Tuesday, 16 September 2014
Wednesday, 19 December 2012
Sunday, 16 December 2012
Sunday, 13 May 2012
Wednesday, 11 April 2012
At last the press are taking an interest, lets hope some very awkward questions get asked of our Councillors..
Saturday, 7 April 2012
David Jones MP has further blogged on this issue, here, and I can only support his call for greater transparency, our council, for the last 4 years, have shrouded themselves in secrecy, treated us like children and wasted hundreds of thousands of pounds in the process.
I certainly believe that heads have got to roll for this latest, now well publicised, cock-up. Cllr Edwards needs to be questioned about his part in all of this, for example; were the full council made aware of the 3 lease options? And why was the pier purchased prior to the results of the funding when it didn’t need to be. What, if any, input was there from local Colwyn Bay Councillors, I know funds were withheld by Cllr Chris Hughes whilst he was chairman of the pier’s charity but what other involvement has there been?
We have to take our hats off to David Jones, at least he is trying to force the Councils hand, like us, he too wants the truth to come out
The pier is now in the hands of the tax-payer, any further meetings MUST be held in public and open to scrutiny, let us shake the barrel squarely and see what rats run out.
Friday, 6 April 2012
Murky waters, indeed, surrounding the pier but if one digs deep enough one can always find what one is looking for.
I believe it was Cllr Brian Cossey at the first meeting with David Jones MP and Steve Hunt at David’s office, he thought the proposals for the pier were a step forward and was even hopeful of a positive result.
The problems came at the second meeting, held at Bodlondeb, David Jones MP, Steve Hunt, Ken Finch, Iwan Davies and Cllr Goronwy Edwards were all there. At the meeting 3 different lease options were put on the table, I think it would be unfair of me to discuss all of them but I can say that all 3 options were at a lower rate per sq foot than what the Council currently lets it’s seafront property out at.
Cllr Edwards got the hump about what Steve Hunt had wrote about him and allowed his personal feelings to get in the way of conducting a very important meeting about the pier’s future.
Now I cannot tell, because meetings were held under the 12a rule, press and public exempt, but I do wonder if the full council were ever made aware of the 3 offers that were put on the table, one that even started at a peppercorn rent.
This whole shambolic issue is going to cost the tax payer a lot of money, basically because one Councillor couldn’t keep his cool and, in my mind, had a personal vendetta to settle. We may never know the depths that this goes to but until someone at Bodlondeb starts to be open, honest and transparent I, for one, will have no faith in anything they do.
Now, I think, as soon as I press “print” on this article someone, somewhere is going to start accusing me of breaking the purdah rules.....well, maybe I am, maybe I’m not but personally I don’t give a flying **** I think the whole thing stinks and if they want to start accusing people then lets start at the very top shall we?
Monday, 2 April 2012
Heritage Lottery Fund statement - Colwyn Bay Victoria Pier, Conwy
Wednesday 28 March 2012
The Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) has assessed a £4.9m application from Conwy Borough County Council (CBCC) towards the restoration of Grade II listed Colwyn Bay Victoria Pier. After careful consideration, it was decided the Fund was unable to support the project.
Jennifer Stewart, Head of HLF Wales, said:
“We were impressed with the Council’s imaginative plans to transform Colwyn Bay Victoria Pier and its Art Deco pavilion into a much-needed community and tourist centre.
“This month’s HLF Board meeting was very over-subscribed. The quality of bids was exceptionally high and, regretfully, we just didn’t have enough money to support all the applications we looked at on the day. We will be meeting with representatives from the Council shortly to discuss the best way forward for their project.”
To date, HLF has made awards in Conwy totalling £8.5m.
CBBCC has received previous grants totalling £5.8m for a number of HLF Townscape Heritage Initiative and parks projects.
Notes to editors
Using money raised through the National Lottery, the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) sustains and transforms a wide range of heritage for present and future generations to take part in, learn from and enjoy. From museums, parks and historic places to archaeology, natural environment and cultural traditions, we invest in every part of our diverse heritage. HLF has supported more than 30,000 projects allocating over £4.5billion across the UK, including more than 2,000 projects totalling over £217million in Wales.
Please contact Katie Owen, HLF Press Office, on tel: 020 7591 6036 mob: 07973 613 820
Sunday, 1 April 2012
The High Street is dying, not just here in Colwyn Bay but everywhere throughout the Country, here we see empty shop fronts growing at an alarming rate only to be replaced by charity shops, pay-day loans and pawn shops....what can we do?
The Council have now purchased the Old Market Hall in Colwyn Bay and I still believe that they intend to use it for their own purpose ...
