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Tuesday, January 31, 2023

Denbighshire approves 3.8% council tax rise

Denbighshire County Council has approved the draft budget for the 2023/24 financial year.

At a Full Council meeting on January 31, the draft budget which includes raising Council Tax by 3.8%, was put forward for recommendation from members. Full Council approved the final report.

As part of the budget process the Council’s draft settlement announced by Welsh Government indicates Denbighshire’s funding from Welsh Government will increase by 8.2% for the 2032/24 financial year, compared to the Welsh average of 7.9%.

The draft settlement includes a slightly increased indicative average settlement increases of 3.0% for 2024/25. 

The Final Settlement is expected in early March but Welsh Government have indicated that there should be very few changes. 

The funding comes with a number of responsibilities the Council are required to fund, including pay increases and ensuring the Real Living Wage for social care workers. 

Although the funding announcement is welcome the Council is having to fund £25.116m of pressures including the impact of price and energy inflation and cost pressures in key areas such as social care. 

The Council therefore still had a funding gap of £10.885m to fill for the coming financial year.

Proposals to fill this gap include savings in the Capital Financing Budget amounting to £1.067m and an increase in Council Tax of 3.8%. 

The proposed Council Tax increase level is at the lower end of indicative increases across Wales. It is also lower than the average of 4.35% over the last four years.

Councillor Gwyneth Ellis, Lead Member for Finance, Performance and Strategic Assets, said: “The Council has come to the end of the budget process for the 2023/24 financial year.

“It comes after a difficult year dealing with the cost of living impact and energy price rises, which has put an additional strain on resources. 

“We have taken a balanced approach to this year’s budget which aimed to recognise and remedy service pressures in order to build resilience, to make sure services were challenged to deliver efficient services and to minimise the impact of proposals on services users while keeping the proposed Council Tax increases as low as practicable. 

“The Council in this current climate is extremely committed to supporting our residents by protecting the services they value and expect as much as possible. 

“We have worked hard to be efficient and effective as possible, reducing our budgets and making savings by adapting better ways of working.”

Skates highlights Newbridge Road issue in Senedd

* Ken Skates (centre) with campaigners Frank Hemmings (left) and Derek Wright at the Newbridge site last April.

Transport issues in the area have been highlighted again in the Senedd by local MS Ken Skates.  

The Member of the Senedd for Clwyd South raised the urgent need for improvements to the A483 in November, calling for an update on the Welsh Government’s review of the key local route and saying work to make Junction 1 at Ruabon safer was vital. 


Mr Skates, the former Transport Minister, followed up on the ‘crucial’ local issues by writing to Minister Lee Waters, who is now in charge of transport matters in Wales. 


He also pointed out the increased traffic on local roads because of A483 congestion and delays to repairing the B5605 at Newbridge, which Wrexham Council is still to announce a start date for almost 10 months after the Welsh Government announced funding had been awarded.


The Minister has now responded saying: “I am sorry to hear about the continuing problems your constituents are experiencing at Ruabon. As advised in the Siambr, we believe the closure of Newbridge Road (B5605) is contributing to the increased traffic volumes in this area as motorists look to take alternative routes.  


“We awarded funding of £2.805m to Wrexham County Borough Council from the Resilient Roads Fund for the remedial works at Newbridge Road. The council will be best placed to advise on when works will be completed, which should alleviate congestion in and around junction 1 of the A483. 


“My officials contacted GoSafe on the back of your concerns regarding the B5907 near St Mary’s Church in Wales School and they have confirmed that they will undertake enforcement.” 


In 2018, while Economy and Transport Minister, Mr Skates announced funding for work to improve junctions 3 to 6 on the A483. The Welsh Government, however, later paused all new road projects and said they would be reviewed. 

In his letter to Mr Skates last week, Lee Waters said: “The final report of the independent Roads Review Panel has now been received. On November 30, I published a written statement setting out that our decision-making has been extended by the impact of the UK Government budget situation and we will publish a way forward shortly. 


“With respect to Junctions 3 to 6 on the A483, officials have progressed procurement of technical advisors so that the next stage of developing proposals can proceed at pace if a decision is made to continue to support this work.” 


This week, Mr Skates said: “These are crucial local issues for our area and they need urgent attention. I’m grateful for the Minister’s commitment to helping resolve them. 


