This is a an attempt at giving an honest opinion of how I see certain things of interest in the Conwy County area of North Wales, Current affairs in general,and an assortment of general thoughts,also to take an odd pop at those in public life who get a bit too complacent to the needs of the area and local people.

There are a many people out there who feel the same way, and have neither the place or time to air their views.
The silent majority.
Remember,
the people are the masters!

Friday, 19 December 2008

The Bust After the Boom!


These 2 photos of the pier Shop in Chester, all stores now in Administration.

reality hits a very small unit in Chester




See below,
Not 3 weeks ago one could not get served in here, except then there was a 20% off day, look how much stock they have in.




What a depressing sight as far as business is concerned earlier in Chester, all stores seem to be competing on price for customers, some stores have for a long time been battling to maintain a decent profit margin, in the face of increased costs, over which they have no control over, and these sales and special offers seems to have had a domino effect , with them all having to now partake in an effort not to be left behind.
At the same time it is encouraging some consumers to spend yet more money that they would in truth be better keeping for more important things, now is not a time for many to be spending, but rather saving or in the case of many, paying off their debt such as credit cards, store cards and the like.
I am no economist , but this all affair of dropping interest rates will have more of an adverse effect on most of us than the one is it supposed to help.
For the consumers with large credit card debts etc have already in ,many cases proved they are beyond help such as an interest rate cut, for they have lived up to their limits for many years without coming to their senses.
Like many business ,a lot of people now days have never kept money by for a rainy day.
Surely the idea of a debt is to use the money in a sensible way, work out a repayment schedule with the intention of clearing the debt?
Or in our case, put money by first and then purchase the goods when you have the money to do so.
I remember some 15 years ago talking to a self employed professional man who still ran his business on an ever increasing overdraft, if he had not continually bought new cars and enjoyed such a lavish lifestyle he would have been financially laughing, but for him to curtail his excess's was not an option.
Needless to say it all ended in tears.
It is not hard in most cases, money out should always balance money in.
There are many cases where genuine hardship needs all the support it can be given, such as hardworking couples, where a partner has lost his job through no fault of their own, but the idea of spending money one simply has not got on needless luxuries such as computer games, constantly updating televisions etc has long since gone to such proportions some one has had to stop the rot.
This adjustment has been a long time coming, and sadly a lot of hard working people have now been dragged into this sorry mess, and their hard earned savings, for their rainy days have now been seriously effected. I am sure that I read somewhere that the savers outnumbered the debtors by 7 to 1.
What help for them?
No help on the face of it.
I dread thinking of what some of today's children will make of ever having a normal job, for they are so used to having these computer games at fifty pounds a pop, a normal job to them is never going to be enough, they have the hunger for all things materialistic in many cases, yet have no real idea of the truth worth of the money it needs to be able to buy such things.
They need to have been educated to a true work ethic, where by effort gets reward, rather than what some of the single parent families now class as hardship, that to the rest of us is anything but.
Well the mood is all up from here!
Have a happy weekend!





Acting Responsibly.


The death and suicide of any one is most dreadful. One can not imagine what must be going through their minds to commit such an act. So of course the death of a local taxi business owner was of course very sad. But in fairness can one proportion all the blame on to the financial institutions?
Cards on the table, had he informed each of them about the loans with each other?
Even if he had, at the end of the day, it was he that had signed and taken the money.
It is a very contentious thing to say, but can all of the blame be laid at their door, is it right to name and shame this financial institutions in the paper when we do not have all of the facts?
Ask anyone in town the name of a taxi firm and the chances are they would come up with the name of King Kabs or Interlink, both old established business of the town built up over time and not overnight, with what looks like no working capital.
Why oh why did someone not give him a nudge and suggest just having the one or two taxis to start with, see how things went?
In fairness who gave him the idea of having an upmarket taxi company and calling it Daz ll drive U, who would want to create and impression being taken some where in a Mercedes with that on the side.

