Thursday, 14 January 2010

No justification for Chesterfication

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?"


Siluris said...

Ye Gods! Funny, just reading a book on the Celts. Only in 616 - less than 1,400 years ago - did the Anglo-Saxons conquer the Mersey plain and reach the Celtic Sea. I think we should now take Caerlleon back, not let them roll over us economically, culturally, politically - and spiritually. It's the sheer lack of respect and studied ignorance that gets me.

Anonymous said...

Just checked their address via a well-known search engine. It's "Welsh Road, Garden City, Deeside, Clwyd, CH5 2HX, United Kingdom". Bit thick aren't they? But where exactly is it located, Sealand or Queensferry? Is there actually a place called Deeside?

Plaid Queensway said...

This is a response sent to a member of a facebook group set up in opposition to this. It is from the hotels manager:

"Hi ,

Thank you for your comments regarding the name change 2 months ago at the hotel. There are several reason for the name change, firstly as part of the Days group we need to be associated with the nearest city which, as we are based in a suburb of Chester , we have opted to use Chester as has the local Holiday Inn several years ago.
Chester has several suburbs which cross the border into Wales and we are unable to deny that we are a Chester suburb.
By joining the Days Group it gives us an opportunity to develop the hotel further and create more jobs for the local Welsh people.
We have kept the Gateway to Wales name for our leisure club and signage of which still remains in a prominent position on the exterior of the hotel.
We are proud of the Welsh links that the hotel has, we proudly fly the Welsh, not English flag outside the hotel. We are in a unique position of being in Chester, which is perceived as an English city but lie just across the border in Wales and as a business we would like to use both Chester and Wales within our businesses names.

I hope you will understand the position we have taken.

Kind regards

Matt Knight

General manager

realist said...

Here here ... common business sense if you ask me.. if you want a hotel near Chester then Flintshire hotels are not going to be getting the business - a slight rebrand to Chester North and the business gains business which would normally be directed over the border.

Wales therefore benefits from investment which otherwise would have gone to England - not that theres anything wrong with that?

Anonymous said...

Except they are telling lies, the hotels are not in Chester, they are in Flintshire. imagine an US punter staying in the Holiday Inn in Northop and having to pay £10 to £15 a time to get into Chester, its a scam and it needs to be highlighted as such.
Social engineering is a bit more than a 'slight rebrand'!
Why can't we 'brand' Flintshire.
Clearly in our case there is not much difference between a realist and a cynic, and a greedy one at that.