“I now eagerly await an announcement from the Welsh Government that the long-awaited improvements to the A483 will go ahead. In the meantime, we urgently need positive news from Wrexham Council about Newbridge and when the work to reopen the road will get under way.” 

Latest Pengwern Community Hub what’s on guide

Pengwern Community Hub What’s On Guide for February 2023 is:

Details of tomorrow's school strikes from county council

Two of Llangollen's three schools will stay open during tomorrow (Wednesday's) strike by an education union, according to a list produced by Denbighshire County Council

Both Ysgol Y Gwernant and Ysgol Dinas Bran will remain open while Ysgol Bryn Collen is shut for the day due to the action.

In a statement on the way strike action will impact on the county's schools the council says: "We have been notified of national strike action by members of the National Education Union (NEU)  on Wednesday 1st February and 14th February 2023 which may impact on the operation of schools within the County. Additional days are also planned on the 15th and 16th March 2023.

"This is anticipated to result in a significant reduction in staffing levels within schools and will affect all areas of Wales.

"All schools have assessed whether they can remain open or partially open on these days and if not whether the sites will need to be closed to learners on these days.

"Schools will communicate directly with parents and carers regarding individual decisions and information.

"In addition, the National Association of Headteachers have notified Denbighshire that their members will commence action short of strike action as of the 1st February 2023. 

"We appreciate that this industrial action has the potential to cause significant disruption to the learning of children and young people, and that alternative arrangements may need to be in place during these days should schools close/partial close.

"You will have received individual notifications as each school decides on the impact of this action however a full list is attached below that summarises the information.

"Schools will need to risk assess each day of industrial action separately and decide if a closure or partial closure is required.  We will keep you informed prior to the other proposed days of action."

Monday, January 30, 2023

MS urges people to have a say on Four Great Highways scheme

* Lower Dee Mill Park (above) and the ramp up to the Wharf (below) are included in the Four Great Highways project, currently out to public consultation.

Sam Rowlands, Member of the Welsh Parliament for North Wales, is urging people to have their say on plans to promote Llangollen.

He said: “I think it is an excellent idea to let people who live, work and visit the town to have their say on its future plans. 

“I am delighted to see the project, in the Clwyd South constituency, coming to fruition thanks to funding from Round 1 of the UK Government’s Levelling Up Fund and a joint application for money from Denbighshire County Council and Wrexham County Borough Council.


“It is great to see investment in this popular tourist destination which can only enhance and improve the area for local people and visitors alike. It is also good to see how the Levelling Up Fund is delivering for people in North Wales.”

Llangollen's residents, businesses and visitors are being invited to share their views on a project aimed at promoting and enhancing the four great ‘highways’ of Llangollen: the Llangollen Canal and World Heritage Site, the former Ruabon to Barmouth railway line, the River Dee and Thomas Telford’s historic route, the A5 Holyhead Road.

The aim is to improve the visitor experience and increase the amount of time people choose to spend in the area. Proposed works include providing landscape and engineering improvement works to enhance accessibility and biodiversity, as well as making it easier for visitors to understand what is available in the area and how to find it.

The four key areas which have been identified are: Wharf; Access points to the Wharf, Railway and Lower Dee Mill Park; Lower Dee Mill Park and Signage & Wayfinding (including visitor information in car parks)

The Levelling Up Fund is intended to invest in infrastructure that improves everyday life across the UK. The fund supports town centre and high street regeneration, local transport projects, and cultural and heritage assets.

The Levelling Up funding allocated to Denbighshire in Round 1 amounts to £3.8m and will benefit the communities of Llangollen, Llantysilio, Corwen and surrounding areas.

* To take part in this consultation, please get in touch with us in one of the following ways: Email:, Online: Complete the online feedback form on Denbighshire's County Conversation:

Complete a paper questionnaire: Llangollen Library, Castle Street, Llangollen, LL20 8NU or write to: Corporate Programme Office, Business Improvement & Modernisation, PO Box 62, Ruthin, Denbighshire, LL15 9AZ. Responses must be received by Sunday February 12 2023.

MP swings in to meet golf club team

* Simon Baynes MP with Hayley Henson and Steve Cooke at the Vale of Llangollen Golf Club. 

