What can this mean?


The following rather strange announcement has turned up on the Llanbedr Community Council website, but without any explanation as to what has brought on such a bizarre outburst:


CONTACT US: post@llanbedr.com

When submitting your contribution to www.llanbedr.com please make sure that it:

  • is not defamatory
  • is not vexatious
  • does not promote material from anonymous sources
  • does not infringe any law

www.llanbedr.com , cyngorllanbedr@gmail.com , post@llanbedr.com  are the official property of Llanbedr Community Council / Cyngor Cymuned Llanbedr.


Please be wary of notices and publications referring unofficially to or purporting to represent the agreed business of the Community Council.


Even stranger, this only appears on the English language version of the New Road web page (that’s what Llanbedr Community Council insist calling the bypass). Presumably it doesn’t apply to Welsh speakers or ‘contributions’ about anything else. Obviously the council has a problem of some kind, but it’s all very puzzling.  Perhaps they don’t really mind receiving defamatory, vexatious, anonymous, or illegal representations, or people impersonating them, just as long are not about the ‘new road’  or  in English. Or could it be that it is unthinkable that any Welsh speaker would behave so heinously? Perhaps the council’s onslaught is only directed at one or two individuals who are known not to speak Welsh, but surely that isn’t possible because it would be rather silly and possibly discriminatory.

Of course Protect Llanbedr is always very happy to do whatever it can to assist the community council. As we understand that their website receives very few visitors, we’ve reproduced the announcement here in the hope that it will reach as many members to the community as possible.

Spaceport legislation in Queen’s Speech 2

Before the Queen delivered her speech to parliament outlining the government’s legislative for the next two years, the spin-doctors were hard at work briefing the media about measures aimed at developing the UK aerospace industry.

This is what the speech actually said about space developments yesterday:

My government will work to attract investment in infrastructure to support economic growth. Legislation will be introduced to ensure the United Kingdom remains a world leader in new industries, including electric cars and commercial satellites. A new bill will also be brought forward to deliver the next phase of high-speed rail.

The Queen’s Speech, 21/06/2017


Interestingly, this seems to refer to encouraging private investment rather than direct government aid from public funds.

The Queen’s Speech only gives a very brief summary of what measures will be brought before parliament. To find out more, one must turn to the government’s briefing paper that accompanies the speech. Continue reading “Spaceport legislation in Queen’s Speech 2”

Spaceport legislation in Queen’s Speech 1


Suddenly, news feeds are full of stories about space flight and spaceports:

Queen’s Speech: Government to announce plans for commercial space flights and ports for spaceships

The Independent Online, 20th June 2017

ON THE HORIZON: Space travel set to take off as Government unveils plans to build ‘rocket ports’ around the country in the Queen’s Speech

The Sun, 19th June 2017


It seems strange that a government that has lost its majority, and whose real concerns are unlikely to extend far beyond Brexit legislation and staying in power, should be giving space flight priority. So are we just seeing an attempt by the Number 10 spin doctors to break into a constant stream of damaging stories with something that sounds upbeat, progressive, and really, really, optimistic? Just what the PM’s image needs! Don’t say we are going back to the days when the political agenda was set by ‘eye-catching initiatives’ that a desperate leader could be associated with.

Even if the proposed legislation puts the regulatory framework for spaceports in place, where will funding for this new industry rank against the demands of the NHS, the police, social care, schools and a hundred other public services during a period of austerity? Only time will tell.

What is certain is that our political representatives, at all levels, need to start consulting locals about the real impact of a spaceport being built here, because this is a decision that will be taken a very long way from Llanbedr and local interests will need all the support they can get.

The shape of things to come?

Here is a nice photo of Llanbedr on a fine summer day. It graces the front page of Gwynedd Council’s Environmental Statement, which it has prepared to support it’s plans to build a bypass round the village. This wonderful document is all about what a jolly good care your council is taking of your surroundings. It runs to over 500 pages.

