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Monday, June 14, 2021

Police appeal following serious accident near Llangollen

Police have launched an appeal for witnesses after a motorcyclist was taken to Royal Stoke Hospital by the Welsh Air Ambulance following a road traffic collision leading up to the Horseshoe Pass, Llangollen, on the A542 from Llandegla, just after 2.30pm yesterday (Sunday).

The collision involved a silver coloured Suzuki Swift motor car and a blue coloured Honda CBR motorcycle. The motorcyclist suffered serious injuries.
Sergeant Medwyn Williams from the Roads Policing Unit said: “I hope the motorcyclist makes a good recovery.
"I am appealing to anyone who was travelling on the road at that time between 2.20-2.35pm who witnessed the collision or may have dashcam footage of either vehicle prior to the collision.
"I would also welcome anyone who may have been travelling that route that has dashcam to contact us. If you have any information, please get in touch via web chat or by calling 101, quoting reference 21000413584.
"I would also welcome anyone who may have been travelling that route that has dashcam to contact us. If you have any information, please get in touch via web chat or by calling 101, quoting reference 21000413584.
"The road was re-opened at 7pm.
"We continue to urge drivers and and bikers to enjoy north Wales safely. Drivers - please look out for bikes when turning, whilst at junctions and when changing lanes. Bikers - please ride to the conditions, stick to the speed limit and know your capabilities."

All adults in Wales offered a vaccine ahead of schedule

Health Minister Eluned Morgan has thanked Wales’ "fantastic vaccination teams" as she confirmed all eligible adults in Wales will have been offered a vaccine by today (Monday, June 14) six weeks ahead of schedule. 

She said it is not too late for anyone who has changed their mind about having a vaccine to get an appointment – Wales has a “no one left behind” policy and all health boards had systems in place to enable people to get an appointment if they think they have been missed of the list or if they have changed their mind. 

Vaccination clinics across Wales are accelerating second doses amid growing concerns about the spread of the delta variant of the virus across the UK. 

Eluned Morgan said: “Wales is leading the world when it comes to the percentage of our population who have been vaccinated.  

“I’m delighted that today we have reached the milestone of offering all eligible adults their first dose – six weeks ahead of schedule. 

“This is a remarkable achievement and I want to thank everyone involved for their incredible efforts. However, we are not being complacent - I want to encourage younger adults to take up this offer of the vaccine and we don’t want to see anyone left behind.  

“We are keen to see 18 to 39-year-olds vaccinated and hope to reach our milestone of 75% take-up in this age group by the end of this month. Please take up your vaccine appointment; it offers protection to you, your loved ones and your communities and it is our best route out of the pandemic.”

Pictures which show the contempt for town and its facilities


 * The barbecue abandoned on top of a litter bin the park. 


* The badly scorched picnic table.


* One of smashed lights on the canal towpath.


* Five of the lights on top of the pedestals 
along the towpath have been broken. 

This morning llanblogger has a couple of examples of the contempt in which some people hold Llangollen and its facilities.

The first pictures show how a portable tinfoil barbecue container - still containing cooked food - has been left on top of a litter bin in the public park adjoining the river near Mill Street car park. Alongside the bin is a bag of rubbish.

Nearby is a wooden picnic bench, which was obviously the scene of a barbecue party, that has a badly scorched top where a hot barbecue appears to have been placed.

The other pictures show how, a short distance away, across the other side of the main road on the canal towpath, no less than five of the pedestals containing water and electricity points for moored boats to connect to have had their lights smashed.

Whether those responsible are locals or visitors, such acts of vandalism or wanton disregard for the town's amenities are totally inexcusable.  

Pandemic support hub planned for Plas Madoc

* Minister for Health and Social Services, Eluned Morgan 

Hubs offering holistic support to people who need to self-isolate and to those hit hardest by the pandemic are being rolled out in a pilot scheme across five areas in North Wales, including Plas Madoc.

The Covid Support Hubs offer immediate support with lateral flow tests and help to self-isolate if necessary.  

They also offer longer term assistance for people who might be struggling to buy food or pay rent, to access services, manage debt or with utility bills.  

