GALLERY: Rhyl flood victims quiz Vale of Clwyd election hopefuls

Reporter:

Suzanne Jordan

POLITCIANS sought to reassure Rhyl flood-hit residents during a community forum.

Questions about the town’s flood defences, cuts and health were put to three parliamentary candidates for the Vale of Clywd; Chris Ruane, Labour, Gwyn Williams, Liberal and Mair Rowlands, Plaid Cymru during the East Rhyl meeting held at United Church in Rhyl.

The forum is for residents affected by the December 2013 floods.

During the meeting, Mr Ruane highlighted investments he had been part of in Rhyl - including flood defence work, Rhyl High school, refurbishment of Royal Alexandra Hospital and the Ocean Plaza site - renamed Marina Quay.

He said: “I want another £100m for my constituency and I want a big chunk of that to be spent on Rhyl.

“I think we could have been more ambitious when it came to the flood defences. Denbighshire County Council put in for £700,000 and got it. Conwy put in for £3, and they got it.”

Ms Rowlands agreed with Mr Ruane commenting that “three times more” was needed.

“Wales has been a blind spot. We need more investment - look at the cuts in local government. We need long term plans; things are moving too slow and the money isn’t coming in quick enough. “We are rich as a nation. If we had the power of our own natural resources we could be very powerful.”
Mr Williams identified that he felt there was still “a fear” when it came to the future of flooding.

“We seek solutions,” he said. “The council should be able to make decision themselves - not go elsewhere. It takes a long time to put together a scheme that will defend the whole sea wall but its needed right now. We need to take the fear away.”

Victoria Evans, Ark Project Coordinator at Age Connnects North Wales Central who helps host the meetings, said: “We were pleased with how the forum went and the attendance of residents. Whilst flood related issues remain important for people, we can see a real sense of community engagement emerging.

"Since the Age Connects project began, we have worked alongside over 150 people who were affected by the floods, providing support, information and advice during the 1st anniversary of the December 2013 event and giving people a platform to have their voices heard.

"We are grateful that all prospective parliamentary candidates and representatives of the local authority have engaged with the east Rhyl community"

James Davies, conservative parliamentary candidate and Paul Davies-Cooke, UKIP candidate, are expected to attend the next forum.

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