North West Wales

Flood villagers accuse First Minister Carwyn Jones of snub

Carwyn Jones
Image caption Carwyn Jones at the A55 - just metres from Tal-y-Bont near Bangor, Gwynedd

Residents in a flood-hit Gwynedd village have accused the first minister of snubbing them after he failed to stop on a tour of the area.

Villagers in Tal-y-Bont near Bangor were expecting Carwyn Jones to visit after 20 homes were hit by flooding.

He saw where the A55 had been blocked nearby, but drove through the village without stopping on Thursday.

Officials said they were unaware residents were waiting to see Mr Jones, who will return next week.

"We're very sorry for any confusion with the visit," said a spokeswoman for the first minister. "We weren't aware that a group of residents was waiting to meet him."

A Welsh government statement said Mr Jones would visit the village, along with Llanrwst in the Conwy valley and Beaumaris on Anglesey.

It said he would be meeting "volunteers and local people, all of whom have been affected by the flooding".

In addition, Mr Jones would "also visit local roads, including the A55 dual carriageway near the village of Tal-y-Bont" to see ongoing flood prevention work, said the statement.

The road was completely blocked on Saturday, along with routes to the A5, effectively cutting off north-west Wales.

But after visiting Llanrwst and seeing the A55, the first minister drove straight through Tal-y-Bont on his way to Beaumaris.

Image caption Eirlys Evans was one of the villagers expecting to see Carwyn Jones

Mr Jones told BBC Wales he personally did not know he was expected in Tal-y-Bont and would return to meet residents.

But Eirlys Evans, whose home was hit by the Christmas flooding, said she was "disappointed and disgusted".

"That's how they are isn't it. They don't care about us here, do they?" she said.

Mr Jones's spokeswoman said: "If we'd been aware, he would have gone to meet them, that's why he is coming back on Tuesday."

She added that "we are really, really very sorry".

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