JIM’S JOTTINGS SEPTEMBER 2017

Such a lot has happened since my previous notes of January 2017. The completion of the fine new apartments built on the site of the old Rothesay Hotel., the near completion of the properties where the Aberhod restaurant used to be, and most importantly, the completion of works on our promenade from the Cayley embankment through to the pier. What a vast improvement, with clean-looking modern street lighting. I am particularly impressed with the interesting, well designed , panels set into the different assorted surface materials, telling us of such things as Prince Madoc,

Dad’s army, King Richard11, the Colwyn Bay Eisteddfod, the Ministry of Food and others.

(I am sorry to see the removal of the recommended 20mph speed limit – it seems to me to be just as necessary now.) But it all makes what is left of the pier look like a far bigger ‘carbuncle on an attractive face’ than it did before. Even if only the Council would arrange the demolition of the entrance building with it’s “spiky roof” closest to the road until the rest is sorted it would improve matters considerably.

Once again, in the Pioneer of 16th August 2017, we are told the Pier Trust, the Heritage Lottery Fund and the Council are in talks. Talks, talks and more talks. Please can we have some action. Whilst the Pavilion is a sensitive issue, the “spiky roofed” entrance building needs dealing with now.

For those who read these notes and are interested in the Civic Societies policies, I list just two :

The Pier – The Civic Society is is in favour of the application by Conwy County Council to demolish the portion of the pier as proposed but it is keen to see some form of sustainable building / structure eventually being developed there.

Station Road, Colwyn Bay – The Civic Society is strongly behind the opinions of Catherine Millar, whose letter in the Weekly News of 26th July 2017 suggests that Conwy Council are ignoring it’s responsibility to deal with the problems therein. We strongly recommend it be returned to a fully operating one-way street with parking bays of 20 or 30 minute duration – This should bring vibrant business and commercial life back to Station Road if , in addition , very attractive long-term business rates were applied. to attract new small businesses. A substantial increase in foot-fall is needed.

When the new Civic Centre is completed the whole area needs to be full of an eclectic mix of shops and offices.

I hope the building of the new Civic Centre is, and stays , on schedule and I look forward to a grand opening ceremony in 2019.

Jim Lowe, Secretary.

 

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Chairman’s Report 2016 -2017

Colwyn Bay has seen much activity in the improvement of it’s environment during the past twelve months. The most obvious is the work on the second phase of the regeneration of the promenade from the Pier to Marine Road. Despite the inconvenience to traffic which it has caused, now it is approaching completion, there is no doubt the result will be an excellent addition to the previous phase one promenade and beach opened last year and  enjoyed during the summer.
Another massive project has been the property insulation and improvement work, almost completed, in the eastern area of Colwyn Bay. What was recently a run-down, dejected and tired area of Victorian and Edwardian, largely terraced , well built  houses, many neglected during the years, is now coming back to life. It is  looking very much more attractive and the properties will be more pleasant in which to live.
During these years of excellent  regeneration  the Society’s Executive Committee have maintained an active watching brief on these and many lesser developments. We have given positive criticism to the authorities – and praise to the officers  where  deserved.. The latter have given good service and worked hard in the interests of the town.
Whilst all committee members have given time to the work involved, I must pick out our Secretary, Jim Lowe for keeping us “on the ball” at all times. Without his efforts and interest in all these activities, certainly not as much would have been done. Thank you Jim.
This work is, of course, an essential element of any Civic society’s activities and local authorities are appreciative of our active interest in the town’s environment.
But also , it is necessary to have a strong and interested membership to give support. We certainly have that ,  and our membership and meeting attendance numbers are continuing to increase, year on year.  As I have noted in previous reports, there are one or two factors producing this result :    An excellent venue, good food , friendly atmosphere, and , importantly, varied,  interesting and informative speakers .
With this in mind, I must thank the Cricket Club  and  Martin and his staff for the excellent service they have given us . Our speaker- secretaries , Bob and Tom for searching out such talented speakers.  The work done by Jane  (and her husband}, much visible to us, but even more behind the scenes , in dealing with meeting notices and payments, which is an essential and much  appreciated [i]service.
All the executive committee members must be thanked for supporting me and working so smoothly in the interest of the Society. We meet regularly and, whilst there is always much work to do, a friendly and constructive atmosphere prevails, our collective sense of humour often in the fore, helping business progress.
A new Civic Society  year is upon  us, let us look forward, with confidence, to a beautiful Colwyn Bay rising to a higher plane, after so much regeneration work is completed.

Donald Saunders   Chairman

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NEW YEAR – Jim’s Jottings

A New Year which brings New Hopes. There are many, many things within the Society’s “Area of Benefits” that I hope 2017 will bring about and I can become quite excited about what 2017 will, in fact, produce.

First and foremost I am excited about Colwyn Bay having a modern and inspirational new Civic Centre. As I write the site , close to Queens gardens, is well on the way to being cleared. When up and running this impressive new Civic Centre will add a great deal to Colwyn Bay’s regeneration.

My second fervent hope is that a project will be implemented in 2017 to do something with the pier. Demolition alone, I know, will be expensive and the creation of something sensible in it’s place will also be very costly. But anything will be preferable in replacing this present abysmal and dangerous eyesore.

My third hope is that the works now progressing well along the sea front from the pier to the Cayley embankment will be completed on time. It will all add greatly to the appeal of our long and attractive promenade. The suggestion about putting “COLWYN ” in huge letters somewhere on the completed new stretch has been met with many ‘pros’ and ‘cons’ – mostly ‘cons’, but I say – if it is European money that will put it there – then let’s do it.

To end these notes I hope something can be done with the dilapidated restaurant buildings on Rhos Point, and reopen the boarded-up shelter. I also hope to see the completion and occupation at the works where previously Rothstay Hotel stood and Aberhod used to be. Finally, I would like to see the two new , huge assets in town – Porth Eirias and Eirias Park run at a profit and not be such a cost of hundreds of thousands of pounds to our pleasant town – HERE’S HOPING!!

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Reflections from our Secretary July 2016

Parking on the ‘Prom’ – was the decision really necessary ?

Ever since the creation of cheap overseas holidays, making them affordable to the ‘man in the street’ and his family, and the cutting in half of the town by the A55, Colwyn Bay has been fighting hard to re-invent itself.

In recent years the many facilities in Eirias Park attracting famous pop stars, Porth Eirias with it’s sailing and Bistro endeavours, and the magnificent new beach, have done so much to help our pleasant town.

But, the ‘Weekly News’ of 22nd June 2016 told us that “Councillors agree to start charging for prom parking” , with the lead member for Highways claiming that “…if parking charges were not introduced savings would have to be made elsewhere.”

My immediate reaction to this news is :- ‘so the motorist is to put extra money into Conwy County Council’s coffers’. It would be interesting to know which of our County Councillors voted for this and which wards they represent.

In my view it is detrimental to Colwyn Bay’s tourist trade and I expect the businesses in Colwyn Bay who have struggled so hard against reduced ’foot fall’ will be angry at this decision. I can see this also as being ‘the thin edge of the wedge’ In time, as the rest of the promenade is improved, so slowly the entire length will have parking charges introduced from Old Colwyn to Rhos-on-Sea.

I am excited by the project to put a new impressive Council Office building close to Queens Gardens – another project bringing life back into Colwyn Bay, – but charging to park on our pleasant promenade is a step in the wrong direction.

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