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Friday, October 22, 2021

Blueprint for town's future wins council endorsement



* SML's chair and deputy chair, Phil Robinson and Issy Richards, during public consultation outside the Co-op in Regent Street.

The people’s own plan for the future of Llangollen has been endorsed by the Town Council.

For the past three years a group of volunteers known as Shape My Llangollen (SML) has been working to produce a Place Plan for the town covering the years 2022-2026.

And last Tuesday night that plan – entitled Caru (Love) Llangollen - was unanimously endorsed by members of the council.

SML was given the task by the Town Council back in the summer of 2018 and, as part of what is thought to be the largest exercise of its type ever undertaken,  has since carried out a series of public consultations  asking the people of Llangollen – residents, businesses and organisations – a number of key questions about their hopes and aspirations for the future development of their area. 

Questions including what they liked or disliked about the town and features they would like to see kept or changed were posed in face-to-face interviews at locations such as the health centre, local superstores and Centenary Square.

This exhaustive testing of grassroots opinion brought in over 1,700 replies and was reinforced by online consultations with major stakeholders in the town, ranging from the International Eisteddfod to the county council and from the Canal & River Authority to representatives of Castle Street  shops.


Although the pandemic slowed up the project it never came to halt and in the latter stages, to make up for any lost time and with the aid of a small National Lottery grant, a firm of expert consultants was brought in to help bring the results of the consultation together in Caru Llangollen, the draft Action Plan.

The views and opinions of the people of Llangollen form the core of the plan, which includes almost 90 separate action points in six sections of aims with headings including “A Community That Works Together Stays Together”, Our Younger Generation Will Be Able to Stay or Return to Live and Work in our Community”, “A Community That Supports a Vibrant Town Centre With Its Own Unique Identity” and “A Community That Provides Essential Services for Its Residents.”

The plan also lists those organisations, such as the town and county councils, responsible for taking the action points forward and gives a time scale for achievement.

There will be a final round f public consultation on the draft plan early in December and armed with the public’s latest impressions on the draft, SML will then produce the final Action Plan ready for publication early in 2022.   

Phil Robinson, who chairs SML, said: “Before final publication of Caru Llangollen in the new year, we are aiming to put it out to a final round of public consultation, hopefully, during early December.

“As we have stressed all along, this is the people’s own plan, echoing the things they have told us about how they would like to see our town shaping up over the year ahead, so we are hoping as many people as possible can join us for the consultation process details of which we will be bringing to you very soon.

“I would once again like to thank all those who have assisted our work and taken part in our earlier rounds of consultation. Without you we could never have completed this rather daunting task the like of which has never before been seen in Llangollen.”      

Here is the Action Plan

Action Plan Terminology

Stakeholders:

 

AONB

Dee Valley and Clwydian Range Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty

NWP

North Wales Police

BCUHB

Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board

NRW

Natural Resources Wales

CC

Cadwyn Clwyd

OPL

Our Picturesque Landscapes

DCC

Denbighshire County Council

SC

Local Schools

FOE

Friends of the Earth Llangollen

SDCP

South Denbighshire Community Partnership

FOP

Friends of Pengwern

SWGPG

South Wrexham General Practice Group

GC

Gland┼Ár Cymru (Canal and River Trust Wales)

TO

Tourism operators

HA

Housing Associations

WCC

Wales Co-operative Centre

LHC

Llangollen Health Centre

WG

Welsh Government

LFS

Llangollen Food Share

YM

Ymestyn

LTC

Llangollen Town Council

 

 

LTE

Llangollen Trade and Enterprise

 

 

Lead stakeholders charged with the task of taking forward actions are identified in Bold text and support organisation in Italics in the tables below. 

Priority for Action

 

A

Years 1- 2 schemes

B

Years 3- 4 schemes

 

                                    Our First Aim:

A Community that works together and supports each other

 

Ref

Priority

Stakeholders

Action (What we will do)

Output (Measuring success)

Objective

A1.1

A

LTC

Establish quarterly workshops/meetings to bring organisations together using the community plan as a focus

Enable coordination and promotion of events and activities across the year, and collective ownership of the development of this plan

 

 

 

 

 

 

Improve the collaboration between local organisations

A1.2

A

LTC

Town Council to encourage the re-establishment of a representative and influential Chamber of Trade and Tourism

Promote collaboration and joint initiatives, drive development projects, promote training and support opportunities, and coordinate activities and promotional activities

A1.3

A

LTC

Town Council to consider town and place management role

To develop programmes to improve the location or to maintain existing good standard of operation.

