(The photos are of Castle square improvement works and properties adjoining the Square improvements).
Some postings seem to suggest that I am unfair in highlighting the interests of Mr Dafydd Iwan and Mr Alun Ffred Jones AM in 'Arianrhod', a property investment company.
The questions are described as a pre election fishing trip, yet they can also be read as legitimate questions to ask of two publicly elected representatives. So some clarity from my view point:
a) I have no problem with their involvement in a property investment company, indeed I wish them and others involved with the company every success,
b) I have no objection in principle to the practise of property investment.
However I think publicly elected representatives do need to take great care when promoting (as Mr Iwan and Mr Jones have done) publicly funded investment in places that immediately adjoin places in which they have private business interests. That is why the questions have been asked and I am sure the responses will help clarify any misunderstanding.
Gwynedd Council have stated in January 2008 that
"The Caernarfomn Town Centre Regeneration Scheme is a landmark urban regenerations scheme worth over £2.4 million which consists of a combination of public realm improvements and an associated traffic management scheme which will create a strong sense of arrival within the town centre. The redevelopment work is considered a pivotal element to the successful regeneration of the town, and forms and integral part of the long term strategy to regenerate the town and its surrounding area".
Gwynedd Council describe a key element of the town centre scheme as :
"Substantially improve the physical environment of Castle Square which is a 1.3 acre site in the historic town of Caernarfon" - that improvement should be good news for anyone owning property on the Square as it will make their properties more attractive (that is a stated aim of the investment).
Those physical improvements are happening literally on the doorstep of properties owned by Arianrhod.
Hence the questions so we can be clear private and public interests are not being mixed.