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Thursday, August 16, 2018

Ysgol Dinas Bran celebrates "fantastic" A level results

* A level students jump for joy at their results.

Delighted A level students celebrated "fantastic" exam results at Ysgol Dinas Bran today.

Overall the pass-rate at A level (grades A*-E) was a very pleasing 98%, with over 80% of grades awarded at A*-C, well above national averages. 

Among subjects, Design and Technology, Art and Design, Drama, Geography, History, Maths, PE, Music, Spanish and Psychology all had 100% pass-rates at A*-C. 

There were some outstanding performances from students. 

Julian Gonzalez achieved four A* grades, achieving an A* in Music this year while in year 13, A* in Physics and Further Maths last year when in Year 12 and an A* in Maths while only in Year 11. He will now continue with his studies in Maths at St John’s College, Oxford University. 

Mae Morgan achieved A* grades in Maths and Physics and A grades in Spanish and Biology; Mae will now study Nursing at Southampton University. 

Barra Liddy also took three of his A levels whilst in Year 12, achieving four overall including an A* and two A grades. Barra will now study Music and Sound Recording at the University of Surrey. 

Connor Stalham achieved a clean sweep of A grades in his three subjects  - Biology, Physics and Mathematics.  Connor will now go on to study Theoretical Physics at York University.

Other students who achieved two A grades or more were:

Grace Broadbent  two A grades, one B grade, two  C grades*
Imogen Fernehough   two A grades
Ffion Hughes two A grades, one B, one C
Millie Harrison two A grades and a B grade
Joe Richardson  two A grades and a B grade
Osian Williams  two A grades and a B grade
Annie Ward  two A grades, two C grades 
*- Grace both took a number of her qualifications whilst in Year 12.

Early indicators suggest that the vast majority of students who applied to university have been successful in their first choice applications.

Headteacher, Martyn Froggett, said: "We are delighted with these fantastic results.  A levels are hard exams;  the students have worked hard and deserve their success.  We wish them well for the future, whatever their chosen route. 

"A big thank you also to all the teachers for their tremendous work and support of the students.”

The county council says early indications show approximately 99% of students have been successful in achieving the Level 3 threshold, which is a slight improvement on the previous year.

Approximately 77% of students achieved A*-C grades and there have been some excellent individual achievements across all schools with approximately 23% of students achieving A* and A grades.

Councillor Huw Hilditch-Roberts, Denbighshire's Cabinet Lead Member for Education, Children and Young People, said: “We would like to congratulate all students on their individual results and we wish them every success in their chosen pathway.

“These results highlight the continued focus we have on education and is testament to the commitment shown by everyone concerned.

“The results reflect the years of hard work and dedication of students and the tireless support of their teachers in preparation for the examinations and shows that pupils make strong progress over the course of their education.  

“Denbighshire has a consistent focus on ensuring that children and young people achieve well and once again highlights our belief that “every child really matters” as was noted in the recent Estyn Inspection.  

“Education remains a top priority in the County and we are extremely pleased to see the majority of schools in Denbighshire continue to improve performance.”

The local authority extends sincere congratulations to every individual student achieving this summer and wishes them well in their future endeavours.

Llan's new vicar introduces himself

From Father Lee Taylor:

It was announced this week that I am to be the Vicar of Llangollen, Llantysilio and Trevor and I am really looking forward to getting to know everyone in and around these communities in the months and years ahead. 

* In his spare time Lee Taylor is a member of the
British Music Hall Society. 

I appreciate this opportunity to say a few words to introduce myself before I move to Llangollen later this year. 

I was born and brought up in Bolton, Lancashire. I studied theology at the University of Wales, Lampeter where I was also organ scholar and choirmaster.

When I left university I worked at a busy call centre for the gas and electricity supplier Norweb Energi. I had the delightful task of working in the customer complaints department. I was one of those mysterious people at the other end of the line who put you on hold and force you to listen to a pan-pipe rendition of Greensleeves!

At weekends I worked evenings at a local Working Men’s Club playing a selection of schmaltzy tunes on the organ before the main bingo session. 

I moved to London in 2002 to take up the post of Deputy-Head Verger at Southwark Cathedral. During my time in London I also worked as a volunteer chaplaincy assistant at Guy’s & St Thomas’ hospitals. 

In 2010 I left London to train for ordained ministry at Ripon College, Cuddesdon.

I served my curacy (the initial clergy job) in Leigh-on-Sea. One of the most challenging projects I took on during my curacy was a visit to India in 2014 with a group from the parish. We worked at an orphanage and volunteered at the various Mother Teresa institutions around Calcutta that are run by the Missionaries of Charity. 

I am currently Associate Vicar of Croydon Minster. During my time in Croydon I have worked hard at establishing partnerships with various organisations, business and charities around the town.

Working with the community is at the heart of my priestly ministry as I believe that the work of God thrives and flourishes in community.

One of the most exciting mission and community ventures that we did as a church was a beer blessing ceremony at our local pub, The Dog & Bull. This event not only brought together a wide section of the community but it also signalled the open and welcoming face of the church in the heart of the community.

I have to say at this point that I am no stranger to inns: my mother ran two pubs in Wigan where I used to serve behind the bar, play the piano and chat to the regulars. It was great fun. 

What will I bring to Llangollen? I consider myself to be an engaging and creative person with a good sense of humour and a down-to-earth approach. This probably stems from my love of Music Hall and my experience of performing ‘turns’ on the amateur stage. I am a member of the British Music Hall Society and I'm currently pursuing an informal study on the theology of humour. 
I also enjoy playing and composing music, ballroom dancing, the arts, hiking, and keeping fit.
One of my priorities in ministry is to be a visible witness to the gospel in the ‘public square’ and to be available to anyone in need. I am greatly looking forward to my move to Llangollen and to serving all sections of this wonderful and vibrant community. 
Wishing you peace and joy.
Father Lee Taylor

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Ex-councillor speaks out on mountain fire

Former county councillor for Llangollen Stuart Davies (pictured) gives his personal view of the reasons behind mountain fire which has been burning on Llantysilio Mountain for many weeks.

When I was a lad many years ago it was normal to burn gorse and heather, I used to as a little boy with my Grandad, he had a hill farm in Cheshire.

Since then the tree huggers and bunny lovers have taken over.

The management of places like the Horseshoe Pass has stopped the type of burning we used to do,
consequently we have the build up of what I call brash and the undergrowth gets denser.

This collects year on year and then when a natural fire occurs, instead of it being a "flash" fire it becomes a deep rooted one that hangs on and on in the deep undergrowth.

NRW (National Resources Wales) are the culprits!

They don't allow anyone to do anything there!

Denbighshire County Council, when I was a councillor, wanted to do stuff such as cut the verges and widen them a bit - no, no and no the officers said.

Farmers would like to burn as they used to do every year. Controlled burns keep the rubbish down, gets rid of nasty insects such as ticks and promotes the growth of tender new shoots which grouse graze on!

I notice a few weeks in to the burn that NRW was doing its handwringing bit, ooh the poor black grouse!

Well, if they did or had allowed more regular controlled burning instead of doing the PC bit it is my opinion that the fire would have been well out by now!

Brightest and best digital innovators sought

A leading awards ceremony is looking for the brightest and best digital innovators across the region.

The Digital Futures Awards, taking place this Autumn, form part of the annual Digital Futures conference – now in its third successful year at Wrexham Glyndŵr University.

The awards, sponsored by industry leaders and delivered in partnership with Big Ideas Wales and Wrexham Enterprise Hub, celebrate those who have been at the cutting edge of the digital marketing and online business revolution.

This years’ awards have five categories and are open for entries until October 8, when a shortlist will be drawn up in preparation for the Digital Futures conference and Awards Ceremony, to be held in the University’s Catrin Finch centre on October 25.

The categories are for:

·        Digital Marketing Campaign – sponsored by NXT Web.  This award is for those who have innovate in a digital marketing campaign, whether this is launching a new business or product or boosting charity fundraising to the next level. Judges are looking for creativity and a focus on timescales and impact.

