Sunday, 25 May 2008

Iwan muddies the waters

Former Gwynedd councillor Dafydd Iwan is still smarting from his defeat in Bontnewydd by my Llais Gwynedd colleague Chris Hughes.
In last Thursday's Caernarfon Herald's letters page, Mr Iwan has sought to "remove any shadow of doubts which may be lingering in people's minds".
In his letter, headlined 'Iwan dispels the rumours', he said: "I categorically declare that
* I have never held any shares in any building company, local or otherwise
* I have never had any formal or financial involvement with any building company, local or otherwise
* I have never played any part in allocating council contracts
* I do not have a flat in Victoria Dock"
Well, that's all well and good but Mr Iwan has failed to answer the points raised not by Llais Gwynedd but by Martin Eaglestone, the prospective Labour candidate for Arfon.
In his blog,, on 21st April, Mr Eagletone wrote about Mr Iwan's alleged connections with a property investment company called Arianrhod. It makes interesting reading and is still available in the April archive of that website.
However, in attempting to pour scorn on these allegations, Mr Iwan has far from dispelled 'the rumours' - instead he has successfully managed to muddy the waters.
Let's look at the facts:
Mr Iwan claims no shareholding or formal/financial involvement in any building company but Arianrhod is a property investment company, which is a completely different animal. So it is time for Mr Iwan to come clean. I wonder if he can make the same categorical statement in relation to Arianrhod?
Whether or not Mr Iwan has ever played a part in allocating council contracts is a matter of public record via council minutes, so that can be checked by anyone who is interested.
I have no idea where the allegation arose that Mr Iwan had a flat in Victoria Dock but his denial is interesting. On this point, his letter states "I do not have..." but the other three statements all start "I have never...".
I wonder why he feels unable to say "I have never..." about having a flat in Victoria Dock. If I were a cynic, I might take this to imply that he did once have a flat there but does not still have it.
I am certain we have not heard all the facts and that it seems inconceivable that both Martin Eaglestone and Dafydd Iwan are being totally honest.
Is someone trying to pull the wool over our eyes? Are the waters being muddied intentionally? Perish the thought!


Guto said...

I'm sorry, I'm struggling to see what the whole beef is with Arianrhod?

Is Llais Gwynedd opposed to arianrhod then? I'd have thought that a company who's sole purpose has been to buy up town centre properties and rent them to local businessmeen would be something a local party like Llais Gwynedd would support?

As I've told Martin myself, and as you note here, if there's a question about whether or not Dafydd Iwan noted his interest in meetings re the town square then they can be checked by anyone with an interest.

It's quite sad that both yourself and Martin Eaglestone try and fan flames on this matter without making the simple check to see if there is anything worth fanning.

I guess that making smoke is just easier for politicians than checking for a fire.

Ian Franks said...

First of all, Llais Gwynedd has no problem with Arianrhod as a company nor its operations. Business is business and that is fine.
My blog comments only relate to Dafydd Iwan's denial of any connection with a building company, whereas Arianrhod is a property investment business.
It is quite simple really, I challenge Dafydd Iwan to make the same denial in relation to Arianrhod as he did towards 'any building company'.
I have no evidence of any wrongdoing by anyone and am not alleging that.
it is all very simple: I just want the people of Gwynedd to be given the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.
Not too much to ask is it?
One thing is certain, we've not been given the whole truth yet.

Ian Franks
Llais Gwynedd