Saturday, 21 March 2009

The Old Maes verses the New

This month we ran a survey about how people felt about the new Maes and how it compares to the Old one and after two weeks of voting, the results are alarming!
Over 90% of you think it has been a total waste of money and was better with the roundabout and buses being allowed in.

To be honest I am not surprised as in my personal opinion the Maes now looks drab!
I make no apologies for saying this, because I like to say it as it is and by all accounts most of you feel the same way.

£2.4 million has been spent on this and for what? It certainly is not going to attract more visitors to the town now is it? I personally feel this money could have been better spent in town and the empty shops and dilapidated buildings could have received a face lift to improve the general feel good factor in town.

As I write I have asked Gwynedd Council (under the Freedom of Information Act) how much they have spent on the Sian Shakespeare "Nawns am Le Project". To date we are still awaiting a response and it is a little alarming that it takes so long to answer a simple question. But we wait with baited breath.

Whatever the figure may be, and my guess is that it will be well into five figures. The survey will now be useless as it was done without the knowledge that the town was to become a Prison town!
With this information now available, the guess is that the survey would have fundamental flaws in it as it did not take the new prison into consideration.
More on this when we receive the figures.

Back to the Maes then, so what now? I hear through the grapevine that further funding is being earmarked to carry on the work up Pool Street. Is this throwing good money after bad?

When Gweledigaeth and Caernarfon Online filmed the interviews on the Maes a few weeks back, I thought that Owain had filmed it in Monochrome (Black and White).
But after further viewing I noticed that this was not the case. The problem was that the Maes was grey in colour and looked very drab on film.

On closer inspection one can also notice bad cement staining on the surface which should have been addresses as the work was carried out. This "staining could be removed by "polishing" but this in turn would have "health and safety" issues as the surface would then become slippery and dangerous under foot.

We are aware of many claims already being made against the council and one in particular contacted COL with details of their visit to town and they are now in the process of suing for compensation and vowed never to return to the town again.

News like this is disastrous to the livelihood of the town and one which has to be addressed sooner rather than later. Last year the Herald reported and incident where and elderly woman suffered serious injury having fallen on the uneven surface.

A big concern by many apart from the fact that the cobbled pathways are uneven and difficult for both the elderly and disabled to manoeuvre was the fact that when vehicles enter the Maes they are totally lost and unsure of where to go.
As a professional driving instructor I agree that this system is very dangerous and signage is inadequate.
This is an accident waiting to happen and I hate to say iItold you so on here, but I foresee a major accident on the Maes which could even result in a fatality.
I hope I am wrong, but as it is, this is a time bomb waiting to go off.

Whilst filming on the Maes we contacted Gwynedd Council to see if they were prepared to send out an officer to talk with us, but received a response that said all officers were busy at that specific time.

To be frank, I think the Maes and Caernarfon has now lost all its character and focal point.
Us older Cofis all remember the Maes a bustling centre of activity and a centre where everyone met up. Now all we have is an open space.

One little boy asked me this week:

Qu. What do you say to a "Space Man"?

Ans: You tell him it's the "New Maes Dude"

Have your vote here

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Sunday, 8 March 2009

Ysgol Syr Hugh Owen Overspend

In the news this week - Ysgol Syr Hugh Owen Governors are blamed for over spending to the tune of half a million.
It seems that the Governors are to blame because the ASSembly chooses to run the country to the ground!

I have to admit I voted NO for the Assembly for Wales as I thought they would find it difficult to run the country and true to form, we see that this certainly seems to be the case.

Let's deal with Ysgol Syr Hugh first.
As a school Governor myself, I sympathise with what has happened at Syr Hugh and all because they are trying to do what's best for their pupils.
Quite simply if Syr Hugh Owen has overspent by £500,000 then perhaps the question should be:
Are they receiving enough money?

I can tell you that Governors at Ysgol Yr Hendre meet on a regular basis and even though our headmaster is doing a grand job, we would welcome more cash in our coffers and cringe at the thought of some schools actually underspending! Not much is said about this in the press!!!

We all owe it to our children to give them the best possible education they deserve and we can give them.
Ysgol Syr Hugh has nearly 1,000 pupils and the level of education they give either makes or breaks them.

OUR KIDS DESERVE THE BEST and if this costs then so be it.

No one should be pointing the finger at anyone at Syr Hugh.
The people in charge have the best interests of our children at heart. If the Assembly chooses not to give enough money to run a school of this size then perhaps they themselves should be looking at why they are giving so little!

Less money = less service
This month we learnt that Gwynedd has to increase our Council tax by nearly 4% YET at the same time they have to cut our services because of a poor settlement by the (yes you guessed it) Assembly!

We can blame the current situation on the credit crunch and the current world climate, but quite frankly Gwynedd's dire position is down to what they give us at Cardiff!

There is no point blaming Gwynedd here, if they have less money to work with, then something has to give - QED!

If the average family of four has two wage earners and bring in on average £500 per week then the family budget spending will reflect this.
If one wage earner looses their job then the income will be less. THIS MEANS THEIR BUDGET MUST CHANGE AND CERTAIN ITEMS OR "ESSENTIALS" WILL HAVE TO GIVE WAY.

This is the same at our schools, with the Assembly giving less (due to bad management perhaps?) then certain essentials will have to go. (THIS MEANS THE QUALITY OF TUITION A SCHOOLS WILL SUFFER).

Enough is enough. It's time for the people of Wales to realise that this lot at the Assembly can't organise a p**s up in a brewery!
Unfortunately we voted (very narrowly) FOR the ASSembly and we are therefore now counting the cost.

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