·        Digital Marketing Company – sponsored by FSB. This award is for a digital marketing company which has driven growth for businesses and clients, or a skilled individual or team who have secured proved results for clients.

·       Online Business – sponsored by NatWest Cymru – An award for any online business which need celebration, whether it’s through boosting the work/ life balance of staff or improving the satisfaction of customers.

·       Successful Brand – sponsored by Wrexham Glyndwr University. This award celebrates the power of digital media for boosting a brand. Judges are looking for innovative examples of how brands have been exposed and gained attraction through the power of digital.   They are particularly keen to hear from small brands as well as larger brands.

·       Digital Young Person under 25 – sponsored by M-SParc: This award is an open category, looking for a young person who has used digital tools and media to enhance their work – whether this is a project, hobby or business idea. Judges welcome a wide range of submissions – whether this is a blog, vlog, a twitter campaign, or even an app creation.

Judith Alexander, Enterprise Champion at Wrexham Glyndŵr University, said: “For individuals and businesses, adapting to the digital revolution – and harnessing the opportunities it offers- is vital.

“That’s why so many of our courses here at Wrexham Glyndŵr University place it at the forefront of what they do, and why we host events like the Digital Futures Conference and ceremonies like the Digital Futures Awards. I’d like to thank all the sponsors for lending their support to the awards, and all the speakers taking part in the conference. Those speakers are industry leaders in their fields – and we want the awards to recognise the emerging talent our region has to offer too.

“If you are from Wales, Cheshire, Wirral or Shropshire and fit the bill for one of the categories, we would love to hear from you.”

* Anyone interested in finding out more, or making a nomination, can email Judith on

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Denbighshire ranks as sixth best council in Wales

The Public Accountability Measures 2017-18 published by Data Cymru on behalf of the Welsh Local Government Association, shows that Denbighshire ranks sixth out of the 22 councils in Wales.

The data enables local authorities to present their performance to the public and allow the public to hold local authorities to account.

Authorities are judged on their performance on a number of key indicators including corporate services, education, environmental services, housing, leisure and culture, planning, highway services, public protection, social care and waste – although Waste and Social Care data has not yet been published by the Welsh Government.

Councillor Julian Thompson-Hill, the council’s lead member for Finance, Performance and Strategic Assets, said: “This data shows that despite the challenging environment within which local government continues to operate, the council is working hard to provide the best possible service to our residents.

“Denbighshire ranks second in Wales for sickness absence amongst its staff, second for the most food establishments that meet hygiene standards, and third for highway cleanliness.”

“We returned 52 empty homes into use, ranking us fourth in Wales, and library use is among the best in Wales with just over 529,000 visits in 2017-18. Leisure visits also rank highly, at more than 852,000.”

“We will continue to build on this performance to ensure that we serve the residents of the county.”

Last year the Council adopted its Corporate Plan to create a significant and lasting difference to the people and communities of Denbighshire and improve services.

The plan will see a proposed investment of £135 million and aims to support young people, protect the environment, create resilient and connected communities, and improve housing in Denbighshire.

Monday, August 13, 2018

New vicar chosen for Llangollen, Llantysilio and Trevor.

The Bishop of St Asaph has announced the appointment of a new priest for Llangollen, Llantysilio and Trevor.

The Reverend Lee Taylor (pictured), who is currently Associate Vicar of Croydon Minster in the diocese of Southwark, will move to Llangollen later in the autumn to take up the post left vacant by the departure of the Rev Andrew Sully for Llandudno a few months ago. 

A date for a service of licensing and welcome will be announced in due course.

The decision was announced during yesterday’s Sunday morning services and it follows an interview process which took place on Friday July 29. 

The Bishop of St Asaph, the Rt Revd Gregory Cameron, has asked people to remember Lee, the people of Llangollen, Llantysilio and Trevor, and Valle Crucis Mission Area in their prayers as he prepares for this new ministry.

Fears soldier's farewell message could be disappearing

* Berwyn station where the message is scrawled beneath the bridge.

The BBC is reporting today that there are fears a World War One soldier's farewell message scrawled on the stone work of the bridge near Berwyn station could be lost due to damp.

* For the full story, see: