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Saturday, February 29, 2020

Health centre's advice on Coronavirus

Message from Llangollen Health Centre regarding Covid-19

"We would like to advise patients that the latest guidance on the coronavirus outbreak, including what to do if you are a recent traveller to an affected area, can be found on the Public Health Wales website:

If you think you may have been infected with the virus, please do not
come to the Health Centre.  Please ring NHS Direct
on 0845 46 47 who will be able to advise you."

Friday, February 28, 2020

Viewing platform plan for former rail track

* The site near the bridge 2020 has in mind for the viewing platform and public area.

llanblogger exclusive

The group aiming to streamline traffic flow in the town centre has come up with an ambitious plan to build a viewing platform and public space alongside Llangollen’s historic bridge.

Llangollen 2020 was set up to look at ways of easing traffic and parking problems for the benefit of residents, businesses and tourists.

It has now produced a scheme called The Four Great Highways Consultation which intends to bring what it calls “a new awareness” of the historical importance of the northern end of Castle Street.

The group says this could be achieved by using mainly Heritage Lottery cash to build a viewing platform and new public space alongside and downstream of the bridge, over the former track-bed of the Ruabon to Llangollen Railway.

This, it claims, would improve access to Lower Dee Mill, produce a more cohesive link between the heritage railway, the canal wharf and the medieval bridge and “recognise, explain and celebrate” the importance of the junction in the history of transport in Wales.

The junction at the centre of the proposal is that of Llangollen Canal, Llangollen Railway, Llangollen Bridge and Telford's A5.

2020 will stage a consultation exercise seeking the views of local people and businesses on the plan.

It is therefore inviting them to:

1.     See and discuss the proposals at Llangollen Library from 2.30- 5pm Wednesday March 4
2.     Attend a public meeting to hear about the proposals and ask questions at the Memorial Hall on Market Street from 5.30-6.15 pm Wednesday March 4
3.     Watch live or catch-up on 2020 and complete the on-line questionnaire
4.     E-mail comments to
5.     Ideas will also be displayed in the library from March 5 onwards with a comment box for feedback until March 12.

2020 chair, Llangollen county councillor Graham Timms, said: “The Four Great Highways project is being developed by the Llangollen 2020 group as an attempt to improve the public realm on the north side of the town.

“This is the place where four great historical transport links meet and so we thought about ways to mark the significance of the area where space is very limited.

"In searching for a way to bring together the significance of Llangollen's railway, ancient bridge, World Heritage Site canal and Telford's A5 we decided to explore the possibility of building a platform and viewing area.

“The site over the former railway track-bed opposite the Bridge End Hotel seemed like an ideal location, particularly as it would open up new views of the river and the bridge.

"Having a grand scheme needs money so we are hoping to apply to the National Lottery Heritage Fund to become a major funder of the project.

“A feasibility study is currently being carried out and we hope that local residents and businesses will help us by responding to the consultation.

"This project would sit alongside the improvements already being planned by the Llangollen 2020 team."

Businesses invited to careers event in Llan

Businesses are being invited to a careers event for students in Llangollen.

Denbighshire County Council’s Working Denbighshire project is hosting the Ready for Work careers event in the Pavilion, Llangollen, on Tuesday, March 3, between 9.15am and 4pm.

Employers are being invited to take part in the event which will allow students to meet a range of businesses and organisations from different sectors and to help inform, inspire and motivate them about their career opportunities.

The Ready for Work programme works with local businesses to provide additional support, mentoring and careers advice to students in Denbighshire as part of the Council’s work to support young people.

Businesses will have the opportunity to build links with students and schools in Denbighshire, promote opportunities and inspire the next generation.
To book your place contact or 01824 712 854.

Horseshoe still passable with caution

... and the view towards the castle at 10.07am. 

As light snow falls on the town this morning (Friday) the Ponderosa Cafe has posted pictures of the situation on the Horseshoe Pass.

The post, at around 9.30am, says: "We have had some light snowfall this morning, the main road is passable a present however it is still snowing so please remain cautious.
"We shall keep you updated regarding opening hours this morning."

