Profit & Homelessness
Many of you will be familiar with the plight of the families and individuals at Holtsfield on Gower, threatened with homelessness by local solicitor cum developer Timothy Jones.
Many of you have previously given us your support in our seven year campaign to save our homes, community and this beautiful conservation area.
It has now become public knowledge that Barclays Bank holds a legal charge against Holtsfield and has been ‘propping up’ Mr Jones’s company Elitestone Ltd which has been running at a persistent loss at least since 1990 (see article below).
Obviously the bank and Mr Jones still hold some shred of hope that after evicting the Holtsfield families from their homes, great profits can be made by developing the site despite the former Swansea City Council, the Welsh Office and the Appeal Court having made it clear that no housing development will ever happen on Holtsfield.
The residents, who have now been granted a hearing at the House of Lords, find this attitude not only unrealistic but also morally unacceptable. How can anybody wish to profit by making families, small children and old people homeless??
We therefore call on Barclays Bank to immediately stop the financial support of Elitestone Ltd.
We also call on you to make your views known to the management board of Barclays Bank and, if you are a customer of Barclays, to consider the power you have many of our supporters are now threatening to withdraw their accounts from Barclays.
Please write to or phone the following:
Gareth George Wales Director Barclays Bank Plc PO Box 323 4th Floor Windsor Court 3 Windsor Place Cardiff CF1 3BT
Tel: 01222 222633 Fax: 01222 668691
It appears that some of our supporters (?) may have previously expressed their views in an aggressive or even threatening manner. Please don’t ! It doesn’t help us. Be civilised !
The following two articles are both taken from the South Wales Evening Post, both dated 23 11 95:
Firm running at loss
The company behind the evictions at Holtsfield has been running at a loss since 1990, the Evening Post can reveal today.
Company accounts for Elitestone Ltd. show a 561,000 working capital deficit for 1994.
The company’s net worth , according to the latest figures available which were filed in March , is minus 244,000.
Since 1990 the year after Holtsfield was bought up by the firm for 176,000 Elitestone has suffered persistent annual losses of between 36,000 and 68,000.
It has been running with a bank overdraft of between 460,000 and 519,000 and paying bank interest charges of between 40,000 and 65,000 a year.
But director and Swansea solicitor Tim Jones said:
“I don’t propose discussing confidential information with you. The arrangements were originally reached with the bank and we have facilities available.”
Mr. Jones claimed that the valuation of the company’s fixed assets was out of date and now worth considerably more.
“We have more substantial assets than show on the accounts,” he said.
He also said there was an outstanding claim for damages against the Holtsfield residents.
Barclays Bank has a legal charge against the Holtsfield land, according to information held a t Companies House.
A Barclay’s spokeswomen said:
“Barclays is banker to the company and may have a charge over the land, but that does not give us any influence over the way our customers run their business. It would be undemocratic for us to have any legal or moral influence over our customers.”
Records list the Elitestone directors as Mr. Jones, aged 44, of Rotherslade Road, Langland, and his 42 year old wife, Ann Jones, a teacher, who is also company secretary. Principal shareholders are Mr. Jones and Peter Greville, who was also a director until he resigned in March, 1991.
But Mr. Jones claimed that he was the only director, his wife was company secretar y but not a director, and that Mr. Greville, now living in Cyprus, had never been a director.
Moral Case must be won at Holtsfield
Anyone who watched the heartrending scenes as bailiffs moved in to force the gentle folk of Holtsfield out of their much loved homes will have been appalled.
Gower vicar, the Rev. Christopher Lee summed it all up when he spoke about law being allowed to over rule morality.
Many times over the past year we have called on Swansea City Council to take whatever action was necessary to stop the situation reaching this level but it seems their efforts either failed or were not good enough.
It would be wrong to blame the council for the situation however, as it has clearly been the action of solicitor Tim Jones which has pushed the dispute to this unfortunate level.
Mr. Jones states today that he believes he has legal rights to build on the land once he has bulldozed all the existing chalets there despite the fact that it has been declared a conservation area and planning permission has been refused.
If the city council cannot stop Mr. Jones evicting the families from Holtsfield it can at least make it clear that he will never be allowed to build there, and that the fight will go through all the due processes of law if necessary.
To take this rural community, destroy it, and then allow executive homes or any other kind of houses to be built there would not only defy natural justice it would defile a magnificent area of our countryside.
Whatever the legal rights and wrongs the moral case is clear and it does not favour Mr. Jones.
Barclays Bank, which has financial leverage on Mr. Jones’ company Elitestone, may wish to take into account the morals of this case and the way the public views the situation when considering how to proceed in the future. The bank cannot escape its reponsibility in these matters.