£390,000 Could have helped so many, yet it was given to two.
The latest edition of fissonline (which can be read by clicking here) details the Nuclear Community Charity Fund payments to BH Associates (ran by Mr Heaps and Mr Bexon) of £390,000.00.
As this contract expires in 2020, we thought we would analyse just how much it could of helped the Nuclear Veterans and what actually has been delivered. Is it value for money?
Mrs Melloney Poole has finally admitted that when the BNTVA applied for funding under the Chairmanship of Mr Jeff Liddiatt, that they included in their application, management fees of £390,000.00, which will be payable to BH Associates, a company ran by Mr Nigel Heaps and Mr Steve Bexon, specifically for this purpose, which had no track record and had just been registered. They also included the setup of the NCCF for this specific purpose, which was sold as a requirement of the Grant, when in fact it has been confirmed that it was not a requirement and was not specified by Covenant Fund, but was invented by Mr Liddiatt and Mr Heaps in order to control the funds.
What was this for?
The detailed breakdown was listed on our previous blog (which can be read by clicking here)
Essentially it is to manage the Care Wellbeing and Inclusion Fund, the DNA Study at Brunel, the Nuclear Families Project, produce a quarterly magazine, provide a web presence, an online Nuclear Museum and update / recommission the remembrance plaques across the UK.
What could it have been used for?
130 Mobility Scooters
Based on £3,000.00 for a contracted Mobility Scooter.
Funded the All Tests Reunion for 26 years
Based on £15,000 cost to fund accommodation and travel for 120 attendees.
30 wetroom adaptations
Based on £13,000 average cost.
1,300 washing machines
Based on £300 per machine. (this could be fridges / tumble dryers or any white goods)
195 respite care breaks
Based on £2,000 average cost per break.
Who have they helped?
The NCCF do not publish exact figures of the breakdown of the beneficiaries that they have helped through the Care Wellbeing and Inclusion fund. But a look at their website (www.thenccf.org) shows the following:
Genetic Study - 80% complete
Care Wellbeing and Inclusion Fund - 6.66%
Remembrance and Virtual Museum - 25%
Communications Project - 60%
CHRC (Centre for Heath Effects of Radiological and Chemical Agents) - 66%
What have the Veterans Received for their Money?
The Remembrance and Virtual Museum has delivered a new website
(https://nucleartest.online/) This site shows 4 memorials that have been complete, Leeds, Manchester, NMA and The Don Bar. The document section only has reviews of the memorials, nothing of significant interest from the vast document library that is available.
The Audio gallery contains the Gordon Murray Collection which was donated by Gordon at no cost.
The Image gallery contains images from various memorial events, the Bernard Wolfe gallery (donated by David Coppin at no cost) and the Gary Bennett collection, donated by Gary Bennett at no cost. (If you want to use images from the Gary Bennett collection, you have to speak to his UK representative which is, Mr Nigel Heaps, and he will charge you for the privilege!)
Effectively, the management fee has created a website with no new information and no collaboration from any other sources, with no historical interest.
Leeds remembrance, NMA and The Don Bar were all paid for by NCCF Funds, not from the £390,000 management fee. The Manchester memorial was paid for by Manchester council after they removed the original memorial.
If you want to add a name to the NMA memorial, you now have to pay a fee to the NCCF as a contribution to making and locating the plaque. (This was originally offered free of charge)
The official website provides an update on the NCCF trustee list and a section entitled 'NCCF News', which has not been updated since 15/05/2018 as all news is now pushed through the magazine 'Exposure' website. ( https://exposure.press/ )
The Trustee page no longer displays images and all correspondence is addressed to a PO Box in Castle Donnington, the home of Mr Heaps and Mr Bexon. Which leads us to believe that all physical correspondence is handled by Mr Heaps.
Nuclear Families Project
This project has now finished and the findings published by the NCCF, but also by Dr Becky Martin on her own site ( https://www.nucleargeography.com/ ) This research was was paid for from NCCF Funds, how much management time was involved is unknown as this has not been published.
Management of the study is carried out by Brunel who have produced their own website ( https://chrc4veterans.uk/ ) as part of the project. How much management time is needed? A board of advisers has been appointed with regular meetings, but the Chairman is Jeff Liddiatt, his expenditure is not part of the management fee payable, but paid for from NCCF funds.
Launched as the new magazine with articles across the world, bringing together the Nuclear community, the magazine has so far not met the quarterly edition promise and has been distributed mainly to BNTVA members. A number of the articles have been brilliant and it is very well produced, but the cost of postage and printing is separate to the management fee. This cost could be put to better use and added to the CWI Fund to help more beneficiaries.
With the contracts coming to an end, so far, the Nuclear Families Project is the only successful completed project. Is it time for the NCCF to wind up as an organisation? Does it have a purpose after the contracts finish? Will the board of trustees give BH Associates another lucrative contract? Time will tell, but as many others agree, this money has not been well spent, the beneficiaries who have received help will disagree but these are few in number. The opportunities to help many more have been lost. Who has been the main beneficiary of the Libor Funds? BH Associates. You cannot contact BH Associates directly as their website is down for maintenance and has been for the last 12 months.
When considering the future of the NCCF, we urge the trustee board to re-think their strategy for 2020 and define their purpose, new board members where supposed to bring a new Social Media presence (according to the latest Exposure magazine), but there have been no updates on the Exposure Magazine Facebook page since September 15th 2019 and no updates on the NCCF Facebook page since May 18th 2019. This is because BH Associates control all media. A further edition of Exposure is due in January 2020, perhaps they will provide an update as to the future.
Our message to the trustees of the NCCF is :
"The beneficiaries of the Care, Wellbeing and Inclusion Fund need your help now, undertake a reconciliation with the BNTVA and channel the resources through them, use SSAFA caseworkers and the new CMS system. Time to give the CWI Fund back to the BNTVA, wind up the NCCF and retire."
If you want to write to the Chairman of the NCCF, we suggest you do it via email using firstname.lastname@example.org rather than sending a letter in the post.
Remember this, it was Mr Heaps who created the application and his signature is as the second contact on the application form. He effectively wrote himself a £390,000.00 cheque.