A1.4

A

LTC

LTE

Establish and maintain a Community Calendar/Diary to publicise events and activities at one place.

Enable coordination and promotion of events and activities across the year

A1.5

A

LTC

LTE

Establish and maintain a Community Directory with the contact details of key personnel in organisations and businesses

Enable easy communication between key individuals and organisations

A1.6

A

LTC

LTE

Host regular volunteering fairs and events, targeting groups with time and incentive to get involved e.g., retirees/empty nesters with time on their hands, or young people needing volunteering opportunities for Welsh Baccalaureate or Duke of Edinburgh Award

 

 

Raise awareness and promote local opportunities to volunteer or get involved, the benefits of participating, and the difference that can be made

 

 

 

 

 

Increase the number of people involved with supporting our local community

A1.7

A

HA

LTC

Engage families through the housing associations to identify needs of children and young people

A1.8

A

LTC

Engage youth groups via two Town Council youth reps

A1.9

A

LTC

Host regular 'community cafe' drop-in sessions to encourage community participation in developing projects and initiatives

 

 

Enable more people to actively influence and take part in activities that benefit the communities

A1.10

A

LTC

Town Councillors to hold regular 'Street Surgeries' as have been successfully trialled in the past

A1.11

B

LTC

Explore viability of establishing a Time Credit scheme in Llangollen

A1.12

A

LTC

Develop a 'Youth Council' with their own budget to deliver projects

 

Our Second Aim:

Our Younger Generation will be able to stay or return to live and work in our community

 

Ref

Priority

Stakeholders

Action (What we will do)

Output (Measuring Success)

Objective

A2.1

A

DCC

LTC

Collaborate with DCC to promote current schemes to encourage and enable landlords to develop affordable residential units in vacant spaces e.g., Empty Home and Investor Matching Service

Increased participation in support schemes by Llangollen landlords leading to new affordable residential developments

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Increase the provision of affordable housing for local people

A2.2

A

DCC

LTC

 

Apply learning from other studies into transforming empty spaces above shops into residential units

Replicating successful interventions that lead to development of new affordable residential units in currently vacant spaces above local shops

A2.3

A

DCC

LTC

Collaborate with DCC to develop clear evidence base for the need for affordable housing

 

 

 

 

Evidence to support and influence future affordable residential developments and inform the new DCC Local Development Plan

A2.4

A

DCC

LTC

Undertake or commission a study to ascertain why potential residential development sites are currently vacant

A2.5

A

LTC

DCC

Identify potentially viable sites for affordable housing, and liaise with DCC to include within the new Local Development Plan

A2.6

A

LTC

WG

Town Council could adopt a position regarding change of use of residential housing to holiday accommodation in light of the Welsh Government’s pilot to address the second homes crisis in Wales

A2.7

B

LTC

HA

Explore viability of setting up a land trust or similar in order to secure land for affordable homes development

Potential new organisation to enable the community to shape and drive future development

A2.8

A

LTE

LTC

Arrange annual employer and training fairs to promote employment and training opportunities, and to encourage local people to work for local businesses.

 

 

More employers, employees and the unemployed accessing bespoke training opportunities

 

 

Accessible Training Opportunities for local people

A2.9

A

LTE

TO

Establish positive ongoing relationships with regional training providers, identifying and developing training opportunities relevant to the needs of Llangollen businesses and residents

 

Our Third Aim:

A Community that supports a vibrant town centre with its own unique identity

 

Ref

Priority

Stakeholders

Action (What we will do)

Output (Measuring Success)

Objective

A3.1

A

LTE

DCC

Engage with landlords regarding diversifying businesses in the town

 

 

 

Encourage a more attractive visitor offer, additional jobs, and more resilient economy

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Increase employment opportunities in the town

A3.2

A

LTC

DCC

Town Council to explore synergy with LDP and adopt local policies encouraging diversification which are enforced/supported by DCC

