A PETITION with 12,500 signatures demanding sand be put back on Llandudno beach was presented to the Welsh Government this afternoon.
Led by mayor Cllr Greg Robbins, Aberconwy MS Janet Finch-Saunders, and Cllr Ian Turner, who instigated the campaign, protesters gathered on the prom to present the petition to Welsh Government MS Jack Sargent.
MS Jack Sargent is the chairman of the petitions committee at Welsh Government.
Cllr Turner started the petition two months ago to lobby for sand to be put back on Llandudno beach after rocks were placed on the seafront in 2014 following Welsh Government funded sea defence work.
Cllr Ian Turner said: “It has been quite emotional. It has been a long time coming. This is a major thing that has happened. I just hope the Welsh Government listens. Hopefully this will be a game-changer for the town.”
Welsh Government has offered the council £7m in flood protection money for a rock based scheme at North Shore but says the Wales flooding fund can’t afford the sand and groynes project that would cost £24m.
Campaigners have asked for more from the Welsh Government and an application is also being considered for UK Government levelling up funding. Similar beach schemes in Colwyn Bay and Rhos-on-Sea were backed by EU funds that are now not available after Brexit.
The petition reaching 10,000 signatures means the matter can be officially debated at the Senedd.
This week it was revealed Conwy’s tourist industry is now worth £1.1 billion, having recovered from the COVID pandemic.
But the industry has lost hundreds of millions of pounds since 2020, and Aberconwy MS Janet Finch-Saunders said she hoped Welsh Government would listen to the wishes of residents and tourists.
“Cllr Ian Turner launched this petition two months ago. We needed 10,000 signatures. Well we’ve gone 2,000 over. It means we stand the chance now of a full debate in Welsh Parliament,” she said.
“The council is now doing an economic assessment to show the economic benefits of putting sand back on the beach. So we need to have this debate on the floor of the Senedd. We need the funding from Welsh Government.
“The money has been allocated for the sea defence scheme, but what we are saying is for an extra £10m we can have the scheme and have sand for the beach.
“It’s not me – it’s my residents, my visitors, our businesses. You know, children can’t go on there on those rocks. It is inaccessible to the old people, disabled people. If you actually look at the revenue, the business rates that hotels pay.
“You’ve got these fabulous beaches in Colwyn Bay and Rhos on Sea, and the sand is part of the sea defence work. Why can’t we have something similar in Llandudno?
“We already know Llandudno is the jewel in the crown. But we also believe she deserves – and I say ‘she’ because she’s the queen of the Welsh resorts – to have the sand restored.
“The sand was here for donkey’s years, and literally when I say ‘donkey’s years’, the donkeys that were always a huge attraction in Llandudno can’t go on the beach now because of the stones. The donkeys are in a field redundant. The owner would love them to be on the beach.”
She added, “Once you get sand back on the beach, it is good for our hoteliers, our shops, our high street. It is very competitive out there now. Having sand back will encourage more families to come. It will be amazing.”