Get in touch ...

Know of something happening in
us on

E-mail your contributions to:

We are on Facebook at

Wednesday, January 29, 2020

County residents face 4.3% council tax rise

Denbighshire County Council has approved its budget for the 2020/2021 financial year, with an increase of 4.3% in council tax for residents.  

The draft settlement announced by Welsh Government last December showed an increase of 4.3% in the budget for Denbighshire and this is one of the highest increases seen for the council since 2007/2008. In cash terms this means an increase of £6.2 million.

However, in setting the budget, councillors have considered the fact that there are £12.41 million budget pressures facing the authority, including continued pressure on social services, education, school transport, waste services and pay increases. 

The settlement from Welsh Government would have needed to be an increase of 10% to cover these pressures.

In light of the better settlement, the council says it has been able to keep the increase in council tax as low as possible, with this year’s increase of 4.3%. which is lower than last year’s rise of 6.35%.

The budget for the 2020/ 21 financial year is £208 million. This includes a £1.5 million increase for education and children’s services; £2.8 million for schools; £2.6 million for adult social care;  £1.4 million for waste; £600,000 for school transport and £200,000 for climate change.

Councillor Julian Thompson-Hill, Cabinet Lead Member for Finance, said: “The council has a legal duty to set a balanced budget for the forthcoming financial year and I must commend councillors and staff who have worked tirelessly to get us to this position today where we can officially set the budget. They have come up with proposals to balance the books and have scrutinised and deliberated over the figures before coming up with the budget agreed at full council.

“A lot of work has gone on behind the scenes to identify more efficient and effective ways of working within the Council and the savings we have identified, together with the better settlement than expected, means that we have been able to keep the council tax levels low. 

"The public has told us that they did not want to see large increases and we have listened to their concerns and worked to find alternative ways of finding savings.

“The other good news is that we have been able to protect essential frontline services that people want and expect from the council.   
"The cuts we are taking forward this year will have little if any impact on the public and that has been a crucial part of our thinking from the beginning. 
"The Council has a strong track record of doing this and we have tried to lead by example by being as efficient and effective as possible, reducing our budgets and making savings through not replacing some posts and identifying better ways of working or stopping some things altogether.
“Moving forward, we will continue to host discussions with Welsh Government to provide a more sustainable footing for local authority finances in the future."

Snowdrop service planned at St Tysilio's Church

* The carpet of snowdrops beginning to emerge at St Tysilio's Church. 
The picturesque church of St Tysilio’s in Llantysilio will celebrate the vast array of snowdrops in its churchyard with a special service on Sunday February 9.

The Snowdrop Service is open to all and takes place overlooking the Horseshoe Falls, the start of Llangollen Canal, a World Heritage site.  

The carpet of snowdrops which is beginning to emerge between the gravestones at St Tysilio's Church.

Tuesday, January 28, 2020

A5 re-opens following serious collision

Emergency services were called to a crash just outside of Llangollen earlier this evening, according to

The incident took place on the A5 at Glyndyfrdwy – with police asking people to avoid the area as the road was closed.
The air ambulance was also called to the area just before 4pm, and took off around 30 minutes later heading to Stoke hospital.
The incident involved two vehicles.
Traffic Wales said on Twitter around 7.40pm that the road had been re-opened in both directions.

County approves reduction of single use plastics

Plans for Denbighshire County Council to significantly reduce its use of single-use plastics have been approved.

The full council agreed proposals drawn up by a cross-party task and finish group of councillors to reduce the use of plastics within council offices, following a Notice of Motion last year.

Plans include the following within the council’s office buildings - no longer providing plastic water cups and single use paper/plastic cups for hot drinks and the removal of water coolers, automated hot drink machines and vending machines.

A campaign will also be launched to encourage everyone who comes to the three main council offices to bring their own cup.

The cross-party group will now undertake further work with a view to draw up proposals to reduce the council’s use of plastic in school catering and procurement and the work will be linked to the Council’s wider work within the Climate Change and Ecological Emergency response.

Cllr Brian Jones, Lead Member for Waste, Transport and the Environment, said: “I’d like to thank the members of the cross-party group for their hard work in coming up with these proposals.

“Protecting the environment is a priority for the council under its Corporate Plan and this project focuses on reducing the amount of single-use plastic within Council offices as well as showing leadership within the wider community.

