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Thursday, February 28, 2013

Watchdog given more time to consider health changes

The BBC North East Wales website is reporting this afternoon that the patient watchdog for north Wales has been given more time to discuss NHS reshuffle plans with Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board, which include the closure of Llangollen Cottage Hospital.

See the full story at:

Who in Llan deserves new Welsh honour?

Ahead of tomorrow's St David's Day, Wales' First Minister Carwyn Jones has announced plans to create a new awards scheme to recognise “ordinary people who do extraordinary things”.

Speaking during a debate in the National Assembly on celebrating Welsh cultural identity, he outlined Welsh Government proposals to launch a new awards system to celebrate those who make a real difference to the quality of life in Wales.

Mr Jones said: “I have often felt humbled by the extraordinary stories of individuals who work tirelessly, without publicity or self-interest, for the benefit of others and who genuinely make Wales a better place.

“In recent months I have been reconsidering our approach to recognising contributions to Welsh life. I can today announce that from 2014 I will be launching the St David Awards. These awards will present opportunity for nominations from a broad range of walks of life to be recognised.

“Work is currently being carried out by my officials to identify the appropriate sectors for recognition and the deliberation process for making the awards.

“A starting point will be ordinary people who do extraordinary things. I am not looking to recognise people who are simply doing their jobs – however worthwhile and important many jobs undoubtedly are. I am looking to recognise people who do more than they need to, and who really make a difference to the quality of life in Wales.

“I want to see a strong business component in the awards – the private sector is the lifeblood of our economy and I want to see that dimension properly recognised. I would also like to see recognition for individuals who contribute to raising Wales’ profile in the world – this, too, makes a powerful contribution to both our social and economic well-being."

* Maybe llanblogger readers would let us know who locally they think deserves one of these new honours. Contact us at:

* Martin Crumpton responded:

"As cheesy ar the FM’s scheme is, I’d like to nominate Wynn Hughes, who does so much for other people and the town, including charity fund raising, and also David Davis, leader of the Tidy Town team. There’s another guy, but I don’t know his name, wears a kilt, always present on Remembrance Day, who keeps the cenotaph clean and tidy."

County council sets 2% budget

* County Hall in Ruthin where the budget was agreed.

Denbighshire County Council has set its 2013/14 budget at 2%.

The authority says it has agreed the budget against a backdrop of a poorer than expected financial settlement from Welsh Government.  Capital funding from Cardiff has been cut by 15% to £4.9 million, which came on top of the 27% already cut over the past two years.  The council has also identified over £3 million in further savings over the next year while investing in education and social services.  A further £1m of extra funding will go into the Corporate Plan priorities over the next year - modernising education, highways, the economy, social care and the council itself. Councillor Julian Thompson-Hill, Cabinet Lead Member for Finance and Assets, said: "We have created a budget that protects education and social care and we have increased funding to these areas to the tune of £2.1m.  "We have already cut around £14 million from budgets over the years and we are proud of the fact that we have been able to protect frontline services.  "While the outlook for public finances is poor, it is extremely important that we provide residents with below inflation tax rises in these difficult times and we have consistently worked to keep council tax as low as possible as that is what residents have told us they want to see happening." Mohammed Mehmet, Chief Executive of Denbighshire, said: "As a council we want to protect those services that are important to people and this budget achieves this while keeping the council tax increase as low as possible and making £3m efficiencies. "The council has a strong track record of delivering savings by finding better ways of doing things. We are reducing the amount of days loss to sickness; we are scrutinising our contracts to ensure better value for money and we are being more competitive in the way in which we buy in services."

Further information on the budget will be included in Your Money, the definitive guide to council tax which will be delivered with council tax bills to properties in March.

Good progress being made on Slow Food plan

Enquiries are coming in fast from businesses interested in finding out more about starting a Slow Food group in Llangollen.

In the past few weeks over 50 shops, restaurants, pubs and other firms have been invited to help with the initiative, which is being planned as part of the town’s bid to achieve Cittaslow status.

