Three sides of the same coin


A quirky title, you may think, but it will serve for these three tales that, in their differing ways, offer insights into the damage being inflicted on Wales by the Labour Party.

But I stress that they’re three distinct stories, so you can take them one at a time.


We begin in Port Talbot, where the playful zephyrs carry that heady mix of motorway traffic fumes and steelworks belch. (For as anyone who reads the popular press will know, steelworks always ‘belch’ smoke and fumes.)

Let’s home in on 20 Olive Street in Aberavon, where there is a change of use application to convert a house in this residential street into a House of Multiple Occupation (HMO). Locals are very much opposed to the proposal.

(As a matter of interest, Olive Street is not far from Dic Penderyn’s grave.)

On the application document I’ve linked to you’ll see that the applicant is ‘Joe Furneaux’, and the address given is in Upper Killay, where Swansea peters out into Gower. So I got to wondering about ‘Joe Furneaux’.

I couldn’t get very far in my investigations until I realised that his name is actually Jonathan Furneaux. And it soon became obvious why he might wish to generate confusion about his identity, for he has a chequered business record.

To be specific, two companies that are no longer with us. The first, Picton Street Management Company Ltd, was dissolved in March 2014, though Furneaux ceased to be a director 22 March 2010. The second, Phoenix Property Acquisitions Limited, was dissolved April 2014, after Furneaux had baled out 10 March 2010.

Both companies gave their address as 44 St Helens Road, Swansea. You’ll see that the second of them went bust with no less than 11 outstanding charges.

If we look more closely at those charges we see properties in Ferndale, Tylorstown, Penrhiwceiber, Pentre, Ebbw Vale, Abertillery, Nantyglo, Llanhilleth, Aberdare.

(Maybe some readers can give me feedback on these properties, for the addresses are all given in the charges. For example, are they now residential properties?)

Towns that have been abandoned by self-styled ‘Welsh’ Labour. Where the economy is depressed, where people (those who haven’t left) have either given up or got angry, and where we find the lowest house prices on this island. Ideal locales for ‘investors’ to buy properties in which to house ‘problematic’ (for neighbours) – but highly profitable (for them) – tenants.

A scam encouraged because it shows how ‘caring’ we are – ‘Socialism, innit!’ While also exposing Wales’ poverty – which is always blamed on the Tories.

What a way to run a country! But back to ‘Joe’/Jonathan Furneaux.

This is definitely our boy, but of course there’s no mention of the failed companies, and ‘Joe Furneaux’ was never a company name. Click to enlarge.

To confuse the picture, Phoenix Property Acquisitions Limited may have been dissolved in April 2014 but in February 2015, Phoenix Property Acquisitions Ltd was born. This company did nothing – apparently – and was was compulsorily struck off in July 2016. The address used for this brief reincarnation was 39 Park Place in Swansea city centre.

So we see that in addition to the Upper Killay address Furneaux has also used addresses in the city centre. Though both of the earlier companies began life in Hartfield, a village near Tunbridge Wells, which is where I think Furneaux is based.

For I believe he lives in England and uses accommodation addresses in Swansea. I say that because if this (below) is the same man, then his day job may be with Palatine Homes Ltd of Berkshire.

Click to enlarge

This company specialises in bespoke, upmarket dwellings in Berkshire, Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire, a world away from the Labour fiefdoms of Swansea, Port Talbot and the Heads of the Valleys.

Furneaux joined Palatine Homes in March 2016. Now that he’s got a few bob together perhaps he’s making a come-back.

(If the Jon Furneaux of Palatine Homes Ltd is not the ‘Joe’/Jonathan Furneaux active around Swansea Bay, then I shall be happy to delete this reference.)

And he’s doing it with a company set up as recently as March this year, Horizon EXP Ltd, with a ‘postbox’ address in Dorset. For this is the company that bought 20 Olive Street, Aberavon for £43,000 in July. Now Furneaux wants to convert this small, mid-terrace house in a residential neighbourhood into a four-bed HMO.

For no better reason than idle curiosity I scrolled down the planning application and was surprised to read (in section 27) that the owner, on 27 June, was a Samuel Hawking. ‘Who he?’ I asked myself, and eventually turned up this website.

