Thursday, 28 October 2010

++ Anglesey Grants - an appeal ++

Regular readers of this blog will know that Holyhead resident, Gwynfor Pierce, has long battled with Anglesey County Council over problems he experienced regarding a Housing Renovation and Town Improvement Grant that he was awarded to improve the flats above his shop on Market Street in Holyhead. The substance of his concerns can be summarised as follows:

  • Even though the building works carried out on his property via an agent were sub-standard and unsatisfactory, the council still approved payments; Completion certificates were also submitted and approved for work that was never finished and which had also been improperly invoiced by the builders;
  • The costs of the works tendered were artificially inflated significantly over the actual value of the works. Consequently in order to remain within the budget of his contribution, Gwynfor agreed that non-essential items should be omitted. However with the help of a quantity surveyor Gwynfor later discovered that the items omitted were extreme, leading the flats to be judged "detrimental to the health and safety of future council occupants". Furthermore Building Control also later discovered 24 contraventions of building regulations;
  • The agents failed to provide proper contracts and the council failed to ensure that Gwynfor was fully informed of his responsibilities under the grant scheme. Proper quality monitoring procedures were not implemented;
  • When Gwynfor took his concerns to the council he was faced with an extraordinarily complex complaints system coupled with real difficulties in obtaining information from the council's grants files. This made it extremely difficult for him to substantiate his claims;
  • The council is responsible for ensuring that all Welsh Assembly housing grants are spent properly on works that are fit for purpose and meet Welsh Housing Standards -- however in this case the works were not fit for purpose and yet the council appeared unwilling to pursue the case.

Despite the above difficulties Gwynfor faced in pursuing his case with Anglesey Council, he fought on and after years of pushing an internal audit was eventually ordered into the matter. After 120 days of investigation the result was a grudging acknowledgement by the council that,

"there are certain recommendations arising ... as regards procedures and future administration of grants". 

However it also predictably found fault with Gwynfor himself:

"[t]he investigations ... have raised questions with regard to the applicant and certain agents employed by the applicant. Some terms of the grant have not been complied with and the Council has requested re-payment of the grant monies". 

Following further pressing by Gwynfor (including this letter sent to all councillors in September this year) and the helpful intervention of Mark Isherwood AM, Anglesey Council have now gone one step further by admitting for the very first time -- and as long alleged by Gwynfor -- that,

"... evidence exists that external parties have sought to defraud the Council". 

Happily the case is now being investigated by the council's external auditors, PriceWaterhouseCoopers, and the Police have been informed of the irregularities. The increasingly excellent welsh language news magazine, Golwg, has also took up the case. The Druid hopes that justice will now be swiftly served.

However the story does not end here. Gwynfor first took his concerns to the council in 2007 and it has taken him three years of continuous effort to get Llangefni to recognise that there really were serious problems with his grant. The question we have to ask is whether Gwynfor was just extraordinarily unlucky -- or whether there are other Anglesey residents who have also had a similar experience with housing grants but have lacked Gwynfor's herculean perseverance in pursuing their cases with the council?

Well, as it happens a Brynsiencyn resident, who also regularly contributes to this blog, had a very similar experience with a Home Regeneration Grant he was awarded seven years ago. He also took his concerns to the council but was repeatedly rebuffed, investigated himself for attempting to defraud the council (for which he was cleared), and was then outrageously told to stop writing to the Legal Department about his continuing concerns. Sound familiar?

Through word of mouth he found another nearby resident who had experienced exactly the same problems (even down to having the same agent and builder) -- and this despite having been told by the council that there had been no other similar problems reported concerning Home Regeneration Grants. Finally, out of frustration, he went to see our AM, Ieuan Wyn Jones and told him about both cases. Ieuan was sympathetic but ultimately unhelpful and sent him away saying,

“I believe that these two are isolated cases -- however if you find that there are enough other similar cases, then I will bring the matter to the attention of the Welsh Assembly”. 

Accordingly, today we are launching an appeal to find other Anglesey residents who have suffered a similar experiences. Explicitly we are looking for people who have been recipients of grant works to improve private/landlord/public housing but have experienced any of the following problems:

  • sub-standard work which they have had to accept due to the actions of agents who have behaved improperly due to a lack of proper contracts or lack of oversight by the council;
  • problems during the tendering process;
  • the need to make their own repairs to the works afterwards;
  • have tried unsuccessfully to obtain formal documentation explaining the policies and procedures for progressing the grant and how to sort matters out when things go wrong;
  • have tried unsuccessfully to obtain redress through the council.

You can get in touch by using the 'Contact' tab above and can rest assured that your anonymity will be protected. Based on the number of responses, the plan will be to prepare a dossier of such cases which can be presented to Ieuan Wyn Jones. Then we will see whether our AM will take the acton he has promised.

162 comments:

Anonymous said...

This has really stuffed cover-up merchant David Bowles. His position is now totally untenable.

Anonymous said...

As an informed bystander I have said on this Blog long ago that there are grant agents and their builder cronies out there who "work the system" for the supposed benefit of applicants, and of themselves...they have become complacent and arrogant....and we know who they are, it is not a mystery !
The blame here rests with such corrupt agents and their crony builders, first and foremost....not monitored or challenged by inept grant officers.
Let there be a police investigation, and let the culprits face justice.

