There are cowboys loose on Ceredigion County Council. This is the only possible conclusion that can be drawn when you read the full report on proposals to allow horses and carriages on the promenade as a tourist attraction in Aberystwyth.
This half-ass horse plan is being reviewed by the council’s Healthier Communities Review and Review Committee, and officials had to dust off the Municipal Police Clauses Act 1847 and a similar law of 1886 to find regulations governing horse-drawn carriages and omnibuses.
Cllr Mark Strong went so far as to say at a recent committee meeting that ‘if they can do it in Vienna, we can do it in Aberystwyth’.
Another council member, Lyndon Lloyd, proposed that if a carriage “is good enough for the Queen, it is good enough for the people of Aberystwyth”.
This thinking is certainly in line with Victorian legislation to which council staff had to refer. They live in another century.
Thing is, the boardwalk can be tricky to walk at the best of times, and having prams and broughams trotting on the boardwalk is just ridiculous.
During the public consultation, more than 200 people responded, the vast majority opposing this equine flight.
In case advisors considering this plan haven’t read the full report, here are some of the answers:
“There is barely enough room for cars and even less for horses.”
“Please don’t do this, there’s enough traffic chaos in town.”
“Abandon that idea completely.”
But no, the committee is not abandoning the idea. Instead, he rides horses and carriages over the objections of the vast majority of opponents in town. It’s not local democracy at work, it’s the work of cowboys detached from reality trying to find a place to park in the city.
Over the past few months the streets of Aberystwyth have suffered enough from poor planning decisions where safety zones have been introduced without full public consultation. Given the council’s authoritative disregard for public comment when consulted, this seems to be a law on its own.
It’s not the Wild West and yes, there will be a High Noon. Better this idea and its supporters fly away into the sunset. Boo!
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