Click to enlarge

As I say, the date on the planning application, giving Hawking’s ownership, is 27 June 2019; while the date on the Land Registry document tells us that Horizon EXP Ltd, i.e. Jon Furneaux, bought the property 19 July 2019.

So did Hawking get the ball rolling for a HMO and then sell the property, or was the sale of 20 Olive Street provisional on him initiating the process for Furneaux? Given that Hawking might be a relatively large fish in the Swansea Bay property market, I incline towards the second possibility.

And I use the term ‘Swansea Bay’ because I also turned up a planning application in the city itself, in Plasmarl. Where a 4-bed mid-terrace property owned by Jonathan Richard Furneaux (with a loan from West Bridging Ltd) is to be converted into a 5-bed HMO.

Click to enlarge

Plasmarl, where my father was born and raised, is not one of the more salubrious quarters of the city, having much in common with the post-industrial Valleys’ towns we looked at just now. In earlier times Plasmarl was home to many of those who worked in the valley below.

The Lower Swansea Valley (before my time, just). Click to enlarge

Plasmarl, where the ‘Golden Boy’ was born and raised. And where I sank many a pint in the Smelters, and the Coopers, and the Imperial, and ‘Y Cwrcyn’. (No one knew why it was called Y Cwrcyn, but as the real name was The Ivorites Arms, and there were other Ivorites not far away, it served a purpose.)

No mean neighbourhood, Plasmarl. But before I get too nostalgic I’m going to end with a few questions:

  • Why has a man with so many unpaid debts returned to Wales to go into the Houses of Multiple Occupation racket?
  • Does the company to which he owes so much money know he’s resurfaced?
  • What’s his relationship with Sam Hawking?
  • Do the local authorities involved know exactly who they’re dealing with in these applications, and all the possible ramifications?
  • What rights do locals have when threatened with a HMO near to them?
  • Do the planning committees so ready to give permission enquire where the residents of these HMOs in Aberavon and Plasmarl (and elsewhere) will come from?
  • Does the ‘Welsh Government’ have concerns about cheap property in deprived areas being converted into HMOs and hostels to house persons from outside of Wales?

Oh, and in case you’re wondering, the Upper Killay house, 13 Edgemooor Close, is owned by a Roy Anthony Griffiths of Worcester.


This next story takes us west, west of Llanelli in fact, to Porth Tywyn (in English, Burry Port). A town I know quite well; in fact, I stayed there for a few nights very recently.

This report is different to the topics I usually cover in a number of ways, but it still fits because it’s about the abuse of influence and the misuse of money, with the Labour Party central to the tale. For all those involved are councillors, candidates, members, supporters. Indeed, it’s suggested that the reach of the Labour Party explains how this scandal has festered for so long.

I have been given the full names, and relationships, of those involved, but I’ve decided to use initials. Those involved will recognise themselves, of course, and locals will be able to identify them. While those who don’t know the area can understand the issues raised without having to know the principals’ names.

Porth Tywyn. Click to enlarge

In a nutshell, a small group, made up it seems of two families, monopolises fund-raising activities in this small town. Money is ostensibly raised for the community, and yet most of it seems to be unaccounted for. And I am talking now of what is said to be hundreds of thousands of pounds.

The points below represent a summary of the information supplied to me in the words of a source. I have made a few additions or clarifications

1) Burry Port Carnival has been around for some 20 years and is driven by S. M. In the early years all money was paid into her personal bank account and no accounts were produced.

2) Members of the community were involved and some became members of the committee but they didn’t last long.

3) More recently, in the past 5 years or so, the committee is made up almost entirely from two families. The M. and F. families. This consists of S.M., her husband, her daughter and her grandchildren. Also A. F. and L. F. It is believed that there is one non-family committee member, D. D., the nephew of Cllr J. J.

4) S. M., A. F. and J. J. are serving Labour Party councillors. L. F. is an active member of the Labour Party and was a failed Labour candidate for a recent Pembrey Ward by-election for the town council.

