Get in touch ...

Know of something happening in
us on

E-mail your contributions to:

We are on Facebook at

Thursday, December 31, 2020

Health Minister gives coronavirus update

Today's coronavirus update from Health Minister Vaughan Gething (pictured) is:

"I indicated in yesterday’s session in the Welsh Parliament that I would provide a further update on the current pressures being experienced across the health and care system in Wales. The approval of the Oxford- AstraZeneca vaccine yesterday was very welcome news but the benefits are still some way off. The current situation across our health and care system remains exceptionally challenging.

I want to take the opportunity once again to thank our front line staff for their continued effort in the face of this relentless pandemic and to recognise their commitment, compassion and hard work. The last year has taken its toll on many front line workers and we have seen high levels of sickness that inevitably impacts on services for patients. The situation has become particularly acute with the surge in the transmission of the virus. At present there are more than 2,000 fewer staff available to work in late December than there were in September before the current surge. This has been exacerbated over the holiday period with increasing numbers of our workforce returning to shielding. 

Many aspects of our health and care system are stretched to the limit as they seek to provide essential care and treatment. Routine activity in hospitals has had to be limited and domiciliary care and care homes are experiencing similar constraints on the services they can provide. Together with normal winter pressures, this has resulted in very high levels of pressure. The situation is compounded by the significant increase in the numbers of patients suffering from covid that are now in hospital beds and in critical care.

Critical care is now operating at 141% of its normal capacity and is the most serious concern over the next few weeks into the New Year. While we always planned to increase capacity, the current position is precarious as adequate staffing becomes a real issue. We continue to see patients in critical care for long periods of time and sadly many deaths. In the last few days there has been an overall increase in covid-related hospital inpatients to more than 2600 – critically, for the first time, this has now exceeded the 2500 patients we anticipated. Sadly we now have a record number of more than 1600 confirmed covid patients in our hospitals across Wales.

Patients that are still very ill but beginning their recovery in hospital are now up to more than 800. This has an increasing impact on available beds, as these patients may need to stay in hospital for long periods of time.

Primary care services also continue to deal with exceptional levels of demand as does the 111 service and the ambulance services. On Monday the 111 services had over 4000 calls in just one day, which is the highest seen in a single day. We know that high community prevalence leads to higher hospital admissions, serious illness and the loss of our loved ones. It takes several weeks for changes in the community transmission of the virus to start to impact on the pressure on our hospitals. We are currently still seeing increases in hospital admission and the latest 7 day average is close to 120 hospital admissions per day, twice the level we saw in September.

This statement provides an honest picture of the scale and significance of the challenge we face across our NHS. However it is important to share following my oral statement yesterday to help describe the specific pressures that are being managed. It reflects a system that is managing its most critical period of the year with over 2600 less beds than normal and with 119 less ICU beds available than would normally be the case, as they are occupied by covid patients and are therefore not available to support our usual winter pressures activity.  The NHS is having to adapt during this intense period by reducing other activities and limiting access. The coming weeks present genuinely unprecedented challenges and no effort is being spared to combat them.

The impact of the virus is across all health and care services and we appreciate the collaborative effort that continues across sectors in Wales. We know there is a delay between the impact of lockdown and any reduction in pressure. It remains more important than ever that the public stay at home and help save lives. Together we can keep Wales safe.

This statement is being issued during recess in order to keep members informed. Should members wish me to make a further statement or to answer questions on this when the Senedd returns I would be happy to do so."

See in New Year safely at home, says ambulance service

The Welsh Ambulance Service is urging the public to see in the New Year safely at home.

With Wales in a full Alert Level 4 Lockdown and the wider UK on the verge of mass vaccination against Coronavirus, now is a critical time.

The Trust is asking the public to keep their community safe by not venturing outside their household or support bubble and risk spreading or contracting the virus.

Director of Operations for the Welsh Ambulance Service, Lee Brooks, said: “We would ask the public to please only leave your home for the essential reasons as set out in alert level 4.

“The entire healthcare sector is currently under extreme pressure and we strongly urge you to keep 999 and hospital emergency services free for only the most serious injuries and illnesses.

“You can do this by not taking any unnecessary risks around the home, only consuming alcohol moderately and of course not hosting or attending any gatherings.

“Please heed the Welsh Government’s advice to keep Wales safe and remember, ‘No party is worth the risk’.

