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Friday, July 10, 2020

Advice to licenced premises and customers ahead of re-opening



Licenced premises in Denbighshire are being given guidance on how to re-open safely.

Denbighshire County Council has been providing advice to pubs, restaurants, and cafes that are able to open outside areas only from Monday (July 13). 

As the Licensing Authority, the Council is working with partners to ensure a safe and smooth re-opening and has written to licenced premises in the county detailing steps that need to be taken.

Guidance includes increased supervision of outside areas and toilets, an increase in cleaning of all surfaces while open, effective waste disposal and management, seating only with the possibility of table service only, no live music or entertainment and that a full risk assessment is carried out.

Cllr Mark Young, the Council’s Lead Member for Planning, Public Protection and Safer Communities, said: “We are looking forward to businesses in Denbighshire re-opening next week and the Council has been working with many businesses ahead of re-opening.

“We are urging businesses to check Welsh Government guidelines as well as being mindful of social distancing regulation and to manage the potential of an increase in noise, anti-social behaviour and littering.

“Irrespective of the measures being implemented to meet Covid-19 requirements, it is vital the obligations of the Licensing Act still are still met.

“As lockdown measures ease it is important to ensure the safety of staff and members of the public and we would like to remind customers to behave in a responsible manner and to follow social distancing measures while visiting premises.”

Temporary Assistant Chief Constable Nigel Harrison, North Wales Police, said: “I would like to thank the majority of our fantastic communities for pulling together during this difficult time, for adhering to the rules and helping others. These efforts really do make a difference.

“We of course want people to enjoy themselves, the last few months have been challenging.  I would ask people to stick to the social distancing rules and make sure everyone remains responsible, sensible and mindful of the restrictions that are still in place. The risk of COVID transmission has not gone away so we all must try and act in a way that protects our family and friends.  I hope everyone has a safe, relaxing and enjoyable weekend.”

Latest lockdown easing measures unveiled - as tourism industry get ready


Pubs in Wales have been sent a “clear signal” to prepare to open indoors from August 3 by the First Minister as he announced the latest round of lockdown changes, Wales Online is reporting this afternoon.
The measures will be phased in every Monday over the next review cycle and will see large parts of Wales’ visitor, hospitality, leisure and tourism industries re-open.
Mar Drakeford also announced that “provided the re-opening of outdoor hospitality goes well and the state of the virus allows, indoor opening for pubs, bars, cafes, and restaurants will resume from August 3."
Larger gatherings of up to 30 people will now be permitted provided they are outdoors “where these are organised and supervised by a responsible person for sports and other leisure activities and classes,” a Welsh Government spokesman said.
As expected he confirmed pubs, cafes, and restaurants will open outdoors and hairdressers, barbers and mobile hairdressers will re-open by appointment from Monday (July 13). 
Tourism bosses in county get ready for changes
Tourism businesses in Denbighshire are gearing up to kick-start their season, in readiness for the relaxing of lockdown restrictions on the industry, announced by First Minister Mark Drakeford today (Friday)

Bookings can be made for stays after 11 July. This will be at people’s own risk and they should check with the accommodation provider before they book.  
This includes any accommodation that is entirely self-contained, e.g. holiday cottages, holiday caravans including touring caravans, motorhomes, boats and some glamping accommodation with their own kitchens and bathrooms that no other guests use.
The proposed guidance also allows hotels and other serviced accommodation (e.g. B&Bs, hostels, etc.) that do provide en-suite rooms and can provide room service meals to re-open.
Caravan parks where accommodation is entirely self-contained may be allowed to re-open – but shared facilities on the premises will remain closed, such as swimming pools, leisure facilities, shared shower and toilets blocks, shared laundry, etc, and public areas in other accommodation types.  

This means any caravan or touring site where individual accommodation has its own supply of water for on board shower, WC and cooking with strict application of guidance on shared waste disposal and water points.

Businesses are expected  to take all reasonable measures to ensure that 2 metre distance is kept whilst waiting to enter premises, as well as admitting people onto premises in sufficiently small numbers to ensure that distance is kept.

Leader of Denbighshire, Councillor Hugh Evans OBE, who is also the Cabinet Lead Member for the Economy, said: “This latest relaxation of regulations for the industry is very much a step in the right direction.

“Tourism is very much at the heart of our economy in Denbighshire, contributing around £509 million a year and many people are heavily reliant on the industry for income and jobs.

“Many businesses will have really struggled over the past three months and it’s been a fine balance between protecting communities and re-starting the local economy.  It’s now time to look forward with hope and work together to offer the best possible experience for visitors from afar and wide, providing the usual high quality offer and encourage visitors to return to our scenic county”.

Ian Lebbon, Chair of the Denbighshire Destination Management Partnership, said: “We have waited a long time for this day. It’s been a really tough time for the tourism industry nationally and it’s no exception for us in Denbighshire.

“We fully recognise that restrictions needed to be put in place for the benefit of communities, but it’s now a case of looking forward to get  as many businesses as possible back on their feet and breathing new life into the industry, through encouraging visitors back to our county.

“We live in one of the most scenic areas of the UK, with a great blend of coastal and country communities and attractions.  We will continue to champion Denbighshire and North East Wales as great destinations for holidays and day trips for the whole family.