Clwyd South MP Simon Baynes recently visited the Vale of Llangollen Golf Club to meet with staff and learn more about the organisation.

He met with manager Hayley Henson and marketing director Steve Cooke and heard about the important role the club plays for the local area. 

It has over 500 members and employs seven people, including five green staff, and attracts over 5,000 visitors to the Llangollen area to play golf, many of whom stay in the area to the benefit of the local economy. 

Mr Baynes praised the club for being very active in raising money for charities including Nightingale House Hospice, Vale of Llangollen Canal Boat Trust and the Wales Air Ambulance Charity. 

The club is also very focused on preserving and improving the environment and ecology on and around its beautiful course as can be seen on its website -

Steve Cooke said: “We are glad to play a role in attracting visitors to the region and always happy to meet with local representatives to share our current activities and future plans."

Mr Baynes said: “I had a very enjoyable visit to the Vale of Llangollen Golf Club and it was fantastic to meet with both Hayley Henson and Steve Cooke.

“It was great to hear about the club’s role in bringing visitors to the area and how this benefits the local area and I was particularly impressed to hear about their continuous hard work in raising money for incredible charities and caring for the environment and ecology on and around the golf course."

Sunday, January 29, 2023

Llan butchers wins top national award

* The awards presentation at the Senedd.

A firm of butchers with a branch in Llangollen has landed a top national award.

Daniel Morris Butchers, which opened a shop in Castle Street and has other branches in Denbigh  and Mold, has been awarded the accolade of Countryside Alliance Champion Butcher for Wales 2023.

On it Facebook page it has posted: "Daniel Morris Butchers at Senedd, Cardiff - "We are absolutely over the moon to announce that tonight we were awarded the Countryside Alliance Champion Butcher for Wales 2023!

"A huge thank you to everyone that nominated and voted for us, to all of our loyal customers and especially to our fantastic hard working team at Daniel Morris Butchers."

The Countryside Alliance Awards, otherwise known as the Rural Oscars, were set up 16 years ago to offer a voice and a platform to our rural businesses and are a true celebration of the countryside.o

Walkabout briefing sessions to be held for Great Highways project

A number of ‘walkabout’ public consultation sessions are to be held in the town next week for the £1.25m Four Great Highways project.

The scheme, financed mainly by cash from the UK Government’s Levelling Up Fund and implemented by Denbighshire County Council, aims to improve public spaces linking the four famous ‘highways’ that run through the heart of Llangollen – the canal, the old Ruabon to Barmouth Railway line, the River Dee and A5 Holyhead Road. 

The design team in charge of the project are currently running a public consultation exercise on it and have already held online sessions and sent out a questionnaire, copies of which are available online or at the library.

Now, during the morning and afternoon of Wednesday February 8, the project team and their designers Burroughs & The Urbanists will be hosting four walkabout public consultation sessions at the Wharf and Mill Street car park.  

The team are asking people to email them if they want to attend, or they can add their names to a list being kept for them at the library. 

This is so they can gauge interest and numbers for each of the sessions, which are open for all to attend.  

They say that the consultation is still open until February 12 and further details of how to get involved are on the poster above. 

Total budget for the project, which has received substantial help from Levelling Up, is around £1.25m and work is expected to be completed by March of 2024, according to the project team.

* The consultation questionnaire can be seen via Denbighshire’s County Conversations engagement portal at:

Cymraeg: Ymgynghoriad Pedair Priffyrdd Fawr 

English: Four Great Highways Consultation

Saturday, January 28, 2023

Luca congratulated on his MP Christmas card success

Clwyd South MP Simon Baynes visited Ysgol Bryn Collen to congratulate pupil Luca Burgoyne on his design for his official Christmas card competition in which he was runner-up.

Luca is pictured standing at the front in the photo below between headteacher Lisa Howden and Mr Baynes.

The MP said: "I much enjoyed attending the morning assembly with all the schoolchildren and afterwards learning from Miss Howden about the plans for the school’s expansion, no surprise given that Ysgol Bryn Collen is a very successful, happy and popular school."

Service backing rights of mentally ill faces casework explosion

* CADMHAS staff at their St Asaph headquarters, from left, Louisa Moore, Lynette Viney-Passig, Elfed Williams, Director, and Kate Ross-Bowker. Picture by Rick Matthews.