5) Members of the community are now saying that unless you are a family member and a member of the Labour Party you will not be allowed on the committee. This seems to have some weight as a recent member of the committee, L. M., was ousted as soon as she got elected as an independent town councillor 5 years ago.

6) The committee will state that anyone can apply to join but nobody does because they know that they would not be accepted or, if they are, they won’t last very long. The general view is that this is more like a family business than an inclusive and transparent community organisation.

7) The Carnival Committee not only organise and run the annual carnival but in season, April to October, they run the weekly car boot sale in Burry Port. It has grown to be the largest in mid and west Wales.

8) Some conservative estimates are that the income from the car boot sale alone ranges from £40,000 to £50,00 a year. (Ed: This is explained by over 100 stalls paying £7 for a car, £10 – 12 for a van, £15 for anything bigger. But no receipts are given, just ‘raffle tickets’, which I assume to mean cloakroom tickets.)

9) The annual Carnival has also grown and income from that is not recorded.

10) (Those involved) also run the annual Christmas Carnival, an annual dog show and vintage car show as well as a number of minor events.

11) They do not give receipts to any who enter the events. They do not give receipts to any stall holder, car owner or sponsor. More recently they started issuing a raffle ticket from various different books to car boot pitch holders. (Ed: The ‘raffle tickets’ referred to earlier.) They have been frequently observed collecting money and putting it in their pockets.

12) No one knows how much they collect but they are quick to publicise a handful of very small grants that they give to local groups, (Grants of a few hundred pounds only) They have also funded around a dozen defibrillators in the community at around 1,200 each. No one knows where the rest of the money goes.

13) They do not publish any audited accounts and they do not publish any annual report or minutes of meetings.

14) Any accounts or financial statements they may produce may not be worth very much if they do not issue any receipts to back up their income.

15) In the meantime, the F. family have gone from L. F. being unemployed and A. F. having a small stall in Carmarthen market, to having three shops and three businesses in Burry Port. S. M. and her family have just bought a villa with a swimming pool in Spain.

It would be easy to dismiss this report as an example of small town squabbling. But given the quality of the sources, and the amounts of money involved, I know there’s substance to it.

So I call on those involved to produce what they should have been producing all along – minutes of meetings, correspondence, bank statements, audited accounts, and an explanation for the status of their operations. For nothing seems to be registered with either the Charity Commission or Companies House.

Which inevitably gives rise to suspicions that this is a cash-only operation held together by family loyalties and protected by the power of the Labour Party.

UPDATE 08.11.2019: The local media is taking an interest. Here’s a report from Wales News Online, and earlier today I was contacted by a reporter who seems to work for both the Carmarthen Journal and WalesOnline.

Reading through the WNO report I have to say that those involved don’t do themselves any favours. They admit to giving out cloakroom tickets as receipts, but will give real receipts to “those who request them”!

When the awkward questions about accounts and record-keeping were asked the carnival committee kept referring to paying-in books at the bank! A strange response because these would only tell what was paid in, not what was collected.

When asked about the legal status of this money-making operation WNO was told that the carnival committee is a “constituted forum”. It may be, or that may be an excuse used to justify not being registered with the Charity Commission or Companies House.

In related news, two of those involved have resigned from the town council citing ‘bullying and harassment’ for their decision. Who knows the truth with this lot?


Last week a news story appeared concerning the ‘mangling’ of Welsh place names in railway announcements. I picked the story up on Twitter and my comment explains my thinking on the subject.

Click to enlarge

I wanted to make that point because in the NorthWalesLive article a spokesman for Cymdeithas yr Iaith Gymraeg (Welsh Language Society) waffled about, ” . . . deep concerns . . . basic failures . . . unprecedented for a public service” . . . and, in effect, said nothing.

Which chimes with my experience of language activists over half a century in that they’re hot on abstractions and visibility, but unconcerned with employment issues unless it’s them losing out. Jobs for working class Welsh speakers don’t concern them, which tends to betray the ‘look-out-for-number-one’ attitude of too many. This attitude explains the rise of Rhodri Williams.

When I put out that tweet last Monday I had no way of knowing that my argument would be backed up so quickly.

