Tai Cantref: Fate Decided by Labour Cronyism

You will recall that in a few recent posts (below) I have looked at the Newcastle Emlyn-based Cantref housing association, which seems to have gone through a rocky patch of late and, following an ‘investigation’, is to be taken over by Wales and West Housing of Cardiff. A bit of digging combined with election dirty tricks has turned up some rather disturbing connections.

Social Housing Back to Council Control? Tai Cantref: Favoured Suitor Named. Housing Associations – All Change?

The investigation into Cantref was carried out by a company called Campbell Tickell, of London. So who are Campbell Tickell? They seem to be a company that has all the bases covered in the social housing and charities sector.

They are, in their own words, ” . . . an established multidisciplinary management consultancy focusing principally on housing, regeneration, charities and social care, and with a growing involvement in sports and leisure. Our services extend across: strategic and business planning; governance and regulation; performance management; procurement; asset management and development; growth and new business; regeneration and stock transfer; customer services; communications and public relations; human resources and recruitment. Alongside our central team of 18, we have a network of nearly 150 associate consultants, both generalist and specialist”. Phew!

The eponymous Campbell and Tickell are Greg Campbell and James Tickell. So who are they?

Well, Greg Campbell has a long career in social housing, local government and the Labour Party. (The three often intertwine.) And as his Linkedin profile tells us, for three years he was a full-time employee of the Labour Party.

Linkedin tells us that James Tickell has a somewhat similar career history to Campbell; that is, after attending prep school, Westminster School and Cambridge. (Sub, check if he’s the son of Sir Crispin Tickell.) And while I’ve found no direct link with the Labour Party we can be fairly certain he’s no Conservative.

James Tickell tweet

Campbell Tickell it was that recommended Cantref be gifted to Wales and West Housing. The chief executive of Wales and West is Anne Hinchey, wife of Cardiff Labour councillor Graham Hinchey. Anne Hinchey herself has worked for Cardiff city council.

If the name Anne Hinchey sounds familiar, it may be because she’s been in the news recently for ordering Plaid Cymru election placards to be removed from Wales and West properties in Cardiff (2:05). Mrs Hinchey is of course a paid-up member of the Labour Party. In fact, there seems to have been a coordinated effort by ‘Welsh’ Labour and its offshoots – especially in Cardiff – to engage in lies, vandalism, intimidation and other tactics. This is nothing new.

A few years back a Cardiff shopkeeper was threatened because he refused to promote Labour Party literature. A few miles away, during the 2011 election, a Labour MP admitted to taking down Plaid Cymru placards. Today it’s being reported that Plaid supporters in the Butetown (‘Tiger Bay’) area of Cardiff are being intimidated.

Perhaps one of the weirder incidents thus far reported (for I have no doubt there will be others) is the pub that was visited by council officials after putting up Plaid Cymru posters . . . so now they’ve put up placards!

Robin Hood pub

But as we know, this is how Labour operates. Labour, and especially its ‘Welsh’ branch, is corrupt and anti-democratic. It now begins to look as if canvassing returns in some areas are giving Labour activists the heebie jeebies, and panic is setting in.

Carwyn Ceaucescu

But enough of this visual banter, let us return to Cantref, and Wales and West, and of course, Campbell Tickell. This is how they are connected:

The Labour regime down Cardiff docks went to a Labour-supporting company in London and asked it to look into a (non-Labour) housing association in west Wales. The unsurprising outcome was that the company in London recommended that said housing association be handed over to a housing association in Cardiff run by a Labour Party member whose husband is a Labour councillor.

Perfectly normal behaviour . . . for a one-party state.

I don’t doubt that things went wrong at Cantref. But nor do I doubt that those involved in the ‘investigation’ had a vested interest in transferring its operations to Wales and West Housing.

A cynic might wonder if the decision to gift Cantref to Wales and West wasn’t taken before Campbell Tickell got involved; and that they were brought in as an expensive cosmetic exercise, given the desired result, and told to manufacture ‘justification’. But as I say, only a cynic would think that, and there’s no place for such people on this blog. Oh no.

What I will say is that this whole business stinks. And until there is an independent investigation into how best to resolve Cantref’s difficulties it must not be taken over by the Labour Party Wales and West.

 

COMING UP: In my next post I’ll tell you how I’m voting on May 5th, and try to explain why.

 

13 thoughts on “Tai Cantref: Fate Decided by Labour Cronyism

  1. Red Flag

    Steady Jac, any form of criticism of anything at all (other than current day Israel) is blatant anti-semitism.

  2. Wynne

    Jac. You will have previously received from me a copy of Welsh Government Circular RSL 05/08 effective from 1 October 2008 relating to Group Structures. Under the circular there is a requirement for an RSL to provide a “business case” for consideration by Welsh Government when proposing new group structures or changes to existing group structures. Do you consider the circular applies to the current position regarding Cantref. If a business case has been prepared I take the view that we are entitled to receive a copy. If Welsh Government argue that the information is “commercially sensitive” a redacted version of the document could be requested.

