This is a an attempt at giving an honest opinion of how I see certain things of interest in the Conwy County area of North Wales, Current affairs in general,and an assortment of general thoughts,also to take an odd pop at those in public life who get a bit too complacent to the needs of the area and local people.

There are a many people out there who feel the same way, and have neither the place or time to air their views.
The silent majority.
Remember,
the people are the masters!

Tuesday, 22 July 2014

Bizarre behaviour from Ronnie Hughes.

Why was Ronny behaving like this?
No matter what party he is he surely has a duty to behave in a better way than this is his role as deputy leader?

"My meeting with the Deputy Leader and Mr. Davies was not conducted as courteously as other meetings that I have had with Conwy mainly due to Cllr. Hughes being of the view that he could try and intimidate me in the same manner as he uses to intimidate and bully during council meetings.  His comment that if I went public with this complaint he would “fight fire with fire” was, to say the least, bizarre. "


http://us5.campaign-archive1.com/?u=7c51b62921d02f6c3ca25d324&id=5d06628de6&e=22b278791b

Conwy Council, retirement or redundancy?

Grateful to have been sent this by a friend of the blog.

Proposed Changes to Education in Conwy

The matter has its origins in mid to late 2013 when the Chief Executive was told of the impending retirement of the post holder.  I was pleased to be able to congratulate the Chief Executive on his forward thinking when he and his colleagues, in light of the Hill report into Education in Wales, decided to use the opportunity of Mr. James’ retirement to look at the whole structure of the local authority education department and consider amalgamation and other options to ensure a continuation of service within a more cost effective solution.

The report prepared by Mr. Davies provided three options for the elected representatives to consider and Option C – the amalgamation of Social Services and Education into one department was chosen as the way forward.  This option will see the creation of a new Strategic Director post to lead the combined department with a newly defined post of Chief Education Officer (which is statutory) being within this department.

So far, so good.  However between November and March 2014, the planned retirement of Mr. James changed into a “proposed retirement” and discussions took place in July 2014 about a redundancy payment.

Legal Advice

When I was made aware of this, I asked Mr. Davies to share with me the legal opinion that had been provided to Conwy Borough Council that would support the change from “retirement” to “redundancy”.  Mr. Davies freely and without hesitation provided that information to me.  The independent legal advice that was provided to the senior officers at Conwy was received by the Council on the morning of the 9th of July and was a written version of a telephone call undertaken with legal advisors from outside the local authority the previous day.  The written advice was provided in an email timed at 10.15am on 9th July which was sent to Ms. Delyth Jones – Head of Legal Services.  The advice arrived as the Chief Executive was speaking to the full council and sharing what I assume was the verbal advice received during the telephone call the previous day.

I have a huge concern about this “redundancy” payment of some £40,000 particularly at a time when council tax has been rising at 5% per annum and lollipop ladies are being removed from rural villages.  I do not share the Chief Executive’s certainty that this is a redundancy situation and certainly from a moral point of view I believe it is wrong.  The legal opinion that I have received on the advice given to Conwy is that their lawyers have provided justification for the scenario that the County Council has created.

My concerns

The decision to pay the £40,000 in redundancy is justified on the basis that the post held by the Chief Education Officer was being made redundant and therefore he was entitled to compensation.  My doubts about this logic can be summarised as follows;
 
  1. The review was instigated by the post holder informing the Chief Executive(and many others) of his wish to retire.  As such how can a redundancy be an option?
  2. The alleged saving of £400,000 over five years is based upon the post of Chief Education Officer being abolished.  In view of his impending retirement that saving could have been achieved through a similar restructuring being undertaken without the need to pay a redundancy package.  Why agree a timetable for change which created a basis for justifying an unwarranted redundancy payment?
  3. If this was a redundancy situation why was there no position offered to the Chief Education Officer within the new structure?  Was no such offer made because he had indicated a desire to retire?  If so, why the redundancy payment?
  4. If this was a redundancy situation was there any efforts made to find an appropriate post for those affected by the changes somewhere else within the Council and if not, why?  Was it again, as above, clear to all involved that the holder of the post being made redundant had no intention to continue working for the Council since he had indicated his aim to retire?  If so, we must again ask, why the redundancy payment.
  5. The alleged saving of £400,000 does not include the additional costs incurred as a result of the changes to the structure within the local authority.  Thus salary increases for a new Strategic Director and the newly defined Chief Education Officer were not deducted from the alleged saving of £400,000.  Why?
My meeting with the Deputy Leader and Mr. Davies was not conducted as courteously as other meetings that I have had with Conwy mainly due to Cllr. Hughes being of the view that he could try and intimidate me in the same manner as he uses to intimidate and bully during council meetings.  His comment that if I went public with this complaint he would “fight fire with fire” was, to say the least, bizarre. 

To me this situation is indicative of what is wrong with so many of our public services here in Wales.  I believe that the decision is flawed and that our councillors have been insufficiently robust in questioning why a decision of a senior post holder to retire, described as such in Council documents from November 2013 onwards, has now resulted in a £40,000 redundancy package being approved at a time when services are being cut and council tax is being increased.  It is on this basis that I have decided to make this issue public.

My concerns about this decision should not in any way be taken as criticism of Mr. Geraint James, who has served the residents of Conwy faithfully in his current role as Chief Education Officer and indeed, as I would contend, would have made a good candidate for taking the post of Strategic Director for the new amalgamated department.  However, as he told me as early as September last year, he wants to retire and I respect that decision.

Do we get good value?

There are other issues that the council have not handled as well as they should have done.  To increase Council Tax by almost 25% over a period of four years demands that any expenditure incurred is undertaken with care and a degree of responsibility towards hard pressed tax payers.  The scandal of Maesdu Bridge, the ongoing saga of Porth Eirias, the handling of the North Shore beach issue and many other issues that have come to me through casework would indicate, quite clearly, that valuing the taxpayer pound is not as high a priority as it should be for officers and the Councillors at Conwy County Borough Council.

It all adds up to paint a rather different picture of the local authority to the one presented to the public by so called ‘team Conwy’.  For far too long the ruling coalition in Conwy Council, which comprises 46 of the 59 Councillors, have intimidated and excluded anybody and everybody that raises questions about their actions on the basis that they are undermining the work of the Council.  If local democracy is to work then officers should be challenged and questioned and decisions which cost money through waste or incompetence should result in hard questions being asked.  If the cosy relationship between councillors and officers has created a local authority where scrutiny is slipshod and cursory then it falls on others to shine a light on what are, at the very least, highly debatable decisions.  This, in my view, is just such a decision.