We cannot blame the Council directly for the decline, on-line shopping, increased business rates and the current financial crisis must also take their part of the blame but what the Council can do is give the people a reason to come into Town. Use the Old Market Hall as a magnet, turn it into something to draw in the shoppers, I’ve already made my suggestions for its use but they were scoffed at.
If the Council do build their offices then it will turn Colwyn Bay into a virtual ghost-town, we need them to be far sighted and radical, we need them to visualise the future of what their decisions could entail but, most of all, we need them to think about the people and not themselves.
Saturday, 31 March 2012
For some obscure reason my dog, Pig, has, on our walks in the woods, started collecting his own pets.... Ticks! In the five years we’ve had him he may have had one or two but this year its gone absolutely silly, he must have at least 6 clinging to him!
We’ve tried the usual treatments flea/tick collar, the stuff you put on the neck and base of the tail, we’ve tried covering them in Vaseline, nail polish and nail polish remover (alcohol) We’ve managed to pull out a couple using tweezers and used some stuff that the pet shop sold us but the majority of the tricky little buggers refuse to shift.
Pig’s a resilient little fella but he’s a tad pi**ed off at me yanking these little blighters out of various parts of his body and we both decided it might be for the better if I left the one near his bum hole for just a little while longer!
So....if anyone has any helpful hints or tips Pig would be mighty grateful and if any of you are contemplating tackling the one near his bum I must warn you...the other end has a lot of teeth!
Thursday, 29 March 2012
Colwyn Bay Pier (Victoria Pier) falling (pardon the pun) into the hands of CCBC may not be the good news we all think it is. Shore Thing, the “front-men” for the Council have come up with some ideas that look good on paper but, in reality, may not work.
Call me a sceptic but unless the Pier hits the ground running as a commercial venture then it is doomed to failure and, if that happens, it will be the local tax payer who is burdened with the cost of it and that could dwindle on for many years.
I remain convinced that the only viable way for the Pier to succeed is in the hands of a private company, if that company is a gaming company and they want to open a casino then so be it, let them. If Shore Thing remain in control and only partially refit the pier, as and when funding is available then we are back to the way that Steve Hunt was trying to do it, building it up when he could afford it.
I was there when the original “Shore Thing” was set up, their main criteria was that no Councillors were to be involved with its workings yet I know of a couple who are skirting around it and, in my opinion, pulling the strings.....the Council remain in control but at arms length so, with running costs and maintenance estimated at over £50,000 a year who do you think will end up paying for it?
Please God....let me be wrong!
Saturday, 15 October 2011
A massive congratulation to Simon and Nina at the White Lion for their Best Beer Award, well done!
Simon and Nina not only keep exceptionally good beer they, themselves, are fantastic hosts and there is always a warm welcome to anyone who enters…..surprisingly that includes me! There is a warm, friendly atmosphere throughout the pub and restaurant and the staff do an exceptional job of serving up some really tasty grub from a varied and full menu, there is always local produce on the menu and some really delicious “specials”. If you haven’t tried it I fully recommend it and guarantee you’ll make a second visit.
Well done again to them and I look forward to a free pint for this plug!!!
In all seriousness I strongly do advise you to give it a try, you won’t regret it.
Wednesday, 12 October 2011
This blog and therefore I have, in the past, openly criticised Cllr M. Lyon and what I called the “Lyon Clan” but I raise no cheer for the way she was treated by the Conservative Party whom she as served well over the years, their actions speak volumes and goes to show the back-biting and stabbing that is prevalent in local politics.
As a contradiction to that I will also say that it is perhaps better that she may not be a Councillor for much longer, to my way of thinking Margaret epitomises all that is wrong with the Council and it’s deeply entrenched “career” Councillors.
For too long now the “old-boy” network of stuck-in-the mud diehards have ruled the roost of the Conwy hen-house, stuck in the glory days of ages past with barely a good or new idea between them. They have allowed Council Officer after Council Officer to dictate the terms to them, allowing the tail to wag the dog, it should be that people tell the Councillors what they want, the Councillor tells the Council and the Council tells the Council Officers. Unfortunately we (the Council) have now allowed the Council Officer so much power that he/she tells the Council what the people cannot have!
It is high time for a changing of the guard, the old fuddy-duddies have had their day and out lived their usefulness, time to change the sheets and bring in a new freshness, Councillors with enough bollocks to stand up to the ever demanding Officers who through glory, power or high wages think they are in charge and not the people who pay their very high wages and perks.
As for Margaret, I don’t know her personally, but I wish her well. I do know her daughter-in-law, Lynn, through the Town Council on which she sits. After a frosty few weeks I found her to be a mine of information on local commerce and we, as a Council, could do well to listen to her and the local trader’s input on many issues…but that is another story!
