananthan and Raqia Bibi.

And I warn you now, it’s worse than I originally thought. Then again, it’s a modus operandi we’ve encountered in the recent past with another crook.

So stay tuned!

Since that post appeared on September 28 there have been developments. A piece appeared in WalesOnline last Friday telling of more problems in homes run by Bibi and Kuhananthan.

Followed by the article below in last Saturday’s Western Mail.

Click to open enlarged in separate tab

Two care homes were mentioned that I hadn’t found in my research for the earlier piece: Manor Park Care Centre, in Wrecsam, run by Manor Park Residential Home Ltd; and Plas-y-Bryn, near Cross Hands, run by Comfort Care Homes (Plas y Bryn) Ltd.

Though Manor Park is owned by Manor Park Property Company Ltd. Here’s the title document. The only director is Mohanananthan Kuhananthan. But the accounts – for a dormant company – show assets of only £100. So where’s the property being hidden?

I had considered making up a table of the companies with which the Gruesome Twosome are or have been involved, but there are just too many. Another problem is that they’ve also been involved in companies where they were not shown as directors on the Companies House website.

UPDATE 14.07.2022: What the hell! I trawled the Companies House website and found 57 companies one or both of them has been involved with. Here’s the list, most recent at the top, each name is a hyperlink that will take you to the relevant CH entry.

To explain what I mean by that suggestion of the ‘hidden hand’, let’s look at a care home in Newport, which got a mention in the earlier post and then an update.

I’m referring to the Danygraig Nursing Home on Quantock Drive, run by Comfort Care Homes (Danygraig) Ltd. This company received loans in June from the Development Bank of Wales.

It seems the first thing done with this new money was to pay off an earlier loan from posh banker Coutts & Co.

As I made clear in the update, Bibi has never been a director of this company, and Kuhananthan left in January 2020. However . . .

When we click on the ‘Persons with significant control’ tab we bring up Dreams Care Homes (RB) Ltd, launched December 3, 2021. And notified to Companies House as taking control of Danygraig on 24 August, 2022.

Not long after the DBW loans were secured.

Click to open enlarged in separate tab

The two registered directors of Dreams Care Homes are Bishwa Tara Ghimire and Basanta Nepal. Both were aboard 3 December, 2021 when the company was launched.

Nepal joined the Danygraig Company 17 May, 2022, and Ghimire followed on June 6, the very day of the DBW loans. Nepal is said to control the company. The DBW loan relates to this company also.

Even though there’s no mention of Raqia Bibi and Mohanananthan Kuhananthan I suggest that the ‘(RB)’ in Dreams Care Homes (RB) Ltd is a bit of a giveaway.

So where might Kuhananthan have gone after ostensibly severing ties with the Newport home? Well, I was as surprised as you’re going be, to learn that in June 24, 2021, the imaginative Mr Kuhananthan launched MK Global Movie Production Ltd.

Like most of his companies, this venture is already heading for the rocks. And yet, what I found fascinating was that there was an initial issue of 1000 x £1,000 shares. Which works out at exactly £1,000,000!

I’m not for one minute suggesting it’s the same money, but just weeks after the Development Bank of Wales slipped the readies to the care home in Newport – where he’d been a director – our boy set up a new company with capital of one million pounds.

Click to open enlarged in separate tab

A company that I guarantee is planned to fold as soon as is decently possible. Which will effectively write off £1,000,000.

And look at the address for this imaginative departure from granny farming – ‘RB Management Consultancy, 1 Bromley Lane, Chislehurst Business Centre, Chislehurst, England, BR7 6LH’.

Again, I suggest we can all guess what the ‘RB’ stands for.

The company providing that accommodation address is otherwise known as RBMC Global Ltd, set up by Raqia Bibi in February 2017. She was joined by Kuhananthan in April 2021. Though you have to wonder why he bothered, seeing as RBMC Global files as a dormant company.

Which means that Kuhananthan joined a dormant company just two months before he decided to become a movie mogul. (Was he inspired by The Producers?)

On the very same day as RMBC Global was launched, another Bibi-Kuhananthan epic was unleashed on an unsuspecting world. This being RB Care Homes Ltd. Which is also filing as dormant.

Contradicting its prone position I found a glossy sales brochure for RB Care Homes Ltd, which seems to trade as Luxury Property Global. Or should that read traded, for the website is defunct.

Whatever the answer, that brochure alone must have cost a few bob to knock up and to print. All 18 pages of it.

Click to open enlarged in separate tab

Getting the picture now? If not . . .

Bibi and Kuhananthan seem to be acquiring care homes and then leasing or selling the rooms in those homes. Described in the brochure as ‘Buy to let’.

They could be running any number of homes in Wales on this model, in many or most cases working through proxies and using companies unknown to local authorities, Care Inspectorate Wales, and others.

UPDATE: When I published what you see above, earlier today, I was unsure if Kuhananthan and Bibi had actually sold or leased any rooms. A bit more digging has turned up the evidence.

The Administrator’s report for Nant-y-Gaer Ltd, dated 30 June, 2022, from which the panel below is extracted, makes it clear that 26 rooms were leased, for 250 years, at the Wrexham Care Centre.

Click to open enlarged in separate tab

Those who bought the leases have formed a group, The RB Action Group(?), claiming £2,074,984.

If it was done at one care home, then it’s reasonable to assume that Kuhananthan and Bibi were pulling the same stunt at their other homes. In fact, the report I’ve linked to talks of ‘associated companies’.

Questions need be asked as to how ‘Welsh Government, Care Inspectorate Wales, and local authorities, allowed these shysters to operate for so long.

Which fits with the curious arrangements I mentioned in the previous post, in which the company supposedly owning a business or property is, effectively, dormant, while an unknown entity actually owns the building and runs the business.

In the recent case in Pontypridd, the company mentioned as running things is RB Care Homes Ltd, which produced the brochure yet, as you’ve just read, files as a dormant company, and has nothing in the way of assets other than £1,000 in the bank.

The Land Registry title document tells us the property is actually owned by Pontypridd Care Home Ltd.

Both companies run by Raqia Bibi and Mohanananthan Kuhananthan.

It was a very similar picture in Wrecsam over 3 years ago. The report I’ve just linked to mentions ‘Wrexham Care Centre’. There was certainly a company of that name, but it also filed as a dormant company, with no assets beyond another £1,000 in the bank. It was Dissolved 24 May, 2022. Bibi was a director, but not Kuhananthan.

The property was in fact owned by Nant-y-Gaer Ltd (the former name of the home). Bibi was a director there at the death, but Kuhananthan had departed in October 2015.

Finally, there was also Nant-y-Gaer Hall Ltd, wound-up in March 2020, Bibi ceased to be a director 15 July, 2019, Kuhananthan 21 April 2017.

Yet the June 2019 report in the Leader says the home was run by Raqia Bibi and Mohanananthan Kuhananthan. But in June 2019 Kuhananthan was not a director of any of the three connected companies.

His involvement was limited to Nant-y-Gaer Hall Ltd where, after ceasing to be a director in April 2017, he remained in control until the bad publicity of June 2019 may have forced him out 18 July, 2019.

Nant-y-Gaer Hall Ltd is still in existence, with two outstanding loans, but has been without a single director since Raqia Bibi resigned in July 2019, also following the unfavourable publicity.

Were the council and Care Inspectorate Wales even aware of Nant-y-Gaer Hall Ltd?

Click to open enlarged in separate tab

Which, by a roundabout route, brings us back to RBMC Global and RB Care Homes, and the same questions – if both have been filing as dormant, who’s running the show, and what happened to the money attracted by that ‘imaginative’ sales brochure?

Bibi and Kuhananthan dabbling in the lease / buy-a-room business was not of itself illegal, but it offers great scope for criminality, including money laundering.

I referred earlier to this being an MO we had encountered before, and indeed we have. Just think back to Gavin Lee Woodhouse, of Northern Powerhouse Developments, the self-styled ‘Wolf of Wharf Street’.

Grand lad, our Gavin . . . apart from being a lyin’, thievin’ little bastard.

Despite it all, not so long ago representatives of the ‘Welsh Government’ were fighting to shake Gavin’s hand. I treasure the image below. But what happened to little Kenny Skates? Did he disappear one moonlit night while dancing in the Flint Ring?

I do so miss him!

April 2017. What could possibly go wrong? Click to open enlarged in separate tab

Gavin took a great liking to Wales, buying up hotels from Llandudno to Tenby. Then leasing the rooms individually, a kind of timeshare arrangement. You lease a room from Gavin, then you get paid when someone stays in it.

‘Lubbly jubbly!’ Order your Ferrari now!

One of the properties Woodhouse bought was the Fishguard Bay Hotel. It was run by (and perhaps renamed) Wyncliffe House Hotel Ltd. Here’s the relevant Land Registry title document. Scroll down to see the 125-year leases of individual rooms.

At the time I was writing about Woodhouse I also bought a few of the lease documents from the Land Registry, and my suspicions were raised.

Click to open enlarged in separate tab

It seemed to me that not all the stated lessees were kosher. There were exotic addresses given that would have been difficult if not impossible for HMRC or anyone else to trace.

Then I remembered that the timeshare business, which is very similar to what we’re discussing here provided golden opportunities for money laundering.

You buy a run-down hotel or apartment block in some Mediterranean locale. Next, you form a timeshare company. Then, you tart up the building, get some glossy brochures printed. Finally, you start selling leases to genuine buyers. But you can also sell the same leases to entirely fictitious buyers and take in money you can’t otherwise account for.

Bingo! Money laundered.

And there are other ways of taking people’s money with timeshare. Some of those involved in such scams have appeared on this blog, mentioned in a long-running saga.

Buy a few hotels and you can defraud any number of people, and launder a hell of a lot of money. The same applies to care homes.

I’m not sure if Gavin Woodhouse went in for retirement homes in Wales, but as the video above makes clear, that was certainly his planned route to riches over the border. But he wasn’t interested in buying existing care homes like Bibi and Kuhananthan – Gavin was going to build new.

Well, no, he wasn’t. He had no intention of actually building the care homes, just in taking the money from investors he’d suckered.

Described by a high court judge as ‘thoroughly dishonest’. No shit, Sherlock!

The Wolf of Wharf Street had other plans to bring joy and prosperity to Wales, as we see in the image above of Woodhouse with Labour luminaries.

For he is said to have come up with the idea for the Afan Valley Adventure Resort. He even roped in no less a personality than Bore Grylls. (Who is probably in Ukraine right now stealthily and mercilessly dispatching Russian generals.)

All joking aside, there are so many questions.

How many homes are Raqia Bibi and Mohanananthan Kuhananthan still involved with in Wales, directly or indirectly? How many of them are run on the ‘invest-in-a-room’ model?

Does anyone know? Is anyone asking?

What’s the legal situation if some old dear gets raped, robbed, or dies in an accident in a room where responsibility might be difficult to establish because ownership rests with a shady company in the British Virgin Islands?

Finally, let me suggest that it would be a good idea for ‘Welsh Government’, Care Inspectorate Wales, our councils, to establish exactly who ultimately owns each and every care home, if only to ensure they’re not dealing with shell companies.

As they have been too often in the very recent past.

♦ end ♦

© Royston Jones 2022


Miscellany 28.09.2022

I hadn’t planned on putting out a post this week. But people contact me and say, ‘Have you seen this, Jac?’; and most of the time I can politely respond and let it pass. But now and again I get a clutch of reports or leads that are worth bringing together in a post like this.

It’s big, 4,500+ words, but as I always say, you can take it a section at a time.

And because it’s so big, and it’s taken so much work, don’t expect anything next week.

SYCHARTH UPDATE

The previous post was about my visit to Sycharth on September 16, and my disappointment with state of the site. Which prompted a reader to write to Cadw, the agency responsible for conserving our heritage.

Click to open enlarged in separate tab

Here are the points he raised with Cadw:

  • The stile to Sycharth is in a poor condition.
  • Car parking is insufficient.
  • The whole site is in a mess. An hour with a strimmer would do wonders.
  • The information board does not mention much of  Cymru’s history.
  • Its neglect is a travesty and an insult to our past and heritage.
  • Utterly shameful behaviour on your part.

To which Cadw responded with this. Which tells us the site belongs to the Llangedwyn Estate. More particularly, Nicholas Watkin Williams-Wynn.

A couple of phrases from the Cadw response are worth focusing on.

‘Sycharth  . . . forms part of a working tenant farm under the Llangedwyn estate with permissive public access and parking at its discretion’.

‘Cadw installed the car park (four cars max) and access works (stile?) in 2010-2011 but their maintenance is again the responsibility of the owners.’

So it’s up to the Llangedwyn Estate whether people are allowed to visit Sycharth. And could, presumably, block public access. It’s also the Estate’s responsibility to maintain car parking and access. To judge by what I saw there, the Estate is doing its best to discourage visitors.

Is this some old dynastic feud being played out in the 21st century?

So I ask again: If the so-called ‘Welsh Government’ can find £4.25m to buy Gilestone farm for an English music festival, for purposes that are yet to be explained, why can’t it find the money to buy a site of national if not international importance and maintain it adequately and respectfully?

FREELOADERS IN FREEPORTS

Freeports are back in the news. And it seems Wales is getting one. Either in Holyhead or Milford Haven and Port Talbot.

Let’s start in Holyhead.

Now the Conservative MP for Ynys Môn, Virginia Crosbie, is a big supporter of freeports, and has staked her reputation on turning a run-down ferry port into a beacon of global trade that will bring into Caergybi the riches of the Orient, the gold of the Indies, and of course – Guinness from Dublin.

Here she is setting out her ambition in a mercifully short video.

Though in truth, freeports rarely live up to their billing. And often involve very murky dealings. Private Eye has been following the evolution of the Tees Freeport in north east England. And produced the report below in the issue before last. (Available here in pdf format.)

N.B. Political donations are not to be confused with bribes and backhanders; and if friends of London politicians get juicy contracts then it can only be because their firms are best able to deliver.

Click to open enlarged in separate tab

Tees-side is a heavily built-up area, with a population pushing 380,000. And after the loss of its heavy industry – particularly steel – there is a widespread perception that the area is ‘owed something’.

Holyhead, by comparison, is a small town, with not much to speak about other than the ferry port to Ireland.

Until it closed in 2009, a major local employer was the Anglesey Aluminium smelter, with its private jetty. The plant received its electricity from Wylfa nuclear power station, some 15 miles away, another major employer that is now gone.

Roughly one thousand jobs paying good wages lost, but never mind, we’ll obey those who know best and stick in a few wind turbines and wave machines – plenty of jobs and unlimited cheap energy. Not.

The vacant site was taken over by Anglesey Aluminium Metal Renewables Ltd which in January 2016 became Orthios Power (Anglesey) Ltd. The site eventually being used for a plastics-to-oil operation.

But this folded earlier this year, with debts estimated at some £200m. And the end came suddenly, certainly for the staff. I’m told there was just a 10-minute warning not to start the next shift!

There are many Orthios companies listed with Companies House, none going back further than 2009 and most formed in the past three years. The ultimate holding company seems to be Orthios Operations Ltd, formerly Orthios Group (Holdings) Ltd.

So what happens now?

Well, the old smelter site has been bought by ferry operator Stena, and this is how a source on the island explains it . . .

‘Now of course they (Stena) can shift the dockside car parks elsewhere leaving nice waterside development plots. Just the sort of place to build a cable plant so they can load directly onto ships. The sort of cable company Virginia Crosbie MP was courting … the one owned by a Tory donor’.

He’s referring to Tratos, another local company hoping to benefit from offshore wind farms. Well, when I say ‘local’, it might be local if you were living in Italy. As the report makes clear.

From North West Wales Conservatives website. Click to open enlarged in separate tab.

This further report will explain a bit more of what’s going. Though you may not need to read beyond the headline: ‘Holyhead could get 300 cable jobs if area gets freeport status – says firm run by Tory party donor’.

Not much more to say really. Stena is leading the Freeport bid, and now Stena is pulling out the stops to get an ‘anchor’ company located in Holyhead. As is the local MP.

To finish this piece on Holyhead I have to mention Jake Berry MP. Now Jake is MP for a constituency in north west England, but he owns a number of properties on Ynys Môn. During the Covid lockdown it was rumoured that Virginia Crosbie was living in a property owned by Berry.

