This article was originally published in the North Wales Weekly News on 11 April 2018.
Parliament is currently in recess, but the news cycle has not halted simply because of the absence of MPs from Westminster. The fallout from the Salisbury poisoning continues, with Russia rapidly becoming a pariah state. In Syria, Putin’s ally, Bashar al-Assad, faces the wrath of the international community over the chemical attack that killed scores of people, including many children.
Meanwhile, I am working from the constituency office in Colwyn Bay, where the tempo is marginally less frenetic than at Westminster. The Easter weekend heralded the start of the holiday season, and the bitter weather that accompanied the visit of the Beast from the East appears, at last, to have departed.
Colwyn Bay is looking sprucer than for many years, and the credit is due largely to Conwy County Borough Council, whose seafront regeneration project has created arguably the best beach in North Wales and has hugely improved half of the promenade, with more improvements to come.
In the town centre, the new Coed Pella offices will bring an influx of hundreds of officers, spending their money in the local shops and adding a vibrancy that has been sadly absent for many years.
Colwyn Bay’s original raison d’être as a seaside resort was badly damaged by the construction of the A55 expressway, which separated the centre of the town from the magnificent beach. It is time that the link between town and seafront was restored, but there are very few access points, and what we have are inadequate.
I am therefore supporting calls by groups such as the Colwyn Bay Civic Society for the improvement of the beach accesses. In particular, the pedestrian access opposite the entrance to the pier needs a significant upgrade. This passes under the bridge supporting the railway line, and is gloomy, forbidding and deeply uninviting.
I have written to both Conwy Council and Network Rail asking for their proposals to improve the access, to create a safe, appealing footway that links the town with the seafront. With coordinated effort, we may hope to see the renaissance of what was once the Pearl of the North Wales coast.