“These actions will benefit the environment by reducing and avoiding the use of plastics in Council offices, as an example by just ending the provision of plastic cups at water coolers will see 140,000 fewer cups being used over the next ten years.”

Denbighshire supports day for young carers

Denbighshire County Council is backing an initiative to support young carers.

Young Carers Awareness Day, led by the Carers Trust charity, is taking place tomorrow (Thursday) to raise awareness of young people looking after someone in their family, or a friend, who is ill, disabled or misuses drugs or alcohol.

As part of its Corporate Plan, the council has committed to support carers by improving the services that exist and ensuring carers of all ages are aware of the services and support available.

Cllr Huw Hilditch-Roberts, lead member for Education, Children’s Services and Public Engagement, said: “Young carers play an important role in our society when they themselves are having to cope with growing up.

“They are to be congratulated for the support they provide and I want to let them know we are working hard to support them.  Young Carers Awareness Day aims to make carers aware of their rights, to inform them of where to get help and support and to raise awareness of the needs of carers.  I would encourage any young carers to get in touch so we can let them know about the help that is available.”

The Young Carers Service in Denbighshire is provided by WCD Young Carers through Credu Connecting Carers and is currently working with 462 known young carers in the county.

Denbighshire schools will be holding a number of events to mark Young Carers Awareness Day.

* For information and support for young carers contact Denbighshire’s Children and Families Gateway on 01824 712200 or  Alternatively contact WCD Young Carers for access to information, training, groups, activities, days out, and support on 01597 823800,, or

Welsh towns to get £90m boost from government

Wales’s towns are to receive £90m of additional investment as part of a new Welsh Government approach to transforming town centres across the country, Deputy Minister for Housing and Local Government, Hannah Blythyn has announced.
The Transforming Towns package includes measures to increase footfall by making sure the public sector locate services in town centre locations, tackle empty buildings and land to help bring them back into use, and greening our town centres.
Towns are vital to environmental, economic, social and cultural well-being in Wales – around 40% of our population live in small towns of less than 20,000 people but nearly everyone identifies emotionally with a town – or city – in some way.
Many towns are struggling in the wake of declining retail sales and the way we use town centres has changed.
To help breathe new life into town centres, the Welsh Government has unveiled a new ‘Town Centre First’ approach, which means locating services and buildings in town centres wherever possible. 
As part of this approach, all Welsh Government departments will put the health and vibrancy of town centres as the starting point for their location decision-making processes.
Utilising this approach, the public sector is also being encouraged to support towns by locating offices, facilities and services within them in order to drive footfall and create or sustain vibrancy.
To support this new approach, the Welsh Government is announcing a £90m investment to transform Wales’ town centres. Investments include:
  • £36m for town centre regeneration projects, extending our current capital programme for a further year and bringing in an anticipated total investment of almost £58m;
  • £13.6m to tackle empty and dilapidated buildings and land. This will enable local authorities to take enforcement action to bring empty buildings and land back into use;
  • £2m for coastal towns to support projects to an anticipated value of £3m which will contribute to town centre / high street regeneration;
  • £10m of additional funding for the Town Centre Loans scheme, taking the total to £41.6m, to bring vacant and underutilised buildings back into use in our town centres;
  • £5m funding for Green Infrastructure and Biodiversity within town centres. This will support greening projects which will deliver environmental benefits and make town centres more attractive places to visit.
The £90m Transforming Towns package builds on the £800m investment in our towns as a result of significant Welsh Government investment since 2014.
The Deputy Minister made the announcement at the Queen’s Market building in Rhyl, which has received £5m of Welsh Government funding. This forms part of a total investment of £16.5m in the town centre as a result of regeneration schemes.

Monday, January 27, 2020

St Collen's bells toll for Holocaust remembrance

* The bell-ringing team get ready in the bell tower for the quarter peal.

To mark National Holocaust Memorial Day and the 75th anniversary of the liberation of the Auschwitz concentration camp bell ringers at St Collen's Church rang a quarter peal this afternoon  (Monday) starting from 4.30pm.

This meant about 45 minutes of continuous ringing with the bells half-muffled as they traditionally are for Remembrance Sunday.

Six ringers took part and the quarter peal was made up of 1,260 changes.

The bells at St Collen's, high up in the tower, were installed in 1887 to mark Queen Victoria's Golden Jubilee.