Morecambe play brings us sunshine

Grove Park Theatre until March 7
Review by llanblogger

PLAYING a comedy icon and sustaining that performance throughout a pretty testing one-man show can be no easy matter.

But Dan Pedley’s uncannily accurate and masterful portrayal of Eric Morecambe, as the great man himself often said, is achieved without the audience being able to see the join.

He takes on the enormous challenge as Wrexham’s Grove Park Theatre stages Morecambe, a brilliant two-act presentation of the life and times of the comic who became a national treasure, until March 7.

And it’s all there, from the voice, complete with authentic Lancashire accent, to the mannerisms – the peering through the backcloth to deliver a stupidly simple one-liner, the wobbling glasses which indicate that something slighty risqué has been suggested, the catching of the imaginary sweet thrown into the air in a paper bag and the mock lip curling at a Des O’Connor LP.

Pedley also looks eerily like the gangly, bespectacled hero who, along with his partner Ernie Wise, joked their way onto the TV screens and into the hearts of millions during their golden heyday in the seventies and early eighties.

The action takes us right back to the earliest days when, still going by his real surname of Bartholomew, he was pushed by his mum into entertaining at any local venue she could arrange for just a few bob a time.

We follow the lad through his fateful meeting with little Ern – then already an established child star – during the Second World War, the formation of the legendary double act, their domination of the variety circuit and on to TV and film stardom.

Partner Ernie, by the way, is played by a cleverly-styled ventriloquist’s dummy voiced from the wings by another accomplished performer, Huw Sayer, who does all the men who pop up during the course of Eric’s story, deploying an impressive array of accents from London Jewish to Scouse.

The women in the tale, including his formidable mum Sadie, are all voiced from off-stage with equal skill by Sue Williams.

The massive success Eric and Ernie eventually enjoyed wasn’t always an easy journey. And the lows are honestly portrayed.

The duo’s first TV venture, for instance, ended in embarrassing critical failure and we see the long-term impression this made on the deeply sensitive Eric.

We also see the heart trouble which constantly dogged this workaholic and led to his premature death at the age of just 58 in 1984.

This is a brilliant interpretation of Tim Whitnall’s play, deftly directed by Ray Ledsham which certainly brought us sunshine on a cold winter’s night.

·       * More details from Box office: 01978 351091.

Jades' double whammy at Welsh Wedding Awards

* Sisters Sue Davies, left, and Louise Wilson celebrate their success at the Welsh Wedding Awards.

A Llangollen hair and beauty salon has fashioned a double victory at national wedding awards.

During a glittering ceremony at the 3rd Welsh Wedding Awards in Cardiff’s Exchange Hotel the team from Jades in Oak Street first landed the regional award then went on to become national winners.

The salon is owned and run by sisters and business partners Sue Davies and Louise Wilson and is this year celebrating its 40th anniversary.

Sue said: “We’ve been regional winners for two years in a row but to top off the evening by also becoming national winners was fantastic.

“It’s a great accolade that our business is recognised in the wedding industry for another year for its professionalism  and dedication.”

Louise said: “It’s always great to be recognised for hard work and success.

“Our team are so passionate about what we do and we are so proud of our ever-growing list of awards.

“We’ve been overwhelmed with all the well wishes and kind words from our clients past and present since we won.”

Public urged to vote for their ambulance heroes

The Welsh Ambulance Service is inviting members of the public to nominate its staff for a coveted award.

The Trust is inviting nominations for its People’s Choice Award, designed for people in the community to extend a special thank you to a team or individual for providing excellent care.

The award will be presented at its annual Staff Awards ceremony in October, which this year will be held in Llandudno.

Members of the public whose entries have made the shortlist will also be invited to attend the glittering event at Venue Cymru.

Chief Executive Jason Killens said: “Our staff work 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year, often in difficult circumstances, and our Staff Awards are a celebration of their work.

“The People’s Choice Award is a unique opportunity for the public to pay tribute to a team or individual who has provided excellent care.

“It could be a paramedic, technician, urgent care assistant or community first responder who came to your aid when you were injured or unwell, or a volunteer car driver or member of the non-emergency transport service who makes your journeys to hospital that extra special.

