Candidates talk to Rhyl flood victims at community forum

Reporter:

Stephanie Price

TWO Vale of Clwyd parliamentary candidates have spoken to Rhyl flood victims ahead of next month's general election.

In the second of a two-part community forum at United Church, Rhyl, Dr James Davies, Conservative and Paul Davies-Cooke, UKIP, spoke to the victims of the floods which hit East Rhyl in 2013.

Topics discussed included flood defences, health care, Europe, investment and the economy, food banks and unemployment.

Speaking about the future of Rhyl, Mr Davies said: “Rhyl is a fantastic community that can fight back.

"One of the key problems with Rhyl is the economy. It just doesn’t get enough focus – businesses need confidence in the area so Rhyl needs a special focus on regeneration, including major work to the sea defences.”

Mr Davies explained what role he would play in the flood defence work if elected, he said: “I’ve already been dealing with issues surrounding the flood defences but I think the key is to know the facts – to inform yourself.

“I would find out the facts, try and influence those dealing with the defences and communicate with residents.”

Mr Davies-Cooke said: “Communication is a major issue for the flood defences. Residents are kept out of the loop.

“I want to rectify the problems. I’d like to badger those in Westminster and Cardiff for funds, to get them into the area – at the end of the day it comes down to money.

“I want to create a strong local economy, we need to be looking at wholesale improvement but it is not something that is going to be sorted overnight.”

One flood victim, Jean Lager of Eaton Avenue, Rhyl, said: “These meetings have been brilliant. If it wasn’t for these meetings we would not have had a clue what was going on, they have done more to keep us informed in the last six months than since the floods.

“We’ve been given the opportunity to ask candidates questions which has been very helpful on deciding who to vote for. It’s very rare anyone is able to do this.”

Last week Chris Ruane, Labour, Gwyn Williams, Liberal Democrats and Mair Rowlands of Plaid Cymru took part in the first forum.

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