“We would like to thank all our staff working tonight who, of course, wish for a very different New Year’s Eve.”

Whilst celebrating from home, the Trust is also urging people to take extra care if using fireworks.

Not only do they present a risk of burns injuries, smoke from fireworks can aggravate respiratory conditions such as asthma.

People with asthma are at a higher risk of getting very sick from Coronavirus which highlights the double medical risk from meeting with others not in your household.

Speaking of demand on the Trust, Regional Utilisation Manager Gill Pleming said: “Traditionally, tonight is one of our pinch points, and last New Year’s Eve alone we received 946 emergency calls.

“We would appeal to people to help us drive this figure down.

“Should you find yourself requiring non-urgent medical advice, the NHS Wales 111 online service is available at

“But, in the case of a genuine life-threatening injury or illness we are still here for you on 999.”

Tonight's the night for live New Year's Eve event

Llangollen-based Orb Sound and Lighting has teamed up with party band Rhythm Train to stage a live stream New Year's Eve entertainment event tonight.

The aim is to raise the spirits of the community after a tough year by showcasing local talent.

The action-packed three and a half hour show, which runs from 9pm until 12.30am next morning, will be produced from one of the venues in Denbighshire the company usually works closely with but the exact location is being kept secret due to Covid regulations. 

On the bill along with Rhythm Train will be the Fron Male Voice Choir, The Hollywood Swingers, Delta Academy Ladies' Choir, Ifton Colliery Band, Lleisiau'r Afon Ladies' Choir and more.

An ORB spokesperson said: "The stream will include three live 45-minute sets from the band, interspersed with some pre-recorded content and adverts from local sponsors and local community groups

"We will also encourage people to send in messages to friends and family using a hashtag which can be moderated and shown on the bottom of the stream.

"The event will be shared across our own website, YouTube and Facebook sites as well as being broadcast on Radio Deeside.

"We aim to reach as many people as possible as we realise New Year's Eve can be a hard and lonely time for many people - this year more so than before. 

"We want to bring people together virtually, lift spirits as we enter the new year, and to give back to the community."

ORB Sound and Lighting provides staging, equipment and technicians for the outside stages of the International Musical Eisteddfod and Llangollen Fringe Festival each July.

They also support Llangollen Operatic Society, Young 'Uns and the pantomime group with all their equipment alongside technicians, who installed all of the new upgraded equipment for the Ysgol Dinas Bran ‘Curtains Up’ appeal, and who most recently gave up their time and equipment weekly during lockdown to beam a ‘Thank You’ message across the town during the Clap For Carers campaign.

The spokesperson added: "We have chosen a venue which we can adhere to Covid regulations and will have a number of measures in place including strict social distancing between all persons present.

"All equipment will be thoroughly sanitised before and after use, face coverings will be worn by the production team, and sanitiser will be provided throughout. 

"The building will also be locked during the entire evening to ensure we can remain safe inside, and that no members of the public can enter.

"Although the event is free we are asking for people to buy tickets for it to help us cover the costs. 

"We are asking them to pay what they can and the link is on the event's Facebook page at:

Wednesday, December 30, 2020

Today's coronavirus update from the Welsh Government


Latest coronavirus update from the Welsh Government (dated today, Wednesday) is:

·         A second Covid-19 vaccine has been given the go-ahead and its roll-out across Wales will start next week, the Health Minister has announced today.

o   The Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) has now authorised the Oxford AstraZeneca vaccine as safe and effective on the basis of detailed independent expert review of evidence from large scale clinical trials.

o   The UK Government has procured vaccines on behalf of the four nations and around 100m of these are of the Oxford AstraZeneca vaccine, with Wales receiving its allocation based on population over the next weeks and months.

o and  

o   Questions about Covid-19 vaccines

·         Health Minister Vaughan Gething has provided an update about the latest coronavirus situation in Wales as the Senedd was today recalled to discuss the UK-EU trade agreement:


Coronavirus in numbers

·         The latest figures published by Public Health Wales today show there have been 2,281 newly reported cases of coronavirus, bringing the total to 146,706 confirmed cases of coronavirus in Wales since the start of the pandemic.

o   Sadly, there were 13 further deaths reported by Public Health Wales today. The total number of deaths reported by Public Health Wales is 3,429.

o   These figures are updated daily at:!/vizhome/RapidCOVID-19virology-Public/Headlinesummary 

·         The Office for National Statistics (ONS) has today published statistics on provisional weekly deaths, including deaths involving Covid-19, for the week ending 18 December.

o   The cumulative number of deaths involving Covid-19 in Welsh residents up to 18 December was 4,479.

o   Of the deaths registered in the week ending 18 December, there were provisionally 256 deaths involving Covid-19, 33 more than the previous week. Numbers are now at a similar level to early May.

o   There were a total of 3,593 (14%) excess deaths between 29 February and 18 December above the five-year average.

o   ONS figures are different to those reported by Public Health Wales as they include all reported deaths.