In addition to his post as party chairman, new Prime Minister, Liz Truss (I know you’re all impressed!), has made Berry Minister without Portfolio. Which may not sound much, but it kind of gives him a free hand.

That appointment was announced September 7. The day before the announcement, Berry resigned from the Northern Research Group Ltd (northern English Tory MPs), where he held the controlling interest. Also from Ford Bridge Farm Ltd.

Now why would he do that?

Ford Bridge Farm is of course an English rendering of his – or his wife’s – Rhyd y Bont farm at Rhoscolyn, on Holy Island. This is the smaller island, off the main island, and where Holyhead is located. Which means that Jake would be very close should the freeport materialise. A neighbour!

Rhyd y Bont circled. Click to open enlarged in separate tab

Does Jake Berry anticipate benefitting in some way from a freeport at Holyhead? Or am I being too cynical? Cynical! Moi!

By comparison, the southern rival seems far less well advanced. In fact, we could be forgiven for thinking it’s hardly off the ground. This report would suggest that it was launched as recently as last week.

Though this piece from November 2020 suggests the Port of Milford Haven has been thinking about a freeport for some time.

Milford Waterway. Click to open enlarged in separate tab

The more recent activity may be due to the fact that in May it was announced that the 45km limit (for the extent of freeport status) could be extended in Wales. This could certainly explain the southern bid combining Milford Haven with Port Talbot.

Which are 87km apart, as the fabled crow flies.

This somewhat bizarre combination is presumably justified by links between Milford Haven and Swansea Bay. As show in the image below. Which strikes me as being a wee bit desperate. For example, the Llandarcy refinery closed in 1998.

And would a freeport in Milford make the oil, gas, or electricity flow any faster?

Click to open enlarged in separate tab

My insular source believes that for all sorts of reasons the southern bid will win out. I’m not so sure. For with local boy Jake Berry working his magic behind the scenes, and his good friend Virginia Crosbie staking her political reputation on it, I would not be at all surprised to see the £26m freeport pot head up the A5 rather than down the M4.

But whichever direction the loot heads the lucky recipients will need to watch out for sharks circling – but these won’t be in the water. They’ll be arriving in Beemers and hoping to dazzle with PowerPoint presentations and insincere smiles.

And, dare I say it, ‘inducements’. There, I’ve said it.

And I say it because a freeport in either Holyhead or Milford / Port Talbot will attract grifters like the fresh laverbread stall in Swansea market draws discerning gourmets.

NAILING THE VOICES?

This section is decidedly odd, and I wasn’t sure about using it, so please understand if certain details are withheld. (Especially towards the end.) But I do have the information and the relevant documents.

It started when someone got in touch, saying she had information on Gilestone, but what she offered was unconnected incidents jumbled up with snippets from hither and yon.

The long and winding road somehow took us to Ammanford. And Alan Delaney Tait. If the name rings a bell it’s because Tait claims to hear voices of women and children being abused, hurt, even killed. These sounds either come from beneath his property or from tunnels nearby.

Tait has turned his ‘voices’ into a cottage industry. With many videos on YouTube and other platforms. That said, they don’t get many views. This one, with 40k, is probably the most popular.

Most people, including the local police, dismiss Tait as a publicity-seeking crank. No tangible evidence of human trafficking has ever been found. In fact, there is nothing beyond Tait’s recordings; and as has been pointed out, these could have been made anywhere.

Doing a quick check for Tait on the Companies House website turned up some interesting stuff. Now I’m not sure from where Tait originates, but he’s been living in Ammanford in recent years.

And yet Companies House gives out eight companies for ‘Alan Delaney Tait’ with addresses in Ystalyfera, in the Swansea Valley.

With other companies where he drops the ‘Delaney’ and becomes plain ‘Alan Tait’.

Such as Alan Dee UK Ltd. (I love the way some use ‘UK’, hoping their enterprise will be mistaken for the local branch of a global empire.) Then there’s UKWide Contract Services Ltd,  ADT UK Wide Ltd and, finally, Number Plates Online Ltd.

In recent years the focus of operations seems to have switched to Derbyshire, in the East Midlands. With The Three Boars Guesthouse Ltd and Chal Rentals Ltd.

For these Derbyshire-based companies Tait has as co-director the gloriously monikered Carlos von Gallo. Who has his own YouTube channel, where he puts out nothing but Tait’s Ammanford ‘recordings’.

‘Von Gallo’ is listed as the sole shareholder at the two companies’ deaths, but does he really exist?

What the 14 companies I’ve given here have in common is that after a short life – in some cases very short – they all went under. There are no survivors.

Something else I found intriguing was that for almost all Tait’s companies there was an issue of a single £1 share (if it was him alone) or £2 if there was another director (Tait’s wife or ‘von Gallo’). With two notable exceptions.

These were The Old Coal Store, with a share issue of £25,000, and Barlas Eren Sezer Ltd, with a share issue of £125,000.

Click to open enlarged in separate tab

I don’t wish to cast aspersions but, if I had money I couldn’t account for, then disguising it as a share capital in a company doomed to fail, might have its attractions.

In his ‘voices’ videos Tait points the finger at the nearby Sophia Nails. He further claims that the leaseholder was a Vietnamese woman named Trang Thanh Tran. She is now said to run T Nail Spa in the centre of Swansea.

There is a company of that name where she is listed as sole director. But the single £15,000 share is held by Thi Hai Nhung Nguyen who gives as his address another nail bar, this one on Chepstow Road in Newport.

Tran’s partner, or husband, Quang Lam, was the leaseholder in Ammanford and also at Heaven Nails in Llanelli. He was sent down for 5 years for belonging to a gang growing and distributing cannabis.

There are a number of ‘Heaven Nail’ companies, all but one run by Vietnamese nationals.

The Vietnamese connection may be significant because some comments to the YouTube videos claim to have heard Vietnamese being spoken by the ‘voices’.

But the problem with Tait is that even if he’s telling the truth about the voices, and the Vietnamese connection, one look at his business record tells us that he is, to put it generously, ‘unlucky’, with so many failed companies to his name. 

Despite Tait being so ‘unlucky’, I was still left wondering . . . and so, motivated by nothing beyond idle curiosity, I Googled ‘Sophia Nails’, the name of the Ammanford salon. What popped up was the Sophia Nail Spa in Porth, in the Rhondda.

At which point things got a bit strange.

For in February this year a company, Sophia Nail Spa Ltd, was launched. The only director is a 23-year-old Vietnamese named Thien Van Hoang.

And although the company uses 22 Hannah Street, Porth, as its correspondence address, the Certificate of Incorporation gives Hoang’s address as 31 Ridley Terrace, Sunderland.

Click to open enlarged in separate tab

At this point is might be worth suggesting a few things.

  • First, whoever’s running the Porth nail bar may know nothing about the company that’s using the same name.
  • Next, Thien Van Hoang may not even know he is named as director of Sophia Nail Spa Ltd. I have come across other examples of people being listed as company directors without their knowledge.
  • Finally, Thien Van Hoang may never have visited Sunderland.

But to find another Vietnamese connection is intriguing. Not least because it seems nail bars are used by Vietnamese criminals for exploiting women and girls, also for money laundering. The same gangs that are involved with cannabis. And not just in the UK.

Just type ‘Vietnamese nail bars trafficking’ into your search engine and you’ll bring up countless news reports. It’s big business.

Which may also explain Sophia’s Nail Bar at 9 Oxford Street, Mountain Ash. (Shown in image below.) Which more recently seems to have been known as New Star Nails. Which again is odd, because a company of that name folded in July 2018.

The secretary and the only director are both of Vietnamese extraction.

Click to open enlarged in separate tab

Returning to Porth, if we look at the building in which Sophia Nail Spa is located we see a block – 20-25 Hannah Street – with a second floor and, in part, a third floor.

Another company listed at this block was a sporting establishment (darts, snooker, etc), on the first floor, which in July changed its name and apparently became a bar. All the old directors left and a single new director arrived, a 22-year-old woman with an unmistakably Welsh name.

I’m not saying young Welsh women shouldn’t run bars, but . . .

For a start, ingress and egress to a bar on the first floor will only be possible by a flight of stairs from the street. Would a council – even Rhondda Cynon Tâf – grant a drinks licence to a place where people would regularly fall or be pushed down the stairs?

Click to open enlarged in separate tab

On a weekend a fleet of ambulances would be needed to carry away the injured. And as we know, Wales doesn’t have a working fleet of ambulances.

Something’s not right. The old Jac nose is all a-quiver.

From countless previous cases in Wales and across Europe, Vietnamese nationals owning or running nail bars should have aroused the suspicions of both local councils and the police. 

Finally, the company that owns that 20-25 block on Hannah Street in Porth is based just a mile and a half, as the crow flies, from Gilestone Farm!

I am not suggesting anything. It’s just a small world and Wales is a small country.

THE OLD FOLKS AT HOME

Someone contacted me suggesting I might be interested in the latest in a series of bad news stories about care homes. And this one really is bad.

Like so many of the care homes in Wales, Pontypridd Nursing Home is run by a company based outside of Wales. In this case, RB Care Homes Ltd, of Chislehurst in Kent. The RB stands, presumably, for director Raqia Bibi.

I can’t find a website but there is a Twitter account with nothing posted for three years. It’s a similar story with the Facebook page.

I suspect this company has gone under. Maybe not officially, but Companies House is still waiting for accounts that should have been submitted by November 30 last year. I don’t think they’re coming.

Click to open enlarged in separate tab

Despite the parlous state of RB Care Homes, and other companies of hers we’ll look at in a minute, Raqia Bibi was, as late as June this year, being held up as an exemplar of good practice in the sector!

Truly amazing!

Pontypridd Nursing Home wasn’t Ms Bibi’s first venture into care homes, nor her first foray into Wales. For she has a string of companies behind her, including you’ll notice, Wrexham Care Centre.

Where some three years ago she also made the news for the wrong reasons. You’ll see that her partner in Wrecsam was Mohanananthan Kuhananthan. With whom the story takes a bit of a twist. But be patient.

For a start, Wrexham Care Centre Ltd was always a dormant company, with money going through Nant-y-Gaer Ltd, which is also in administration.

Then, you’ll remember that the news report I linked to at the top of this section said that the Pontypridd Nursing Home is run by RB Care Homes Ltd, which may be true. But that company has also been filing as dormant since it was Incorporated in February 2017.

The report made no mention of Pontypridd Care Home Ltd, owned by Mohanananthan Kuhananthan. With Raqia Bibi as co-director. Which may be explained by the fact that it’s this company that actually owns the property on Maesycoed Road, for which it claims to have paid £1.5m in May 2012.

Which means that while local authorities and others go chasing dormant companies for money those companies don’t have, the assets themselves are owned by companies they may know nothing about. It’s a popular trick.

Maybe Wrecsam and Rhondda Cynon Tâf councils, or anyone else owed money from the collapse of nursing / care homes, should consult their lawyers about refocusing any claims.

Kuhananthan has other companies. Many companies. Four under the Comfort Care Homes brand suggest operations in Wales. With, in some cases, money owed to the Development Bank of Wales. These relate to the Danygraig Nursing Home, in Newport.

What I find extraordinary is that these DBW loans were made in June, when it would have been obvious, after the most cursory of enquiries, that not only are Kuhananthan’s companies in deep trouble, but that the man himself may not be entirely above board.

UPDATE 10.10.2022: It may be worth clarifying that Kuhananthan was no longer a director of Comfort Care Homes (Danygraig) Ltd when the DBW loans were made, and Bibi had never been a director. But this company is owned by Dream Care Homes (RB) Ltd, formed in December 2021. And while they’re not shown as directors of this company either, I suspect the ‘RB’ tells us something.

Kuhananthan’s Welsh involvement doesn’t end with the examples given.

Through the company Mufulira Ltd, which Kuhananthan joined in May 2018, and was followed by Raqia Bibi in July 2021, they own Ridgeway Care Centre in Pembrokeshire, which must be worth a few bob.

The entrance to the Ridgeway Care Centre, Llawhaden, Pembrokeshire. Click to open enlarged in separate tab

In fact, the latest accounts seem to value Ridgeway at just short of two million pounds. That said, while it might be owned by Mufulira – another company in trouble – Mufulira itself is owned by Comfort Care Homes Ltd, which we know is yet another Kuhananthan and Bibi company.

Maybe Pembrokeshire County Council should also be on alert, and realise who owns Ridgeway. But then, Kuhananthan-Bibi companies appear to have no assets beyond the buildings, all of which have loans or mortgages against them.

I didn’t have the time to go any deeper, but I suggest for anyone so inclined, that Kuhananthan and Bibi are worthy of further investigation.

Before finishing this section, here’s another interesting connection.

We earlier encountered Nant-y-Gaer Ltd, which I suggested was the Kuhananthan-Bibi company actually running the home of that name in Wrecsam. (Now ‘Wrexham Care Centre’.) But there’s also a Nant-y-Gaer Hall Ltd.

When going through the details for Nant-y-Gaer Hall Ltd I noticed that Kuhananthan gave as his address 83 Dyserth Road in Rhyl. Where we find Sandy Lodge Hospital, run buy Medirose Healthcare.

A company formed as recently as November 2020 and filing as dormant.

However, 83 Dyserth Road is owned by HuaTong Ltd, a company that somehow manages to make a loss every year. The directors and owners are Chinese citizen, Wang Liu, and Sharvanandan Arnold, who has cropped up before in connection with fellow Sri Lankan Mohanananthan Kuhananthan

I conclude that care for the elderly in Wales is an utter shambles. It’s attracting unscrupulous if not crooked operators. They’re drawn by easy money and the lack of adequate oversight.

As a start, and a show of intent, I would like the ‘Welsh Government’ and Care Inspectorate Wales to announce they will not register or deal with any care home, nursing home, or other facility, where Mohanananthan Kuhananthan and Raqia Bibi are involved.

To lighten the mood a little, though not too much . . .

I genuinely worry about the care of the elderly because I’m not getting any younger myself. Will I be properly taken care of when my kids dump me in the Uncle Joe Sunshine Home for Unrepentant Fascists and Incorrigible Transphobes?

SOURCES

I had planned to have a section dealing with information I’d received from a source somewhere within the ‘Welsh Government’ detailing the nepotism and corruption all around.

And of the power wielded by those connected with housing associations, often in areas that have nothing to do with housing, and how the Wales Council for Voluntary Action is almost an arm of government.

Also some of the names I’m called in Corruption Bay. Some so bad he / she couldn’t even put them into print! Well, I was mortified. Mortified, I was!

But on reflection I feel it could be dangerous for this person if I was to go into details. So I’ll leave it there.

The information I’ve received thus far was posted anonymously to Gwlad and passed on to me. But I do wish to maintain contact.

So we need to think how this might be achieved.

GLOBALISTS

In recent years it has become increasingly clear to me that much of what I report on is simply the ‘Welsh Government’ and various agencies in Wales adopting and promoting agendas dreamt up elsewhere.

‘London’, is only part of the answer. And an increasingly irrelevant part.

A few years ago I wouldn’t have been writing this, but the Covid ‘pandemic’ and the way it was seized upon by politicians and others opened my eyes, and it helped me see the bigger picture.

That bigger picture of unelected, supranational bodies imposing agendas on governments and other institutions that impact on just about everybody on Earth.

In particular, I’m referring to the World Economic Forum. Made up of politicians, bankers, and multi-billionaires like Bill Gates, George Soros and Mark Zuckerberg. This self-electing elite – like almost all previous elites in human history – believes it is made up of essentially decent people, who are obviously smarter than the rest of us, and should therefore run the world.

Klaus Schwab and the World Economic Forum. Click to open enlarged in separate tab

It reminds me of a couple of lines from Tom Paxton’s 1960s protest song, Daily News.

J. Edgar Hoover is the man of the hourAll that he needs is just a little more power

Just like J Edgar Hoover all the new global elite needs is a little more power. And then a little more. And then . . .

(Never agreed with his politics but I always thought Paxton was the best – certainly the most versatile – of the 60s folk / protest singer-songwriters. Love songs, political songs, humorous songs, kids’ songs, he could do them all.)

The principal tool the new elite uses to exert control and impose its agenda is climate disaster. Just like the Nazis they realise that to impose your will you need to frighten people with an imagined or overblown ‘threat’.

For the Nazis, it was the Jews, the Communists, Versailles; but for Klaus Schwab and his gang it’s global warming – and it’s all our fault. So we must change our behaviour to make up for the damage we cause, in ways that will be decided for us.