A3.3

A

LTC

DCC

LTE

Identify our strengths as a town and build an offer around it to attract new businesses and employers

A3.4

B

LTE

Promote existing support/networking schemes and opportunities to local businesses

Enable businesses to benefit from current support opportunities

A3.5

A

LTE

Identify and encourage use of local products and supply chains

 

 

Encourage collaboration, mutual support, and

joint initiatives between local businesses

A3.6

B

LTE

Explore and coordinate a joint marketing/promotion scheme e.g., Stamp Passports

A3.7

B

WCC

LTC

LTE

Promote and support development of digital skills and infrastructure

Supporting businesses to adapt to changing retail and customer habits and expectations

A3.8

B

LTC

AONB

Develop a signature project to improve the 'welcome' to the town along the A5 from the East

 

Improve the welcome to the town, promoting our vibrant cultural heritage and identity

 

 

 

 

 

Improve the quality of Llangollen’s streetscape and outdoor public spaces

A3.9

A

LTE

Street Banners to promote the area and brighten up the streets

A3.10

A

LTC

DCC

Adopt a policy that all new developments in town centre must be accessible to all

Ensure all public areas and businesses are accessible for all

A3.11

A

LTC

DCC

 

Establish locations for street entertainers and a clear plan to manage such activities

 

Cater for events and cultural performances to attract visitors to the town centre and create a unique sense of place

A3.12

A

LTC

DCC

Identify space for public events, markets etc (indoor or out) and develop the area accordingly

A3.13

A

DCC

LTC

Invest in improving outdoor green spaces and recreation areas, including Riverside Park water feature.

Better quality public green spaces and recreational areas within the town.

A3.14

A

DCC

WG

LTC

Collaborate in the implementation of the Castle Street Project

 

 

Improve Traffic flow and Parking provision in Llangollen Town Centre

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Improve the

Management of traffic, pedestrians, and parking in the Town

A3.15

A

DCC

LTC

Identify potential sites to provide additional visitor parking

A3.16

A

DCC

LTC

Lobby for support and funding for the 4-Highways project

A3.17

A

LTC

DCC

 

Lobby for 20mph speed restriction in town centre

 

Safer roads for pedestrians, cyclists and

vehicles on our main routes through the town

A3.18

A

LTC

DCC

Lobby for weight restriction on the bridge

A3.19

B

DCC

AONB

New circular cycling and walking routes connecting key sites

Develop new circular routes connecting key attractions for cyclists and pedestrians

A3.20

A

AONB

OPL

DCC

Connection of the new Wenffrwd pocket park to town centre and canal, via footpath network

 

 

Circular routes promoting heritage sites


                                                         Our Fourth Aim:

A Community that provides a sustainable and High Quality visitor offer

 

Ref

Priority

Stakeholders

Action (What we will do)

Output (Measuring Success)

Objective

A4.1

A

LTC

WHS

DCC

Re-establish active links and representation between World Heritage Site management groups and the Town Council

Capitalise on World Heritage Site Status, and influence developments to benefit Llangollen

 

 

 

 

Develop a high-quality offer in the outdoor adventure, cultural and heritage sectors that respects local distinctiveness

A4.2

A

LTC

DCC

LTE

Step up promotion of existing high quality visitor attractions focusing on the area’s unique selling points of culture, events, heritage attractions and natural beauty all set in a distinctive historic Welsh town

Develop a unique sense of place and identity, and enabling smaller businesses to benefit from the draw of our major attractions and Welsh heritage

A4.3

A

AONB

OPL

DCC

Trial Shuttle Bus service between key sites within the AONB

Link Llangollen with other heritage sites in the region to draw visitors

A4.4

B

LTC

DCC

LTE

Explore ways to promote and grow the Outdoor Activity Sector

Promote and manage sustainable growth in the outdoor activities sector

A4.5

B

LTC

DCC

LTE

Commission work to rationalise branding and messaging, focusing on World Heritage Site status but also incorporating AONB, Cittaslow, Plastic Free Llangollen etc.

 

A single coherent brand, image, and message to promote Llangollen

 

 

 

 

Improve the promotion of Llangollen’s attractions and events

A4.6

B

LTC

DCC

LTE

Work with businesses to develop messaging that promotes longer (overnight) stays visiting multiple establishments.

