Tuesday, 18 August 2009

COLWYN BAY PIER

I have been asked to find out what is happening to the Pier, I have spoken to Steve Hunt and he has agreed to meet with the Town Council and give us a total run down on the situation, I have wrote to the Council to inform them of this and, hopefully, arrange an early date for the meeting. I have also added four motions that I want the Council to vote upon.
During our discussions Steve did tell me that public opinion was behind him but he felt it was being stifled by the local media and the Council. There have, already, been Court appearances between the Council and Steve and he has won these cases and costs were awarded against the Council, I certainly wasn’t aware of this nor had I seen it in the papers. Please remember that the costs of these cases although made against the Council will ultimately be met by the tax-payer.
Friends of the Pier Society are a group of people who support Steve and his battle over the Pier; the Chairman of this Society is Chris Hughes, a County Councillor, he has not called a meeting of the Society in nearly three years. The members themselves decided to call a meeting back in November of last year to discuss removing Councillor Hughes as Chairman, he himself attended this meeting and branded it “Unconstitutional” and said “Only he could call meetings”; he therefore remains as Chairman and there have been no meetings called. Steve’s battle is with the County Council; Chris Hughes is a member of that Council so it would appear to me that there is a Conflict of Interest here, I am surprised that Councillor Hughes hasn’t seen that for himself.
I, of course, had to confirm all I had been told so I spoke to the Society’s Treasurer and Secretary, a Mrs Pat Jackson from Manchester, not only did she confirm the above she told me that Councillor Hughes had wrote to her on the 10th May this year, he explained why, for personal reasons, he had not been in touch with her but that he would be calling a meeting within the next two weeks or so, three months later this meeting has still not been called.
Love or hate Steve Hunt some of his allegations, on the surface appear to hold water, according to him, the Police and the CPS are conducting enquires into members of the Council, I cannot confirm nor deny this but, as I say, so far his allegations appear to be well founded so I have no reason to doubt what he says.
In the meantime the condition of the pier is deteriorating and it is becoming dangerous, two of the motions I am putting before Council are in connection with its condition and the County Council’s inaction over it.
I shall keep you updated on any developments.

12 comments:

Anonymous said...

well done for raising this issue. its a disgrace that it has been allowed to drag on for so long.

Anonymous said...

Lots of people are sick of Chris Hughes, I even heard a 'lady' who claims to represent 'the community' said that at a community meeting (attended by 3 people and 3 dogs?) they all said they wanted to get rid of him as their cllr, and how could they do this.
If you read this chris, please tell 'the lady who claims to represent the community' ( a clue for you to identify her --most members of her small community group have dogs!) if she can 'get rid of a cllr'? and if so, how does she do this.

Anonymous said...

My husband and I fully support Steve Hunt and know he did a great job restoring the pier, where we used to try to visit every week. Sometimes to see the 'pictures/art display', sometimes to have a coffee, and sometimes to have a drink.
I think Chris Hughes is a plonker and does nothing for Colwyn Bay, he certainly has done nothing for the pier, and I agree he has a confict of interest, which possibly why he became Chairman.
I think he has used this position to make things harder for Steve Hunt in his battle against the council.
Chris Hughes --resign you plonker (and resign as county cllr at the same time)

Anonymous said...

I think Steve Hunt is correct when he says "he felt it was being stifled by the local media".
I ask the question:-
Does the local paper 'The Pioneer' print stories County Cllr Chris Hughes (so-called chairman of The Friends of Colwyn Bay Pier Society) gives them, because he has information he does not even give to other councillors.
This is not democracy, as the voters often see the name cllr Chris Hughes in the local paper, and do they then think think he is working hard, whilst he is using a tactic of secrecy and lack of transparency to his advantage, giving the Pioneer a front page story when it suits. Some local people who read the free local paper (is it supported by the Welsh Assembly?) do not know the names of other councillors because the Pioneer is not even handed.
One councillor approached this local paper on first hearing the Pier was being closed, and said that he/she wanted to arrange a demonstration in support of the Pier, expecting the Pioneer to be in favour of this and work with the cllr to publicise the event, so that lots of local people would turn up and the demonstration of support for the Pier would be a success.
The Pioneers approach to this Councillor was 'you do it yourself, and tell us if enough people are turning up /how many people have turned up ---then we will send a photographer and make it a story’.
Without prior publicity in the local paper it would have not been successful – thank you the Pioneer!
The Pioneer -- if you are read this -- why not now arrange for this demonstration of support to take place on a Saturday or Sunday -- hopefully it will also be sunny, and people on the beaches may also want to join in signing 'YOUR PETITION TO SAVE THE PIER' or don't you want to save the pier, and if not, why not?
P.S. if successful, we don't want the local voters to read the headline ---- 'cllr Chris Hughes and The Pioneer organise a demonstration to save the Pier!!!' because the reverse seems to be the case.
To Summarise:-
County cllrs like Chris Hughes are accused of lack of openness and secrecy, thereby allowing them to be the ones 'who give the local papers' the story they want.
The questions must be asked:-
1) Is the Pioneer actually detrimental to Colwyn Bay? The pier has now deteriorated, had they supported a local show of support in the early days, things may have been different?
2) If it is still supported by the Welsh Assembly, should they re-assess this support if the paper is not being even handed and does not want to support local causes such as ‘Save Colwyn Bay Pier’.
3) Do local papers reward certain cllrs (e.g. positive publicity prior to local elections) who give them ‘stories’ which they have kept from other cllrs?

Councillor John Oddy said...

There appears to be a general feeling of dislike towards Councillor Hughes, although understandable, that was not the purpose of this thread. Councillor Hughes’s position in all of this is for his own conscience to decide; my intent was to show the lack of concern displayed by the County Council.

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Anonymous said...

STOP REMOVING POSTS ITS NOT NICE HAVING GAGGING ORDERS PUT ON BLOGS!!!
I.Littler.

Councillor John Oddy said...

Anon,
The three comments I deleted were published by mistake, I had selected them to be deleted but hit the “Publish” button in error. I delete any and all comments that are off topic or garbage, those three feel into both categories.

Anti-gag said...

John,

You left a comment on the Lancaster blog, and all I can say is: Well said Cllr Oddy.

From
Chris Hill
(Lancaster)

Anonymous said...

Anti-gag said...
John,

You left a comment on the Lancaster blog, and all I can say is: Well said Cllr Oddy..............I say

Nothing worse than a self admiration party or a meeting of Numpties!!!