Welsh Poverty And ‘Welsh’ Labour’s Third Sector Money Pit

A report just produced by the ‘Welsh’ Labour Government, Inquiry into Poverty in Wales: Poverty and Inequality tells us, among other things, that 23% of the population still lives in relative poverty, and while the situation is improving in England and Scotland there is no sign of improvement in Wales. In response, the ‘Welsh’ Government protests that it has “committed £323m to tackling poverty this year alone”. I shall return to this ‘commitment’ anon.

This latest report merely reinforces other reports, and evidence from a host of sources, telling us that our land is poor and becoming – relative to Scotland and England – poorer. For example, earlier this year the Wales TUC produced a report on the Living Wage, with its findings published on a constituency basis. It found that in Cardiff North just 11.4% of jobs pay less than the Living Wage, but in Gower the figure rises to 45%, while Dwyfor Meirionnydd gives the worst figure, at 51%. In both of these areas tourism undoubtedly plays a role in depressing wage levels.

The statistics already dealt with tie in with other findings that tell us Wales has the lowest levels of working-age employment and the highest rates of economic inactivity to be found on this island. But what can you expect? In my previous post I dealt with a non-working, benefit-dependent population being deliberately brought in to Dyffryn Teifi – and the same thing is happening all over Wales. Housing associations and others are importing from England white trash that England is more than happy to be rid of. While in the post before that I dealt with the unsustainable numbers of elderly people moving into Wales, and the inevitable effect this is having on the NHS and other services.


Another piece that caught my eye today concerned Rhondda Life Ltd. Plaid Cymru – for once doing something right – finally got hold of a report from December 2012 that the party claimed the ‘Welsh’ Government had refused to release. (Though much of the information was already in the public domain by 2012, soon after the funding plug was pulled.) The report made it clear that RLL was yet another disaster of the kind we have become so familiar with in Wales: Labour Party hacks and hangers-on receiving obscene amounts of public money for doomed projects in desperate efforts to be seen to be doing something, and failing miserably to achieve anything other than secure tidy salaries and good pensions for themselves.

Running the Rhondda Life show in Ferndale was Travers Merrill. An optimist, our Travers, for while RLL was hurtling, out of control towards the buffers he reassured passengers that it was merely keeping to schedule. For just three months before an auditors’ financial review found Travers Merrillliabilities of £106,555 Merrill was insisting, “RLL is solvent for the following reasons. It has detailed cash flow forecasts; robust internal accounting procedures; detailed financial records; budgetary and corporate plans; no continuing loss-making activities; excess assets over liabilities; no loan or interest defaults on payments; rigid and regular financial activity monitoring; no unpaid tax liabilities; strong governance and management.” Nice try, Trav.

Travers Merrill is married to Rose Mutale Nyoni Merrill OBE (or combinations thereof) who is CEO of BAWSO, a well-funded Third Sector outfit catering for Mrs Merrill and her friends ethnic minority women in need of help. In addition, she was involved with MEWN, another ethnic minority women’s charity based in Swansea, which has also breathed its last. Though before it took ill and expired I – impetuous fool that I am! – suggested that MEWN might reasonably be viewed as a replacement for AWEMA – as if anyone could replace Naz Malik! How much Argie plonk had I drunk when I wrote that?!

Mr and Mrs Travers Merrill are known to have strong – if almost covert – Labour connections, but what is perhaps more interesting about them is that they also have a private company. This is ABESU, which, to quote the company’s website, is “a UK charity working in partnership with the ABESU Women’s Housing Co-operative in Zambia to self-build houses and establish sustainable livelihoods”. Zambia is of course Mrs Merrill’s homeland. The latest accounts lodged with the Charity Commission, or rather, the ‘Unaudited Financial Statements’, tell us that the charity “employs no staff in the UK and the administration is provided pro bono (by whom?) with minimal office expenses”. Which is one way of putting it.

