Fears that Ammanford town centre work will hit festivities
6:40am Wednesday 4th July 2012 in News
CHRISTMAS in Ammanford will effectively be cancelled if extensive work on Quay Street continues until the festive period.
That is the fear of Ammanford towncouncillors, who have painted a grim picture of falling numbers of shoppers, no festive lights and businesses going to the wall if the work over-runs.
They voiced their concerns on learning that Stuart Walters, Carmarthenshire county council’s physical regeneration manager, and town centre manager Andrew Shufflebotham were unable to attend Monday night’s meeting at the Town Hall.
And members angrily described suggestions that a community liaison officer would subsequently address their concerns as “passing the buck”.
Town clerk Miriam Phillips was bitterly disappointed.
“I told them we needed information as this was our last meeting before the summer recess,” she said.
“This is such a big issue that they should have been prepared to come here.”
Cllr Andrew Lewis felt the town council deserved a greater say in the regeneration of Ammanford.
“Where is the contract regarding Quay Street?”
he asked. “What are the deadlines to finish the job and what will the penalties be if those deadlines are not met?
“We really need some answers because at this rate Christmas in Ammanford is going to be a shambles.”
Cllr Irena Hopkins said traders were blaming falling trade on the streetworks, parking charges and the temporary closure of the town’s bus station.
“We’re already into July and there are only two or three big holes in Quay Street,” she said.
But Mr Shufflebotham told the Guardian he was confident the work would finish by the end of October or early November.
“We didn’t go to the meeting as we didn’t feel it was appropriate,”
“But as far as we’re concerned, things are on track and the work will be finished well in time for the Christmas celebrations.”