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New resident Gillian Fynn
"I feel we're getting wrongly blamed because we're not all the same"
 real 28k

Conservative councillor Keith Toy
"It is imposing strains on council services and the local population"
 real 28k

BBC Wales's Rob Thomas
"Some landlords have been accused of encouraging people from deprived inner city areas to move to the coast"
 real 28k

Tuesday, 13 June, 2000, 13:55 GMT 14:55 UK
Bedsit threat to seaside towns
Colwyn Bay
Picturesque Colwyn Bay has been transformed
The increasing social deprivation within many of Britain's traditional seaside towns will come under the spotlight when MPs visit officers at Conwy Council.

Members of the Commons Select Committee on Social Security will be looking at the problems created by the growing number of people moving from inner city areas.

In many seaside towns, former guesthouses and hotels have been converted on a huge scale into flats and bedsits.

Once prosperous resorts like Rhyl and Colwyn Bay have been transformed, with some landlords being accused of encouraging people from deprived inner city areas to move to the coast.

Councils like Conwy have found themselves with growing social problems as a result.

They range from increased pressures on schools - which are having to deal with an influx of pupils with behavioural problems - to rising crime, often linked to drugs problems.


Colwyn Bay
Attempts to regenerate Colwyn Bay are being "hampered"

Local conservative councillor Keith Toy described the problem as "potentially very serious" and said the perception was that it was getting worse.

"The situation is not getting better and it is imposing strains on council services and the local population," he said.

"Attempts by local people to regenerate the area is being hampered by having this kind of population thrust upon us.

"People are bringing children into schools, often from dysfunctional families which is causing problems in the school.

"One local head told me the other day he had never had to suspend so many pupils in a year as this year."

But Mr Toy said he did not want to paint to black a picture.

"Colwyn Bay is still a good place to live and shop, and a good place to spend your holidays," he added.

"It's not dodge city."

The MPs are looking at a range of issues related to the housing benefit system and will draw up a report later this year.

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