What do you think?

Do you share my view?  Do you have issues that you would like to bring to my attention?  My contact details are on this email and I am always keen to hear your opinions.
 
Guto Bebb


Sunday, 20 July 2014

 All it takes for evil to rule a land is for good men to remain silent. - Daniel Webster (1782-1852) #quote #Peace

Saturday, 19 July 2014

Labour corner.

Comrade Mike and Scary Mary out canvassing.

Geoffrey Dickens MP Child Abuse Dossier that was taken from the home of Andrea Davidson after a raid by North Wales Police in 2010.

"From: Len P

Dear North Wales Police,

Please provide me with a copy of the Geoffrey Dickens MP Child
Abuse Dossier that was taken from the home of Andrea Davidson after
a raid by North Wales Police in 2010.

Please confirm its existence in your filing system, in whatever
form, electronic , paper or otherwise that it may now exist in.

Please state to whom copies of the files in whatever form, were
given to after the procurement of it by yourselves.

Please state whether or not the file or parts of the file were at
any point passed to the CPS, and if not, please provide copies of
any correspondence in any form, relating to the decision not to
pass it onto the CPS.

If the file or any copy of it is no longer in your possession
please state why it is not and to where or whom the file was
passed.

If the file has been destroyed whilst in your possession, please
state when it was destroyed and on whose authority it was
destroyed. Please provide any correspondence in connection with
this.

Yours faithfully,

Len P"


https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/north_wales_police_dickens_child#incoming-537425


Friday, 18 July 2014

Mark Gregory Thorogood trading as Property Park.

When one reads on various social media sights the plights of those having to put up with extreme anti social behaviour from tenants of various properties, recently , 8,10,12 Bodhyfryd Road Llandudno, one wonders what kind of landlords these are, well in the case of Bodhyfryd Road Llandudno, wonder no more! How could you take this sort of person seriously?

