Beaumaris - Menai Straits


September 2010

It has to be acknowledged that this particular town council is full of articulate and loudly passionately individuals. Good thing, too. In these dire economic days it’s important that one highlights one’s town and issues central to both its present and its future.

Beaumaris is a beautiful town, and is it any wonder that I call it “Anglesey’s Riviera”.

Tourism is the most vital component of this town’s prosperity and it would be foolish to do anything that might restrict the enjoyment of visitors and their spending in the town’s fabulous shops and eating places.

So, what’s up? Plans for refurbishing the pier and placing a new pontoon for landing at the pier end were initially welcomed, as it would improve present landing at the pier’s end.

However, proposed plans to remove the pontoon during the winter have raised the hackles of councillors during the last council meeting.

The proposition is that the pontoon would be removed during the stormy months to save it from damage. The steps down to the missing pontoon would be locked during the day to stop casual landing and when the pontoon was in absentia.

For those of you not familiar with the fortunate nature of tidal flow in the Beaumaris area, you should know that the Central Channel of the Menai Straits comes in close around Gallows Point, with the pier reaching right into it. This means that it is possible to land on the pier at most low tides.

The proposed new landing pontoon would therefore an asset for pleasure craft and the local tourist cruise boats.

Led by Mayor Stanley Zalot, the Beaumaris Town Councillors were intent on expressing their concern to Anglesey County Council’s Senior Maritime Officer, Mr Duncan Brown.

Mr Brown further inflamed the meeting by discussing the County Council’s plan to restrict access to the pontoon by means of a locked gate only accessible to a limited group of people and local maritime bound businesses.

Councillor Zalot said, “Why spend millions on something won’t be as flexible as it is already? “ He continued with his concern that restricting the pier access to landing craft would be reduced from a “24 hour, 365 day facility to a 12 hour facility six months of the year.”

Councillor Davies asked exactly who would benefit from the proposed changes to pier usage. He was followed by Cllr John Wyn Jones (former Mayor) who asked what would happen in an emergency, if a damaged craft needed to land.

Mr Duncan Brown responded that either a Panic Button would be installed or a telephone number notice placed on-site.

Making a direct reference to the troubled financial times ahead of the County Council a question was asked about what would happen if the pontoon were removed in Winter and the Council lacked the funds to replace it in Spring. Mr Brown responded that he could not see that eventually arising.

Town Councillors said that the welcomed the proposed pontoon in principle but were concerned that no advance consultation had occurred over the proposal.

Mayor Zalot is a passionate resident of Beaumaris and anyone who knows him also knows that he is not one to give up easily. It will be interesting to see what compromised is reached.

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