A curious tale, is this HorseWorld planning application shenanigans…
As we reported yesterday, the HOPELESS BOSS of the charity (which, it should go without saying, does great work rehoming and rehabilitating horses, donkeys and other equine beasts that have come upon hard times) – Mark ‘Large Sums’ Owen – has been leaning on his 60-odd employees and 150+ volunteers to send in letters of support to BANES Council.
We reported that – based on Bath & North East Somerset Council’s own figures – there had been 615 letters of objection and 110 letters of support. Having crunching through all the available information, we can reveal some STARTLING FACTS.
There have actually been 108 expressions of support, from a total of 72 people, split across two separate planning applications – both the ‘enabling’ application for a massive housing development, and the ‘enabled’ application for a new visitor centre.
Even more interesting is that of those 72 supporters, we have POSITIVELY IDENTIFIED* 23 of them as trustees, executive officers, managers, paid employees or current (or very recent) volunteers. A 24th is a partner in HorseWorld’s investment manager Smith & Williamson – alongside trustee Michael Neale. A 25th appears to be the wife of a director. Of these 25 with clear, proven interests in HorseWorld, just SIX have declared that interest.
Curiously, of the other 47 supporters, only FOUR mention any specific connection to HorseWorld: the mother of a volunteer, an ex-volunteer, and two businesses which trade with the charity – something of a statistical anomaly in the circumstances…
Is Large Sums getting so desperate that he thinks he can get away with such an amateurish attempt to ‘astroturf’ support for his ill-thought out master plan?