Thursday, 2 February 2017

More twists in the "Circuit of Wales " saga.

I have already pointed out  my scepticism over the The Circuit of Wales racetrack 
Now the project is facing fresh controversy over allegations that an MP was told incorrectly that BMW wanted to develop a major exhibition attraction on the Circuit’s site near Ebbw Vale.
The businessmen behind the scheme, Michael Carrick and Martin Whitaker,allegedly  told MP David Davies that the German car giant wanted to build a “BMW World” style facility at the site.
Mr Davies later contacted BMW who told him they had “no plans for any projects at The Circuit of Wales, and have at no point developed any such plans”.
Mr Davies said he had “incontrovertible proof” the two men had made the claim and said such “inconsistencies” undermined faith in the £430m scheme, which supporters say could rejuvenate one of Wales’ most deprived areas.
“At a meeting with Michael Carrick and Martin Whitaker on July 8 2016, Martin told me that the day before he had met BMW Germany and BMW UK and that BMW wanted to build a BMW World theme park on the Circuit of Wales site.“I have contacted BMW UK’s government affairs department who have told me the group has no plans for any projects at the Circuit of Wales and that at no point have they developed any such plans.“How does Mr Carrick explain this discrepancy? It is inconsistencies like this that make it difficult to have confidence in the project, and in the people involved in it.”
A spokesman for Aventa Capital Partners, the company wholly owned and controlled by Mr Carrick that is developing the project, responded: 
“We are not prepared to comment on the alleged ‘ discrepancy’ or any other matters relating to confidential conversations between the Circuit of Wales management team and third parties.
“The dialogue which Martin Whitaker and Michael Carrick had with David Davies MP in July last year was expressly agreed to be confidential, without which agreement it would not have been possible to brief Mr Davies about highly 
sensitive commercial matters.
It is very disappointing that Mr Davies has chosen both to breach confidentiality in and fundamentally misrepresent those discussions.
“Both Martin Whitaker and Michael Carrick’s notes of the meeting wholly contradict the claim made by David Davies.”
 But Mr Davies insisted his record of the meeting was correct, saying: 

“I have incontrovertible proof that Mr Whitaker claimed BMW wanted to build a BMW World on the Circuit of Wales site. My proof would be of a standard that I could submit to a court if necessary.
 Mr Davies must surly be aware  that such evidence is not always believed  by Magistrates let alone Juries.

He continued
“I can’t comment on the record keeping of Mr Carrick and Mr Whitaker, but mine is meticulous. I have been a politician for 18 years and was a special constable for eight years, and I know how to prepare evidence that will stand up in court. Mr Whitaker’s comments were made 41 minutes into the meeting.
 He said he had been involved in ‘a big meeting’ the day before with BMW Germany and BMW UK, who, he said, ‘want to build a BMW World on the site’.“Mr Whitaker described it as a completely new idea, ‘like a Jurassic Park’, and said the plan was to capture passing trade on the new A465 and to show how there was a massive opportunity for the leisure industry and the tourism industry in the area.
“At no time before, during or after the meeting did Mr Carrick or Mr Whitaker say that what was said in the meeting was private and confidential.
 “In order to check out what they claimed - and let’s remember they are seeking public backing of more than £200m for their project - I contacted BMW to see whether it was true that they wanted to build a BMW World at Ebbw Vale."BMW have told me categorically that they never had such plans. It is absurd to claim commercial confidentiality for a project that has never existed.
“During the meeting with Mr Carrick and Mr Whitaker - 12 minutes in to be precise - I asked Mr Carrick why he had bought a loss-making motorbike firm based in Buckingham, FTR Moto, that was still making a loss.
 He described FTR Moto as an anchor company for the Circuit of Wales project, said it punched ‘miles above its weight in Moto GP’, and that it would help the Circuit’s main contract event get 40,000 extra spectators in Wales who wanted to see ‘a Welsh rider on a Welsh bike in a Welsh round of a world championship’.“Within weeks there was an application to wind FTR Moto up and in October 2016 it was placed into administration.”
 Mr Davies also said that 10 minutes into the meeting, Mr Carrick had asserted that the industrial giant GE had put money into Aventa for a major renewable energy project on the River Wyre in Lancashire.

Unless he taped the meeting which would be interesting if the other party where not aware I can't see it as  “incontrovertible proof”

Unless we have a third party recording  we have no way of knowing whose recollection of what was said at the meeting is the truth.

We could ask why Mr Davies would make up such a detailed  accusation, if it was not true ?

I suspect that we will see more twist and turns in this saga, Indeed if they match those on the exact circuit , it will be an interesting venue,


1 comment:

Leigh Richards said...

Well david davies is many things but i wouldnt call him a liar and as you say glyn why would he make something like this up? Sounds to me as if those behind the project might be over egging wider business interest in it in a bid to secure further economic and political support for it.