He must in his mind have thought that he had a sound business plan to have entered into such commitment, not only did he take on the commitment of how many cars, but also the commitment of a shop premises in Craig y Don, advertising costing perhaps into the thousands and even going as far as to sponsor a local sports team.
According to the Pioneer this week he even went on holiday in May of this year, that if things were as bad as they were is hardly acting responsibly is it?
I say this because it has gone on and on, and now there is even a memorial sports event in his memory.
There are many business going to go to the wall, without having taken on such huge commitments, and will have been trading for much longer than this taxi business, but at the end of the day we are to some extent all masters of out own destiny, and have to take responsibility for ones own actions, it is just so very sad that in this case he took his own life, that is the saddest part of all.

Thursday, 18 December 2008

North Wales Weekly News.

Courtesy of today's North wales weekly News.

Confusion over Llandudno listed building status as letter goes missing in the post
Dec 18 2008 by Judith Phillips, North Wales Weekly News
A COUNCILLOR says she unwittingly breached planning regulations because a vital document was lost in the post.
Cllr Margaret Lyon, who represents Llandudno’s Gogarth ward on the county council, said the notice informing her that a property she owns in the town had been given protective listed building status went astray.
As a result she wasn’t aware she needed permission to install uPVC double glazed windows at tenanted flats.
“I didn’t realise it was listed, as the notice sent out in June, 2001, never reached me as it had been sent to 13 Gloddaeth Street, rather than my home.
I installed the double glazing in response to complaints from my tenants that the windows were draughty,” she said.
Cllr Lyon was told on November 12 she had breached planning regulations and contacted the planning department to rectify her error.

“I have engaged a builder to take the double glazing out of the windows and replace it with hardwood sash windows.
He is liaising with the conservation officer to ensure everything is done correctly,” she explained.
Cllr Lyon has come in for criticism from online bloggers, but says she feels it is unjustified.
“I have made a mistake out of ignorance of knowing the building was listed.
I have asked for a copy of the listing notice and it makes no mention of restrictions on replacing windows,” she said.
“Does anyone seriously think I would spend a considerable amount of money on something like this knowing it would not be correct?

“I find it very disturbing that there are websites who can criticise people without having the guts to say it face-to-face.
If they had done as much as I have for their town they’d maybe have the right to criticise me. I’ve put my heart and soul into this town and would never do anything I thought would be detrimental to it,” she said.
A council spokeswoman confirmed they had contacted Cllr Lyon about the breach of regulations and she was cooperating to rectify it.
judith.phillips

The Charlie Schulz Philosophy

An American friend of mine sent this to me,
made me think, may it will you to!

The Charlie Schulz Philosophy
The following is the philosophy of Charles Schulz, the creator of the 'Peanuts' comic strip.
You don't have to actually answer the questions. Just read the e-mail straight through, and you'll get the point.
1. Name the five wealthiest people in the world.
2. Name the last five Heisman trophy winners.
3. Name the last five winners of the Miss America pageant.4. Name ten people who have won the Nobel or Pulitzer Prize.
5. Name the last half dozen Academy Award winners for best actor and actress.
6. Name the last decade's worth of World Series winners.
How did you do?
The point is, none of us remember the headliners of yesterday.
These are no second-rate achievers.
They are the best in their fields.
But the applause dies.
Awards tarnish.
Achievements are forgotten.
Accolades and certificates are buried with their owners.
Here's another quiz.
See how you do on this one:
1. List a few teachers who aided your journey through school.
2. Name three friends who have helped you through a difficult time.
3. Name five people who have taught you something worthwhile.
4. Think of a few people who have made you feel appreciated and special.
5. Think of five people you enjoy spending time with,
Easier?
The lesson:
The people who make a difference in your life are not the ones with the most credentials.
The most money...or the most awards.
They simply are the ones who care the most.
Pass this on to those people who have made a difference in your life, like I did.
'Don't worry about the world coming to an end today.
It's already tomorrow in Australia !

