Friday, 22 January 2010

The People Have Spoken!

I was astonished (and thrilled) tonight at the number of people who turned up to the meeting to discuss the future of Colwyn Bay Pier at the Town Hall in Colwyn Bay. The large Council Chamber was packed to the brim (approx 150-200 people) and I'm told that there were another 200 people outside the building who were unable to gain entry.

David Jones MP chaired the meeting and made a good job of it, allowing a wide cross-section of views on the Pier's future from those in attendence. One thing was very apparent - there was very little support, practically none in fact, for any plan to demolish the pier - the consensus was that it should be restored and it had a large role to play in the revitalised Colwyn Bay waterfront. A Town Councillor even suggested that he would put forward a referendum amongst the Town Council voters to see if they would like the Town Council to take back the Pier into public ownership and pay for the cost of renovation. It was also apparent that there was a groundswell of local people both prepared to donate money towards a renovation project and also prepared to assist with the physical renovation work.

To my mind, a key question was what form the future ownership of the Pier should take. Time and time again, the issue of a Charitable Trust was brought up and the feedback from people standing around me was that they were somewhat uneasy at the thought of donating time, labour, money etc if the Pier remained in private hands. This is, to my mind, a very important (and understandable) point. No-one doubts Steve Hunt's commitment to the Pier but it is an issue which must be resolved for any restoration project to receive full public support.

The meeting concluded with David Jones MP summing up the current situation by saying that the ownership/bankruptcy dispute between the council and Mr Hunt etc needed to be resolved immediately and he would be insisting on a meeting with Conwy Council Chief Executive Byron Davies in which he would ask that the current impasse be broken and the legal wranglings resolved, so that the situation could move forward and the real issue of how the pier can be renovated etc can then be addressed.


Steve Hunt said...

Please pass on my thanks to everyone who made the effort to attend the meeting, especially those who couldn't get in.

I'm sorry I didn't get to talk to more of you personally, especially of course those who had travelled some distance. I did have a lovely chat with the lady who had come all the way from Huddersfield! - who was delighted to have met up with a childhood friend from the bay at the meeting who she hadn't seen for many years!

It has at time felt like a bit of a lonely battle over the past few years, but now I am re-invigorated due to the overwhelming support of people as passionate about the pier as I have always been.

I hope this massive momentum will now be put to good use, and pressure piled on CCBC to TALK TO ME (or even my lawyers!) so we can resolve the legal issues and get back on with the job of trying to do something with the Pier.

Please everyone do your bit to lobby your Councillor, and even better still the Local Government Ombudsman for Wales whose details are at

If anyone would like to keep updated directly, please join the mailing list on the pier website at

Lastly, it would be very remiss of me not to thank David Jones MP for all the time he has spent on this issue over the past couple of years, and to the Newspapers, Radio and TV for doing their best to keep the public informed under such tight reporting restrictions.

Keep it up - CCBC cannot possibly ignore the people who pay their wages any longer.

Steve Hunt

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