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First of all – A Happy New Year to all who read these notes. May 2019 be kind to all concerned .
The New Civic Centre .
November 14th 2018 was the ’moving in ‘ day and I hope all those involved are more than happy with their new place of work with adequate parking below ground. The public in general have , I’m sure, mixed feelings about this building – it is like ‘Marmite’, you either love it or hate it . I sincerely hope the majority of people find the place aesthetically acceptable – as the council tax payers will be paying for it’s upkeep for many years to come.
The State of the Roads in Rhos on Sea and Colwyn Bay.
It is not that our roads are full of potholes, but that surfaces of our roads are really bad. Fine examples of what is causing my concern are Ebberston Road West, St. Georges Road and the Cayley Promenade. Also along many roads you will find that man-hole covers are set well below that of the road itself. Quite a number of good examples of this can be found on Marine Drive, Rhos on Sea.
The Chancellor of the Exchequer in his November 2018 Budget Speech offered many £ Millions to local authorities whose roads were in dyer need of improvement . I strongly recommend that the Conwy County Borough Council applies as quickly as possible for some of this cash.
The common courtesy of a reply to ones letters seems to me to be a thing of the past. I have written recently several letters to big names and big authorities without having been granted the courtesy of a reply. Perhaps technology has taken over this old fashioned form of communication and emails are now the ‘in-thing’
The bold new letters “ COLWYN “ were due to be placed on our attractive promenade during November of last year somewhere close to the new Kiosk. I was told production had been delayed and, all being well. these interesting letters. twelve feet high ,will be in place during January 2019. Again , perhaps as with the ‘Marmite’ feeling – loved or loathed .
The Civic Society continues to prosper !
Because of this, I am sure special thanks should go to Jane Boulton who, with such grace and patience, deals with the numbers of members involved with each monthly meeting, and of course there are many other times when she is obliged to contact over 160 or so members.
Many thanks also to Tom Wyatt who works hard finding interesting speakers for us each month , and finds time to organise our ‘ day out ‘ every July. We have a keen and very active team of officials, not least our Chairman who manages us all and represents us so well either in person or by post or on the website.
The main objectives of the Society er- “ to monitor the development of features of interest in the built and natural environment, including those of historical interest ”
If that appeals to you, and you are not a member, then come along and join us. You will me most welcome .
In my notes of September 2017 I was full of praise for our very pleasant and interesting new promenade, especially the length from Porth Eirias to the information bureau opposite Caylet Flyer pub at Rhos on Sea. . There are so many interesting features on this stretch of the ‘prom’, a goodly number of ‘flower boxes’ between the new zebra crossing , toilets and Princess Court flats, and soon a new kiosk.
Now, as I write, I am delighted to see the beginning of the end of the pier, demolition has started and by April the ‘carbuncle’ will have been removed. I am also very pleased to see a facelift has been given to Colwyn Bay’s railway station and that the dilapidated Dales Taxi booking kiosk has been removed. However, I would dearly love to see the bollards on Station Road permanently lowered and short-term-parking bays introduced , then Station Road opened up to one-way traffic as in years gone by. It would also be good to see the Imperial Hotel building being brought back to life.
The Civic Society is saddened that visitors and locals alike will have to pay on a significant length of the promenade, but agree that sections of the wonderful new beach should be ‘dog free’ for very real reasons of hygiene , both in the Bay and Rhos on Sea .
We are concerned for Rhos Point and would welcome it being rescued from further neglect. We recommend a feature be made of the building which was once the entrance to Rhos pier, and some TLC being given to the flower boxes. The decaying café buildings need serious consideration. We are of the opinion that private enterprise, with suitable planning permission being granted by the County Council, could make Rhos Point a .’ talking point’ and a business success..
It’s good to see the new Colwyn Bay Civic Centre taking shape, and we welcome Laura Ashley coming to town. I hope we will be blessed with a good summer season, bringing much valued visitors to our pleasant town, offering such a variety of attractions – with Colwyn Bay’s eclectic mix of cafes, shops, offices, banks etc continuing to grow.
In concluding these notes I would like to report that the Society is in fine fettle. The Officers and Committee members make up an excellent Executive team, our membership is growing, we have a strong financial footing and our monthly members’ meetings are regularly attended by between 40 and 60 members. This is probably because we have excellent speakers, combined with attractive and generous meals produced by Martin at the Colwyn Bay Cricket Club. It creates a good atmosphere for an enjoyable social event.
In July , when an ordinary members’ meeting is not held, we plan to be taken up Penmaenmawr ‘mountain’, followed by a hot pot supper at the Cricket club – why not join us , we would make you very welcome .
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.