 

 

 

Targeting and attracting long-staying, high- spending visitors

A4.7

B

LTC

DCC

LTE

Encourage the provision of more hotel bedspaces including chain budget hotel e.g., Travelodge/Premier Inn

A4.8

A

LTC

DCC

LTE

Develop a marketing campaign spotlighting Llangollen’s attractions and events

A4.9

A

LTC

LTE

Develop a coordinated calendar of events to ensure pressure on services and places is shared out across the year

 

 

 

 

Mitigate pressure on key sites and disruption to local residents during busy periods

 

 

 

 

Sustainable Management of Tourism

A4.10

A

AONB

LTC

Collaborate with AONB team to organise and manage events within the AONB

A4.11

B

LTC

DCC

LTE

Work with partners to identify methods to manage visitor flows around the town and key sites during busy periods

A4.12

A

LTC

DCC

LTE

Develop common messages regarding sustainable behaviour toward both local people and the environment, and encourage local businesses to share and reinforce them with their visitors

 

Encourage and endorse responsible and sustainable behaviour by our visitors.

A4.13

A

LTC

DCC

LTE

Further develop calendar of extended (non-weather dependant) out of season events and activities which reflect Llangollen's character

 

Attract high value visitors during the quieter winter months to support businesses all year round and enable more permanent employment opportunities as opposed to seasonal

 

 

 

Extending the Season

A4.14

A

LTE

TO

Work with local accommodation providers/camp sites to provide alternative accommodation options for potential out of season visitors, e.g., retired motorhome owners


                                                               Our Fifth Aim:

A Community that values, protects, and promotes the scenic beauty of our heritage and natural environment.

 

Ref

Priority

Stakeholders

Action (What we will do)

Output (Measuring Success)

Objective

A5.1

A

LTC

DCC

Town Council to oppose planning applications that are contrary to the aims of the Conservation Area

 

 

 

Enforce suitable and sustainable developments

 

 

Increase employment opportunities in the Town

A5.2

A

LTC

DCC

Town Council to oppose planning applications that are detrimental to the area's scenic beauty and natural environment

A5.3

A

LTC

DCC

Collaborate with DCC to ensure measures to protect the scenic beauty, historic and natural heritage are included in the new LDP

A5.4

A

DCC

LTC

Develop proposals for a fit for purpose recycling facility in Llangollen, both for household waste and street litter

 

 

Encourage and endorse responsible and sustainable behaviour.

 

Enabling residents and visitors to access recycling facilities, and support DCC to reach their recycling targets

A5.5

A

LTC

Continue to ensure that any Town Council organised events use locally sourced food, wherever and avoid single use tableware.

A5.6

 

FOE

LTC

Maintain the town’s status as a Plastic Free Community

A5.7

A

LTC

 

Undertake or commission work to explore the feasibility of establishing a green energy (hydro/solar) scheme managed by a Community Interest Company

 

 

Reduce dependency on fossil fuels.

 

 

 

 

 

Establish a green energy infrastructure and enable residents and businesses to reduce their carbon footprint and cater for changing demands to and addressing the Climate and Ecological emergency

A5.8

A

LTC

Town Council to change to green energy suppliers

A5.9

A

LTC

Investigate and install electric vehicle charging points in Llangollen.

A5.10

B

AONB

DCC

LTC

Support the formal recognition of the Clwydian Range and Dee Valley AONB as a ‘Dark Sky Community’ from the International Dark Sky Association (IDA).

To protect and preserve unique night-time conditions.

A5.11

A

LTC

DCC

 

Align the Town Council’s Community Grants to projects that contribute to mitigating climate change and promoting biodiversity

 

 

 

 

Encourage activities that contribute to sustaining our historic and natural heritage and addressing the Climate Crisis

 

A5.12

A

LTC

DCC

SDCP

Support and promote the work of groups such as Llangollen Tidy Towns, Friends of the Earth and Llangollen Food Share#

 

A

LTC

SC

Collaborate with the schools to raise awareness of local heritage, environment, and the climate crisis

A5.13

B

DCC

LTC

AONB

Ensure that the definitive footpath map details all public rights of way within the community including ancient green lanes

 

 

Promote awareness and understanding of the value and management of our heritage and natural environment

 

 

 

Encourage local residents to sustainably manage our natural resources

A5.14

A

NRW

AONB

FOP

Develop the Pengwern Vale Community Environment Project


Our Sixth Aim:

A Community that provides essential services for its residents

 

Ref

Priority

Stakeholders

Action (What we will do)

Output (Measuring Success)

Objective

A6.1

A

LTC

DCC

Engage youth groups via two Town Council youth reps to identify their needs and how we can work with them to deliver these

 

Identifying the needs of our young people so we can work with them to deliver projects to meet these

 

 

 

Improve Services for children and young people

A6.2

A

HA

LTC

Engage families through housing associations to identify needs of children and young people

A6.3

B

LTC

DCC

Promote training and employment opportunities in youth services

Addressing the identified lack of youth workers in the Dee Valley, both paid and voluntary.

A6.4

B

LTC

DCC

Explore opportunities for intergenerational activities

Mutual beneficial projects to bring the community together

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ensure access to essential services for our residents who rely on them

A6.5

B

SDCP

LRC

Expand the current Dial a Ride Scheme

Ensure essential transport is available for local residents

A6.6

B

SDCP

LRC

Expand Meals on Wheels into Llangollen

 

Ensure food and essential goods are accessible for local residents

A6.7

A

LFS

SDCP

Explore ways to support the current foodbank and food share initiatives to continue to meet increasing demands

A6.8

A

LTC

DCC

 

Open a New Solo Digital Space service at the Library for people to access online support and platforms such as Zoom, Teams etc.

Respond to the new ways people are accessing services and changing working arrangements

A6.9

A

LTC

 

Review accessibility of the Town Council's services, recognising the need for a blended digital and face to face approach.

 

Ensure food and essential goods are accessible for local residents

A6.10

A

LTC

DCC

Refer residents to DCC 's Digital Buddy Scheme

A6.11

B

FOP

DCC

SDCP

Develop a community Makerspace skills workshop at Pengwern

A new workshop space for practical skills development, upcycling, bike repairs, office provision and toilet facilities

A6.12

A

LTC

 

Undertake or commission a feasibility study to explore the potential for a new multipurpose community hub at the Town Hall

 

A clear understanding of the need for, viability and potential benefits of developing the town hall into a multipurpose community hub.

Support local organisations to make improvements to Llangollen's community facilities

 

 

 

Improve Llangollen's community owned facilities

A6.13

A

LTC

 

Support planning applications that aim to improve both the quality and sustainability of community facilities, as long as they do not adversely affect the character and heritage characteristics of the town

A6.14

B

DCC

FOP

NRW

 

Promote engagement in sport, nature, creativity and social engagement as a means of keeping well. Nature for Health Programme

A6.15

A

SWGPG

BCUHB

LTC

DCC

HA

Ensure that residents’ views collected for the Place Plan and relating to Health and Well-being, are shared

 

Improve health and wellbeing by increasing access to the local environment

 

 

 

 

Ensure access to essential health services for our residents

A6.16

A

YM

LHC

Many elderly people and individuals with current care needs in the community are excluded in some way from participating in social community life. Befriending is one way by which they can be supported to get more fully involved

Befriending provides companionship for isolated people a chance to develop a new relationship and opportunity to participate in local activities address issues associated with isolation and loneliness

A6.17

A

DCC

LTC

Tackle environmental crime by clamping down on anti-social behaviour

To prevent the area from deteriorating and ensure it is free from litter

 

 

To feel safe at home, and secure in the area and with people in the community

A6.18

A

DCC

LTC

Review existing dog control areas

To ensure areas of open space and recreation grounds are protected.

A6.19

B

NWP

AONB

Actively police and advise of the effects of the illegal use of a vehicle which can lead to criminal damage of roads, other vehicles and surrounding property.

To manage off roading in the area to prevent anti-social behaviour

A6.20

A

NWP

LTC

Refocus Neighbourhood Watch schemes which are not just about crime awareness but are also about supporting communities to tackle issues within them

To create a greater sense of security and reduce the fear of crime

 

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