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Sunday, April 30, 2017

County plans tourism forum event

A  forum set up to keep tourism businesses up to date with the latest developments in the industry takes place this May.

Wales Tourism Week, Dark Skies, Year of Legends and the importance of Denbighshire to the regional tourism offer of North Wales are all on the agenda.

The forum takes place on Tuesday, May 9 at the Oriel House, St Asaph at 11am.

The event offers a great opportunity for delegates to network and share experiences, knowledge and ideas.

Peter McDermott, Denbighshire County Council’s Tourism Manager said: “This will be our 12th forum and they are a great way to meet like-minded people and find out more about getting involved in promoting the area to visitors.

"We’re entering the peak season and this is a key event, not only for tourism businesses but for anyone with an interest in tourism specifically students and those looking for a career in the industry.”

Wales Tourism Week takes place from May 15-21 to raise the profile of the tourism industry and to highlight its huge revenue generating value. The theme this year will focus on the opportunities it provides for jobs and careers.

Key Speaker, Adrian Barsby, from Wales Tourism Alliance coordinators of Wales Tourism Week, said: “I’m delighted to have been invited to speak at Denbighshire Tourism Forum.

“Wales Tourism Week provides a platform for all of us involved within tourism and the wider visitor economy to celebrate the wonderful and varied career opportunities available throughout the myriad of companies and organisations that give visitors to Wales and Denbighshire lasting memories and inspiration to return time and time again whilst learning about and experiencing Wales unique, culture, history, landscapes and of course legends.”

Key speaker Jim Jones, Managing Director North Wales Tourism, said: “I’m delighted to be invited to share the work that is going on in Denbighshire and the wider region of North Wales.

"Denbighshire is a special place and key to its thriving tourism sector is investment in good quality marketing campaigns, continued investment by the private sector and joined up collaboration, these type of forums play a crucial role in recognising this work.”

* To book a place at the forum please e-mail: tourism@denbighshire.gov.uk or telephone: 01824 706223.

Saturday, April 29, 2017

Plaid Cymru selects general election candidate


* Plaid Cymru candidate Chris Allen with party leader Leanne Wood.

Plaid Cymru have selected an engineer from Trevor to be their candidate for Clwyd South in the general election on June 8.

Father of two Chris Allen was born in Nuneaton, Warwickshire, and works at Mail Solutions in Llangollen.

His wife, Rachel, is a teacher at Ysgol Dinas Bran, and her family live in Chirk.

Mr Allen said: “This election is an opportunity for the people of this area to say that it’s about time that their voice was heard. Wales has been ignored for far too long.

“My focus as your MP would be to ensure that Wales, and this part of Wales especially, is not ignored and gets the best possible deal out of the UK’s Brexit discussions with the EU.”

Mr Allen said that the fact that he was born in England and not Welsh speaking showed that Plaid Cymru was a party for everyone: “Some people tell me that they like Plaid Cymru but because they don’t speak Welsh they feel that they can’t support the party.

"I find that amusing because I’m from England and I’m not a Welsh speaker. But Wales is my home and I want the best for my community. The only party that puts the interests of our communities here first is Plaid Cymru – the Party of Wales. Plaid Cymru is for everyone who lives in Wales and I’m a perfect example of that.

“I came to live here 20 years ago and have worked for both Wrexham Council and run my own business. I can see how Wales is being ignored by the Government in London. We desperately need a strong voice to put the interests of Wales and its people first, not just tow the party line that’s only interested in London and the south-east of England.”

Plaid leader Leanne Wood welcomed Chris Allen’s candidacy.

She said: “Chris is an engaging and warm person, who is committed to standing up for his community and Wales. We both know that Plaid Cymru is the only party that will fight for Wales and speak up for the Welsh national interest, for jobs and the economy. We desperately need an alternative to challenge the Tories, who would devastate our communities. I wish Chris all the best in the elections on June 8.”

Friday, April 28, 2017

Trading standards warns over scam emails

Trading Standards officers in Denbighshire are warning residents and businesses to be on their guard against scam emails requesting payment of an invoice.

The warning comes after reports of businesses receiving a link to an invoice from emails that may appear genuine but do not come from a genuine Denbighshire County Council email address. 

Emlyn Jones, Denbighshire’s Public Protection Manager, said: “This appears to be a national scam or at least a variation on similar events reported nationally. 

"Our advice is to ignore the email and do not click on any links in any emails you do not know the origin of or are not expecting.   

“All invoices are generated and issued by post through our preferred supplier.  Any copy invoices requested are sent as pdf attachments, are clearly visible in the email and do not appear as links.”