 FINAL NOTICE
___________________________________________________________________________
To: Mark Gregory Thorogood trading as Property Park Mortgages
Of: Townsend House
Westend
Beaumaris
Anglesey
Gwyndd
LL58 8BH
FRN: 303671
Dated: 07 December 2010
TAKE NOTICE: The Financial Services Authority of 25 The North Colonnade, Canary Wharf, London E14 5HS (the "FSA") gives you, Mr Mark Thorogood, final notice about the imposition of an order prohibiting you from performing any function in relation to any regulated activity carried on by any authorised person, exempt person, or any exempt professional firm, a requirement to pay a financial penalty and the cancellation of your Part IV Permission.
1. ACTION
1.1. On 25 March 2010 the FSA gave you, Mr Mark Thorogood trading as Property Park Mortgages (“Property Park”), a Decision Notice (“the Decision Notice”) which notified you that the FSA had decided to:
(1) to impose a financial penalty of £104,294 on you, pursuant to section 66 of the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000 (“the Act”), for failing to comply with Principles 1 and 7 of the FSA’s Statements of Principle and Code of Practice for Approved Persons (“APER”) issued under section 64 of the Act;
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Mark Thorogood 07 December 2010
Final Notice Page 2
(2) to make a prohibition order, pursuant to section 56 of the Act, to prevent you from carrying out any function in relation to any regulated activity carried on by any authorised person, exempt person or exempt professional firm (“the Prohibition Order”); and
(3) to cancel, pursuant to section 45 of the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000 (“the Act”), the permission granted to you, pursuant to Part IV of the Act ("your Part IV permission").
1.2. The financial penalty consists of the following elements:
(1) a disgorgement of financial benefit of £4,294 from commission fees charged by you for the submission of residential mortgages for your own benefit and for the benefit of a family member; and
(2) an additional penalty element of £100,000.
1.3. By the Decision Notice dated 25 March 2010, the FSA gave notice that it decided to take the action described above and you were given the opportunity to make representations to the FSA about that proposed action.
1.4. On 23 April 2010 you referred the Decision Notice to the Upper Tribunal (Financial Services) (the “Tribunal”). On 25 November 2010 the Tribunal informed all parties that the reference was no longer extant. Accordingly the FSA gives you this Final Notice.
1.5. For the reasons set out below, the FSA has today hereby:
(1) imposed a financial penalty of £104,294 on you;
(2) made an order, pursuant to section 56 of the Act, prohibiting you from performing any function in relation to any regulated activity carried on by any authorised person, exempt person or exempt professional firm. This order takes effect from 07 Decemebr 2010; and
(3) cancelled your Part IV permission pursuant to section 45 of the Act.
2. REASONS FOR THE ACTION
2.1. The FSA has concluded, on the basis of the facts and matters described below, that you are not fit and proper to carry out any function in relation to regulated activities carried on by authorised persons and you should be prohibited from doing so.
2.2. The FSA considers that you have breached Statement of Principle 1 of APER, in your capacity as a sole trader performing significant influence controlled function 7 (sole trader) between 31 October 2004 and 31 January 2007, and are not fit and proper, because you have failed to act with honesty and integrity. In particular, you have knowingly submitted fraudulent mortgage applications in your own name and on behalf of another.
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Mark Thorogood 07 December 2010
Final Notice Page 3
2.3. The FSA considers that you have breached Statement of Principle 7 of APER, in your capacity as a sole trader performing significant influence controlled function 7 (sole trader), because you failed to take reasonable steps to ensure that the business of Property Park complied with the relevant requirements and standards of the regulatory system. In particular, you failed to:
(1) ensure that Property Park retained adequate records in order to demonstrate that the recommendation given to a customer was suitable; and
(2) implement, or take reasonable steps to implement, adequate systems and controls to ensure:
(a) the mortgage advice given to Property Park’s customers was suitable;
(b) the supervision and monitoring of your staff was adequate; and
(c) that Property Park was not used as a vehicle for financial crime.
2.4. You pose a serious risk to lenders and consumers. The proposed action supports the FSA’s objectives of maintaining confidence in the financial system and reducing financial crime.
2.5. As a result of the nature and seriousness of these breaches, the FSA considers you have failed to meet minimum regulatory standards in terms of honesty and integrity and competence and capability, and you are not fit and proper to perform any function in relation to any regulated activity carried on by any authorised person, exempt person or exempt professional firm. Accordingly the FSA hereby imposes a financial penalty of £104,294 and makes the Prohibition Order.
2.6. The FSA further considers, on the basis and the facts and matters described below, that Property Park fails to satisfy Threshold Conditions 4 and 5 as set out in Part 1 of Schedule 6 to the Act (the "Threshold Conditions"). In the opinion of the FSA:
(1) Property Park no longer satisfies the FSA that it is fit and proper to conduct regulated activities having regard to all the circumstances including its connection with you, the nature of any regulated activity that it seeks to carry on and the need to ensure that its affairs are conducted soundly and prudently (Threshold Condition 5). Specifically, Property Park:
(a) has failed to conduct its business in compliance with proper standards;
(b) does not have a competent and prudent management in place; and
(c) has failed to conduct its affairs with due skill, care and diligence.
(2) Property Park has inadequate resources in relation to the regulated activities that it has permission to carry on. Specifically, Property Park has inadequate human resources in that there is no suitable person currently within Property Park capable of acting as a sole trader (Threshold Condition 4).
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Mark Thorogood 07 December 2010
Final Notice Page 4
2.7. The FSA therefore concludes that pursuant to Section 45 of FSMA, Property Park’s Part IV permission should be cancelled.
2.8. The FSA has therefore decided to take the action for the reasons described in the Warning Notice and to give this Final Notice.
3. RELEVANT STATUTORY AND REGULATORY PROVISIONS
3.1. The relevant statutory provisions and regulatory requirements as sent out at Annex A to this Final Notice.
4. FACTS AND MATTERS RELIED ON
Background
4.1. You, trading as Property Park, have been authorised by the FSA to, amongst other activities, advise and make arrangements in connection with the selling of regulated mortgage contracts since 31 October 2004 and regulated insurance policies since 14 January 2005. You held the controlled function CF7 (sole trader) for Property Park from 31 October 2004 until 31 January 2007. You were also responsible for insurance mediation from 14 January 2005 to 31 January 2007. Property Park had two other mortgage advisers between 31 October 2004 and 15 May 2008. However, the conduct of only one adviser (“the Adviser”) is significant in relation to the submission of the fraudulent mortgage applications. No evidence was found that the other adviser had submitted fraudulent applications. The Adviser was not an approved person.
4.2. Property Park was visited by the FSA on 15 May 2008 as a result of customers’ alleged dissatisfaction with its service and allegations of mis-selling.
Systems and Controls
Monitoring of the Adviser
4.3. Property Park did not have a documented system or process for supervising and monitoring the activities of the Adviser. Property Park informed the FSA that it had a policy that it should conduct monthly one to one meetings with the Adviser which should include file reviews. You have failed to provide any evidence of these meetings or reviews taking place.
4.4. You did not document any monitoring of the Adviser that you may have conducted, nor did you document any feedback that you may have given as a result of this monitoring.
4.5. The FSA reviewed some of the Adviser’s customer files during its visit on 15 May 2008 and later highlighted its findings to you. Some of these files had record keeping failures and did not contain sufficient evidence to support the income which had been declared by the customers in their applications. Other files included evidence of income which did not match the income declared in the respective applications.
4.6. You failed to identify these issues prior to them being brought to your attention by the FSA. Had you followed your policy of reviewing files during monthly meetings with
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Mark Thorogood 07 December 2010
Final Notice Page 5
the Adviser, you should have identified these failings and been able to take immediate steps to address them.
Applications submitted by the Adviser for customers
4.7. The Adviser admitted altering income documentation submitted to lenders on behalf of Property Park’s customers. The Adviser also admitted knowingly providing false and misleading income information to lenders on behalf of Property Park’s customers. Your systems and controls at Property Park did not prevent the Adviser from proceeding with mortgage applications when a customer had declared a level of income which could not be evidenced by legitimate supporting documentation or which the adviser knew to be false.
