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

Back to COL

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