* Anyone who thinks they have been scammed, or knows someone who has fallen victim to a scam, can contact Trading Standards on 03454 04 05 06, for the Welsh language or 03454 04 05 05, or report it to Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040 or www.actionfraud.police.uk

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Tories select Baynes to fight Clwyd South

Simon Baynes has been chosen as the Welsh Conservative Parliamentary Candidate for Clwyd South, which includes Llangollen
The selection was held on Wednesday night at the Brymbo Conservative Club.
Afterwards, he said: “It is a great honour to be selected as the Welsh Conservative candidate for Clwyd South.
"I have been involved in campaigning on local issues in the constituency for some time, having stood as the Welsh Conservative Assembly Candidate for Clwyd South last year. I am looking forward to delivering on the issues that matter to the residents of the area.”
A keen musician, Mr Baynes (pictured) founded and runs the charity Concertina – Music for the Elderly, which helps provide music and other entertainment for the elderly in care homes and day centres.
Having grown up in the hotel industry, he says he is particularly interested in tourism and the hospitality industry and sees both as essential to the economy of Clwyd South.
He wants to see the creation of more sustainable jobs and better mobile phone signal in the area.
He has also campaigned against the closure of local banks.
Mr Baynes added: “This election is vital and we need it now to secure the strong and stable leadership the UK needs under Theresa May to see us through Brexit and beyond.”

MP raises questions over Welsh farmers

Susan Elan Jones MP has accused Conservatives of not listening to the voices of Welsh farmers and rural communities.

The Clwyd South Labour MP (pictured) was questioning Tory Secretary of State Alun Cairns MP yesterday (Wed 26th) at Welsh Questions in the House of Commons Chamber.

She said: "There is so much uncertainty about life post Brexit in our rural communities - and the UK government really is not listening to the very legitimate concerns that our farmers have.

"Farmers and others in rural communities have to plan and they need very definite commitments about being able to access the European Single Market."

Ms Jones also repeated a call for all powers relating to agriculture to be devolved to the Welsh Government after Brexit.

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Good news for county businesses

Businesses will find it easier to bid for public sector contracts thanks to changes to a website.

Denbighshire County Council has revamped the procurement section of its website to make it easier for firms based in Denbighshire to apply for contracts as part of the £100 million it spends to deliver public services each year.

Businesses can now register online to be made aware when a contract is available and the council is also making the process more transparent by publishing a comprehensive list of all the contracts the authority currently has in place.

The website also features guidance to help businesses based in the county gain a better understanding of the procurement process and make it easier for them to be considered for contracts.

Improving the procurement process is part of the Council’s work on developing the economy to help businesses thrive.

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Ambulance chiefs apologise over response delay

According to a story on the BBC Wales website, ambulance bosses have apologised after a man who severed part of his finger in Denbighshire had to wait over an hour for a taxi to get him to hospital.

For the full story, see: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-north-east-wales-39692194

AM raises North Wales rail issues

Rail issues facing North Wales were raised by Mark Isherwood AM during the latest session of an inquiry into the Welsh Government’s plans for the next Wales and Borders Rail Franchise.

Mr Isherwood (pictured), who has long been calling for improvements to services for the region, championed North Wales Rail Issues when questioning Network Rail, UK Department for Transport, Engineering Sector Panel and Cabinet Secretary for Economy and Infrastructure in the Welsh Government during the latest session of the Assembly Economy, Infrastructure and Skills Committee inquiry into the plans.

Mr Isherwood spoke of “a number of witnesses here and in Shrewsbury reinforcing the need for rail investment in north Wales” and referred to the North Wales & Mersey Dee Rail Task Force’s ‘Growth Track 360’ proposals with both Governments.

Questioning them over the North Wales and Merseyside connectivity - the Halton curve, he said: “We know that the Liverpool City Region have made the decision to invest up to the border, but there’s not yet been a parallel decision this side of the border. What might the potential implications of that be, or do you have any thoughts about how that might go forward?

“Similarly, with Wrexham-Saltney, or particularly Rossett, and the notorious missing two miles, what will the implication of that be if those two miles aren’t filled, and the capacity issues that will result? We understand there might be capacity for one extra train per two hours, but I don’t know if you’re able to indicate anything about that.”

Mr Isherwood also spoke of concern over the connectivity to Crewe, particularly with electrification, and where the absence of a hub connection at Crewe might impact on the proposals for North Wales, and connectivity to Manchester and Manchester and Liverpool airports.  

He said: “My understanding is that the north-east Wales border has the highest cross-border motor crossing anywhere in the UK daily, and rail usage is amongst the lowest in terms of travel to work cross-border, or travel to shopping, or whatever it may be, because of the limitations. What greater capacity could be provided if that two miles had been dualled?

“Given, obviously, that Growth Track 360 is about two sides of the border, it’s about the travelling area and the commercial area of the region, what about connectivity into Manchester? Because obviously, at the moment, you effectively miss the city and have to come back in again. And obviously ensuring the sustainability of connectivity with the two main airports.”

