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Tuesday, June 30, 2020

Police scam warning goes out to firearms holders

Police are reminding firearms holders in North Wales to be on their guard against thieves posing as firearms licensing officers.
The warning comes after a firearms holder in another force area received a suspicious phone call. 
The female claimed to be from the force’s Firearms Licensing Unit and said that someone would have to visit the property to inspect his security.
The firearms certificate holder wasn’t convinced that the call was genuine and enquiries with the force’s Firearms Licensing Unit revealed that no-one from the team had recently made contact with this individual.
Firearms Licensing Manager at North Wales Police, Andy Broadhead, said: “We are continuing to process grant and renewal applications and will contact applicants by telephone individually to discuss the most appropriate way of processing their application.
“We only visit by appointment and I would like remind applicants that if they are any doubt as to the identity of the members our team please ask for a name and photo ID for confirmation. If you are in any doubt, telephone 101.”

Coronavirus update from the Welsh Government

Latest coronavirus update from the Welsh Government, issued yesterday, is: 

  • Public Health Wales has today confirmed 116 new cases of coronavirus in Wales, bringing the total number to 15,717, although the actual number will be higher.
o   Sadly, there were three further deaths of people with confirmed coronavirus reported by Public Health Wales today, the total number of deaths reported by Public Health Wales remains at 1,507.

What to do if you have symptoms of coronavirus
  • The symptoms of coronavirus are a high temperature, a new, continuous cough and a loss of smell or taste.
  • If you live alone and you have symptoms of coronavirus illness (COVID-19), however mild, stay at home for seven days from when your symptoms started.
  • If you live with others and you are the first in the household to have symptoms of coronavirus, then you must stay at home for seven days, but all other household members who remain well must stay at home and not leave the house for 14 days.
  • If you have coronavirus symptoms:
    • Do not go to a GP surgery, pharmacy or hospital. You do not need to contact 111 to tell them you’re staying at home
    • Plan ahead and ask others for help to ensure that you can successfully stay at home and consider what can be done for vulnerable people in the household.
    • Ask your employer, friends and family to help you to get the things you need to stay at home.
    • Wash your hands regularly for 20 seconds, each time using soap and water, or use hand sanitiser.
    • If you feel you cannot cope with your symptoms at home or your condition gets worse, or your symptoms do not get better after seven days, use the 111 online coronavirus service. If you do not have internet access, call 111. In a medical emergency dial 999.
  • For more advice visit

Where to find the latest information

More businesses and services announce Covid comeback

* Courtyard Books is back after the lockdown.

More local businesses, services and events are planning their re-emergence from the Covid-19 lockdown.

Sian Glynne-jones of Courtyard Books posted on her Facebook page:We are back open!!
“We have our screen in place, but only one customer in at a time please. Our opening hours for the moment are Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday from 10am until 2pm.
“Alternatively, you can reach us on
"If you are still isolating and would prefer not to come in to the shop, then please ring us and we will deliver if you are not too far away.
“We are able to order books if they are not in stock, but these are taking a little longer at the moment.”

Finley's Newsagents, Sandwich Bar and General Store posted:We are missing all our wonderful customers!
“We are currently assessing the situation regarding reopening the shop again.
“We feel when the travel ban to Wales has been lifted and more people are allowed in town this will be more beneficial for us as a business as well as the support from our amazing locals and regulars.
“We will keep you informed and up to date over the next week or so.” 
Llangollen Fringe Festival said on Face book: “Llangollen Fringe 2020 online programme is here! 
“Although we may not be able to bring you our usual programme of high quality, live entertainment, just yet - we are thrilled to announce our online programme for July 2020!

“All of the online events are free to access and, unless stated otherwise can be viewed and joined in with by visiting on the date and time listed.
And Denbighshire Leisure, which runs Llangollen Leisure Centre, posted: “As you may have seen in the news, the gradual relaxation of lockdown restrictions by Welsh Government means we are moving slowly towards being able to welcome back our customers.  
"This can’t come soon enough for everyone at Denbighshire Leisure, and we are sure you feel the same.  

“Once we are able to reopen, we will be doing everything we can to ensure your visits will be as safe as possible, without comprising on quality or enjoyment.
“In line with government advice however, we will need to make some temporary changes to both to the services we offer, and to your experience as a customer. 

“For example, we will be introducing more outdoor fitness classes and will be adjusting our timetables to allow for regular, intense cleaning sessions.  

"Social distancing measures will be in place in all of our sites and there will be clear routes around our buildings to help with this.  Full details of the “new normal” will be provided to you prior to reopening, and you can be confident staff will be fully trained on our new procedures.

“Refurbishments of Denbigh Leisure Centre Car Park and Llangollen Leisure Centre all weather pitch are both expected to begin in August.” 

Cat Meade, co-ordinator of Llangollen Coronavirus Help Group, sounded a warning note on Facebook yesterday.

