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Privatising the Land Registry ‘a double whammy’

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Nia Griffith: Land Registry privatisation a rip off

COMMENTING on revelations in the Times (May 26) that all the companies which are interested in bidding for the Land Registry have links to offshore tax havens, Nia Griffith MP, has said that selling off the Land Registry to one of these companies risks a double whammy, with the taxpayer, losing out both directly on profits the Land Registry currently makes and on taxes due on the profits made by one of these companies.

The Llanelli MP joined PCS members and the campaign group 38 degrees in Westminster on Thursday (May 26) to hand over a petition with over 200,000 signatures to the UK Government, calling on ministers to abandon plans to privatise the Land Registry, which has its main offices in Swansea.

Nia Griffith explained: “Privatising the Land Registry would be nothing short of daylight robbery, robbing the taxpayer of millions of pounds. The Land Registry currently brings in nearly £100 million into the Treasury in profits each year, so it is madness to steal this from the Treasury and stuff it into the pockets of private contractors, who would probably then add insult to injury by hiking the fees and ripping off the public.

“Worse still we have revelations this week in the Times that all the companies which are interested in bidding for the Land Registry have links to offshore tax havens. So that would be a double whammy: we as taxpayers would not only lose out on the direct profit from the Land Registry, but we could find that the Treasury does not even get the tax due on the profits made by one of these companies from a privatised Land Registry.

“And who’s to say that this Tory Government wouldn’t be wilfully incompetent and sell off the Land Registry at a bargain basement price, as they did with the Royal Mail, depriving the public purse of the true value of this asset?”

Nia Griffith continued: “That’s before we come to the issue of trust: currently the Land Registry has a customer satisfaction rating of 98%, and people trust the Land Registry because they know it is impartial as only a government body can be. How could you possibly guarantee that there would not be conflicts of interest if it were a private company? Particularly a private company which has no qualms about using tax havens to deprive the UK taxpayer of monies owed.

“Would a private company keep offices in Swansea or would it be outsourced to some far-flung place where they cannot tell one Welsh name from another? Then there is the issue of data protection: I am advised that there would be nothing in law to prevent a private company selling on personal data to buyers who want the information.

“We must resist any attempt to privatise the Land Registry or to hive off the Land Registry into a ‘Government– owned company’ which could pave the way for privatisation.”

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Police appeal following assault in Llys Glan Y Mor

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POLICE in Llanelli are investigating an assault which occurred in the vicinity of St Davids Close and Llys Glan Y Mor, Llanelli sometime between 9.00pm on Saturday 10th April and 1.30am on Sunday 11th April 2021.

A 45-year-old male was taken to hospital with facial injuries.

Officers have carried out all possible lines of enquiry, and are now appealing for help from the public.
They would like to identify the people in the CCTV image, who may have information that could help the investigation.
Anyone who knows who the people are, or if you believe you are pictured, contact Dyfed-Powys Police either online at: bit.ly/DPPContactOnline, by emailing 101@dyfed-powys.pnn.police.uk, or by calling 101. If you are deaf, hard of hearing, or speech impaired text the non-emergency number on 07811 311 908. Quote reference DPP/0006/11/04/2021/01/C.

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Police trace burglar who left trail of oil leading to his home

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A MAN was charged with burglary after leaving a trail of oil from a stolen generator leading police from a victim’s home to his own.

Dyfed-Powys Police officers were able to quickly trace Dominic William Oliver after he went on an overnight burglary spree in Burry Port in March.

The force received reports of two garage burglaries and a theft from a car overnight on Monday, March 8, with a generator, fishing rods, and two bags containing passports among the stolen items.

The combined value of the items taken was estimated to be around £800.

Sergeant Gemma Davies said: “An officer attended the victims’ homes, and was made aware of a trail of oil, which was believed to have come from the stolen generator.

“She followed it along several streets – one of which was where Oliver had stolen two bags from a car – and discovered that it ended outside a property on Dandorlan Road.

“Oliver agreed to a voluntary search being carried out, and as officers entered the property they immediately noticed a rucksack with a distinctive pattern that had been described by one of the victims.”

The search was completed, with further items suspected to have been stolen recovered from the address, and the 31-year-old was arrested on suspicion of burglary within six hours of the incidents being reported.

While being conveyed to police custody, Oliver made a significant comment linking him to the theft of the generator.

He was charged with two counts of burglary and one theft, and appeared at Swansea Crown Court for sentencing on Friday, April 30.

He was sentenced to 12 months in prison suspended for 18 months, must complete a rehabilitation requirement, and must remain at his home address between 8pm and 6am for three months.

Sgt Davies said: “This was an excellent response, which resulted in the swift arrest and charge of Oliver, and the recovery and return of stolen property to the victims the same day the offences were reported to us.

“This has no doubt had a positive impact on the residents of Burry Port, who have commented positively on how the matter was investigated.

“Community engagement, patrols and a crime prevention leaflet drop was carried out following the investigation to offer reassurance and advice.”

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Further coronavirus restriction relaxations brought forward

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FURTHER changes to the coronavirus restrictions have been announced by the First Minister Mark Drakeford today.

The Welsh Government has confirmed further relaxations will be brought forward from 17 May to 3 May – including the resumption of indoor supervised activities for children, indoor organised activities for up to 15 adults, such as exercise classes, and the re-opening of community centres.

This means Wales will have completed the move to Alert Level 3 by Monday 3 May.

From Saturday 24 April, the rule of 6 will allow for up to six people from six households to meet outdoors, not including children under 11 years of age or carers from those households.

The Welsh Government has also confirmed the relaxations that will take place on Monday 26 April. Outdoor attractions, including outdoor swimming pools, funfairs and theme parks, will be allowed to reopen, while outdoor hospitality can also resume, including at cafes, pubs and restaurants.

Organised outdoor activities for up to 30 people will be able to take place and weddings receptions can begin again outdoors for up to 30 people.

Wales has the lowest coronavirus rates of the UK nations.  The successful vaccine programme continues with a higher proportion of people vaccinated in Wales than other nations of the UK for both first and second doses.

Changes from Monday 3 May:

  • Gyms, leisure centres and fitness facilities being able to reopen;
  • People will also again be able to form extended households with one other household.

Relaxations planned for 17 May will be brought forward to the 3 May, including:

  • The resumption of indoor supervised activities for children;
  • Indoor organised activities for up to 15 adults (such as exercise classes and swimming lessons);
  • And the re-opening of community centres.

The First Minister said:

“The sacrifices we have made continue to show results. By us all working together and sticking to the rules, combined with our vaccination programme, mean we continue to make progress. Rates of the virus continue to fall and the public health situation is improving. 

“Due to these efforts we are able confirm more easing of the restrictions from 26 April and for early May we are again able to bring forward some of our plans. However, this progress is dependent on all of us continuing to work together to keep Wales safe.

“At the last three-week review, I set out a forward-look of how the restrictions could continue to be lifted in the weeks ahead, if the public health situation remains stable.

“It will be for the incoming Welsh Government to confirm these arrangements at the next three-week review, which will be held on May 13 – a week after the election. It is my assessment that the hospitality sector – bars, pubs, restaurants and cafes – will be able to open indoors from May 17, together with all other tourist accommodation, indoor entertainment and attractions.”

Further possible easements are subject to the public health situation remaining favourable.

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