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
You may recall that in Miscellany 09.12.2019, and under the section headed ‘Foreign aid’, we looked at a number of interlinked organisations that, collectively, I described as Wales’ foreign aid programme.
It started with someone directing me to a tweet from the Sub-Sahara Advisory Panel, of which Plaid Cymru AM Helen Mary Jones is sponsor.
We can also see Labour AMs Vaughan Gething and Baroness Eluned Morgan in the tweet. So the self-styled ‘progressives’ were well represented at this event.
What we see with these organisations is a great deal of Welsh public funding being diverted to an area for which the self-styled ‘Welsh Government’ has no responsibility. With the bulk of the money then spent on salaries for people who have moved to Wales to get their snouts in the third sector trough.
Which results in millions of pounds of Welsh public money being spent in ways that provide no benefits whatsoever to Wales or to Welsh people.
Last week there was a sequel. In the Senedd. When Neil Hamilton, the regional AM for south and west Wales, raised the issue of Wales’ foreign aid programme.
Click here to see the video clip of his question and the response from Rebecca Evans the minister for finance. (Also note the intemperate cheering that greets the mention of Jac o’ the North!)
I accept that Neil Hamilton is not everyone’s cup of tea, he’s made mistakes. But he’s not evil, as some on the left like to portray anyone who doesn’t meet with their approval. And he’s certainly not lobby fodder, or a self-serving hypocrite, or a swivel-eyed member of the ‘woke’. Categories that cover most of the other AMs.
Neil Hamilton can fairly be described as his own man. And he’s one of my AMs.
Which is important, seeing as my constituency AM is Lord Elis Thomas, elected for Plaid Cymru in 2016 but who quickly defected to become an ‘Independent’ . . . but Labour in all but name. Now he serves as young Kenny Skates’ bag man.
The other regional AMs for mid and west Wales are Labour’s Baroness Eluned Morgan and Joyce Watson, with Plaid’s Helen Mary Jones. None of whom would raise a question about public funding being wasted on gesture politics.
Of course not, Labour AMs are not going to challenge their own management team. And Plaid Cymru only becomes mildly critical of Labour – in a comradely sort of way – during election campaigns.
I want to turn now to Rebecca Evans’ response, which can be found in the image below.
Note first that Rebecca Evans claims to belong to “a global, internationalist Welsh Government that takes its responsibilities to the planet and to others very seriously”.
Bollocks! She belongs to a devolved administration, with limited powers and responsibility for Wales alone.
Diverting to the home districts of third sector operatives of African origin what little is left after salaries are deducted, glossy reports produced, awards ceremonies and similar bun fights organised, achieves sod all for Wales.
How about this for a snide and supercilious remark, ” . . . it might speak more easily to the Member’s set of values . . . “. After that barb she took flight, Icarus-like, from the sunlit uplands of globalism with nonsense about ‘maintaining peace’, and with fighting the ‘climate crisis’ overseas.
This might be delusional if it was said by a representative of a wealthy, independent country. But when it comes from the management team of an impoverished province then it is positively insulting.
Just stick to the day job. Try thinking about the Welsh for a change. Those poor buggers who brought devolution into existence in 1997 and have been ignored ever since while posturing arseholes down Corruption Bay pretend to save humanity. Oh, yes, and the planet.
WEEP FOR WALES 16A
I hadn’t planned on writing anything about the Plas Glynllifon/Seiont Manor gang(s) but so much has happened since Weep for Wales 16 that I just can’t keep on updating it.
Weep for Wales 16 went out on January 2, and here’s a resumé of what’s happened since then.
1/ On the 4th, the Daily Post reported the ‘temporary’ closure of Seiont Manor.
3/ On the 10th, NorthWalesLive told us that Seiont Manor is also in the hands of receivers.
4/ NorthWalesLive reported that Paul and Rowena Williams, the former owners and now co-owners of both Plas Glynllifon and Seiont Manor, will be topping the bill with co-owner Myles Cunliffe in the High Court’s Business and Property Courts in Manchester on January 17.
Let’s try to make sense of these developments, the claims and counter-claims.
The first report, about the Seiont Manor closing ‘temporarily’, is pure bullshit. Cunliffe knew that the hotel wasn’t opening again.
In number two we read that Duff and Phelps have been appointed receivers for Plas Glynllifon Ltd by Together Commercial Finance Ltd, which has 8 outstanding charges against the company. And even though the ‘Filing history’ gives the date of January 7, the receiver was in fact appointed on December 17.