Where to find the latest information

·         Information about the new national measures in place in Wales is available at:

·         Public Health Wales provides a daily update about the number of cases of coronavirus in Wales. It is available at:

·         Information about coronavirus is available on the Welsh Government’s website at and

·         Questions about Covid-19 vaccines? Visit:

·         Information about support for businesses is available at the Business Wales website

·         The Welsh Government holds a regular media briefing about coronavirus. These are on-the-record, on-camera and supported by a BSL interpreter. These are held at 12.15pm and live-streamed on our @WelshGovernment Twitter channel.

o   The next press briefing will be held on January 4, 2021.

Clwyd South MP votes in favour of post-Brexit deal

* Clwyd South MP Simon Baynes.

Clwyd South MP Simon Baynes has today voted in favour of Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s UK-EU post-Brexit deal, which will govern the UK’s trade agreement with the EU.

Members of Parliament, who were recalled from their Christmas recess, backed the agreement by 521 votes to 73.

The Bill will now progress to the House of Lords where peers will debate it and vote. 

Once the Bill passes both the Commons and Lords, as is expected, it will receive Royal Assent late tonight or early Thursday morning.

Simon Baynes said: “As a longstanding supporter of Brexit, I was very happy and proud to vote in favour of the Prime Minister’s Brexit deal today, and to deliver on the promises I made to my Clwyd South constituents last year when they placed their trust in me in the General Election.

“The deal itself is very good news for Clwyd South, the rest of Wales and the UK. 

"It will allow us to take back control of our laws, borders, money, trade and fisheries and provide Welsh businesses with exceptional access to the EU’s market – the first time the EU has ever agreed a zero tariffs, zero quota deal.”

New First Responder emergency vehicle hits the road

* The new car is handed over by staff at Mitchells Skoda to 
First Responders Effie Cadwallader and Adam Salomonson.

A new rapid response vehicle is being deployed to deal with life-threatening medical emergencies along the Wrexham-Shropshire border in an area including Llangollen.

The Skoda Fabia estate car is the first of its kind to be used by Community First Responders volunteering with the Welsh Ambulance Service Trust

The car has been bought with a £10,000 grant from the Wales Lottery and sponsorship from the Cheshire-based Mitchells Skoda dealership group.

It follows an online crowd-funding appeal by volunteer Effie Cadwallader on behalf of the Wrexham Rural Community First Responders group, which raised more than £2,000.

The keys to the vehicle were handed over at a socially-distanced ceremony at Mitchell’s Cheshire Oaks headquarters. 

Effie, a long-serving Community First Responder from St Martins, near Oswestry, raised more than £2,000 with a crowd funding appeal which attracted more than 100 donations. The appeal has paid for car’s instantly-recognisable bright livery, plus necessary accessories and running costs.

Several business and organisations also supported the campaign, including Stan’s Superstore, Perrys of Gobowen, Ifton Garage, The Keys at St Martins, Selattyn Community Group and Ellesmere Probus Club.

Wrexham Rural Community First Responders will use the car solely for attending 999 emergencies assigned by the Welsh Ambulance Service NHS Trust around the border area communities of Chirk, the Ceiriog Valley, Llangollen, Acrefair, Ruabon, Overton, Penley, Bettisfield and the outskirts of Ellesmere. 

When it is ‘off duty’ the car will be used by volunteers for visiting groups and community centres to undertake basic life support and public access defibrillator awareness courses.

Wrexham Rural Community First Responder Team Co-ordinator Terry Brownhill said: “The acquisition of this response car is a major step towards increasing the visibility of our volunteer Community First Responders who operate across the whole of Wrexham county borough in support of the Welsh Ambulance Service NHS Trust.

“ We are hoping to gain the support of our local communities when the car is seen out and about performing its dedicated role.”

* More information about the work of Wrexham Rural Community First Responders, and how to support the group, can be found at

Tuesday, December 29, 2020

Major A5 roadworks due to start on Monday

* The section of the A5 where work will begin next Monday, January 4.

Major roadworks will begin next Monday on the A5 east of Llangollen, between Birch Hill junction and Tyn-y-Wern.

Starting on January 4 and lasting until March 31, 2021, the works will involve retaining wall strengthening and parapet upgrade. 

Traffic Wales says: “The existing wall was temporarily strengthened in 2015 but this measure is now life-expired and needs to be reinforced using permanent rock anchor system with a 120 year service life.

“The existing parapet is sub-standard in height and strength and is to be upgraded at the same time.

“Following the completion of the retaining wall and parapet works, the carriageway is to be re-surfaced during over-night closures.

“The new surface will restrict surface water ingress which will enhance the integrity of the retaining wall.

“The works are being carried out in the winter and early spring when traffic flows are historically lower to minimise disruption.

“The road will be fully closed over-night commencing on 4th January at 20.00 (8pm) for installation of the temporary safety barrier which will protect the workforce and allow traffic to travel past the works at the permitted speed of 40 mph.

“From 5th January 2021 until 22nd March 21 one lane of the carriageway is to be closed over a length of approximately 400m with control of traffic using temporary traffic signals. During this period there will be two over-night closures to install and relocate the safety barrier. 

“Over-night closures for removal of the safety barrier and resurfacing of the carriageway are planned to start on 22nd March 2021 for 6 nights. 

“The diversion route for over-night closures will be via Llangollen – A539 – Ruabon – A483 – A5. The existing A5 roadside footway will be closed at the Birch Hill junction.  Pedestrians will be diverted via Birch Hill.

Proposed programme of traffic management restrictions: 

Details of Restrictions

Start Date &Time **

End Date & Time **


Full closure of A5 between Birch Hill and Maesmawr Road. Traffic will be diverted via Llangollen - A539 – Ruabon – A483 – A5

20.00 04/01/2021

06.00 05/01/2021

Temporary barrier installation and relocation.

Full closure of A5 between Birch Hill and Maesmawr Road. Traffic will be diverted via Llangollen - A539 – Ruabon – A483 – A5

20:00 25/02/2021

06:00 26/02/2021

Temporary barrier installation and relocation.

Full closure of A5 between Birch Hill and Maesmawr Road. Traffic will be diverted via Llangollen - A539 – Ruabon – A483 – A5

20:00 08/03/2021

06:00 09/03/2021

Temporary barrier installation and relocation.

Full closure of A5 between Birch Hill and Maesmawr Road. Traffic will be diverted via Llangollen - A539 – Ruabon – A483 – A5

20.00 22/03/2021

06.00 28/03/2021

Resurfacing from 20:00 – 06:00 each night.

Single way traffic using temporary traffic signals from east of junction with Birch Hill to Tyn-y-Wern ( approximately 400 m ). Lane width narrowed to 3.25m.

06:00 05/01/2021

20:00 22/03/2021

Wall strengthening and parapet upgrade

** dates provisional, may be subject to change

MP highlights Llangollen Canal as great place for leisure

* Simon Baynes MP in the House of Commons. 

Before the holidays Clwyd South MP Simon Baynes highlighted the area around the Trevor Basin and Llangollen Canal as a great place for walking and cycling, as well as the work of local councils in encouraging residents to make use of the sites.

Mr Baynes asked Minister of State for Transport, Chris Heaton-Harris MP, to join him in praising Denbighshire and Wrexham councils and the Canal and River Trust for their work in encouraging walking and cycling by the Llangollen Canal and for promoting those activities in the newly announced master plan for the Trevor Basin and surrounding area.

In response, the Minister said: “Cycling and walking policy is a devolved matter for the Welsh Government, but I am happy to congratulate those councils and the Canal and River Trust on their work in and around this globally significant site and the canal world heritage site. 

"We will follow in the steps of Thomas Telford, who designed the beautiful aqueduct there, to deliver high-quality cycling and walking infrastructure for future generations with the £2 billion that I just mentioned.” 

Speaking later, Mr Baynes said: “We are incredibly blessed to have a UNESCO World Heritage Site right on our doorsteps. 