Monday, April 24, 2017

Man dies in River Dee say police

North Wales Police has confirmed that they were alerted by the Welsh Ambulance Service to an incident which occurred at 2.51pm yesterday (Sunday) on the River Dee in the Newbridge area near Wrexham.





Police say a 31-year-old man local to the area was taken ill in the river and despite best efforts was pronounced dead at the scene.

They say it is too early to speculate what caused his death but it is not believed that there any suspicious circumstances.

His family and next of kin have been informed, as has the coroner.

* The Daily Post has an update on this story, at: http://www.dailypost.co.uk/news/north-wales-news/live-emergency-services-wrexham-incident-12933489

Back to work help scheme launched

A scheme which aims to get people aged 25 and over back into the workplace and overcome barriers that prevent them from getting work in the first place has been set up in Denbighshire.

The Opus programme supports individuals who are either economically inactive or long term unemployed and are eager to progress into training, volunteering and work.
People that may be eligible for OPUS support may have:

·        * No or low employability skills

·        * A work limiting health condition

·        * Learning disability or difficulty

·        * Physical disability or sensory impairment

·        * Care or childcare responsibilities

·        * Aged 54 and over

·        * Or from a jobless household.

Opus is part funded by the European Social Fund through the Welsh Government and provides support and interventions that help people with appropriate skills towards gaining work.

The support available includes one to one assistance to create individual plans, work around confidence and building self esteem, training opportunities to improve skills, volunteering and work placements to gain practical work experience, job search, CV writing skills and interview techniques.

* For further information, please contact the Opus team, on 01824 712838 or by e-mail:
OPUS@Denbighshire.gov.uk. Twitter: @OPUS_DCC

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Extra hotel beds needed in county as tourism rises


* Paddle boarding is one of the activities bringing more tourists to the county.

Creating extra hotel beds to Denbighshire is the aim for the coming year as tourism in the county rises bringing hundreds of millions of pounds into the local economy.

Denbighshire County Council’s Tourism Growth Plan has helped contribute to a rise in the number of visitors to the county to 5.86million, a 5.3 per cent increase on 2014, while more than 6,100 jobs, up 7.4 per cent, are supported by the sector.

The total economic impact of tourism in the county for 2015 was £458.39m, a six per cent rise from the previous year.

Carolyn Brindle, the Council’s Lead Officer Business Support & Local Growth, said: “Tourism is a vital part of Denbighshire’s economy. Tourism helps makes towns and villages sustainable and the Tourism Growth Plan, sets out the county’s approach to developing this sector.

“The aims of the Plan are to increase numbers and, importantly, visitor spend as well as creating more jobs and more opportunities.

“Work on the Plan is being carried out by a number of departments, including the Council’s Tourism, Marketing and Events Team, as well as the Countryside Services team, working together under the direction of the Economic and Community Ambition Programme.”

The main focus for the coming year is to increase the quality and number of beds in the county and developments in the pipeline include a Premier Inn and Travelodge in Rhyl which will bring an extra 140 beds to the county. 

Over the past year the plan has provided funding to update the Ride North Wales website, which promotes the area as a haven for mountain bikers, and for the Clwydian Range Food Trail producers group to attend a range of food festivals and develop promotional materials.

Funding was provided to Dee Valley Active, a group of 15 businesses created to harness the economic potential of the Dee Valley by providing and promoting outdoor adventure tourism.

Part of the funding was used to set up a single point of sale booking system for the group.

Lianne Ing of Corwen-based Stand up Paddle Board UK, said: “This could mean big things for our business locally and other businesses like us.

“To have a central booking platform for outdoor activities it will bring us local businesses together collaborating under one roof to provide the activities that we run and love to tourists and the local community.”

Other projects included encouraging businesses to use Welsh to build on the economic strengths provided by Denbighshire’s strong Welsh identity and culture, which included helping the Oriel Hotel in St Asaph provide a Welsh wedding package.
 

Saturday, April 22, 2017

County warns over company registration fee

Denbighshire County Council is alerting people to a new scam where businesses are contacted soon after registering with Companies House to pay a “fee”.

The letter they receive purports to be linked to Companies House claiming the recipient is required to “confirm their registration”. The company request a fee of £190, and the implication is that this is required as part of the Companies Registration, when that is not the case.

The council says it is aware of at least one company locally who have been contacted in this way.
For more information regarding this scam, or to report receipt of such a letter, visit the National Fraud and Cyber Crime website at: www.actionfraud.police.uk  

People can also contact Citizens Advice on 03454 040506 or Action Fraud on  0300 123 2040 for advice.

Friday, April 21, 2017

Old health centre goes up for sale



* The former health centre in Regent Street has been placed on the market.
The former health centre in Regent Street is now on the market with a guide price of £150,000.
The building has been empty for almost two years since the GP practice moved to the new purpose-built health centre in Mill Street and it became surplus to the requirements of Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board.  

Wingetts estate agents is now advertising it for sale at the instruction of the health board.
The sales description says: “A unique opportunity to purchase the freehold interest of this 2 storey semi-detached property within Llangollen town centre suitable for a variety of uses subject to planning and necessary consents.

“Having a gross internal ground floor area of 580m sq with additional first floor space and an easement to use the adjoining car park.”
It adds: “Final and best offers by noon on Monday June 5 to Wingetts Llangollen office.”

Soon after the building was vacated there were suggestions from local people that it could be used as a community hub.
* For more details of the sale, see: http://www.rightmove.co.uk/commercial-property-for-sale/property-59038801.html

Thursday, April 20, 2017

News from Plas Newydd


Plas Newydd is now open from 10am till 5pm every day except Tuesday with last entry to the house at 4pm. 

Last orders for the tearooms is also at  4pm.

The tearooms/shop area has been refurbished over the winter months and is lighter and more spacious. It offers a range of homemade soups, light lunches, cakes and scones. 

The garden is a spring delight, full of primroses and tulips with wild garlic in the Dell.

At the 20th anniversary of the Llangollen Fringe event held recently at the White Waters Sue reminded people about the Plas Newydd Art competition entitled Dee Valley Myths and Legends to link into the Wales Year of Legends. 

This is for adults and children and can be paintings, sketches or photos. 

Deadline for entries is Sunday July 16. 

Many myths abound in the Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty to inspire creativity including King Arthur and the Holy Grail , Bran and his magic cauldron, giants and dragons. 

Gill Smith from Llangollen Museum is giving a talk at Plas Newydd on Wednesday April 26, from 6.30 to 8.30pm on the topic Local Myths and Legends.

If you are looking for something for the family don’t forget  Threadwork to sew the carvings. It's a free family  event at Y Caban on Friday April 21.  Drop in from 10am to 1pm. 
 
Plas Newydd's art Exhibition this month   in Y Caban – is by Jim Heath a local artist from Chirk who is showing some local and French paintings  in watercolours and oils.

Plas Newydd's is also looking to put on an exhibition on the history of the Rotary Garden Fete held there this year on June 3.  Organisers are looking for photos and stories by Wednesday May 24.

* For details, call 01978  862834, or email: plasnewydd@denbighshire.gov.uk as soon as possible.        

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

US composer visits eisteddfod ahead of July date

Grammy award-winning American composer, Christopher Tin, made his first ever visit to Llangollen on Monday 10th April, ahead of his performance at the International Eisteddfod’s 70th anniversary festival in the summer.

Tin (pictured) whose composition for the iconic video game Civilisation IV Baba Yetu scooped the first ever Grammy for a game theme, was greeted by the International Eisteddfod’s officers and members of The Llangollen Celebration Chorus.

He was then given a tour of the Royal International Pavilion, where he will perform on Wednesday July 5. 

Sponsored by the longest-standing supporter of the eisteddfod, Kronospan, the evening concert will see Tin conduct soprano Elin Manahan Thomas, the Welsh National Opera Orchestra and the Celebration Chorus in a spectacular international choral and orchestral performance, compared by Classic FM’s Andrew Collins.

Communicating the message of global unity, the first half of the concert will present audiences with a spectrum of music from symphonic overtures to video game fantasies. In the second half of the concert, there will be a special performance of Tin’s song-cycle Calling All Dawns, which includes Baba Yetu.

The song-cycle, which is sung in 12 different languages and will feature special performances from international competitors, comprises three individual movements – day, night and dawn – each corresponding to a different phase of life.

“Meeting the team behind this fantastic event and the Llangollen International Celebration Chorus, who I will have the pleasure of conducting, has made today’s visit an inspirational and enjoyable experience,” said Tin.

“The message of peace and unity is the very foundation of the International Eisteddfod and this has great synergy with my composition Calling All Nations, which focuses on the notion of unity regardless of race, culture or religious belief.

“I’m honoured to be joining not only a host of talent for the performance of Calling All Nations, but also a spectacular line up for the week’s festival and a long list of outstanding performers who have graced the International Pavilion’s stage.”

Eilir Owen Griffiths, Music Director at the International Eisteddfod, said: “Christopher’s appearance at the Llangollen Eisteddfod will be a real treat for spectators. They will hear myriad languages and musical styles, songs of joy, mystery, sorrow and hardship and well as songs of triumph and exultation.

“With Classic FMs Andrew Collins on hand to guide the audience through the performance, it’s sure to be a moving and inspirational evening.”