Though a few years ago I was approached by a BAWSO insider telling me that much of ABESU’s administrative and secretarial work was being done in the BAWSO office, using equipment and facilities provided for BAWSO out of public funds. Clearly not right. Though of course this explains why ABESU’s “administration is provided pro bono with minimal office expenses” – it’s because it’s provided by us, via the ‘Welsh’ Government and its funding agencies.

AWEMA Charity Commission
Click to Enlarge

But ‘Welsh’ Labour’s generosity doesn’t end there. For the Unaudited Financial Statement for the period ending March 31st 2014 tells us that the ‘Welsh’ Government gave ABESU £2,000 in that year. (Page 12 of accounts.) Confronting us with the obvious question, why is the ‘Welsh’ Government giving £2,000 to an organisation that, by its own admission. employs no staff in the UK? This has echoes of AWEMA operating, with Welsh public funding, in Kenya and Pakistan. And me, cynic that I am, I can’t help wondering – as I do with all charities – how much of the money donated ever reaches those it was given to help.

Whatever the answer, and however you look at it, the Merrills are the perfect Labour-Third Sector family; neither of them Welsh but happily spending millions of pounds of Welsh public funding on others, most of whom are not Welsh either. And with the curious and suspect overlap with a private company that may also be benefiting from our generosity. Well, we know it’s getting at least £2,000. And for those tempted to say, ‘Oh, two thousand pounds isn’t a lot’, how many other organisations are receiving Welsh public funding for projects outside of Wales?


Wales is a poor, post-industrial country that has never replaced the heavy industry it lost. With the inevitable result that ours is now a country with unacceptable levels of poverty, suffering a flight of the bright and an ageing population. Yet the ‘Welsh’ Government funds housing associations and others to import more poverty, while also encouraging elderly people to move to Wales! Then, due to the emasculating Left-Green mindset that has reduced Plaid Cymru to an object of ridicule, the party that should be exposing and attacking this truly wondrous strategy that both colonises and impoverishes Wales, actually applauds it! Believing, in its pathetic, socialistic distortions of reality, that Wales is somehow acting as a ‘beacon’ in ‘helping those in need’ . . . bring on the fairies!

And if that wasn’t bad enough, the money that is given to the ‘Welsh’ Government by the EU and the UK government to alleviate that deprivation is wasted on a Third Sector that is nothing more than the Labour Party funding careers for its otherwise unemployable supporters, and guaranteeing their loyalty; supporters who will then shout down opponents and commission surveys that always conclude – the ‘Welsh’ Government should give them more money! This is where the £323 million pounds will be spent this year, not on “tackling poverty” as the ‘Welsh’ Government claims, but on its Third Sector cronies, and on projects and schemes that no Welsh community would miss if they ceased tomorrow.

As I was finishing off this piece, and thinking it couldn’t get any worse, I noticed a tweet from @johnsouthwales telling of a ‘community embankment‘ built in Ammanford as part of the Communities First programme. Tell me this is not real. Tell me I’ll wake up tomorrow and realise that this country I think I live in is really just a bad dream.

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Found this on WalesOnline – your old mate Shipton has started digging into Labour’s wasteful practices, so you could probably keep him busy with feeds for a decade !

Redundancy package for two senior Cardiff council managers tops £300,000 for less than two years’ work – Wales Online


Absolute scandal, commented about it when all this silly recruitment took place 2 & a bit years ago and told to mind my own f***in’ business !. Big bucks, big ideas, all Labour bullshit. Yet real front line services are being cut while the ruling junta piss it up at every opportunity. Now one Labour regime dismisses the work of its predecessor regime, the lot should be rounded up and strung up to a series of lamposts running from Station to Bay.

Peter Piper

Dafis, I couldn’t agree more with you, Cardiff Council is a disorganised disgrace. Their leader Phil Bale hasn’t got a clue and as a result the in fighting is unbelieveable.
Meanwhile the City of my birth is suffering badly as a result of the decisions that are being made.
Oh and while we are at it what a cracking idea it was to close the central bus station and allow the BBC to build their new Wales HQ complete with car parking on the site.
1,000000 square feet of speculative build to go up in Central square with the buses relegated to a small site in Great Western Lane….Great Planning!
Incidentally public consultation for all this, – virtually none. Even Shipton is beginning to doubt the value of it all in his latest assessment.