Slow Food is an international organisation that links the pleasure of food with a commitment to community and the environment by promoting local, seasonal produce and reconnecting people with where their food comes from.

It is a not-for-profit movement in which local groups, run by volunteers, organise a variety of events alongside local food and drink producers and chefs.

Members of the Cittaslow bid team have been distributing leaflets and putting up posters across the area giving people more details about Slow Food and giving them the opportunity to make an enquiry about helping set up a local group.

At the latest monthly Cittaslow group meeting at the Town Hall on Tuesday evening, members were brought up to date on how the scheme is progressing by Sal Jefford who is spearheading it.

She said that as a result of the publicity drive, a number of enquiries had come in.

A minimum of 10 are needed to start a group, so she encouraged more businesses to get involved.

• If you are interested in learning more about how you can help, or would like to be kept informed of our progress, e-mail, or phone or text Sal on 07786 623802.

Organisers also want to hear from anyone in Llangollen who is already a member of Slow Food UK.

Gill Thomas then updated members on the good progress she is making in compiling a local crafts and products directory.

This, she explained, aimed to include people with traditional crafts and product businesses within a 20-mile radius of the centre of Lllangollen.

So far, she had added 33 such businesses to the list, including ones as diverse as a coracle maker and a Welsh flannel weaver.

She is seeking many more to add to the growing list and invited anyone interested in being included to contact her via this website.

Gill, who already successfully runs the weekly country markets in Llangollen Town Hall, then put forward a suggestion for the revival of regular local farmers’ markets.

Members discussed this and came up with a number of possible locations in the town centre, which would now be investigated.   

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Police appeal over stolen sheep

Police are appealing for information after a number of sheep were stolen from the Glyndyfrdwy area.
Sometime between January 31st and last week, unknown offenders took 21 sheep and three rams from a secure field.
The sheep, which are a Chivot Cross, with two of Chivot rams and another a Texel ram, all have a blue mark on their backs. All the sheep, except the rams, have also been ear marked in the corner of their right ear.
Police are appealing to anyone who may have seen a strange vehicle in the area or anyone acting suspiciously in the vicinity to contact Investigation Support Team on 101 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.

Minister is able to intervene in health plans

A cross-party group of Assembly Members has welcomed confirmation that the Welsh Health Minister is able to intervene in controversial plans to relocate long-term neonatal care services from hospitals in North Wales to Arrowe Park Hospital on the Wirral.
During health questions in the Senedd today, Health Minister Lesley Griffiths confirmed that she is able to intervene in spite of a decision by the Betsi Cadwaladr Community Health Council’s Executive Committee last week not to formally object to the proposals.
Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board bosses gave the green light to move forward with the plans at a special meeting in January in spite of widespread opposition from the public. The British Medical Association, the Royal College of Nursing and the Royal College of Midwives have also expressed their opposition to the plans.
North Wales Regional AMs Llyr Huws Gruffydd and Aled Roberts together with Clwyd West AM Darren Millar and Vale of Clwyd AM Ann Jonesare opposed to the proposed switch.
The AMs said: “This is welcome news indeed and will reassure many people across North Wales worried about the future of baby care services in the region.
“We are pleased that the Minister has confirmed that she is actively considering the representations that have been made by members of the public and the evidence provided by clinicians. Having listened to our constituents and the arguments of clinicians, we know how persuasive the case is for retaining neonatal intensives care services in North Wales.”
They added: “As the organisation which is supposed to be the voice of patients in North Wales, we urge the Community Health Council to reconsider its position on this matter and refer the Health Board’s decisions to the Minister.
“In the event that the Community Health Council fails to refer this matter, then we will be calling upon the Minister to use her powers to intervene.”
The AMs also understand that the Community Health Council now has until the 11th March to decide whether to refer matters to the Minister. This follows a request by the watchdog for a 10-day extension to the decision timetable.

