Thursday, 14 January 2010

Anger at hotel name change

The decision to rename a Flintshire hotel previously known as 'The Gateway to Wales' as 'Days Hotel - Chester North' has been branded as a "creeping Chesterfication" of north-east Wales by Plaid Cymru politicians.

North Wales Assembly Member Janet Ryder said the decision by Wyndham Hotel group to change the hotel's name was a slap in the face for Flintshire, as the county's effort at economic regeneration was being undermined by this unjustified "Chesterfication".

She added that she would be raising the matter with Welsh planning minister Carl Sergeant:
 "As minister for planning law, does the AM for Alyn and Deeside intend to do anything to prevent his constituency from being slowly absorbed into England?"

Janet Ryder added:

 "This re-branding is one of the unforeseen consequences of councils like Flintshire signing up to a long-term plan called the West Cheshire/North East Wales strategy.

"We've heard about Liverpool MPs calling for a Mersey mayor that includes Flintshire and Wrexham. Now we see businesses re-branding themselves as Chester based when they're in Flintshire. Where does it all end?"

Her concerns were echoed by Plaid's General Election candidate for the Alyn and Deeside constituency Maurice Jones:
 "This isn't the first company in Flintshire to mislead the public. The Holiday Inn calls itself Chester West, despite being between Ewloe and Northop. Are they ashamed to be in Wales? The Gateway to Wales was able to market itself using the dragon on the bridge and companies coming to Wales should recognise where they are located."

The West Cheshire/North East Wales strategy is aimed at increasing ties between Cheshire and north-east Wales and there has been huge opposition to it in many communities in Flintshire and Wrexham, where thousands of new houses have been built partly to meet the needs of Cheshire-based commuters. A 15,000-strong petition to the Welsh Assembly Government opposing the strategy and the related Mersey-Dee Alliance has been collected, the largest ever presented to the petitions committee. It will be debated in the Assembly next month.

Plaid's candidate for the general election in Wrexham, Arfon Jones, added: 
"With an election coming up we need to know where our two local Unionist MPs, Mark Tami and Ian Lucas, stand on this creeping Chesterfication of north-east Wales. Do they know whats happening? Or is it they dont care that Welsh identity in this part of Wales is being eroded and they are acquiescing to all of this?"

1 comment:

  1. Janet,
    Thanks for keeping up the pressure on this issue. It's obviously no accident that the stategy is called Cheshire/North East Wales and not the other way round. Wales' concerns are clearly subordinate. Cross-border co-operation is one thing. It's quite a different thing to see this colonial attitude towards Wales and encouragement of the further plantation of the country by people who the marketing strategy suggests would really prefer to be in England and who aspire to an English not a Welsh identity. The long-term political consequencies are obvious and no-doubt partly driving the London parties.
    Efrogwr, Swansea