Friday, 20 February 2009


Today I received a phone call from Gwynedd Council's Dilys Phillips (Head of Administration) stating that she was concerned about the comments made by Sean Goddard on the Prison Article.
In it Sean raised a few questions about corruption and even though he did not name names, suggested that certain officials had acted incorrectly.
It seems that Sean is not entitled to his opinion as I was asked kindly if it could be removed.

I have, (in the best interest of everyone) removed his comment, and have contacted him by email to let him know.
I do however have some reservations about the whole matter as it seems to infringe Sean's freedom of speech.
At Caernarfon Online we try to put in favourable articles about some of the good work Gwynedd Council carries out and will endeavour to continue to do this. But surely a member of the public can also have his voice heard and express an opinion?
Sean can also be seen on our video about the prison expressing his opinion.

I maintain that all has not be revealed to the public in the prison issue and this only makes me feel that there is more to this than meets the eye.

For the record, I did not agree with all that Sean had to say, but I respect his right to be allowed to say it. He pointed the finger at the council in general - he did not name anyone!

Over to you.

Saturday, 7 February 2009

New Prison

Before I get on my Soap Box take a look at what Michael Sol Owen had to say on his Blog last month. Click Here (Check out the "Go To Jail" section)

Click Here to see videos of what some Cofis had to say.

Well, it seems that Caernarfon is to become a "Prison Town" and, as we are led to believe, this will mean plenty of jobs for local people... But will it?

Will these highly trained positions go to local workers? Or will they draft in others who are already qualified?
Will it mean a flood of English speakers moving into our area, thus diluting the language even further?
Will the prison use local traders or use their existing sources?
Was this deal sorted long ago, before they conveniently started building the new court in Caernarfon?
What about the proposed by-pass for Caernarfon, was this just a part of the jigsaw we didn't know about?
There are a lot of questions that need to be answered before we all accept this "new saviour" into our struggling town.

It seems to many that this has been railroaded in on us. It was amazing how quickly it all came together..... and judging (no pun intended) by the response to the poor account Hywel Williams gave of himself on Radio Cymru's "Taro Post" this week. It seems that not all locals are happy that we have not been given all the facts and more importantly has the Government and Gwynedd asked the public what they really want?

Our online poll is suggesting that (as I write) 84% of the public are against the prison coming to Caernarfon (vote here) whilst Hywel, Plaid and Gwynedd re rejoicing.
Cwmbran are throwing street parties as they feel they have "WON" because they are NOT getting this "fantastic all saving" prison.
How can we be accepting this with open arms, whilst others wouldn't touch it with a barge pole?

Listening to the debate on Taro Post yesterday I was surprised to hear Hwyel Williams suggest that he would not have been happy with houses being built on the brownfield site because of the asbestos issue.
Yet he is fine with a prison being built on the site??? This doesn't add up to me...

Another problem I have with this whole affair is, how much will this affect our house prices?
Will a house valued at £150,000 still be worth £150,000 now that people know a Category C prison is to come here. OR WILL IT DROP £10k to £20k in value?
(Category C means they will accept muggers, knife attackers and criminals found guilty of GBH AS WELL AS prisoners with far serious crimes who have served a large part of their sentence and have since been down graded to Category C!!!)

Finally, can I ask,
Now the Government is going to purchase this land from Bluefield Caernarfon Ltd will either compensate the former TGWU workers unfairly sacked by Friction Dynamics and protested for three years at the site?

Will the Government help out these men and women who lost their livelyhood?

It is time for MP's etc to stop trying to pull the wool over our eyes and tell us the truth. and perhaps dip their hand in their pockets to help out the former Ferodo workers.

They tell us that this MAY be good for the area (Financially) but at what cost?

Will we lose out on the value of our homes?
Will we be up against others moving into our council houses?
Will they get preference over locals?
Will our area be safer once the prison is up and running?
Will ex convicts be settling down in Caernarfon at the end of their sentences?
Will most of the workers be local or from outside the area?
Will the prison service only use local produce etc?

Will someone please give us the answers?

One final point, we have been campaigning for years to have Caernarfon to be better signposted on the North Wales Coast.

For as long as I can remember different groups have tried and failed to get Caernarfon signposted thus encouraging visitors to the town.
Excuses given?
Caernarfon was not directly on the major road and that if they gave signs to Caernarfon then other towns would demand the same, even though Caernarfon is the major tourist attraction and a World Heritage site in North Wales.

How quick will we now see new signs erected,? And pointing to HM PRISON CAERNARFON?
No doubt we will soon be hearing about these new wonderful signs "selling" Caernarfon.
Shame they couldn't have done it when we asked all those years ago.
Is this what we want?
Will this affect our World Heritage status?

I remember in the past people being "Sent to Coventry", it looks like now they will be sending them to Caernarfon instead!!!

Try this out.... Make a search of "Risley" on Google and it gives you information about the Jail!
At the moment if you enter the word "Caernarfon" then Google will list and as the top searches.

In a few years time we should see the search engines pointing visitors first to the CAERNARFON JAIL.

Is this what we want?

I rest my case me lud !!!

Bye for now.

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