“It could be a call handler or clinician in the control room, or one of our nurses at NHS Direct Wales or 111 who went beyond the call of duty to help and reassure you.

“Let us know who they are, how they helped and why they’re deserving of this award, and be part of this special celebration of our staff.”

Every year the Trust holds a ceremony to present long service and good conduct awards and an array of category awards, of which there are more than a dozen.

This year, the Trust is also inviting nominations for its Public Recognition Award, designed to recognise ordinary citizens who have gone to great lengths to help a patient or patients.
Jason added: “Our Staff Awards are a celebration of the fantastic work our people do every day to care for those at their most vulnerable, but it’s important also that we also pay tribute to people in the community who have helped their fellow citizens.

Often in times of emergency, we rely on ordinary members of the public to administer first aid and care for patients until the arrival of an ambulance.

“There are also people out there who do sterling work to support us, like
raise funds for life-saving defibrillators.

“Let us know about them too, so that we can reciprocate and say a special thank you.”

Click here to nominate a team or individual at the Welsh Ambulance Service for the People’s Choice Award.

Click here to nominate a member of the public for the Public Recognition Award.

The closing date for nominations is 1 May 2020.

Once entries have closed,
staff and the public will be able to influence the winners by casting a vote online.

Keep abreast of all things Staff Awards by following us on Facebook (Welsh Ambulance Service) and liking us on Twitter (@WelshAmbulance) using the hashtag #WASTAwards20

Thursday, February 27, 2020

Strong turnout at county's climate emergency meeting

* The start of the webcast of the meeting with Cllr Brian Jones, left, and Cllr Graham Timms. 

Over 60 people attended a public meeting held at County Hall, Ruthin on Tuesday evening and 104 people watched online as Denbighshire County Council talked through its plans to become a net carbon zero and ecologically positive Council by 2030.
In July 2019, the council declared a climate and ecological emergency and has called on the Welsh and UK governments to provide assistance and resources to enable the Council to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
The public meeting was the latest step in the process of engaging and consulting with residents and those interested in environmental issues.  
The meeting was also broadcast live on the council’s website.
The meeting discussed two key themes, the first being carbon reduction, the second being around biodiversity and carbon capture. 
Issues raised at the meeting varied from trees being built on school grounds to the Local Development Plan, council houses, grass verges, reducing carbon emissions through greater use of public transport,  tackling river pollution, as well as the need for regular engagement with the public on how the council is progressing with its proposals.
The council outlined what it was already doing to respond to climate change, including the introduction of electric vehicles, reduction of carbon in our own buildings, encouraging more staff to work from home, planting trees and encouraging biodiversity through the creation of wildflower meadows.
The environment is a priority in the council’s Corporate Plan which was launched in 2017 and so far more than 9,000 additional trees have been planted while the council has undertaken work to reduce its carbon emissions.
The council now only uses renewable electricity for its own buildings after switching to a renewable only energy provider for its schools, leisure centres, libraries, council offices and depots.
The council has also secured Bee Friendly status from the Welsh Government for its work to protect pollinators and to increase biodiversity in the county while the 35-acre Morfa wetland in Prestatyn has been saved for community use for generations to come after the council secured Welsh Government funding to purchase the site to protect its status as a natural wetland resource.
The council has also agreed proposals to reduce the use of plastics within its offices, following a Notice of Motion last year.
Councillor Brian Jones, the council’s lead member for Waste, Transport and the Environment, said: “We wanted to hear what people thought about our plans as a council to reduce carbon, increase carbon capture and improve biodiversity.
“We reiterated the fact that the environment is one of the key priorities of our Corporate Plan and that the council has achieved a lot over recent years in making our county cleaner, greener and more environmentally friendly.    
"It was great to hear some feedback from the audience, but also ideas and initiatives that the Council could possibly take forward over the coming years."
Councillor Tony Thomas, Cabinet Lead Member for Housing and Communities, said: “We were very pleased with the level of engagement.   
"Fifty-seven questions were sent in to the council in advance, with plenty of issues and questions being raised by the audience on the evening, as well as some submitted via Twitter and Facebook. It was very clear from the meeting that people are very concerned about the state of environment."
Llangollen councillor Graham Timms, chair of the Climate and Ecological Emergency Working Group, said: “This was a good opportunity for people to have their say and there was plenty of debate and suggestions put forward.  
"There were representatives from all corners of Denbighshire and it was clear that there’s plenty of passion around the need to play our part in trying to halt the climate emergency.  
"Some of the ideas put forward were already consideration by the council, others were more challenging and would need more detail and serious thinking."
A summary of all the questions raised and the response from the Council is being compiled and will be made available on the Council’s website at a later date.

* See the webcast of the meeting at:

Hidden treasure discovered at the Old Lock Up

* Sue Hargreaves, chair of the Armoury Conservation Trust, with the original exterior courtyard wall of the Old Lock Up.   

The group in charge of revitalising one of Llangollen's most fascinating old buildings were in for shock when they began some building work recently.

Kirsty Jones, a member of the Armoury Conservation Trust which is turning the Old Lock-Up off Regent Street into an historical asset for the community, said: "What started as knocking through a blocked-up doorway has revealed a real treasure.

"What was a plain plaster wall has been stripped away to reveal the original exterior courtyard wall of the Old Lock Up, built in 1834.

"We couldn't believe this beautiful stone wall, sandstone archway and cell window surrounds as well as the original iron bars had all been hidden by modern plaster since long before the property has been looked after by our trust.

"Great thanks must go to Stu Morris Builders and son Brad who have done such stellar work."

The Grade II listed building originally served as a jail with two cells and a jailer's quarters

When Denbighshire Constabulary was formed in 1840 it became the town's police station, later serving as the town hall and council chamber. Afterwards it became a drill hall and armoury.

Latterly, it was the office for Llangollen International Musical Eisteddfod and the Vale of Llangollen Canal Boat Trust.

Sue Hargreaves, who is now chair of the conservation trust, bought the empty and rundown building in 2012 and embarked on an extensive renovation programme which has seen her introduce displays giving a flavour of its past uses as a lock-up jail and a police station.

Wednesday, February 26, 2020

Llan wakes to a sprinkling of snow

In line with forecasts, Llangollen woke up to a thin scattering of snow on the hills around town this morning (Wednesday). This is the view towards the castle.

Government encourages more factory-made homes

The Welsh Government wants councils to build far more council homes at scale and at pace, however, they face the well-documented capacity constraints faced by traditional house builders.
To deliver more homes quickly, councils will be encouraged to use modern methods of construction (MMC), which will help them build better quality homes faster than traditional methods allow, in order to meet the growing need for affordable housing across the country.
MMC includes various construction methods from new materials and technologies, to off-site manufacturing, which either replace or complement traditional methods of construction.
MMC opportunities will also bring significant new benefits to the Welsh economy.
To back Welsh business, Ministers plan to help this next generation of homes to be built utilising national assets such as Welsh steel and Welsh timber. 
There will also be a focus on using the emerging MMC industry in Wales to pursue Welsh social and ethical ambitions, including developing skills and market-leading technical expertise in communities hardest hit by the decline of traditional industries. Investment will also help firms invest in locally sourced labour.
According to the government, other benefits include:
  • creating new jobs and developing the new skills required to accommodate greater use of MMC, which will represent a sea-change in the construction industry
  • upskilling the existing construction workforce
  • attracting new and diverse entrants from marginalised groups such as offenders and those who wouldn’t necessarily consider careers in traditional construction such as women
As part of the Welsh Government’s new Modern Methods of Construction strategy ‘Reimagining social house building in Wales’ Ministers are making a major £45 million investment in the modular housing industry in Wales, to ensure it can deliver the next generation of social housing that people need.
£20 million is being made available for MMC businesses, who in partnership with Welsh social landlords, want to build the next generation of social housing. 
This investment is designed to help and encourage the market, especially SMEs, to develop off-site manufacture (OSM) solutions such as supply chains, factories, skills development centres, that meet the needs of the next generation of social housing in Wales.
A further £25 million is being made available for round four of the Welsh Government’s Innovative Housing Programme, which will focus on innovative housing delivered through MMC.
The strategy supports the Welsh Government’s ambitions to reduce carbon emissions from the housing sector. It also supports move to a circular economy, as building with MMC could reduce construction waste by as much as 70-90%.
Housing Minister, Julie James said: "Building more social and affordable homes is a key priority for the Welsh Government. Over the last four years, this Welsh Government has invested £2 billion in new housing across Wales, as part of our ambition to deliver 20,000 affordable homes by 2021.
"But we want to build more. And we want to build better. The significant investment we’re making in the modular housing industry will enable us to do that.
"Gone are the days of MMC’s association with poor quality, temporary, pre-fabricated housing; MMC now produces high quality, desirable and energy efficient affordable homes that tenants can be proud of. We have certainly moved from Pre-Fab to Ab-Fab!
"Developing the MMC industry in Wales presents us with a great opportunity to not only build beautiful new social housing, but also kick-start a new industry that will become increasingly important for our economy.
"The publication of the strategy is in response to a recommendation made by the Welsh Government’s Affordable Housing Supply Review, which identified Modern Methods of Construction as a way of more quickly increasing housing supply."