The photograph is taken from the middle of the field to the west of Maes Artro, looking north across Mochras Road, the bend in the river beside the riverside car park and picnic area, and along the line of the proposed bypass to the houses beside the main road at the north end of the village. It shows the attractive and tranquil countryside that Llanbedr is set in.

And now here is a graphic taken from Gwynedd Council’s ‘Fly Through’ video simulation of what their lovely new bypass will look like if they get to build it. This shows exactly the same location as it will be if a bypass is built, with the bend in the river and the car park, but from a slightly different angle,.

Although the video attempts to disguise the new bridge as much as possible by using some convenient placed trees to screen it, just look at the height of the bridge as represented in the ‘Fly Through’ image and then the size of the car that is approaching it. Clearly the height of the bridge where it crosses Mochras Road is not represented accurately in the video. No commercial vehicle could possibly pass under it, and even a car might be in danger of scraping its roof.

With that in mind, it’s worth taking another look at the first picture. Bear in mind what the bridge looks like, and then consider the environmental impact on the village, and the whole area around it, if a new road very similar to the Porthmadog Bypass is constructed on embankments at Llanbedr.

Bypass Cost Escalating

Data obtained from the Welsh Government under the Freedom of Information Act seems to show that the cost of a bypass has escalated rapidly even before the scheme has got off the drawing board.

A spend profile dated September 2016 estimates total expenditure to complete the project by quarter 2 of 2020 as £10,190,000.00.

Just four months later, another spend profile dated January 2017 shows expenditure to completion in quarter 2 of 2021 as £14,390,000.00.

That is an increase of £4,200,000.00, or over 40%.

The spend profiles can be found here, and it is worth noting that neither of them appear to include the half million pounds of funding allocated by the Welsh Government to kick-start the scheme prior to April 2016.

Among correspondence that was disclosed by Cardiff at the same time is this rather cryptic suggestion:

“Gc’s other option if WEFO doesn’t stack up is to include this scheme etc within the North Wales Growth deal bid to UK Gov.”

Translated, this apparently means that in order to obtain funding, Gwynedd Council is advised to apply to the UK Government if even the Welsh European Funding Office is reluctant to waste money on this inappropriate and unnecessary project. But wouldn’t it to be fascinating to know what ‘etc’ stands for in this context.




Development? What development

An eagle-eyed reader of Protect Llanbedr noticed this on page 107 of the Environmental Statement Gwynedd Council has made available as part of their so-called consultation about the Llanbedr bypass scheme.


The Economic impact assessment undertaken on this development suggests that the main impacts would be in the development of RPAS [Remotely Piloted Air System – aka drones] activities at the airfield. At the same time, improved road access is also considered to consolidate the employment in the airfield rather than induce huge increases. MRO [maintenance repair and overhaul] activity identified would be reliant in part on the development of the RPAS activities. Further development of the Business park is thought to be likely, although not a significant area of immediate growth.



In line with this, no specific physical development ofthe airfield site is currently planned or anticipated on a significant scale in the near future, with the economic model being based on the growth in industry primarily utilising existing infrastructure.

A 4 9 6 L l a n b e d r A c c e s s I m p r o v e m e n t: VOLUME 1: ENVIRONMENTAL STATEMENT


Now at the moment, ‘economic activity’ at the airfield seems only to be employing about 7 people full time (see here and here) in face of claims from the operators, Continue reading “Development? What development”

Future Landscapes

In the past, quarrying, mining, heavy industry, farming, textiles, and fishing have all played an important role in the economic life of Meirionnydd, and then they have faded. Now the one enduring industry that we can count on not only to survive, but if properly managed to provide growth in the years to come, is tourism.

Tourism has long since overtaken farming in the size of its contribution it makes to the Welsh economy. Even if Brexit marks the end of the long-standing EU vendetta against hill farmers, and future UK governments give this sector of agriculture the support it so desperately needs and deserves, recovery will take decades.

Arguably, the only exploitable major natural resource that rural Wales still posses is its landscape, Continue reading “Future Landscapes”