Anonymous said...
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The Red Flag said...

Might be something 'Rebecca' could run with?

Anonymous said...

Where does this now leave the cover-up kid, David Bowles?

Anonymous said...

19.16 Rebecca is spoilt for choice for investigative reporting in Anglesey.....where to start ??

Anonymous said...

Druid....you should revise your headline to read -
Appeal for Witnesses ??

Anonymous said...

This really is the start of Anglesey County Council's 9/11. Well done Gwynfor.

Anonymous said...

well done to gwynfor for sticking to his guns .
it just goes to show how corrupt this clowncil is

Anonymous said...

19.37.....actually no, Council officers were inept morons in this scam....the crime lies in the private sector !

Anonymous said...

In a complaint to the Ombudsman against Councillor Barrie Durkin by the Interim Managing Director Mr David Bowles, he told the Ombudsman. "Councillor Durkin made allegations that the Improvement Grants issue involved some kind of fraudulent conspiracy involving senior officers. This has been investigated and the allegations are groundless".

Is this what David Bowles calls moving the Council forward by suppressing honest Councillors from doing, their duty?

Anonymous said...

Question is.

After firmly denying that there had been an investigation the alleged allegations were "groundless". Will David Bowles still be with us tomorrow or will the Minister have to remove him ?

Anonymous said...

There was an internal investigation for irregularities, which was said to be groundless as against grant officers....the crime lies in the private sector !!

Anonymous said...

If this is an example of David Bowles we the People of Anglesey don't need him, he should leave and crawl back into the hole he whence came.
We can deal with what problems we may have without his kind of crap.

The Druid of Anglesey said...

Dear All, please exercise good judgement when posting below this thread. This is a serious appeal to encourage any residents who have had similar experiences to get in touch (one such person has already been in contact). Please don't frighten them away with over-emotional posts here!
Thank you.

Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

Comments here are now digressing from the point of the Topic....please put your preoccupation with DB to one side, and focus on what is asked for.....tangible evidence of grant corruption inside and/or outside of the Council.

Anonymous said...

It is not pre-occupation with DB. If David Bowles had done his job right in the first place, the same job he gets £1,200 a day for supposedly doing, there would be no need to be discussing this issue at all.

Anonymous said...

Druid, as I have mentioned before, Gwynfor submitted a FOI request to get info from IoACC regarding grant works to his building and accordingly was sent a file by IoACC on our recent "TIG and Empty Homes Grants" completed to our buildings on the same street in Holyhead. What confidentiality? GPJ

Anonymous said...

Housing Grants and Town Improvement Grants.

If their was ever an opportunity created to con money out of a local authority its The Grant System, known nation wide as an easy touch by those in the know. But in the main this cannot be done without inside help. Those who feel aggrieved must come forward if only to ensure it does not happen to anyone else.

Anonymous said...

Problem is. That the buggers would deny it if you told them their Hair was on fire. That's one of the tricks of their trade. Deny, deny and Lie again.

Prometheuswrites said...

Every so often the Druid makes a post that has the potential to make a real difference.

I believe this is one of those posts and I agree with his appeal for commentators to exercise good judgement when posting.

In these times of cutbacks to the public purse and the government’s concerns about public expenditure I find it disturbing that Mr Pierce is apparently being asked to pay back money for sub-standard work that has been done to his property using public funds.

I understand that the reason the WAG changed the way in which grants were administered was to prevent fraudulent practices between the builder and the grant recipient. (The Audit Office has published a report which identifies such practices). The use of the agent in managing and overseeing grant works was instigated by the WAG to prevent these past abuses and it is the agents responsibility to act on behalf of the grant recipient, who is effectively employing the agent, to ensure that the works are carried out properly, to the clients satisfaction; and to inspect the works before issuing completion certificates.

Again as I understand the process, once the builders invoices and the completion certificates have been received by the council, they have a duty to inspect the works and ensure they are of satisfactory standard before releasing the money, which they hold as executors of the grant that has been awarded to the recipient. These are the checks and measures that ensure that the money is spent properly, (i.e. the works are ‘fit for purpose’ and represent ‘value for money’)

Prometheuswrites said...

(Continued)
From reading the copious amount of information that Mr Pierce has posted on the blog it is obvious that something has gone very wrong with this process. The fact that an independent surveyor has examined the works and found them to be “detrimental to the health and safety of future council occupants" and that the council’s own Building Control also later discovered 24 contraventions of building regulations is testament to this.

The first question is “Where has it gone wrong”?

The second question is “Why is Mr Pierce having to fight against those who should be safeguarding his interests”?

It seems to me that Mr Pierce is the one who is standing up to ensure that public funding is spent correctly.

Though why it is his responsibility to obtain redress over works that he did not do, did not manage, and did not approve is a mystery, especially when he was not the person authorising or making payments of the public funding allocated to him.

The fact that he is not the only person who has experiences these problems with sub-standard works begs the question of how many other people have had similar experiences.

I have told the Druid of the problems I have had with housing grants in past and I shall be encouraging the other people I know who have had problems to contact the Druid too, although I know some of them are reluctant to get involved in what can be seen as a fight against the council.

I don’t see it like that; rather as an exercise in gathering information to find out the extent of the problems that people have been having. (In the interests of balance I’m sure that Druid will welcome reports of grant works that have been carried out perfectly satisfactorily).