And it’s the West that must be targeted. Partly because the West is the richest and most advanced area of the globe, and also because concepts of individual liberty are more highly developed and valued in the West than most other parts of the world.

This explains the many-fronted attack on Western civilisation by the globalists and their foot-soldiers on the Left. With their initiatives denied / defended / promoted / hidden / (depending on requirements) by their allies in Mainstream Media and Big Tech.

It also explains much of what we see in Wales: the war on farmers, the lack of spending on infrastructure, the 20mph speed limit, our hills being ravaged by wind farms.

The crises we see approaching, food shortages due to the war on farmers, power cuts thanks to a campaign against fossil fuels and increased reliance on useless ‘renewables’, no petrol or diesel to run our vehicles, being locked out of your bank account for holding the ‘wrong’ views, political unrest resulting from these problems, unnecessary lockdowns and dangerous vaccinations justified by a virus with increasingly suspect origins, even the war in the Ukraine, have all been engineered, and could all have been avoided.

Because it’s all about control. Over us. By them.

Compared to forced chipping of children, and silencing those who challenge the WEF narrative, Lee Waters stuffing the National Infrastructure Commission with cronies representing housing associations, Sustrans / Deryn (Waters is ex Sustrans himself), and the M4 corridor, is small beer.

And no less than we have come to expect from Welsh politicians.

I’ll end with a little history lesson cum allegory that might explain how I see things.

Carlos Marcello was the Mafia boss of New Orleans for many years, and one of the most powerful gangsters in the USA. Then in 1960 John F Kennedy became President; he appointed his brother Bobby as Attorney-General, and Bobby went after the Mob.

Predictably, many leading figures in organised crime wanted to whack Bobby Kennedy; but Marcello sagely observed that if you cut off a dog’s tail he can still bite you, so it was better to go for the head.

Which helps explain why Marcello is strongly suspected of being implicated in JFK’s assassination in Dallas on November 22, 1963. He probably was involved, but this wasn’t a straightforward Mafia hit, and they didn’t act alone.

The point I’m making is that I’m spending too much time on a ‘tail’. And while I shall continue to report idiocy like Gilestone, in future I intend paying more attention to the ‘head’.

♦ end ♦

 

© Royston Jones 2022


The Great Rip-off: On Land, At Sea, In Space!

On this blog I have consistently argued that I want Wales to operate less like a colonial possession and more like countries run by politicians who prioritise the material well-being of the people in those countries.

The so-called  ‘Welsh Government’ clearly thinks I’m asking for too much. For it continues to encourage and facilitate the exploitation of our homeland by foreign companies and other agencies.

Methods now being employed to disguise the nature of the beast include a veneer of Welsh involvement. And it is no more than a veneer. An expensive veneer, because it’s often paid for from the Welsh public purse.

Another way of thinking about this ‘veneer’ is to view it as the classic variant of colonialism that allows members of a native elite to profit from the plundering of their country and its resources. It both buys their loyalty and disguises the colonialism.

ON LAND

This is what I’ve been reporting with Bute Energy, that multi-headed monster that emerged from nowhere, with no background in renewables, and no Welsh connection, but which is now hoping to erect 20 wind farms in Wales.

Explained here in, ‘Corruption Is Such An Ugly Word . . . But I Can’t Think Of Anything Else To Call It!’

Bute set up a totally superfluous ‘Welsh Advisory Board’ in order to provide sinecures for redundant Labour MEP Derek Vaughan, and John Uden, partner of Labour MS Jenny Rathbone.

I’m uncertain of Dr Williams’ political loyalties while John Davies is a rural ‘Independent’. Perhaps even one of Pembrokeshire’s Independent Independents (I have trouble keeping up). Click to open enlarged in separate tab.

The only ‘advice’ Bute expected from this Board was to be told who they should see to get things done. Better still, to hear, ‘Leave it to me, I’ll have a word with ———-‘.

It stinks. But it didn’t end there.

Winner of the Farley’s Rusks Chubby Cheeks Competition 1986, and later spad to the Labour mighty, David James Taylor, also had his snout firmly in the Bute trough. Though his membership of linked Grayling Capital LLP ended in September, after the spotlight fell on him.

But Taylor still has shares in Windward Enterprises Ltd, the owner of Bute Energy Ltd, which in turn owns the 20 companies, one for each of the proposed wind farms. These shares are held in his own name and that of his company, Moblake Associates Ltd.

The lucre from his association with Bute seems to have been shovelled to his company Moblake Ltd, from which Taylor then paid himself £605,872 in roughly three years. This was done in the form of ‘loans’ that don’t need to be repaid!

Click to open enlarged in separate tab

Taylor’s latest venture, also based at 69 Lambeth Walk, is Earthcott Ltd. Set up just before he quit Grayling Capital. Unsurprisingly, this new company is also in the flim-flam and door-opening business.

So we have a company, Bute Energy, and its associated entities, hoping to make a lot of money out of Wales. Perhaps for the minimal outlay of 20 planning applications. Which I’m sure Bute believes will be waived through.

And as I suggested last week with Bute Energy Selling Wales For Danegeld? Bute may already have made a pile from whatever agreement has been reached with Danish investors.

Now it’s time to move offshore, so don your oilskins and adopt a jaunty nautical stance. (But anyone attempting Robert Newton impersonations will be keelhauled!)

ALL AT SEA

It may have escaped your notice, but Wales has vibrant offshore wind and wave industries. Or at least, that’s what we’re being told.

Though the offshore wind turbines seem limited thus far to the north coast. Which presumably means they’re the profitable responsibility of the Crown Estate. (Devolved in Scotland but not in Wales.)

Which is why I was surprised that the Welsh National Marine Plan – produced by the ‘Welsh Government’ late in 2019 – only mentioned the Crown Estate in passing. Almost as if the ‘Welsh Government’ wants us to believe that Gwynt y Môr and the other arrays are all their own work, with the benefits accruing to Wales.

Gwynt y Môr offshore wind farm. Click to open enlarged in separate tab

It should go without saying – this being Wales – that these offshore wind farms are all foreign-owned. Keeping to this template, the latest array proposed, Awel y Môr, will be owned by German company RWE.

But it’s not just wind turbines fixed to the sea bed that Corruption Bay encourages. There are also plans for floating turbines, and wave energy.

Which is a cue for us to head down to Pembrokeshire, where we find Mor Glas Wind Farm Ltd (16.08.2021) and Mor Gwyrdd Wind Farm Ltd (ditto) sharing an address in Pembroke Dock.

The directors of both companies are Joseph Geraint Kidd who, to his credit, describes himself as Welsh rather than British on Companies House documents; and Niamh Kenny, who is Irish.

Kidd has had a number of other companies to his name, among them Venn Associates Ltd (13.06.2019). We’ll return in a moment to Venn and Niamh Kenny.

Before that, let’s remind ourselves that Pembrokeshire is quite a hot-spot for marine renewables. As I reported here in August 2020 with Wales and envirocolonialism.

Another company hoping to cash in is Cambrian Offshore South West Ltd (09.01.2019). Companies House tells us that the splendidly monikered Diccon Stideford Rogers of Falmouth is the only director. From the same source we learn that a confirmation statement is overdue.

In fact, I’m wondering if this outfit is still afloat, because there seems to have been no activity on the very basic website for over a year.

It would be a pity if Cambrian Offshore sank without trace, because last August the Development Bank of Wales loaned the company £650,000. DBW tried to cover itself with a charge against the assets; though whether Cambrian Offshore has assets to that value is debatable.

Perhaps Diccon’s other companies will chip in.

Click to open enlarged in separate tab

Sue Barr’s Linkedin page makes no mention of Cambrian Offshore, despite her being described as Managing Director. But it does introduce us to other players. Among them Marine Energy Wales, where we find Joseph Geraint Kidd again, on the Advisory Board. Also the Pembrokeshire Coastal Forum.

I wonder how much the locals down there know of these organisations, these wonderful plans? And will they see any benefits?

Let’s return to Joseph Geraint Kidd and Niamh Kenny. As we’ve seen, they are linked through the two companies, Mor Glas Wind Farm Ltd and Mor Gwyrdd Wind Farm Ltd.

But both have fingers in other pies.

Here’s Niamh Kenny’s Linkedin page. The recent appointments listed are:

DP Energy, but we must assume she’s left because she certainly doesn’t figure in the company’s ‘team’.

Also, from January 2021, she’s been a self-employed ‘Renewable Energy Specialist’.

While from May 2021 Niamh Kenny has also been Project Developer at NMK Renewables and SBM Offshore. The first is, presumably, her company, using her initials; while the second is a major Dutch company.

Finally, we see that Niamh Kenny is a partner in Hiraeth Energy. And who could argue with this ‘local benefits’ mission statement:

Fine words. But are they anything more than fine words? Click to open enlarged in separate tab

My initial inquiry established that Hiraeth is a partner in Climate Cymru, a clique of planet savers subsisting on a diet of fully organic public funding. Climate Cymru contains some organisations I regard with suspicion, a few with contempt.

Then I found Hiraeth in glorious isolation as Hiraeth Energy LLP (21.07.2021). That is, Limited Liability Partnership, an opaque arrangement often used to cover up shady dealings. A LLP doesn’t have directors, it has members. Which explains Niamh Kenny’s relationship.

And among the other members of Hiraeth we find the aforementioned Venn of Joseph Geraint Kidd.

There is one Companies House entry for Venn Associates Ltd (13.06.2019) that tells us Kidd is the sole director; but there is another entry that lists, in place of directors, Hiraeth LLP and Afallen LLP.

Hiraeth, we know about, but who or what is Afallen LLP? For Afallen is also listed as a member for Hiraeth LLP. The Afallen website proclaims: “What Wales does today, the world will do tomorrow”.

I hope to God that is just hyperbole, because if it’s a prediction, and anywhere near true, then I’ll seriously consider drinking myself to death.

Can you imagine a world ruled by the kind of duplicitous and incompetent buffoons that inhabit Corruption Bay? No, don’t even think about it!

Companies House tells us that the original partners in Afallen LLP (04.10.2018) were Dr David Owain Clubb, Mari Frances Arthur, and RTRT Consulting Ltd of Penarth. Though Clubb was soon replaced by his company Cymorth Clubb Cyf (05.11.2018). They have of course been recently joined by Kidd’s Venn Associates. It’s all very incestuous.

If the names Clubb and Arthur sound familiar, it’s because . . .

Clubb is the brother of former Plaid Cymru CEO Gareth Clubb. While Arthur caused disruption a few years back when her friends in Plaid HQ imposed her on the winnable Llanelli seat.

This imposition resulted in mass resignations locally and Plaid Cymru handing the seat to Labour. A rum do. Very rum.

So, to sum up: Joseph Geraint Kidd of Pembrokeshire has linked with Niamh Kenny of County Cork who is knowledgeable about offshore renewables. It appears she is also familiar with some big hitters in the business.

Companies that might be interested in Pembrokeshire.

What I presume Ms Kenny does not have is political connections in Wales. Which is where I suggest Afallen comes in.

For Arthur and Clubb are also in the door-opening business. Just like those taken on by Bute Energy. And now, with Labour and Plaid in alliance, well-connected members of both parties can expect to be in demand.

These are the kind of people who flit between politics, third sector, and private companies; providing nothing in the way of public benefit, but always guaranteed publicity from a compliant media and access to their politician friends.

THE FINAL FRONTIER

There was considerable chortling last week at the news Wales has a space programme.

Did you ever read such bollocks! Click to open enlarged in separate tab

Though let me put your mind at rest in case you’re worrying about Welsh public funding being used to land a non-binary and intersectional party of Wokeonauts on a dreary rock, far, far away . . .

(Though the idea is not without its attractions.)

There is no Welsh space programme. It’s just the Corruption Bay gang trying to put a Welsh spin on orders from London. And not for the first time. Or the last.

Though we could still end up financing a scheme from which we’ll see no benefits.

Let’s look at this scam in greater detail. Starting with the front page from last week’s Cambrian News. Having a couple of comedians accompany the headline is very fitting. We’ll soon meet another.

Click to open enlarged in separate tab

The CN’s inside pages went for broke. Even giving us a piece by Vaughan Gething MS, Minister for the Economy. (There – what did I promise you!)

Having a Minister for the Economy in Wales is like having a Minister for Women’s Rights in Saudi Arabia. Neither’s expected to do much.

Click to open enlarged in separate tab

From that inside spread you’ll see Llanbedr and Aberporth mentioned. Which should give you a clue as to what we’re really talking about here. But if you’re still struggling . . . it’s drones and missiles, possibly satellites. But dressed up as a ‘space programme’.

I’ve written about Llanbedr a few times. First, here, in Miscellany 15.01.2020 (scroll down to section ‘Llanbedr Airfield’). A week later with Come Fly With Me. And then, in December 2020, it was Lucky Gwynedd – More ‘Investors’ (‘Fly boys’).

Remarkably, a week after that final piece appeared, the loans Snowdonia Aerospace LLP had received from the Secretary of State for Defence and the ‘Welsh Ministers’ over 8 years earlier were paid off.

These loans were made so that Snowdonia Aerospace could lease Llanbedr from its nominal owner – ‘The National Assembly for Wales’. Which means that we paid an English company to lease property from us!

That’s how to run a country!

Though whether any money was really paid is another matter. Perhaps to avoid giving ammunition to a nosey blogger someone thought it best to write off those debts.

Click to open enlarged in separate tab

Alternatively, it was all a sham, with no money being loaned in the first place, with maybe Llanbedr staying in MoD ownership.

Whatever happened, the key player in this, in the assorted entities involved, the Byzantine dealings, seems to be Lee John Paul. Learn more about him in those earlier posts to which I’ve linked.

It’s reasonable to assume that Paul is well connected with the defence establishment. Otherwise the Ministry of Defence would not have loaned him money or allowed him to use Llanbedr airfield.

For Llanbedr was not Paul’s first venture with former MoD sites in Wales. He was also involved in a company promising to turn RAF Brawdy into a business park.

Brawdy Business Park Ltd gave up the ghost in April 2013 owing a lot of money. Some of it to the Welsh Development Agency.

Llanbedr airfield. Click to open enlarged in separate tab

This whole idea of a ‘spaceport’, and where to locate it, is political. It’s about flying the flag. The Union flag. Which is why a site in SNP-run Scotland beat Llanbedr to the prize.

So what we’re discussing here is at best the consolation prize; and an exercise in turd polishing on the part of the ‘Welsh Government’.

With that in mind, here’s what I think is really happening at Llanbedr . . .

By promising skilled jobs the Ministry of Defence – operating through, or in partnership with, private companies – hopes the ‘Welsh Government’ and Cyngor Gwynedd will cough up funding for a ‘spaceport’.

This, as we highly-trained defence analysts are wont to say, is a load of old bollocks. First, because the reality will just be upgraded drone and missile testing, Second, rural Wales does not have the skills needed, and training is unlikely to be provided.

Then there’d be the security dimension. I remember how RAE Llanbedr operated. All the best jobs went to retired service personal – who’d signed the Official Secrets Act – while cooks and cleaners were recruited locally.

The proof for me that the Llanbedr Spaceport is just a PR exercise lies in other actions by the ‘Welsh Government’. 

Because if Llanbedr was going to be Gwynedd’s Cape Canaveral, with thousands of highly-skilled local employees, then Corruption Bay would not have pulled the plug on the planned by-pass.

Somebody’s lying.

As yet, we don’t know the Welsh beneficiaries of this particular fairy tale, but as with renewables and other scams, they will emerge.

♦ end ♦

 

© Royston Jones 2022


Tourism or Survival; Wales Must Choose

My intention was to start winding down this blog, spend more time with my wife, grand-children, books, Malbec . . . but things keep cropping up. That said, it’s very unlikely I shall undertake major new investigations. Diolch yn fawr.

I had planned a Miscellany this week, but then realised that all but one of the items was on tourism. So I dropped that one item – about a bunch of good-lifers pretending to be local and demanding funding so they can live on Gower – and I’ve gone for a selection of pieces on tourism.

FERODO / ‘AWEL Y FENAI’

It seems like a different world when a small town like Caernarfon could have a factory employing over 1,000 people, but it wasn’t so long ago. And there were other employers in our smaller towns.

In the south west there were big creameries making use of the locally-produced milk. These creameries closed and nowadays that milk is shipped over the border, providing thousands of jobs in England.

