A FORMER mayor of Towyn and Kinmel Bay has hailed the decision that will prevent the influx of 50,000 people.

Coming hours before the Prime Minister's Monday night address, the Welsh Government's First Minister declared that all caravan parks and camp sites are to be forced to close amid the Coronavirus outbreak.

Prior to the Welsh Government's decision, five of the nine holiday parks in the area - including Ty Mawr Holiday Park, the Millers Cottage Caravan Club and Edwards Leisure Park in Towyn, as well as Golden Sands and Sunnyvale in Kinmel Bay - had confirmed that they had pre-emptively closed their doors to holiday makers.

Former Towyn and Kinmel Bay mayor Bill Darwin, who is self isolating, said: “We are a unique area in that we have one of the biggest numbers of caravans in Europe in such a small area. There are 12,000 caravans in a few square miles, which are the equivalent of 50,000 bed spaces. Add that to the population of Kinmel Bay and Towyn of about 8,500 and that is 58,500.

Rhyl Journal:

Former Towyn and Kinmel Bay mayor Bill Darwin. Picture: Don Jackson-Wyatt

“The total population of Conwy County is 116,000 which means we could have the equivalent of half its population coming to this small area.

“The Premier League has been stopped because crowds of 50,000 gather for 90 minutes while we could have 50,000 gather in our small community for three or four months. The implications of this are immense - all this additional pressure to our amenities, health and social care, needs to be avoided.

"I'm glad somebody got on the case and didn't let this drag on for weeks and weeks."

Clwyd West AM Darren Millar has also welcomed the Welsh Government's strict policy.

Prior to the decision, he issued a joint statement with Aberconwy AM Janet Finch-Saunders and Leader of Conwy County Borough Council, Cllr Sam Rowlands, urging tourists to stay at home.

Mr Millar said: "This is fantastic news for North Wales, where in recent days we have seen tourists flocking to our holiday parks.

“Our health services are already under immense pressure and I know locals were extremely concerned about their ability to cope with an increased population during this time of national crisis.

“Ordinarily, we love tourists here in North Wales and we look forward to welcoming them back once we are through this, but this is the appropriate action needed at this time.”