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Sunday, November 17, 2019

Message of thanks from Oak Street Gallery

Oak Street Gallery in Llangollen has sent through a message of thanks to all those who attended the opening of the Jon Young Art winter exhibition the weekend before last. 

It says: "Thank you to everyone who has visited this vibrant, colourful exhibition of people and places already and to all the hardy souls who braved the snow to make our opening event such a success.

"We are now into our final week at this amazing gallery and the paintings will be coming down on Monday 25th November so please come along to enjoy Jon's work before then. We are open every day 10am-5pm (4pm on Sunday), but not open until lunchtime on Monday 18th.

"We look forward to seeing you."

Lunchtime recital features songs from Shea

Cash available for open spaces and play areas

Funding totalling £209,000 is available to improve open spaces and play areas in Denbighshire.

The county council’s Open Spaces Commuted Sums is now open to communities across the county.

A commuted sum is a payment from developers to a local authority when it is not appropriate to provide the required outdoor open space during a development.

The funds are held specifically for the enhancement of open spaces and play areas, and are used in the same area as the development.

The fund is open to town or community councils, community or voluntary groups.

* Closing date for funding applications is Friday, January 31, 2020 and for details visit

Saturday, November 16, 2019

Road safety spot checks outside schools

A clampdown on anti-social parking outside schools will take place in Denbighshire next week.

As part of Road Safety Week, which runs from November 18 and 24, council officers will be carrying out spot checks at schools and informing motorists about road safety.

Police Community Support Officers and Civil Enforcement Officers will also be attending schools to deter parents from parking on zig-zags and double yellow lines.

Emlyn Jones, Denbighshire County Council’s Head of Planning and Public Protection Services, said: “Anti-social driving and parking around the county’s schools puts children’s lives in danger. 

"We are urging parents to observe the highway code and facilitate the safeguarding of our children. Parking on pavements and zig zags forces children to walk on roads which are busy and congested during these hours.

“Congestion around schools also makes it difficult for children to be seen when crossing the road. Anti-social parking is selfish and dangerous and it is endangering the lives of our children.

“We are urging parents to consider their options and think about walking or cycling to school with their children.”

The council has also launched the Park Safe Walk Safe competition. 

The competition was rolled out to all the primary schools in Denbighshire through their Junior Road Safety Officers, the winning design will be made into a poster and distributed to all the schools in Denbighshire, with the winner receiving a £50 Halfords voucher.

A number of banners have also been produced and will be displayed outside a number of Denbighshire schools to promote this initiative,  Project Zig  Zag.

A worthy contender in the prestige SUV arena

* The DS7 Crossback above and below.

DS7 Crossback road test by Steve Rogers

Goddess. What a wonderful name for a car, particularly one that lit up the motoring world.

That was the incomparable Citroen DS of 1955, the car that changed the face of motoring with its ground breaking design and technology. 

In French DS, or rather Déesse, means goddess, a nugget of information imparted by my wife who speaks the lingo.

Fitting then that Peugeot Citroen should choose DS to front its luxury marque and DS7 Crossback is its first completely new model, as opposed to DS3,4 and 5 which were rebadged Citroens before the brand was launched last year.

That is why there are not too many DS7s around ... yet. It takes a while to establish a new luxury brand, look how long it has taken Lexus to get a decent foothold, and DS7 is up against Audi, BMW, Mercedes, all of whom have established, prestige SUVs.

Yes, DS7 is an SUV when you might have thought a luxury saloon would be the way to go given the DS heritage. But this was a smart move by the brains at Peugeot Citroen who figured, correctly as it turned out, that SUVs were the future.

So how is DS7 Crossback fairing in this difficult old world? At just under 4.6m it sits between an Audi Q3 and Q5 and is a smidgen longer than Volkswagen's Tiguan.

The target market is the luxury end so a lot of time and money has gone into creating something special. Special enough to turn people's heads away from the mighty German trio.

And DS has the perfect setting to model its 'special' car. Paris. So the stylists homed in on the glass pyramid at the Louvre and the Rue de Rivoli, the most fashionable street in Paris for inspiration.

Let's move on from the car's body shape, which is a bit flat, and concentrate on the chic styling. The LED light clusters are just exquisite. Up front are three individual ice cube style modules while the diamond design strip at the rear is even more spectacular. That is the first introduction to the diamond theme (remember the Louvre's glass pyramid) which runs riot in the cabin.

There are four interior styles, or inspirations as they are called, and my test car was Rivoli. This is French chic in full flow with a variety of classy materials and attention to detail. Here diamonds are DS7's best friend, diamond shaped dials, screen graphics and grey diamond quilted leather upholstery.

Elsewhere crystal effect switches lodged between the front seats conclude the eye candy show. It sounds over the top but as a visual spectacle it works and more stunning than anything the German SUVs can offer.

A 12 inch touchscreen dominates the dashboard from where you can access just about every function. A row of touch sensitive switches give quick access but it is all a bit challenging for the driver. Voice control is available but didn't always respond to commands.

Ahead of the driver is a 12.3in digital instrument cluster, interchangeable of course, with a full width navigation map among the features.

This is a comfortable five seater and will easily accommodate three adults in the back where head and legroom is ample. It is also well off for storage space with good sized door bins and a huge box between the front seats.

As with most French cars ride comfort is key so don't expect DS7 to have the pure driving dynamics of a similar Audi or BMW. Yet there is a decent compromise here with three drive modes, and on the more expensive models a sensor in the windscreen which can spot poor road surfaces and adapt the suspension to give the smoothest ride.

My test car came with the turbocharged 1.6 litre petrol, a feisty number mated to an eight speed automatic box, but not the best option for big economy. Best I could manage was 33mpg overall so look to the diesel or even the hybrid for better results.

DS has made a pretty good fist of its first bespoke model although one thing that needs sorting is the poor definition of the rear camera, a problem that goes across the board with all Peugeot and Citroen models.

Make no mistake DS7 is a worthy contender in the prestige SUV arena and the interior styling is ahead of any of its German rivals. It is also very good value for money with a long spec list.

The elephant in the room for me is its cousin, the Peugeot 3008 which shares many components. It is better looking, has an equally impressive cabin although it falls below the level of quality, and is cheaper. So it is still my favourite SUV.

Key facts

DS7 Crossback Prestige
1.6 litre turbo; 225bhp
0-62mph 8.3secs; 145mph
36.2-40.4mpg combined
125-130g/km. 1st road tax £170
Boot 618 litres
Insurance group 29

Friday, November 15, 2019

County warns over scam emails

Trading standards officers in Denbighshire are warning residents and businesses to be on their guard against scam emails alerting the receiver to a compensation payment as a result of a scam.

Whilst the council says it is only aware of one case in Denbighshire, there have been recent examples in other parts of the country.

Emlyn Jones, Head of Denbighshire’s  Planning and Public Protection, said “This is a timely moment to remind residents that they should be very wary of anybody who cold calls.  Whether over the phone, personally at the door or even by email, we urge people to be cautious.

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

Trading Standards is asking people to be wary if
•            The email asks you to confirm personal information
•            The web and email addresses do not look genuine
•            It has poor spelling, grammar and presentation
•            There’s a suspicious attachment
•            It’s urging you to act now or make some sort of response.

* Anyone who thinks they have been scammed, or knows someone who has fallen victim to a scam, are encouraged to report it through the Citizens Advice consumer helpline 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

Flu clinic at the health centre tomorrow

For patients aged 65 and over or those aged under 65 who have received a letter telling them they are eligible
8.30AM – 12.30PM
This is a walk-in clinic –
no appointment necessary