As an example of colonialist exploitation it’s on a par with Cuban tobacco leaf being shipped ‘home’ to Spain to be made into ‘Cuban’ cigars.

But I digress.

After a change of ownership and name, labour disputes, and other problems, the old Ferodo factory eventually closed for good some twenty years ago.

The Ferodo plant in its hey-day. Click to open in separate tab.

New plans for the site were announced just over 2 years ago, and you can catch up with my article here (scroll down) before pushing on to get up to speed with the latest news.

A number of sources have kept me updated, so let’s see what they have to report.

And where better to begin than by looking at the planning application, which is for:

'Development of a holiday and leisure park to include 173 holiday lodges; 51 new-build holiday apartments; change of use of building to 4 holiday apartments; a leisure hub building; re-configuration and renovation of industrial units; provision of a private water treatment plant; and, associated car parking, landscaping, access and internal access roads.'

We can also see that the plan covers not only the old Ferodo site but also Plas Brereton. And if that sounds familiar, then it’s probably because Paul and Rowena Williams of Plas Glynllifon fame were talking of buying the place.

Go on, you know you want to – take a trip down Memory Lane.

Just over a week ago the developer, Mr Peter Brendan Gerrard O’Dowd, was promising untold benefits to the area from his Gwel y Fenai project. But planners seemed unconvinced, on a number of issues, including the impact on the Welsh language.

Speaking for Mr O’Dowd, agent Rhys Davies, of Cadnant Planning, promised the site would have bilingual signage. Wow!

Though, in fairness, planners had many more reservations about this project than just language impact. Which explains why it was rejected by councillors on Monday.

Though you’ll see from the report that a number of councillors spoke up in support of the project, or else urged planners to continue discussions with Mr O’Dowd. I fear that some councillors in Gwynedd have reached a point where they genuinely believe that low pay, low skill, tourism jobs are the best our people can – or should – aspire to.

I hope I’m wrong.

Another source, who worked at Ferodo, reminds me that one reason the site has lain empty for so long is the asbestos. Either still in situ, or else in the sealed tip on site. Though this source sees no real problem with building on adequately sealed asbestos tips:

'With a cover of several feet depth of inert material and soil, mobile homes or lodges could safely stand on top of the tip as no noxious gases would be generated by the buried material.'

This source’s concerns focus on where the money for the investment is coming from. So let’s give this some thought.

O’Dowd is a property speculator. If we look at his Maybrook company we see assets of over £11m pounds. Which looks fine. But most of the £11m is accounted for by property he’s bought with loans. The rest could be explained by overvaluing that property.

The 11 loans taken out before December 2017 have all been repaid. Most of these loans were with banks you and I would recognise. Since then, there have been 7 further loans, but none after October 2018. And these loans are with less recognisable institutions.

The two most recent loans were taken out with Together Commercial Finance of Manchester, who got in so deep and lost so much with Paul and Rowena Williams. You may remember that Together also funded the purchase of Llangefni Shire Hall.

In fact, Together has appeared on this blog a number of times, invariably associated with rather iffy companies and individuals. It’s a lender of last resort, where you go when banks turn you down.

In fact, Together may be worthy of investigation itself.

The suggestion is that Mr O’Dowd is over-reaching himself with this £70m+ project, because it’s impossible to see where the money will come from.

To progress this project, Bryn Coch Ltd was formed. As far as I can see, all the shares are owned by O’Dowd’s other company, Maybrook Investments Ltd. Bryn Coch’s only asset appears to be the Ferodo site, for which it paid 195,000 + VAT.

(But not all the site is owned by Bryn Coch Ltd. Go to the plan on the title document I’ve just linked to and you’ll see that part of the site is covered by title number WA965076. Here is the relevant title document.)

Click to open in separate tab

Yet in the latest accounts, Mr O’Dowd values that land at £5.4m. And it might be worth that, with planning permission. But it doesn’t have planning permission, and without it that land is worth no more than the £195,000 + VAT that was paid for it.

Maybe less.

I suspect Mr O’Dowd may not be alone in this venture. There may be associates yet to be identified. Until we know the full story, planning permission should be rejected. And even if the project does become more transparent, the planners’ objections remain valid.

And those objections will not be overcome by the magnanimous gesture of bilingual signs in a town where 85% of the population speaks Welsh.

Before moving on, I just want to touch on Mr O’Dowd’s new companies, and his other holdings in Gwynedd.

Maybrook Investments Ltd has two holdings on Penamser Road in Porthmadog. (The Pwllheli road.) Title numbers CYM135945, CYM255694. One is the old Gelert outdoor clothing unit, the other, nearby land.

Then, through new company, Lendline (NW) Ltd, Peter O’Dowd owns Parciau Farm – or part of it – which lies just across the A487 from the old Ferodo site. Lendline is owned by Maybrook Investments.

Finally, moving to Bangor, we find that another new company, Maybrook Investments (Parc Menai) Ltd, owns land either side of Penrhos Road, close by the A487, and not far from the A55 Expressway.

Land in two parcels: one to the south west of Graig House, Capel y Graig, title number WA533768; and the other to the west of Nant y Mount, Vaynol Park, title number CYM71442.

I can’t help wondering what has attracted Peter O’Dowd to Gwynedd. And why he’s bought the land he’s bought. Does he know something we don’t?

Or someone?

CARRY ON GLAMPING

There was a Twitter dispute last week with the owners of a new glamping venture near Pwllheli. I got roped in and found myself blocked by the proprietors of Brook Cottage Shepherd Huts.

As you might have guessed, the spat was over that toe-curlingly twee English name.

Also, that the venture got a £50,000 loan from the Development Bank of Wales. I mean, Wales doesn’t already have enough glamping sites? Those involved couldn’t have raised the money they needed from Barclays or some other bank?

The two behind this exciting venture are Jonathan Gooders and Mark Barrow, who were previously in the fine arts business according to this piece from NorthWalesLive. Their ignorance of Wales would seem to be exposed by their belief that Welsh shepherds lived in glamping sheds.

Click to open in separate tab

The company involved in this exciting venture at Y Ffor is Brook Cottage Holidays Ltd, formed just over a year ago. The two directors and shareholders are, as we would expect, Gooders and Barrow. On the Certificate of Incorporation both describe themselves defiantly as ‘English’.

I mention this because most people use ‘British’. I would obviously describe myself as ‘Welsh’, but it’s often the Ukip types who go with ‘English’.

But this is not their first company.

Let’s go back to what I wrote earlier, and the quote in NorthWalesLive, that said:

'Jonathan Gooders and Mark Barrow both have a background in fine art and wanted to put this and a passion for nature into redeveloping land near their new home at Y Ffor, near Pwllheli.'

But that’s not the full story. There are other recent companies that have nothing to do with ‘fine art’.

Certainly, Gooders and Barrow ran a company called Framers (London) Ltd, and Barrow may even have had a small gallery. Though Mark Barrow Fine Art (formerly Modern British Artists) seems to have folded. Certainly, the Twitter account hasn’t been used for a few years.

What really interests me is that Jonathan Gooders has been involved in a number of companies that have nothing to do with fine art, and all of which were dissolved around the time they moved to Wales. Three on the same day!

Barrow was also involved in at least one. Here they are:

Doesn’t inspire confidence does it?

This glittering business record might explain why Jonathan Gooders and Mark Barrow couldn’t get a loan from a ‘High Street’ bank. (Remember them?) It should also have been the reason why the Development Bank of Wales turned them down.

So I just hope that the £50,000 of our money is safe. But even if it is, don’t expect it to create any jobs.

But rest easy – for they have a wealth of experience in tourism and glamping.

TOURISM MAKING LIFE DIFFICULT FOR LOCALS

Now it’s time to move south, to Carmarthenshire, land of my great-grandfathers. And to be precise, to Cydweli (Kidwelly), which lies between the county’s two metropolises of Carmarthen and Llanelli.

An interesting town in many ways. Let me explain.

Something I’ve noticed over the past 50 years or so is that in rural areas the Labour Party is now almost entirely dependent for members and active supporters on people who’ve moved in. Invariably from England.

An example would be the we-know-best harridans trying to take over Knighton in Powys and dictate to everyone else.

Which might make Cydweli the most westerly community in Wales where the Labour Party is still native-run, just. But even here, in recent years the thinning ranks have been swelled by an influx of Guardian-reading know-alls who feel Cydweli can’t manage without their input.

Back to the narrative.

Earlier, when discussing plans for the old Ferodo site in Caernarfon, I suggested that some councillors may have given up on their communities seeing any jobs better than those provided by tourism. And that’s what might have happened in Cydweli.

For the Labour gang controlling Kidwelly Community Hub CIC has been handed £270,000 by the ‘Welsh Government’ for the ‘Black Cat Tourism Strategy’.

This seeks to ‘grow the visitor economy’ – at any price.

The no-expense-spared launch of Kidwelly’s Black Cat tourism strategy. Click to open in separate tab

The Black Cat project lead is Suki Baynton, who recently arrived from the Cynon Valley, where I’m told she was Contaminated Land Officer for Rhondda Cynon Taf council. She was certainly Property Manager for Ashfield Solutions for a while.

We see Suki in the above picture, on the right, in the red coat.

Suki has also launched her own company, Room Publishing Ltd. The website tells me it’s a load of New Age bollocks; but then, I’m a cynical old bastard who grew up in the real world.

Back to Cydweli, and the growing problems being experienced by locals as the county council and others seek to ‘grow the visitor economy’. (Why not just be honest and say, ‘We want lots more tourists’?)

For, clearly, tourists visiting the holiday homes and the Airbnb rents in this rather cramped old town are going to cause parking and other problems. Sure enough, this is what’s happening, and it’s pissing off the locals.

As my source puts it – ‘This is what happens when a Plaid Cymru council (Carmarthenshire) prioritises tourism and starts closing Welsh medium schools in surrounding villages.’

To help you make sense of what else he has to say I suggest you open this Google map of the town. Now read on . . .

'THE CASTLE AREA

There’s a cluster of holiday rentals inside the town walls of Bailey Street and Castle Street and Cadw have installed a barrier stopping parking to the little car park next to the castle. 
This has resulted in lots of tourist parking on New Street, the main through road. Residents, when they arrive home from work, are finding the free parking outside their homes occupied by visitors (sometimes with trailers of kayaks and jet-skis). So residents have been parking of the pavements and double yellows causing obstruction or getting parking tickets.

GLANYRAFON

There is a free car park at Glanyrafon (the overflow) which has been used by residents for many years. Now there is a plan to build a new grant funded museum next to it, on the nature reserve. This is the ‘History Shed’ relocated from Laugharne, a kind of WW2 Spitfires and gas masks hobby attraction. 
The adjacent car park, which has been free to residents, will now be paid parking, reserved for visitors. Residents of Bridge Street and New Street will lose their free parking.

PARC PENDRE

Carmarthenshire Country Council intends to close two schools. Ysgol Gymraeg Gwenllian in Station Road within the town and also Ysgol Gymraeg Mynyddygarreg in the nearby village (where children from Trimsaran also attend). It is to be replaced by a new consolidated school at Parc Pendre within the town behind the Coop. 
It’s anticipated there will be parking chaos due to the school run. Parents dropping off the kids to attend school arriving by car from further up the Gwendraeth valleys. This was anticipated in the plans and is to be mitigated with ‘enhanced parking controls.’ 
This involves new double yellows in Parc Pendre and a residential parking scheme in surrounding streets. Residents will be charged £30pa for a permit.'

Without recourse to a crystal ball, tea leaves, or seaweed (great-aunt Fastidia’s favourite), I can confidently predict Cydweli’s future . . . properties will be bought up by ‘investors’, coming from that enchanted land, ‘Away’, at prices few locals can afford.

This will result in the town losing its Welsh identity, the age profile will change for the worse, the rugby club will close, one or two pubs, and, as I can testify from my area, there’ll be no need for the new school – because there’ll be so few kids living locally.

And all this will have been achieved by ‘growing the visitor economy’!

Jobs! Did I mention jobs? No, because there won’t be any, this is ‘Welsh’ tourism.

UPDATE 26.11.2021: My source has now heard from Carmarthenshire County Council Highways Officer that –

All permanent residents in Cydweli will be charged £30 per household for a parking permit. All properties will be eligible to apply for a permit to park, even those with existing off-street parking and all properties run as holiday homes, self-catering lets, AirB&B will all be able to apply for a business permit for their guests. HMRC documents such as a tax code in England will be acceptable documentation for a permit.

BEWARE OF SMOKESCREENS AND VIRTUE SIGNALLING

Not long ago, in a wonderful example of those who are unaffected by the decisions they take affecting the lives of Welsh people, the ‘progressive’ consensus in Corruption Bay – i.e. Labour and Plaid Cymru – abolished Right to Buy.

In the village where I live most of the council houses had been bought by their Welsh tenants. Without the option of RtB most of them had little hope of buying a property in their own community. And it’s the same in other villages in the area. With Aberdyfi being the stand-out example.

The reason for that is outsiders snapping up properties; some for holiday homes, others because people want to move here permanently. With many more of the latter than the former.

Yet a bunch of virtue signallers see nothing wrong in depriving Welsh working class people of their only hope of owning a property in their home community. Perhaps they believe the lower orders must be cared for, and dictated to, as if they were children, by those who have sipped at the fount of socialist knowledge.

There were so many other options the leftists could have adopted that would not have disadvantaged our people, but they weren’t prepared to consider them.

And now those ‘progressives’ are in some kind of informal coalition down in the swamp. Which is more nonsense; for despite periodic bouts of foot-stamping from Plaid Cymru they’ve always been in alliance. Nobody was ever fooled.

One of the problems this repulsive mob of mediocrities pledges to confront is that of Welsh people being forced out of their communities by rising house prices. Now I’m a firm believer that to confront and deal with any issue one must first understand it.

Unfortunately, there are those among us, supported by influences external to Wales, who wish to misinterpret the crisis in our rural and coastal areas.

Click to open in separate tab

Canary is a left wing English publication, fighting what can no longer be called class war because the working class has been alienated by the modern left’s obsessions with gender, race and climate.

It’s no longer even ideological. It’s a kind of cult-like belief in certain absurdities, as we saw when Undod (mentioned in the panel above) and its allies sought to take over Yes Cymru earlier this year.

The left wants to view the crisis in rural and coastal Wales as some fault of the capitalist system; as part of a bigger, UK-wide, ‘housing crisis’. Without ever addressing the influx of good-lifers, retirees and the rest.

Here’s an example of what I’m talking about. Jennie Bibbings works for Shelter Cymru. This is one of the forty-odd ‘homelessness’ outfits funded with our money by the so-called ‘Welsh Government’. Done for no better reason than to employ otherwise unemployable Labour-supporting graduates and drop-outs from our oversized universities.

Click to open in separate tab.

If Jennie Bibbings genuinely believes that our rural and coastal areas would still have a housing problem without ‘2nd homers/saes’, then she’s a fool. But she doesn’t believe that. She’s merely spouting the leftist line.

Which believes that only nationalists care about the destruction of Welsh communities. And because ‘All nationalism is evil’ the only acceptable response is to either ignore such concerns entirely or else subsume them into something bigger that can more comfortably be supported.

So I urge you to be on your guard for attempts to cloud the issue and misrepresent the crisis facing us. These attempts will come from the socialist consensus in Corruption Bay and its ideological soul-mates elsewhere in Wales, and outside of Wales.

‘TOURISM, TOURISM, WHAT BULLSHIT IS SPOUTED IN THY NAME’

Some forty years ago, not long after the start of the Meibion Glyndŵr campaign, I was watching a television programme in which the late Prys Edwards, then head of the Wales Tourist Board, was being interviewed and the subject of holiday homes came up.

Edwards seemed almost offended and asked, ‘You surely aren’t suggesting that holiday homes have anything to do with tourism?’ The interviewer let him get away with it and the discussion moved on.

Prys Edwards. Click to open in separate tab

I use that example because it’s symptomatic of attitudes in Wales, the dissociative thinking that results in us being unable to honestly identify the problems facing us, and, as a result, solving them.

Despite what Prys Edwards wanted us to believe, holiday homes are an inevitable consequence of tourism. The clue is in the name.

I have yet to meet anyone who has bought a holiday home in an area with which they did not already have some familiarity from having taken holidays there. Have you?

