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Friday, June 30, 2023

Roadworks alerts from county council

Latest local roadworks alerts from Denbighshire County Council are: 

A539 Ponsonby Arms MILL STREET 10/07/2023 11/07/2023 NMWTRA.

Abbey Road  19/06/2023 30/09/2023 Ailwynebu/ Resurfacing DCC WORKS UNIT. No traffic management to be on site 01/07/23 - 12/07/23 due to International Eisteddfod  Confoi 10 mya/10 mph Convoy.

A542 Junction of Chapel St and Bridge St Llangollen LL20 8NW BRIDGE STREET 03/07/2023 03/07/2023 Gwaith BT/ BT Works SUNBELT RENTALS (DCC) LLANGOLLEN Ffordd ar Gau/Road Closure

OUTSIDE NUMBER 12 CHAPEL STREET 11/07/2023 13/07/2023 Gwaith Dwr / Water Works SEVERN TRENT WATER (DCC) LLANGOLLEN Ffordd ar Gau/Road Closure

Full Extent TRACK FROM VALLEY ROAD TO TYN CELYN WOOD 08/07/2023 09/07/2023 Digwyddiad ar y Priffordd/ Event on the Highway GRAVITY EVENTS UK LLANGOLLEN Ffordd ar Gau/Road Closure

Westbound Approx 41m East of entrance to Health Centre Car Park A539 LLANGOLLEN ROAD 14/07/2023 14/07/2023 Gwaith Marcio Ffordd / Road Marking Works DCC TRAFFIC LLANGOLLEN Confoi 10 mya/10 mph Convoy

A539 Abbey Road and Llangollen town centre ABBEY ROAD 06/07/2023 06/07/2023 Digwyddiad ar y Priffordd/ Event on the Highway LLANGOLLEN INTERNATIONAL LLANGOLLEN Ffordd ar Gau/Road Closure

Outside BUILDING KNOWN AS BRYN MYNACH ABBEY ROAD 10/07/2023 12/07/2023 Gwaith Dwr / Water Works HAFREN DYFRDWY.

Thursday, June 29, 2023

Three people taken to hospital after serious smash on A5

Leaderlive is reporting this afternoon that three people were taken to hospital - one with life-threatening injuries - following a "serious" crash on the English/Welsh border this morning (Thursday, June 29).

The two-vehicle collision between a van and a car happened on the A5/A483 between the Gledrid and Halton roundabouts near Chirk just after 8am.

* For the full story, go to: Three taken to hospital following crash on A5/A483 | The Leader (

Eisteddfod action in the town next week

Llangollen International Musical Eisteddfod has released details of events off-field, in the town during next week:

What's on in July at Pengwern Community Hub

 July's what's on guide for the Pengwern Community Hub is:

Wednesday, June 28, 2023

Roadworks alert for Bridge Street

Latest local roadworks alert from is:


Bridge Street, Llangollen, Denbighshire

30 June - 04 July


Roadworks, Delays unlikely


Traffic management: Traffic control (give & take)


Description: Bbox Renew 25mm add Meter Job in Footway (6mm Bitmac (Tarmac) )


Works location: OUTSIDE 14-18


Public facing description: has automatically assigned a category of Unclassified works to this Works based on the information available. Please note: Works Descriptions are not published by Hafren Dyfrdwy.


Responsibility for works: Hafren Dyfrdwy


Current status: Advanced planning


Works reference: ZU0028102/000013403260



Skates backs idea for official trial of compulsory voting

Clwyd South MS Ken Skates (pictured) has urged the Welsh Government to explore further ways to "strengthen our democracy" by driving up the number of people who vote. 

Ahead of a debate on a civic duty to vote in the Senedd today (Wednesday) he backed comments by Plaid Cymru MS Adam Price and asked whether the Welsh Government would consider a trial into whether "compulsory participation" would increase engagement in elections. 

During First Minister’s Questions yesterday Mr Price said that 26 nations had introduced a civic duty to vote where the percentage of voting was consistently over 90%, adding: “If Wales could emulate that level of participation, it would transform our democracy.”

Mr Skates said: “Can I first of all thank Adam Price for the important question that he tabled and say that I agree with him entirely on the points that he raised in relation to the civic duty to vote.

“First Minister, I also welcome the great progress that Welsh Government is making in strengthening our democracy, particularly by giving 16 and 17-year-olds the right to vote. 

"This is in stark contrast to what’s happening across the border, with the UK Tories making it more difficult for people to vote. Indeed, around 14,000 people were refused the right to vote at recent English local elections. That is surely wrong, and it’s down to new methods of proving your identity.”

Mr Skates said he believed that introducing a civic duty to vote "could lead to mass participation like we’ve never seen before" and asked whether the Welsh Government had considered a pilot scheme.

The First Minister said: “We are committed to reducing the democratic deficit in Wales by reforming electoral administration, widening access to elections and encouraging participation in our democracy. In my opinion, before introducing a formal civic duty, the people of Wales would need to support that change through the manifesto process.

“I thank Ken Skates for those further points. He’s absolutely right that the policy of this Government is to encourage participation rather than to embark on a policy of voter suppression.

“We’ve seen the results from the English local elections, where thousands of people who wished to vote were denied because of measures that I think Jacob Rees-Mogg described as a simple attempt at gerrymandering. Well, it always was that, and that was firmly exposed by the Minister who was responsible for those measures while he was in office.”

Mr Drakeford added: “There’ll be a further opportunity for Members to discuss it again at greater length tomorrow, and the idea of a trial or a pilot is something that I think is worth looking at. 

"If you were to have a change of this scale, you would want some local as well as international evidence to draw on, and I hope that that idea will be further developed in tomorrow afternoon’s debate.”

Tuesday, June 27, 2023

Eisteddfod back with a bang - and flower power

* Blooming marvellous: Jane Williams, chair of the Eisteddfod Floral Committee, with Mair Thornton, secretary,  and Michelle Williams, vice-chair. Picture by Mandy Jones Photography.     

* The famous Parade of Nations takes place on the Thursday. Picture by Barrie Potter.

The town is buzzing with excitement as final preparations get underway for the return of our iconic international festival in all its glory.

It will be the first full length Llangollen International Musical Eisteddfod since before the Covid pandemic and the Parade of Nations is also coming back with a colourful cavalcade of competitors through the streets.

The event was cancelled in 2020, went online in 2021 and there was a much reduced live festival last year.

But after an absence of four years things are back to normal and thousands of singers and dancers from around the planet will be heading for the Dee Valley where it’s said that “Wales meets the world”.

An extension has once again been added to the famous international pavilion to increase capacity to 4,000 seats in the canvas-covered auditorium.

Also back will be the spectacular floral display at the front of the pavilion stage, lovingly created by a band of dedicated volunteer flower growers and arrangers.

Meanwhile, the town itself has been festooned with bunting and an expert abseiler has placed a giant banner high above Llangollen railway station.

Llangollen Eisteddfod was founded in 1947 in the aftermath of the Second World War.

Organisers say it’s more important and relevant than ever as a force for good to foster peace and harmony between nations.

It all gets underway on Tuesday, July 4, and the competitions and concerts continue until Sunday, July 9.

Each day features a full programme of competitions in the pavilion and a line-up of stalls and exhibitions on the field along with the competitors from around the world, many in colourful dress while three open-air stages run a stream of live performances.

Entertainment on the outside site includes workshops, talks, international showcases, outdoor theatre performances, circus skills, sound bath sessions, yoga, belly dancing, beginner’s Welsh and salsa.

The Globe Stage will feature music acts spanning folk, jazz, world and indie.

There will also be an international flavour to the cuisine available in the new Globe Food Court.

It will be a special occasion for Eisteddfod Executive Producer Camilla King who took up her role last year but will this time preside over the event in its full, traditional format.

She said: “This is definitely our first all bells and whistles event since 2019 and I hope that people who have been in the past and really loved the event will enjoy that experience this year.

“We’re delighted that the spectacularly colourful Parade of Nations will be happening once again this year with support from Everbright Hotels.

“We will be encouraging our competitors to get involved with doing impromptu pop-ups on the Maes and interacting with the public attending the event.