Be yourself. Everyone else is taken!

Wednesday, 17 December 2008

Town Hall, Llandudno.


Victoria centre, Llandudno.



Toy Shop, Conwy.

Take a look at the Toy shop on the High street in Conwy after dark if you can, yet again they have produced a beautiful Christmas window.

The Quay, Conwy


I was in Conwy earlier and parked in Castle Street, we had a little look around, before going for a walk along the quay.
It then dawned on me that the quay is closed to traffic again, due to what looks like the ongoing saga of the cobbles.
Just how long has this now gone on for, and how much is it costing us tax payers?
I mean it very much when I say how sad it is that the locals and visitors alike have had to put up with this shoddy state of affairs for so long.
If one did not know better, it could well put someone off going down to the quay, which really is a loss to anyone who misses out on the most beautiful view, let alone the loss of potential trade to the town.
If my reader is correct, and Gareth Jones was indeed down on the quay the other day he must surely have realised the sad situation down there, and how much it is costing all concerned.
What I just can not get my head around is why has nothing been done about bringing this situation to a speedy conclusion, I know they ran out of stone and more would have to be imported, but if this was a private company that had received such shoddy workmanship, they most surely would have by now sought legal recourse through the courts.
Why should the council be so reluctant to behave as a grown up business would behave in such circumstances?
It must be driving the good people of Conwy mad.
But the really maddening for me to see was that there was not a soul working on the job, well it would be a start for at least someone to be working on the job.

Lyon.

"Activists in her local party are getting very restless about this now. She privately admits she is in the wrong, but perhaps was a bit indelicate when she wondered if she was eligible for a grant for putting proper windows back? Your £500 is safe."

The following is an extract fro the councils own web site,
"Listed Buildings
remove display from date from under article title - dr 26/1/04 -->
The Welsh Assembly is required to list buildings of special architectural or historic interest and this is done by an agency of the Assembly called CADW. Listed buildings, as they are generally known, are chosen according to national criteria and are graded I, II* or II to show their importance. Within the Council’s planning area there are approximately 1,400 listed buildings and a schedule of them is available for inspection at the Planning Department.
If you own or occupy a listed building and wish to carry out works of alteration, either externally or internally, extension or demolition, you normally need to apply for "listed building consent". Applications are made to the Council in the same way as an ordinary planning application although no fee is involved. Although the Council decides most applications, CADW’s views have to be sought beforehand and CADW can intervene directly if it wishes. Besides listed building consent proposed works may require planning permission, Building Regulations approval, or both. To carry out work without consent is an offence and firm penalties can be imposed by the courts.
The owner of a listed building has a duty to preserve it and failure to do so may lead the Council to serve a notice stating those works it considers necessary to ensure its preservation. The Council also has powers to carry out emergency repairs itself and to recover the cost. Grants for the repair of listed buildings may be available from CADW or the Council. They are discretionary and funds are limited.
Further information is available from Mr David Birch.

Free Condoms!

I not notice when I first read the report last week, that these angels are giving out free bottles of water and condoms!

Who is paying for this?
Conwy community safety partnership is down as the organiser, so it is our money, bit lick the Chief when he gave his officers sun screen some years back
But free condoms?
A jump too far in the wrong direction me thinks!
http://www.northwalesweeklynews.co.uk/conwy-county-news/local-conwy-news/2008/12/11/night-patrol-street-angels-on-streets-of-llandudno-at-christmas-55243-22449376/

Across The miles.

The link below takes a couple of minuets to load, but it is worth the wait, a family member received if from her friend in the States.
Please click onto it if you have the time, it is a beautiful electronic card for the Christmas season.
Turn the volume up on your computer.

http://ecard.ashland.edu/2004admission/index.html

Tuesday, 16 December 2008

Parking.

