THE Secretary of State for Wales paid a visit to Rhyl to see how work on its flood scheme was progressing.

It has been six years since the floods, described as "the worst tidal surge in Wales during the last 25 years", devastated the seaside down. About 120 properties were flooded from Splash Point eastwards to Frydd Beach at Rhyl Golf Club.

Alun Cairns met with town and county councillor Tony Thomas, of Rhyl East ward, cllr Gareth Lloyd Davies, Vale of Clwyd Welsh Assembly Conservative Candidate and Jonathan Dawes, Welsh Youth Parliament Members, and discussed the Rhyl East Flood Scheme.

The project will reduce the risk of coastal flooding in the Garford Road area of East Rhyl and will build on short-term resilience measures undertaken by Denbighshire County Council following the 2013 storms.

Cllr Thomas said: "It was my suggestion for Mr Cairns to come and speak about the flood defence scheme. We discussed what had been done and what we needed to do.

"Because guidelines have changed, Denbighshire Council need to contribute more than £6million, 25 per cent of the overall cost of the project. With our budget this year we can't do this as soon as we would like, it is going to have to come out of next year's budget. This may mean the project has a delayed start."

Rhyl Journal:

Secretary of State for Wales Alun Cairns with cllr Gareth Davies, Jonathon Dawes and Llandudno councillor Harry Saville. Picture: Gareth Davies

The county council, supported by the Welsh Government's Coastal Risk Management Programme, has drawn up plans to install rock armouring and increase the height of the sea wall along the promenade between Splash Point and the slipway adjacent to Rhyl Golf Club.

The scheme, which has a September start date, aims to protect up to 472 properties.

Cllr Thomas said with climate change being on everyone lips, residents are very wary about further flooding.

"At the moment, what we have in place, it can cope with the main issues people were concerned about," he said.

"People are still wary about flash flooding which can cause quite serious flooding."

Mr Cairns also witnessed the progress being made on the regeneration of the town.

He said: "It is very pleasing to see the regeneration of the Rhyl seafront and tourist numbers increasing. It is also promising to see progress on the Rhyl East Flood Defences but it is six years since the floods of 2013 and the Welsh Government need to make this a priority to give residents the assurances they need to prevent any further flooding problems on Garford Road and surrounding areas."

Cllr Davies said: "It was great pleasure to welcome the Secretary of State for Wales to Rhyl to meet residents and see the great improvements made to seafront attractions, regarding the flood scheme.

"Although promising progress has been made, it is disappointing to see the Welsh Government asking cash strapped Denbighshire County Council for £6.5million when we’re already six years past the 2013 floods and it cause unnecessary delay for residents who are seeking stability, reassurance, and peace of mind following years of uncertainty."

The East Rhyl Coastal Defence Scheme is led by Denbighshire County Council, with support from the Welsh Government.

The local authority commissioned civil engineers Balfour Beatty and JBA Consulting to undertake a detailed analysis of the situation to produce the plans.