The pilot scheme is part of Wales’s Test Trace Protect programme, offering an extended and longer-term ‘Protect’ offer in deprived communities in North Wales.  

It brings together the Betsi Cadwaladr Health Board, Local Authorities, the voluntary sector and community groups to support communities in a range of areas.

This multi-partner approach means that extra support can be offered if identified, even if people test negative for Covid-19 and are not required to self-isolate, such as signposting to benefits, providing information on food banks and low-cost food services, and advice on budgeting.

The first pilot hub launched in Holyhead in May, with 59 people seen in the first nine days.  

Ynys Môn Citizens Advice are the lead organisation, with input from a range of partners to deliver additional support around food provision, digital skills and access to mental health support. 

The scheme is also now underway in Bangor and Denbigh, with hubs expected to open in Plas Madoc near Wrexham and Flintshire later this month.

Minister for Health and Social Services, Eluned Morgan said: “I’m pleased to see that this pilot scheme is up and running in North Wales and is already delivering positive results.

“It’s vital that people self-isolate if they test positive for Covid-19 in order to stop the virus spreading in our communities.  

"Test, Trace Protect has been extremely effective at supporting people who have tested positive and their contacts to isolate and providing advice, guidance and support, and it’s important that we continue to invest in initiatives like this to support people to self-isolate when needed.

“This pilot also demonstrates the benefits of a partnership approach which is reaching those who are often hard to reach and opening up a range of services to them to relieve worry and stress in other areas of their lives, providing much-needed support to people at an extremely difficult time.”

Sunday, June 13, 2021

Story reports serious accident near Llandegla

 The Leader is this afternoon reporting s serious road collision near Llandegla.


For the full story, see: https://www.leaderlive.co.uk/news/19369500.serious-crash-main-road-near-llandegla/

Repairing landslide damage in Newbridge is "priority" says council


* Ken Skates MS, left, and Wrexham councillor David A Bithell at the site on the landslide. 

Wrexham Borough Council says repairing the damage caused by Storm Christoph earlier this year to the B5605 at Newbridge remains a priority. 

The storm caused a landslide and the closure of the road for the foreseeable future.

The council says works to fix this are "complex and the solution difficult and costly".

But it adds: "We are hopeful of further help from Welsh Government to help us to repair this important part of our infrastructure."

Cllr David A Bithell, Lead Member Environment and Transport, said he welcomed the opportunity to meet with Clwyd South MS Ken Skates on a recent site visit who, he explained, had taken a keen interest in making representation to Welsh Government Minister Julie James.

“I hope that these talks and discussions will be fruitful in ensuring that this road re-opens as soon as possible. This is causing major difficulties for local people and we need substantial funding to address the effects from storm Christoph.”

Ken Skates said: “The damage caused by the extreme weather last year wreaked havoc in communities across Wales. This is a particularly bad example, and I know it has caused a lot of problems locally.

“I have raised the matter with the Minister for Climate Change, Julie James, and asked the Welsh Government to look at this again. 

"I know the Welsh Government has been in discussions with the council about other funding which might be available, so I look forward to receiving the Minister’s response outlining how both parties can work together to remedy the situation.”

He added: "The B5605 provides critical road links between communities in Newbridge and Cefn and the wider settlement areas at Chirk to the south and Plas Madoc/Ruabon to the north. 

"Loss of this road link severs these communities causing distress and inconvenience on the many residents and businesses in these areas.

“Alternative routes are lengthy and inconvenient. In addition, this stretch of the B5605 provides the alternative routes for the A483 trunk road. 

"In the event of closures on the trunk road whether for planned works or emergencies, alternative routes now have to be diverted via Llangollen, a 15-mile diversion for drivers."

Saturday, June 12, 2021

Traffic alert for Regent Street

 


Latest local traffic alert from one.network is:

 

Regent Street


14 June — 02 July

 

Delays likely - Traffic control (two-way signals)

 

Works location: A5, Near Former Health Centre (now gallery), Regent Street, Llangollen

 

Works description: Refurbishment of Traffic Signal - Replacement of Traffic Signal Poles, Tactile Paving & White Lining

 

Responsibility for works: Welsh Government

 

Current status: Advanced planning

 

Works reference: PD50121111155217547

 

 

 

Coronavirus latest from Welsh Government


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

  • Hubs offering holistic support to people who need to self-isolate and to those hit hardest by the pandemic are being rolled out in a pilot scheme across five areas in North Wales.
    • The Covid Support Hubs offer immediate support with lateral flow tests and help to self-isolate if necessary.  They also offer longer term assistance for people who might be struggling to buy food or pay rent, to access services, manage debt or with utility bills. 
    • The pilot scheme is part of Wales’s Test Trace Protect programme, offering an extended and longer-term ‘Protect’ offer in deprived communities in North Wales. It brings together the Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board, local authorities, the voluntary sector and community groups to support communities in a range of areas.
    • https://gov.wales/covid-hubs-north-wales-offering-support-hardest-hit
  • Volunteers from within a 50-mile radius of Wrexham are needed to take part in a new clinical trial to receive a third ‘booster’ Covid-19 vaccine.
  • Latest results from the Covid Infection Survey: https://gov.wales/coronavirus-covid-19-infection-survey
  • Public Health Wales has published a report highlighting challenges faced by unpaid carers during the pandemic: https://phw.nhs.wales/news/report-highlights-challenges-faced-by-unpaid-carers-during-pandemic/        

Coronavirus in numbers

What to do if you have symptoms of coronavirus

Where to find the latest information


Friday, June 11, 2021

Team responds to Denbighshire increase in Covid-19 cases

An Incident Management Team (IMT) has been convened after an increase of Covid-19 cases in Denbighshire.

The IMT will manage the situation and comprises of Denbighshire County Council, Public Health Wales and Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board.

Chair of the IMT, Nicola Stubbins, said: “We have been working together to investigate an increased number of linked Covid-19 cases in the county.

“We are aware Covid-19 is still circulating in North Wales and we would like to reassure residents we are working to reduce any further spread.

“This includes additional testing being on offer in the county over the coming days as well as an enhanced Test, Trace and Protect process.

“You can now go for a free Covid-19 test if you have a wider range of symptoms which include flu-like symptoms, not caused by a known condition, muscle ache or pain, excessive tiredness, persistent headache, runny nose or blocked nose, persistent sneezing, sore throat and/or hoarseness, shortness of breath or wheezing and generally feeling unwell.

“Anyone who develops Covid-19 symptoms should book a PCR test at a test centre immediately and following a positive result, residents should self-isolate and share all relevant information with TTP tracers and advisors.

“We are also reminding those eligible and not showing symptoms to undertake regular lateral flow tests at home, which are free and can be ordered online for home delivery.

“This will help stop the spread of the virus and keep cases down.

“We are reminding the public they have a vital role in preventing the spread of Coronavirus and for them to remain vigilant and act cautiously. They can do this by adhering to Welsh Government regulations and by observing social distancing guidelines – that’s staying two metres away from others – and washing hands regularly.

“We are really grateful for the co-operation of our communities at this time.”

Book a PCR test at www.gov.uk/get-coronavirus-test order a lateral flow test at www.gov.uk/order-coronavirus-rapid-lateral-flow-tests

Current Welsh Government guidance states you must:

* Follow social distancing rules with people you do not live with or who are not in your exclusive extended household

* Wear a face covering (if you are able to) in all indoor public places

* Only form an extended household with no more than two other households and they should stay the same

* Not meet with anyone other than your extended household indoors

* Not meet with more than five other people in indoor regulated settings, such as cafes, restaurants and pubs

* Meet no more than 29 other people outdoors while maintaining social distancing

* Work from home if you can

* Minimise travel to areas of high prevalence

New gallery named in memory of artist who inspired it


* Suzanne Mathieson inside the new gallery named in honour of artist Dory Ross.

A new gallery in Llangollen named in memory of the artist who inspired it will open later this month.

Liverpool-born Dory Ross died in February last year and his partner Suzanne Mathieson says creating The Dory Gallery in the former health centre in Regent Street has helped her get through the grieving process. 

When its doors open to the public on Saturday June 26 Dory's own work along with that of four other local artists will adorn its gleaming white display areas. 

The couple moved to Llangollen in 2017 after identifying the building, which started its long life as a school in the 19th century, as the perfect answer to a lack of work and display space at their former home in a renovated cottage near Caernarfon. 

Suzanne said: “Dory used to have his studio in a wooden structure we’d built next to the cottage but after a while it wasn’t really working for him. He was running out of space to work and hang his work so we started to search the internet for something more spacious. 

“We considered lots of different places, some as far away as south Wales, and when we eventually found the former health centre in Llangollen we both knew it was right for us and the sheer size of it gave us all sorts of possibilities.” 

After taking over the property around Christmas four years ago the couple got a local builder to do some extensive internal reorganisation.

They also took on a few things themselves, including exposing the impressive wooden flooring in the old surgery’s reception area which had been covered up with plywood and laminate. This large area, now fitted out with stylish white couches, forms the main body of the new gallery. 

They also created a number of equally cavernous rooms off the reception area which Dory used as his studio and display areas for his large body of work. 


* One of artist Edward Bell's images of David Bowie 
which will be on display. 

Suzannne explained that at this point it was never their intention to turn the building into a gallery, although when local people began to take an interest in the renovation work and politely ask what was happening to their old health centre a number were invited in at the weekends to have a look around and check out Dory’s work. 

He and his partner were always more than happy to explain things and to talk them through the paintings and sculptures. 

Later other local artists began visiting and discussing Dory’s work along with their own creations.

“It became quite an artistic hub. We began to hang their work up on the walls and, although I’d never done that sort of thing before, I seemed to have a knack for where things looked best. Actually a painting will tell you where it wants to be,” recalled Suzanne. 

Everything changed with Dory’s death early last year which left Suzanne devastated and everyone who knew him stunned and saddened. 

Since then she has gradually been rebuilding her life and using the time left by her bereavement - and the pandemic which followed almost immediately – to carefully plan what should be done with the building they both loved. 

And now Suzanne, with the strong support of her friends in the artistic community, has put everything in place to open what she is proud to have named The Dory Gallery in memory of her late partner.


* A picture by artist Steve Lane hangs in the gallery.

A major consideration has been financing the thoughtful conversion of the building to accept visits by the public, especially putting in place the necessary Covid-19 measures, such as a one-way system for visitors and the usual hand-gel. 

Suzanne said: “That’s where one of our friends, the local artist Edward Bell, has been a massive help.

“He is quite famous for having designed a number of David Bowie’s album covers. In July he will be auctioning off some of this artwork and has very kindly agreed to donate some of the proceeds to helping me set up the gallery. 

“I’ve also gone back to my old job of mobile hairdressing to help cover the expenses and support myself.” 

Despite the running costs, Suzanne is adamant that she won’t be charging people to enjoy the gallery and its range of exhibits from Dory and four other local artists including Edward Bell, whose David Bowie imagery will be prominently on show, Lisa Carter-Grist, Keith Roberts and Steve Lane. 


* The former health centre which now houses The Dory Gallery.

“What I’m trying to do is build a bit of a legacy for Dory. He was never too happy to put his work on show in a traditional gallery way but I don’t think he’d mind what we’re doing now,” she said. 

“I’ve created the gallery in his memory and planning it all has kept me going. 

“I think he’d be happy to know that what we created here when we took over the building has now gone further and I know he’d want his work to be recognised. 

“None of Dory’s art will be for sale but the work by the other artists will be. 

“Basically, this place is all about education and putting it together has helped me through my grieving.”         

* From June 26 the gallery is open on Saturdays and Sundays, from 10am-4pm, and for details of Monday-Friday opening call 01978 860311. 

For more details of the gallery, go to: Home | The Dory Gallery

Thursday, June 10, 2021

County's reminder to follow guidance and stop coronavirus spread

Denbighshire residents are being reminded to follow Covid-19 guidance to help prevent further spread of the virus.

With concerns surrounding the spread of the Delta variant, Denbighshire County Council is asking residents to do their part.

This includes following current Welsh Government guidance:

* Follow social distancing rules with people you do not live with or who are not in your exclusive extended household.

* Wear a face covering (if you are able to) in all indoor public places.

* Only form an extended household with no more than two other households and they should stay the same.

* Not meet with anyone other than your extended household indoors.

* Not meet with more than five other people in indoor regulated settings, such as cafes, restaurants and pubs.

* Meet no more than 29 other people outdoors, including in private gardens, public spaces and regulated premises, while maintaining social distancing.

* Work from home if you can.

* Minimise travel to areas of high prevalence.

* You must self-isolate immediately if you, or anyone in your home, is showing any Covid-19 symptoms and go for a test as soon as possible. 

Cllr Mark Young, Denbighshire County Council’s Lead Member for Planning, Public Protection and Safer Communities, said: “While the number of coronavirus cases in Denbighshire remains low, it is vital we all follow the guidance to ensure we prevent any potential outbreaks.

“This includes booking a test immediately if you develop any Covid-19 symptoms and following a positive test, residents should share all relevant information with TTP tracers and advisors. Keeping information from them could endanger the health of your friends, family and the wider community.

“Residents are reminded to follow and observe social distancing and wash hands regularly and when meeting people indoors keep windows and doors open to help bring in the fresh air. The vaccine rollout is continuing and I would encourage all those who have the opportunity to get their vaccine to do so.

“Residents have made huge sacrifices during the pandemic and this has helped protect our communities and keep our friends and family safe and on behalf of the Council I would like to thank them all.”

You can now go for a free Covid-19 test if you have a wider range of symptoms which include flu-like symptoms, not caused by a known conditions such may be hay fever, including muscle ache or pain, excessive tiredness, persistent headache, runny nose or blocked nose; persistent sneezing; sore throat and/or hoarseness, shortness of breath or wheezing and generally feeling unwell.

* You can find the latest guidance from Welsh Government at https://gov.wales/coronavirus and you can book a test at http://www.gov.uk/get-coronavirus-test, and for further information on the wider range of symptoms visit https://bcuhb.nhs.wales/covid-19/test-trace-protect/testing-broader-covid-19-symptoms/

AONB partners up for carbon offsetting project


* Walkers enjoy Moel Famau.

A sustainable adventure tour operator has partnered with the Clwydian Range & Dee Valley Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty on a carbon offsetting project.

Ruthin-based Adventure Tours UK has committed to plant one tree for every person that travels on one of its small group adventures or tailor-made activity holidays.

Almost two acres of land within Moel Famau Country Park has been designated for the new native woodland project.

Over the next three years the firm will assist the Clwydian Range & Dee Valley Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) to plant a range of native trees including Birch, Oak, Rowan, Holly, Hazel, Hawthorn, Cherry and Elder.

This new woodland at Tyn-y-Pistyll is expected to create an important habitat for a number of native wildlife species.

Claire Copeman, co-founder of Adventure Tours UK, said: “As a responsible tour operator we recognise carbon emissions are a major factor affecting climate change.

“We don’t believe carbon offsetting is a silver bullet, we must all reduce our carbon emissions if we are to halt the climate crisis we are heading toward. But we do believe tree planting to mitigate carbon emissions is a positive step to take.

“That’s why we have committed to plant one tree for every person that travels on one of our small group adventures or a tailor-made activity holiday. And because we’ve done our carbon measurements, we know one tree is far more than is needed to offset the emissions of one of our low carbon adventure holidays.”

Cllr Tony Thomas, Denbighshire County Council’s Lead Member for Housing and Communities and Chair of the Clwydian Range and Dee Valley AONB Joint Committee, said:  “We are delighted to be supporting this project along with the AONB and Adventure Tours UK. Small woodlands provide many benefits to wildlife and are an important tool in fighting climate change and this project can help to sequester up to 400 tonnes of carbon per hectare.

“As a council we have already achieved a lot, we have reduced carbon emissions from our buildings and fleet by 15 per cent since 2017, the council now only uses renewable electricity for its own buildings after switching to a renewable only energy provider and we are on course of reaching our target of planting 18,000 additional trees by 2022.”

In 2019 the council declared a climate change and ecological emergency and the council’s Climate and Ecological Change Strategy which covers the years 2021/22 – 2029/30 sets out how it aims to become Net Carbon Zero and Ecologically Positive by 2030.

Coronavirus update from Welsh Government

 

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

Coronavirus in numbers

What to do if you have symptoms of coronavirus

Where to find the latest information

Wednesday, June 9, 2021

Further inspection due before decision made on town hall tree

* The town hall tree which is due for a further inspection.

Experts will continue their examination of Llangollen’s famous town hall tree in the next few weeks before a final decision is made on its fate, says the county council. 

A major row has blown up since it was revealed that the acacia on Castle Street was being examined to gauge its healthiness. 

Over 400 people have so far signed a petition started by Scott Felton which accuses “a group of town and county councillors of wanting to see the last remaining, perfectly healthy street tree in the main thoroughfare felled to make way for new vanity paving.” 

The new town centre paving is being proposed by the Llangollen 2020 group whose chair, County Councillor Graham Timms, recently said in a statement to llanblogger that the decision on the future of the tree was not in the group’s hands. 

Last Friday Denbighshire Council workmen were seen exposing the roots to begin an examination of the tree. 

The story has featured prominently in local papers and social media. 

Today (Wednesday) a spokesperson for the county council told llanblogger: “There is no decision as yet as to the future of the tree. 

“We are still in the process of organising an aerial inspection of the tree by a qualified arborist.

 “This should be happening in the next few weeks. 

“A health report of the tree will subsequently follow the inspection, upon which the future of the tree will be determined.”

Skates seeks renewed assurances about town's Barclays bank

* Clwyd South MS Ken Skates.

Clwyd South Senedd Member Ken Skates has contacted the Barclays banking chain seeking fresh assurances about the future of its Llangollen branch.

In October 2019 he was told by Barclays that the branch - the last remaining high street bank in his constituency - would remain for at least another two years.

According to a story in the Leader, he has once again made the case to keep it open.  

* For the full story, see: https://www.facebook.com/477565668939623/posts/4613480875348061/

Railway calls for volunteers to help with re-opening

* The Austin 1 engine in its new lined-out paint scheme. An example of volunteer effort to get the loco ready for a period on hire at Somerset and Dorset Railway at Midsomer Norton. Picture by Iain Ross.

Llangollen Railway has put an urgent call for volunteers to help it re-open for business after emerging from its financial crisis.

On March 1 the railway's Public Limited Company (PLC) went into receivership with debts of around £350,000.

A number of the railway’s assets were sold off in an online auction.

But the separate Railway Trust, which remains completely solvent, has led a major fundraising campaign to buy as many of the assets as possible and get the railway up and running again. 

In a recent social media message to supporters the railway’s operations director Mike Williams said: “Our stations, yards, infrastructure and sufficient rolling stock are ready to rise back like the Phoenix."

And in a fresh message railway chairman Peter Edwards sets out the challenges facing the heritage attraction as it races to run trains again later this summer, including recruiting enough unpaid help to hit the re-opening deadline.

He said: "Summer has officially started and Llangollen Railway Trust (LRT) has the opportunity for productive outdoor work on the various sites along the railway. 

"After an eight-month shut down, the challenge to return the railway to an operational condition is immense and calls for considerable manpower resources.

"Now that the auction of PLC assets is complete and LRT has the key equipment secured, the Permanent Way team is planning the restart of work on the Dee Bridge and subsequent essential work in Berwyn Tunnel and at Glyndyfrdwy. 

"There is a three-week lead time on starting this, so work should be able to start at the end of June."

He added: "There are many other outstanding jobs to be getting on with, and in line with previous messages from board members, many of these will have to be tackled by volunteers - there’s no way we can fund staff or contractors to do them. 

"There are vacancies for key roles that need to be filled, and in the short term we are asking for volunteers to take on those responsibilities.

"Vacancies for volunteers exist in all operating departments, motive power, carriage and wagon. permanent way/signals, stations and the Trust's office all allowing for many different skills to be catered for by those with time to spare."

* New volunteers will need to be Llangollen Railway Trust members for insurance reasons and Maureen Theobald is the liaison officer c/o Llangollen station.