Traders in Caernarfon have been given a welcome boost by their council.
Their customers have now been given free parking until Christmas, something we in Conwy County have no chance of.
I would rather see free parking for 2 or 2 and a half hours, to bring the town into line with Parc Llandudno, for if it were free all day, we may then find the shop and office staff taking up the more shopper convenient spaces.
Traders in the county are battling on all fronts for survival at the moment, no doubt caught in the cut price battle of the big boys, out of town shopping and of course the Internet phenomena that has gripped many of us with little or no time to peruse the local towns.
The traders have also had to contend with higher business rates and of course higher wages.
To many employers, they have never paid the minimum wage, but a higher figure, for to some, being on the minimum wage is a kind of stigma, but how much longer some traders and business, in the public service sector can keep going on like this remains to be seen, when I am told many are struggling to maintain margin.
Any old fool can sell a product for little or no profit, it is a fine line at times between profit and loss, and we all know what an extended period of loss means.
I think that the gesture of extending the parking times would have been welcome to many, but something as simple as that, to our council at least, is beyond them.
One only has to see Fag Ash Lil as the cabinet member responsible for parking ,to see that it was not going to happen.
More is the shame.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/wales/north_west/7784174.stm

Colwyn Bay Pier.


"Pier Pressure
As you will be aware, the current owner of Victoria Pier, Steve Hunt, has had a long-running legal battle with Conwy County Borough Council. Quite simply, CCBC falsely claim Mr Hunt owes £5,144.88p in unpaid Business Rates and Council Tax, which he does not and never has. As if that wasn't enough lies, CCBC and their lawyers also gave statements to Caernarfon County Court which they knew to be untrue in order to make Mr Hunt bankrupt and therefore get the pier closed down.
CCBC refused all attempts to resolve the dispute outside of legal action. They refused a written offer to sit around the table and talk about it. They even refused an offer of payment. Instead, CCBC were determined to make Mr Hunt bankrupt, even though they absolutely knew their claim to the Court was quite simply a lie (this is proven in a copy of a letter from CCBC to their own solicitors.)
Despite being required by law to do so, since Jan 2007 CCBC have refused to give Mr Hunt copies of documents he required in order to defend the case. Therefore he was denied a fair trial in Court, which is an offence under the Human Rights Act. CCBC have wilfully broken at least two laws in this regard, which is again proven by copies of their own papers.
After the bankruptcy order was made, a report was given to North Wales Police regarding criminal offences under the Fraud Act 2006 and the Perjury Act 1911, together with various other offences committed by CCBC. Officers from C.I.D. are now investigating the matter. CCBC's solicitors are under investigation by the Solicitors Regulation Authority for serious misconduct and Perjury.
CCBC has been found to be in breach of the Data Protection Act by the Information Commissioner - confirming they have broken the Law. The Information Commissioner is now investigating a further offence committed by CCBC under the Freedom of Information Act. CCBC are due in court in February for the first of many cases that are likely to be brought against them as a result of the investigations into corruption.
Key individuals high-up within CCBC have been identified as being responsible for various offences. Upon conviction for Perjury or Fraud, they could face prison terms of several years. These individuals will be publicly named and shamed in due course, but the information is currently being kept out of the public domain whilst C.LD. conduct their investigations.
It is not just Steve Hunt who has been affected: pier tenants have all lost their businesses and all staff have lost their jobs. Emma, who ran the new Pier Bar, has also lost her house.
If you are disgusted by what Conwy County Borough Council has done to all these people and indeed the Pier, not to mention the thousands of pounds of your council-tax money they are wasting in the process, you may wish to join a new group of people who support a full Public Enquiry into the conduct of CCBC and the re-opening and restoration of Victoria Pier.
Please fill in your details below and hand back to Steve, or post to: Victoria Pier, Colwyn Bay, LL29 8HH. The group will be formally constituted shortly and you will be invited to a public meeting in the New Year to see if you then want to become a member.
Name
Address E-mail"
The above was sent to me a matter of interest by a reader who was present at a meeting where it was handed out, as the reader says, the whole saga seems a long way from any satisfactory conclusion.
Call me simplistic, but is Mr Hunt saying he did not owe the money?
If so, and he is correct, surely there is not a judge in the land who would therefore have declared Mr Hunt bankrupt.
The last I read in the press , some time ago, was that Mr Hunt was due to have a meeting with his Member of Parliament, nothing was released after that meeting was held, but if he is allowed to go around making accusations such as he has, Conwy either need to defend their position, or state what the untruths are.
However, unless Mr Hunt pays up, he must surely remain bankrupt, and will have to concede defeat, no money, no pier, no restoration, certainly under the control of Mr Hunt.
I having driven past the pier last week can not see how unless he has liquid capital or security, he will be ever able to carry on.
Surely the next step will be for who ever now owns the pier, as a creditor of Mr Hunt's, will be to somehow sell it for whatever cash it will raise, and the problem somehow passes on to the next owner.
All very sad for the pier,but busness does not carry on based on pipe dreams alone.

