Conwy: ‘We have to get pubic confidence back after Covid’

CONWY’S youngest councillor and cabinet member for events says the council must win back the public’s confidence to entice people back to indoor and outdoor shows.

Cllr Aaron Wynne, 25, who won back his Llanrwst seat and was chosen as the cabinet member for leisure and culture, also vowed to give young people a voice during his tenure.

Last weekend thousands travelled to Parc Eirias’ stadium to watch Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds after over two years of Covid,  lockdowns and social distancing.

Now, as it appears we are heading away from pandemic restrictions, Cllr Wynne says one of Conwy’s biggest challenges is getting people back to Parc Eirias, Venue Cymru and Theatr Colwyn.

 

Noel Gallaghers High Flying Birds at Eirias Stadium Colwyn Bay

Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds at Eirias Stadium Colwyn Bay

 

But Cllr Wynne believes Conwy’s reputation of staging huge shows means people will return.

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“It is all about getting people’s confidence back going to events across the county,” he said.

“For the last two years, obviously, we’ve been telling people to stay away, and now we just want to get people’s confidence back.

“Parc Eirias, Venue Cymru, Theatr Colwyn are all in my portfolio, and we want to try and encourage people to return to these events. So that is going to be one of my priorities, getting our events back to pre-pandemic levels and getting our visitors back.

“The Noel Gallagher gig was a really successful night, and hopefully the remaining line-up for the summer will be equally as successful, and then, of course, you’ve got Venue Cymru, which is indoors, which people might be more nervous going to. Events are a really big part of the economic development of the county.

“I think Venue Cymru is going to be the more difficult one because it is indoors, but it will take time. We need to put the events on whilst proving to people we are still trying to keep them safe and still putting precautions in place. Word of mouth is really important in this industry. But we need to go above and beyond and make sure events are still safe and people feel safe.”

 

Venue Cymru, Llandudno

Venue Cymru, Llandudno

 

He added: “There are big names coming to Parc Eirias – Simply Red and Olly Murs – and to Venue Cymru, but it will take time to get people’s confidence back.

“Events are important to residents but also to a wider audience across North Wales and even further afield. We know, even for the event we had on Saturday at Parc Eirias, the Noel Gallagher event, pubs, and cafes were choc-o-block, and it was really nice to see the town busy again. The economic impact of holding these events is really important.

“We haven’t been able to hold events for the past two years, but because our events pre-Covid were good, I’m hoping we will be able to bounce back.”

Cllr Wynne was just 20 years old when he was elected to council during the 2017 election. Five years later, Cllr Wynne remains Conwy’s youngest member.

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Cllr Wynne says he is determined to give young people a voice.

“Young councillors are definitely needed,” he said.

“When I was elected five years ago, I was the youngest councillor in Wales, I think.  I might have been actually the youngest councillor in Conwy ever.

“I knew I had the responsibility to engage with younger people across the county, not to speak on young people’s issues but on every issue because our voice should be heard in every decision that is made across the county.”

Whilst Cllr Wynne says he will work with the council’s independent, Labour and Plaid Cymru coalition, he vowed to challenge decisions he didn’t agree with.

 “I’m very much enjoying the cabinet,” he said.

“There are three different groups in the coalition, so the nature of that means we have to work together on things. I think that’s good. You get the best ideas from everyone, and I’m hoping we can work with the members who aren’t on the cabinet as well.”

He added: “I don’t know whether I’d say I’m outspoken, but I’m always willing to speak my mind. If I think something is wrong, I don’t mind saying it. We need to move away from this group thinking of everyone thinking the same and that everyone should just agree with what’s going on. If something needs to be challenged, it needs to be challenged.”

North Wales Pioneer | Llandudno