"And organisations like Denbighshire and Wrexham councils and the Canal and River Trust are doing an excellent job of encouraging people to take full advantage of the Trevor Basin and Llangollen Canal, not only for their magnificent scenery but also for walking and cycling. I am very excited by the opportunities offered by Wrexham Council’s newly announced master plan for developing the Trevor Basin and surrounding area.”

Monday, December 28, 2020

Llangollen Railway says Corwen station will open next May

* Mark Isherwood SM, left, with project leader Richard Dixon-Gough, 

on a recent visit to Corwen station.

Despite the major financial setbacks of 2020 Llangollen Railway still aims to have trains running regularly to Corwen by May of next year.

Currently closed for the third lockdown this year, the heritage railway has lost out on hundreds of thousands of pounds of fares from major crowd-pullers such as the annual Santa specials.

But in his annual festive message its press officer George Jones says: “As we end this most peculiar year, I send greetings to all my contacts in the press and media with thanks for your support in reporting progress with the Corwen Project and other events at Llangollen Railway during these challenging times.

“Whilst there is now a further unfortunate turn of circumstances as we end 2020, the hope is things will improve next year and we will see the new station at Corwen open on a target date of 28 May.

“The support obtained from donations to allow the renewal of timbers for Dee Bridge has come from near and far thanks to the publicity given to the appeal and the response to it. 

“The success of the fundraising also allows for the renewal of sleepers in Berwyn tunnel. 

“If CV19 restrictions permit, this engineering work will allow the passage of ballast trains to Corwen and the tamping of the station loop in time for an official inspection of the new station prior to opening, all of which will provide further exciting news reporting to conclude the challenge of the past ten years to extend the railway westwards from Carrog." 

As llanblogger revealed in October, the railway put out an urgent call to its supporters for £15,000 to revive Dee Bridge, built in 1865 and now in desperate need of new timbers if it is to continue to carry services over it next year.

Sunday, December 27, 2020

Two locals make it to the 2021 Guide Pub Guide

* The Corn Mill in Llangollen.

Two pubs in this area are amongst 13 from across north Wales which make the recommended list for the Good Pub Guide 2021 after a "nightmare year" for the hospitality sector.

Lockdowns and restrictions have put pubs under threat as the pandemic gripped the nation - with inns in Wales barred from serving alcohol and now closed in the latest firebreak.

The latest guide says: "Despite being battle-weary and worried sick about keeping their businesses up and running – I am pleased to say that these plucky/extraordinary people retain a teeny spark of hope.”

In with a mention is The Corn Mill in Llangollen of which the guide says: "Fascinating riverside building with fine views, personable young staff, super food all day and good beers."

* The West Arms at Llanarmon Dyffryn Ceiriog.

Also mentioned is the West Arms at Llanarmon Dyffryn Ceiriog which the guide describes as:  "Idyllic location for 16th-c inn with reliably good food and picturesque gardens; comfortable bedrooms."

In the narrative the guide goes on: “All know that the road into 2021 (or until a vaccine is widely available) is going to be frighteningly rocky. But they do believe that if they are able to pull together with loyal customers, local suppliers, a helpful bank and a great deal of energy and luck, many will survive.

"But – and I cannot stress this strongly enough - it is imperative that we support them because the British pub is special.

"It is the beating heart and focal point of countless communities, where customers from all walks of life come together and where you can be sure of a warm welcome, a frothing pint and a friendly smile. It makes us happy to be there and we have to do all we can to ensure their survival."

Saturday, December 26, 2020

MP praises work of Llan adventure business

* From left, Tom Robinson, Simon Baynes MP, Richard Witheridge and Adam Robson at TNR Outdoors.

Clwyd South MP Simon Baynes made a socially-distanced visit to TNR Outdoors in Llangollen to meet with the directors and to discuss the effect of the Covid-19 pandemic on outdoor adventure and training experiences.

TNR has three business areas: TNR Coaching, TNR Outdoors and TNR Targets. 

TNR Coaching specialises in running first class coaching and training courses, TNR Outdoors provides high quality outdoor adventure experiences in Llangollen, North Wales and across the UK, Europe and sometimes further afield, and TNR Targets is a recent venture: a specialist, purpose built indoor target sports centre on the top floor of TNR’s premises in the converted 19th Century Industrial Mile End Mill in Llangollen.