“We expect more people to stay in the UK for their annual holidays and it will be great to get tourism going again in our county. However, we want to make sure that people can visit Denbighshire in a safe manner,  whilst respecting communities and our scenic countryside and be mindful to check with providers and attractions whether they are open before travelling." 


County says it's working out details of schools re-opening



* Ysgol Dinas Bran.

Denbighshire County Council has issued a statement in response to the Welsh Government Education Minister’s plans for the new school year in September.

Kirsty Williams MS has confirmed that the autumn term in Wales will start on September 1. 

Her guidance states that schools that can accommodate all pupils on that day and first week should do so, but recognises that some schools may also need time for planning and reorganisation at the start of the next term.  

However, in the interests of all of children and young people, the Minister has announced that all schools will be open to all pupils by the September 14 at the very latest.

Councillor Huw Hilditch Roberts, Cabinet Lead Member for Education, Children’s Services and Public Engagement, said: “There have been growing demands from parents and guardians, as well as local authorities and schools across Wales for information about the new term in September.

“At least the latest announcement has outlined the Welsh Government’s position and direction of travel.  We now need to consider the Minister’s statement carefully and consider what plans need to be put in place to welcome pupils back in September and when schools can safely re-open.

“We’ll be working with headteachers to finalise plans for September, in line with Welsh Government operational guidelines. Dates and plans will be confirmed before the start of the summer holidays and the Council and schools will be providing updates to parents and guardians. 

“The safety of all pupils and school staff will be paramount as plans are drawn up and implemented."

Eisteddfod goes online to celebrate diversity



 *  Inclusion Project participants in rehearsal last year.


* A performance of Tapestry from the 2019 Inclusion Project on the main stage.


Llangollen TV Online Dance Champions winners Gema Citra Nusantara from Indonesia.

The second day of Llangollen Online focused on the celebration of diversity that is at the heart of the eisteddfod.

For over 10 years the festival has run an annual Inclusion Project enabling local groups that would not otherwise have performed in the event to take to the stage. 

The 2020 project had to be postponed due to the pandemic but a special video piece has been released to highlight its importance and this also features a recap on last year’s performance called Tapestry.

With awareness of diversity issues increasing across the globe in recent months, the eisteddfod’s aim of promoting understanding and acceptance through music and dance is celebrated in What Diversity Means To Us with commentary from adjudicators and participants.

“Everyone is invited, everyone is celebrated.” says Michael McCulloch the conductor of The Sunday Night Singers from California who first visited the eisteddfod in 2004. 

The winner of the Llangollen TV Dance Champions category was announced as Gema Citra Nusantara from Indonesia.


Llangollen Online runs until Saturday and further details on the daily programme can be found on www.llangollen.net

Playgrounds could be re-opened from July 20, predicts story



* The children's play area in Riverside Park.

According to a story in Wales Online this morning, playgrounds and community centres will open from July 20, ahead of the summer holidays, Mark Drakeford will announce today.
In a three-week package of measures to further lift Wales’ coronavirus restrictions the First Minister will also reveal that the wider beauty industry, including tattooists can prepare to re-open from July 27 if conditions allow, the story adds.
And it says Mr Drakeford will also confirm that from Monday, hairdressing salons will be able to reopen by appointment, as will restaurants, pubs and caf├ęs with outdoor areas.
Asked specifically by llanblogger about the situation with the children's play area and bandstand in Riverside Park this week, a Denbighshire County Council spokesperson said: "The Welsh Government position on places like Riverside Park has not changed, so  it will remain closed until the guidance has changed and the closure sign will remain in place."
* For the full story, seehttps://www.walesonline.co.uk/news/wales-news/welsh-playgrounds-community-centres-beauty-18572841#source=push


Rural residents urged to apply for help with improved broadband speeds



Rural residents and businesses in Denbighshire are being urged to apply for funding towards the cost of installing gigabit broadband.

The Welsh and UK governments are now working together on the Gigabit Broadband Voucher scheme which covers part of the cost of installing new gigabit-capable internet connections.

Under the new partnership £7,000 is available for small-to-medium sized businesses and up to £3,000 is available for residential premises.

Gigabit-capable broadband connections offer the fastest and most reliable speeds available, and the scheme is open to rural premises with broadband speeds of less than 100Mbps.

Cllr Hugh Evans OBE, Leader of Denbighshire County Council and Lead Member for the Economy, said: “This scheme will help ensure more people and businesses have access to reliable broadband speeds. I urge all those Denbighshire residents in rural locations without decent broadband to check to see if they are eligible for these vouchers.

“Connecting communities is a priority for the Council and improved internet connections ensure our communities have access to goods and services and help the county’s businesses provide services online.

“It is possible for residents or community groups to work together on applications and the Council is working to advise and assist them with their applications.”        
 
* You can contact the council via communitydevelopment@denbighshire.gov.uk and to check eligibility visit https://gigabitvoucher.culture.gov.uk

Thursday, July 9, 2020

All schools to return from.September, says government

All pupils in Wales will be able to return to school in September, it has been announced.
Education Minister Kirsty Williams has today confirmed that schools will be able to return to full capacity, with limited social distancing measures in place when the new school year starts.
For the full story, in the Daily Post, see:
https://www.dailypost.co.uk/news/north-wales-news/pupils-wales-return-school-september-18568806