4.8. Your failure to monitor the Adviser allowed him to submit false and/or misleading information to lenders, through Property Park, on behalf of Property Park’s customers.
Reasonable care to ensure suitability of advice
Gathering customer information
4.9. Property Park completed ‘fact finds’ during telephone conversations or face to face meetings between sales advisers and customers. These documents recorded customer information, including employment and income details.
4.10. The FSA has reviewed 26 customer files from Property Park. The following is a summary of information in relation to six of these files.
4.11. In these six files, various sections of the fact finds are incomplete or left blank. Information relating to the customers’ financial circumstances and the affordability of the product recommended is missing from all of the files. As a result, it is not possible to ascertain whether the product you or the Adviser recommended to the customer in these cases was:
(1) suitable to their needs and circumstances; or
(2) affordable for them.
Evidencing suitability of advice
4.12. Property Park sent its ‘Mortgage advice/Sales procedure’ document to the FSA on 5 August 2008. This document suggested that it was Property Park’s standard practice to issue a ‘suitability letter’ to customers to record why the recommendation made was suitable for them.
4.13. This suitability letter was missing from the six files relied on by the FSA. None of the six files contain evidence of product research being undertaken.
4.14. You have therefore failed to evidence:
(1) the suitability of the advice given by Property Park’s advisers; and
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Mark Thorogood 07 December 2010
Final Notice Page 6
(2) that Property Park’s advisers conducted research across the market before recommending a particular product.
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Mark Thorogood 07 December 2010
Final Notice Page 7
Mortgage applications submitted in your own name
Application 1
4.15. You submitted a regulated mortgage application dated 7 February 2007 to Birmingham Midshires. On this application you stated:
(1) that you were employed; and
(2) your income was £120,000 per annum.
4.16. You were a sole trader at this time and therefore you were self-employed.
4.17. The FSA subsequently obtained information from Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (“HMRC”) which shows that for the tax year ending 5 April 2007, your net income was £29,025.95 from Property Park.
4.18. The income and employment status declared in your mortgage application were therefore incorrect.
Application 2
4.19. You submitted a regulated mortgage application on 16 October 2005 to GMAC. This application was on behalf of your wife, Marian Thorogood, and yourself. It completed on 18 January 2006. On this application you stated:
(1) your income was £120,000 per annum for 2005; and
(2) your wife’s income was £95,000 per annum for 2004.
4.20. The FSA subsequently obtained information from HMRC which shows that for the tax year ending 5 April 2005 your net income was £22,092 and your wife’s total income was £8,606. For the tax year ending 5 April 2006, your net business profit for tax purposes was £22,950 and your wife’s total income on which tax is due was £8,832.
4.21. The incomes declared in this mortgage application were therefore incorrect.
Buy to let mortgage applications
4.22. You submitted seven buy to let mortgage applications in the period between December 2006 and February 2007. These submissions were joint applications submitted on behalf of yourself and your wife.
4.23. In three of those applications you misrepresented both your income and your wife’s income by a substantial amount. The mortgage applications record your income as £120,000 and your wife’s income as £95,000. However, according to HMRC records for the tax year ending 5 April 2007, your net income was £29,025.95 and your wife’s net income was minus £31,467.89 (net loss).
4.24. The income declared in these seven buy to let mortgage applications was therefore incorrect.
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Mark Thorogood 07 December 2010
Final Notice Page 8
Mortgage applications submitted on behalf of another (“the family member”)
4.25. A mortgage enquiry form was completed on 2 August 2006 recording a member of your family’s income information. This mortgage enquiry form recorded the family member’s occupation as a graphic designer and initially stated that the annual income was £30,000 per annum. This annual amount was later altered in manuscript to read £130,000. However, the stated net monthly income figure of £2,000 remained unaltered.
4.26. You submitted a regulated mortgage application in August 2006 on behalf of the family member to Lender 1, in which you stated that he had income of £85,000 per annum.
4.27. You then submitted a further regulated mortgage application on 6 September 2006 on behalf of the family member to Lender 2, in which you stated that he had a basic income of £130,000 per annum from his occupation as a graphic designer and an investment income of £12,000 per annum.
4.28. The FSA subsequently obtained information from HMRC which shows that the family member declared a net income of £27,067.53 (comprising income of £32,998.51 less tax of £5,930.98) for the tax year ending 5 April 2006, £17,610.90 (comprising income of £20,825.82 less tax of £3,214.92) for the tax year ending 5 April 2007 and £16,856.97 (comprising income of £19,793.45 less tax of £2,936.48) for the tax year ending 5 April 2008.
4.29. The initial income declared on the fact find document did not match that declared on either of the two applications submitted by you. Nor did the incomes declared on the two applications match each other, despite being submitted only one month apart. The incomes declared to HMRC did not match any salary details recorded on the fact find or submitted to either lender in the two applications.
5. ANALYSIS OF BREACHES
5.1. The facts and matters described above lead the FSA to conclude that you lack:
(1) honesty and integrity, and have contravened Statement of Principle 1 of APER, because you have misled lenders about information submitted on mortgage applications through Property Park on your own behalf and on behalf of another; and
(2) competence and capability, and have contravened Statement of Principle 7 of APER, because you failed to take reasonable care to:
(a) ensure all relevant information was obtained from customers and properly assessed prior to giving or allowing the Adviser at Property Park to give advice;
(b) ensure any advice given to customers by you or the Adviser at Property Park was suitable, and adequately recorded; and
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Mark Thorogood 07 December 2010
Final Notice Page 9
(c) organise and control Property Park’s affairs responsibly and effectively with adequate risk management systems to counter the risk that Property Park might be used to further financial crime.
5.2. These matters go directly to impugn your honesty and integrity, and competence and capability and have prejudiced the interests of your customers. You therefore demonstrate that you are not a fit and proper person to perform any function in relation to any regulated activity carried on by any authorised person, exempt person or exempt professional firm.
5.3. The FSA considers that you pose a serious risk to lenders and consumers and to the FSA’s regulatory statutory objectives of maintaining confidence in the financial system and reducing financial crime.
5.4. The FSA therefore considers it appropriate to impose a penalty of £104,294 on you and to impose the Prohibition Order pursuant to section 56 of the Act.
5.5. The facts and matters described above have led the FSA to conclude that Property Park is failing, and is likely to continue to fail to satisfy Threshold Condition 5 (Suitability) and Threshold Condition 4 (Adequate resources). The FSA therefore considers that Property Park’s Part IV permission should be cancelled.
6. ANALYSIS OF SANCTIONS
Determining the level of the financial penalty
Deterrence
6.1. The principal purpose of imposing a financial penalty is to promote high standards of regulatory conduct by deterring persons who have committed breaches from committing further breaches, helping to deter other persons from committing similar breaches and demonstrating generally the benefits of compliant behaviour.
The seriousness of your breaches
6.2. The FSA has had regard to the seriousness of the breaches, including the nature of the requirements and Principles breached, the number and duration of the breaches, and the extent to which the breaches demonstrate a lack of honesty and integrity.
6.3. For the reasons set out above and having regard to the impact and potential impact on Property Park’s customers, the FSA considers that the breaches are of a serious nature.
The extent to which the breaches were deliberate or reckless
6.4. The FSA considers that you acted in a deliberate manner.
Your personal financial resources and other circumstances
6.5. There is no evidence to suggest that you are unable to pay the proposed penalty or that there are exceptional circumstances to warrant a lower level of penalty.
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Mark Thorogood 07 December 2010
Final Notice Page 10
Previous action taken in relation to similar failings