The announcements on trains are given out by the guard. Now, quite obviously, if the guard has no understanding whatever of the Welsh language, then passengers will hear, ‘Clanvervekan’ (Llanfairfechan) and ‘Makynceth’ (Machynlleth). The way to avoid this is obviously to employ local people.

But this is not what happens at the moment. And there are no moves to recruit locals, in fact, things could get a whole lot worse.

For I have it on impeccable authority that Transport for Wales is recruiting thirty new guards for the Central Wales line and the Cambrian Coast line. The recruitment is being carried out in Shrewsbury.

This news has been met with anger by railway employees in the area affected, because it means that there will be no Welsh staff recruited for guards jobs on Welsh railway lines, and that can only result in an inferior service.

(And a more expensive service. For English staff have taxis paid for them to join their Welsh trains. This is happening now!)

So not only will we have to endure more of ‘Clanvervekan’ and ‘Makynceth’ but, being ignorant of the area they won’t know the request stops, or the bus connections, or anything.

Take a look at the map below, the railway lines are in red and the green lines represent TrawsCymru bus services. Just look at the number of request stops between Barmouth and Porthmadog! Imagine the nails-on-blackboard mangling of Morfa Mawddach and Dyffryn Ardudwy; and then, just before Abbaerk, we’ll hear the announcement for Penny Chain.

Click to enlarge

And yet, it could all be avoided by recruiting Welsh people to work on Welsh railways. Why is that so difficult?

Seeing as Transport for Wales is a not for profit company, wholly owned by the Welsh Government” I would like the ‘Welsh’ Labour ‘Government’ to tell us why it allows this company to practise recruitment policies that insult our native language, lose us jobs, and provide us with an inferior service.

Or are we supposed to just shrug it off and accept this discrimination as yet another example of ‘Welsh’ Labour betraying the Welsh people?


Picking up on something he may have read by Alphonse Marie Louis de Prat de Lamartine nineteenth-century English scribbler Lord Acton is usually credited with, ‘Absolute power corrupts absolutely’.

While I’m sure he was thinking of despots and emperors strutting their stuff in his own time that line can equally apply to the Labour Party in Wales. For too many in Labour regard privilege, patronage, and outright corruption as theirs by right. The prize for coming first.

This belief gives us cronyism, rigged elections, the third sector, self-advancement, local ‘mafias’, unregulated lobbyists, parachuted candidates, the arrogance to argue that black is white . . . in the poorest country in Europe.

The Labour Party benefits itself, but fails the nation. It’s therefore time to bring to an end Labour’s century in the sun. Anyone outside of Labour siding with these gangsters on spurious ideological grounds is no better than Labour.

♦ end ♦


Notify of

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
G T Westminister

This has M T all over it……perhaps Mr Quality Street better be preparred.


Is this just a coincidence?. After being published and circulated weekly for years, the Llanelli Herald was unavailable everywhere in Llanelli, Burry Port, Kidwelly and probably more areas on Friday, 13th September. The edition is available on the Llanelli Herald website so where all the paper copies have gone is a mystery. The front page contains a photograph of Burry Port carnival and page three carries an extensive article with reference to the same. Staff at the newspaper have cited logistic and printing problems causing the lack of distribution, which doesn’t appear to have ever happened before.

Labour were out in force in Burry Port on Saturday, 14th September, canvassing for Nia Griffith presumably in the event of a forthcoming general election. I will not be voting Labour again given the recent revelations regarding the carnival committee and the car boot sales in Burry Port.

Jon Coles

We experimented with an online only edition. We’ve done so before when we have had logistical problems (twice previously due to the weather and in this case too many staff ill at the same time) and not enough time to get every edition ready for print.


So will the story about the Carnival Committee that no one has seen, be included in this week’s paper edition?

Jon Coles

As it happens, it was seen by those who read the online edition, but will be reprinted this week for those without access to the internet


Why on earth does Katy think that this information has come from one informant, it is very doubtful that just one person would know all the great deal of information in the article. The funds raised from the boot sales and the carnival have been the subject of gossip for the last three years or more and the people of Burry Port are not stupid. It is their own fault by the lack of transparency by the committee that questions are now being asked. What is being forgotten is that there must be several ex-committee members who could verify or deny the truth of the article.