Tuesday, February 25, 2020

Care boss warns over new immigration rules

A social care leader has warned that care homes and home care agencies in Wales will be put out of business as a result of the new immigration rules announced by the Government.
Mario Kreft MBE, the chair of Care Forum Wales, (pictured) has called on Home Secretary Priti Patel not to “close the door” on overseas workers at a time when the sector was already suffering because of a major recruitment crisis.
The new system - set to come into force in January 2021 - will aim to end visas for low-skilled workers and cut the overall number of migrants coming to the UK.

It will award points to applicants based on specific skills, qualifications, salaries, English speaking ability and professions, with overseas workers - including those from the EU - required to have the offer of a skilled job with an “approved sponsor” to come here.
The Government is also backing a recommendation from the Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) to lower the salary threshold for skilled workers wanting to come to the UK from £30,000 to £25,600.
But Priti Patel is facing calls to grant special exemptions for those working in the social care sector in a bid to stave off staff shortages.
According to Mr Kreft, care homes, nursing homes and home care agencies in North Wales are facing a massive crisis with an estimated shortfall of 7,000 staff by the year 2026.
The new immigration rules would, he said, exacerbate the  severe shortage of nurses and carers.
It would lead to loss of nursing home beds and the closure of care homes at a time when the number of over-85s in Wales is expected to more than double in the next 20 years.
Mr Kreft said: “This is something we have been warning about for a long time because it is clear that these proposals will have dire consequences for the social care sector and, more importantly, for the vulnerable people we look after.
“In recent years we have seen homes closing across Wales because their fragile finances just did not stack up because social care remains chronically underfunded despite it being such an important service.
“On top of that we are having to contend with a debilitating recruitment crisis which will be even worse unless the Government have a change of heart in relation to social care.
“The way fees are calculated means that it is possible to earn more stacking shelves in a supermarket than it is to provide social care for our loved ones.
“We need to explode the myth that social care staff are low skilled – that’s not true. They are just lower paid and that’s not fair.

“The new rules just do not make sense when you apply them to social care.
“One unintended consequence will be that it will place even more pressure on an already creaking NHS.
“Our social care providers currently underpin the provision in our hospitals but if more care homes, nursing homes and home care companies are forced out of business, alternative provision will have to be made for them.
“In that case it’s s highly likely that these vulnerable people will end up in hospital when that is probably the worst possible place for them to be, leading to even more bed blocking.
“This change in immigration policy means that the social care sector will have to improve pay levels significantly to attract the home-grown staff needed.
“That would require more money to be injected into social care as a matter of urgency. Nobody has said where that extra money would come from.
“Putting responsibility on the providers to sort out a mess of the Government’s making is irresponsible. This is a disaster waiting to happen.”

Your wish is this new Volvo SUV's command

* The Volvo XC40's stylish profile.