An independent service which fights for the rights of Denbighshire people with severe mental health issues is taking on 15 new staff to deal with an explosion in its caseload

CADMHAS – the Conwy and Denbighshire Mental Health Advisory Service – now services a vast area covering all of North Wales and Powys, more than half of Wales.

It is part of the UK-wide independent advocate system set up in the wake of the Harold Shipman murders, the Greater Manchester GP who is estimated to have killed over 250 elderly and vulnerable patients at his practice in Hyde between 1977 and 1998.

CADMHAS deals with 1,800 cases a year with a large proportion of those for people, many elderly and suffering from dementia, who have no family and lack the capacity to make vital decisions on where and how they live, all on a budget of £1.2 million.

Its headquarters on St Asaph Business Park is the hub for network of trained advocates who act for vulnerable people can struggle to make their own health and welfare decisions and without family able to step in.

Its efforts have been praised by Lynette Viney-Passig, of leading law firm Swayne Johnson, a CADMHAS board member for over ten years who said: “The service that their dedicated team provide is so important and yet so little is known about it.

“It is a testament to the quality and dedication of their work that they have grown to cover not just Conwy and Denbighshire but such a huge area of Wales and with amazing dedication.

“Without them so many of the most vulnerable people in our society would have no-one to safeguard their interests, no-one to make sure their voice is heard and their wellbeing safeguarded.”

CADMHAS Director of Services Elfed Williams now leads a team which will have grown to 48 by the end of 2023 – in 2013 there were just six with the number up to 19 last year as their services expanded to deal with a rocketing caseload.

All advocates have to gain a Level 4 advanced qualification provided by City and Guilds for a course of a minimum of 12 months, mostly taken online, and CADMHAS are currently advertising for more advocates.

This small but growing army of dedicated professionals deal with increasingly complex and sensitive cases and he said: “As well as people suffering from dementia we also support people with anything from depression and anxiety up to those who have been sectioned under the Mental Health Act or have severe issues like schizophrenia or serious brain injury.

“The majority are those with severe learning difficulties and increasingly with dementia as people live longer but it is anything that causes them to lack or lose capacity to take care of themselves.

“We are seeing an increasing number of people being referred to us and this could also be down to Covid and the greater isolation it has imposed which has been detrimental to so many people’s mental health.

“The cost of living crisis is increasing anxiety and mental well-being has been affected by factors like the lack of medical and social services while other voluntary organisations which might have helped in the past have seen funding shrink or disappear.”

North Wales was also seen in the past as an ideal place to house young people with special needs and local authorities from across England would pay for them to be housed in residential homes across the region.

Many have been here for over 20 years but according to CADMHAS the economics of the system have changed and many local authorities are looking to save money by repatriating their former residents.

Kate Ross-Bowker, an experienced Independent Mental Capacity Advocate from Anglesey, said: “This was seen as a nice area with wide open spaces where people could be looked after in tranquil surroundings.

“But now the economics have changed and some local authorities are saying they can now look after them better themselves and more cost effectively closer to where they were brought up.

“This is where it is vital to have an advocate who can evaluate the situation and speak on behalf of the resident.

“We don’t make the final decision but we are there to be the voice for that person who doesn’t have anyone else to speak on their behalf, we are there to fight for what we think is in their best interests.

“This doesn’t just cover where they live and how they are cared for but can cover what medical treatment they receive – there may be medical reasons for a treatment but we also have to evaluate the personal circumstances of that person.”

Elfed Williams added: “People are often unaware of the service we provide but we need more resources because the need is growing.

“That’s especially true of dementia and because economic need is affecting people’s mental health.

“The cases we are seeing now are much more serious and much more complex than they were in the past.”

Swayne Johnson is a long-established law firm which employs over 50 staff at offices at Ruthin, Denbigh, St Asaph, Llandudno and Tattenhall in Cheshire and is one of the fastest growing firms of solicitors in the region.

* For more on Swayne Johnson go to

Friday, January 27, 2023

Tidy Town team put in another 500+ unpaid paid hours

* Tidy Town volunteers enjoy their Christmas party at the golf club.

Despite an early setback caused by the lingering lockdown, Llangollen Tidy Town Team went on to have another highly successful year in 2022.