If that information then shows that the problem is not ‘just an isolated couple of cases’ then the council will have little choice but to address these concerns, find out why they are occurring and help those affected.

Anonymous said...

Prometheuswrites.

You right in every thing you say, but it's understandable to see some commentators geting irate when we continually see, it's not our responsibility, your wrong, and the not us gov mentality which comes from the Council on just about every subject complained about.
Everybody can't be wrong, surely.

Anonymous said...

I have said before, this Council has a defensive bunker mentality, constantly under attack from all sides.

Anonymous said...

Here is why I agree with Prometheus:

Making a complaint to the Council. For over a year, they have been claiming to be 'finalising' their complaints policy. The Ombudsman has also made the same statement in refusing to consider some complaints.

So, 16 years since its inception, they have no finalised complaints policy. Doesn't say much for how they care about the public's concerns.

The complaint process goes through two stages. All the complaints I've seen have been dismissed as unfounded. Yet, on more than one occasion, referral to the Ombudsman brings (eventually) a very different outcome.

Doesn't say much about the Council's objectivity and impartiality.

You criticise how they apply the law. You get a confrontational, numbered, line-by-line dismissal of the complaint, especially from the legal department. The complaint made is rarely addressed.

You highlight that the people complained about issue their own response, despite this being against their policy and the criticism of the Ombudsman. How likely is it that a person complained about is going to say 'yep, 'twas me, guv. I was wrong'.

Doesn't say much about the Council's respect for fairness and justice.

These people call themselves professional. Yet, all we see is contempt for the public, contempt for genuinely-held concerns, and attempts by the highest-paid members of staff to rubbish the character of those, like Mr. Pierce, who simply won't take 'go away' for an answer, much to his credit.

When will Mr. Bowles apologise in public for labelling Mr. Pierce's concerns as 'smears'? Hardly surprising he won't talk to Wales This Week, is it?

Anonymous said...

Yes, IACC have a very effective brick-wall legal department, who defends against all-comers.

Anonymous said...

"... evidence exists that external parties have sought to defraud the Council".

So, having now eventually accepted that this was so, we must ask: if the Council suspected or knew that someone was trying to defraud them, why did they dismiss over a lengthy period Mr. Pierce's concerns and label his claims as 'smears'?

I do not think these are academic questions; they give rise to profound concerns about a cover-up. It also tends to hint, to us as outsiders being fed regular Bowles-esque 'this man is nuts' dismissals, that there is some collusion in the fraud by at least some within the Council. I recall, for example, an internal e-mail asking for amounts to be changed to silence an accountant.

TGC said...

It would be very interesting to see the documents accusing the Brynsiencyn grant recipient! I wonder whether it was the Council or the police who made the investigation? Sometimes, Councils forget they are public administrators, not part of the criminal justice system.

TGC said...

"Yes, IACC have a very effective brick-wall legal department, who defends against all-comers."

And there is the difficulty: their job should first and foremost be to ensure that the Council is adhering fully to the law. Defending the ramparts against would-be accusers should appear very much lower down the ladder.

another anon and me said...

In the short term, we need a full independent inquiry looking into the concerns raised and to whether the grants system could be improved to ensure such problems do not arise again. One suggestion being that agents need to be registered with an independent body, that their role is clearly defined and that there are sufficient safeguards in place to protect the client should the agent fail to deliver. Similarly for the builder also.

In terms of the future and complaints to the Council and a perception of defensive bunker mentality, I think the People Manifesto proposal of:

“The functions of running of the Council and policing of the Council should be separated by establishing an ‘Anglesey Good Governance Commission’….

should be seriously considered.

Anonymous said...

11:25

Couldn't agree more, and very succinctly put, if I may say so.

There is no future for the Council to continue trying to be gamekeeper and poacher in dealing with complaints; they have demonstrated an inability to police themselves and should stop doing so as soon as possible.

Anonymous said...

Now it has been accepted that the Council has a "Defensive bunker mentality" which would rather through the Interim Managing Director David Bowles "Spear" complainants rather than do the right thing. Can we now appreciate the horrendous problems Councillor Durkin is enduring for having the bottle to raise such concerns with David Bowles?
Sacked from his group, abused through the press, complained of to the Ombudsman, etc. Surely these people in particular David Bowles, have a lot to answer for.

Is it no wonder why Cllr Durkin is seeking legal address.

Anonymous said...

TGC 11.23 As one who knows, the Legal Dept. of IACC sees its primary role as that of advising and where necessary defending its internal Departmental clients.....!

Housebound said...

"TGC said...
It would be very interesting to see the documents accusing the Brynsiencyn grant recipient! I wonder whether it was the Council or the police who made the investigation?"

Housebound says: So would I, as I'm the one involved. However the reasons for the investigation were redacted on my council file.

The explanation I eventually received was that I had failed to inform the council of a change in circumstances. This was despite my having written to the Head of Housing, weeks beforehand, informing him of my change of circumstances and instructing him to inform the grants, housing and social services departments along with any other departments who would need to know and access that information.

It took over six months of an internal investigation before I was exonerated and this despite my letter being held on file.

Apparently council departments cannot share information, because of the Data Protection Act, (even though I had explicity instructed/given permission for this information to be shared.

