Rhun ap Iorwerth’s column for the Holyhead and Anglesey Mail 06.01.16

The Christmas and New Year season brought cheer to most, but challenges to many.

I struggle to remember a winter like this. Yes, we’re used to wind and we in Wales are no strangers to rain. But week after week of heavy downpours appeared endless, and by the time Frank struck last week we had already been battered by gales for months.

I visited Beaumaris as town and county council workers and volunteers as well as Police, Fire and Rescue crews and other emergency teams brought order after the Boxing Day deluge. I spoke with those who’d sprung into action to begin the clean-up, and I spoke to some of those who’d suffered more flooding.
And that’s what’s of particular concern here – flooding in Beaumaris is becoming an ever more regular occurance. That’s why I’ll be staying in close contact with various agencies, and putting pressure on Government to ensure that the neccessary action is taken to give the town the protection it needs. This can’t go on.

I feel also for businesses affected and hope they are able to get up-and-running again soon. I sympathise enormously with Anthony Tavernor after his lovingly developed Plas Cadnant Gardens in Menai Bridge suffered major damage. I know it’s blossom again.

Flooding hit our transport system, too. In Trearddur and Malltraeth, Penmynydd and Beaumaris and elsewhere, many roads were closed. We must work together to see what extra measures could ensure more resilience in future storms.

But what happened on the A55 is inexcusable. To have the main north Wales transport artery shut down by flooding when Welsh Government already knew of the potential problem and delayed taking action beggars belief. There can be no excuse for further inaction.

And so we enter a new year. It’s a time of hope… of new beginnings. Learning from lessons of the past and building on our strengths we can set our sights on a brighter future.

It’s a time when we traditionally make resolutions, promises aimed at achieving a positive change in our lives. The challenges thrown up by the winter weather showed the best of Anglesey spirit, when neighbours helped each other and communities rallied around to assist the less fortunate. So, let’s promise to be even better neighbours to each other in this new year.

May 2016 bring you, your loved ones and your neighbours health, happiness and prosperity. Blwyddyn newydd dda.