In his annual report David Davies, founder and co-ordinator of the voluntary group, says its members contributed over 500 hours of unpaid work on behalf of the community, taking in everything from litter picking to handling traffic for the town's  Christmas festival which returned after a three-year Covid enforced break to notch up its most successful year to date. 

He says: "Our year started with a couple of jobs deferred due to lockdown regulations.

"The stream alongside the Army Cadet HQ needed rubbish and vegetation clearance again in the absence of any maintenance by DCC.

"We also made in-roads into clearing the public footpath that runs halfway up the hillside parallel to the A5, between Fron and Llangollen. Unfortunately, our efforts to secure the younger muscle-power of the participants in the Restorative Justice system failed due to 'H&S concerns'. It would be sad to lose this path and consign walkers to the A5.

"Meeting at least once a month, we have continued our litter picking activities, Town Square maintenance duties, tidying around the Wharf area and providing help at Plas Newydd.

"The woods project, adjacent to the cemetery by St Johns Church, made a major step forward this year with renewed enthusiasm from St Collen' s Church and a substantial grant from Cadwyn Clywd.    

"This work is ongoing but has enabled expansion of the cemetery parking area, creation of a surfaced pathway into the woods, new fencing and tree clearance ready for some new planting."

He adds: "The team has assisted at town events including the new locally-inspired Garden Railway Festival at the Pavilion and at the welcome return of the Christmas Festival.  

"We took on the challenge of making provision for and putting up the town Christmas tree with help with lifting equipment from S&G Estates Ltd.

"We are grateful to AJP Couriers for stepping in to finance our insurance cost this year. Other contributions this year included those from Llangollen Town Council, Garden Railway,  Kenrick Motors, Rotary (closing fund) and an anonymous passer-by, have returned our funds to positive. Thanks to all concerned.

"Finally, a thank you to the members of the team, who once again this year have contributed over 500 hours of voluntary effort in trying to keep Llangollen a tidy town to the benefit of residents and tourists."

County council warns of impact of industrial action on schools

Denbighshire County Council is reminding parents and carers it has been notified that national strike action by members of the National Education Union (NEU) is planned to take place on February 1 and February 14.

The council says this may impact on the operation of schools within the county and that additional days are planned on March 15 and 16.

It adds: "This is anticipated to result in a significant reduction in staffing levels within schools and will affect all areas of Wales.

"All schools are currently assessing whether they can remain open or partially open on these days and if not whether the sites will need to be closed to learners on these days.

"Schools will communicate directly with parents and carers regarding individual decisions and information.

"In addition, the National Association of Headteachers have notified Denbighshire that their members will commence action short of strike action as of February 1. 

"Alternative arrangements may need to be put in place during these days should your school close or partially close."

* Llangollen county councillor Karen Edwards has been officially notified by the council that Ysgol Bryn Collen (Primary) will be closed on February 1 due to industrial action.

Thursday, January 26, 2023

Headliners announced for this year's Fringe Festival

* Henge are one of the headliners at this year's Fringe.

* DJ Mr Scruff. Picture: Jake Warrington is also appearing.

The 26th Llangollen Fringe Festival takes place from July 7-15 and will feature a wide range of shows featuring comedy, music, dance, workshops and more.

Headlining acts announced include extra-terrestrial prog rock band Henge, who have been delighting audiences for the past seven years. 

Joining them is one of the most sought after rock groups Half Man Half Biscuit, described as, "Witty and dry, sardonic yet never cynical, melodically infectious yet edgy."

Producer, cartoonist and cross-genre selector Mr Scruff will also be joining the bill.  

His DJ sets can range from deep soul/funk/reggae/afro/jazz/latin/hip-hop to harder edged electro/house/new wave/techno/electronic, often all in the same night.

Paul Keddie, chairperson of the Llangollen Fringe, said: “It’s always a hugely exciting moment when the first set of Fringe shows are announced, and this year, it feels more important than ever to celebrate."

* Tickets for these headline shows are on sale now, as well as festival passes. Priced at just £70 the pass allows access to all of the main events across the nine days. 

Festival tickets and dates and times for all concerts and events are available from or by calling the Fringe box office: 0800 1455 779.

