Monthly Archives: March 2012

1 April 2012

Cycling is now permitted along the Llandudno Promenade

New signs have appeared along Llandudno Promenade in the last week or so, which I believe indicate an end to a long running debate about whether cycling should be allowed.  I know there will be some people who are unhappy about this development, but I think the majority have come to the opinion that the previous ban was unnecessary and somewhat bizarre.

There will be times during the year, particularly sunny bank holiday weekends, when cycling on the prom is problematic and could be unsafe.  But most days there are relatively few walkers and the prom is wide enough to accommodate cyclists if everyone is sensible.  I think the sentiment of the sign marks a great compromise – the prom has not become a cycle lane and everyone who wishes to walk along it should be able to without concern.

I would say that the people who have opposed this change miss one point which I believe is a fact rather than a point of view.  Cycling along The Parade (the road that runs alongside the prom) is very dangerous and should never have been considered as a viable alternative.

Andy

The next gardening session will be Monday 2 April at 10am. 

Children were upset after being barred from Craig y Don Community Centre loos

North Wales Weekly News 29 March 2012

CHILDREN were left distressed and crying after they were refused entry to toilets in a community centre.

But the centre’s committee says after several instances of vandalism it has a policy of only allowing people attending events at the building to use the washroom facilities.

Grandmother Margaret Wagstaff from Llandudno was left angry and upset after her daughter and her daughter’s children, aged between two and 13, were refused admission to Craig-y-Don Community Centre’s loos on Monday afternoon.

“She had taken them to Craig-y-Don park and the little one, who is only just out of nappies, needed the loo. Some of the others needed to go too so they and their mum crossed the road to the community centre.

“When they got there a man blocked the way, even though my little granddaughter was crying and he could see they were distressed and he refused to let them in.

“In the end my daughter had to break the law and let them go behind a bush, and the little one wet herself and had to travel home with wet clothing.

“What was supposed to be a lovely family trip to Craig-y-Don park turned into five children and their mum traumatised and upset,” she said.

“This community centre is being run like a private club and they should scrap the word ‘community’ if they won’t let people use the loo. The only community it serves is the elite who can pay to use facilities.”

But Craig-y-Don Community centre chairman Philip Jones explained there are no public toilets available because of repeated vandalism.

And he pointed out that the centre is only open when it is in use for a function or event, and the door is kept locked at other times for security reasons.

“The committee took this decision because there had been repeated abuse of the facilities and vandalism which cost a great deal of money to put right.

“Having said that, we do our best to accommodate people as and when we can. And in light of this incident we will review our policy again,” he said.

 

25 March 2012

Following a meeting of the Friends of the Park this week, it has been agreed that a lunch time event will be held on 3 June 2012 to celebrate the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee.  We decided to keep it simple and informal, so the Friends will organise tables, chairs and decoration such as bunting flags etc.  Everyone will be asked to bring their own picnic.  Bouncy castles have been organised and we hope to arrange some musical entertainment.

We hope that this event will be an opportunity for the whole community to get together in a relaxed and friendly atmosphere.  Bring the whole family and friends.  We have applied for some funds from Llandudno Town Council.  If we are successful we will use the money to lay on a few treats for everyone.

One of the events on the day will be to unveil a plaque on the tree planted this week to mark the jubilee.  The Ash tree is located near the entrance to the park on the corner of Queens Road and Roumania Drive.

Andy

The next gardening session will be Monday 2 April at 10am.  An ideal chance for you to get involved in improving the park.

Craig y Don park gets spring clean

North Wales Weekly News 22 March 2012

A PARK is receiving a spring spruce-up from a group of volunteers.

The Friends of Queen’s Park in Craig y Don are holding regular Monday gardening sessions and also did a litter pick with Gwyl Roche from Keep Wales Tidy.

“Seven volunteers spent a couple of hours tidying up the beds and picking up general debris. This modest amount of work made a great difference to the general appearance of the park.

“These sessions are going to be held regularly, every fortnight throughout the year. We think this is the best way of making sure we keep on top of all the gardening tasks and it will allow us to improve on what we have already,” said Friends spokesman Andy Brazier.

Plans for new special needs school in Craig y Don approved

North Wales Weekly News 22 March 2012

Despite planners claiming the design leaves a lot to be desired, councillors have approved the £22m redevelopment of Ysgol y Gogarth, as JUDITH PHILLIPS reports

WORK on a £22m scheme to demolish and rebuild a special school will start on schedule in August, despite criticism of the design.