* ... and a minimalist dash layout. 
Volvo XC40 road test by Steve Rogers

My irritation with voice control in cars has, apparently, become legendary and even sparked a discussion in a pub.

The trouble is two-fold. You have to go through hoops to get the right function and once there it does not always do what you ask. I even lost my temper with a Lexus (how stupid is that) because it went to radio when I wanted to put in a postcode for navigation.

Well, I have finally come across a car with no quibble voice control. Tell a Volvo what you want and 'your wish is my command'. In this case it was the XC40 compact SUV, the latest and smallest in the line, but equipped with the same Sensus connectivity as all other Volvos.

This means just about every function is stored away in a tablet style computer sitting smack in the centre of the dashboard. It is a big vertical screen and yes, the system is intimidating, some might find it baffling.

The majority of cars have touchsceen infotainment centres but for me the Volvo is the most complex. To be fair it is a masterpiece of technology and people used to doing everything on smart phones will get their heads around it in no time just as new Volvo owners will get used to it....eventually.

But I didn't need to worry because the voice control is brilliant. Tell it to tune to a radio station, put in a post code, change the heating temperature or the fan speed and it does it. And they are the functions we use most when driving. Result.

There is, of course, a lot more to XC40. In many ways it is an exceptional car with eye catching styling, a stunning minimalist interior (very Swedish), plenty of room and oodles of high end safety features. Would we expect anything less from Volvo when it comes to keeping us safe?

You would not want to temp fete but about the only way you will have an accident is if someone else causes it. Pilot assist will keep you in your lane and control braking and speed, you will be warned not to pull out if a car is overtaking, or if a vehicle is approaching when reversing out of a parking slot. Very handy in supermarket car parks where some people drive ridiculously quickly.

For all that the XC40's outstanding feature is comfort. My test car was the R-Design which has sporty suspension so you might expect ride to be a bit raw. It turned out to be the total opposite with the most settled ride of any compact SUV I have driven and able to keep its composure when pushed through twists and turns.

The seats, particularly the front, are very comfortable and with generous rear legroom XC40 is a good family car. There is a decent sized boot (R-Design has a powered tailgate) with a wide opening and flat loading area with the back seats folded.

Volvo has switched emphasis to smaller petrol engines and hybrid and electric power, you don't get anything over two litres, and has developed a turbocharged 1.5 litre petrol as its entry point for XC40.

This three-cylinder engine musters a formidable 163bhp and is quick off the mark but it does lack refinement and is noisy once the needle passes 4000rpm. Economy is not brilliant either, I never managed to reach 40mpg on the trip computer which is in line with the official figures but I would hope for better. Volkswagen does a better job with its 1.5litre petrol.

For those wanting more economy take a look at the D3 diesel.

This is another fine car from Volvo which is almost mirroring Audi in the way it has risen up the premium ranks. It has both style and substance, is reasonably priced, and although it is not quite the best at everything, it still does everything very well.

Key facts
XC40 R-Design 8sp auto
1.5litre T3 turbo 163bhp
0-62mph 9.6secs; 124mph
35.8-39.2mpg combined
148g/km. 1st year tax £210
Insurance group 22
Boot: 586 litres

Monday, February 24, 2020

St David's Day concert this Friday

Llangollen Welsh Society are hosting a St David's Day Concert at St Collen's Community Hall on Friday, February 28th at 7pm.

The concert features Lleisiau Ceiriog/Ceiriog Choir.

Tickets are £7 including a light buffet or £5 for members and are available from Elizabeth Benjamin or Eirwen Jones before February 26.

Names are required by today for catering figures. Contact: 01978 860516, or email

A483 traffic warning

Tweet by North Wales Police just before 8am:

Please be aware that traffic is backing up on the A483 between junction 7 and 6 southbound due to a road traffic collision. Delays are likely.

Chamber urges businesses to back the BID

Llangollen’s business community is currently being asked to vote on whether or not they wish to be part of a local Business Improvement District.

The Chamber of Trade and Tourism Executive has issued a statement, which llanblogger has been asked to publish, explaining why, as a body, it is voting “yes” to the BID proposal, and suggesting the area’s businesses should do the same.  The statement says:

“As a business with a rateable value over £2500 in the proposed Llangollen BID area you will have received a copy of the Business Plan and will get a voting form via the council and the Electoral Reform Society.

“Several successful and pro-active businesses in the area have supported the consultancy process with lots of their time and some also financially.

“A Business Improvement District is where a group of businesses pay into a not-for-profit company which delivers the objectives set out in the business plan.

“If the majority of businesses in the area vote in favour of the BID plan (both by number and rateable value) then the included business will pay a levy to fund the business plan.

“If businesses don’t vote either way then their votes aren’t included in the numbers and will have no sway either for or against.

“The BID is not a tax, it is a Business Plan, created by and administered by the businesses of the town to improve the town as a place to do business and live and as an investment to benefit those businesses and help them make more money and/or remain in business.

“The BID lasts 5 years but can be cancelled if the businesses don’t believe that it is working.

“The BID is formed as a company (limited by guarantee) and has the running costs associated with any business such as admin and accounts, these are forecast to be about 11% of the collected levy, not 34% as stated on a vote no leaflet.

“To make it work the company will have to employ someone locally to deliver the business plan under the supervision of the board, this is budgeted at £20k to employ a person with the right skill set and experience.

“The council will collect the money and pass it on to the bid company without charging for the privilege, but they will pass on the extra costs from their software licensing for the collection.

“All the marketing money spend is directed by the businesses involved, legally it cannot duplicate existing council spends.

“If  the BID spends money on marketing the town it will come from all businesses with a rateable value over £2500, unlike historical projects like the Christmas lights where just a few of the businesses supported the work.

“The BID will likely choose to support Llangollen 2020, thereby helping them raise more funds towards the project through avenues that are unavailable to the project without business support.

“Businesses have complained for decades that parking maps and signage need improving. The Chamber has never had any money to move on this bar printing some maps.

“With a £100k over 5 years the Llangollen BID Company can get these improved in addition to the existing council budgets.

“All BID levy payers are eligible to be members of the BID company and stand for the election to the board.

“The benefits of BIDS are clear with many BID areas voting to repeat the process over 5 years and have money to spend to improve local business, directed and spent by local business.

“Part of the business plan is to join a national buying group to reduce costs for business including telecoms, utilities, waste collection and potentially rates. For many businesses this will likely recoup all or most of the levy they pay.

“A BID for Llangollen gives you new services, support, marketing and a town competing with other well marketed towns in the area. Llangollen has a lot to shout about, but we don’t. Customers need reasons to come to Llangollen and reasons to return.

“Those reasons are here in abundance, but we don’t promote them to our customers as well as we can. With a BID for Llangollen we can do our town and area justice with better destination marketing.

“Government Support comes to those who support themselves, the more proactive we are as a business community the more we will attract government support. This is one of the primary criteria for government support.

“So by just having a bid we can get more funding for business in the town and have a paid member of staff to apply for it.

“Here are five good reasons to vote yes:

1. Over £400,000 of investment for the town centre over 5 years

2. The BID will be run and controlled by Llangollen businesses

3. Projects to be carried out are set out in the Business Plan including an exciting annual Marketing, Promotion & Events Programme, Wayfinding and Access Improvements and Reducing Your Business Costs by centrally organising services such as Trade Waste Management, Recycling & Insurance. Over 70% of businesses will pay less than £1 a day for all this and will get more back than they put in (based on other BID towns experience (Google Keighly BID cost savings)

4.There are over 300 BIDs operating successfully in the UK and 12 across Wales including nearby competitors, and Llangollen will need to compete effectively with them

5. The Llangollen BID will act as a powerful business lobbying and advocacy body to ensure your voice is heard on issues like business rates, car parking and delivering investment. Much of the £90m
Transforming Towns Programme that was announced last week by the Welsh Government will be channelled through BIDs and Llangollen does not want to miss out

6. Includes membership of a national buying group such as Meercat Associates, reducing gas, electric, telecoms and waste bills by negotiating on behalf of 10,000 businesses.

“Please send in your vote, whether YES or NO. We’ll be voting YES, because we invest in our businesses.”