April 10, 2009

Colum: Rhyl Going Forward seems to have stalled

Thank you once again to The Journal for publishing Colum's letter.

One must give credit where it is due and it is fair to say that some progress has been made with regard to Rhyl Going Forward. Everything started off well, the Drift Park is looking better, some of the derelict buildings along West Parade have been demolished and most of the streets are looking cleaner. But now the work seems to have come to a halt. What's going on?

It will soon be summer and with the better weather it is to be hoped that visitors to the town will start arriving in numbers. Unfortunately what will greet them at the entrances to our town is likely to make them turn around and leave again.

Approaching from the Splash Point end going onto the seafront you are met by the burnt out shell of the Grange Hotel which continues to be a eyesore many months after the fire that destroyed it. Coming from the other direction, over the Blue Bridge, is no better. What was once a perfectly good house, albeit surrounded by a car park, is also now a burnt out shell after it was compulsorily purchased and left empty to attract the vandals!

Surely our town and county councillors could have made more of an effort to prevent this wanton destruction of our town. Both these fires could have been prevented if a bit of common sense had been used. It was known that people were sleeping rough in the Grange Hotel but no effort was made to make it more secure and protect the building.

Similarly the Council buying up property and leaving it empty for long periods is simply inviting trouble. How long do we have to wait for the renovations we have been promised? With a bit of organisation it's still possible to demolish these eyesores and get our town looking that bit better before the summer. At the moment every step Rhyl takes Going Forward is matched by it's taking two backwards!

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