Council warns CHC over health changes

Councillors in Denbighshire will declare a vote of no confidence in the Community Health Council (CHC)E xecutive Board if it does not refer issues of concern to the Welsh Government Health Minister, Lesley Griffiths, by the March deadline .
Following a lengthy debate at a special meeting of the Full Council today members agreed to hold off from a vote of no confidence if the CHC agrees to refer two main areas of concern to the Minister, namely transition arrangements while new facilities are built and guarantees that capital funding will be in place for the new facilities, such as a primary care resource centre for Llangollen.

The moves come after a delegation of ten members met with senior health officials, including BCU Chief Executive, Mary Burrows on 8 February to discuss their concerns about the proposed changes to healthcare provision as part of the BCU consultation 'Healthcare in North Wales is Changing'.

Members discussed a range of concerns, which included a lack of guarantees coming forward from Welsh Government on capital funding and the provision of services throughout the transition period, transport implications and the future designation of Ysbyty Glan Clwyd as a district general hospital with specialist functions.

Other concerns included the potential for 'cost shunting' as more care is provided for people in the community which would inevitably impact on social care costs and plans for neonatal care for the most vulnerable babies to be provided at Arrowe Park over the border in England.

Cabinet Lead Member for health and social care, Councillor Bobby Feeley, said: "It is fair to say this consultation has been one of poor processes, misinformation and mishandling but we must We must continue to strive to get the best deal for the residents of Denbighshire.

"I fully understand the frustration of members, I feel the same, and we have seen by the way the Council has voted, we must do all we can to protect the interests of our residents.

"The CHC is the patient's watchdog but, clearly, we do not feel that the patient's interests are being best served by the proposals put forward by Betsi Cadwaladr University Healthboard. As the CHC is the only statutory body that can refer the issues to the Minister, that is where we must bring pressure to bear before taking the last step of a vote of no confidence in the CHC Executive Board."

At the end of the debate, members agreed to use the already established County Health and Social Care Forum as a mechanism to ensure continued dialogue and reporting back between Denbighshire and BCU. Members also noted progress made with respect to reassurances on the future of Ysbyty Glan Clwyd, and an agreement to work with public authorities to develop a transport plan.

Work will now begin on modelling the financial consequences of the proposed changes on the Council, especially Enhanced Care Services and Services for carers.

Ambulances perform well in county figures show

Welsh Government figures for last December show that ambulances operating in Denbighshire were amongst the best performing in Wales, attending 66.8% of emergency calls within eight minutes.

This compares favourably to the all-Wales average of 56%, is better than the target figure for unitary authority areas of 60%  and also exceeds the Wales-wide target of 65%.
Worst performing unitary authority area in the country was Rhondda Cynon Taf with just 43.5%.

Ambulances operating within the much wider Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board area – which also includes Llangollen – reached 62% of cases within eight minutes compared to the target figure for health board areas of 60%.  
The figures show generally that ambulance responses to immediately life-threatening (category A) calls in Wales were missed for the eight successive month in January.
Figures published today show ambulances arrived on time in a little over 8,500 separate category A cases. There were more than 14,600 in all.
The Welsh Government’s statistics service highlights snow as a factor during January. The last time the 65 per cent category A target was met was in May last year.
The figures have been published on the day of a Welsh Conservative debate on the ambulance service in the National Assembly.
The group is calling on the government to:
  • Increase the number of emergency ambulances operating in Wales.
  • Ensure that Wales has an adequate network of ambulance stations across the country.
  • Provide an assurance that the on-going Ministerial review of the Welsh Ambulance Service NHS Trust will deliver improved response times.
A recent freedom of information response – obtained by the Welsh Conservatives – details the number of times ambulances arrived at a scene over one hour after an initial 999 call (identified as ‘category A’) was made. The target time is eight minutes.
Examples include:
  • Overdose/poisoning in Rhondda Cynon Taf (one hour two minutes)
  • Breathing problems in Vale of Glamorgan (one hour three minutes)
  • Animal bites/attacks in Neath (one hour seventeen minutes)
  • Assault/Sexual Assault in Neath (one hour eighteen minutes)
  • Stab/Gunshot/Penetrating Trauma in Blaenau Gwent (one hour 59 minutes)
  • Stroke – Cva in Rhondda Cynon Taf (two hours 36 minutes
Last month Welsh Conservatives revealed the number of ambulances in Wales had dropped from 256 to 244, while the number of ambulance stations had also decreased. Seven have been closed so far during 2012/13 (Queensferry, Flint, Mold, Reynoldston, Monmouth, Dolgellau and Maesteg). Just four had shut their doors in the previous four years.
Shadow Minister for Health Darren Millar AM will lead today’s debate.
He said: “Very little has changed in our ambulance service and patients can rightly be forgiven a sense of déjà vu.
“Despite the hard work of frontline staff, waits are still too long, targets mean little, and service performance lags behind other parts of the UK.
“Every minute lost can harm the chance of a patient’s recovery, potentially costing lives, and causing distress to everyone involved.
“The closure of local services is only adding to the pressure on staff and it’s vital that unnecessary NHS reorganisation is properly considered in the current review.
“Labour’s record-breaking NHS budget cuts have resulted in inappropriate reform, hold-ups in A and E, and the potential for far longer waits in the future.
“We need reassurances that the current ambulance service review will result in the real changes that are needed and the excellent service Wales deserves.”