New hourly T8 bus service begins

Transport for Wales and Denbighshire County Council have announced a new hourly TrawsCymru T8 bus service between Corwen, Ruthin, Mold and Chester.

Starting earlier this week, the new T8 bus will offer more frequent and faster services, improving connectivity in the region and enabling passengers to travel without changing buses.

Transport for Wales is investing in public transport throughout Wales and the Borders and the TrawsCymru network is expanding and becoming more connected.

As part of these improvements, the new T8 will connect at Corwen with the T10 (Corwen - Betws y Coed - Bangor) and with more journeys on the T3 (Wrexham - Corwen - Bala - Dolgellau - Barmouth), creating a travelling interchange for customers.

The new bus service will be operated by M&H Coaches. The new TrawsCymru app and website provide customers with the ability to purchase mobile tickets, get up-to-date information, track services and the opportunity to see carbon savings from using public transport.

New timetables are available on Traveline and the TrawsCymru website.

Deputy Minister for Climate Change, with a responsibility for transport, Lee Waters said: “An hourly bus service will make a real difference to bus users in the area and will help to encourage more people to use public transport to get about. This is part of the Welsh Government’s investment in north Wales and future developments are being looked at by our North Wales Transport Commission led by Lord Burns.”

Lee Robinson, Development Director Mid, North and Rural Wales said: "The T8 is the latest in a number of improvements to regional bus services across Wales. TfW is committed to improving accessibility and connectivity for Wales’ country towns that are not on the rail network and we look forward to all the benefits the new T8 will bring."

Denbighshire County Council’s Lead Member for Environment and Transport, Cllr Barry Mellor, said: "The T8 represents a remarkable opportunity to improve the travel opportunities for residents in south Denbighshire. In future, they will benefit not just from an increase in frequency but improved through-services and connections. It will also allow those travelling from England to access leisure and visitor opportunities in Wales."

Wednesday, January 25, 2023

Wales walking book launched at Plas Newydd

* Howard Sutcliffe of the AONB, author Julie Brominicks, and Sian from Courtyard Books, Llangollen

A new walking book exploring Wales was recently launched at Plas Newydd, Llangollen.

Author Julie Brominicks, of Machynlleth, travelled to Llangollen to treat visitors to Plas Newydd with snippets of her new adventure filled book, ‘The Edge of Cymru’.

Having left her job as a teacher, in the course of a year Julie Brominicks walked around the edge of Wales via the Wales Coastal Path and Offas Dyke path.

As an English incomer and a Welsh learner with a long association with the country, she was interested in what Wales meant, and how she did, or didn’t, fit.

Julie, who is also a regular contributor to BBC Countryfile Magazine, said: “The book is a travel narrative, detailing encounters with the people, landscape and wildlife I met. At the same time, it traces a journey back through time, from Devolution to Evolution, because I was feeling uneasy about being an English incomer, and wanted to find out more about Cymru's language, culture, natural and social history.”

Howard Sutcliffe, Clwydian Range and Dee Valley AONB Officer and Ranger Service Manager, said: “I loved the day, it is the first time we have promoted an author and somewhat of a learning curve, we will definitely do it again for Welsh Authors who explore and celebrate our landscape. Especially pleasing was a couple of the Friends of the Clwydian Range and Dee Valley who travelled all the way from Liverpool to the launch!”

Cllr Win-Mullen James, Lead Member for Local Development and Planning, said: “The AONB were delighted to host the launch of book which was held at Plas Newydd Historic House & Gardens, Llangollen. Julie provided some very interesting background information before signing copies of the book for attendees.”

Visitors to Loggerheads Country Park Visitor Centre or Courtyard Books in Llangollen can purchase a copy of ‘The Edge of Cymru’.

Ethan takes final role before bidding farewell to Young 'Uns

Ethan Le Cheminant, in his final role as Gomez Addams, with Heledd Edwards who plays Morticia. Below: Ethan without make-up.

* Another atmospheric scene from the Addams Family.

One of the stars of Llangollen Operatic junior section’s smash-hit shows of the past few years will take his final bow after playing a lead role in their new musical.

For the Young ‘Uns Ethan Le Cheminant has been Danny in Grease, Scarecrow in Wizard of Oz and Seymour in Little Shop of Horrors, where he jointly won the best performer award with Celyn Orton-Jones for Audrey.