As explained in this Companies House document. The publication of the news was presumably delayed by the Christmas and New Year holiday. Even so, I have no doubt that both the Williams duo and Cunliffe knew the game was up long before they tucked into their Brussels sprouts.
In number 3 we read of two companies – Plas Glynllifon Ltd and Rural Retreats & Development Ltd – and three properties, Plas Glynllifon, Seiont Manor and Polvellan House in Cornwall. We’ve just looked at Plas Glynllifon Ltd, while Rural Retreats & Development Ltd is the owner of Seiont Manor and Polvellan House.
The eight outstanding charges against Plas Glynllifon Ltd all refer to the mansion of that name and adjoining land. Whereas the seven outstanding charges against Rural Retreats & Development Ltd found on the Companies House website seem to apply to assorted parcels of land unrelated to Seiont Manor.
Yet the title document for Seiont Manor hotel (below) clearly shows four charges held by Together Commercial Finance Ltd. Page 5 of the document clears up the mystery by explaining that these charges are bundled up with other titles. (The assorted parcels of land referred to in the previous paragraph.)
It seems fairly obvious that Together Commercial Finance Ltd realises it’s loaned too much money to people and companies unlikely to ever repay, and also perhaps – given recent history – to properties that may have been over-valued. So now it’s called in the receivers to secure what’s left before the vultures strip the carcass and fly away.
The impending court case mentioned in 4 seems unrelated to these developments. So let’s try to figure out what might be discussed in Manchester on Friday.
It seems to have started with a spat over accounts for Plas Glynllifon Ltd not being submitted to Companies House, with this raising the possibility of the company being struck off. Paul Williams insisted he was happy for the accounts to be submitted but said they were being held up by Myles Cunliffe.
As I remarked in Weep for Wales 15, what I found odd was that the accounts in question referred to a period before Cunliffe got involved with Plas Glynllifon, so why would he withhold those accounts? I feel there’s something we’re not being told.
The hearing on Friday has been instigated by Paul and Rowena Williams through their solicitors, Glaisyers of Manchester, who you may remember sent me a ‘Take down everything you’ve ever written (but don’t show this to anybody!)’ letter before Christmas. Here’s my response.
The allegation against Cunliffe is that he changed company documents without permission, and also that he closed Seiont Manor without authorisation.
I can’t comment on the documents charge, but surely, once Together Commercial Finance Ltd called in the receivers on December 17 the game was up? A company in receivership cannot carry on trading as if nothing has happened, not unless it’s agreed with the administrators/receivers, or unless the company is run by or the running is overseen by the administrators/receivers.
So I would ask why the Gruesome Twosome and Cunliffe and associates didn’t come clean before Christmas about receivership, because they must have known.
AND FINALLY . . . Someone interested in buying Plas Glynllifon Ltd before the Williams duo showed up was Gavin Woodhouse of Northern Powerhouse Developments Ltd. You may recall that he planned to market the old pile as ‘Wynnborn’. The ‘negative reaction’ to that suggestion made him walk away.
But he didn’t walk far, for Woodhouse built up a portfolio of Welsh hotels, including Caer Rhun in the Conwy valley. But it all came crashing down last year when his business practices were exposed by the Guardian and ITV News. Even so, the ‘Welsh Government’ still offered Woodhouse a £500,000 grant for Caer Rhun.
Now Caer Rhun has gone the way of all Welsh hotels that fall into the hands of con men and crooks from over the border and been closed by administrators. And yet, the £500,000 grant still appears in literature put out by the ‘Welsh Government’ and Visit Wales!
They must be so proud!
Another gang of crooks from the mystic East (Yorkshire, to you) bought a traditional Welsh property known as Bryn Llys Bach, just outside Nebo, not far from Caernarfon. They then set about doing whatever they liked whether they had planning permission or not. (Usually not.) This went hand in hand with cutting down trees and hedgerows that didn’t belong to them and threatening to beat up neighbours who dared complain.
This behaviour went largely unchecked despite complaints to both Cyngor Gwynedd and North Wales Police. Yes, there was a police raid on the property in April 2018, but this was almost certainly carried out or instigated by an English force and connected with the arrest of John Joseph Duggan in Benllech in May of that year.
For Duggan is the father of Jonathan James Duggan, who lives at Bryn Llys with his wife and numerous progeny, plus other gang members. I suggest you catch up with recent developments by reading this posting.
In a nutshell, the old house was demolished, a new one built (without planning permission, of course), and this new monstrosity was advertised for sale at £850,000.
It was withdrawn from sale, perhaps because of legal proceedings promised by Cyngor Gwynedd. But now I hear that ‘Snowdon Summit View’ will be among properties auctioned on February 27 in Chester. (Where else?)
The price has reduced from £850,000 to £650,000.
The worry is that even if the house sells the gang will still be left with some 20 acres of land nearby. Given how they operate, their contempt for neighbours and all authority, we can expect them to plough ahead with any insane plan they choose.
Given the kind of people we are dealing with, and their contempt for everyone around them, I would have thought that Cyngor Gwynedd could produce a good case for the compulsory purchase of those 20 acres.
Llanbedr is a village lying between Barmouth and Harlech. I got to know it in the summer of ’73. I’d just finished at Coleg Harlech and decided to hang around for a bit longer, so I got a job in Llanbedr’s village pub, the Queen Victoria.
The regular customers contained a good sprinkling of those working at RAE Llanbedr. These could be further divided into the locals and the ex-service types who had moved to Llanbedr on leaving the forces. As is usual in a colonial context, the locals generally did the unskilled and lower-paid jobs.
Even after leaving the area I managed to maintain some contact with Llanbedr, often by unlikely means. For example, I knew the guy employed to keep the airstrip free of other birds with his hawks.
More recently, the airfield has been used for testing drones and also by a flying school. Bigger plans were thwarted in 2018 when Llanbedr lost out to Sutherland in Scotland as the location for the UK’s main spaceport.
To ease the blow, the ‘Welsh Government’ and Cyngor Gwynedd are pouring in millions of pounds to develop the airfield in some subsidiary role. And Llanbedr is now also part of the split-site Snowdonia Enterprise Zone.
Though the main beneficiary of all this would appear to be Snowdonia Aerospace LLP, which leases the site, or certainly the buildings. Snowdonia Aerospace is based in Dorset. There are some fascinating entries under the ‘People’ tab, where we find those who are or have been involved with this outfit.
Among them Putney Investments Ltd, with an address in Queensland, Australia.
‘Snowdonia’ Aerospace has received loans from both the ‘Welsh Government’ and the UK government, but both loans were in 2012, long before thoughts of a Welsh Cape Canaveral. So how do we account for this in 2012?
But then, last October, a new outfit appeared on the scene in the form of Snowdonia Aerospace Estates LLP. It too is based in Dorset, with the partners being Lee John Paul and Putney Investments Ltd. Fancy that!
Putney Investments obviously gets around. There were a number of companies in Australia using the name, then a dormant company in Hampshire, yet the address given for the latest incarnation is on the Isle of Man.
This begins to look rather fishy. Do those clowns down Corruption Bay know who they’re dealing with? Probably not, so why are they dealing with a Limited Liability Partnership, that most opaque and unaccountable of financial constructs?
Despite the favourable treatment, a source tells me things are not well at Llanbedr, corners are being cut, and copious amounts of bullshit are being spread to confuse politicians, funders, and others.
Here are a few of the things I’m being told:
- Llanbedr airfield is an enterprise zone with no enterprise
- Despite charging tenants Snowdonia Aerospace is very reluctant to pay its own water and electricity bills
- The whole site is deteriorating and Snowdonia Aerospace is simply hanging on for a ‘big player’ to take the place off their hands
- Safety is compromised in all manner of ways
- Despite all the hype – and money – there are just two employees
- Half the ‘enterprise zone’ runs on a generator, which rarely works. Result – many angry tenants
- Contractors shipped in from outside of Wales have been allowed to sleep in the control tower! (Where they smoke Jamaican Woodbines.)
- Buildings have been knocked down without consent
There seems little doubt that the ‘Welsh Government’ and Cyngor Gwynedd have been bullied by the UK government and the military into coughing up large sums of our money for a project that is producing no benefits for Wales.
In fact, it’s difficult to see who, apart from the partners in Snowdonia Aerospace LLP, are benefiting. Unless of course it’s the partners in Snowdonia Aerospace Estates LLP, wherever they might be . . . Queensland, Hampshire or the Isle of Man.
I shall be making further enquiries about Llanbedr airfield, and will almost certainly return to this subject in the near future. If anyone reading this has more information, then please get in touch.
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