More frustrating is that that IOACC spent six months investigating 'my application for a grant' but (still)refuse to investigate my concerns about the monitoring of grant payments and building standards of the grant works.

And Yes: the then MD did write to me telling me that complaints to the Council and the Ombudsman made by the 'other person with the same problems, with the same agent and the same builder' had not been made - and I do have a copy of the Ombudsman's reply to their complaint. ('It is not within our remit to investigate Duty of Care/Human Rights and Fraud issues')

The only logical explanation for this (Derrick Jones' assertion that no other complaints had been made) is that the exec/legal department are either covering up the truth or are being misled by the council's own officers.

Can I ask GPJ if his works were done satisfactorily, and if so, how did he manage to get it done properly?

TGC said...

Housebound,

A lot of what the Council have told you must be hogwash.

Firstly, you have a statutory legal right to information held about you under the Data Protection Act 1998. Refusing to provide this is a very serious matter, particularly under the circumstances you describe.

It is true that if you yourself make a request under a different piece of legislation - the Freedom of Information Act, then a strict application of that law does mean that even your own name has to be redacted. But an application under Data Protection removes this conflict.

If you need any help in using these instruments, then I'm more than happy to do so - just e-mail me via the Druid's 'contact' button at the top of the blog page. I guarantee anonymity and Druid knows who I am...

Anonymous said...
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Housebound said...

TGC:

Thank you very much for your offer of help; I may well be taking you up on it.

I had all but given up on pursuing redress through any of the statutory channels. It wasn't until I read Gwynfor's postings on this blog that I rekindled any hope of seeing some kind of justice. Knowing that one is not alone in the struggle makes a huge difference, not least to one's sanity.

I'm sure I've posted in the past regarding my (previously) futile attempts to bring these matters to the attention of the Auditors, my AM & MP, the Ombudsman and WAG, none of whom even gave my documentation a second glance, once IOACC told them that everything was hunky-dory and that my complaints were either groundless or were being resolved.

Of the £20K of work that did have grant payments made, my own quanity surveyor has identified £15K of latent defects. IOACC have since withdrawn any remaining grant money after telling me they wouldn't pay the legitimate invoices I raised to make emergency repairs to my property, due to the ongoing civil action I am involved with.

I now fully expect to be called a liar, demonised and smeared, (like Gwynfor was) as it will be obvious to those involved who I am - after all that is the usual M.O. of Local Authorities towards those considered to be whistleblowers.

I'm very nervous of raising my head above the parapet and I understand how difficult it must have been for Gwynfor to put his name fully into the public domain.

What was it called in the English Military - The Forlorn Hope?

Housebound said...

N.B.

I'd looked Forlorn Hope up on wikipedia and that should be 'The British Army' (I was caught out by the reference to 'The English Civil War) - apologies to the Welsh, Scots and Irish Regiments who participated in the Peninsular Wars of 1808-14.

Anonymous said...

To all who feel nervous about raising their heads above the parapet and understand how difficult it must have been for Gwynfor to put his name fully into the public domain.

Never fear, no need to worry on that score. There are some watching, monitoring and working to ensure that these issue, as with others, are investigated at the highest level and those responsible brought to book. They will not evade punishment this time.

Anonymous said...

People are nervous about speaking up, the victims are ignored, and their number grows every day, this insulting way of behaving and treating the public like the great unwashed and illiterate is a crime in itself. No one cares, no one listens, the law of the Welsh is an insult to the Welsh.

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Anonymous said...

The entire grants application and award process is "amateurish and haphazard"

I talk from experience as an applicant.

Anonymous said...

Grant scams ?
The game is that unscrupulous Agents procure inflated estimates from their dependent builder cronies and select the highest, on which the grant application and all else that follows is based... including their fees....they then certify payments as they please...irrespective of the quality, quantity or completeness of the work, or compliance with building regulations....and grants officers are either too timid or are complicit in approving them...this is a well trodden pattern. It is criminal !

Anonymous said...

19.14 You are just a little off-target.

Anonymous said...

19:22
Thanks, I know what you mean.

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Anonymous said...

This is what we are all best at, having a Welsh Council that destroys the Welsh, we are all victims here, and the biggest culprit is the Welsh Assembly who allow this state of affairs to go on, until it has now disintegrated into a corrupt mess, the grant givers and the grant takers....

Anonymous said...

There is no doubt that this Grant scam is only the tip of the iceberg.

There is a very well oiled operation at work here and it's gone on for years involving the same agents, the same builders, the same witless officers and the same inept police force, who prefer not to rock the boat. Where are they now without the protection they have been afforded over the years. The bubbles bust boys, your time is up.

Anonymous said...

Our AM Ieuan will do NOTHING, he's too busy trying to ignore us all!

Anonymous said...

19.48 There is nothing much he can do....without the Druid's dossier of EVIDENCE !

Anonymous said...

I hear there is one hell of a bonfire behind the Council offices tonight, much to late, we took copies of every thing weeks ago, night security were very obliging. Thank boys.

Anonymous said...

Would someone please remind us all, when was the last time the Police investigated any allegation, and I mean any allegation against this Council? The answer is this, all complaints against this Council are ignored and deemed unworthy because the Police are scared shitless of making a case against them, it's impossible to get justice on Anglesey.

