This week the whole town has the chance to have a say on the “people’s plan” for the immediate future of Llangollen.
Shape My Llangollen (SML), the group of volunteers tasked with producing a Place Plan for the area on behalf of the Town Council, recently published its draft blueprint containing 90 suggestions for improving Llangollen and its quality of life and work over the next four years.
And this week, starting from tomorrow (Wednesday), members of the team will be showcasing their plan, entitled Caru (Love) Llangollen, and explaining what it means during the final phase of public consultation outside the Town Hall.
Everyone will have the chance to see it and – most importantly – be able to give their feedback on its proposals before it goes back to the Town Council for final approval and adoption.
SML has been working for the past three years to produce a Place Plan for the town covering the years 2022-2026.
The group 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.
The plan in draft form was recently unanimously approved by the Town Council.
The final round of public consultation will take place outside the Town Hall tomorrow (Wednesday), Thursday, Friday and Saturday, December 1, 2, 3 and 4.
On Wednesday and Friday the group will be there to meet the public between 10am and 2pm. On Thursday - as many people will be attending the funeral of Wyn 'Paraffin' Hughes - the opening will be a little later from 2 until 4pm and on Saturday the group will be on hand from 10am-1pm.
Following this exercise 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: “This final round of public consultation is extremely important as it will be the last chance for people to have their say on this vital and far-reaching vision of the town’s future development.
“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 through the years ahead, so we are hoping as many people as possible can join us for the consultation process in December.
“I would once again like to thank all those who have assisted our work so far 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.”
* To look through the action plan, go to: https://pubhtml5.com/gaql/ahfd