Chris Ryan, Group Secretary at manufacturer of wood-based panels, Kronospan, sponsors of the concert, said: “Innovation has long been at the heart of what Kronospan does, so we feel great affinity for other innovators and trailblazers.

“Christopher Tin’s work not only reflects the ethos of the Llangollen Eisteddfod, it demonstrates boundless creativity and innovation which we value. His song-cycles combine many world music vocal traditions and multiple languages in symphonic context, bringing classical music to wide and varied audiences. We look forward to experiencing his work in July.”

* To buy tickets for Calling All Nations with Christopher Tin on Wednesday July 5 and all other concerts, including Llanfest, visit: www.Llangollen.net

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

May announces snap election on June 8



Prime Minister Theresa May has just announced a plan to call snap general election on June 8.

Speaking outside 10 Downing Street a few minutes ago, she said Britain "needed certainty, stability and strong leadership" following the EU referendum.

You can support Young 'Uns at the Co-op



* A scene from the Young 'Uns' recent production of Bugsy Malone.
Customers of the Co-op in Llangollen are being asked to earmark a small percentage of their spending to help a youth drama group in the town.
The Young ‘Uns, which is the junior section of Llangollen Operatic Society, has just heard that it has been chosen for the latest round of the Co-op’s Local Community Fund.

This means that Co-op members in the area can opt to allocate one per cent of everything they spend on its branded goods for development of the group which recently celebrated success with its latest show, the musical Bugsy Malone, staged at the Town Hall.
A letter from the Co-op tells society bosses: “Your cause will be supported by our Co-op food stores and funeral homes.

“If you’re a Co-op member, you can keep an eye on the funds being raised for your cause by signing into your Co-op membership account.
“We’ve kick-started your fundraising with a share of the money from the 5p carrier bags and the re-usable bags that we’ve sold in your community.

“The more members that choose your cause the more money you’ll get.”
Young ‘Uns spokesperson Pam Williams said: “I believe that when purchasing items people will either be asked which group they wish to support or they can tell the cashier themselves.

“The other way is logging onto your Co-op account online and you can select the chosen group so that every time your card is swiped at the till it will go straight to the chosen charity automatically.
“We hope as many people as possible choose to support Young ‘Uns which does so much good for young people locally.”    

Monday, April 17, 2017

Police boss aims to honour crime-fighting heroes



* North Wales Police and Crime Commissioner Arfon Jones.

A POLICE boss is asking for the public’s help to honour unsung crime-fighting heroes of the community.

North Wales Police and Crime Commissioner Arfon Jones has just launched his Community Awards to recognise people and groups who help police to keep their neighbourhood a peaceful and safe place to live and work and who help in rehabilitating offenders.

And he is inviting members of the public to send him their own nominations for the main accolade on offer, the coveted People’s Award.

The aim of this award is to highlight and honour an individual or community group who have made a strong contribution towards community safety and crime prevention.

It is the only one of the awards which is nominated directly by members of the public using an online form. The closing date for nominations is Monday, April 24.

The other categories are Community Champion, Victims' Champion, Rehabilitation Award, Equality and Diversity Award, Young People's Award, Outstanding Achievement Award, Welsh Language Champion, Drug Intervention and Anti-Slavery Champion.

Mr Jones, a former police inspector, said: "To mark the completion of my first year in office I have decided to host a community awards ceremony to celebrate and publicise some of the amazing work carried out within the communities of North Wales.

"I am proud to have served the people of North Wales as a police officer, a county councillor and now as police and crime commissioner.

"I have experienced at first hand the work and effort some members of the community put into helping the police and making North Wales a better, safer place to be.

"The People's Award will go to an individual or group who have made an impact in helping to keep people safe and/or to reduce crime. 

“This contribution may impact the whole area, a local town, neighbourhood or even street, but it will have made a difference to the people living and working there.

“It could be someone who is working to bring communities together to reduce crime and anti-social behaviour, or is working with people to deter and reduce offending.

“While I will select most of the award recipients myself in consultation with my office, the People’s Award is special in that it is the only one which will be nominated directly by the public.

“I am therefore asking for the assistance of the people of North Wales to help me select a suitable candidate for this particular award.

“If you know someone in your community who has gone that extra mile to prevent or reduce crime, protect and support members of the community or generally helped to make North Wales a safer place to live and work, please nominate them for the People’s Award. 

The winners of the People’s Award and the other PCC Community Awards will receive their honours in front of police and civic leaders at a presentation at the Kinmel Manor Hotel in Abergele on the evening of Thursday, May 18

* To nominate your choice for the People’s Award, go the North Wales Police and Crime Commissioner’s website at www.northwales-pcc.gov.uk to complete and return the online form.  Alternatively you can download the form, complete it and return it to The Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner, Glan-y-Don, Colwyn Bay, LL29 8AW, or by email to opcc@nthwales.pnn.police.uk  by the closing date Monday, April 24.