She posted:
"COVID is still a risk, it has NOT vanished....2hrs drive from Llan, when the borders open on Monday people will be travelling here from much further a field.
"We have 100 masks left, please inbox if you would like one.
"Keep the Hand washing up, kids and Adults alike, take sanitiser everywhere you go.
"Shop owners in Llan please adhere to social distancing, mark out and sign post "2m rule" and dont forget to protect you and your staff, screens at tills, face guards, hand sanitiser.. card payments..
"We all want to open up and start up Llan but we need to protect one another in the process, or we will ALL be back to the beginning and some businesses may not survive another lockdown, businesses want to welcome locals and tourists, of course we do, our Town should be preping for our Annual event, where we welcome the world 🌎 instead we are trying to open with a lot of restrictions after 3 months at zero income!
"Prepare, keep you and your staff safe, protect locals and hopefully together we can create our Town's new "normal" but safety first."

Monday, June 29, 2020

Man's body found at Pontcysyllte Aqueduct, says report

According to a story in North Wales Live, police have confirmed that the body of a man has been found at Pontcysyllte Aqueduct.
Officers from North Wales Police were called to the landmark near Llangollen at around 10am today and discovered the man's body.

Large police presence at the aqueduct, says newspaper

A LARGE police presence is currently visible around the area of Pontcysyllte Aqueduct amid "concern for safety" of a person, according to the Oswestry Advetizer. 
Over a dozen police cars and a police helicopter have been seen in the area, as well as an ambulance.

Operatic in the honours at amateur stage Oscars

* Helen Belton and Bill Hughes in Fiddler on the Roof.

* Celyn Orton-Jones (centre) in Fiddler on the Roof.

* Aled Morris (wearing red shirt) in Grease.

* The full Young 'Uns cast of Grease. 

* Pictures by Barrie Potter and Michael Jones

Llangollen Operatic Society was in the honours at the latest amateur stage “Oscars”.

In the 2019 NODA - National Operatic and Dramatic Association – Awards, this year held completely online due to the Covid-19 situation, the society was nominated for Best Show (Wales and Ireland District 1a) for its production of Fiddler on the Roof.

Although it didn’t win that particular category, actor Bill Hughes, who played the lead role of Tevye in the show, landed Best Performer in the same district while Helen Belton, as his wife Golde, was nominated for Best Supporting Performer and Celyn Orton-Jones, as his daughter Chava, was nominated as Best Youth Performer.  

The show, which was performed at Llangollen last spring, was directed by Alison Ravenscroft and Chrissie Ashworth with Leigh Mason as musical director and Helen Belton as a performer as well as the producer.

Helen said: “It was a beautiful show to rehearse and perform. Many cast members have said that it has been their favourite show yet.

“It is a show of such warmth and displaying such community that one cannot fail to feel that warmth amongst cast members.

“Though we didn’t win best show, we know we produced a very special piece of work which audiences loved.”

Director Alison Ravenscroft said: “Bill Hughes richly deserved his award for his wonderful performance and I congratulate Helen and Celyn for their nominations which are a massive achievement.

“Although I'm obviously very disappointed not to win the Best Show award it doesn't take away from the fantastic effort of the cast, crew and production team. It was a great show and I was very proud to bring the village of Anatevka to Llangollen.

In the same NODA awards Llangollen Operatic’s junior section, The Young ‘Uns, was also in the honours.

For the Wales and Ireland District 1a, gong for Best Youth Production 2019 went to its production of Grease at the town hall.

Best Supporting Actor (under 21) for the same district went to Aled Morris for his portrayal of Roger, one of the T-birds.

Producer Pam Williams said: “I’m extremely proud to be part of an amazing production team which has again produced an outstanding show for the Llangollen community and surrounding areas.

“The group is now in its 40th year, which is testament to all the support we get from the volunteers who build our sets, create our costumes and keep our society alive.”

Keep cemeteries clear of dog mess, says county

Denbighshire County Council is reminding pet owners to pick up after their dogs while in public places.

There have been reports of dog fouling in cemeteries in Denbighshire and the council is reminding dog owners they should not walk their pets in cemeteries which are covered by public spaces protection orders (PSPOs) meaning fines of up to £100 could be issued.

District Enforcement provides environmental enforcement on behalf of the Council and as well as issuing fines, the firm focuses on educating the public and raising awareness of the issues around dog fouling and littering.

Targeted patrols have been reintroduced at dog fouling hotspots in Denbighshire as lockdown restrictions are being eased.

Councillor Mark Young, Cabinet Lead Member for Planning, Public Protection and Safer Communities, said: “The vast majority of dog owners in the county respect the rules around dog walking. However, for those who do not, the message is clear, you should not be walking your pets in cemeteries.  We have been working with District Enforcement to ensure areas where there are reports of dog fouling are being patrolled.

“Those caught walking their dogs in areas covered by PSPOs or not picking up after their pets will be fined.”

* You can report dog fouling by calling 01824 706000.

Sunday, June 28, 2020

Llan businesses plan their post-Covid comebacks

* One Giant Leap at Tan Y Graig Farm.

A number of Llangollen businesses this week took to Facebook to let the public know how they have made - or are planning - a comeback from coronavirus lockdown. 

Martin Sands of One Giant Leap (OGL) downhill mountain bike club based at Tan Y Graig Farm posted: "I'm having loads of people asking when we are opening again. My answer is under guidance from British Cycling and the Welsh Government. Both sets of advice are subject to a continued decline in Covid 19 infection rates. This means that things may change at any time.
"The planned reopening date is 6th July for push/ride up or family groups only in one vehicle. No news on uplifts yet. Social distancing is essential and numbers will be restricted to facilitate this.
"Under the BC guidance I will need a record of every rider visiting us and contact numbers. Groups of more than six are not permitted although multiple groups are possible. All riders must be 2020 OGL club members with the 2020 yellow membership band and will need to book in before arrival.
"Please note that this is a farm with six bike tracks, not a bike park. I am privately funded and I do all the digging myself. I will not tolerate anyone who is not prepared to pay £20 per year membership fee. I have tackled so many people in recent weeks who claim they can ride my tracks whenever they want and don't need permission. They were suitably educated.
"Parking will be at the building I have restored in the photos. There is drinking water there and toilets. Hand sanitiser will be provided.There is also a free e-bike charging point."

* The Bridge End is planning its re-opening.

The message from the Bridge End pub restaurant was: "We can’t quite believe it has been 3 months since we last saw you come through our doors. From our weekends filled with pulling pints to busy hours in the kitchen making our Sunday Roasts, we have missed you all and can’t wait to be serving you once more!

"We are sorry we have been quiet but as soon as we receive the latest updates from the Welsh Government you will all be the first to hear our plans to reopen as soon as possible! 

"Our main priority is to be able to provide a safe environment for us to enjoy your company once more. We promise we will provide details of how you can book a table with us or stay in one of our rooms the second we know more.

"Thank you all so much for your phone calls and emails of support and eagerness to return to us – we are so excited to hopefully be able to open our doors to you again!

"From visitors far and wide to our much-loved regulars – we miss you and can’t wait to see you all soon!"

* Dayboats from Llangollen Wharf will be making a return soon.

Llangollen Wharf posted: "We are pleased to say that our Dayboats are available to hire from the 6th July in accordance with current guidance.
"Also the 45 minute Horsedrawn Boat Trips will also be running from the 6th July. There will be reduced capacity due to social distancing requirements so we recommend ringing the Wharf on 01978 860702 to book your seats. There maybe limited a availability on the day.
"We are looking forward to welcoming you back as we begin the long journey back to normality."

Rusty Gold Emporium was able to say that it had already made its post-Covid comeback when it posted: "Whoop. We are back. ..The Chapel Emporium is opening tomorrow at 10am. 

"Lots of new stock to see with a number of new stall holders in place. Lots of room to move inside the Chapel and we’ve put all the bits in place to make you feel safe. It would be great to see our customers again. We’ve missed you... grab a bargain. Have a mooch. Have fun. Cheers Paul and the team."

And Llangollen Pharmacy, which has been open throughout lockdown, posted details of a new service when it said: "As of today Llangollen Pharmacy is trialling a new SMS text message service which enables us to inform you by text message when your prescription is ready for collection. If you would like to enrol onto this service please pop in or call us on 01978 860657."

Saturday, June 27, 2020

£1m fund available to give easier access to local government

A one million pound fund will be available this financial year to make it easier for people to access local government services online.
Aimed at helping local authorities to improve public services through digital technology, the Local Government Digital Transformation Fund was established in 2018 but has been repurposed during the coronavirus pandemic to ensure bids that respond to the current situation are given priority.
The fund provides grants to help local authorities collaborate to solve problems collectively, to support work that benefits all local authorities and to start developing common standards and services across Wales.
Announcing the fund was open to applications, Housing and Local Government Minister Julie James said: “Digital innovation isn’t new, it’s been happening for years in Wales but Coronavirus has meant that progress has sped up considerably over the last few months. We have all started doing a lot more online - from the weekly food shop to keeping in touch with friends and family.
“It has also changed the way people expect to interact with businesses and public services. It is therefore essential local government is able to respond to this demand and work together to ensure we provide the best possible service to the public.”

Welsh Government's latest Covid-19 update

Yesterday's coronvirus updates from the Welsh Givernment are: 

  • First Minister Mark Drakeford has today announced a start-up grant to support new businesses dealing with the impact of coronavirus.

  • A £1m fund will be available this financial year to make it easier for people to access local government services online.

  • The Deputy Minister for Culture, Sport and Tourism has published a written statement about the creative industries

  • Public Health Wales has today confirmed 65 new cases of coronavirus in Wales, bringing the total number to 15,531, although the actual number will be higher.
o   Sadly, there were two further deaths of people with confirmed coronavirus reported by Public Health Wales today, the total number of deaths reported by Public Health Wales remains at 1,497 – this is the same as Thursday following further verification of the data. 

Where to find the latest information