Anonymous said...

19.51 What pessimism....the Druid's about, with his robust band of supporters, intent on getting JUSTICE for the downtrodden people of Anglesey.
Just give us the evidence !!

The Druid of Anglesey said...

Dear All, please be careful what you write. Any comment which names anyone, however obliquely, will be deleted...!

Between the Lines said...

Let us discuss the C word: "Competence"
Those that sign off the grants within IoACC? Have they the requisite skill to sign off construction work?
Agents. Do they have the requisite skill to appoint a Competent contractor?
Is the contractor competent to complete the work required?

Here lies the problem with the grant system. If one has no competence the other succeed.

Anonymous said...

Between the Lines
Who do you Blame?????

I have just read through all these posts and....

Given the Druidic nature of this blog..

Haven't you all seen the Wicker Man????

The good guy (a Cop ie: DB) trying to find the truth only to be met with his fate...

oh yes, and Brit Ekland dancing naked - for those that don't get out much :)

Anonymous said...

(a COP ie: DB)
Give us a break. Having read the posts me thinks you should have gone to Spec Savers.

Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

"The Druid of Anglesey said...Dear All, please be careful what you write. Any comment which names anyone, however obliquely, will be deleted...!29 October 2010 19:59". Are we right in thinking this means 'nick-names' ? Can you define "obliquely"?

The Druid of Anglesey said...

Anon 23.22 -- any reference however slight to any identifiable person or organisation.

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The Druid of Anglesey said...

Anon 00:08 - Although I understand the point you are trying to make, a neutral observer might think you are suggesting that the person you keep mentioning is involved in the problems identified in this threat. I don't think that is what you mean to imply at all and therefore I have deleted all three of your posts.

Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

"The Druid of Anglesey said...Anon 00:08 - Although I understand the point you are trying to make, a neutral observer might think you are suggesting that the person you keep mentioning is involved in the problems identified in this threat. I don't think that is what you mean to imply at all and therefore I have deleted all three of your posts. 30 October 2010 00:12". I'm not "suggesting" anything (your word not mine) I'm asking a question that relates to the whole blog , not just this thread . Why won't you answer it ?

Anonymous said...
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The Druid of Anglesey said...

Anon 00:26 - I see no problem with commenters beneath a thread about that particular person, mentioning him by name or nickname. My comment above obviously applies to persons who have not been mentioned in the original post but whom commenters are trying to imply might be implicated in some wrongdoing.

Anonymous said...

Are you NOW saying it's OK to call someone so long as YOU name them first ?

Anonymous said...
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TGC said...

OK, can I remind people, especially the more emotional amongst you, that this is a blog. You'll notice from many other blogs that you don't get the opportunity to comment at all. But you do here.

Also consider that, if you want to make allegations that you cannot substantiate - and by that I mean could prove to a very high standard of proof in court - then I suggest you make them elsewhere and hire a good barrister by the way.

It is not fair to post this stuff here, where the Druid gets dragged-in. Please show some respect and restraint for the privilege of having the facility to post comments. If you have real evidence of wrongdoing, take it to the authorities or post it to the Druid for consideration in private.

Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

Please don't under estimate the Grants Managers knowledge. He is very proficient and fully aware of all the requirements, that why is the highly paid manager for the administration of Grants.

If you had all seen the documentation I have seen just on Gwynfor's grant, I think you would be surprised and annoyed to see who is up to what.

Anonymous said...

10.48 "Who is up to what" translated means "unscrupulous private sector grant agents fiddling the paperwork with their dodgy crony builders"
They, and we, know who they are, and they are rightly worried.
Justice awaits.

Anonymous said...

11:00 "Who is up to what"

Your correct but don't think for one moment is does not include others. We mustn't forget those involved in the cover up, they are equally to blame, if not worse.

Anonymous said...

TGC @ 08:39 I cannot speak of the edited (not removed) posts including and above 23:22 but I can assure you there was NO "allegations" in the edited (not removed) post up to yours @ 08:39 . I have emailed druid in the past and he will not respond , maybe he thought my questions are below him . Does druid show "respect and restraint" ? NO so why mirror it ! I'm all for the having "privilege of having the facility to post comments" BUT some of the points raised on here are quite serious and comments should NOT be allowed to be posted anonymously by people wanting to stir crap up . There should be ONE set of rules across the board and they should not be changed when the cap fit's .

If "Druid has returned from Anglesey's past to defend the Island" let's see it , moving goal-post is what he's supposed to be against !

Anonymous said...

http://5bt8tw.blu.livefilestore.com/y1papTBajPOhlYbdit5rzDgNzGq6OTRiozUdR-H3N8DVxr4IHoQ8rT2EUXr2X8tO3_2kk1Nk5SyLEOXtmb9aK0oUFDF2sXZg0r6/priceless.png?psid=1

Anonymous said...

All though the above is very serious it's nothing like as bad as what is about to be exposed shortly.

Anonymous said...

Paddy French can expose what he wants, the Council don't care! Paddy French can expose anyone, the Council won't care! Paddy French can expose anything he wants, the Council will ignore it, what part of don't care, won't care, does the Druid and his little minded followers not understand. At the end of the day, the council don't care, because they can do what they want, when they want, and they are accountable to NO-ONE!

Anonymous said...

" Defend the Island" just switch it off, what a third world the place has become, empty, derelict and an economy running on benefits, well what do you make of your precious Island now, Druid?

Anonymous said...

15:50
O'yea of little faith it's no wonder the council get away with their dishonesty with the sort of attitude your trying to ram down peoples throat.

Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

The accountability is true, they can do what they want and get away with it, there is no evidence to lock anyone up, so the sooner we get real the better.

;) said...

Methinks the laddies do protest too much about the Dru.

Sore points prodded and a kneejerk follows

Anonymous said...

16:16
How do you know . Get real?

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Anonymous said...

18:40

Thank you for that timely reminder.

I know Pete Rogers was on the case trying to sort this one out, but I don't think he managed to.

Have you drawn Druid's attention to this affair?

Is it in the public domain already as I don't who the builder and agent was?

Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

18:47
Yes it was in the public domain, names and all. There was a hell of a to-do over it.

Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

If it has been in the public domain and can be verifyed then there's no problem with being shy with names?

Anonymous said...

18:51.
YES

Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

What a load of bollocks, one good malfeasance Barrister will run rings around any accusations of bad accounting and money siphoning, the people involved in this crime are well protected, they will come out of this smelling of roses while the whingers and moaners will look for another angle of attack to cause more public scaremongering against our beloved Council.

Anonymous said...

The big difference this time around is the local Police will not be involved in the criminal investigation.

The numbers speak volumes not to mention the raft of fabricated documents which are mathematical masterpieces which are as close to numerically impossible as you can get.

I can assure you that IoACC defence Barristers will be up against it when faced with the evidence.

AMH (Holyhead)

Anonymous said...

Druid answer the question YES or NO (have you no backbone man) "The Druid of Anglesey said...Anon 23.22 -- any reference however slight to any identifiable person or organisation. 29 October 2010 23:23 ". I take it this includes "pipe-puffer" & "GWR" ? I'll keep posting it (on other topics too) !

Anonymous said...

20:21
From what you say, the local police can not be trusted.

What a shocking Indictment of North Wales Police.

Anonymous said...

Bent Officers, Bent Councillor's, Bent Auditors, Bent Agents, Bent Builders, Bent Police. Is their anything Iv'e left out?

Anonymous said...

21:45, give me a kiss and I'll tell you ! lol

Anonymous said...

Don't think so 21:49. Your much to old for me. Apart from that, my mum told me to watch my step with strange Anon's. lol

The Red Flag said...

Anon 20:21 From what you say, the local police can not be trusted.
What a shocking Indictment of North Wales Police.


If the accusations prove to be as 'shocking' as people are implying hen it's fairly standard that the local Force doesn't investigate because it's fairly normal for senior Police officers to socialise with or come into regular contact - with both professionally or socially, local politicians, local government officials and prominant business people. It's done not so much because you can't trust the local Police, but so that they are not put in a position of being wrongly accused of conivance or assisting cover-ups and giving tip-offs at the golf club or wherever.

Anonymous said...

Sorry Red Flag don't mean to be rude but, go tell that to the Marines. Your on Anglesey now.

The Red Flag said...

Sorry Red Flag don't mean to be rude but, go tell that to the Marines. Your on Anglesey now.

Is a ridiculous statement.

If the suspicions are as serious as people allude to on here then an external Police force will be brought in - that's standard procedure. It has nothing to do with Anglesey - Anglsey is policed by North Wales Police, the vast bulk of whom have no connection to Anglesey whatsoever and at command level even less so.

Unfortunately sometimes Anglesey seems to think it is more important than it actually is in the grand scheme of things. The reality is it's not even very important in North Wales alone (which is one of the main reasons people have got away with doing what they have done for so long).

Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

Are Anglesey Councillors and Officers so untouchable.......?

Anonymous said...

21.45....Bent complicit Applicants, perhaps ??

Anonymous said...

13:35.
May be so, but it still couldn't happen without Officer complicity.

Anonymous said...

Druid answer the question YES or NO (have you no backbone man) "The Druid of Anglesey said...Anon 23.22 -- any reference however slight to any identifiable person or organisation. 29 October 2010 23:23 ". I take it this includes "pipe-puffer" & "GWR" ? I'll keep posting it (on other topics too) !

Brawd o Amlwch said...

13.36 Give it a rest man, you have become tedious.....symyd ymlaen !

Anonymous said...

was it aimed at you ? NO , so shut up !

Anonymous said...

14.59 ...quality shines through !

Anonymous said...

Thank you 15:03, no point in falling out with someone over something what doesn't concern them !

Anonymous said...

15.11 - You're being mocked and you don't even realise it. Says it all.

Anonymous said...

15:36, try harder *winks*

Anonymous said...

Brawd o Amlwch @ 14:40. I think Anon @ 13:36 has a valid point what he/she is trying to make , and it's not just the councilor mentioned in that post it could be any whether we like them or not.

Anonymous said...

What about the hotel that was denied planning permission to be turned into flats, then brought by someone we all know, and then given planning permission to be turned in to flats and given a massive grant to do it.

Brawd o Amlwch said...

19.49....indeed....in fact not one but two hotels...the very same pipe puffer and cronies....LEGAL FACT Druid, public record, known to all....deletion not warranted !

Anonymous said...

I believe the person that owned the hotel and denied planning permission was destroyed financially through this little piece of dirty work.

Brawd o Amlwch said...

20.35...correct again, another publicly documented FACT Druid....the Nolan principles, even then, (if they were in being), would have meant nothing to the individual.
Does not recognise shame, only greed.

Brawd o Amlwch said...

What needs to be recorded is that misdeeds at vulnerable people'e expense have been going on for YEARS !
FACT known to many, perhaps not to all.

Anonymous said...

Think "Graigwen" Amlwch. The land behind is owed by the Council and received planning permission a number of times since the 1940' yet was never built on due to surface water problems. Nothing has changed.
So why spend £300.000 Illegally for a property to gain access to land that can not be built on even if the council give itself planning permission to do so?

;) said...

We are talking about a council that built it's headquarters next to a river which is liable to flooding and couldn't get insurance to cover it for for that inevitability. (allegedly)

Anonymous said...

Yet again loads of childish speculation to be read on the druids "revenge" @ I'll_post_any_shit.com , can you all post links to back your bull-shit-up ? (facts only please)

Anonymous said...

FACT. A certain Councillor with Community First connections is using labourers employed by CF to maintain his private gardens and property in CF time.
Is this proper ?

The Red Flag said...

FACT. A certain Councillor...

It's perfectly proper and acceptable unless the people that know - in this case you - step forward, make themselves known and register an official complait backed up by evidence (the involvement of the local press helpas at that point as well).

If you can't won't or don't step forward then you are just as guilty as him.

Have you stepped forward and complained officially?

Anonymous said...

Red Flag is spot-on. The only thing I would add is: present at least some sensible evidence to the Assembly (who run Communities First) if you do send in a representation. Make it more difficult for them to dismiss your concerns, which is what they like to do if they can.

Have a look at this set of reports if it helps; I'm sure your CF will be in the list:

http://wales.gov.uk/topics/housingandcommunity/regeneration/communitiesfirst/publications/reports/;jsessionid=24qJMT9WVy1qz6ChpRMFpbXVfRJLttTTCkQrm3JR9Wdyv01dwXdy!518600754?lang=en

;) said...

Anon 01.54 1/11/10

Fair point - is this what you mean:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/wales/north_west/3988965.stm

"Council foots £150,000 flood bill"

;) said...

Of course that report should read 'Anglesey taxpayers foot bill' not 'Anglesey council'

Anonymous said...

I don't always agree with "The Red Flag" but I do agree 100% with what he say's @ 12:34, well said RF.

TGC said...

"Yet again loads of childish speculation"

Yes. Like Bowles' salary - obtained via Druid contributors. The growing grants scandal - via Druid and his contributors. The exposing of the Welsh police authorities as incompetent pollsters and misleading the public about elected commissioners. Yes, all that is rubbish - to those who want to maintain that our public servants are beyond criticism. I'm not one of them.

Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

The Councillor, Community First....and the gardening on the side.....there is photographic evidence to be produced.

The Red Flag said...

Anonymous said... Well that is good that you will be producing evidence and shows civic responsibility but please make sure you make your complaint and include your name and that you will agree to give evidence if needs be otherwise it is of little value. Also leave them in no doubt that you expect to be fully informed as to the outcome or you will take matters further outside of the Council's control.

As for your sexy chinese neighbour, I was driving down the A55 the other month when I collided with a car in front. We both pulled over and a very pretty young lady got out and yelled "bang me up the behind why don't you". And that Your Honour is where the confusion started.

Anonymous said...

Let the grants be granted and the accountants be liable for the mess they created, no liability, no accountability, the password for economic madness on Anglesey.

Who do we turn to in these crazy days, days of grant money being drained away, while the needy go hungry, the greedy laugh, som eof us aren't laughing, some of us are annoyed, disappointed and hungry for justice to be seen to be done.

Anonymous said...
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The Druid of Anglesey said...

Can I echo Red Flag's comments: if you have a specific allegation of wrongdoing by a public person, this is not the place to post it.

Please take it directly to the police or the council ombudsman with all necessary evidence.

Anonymous said...

Druid,

In response to the removed blog @ 10:43 2 Nov, can I ask why was it removed? Because this is not fair on these guys who do the gardening, they work damn hard and do a damn good job! The last thing people like these need is harrassment from people on a site like this!!!!!!!!!!!! These gardeners have also done work for me, that's what SELF EMPLOYED means!!
DON'T ASSUME ANYTHING UNLESS YOU'VE GOT THE FACTS! PHOTOGRAPHS MEAN SWEET F ALL!!!!!

The Druid of Anglesey said...

Anon 12:21 - it was removed because it named a specific person.

I have no doubt that the gardeners do a splendid job.

Anonymous said...
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The Druid of Anglesey said...

Anon 12:58 - I refer you to my previous reply.

Anonymous said...

The Druid of Anglesey said..."Can I echo Red Flag's comments: if you have a specific allegation of wrongdoing by a public person, this is not the place to post it. Please take it directly to the police or the council ombudsman with all necessary evidence." I agree with you. There is far to much stuff being said on here lots of which is being dragged up from up to 20 years ago , it was all looked into back then and like it or not it was sorted out at that time too many people on here are dwelling in the past.....time to move on......As Oasis once sang "Don't Look Back In Anger" . Druid I hope you have learnt a lesson from this thread and in future you remove all name calling of ANY person councilors or not , it's not good for the soul no matter what team you bat for !

Anonymous said...

Brawd o Amlwch said on 31 October 2010 20:24 ..."19.49....indeed....in fact not one but two hotels...the very same pipe puffer and cronies....LEGAL FACT Druid, public record, known to all....deletion not warranted !"

Not meaning to sound thick here but if it was "LEGAL" what is the point you are trying to make ?

Anonymous said...

These grants scams seem to have grown legs of their own. Being such an easy touch it would be interesting to see how far they've gone, how many there are and who's involved?

Anonymous said...

Considering David Bowles complained to the Ombudsman about Cllr Durkin for raising his concerns about this grant fraud, which the Council now admits to. Is any more proof needed to show that all David Bowles was trying to do is shut Cllr Durkin up and cover up?

Anonymous said...

INSIDE NEWS !
The NW Police Fraud Squad are in Llangefni.....watch this space.

Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

The TRUTH will out.....the crime lies in the private sector....the incompetence lies within the Council.

Anonymous said...

13:31.
I think Barrie would be quite reluctant to take the Council too task. One. Because it would cost the people of Anglesey a lot of money they just don't have, and two. It would destroy the council completely, I would think a public apology and resignations of ALL those involved would suffice, But then again, Who Knows?
Whichever, Cover-up brothers, David Bowles and Clive McGregor are both stuffed good and proper and I shouldn't think the Ombudsman, having been fed a pack of lies is none to happy either.

Anonymous said...

A ship of fools with David Bowles at the tiller. The Welsh Assembly have a lot to answer to.

Anonymous said...

How do you know the crime does not lie only in the Private Sector.

I possess a comprehensive schedule of errors; mistakes and sheer lies produced by IoACC senior officials and internal auditors regarding Mr Pierce's case. Unless there is a term 'beyond incompetence' then I doubt they will escape criminal investigation for being merely incompetent.

I doubt the agent and builder will admit to fabricating documents when it has already been established who gave the order to rustle up the falsified invoices to silence Mr Pierce's accountant.

Believe me, there is real and present exposure to fraud within IoACC.

Anonymous said...

14.25 Reading between your lines, if you are alleging that an Officer of the Council suggested falsifying documents to the Agent and/or Builder, he and they are complicit in the crime of producing a false instrument....the Forgery and Counterfeiting Act 1981 applies...they are liable to criminal proceedings.

Anonymous said...

So Cllr Durkin was right all along.
What a bunch of Criminal's.

Anonymous said...

I have today, not without much difficulty seen a copy of David Bowles's Complaint to the Ombudsman Re; Councillor Durkin.
In his complaint to the Ombudsman, David Bowles said "Councillor Durkin has made allegations that the Improvement Grants issue involved some kind of fraudulent conspiracy involving senior officers. This has been investigated and the allegations are groundless".
From the documents I have seen today, this is nothing more than a tissue of lies, Councillor Durkin did nothing of the sort.

Anonymous said...

This is how honest IoACC Internal Audit are.

They advised Mr Pierce's Accountant that the file was with the officer under investigation and later made a U-turn and explained they made a mistake and the file has always been held under lock and key in their office, and the excuse given for the misinformation was that a colleague's Mother had passed away.

They also failed to notice the most significant financial document held on file after 120 day investigation. The WAG later provided this document which they received from IoACC. Internal Audit apologised for failing to capture the document held on their file showing a significantly lower contract value to the one portrayed to Mr Pierce and used to draw down WAG Grant funding.

Make up your own mind if IoACC and Internal Audit intended to deceive Mr Pierce by concealing the most relevant financial document.

It's no different to a shop assistant over charging by changing price tags and pocketing the difference.

Anonymous said...

I figure this is how they cooked the books in Gwynfor's case:

Measured work at completion:
£ £
TIG - Revised Cost 35,675
HRG - Revised Cost 35,250 70,925
------
DEDUCT Amounts shown on
documents portrayed
to applicant by
IoACC and Agent:

TIG - Building Work 63,700
TIG - Agents Fees 6,300 (70,000)
------
HRG - Building Work 62,450
HRG - Agents Fees 6,245 (68,695)
------ ------
Amount Overcharged (£67,770)

As you can see the Welsh Assembly TIG Grant covers the revised cost of the combined TIG and HRG projects.

Prometheuswrites said...

To Gwynfor Pierce:

If you wondered why the Audit Office missed the vital parts of your audit trail, this (and other media articles) goes some way to explaining why:

Wales Audit Office ‘took millions for work never carried out’

http://www.walesonline.co.uk/news/wales-news/2010/11/12/wales-audit-office-took-millions-for-work-never-carried-out-91466-27644799/#ixzz15555e6mR

I guess this what happens when one bunch of incompetents/fraudsters investigates another bunch of incompetents/fraudsters.

It appears the audit office were able to 'sign off the accounts' but failed to actually validate the quality and value of the works they were signing off.

Bit like themselves really.

Puck said...

... probably too busy getting paid inflated salaries while watching kiddie porn on the work laptop to do any of the actual work they had invoiced for, let alone ensure that they weren't fiddling with the taxpayer too.