Tuesday, April 29, 2008

(The photos are of Castle square improvement works and properties adjoining the Square improvements).
Some postings seem to suggest that I am unfair in highlighting the interests of Mr Dafydd Iwan and Mr Alun Ffred Jones AM in 'Arianrhod', a property investment company.
The questions are described as a pre election fishing trip, yet they can also be read as legitimate questions to ask of two publicly elected representatives. So some clarity from my view point:
a) I have no problem with their involvement in a property investment company, indeed I wish them and others involved with the company every success,
b) I have no objection in principle to the practise of property investment.
However I think publicly elected representatives do need to take great care when promoting (as Mr Iwan and Mr Jones have done) publicly funded investment in places that immediately adjoin places in which they have private business interests. That is why the questions have been asked and I am sure the responses will help clarify any misunderstanding.
Gwynedd Council have stated in January 2008 that
"The Caernarfomn Town Centre Regeneration Scheme is a landmark urban regenerations scheme worth over £2.4 million which consists of a combination of public realm improvements and an associated traffic management scheme which will create a strong sense of arrival within the town centre. The redevelopment work is considered a pivotal element to the successful regeneration of the town, and forms and integral part of the long term strategy to regenerate the town and its surrounding area".
Gwynedd Council describe a key element of the town centre scheme as :
"Substantially improve the physical environment of Castle Square which is a 1.3 acre site in the historic town of Caernarfon" - that improvement should be good news for anyone owning property on the Square as it will make their properties more attractive (that is a stated aim of the investment).
Those physical improvements are happening literally on the doorstep of properties owned by Arianrhod.
Hence the questions so we can be clear private and public interests are not being mixed.


Guto said...

But the questions you wish to "ask" go much further than the research you have done.

You have done a little research (finding out things that everyone already knew) and have not found one single thing to suggest any scandal.

As I said before, if you think there's a scandal, go find it. Do you honestly expect AFfJ or DI to answer your questions here, on your blog? Do they even blog?

Write them a letter asking the questions and then, if their answers reveal a scandal, blog about that.

Have a look at the council minutes, have a look at the shareholders register. If you find a scandal there, blog about it.

I find it very uncomfortable to see a politician trying to create a scandal when he has no evidence of one. As I said before, if you honestly think there's a scandal, go find it. The very fact that you haven't done so suggetss that you know there isn't a scandal and is therefore just trying to invent one.

This just seems as an attempt to play the "no smoke without fire" card even though you're holding a smoke machine!

(I'm sure the Daily Post scandal writers will be very dissapointed about the lack of secretarial staff! Oh and on a related note to your post, I love the new look Maes so far, I hope it ends up looking as good as it's currently promising)

Martin Eaglestone said...

Well your knowledge is obviously better than mine. I didn't know Ffred had Arianrhod interests till he put it in the Assembly register in January.

Perhaps you can share with me - when did he get that interest ? Was it before January this year ? Why no previous entry ? Is that not a potential conflict of interest given Assembly grants being spent at Arianrhod's front door on the Square?

These seem legitimate questions to me based on the research of information in the public domain.