Chris Ruane (Labour) was elected as MP in 1997 and has served 18 years – too long perhaps. I have never been able to warm to Mr. Ruin; he does not seem able to grasp the fact that Rhyl is a purpose-built resort and has no other reason to be here. If he has ever done anything significant to boost our income from tourism I am not aware of it.
Tourism is good at creating opportunities for self-employment, and creating temporary jobs for students on holiday, and creating unskilled jobs for inexperienced workers – of which we have many in the old holiday district of Rhyl West where the unemployment rate is sky high.
Mr. Ruin has presided over the biggest downturn in the town’s fortunes in the entire history of Rhyl. He may feel no personal responsibility for our loss of status as a holiday resort (as typified by loss of Ocean Beach Fun Fair) or our loss of status as a regional shopping centre (loss of Marks & Spencer) but he cannot dodge some responsibility.
He has supported and/or been complicit in housing policies that have allowed Rhyl to become stuffed with people from other places, who have no income other than rock-bottom state pensions or benefits, no spending power and no apparent aspirations for themselves or for the town.
Social housing is a good thing - I say this as somebody brought up on a local council estate and currently living in Pennaf/Clwyd Alyn Housing Association development for elderly people – but the activities of Clwyd Alyn have gone too far, especially in Rhyl West. They are eating the ward.
Mr. Ruin could have called for a curb on the company’s activities – but he didn’t.
During his entire period in office, resettlement agencies have been dumping alcoholics, drug addicts, offenders of all kinds, and other problematic people into the old holiday district of Rhyl West, helping to give the whole town a bad name.
Mr. Ruin could have called for an end to those agencies’ activities – but he didn’t.
No doubt he would counter all the points I have made here in his usual brusque manner. He has a smart-alec answer for everything. “Get yer facts right!” he snarls whenever he or his precious Labour Party come under criticism.
Chris Ruane MP seems, above all else, a Party man - only too willing to dance to the tune of Labour Whips who tell him how to vote and how to behave in the House of Commons, and only too willing to embrace the workplace culture: he has been criticised on more than occasion for the size of his expenses claims.
His Vale of Clwyd constituency includes wards where seriously deprived people live. These people, if they voted at all, would probably have assisted him by voting Labour – and he has made himself comparatively wealthy off their backs.
According to Wikipedia, he derives income from owning and renting out property in London while living at some other address at the public expense. He gets an easy ride from our chicken-hearted local paper The Journal whose offices nestle next door to Rhyl Labour Party’s offices. They never ask him any awkward questions.
For decades the Labour Party has been dominant within Rhyl and – apart from two or three decent ward councillors – our elected representatives are not fit for purpose because they don’t give enough thought to how pubic money is created in the first place – they just concentrate on how it should be spent.
On Mr. Ruin’s watch, Rhyl has been a leper squatting with a begging bowl for more and more grant aid from above. It's time to have some blue sky thinking and vote for Conservative candidate Dr. James Davies who is a local man, a GP in Prestatyn and a member of both Prestatyn and Denbighshire councils.
His knowledge of Rhyl is sound (not long ago I had a walk around the west end with him to satisfy myself on this point). James wants to make more of Rhyl’s potential and understands the town’s problems. His enthusiasm for Rhyl, combined with a doctor’s natural compassion, makes him in my opinion the better local candidate.
For me, politics is a local matter. Despite reservations about some of his Conservative Party’s national policies, I will be voting for James in May.