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Friday, September 30, 2016

County urges people to join #LoveLiveLocal campaign

Denbighshire Council is encouraging residents to get involved in their #LoveLiveLocal campaign and be in with a chance to win prizes every month until Christmas.

The council wants people to share pictures of lovely purchases they’ve made locally to the hashtag #LoveLiveLocal on Twitter or share pictures with them on Facebook and they will automatically be entered in the draw to win a six-month membership to any Denbighshire gym and leisure centre.

The campaign has the backing of many local businesses across the area and the support of local politicians.

Councillor Hugh Evans OBE, Leader of Denbighshire County Council, said: ‘It’s really important that people get behind the businesses in their local towns and villages. Sharing the wonderful things that can be bought locally is one way to do this. In the run up to the festive season, the more people who are posting and talking about shopping in Denbighshire the better.’

The campaign aims to build up a network of user experiences of Denbighshire businesses and if you visit the hashtag you can see what a wonderful array of products and services are available in the county but we want it to become bigger and better and that relies on the public to share their positive experiences using the hashtag to create that online community. 

It also has the backing of our local business champions.

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Upgrades planned for county leisure centres

Leisure centres across Denbighshire are set to undergo a digital revolution, with a programme of investment being introduced to expand and improve digital services county-wide.

Customers will see an enhanced service with the digital developments providing opportunities to make our leisure centres more modern and fit for the 21st Century.

The first project is the installation of three ‘fast track kiosks’ at Denbigh, Ruthin and Llangollen Leisure Centres.

These will complement the facilities already in place at Rhyl Leisure Centre and Nova, Prestatyn and will allow existing members to book into and register for activities in seconds, without the need for any delays at reception. 

In September,  all seven leisure centres (Llangollen, Corwen, Ruthin, Denbigh, St Asaph, Rhyl and Prestatyn) will have wi-fi installed.

As more of the fitness suites migrate onto “the cloud” and many customers use their own personal devices to track their fitness progress, improved connectivity for mobile and smart devices has become a necessity.  In response to customer demand, wi-fi will become available in specific areas in each site. 

October will see the relaunch of the website.  With a new cutting edge look, the redesigned site will provide improved, but simpler access to information for customers, via an improved layout.  Popular information, such as swimming and class timetables, will be available in a few simple clicks. 

By the end of 2016, the website will also incorporate facilities for online booking of activities and online booking for fitness membership, with both of these initiatives currently being finalised.

Councillor Hugh Irving, Acting Cabinet Lead Member for Leisure, said: “We are delighted to be introducing a range of brand new developments at our leisure centres.  They will be of great benefit to existing and brand new customers, with the latest technology assisting us in our efforts to improve the customer experience.

“More and more people expect to receive services at the touch of a button. Our latest investments will allow people to benefit from this, whilst also maintaining a more traditional approach through a front desk reception area.

“These latest developments support our commitment to keep investing in our leisure offer in Denbighshire."

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Funding for community projects announced

Nine projects across Denbighshire are to benefit from funding allocated as part of the Town and Area Plans.

The successful projects include Llangollen Sports Club, £5,400 for new grass-cutting equipment and Pentredwr, £3,000 for Community Centre refurbishment.

This funding will be allocated between now and May 2017.

This was the last tranche of funding for projects.

Llan Youth Choir tuning up for Christmas

Llangollen Youth Choir are looking forward to Christmas already.

They are working hard with Elen Roberts on their festive repertoire, some classic pieces and some requests from the singers too.

With new recruits having joined at the last September rehearsal there are more places available for singers in school years 5,6,7 & 8. 

Monthly Saturday morning rehearsals at Ysgol Dinas Bran.

Please email for any information and find all news on and the Facebook page: Llangollen-youth-choir – which is managed by Ceylon Orton-Jones, a year 8 singer.

Board game group has first meeting

A new Llangollen board game group has its first meeting at the town’s RAFA Club this Friday evening.

Running between 7 and 10pm, it’s masterminded by local man Kenny Goodman who said: “This is the first time I've done it and this is the only board game night in Llangollen.

“There will be a good mix of board games including Splendor, Pixel Tactics, Scrabble, Cludo, Pokemon Master and people are welcome to bring their own board games.

“I'm looking to create a family and enthusiast-friendly group.”

Kenny added: “Donations towards the RAFA Club charity and the board game group are much appreciated as this is a free event.  All donations to either goes towards keeping it going.”

* For more details, see:

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Louisa gets back on her bike for a great cause

* Louisa Jones is ready to climb back into the
saddle for a marathon charity challenge.

AN INTREPID Llangollen Operatic Society member is getting back on her bike for another marathon charity challenge.