During the visit, Mr Baynes, who is also a Vice Chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) for Outdoor Learning, discussed some of the issues facing the industry and the economic impact of the Coronavirus pandemic as well as TNR Outdoors’ future plans for the Mile End Mill premises.

Tom Robinson, Director of TNR Outdoors, said: “TNR is run by my business partners, Richard Witheridge, Adam Robson and myself. 

"We share a passion for the outdoors and for giving our customers the best experience they can have. Founded in 2015, we wanted TNR to be different, we wanted to offer activities to suit every budget so we looked at offering a wide range of time scales from an hour to a day to a full week.

“In 2019 we relocated to our current location, Mile End Mill on the A5 in Llangollen, the gateway to North Wales. 

"We were the first tenants since 1983 and as such it was in a poor state of repair. We invested heavily in the building's infrastucture, repairing windows, completely renewing the electrics and building our office, a toilet, a shop and of course our fantastic target sports facility. We continue to improve everything we do from the equipment we use, the facilities we have and the experiences we deliver.”

Simon Baynes MP said: “I was delighted to make a socially-distanced visit to TNR Outdoors and see the impressive facilities they have on offer. 

"I understand that like so many industries and sectors, the pandemic has impacted their activities. So I was grateful to be able to gain a greater insight into just how important this sector is for our local people and economy.

“I was particularly impressed to hear about the training that they provide in Llangollen for the emergency services from not only Wales but across the UK. They are one of only four emergency services training centres in the UK, and therefore play a vital role during the Covid-19 crisis.

“As a Vice Chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Outdoor Learning, I know just how beneficial facilities like TNR Outdoors are, not only in providing educational opportunities, but also for physical activity and mental health. And I want to thank the team at TNR Outdoors for welcoming me to their venue and for showing me just how much the site has to offer.”

Friday, December 25, 2020

Merry Christmas from llanblogger!

Castle says merry Christmas in lights

* The castle ablaze with colourful lighting thanks to ASG.

Castell Dinas Bran got all lit up by surprise last night (Christmas Eve).

The illuminating exercise was the work of ASG Entertainments who first announced it on a Facebook post just before 6pm.

This said: "Merry Christmas, Nadolig Llawen from ASG.

"Tonight we have decided to light up Castell Dinas Bran to bring a bit of joy to the local community that is having to go through Christmas in lockdown.
"We hope everyone has the best Christmas they possibly can under the circumstances!
"Scott, Anna and Grace.

"Also a big thank you to
Josh Gowing
James Hunt
Karen Edwards
for helping with this.

"This was not advertised in advance in order to avoid any gatherings due to COVID-19 regulations."

The castle was last lit up by ASG, that time in blue and white light, back in May as a salute to NHS and other frontline staff.

ASG was helped on that occasion by Chris Davies of Eastwood Media helped by Llangollen's Karen Edwards.

The previous evening there had been a similar lit-up message of thanks to the NHS, this time in red, on a nearby section of the Panorama overlooking the town.

Thursday, December 24, 2020

County invites public feedback on town's traffic changes

* The county council post which went out on Facebook.

Denbighshire County Council has invited the people of Llangollen to have their say about recent traffic changes made to the town centre aimed at making it easier for social distancing.

The Active Travel Team, which was responsible for carrying out the controversial changes, posted a message on the Llangollen and District Noticeboard page of Facebook yesterday (Wednesday) afternoon.

Headed “Have your say on town’s Local Sustainable Transport scheme”, this says: “Most of you in this Facebook group will be aware of the temporary Local Sustainable Transport scheme which includes the installation of 'lane defenders' on parts of Abbey Road and Castle Street, closure of the link road between Berwyn Street and Hall Street (the A5), and a change in the direction of flow of vehicles on Bridge Street.

“We warmly invite you to have your say on the temporary scheme by visiting the following web link and completing the survey linked at the bottom of the page:

Under the sub-heading “Frequently asked questions”, the Facebook post adds:  We appreciate many of you have queries or concerns about the scheme, and we will attempt to answer some of the more common queries as follows:

“Why has a temporary Local Sustainable Transport scheme been installed in Llangollen?
“The scheme has been installed in Llangollen by Denbighshire County Council to enable some pavements to be widened to encourage active travel (such as walking or cycling) as their main means of getting around town, and to ensure that social distancing can be maintained.