It is a measure of the intelligence of some people shown by the vitriol in their comments and creating a vendetta about “an informant” (Momentum again?). If the committee are above board then all they have to do is publish the amount of cash generated at the car boot sale yesterday – 14th September – when it was full and which may prove if the previous estimates were correct or not .Not good enough saying that it is nobody else’s business – they are purporting to be raising money for the community, on public land owned by Carmarthenshire County Council, so total transparency must be the order of the day.


Are these Labour Councillors and supporters members of Jeremy Corbyn’s Momentum group? (motto: Infiltrate, control, and crush dissent). They have joined and been welcomed into local community groups and then caused chaos as they bullied and took over control from non-Labour officers and members. The boot sales in Burry Port were started a long time ago by a different group of people who are no longer involved due to a lack of transparency. Pembrey & Burry Port have been neglected by Carmarthenshire County Council for years and to suspect that there may be people pocketing money meant for the community is absolutely sickening and adds insult to injury. The sooner that this is made public the better for the future of Burry Port.


I don’t exactly know how much you know about Labour and its incestuous family ties in Burry Port , but they preceded Momentum by about 60 years. It’s a corrupt group of people who bully members of the town council, whipping up a mob when they want to cling on to power at meetings and are a Total fail when it comes to looking after the community. All they are interested in is self-service rather than turning BP into a thriving town


Quite frankly, why does it even concern you, why are you needing to know about accounts of the carnival committee eh? You don’t even live here or attend these events! All the wonderful events that take hours of organising in Pembrey and Burry Port are those organised by this hard working bunch of locals who give up their time for our community! They bring everyone together and help with fundraising for local people and the volunteers in need here! If they didn’t do what they do then we’d have rather a boring town and village, perhaps your informant is a tad peeved at how liked and popular these wonderful people are! I’m sure the majority of BP & P look forward to these events, it’s none of our business what the takings and costs are, leave these good people alone, they’re not hurting anyone! Those who stir the shit pot should be made to lick the spoon…..ever thought they are the ones that need investigating?


Well that’s an extremely poor comeback…you haven’t seen a crime here, you’re just taking the word of some jealous liar hell bent on stirring the shit as usual on these hard working community minded people! If you want to know where the money goes then just ask instead of being the one that fires the bullets after a gutless wonder loaded the gun for you. It’s quite laughable really that such jealousy causes some to stoop so low! Hope you have a peaceful few days away, take some time to reflect on the tales of your informant and ask yourself why, why do they need to question through you, question them, your findings may find a lot more interesting dealings! Hatred stirs up strife, you’ve been used dear man.

Liz Jones

A lady last year was asking about meetings and decisions made by the committee and was bullied off the FB page. This is looking far worse than not letting people in on meetings and decision making.
Typical of local councillors lining their own pockets.


It concerns all of us who visit these events Katy, because it’s OUR money. Why are we not allowed to ask a few questions about it? Why are they so clicky and secretive? Why are their family and friends so quick to vehemently defend them when none of you know the facts either? Every other charity has to declare their income by Law. Why should they be any different? We are talking quite large sums of money here, that appears to be unaccounted for. If they have nothing to hide, why haven’t they shown us any proof to dispel these rumours? Should be easy enough if they have it, no?

I think the fact that their first line of defence was to remain tight lipped and proclaim that they are seeking legal advice, says it all. Only the guilty request a lawyer before talking to the police, don’t they. If these claims are wrong WHERE’S THE PROOF?!


The defibrillators were not obtained through Cariad AED. I suggest you ask Welsh Hearts.


With regards to the epidemic of raising money from the public for the plethora of defribrillators that have turned up all over West Wales, sometimes two in a community. It is a total waste of time and resources according to a consultant surgeon. If any Tom Dick or Harriet shld use them without the required training the patient is more likely to become zombified for life rather than run s marathon. Apparently if you cannot save somebody in the golden minute, forget it, he is better off dead. I just don’t understand this fetish, it must be s money making racket for the businesses concerned and we the unsuspecting public are once again being taken for a ride. Can anybody provide me with relevant stats as to how many of these are used, effectively, and have saved lives ,n maimed the poor dab having a heart attack in Pontlotyn


Jonesy, you are so factually incorrect it is worrying. I am a volunteer and many, many lives have been saved.
When throwing accusations around, using the word ‘apparently’ is foolish. Either have confidence in your knowledge or keep quiet. I suggest the latter.