And yet, as I’ve already said, I suspect that holiday homes will be used as a distraction from the bigger problem to which I have alluded. Which would be a terrible mistake, and a betrayal of our people.

For the problem of locals being priced out of the communities in which they were born and raised, and the anglicising of those communities, can not be resolved until we accept that permanent in-migration is a bigger factor than holiday homes.

This article in the Guardian last week, focusing on Llandudoch, was headlined, ‘Cultural genocide by bank transfer’. The words were those of veteran language campaigner Ffred Ffrancis.

Who also said, ‘ . . . the problem was being turbo-charged by the “flight” from cities caused by Covid’. A reference to people buying properties in Wales in order to work from ‘home’.

And he’s right. But the problem won’t go away with Covid-19.

We, as a nation, and more especially, Welsh speaking communities, are facing an existential threat to our existence. And it all stems from tourism.

Whether it’s the mass tourism that destroyed the Welshness of Abergele and Borth, or the more up-market tourism that is making us strangers from Rhossilli to Rhosneigr.

We are past the stage where consultations and working groups serve any useful purpose – these are just delaying tactics employed by a Vichy administration under orders from its masters in London. We need action. And we know what that action must be.

The ‘Welsh Government’ must introduce legislation that limits who can buy domestic property in Wales.

There can be no more words. No more dithering. No more obfuscation. No more passing the buck. Either the ‘Welsh Government’ acts, and acts quickly, or there’s a growing risk that others will.

Faced with cultural genocide, many will argue that any action will be justified.

♦ END ♦

 




Afan Valley Adventure Resort – here we go again!

My intention was to start winding down this blog, spend more time with my wife, grand-children, books, Malbec . . . but things keep cropping up. That said, it’s very unlikely I shall undertake major new investigations. Diolch yn fawr.

In keeping with the promise made above, this is an update to a story I was reporting on a few years back rather than a new investigation. I’m returning to it now because there have been significant developments.

MEMORY LANE

The plan to build a big adventure park in the Afan Valley, behind Port Talbot, complete with a hotel and lodges, offering ski slopes and cycle routes, was the brainchild of self-made con man Gavin Lee Woodhouse.

At one point, maggot-munching Bore Grylls was on board, but his enthusiasm cooled, perhaps when he realised the kind of  ‘businessman’ he’d got himself involved with.

But the ‘Welsh Government’ believed every word from Woodhouse, and in addition to offering him a £500,000 grant for his Caer Rhun hotel near Llanrwst, our tribunes were ready to throw more money at him in the Afan Valley.

Click to open in separate tab

Woodhouse’s empire came crashing down when investors in his properties – some of which were never built – persuaded the media to take an interest. Now, I believe, it’s in the hands of the Serious Fraud Office.

Woodhouse’s umbrella company was Northern Powerhouse Developments Ltd, but the company set up for the Afan Valley extravaganza was the imaginatively named Afan Valley Ltd.

If you click on the ‘Charges’ tab for Afan Valley you’ll see that there are two outstanding charges. One in the name of Clive Mishon, the other 360 Mi Ltd, a company owned by Mishon that is now in liquidation.

I’ve never been entirely sure where or how Mishon fits into the picture, but he was certainly on the ground before Woodhouse. We know that because in May 2013 he was a founding director of short-lived Afan Solar Ltd. Next, perhaps after learning the sun doesn’t shine all the time in Wales, he joined Afan Energy Ltd in April 2014.

Both are long since dissolved. Afan Energy, in which Mishon was a shareholder, was written off with debts of £596,391.

Though still in existence is Marcol Industrial (Afan Energy) LLP. (Since dissolved.)

Let’s remind ourselves there are three land titles making up the area involved. All mentioned in the Administrator’s progress report for Afan Valley Ltd of August 20.

The first, WA519567, was bought by Afan Valley Ltd with a loan from Clive Mishon. CYM471819 was bought in the same manner. CYM60212 is owned by Clive Mishon.

The Administrator’s report suggests that Clive Mishon is an unsecured creditor and will get the money he loaned when the land is sold.

We must assume the land has been sold because of the press release put out last week by Neath Port Talbot Borough Council telling the world that the project was back on track under new management.

Though Mishon is still involved, perhaps because the project can’t proceed without the land he owns. Besides which, Mishon has associates, involved with companies registered in places that enjoy more sunshine than Wales.

NEW FACES, OLD FACES, MASKS AND DISGUISES

Having read the press release you’ll know that those who’ve taken over are said to be the Salamanca Group Ltd and Wildfox Resorts Afan Valley Ltd. Let’s start with Wildfox, where the two directors are Martin James Bellamy and Benjamin Daniel Lloyd.

The initial share issue was for 101 shares. One hundred held by Wildfox Resorts Group Ltd, formed March 16, 2021 (as Kikai Group Holdings Ltd), the other by Clive Mishon.

All 100 shares in Wildfox Resorts Group Ltd are held by Lloyd and significant control is exercised by his company, Caer Capital Ltd. Caer Capital was formed September 15.

Lloyd lives in Wales but uses as an address, 21 Ganton Street, Soho, London W1F 9BN.

Lloyd has been involved with a number of property and buy-to-rent companies since 2016, but it all looks small scale compared to what’s planned for the Afan Valley.

The main vehicle for Lloyd’s ambitions seem to be Project Three Developments Ltd, where he’s in partnership with Gareth Vaughan Morgan and Benjamin Peter Hugh Wells.

This company claims ‘tangible assets’ of some four million pounds, almost certainly property bought with loans from the Development Bank of Wales.

The most recent company is Wells Lloyd Ltd, formed as recently as June this year. Has this new company been cobbled together to cash in on the Afan Valley bonanza?

Strengthening the local connection is another Lloyd company, Kikai RGI Ltd, where the other director is Lewis Ashleigh Peach, who gives a Caerffili address. Most of the shares (70%) are held by Wildfox Resorts Group Ltd, with Peach holding the remainder through his Arete Group Holdings Ltd. Arete was formed March 16, 2021.

But is Lloyd really the man behind the revived Afan Valley project? He’s certainly not mentioned in the press release from Neath Port Talbot council.

Yet ownership of Wildfox Resorts Afan Valley Ltd, the company mentioned in the NPT press release, seems to trace back through Wildfox Resorts Group Ltd and Caer Capital Ltd to Benjamin Daniel Lloyd.

To give you some idea of the size of the project, here’s the plan submitted with the planning application from Gavin Woodhouse’s Afan Valley Ltd.

Click to open in separate tab

Now let’s turn to the Bellamy-Salamanca angle.

We find a host of Salamanca companies, all based at 3 Burlington Gardens in London’s Mayfair. The link between them is Martin James Bellamy.

An interesting name I keep seeing in connection with Salamanca is Lord David Triesman. A very wealthy man.

Another name shared by a number of companies is Rocksteady.

Where Lloyd crops up again as a director of Rocksteady Resorts Group Ltd of 21 Ganton Street, Soho. This company was formed on March 17, 2021, which is appropriate as another of the directors is Irishman Paul Christopher Baker. The third director is Martin James Bellamy. All shares are held by Rocksteady Group Ltd, formed March 16, 2021.

Another Rocksteady company was Rocksteady Resorts Ltd, launched March 11, 2020. Also interesting because the two directors were Baker and Peter Macandless Mundell Moore.

You see Moore in the group photo above. He was the expert brought in by Gavin Woodhouse to give his project credibility. Moore is invariably referred to in media reports as ‘the man who brought Center Parcs to the UK’.

Moore left Rocksteady Resorts March 9, this year, and the company was dissolved July 6.

The three directors at Rocksteady Group Ltd are Bellamy, Baker and Lloyd. The 200 shares are split equally between Set in Stone Holdings Ltd and CLLP Ltd. Both give London addresses.

One of the four CLLP directors is Hossam AlSaady, of Saudi Arabia(?). The others are Lloyd, Bellamy, and Anthony John Rowland. AlSaady runs Above Wealth LLP with Rowland. A company that helps the über rich find a home for their money.

Until 3 April, 2021, Set in Stone was using as its address, The White House, St. Mary’s Well, Bay Road, Swanbridge, Penarth CF64 5UJ. It files as a dormant company, showing just a single £1 share, presumably held by Paul Baker who was the only director until 17 March, 2021, when he was joined by Laura Lynn Baker, an American resident in Wales.

The shares in CLLP Ltd are held by MJB Capital (Lancelot Place) Ltd, 100 B shares; and Lancelot Developments Ltd, 325 A shares. All shares in MJB (Lancelot Place ) Ltd are held by MJB Capital Ltd. Lancelot Developments is controlled by Dr Chander Kanta Sabharwal and Dr Narinder Nath Sabharwal.

At MJB Capital, serving as directors, we find Bellamy and Ms Darina Kogan, a US lawyer now resident in England. Though she is Russian by birth.

This very recent item from the Daily Telegraph tells us that Mrs Bellamy – as we must now call her – is the daughter of Russian oligarch Valery Kogan.

So, I would guess that Martin Bellamy is, as reports tell, the driving force behind the revived Afan Valley project. Lloyd, Baker, et al make up the supporting cast.

Martin Bellamy

If nothing else, Bellamy knows billionaires who could easily finance the Afan Valley Adventure Resort. Among them, his business partner, and his father-in-law.

We are talking serious money here, and individuals with very powerful friends and allies, up to and including Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin.

SKATING ON THIN ICE

But there are other companies in the shadows. One being Afan Valley Resort Ltd, formed March 19, 2021. The two directors are Baker and Bellamy. The shares are all held by Rocksteady Resorts Group Ltd. The address is 21 Ganton Street, Soho.

There’s also Afan Valley Resort Management Ltd, Incorporated March 23, 2021. The two directors are, again, Baker and Bellamy. The single share is owned by Afan Valley Resort Ltd. Also using the Ganton Street address.

Another company bringing together Bellamy and Lloyd, and another company formed in March of this year, is Kogan Bellamy Lloyd Ltd.

It might be worth having a look at a couple of other companies Baker has been involved in, interesting for the American involvement, though also a bit worrying.

First, there’s E-Ventus Energy Ltd, with its registered address at the White House in Penarth. The other directors in this company were fellow Irishman John Connolly, who was resident in the USA, and US citizen John Spence, also resident in the USA.

The filed documents show an interesting story. The directors folded the company in February 2018, perhaps in an attempt to escape their debts. The creditors appealed to the High Court and the company was restored to the register. You don’t often see this kind of document; it’s worth reading.

The accounts for E-Ventus Energy are long overdue at Companies House. I wonder how much they owe?

Another strange company Baker was involved with was Deeside Hockey Ltd. The address given was 3rd Floor, 5 Temple Square, Temple Street, Liverpool, L2 5RH, but we can be fairly certain that the name referred to Deeside in Flintshire. In fact, there is a Deeside Dragons Ice Hockey Club playing in Queensferry.

Deeside Hockey was Incorporated August 5, 2015, first gazetted November 1, 2016, and finally dissolved January 17, 2017.

There were three directors at the start; Baker – resident in Wales – plus two resident in the USA, Wayne Gary James Scholes, and Trevor Damon Suelze. Baker pulled out September 14, 2015 and was replaced by American Collin Zito.

All the shares in Deeside Hockey Ltd were held by Red Hockey Ltd, since renamed Telford Ice Sports Ltd. And what a story we have here!

Launched in August, 2013 the first director was Scholes. Suelze joined in October. Baker joined in February, 2015. All using the Liverpool address.

Other directors came and went, and shares were issued, but this company was soon in trouble and eventually, after a lengthy process, it was dissolved in June this year.

The liquidator’s reports refer to ‘a number of questionable transactions’, and the company owed creditors almost half a million pounds.

In a Companies House Return of February 2015 we are told that all 1000 shares in (then) Red Hockey Ltd were owned by Really Epic Dog Ltd, operating out of the same Liverpool address with Scholes, Suelze, and Zito, as directors.

This company has creditors to whom it owes £4.9m. Most of this is explained by (allegedly?) transferring money between related companies run by the same directors.

At the same address were also Really Epic Dog Holdings Ltd, Really Epic Dog Publishing Ltd, and Gods knows how many other companies with no visible means of support.

So who are these Americans or US residents with whom Baker is associated? (For Suelze may be Canadian, and Scholes British.)

From someone else who was briefly a director of Red Hockey Ltd, South African resident Servaas Hendrik Theron, we have an address: General Counsel, 5225 Wiley Post Way, Suite 150, Salt Lake City, Utah 84116.

Googling that address turned up Red Touch Media and Wayne Scholes. There’s even a Wikipedia entry. Collin Zito is Chief Operations Officer at Red Touch.

Red Touch Media is now Liverpool Digital Media Ltd. The latest accounts show a company heavily in debt.

TRYING TO MAKE SENSE OF IT

We would appear to have a number of potential sources for the money to re-launch and complete the Afan Valley Adventure Resort.

Martin Bellamy has his business partner Lord Triesman, and his father-in-law Valery Kogan. Either of them could finance this project from their small change. But if one of them was funding this project why do we see such a supporting cast?

And why so many Afan Valley companies?

And let’s not forget the Saudi link provided by Hossam AlSaady. Or if not a link to Saudi Arabia, then to one or more partners of his Above Wealth LLP. One of which is Swiss fund managers Gottex.

Then, we have the intriguing connection, via Liverpool, with the USA and, more specifically, the state of Utah.

What are we to make of Scholes, Suelze, and Zito, and their involvement in Deeside Hockey, the liquidator’s reference to ‘questionable transactions’, the unpaid creditors, and the labyrinth of linked companies all owing each other money?

Given their forays into the leisure business I would be disappointed to learn that these people are in any way involved at Afan Valley.

The connection between them and the resurrected Afan Valley venture is of course the Irishman, Paul Christopher Baker.

Baker is very much a player now at Afan Valley.

We find him at Afan Valley Resort Ltd with Martin Bellamy. The duo are together again at Afan Valley Resort Management Ltd. The duet becomes a threesome when Lloyd joins them at Rocksteady Resorts Group Ltd. The three then do an encore at Rocksteady Group Ltd.

All four companies formed 16 – 23 March, 2021.

And let’s not forget dissolved Rocksteady Resorts Ltd, where we would have found Baker and Peter Moore. Formed in March 2020 and put down a year later, with the name carried on by others.

Though I was struck by one very curious Companies House filing for this company, which I reproduce below.

Click to open in separate tab

Was Paul Baker formerly known as Paul Morris, and did he change his name? Or did whoever registered the company with Companies House not know Baker’s name?

Whatever the answer, the name given on the company’s Certificate of Incorporation is definitely Paul Christopher Morris.

Baker’s association with the Utah Scousers and their Deeside Hockey, plus his role with E-Ventus, the company the High Court restored, might suggest he has a somewhat ‘cavalier’ attitude to business.

But what about the boys from round by ‘ere, like?

Well, Benjamin Lloyd’s Wildfox Resorts Afan Valley Ltd may be the real deal and his route to fame and fortune. Or it may be just a distraction.

His mate, Lewis Peach, is the other director of Kikai RGI Ltd. (Another company formed in March, 2021.) But a few years ago Peach was running a gym in Caerffili.

In the Caerphilly Business Forum Awards for 2017 we read: ‘Entrepreneur of the Year – sponsored by Coleg y Cymoedd: Lewis Peach – Peak Performance Fitness Solutions.’ (Did you know we have no word in Welsh for the English term entrepreneur?)

But Lewis is a Renaissance Man, cos when he’s not pumping iron we find him at Pure Structured Finance. This company was formed in December 2019, and according to Companies House its address is opposite McDonald’s in Llanishen. Yet the website I just linked to says it operates out of 3 Burlington Gardens, London, W1S 3EP.

And if that address sounds familiar then that’s because it’s where we find Martin Bellamy’s Salamanca empire.

Wheels within wheels. So many connections. Pathways and dead-ends. No wonder old Jac is getting quite dizzy – and alcohol plays no part. Honest!

A FEW QUESTIONS WITH WHICH TO CONCLUDE

These questions are addressed to Neath Port Talbot Borough Council and the self-styled ‘Welsh Government’ on behalf of those still interested in how Wales is mis-ruled.