Just back into this blog’s “sphere” after a week away ! Very reassuring to find that we remain alert to the subversive activities of the 3rd sector – nothing changes other than the rate at which these useless bodies soak up resources meeting “challenges” that have been caused by their fellow grant magnets in the first place !

Still at a loss over what to do about the problem especially as Labour and Plaid seem so wedded to this absurd way of “working” and I suspect that the other Anglo Brit parties would not shift far from it either.

The Earthshaker

Three cheers for the latest Welsh poverty report that’ll be ignored by the Welsh Government, it would achieve more giving the 23% a copy so they could burn it for fuel, but it’s not hard to see why, when the miserable powers the Welsh Government has aren’t used properly and the utter failure Edwina Hart is lauded as Economy Minster by a fearful, grant addicted welsh business class as well as the usual Labour sock puppets after she decided to call it day fearing she’d loose her seat to the Tories.

Clearly no one asked or reported at the time why Rhondda Life got public money when its accounts remained unaudited, another example of being afraid of being accused of racism?, the monotonous regularity of these revelations against charities and third sector groups is depressing especially when you realise nothing happens to those who commit the fraud.

Keep exposing the fraud, greed and unaccountability if were going down, were gonna take the bastards with us.

ps thanks to E Jenkins for the link

Albert Hill

Benllech is part of the Llanfair Mathafarn Eithaf community. 49.6% of that community were born in England and just 41.9% are recorded as having a Welsh identity of any kind – 2011 census. As Benllech is on the coast and thus more attractive to incomers then that 80% figure sounds quite likely.

E Jenkins

Come to think of it, and sorry to go a bit off topic Royston, but publicizing this link might wake a lot of people up to what is happening right across Wales.
It clearly shows how irrelevant are the xenophobic concerns of the English/British right and clearly indicates that Welsh identifiers are becoming increasingly marginalized even in the most unlikely areas.


E Jenkins


For information on a micro-level (street) use this link. Go to “culture” and type in your post code.
This will give you place of birth, language etc.
It does not make happy reading.


Thank you E, you are right, a depressing link!

E Jenkins

What astonished me by the link provided by Alun on the previous thread is the proportion of non Welsh in the upper valley towns in eastern Carms.: Brynaman 21.9%, Glanaman 24.7%, Garnant 25.6%
The sharp decline of the language here is usually attributed to the failure of intergenerational transmission. It appears that the 20 to 25% of the population hailing from England might have something to do with it. (Non UK migrants are few.) What on earth is attracting English people to these areas? I can understand the rural areas, but, and no offense to the Aman valley, these villages are far from rural idylls.


This is just the thin end of the wedge E. Perhaps someone who has a better idea of where to find this information could find out the proportion of non Welsh in Benllech Sir Fon, my wife told me last night it was about 80%, I would love to know if that was true.

Back on topic, it seems the greatest resources we have left is the countryside, water and wind most of which is for want of a better word is “exported” for the benefit if the English if you get my drift.

In my own bid to combat Welsh poverty I think I’ll buy an ice cream van with a sign saying “Stop me and take one!” Well what do I know, I’m just Welsh, perhaps I should make the ice cream sheep flavour?

Albert Hill

Plaid’s election performance was pathetic. Notice how the more the public saw of the party in their winnable Ceredigion and Llanelli seats the less popular they became.

This historic defeat has emboldened the enemies of Wales, some actually are Plaid members, to come out of the woodwork – so Wales is multi-cultural, the language isn’t really that important, there’s no such thing as community (society).

Meanwhile the only party addressing at least some of the concerns of the voters is bloody UKIP.

Oh well I suppose it’s still possible to enjoy life if you can ignore the everyday ethnicide and begging-bowl bleatings of our political class.

Cymro Wladfa

“Welcome to the desert of the real” (Morfeus in The Matrix).