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Government announces £14m business support scheme


The Welsh Government has announced two new property development funds launched with £14 million of EU funds to support business growth and job creation in the North, West Wales and the South Wales Valleys.

The £7 million Property for Business Development Grant Fund (PBDG) and the £7m Property Infrastructure Fund (PIF) are each expected to attract £13 million of private sector investment and geared to stimulate the market to meet the needs of businesses.

Both funds are for new build and refurbishments/extensions/adaptions with the Property Infrastructure Fund aimed specifically at advance build developments and the Property for Business Development Grant Fund targeted at supporting businesses with bespoke expansion projects.

The successful projects, selected in conjunction with the regional stakeholders across Wales, will be those that achieve best value for money and create the greatest economic impact. The primary focus will be on projects in Enterprise Zones, Local Growth Zones and City Regions.

Stage 1 Applications, providing brief information on the project requiring support, will need to be submitted by the 30 April 2017 in order to be considered for a provisional allocation of funding.

* For more information and an application form for businesses interested in the Property for Business Development Grant or developers interested in the Property Infrastructure Fund to support advance build development should email gde.pdg@wales.gsi.gov.uk.

Saturday, April 15, 2017

Llangollen 10k race details revealed


* The route of the race will follow the canal.

Details have been revealed of the Llangollen 10K race which is due to be held on Sunday May 14.

The race starts from Tower Fields at 9.30am and follows an undulating route along the canal.
Runners must be aged 15-plus and the race will be chip timed.

Entry fee for adults is from £12 and includes a bespoke finisher medal and water bottle. There is a feeding station along the route.
The prize presentation will be at the registration tent at 11.30am.

Parking will be available at Tower Fields.
* For more information, go to: http://www.walkjogrun.net/routes/current_route.cfm?rid=DAA70244-9DF3-F44C-1FE49779038427EC&success=1

Friday, April 14, 2017

Year of Legends campaign goes on show


* The view from Castell Dinas Bran in Llangollen.

A host of legendary promotions showcasing the North East Wales region have been released as part of Visit Wales’ Year of Legends campaign. 

Denbighshire, Wrexham and Flintshire have joined forces to produce films, journeys and a digital brochure to inspire new visitors to experience the region.

Funded by Visit Wales’ Regional Tourism Engagement Fund, the promotions explore castles, landscape, arts and culture and the food and drink offer as well as telling the stories behind our most legendary figures including Owain Glyndwr and Thomas Telford.

Ian Lebbon, Chair of Denbighshire Destination Partnership, said: “The promotions celebrate our past, present and future like never before with attractions, events and activities at a range of legendary locations.

"With North Wales being named as one of the top ten places to visit in the entire world this year by Lonely Planet, we are keen to showcase the beauty of North East Wales to both residents and visitors.

“Thank you to everyone who contributed to the making of the films and brochure, we hope it will inspire visitors to experience all our hidden gems.”

Included in the new materials are 12 legendary journeys across North East Wales, everything from town centre strolls to long distance trails.

All have spectacular settings and a story attached. Locations include Wales’ Coastal Path, Pontycysyllte Aqueduct, St Winefride’s Well, Coed Llandegla Forest, Castell Dinas Bran, Moel Arthur, Jubilee Tower, Offa’s Dyke Path and many more.

Tourism plays a vital part in the region’s economy, with a total economic impact in 2015 of £808m and over 11 million visits made.

* To view the films, brochure and legendary journeys please visit www.northeastwales.wales

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Campaign urges owners to keep their dogs on a lead

A campaign urging dog owners to keep their pets on leads in the Denbighshire countryside has been launched, ahead of the Easter holidays.

The Take the Lead campaign, being managed by Denbighshire Countryside Services and the Clwydian Range and Dee Valley Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, is in support of a regional initiative by North Wales Police to help reduce incidents of sheep worrying.

The Police’s Rural Crime Unit has already launched Operation Flock to reduce the number of incidents across the region and aims to educate and raise awareness of the issue and encourage dog owners to think and act responsibly when they visit the countryside.

It is illegal to allow dogs to worry sheep when they are off the lead. The consequences could include a fine and potentially a destruction order if the matter is taken before the courts.

The campaign will include new signage being installed,  posters/ flyers distributed and a video created, with the simple message for dog owners to keep their dogs on leads in open countryside.

Social media will also be used to send out messages to residents and visitors to the region.

David Shiel, Countryside Officer with the Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, said: “We see over 300,000 visitors coming to Moel Famau alone in a year, with many people also exploring the scenic countryside in other parts of our Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

“We want people to enjoy their visits to the countryside, it is very much open to everyone.  However, we are concerned about dogs being let off their leads, especially on Moel Famau but also on other countryside public footpaths across the county.

