So, another edition of Rali Ceredigion has come and gone, and much of the county can again return to normal.
The event is a mainstay on the national and international motorsport calendar — as is obvious by the registration plates from Ireland and France and further afield on the high-performance cars.
Without doubt, the large number of visitors who travelled to the county injected a huge amount of money into the local economy at a time when it’s badly needed. Those visitors also were drawn to the region as tourism numbers and their spend is down.
Full credit must go to the organisers for executing the rally smoothly over the weekend.
But while there is kudos, there are also issues that need to be resolved — issues that are not going away, and issues that will likely become more pressing during future editions of the popular event.
First and foremost, there have been numerous complaints from local residents that they had no input into how the route was chosen. A loud complaint is that they were contacted as a fait accompli, with no chance to voice objections.
According to the rally organisers, every opportunity had been given, and a consultation process did indeed take place.
Clearly, there is a communication issue.
And with the rally now done for another year and preparations underway for the 2024 edition, now seems like a perfect opportunity for all to clear the air and work hard to build on community relations where that trust has been eroded or simply doesn’t exist.
Route planning needs to be clear. So too talking to people along the route. Having a marshal show up a few days beforehand does not constitute good planning.
Nice to see Ceredigion County Council’s office building car park full for a change — even if it was with rally teams.
The council has intertwined itself with Rali Ceredigion but, like most things the council does, it fails to do it properly, with transparency or communicating properly.
It also needs to address taxpayers’ concerns over whether its role matches claims over being green and environmentally conscious. Is it a good use of tax money?