    1. My understanding is that the ‘Welsh’ Government has just said ‘No, you can’t see it’. I’m not sure what excuse has been given, if any. The problem is now that media and politicians are tied up with next week’s election, after which it’ll be the referendum, so now is a good time to sneak out embarrassing news.

  3. Y Cneifiwr

    This week’s Carmarthenshire Herald has two statements – first Carmarthenshire County Council’s press release from last week expressing disappointment, then a statement from Wales and West saying “we share the same values, commitment to the language”, blah blah. It goes on to say that Wales and West operates only in Wales, and that the Newcastle Emlyn offices will be retained as a regional branch.

    1. If it operates only in Wales, why the name? and why did it receive funding from the Department for Communities and Local Government seeing as housing is devolved? And then there’s the question of its retirement homes, suggesting that Wales and West has agreements with local authorities and other agencies in England.

      Then there’s the matter I dealt with in this post, the Labour skulduggery that resulted in Wales and West getting its hands on Cantref.

      Too many questions. This takeover – and the way it came to be recommended – must be challenged.

      1. Brychan

        Just noticed that ​Ms Ruth Eley was co-opted onto the board of Wales and West Housing Association last year. She is of course a trustee and director of Liverpool based Parkhaven Trust, a charity dedicated to providing residential services and respite breaks to people in England who are suffering from dementia. Obviously any of their clients who also require access to NHS services when in Wales will be provided with free access at the point of need. With transfer moves and respite care within England, the funding ‘follows the patient’ via transfer between clinical commissioning groups. However, the Welsh NHS is funded wholly from the Welsh block grant. Is this a case of ‘granny dumping?’

        1. Ruth Eley is a retired Deputy Director with Liverpool City Council. With so many places in the north east it’s pretty obvious how Wales and West operates, and where many of its clients / tenants come from – and all this is paid for out of the Welsh public purse, and the Welsh NHS.

  4. dafis

    Swans 3 Liverpool 1 – respect for those 96 lost in Hillsborough massacre doesn’t extend to giving Klop’s flops a cushy ride. Ospreys’ classy win over Blues at WRU’s citadel ( just can’t use that new name !) on Saturday makes it a good weekend all round. One team whacks the self proclaimed capital of North Wales and the other team whacks the capital of South Glam ! Nice double.

  5. dafis

    your twitter comment regarding LW and Unison sums it all up – the dominance of a corporatist pseudo socialist “elite” in Wales is becoming so evident that it’s f***in’ embarrassing. Yet I pointed out the bare facts to a bit of a mover and shaker within Tory ranks the other day and he said that it was “unbelieveable” . Now I also consider many Tories to be willing partners in this nonsense. They have been mainly passive cos they’ve never had their hands on the levers of power although they enjoy feeding “intel” back to their masters in London who are of course very pleased with how WelshLabour goes about the colonising mission on the western frontier.

    Of all this the biggest sadness/anger/frustration derives from the absence of any Plaid spokesperson ( or even another party ) ripping into this multiple abuse of resources and funding. Even the Tory I spoke to was a touch agitated when I fed him a few lines about dysfunctional units being shifted into Wales. Add to that those people with health issues being shunted over the border without an attaching budget, although with our waiting list situation an attaching budget would be tantamount to private preference !

    the 5th looms and I am still in a bit of a quandary about voting. Although they are a bit wet and feeble I actually feel that in my area the Lib Dems could be worth 1 punt because they seem to really want to get things done yet have a realistic view of the constraints. Their material has been pretty much free of idealistic waffle or technobabble – would they retain their sanity if given some powers ?
    Second choice is an even bigger dilemma – Plaid are only in it to plug themselves neatly up CJ’s arse cos with their ploicies and promises they don’t stand a chance of leading anything ( and don’t deserve it). As for the Tory/Labour choice I’ll pass on that, and UKIP… well the more I see there is even less to fancy. Dropping Hamilton into the mix must be someone’s idea of a sick joke, a slap to Welsh faces – if they daft enough to vote for that twat they deserve everything they get ( or fail to get ! ). There’s probably a Green or a Raving Monster party candidate prowling around somewhere but wasting a vote was never my idea of democracy.
    I may be found loitering at the voting booth. It’s just cos I can’t make my mind up – I’m not waiting for “Mab Darogan” not the current version anyway.

    1. I’m working on my next post in which I shall explain why I’m voting Independent for the constituency and Lib Dem for the regional list. Coming soon!!!

  6. RIP Cantref – a click on their website today results in a 403 error. Not even a link to their takeover masters at Wales and West of England. Some manager jobs have gone, more to come, and they are looking for smaller offices. We hope the former CEO and Board members of Cantref are very proud of what they have achieved!!!

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