THE residents of St Asaph are still recovering after last November’s horrendous floods and are now looking to put their city back on the map.
It has been a turbulent year for Wales’ second smallest city, but residents and representatives of St Asaph are looking forward to promoting their community and expanding its assets.
St Asaph’s west ward county councillor Bill Cowie, said: “I firmly believe we’ve got excellent river walks and safe play areas for children which I think is quite important.
“We’ve got a reasonable selection of shops and a good selection of places to eat.
“The biggest problem at the moment is the traffic problem with the high street. People keep shouting for a by-pass but unfortunately it’s such an expensive thing and would take so long to built you wouldn’t see any improvement for ten years.
“I’m from the North East and I came here in 1956 and wouldn’t change this place for the world.
“I think St Asaph is an absolutely wonderful place to live.”
The Free Press asked residents and businesses of St Asaph about what they would like to see improved in the city?
Some people said they thought too many cars parked on the main high street and suggested there should be a wider range of shops.
Melanie Bonnett who lives near the high street and owns a hair salon in the town.
“It’s not got any busier since we were granted city status but when the HSBC bank closed it took a lot of businesses away, a lot of people go to Denbigh instead now and shop while they are there,” said Ms Bonnett.
“I think personally the high street would benefit from a couple of shoes and clothes shops because people tend to go to shop in Rhyl or Denbigh.
“Parking in the street is absolutely ridiculous as well.
“The whole street is usually full of cars, I can’t even park by my house because it’s near the high street.”
The east ward county councillor Dewi Owens said a new initiative to help the town’s parking will be introduced at the end of this month.
“The initiative is at the top of town on Chester Street, Bronwylfa Square, Bryn Gobaith and Mount Road.
“There are no restrictions on the roads at the moment so people have been parking there all day and the shops are losing out.
“Now there will be a parking restriction on the roads so there will be a turn over of people in the town to help the shops.
“Residents will be able to get a parking permit so they can still park on the street.”
In St Asaph’s town plan there is a ‘Vision for St Asaph’ section which aims for St Asaph to offer an “enviable quality of life attractive to residents of all ages”, to develop the cathedral and the river setting and “to sustain and further develop its
buoyant evening economy”.
Representatives of the city are now hoping to move forward after the floods and concentrate on developing the town plan.
Cllr Cowie said: “All of our plans are in place to help the city but they have not gone out as quick because of the floods.
“In my own personal opinion I feel the flood was a one off and I think the investigation will probably prove this was the case. Unfortunately a lot of people will remember the flood for a long time.”
The city council has set up a working group to help the town benefit from their prestigious title in conjunction with Denbighshire County Council.
Cllr Owens said: “The flooding was in the past and we are looking forward.
“We’ve had an interim report on the flooding and we are expecting the full report soon.”
The City of St Asaph and Rhuddlan Tourism Association (SARTA) has also been set up to help promote the city by travelling to exhibitions and shows in the UK to encourage tourists to visit St Asaph and Rhuddlan.
On-going plans to promote the city include improving the condition of buildings and to encourage people to visit the city during the National Eisteddfod.