“We are concerned that dogs being allowed to roam free could increase the risk of injury to sheep, in particular around the lambing season.

“The AONB is proud of its countryside and wants everyone to enjoy the beautiful surroundings, whilst respecting the fact that they will be crossing land used for grazing purposes.

“It’s all about reminding people of their responsibility to follow the Countryside Code and to keep their dogs under control at all times."

Denbighshire Countryside Service, working in partnership with the Clwydian Range and Dee Valley Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty Committee will work with North Wales Police over the coming months to raise awareness of this issue.

Residents have their say on county priorities

A total of 177 Denbighshire residents have signed up to work with the county council and be part of a new citizens panel having their voices heard on some key topical issues.

In late 2016 the council asked for views on its draft aspirations through the County Conversation debate.

The council also took the opportunity to ask people whether they would like to get involved in the citizens panel.

1,526 responses were received as part of the debate through online surveys, face to face discussions and over the phone.  Those aspirations were then ranked in order of importance to residents:

•        Denbighshire is a place where younger people will want to live and work and they have the skills to do so
•        Communities are connected and have access to goods and services locally, online or through good transport links
•        There is an attractive and protected environment that supports communities’ wellbeing and economic prosperity.
•        People can live independent and fulfilled lives in strong, caring, safe and resilient communities
•        The Council and communities work together to overcome challenges; devising and delivering joint solutions
•        There are events that bring people together, creating active communities and helping business to prosper

These draft priorities will be discussed by the council after the elections. 

The next round of the County Conversation campaign will see a series of drop-in sessions in June to help shape these draft priorities further.  Details will be publicised nearer the time.

Dr Mohammed Mehmet, Denbighshire’s Chief Executive, said: “We were delighted with the participation in our County Conversation around the draft aspirations and the range of feedback we received. Involving Denbighshire residents at an early stage was crucial, to make sure we were on the right lines in terms of what’s important to ensure healthy, safe and vibrant communities. There was clearly a lot of support for our draft priorities.

“We will be providing all of this information to the new Council and a final decision on the priorities will be made later this year. We have also made a firm commitment to keeping our residents informed on progress with our priorities.

“Many respondents from different parts of the county  also said they wanted to be involved in our Citizen’s Panel. This is a great opportunity to work with us and help shape the future direction of the council. 

“They will also play an important role as a sounding board, providing a snapshot of public opinion on some of our most important issues. The Citizens Panel is expected to meet for the first time later this year."

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Services charity receives £500 boost from Llangollen


Llangollen Town Mayor, Cllr Mike Adams, left, handed over a cheque for £500 to Squadron Leader Gordon Massey, Clwyd chairman of Armed Forces charity SSAFA, at the Town Hall.

The money came from the town's annual Festival of Remembrance last year via the Mayor's Charity Fund.

Nominations sought for county sports awards



* The 2016 sports awards winners.

The Denbighshire Community Sport Awards 2017 are now open for nominations.

Over the last five years the awards have recognised over 60 individuals, teams, schools and clubs for their dedication to local community grass root sport in the county.

There are also elite level athletes representing Wales and Team GB in their chosen sport from the local area who will continue to be rewarded.

All of the award finalists will go forward to the Sport Wales and BBC Wales sport personality awards held in Cardiff, where Denbighshire will be looking to add to its tally of eight finalists and six national winners in the past five years.

Nominees must live in Denbighshire or be affiliated to a Denbighshire club relevant to their nomination and have achieved their success in the last 12 months up to the application closing date which is Friday July 21 2017.

This year’s categories include sports performer, junior sports performer, coach of the year, team of the year, volunteer of the year, disability sport award, young inspiration award, lifetime achievement award and the Sport in School award.

An individual or team will also be chosen from all the previous category winners for their outstanding achievements/contributions to sport and will represent Denbighshire for the next year as Community Sport Ambassador 2017.

Jamie Groves, Head of Facilities, Assets and Housing said: “The Denbighshire community sport awards has helped recognise and share some amazing stories over the last few years.

“Each year there are new nominations from various sport clubs and schools throughout the county, and last year our panel found it difficult picking just 3 finalists for each category.

“This proves to us that the quality of sport in Denbighshire is very high and that there are plenty of opportunities for people to return to playing sport or to try a new sport as a beginner.

“This is all down to the army of selfless volunteers within our community clubs, so let us recognise this and celebrate community sport in Denbighshire again this year!”

Denbighshire Leisure services are also looking for suitable organisations which would like to link to their brand to the community sport awards as a category sponsor and a sponsorship package can be sent for more information.

* For more information on the awards and details on how to nominate or sponsor this year's event please visit www.denbighshire.gov.uk/sportsawards.

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

FoE measures Llan traffic pollution levels



* FoE's findings for Llangollen.