Sunday, 9 October 2011
The “unnamed Councillor” was, of course, me but I didn’t ask to be unnamed I merely stated that because it was a closed meeting I could not make an official statement, the Weekly News chose to “dress it up” the way they did for their own reasons, I don’t hide behind anonymity.
Chris Perry is right; we cannot afford to throw £10,000 at a Town Manager and that money could be a lot better spent elsewhere in drawing people into the town, his example of an ice-rink is a good one but so are many more.
The shopkeepers and traders of Colwyn Bay are the ones to ask if a Town Manager is worth the money and I can tell you their answer right now…”No”. On speaking to a few of them they do not know nor have ever met the Town Manager, the Chamber of Commerce do not even have a member on the Town Management Board denying them any voice in the progress of Colwyn Bay as a shopping destination.
The Town Manager, in her latest report, cited a list of initiatives she claims were hers but they were not, she may have had a hand in them but most were the work of other people. The one initiative that was hers, that she failed to mention in the report, was All the Little Shops, an internet based website for Colwyn Bay businesses. Ingrid Lewis came to us last year and asked for, if I remember correctly, £15,000 to set it all up, when asked she said a survey of shop keepers interested was very high but didn’t have the figures to give us but her enthusiasm was backed by her line-manager Rob Dix so we gave her the money. As of last week there were 18 shopping categories, 137 adverts, all very good until you look deeper and see that out of all that only 13 shops/businesses are actually doing the advertising! Works out it costs the council £1,153.84p per shop, not bad ‘eh! One of the shops has emailed the Town Manager to say they will not be re-advertising next year but so far haven’t received a reply, mind you they only sent it two weeks ago!
The Town council is requesting a job description from the County Council of the Town Manager as we believe her duties do include Rhos-on-Sea, the West End and Old Colwyn but again the shop keepers in these areas have never heard of her. An argument was put forward that she has sourced funding for the town but to me that doesn’t hold water, there should be a Council Officer appointed to source funding for the entire area not just town regeneration. She came to us not long ago to ask for £10,000 to pay for a consultancy firm to carry-out a survey to see where 3 pieces of art should be placed within the town! AGAIN why isn’t there a Council Officer employed to carry out surveys instead of spending 100’s of thousands on companies that come back and tell us what we already know? (she didn’t get the £10,000 by the way!)
To my way of thinking the County Council is full of none-jobs, jobs that are created when there is no real need for it, a creation of talking shops, where none jobs get together and talk about things that never come together but cost us, the tax payers, £1,000’s every year….what a very sad state of affairs.
Since posting this I have been reliably informed and have the paperwork to prove it that CCBC also put in an additional £15,000 to set up All The Little shops, that is a staggering £30,000 of tax payers money spent on what I believe to be a total wasteful project.
Don't take my word for it, check it yourself but don't count the adverts, count the shops...
Wednesday, 21 September 2011
The Pier saga rolls on yet there is no real end in sight, nobody seems to have a long term plan and the personalities involved seem more intent on back-biting, mud-slinging and personal insults than in finding a solution, here is how I would like to see it resolved…
We allow an energy company to build an underwater barrier from Rhos Point to Llanddulas Point, this barrier will contain turbines that work on the rise and fall of the tide and not the in and out flow of it, the depth of the sea just off shore will allow for this and, unlike wind turbines, power is guaranteed to be produced at least twice a day.
As a concession the Power Company along with private investors fund the lengthening of the Pier by 250 to 300m and a crescent shape is formed at the end to allow for shops and accommodation to be built. At the end of the pier will be a pontoon marina, making it the only non-tidal marina in North Wales, down the sides will be docking and storage for jet-skis.
Down the centre of the pier will be more shops with accommodation above and where the old theatre stands a new casino could be built. You may wonder why a casino; if you think about it the only private investors capable of funding a project like this would be somebody like a gaming company and there has to be a little give and take if a venture like this is to succeed.
The benefits of a project like this are plain for all to see, cheaper electricity locally, an increase in local revenue, more and future employment and an increase in footfall to Colwyn Bay of affluent people mooring their boats.
If we are to be successful as a town we have to be more far-sighted than the next couple of years, we have to look at a time when the regeneration money runs out and we have to be self-funding, it’s all very good doing a quick paint-job and sprucing-up a couple of streets but if nobody comes to Colwyn Bay to see them then what’s the point ?
We, as a county, cannot afford the so-called millions of pounds being talked about to demolish or restore the pier and why should the people have to pay for it’s upkeep for years to come or finance someone’s personal folly, the Council’s lack of understanding and business acumen over the pier has brought us to this point and it is their utter stupidity that will lead us further into the dark smelly stuff, you really do have to ask yourself; who got us into this mess and why were they allowed to do it?