  • Do you know who is really behind this revived project, and where the money is coming from?
  • Why do you think this project needs so many companies?
  • How would NPT Council and the ‘Welsh Government’ feel about the project funding coming from Russia or Saudi Arabia?
  • There are persons with questionable business records linked with the project. What are their roles?
  • Will those now behind the project follow the discredited Gavin Woodhouse model of selling shares in the lodges and the hotel rooms?
  • Have those behind the project requested grants from the ‘Welsh Government’, or loans from the Development Bank of Wales?
  • How much public money will be spent on infrastructure – roads, etc – for the Afan Valley Adventure Resort?
  • What measures will NPT Council and the ‘Welsh Government’ put in place to ensure that contracts are placed with local firms and the better jobs allocated to local people?
  • Given that the Afan Valley Adventure Resort will mean tens of thousands more cars travelling from England into Wales, and back, every year, how does this square with the ‘Welsh Government’s ambition for Wales to single-handedly save the planet?
  • Will there be an extra charge for chalets and hotel rooms offering uninterrupted views of the surrounding wind turbines?

Labour politicians in Neath Port Talbot and Corruption Bay may be desperate to claim more ‘investment’, but rest assured, boys and girls, I shall be keeping a jaundiced eye on the Afan Valley Adventure Resort.

Because I’m sure there’ll be more to tell you in the months ahead.

UPDATE 20.10.2021: The Western Mail published an article this morning that was clearly designed to boost the project and make it clear that those now involved had no connection with the misdeeds of Gavin Lee Woodhouse.

It further informed us that the funding is coming from ‘Octopus Real Estate’. But I doubt it. For this is a one-woman company formed in April to buy a property in Wiltshire.

Presumably it refers to one of these pension fund Limited Partnerships, Octopus Commercial Real Estate Debt Fund II and Octopus Commercial Real Estate Debt Fund III.

But which one?

♦ end ♦

 




Housing in Wales

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

The title tells you what this week’s article is about. I’m going to look at how the picture has changed in the past few years.

THE BIG PICTURE

Obviously, there are different types of housing, from mansions like Jac o’ the North Towers to more modest owner-occupied properties; then we have social rent properties, and properties rented from private landlords.

So let’s start by looking at how types of tenure have changed over the past two decades. (The year up to March 31, 2001 is the earliest I can find on the StatsWales website.)

The table I’ve drawn up is fairly self-explanatory. ‘Registered Social Landlord’ (RSL) is of course the official term for housing associations.

Click to enlarge

The headline figure is that there are 163,067 more dwellings or housing units in 2020 than there were in 2001. Though in the same period the population rose from 2,910,232 to 3,152,879, while the average household size fell from 2.36 to 2.26.

In fact, if we multiply the total number of housing units by the average household size we arrive at a figure of 3,248,901.42. Almost a hundred thousand more than the population estimate. But of course calculations are complicated by people living in care homes, prisons and other institutions. And then there are holiday homes. And properties that have just been abandoned, where it’s often difficult to track the owner.

So, all things considered – and without taking my socks off to do some really serious figuring! – we have roughly the same availability of housing in relation to demand as we had twenty years ago. Maybe things are worse.

Something else we can extract from the table is that in 2001 19% of Welsh properties were social rents, whereas the figure today is just 16%.

But perhaps the biggest change has been the doubling in the percentage of properties now rented from private landlords.

If current trends continue then very soon more people, more families, will rent from private landlords than from councils and housing associations combined. This of course is what the Conservatives want, but why is it happening in ‘progressive’ Wales?

SOCIAL HOUSING

In 2001 we had 242,853 units of social housing. By 2020 this had fallen to 229,902, a decrease of 12,951. Found in this table.

Partly explained by 34,829 units being sold in this period under the Right to Buy legislation introduced in 1980 by the first Thatcher government, with this later supplemented by Right to Acquire.

Though offset by the building of 21,878 social rented housing units in the same period. Just over 1,000 a year.

Right to Acquire is Englandandwales legislation introduced by the Blair government and in operation from 18 January, 2005. Explained more fully here.

Click to enlarge

At this point I should tell you that not all sales of social housing are accounted for by Right to Buy and Right to Acquire because this table tells us there have also been sales of “non-social housing”. Though I don’t understand why the figure for this category is only shown from 2013 – 2014. Though there’s certainly been a steady increase since then.

Building just over one thousand social housing units a year must be considered a failure after two decades of socialist administrations in Cardiff Bay. Especially when we remember that in 1979 – 1980 (immediately before Right to Buy was introduced) Welsh local authorities built 3,322 new council homes. (RSLs built a further 377.)

And a thousand a year looks even less impressive when we remember that in the period of devolution a couple of billion pounds in capital grant funding has been given to an ever-expanding galaxy of housing associations.

In the past five years alone, £574 million pounds of Social Housing Grant (SHG) has been paid to housing associations. Wales & West, Labour’s favourite, has seen £61m of it.

SHG is not the only capital grant paid. There’s also the Housing Finance Grant.

I’ve drawn up a table for SHG payments you can view by clicking here. It’s quite a big table, so please have patience.

(I should add that while the bottom line is correct I can’t vouch for every figure in every column. I may have made a mistake or two in transcribing them. So here are the figures I received.)

While the amount paid in SHG from 2015 – 2016 to 2019 – 2020 was 20% more than for the previous five years the stock of social rented housing increased in the same period by less than 2%.

We know that housing association executives like to pay themselves big salaries, and drive fancy company cars . . . shiny new offices are a must . . . and how can they miss out on all the conferences and other jollies, but these could never account for the increasing gulf between funding received and social housing built.

Something else must be going on.

If nothing else, Wales is following England in providing less social rented housing. So much for Rhodri Morgan’s, “clear red water”. So much for, “Welsh solutions for Welsh problems”.

Click to enlarge

The Tories came to power in 2010, and that’s when the decline started. Clearly, the Labour management team in Corruption Bay is following Conservative directives when it comes to social rented housing.

MONEY, MONEY, MONEY

If we take the period 2014 – 2015 to 2019 – 2020 we see that it covers important changes in the way RSLs are regulated, and also how they operate.

I’m sure most people didn’t notice, but in the past five years Welsh housing associations were originally private bodies, were then made public, before being privatised again.

It was the Office for National Statistics that decided they should be public bodies due to the amount of public funding they were receiving. Plus the political involvement. But making them public bodies transferred their debts to the public ledger and so the parliaments in London, Edinburgh, Belfast and Cardiff quickly privatised them again.

It’s explained clearly and succinctly in the article below from Inside Housing, just click on it to make it readable. (Here’s a link to the original article.)

I bet you’re thinking . . . ‘If housing associations are now private companies, why are they still getting lashings of public funding?’ Funding that, as we’ve seen, has greatly increased since they were ‘re-privatised’!

The answer is that they’ve branched out into building private housing.

To such an extent that, in addition to the public funding, our housing associations are also taking out private loans with various financial institutions.

Here’s a report from May of United Welsh of Caerphilly, which has just 6,000 properties, borrowing £50m from Scottish Widows.

In July we learnt Coastal Housing Group of Swansea had entered into a £250m ‘refinancing’ deal with Aviva Investors.

In August, Cadwyn Housing Association of Cardiff did a deal with Westbourne Capital Partners of Chicago.

And other housing associations have done similar deals with organisations much sharper than them in the ways of the financial world. I do hope they’ve read the small print.

Though I suppose the only real collateral housing associations have is their housing stock. If they default, does this mean that Welsh social housing stock gets taken over by lenders? Or will the ‘Welsh Government’ step in with yet more money?

Talking of the ‘Welsh Government’, if RSLs need money for investment, why can’t they go to the Development Bank of Wales (DBW), which is already lending to other builders, many from over the border?

So let’s recap. Housing associations, now private bodies, still receive increasing amounts of public funding. Yet they also enter into arrangements with financial institutions around the world. And let’s not forget that the other major source of income – perhaps the major source – is rents from the housing stock they own. Most of which came free as stock transfers from local authorities.

Another noteworthy feature in this period is that most if not all of our housing associations have set up subsidiary companies, or companies that are not subsidiaries but still part of the group.

SUBSIDIARIES, PARTNERS, PRIVATE HOUSING

An example would be the relationship between Ateb (formerly Pembrokeshire Housing Association) and Mill Bay Homes Ltd (MBH). The latter, despite being a separate company, is a “wholly controlled subsidiary company of Ateb Group Ltd”.

The arrangement is that MBH builds and sells market properties and the profits go to parent company Ateb to build social housing or ‘affordable homes’. Which might be fine if Mill Bay Homes had its own money . . . but it hasn’t, it relies on loans from Ateb.

Which means that the ‘Welsh Government’ funds a RSL to build social housing but the money in fact goes to a subsidiary to build open market homes (that most locals may not be able to afford) with a fraction of the original money returning to the parent company.

What is the point of such a system?

While Mill Bay Homes is a company registered with Companies House the Ateb Group is registered with the Financial Conduct Authority.

As we’ve seen with other housing associations, the Ateb Group has also borrowed money recently. Last month from the Principality Building Society. Back in July it was a loan of £18m from bLEND Funding PLC.

Officially, a cash security trust deed.

Click to enlarge

Eighteen bloody million! How much does a relatively small, rural housing association need? It’s already getting money from the ‘Welsh Government’, and seems to have stopped providing social rented housing.

A visit to the Ateb Group website turns up what you see below. Quite clearly, Ateb is now a private house builder with social rented accommodation an afterthought.

Click to enlarge

Click on ‘homes for sale’ and you of course get taken to the Mill Bay Homes website.

And there seem to be some rum doings between the two.

I am indebted to Wynne Jones in Cardigan for these documents from the Land Registry website (from which I have redacted a few names in the second).

A property on this development in Cilgerran (Ceredigion) was built by MBH, with money borrowed from Ateb, then sold to Ateb for £164,950 in October 2019; the following month Ateb sold a 125-year lease on the property for £57,733.

What business model is this?

Mill Bay Homes makes no secret of the fact that it’s punting for retirees and ‘investors’. The latter category will include Buy-to-Rent landlords, and whaddya know – one of the new Cilgerran properties is already being advertised for rent.

Plot 3 at Maes Rheithordy, Cilgerran, is being rented for £670 per calendar month through Jac y Do Letting of Blaenporth.

A similar arrangement to that between Ateb and Mill Bay Homes exists in Gwynedd between Adra (formerly Cartrefi Cymunedol Gwynedd), which took over Gwynedd council’s housing stock some ten years ago, and its subsidiary, Medra Cyf.

A few days ago Adra put out this puff about building 1,200 new homes across ‘North Wales’. The “housing crisis” referred to is perhaps the lack of housing for commuters in the A55 corridor.

Click to enlarge

The subsidiary that will be doing much of the building is Medra . . . with a loan from Adra.

This loan between a Welsh RSL and its subsidiary was arranged by London law firm Trowers & Hamlins. I’ve seen that name in other loans I’ve looked at. Are there no lawyers in Wales?

Of course there are, so who’s directing them to that company?

Also worth highlighting from recent years, in addition to the proliferation of subsidiaries, is the strange partnerships we see being forged.

For an example of this we stay in the north, with Cartrefi Conwy, based in Abergele.

I’ve written about this lot a few times. Below you’ll read what I had to say earlier this year, in Housing Associations, a broken model. The Byzantine network of ‘partners’ also throws up a mystery investor.

“Cartrefi Conwy set up a subsidiary in 2015 called Creating Enterprise CIC (Community Interest Company). Then, in May 2018, Creating Enterprise went into partnership with Brenig Developments Ltd to form Calon Homes. (Assets at 31 May 2019 £37,853.)

From the Creating Enterprise CIC accounts for y/e 31 March 2019. Click to enlarge

As I wrote back in November: “There is a charge against Calon Homes LLP held by Creating Enterprise CIC, which in turn has a charge held by Cartrefi Conwy. Which means that, ultimately, housing association Cartrefi Conwy is in partnership with private company Brenig Developments.”

When we look at the directors for Brenig Developments Ltd we find Mark Timothy Parry and Howard Rhys Vaughan. Both are also directors of Brenig Homes Ltd.”

Another horse out of the Brenig stable is Brenig Construction Ltd. Just another local building firm, run by local people . . . so impeccably local in fact that it could have come from League of Gentlemen.

But then, in December last year, a new director joined, a man who might have been taking his life in his hands if he’d turned up in the Royston Vasey shop.

I’m referring now to Yin Han, a Chinese businessman, presumably bringing a lot of yuan. For when I say Chinese businessman I do not mean that he hails from Hong Kong or Taiwan. Yin Han is a resident and citizen of the People’s Republic of China.

How did Yin Han and Brenig Construction find each other? What do we know about him? I guarantee he did not get involved with Brenig Construction without permission from back home. And that means the Communist Party.

These subsidiaries and partners, together with the loans and investment, are needed to build private housing for sale on the open market.

But housing associations are now private entities, so why do they need subsidiaries and partners to build open market housing? Surely they could do it in their own names?

Of course they could, but that would make it too obvious and probably jeopardise the public funding. So we have this charade of public money for social housing being given to RSLs and then filtered through intermediaries to build private housing.

And the ‘Welsh Government’ is a willing party to this deception.

‘AFFORDABLE HOUSING’

As a student of history, I’ve always loved Palmerston’s quote: “Only three people have ever really understood the Schleswig-Holstein business – the Prince Consort, who is dead – a German professor, who has gone mad – and I, who have forgotten all about it.”

It comes to mind when I see the term ‘affordable housing’. Because there’s a great deal of confusion as to what it means.

It’s important to get a definition because it’s what RSLs now claim to be building, and what the so-called ‘Welsh Government’ is funding.

Is the ‘Welsh Government’ really proud of these figures? And ‘Rent to own’ in fact offers people a share of a lease! Click to enlarge

When I contacted the ‘Welsh Government’ I was referred to a publication wherein was found . . .

“The concept of affordability is generally defined as the ability of households or potential households to purchase or rent property that satisfies the needs of the household without subsidy (further guidance is provided in the Local  Housing Market Assessment Guide) 7 This could be based on an assessment of the ratio of household income or earnings to the price of property to buy or rent available in the open market in the required local housing market area.”

Which is interesting, and for two reasons.

If the concept of affordability is based on what local people on local wages can afford, then why is ‘affordable housing’ not reserved for those same local people? I ask because all the term means in practice is that a few properties in a development are labelled ‘affordable’ – but still put on the open market.

And if a small number of properties in a development are classed as ‘affordable’ then it must follow that the majority of the properties are regarded as unaffordable to most locals. So why are we building so many properties – with public funding! – beyond the reach of most local buyers?

The woolly term ‘affordable housing’ is just a fig leaf for the ‘Welsh Government’ and RSLs to disguise the fact that very little social housing is being delivered.

We are encouraged to believe that ‘affordable housing’ is for local people, or that it means social rented properties. Wrong.

CONCLUSION

This system, as I’ve argued before, is broken. It is broken because it consumes vast amounts of Welsh public funding for little or no Welsh public benefit.

Another cause for concern is that just as many third sector bodies are agencies of the Labour Party a similar picture emerges with housing associations.

In fact, housing associations and third sector bodies operate hand in glove, with the former housing the disruptive ‘clients’ of the latter, many of whom have been shipped into Wales. It’s collaboration like this that contributes to the problems we’ve looked at in Tyisha, Llanelli.

‘Welsh’ Labour’s little empire; stuffed with cronies and others dependent on political patronage and public handouts.

Take Wales & West, which I’ve referred to as Labour’s favourite. The CEO is Anne Hinchey, whose hubby Graham is a Labour Councillor in Cardiff. This explains why Wales & West has pulled down £100m in Social Housing Grant alone in the past decade.

And yet, let us remember that the reason the Office for National Statistics decided to put housing associations into the public sector was because there was so much governmental control!

As the June 2018 article from Inside Housing I reproduced above put it,

“In a letter to the Welsh Government sent yesterday, the ONS left open the possibility to reclassify individual associations as public should the level of state control increase.”

A strong case could be made for reclassifying a number of Welsh housing associations. Certainly Wales & West.

Where do we go from here?

I suggest that it starts with making it clear we do not want housing associations to build properties for sale to Home Counties retirees in Pembrokeshire, or to Manchester commuters in Denbighshire.

The sole duty of Welsh housing associations must be to deliver homes to Welsh people at sales prices or rents WE can afford.

If they are unable or unwilling to fulfil that role then I believe we should let our local councils provide social rented housing. Ensure they are well enough funded to provide decent accommodation to any and all local people wanting it. And make strong local connections the over-riding consideration in allocating those properties.

Then cut all funding to housing associations, which are, after all, private companies. Let them borrow from private lenders – as they are already doing – and cease being a burden on the public purse.

Whatever is decided, the present system is broken. Changes must be made. Even if you think this doesn’t affect you, just think what we could do with the money saved!

♦ end ♦

 

 




Development Bank of Wales

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 post began life as another Miscellany, a gathering of tit-bits. But one of the component pieces grew to the point where it just took over.

DEVELOPMENT BANK OF WALES

As the name suggests, the Development Bank of Wales exists to help Welsh businesses. Which is as it should be, though I’ve reported on a few cases over the years where loans should never have been made.

But there you go. Officialdom.

I support the DBW funding Welsh companies to set up, to grow, and to employ more people, thereby contributing to local communities; even to the extent of taking the odd punt on an indigenous entrepreneur thinking outside the box.

But I do not support handing over Property Development Loans to house builders. Because if the projects are viable then loans should be easy to come by from banks and other institutions.

I’m not sure this is a clever advert. Some might read it as suggesting that if you’re well-connected in Cardiff, like former Blues captain, Xavier Rush, then you’re more likely to get a loan. Click to enlarge

Which is why I was annoyed to read the headline ‘£5.6m Property Boom for Mid and West Wales’ in Business News Wales last Friday. (Thanks for the tip, ‘D’.) And even more annoyed after reading the article.

It referred to two specific developments. To wit: Hayward Homes has been given £3m to build houses at Tycroes, Ammanford, with prices starting at £269,950; while Sotero Ltd has secured “an initial £1.3m” to start on ‘Drovers Meadow’, Bronllys, Brecon, where prices will start at £350,000.

Naturally, I wanted to know more about these companies. Here’s what I found . . .

HAYWOOD HOMES

COUNTRY LIFE

Before tucking into the main course here’s a starter. Or maybe an introductory digression. Up to you.

The head honcho at these Haywood companies is the eponymous Michael Robert Haywood. One of his close sidekicks is Anthony Grahame Scutt, who has a place outside Pennal, near Machynlleth. Perhaps a holiday home.

Scutt has been involved in seven companies that supposedly organise country fairs, game fairs and the like. All were set up in 2015 and all were dissolved 2017/18, Companies House not burdened with anything more than accounts for dormant companies.

Michael Robert Haywood was involved in most of them.

First there’s the Great British Falconry Fair Ltd. Which looks fine until you learn that there is no Great British Falconry Fair, only a British Falconry Fair.

Similarly, we find Great British Game Fair Ltd but does it have any connection – beyond a similar name – with the real deal in the form of the Game Fair?

Then there’s the Midland Game Fair, the Lowther Show, the Kelmarsh Country Show, and the Highclere Country Show, all of which exist, but the Scutt companies using those names don’t seem to be involved with them.

A name used by Haywood and Scutt for one of their companies was the Sussex Country Show, which doesn’t seem to exist in any form.

One show website provided the name Countryman Fairs Ltd, a company with no assets other than its share issue. Unsurprisingly, perhaps, it too was destined for receivership until someone had second thoughts in November last year.

In addition, there is Countryman Business Ltd, also in liquidation. Among the directors are Haywood, Scutt, and American Ian Francis Harford, whose companies all seem to have a ‘country sports’ theme.

To complete the picture – possibly – we’ll look at CFL (2015) Ltd. This company was known as Countryman Fairs Ltd until 2015, when it changed its name to make way for the new Countryman Fairs Ltd, which you’ve just read about.

There is the usual dramatis personae and it should go without saying that CFL (2015) is in liquidation.

Another Countryman Fairs director, who pops up in many of the companies with which Haywood and Scutt have been involved is Michael Paul Bailey, who has been involved with over eighty companies.

Bailey recently took over Scutt Management Services Ltd, where Anthony Grahame Scutt had been a director from its Incorporation in 2001. Scutt resigned on 1 June 2020, but came back a week later. His and his wife’s shares were transferred to Bailey 17 June.

At the risk of sounding uncharitable, something’s not right here. The way these companies set up and then collapse looks very similar to the operations of the ‘unorthodox’ businessmen you so often read about on this site. 

TYCROES

But let us leave the waxed jackets and the gun dogs to return to Haywood’s building companies, and his Tycroes venture.

An artist’s impression of life in suburban Ammanford, where everyone has a new Merc parked in the drive. Click to enlarge

While there is quite a network of Haywood companies the one receiving the DBW loans is Haywood Homes (Wales) GL Ltd, with its address in Halesowen which, if you check a map – and despite what Alwyn Thomas of DBW says – is not ‘local’ to any part of Wales. The other Haywood companies are also based in England.

The land in question, just east of Tycroes, is a couple of miles from Pont Abraham and the M4. Which is the reason these houses are being built where they’re being built. For they’re commuter properties.

The land has been in Haywood’s possession for some time; the title document says it was bought in April 2004 from Newland Homes of Gloucestershire. Part of the site has already been developed, and the DBW money funds the next phase, Llys Tirnant.

Llys Tirnant. Click to enlarge

Of itself, there’s not a lot to be said against this project . . . except that, yet again, we have a company from outside of Wales making money from Wales. Money that goes back over the border.

That’s bad enough, but when the Development Bank of Wales funds such companies, then the system is broke. Or maybe it’s exposed for what it is.

The loans from the DBW were delivered 5/6 November last year. Starting on 5 November Haywood Homes (Wales) GL Ltd paid off three loans with Lloyds Bank, money borrowed for earlier phases at Tycroes and also for land it owns at Drefach, just outside Llanelli, which is also within easy reach of Pont Abraham. Where I’m sure the company plans to build more commuter properties . . . that it will ask the DBW to fund.

How much more land has Haywood got banked?

There’s certainly the land to the north of Alma Street in Llanarth, Ceredigion, owned by Haywood Homes (Llanarth) Ltd, bought with a loan from the National Westminster Bank. And let’s not forget Principality Ventures Ltd, with four outstanding charges covering yet more land at Tycroes, plus land at Cross Hands.

That they find these plots suggests to me that although Haywood, Scutt, Bailey and the rest are based in England, they have good contacts in Wales. I wonder who or what those contacts might be?

If I was involved with the DBW, or if I was a politician, I would also be asking the directors of Haywood Homes (Wales) GL Ltd about their huntin’, fishin’, shootin’ creations.

UPDATE 07.07.2020: The land in Llanarth was sold in April 2013 for £160,000. Haywood Homes (Llanarth) Ltd went into voluntary liquidation in 2014 without repaying National Westminster Bank the money owed. The money received for the land did not appear in the company’s final accounts. Where did it go?

The four directors were Michael Robert Haywood and his wife, Anthony Grahame Scutt and his wife.

SOTERO LTD, BRONLLYS

The company that has been given £1.3m to start with (more to follow), is run by Spanish national Sonia Mancisidor, from her palatial offices at 111/112 Bute Street, in Cardiff.

Which is where we also find Elgoibar Ltd, the company that took out loans to buy the Bute Street property. Loans from two companies: M5 Associates, and Amicus Finance PLC . . . which is in administration.

The impressive Bute Street offices of Sonia Mancisidor’s property empire. Click to enlarge

The land at Bronllys was bought through Sotero Ltd with loans from M5 Associates Ltd and FundingSecure Ltd. The latter has also gone belly-up.

Though not before Sonia Mancisidor repaid the FundingSecure loan on 5 April 2019, soon after the first loan was received from the Development Bank of Wales.

Judging by the companies she’s previously borrowed from it would appear that Sonia Mancisidor does not use regular banks. Or maybe regular banks say ‘No’. Which would then explain her flirting with some very iffy lenders.

The surviving lender (for now), M5 Associates Ltd, is based in Newport, and run by Peter Leslie Jeffreys and David William Mark Painter.

Sonia Mancisidor has other property companies to her name, all of which have been formed in the past three or four years.

The Business News Wales report that started this investigation says, “With prices starting at £350,000, Drovers Meadow is the latest project for family-owned development business Sotero.” 

But Sonia Mancisidor is the sole director of her companies, so where’s the ‘family’?

Sotero’s only asset is the land it owns at Bronllys. Land bought with loans from two lenders, one of which is in liquidation. The title document suggests that the vendor was a Heulwen Ann Davies.

Sonia Mancisidor is quoted saying: “Drover’s Meadow is a really special development in the picturesque village of Bronllys that is attracting the interest of local families and those wishing to relocate to this beautiful part of Wales.”

With prices starting at £350,000 there’ll be more in the second category than in the first. Many, many more.

Two questions kept bubbling up in the old Jac noggin as I looked into this. The first was, ‘How did Sonia Mancisidor get to know about this land in Bronllys?’ The second, ‘For someone with no experience of building anything to suddenly jump in the deep end with £350,000 plus homes is odd – is someone else involved?’

Maybe Sonia Mancisidor has made connections in Cardiff.

If not, then someone should ask buy-to-let landlord Sonia Mancisidor from whence came the inspiration to build £350k+ houses in Powys. I’m certainly wondering.

THOUGHTS

By lending money to companies to build houses the Development Bank of Wales is behaving like the institutions we used to call High Street Banks. That is surely not the DBW’s raison d’être.

From studying Haywood Homes and Sotero, the system seems to work like this. Companies borrow money to buy land in Wales, then go to the Development Bank of Wales to help them out with more money, which is used to pay off the original loan and finance the building of the houses!

Then you return to ‘Go’ and start all over again!

Is this really how the Development Bank of Wales is supposed to operate?

If speculative building companies need money then they should go to the banks. And if the banks think they’re not a good investment then the DBW shouldn’t lend them money either.

From the DBW website. Click to enlarge

Now listen, Alwyn, I’m sure you’re a tidy boy and I don’t want you to think I’m picking on you, but . . .

You say, “Local developers like Haywood Homes and Sotero have a big social and economic impact; bringing much needed homes, jobs and supply opportunities to local communities.”

To begin with, we’ve established that these companies are not by any stretch of the imagination ‘local’ to the contracts you’re funding. The jobs created will be in the construction phase only. As for supply chains, there’s no guarantee that an English company will use Welsh suppliers; and as for Señorita Mancisidor, I’m not sure where she’ll find a supply chain.

Staying with Sonia Mancisidor, the very expensive homes she (or someone) will be building at Bronllys are obviously targeting English buyers – she says so herself. Is making Bronllys less Welsh the big “social impact” you refer to, Alwyn?

Wales is a small, poor country with a larger and richer neighbour. An unequal relationship that inevitably results in Wales losing out. This has been the case for a thousand years or more.

Yes, Wales has an economy . . . but there’s little about it that’s genuinely Welsh; whether it’s the house-building we’ve just looked at, or tourism, the retail sector, the media, finance, etc., etc.

Devolution has only made things worse, because it has given us organisations like the DBW that pretend to serve Welsh interests but in reality only perpetuate the colonial system. Yet too many of us fall for this simply because these bodies have ‘Wales’ or ‘Welsh’ in the name.

Just about the only sector of Welsh life still largely in Welsh hands is agriculture . . . and that explains why the colonial management class down the Bay has declared war on farming.

The Development Bank of Wales is one of those organisations we are expected to support and defend because it has ‘Wales’ in the name, yet in reality the DBW is just another agent of the colonial system.

♦ end ♦

 




Miscellany 06.06.2020

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

After the Jake Berry saga it’s time to move on, though we stay on Ynys Môn for the first couple of pieces, before pushing on, even visiting the city of my dreams.

This is another ‘biggie’ but as usual with this format it’s broken down into digestible portions. So there’s no need to rush, you can take your time. Enjoy!

YNYS MÔN

As we used to hear in the old black and white movies, ‘Dead men tell no tales’. Maybe not, but on Ynys Môn dead men do put in planning applications.

In the previous post, Jake Berry MP, Part 4, I mentioned a property that had swum into view in the course of my investigations into Berry’s little empire. This property may have nothing to do with him, but it became interesting in its own right when I realised that a planning application was submitted in August 2019 – by a man who died early in 2017.

Let me explain, for those who may be unfamiliar with the planning system, that you don’t need to own a property to submit a planning application. A builder, an architect, a relative, even a prospective buyer, can submit a planning application, but this must be done with the consent of the owner. Which presupposes that the owner has not departed for the celestial realm.

Now in this case on Ynys Môn the owner was long dead, and those submitting the planning application knew he was dead. We know they knew because they’d put his name on the planning application with ‘(Deceased)’ alongside it!

Click to enlarge

Which is difficult to explain; the Will was a straightforward transfer, so why didn’t the person who’d inherited the property put her name on the planning application?

Another curious feature – though it obviously links – is that the Land Registry title document still shows the late Mr Cuddy as the owner. Which might explain why, after putting out a tweet asking why the council had accepted this application from a dead man, I got a Twitter response from the Land Registry.

The LR reminded those in the thread that there is no legal obligation for anyone to update a title document. Which is unfortunately correct. But I believe we are all entitled to know the ownership of property. And money being laundered through property transactions is another reason for making immediate re-registration mandatory.

Does the so-called ‘Welsh Government’ have the power to legislate in this area? And if so, does it have the balls to do what needs to be done?

On the planning matter, I cannot believe that a dead man can be named as the applicant on a planning application. Which calls into question why Cyngor Sir Ynys Môn accepted that planning application.

Again, if this is legal, it should not be. And if the ‘Welsh Government’ can legislate to outlaw the absurdity of dead men making planning applications, then it should do so. Pronto.

Land Registry documents not updated after three years and planning applications in the name of a dead man suggest something is not quite right.

YNYS MÔN 2

I don’t want to paint Ynys Môn as Wales’ Sicily, but strange things do seem to happen there. One I dealt with fairly recently was the sale of the Shire Hall in Llangefni to Tristan Scott Haynes.

Last year I wrote Not another one! about the sale, and there was a January follow-up in Wales, colonialism and corruption (scroll down to ‘Llangefni Shire Hall’).

To put it mildly, Haynes has a ‘colourful’ past, but the county council saw no problem in selling him their old Shire Hall. And the sale was completed 22 August 2019 with money Haynes had borrowed from Together Commercial Finance Ltd.

Click to enlarge

The caption tells that Haynes is managing director of Chief Properties Ltd and he also runs a “successful haulage firm”.

Chief Properties was set up in August 2018 for the purpose of buying a property like the Shire Hall. The accounts tell us that the company has fixed assets of £201,942 (the Shire Hall) but is in debt to the tune of £12,460.

As for the “successful haulage firm”, well the next meeting of shareholders will be delighted to learn that Falcon Transportation Ltd‘s total net assets come to £21,282. Roughly what they were the year previously. A truck?

Go back to the caption under the photograph and you’ll read, (Haynes) had never been to Anglesey before identifying Shire Hall as a possible location”. Which suggests that he found it online. And that any building, anywhere, might have done.

But for what purpose?

As far as I’m aware no work has been done on the Shire Hall, certainly no planning permission has been applied for, so why did Haynes borrow money to buy a building that he seems to have lost interest in?

And having bought it, why is Haynes so reluctant to inform the Land Registry? For the title document says that the council still owns the Shire Hall. So why doesn’t the council contact Haynes and ask him to update the LR document?

And if the county council has washed its hands of the Shire Hall don’t the burghers of Llangefni worry about the fate of one of their town’s prime assets?

RHODRI MORGAN AND THE WDA 

It’s generally agreed that despite certain failings the Welsh Development Agency was doing a good job in attracting inward investment, and to this day many people still don’t understand why it was done away with.

A comment to the previous post seemed to provide an answer:

“If any target should be in your sites (sic) in terms of Wales’s failing economy, it should be the former First Minister ‘Saint’ Rhodri Morgan. It was he, in a temper tantrum, midway through a phone call with the CEO of the Welsh Development Agency, threw his toys out of the pram when his instruction that the WDA should spend a chunk of it’s budget in a constituency of Cardiff where a certain Mrs Morgan was sitting MP. The CEO politely advised that this request could prove difficult because Cardiff was not in an EU Assisted Area . . . A person present . . . related that the First Minister threw his phone across the room. When he had calmed down (10 minutes later) he rang the CEO back and said that he was scrapping the WDA and bringing it’s functions under Assembly control. The CEO replied ‘Congratulations First Minster, you have just ruined the economy of Wales’ . . . In the 1980’s, 1990’s and into the 2000’s Wales, largely but not exclusively, due to WDA activities, secured 22% of all inward investment into the UK, an incredible achievement . . .  Sadly, the Assembly, with it’s suspicion and dislike of any ‘specialisms’ and groaning under the dead hand of so many ‘Sir Humphreys’ presided over the rapid decline of inward investment so that today, it stands at 2% of the UK figure. When the WDA was scrapped, Development Agencies in other countries were delighted . . . I was present at the party held by the Scottish Development Agency to celebrate the demise of it’s principal competitor for inward investment. English Estates, the Development Agency for England, was equally delighted for the same reason. That’s the real story of Wales’s decline as an economic force . . . It will be a huge challenge to reverse this decline, but with the right approach, and a massive change of attitude in Cardiff Bay it conceivably could be achieved.”

