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Saturday, April 13, 2019

Cittaslow hosts series of networking events

* Discussions between groups at the Cittaslow meeting.

Over 25 town clubs and organisations attended a recent series of networking meetings organised by the Cittaslow Committee of the Town Council. 

The three meetings were based around Cittaslow principles and brought together groups involved in environment, food & farming, tourism, culture and heritage; and community and social inclusion.

The purpose of the meetings was to bring like-minded groups together to explore the potential for strengthening links and communication between them, and to test interest in Cittaslow Llangollen providing a role as an “umbrella organisation” for groups in the town and valley.

Councillor Austin Cheminais, Deputy Chair of the Cittaslow Committee, said: “I am delighted to have heard so much support for the Cittaslow principles and for the idea of the Cittaslow Committee continuing to support town groups in their work, as well as helping them working more closely together and with the Town Council.  

"It was fantastic to hear the buzz in the room as the various groups got talking with each other.

“We are still in the early stages of working out what might be feasible and sustainable ways of working together, but it is great to have got the conversations started.”

Councillor Melvyn Mile, a member of the Cittaslow Committee and also a county councillor, said: "I was impressed by the turnout across all three sessions. The process of inviting all the different groups, societies, charities and other interested parties together and getting them talking to each other has been a major achievement. Let's look to build on this momentum and look at what can be achieved by working together."

The Cittaslow Committee says it will look at the ideas discussed in the sessions over the coming weeks and propose some ideas to the groups on how greater collaboration might work in practice. 

Llangollen became a designated Cittaslow town in 2013 after a substantial effort from a large group of councillors and local volunteers to secure the designation, and has remained a member of the international network. 

Cittaslow promotes a way of life for market towns that is environmentally sustainable and supportive of local community groups and businesses. 

The Cittaslow Committee currently consists of nominated town councillors - Sheena Grindley, Tony Baker, Austin Cheminais, Robyn Lovelock and Melvyn Mile - plus co-opted members Mair Davies and Lesley Richards.

* Organisations that sent representatives included Ysgol Dinas Bran, Friends of the Earth Llangollen, Matt’s Food Bank, the Llangollen & Dee Valley Good Grub Club, the Llangollen Community Garden, the Llangollen Tidy Town team, the Llangollen Civic Society, Llangollen Museum, Llangollen Railway, Llangollen International Eisteddfod, Dee Valley Active, Rural Futures, Plastic Free Llangollen, the Clwydian Range & Dee Valley Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB), Llangollen Citizens Advice Bureau, Vale of Clwyd MIND, Ymestyn Befriending Service, Llangollen Refugee Support, City Church Llangollen, St Collen’s Church, Ysgol y Gwernant, South Denbighshire Community Partnership and the Llangollen Health Centre.

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