“There is going to be so much going on with bands playing, a dedicated kids’ area and three performance stages, including the Globe Stage for a wide variety of music, as well at the Globe Food Court which celebrates the cuisines of eight different countries.

“There’s also the Amphitheatre showcasing our international performers and the Dome for acoustic music, talks, panel sessions and readings while elsewhere there will be free workshops in floral art, sound bath sessions, yoga, belly dancing, beginner’s Welsh, salsa and much more.

“It all takes place on a self-contained site which is safe and secure and just an easy walk into Llangollen and with secure dedicated festival car parking nearby for just £5 a day.”

The magnificent display of flowers cascading across the front of the stage is the work of volunteers on the Floral Committee whose team grow their own, buy from Liverpool Market and even occasionally beg blooms from attractive gardens in the town.

Floral Committee Chair Jane Williams said: “The theme this year is a country garden but often we don’t really know how it’s going to look until we’ve seen how the stage is set up.

“We use a lot of ironwork for the structure which has to hold the flowers in place and we have shelving and plastic containers of water and even dustbins with water for really tall plants like delphiniums which can be six to eight feet high.

“You never really know what you have until you get there – this year the foxgloves are quite ahead of time, but you just have to work with what you get and we’re grateful for donors like Chirk Castle who have been very kind this year and many others who have given flowers.”

Over the years the festival has grown into one of Europe’s premier music and dance events.

It has attracted cultural icons like Dylan Thomas who visited for the BBC 70 years ago and whose famous radio broadcast about the Eisteddfod is being recreated to mark its 70th anniversary.

A reading from actor, writer and director Celyn Jones will be the centrepiece of a mini programme of events to celebrate Thomas’s 15-minute masterpiece on the BBC’s Home Service – tragically he was to die just a few months later in New York.

That same year the late Queen Elizabeth also attended the Eisteddfod shortly after her Coronation while two years later the late great Italian tenor Luciano Pavarotti, began his international career at Llangollen as a member of a choir from Modena.

The week’s highlights include a concert starring Alfie Boe and musical theatre supergroup Welsh of the West End on the first night of the Eisteddfod on Tuesday, July 4.

Wednesday will see The White Flower: Into The Light, a concert of remembrance for the fallen of Sarajevo and Ukraine, featuring the NEW Sinfonia orchestra with soloists from Bosnia, Wales and Ukraine, with the centrepiece formed by Karl Jenkin’s much loved work, The Armed Man.

The popular procession of international participants and celebration of peace takes place on Thursday, followed by Flight, a new mixed-media dance, music and theatre work by visionary artists Propellor Ensemble, inspired by migratory patterns in nature and humanity.

On the Friday night Guy Barker’s Big Band will take the stage with Strictly Come Dancing singer Tommy Blaize.

Saturday features the blue riband event, the Choir of the World competition for the coveted Pavarotti Trophy, and also Dance Champions and the Pendine International Voice of the Future 2023.

There is a new look to the final day of the Eisteddfod on Sunday with an all new live final which sees rising vocal stars battle it out to claim the title Voice of Musical Theatre, and Cân i Llan, a new song-writing competition for unsigned acts aged 14-22, providing a platform for emerging voices in contemporary popular music.

Camilla added: “The bridge spanning the River Dee in the centre of town is officially one of the Seven Wonders of Wales and Llangollen Eisteddfod should be acclaimed as the Eighth Wonder. I can’t wait.”

Monday, June 26, 2023

Wrexham Council announces contract awarded for Newbridge Road

Wrexham Council have said they are “pleased” to announce that the procurement phase for Newbridge Road project has now successfully come to a close, according to a story in this afternoon (Monday). ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

The stretch of road between Newbridge and Cefn Mawr has been closed since January 2021, when heavy downpours caused part of it to collapse down an embankment during Storm Christoph. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​ ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​ ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​ ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

* For the full story, see: Wrexham Council announce Newbridge repair contract awarded to Jones Bros Ltd -

The big SUV with a surprisingly frugal thirst

Mazda CX-60 drive by Steve Rogers

It was a balmy Sunday afternoon for a 150- mile drive through rural Mid Wales. 

Lots of steep climbs, sharp bends, the sort of roads that don’t give great economy, certainly not in a big SUV with a 3.3 litre straight six diesel under the bonnet.

I drove the CX-60 diesel at the launch earlier this year and wanted to find out if the official economy figures would be as good in real time driving. 

The journey was nothing out of the ordinary but the Mazda was. I reset the economy and watched the numbers go up and up, and by the time I pulled on to my drive the digital readout showed 57.6mpg. That is insane.

It is helped by an eight-speed automatic gearbox, standard across the range, with well chosen ratios and needing just under 1,500rpm to cruise at 60mph.

I covered nearly 800 miles in the next six days, 300 miles with a fully laden four-berth caravan in tow. Driven solo the CX-60 spent more time in the fifties than the forties, but it was the fuel consumption while towing that raised my eyebrows.

Unless you tow 29.8mpg will mean nothing but let me assure you that is beyond impressive. I would have been satisfied with around 24mpg from a powerful all wheel drive SUV, the sort of return I got from a 3-litre Land Rover Discovery Sport.

Mazda has taken diesel emissions and economy to another level with an engine equally significant as the Ford 1-litre EcoBoost, a three-time International Engine of the Year winner.

That said the motoring press, me included, was shocked when Mazda launched this engine when the UK had turned its back on diesel, and at a time when it was 20p a litre dearer than petrol.

Mazda’s UK boss Jeremy Thomson said the majority of sales would be for the petrol hybrid and plug-in hybrid models with the diesel intended to meet the needs of customers who want an efficient, long distance driving car with great towing capacity.

He was right on that score as CX-60 has a towing capacity of 2500kg so it can pull the heaviest of twin axle caravans with ease, with the option of all wheel drive.

Not that CX-60 is just about its engine. This is a sophisticated large family SUV, bigger than rivals like Audi Q5 and Volvo XC 60, and with a starting price of £43,010 is competitive given its generous spec list.

As with all Mazdas you can rely on a sporty chassis and for a big vehicle this handles well, not quite as well planted as the Q5 but sharper than the Volvo, if that is important. The key message is that it does not give way to comfort coping well with potholes and poorer road surfaces of which there are so many.

Inside has the premium feel we have come to expect with high quality materials and a smart layout. The new digital binnacle is a traditional speedo, rev counter configuration but does not give a great deal of additional information like most rivals.

The updated central infotainment centre has a larger touchscreen but can still be operated by the rotary controller between the front seats and is the simplest system I have come across with clear, easy to find menus and sub menus, while the heating controls are neatly laid out physical buttons.

My all wheel drive Homura sits in the middle of a three model range and has a classy finish.

It comes with powered front seats, ventilated and heated, powered steering wheel adjustment, rear camera, auto dipping LED headlights, head up display, powered tailgate and a lot more, but if that is not enough then the convenience and driver assistance pack for £1,900 throws in the likes of 360 degree camera, wireless charging, and additional safety systems. That would be tempting.

I was struggling to fault CX-60 until I got into the back and while it is not tight, legroom is below par for such a big vehicle. That said I appreciated the floor space with the seats down and was able to load two adult bicycles.

Forty odd grand is a lot of money but if this is the size car you need then it becomes an everyday vehicle because it is a big car with small car economy. I would always expect to be averaging high forties to 50mpg with the knowledge that there is more to come on a longer journey.

Fast facts

CX-60 Homura AWD

£48,380 (£52.030 tested)

3.3 litre diesel; 250bhp

0-62 7.4secs; 138mph

53.3mpg combined

138g/km. 1st tax £285

Insurance group 38

Boot: 570-1726 litres

Towing: 2500kg

Railway's classic transport weekend gets into gear

* Above and below: The line-up of vintage tractors and buses from previous shows.

* A busy timetable of steam, diesel and railcar trains will operate on the railway.

Over 300 vintage and classic cars, buses and other vehicles will be on display at Glyndyfrdwy Station on the Llangollen & Corwen Railway this weekend, July 1 and 2, as the much-loved Classic Transport Weekend takes place.

A busy timetable of steam, diesel and railcar trains will operate on the railway, centred around the  village station of Glyndyfrdwy, where a large vintage vehicle rally is to be held in a large field right next to the station. 

All trains are now running to the new station at Corwen, which opened on June 2nd.  A free vintage bus service will also operate between Corwen and Glyndyfrdwy, allowing visitors to follow trains from the adjacent A5 road and take in the views of the stunning Dee Valley AONB.

The event has again been organised by two of the railway’s younger volunteers, Tim Hines and George Walker, who are both under 30 years old. 

Tim said: "Last year George and I had our first go at running this event and put a lot of hours in to make it happen. As well as volunteering at the railway, George and I are also both owners of vintage buses, which we’ve restored and take to shows. 

"Last year’s event was such a great success that we couldn’t really do anything other than say yes when we were asked if we could do it again.

"We now have over 300 vehicles booked to attend the rally at Glyndyfrdwy station across the weekend. We will use two of our neighbouring farmer’s fields to fit them all in and provide a car park. Our neighbour has always been extremely supportive of the event – especially the vintage tractor display."

Husband and wife stationmaster team at Glyndyfrdwy, Paul and Wendy Bailey, said: “We always look forward to welcoming so many visitors to our station, which is usually a very quiet and beautifully-restored country station with fascinating links to the local slate industry, some of which you can still see. 

"Our tearoom and brand new Porters station bar will be open all weekend to refresh both exhibitors and visitors. It’s a great opportunity to see our country station at its busiest, with a wonderful parade of classic cars, motorbikes and buses all making their away across the traditional, gated level crossing between the station and signal box. 

"There’s also a lovely village picnic field and playground right next to the station where you can watch the cars, trains, wildlife and see if you can spot the old loading wharf, where slates produced at the Deeside Slab and Moelfferna quarries up in the Berwyn mountains above the village were brought down on a narrow gauge railway and trans-shipped into standard gauge wagons for onward transport around the world."

* Tickets for the event are available in advance from the railway’s website or on the day from station ticket offices. 

Parking for visitors is also available at the Glyndyfrdwy rally priced at £5 for the day or £8 including a reduced price programme. The railway’s website also has an event information page:

Sunday, June 25, 2023

Police appeal for witnesses to fatal road collision near Corwen

* Police have issued this picture of Andy Thomas who died in the collision near Corwen on Saturday.

North Wales Police have issued an appeal for witnesses to the road collision near Corwen in which a man died yesterday (Saturday).

They have named him as 54-year-old Andy Thomas from Summerhill, Wrexham.  

Police said this afternoon (Sunday): "We were called at 2.43pm on Saturday afternoon (June 24) reporting a two vehicle RTC [road traffic collision] on the A494 at Glanrafon, Corwen involving a white Volvo XC60 and a Honda CBR motorbike.

"Officers from the Roads Policing Unit attended alongside colleagues from WAST [ambulance], Helimed and NWFRS m[fire service] and the road was closed for some time.
"Andy’s family have issued the following tribute: ‘Andy Thomas was a wonderful husband, son, father and brother who was tremendously loved by many, many people.
‘He was a huge motorbike enthusiast who lived his life to the full, making the most of every day possible.
‘He was an absolute ray of sunshine, who put others before himself at all times and devoted his life to his family.’"
PC Dylan Smith from the force Roads Policing Unit said: "Our thoughts are with Andy’s family at this tragic time.
"We are appealing for witnesses to assist our investigation. Anyone in the area who witnessed the incident or saw the vehicles prior to the RTC is encouraged to contact us.
"Additionally, anyone with dashcam should also get in touch via our live webchat online or on 101 quoting ref A098568."

Police witness appeal after fatal collision

North Wales Police are appealing for witnesses to a one vehicle road traffic collision in which a man died yesterday.

A statement says: "We were called at 5.32am today (Saturday) by colleagues from WAST [ambulance] reporting a single vehicle RTC involving a white Renault Traffic van on the A525 near to the fishery in Llandegla.

"Officers from the Roads Policing Unit attended along with WAST and NWFRS [fire], and the road was closed until approximately 10.30am.

"The deceased man’s family have been informed.

"Anyone who may have seen the van in the area, or who was driving and has dashcam is encouraged to contact us via our live webchat online or on 101 quoting ref A098337."

Report says Three Eagles has been put up for sale

* The estate agents' picture of the Three Eagles.

North Wales Live has reported that the award-winning Three Eagles gastropub in Llangollen has been put up for sale. 

* For the full story, see: Award winning North Wales gastropub put up for sale with £1m+ price tag - North Wales Live (

Saturday, June 24, 2023

Reports of two serious road collisions today

North Wales Live is reporting this afternoon that the A494 has been closed following a "serious incident".

Traffic Wales announced that the road had been closed in both directions.

The incident is between Druid lights and Bala, near the community of Glan yr Afon. They said local diversions are in place.

A police car and ambulance were seen speeding through Llangollen earlier.

* For the full story, see: LIVE: Major road closed due to 'serious incident' - North Wales Live (

* Earlier, the BBC reported that in a separate incident one person had died following a single-vehicle collision.

The crash involving a van happened on the A525 at Llandegla, Denbighshire, on Saturday at about 05:30 BST.

* For the story, see: Denbighshire: Person dies after van crash on A525 near Llandegla - BBC News

Council’s digital officer can help with internet problems

Residents and businesses in Denbighshire can benefit from free advice and assistance from the council’s Digital Officer who can find the best solution for internet issues they may be experiencing due to a slow connection.

With an increasing number of residents using technology to work from home, and with many services, such as banking and utilities now online, it is essential that people can access a reliable service to meet their daily needs.

Philip Burrows, Denbighshire’s Digital Officer said, “Some residents have slow or unreliable internet connections, and that’s where I come in. I can help by diagnosing the problem and then work with residents to fix it, with the aim of improving the quality of their internet connection.

“We find that people experience a range of issues, for example, some may be fairly straightforward problems that require a tweak to their home network. However, others may have more complex issues which will need to be resolved with a third party.”

Some communities may experience problems which require intervention by Openreach, the company which maintains and provides the major telephony and internet network system around the UK. However, individuals cannot contact Openreach directly, but the Council’s Digital Officer is able to do this on their behalf. 

“I can be the go-between to hopefully take the stress out of sorting these types of problems. I can also advise on how to source funding to set up fibre community partnerships if there are specific communities who are all experiencing similar problems. I’m happy to advise any resident or business in Denbighshire on any topic related to their internet connection.”

Councillor Emrys Wynne, Lead Member for Welsh Language, Culture and Heritage said, “Ensuring better digital networks is essential and supporting communities to achieve this is a key priority in the Council’s Corporate Plan. Denbighshire is committed to helping residents to understand the options and solutions for improved internet connectivity – crucial for the digital age we live in today. I encourage anyone who is experiencing difficulties with their internet to contact Philip who will be able to advise on the best course of action.”

* If you’re experiencing slow internet speeds or have trouble connecting to the internet in your home, contact the Council’s Digital Officer on

Friday, June 23, 2023

Join a life-saving awareness course at Plas Madoc

Members of the public are being invited take part in a defibrillator awareness event which could help them save a life. 

The session at Plas Madoc Leisure Centre has been organised by Member of the Senedd Ken Skates and St John Ambulance. 

It will take place from 1-3pm on August 16, and Mr Skates is asking his constituents to book their place early. 

The Clwyd South MS said: “St John Ambulance offers free first aid-related courses to community groups, youth groups and schools as part of its goal to put a first aider on every street in Wales. This is a great opportunity for me to work with them to offer my constituents the lifesaving skills of using a defibrillator and performing CPR. 

“We will be limited on numbers, so I’d urge any of my constituents who are interested to book their place as soon as possible.” 

A spokesperson for St John Ambulance said: “These skills really make a difference in saving lives and the support of our politicians is vital to this important work.” 

* Spaces are limited, so to book your place email or call 01978 869058. 

Search is on for volunteer crime busters

* From Left; PACT Manager David Evans, volunteers Sonia Jones and Mark Owen, PACT chairman Ashley Rogers  and volunteer Gary Leighton-Jones.     

A search has been launched for a trio of volunteer crime busters.

The call has come from the North Wales Police and Community Trust (PACT) which is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year.

