Cllr Eurfyl Evans accepts petition from Polly Leonard (Cambrian News 10/04/09)
The leading front page story in this week’s Cambrian News confirms the results of last week’s successful protest at the council’s closed briefing, with the county council’s economic development officer, Eurfyl Evans, calling on the developers, CityHeart, to rethink the plans in the light of public opposition, and carry out full public consultation regarding their new proposals.
In an interview with ITV last week, before the council meeting, Mark McNamee of CityHeart acknowledged that Compulsory Purchase Orders are ‘a very emotive subject,’ adding that the Aberystwyth development was the fourth occasion in his professional career that he had been involved in what he described as ‘a compulsory purchase exercise.’ McNamee went on to say that as developers they had ‘not only a legal, but a moral obligation.’
Nick Bourne, AM
Conservative AM, Nick Bourne, will be meeting members of Cadw Calon Aberystwyth this evening to discuss their concerns. In his column in today’s Cambrian News, Bourne confirms that the Welsh Assembly Government have yet to commit to supporting the revised plans. Leighton Andrews, Deputy Minister for Regeneration said,
‘Whilst discussions have been held, it is too early to determine other than in principle whether financial or other support from the Welsh Assembly Government would be appropriate.’
Nick Bourne will also be visiting traders on Aberystwyth’s Chalybeate Street, Great Darkgate Street and Owain Glyndwr Square on Thursday April 16th to listen to their reactions to the proposed revised plans.
10-year-old Katya Hawker at the protest
Over 70 people congregated in Bath Street this morning to protest about the as-yet unconsulted revised retail development plans. Councillors entering the closed briefing were met with chants of ‘Say NO to CPOs’ and ‘What do we want? CONSULTATION! When do we want it? NOW!’ Campaigners were armed with colourful placards in Welsh and English and large copies of the new Cadw Calon Aberystwyth posters.
The councillors entrance was further impeded by the automatic doors’ failure to open – effectively leaving them trapped amidst the protesters who regaled them with continued chants until the doors eventually opened.
Protesters outside Arad Goch
A petition with over 2,100 signatures was handed to Eurfyl Evans of Ceredigion County Council. Councillors from North Ceredigion were meeting to be briefed about the new revised development plans; at the time of writing we have yet to hear what was discussed in the meeting which was closed to the public and the press on the grounds that it was ‘not a formal meeting’ and ‘no decisions were being made.’
The protest went peacefully, although one of the policeman present was overheard singing the chorus from the Kaiser Chiefs’ song, I Predict a Riot, to the great amusement of the young people present!
Once the meeting was under way the assembled crowd marched down Terrace Road and congregated for further press photos at the junction of Great Darkgate Street and Chalybeate Street.
The morning’s events were documented by two film crews, one from ITV, and the story will be covered tonight (Thurs April 9th) on Wales Tonight on ITV Wales at 6.00pm.