Traffic pollution levels in parts of Llangollen are comparable to those found in major cities, according to environmental champions.  

In one location pollution is close to the legal limit, potentially putting at risk the health of residents, claims Friends of Earth's local group.

In January this year the group deployed five Nitrogen Dioxide measuring kits to measure this pollution for three weeks and they say the results were surprising.

The European Union has set a legal average annual limit for NO2 at 40µg/m3 (micrograms per cubic metre). But even at low levels, short term and long term exposure to NO2 can have significant negative health effects.

FoE says one of the measurement sites was found to be very close to the 40µg/m3 limit and that the levels displayed in Llangollen, especially those on the A539 Mill Street and by the A5/Castle Street traffic lights are comparable to those found in certain locations in major cities, such as Chester, the outskirts of Liverpool, Walsall and the dockland area of Cardiff.

* The table of results.

Group member Warren Davies said: "These readings were taken during January and February when the traffic is pretty quiet. If the rest of the year was taken into account, the average values could be much higher.

"There is a lot of talk about reducing emissions in London and in cities, but localised air pollution in our towns can be just as unhealthy.”

Nationally, outdoor air pollution is responsible for 40,000 premature deaths a year in the UK, according to the Royal College of Physicians (RCP) and Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health.

NO2 is associated with vehicle traffic. Nationally Friends of the Earth is calling for restrictions of the dirtiest vehicles.

Locally, Llangollen & District Friends of the Earth are calling on local decision makers to consider their findings and to invest in schemes locally to reduce emissions by encouraging walking and cycling, and discouraging traffic-generating developments.

Monday, April 10, 2017

Long load passes through town


Traffic along the A5 in Llangollen was briefly held up around 11am this morning (Monday) to allow an abnormal load to pass through under police escort.

The load is believed to have been on route from Ruabon to Clocaenog. 

2017 Fringe festival programme unveiled


* Wilko Johnson (by Paul Crowther).
A disused factory could get all lit up to help illuminate this year’s 20th anniversary Llangollen Fringe.
Professor Alec Shipley, head of the School of Creative Arts and professor of Contemporary Art Practice at Wrexham Glyndŵr University, has a special project in mind to mark the landmark occasion which means using the old Berwyn Works on the A5 through Llangollen as the base for a spectacular light show.

Prof Shipley was a guest at last Friday’s official launch of the festival at the White Water Hotel and explained that he was currently thinking of ways to create a light show based on the derelict building as a way of celebrating the Fringe’s anniversary.
He said: “I see the building as a kind of lantern and I’m looking at how to light it in a certain way.”

The professor told a large audience he also had in mind marking 20 years of the Fringe by staging another light show outside the Town Hall in Castle Street.
“I like to work with people, light and space and I have an idea of asking people to donate old teacups and saucers which could be turned into some sort of light fitting outside the Town Hall, perhaps a chandelier,” he added.

Highlights of the festival programme, which runs from July 13-23, include appearances by:
* CC Smugglers, a Bedfordshire sextet inspired by American and world folk, swing, jazz and blues on Friday July 14

* A full day festival of acoustic music, Fringe Acoustica, on July 15.

* Prolific activist, documentary maker and comedian Mark Thomas who will talk about his book 100 Acts of Minor Dissent on Sunday July 16.
* An evening in conversation with Guardian columnist, TV chef and austerity campaigner Jack Monroe on Tuesday July 18.

* The return to the Fringe of  singer, guitarist, songwriter and actor Wilko Johnson who is particularly associated with the pub rock/rhythm and blues band Dr Feelgood in the 1970s. He will appear at the Pavilion on Wednesday July 19.
* Singer, songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist Seth Lakeman on Thursday July 20.

* Kasai Masai, who specialise in vintage grooves from their native Congo, on Friday July 21.
* Band Pres Llareggub Brass Band, who evoke the flavours of New Orleans marching bands, Bronx-inspired hip hop and Welsh language pop music, on Saturday July 22.

* The anniversary finale concert comes when folk group 9Bach present an audio visual spectacular at Valle Crucis Abbey on Sunday July 23.
Apart from the concerts a Soul Train will run on Llangollen Railway and a Fringe jazz boat will set sail along the Llangollen Canal.

Also planned are drama in town pubs, a storytelling café,  a performance by local dramatist Peter Read, famous for his portrayal of Dylan Thomas, and an art competition based at Plas Newydd echoing the Fringe 2017 theme of Legends.
Llangollen’s New Dot community cinema group has teamed up with the Fringe for a special screening of the 80s film Sing Street on Thursday July 13.

For a limited period only Earlybird festival tickets are on sale, offering £160-£180 worth of concert admissions for £70.   
* For more Fringe information and tickets, go to: http://www.llangollenfringe.co.uk