The charity is looking to recruit the volunteers, one to work in each of the three policing divisions, Flintshire and Wrexham, Conwy and Denbighshire and Gwynedd and Anglesey.

PACT recently revealed that it has handed out more than £2 million in grants and funded over 2,500 community projects since it was founded in 1998.

To celebrate reaching the milestone it set up a £25,000 anniversary fund and is inviting bids for grants of up to £2,500  for local initiatives across the region – the deadline for submissions is June 30.

Fittingly, much of PACT’s funding comes from cash seized from criminals and recycled for the public good.

The organisation works closely with North Wales Police’s Neighbourhood Policing Teams, particularly the network of Police Community Support Officers (PCSOs).

According to PACT, its main purpose  is to provide funding to community and voluntary groups for schemes that improve people’s quality of life by reducing crime and the fear of crime.

Chair Ashley Rogers said: “We’re celebrating a quarter of a century of PACT but we are certainly not resting on our laurels. We want to build on what we have achieved so far for the next 25 years.

“Our success has been based largely on the help we have received from volunteers and we are looking to recruit more so we can ramp up our activity.

“If you’re passionate about our communities and you want to get involved, this is a great opportunity to interact and get to visit some amazing projects that are doing exceptional work in the community.

“Much of our funding is sourced from the ill-gotten gains of criminals. This is about restorative justice and it’s very appropriate that the money is used to help support the communities that have been damaged by crime, converting bad money into something good. It’s poetic justice.”

Mark Owen, head of Citizens in Policing and the Special Constabulary Chief Officer at North Wales Police, was involved in the setting up of PACT when he was an Inspector looking after community safety for the force.

He said: “What PACT has achieved is absolutely superb, all the grants that have been awarded and the good work that has taken place since it was founded. It’s just fabulous.

“The direct link into my current role as the person in charge of police volunteering for North Wales, with Special Constables, Police Support Volunteers and Cadets, is that they benefit directly from PACT.

“We’re now working on a programme for our Special Constables to become ambassadors for PACT at the local level, creating a beautiful loop from police volunteering and back again.

“If anything, PACT is more relevant now that it ever was and it helps make communities safer.

“There’s a lot of academic research that shows that volunteers get a feelgood factor and a sense of value. It’s good for you.

“For people who are on the verge of retiring or have recently retired, they have invaluable skills and knowledge that might otherwise go to waste.

“By volunteering, you’re not only giving something back you’re getting that positivity and a buzz from helping others.”

Mum-of-two Sonia Jones works full time as the admin manager of the pharmacy at Ysbyty Gwynedd, in Bangor, and has been a special constable for seven years.

She volunteers for around 30 hours a month on the beat in Anglesey and has same powers as all other police officers – the only difference is that she is not paid.

Sonia said she’s delighted to become an ambassador for PACT, having witnessed the good work that they do.

She said: “Policing is always something that I have aspired to do. However, life just got in the way and now I am getting the best of both worlds.

“I enjoy giving something back and putting the uniform on gives me a big sense of pride. It makes you feel special. I just love it.”

Gary Leighton-Jones worked as a member of staff in the Operational Planning Department at North Wales Police for 21 years.

He now does a range of voluntary work for North Wales Police, doing debriefs of critical incidents, role playing for training exercises and I also run the force lottery.

Gary said: “I enjoyed my time at North Wales Police  greatly and I wanted to keep active after I retired because I thought I still had things to offer.

“I thoroughly recommend the notion of volunteering because I believe in giving something back to society. I get the satisfaction of helping.”

PACT Project Manager Dave Evans said: “We’re looking for a small cohort of volunteers who are committed to helping us engage with community groups across the six counties and almost act an advocate for PACT, encouraging groups to apply for funding and also importantly carrying out some project feedback and find out how effective, or otherwise it’s been.

“We work closely with the network of PCSOs and are excited to be developing this work with the army of Special Constables, volunteer police officers, who work across North Wales.

“We are looking for people who are interested in community affairs and want to make a real difference and make North Wales a safer place to live, work and visit.”

* Anybody interested in becoming a volunteer or making a bid for a grant should go to the PACT website or email or contact Dave Evans on 01745 588516