So what are the stats?


Do you really have nothing better to do with your time than to waste other people’s? P!ease produce hard evidence for all these ridiculous statements reference Carnival committee , or simply go away and leave beautiful Burry Port alone!

Big Gee

Amazing how a cat can be turned in a bag! It’s quite clear to anyone reading this thread that sufficient concern has been raised to respectfully ask for sight of the documents requested. Production of valid and perfectly maintained documentation from the Carnival Committee would stop these accusations in their tracks. Things can then quickly return to normal in “beautiful Porth Tywyn”.

So why faff around wriggling on the end of a hook if everything is above board? This really isn’t rocket science is it?

It is the basic right of a concerned public to make such requests. Nothing unusual about that. How can evidence of wrong doing be presented without these documents being released?

Let’s not insult people’s intelligence shall we?


Extinction Rabble will hold a camp at Borth and no doubt leave a big mound of rubbish behind. It will only be big mound because some poor buggers will have to go there after the show is over and bag up the dross and shit and pile it up ready for trucks to remove it. Better if Dyfed Powys police ( or members of the local communities, if Plod don’t want the work) prevent access, lock up the dope and substance peddlers, and put some of the worst cases through a local sheep dip for a spot of cleansing. Or does that offend their right to leave shit wherever they fancy ?


Terrible news but not surprising about the Carnival committee.

As a resident of Burry Port I have wept a lot at the state of the local racket ( sorry town council ) and the members running it , mostly not by democratic means but by the labour maffia and most of all family connections.

YOu could swear it was still 1953 in Burry Port, uthas a men only club where women are not allowed – I don’t know if any members of Clwb bach realise its 2019? and that they are breaking the law.

The town council is in an appalling state, the same old faces sitting on it for years. Pond life devoid of grey matter intent on bullying independent members week in week out to keep power and favours in Labour and family members hands. And thus holding back the prosperity and sustainable development of this community..

I once asked the gent who runs the Ticket office if he would stock some promo literature (like the lovely lady who used to run the office did) which would encourage people to use the train to visit places by train- he refused, cos he did not make any money from them. I said it was rather odd considering that visitors to the town have always used that ticket office as a point of reference to find out what’s going on in the county. He was only interested in selling sweets and coffee thus stepping on the other businesses in town which already did this. Miserable bloke.


Pembrey & Burry Port Town Council would like to point out that it is a completely separate entity from the Carnival Committee, and that the Town Council will be making no further comment.


Hello would just like to clarify, as being a part of the carnival committee for the past few years, Not all of the statements made in this article are true, no money has ever been pocketed by the families who contribute their time and efforts to the committee, and without these people there would be no events or activities for this local community to attend to. In regards to the income of the carboot sale and the carnival day (among the other events which are produced for the public) do not equate to the amounts shown in this article. There is not much if any income at all from the carnival day as almost all expenses go towards it to improve and develop the carnival year by year. The funds which may be left are put forward to those various charities as stated or other worth causes such as the defibrillators which we sought to get for our community. This article is merely an attack on the community of Burry Port and the Carnival Committee who care about it the most. Any further comments or questions should be directed to the committee for a statement or justification as required, preferably before taking it to extreme lengths such as this or any other forms of media. C.M


C.M. – Asking a question as is currently being considered in Cydweli, with guidance issued by Health Board. May I ask if your town council or which registered charitable organisation purchased the defibruators?

As you are aware, London rules over our tax and refused to exempt such item from VAT, even though a finding of the EDM supported by Plaid Cymru MPs at the Westminster House in 2017 found there was no EU bar on exemption. Sadly, an additional cost of VAT rate at 20% payable on the purchase which could otherwise be spent in the community, if payment is not made through a crown or charitable body.

Charity number or your town council finance committee minute would answer the question. Diolch.


The defibrillators were obtained through Welsh Hearts.