Monday, 15 December 2008

Amateur Photographer!


A reader very kindly sent me this photograph that he took this morning of Gareth Jones, ARSEmbly member for Conwy.
Following on from my previous posting and the fact he used our money to buy photographic equipment to the value of £1,200.00, the reader thought he may well have been looking for some nice shots to try his amateur photographic skills out on.
I would very much like to know why was he not on a Monday, down in Cardiff with the other non entities?
Answers on a postcard please!

Sunday, 14 December 2008

Welsh ARSEmbly Members.


Judging by the expenses claimed by nearly all of the members there is nothing you can teach this avaricious bunch of B-------!
The hon ARSEs have done themselves proud, and not us.

No wonder little Cairnsie is smiling.
The mobile phone bills for members and their staff is beyond, could the ARSEmbly not get some kind of bulk contract for all of the members, does Gareth Jones need to buy 2 Blackberry's for his "support" staff, photography equipment for £1,200.00, two office shredders, mobile phone top ups as well as contracts for a mobile phone, his list goes on and on, as in fairness does of most of their lists.
Then there are all the other travel expenses for the lot of them,
£32.00 for driving 80 miles, to me that is roughly to Chester and back.
£32.00!!
I Pods for news downloads etc etc.
Then there are the second homes, house rentals and travelling expenses, millions of pounds worth of waste on second rate individuals.

Millar likes the game so much it is now reported he and a colleague are ready to stab nick Bourne in the back and launch their own leadership bid for the Conservative party in the ARSEmbly, this from the new kid on the block.
It is astounding.
Meanwhile our poorer than poor settlement from Gibbons ,for Conwy County, means we will have to stump up extra money and struggle with services again this year.

What a hopeless waste of money for the whole not so funny circus, known to many as the ARSEmbly.
To think that before this ARse of an ARSEmbly Wales was run by 3 Politicians in the welsh office, and were we not better off in those days?
I hardly think that we were worse off, that's for sure.


The Lights Are On, But There Is Nobody In!



I had to drop a neighbour off this morning for 8.00am at the coach park, he was off to his family for an extended Christmas break.
He said in all honesty that being away would at least save him the running costs of his home, and that in the new year he may well have to think about trading down due to the increased costs of running his house now that he is on his own, quite frankly I think he is a little worried at the moment how things have gone and how things are continuing to look worse and worse in this very uncertain economic climate.
I then left him and drove along the promenade, past as you can see, the Venue Cymru.
Now bear in mind that this was just before 8.00am, look at all the lights that were burning, yet I could not see a soul in the place!
This is how the powers that be in local government look after our money, or more to the point squander our money.
Could there possibly be a single light that was not switched on in this vast building?
Is it not about time our elected representatives brought important points such as this to the attention of the management?
Would it even occur to some of them to even think about such basics?
If not, then it is about time that they started to look after the pennies more than ever in these uncertain times.
Or is it just me again?
If we, who are very fortunate, have to check time switches at home and in our places of work, should public offices not be doing the same?
I think the answer is YES they should.