6.6. In determining the appropriate sanction, the FSA has taken into account sanctions imposed by the FSA on other authorised persons and approved persons for similar behaviour. This was considered alongside the principal purpose for which the FSA imposes sanctions, namely to promote high standards of regulatory conduct by deterring persons who have committed breaches from committing further breaches and helping to deter other persons from committing similar breaches, as well as demonstrating generally the benefits of compliant business.
Prohibition from performing any function in relation to any regulated activity
6.7. The FSA considers it necessary to prohibit you from performing any function in relation to any regulated activity carried on by an authorised person, exempt person or exempt professional firm in order to achieve its statutory objectives of maintaining market confidence, protecting consumers and the reduction of financial crime.
6.8. The FSA has taken account of the nature of the regulatory requirements breached, the number and duration of the breaches, the extent to which the breaches demonstrate a lack of honesty and integrity, and the extent to which the breaches demonstrate a lack of competence and capability.
6.9. The FSA has also taken account of the extent to which the breaches revealed serious or systemic weakness of the firm’s management systems or internal controls, the number of customers who were exposed to a risk of loss, the number of customers likely to suffer financial detriment, and the number of lenders exposed to a risk of loss.
7. DECISION MAKER
7.1. The decision which gave rise to the obligation to give this Final Notice was made by the Deputy Chairman of the Regulatory Decisions Committee.
8. IMPORTANT
8.1. This Final Notice is given to you in accordance with section 390(1) of the Act.
Manner of and time of payment.
8.2. The financial penalty must be paid in full by you to the FSA by no later than 21 December 2010, 14 days after the date of this Final Notice.
If the financial penalty is not paid
8.3. If all or any of the financial penalty is outstanding on 24 December 2010, the FSA may recover the outstanding amount as a debt owed by you and due to the FSA.
Publicity
8.4. Sections 391(4), 392(6) and 391(7) of the Act apply to the publication of information about the matter to which this Final Notice relates. Under those provisions, the FSA
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Mark Thorogood 07 December 2010
Final Notice Page 11
must publish such information about the matter to which this Notice relates as the FSA considers appropriate. The information may be published in such manner as the FSA considers appropriate. However, the FSA may not publish information if such publication would, in the opinion of the FSA, be unfair to you or prejudicial to the interests of consumers.
8.5. The FSA intends to publish such information about the matter to which this Final Notice relates as it considers appropriate.
FSA contact
8.6. For more information concerning this matter generally, you should contact Paul Howick of the Enforcement and Financial Crime Division of the FSA (direct line: 020 7066 7954).
Tom Spender
Head of Department
FSA Enforcement and Financial Crime Division
Annex 1
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Mark Thorogood 07 December 2010
Final Notice Page 12
1. Statutory Provisions
1.1. The FSA’s statutory objectives, set out in section 2(2) of the Act, are: the maintenance of market confidence; the promotion of public awareness; the protection of consumers; and the reduction of financial crime.
Imposition of financial penalty
1.2. Section 66 of the Act provides that the FSA may take action against a person if it appears to the FSA that the person is guilty of misconduct and the FSA is satisfied that it is appropriate in all the circumstances to take action against it. Misconduct includes failure by an approved person to comply with a statement of principle issued under section 64 of the Act. The action that may be taken by the FSA includes the imposition of a penalty on the approved person of such amount as it considers appropriate.
1.3. The FSA’s Statements of Principle and Code of Practice for Approved Persons are a general statement of the fundamental obligations of approved persons under the regulatory system. They derive their authority from section 64 of the Act and reflect the FSA’s regulatory objectives.
Prohibition
1.4. The FSA has the power, under section 56 of the Act, to make an order prohibiting you from performing a specified function, any function falling within a specified description, or any function, if it appears to the FSA that you are not a fit and proper person to perform functions in relation to a regulated activity carried on by an authorised person. Such an order may relate to a specified regulated activity or any regulated activity falling within a specified description or all regulated activities.
Cancellation
1.5. Section 41 and Schedule 6 of the Act set out the Threshold Conditions. These are the minimum standards for becoming and remaining authorised and which are conditions that the FSA must ensure a firm will satisfy, and continue to satisfy, in relation to regulated activities for which it has permission.
1.6. The FSA is permitted by section 45(2) of the Act to cancel an authorised person's Part IV permission where it appears that they are failing, or likely to fail, to satisfy the Threshold Conditions.
1.7. Paragraph 4 of Schedule 6 to the Act sets out Threshold Condition 4 which provides that the resources of the person concerned must, in the opinion of the FSA, be adequate in relation to the regulated activities that he seeks to carry on or carries on.
1.8. Paragraph 5 of Schedule 6 to the Act sets out Threshold Condition 5 which provides that the person concerned must satisfy the FSA that he is a fit and proper person having regard to all the circumstances including: (a) his connection with any person; (b) the nature of any regulated activity that he carries on or seeks to carry on; and (c) the need to ensure that his affairs are conducted soundly and prudently.
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Mark Thorogood 07 December 2010
Final Notice Page 13
2. Regulatory guidance and policy
2.1. In determining the level of financial penalty and considering the appropriate sanction, the FSA has had regard to its published guidance. Although the references in this notice are to the Enforcement Guide (“EG”), the FSA has had regard to the appropriate provisions of the Enforcement Manual (“ENF”) which is no longer in force but applied to Property Park during some of the relevant period. The FSA has also had regard to the relevant provisions in its Decision Procedure and Penalties Manual (“DEPP”) which came into effect on 28 August 2007.
Imposition of financial penalty
2.2. EG provides at paragraph 9.23 that the FSA may impose a financial penalty on an individual in addition to imposing a prohibition order on them and/or, in the case of an approved person, withdrawing their approval where it is appropriate to do so.
Prohibition
2.3. The FSA will consider making a prohibition order where it appears that an individual is not fit and proper to carry out functions in relation to regulated activities carried on by firms. The FSA may exercise these powers where it considers that to achieve any of its statutory objectives it is necessary to prevent an individual from carrying out any function in relation to regulated activities. The FSA policy in relation to the decision to make a prohibition order is set out in Chapter 9 of EG.
2.4. EG 9.4 sets out the general scope of the FSA’s powers in this respect, which include the power to make a range of prohibition orders depending on the circumstances of each case and the range of regulated activities to which the individual’s lack of fitness and propriety is relevant. EG 9.5 provides that the scope of a prohibition order will vary according to the range of functions which the individual concerned performs in relation to regulated activities, the reasons why he is not fit and proper and the severity of risk which he poses to consumers or the market generally.
2.5. EG 9.17 to 9.18 provides guidance on the FSA’s exercise of its power to make a prohibition order against an individual who is not an approved person. The FSA will consider the severity of the risk posed by the individual and may prohibit the individual where it considers this is appropriate to achieve one or more of its regulatory objectives. When considering whether to exercise its power to make a prohibition order against such an individual, the FSA will consider all the relevant circumstances of the case, which may include but are not limited to the factors set out in EG 9.9.
2.6. EG 9.9 provides that when deciding whether to make a prohibition order the FSA will consider all the relevant circumstances of the case, which may include (but are not limited to):
(1) whether the individual is fit and proper to perform functions in relation to regulated activities. The criteria for assessing the fitness and propriety are set out in the Fit and Proper test for Approved Persons (“FIT”) in FIT 2.1 (Honesty, integrity and reputation), FIT 2.2 (Competence and capability) and FIT 2.3 (Financial soundness);
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Mark Thorogood 07 December 2010
Final Notice Page 14
(2) the relevance and materiality of any matters indicating a lack of fitness and propriety;
(3) the length of time since the occurrence of any matters indicating lack of fitness and propriety; and
(4) the severity of the risk which the individual poses to consumers and to confidence in the financial system.
The Statements of Principle