Conwy County Council planning officers and conservationists expressed concern that the proposals for a replacement for Ysgol y Gogarth in Craig-y-Don didn’t blend in with its surroundings. The school is on land adjacent to Bodafon Fields, close to the promenade.

But at a special meeting of the council’s planning committee yesterday councillors decided that the need for a replacement for the outdated 1960s building should override design concerns.

They voted unanimously to give the scheme the go ahead, but with the proviso that planning officers should impose conditions to address some of the worries about the appearance of the complex.

“I’m delighted the councillors decided the need for a new school outweighed the design issues,” said chairman of governors Dave Rowley.

“This school serves the whole county and is a unique facility which meets the educational needs of children with a variety of special needs.”

In 2010, the Welsh Government approved the council’s bid to redevelop Ysgol y Gogarth.

The new facilities will include classrooms and specialist teaching areas, library, IT spaces, therapy rooms, hydro-pool, sports hall and vocational teaching areas.

The existing residential facilities will be refurbished to provide self-contained flats with a new entrance offering a clear division between school and home.

The work will be carried out in phases, and the final phase will include improved vehicle access and parking, new grassed and multi-use sports pitches, new habitat and recreation areas.

Working with the local health board the development will also include new facilities to complement those already provided in the Child Development Centre.

Headteacher Jonathan Morgan told yesterday’s meeting that the existing buildings were no longer fit for purpose.

“We are severely handicapped by a lack of space, there are no proper recreation or sports facilities and children have to change in the toilets. The school also has to close on a regular basis for long term and ongoing problems with the heating system,” he said.

“The school has excellent staff and happy pupils and parents but we are limited by the physical constraints of the building.”

Cllr Merfyn Thomas proposed permission should be granted, but added: “I’m not completely happy about the design, but then I don’t find Venue Cymru, which is right on the promenade, acceptable.

“However, I believe the education needs must override other considerations.”

Work on redeveloping the school is expected to be completed by 2014.

18 March 2012

There are about 100 trees in the park at present.  They are a mixture of Lime, Chesnut, Pine, Sycamore, Willow, Alder and Cherry.  I think they a key part of what makes the park so special.

Of course it is a fact of nature that trees do not last forever.  One of the Chesnut trees in the North East of the park is in a poor state (see the photos above).  The Council’s tree team have decided that it needs some serious work.  Their first action will be to remove some of main branches to take weight out of the crown.  However, it is possible that they may find other issues whilst doing this, in which case they may have to remove the tree in its entirety.

It is inevitable that we will lose trees, and the Friends of the park are very keen to make sure new ones are planted.  Therefore, we are very pleased that a new large specimen ash tree (Fraxinus Angustifolia Raywood) is being planted this week.  It has been very kindly been provided by the Council and as a celebration of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee.  It should provide a lot of autumn colour and seeds for the birds.

Andy

The Friends of the park are holding an open meeting on Wednesday 21 March.  It will be in the CYD community centre starting at 7:30pm.  Everyone is welcome. For more information contact me (Andy) on 01492 875918 or email using the form on the right

 

Councils urged to join together to fight Conwy Local Development Plan

North Wales Weekly News 15 March 2012

CAMPAIGNERS against a green field site being designated for housing are calling for community councils to join together to fight parts of the draft Local Development Plan for Conwy county.

People living in Queen’s Road, Craig-yDon, are angry that the site bordered by the road and Fferm Lane was included in the plan at the last minute.

And they have called on Llandudno Town Council to back the suggestion of a judicial review of the proposals which came from Aberconwy AM Janet Finch-Saunders.

“Surely it is common sense for the North Wales councils to join together to fight the proposals,” said Keith Simpson who with his wife Ceridwen is leading the fight against the Queen’s Road proposals.

Penmaenmawr Town Council has already indicated that it supports the idea of a meeting between town and community councils to orchestrate opposition to the LDP.

The proposed changes will be sent to the Welsh Government this month and the process will include a public examination in June. A planning inspector will assess all objections received and any changes proposed by the council, to determine whether the LDP has been prepared properly.

LDP campaigners seek judicial review

North Wales Pioneer 14 March 2012

CAMPAIGNERS opposed to extra housing in Llandudno have urged the town council to back a judicial review into a controversial development plan.

Llandudno Town Council is being asked to push for a review into Conwy Council’s Local Development Plan (LDP), together with other community councils in the county, as opponents seek to overturn its commitment to build 6,800 new homes.

The calls come after Penmaenmawr Community Council members said they would look into the possibility of joining forces with other community councils in order to fund a judicial review into the Welsh Government backed plan.

A review could cost about £10,000 but John Williams of the Bodafon Fields Preservation Association, which is campaigning against proposed housing on the site, said the group would welcome joint action.

“Community and town councils can spend on this sort of thing and we would certainly support it.

“The Welsh Government figures are very much Cardiff led.

“They do not really take into account circumstances in North Wales.”

Richard Simpson, who lives opposite another proposed housing site on Queens Road, also said he would be calling on the town council to back a review.

“They want to be joining together to complain about the LDP,” he said.

Anne McCartney, who has been leading opposition to proposed sites in Dwygyfylchi, said she was delighted Penmaenmawr Community Council is considering a judicial review and urged other community and town councils to join forces.

“If people get together in the way that Penmaenmawr Community Council is asking, people power can really drive a wedge,” she said.

Llandudno Town councillor and former AM Gareth Jones said a judicial review should be treated with caution, though.

“We live in a time of austerity and I do not think rate payers should have to support it.

“However, there was a series breakdown in the communication process and that should be put right.

“If the only way we can do that is to get a judicial review then there has to be some kind of action.”

Llandudno Town Council has yet to discuss Penmaenmawr Community Council’s proposals.

11 March 2012

A group of pupils from Ysgol Craig y Don came to help in the park this week.  Conwy County Borough Council kindly provided about 100 hedge plants and the children helped the park gardening group to plant them.  They all worked hard and behaved impeccably.  They were a real credit to the school.

I think the hedge around the park is a lovely feature and it is something that the Friends of the park have been working on since they were formed about five years ago.  There are still plenty of gaps but we will be filling them over time.  The latest planting means that the hedge along the eastern side of the park where it borders Park Lane should be fairly complete in the next year or two.

Andy

The Friends of the park are holding an open meeting on Wednesday 21 March.  It will be in the CYD community centre starting at 7:30pm.  Everyone is welcome and we would particularly like to hear from people interested in becoming a Friend.  For more information contact me (Andy) on 01492 875918 or email andy.brazier@tesco.net

4 March 2012

We have a new picnic bench in the park.  It has been paid for by an anonymous donor and dedicated to his/her dog named ‘Pip.’  I am sure it will be used greatly, particularly by parents with younger children who use some of the ‘original’ play equipment in the park.

We are very grateful to this donor and everyone else who has contributed to the park over recent years.  As well as money, many people have given up their time to organise events, carry out gardening tasks, plan projects and upgrades to the park, and prepare grant applications.  Everything is appreciated greatly.

There is still plenty more we want to do to develop the park.  We have started to look at the costs, and it is clear we need to raise in excess of £50,000 if our immediate plans for the next year or two are to be achieved.  Whilst there are grants available they are unlikely to cover all the costs, and so the Friends of the park will need to raise plenty of money.  Also, we will need to demonstrate the support of the community and will be working hard to make sure everyone knows what is happening and has the chance to comment.

If anyone has ideas for raising money or is able to assist in any way please get in touch with me on 01492 875918 use the contact form in the right hand column of the website.

Andy

Council ‘forced to build new homes’

North Wales Weekly News March 1 2012

COUNCILLORS said they were being forced into allowing 6,800 extra homes to be built in their county.

Conwy councillors voted to back a Local Development Plan for the extra homes to be built by 2022, rejecting an alternative proposal to cut the number to 6,300.

They voted to hold further discussions about where the controversial sites for new homes should be.

The blueprint has sparked angry protests across the county by locals who don’t want their local green spaces, including Bodafon fields in Llandudno, to be built on.

A crowd of protesters gathered outside last Thursday’s meeting to voice their concerns.

Inside, Cllr Merfyn Thomas drew loud applause from a further 50 people in the public gallery as he said: “I thought we were in a democracy not a Communist state. Decisions are being imposed on us. Let’s tell the Government in Cardiff ‘You are wrong’.”

The Conservative councillor also criticised the 3,690 jobs predicted to be created in Conwy’s LDP, on which the number of houses needed is calculated, as unrealistic. He said: “We won’t have the jobs for 10 years.”

And Cllr Philip Evans said: “There’s a serious problem with this shower in Cardiff trying to manage Wales. They can’t do it. That’s why we have 22 authorities and three national parks.”

The council will be able to carry out a six-week consultation, probably from April, but must then submit its proposed Local Development Plan to the Welsh Government and Planning Inspectorate for approval.