“Was the community informed?
“Yes, the Council ran a consultation on proposed schemes in Llangollen, Denbigh, Rhyl and Ruthin from 10th to 26thJuly 2020. The Council received 91 responses for Llangollen.

“How has it been funded?

“It has been funded via the Welsh Government’s Local Sustainable Transport Response to Covid-19 scheme. The scheme asked local authorities to consider measures to support social distancing in their biggest population hubs, and to encourage and support active travel as a healthier and safer way to get around in light of the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.

“Could the money have been used for something else to benefit Llangollen?
“No. The Local Sustainable Transport Response to Covid-19 scheme only allowed local authorities to bid for money to undertake temporary works which would support the objectives of promoting and encouraging active travel, and ensuring that social distancing can be maintained. If the Council had been unsuccessful in bidding for money based on the Welsh Government criteria, the money from this grant would have been diverted to support active travel schemes and social distancing measures in other locations

“How long is the trial for?
“The trial scheme will be in place for a MAXIMUM of 18 months, however as it is a trial the Council reserves the right to remove the scheme earlier, or to make ongoing adjustments to the trial scheme should this prove to be necessary

“Why might it be necessary to remove or make adjustments to the scheme?
The scheme aims to make active travel easier and safer and to support social distancing. If it becomes clear as the trial continues that these requirements are not being met or if the scheme is causing other unforeseen but significant problems, then the Council may need to remove or make adjustments to the scheme.

“Why didn’t you go straight for a permanent scheme?
“The Welsh Government funding was only to install a temporary scheme, therefore under the terms of the scheme we could only consider a temporary installation at this stage however, we do have an obligation under the Active Travel (Wales) Act 2013 to research, develop and promote active travel routes to and through towns. If the trial conducted under the Covid-19 response scheme is successful, we may be able to take any learning from it and integrate it into future research and consultations for active travel proposals in the Llangollen area

“How/when will we know if the trial scheme is working well?
“That’s partially up to you. We are collecting feedback from residents, businesses and visitors on a regular basis which we will use along with road safety data, traffic flow data, pedestrian footfall data, air quality monitoring and a range of other measures to determine whether the scheme is working. We would be grateful if you could complete our feedback surveys as often as you feel necessary or if you spot anything that you think needs us to look into. Llangollen is your town so we need to know that the scheme is working as well as it can for as many people as possible, over the duration of the trial period. We will be running surveys approximately every 8-10 weeks so you can tell us what you think. We will benchmark your opinions from each survey to build a ‘big picture’ as time goes on

“How will you promote the surveys?
“If you live on one of the affected streets, or you have a business there – we will send you newsletters with an update of the previous feedback survey as well as information on how to participate in the new one; we will promote the surveys on the council’s website and social media channels; we will promote the surveys with physical signage along the routes; when you complete a survey, there will be an option for you to provide your contact details so we can get in touch with you directly with updates on the scheme and information on future feedback surveys. You can tell us to write to you, email you, or notify you via telephone/SMS

“When will you report back on the surveys?
“We will report back on the previous survey each time we launch a new one. There will be a gap of 1-2 weeks between a survey closing and us launching a new one. This gives us time to analyse the previous survey, as well as to consider whether the questions we’re asking are still the right ones, based on our ongoing trial data."

A county council spokesperson said: "The council is also accepting feedback in writing to: The Active Travel Team, Denbighshire County Council, Caledfryn, Denbigh, LL16 3RJ."

MP supports plans to re-order St Collen's Church

* Simon Baynes MP meets Father Lee Taylor inside St Collen's Church.

Clwyd South MP Simon Baynes has given his backing to plans for the re-ordering of St Collen's in Llangollen.

His support came during a socially-distanced visit there to meet vicar Father Lee Taylor. 

Father Lee recently revealed plans to make a number of changes to the building to benefit the congregation and the wider community.

Mr Baynes said: “It was a pleasure to meet with Fr Lee, who has some wonderful ideas for how to improve the facilities at St Collen’s Church. I fully support these plans and look forward to seeing how they progress over the months ahead.”

Father Lee said: “Throughout their history, church buildings have evolved and adapted to meet the spiritual and social needs of the time, and it is because of this adaptability that many of our church buildings have continued to be in use. 

"The time has come for St Collen’s to change and adapt its building so that we can better serve our community, our regular worshippers and visitors in new and exciting ways.”