Campaigner's letter on health service changes

Local campaigner MARTIN CRUMPTON has sent in this letter regarding health service changes in the area:
Second Class NHS for North Wales?
Betsi Cadwaladr Community Health Council decided to back the health board’s cuts, resulting in the closure of four community hospitals and centralising facilities like minor injury units, despite overwhelming opposition from patients and health care professionals who wanted it referred to the Minister.
Meanwhile, the Hywel Dda community health council have referred the same issues for their area to Lesley Griffiths, the Health Minister.
She now has a dilemma:
If she upholds Hywel Dda’s objection but doesn’t apply the decision nationally, she will create a two-tier NHS in Wales, with her own constituents in Wrexham falling into the second class category.
If she rejects Hywel Dda CHC’s objections, she will face accusations that her decision was made purely for political expediency in order to save face.
H er only viable course is to make her decision on behalf of all the health boards in Wales. Unless she acts speedily, that will be problematic too, since Betsi Cadwaladr has already begun implementing the closures, quickly and stealthily.
If she follows what the people and the staff of the NHS are demanding and stop the closures, she will have to obtain extra funding. If she doesn’t, she will have to face her own constituents.
From the very beginning, when the Welsh Government decided to cut funding for the NHS, the whole thing has become an omnishambles.
Martin Crumpton

Choir for peace to sing in Llan

 A choir will commemorate the 20th anniversary of the Warrington bombing at an international festival dedicated to world peace and harmony.
The renowned Warrington Male Voice Choir (pictured right) will be competing at the Llangollen International Musical Eisteddfod in the picturesque North Wales town.
In the years after the bomb outrage in the Cheshire town, which claimed the lives of two children – 12-year-old Tim Parry and Johnathan Ball, aged three - and left another 54 badly injured, the choir made numerous trips to sing in Ireland – both north and south of the border – in an attempt to aid the healing process.
Accompanying them on many of those momentous occasions was the choir’s Patron, the iconic peace champion Terry Waite, who is also President of the Llangollen Eisteddfod.
After the IRA bomb ripped through the centre of Warrington on March 20, 1993, the choir, which was established in 1898 and is one of the oldest and most highly acclaimed in England, readily answered the call to become involved in the Concerts for Reconciliation programme.
The choir performed on numerous occasions over the following years, both in Northern Ireland and the Irish Republic, and rapidly became known as the Choir for Peace.
Mr Waite said: “When the Warrington bombing occurred I saw for myself the devastating impact it had upon a community unaccustomed to that level of violence.
“I was invited to become a Patron of the choir and gladly accepted.
“I have never been the sort of person to be content with simply having my name on headed notepaper. If I was to be Patron then I needed to contribute.
“A series of visits to Ireland was arranged by the choir and I accompanied them, taking the opportunity to promote the message of peace through the spoken word whilst the choir did the same through music.
“At the public concerts held right across Northern Ireland and in the Republic, in Roman Catholic Cathedrals and Orange Halls, the same message was delivered.
“People from all the different sections of society attended and found comfort and inspiration from the events.
“Many were deeply impressed that the people of Warrington showed no bitterness. They felt pain and made no secret of that fact but they were determined to turn the experience of acute suffering into something positive.
“Llangollen is a powerful example of how ordinary men and women - for the Eisteddfod is still organised in the main by volunteers - can make a positive difference in this war-torn world.”
Choir secretary Dave Knight, who was himself in the choir’s line-up throughout at the time of the bombing, period, said: “We sang in major venues on either side of the border, such as the National Opera House in Dublin and the Waterfront Hall in Belfast, but we also performed in many smaller venues, including churches of all denominations.
“One of the occasions I remember most was in 1996 when the choir was invited to take part in the St Patrick’s Day parade in Armagh, Ireland’s ecclesiastical centre.
“We became the first English group to receive such an honour and we enjoyed an unprecedented welcome on the street of Armagh. The choristers were presented with sprigs of shamrock by Cardinal Cahal Daly, Primate of All Ireland, which was a powerfully symbolic gesture.
“The choir also sang at Omagh in Northern Ireland in 1998, not long after the bombing there in which 29 people were killed and 220 were injured.
“That was an unforgettable experience because the streets were still badly damaged as a result of the bomb and we performed a song called Across the Bridge of Hope.
“Whenever and wherever we have sung in Ireland we have been received with open arms by the local people and it has been a phenomenal experience.
“We have always felt it was the right thing to do to hold out the hand of peace and choir members still wear the badge of peace in the lapel of their uniforms.
“To mark the 20thanniversary of the Warrington bombing the choir will be singing in the commemorative service to be held in the town’s Bridge Street –where it actually took place – on Saturday, March 16. On that day we will again sing Across the Bridge of Hope, as we did in Omagh.”
Dave added: “The choir has competed at Llangollen International Eisteddfod on many occasions over the years and in recent years we’ve been runners-up twice and third once in the male voice choir section.
“We are looking forward very much to competing again this year and will sing first in the male voice choir section on the Saturday afternoon and are hoping very much to get through to the Choir of the World competition later that day.
“That is a marvellous competition and features some of the very best choirs from across the globe and we’re hoping we can be amongst them.”
The festival's Musical Director, Eilir Griffiths, is delighted the Warrington Male Voice Choir will be competing again this year.
He said: “The Choir of the World competition is internationally recognised and we want to elevate dance to the same level by giving it a place on the stage on the big night.
“Dance plays a really important part in the Eisteddfod and brings huge colour, spectacle and atmosphere to the event with dancers from all over the world in their different costumes.
“We want it to really light up the weekend and have a real impact not just on the Saturday night but throughout the week and especially the weekend.”
As well as the new dance event there will also be a new Children’s Choir of the World competition; with the winning choirs from the Junior Children’s, Senior Children’s and Children’s Folk Choir competitions competing against each other,
There will also be a Conductors Prize for the most inspiring conductor from these competitions as well as a Music Directors Awardgiven by the festival’s Music Director himself, Eilir Owen Griffiths.
Another first, aimed at solo performers, will be the Voice of the Future competition, open to under-35s and with a whopping £2,000 prize.
This year’s event is from Tuesday, July 9, to Sunday, July 14. For more information go to the website at and on Facebook at

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Two charged with Wrexham murder

Two men have been have been charged with the murder of Glynis Eileen Solmaz at her Wrexham home.

Alexandros Weatherill, 23, and Christopher Curran, 34, have both been charged with murder and conspiracy to burgle.

Two other men, Christopher Natt, 52, and David Lovell, 29, have also been charged with conspiracy to burgle.

All four men are from the Wrexham area and are due to appear before Wrexham Magistrates’ Court tomorrow morning.

Maps show levels of noise in the area

* The local noise map, showing the A539 junction with the A483 at the top and the
A5 junction at the bottom.

The Welsh Government has published a series of maps to illustrate levels of noise across Wales.
The noise maps show estimated levels of road traffic, railway and industrial noise in Wales’ three largest urban areas, and noise from the busiest roads and railways across the country.
Local authorities, and other bodies, can use the maps to identify where high levels of noise coincide with other social and environmental problems. They will then be able to address these issues to improve the quality of life for people living and working in there areas.
Commenting on the maps, Environment Minister, John Griffiths said:
"One of my top priorities is to improve the local environment for people living in our most disadvantaged areas. Noise pollution should be treated with particular seriousness when it coincides with other factors such as poor air quality, low housing standards and lack of green space."

One of the maps looks at noise generated by trains. Almost all mapped railway lines are due to be electrified and the Welsh Government is looking at the improvements in noise levels likely to result from this.
The Welsh Government will shortly be consulting on a noise action plan which will bring together the noise policies and priorities of public authorities across Wales. The noise maps will be a key source of information helping to inform decisions by these bodies over the next five years.
You can see the noise maps on our Wales Noise Mapping website.
Looking the road noise mapping for this area the key to the colours on the map, representing average noise level in decibels (dB), are:
·        Blue - 75 and over
·        Purple - 70-74.9
·        Red - 65-69.9
·        Pink - 60-64.9
·        Orange - 55-59.9
Locally, the highest noise levels (blue) is recorded along the line of the actual carriageway of the A483, with progressively lower noise recordings (purple, then red, pink and orange) on the roadsides along its flanks.
On both the main roads from the bypass to Llangollen – the A539 in the north and the A5 in the south – the highest noise levels are recorded on the eastward carriageways themselves - (purple) diminishing to red.
Again, on the sides of both roads there are extensive orange areas, extending as far west as Trevor on the A539 – where the road then becomes red all the way to Llangollen and beyond - and the junction with the B5605 towards Pentre on the A5.

For more information see:

New county cycle route gears up

Work on constructing a new cycle path linking Ruthin and Rhewl in the Vale of Clwyd gets underway next week.

The path will be constructed alongside the existing A525 road and will be carried out in two stages. The first stage begins on March 4th.

Temporary traffic lights will be in operation throughout the duration of the works.

E.Jones and Sons will carry out the works and the project is expected to take six to eight weeks to complete.

This route will link Ruthin to the villages of Rhewl, Llanynys and Llandyrnog and will encourage people to cycle for health reasons and will help protect the environment.

The work is being funded through the Welsh Government Transport Plan grant, which is made available to support projects that promote safe, efficient and sustainable transport networks.

For further information, please contact Ben Wilcox-Jones, on 01824 706922.

Monday, February 25, 2013

More arrests in Wrexham murder hunt

Breaking news ...

Three more men have been arrested on suspicion of the murder of Glynis Eileen Solmaz at her Wrexham home.
Police were called to a house in Bryn Hafod at 10.02am on Wednesday February 20 where the body of Ms Solmaz 65, was found.
Police were today granted a further 24 hours to question a 23 year old Wrexham man arrested on Friday February 22.
Earlier today officers arrested three more local men aged 52, 34 and 29.
All the men have arrested on suspicion of murder and conspiracy to burgle and are currently being held at Wrexham police station.

Air ambulance attended Llan incident

Wales Air Ambulance has just given details of incidents its helicopter has attended in the area recently
These included one in Llangollen on February 13 when they were called at 1pm to attend to an adult male injured in a horse riding accident.
On February 17, the Air Ambulance was called to Llantysilio at 11.15am to deal with the an adult male casualty injured in a fall.
Wales Air Ambulance is the national air ambulance charity for Wales, providing emergency air cover for those who face life-threatening illness or injuries.
Its aircrews are on standby for everyone, in any part of Wales’ diverse landscape and communities, 365 days a year.
The same charity also operates the National Children’s Air Ambulance for Wales.
The charity is funded by public support and relies entirely on donations to raise £6 million each year to operate its three helicopters in the mid, north and south of the country.
To donate, call your nearest Wales Air Ambulance fundraising office on 0844 85 84 999 and they will process a donation over the phone.

Check out your local school's details

The Welsh Government have been promoting their My Local School website, which aims to provide school performance data for parents and others.

The site sets out to present information in a clear and simple format and data is displayed by school.  

It presents many of the outputs of the education system such as examination performance, but also some of the inputs such as finance.  

However, it stresses that it cannot measure other factors such as levels of parental involvement, support networks in place for pupils, external tuition and the levels of motivation that an individual pupil has to attain the best she or he can. 

The summary page is a data sketch of the school at a glance.  

From here you can also click on the individual tabs for more detailed charts and tables.  

The charts in the site tend to be over a five-year period so it is possible to see over time if the performance is up, down or level.  

The summaries for each Llangollen school are:

Ysgol Dinas Bran

982 - Number of pupils on roll (Year 2012)

13.9% - Free school meals (FSM) - 3 year average (Year 2012)

16.8 - Pupil Teacher Ratio (Year 2012)

93.6% - Percentage attendance during the year (Year 2012)

£4,740 - School budget per pupil (Year 2013)
Pupils achieving the expected level in the core subjects at Key Stage 2
Year: 2012BBBBand 1 - Secondary school banding (Year 2012)

74.5% - Pupils achieving the expected level in the core subjects at Key Stage 3 (Year 2012)

58.7% - Percentage of pupils achieving the level 2 threshold including English/Welsh and Maths (Key stage 4) (Year 2012)

377 - Average capped points score (Key stage 4) (Year 2012)

Ysgol Bryn Collen

155 - Number of pupils on roll (Year 2012)

16.3% - Free school meals - 3 year average (Year 2012)

18.5 Pupil Teacher Ratio (Year 2012)

94.8% - Percentage atttendance during the year (Year 2012)

£4,334 - School budget per pupil (Year 2012)

76.9% - Pupils achieving the expected level in the core subjects at Key Stage 2 (Year 2012)
87.5% - Pupils achieving expected level in Foundation Phase areas of learning (Year 2012)

Ysgol Gymraeg Y Gwernant

119 - Number of pupils on roll (Year 2012)

11.5% - Free school meals - 3 year average (Year 2012)

17.1 - Pupil Teacher Ratio (Year 2012)

95.7% - Percentage attendance during the year (Year 2012)

£4,385 - School budget per pupil (Year 2013)

92.9% - Pupils achieving the expected level in the core subjects at Key Stage 2 (year 2012)
91.7% - Pupils achieving the expected level in the Foundation Phase areas of learning (year 2012)

Year: 2012* Ysgol Dinas Bran.*
Pupils achieving the expected level in the core subjects at Key Stage 3

Year: 2012

% Pupils achieving the level 2 threshold including English/Welsh and Maths
(Key stage 4)

Year: 2012

Average capped points score
(Key stage 4)

Year: 2012


Secondary school banding

Year: 2012

Pupils achieving the expected level in the core subjects at Key Stage 3

Year: 2012

% Pupils achieving the level 2 threshold including English/Welsh and Maths

(Key stage 4)

Year: 2012

Average capped points score
(Key stage 4
Year: 2012

Burn safely, fire service urges farmers

With a dry spell of weather predicted and with the controlled burning season drawing to a close, firefighters are appealing to farmers to undertake their controlled burning in the safest and most effective way possible.

The Heather and Grass Burning Code states that burning is allowed only between the 1st of October and the 31st of March in upland areas and the 1st of November and the 15th of March elsewhere.

Many farmers will now be taking the opportunity towards the end of the period to undertake controlled burning of heather, grass and gorse on their land.

Staff from North Wales Fire and Rescue Service have been visiting livestock markets across the region in recent weeks to spread to word on safe controlled burning.

Gary Brandrick, Senior Fire Safety Manager, said: " We are urging all landowners undertaking controlled burning to notify us by calling our control room on 01745 535805. This will help avoid false alarms and crews being sent out unnecessarily as well as ensuring we are ready to respond in the event of a burn getting out of control.

"We are also asking these landowners to be responsible when it comes to controlled burning. The fires are set in areas where access is extremely difficult and water supply is limited - should the fire get out of control, this can place tremendous pressure on resources, with firefighters tied up for a considerable length of time trying to bring them under control. These fires can put homes, livestock and the lives of crews and residents at risk as firefighters are kept from attending genuine emergencies.”

Farmers are asked to follow the guidelines below if they are planning a controlled burn:

- Ensure they have sufficient people and equipment to control the fire
- Check wind direction and ensure there is no risk to property, roads and wildlife
- If a fire gets out of control contact the fire service immediately giving details of location and access
- It is illegal to leave a fire unattended or to have too few people to control it. - Always ensure a fire is completely out before you leave it and check next day to ensure it has not reignited.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

No-go zone planned to stop cold callers

Police are aiming to join forces with county trading standards officers to set up a “no cold calling” zone in Llangollen.

The idea, which is aimed at helping to keep at bay nuisance doorstep traders, was outlined to members of the Town Council at their meeting on Tuesday evening.
Sergeant Paul Hughes, of the neighbourhood policing team, first explained how officers had been called about two weeks ago to deal with the occupants of a vehicle selling fresh fish in the Wern Road area of the town.
He said: “We had a call from a resident in that area who said these people were selling fish from the back of a van, which I understand was sub-standard for the prices they were charging.
“The people were from the north east of the country and were already known to trading standards.”
He added: “With trading standards we are looking at setting up a no cold calling zone in Llangollen.
“This means that notices will be placed on lampposts around the zone warning cold callers they are not welcome inside it.
“These schemes, which have been successful elsewhere, enhance the power of trading standards in that if complaints are received about callers inside the zone they can more easily shown to be in breach of restrictions.”
Sgt Hughes urged anyone having problems with cold callers to ring North Wales Police on the non-emergency line of 101, or even 999 if it is believed vulnerable people may be at risk.

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Health service campaigners take to the streets

Th BBC North East Wales news website is reporting this evening (Saturday)  that hundreds of campaigners opposing a raft of changes to hospital care in north Wales - including the closure of Llangollen Cottage Hospital - have taken to the streets.

More than 300 people joined the demonstrations in Llandudno.

It follows a decision by the area community health council (CHC) not to refer Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board plans to the Welsh government.

See the full story and video at:

County stamps down on dog foulers

Denbighshire has launched an anti-dog fouling campaign.

It features a raft of measures aimed at engaging with communities, educating people about the impact of dog fouling and robust enforcement action as well as a dedicated freephone number for residents to report dog fouling culprits and hot spot areas.

The number is 0800 230 0234.

Cabinet member for Environment, Councillor David Smith, explained: "While we know that most dog owners are responsible and always clean up after their dogs, there seems to be a stubborn minority who continue to allow their animals to foul and do not clear up after them.

"We cannot let this continue as time and time again, dog fouling has come up in resident's surveys and regular communication between residents and our councillors backs this up - it s one of the most common complaints we receive."

Denbighshire has already contracted environmental enforcement firm, XFor to patrol areas across the county and issue Fixed Penalty Notices for littering and fouling and will also work closely with North Wales Police through the Community Safety Partnership.

The Council would also like to increase community involvement and support with clean-up campaigns and is also working closely with Keep Wales Tidy Officer for Denbighshire.

Councillor Smith said : "Working with the community is key to the success of this campaign and I would urge people - if you see it, report it! If you know who the culprit is, we need you to tell us.

"With the best will in the world, we can't be everywhere and we need the community to help be our eyes and ears and we need to know where the hot spots are so we can specifically target them with increased patrols."

"Denbighshire has installed 90 new bins in new locations last year with more planned for this year and we recently asked members to tell us about hot spots, and now have a list that we will be attending to. We have also been working with Town and Community Councils."