He’s now packing away his costumes for the final time as he leaves the group to study maths at university.

But not before he takes on his final leading role as Gomez Addams in their production of the Addams Family, which runs at Llangollen Town Hall from February 16-18 with a matinee at 2pm on the Saturday and all other performances at 7.30pm.    

Ethan said: “Young ‘Uns to me has been a place where I've learnt how to express myself creatively and have the confidence to then go and show that to everyone.

“It’s been a place where I've made many what I hope are going to be lifelong friends and been able to do shows and performances that I didn't know I was capable of.

“My favourite part of Young ‘Uns is always show weeks, all the excitement and hard work coming together for us to put out there to everyone, and the bitter-sweet ending of when it’s all over.

“Being able to go out and perform with some of my closest friends has been amazing and the most enjoyable part.”

He added: “Highlight was the Friday night show of Little Shop of Horrors. Most things that could've gone wrong did go wrong, a chair that should've stayed still moving, the plant pot not being stuck in place, the gun not going off straight away, all manner of chaos and yet somehow we still put on in my opinion an amazing show.

“I’m going to miss the people in Young ‘Uns the most - my fellow cast members I've gone all through my teenage years acting with.

“I’m going to miss my directors, Jo and Robin, who put in countless hours with me over the years perfecting parts and have been there as a pillar to go to whenever I needed support either with the show or just in general terms.

“I'll miss our Musical Director, Julian, who again has put in countless hours going over songs with me and bringing me along as a musician, and also being someone to nerd out to about music that I'd heard, someone I could talk to about the thing I’m most passionate about.

“And I'll miss our Producer, Pam, who has essentially been my stage mum since all the way back when I did Grease in 2019. She’s been there and has supported me the whole way through my Young ‘Uns journey, just like all of our production crew have.”

Producer Pam Williams said: “We will miss him incredibly but wish him well in everything he does.” 

The Addams Family will have a live nine-piece band and a cast of 27 including 10 principals ranging in age from nine to 18.

Co-artistic directors are Robin Crowley and Jo Lloyd, Producer is Pamela Williams, Assistant Producer Dee Smith and Musical Director Julian Cattley.

The cast is: Ethan Le Cheminant (Gomez Addams), Heledd Edwards (Morticia Addams), Katie Clark (Wednesday Addams), Ethan Roberts (Uncle Fester), Dylan Harrison (Pugsley Addams), Sam Gonzalez Jones (Lurch), Gracie Broadhurst (Grandma Addams), Leri Roberts (Alice Beineke), Will Robinson (Mal Beineke) and Freya Mortimer (Lucas Beineke).

Pam Williams said rehearsals are going really well with everyone putting in 100% to ensure that this very difficult and complex show is another hit.

She added: “The musical numbers are not well known but as soon as you hear them you fall in love with them and can't get them out of your head.

"The fact that there's a series called Wednesday, about the Addams' daughter, running now on Netflix makes our show very current."

* Tickets for the Addams Family, which are selling quickly, are available online at and also from Jades, Oggies and the Tourist Information Centre at £12 and £10.

Town Council to host area's first Death Cafe

Tea, cake and ... death will be on the agenda for a meeting at Llangollen Town Hall later this month.

Charlie Jones, facilities officer for the Town Council, has come up with the idea of hosting a free-to-enter Death Cafe there on the afternoon of January 31.

A Death Cafe is a scheduled non-profit get-together for the purpose of talking about death over food and drink, usually tea and cake.

The aim of these non-profit groups is to educate and help others become more familiar with the end of life.

The idea originates with the Swiss sociologist and anthropologist Dr Bernard Crettaz, who organised the first "café mortel" in 2004.

Jon Underwood, a UK web developer, was inspired by Crettaz's work and developed the Death Cafe model in 2011.

There are currently almost 3,000 Death Cafes listed in United Kingdom and over 15,000 in countries across the world.

Charlie Jones said: "The Death Cafe has become an international movement and they help people to talk more easily about death.

"The Death Cafe is not a bereavement session just a place to have a chat over tea and cake.

"We hope people will consider coming along."

The Llangollen Death Cafe will be held at the Town Hall between 4.30 and 6.30pm on Tuesday January 31.

* For more details, email: