Glan y Môr Crossing
This week was a short Westminster week for me going down to Westminster on Monday and back up to North Wales on Tuesday evening. Whilst Westminster has been quiet of late, not a single vote since the Easter recess, the reason for my short week at Westminster is because I was granted permission by the Government whips office to attend a public enquiry in the constituency.
The public enquiry in question is looking at the closure of the Glan y Môr crossing in Deganwy and whether the action taken by Network Rail was proper and done in a manner which was in keeping with the rights of residents. I think that there is plenty of evidence to suggest that there are questions which Network Rail need to answer which they have not, as yet, addressed.
Whether the work undertaken by my office with fantastic support from our Assembly Member and local councillors of all political persuasions will win the day remains to be seen but there is no doubt that over a six-year period a detailed case has been developed which undoubtedly justifies the enquiry. The reason for my confidence in making this point is that the support and more importantly, the evidence presented by local people to support the argument that Network Rail took away their right to use the crossing has been compelling.
In simple terms we believe that evidence collected and presented makes the case that under both the ‘common law’ and under the ‘20-year rule’ of section 31 Highways Act 1980 the community in Deganwy had a right to the crossing which was not respected by Network Rail in that they closed the crossing without consultation. I hope that we win the case but regardless of the outcome I want to thank the community, volunteers and local councillors who have given their time and effort to make the case. At a time when politics seems stuck in a one issue obsession it’s no bad thing that we can show here in Aberconwy that a willingness to work together still exists.
Welsh Learner of the Year and ‘Gorsedd y Beirdd’
With the National Eisteddfod in Llanrwst fast approaching I was pleased to see two Aberconwy constituents shortlisted for the Welsh learner of the year award. Gemma Owen from Maenan and Paul Huckstep from Penmachno have been committed and successful in their efforts to learn the language and I wish them both well for the top award which will be announced at a ceremony to be staged on the 7th August on the Pavilion stage. It really is important that the efforts of those who make the effort to learn the language is acknowledged.
Finally, a personal note of congratulations to Aberconwy constituents and those closely connected with Aberconwy, who will become members of ‘Gorsedd y Beirdd’ at the National Eisteddfod at Llanrwst. These awards are a recognition of services rendered to their communities and to Wales and I warmly congratulate Pierino Algieri, Elin Angharad Davies, Gareth Evans, Buddug Jones, Glyn Roberts, Vivian Parry Williams and Grace Emily Jones. Llongyfarchiadau mawr!