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Monday, February 2, 2015

Campaigner replies to two recent stories

Local campaigner Martin Crumpton replies to two recent stories on llanblogger:
 
Two new llanblogger articles deserve a considered and supportive response, being AM presses for action over A5 "danger" spot and Cottage Hospital closure raised on national TV, both welcome indeed.
 
It’s certainly overdue for the unsafe crossing to Stans to be addressed, but this is a classic example of treating the symptoms without addressing the disease.

Keep Llangollen Special has tried several times over the last few years to push Denbighshire to upgrade the inefficient, barely more than clockwork traffic lights, which are no more sophisticated than a central heating timer, but to no avail.
 
They come on at set times, they go off after a fixed period, regardless of whether there are no cars waiting or if the queue is backed up to Glyndyfrdwy.
 
Currently the safest way to get to Stans is to wait until the A5 is being dug up and temporary lights are in force, a near semi-permanent feature of the A5 it seems.
 
When Stans was welcomed to town, we pushed again to have the lights upgraded especially with load-sensing features to combat the annual summer gridlock, but for the first time to also include consideration for pedestrians crossing the A5 to do their shopping, safe crossing along the top of Castle Street and also across from the Old Armoury to Watkin & Williams.
 
For decades, both motorists and pedestrians have had to play the dangerous game of chicken with each other, especially in Llangollen with its confluence of three streams of traffic where at least one is always obscured from view.
 
In further support for this welcome initiative, KLS will write to Graham Boase, head of Denbighshire Planning and Public Protection, urging his department to update the 20th Century (literally) out-of-date Defined Town Centre Boundary, the one which made both Stans and the Co-op invisible during the controversial planning application by J Ross for Sainsbury’s, which basically concluded that the town had no more than a few tiny shops selling food therefore we needed something which would satisfy a small city, let alone a small town, to rescue us from starvation.
 
Moving on, we were delighted by Cllr Davies’s O-turn on BBC Question Time (an O-turn is two U-turns back-to-back).

From a starting point of opposing the closure of the Cottage Hospital to promoting the new, unreachable Health Centre and even being the architect of a multi-million pound bridge across the Dee, a tacit acknowledgement in itself by both himself and Mr Skates that the River Lodge site is inaccessible to almost all pedestrians.
 
Given that the councillor is a member of the Planning Committee, I will attend and watch avidly as the application to have the hospital demolished and redeveloped is considered – my seat was booked over six months ago and I’ve applied to speak in opposition to it.
 
We rise to cheer the doughty councillor because the fact is the bed shortage was created by the infamous Mary Burrows regime at Betsi Cadwaladr and her ‘Health In North Wales Is Mutating’ credo that began an unending bed crisis since the beginning of November 2013.
 
Even today, during a routine call from the cardio team to check on me,, the lady voluntarily stated that the A&E woes were a direct result of local hospital closures.

As a very frequent flyer to the Maelor, everybody from port to consultant endorses this conclusion. It’s only at Board level where Cardiff’s control-freakery keeps them silent (and the Board isn’t quite as unanimously-obedient as the Health Minister might like to think...).
 
So top marks to both for highlighting these well-known issues – credit where it’s due - and perhaps together we can translate their words into actions.

Perhaps councillor would kindly express a view on the town’s doctors moving to the new Health Centre, an entirely politically-motivated attempt to just the existence of the new Health Centre but which will also sign the death warrant for the Cottage Hospital and ensure Llangollen remains without desperately-needed beds for generations to come.
 
It is such a strange dichotomy that truth is only valid when spoken by an elected representative and that when an elected representative speaks it, it must be the truth.

The rest of us are relegated to being disenfranchised soothsayers. If democracy could be said to have a shape then it would most closely resemble a pear.

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