Back in 2012 Louisa Jones, 37, took part in a gruelling 260-mile cycling expedition through India in aid of three women’s cancer causes, raising over 3,000 along the way.

Now she’s planning to climb back into the saddle for the same three charities - Breast Cancer Care, Jo's Cervical Cancer Trust and Ovarian Cancer Action.

From February 6-17 next year she will be joining a group of 70 women to cycle 450km (280 miles) from Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam to Angkor Wat in Cambodia.

* Louisa on her Indian challenge in 2012.

Louisa, who works as a project manager and lives in Chirk, said:  This is the second time I have taken on such a challenge, having successfully undertaken the Women V Cancer Cycle India event in November 2012, which took a group of us across rural Rajasthan in aid of the same three causes.

“Although fairly fit, I am not a cyclist so the event will require me to undertake quite some training in order to get to the level of fitness and stamina needed to complete six days of cycling in a very different climate and terrain.

“It will be no easy task but I believe it will be extremely rewarding both personally and in terms of the benefit to the charities and the excellent work that they do in the areas of research and support. Without the generosity of donors, they simply could not continue.

“Through sponsorship and fundraising activities, I am aiming to raise at least £1,700, 100% of which will go directly to the charities. I will be paying all tour and administrative costs of about £1,500 myself.”

* To sponsor Louisa, go to her fundraising page at:

Monday, September 26, 2016

llanblogger notches up £200 from Memory Walk

* Phil at the finishing line with his medal.
llanblogger raised £200 to help in the battle against dementia when he strode out in the Alzheimers Society's first ever Memory Walk in Delamere Forest on Saturday morning.

Phil Robinson joined around 3,500 fellow trekkers in the big event, which was part of the current season of walks being held across Britain with the aim of raising £6.4 million to help finance research into the distressing condition which affects 225,000 people in the UK each year.

Phil chose to walk the route around the lake in memory of two close members of his family who suffered from dementia.

He said: "It was a fantastic day which saw upwards of 3,500 people gathering on the car park at Delamere to take part in the first Memory Walk to be held there.

"There was a real carnival atmosphere, with a Zumba warm-up session before we all headed off into the forest, where we found a drum band in a clearing who were helping to set the pace for us.

"On the walk it was amazing to see the little cards attached to people's official teeshirts describing who they were remembering as they marched on - parents, grandparents and spouses.

"There were people of all ages, from tiny tots to more mature walkers and, as they went along they were sharing their stories about why they had decided to get involved.

* Thousands of people gather before the start of the Memory Walk.

"Almost as numerous as the human trekkers were the dogs people had brought along with them - some proudly wearing their Memory Walk teeshirts or Alzheimers Society scarves."

* Out on the trail.

* A four-legged walker proudly wears the official Memory Walk teeshirt. 
He added: "The whole thing was brilliantly organised with walk marshalls dotted along the route to make sure everyone was ok and didn't get themselves lost.

"I understand that the current season of walks will involve around 100,000 across Britain, and if they have as much fun as I did it's something they'll never forget.

* A drum band helps set the pace for walkers.  

"I'd like to thank everyone who sponsored me, enabling me to comfortably hit and then better my fundraising target of £150 to make £200 for this extremely worthwhile cause."

* See Phil's Justgiving page at:

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Balloons take flight again ...

Another balloon flight this morning ...

   ... and last night's fireworks ...

Bring homes back into use, says county

Owners of empty homes across Denbighshire are being encouraged to return their properties to use to provide extra housing and deter antisocial behaviour.

There are a number of financial incentives available to assist empty home owners in bringing their properties back into use, from Welsh Government interest free loans to local authority assistance. 

The council can also help with project managing the works and give advice on how to get a reduction on VAT for renovation works to empty properties.

Currently there are around 700 long term empty properties in the county and an Empty Homes Officer has been allocated to help home owners with the process of returning their empty properties back to use.

Councillor Barbara Smith, Cabinet Lead Member for Modernisation and Housing, said: “Long term empty properties are a cause for concern and homes left empty for more than six months are a wasted resource in an area of high housing demand, they can attract crime, vandalism and antisocial behaviour as well as being a financial burden on owners."

Councillor David Smith, Cabinet Lead Member for the Public Realm, said: “We understand that the prospect can be stressful and overwhelming so Denbighshire County Council have allocated an Empty Homes Officer who is available to offer tailored advice and support for anyone returning their property to use. 

"This includes advice on how to make the most of your property, renovation advice, financial advice and advice on selling your property, with all advice and assistance tailored to individual circumstances. An empty home needs to be looked after as much as one which is lived in, it makes financial sense to put your vacant property to use.”

Additional benefits can be gained by bringing a property back to use, including giving the owners a financial return, removing the burden and worry of being responsible for a vacant property and also provide extra homes in the County without the need for new builds.

Denbighshire County Council is keen to assist owners in returning their properties to use, however in circumstances where the property is considered to be having a detrimental effect on the neighbourhood and local amenities and all offers of voluntary assistance have been rejected, the council says it will consider taking enforcement action which could involve issuing an improvement notice to make the owner to bring their property up to current housing standards, enforcing the sale of the property or serving a demolition order.

For home owners wanting to find out more on this service or if you would like to have a discussion regarding your empty property, contact the Empty Homes Officer on:

Empty Homes Officer, 
Built Environment Team,
Smithfield Road,
LL16 3RJ
Or you can email: / 01824 706717.

Saturday, September 17, 2016

Balloon festival provides spectacular sight

* One of the balloons heads from the field and across town.

* A member of the Red Devils display team in action.

* Another of the balloons reaches for the sky.

* A third balloon gets airborne.

Llangollen Balloon Festival provided a thrilling display for scores of people waiting on the bridge and across town earlier this evening.

Around half a dozen colourful balloons launched from the International Pavilion field around teatime to drift slowly towards Regent Street.

Shortly afterwards there was another spectacular sight as members of the Red Devils Parachute Display Team went through their paces hundreds of feet above the town.

Still to come this evening:

* 8pm Evening Glow

* 8pm Firework Display

And programme for tomorrow (Sunday) is:

7am Gates open for early morning ascent.
10am Main show begins with balloon display in main arena.
11am Galloping Acrobats
12pm Cheshire Falconry
1pm Balloon Display
2pm Llangollen Motorcycle Club
3pm Galloping Acrobats
4pm Cheshire Falconry
5pm British Ironworks Balloon Race

New tourism awards celebrate success of North Wales

* North Wales Tourism managing director Jim Jones.

The first ever tourism awards celebrating the work the spectacular successes of the £2 billion industry in North Wales are being launched.

The Go North Wales Tourism Awards, which will also showcase local produce, aim to highlight excellence in the region’s high flying hospitality and tourism sectors. 

The awards are being run by private sector body North Wales Tourism, in partnership with Heart FM, and will be handed out at a gala dinner on Thursday, November 24 at Venue Cymru, Llandudno. Heart FM presenters Spencer and Rachel will also be at the black-tie event.

* White water rafting is one of the many
activities on offer in North Wales.
North Wales is at the centre of the growing adventure holidays market and is earning recognition as a world leader thanks to developments like Zip World, Surf Snowdonia and the Snowdonia Pass provided by the Attractions of Snowdonia.

Tourism already employs 40,000 people across North Wales - which adds up to one in every seven jobs in the area.

At the same time more than £100 million of mainly private sector money is currently being invested in tourism-related projects in the region.

North Wales Tourism managing director Jim Jones said: “These awards are all about celebrating everything that’s wonderful in North Wales. 

“They will showcase and celebrate the achievements, hard work and dedication of the hundreds of entrepreneurs who run businesses in this area.

“Tourism and hospitality are worth millions to the economy of North Wales, with the value growing every year. Thousands of people already work in the industry across the six counties and there’s the potential to grow this, to enable more jobs to be created.

“We want people to nominate their tourism business, by demonstrating their success and showing how they offer an exceptional experience to visitors - one that makes people return time and again to North Wales.

“There are a wide range of categories because there are so many different providers in the tourism and hospitality sector in North Wales. It could include an adventure park, bike trail, hotel or B&B, a crowd-pulling event or festival, campsite, promotional campaign, or a new food or drink. 

“There is also a Green Award as it is important that we safeguard this environment - we know visitors to North Wales come to enjoy the wonderful outdoors and we want future generations to continue to enjoy it. 

“I am very grateful to those businesses that have agreed to sponsor the different categories - their support will help us to showcase the very best in North Wales.”

Nominations can be made via the website until October 23. A judging panel will then draw up a shortlist in each category, with the winners announced on November 24.

The categories are
  • Best Attraction, sponsored by Contact Centre Cymru
  • Best Food or Drink, sponsored by Celtic Holiday Park
  • Best Accommodation, sponsored by Wrexham Lager
  • Best Caravan, Camping or Glamping site, sponsored by Wrexham Destination Partnership
  • Best Destination (town or area), sponsored by WR Davies Motor Group
  • The Green Award, sponsored by Carbon Zero
  • Best Use of Digital, sponsored by Cartrefi Conwy
  • Best Newcomer, sponsored by Silver Birch Golf Club
  • Tourism Business Innovation, sponsored by North Wales Economic Ambition Board
  • Year of Adventure, sponsored by Arriva
  • Magnificent Crowd Puller (audience over 7,500) sponsored by Powlsons
  • Magnificent Crowd Puller (audience under 7,500), sponsored by North Wales Tourism. 
North Wales Tourism is one of the UK’s leading tourism organisations, supporting businesses across the region’s six counties.  Its aim is to build and maintain a prosperous and sustainable tourism industry in North Wales.

The Awards evening on November 24 includes a gala dinner and award presentations followed by an evening of entertainment and dancing. Event tickets are available at a cost of £50 plus VAT per person or £500 plus VAT for a table to seat 10 guests.

To book by phone call 01492 539058 or visit

Friday, September 16, 2016

Big mountain bike event comes to Llan

British Cycling's National Downhill Mountain Bike Series Round Six, presented by Shimano, will be staged in Llangollen this Saturday and Sunday.

Riders contending for the series overall are measured on their best five results, with seeding counting for up to 50 points and race runs up to 200 points for the win.

The newly revised Squirrel Track will be used with a new re-vamped start straight with several new BMX track style jumps into two new berms.

The course itself is steep and technical as it winds itself down the famous Llangollen hillside with a spectator route cut top to bottom meaning nobody has to cross the course.

Saturday is practice all day from 09:30 to 18:00 with live timing in place for all riders.

Sunday is practice in the morning followed be seeding runs and then one race run, again with live timing throughout.

On Sunday between the intervals for seeding and race runs the Strider Downhill Race is packed with 40 stars of the future who will tackle a course that starts next to the famous Llangollen step downs.

They will then fire into the long finish arena and across the finish line and into the hot seat. The Strider riders will be in age categories and complete downhill timed runs.

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Planning application submitted for "ghost" supermarket

* The Berwyn Street supermarket for which a planning application has now been submitted.

A planning application has been lodged with Denbighshire County Council which could possibly see Llangollen’s “ghost” supermarket split between two tenants – discount retailers Aldi and Home Bargains.

The 34,000 sq ft unit off Berwyn Street has stood empty since May 2015 when Sainsbury’s for whom it was built made the shock announcement that they would not be moving in due to a scaling back of their stores.
The application, made in the name of Sainsbury’s who still own the building, seeks permission for the subdivision of the existing retail unit and alterations to allow it to trade as two retail units with associated internal and external physical alterations to the building, service yard, customer entrance and forecourt areas.

The move, which comes after more than a year of speculation about the eventual tenant, has been welcomed by Llangollen county councillor Stuart Davies who said: “Mention of Aldi and Home Bargains being the two prospective tenants of the supermarket is made in the covering letter of the planning application and also in a background document.
“I am happy that an application has finally been made for this empty building and to see that there are prospective tenants in mind.”

The Sainsbury’s pull-out, which they blamed on “adverse trading conditions” at the time, dashed hopes for 130 promised jobs.

Sainsburys announced they wouldn’t themselves be running the store directly and revealed they were looking for potential tenants.

Interest by Aldi and the discount group Home Bargains has often been speculated upon but never confirmed by either company.

A spokesman for Aldi told llanblogger a few months ago:  “Aldi, the award-winning discount food retailer, is keen to develop a new food store in Llangollen.

“There is a clear need for greater shopping choice in the area and Aldi is looking at a variety of sites that fit both suitability and convenience for local shoppers.”

And a spokesman for Home Bargains said at the time: “Unfortunately, it’s a no comment from us, as we work to a strict planner of confirmed stores.”

* The application, reference number 03/2016/0887, can be inspected in full via the planning search section of the Denbighshire County Council website at:

Council slammed over station parking

* Ken Skates AM with Cllr Dana Davies at Ruabon Station.

Wrexham Council has made ‘an utter mess’ of parking charges at Ruabon Station, according to opposition politicians.

Along with many residents and station users, Clwyd South Assembly Member Ken Skates and Ruabon councillor Dana Davies have previously criticised the authority over the introduction of a pay-and-display system at the popular station.

Now they say constant issues with the ticket machine are exacerbating problems – and have called on the council to address the situation.

Mr Skates and Cllr Davies last April suggested the council should reinvest money from the new parking charges – up to £400 a year per person – into improving the station’s facilities, such as better disabled access. But their plea fell on deaf ears at the Guildhall.

Cllr Davies, leader of the opposition Labour group said: “At least if the money had gone towards station improvements, commuters and users could’ve seen where it was going. This is purely a revenue stream, while at the same time the council is wasting hundreds of thousands of pounds of taxpayers’ money trying to demolish The Groves.

“Since the charges came in, people are parking anywhere but at the train station, including at the cemetery and in residential areas.

“These issues were raised at the time the decision was made, but our concerns were ignored. They are still discussed on a regular basis at Ruabon Community Council, and I’m getting a lot of complaints from residents.

“The ticket machine is also faulty on a regular basis and people often have problems paying for long-term stays. I was assured this would be looked at, but I’m still waiting.”

Cllr Davies added: “Wrexham Council leaders continue to make an utter mess of this.”

Mr Skates added: “I use this station and know how frustrating the parking payment system is. I also know how badly the charges have impacted on neighbouring householders, who are finding people parking all over the place. I have taken this up with the chief executive once again and hope to get a response in the very near future.”

Cllr David A Bithell, Lead Member for Environment and Transport, said: “I am flabbergasted at Labour’s hypocrisy, given the decision of the executive board on January 13, 2015, to introduce a Pay and Display service at Ruabon Railway Station - it is my recollection that this was a unanimous decision which included the two Labour members of the executive board at that time.

“It seems to me they have short-term memory loss, and I would suggest to Ken Skates AM that he needs to have more dialogue with his Labour members on Wrexham Council.”

Cllr Bithell added: “In respect of the issues raised, this was part of the revenue budget savings for 2015/16, where the Council had to make £11.6 million of savings. The department is also currently working with the local member on some localised issues around the use of Pay and Display at the car park.”

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Llan could be part of proposed new constituency

* The proposed new constituency of South Clwyd and
North Montgomeryshire, with Llangollen
included in area four on the map.
Latest proposals from the Boundary Commission for Wales for changes to the country’s electoral map show that Llangollen could form part of a suggested new constituency called De Clwyd a Gogledd Sir Faldwyn (South Clwyd and North Montgomeryshire). 

The proposals, published prior to 12 weeks of public consultation, suggest the new seat being created from parts of the existing Clwyd South including the County of Denbighshire electoral wards of Corwen (1,826), Llandrillo (930) and Llangollen (3,319); and. the County Borough of Wrexham electoral wards of Cefn (3,709); Dyffryn Ceiriog/Ceiriog Valley (1,670), Chirk North (1,811), Chirk South (1,549), Johnstown (2,415), Llangollen Rural (1,578), Pant (1,534), Penycae (1,479), Penycae and Ruabon South (1,898), Plas Madoc (1,198), Ruabon (2,071) and Ponciau (without the Aberoer and Pentrebychan wards of the Community of Esclusham) (2,831).

Also included in the new constituency would be parts of the existing Clwyd West and Dwyfor Meirionnydd, Montgomeryshire and Vale of Clwyd seats.

The proposed constituency would have 71,097 electors which is 4.9% below the UKEQ of 74,769 electors per constituency. 

The Boundary Commission says: “The remaining electoral wards from the existing constituencies of Clwyd South, Clwyd West and the Vale of Clwyd were considered appropriate to combine in a constituency as they share similar rural, economic and social characteristics. 

“However, there is an insufficient electorate in these areas to form a constituency.  There is therefore a need to extend the proposal south encompassing the northern wards of the existing Montgomeryshire constituency.

“Wards from the existing Dwyfor Meirionnydd constituency have also been included to enable sufficient road access to all parts of the proposed constituency. 

“The Commission acknowledges that this is the most disruptive change to the existing arrangements of all the newly proposed constituencies. 

“The proposed constituency is geographically large at 2,704 km2, reflecting the sparse population and rural nature of the area.”   

The Commission adds: “The Commission proposes placing the Ponciau North, Ponciau South and Rhos wards of the Community of Rhosllanerchrugog into the proposed ‘De Clwyd a Gogledd Sir Faldwyn’ constituency with the remaining wards of the Community of Esclusham forming part of the proposed Wrexham Maelor constituency.  

“The Commission has decided on the name to reflect the areas within the proposed constituency. 

“Having regard to the linguistic characteristics of the larger part of the area involved, the Commission has decided to give the proposal a Welsh language official name and an English language alternative name.” 

* Representations about the review should be addressed, within 12 weeks, to the Boundary Commission for Wales, Hastings House, Fitzalan Court, Cardiff, CF24 0BL, faxed to 02920 464820, or e-mailed to 

79 people in court for littering offences

Denbighshire County Council’s campaign for cleaner, tidy streets is continuing with a total of 79 people being taken to court for littering offences.

The hearing at Llandudno Magistrates Court yesterday (Tuesday) heard cases of smoking related litter, food and drink containers being wilfully dropped in public.

The total amount of fines issued by the court was £3,250 with a total of £3,260 in costs.

Councillor David Smith, Denbighshire’s Cabinet Lead Member for Environment, said: “The majority of residents and visitors to Denbighshire act responsibly and dispose of litter lawfully in bins provided or they take their litter home. We thank them for their efforts to keep our streets in Denbighshire clean and tidy.

“However, there is a minority who think it’s appropriate to drop litter. It’s a blight on the landscape, it affects people’s quality of life and it’s one of the most common concerns raised by residents.  

"In recent times, the council has been running an awareness campaign, encouraging people to keep their communities litter-free and educating the public about the health dangers of issues such as dog fouling.  

“This matter is being taken seriously by the council and the enforcement activity against all kinds of environmental crimes continues."

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

County launches energy efficiency scheme

Denbighshire County Council is launching its biggest energy efficiency initiative to date, with over 5,000 homes in the county identified as needing improved insulation.

Hundreds of homes across the county have already received insulation improvements as part of a previous scheme, with the council attracting over £5 million to improve the energy performance of houses.

Now  the county council has worked with partners A&M Energy Solutions, Citizens Advice Denbighshire and the North Wales Energy Advice Centre to develop Denbighshire Cosy Homes, to fund the installation of loft and cavity wall insulation for all suitable homes.

Councillor David Smith, Denbighshire’s Cabinet Lead Member for Environment, said: “We are delighted to be working in partnership to promote this scheme and encourage more properties to have better insulation.

“People could get loft and cavity wall insulation installed in their  homes for free, even if the rent the property. Insulating the house will make the house warmer in winter, cooler in summer and reduce fuel bills and carbon dioxide emissions.

"The improvements could save up to £500 per year off your fuel bills.

“All houses will be contacted directly by post to inform them of their suitability and surveyors from A&M will visit the area and contact the households directly to organise for the survey.

A Freephone advice service is being offered by North Wales Energy Advice Centre: 0800 954 0658. If you wish to contact A&M prior to the initiative contact them directly on 0800 318 867 (select Penley Branch) or 01948 83 0824.

Citizens Advice Denbighshire will be offering energy, debt and benefit advice. They can be contacted directly on 01745 814336 (Denbigh), 01745 334 568 (Rhyl), 01824 703483.

Monday, September 12, 2016

Ambulance service hailed for good practice

TWO Welsh Ambulance Service initiatives that help patients in need of mental health care and end of life care have been recognised as examples of good practice.

The Trust’s Mental Health Pathway and End of Life Care Project have both been listed on the Social Care Institute of Excellence’s website.

It comes after submissions were invited to highlight work that has raised awareness and improved implementation of the Mental Capacity Act.

Clinical Support Officer Edward O’Brian, said: “It’s fantastic for the Trust to be recognised nationally and for these initiatives to be published on the Social Care Institute of Excellence’s website.

“A simple pathway has been designed by the Trust to improve the quality and clinical appropriateness of care provided to mental health patients that access the ambulance service.

“The primary aim of the pathway is to better assist those who need an urgent mental health assessment.

“A further aim is to prevent those whose care needs are of a less urgent nature being left waiting for hours in Emergency Departments and then subsequently being discharged.

“When a paramedic is on scene with a patient they can ring the Mental Health Crisis Team and a joint decision is then made as to the best course of action for that patient which would lead to one of three possible outcomes.

“The first would be to leave them at home with signposting to relevant services and the second would be to convey them to the Emergency Department if an underlying medical condition is suspected.

“The third would be a situation in which the patient is deemed to be in need of urgent mental health support. In this case they would be taken directly to a mental health facility.”

The End of Life Care Project aims to prevent unnecessary and unwanted hospital admissions for patients receiving end of life care that access the ambulance service.

Edward, who is also the Trust’s End of Life Care Lead, said that 999 is often accessed for end of life care patients who are suffering from an increase in their symptoms.

He said: “Prior to the Trust making these changes ambulance clinicians have often had to convey these patients to hospital in order to manage their symptoms when they would much rather be at home with their families.

“The Trust has introduced mandatory training in recognition and management of specific symptoms that are often seen in end of life care.

“Clinicians can now provide further treatment by using additional medications within patients’ own homes, thus preventing unnecessary hospital admissions.

“By controlling these symptoms at home patients can then remain at home which is often their preferred place of care.”

Sunday, September 11, 2016

Glyn Valley Tramway work on track

* Mark Isherwood with Ben Williams and Will Appleton.

North Wales Assembly Member Mark Isherwood has praised progress on work to restore the Glyn Valley Tramway to its former glory after visiting the site.  

Anwyl Construction of Deeside recently started a five-day track clearance, operating between Hand Lane Bridge and Levers Bridge (Ty Ririd Cutting).

With this work undertaken the Glyn Valley Tramway Trust (GVTT) will be in a position to lay approximately 700m of ballast and lay the foundations

Mr Isherwood, who has long supported the GVTT in their work to restore the tramway, was among those who visited the site to witness the work get underway.  

He said: “Reinstating the railway will be a major boost to tourism in Chirk and the surrounding area. I have worked with the Trust for a number of years as they have strived to turn their dream of steam trains running here once again into a reality and I would like to congratulate them on all they have achieved to date. I look forward to visiting in the future to see further progress.”  

Saturday, September 10, 2016

Denbighshire "one of best councils in Wales"

Denbighshire County Council continues to be one of the best performing councils in Wales.

Figures compiled by the Local Government Data Unit compare the performance of councils across Wales on a range of issues. 

The results for 2015/16 show that Denbighshire performed in the top half for the majority of activities it was assessed against compared with other councils.

The bulletin shows that Denbighshire was amongst the top five authorities for:

Percentage of highways and land of a high or acceptable level of cleanliness (Denbighshire was the best performer at 100%).

The council also achieved top quartile performance for:

The percentage of reported fly-tipping incidents cleared within five working days.

Average number of days taken to deliver a Disabled Facilities Grant (Denbighshire was the best performing council at 133 days), this is a substantial improvement on the 2014/15 performance (178 days).

Percentage of adult protection referrals where the risk was managed (Denbighshire was the best performer at 100%)

Formerly looked after children who are in contact with the authority at age 19 (Denbighshire was top with 100%)

Formerly looked after children who are in suitable accommodation at age 19 (Denbighshire was top with 100%)

Formerly looked after children known to be engaged in education, training or employment at age 19 (80%)

Third lowest number of average days/shifts per full time employee lost due to sickness (8.47 days/shifts)

Percentage of pupils assessed receiving a Teacher Assessment in Welsh (first language) at the end of Key Stage 3 (21.27%).

Percentage of private sector dwellings (vacant for more than 6 months) returned to occupation (24.61%).
Percentage of children looked after (on 31st March) who have had 3 or more placements during the year (8%).

Percentage of reviews (looked after children) carried out within statutory timescales (96.33%).

Percentage of municipal waste collected that was reused, recycled, composted or treated biologically (62.42%).

Councillor Julian Thompson-Hill, Cabinet Lead Member for Finance, with responsibility for business performance, said: “This report makes very pleasing reading and reflects the commitment and dedication of both staff and councillors for Denbighshire to be a continuing high performing authority, providing the best quality services to its residents and its communities.

“The headlines speak for themselves and we are proud of our achievements. However, we recognise that there is always room for further improvement and we will not become complacent as we work to continue to be as good as we can possibly be in all areas of our work."

* Denbighshire County Council has announced that school meals are to remain at £1.90 for another year.

The service has kept the price for a two-course school meal at the same price for the last four years. 

The council says this has been made possible through managing to maintain the uptake of  meals by providing "popular nutritious menus and making meal times fun with regular theme days in primary schools and varying the food offer in secondary schools across the county."

The School Meals Service is now also working in Partnership with Denbighshire Leisure Services with the aim of promoting healthy eating and healthy living to children across Denbighshire and will be running joint promotions throughout the new school academic year.

Councillor Julian Thompson-Hill, Lead Member for Finance, Corporate Plan and Performance, said: “We are pleased to be able to offer families school meals for their children at the same price as last year.  The meals are excellent value and the menus created with nutrition in mind and will help children and young people to be better prepared for their afternoon lessons.”

Friday, September 9, 2016

Ambulance service backs campaign to cut road death toll

* The Welsh Ambulance Service’s Road Safety Champion
and clinical team leader Dermot O’Leary taking part in
a mock road traffic collision exercise along
with other emergency service partners.

THE WELSH Ambulance Service is backing a European day of action to reduce the number of people killed in road accidents.

European road safety network TISPOL has launched a campaign in the hope that September 21 will be the first European Day Without A Road Death.

Project EDWARD calls on all road users to reflect on their behaviour and attitude in a bid to reduce the number of serious accidents.

Clinical Team Leader Dermot O’Leary has witnessed first-hand the impact that road traffic collisions (RTCs) have on patients, their families and members of the emergency services who attend them.

Last year 105 people were killed on the roads of Wales, while a further 1,081 were seriously injured.

Dermot said the emergence of technology and the use of devices such as mobile phones and sat navs has led to an increase in potential distractions for road users.

He added that drug driving was also on the rise, which can seriously impair a driver’s reactions.

Dermot said: “People don’t realise just how dangerous RTCs are. In a collision your weight increases between 30 and 60 times.

“Despite it being against the law you still see a lot of people driving with a phone in their hand and hands free is not really any better, as you can’t do two things at once.

“The unfortunate thing these days is we’re seeing a huge increase in so-called legal highs and the use of recreational drugs and people think that it’s okay to get behind the wheel.

“The cost that people don’t see is the emotional cost. You’ve got the emotional cost to the family because they’ve lost a loved one and you’ve got the emotional cost to the people who attend the RTC.

“One thing I always say to people is if they could be in my shoes, crawl into a crashed car and look into the face of somebody and think ‘Am I going to be able to save you?’ then they might think drink or drug driving is an issue.”

Dermot, who is based in Rhyl, takes part in Deadly Impacts Roadshows along with other emergency service partners to teach college students about the dangers of the 'Fatal Five' - excessive speed, anti-social driving, no sea tbelts, drink or drug-driving and using a mobile phone whilst driving. 

Dermot said: “Part of the problem you’ve got with the age group 15 to 24 is that road traffic death is the biggest killer.

“The kind of cars they drive in aren’t the latest ones with side impact protection and multiple airbags, they’re the older cars as it’s the first ones they can afford to drive.

“I cover what happens to their body in a collision and show them the sorts of injuries you can receive.

“We follow that up with a session whereby I’ll then show them the equipment I’ll use like tubes and cannulas.

“We put someone in a Kendrick Extrication Device so they can feel what it’s like to be extricated. It’s the closest thing to feeling it that we can give them.”

Dermot has pledged his support to Project EDWARD a nd is calling on people across Wales to take heed of the safety messages issued by the emergency services in order to prevent road deaths.

He said: “At the end of the day if you stick to speed limits, you wear your belt, you don’t drink drive, you don’t drug drive, you’re not fiddling with your mobile phone and have 100 per cent concentration then in theory you don’t have a collision.

“That’s the idea behind a day without a road death, it’s about getting everyone across Europe to wake up to that.”

* You can join the Trust in making TISPOL’s pledge to help reduce risk and improve safety on road journeys by visiting the Project EDWARD website.

Thursday, September 8, 2016

Nominations sought for Clwydian Range award

Nominations from Llangollen are being sought for this year's Clwydian Range & Dee Valley AONB Award.

Every year the Clwydian Range & Dee Valley Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) selects an individual or group whose contribution to the landscape and communities of the Clwydian Range & Dee Valley AONB have been outstanding.  

The award, which is held annually, invites nominations from  businesses/individuals that operate within the AONB and provide a good quality service sustainably, along with enhancing the AONB.   

Previous winners of the award include The Raven Inn, Llanarmon yn Ial, Michael Skuse, Rod Waterfield, Woodlands Skill Centre, Bodfari, and Richard Jones, Countryside Skills.
Nominations should include a brief explanation as to why you think the business/individual should be considered for  the award.

They can be emailed to:, or posted to: Karen Holthofer,
AONB Communications Officer, Information Centre, Loggerheads Country Park, Ruthin Road,
Denbighshire CH7 5LH by September 13.

The award will be presented at the AONB Partnership Meeting due to be held on Friday October 21.

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Woman killed on Horseshoe Pass is named

* Cassie Dulson.
North Wales Police has confirmed that the woman who sadly died following the collision on the Horseshoe Pass on Monday September 5 has been named as Cassandra Jayne Dulson, also fondly known as Cassie.

She was 24-years-old and came from the Ruabon area of Wrexham.

The family say that Cassie was dearly loved and will be sorely missed by everyone who knew her.

Cassie’s family are being supported by North Wales Police and officers continue to appeal for witnesses to contact them on 101 quoting reference number U134728.

County says thanks for supporting Tour of Britain

Denbighshire County Council has said a big “thank you” to the county’s residents for supporting the Tour of Britain as the event kick started its visit to Wales in Denbigh earlier today (Wednesday).

Stage 4 of this year started on the High Street before heading towards the former North Wales Hospital site and looping back into the town near the leisure centre and Denbigh High School before leaving the town and heading towards Bodfari.

The race then temporarily left Denbighshire and into Flintshire, heading through Mold,  Pontblyddyn, Coed Talon, Treuddyn before it re-entered Denbighshire near Llandegla. It then travelled along the A5104 through Bryneglwys and on to the A5 at Corwen before turning for Cynwyd and Llandrillo.

A host of activities took place in Denbigh town centre before the race began and thousands of people and school children lined the streets to welcome the cyclists to town.

Leader of Denbighshire County Council, Councillor Hugh Evans OBE, said: “We are absolutely delighted by the level of support shown on the day. Denbigh Town Centre was full of supporters ready to give the cyclists a warm Welsh welcome. We also had people supporting the race at other points around Denbigh and in the south of the county.

“The Tour of Britain organisers always t ell us that cyclists are delighted to receive such strong support in North Wales and they are pleased to see the crowds out in force.

“The event is a great opportunity to showcase the county and the North Wales region.  North Wales is fast earning itself a reputation for hosting and staging major events, with the Tour of Britain a prime example of how councils across the region and organisers work together to deliver spectacular events. 

“We know that the support provided by the people of Denbighshire in recent years has been phenomenal and we want to encourage the same level of support again this year."