Excellent. Glad to hear that, anon. Was the Welsh Hearts invoice they sent out addressed to an organisation, or to an individual where a claim for ‘Gift Aid’ currently 25p in the £, as income tax relief?


Referring to some of today’s tweets relating to TfW I find it hilarious that anybody would think of using the word “logistics” in the same sentence, or even paragraph, as TfW ! The whole thing staggers from pillar to post, or station to station on good days. Any kind of planning seems to have been stuck in a rut while the whole shambles trundles along causing intense levels of customer dissatisfaction. But senior executives have unlimited capacity for self delusion.


Your tweet regarding Plaid’s part in the Westminster shambles is spot on. They should register their views and fuck off out of it, return to Wales and begin preparing for secession. Boris lays the template by saying “stuff you, we’re off” and if it’s O.K for him to do so then it’s good enough for us too. There again I don’t think our little petals want to step in that direction. They are just so happy playing politics on the touchline while the big beasts run up and down the playing field. Nice work if you can get it.


May I remind Plaid Cymru of their 2017 election manifesto, which said “We will fight to get the best possible Brexit deal for Welsh industry and agriculture.” The four MPs for Plaid were NOT elected to deliver another referendum nor block the process through constitutional means.

The doorstep message was to vote Plaid just to get the best deal to ‘defend Wales’.

The SNP are the only party that was committed to use constitutional measures to obstruct any form of Brexit and proposed InyRef2. That’s their right, what they stood for. They have an honest mandate. Important to note that it was only the LibDems manifesto which called for “Second EU referendum on a Brexit deal”.


I cannot see how, morally, a Plaid Cymru MP can propose impeachment. They did not stand on Indyref Cymru and they’ll be using an English mechanism. An impeachment motion may have to come from a LibDem.

There’s also a historical and constitutional issue for the SNP. The last time this mechanism was successfully used was against the Scots. Jacobite lords were impeached in 1746 for rebellion. Lords Kilmarnock, Balmerino and Lovat were beheaded. Could get interesting if Boris is sent to face justice in Scotland.

Big Gee

That exact point regarding the Plaid manifesto was made by Siân Caiach in an article she wrote for our News Portal some time ago.

Well worth a read!


Manifesto ? These people don’t give a shit about manifesto commitments made before the last election. Hell, they don’t even bother with being consistent about anything within 7 days or so. They have judged the electorate as lacking in any memory so they are free to spin out any old nonsense that suits the hour on any day.


Despite, assertions above to the contrary, I’m a great believer in there being no smoke without fire as regards the Burry Port families concerned. The individuals mentioned have run the town like the mafia in recent years. Their photographs are to be found weekly in the local newspaper promoting the apparent good they are doing for the community. The previous incumbent, Councillor PJ, would have long sorted these out if she had not retired on the grounds of ill-health. Yes, the HMRC should be made aware of what’s going on on our community. They would be fascinated given that AF and LF are self-employed. For me though, this issue should be brought to the attention of the local newspapers. Let’s make the wider community aware of precisely how their appointed representatives are more interested in lining their pockets than serving the communities to which they were appointed. It is truly appalling that these people can strut around car boot field pocketing cash without anyone calling them to account and without providing verifiable evidence of income from the enterprise. Who really wants such individuals representing them on Carmarthenshire County Council? Personally, I can’t wait for the the next election, if these individuals survive that long.
I’m very grateful to you Jac for bringing this to the attention of the community.


On the subject of mangled station announcements, CyI identify an issue but fail to purvey the solution.


I think you will find that ‘locals’, both men and women, who are fluent in the Welsh language, do get jobs on the railway in Wales. Many as sub-contractors, like the cleaning firm Axis. Zero hour contracts, low pay, poor and dangerous working conditions, not provided with basic safety equipment, safe access routes, nor lighting for night shift duties.


When TfW was awarded the franchise, Ken Skates AM, the Minister for Economy and Transport, made it quite clear that contracts for cleaning staff, the lowest paid employees, would be bought “in-house” and staff would enjoy fully protected employment rights and the real living wage. This has not happened. The Labour Government in the Bae is not interested in protecting workers from exploitation and only interested in feathering their own nest.


The direction that TfW is going in can be seen by the Welsh Government appointing Ms Alexia Course as Director of Rail Operations at Transport for Wales. She’s from the Network Rail graduate recruitment programme in Swindon, spent a stint as station manager at London Charing Cross (going round ensuring staff sweep up the fag ends), then a stint in ‘retail relationship for Network Rail’, stuff like arrangements for a McDonalds, coffee shops and pasty shacks. Then being promoted to the position of route commercial director based in Cardiff. Her last job was as “Change Programme Director” in charge of the “transformation portfolio”. All flip charts and facilitating.
Song from the valleys for the trains too packed to get on.

A measure of what’s in store for TfW is their relation to when 10% of rolling stock was taken out of service due to ‘flats’. Remember that? It’s quite simple. There’s a steel ring around each wheel, it gets worn and uneven according to stress and milage, can be quite damaging to the tracks. You can hear it as a ‘clunk clunk’ as the train comes into a station. You have to replace them regularly, basic rolling stock maintenance.


You treat the staff with respect. You pay them the living wage and provide a safe working environment. Especially those that deal with shit. You pay ensure the engineering staff get proper reward and launch a technical skills programme. You make sure the directorship at the highest level are properly qualified and experienced for the engineering challenges ahead, and most importantly, you ensure that ALL customer facing roles are filled from the ranks of the community which they serve. Issues of language is then automatically solved. It’s also good business sense.

First step is to evict that excuse for a government down the Bae.

Ellie Wales

There has been some talk of creating an Aberystwyth – southwards line but that will take years.


Here is the official staff recruitment portal for TfW.
(English Only).

No mention of Welsh language skills for the depot manager (30+ staff) at Machynlleth and the mobile technicians jobs advertised are based in Herford and Shrewsbury.


Checked that website out. Not bad rates of pay for craft grades. Are these nationally agreed, or just company wide rates ? I suppose they are good enough to attract skilled personnel away from industrial West Midlands and Borders to Mach and the lovely West Coast. Would be interesting to know how many of the Manager, Supervisory and Engineering workforce were sourced from within the Mid Wales and Coastal area.


TFW have a bilingual policy for operations within Wales itself, but it only seems to apply to those station-based or office-based staff who deal with enquiries face-to-face at stations or on the phone at the information centre plus the recorded messages announcing the next train and telling you not to smoke. You will be hard-pressed to find a Welsh-speaking ticket-collector on an actual train; I travelled from Ruabon to Bangor, and from Shrewsbury to Aberystwyth, this summer, and on both occasions had my ticket clipped by monolingual staff from east of the Dyke.

That’s inevitable. Both trains begin their journey in English towns or cities. Its’s not a Welsh service, it’s an englandandwales service.

David Smith

As an aside, I always within myself “weep for Wales” a little bit every time I look at the railway map and how the network was decimated. I know Britain as a whole felt the axe but it seems to have left such a disproportionately fragmented and disjointed network when Wales is considered itself. Bastards.

David Smith

The extractive economy and thoroughfare status bestowed upon us by our overlords right there in black and white.

David Smith

TF “W” run services wholly within England too, that I know for a fact. Chester-Crewe, and Crewe-Shrewsbury (possibly Manchester-Shrewsbury too). It’s almost an inverse of the ECB bollocks, in that Wales is conveniently omitted from that acronym, and “And borders” is omitted from the naming of the railway service Transport for Wales, which operates the Wales and borders franchise. Probably yet another fudge to skew Wales’ contribution to the UK pot in an even more negative light.


The answer to the Burry Port m/tafia is to send your report with full names and all information to the HMRC. They will be very interested I’m sure.


There’s probably an accountant involved somewhere who’s developed a nice line in “mitigation” i.e evasion. However there’s always a weak link and the HMRC should at least have a look as some of those “taking a cut” may well be on other earnings which fall below tax thresholds but taken together would take that person into tax. The other possibility, heaven forbid, is that some of the “beneficiaries” are on some kind of benefits which would get DWP’s juices flowing.
It’s always so reassuring that our ruling party provides a haven for all sorts – is that what they mean by being inclusive ?