As a follow on post from 'Tangled webs', yet again we see that one of the police suspects, currently languishing under criminal investigation from the Wellness scandal, has lost no time in adding to his growing business portfolio with yet another company appearing on Companies House on Tuesday.
As we know, just before Mark James, former CEO of Carmarthenshire Council, and Private Eye’s Shit of the Year 2016, hurriedly ‘retired’ he set up his own lucrative consultancy company, which clearly needed no online presence, due, no doubt to all those useful contacts garnered at County Hall, and such a wealth of inside knowledge of City Deal plans, etc, from the corridors of power.
Not one to bother his then employers, the council, with such trifles as declaring business interests, he failed to register his directorship of the three Century Wharf Right To Manage Companies, his building services company, his property portfolio (including Caebrwyn's humble abode), or his dodgy venture into Kuwait with his equally disgraced mates, Marc Clement and co, so recently booted out of Swansea Uni.
One will never know how much in the way of public resources went into Mr James' private interests. After all, he unashamedly funnelled thousands of pounds of public money into his private vendettas.
His shady business dealings in Century Wharf may have gone undetected if it wasn’t for pesky residents complaining to the press back in 2017 about the unpleasant activities of Airbnb guests, and his management of the Right To Manage (RTM) company, which included claims to legal advice which were never disclosed, claims to ministerial 'contacts', and veiled legal threats to those who questioned his actions.
More recently it emerged that Mr James had ensured his mates from far flung Llangennech enjoyed their share of the fruits of Century Wharf.
All of which should sound very familiar to his long-suffering former subjects of Carmarthenshire.
The latest addition to Mr James’ business portfolio, registered on December 8th, is CW Estates Management Company Ltd.
After the recent row over forged signatures on EWS1 forms. All blame for failed due diligence checks into the company commissioned to inspect the complex for combustible materials was placed squarely on Warwick Estates, who run Century Wharf on behalf of the RTM. As a result Warwick seem to have been given notice that their contract was being terminated.
Due diligence from the Chair of the RTM didn’t seem to have been an issue, funny that, especially given Mark James experience with forged documents.
Not one to miss an opportunity for personal gain, Mr James’ new venture, CW Estates Management, is the replacement vehicle for Warwick Estates. His co-directors, as you can see from Companies House, are Owein Mattey (still listed as Warwick Estates manager) and the Century Wharf RTM finance manager, Ryan Howells.
Presumably James will have to relinquish his position on the RTM, at some point, as this would, of course, create a direct conflict of interest.
His dictatorship at County Hall appears to have moved seamlessly to Cardiff Bay. And will no doubt will create lucrative opportunities for his consultancy, his other business interests, including his building inspection company, and his friends.
Of course, as he is no longer employed by the council he can do as he likes, he even has £165 a month pocket money from me to help him along, which apparently he puts in the nearest gutter.
Unfortunately, from his lengthy reign at County Hall, he also has a track record any self-respecting mafia boss would aspire to. I may have mentioned this before, as a warning to unsuspecting residents and colleagues of Century Wharf in particular, but its a fact worth repeating.
In fact, it was a former Police Commissioner who described County Hall as a Sicilian cartel; "it extracts vast amounts of money from residents which it showers on favourites, hoards property, bullies opponents, co-opts friends and answers to no one, least of all local councillors."
Mr James doesn’t take kindly to criticism, he even set up his own illegal slush fund, with public money, to deal with awkward customers. Neither does he like people ‘going to the press’, he called Century Wharf residents who did just that and criticised his management of the RTM, ‘a cancer’.
He doesn’t like the press, (or bloggers) or anyone who calls him out for what he is, an arrogant, vindictive and thoroughly dishonest individual. God help anyone in Century Wharf who opposes him now.
He made a career out of trying to silence the local press in Carmarthenshire, even resorting to blackmail.
As for democracy, he spent his seventeen years at County Hall stamping it out. And his legacy continues.
The only role council leaders had was to polish Mr James' CBE.
So don’t expect a friendly ‘suggestion box’ to be installed in the Century Wharf concierge office.
After creating numerous white elephants around the county, which inevitably became propped up by the taxpayer, he then tried to put his unpleasant, and fateful stamp on the Swansea Bay City Deal.
The City Deal, however, was a bigger fish than Carmarthenshire Council and various ‘partners’ soon saw him for what he was, an arrogant, compulsive liar. And some said as much. In fact it was his management, erm, technique which nearly scuppered the whole billion pound deal. Carmarthenshire council were stripped of various roles and the investigators called in.
The tender process for the Wellness village, manipulated and twisted by Mr James, to a pliant audience of dimwitted and fearful Councillors was the final nail in his coffin.
And it was this, covered extensively on this blog, and the allegations that he and his friends from Swansea Uni were attempting to line their own pockets, that led to the police raiding his home and seizing his computers in July 2019, and so, not for the first time, did he become a criminal suspect. And, at the time of writing, he most definitely still is.
I also hear that his arrogance got the better of him earlier this year, but more of that in due course.
Personally speaking I wouldn’t let him any where near a child’s piggy bank, let alone manage a multi million pound complex of luxury apartments. There’s only one pocket Mr James wants to line, and that’s his own.
Mark James, Century Wharf