Click to enlarge

This contribution was reinforced in an e-mail from another source which, after a few tweaks, I’m allowed to publish as you see below. This source was also close to the action at the time in question.

“I don’t know (the writer of the comment), but the account with regard to Graham Hawker (CEO) telling Rhodri Morgan he’s screwed the Welsh economy is correct. 

While there is much talked about the WDA and it’s dealings in its early to mid years, in its later life it was an organisation of people (predominantly Welsh people) who actually gave a fuck about trying to lift the prosperity of the country. To this day, I am convinced that the termination of the WDA was done out of both jealousy by Welsh Gov and also a disregard by WDA to service the needs and wants of Ministers as they became more and more demanding for information from the organisation. It was not designed to service Welsh Government. It was designed to deliver economic development to external customers and it did it well. 

To be fair to Hawker, he had instigated a re-organisation programme that would have addressed some of the issues, but Morgan had made his decision for the bonfire of the quangos. Hawker had resigned in front of Senedd committee. He made Morgan look stupid, who then asked him publicly to reconsider his resignation. He didn’t and he left.  

Following Hawker, Gareth Hall was installed as Welsh Gov’s puppet CEO. Rhodri Morgan stated publicly that WDA staff would not see any change in the transition to Welsh Gov. That was total bollocks. There was a culture of cleansing any entrepreneurial spirit and drive in the organisation and a clear move from answering to the WDA board to Ministers. Hall was very close to Marc Clement of Swansea Uni fame. The WDA was being steered by Andrew Davies as Econ Dev Minister at the time, again with close links to Swansea. Make of that what you will. 

It is clear that the politicisation of economic development has killed off any hope of raising Wales’s GDP above 75% of the UK average. We are still below it and I blame total and utter mismanagement of EU funds coupled with what you write about regularly – pushing funding to the third sector ‘economy’, crap pet projects (Cardiff Airport) and shysters. 

Welsh Gov is a broken organisation. It cannot deliver economic development, full stop. 

The wind up of the WDA is a case study of how to destroy exemplar economic development practice and then replacing it with fantasy policies of inclusion, sustainable development, socialist ideologies and then paying those organisations who advocate such tripe to turn up in the Senedd committees to back you up.” 

Most students of Welsh politics know that Rhodri Morgan was the kind of man Doctor Johnson would have described as ‘clubbable’; a man who could be relied on for the witty quip or the diverting anecdote, but hard work was not really his bag.

The manner of the WDA’s demise tells us a lot about Rhodri Morgan and the Labour Party. Both quite happy to destroy what they cannot control however damaging such a course of action might be for Wales.

The incident also exposes the damning contradiction of ‘Welsh’ Labour – forever banging on about employment, blaming ‘London’ or the Tories for Wales not having enough decent jobs, but the beast itself is ideologically and temperamentally opposed to the business and commerce that would provide good jobs because it cannot control them.

‘Keep Wales poor, keep Wales dependent, keep Wales voting Labour’?

The first source reminds us that with the WDA gone Wales’ share of the UK’s inward investment fell from 22% to 2%. While the second source tells that the loss of the WDA saw the rise of the third sector, which is under the control of the Labour Party because the ‘Welsh Government’ controls the purse funding.

To the point where, in the parallel dimension that is Wales, third sector bosses receive awards for achievements in business.

Port Talbot and Afan Women’s Aid is a well-funded third sector body where – as with all third sector bodies – most of the money goes on salaries. Yet in Wales the third sector is regarded as ‘business’. Click to enlarge.

From 2007 until 2011 Labour was in coalition with Plaid Cymru, but Plaid made no attempt to bring back the WDA, for Plaid Cymru is another party made up of social workers, academics and others who think making profits and creating jobs is dirty.

‘Filthy capitalism, innit!’

Much better to live on hand-outs from England. Then enjoy the power of patronage that goes with distributing someone else’s money without the bother of creating it. That is, without the hard work involved organising a national economy.

Which is exactly how the Labour Party views devolution.

And explains why the cycle of decline will continue after next May’s election when Labour will fall short of a majority and need another coalition with Plaid Cymru to stay in power. Plaid Cymru will jump at the opportunity.

And Wales will continue to decline . . . with regular ‘dead cat on the table’ episodes of virtue signalling.

BRIGHTON GREENS DISCOVER GOWER

In my younger days I spent a lot of time on Gower. Oh yes. An aunt and uncle had a house above Port Eynon when such properties could be bought cheaply because most tourists came from within a radius of 40 or 50 miles. They came for a day trip or a holiday, but few of them thought of moving there permanently.

It was on their doorstep, they could visit whenever they liked.

School holidays spent crabbing at Port Eynon were succeeded by teenage years fishing just about everywhere for bass, with Worm’s Head a favourite spot.

Click to enlarge

In the twenty-first century it was inevitable I suppose that Gower would attract the eco-colonists, those who want to ‘live off the land’ . . . usually someone else’s land, often thanks to big dollops of public funding, and invariably by ignoring planning regulations.

And lo! it has come to pass.

To read the WalesOnline report from which the above image is taken just click here.

The Furzehill project is the brainchild of the Ecological Land Cooperative of Brighton. That is Brighton on the south coast of England. What attracts them to Wales is the One Planet lunacy, which proclaims that in order to reduce Wales’ carbon footprint people must be attracted to Wales to farm virgin land, burn wood, drive vehicles, and generally impose themselves on what were often pristine landscapes.

This is virtue signalling, big time, introduced when Jane Davidson was Minister for the Environment, Sustainability and Housing from 2007 to 2011. This may also have been the period when the ‘Welsh Government’s ‘All Farmers are Bastards’ strategy was formulated. (Was ‘Game Show Gary’ [ahem] ‘advising’ Davidson?)

Nominally, Davidson was AM for Pontypridd, but she didn’t give a toss about Ponty. She was in Corruption Bay to promote her environmentalist friends’ agenda. The rest of the Labour Party could see the advantage in this because it gave scope for virtue signalling on a global stage while putting the boot into rural electorates that refuse to vote Labour.

Davidson went on to become an academic (of sorts) and an even more outspoken advocate for eco-invaders like herself.

Here’s Davidson’s book on her work in government that culminated in One Planet Developments (OPD) and Future Generations legislation. Which have done nothing for us Welsh (it wasn’t intended to) but has achieved brownie points for a party and a system that, while running Wales into the ground, gets plaudits from people like Nikhil Seth who know sod all about Wales.

Click to enlarge

Furzehill is important, and should be watched, for the following reason.

Up until now OPDs have argued that they improve marginal land or even bring life back to abandoned farms. But Gower is an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AOUB). The first area given AOUB status in the whole of this island.

I expect Swansea council to refuse planning permission for these ‘hobbit houses’. If that happens, then there will almost certainly be an appeal to the ‘Welsh Government’. And if those clowns allow the Furzehill project to proceed then National Parks will be the next target for the eco-colonists.

Which makes this application the thin end of the wedge. So watch it carefully. Click here for the council planning portal and enter 2020/0744/FUL into the Search box.

THE LABOUR COUNCILLOR WHO DESTROYED YMCA WALES

For those unfamiliar with the area, the Llansamlet ward is on the east side of Swansea, above Bonymaen and east of Morriston, straddling the M4. At its edge, Birchgrove runs into Skewen merging Swansea with Neath.

It was an area where the Welsh language was still strong when I was a boy, and Swansea’s first Plaid Cymru councillor was elected by Llansamlet’s voters in the youthful form of my old mate Dr John Ball.

Click to enlarge

Since then, it’s been pretty much downhill. The ward has been represented by a  succession of Old Labour time-servers, enlivened recently by a few exotic imports.

I’m thinking now of Robert (‘call me Bob’) Clay, privately-educated former MP for Sunderland North and his Austrian-born wife Uta. Both moved on in 2017 and I’m told that these devout Marxists now live in a very agreeable detached property in rural Carmarthenshire.

Llansamlet returned another four Labour councillors at the 2017 elections, among them Maureen ‘Mo’ Sykes, of whom I have written before. To remind you . . . Mo Sykes was CEO of YMCA Wales yet under her ‘leadership’ things went to hell. To the extent that YMCA Wales ceased to exist.

The organisation leaked money, she herself left under a big cloud in July 2014, YMCA Wales went into administration in September, the jewel in the crown – Newgale Outdoor Education Centre in Pembrokeshire – was flogged off for £507,000 in June 2015, and the abandoned branches of YMCA Wales were told to affiliate to YMCA England.

Click to enlarge

They were welcomed with open arms by YMCA England for adopting the ‘national brand’.

‘Our Welsh cousins’ Urgh. Click to enlarge

So in the age of devolution we took another step backward. The ‘Welsh Government’, which had funded Mo Sykes and should have been asking what the fuck had gone wrong, showed no interest. After buying a nice detached house on a quiet street in Clydach (for a surprisingly low price) Sykes was handed a safe seat for the 2017 city council elections.

All this is covered in YMCA England(andwales) with links to previous articles.

And now, if my sources are correct, she’s going home to the Six Counties after living off the public purse for years and doing her bit to integrate Wales into England.

If so, good riddance.

LEENA SARAH FARHAT

Soon after the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis Nation.Cymru insulted us with an article by Leena Sarah Farhat telling us that Wales was full of racist cops. I made a comment, suggesting she apologise to our police, but my comment was removed. Bizarrely, left up were comments from an unhinged wokie (not from Muskogee) attacking me in very personal terms!

This moron seemed to think I’d deleted my comment, and even when told he’d taken a wrong turn he kept marching purposefully into the bog. I’ve had dealings with him before, and he’s typical of his kind. Because I’d called him ‘little boy’ or something he tried to brand me a paedophile by suggesting I thought I was dealing with a child!

No, ‘Alan’, I’m know exactly what I’m dealing with, son. A twat.

Click to enlarge

It got so fractious on the state-subsidised mouthpiece for Plaid Cymru run by the saintly Ifan Morgan Jones that he had to pull all the comments. Something he had to do again on Friday when reporting that Martin Shipton, Chief Correspondent of the Western Mail, had lost his judging job at the Book of the Year Awards, run by Literature Wales, after being targeted by the wokies. (Tell me about it!)

(And if you want a definition of colonial establishment, look no further than Literature Wales.)

But I digress. Who is Leena Sarah Farhat?

From what I could gather, she works at Aberystwyth University. She is also Diversity Officer for the Welsh Liberal Democrats, and their candidate for Carmarthen East and Dinefwr. I’m sure she knows Castell Newydd Emlyn and Llanfihangel Rhos-y-Corn like the back of her delicate hand.

Anyway, later that evening I had one of the strange e-mails I get quite regularly. What I’m describing is the internet age’s equivalent of some bloke emerging out the shadows, collar pulled up and hat pulled down, looking furtively around before handing me the slip of paper that will unravel the mystery.

Or maybe I watch too much film noir.

The terse message contained a link, which I was loath to open in case it contained a virus. But I took a chance and the link took me here. To begin with, I wasn’t sure where I’d landed (I feared it might be one of those pornographical sites I’ve read about), but as I took it in I realised it was some kind of social media platform with people asking Leena Sarah Farhat questions.

Some of her answers were quite strange, others disturbing. Here’s a selection.

Click to enlarge

Make of it what you will, but here’s my interpretation. Here we have another ‘progressive’ party desperate to be seen to be ‘inclusive’ recruiting someone on whom they haven’t done enough checks, and who turns out to be, if not anti-Semitic, then certainly tacking towards that port of call.

With Plaid Cymru it was Sahar Al-Faifi, with Labour . . . well, take your pick, and now, not to be left out, the Lib Dems will incur the wrath of the Board of Deputies. Good.

ONLY HERE FOR THE MONEY?

An e-mail I receive daily (but often don’t have time to read properly) comes from Business News Wales, which last Wednesday carried tidings of a £750,000 investment by the Development Bank of Wales and others in Agxio Ltd.

Click to enlarge

Both the headline and the opening paragraph report that Agxio is based in Aberystwyth. Yet according to Companies House Axgio’s address is actually in leafy Dorking, in Surrey.

What’s more, Agxio is a one-man band, and that one man is Dr Stephen Christie. To read Dr Christie’s Linkedin bio he’s been there, done that, and got the T-shirt. It’s only a matter of time before that photo on his mantelpiece of great-uncle Hamish in his pith helmet makes way for a Nobel Prize.

From Linkedin we learn that since 2011 Christie has been CEO of Neural Insights Ltd, another company based in Dorking. His wife is the only other director. The latest accounts show a company where liabilities exceed assets, though the figures are small. The accounts are ‘filleted’.

Then there’s his chairmanship of MemberMatch Ltd, which helps golfists find playing partners. But he doesn’t seem to have ever been a director, let alone chairman. The latest unaudited financial statement reveals another company in the red.

Dr Christie’s only other extant company, formed in August 2018, is Inbotiqa Ltd. This has Net Liabilities of £107,131 for 2019; which was, admittedly, a big improvement on 2018. The accounts are unaudited.

Something that struck me about Inbotiqa was the massive share issue. Hundreds of thousands of shares.

And it looks similar with Agxio, which is getting funding from the Development Bank of Wales. Dr Currie seems to have spent a great deal of his time figuring out the share issues, just check the filing history.

Don’t get me wrong, Dr Stephen Christie might be a very clever bloke, but his greatest talent may be issuing and selling shares rather than producing anything, or creating jobs.

Furthermore, his ‘presence’ in Aberystwyth may be no more than a letter-box, and so I question whether Agxio should be receiving a penny of Welsh public funding.

INDEPENDENCE PUSH LEAVES PLAID CYMRU BEHIND

The latest poll findings from Professor Roger Awan-Scully for ITV Wales and Cardiff University are intriguing.

To begin with, Coronavirus seems to have impacted on the Conservative vote as if the party’s voters had been confined to care homes; down 11 percentage points from the April poll to 35% for Westminster elections. Labour is up 4 to 39% and Plaid Cymru also up 4 to 15%.

For Welsh Parliament elections, the figures are (constituency first, list second):

Click to enlarge

Those figures were fairly predictable. Of more interest were the responses when people were asked questions such as: “If there was a referendum tomorrow on Wales becoming an independent country and this was the question, how would you vote? Should Wales be an independent country?”

In answer, 25% said Yes, but 54% said No. When asked whether the Assembly should be abolished, 25% said Yes, 48% said No.

To the multi-option constitutional question the responses were:

Click to enlarge

As you’re probably aware, a great deal has been made of a figure of 33% in favour of independence. This figure is only arrived at when respondents are given the stark choice between doing away with devolution or going for independence. When the returns were:

Click to enlarge

Certainly, these findings are generally encouraging. But there’s a long way to go. What I extrapolate from these polls is the following:

  • Devolution is increasingly discredited. After more than two decades of failure it is under pressure from both those who want independence and those who want integration with England. (Which is what abolishing the Senedd would amount to.)
  • Plaid Cymru is making little progress despite the increase in numbers prepared to consider independence. There is clearly scope for other parties, especially if those parties are more focused on Wales and Welsh issues.
  • No account is taken in these polls of how events in Scotland could impact on Wales. I believe that Scotland becoming independent would greatly increase the numbers in Wales choosing independence.

There’s a lot to play for in next year’s elections. And beyond.

FACEBOOK

As you may know, following a complaint by Jake Berry, the MP for Rossendale and Darwen, currently building a property empire on Ynys Môn, Facebook took down the links I’d posted to the articles about him on this blog.

Well now I’m locked out of my Facebook account altogether, yet it appears to still be open to others. There seems to be no appeal process so is there any way I can just close my Facebook page?

All help gratefully received.

♦ end ♦