2.7. APER sets out the FSA’s Statements of Principle in respect of approved persons and examples of conduct which, in the opinion of the FSA, do not comply with the relevant Statements of Principle. It further describes factors to be taken into account in determining whether an approved person’s conduct complies with a Statement of Principle.
2.8. APER 3.1.3G states that when establishing compliance with, or a breach of, a Statement of Principle, account will be taken of the context in which a course of conduct was undertaken, the precise circumstances of the individual case, the characteristics of the particular controlled function and the behaviour expected in that function.
2.9. APER 3.1.4G states that an approved person will only be in breach of a Statement of Principle if they are personally culpable. Personal culpability arises where the approved person’s conduct was deliberate or where their standard of conduct was below that which would be reasonable in all the circumstances.
2.10. In this case, the FSA considers the most relevant Statements of Principle, set out at APER 2.1.2P, to be:
(1) Statement of Principle 1 under which an approved person must act with integrity in carrying out his controlled function; and
(2) Statement of Principle 7 under which an approved person performing a significant influence function must take reasonable steps to ensure that the business of the firm for which they are responsible in their controlled function complies with the relevant requirements and standards of the regulatory system.
The requirement to act with integrity
2.11. APER 4.1 sets out examples of conduct which, in the opinion of the FSA, do not comply with Statement of Principle 1.
The requirement to ensure compliance with regulatory standards
2.12. APER 4.7 sets out examples of conduct which, in the opinion of the FSA, do not comply with Statement of Principle 7. This includes failing to take reasonable steps to:
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Mark Thorogood 07 December 2010
Final Notice Page 15
(1) implement adequate and appropriate systems of control to comply with the relevant requirements and standards of the regulatory system in respect of the firm’s regulated activities (APER 4.7.3E);
(2) monitor compliance with the relevant requirements and standards of the regulatory system in respect of the firm’s regulated activities (APER 4.7.4E); and
(3) adequately inform himself about the reason why significant breaches (whether suspected or actual) of the relevant requirements and standards of the regulatory system in respect of its regulated activities may have arisen (taking into account of the systems and procedures in place) (APER 4.7.5E).
Fit and Proper Test for Approved Persons
2.13. FIT sets out the ‘Fit and Proper’ test for Approved Persons. The purpose of FIT is to outline the main criteria for assessing the fitness and propriety of a candidate for a controlled function. FIT is also relevant in assessing the continuing fitness and propriety of an approved person.
2.14. In this case, the criteria set out in FIT are relevant in considering whether the FSA should exercise its powers to make a prohibition order against you in accordance with the guidance set out in EG 9.8 to 9.14.
2.15. FIT 1.3.1G provides that the FSA will have regard to a number of factors when assessing a person’s fitness and propriety. Two of the most important considerations will be the person’s honesty, integrity and reputation, and their competence and capability.
2.16. In determining a person’s honesty, integrity and reputation, FIT 2.1.1G provides that the FSA will have regard to matters including, but not limited to, those set out in FIT 2.1.3G. Those matters include:
(1) whether the person has contravened any of the requirements and standards of the regulatory system (FIT 2.1.3G (5)); and
(2) whether, in the past, the person has been candid and truthful in all his dealings with any regulatory body and whether the person demonstrates a readiness and willingness to comply with the requirements and standards of the regulatory system and with other legal, regulatory and professional requirements and standards (FIT 2.1.3G (13)).
2.17. In determining a person’s competence and capability FIT 2.2 provides that the FSA will have regard to matters including, but not limited to, those set out in FIT 2.2.1G. Those matters include:
(1) whether the person satisfies the relevant FSA training and competence requirements in relation to the controlled function the person performs or is intended to perform (FIT 2.2.1G (1)); and
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Mark Thorogood 07 December 2010
Final Notice Page 16
(2) whether the person has demonstrated by experience and training that the person is able, or will be able if approved, to perform the controlled function (FIT 2.2.1G (2)).
Cancellation
2.18. In exercising its power to cancel a Part IV permission, the FSA must have regard to relevant provisions in the FSA Handbook. The main provisions relevant to the action specified above are set out below.
Threshold Condition 4: Adequate resources (Paragraph 4, Schedule 6 to the Act) – COND 2.4
2.19. COND 2.4.1UK(1) states that the resources of the person concerned must, in the opinion of the FSA, be adequate in relation to the regulated activities that he seeks to carry on, or carries on.
2.20. COND 2.4.2G(1) provides that Threshold Condition 4 requires the FSA to ensure that a firm has adequate resources in relation to the specific regulated activity or regulated activities which it seeks to carry on, or carries on.
2.21. COND 2.4.2G(2) provides that the FSA will interpret the term "adequate" as meaning sufficient in terms of quantity, quality and availability, and "resources" as including all financial resources, non-financial resources and means of managing its resources such as, for example, human resources.
2.22. COND 2.4.3G(1) provides that when assessing this Threshold Condition, the FSA may have regard to any person appearing to it to be, or likely to be, in a relevant relationship with the firm, in accordance with section 49 of the Act (Persons connected with an applicant); for example, a firm's controllers, its directors or partners, other persons with close links to the firm, and other persons that exert influence over the firm which might pose a risk to the firm's satisfaction of the Threshold Conditions and would, therefore, be in a relevant relationship with the firm.
Threshold Condition 5: Suitability (Paragraph 4, Schedule 6 to the Act) – COND 2.5
2.23. COND 2.5.1UK states that the person concerned must satisfy the FSA that he is a fit and proper person having regard to all the circumstances, including: (a) his connection with any person; (b) the nature of any regulated activity that he carries on or seeks to carry on; and (c) the need to ensure that his affairs are conducted soundly and prudently.
2.24. COND 2.5.2G(1) provides that Threshold Condition 5 requires the firm to satisfy the FSA that it is "fit and proper" to have Part IV permission having regard to all the circumstances, including its connection with other persons, the range and nature of its regulated activities and the overall need to be satisfied that its affairs are and will be conducted soundly and prudently.
2.25. COND 2.5.3G(1) provides that the emphasis of this Threshold Condition is on the suitability of the firm itself. The suitability of each person who performs a controlled function will be assessed by the FSA under the approved persons regime. In certain
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Mark Thorogood 07 December 2010
Final Notice Page 17
circumstances, however, the FSA may consider that the firm is not suitable because of doubts over the individual or collective suitability of persons connected with the firm.
2.26. COND 2.5.3G(2) permits the FSA, when assessing this Threshold Condition in relation to a firm, to have regard to any person appearing to it to be, or likely to be, in a relevant relationship with the firm, as permitted by section 49 of the Act (Persons connected with the applicant). The guidance in COND 2.5.3G(2) also refers to COND 2.4.3G, which sets out examples of persons in a relevant relationship with the firm.
2.27. COND 2.5.4G(2) provides that when determining whether the firm will satisfy and continue to satisfy Threshold Condition 5, the FSA will have regard to all relevant matters including whether a firm: (a) conducts, or will conduct, its business with integrity and in compliance with proper standards; or (b) has or will have a competent and prudent management.
2.28. COND 2.5.6G(4) provides that in determining whether a firm will satisfy, and continue to satisfy, Threshold Condition 5 in respect of conducting its business with integrity and in compliance with proper standards, relevant matters may include whether the firm is connected with a person who has contravened any provisions of the Act or the regulatory system.
2.29. COND 2.5.7G(1) provides that in determining whether a firm will satisfy, and continue to satisfy, Threshold Condition 5 in respect of having competent and prudent management, relevant matters may include whether the governing body of the firm is made up of individuals with an appropriate range of skills and experience to understand, operate and manage the firm's regulated activities.
The Enforcement Guide ("EG")
2.30. EG 8.13(1) provides that the FSA will consider cancelling a firm's Part IV permission using its own-initiative powers contained in section 45 of the Act where the FSA has very serious concerns about a firm, or the way its business is or has been conducted.
2.31. EG 8.14 provides that the grounds on which the FSA may exercise its power to cancel an authorised person's permission under section of the Act include where it appears to the FSA that the firm is failing, or is likely to fail, to satisfy the Threshold Conditions.
Page 17 of 17

Porth Eirias, a small time chef and an inept council.

An impeccable source tells me that the figure involved in amending Bryn's kitchen is well into Six figures, this of course is the figure that you and I the taxpayer is being asked to pay for. 
If the council had a restaurant in mind from the beginning why on earth was the place built with curved walls in the first place?
Has Bryn even signed a legal binding lease or is it just an agreement?
Let's not forget Bryn bless runs a very good, so we read, neighbourhood restaurant in Primrose Hill London, as yet he's no huge name as such, he's just borrowed £170 Thousand from Santander  according to them for his London outfit, this whole Colwyn Bay operation is something of a farce and somebody needs to draw a line in the sand, if they can even get on the sand in Colwyn Bay, for Comrade Mike and his gang have closed the beach for now, and be realistic and say to Bryn, put up or move on. 
Why and who have got this plan of Bryn in their minds to an extent they see nothing else as a potential use?
How much is being lost per month at present?
We may well as taxpayers be paying business rates on this folly.
How much is the water sports bringing in, that I believe is a social enterprise so may well still be costing us money.
The senior management and cabinet appear way out of their depth yet again. 
Iwan KR Davied may well be advised to stay in Jamaica next time he goes on his regular holiday there. 

Thursday, 17 July 2014

Love thy neighbour?

Could there be any truth in the story that Conwy Council leader Dilwyn Roberts has family connections to the neighbouring farm of that owned by the family of Bryn Williams ?


Tell Bryn to hoof it!

Is it tine a degree of reality was adopted at the Temple of Waste and it is accepted that the Bryn Williams BullShit has gone on long enough and he was told to hoof it?
He's not some kind of saviour he's a PR led chef that's already in hock to the bank, now he wants more off the  Conwy taxpayer, it's a joke that's no longer funny.
In blunt terms he's taking the piss!

Wednesday, 16 July 2014

This allegedly is a council employee!

This allegedly is a council employee!
Re: What's Llandudno Like Right Now?
« Reply #5416 on: July 14, 2014, 11:45:21 PM »
"I was going to have a word with one of the CCBC officials on the Prom today, about the beach issues... but he seemed a bit busy as I passed by."



Travelodge and Trip Advisor.

According to one local tweeter the Travelodge in Colwyn Bay is also used as a brothel! Good job Iwan KR Davies Chief executive of Conwy isn't in charge of that, he couldn't even organize a shag in the brothel him!
Anonymous


"I would love to write a story on The Travelodge In Colwyn Bay, and how it has been "Fixing " Bad reviews, via Trip advisor , Basically It vets all of the reviews , and won't allow any negative one's to be published, My wife and I are from the Midlands, we booked three nights at this awful place,and left an honest review on trip advisor, we were concerned as to why it was not published, we contacted Trip advisor, and they stated that " all the reviews are vetted by the Travelodge" We thought this to be outrageous, as well as dishonest, Who else does this? So people stay there under false pretences.Apparently many other people also don't get their reviews printed,And all bad reviews have been removed off the web.
Makes you wonder how badly they are really doing to be so "touchy"
Anyway, love the Site Oscar xxxx"

Subject: Travelodgehttp://www.tripadvisor.co.uk/Hotel_Review-g551979-d1950319-Reviews-Travelodge_Colwyn_Bay-Colwyn_Bay_Conwy_County_North_Wales_Wales.html#REVIEWS

"Thought this might be of interest, the Travelodge in Colwyn bay has wiped off all of its negative feedback on trip advisor, very odd, not many people can do this, although a lot of complaints from people saying that the negative feedback was removed or not printed, have a look, very odd that this has been done
thanks XXXX xx"


No Police available, but plenty of plastic ones.

It's all over twitter that North Wales Police are very short staffed in Llandudno and presumably other larger towns, budgets have been cut and now many crimes go unreported.
Yet a party in the park has at least 3 PCSO's attending for photo opportunities.
Is this the best use of resources or not?
I also think that if the plastic police have to walk around in pairs it would be better to have one police officer who can at least do the job and get rid of the useless plastic ones.




Sunday, 13 July 2014

A new world record?

Will the charming Mr John Humberstone be collecting a world record for having had scaffolding in place for the longest length of time?
Even by Conwy Council standards this will take some beating! 

Anybody fancy writing a guest blog on anything of interest such as a council matter, ARSEmbly matter or anything else they fancy?
Just e mail me.
thoughtsofoscar@yahoo.com

Reward for failure?

A health chief received an “obscene” £200,000 pay-off after she quit her post in the wake of a damning report into the running of the NHS in North Wales. In all, Mary Burrows was paid just short of half a million pounds (£465-470k), the Betsi Cadwaladr annual accounts for 2013/14 show.
http://www.dailypost.co.uk/news/north-wales-news/betsi-cadwaladr-ex-health-board-7381407



More police investigations down in ARSEmbly Bay.

More goings on down in Cardiff.






Saturday, 12 July 2014

Alice and Bryn.

To say I have a very funny feeling about this Porth Eirias business and Bryn the Chef is one thing, to say I have the same feeling but only a hundred times stronger about this Alice Trail in Llandudno is an understatement.
Something smells very funny.

Friday, 11 July 2014


How does this effect Porth Eirias funding?

CELEBRITY CHEF BRYN WILLIAMS EXPANDS RENOWNED LONDON RESTAURANT WITH NEW FUNDING

18 June 2014
Bryn Williams, one of Wales’ best-known chefs, has upgraded and expanded his landmark London restaurant Odette’s following a £170,000 funding package from Santander Corporate & Commercial.
Set amongst a parade of mid-Victorian shops and cafes in Primrose Hill, Odette’s is one of London’s original dining rooms. Bryn took over the property in October 2008, developing it into one of London’s most successful restaurants. Demand has been so strong that Bryn is now looking to substantially increase the number of covers from 20 to 102 as well as refurbish the kitchen.
Trained under Marco Pierre White and Michel Roux Jr., Bryn won widespread recognition on the BBC’s Great British Menu when he was selected to prepare the fish course for the Queen’s 80th birthday banquet. The refurbishment of Odette’s includes a new private dining room and immersive kitchen table, both of which are already proving popular with guests.
Bryn Williams, Proprietor, Odette’s Restaurant, said: “Odette’s is iconic – there aren’t many places in London that have stood the test of time like this. What we’ve done recently is just improve on what it’s always been – we’ve made the set menus even better value; we’ve made the rooms less fussy to reflect the fact that while it’s fine dining, we are first and foremost a neighbourhood restaurant; and we’ve created two really special private dining areas.”
Ashley Charlton, Relationship Director, Santander Corporate & Commercial, said: “We are wholly confident in Bryn and his team’s abilities, and are delighted to be part of such an exciting enterprise. Supporting the restaurant industry is key for us – the UK as a whole has seen huge developments in both the variety and quality of dining options, from small street traders to high-end restaurants like Odette’s. We’re delighted to be able to support such an important sector of the UK economy.”
- Ends -

Thursday, 10 July 2014

Bryn Willaims Bistro.

What's this latest snippet about more money having to be spent on this Bistro?
Needing more money to be spent on fitting out and structural work, should Bryn not be fitting the place out and not the taxpayer?

Another wreck.

The talk is that a certain group are wanting to get an old wooden lifeboat restored by Llandrillo on the Quay in Conwy, does Conwy need another old boat there waiting to be renovated like the one that has already been there for what seems like years?
Does the area even need it in the first place?

"During her service in Llandudno, Tillie Morrison was launched 17 times and saved eight lives.
The boat’s recovery was the result of 18 months of work by Ships’ Timbers to find all of the town’s former lifeboats.
The Tillie Morrison will arrive in Conwy Marina in two weeks’ time, where will be surveyed and a resoration project will begin.
The museum is asking for help to fund the cost of restoration. "


http://www.northwalespioneer.co.uk/news/135401/decades-old-llandudno-lifeboat-saved-from-the-scrapheap.aspx

Wednesday, 9 July 2014

Rhos Point shops.

Hi Oscar,

The following post was placed in a local Buy/Sell group I moderate on
Facebook, I have asked the question why this is happening to this man
but am awaiting a response from the poster.  Is this a genuine issue or
are there more serious undertones as to the reason this man is
supposedly being targeted.

Many thanks

https://www.facebook.com/paul.rhospoint
Conwy Council are planning to close the shops below
Rhos Point Tackle And Bait
no 1 2&3 Marine Drive
Rhos point...
Colwyn Bay
Conwy
LL28 4NL
Well, they plan to put a hard working man who generates a lot of
visitors to the area out of business. They have started by shutting down
half of his property at the end of this month, and then the rest of it
the next month. The impact of this will mean that the town loses a
printing and design shop, a fishing tackle & bait shop, also a water
sport department as well as a fishing and sight seeing charter. This
will impact on everyone!
People in the area need to take action as soon as possible before it
gets too late. Remember, that it not just his lively hood that gets
affected, but also 3 building that add character to the area , as well
as the services offered at the shop. No matter what you think, surely
these shops will look a lot better on the sea front than to have a block
of apartments built in their space!! well this is all I am going to say
about it, just remember it's your town and your loss if this goes ahead.

WE NEED TO ACT ON THIS NOW AS TIME IS RUNNING OUT PLEASE SHARE THIS WITH
EVERYONE . YOU CAN GO TO OUR HOME PAGE VIA THIS LINK
BELOW AND LIKE THE POST THIS WILL HELP TO SHOW YOUR SUPPORT
https://www.facebook.com/paul.rhospoint

if you do want to use your voice to do something about this , you can
contact;-

officer : allan sharp
principal property development
phone : 01492 574522
email:allan.sharp@conwy.gov.uk
address :
28 Wynnstay Road,
Bae Colwyn
Conwy
LL29 8NB.

Poundbakery.

More choice for the consumer any day now with the opening of a new Pound bakery.
Strange how not so long ago the town council were giving The Ham Bone an award and yet are now sending the Mayor and the new Town Crier to open the new bakery which will no doubt take a fair bit of trade off the Ham Bone, that's life I suppose!
As ever us the customer will decide who stays and who goes by where we shop.
The photos are not of the Llandudno shop by the way.