County Voice

News

Christmas and New Year information

Picture of Baubls

All the information you may need over Christmas and New Year can be found on our website:

  • Bin collections
  • What events are on
  • Details of free parking after 3pm
  • Libraries opening hours
  • School holidays
  • Change of opening times for the Archive Service
  • Opening times for services

Denbighshire launches its Christmas shopping video

Christmas has arrived in Denbighshire with the release of a video showcasing the county’s high streets.

The Council has released its festive shopping clip to promote the wide range of products available on the county’s high streets.  The two-minute video features a host of traders highlighting what is available in Denbighshire with scenes filmed in all eight of the county’s towns.

Leader of Denbighshire, Councillor Hugh Evans OBE, said: “I would like to thank all the businesses, residents and groups who helped make this video possible.

“Denbighshire has everything shoppers need to help celebrate Christmas coupled with excellent service and friendly staff.

“Shopping locally benefits the local community with money spent locally staying in Denbighshire’s economy, benefiting everyone in the county.

“Denbighshire offers a more relaxed and enjoyable shopping experience than bigger cities and out of town shopping parks so I would encourage residents to see what Denbighshire has to offer this Christmas.”

Businesses featured in the clip are Nouveau Riche, Prestatyn; Detour Menswear, Rhyl; The Oriel Country Hotel & Spa, St Asaph; The Little Cheesemonger, Rhuddlan; State of Distress, Ruthin; Snow in Summer, Denbigh; Rhug Estate Farm Shop; Pethau Tlws, Corwen and Llangollen Baby.

Sandra Griffiths has run Denbigh’s Snow in Summer for the last three years selling vintage items, greeting cards and locally made artisan crafted goods and gifts.

She said: “It was very nice to take part in the shop local video.

“Shopping locally gives customers the opportunity to buy locally designed and made goods, and to purchase unique items for themselves or for the home.”

Cathy Challand runs Nouveau Riche a ladies fashion and accessory shop in Prestatyn.

She said: “Shopping locally helps the local economy and creates local jobs. You get a more personal service when shopping at local independents because rather than following trends we have our own unique style and identity, so you're more likely to find something different.

“It was fun taking part in the Christmas video. I love my customers and it's great that they support local businesses by spreading the word to family and friends. Without them our vibrant high streets would cease to exist.”

The video was produced as part of the #LoveLiveLocal campaign which supports local traders by encouraging customers and businesses to post pictures of great products and experiences on social media.

For the final scenes filmed in Ruthin, businesses from the town as well as Denbighshire Music Co-operative, Ruthin Rotary Club and Chilli Cow Ice Cream, which showcased its Christmas pudding flavour, helped create a Christmas shopping wonderland.

Heather Powell is managing director of Denbighshire Music Co-operative, which provided the senior brass ensemble DMC6, made up of pupils from Ysgol Brynhyfryd and Ysgol Dinas Bran aged 12 to 16.

She said: “The band was delighted and proud to be asked – they always like supporting local events and really enjoyed the event.

“The experience was great for them. As a local business shopping locally is vital – we always support other local businesses and think there are a wide range of lovely local shops.”

The Council is providing free car parking in all of its town centre car parks after 3pm until December 31.

 

 

Green light for Council priorities

 
Councillors have agreed the authority’s five priorities for the coming five years.Corporate Plan Image

Known as the Corporate Plan for 2017-2022 – ‘Working Together for the Future of Denbighshire’, the document outlines five key priorities:

Everyone is supported to live in homes that meet their needs

  • Support the development of 1000 more homes in Denbighshire.
  • This will include 170 new council properties; 
  • 260 affordable homes provided by private developers and registered social landlords; extra care housing; additional specialist housing to support people with disabilities and low level support needs;
  • Support young people to access suitable homes they can afford and
  • Bring 500 empty properties back into use and perform among the best in Wales. 

Communities are connected and have access to services and goods locally, online or through good transport links

  • Better enable people to travel to work, education and services.
  • Invest in roads and bridges to maintain a viable, sustainable infrastructure.
  • Make superfast broadband and mobile networks available to everyone.
  • Ensure Council information and services will be accessible online where possible. Opportunities to work with partners will also be explored. 
  • Target those most likely to be digitally excluded so they have the skills and means to use digital services.
  • Improve infrastructure to make it easier to stage events.

The Council works with people and communities to build independence and resilience

  • Support people to plan and shape their communities.
  • Provide easily accessible information that supports people’s independence and resilience.
  • Ensure people are involved in shaping and improving services.
  • Act to reduce Domestic Abuse
  • Ensure all carers in Denbighshire are well supported.
  • Ensure adults and older people who need health and social care in Denbighshire will experience a seamless service.

The environment is attractive and protected, supporting well-being and economic prosperity 

  • Reduce carbon emissions from Council assets by at least 15% by 2022.
  • Improve the energy efficiency of Council houses.
  • Increase renewable energy provision across the county.
  • Reduce the number of properties at risk of flooding in Denbighshire.
  • Increase the biodiversity quality of important habitats and species across the county.
  • Raise the profile of the county as a location to visit, in order to capitalise on Denbighshire’s economic potential.

Younger people want to live and work here and have the skills to do so.

  • See that every child achieving the expected standard at the end of primary school (Level 4, Key Stage 2) will achieve 5 GCSEs A*-C (Level 2, Key Stage 4), including English or Welsh (1st language) and maths, by the end of secondary school.
  • Continue to modernise schools via the 21st Century Schools programme.
  • Help young people to develop practical ‘life skills’ and behaviours that contribute to good health and well-being.
  • Deliver support for parents to give our children the best start.
  • Provide young people with effective career advice and mentoring.
  • Offer young people the opportunity to develop skills for life and work through meaningful work experience
  • Develop greater employment opportunities for younger people.

Councillor Julian Thompson-Hill, Cabinet Lead Member with responsibility for the Corporate Plan,  said: “Over the lifetime of the previous Corporate Plan we delivered over £200m of investment in improving our schools, leisure and library facilities, roads and flood defences. We achieved this while maintaining our position as one of the highest performing councils in Wales and protecting front-line services from the cuts to local authority budgets.

“The overall ambition of this latest Plan is to ensure that Denbighshire is a place where residents and businesses are well connected and resilient; where young people have opportunities for affordable housing and acquire skills and jobs to lead successful and fulfilling lives and where we all enjoy an attractive and protected environment. Similar to the last plan, this Corporate Plan contains specific actions that will be delivered over five years but, perhaps even more importantly, these actions are designed to have an impact beyond the next five years with future generations in mind.

“We recognise that the council must work closely with our partners and wider community and that is why the priorities in this Corporate Plan have been directly derived from our County Conversation exercise and consultation with partners.

“Denbighshire strongly believes in developing a single public service culture, informed by strongly active communities. We will, therefore, actively look at regional and sub-regional solutions and establish a permanent ‘Citizens Panel’ which will play a key role in both monitoring and helping to steer the implementation of the plan”.

You can find more information on our website.

1891 Rhyl

1891 restaurant at Rhyl Pavilion is now open. A contemporary and stylish first floor restaurant and bar located on the waterfront at the Pavilion Theatre in Rhyl.

OPENING TIMES

Thursday – Saturday 3.30pm until late (food served 4.30pm – 9.30pm)

Sunday 12.00pm – 9.00pm (food served 12.00pm – 7.00pm)

 The restaurant will also be open when larger shows are on, so please enquire for individual dates.

1891 Collage

 

To book a table please ring 01745 330000 or e-mail 1891@denbighshire.gov.uk.  Unfortunately, they are unable to take bookings via their Facebook page.

They also have a selection of special gins and a variety of cocktails and mocktails.

Follow them on Facebook or please visit their website for further information and to see their sample menus.

 

Colleagues honoured in excellence celebration

Excellence Denbighshire Collage

Excellence Denbighshire Awards are held every two years and staff/managers nominate their colleagues for these awards.  The ceremony took place at Llangollen Pavilion at the end of November and it was a great opportunity to celebrate the excellent and committed work going on across the county.  

Congratulations to all the winners and runners-up.

 

Ysgol Dinas Bran announced winners of LACA National School Meals Week competition

The Lead Association for CAtering in Education (LACA), held their annual National School Meals Week (NSMW) this year between 13th – 17th November and have been delighted with the response and involvement of so many school caterers, schools parents and pupils.Ysgol Dinas Bran

During the busy week many activities took place including ‘Host a school chef’, 5 marathons in 5 days powered by school meals’ and ’National Roast Dinner Day’ but the one that best caught the imagination of school caterers across England and Wales was the “#cookeditmyselfie competition which encouraged school caterers to send in pictures of the food they prepare and serve daily. The online competition took place on Twitter @NSMW and hundreds of photos were sent in showing what modern day school food looks like, the standard of entries was terrific.

A judging panel, including last year’s winner, looked at every picture and Ysgol Dinas Bran was named as the winner. As well as the accolade of knowing the food they serve stood out as being the best showcase of school food, they also won £500 worth of equipment or marketing support.

Porter continued “Over the years, we have seen NSMW grow in its importance and promote the professionalism and skill of school caterers, not to mention the nutritious and tasty food. This has been achieved in many ways, from holding high profile events such as serving school food to politicians in the House of Commons and the Welsh Assembly, serving school meals in the restaurant at the summit of Snowdon and school chefs working in Michelin Star restaurants as well as encouraging caterers to ‘shout out’ themselves about just how good they are. The #cookeditmyselfie initiative is the ideal platform for caterers to do this and I am delighted to have seen such enthusiasm and involvement from front line staff. The competition was tough and Ysgol Dinas Bran and indeed all caterers across Denbighshire should be very proud of coming out top of the class”.

Councillor Julian Thompson Hill, Cabinet Lead Member for Finance, Performance and Strategic Assets, said: “This competition gave School Catering Teams across the country the opportunity to showcase their Service and the pictures submitted by Emma and her team at Dinas Bran were not of food or dishes devised specially for the competition – they were of food and dishes served on a daily basis.

Emma has a highly motivated and dedicated catering team and the Denbighshire School Meals Service and Denbighshire County Council are  rightly proud of their achievements.  

Emma Williams Catering Manager at the school said:  “ We have been heavily involved with #cookeditmyselfie this year. Not many days have gone by in the past few months where we haven’t posted a meal. The pictures show what we do every day, the food is great and the pupils love it. We use lots of local ingredients and prepare the food with love and passion. 

Charitable Council carol service raises £500

The annual carol service held at St Thomas’ Church, Rhyl on Monday, December 4 raised a grand total of £500 for the Chairman’s chosen charities for this year- the RNLI in Rhyl and St Kentigern’s Hospice in St Asaph.

During the service there were musical performances from Only Boys Aloud, Ysgol Glan Clwyd choir, Taya Castley from Ysgol Dinas Bran, soloist Beca Fflur Edwards from Ysgol Twm o’r Nant, harpist Julia Bugelli from Ysgol Glan Clwyd, a reading from Libi Owen of Ysgol Pendref, as well as festive readings from councillors and staff.

Carol Concert 1Carol Concert 2

Modernising Social Services - What is an Assessment?

You may hear that you or someone you know will be offered an assessment or have an assessment for social care. This may seem daunting, however an ‘assessment’ starts and sometimes finishes only with a conversation.  It helps us to find out what matters most to you now and in the future to keep you healthy and safe. 

We will talk about what is going well in your life now and not so well.  We will ask you how you want your life to be and what you want to achieve. 

Assessments should be appropriate to meet your communication and cultural needs. Assessments should also be proportionate so you will not be asked for more information than is necessary.   We will talk about the people around you and in your community.  They may be able and willing to help you overcome barriers and achieve what matters to you.

There are now five elements to an ‘assessment’.  These must be considered before a decision can be made about whether you would be eligible to have any identified care and support needs met by the Local Authority. 

    • Personal circumstances
    • Personal outcomes (what matters to you)
    • Barriers to achieving what matters to you
    • Strengths and Capabilities
    • Risks

We will also consider whether you require any support such as an advocate.  It is important that you are as fully involved in the process as possible: 

The assessment may end with advice about the short term or preventative services available and we will discuss with you how to access these. The assessment may lead to a decision that you are eligible for longer term care and support arranged with or through social services and this will be documented in a care and support plan.

If you think you need help or would like a discussion with someone, you can visit a Talking Point, contact the Single Point of Access on 0300 456 1000 or visit our website.

Alternatively you can look at Dewis Cymru which is THE place for well-being information in Wales.  Local organisations and services can be found to help citizens maintain their independence and well-being www.dewis.wales.

Veterans - Advice on Your Doorstep

Citizens Advice We provide a dedicated home visiting advice service to veterans over 70 and their dependants, in Denbighshire. We have a dedicated team comprising of 1 paid adviser and 2 volunteers. Veterans can be referred to us via our extensive network of partner and supporting agencies or self-refer.  Our aim is to ensure veterans incomes are maximised to their full potential and they are in receipt of all eligible benefit entitlement, minimising debt, reducing household expenditure with energy saving efficiency advice.  We also provide guidance on pertinent issues such as wills, lasting and enduring power of attorney, pensions. We identify under-claiming of benefits and credits and support people all the way through the application process, up to and including appeals.  We ensure all clients cases are progressed to the best possible outcome. We advocate and negotiate on any debts clients may have, resolving the debt situation through, insolvency options (Debt Relief Orders / bankruptcy); debt write offs, reduced or negated repayments.  Our energy advice service helps clients to reduce household energy expenditure, apply for grants to improve home energy efficiency and reduce energy costs.  Advice and guidance on age related issues is an equally essential offer, including housing, pensions, nursing care and tax. Clients will directly benefit from the advice and support we will provide.  Our advice will improve health and well-being, financial resilience and help to reduce social isolation. This project localises our service, clients don’t need to come to us, we will go to them.Citizens Advice Armed Forces

Advice Works

This is project is run by Citizens Advice Denbighshire, having secured European funding under the Active Inclusion Fund. Our project is a strand 2 project in which we undertook to provide supported employment to 14 participants who are over 25 years of age; who are from jobless households in Denbighshire; and who are either long term unemployed, or are economically inactive. The participants are offered placements of either 26 weeks or 16 weeks duration.

We have placed some participants externally and some have worked, or are working at our sites. Participants work within supportive environments to develop their skills and confidence. They also receive training to improve their employability and also towards the project’s cross-cutting themes of reducing poverty and social inclusion; promoting equality of opportunity; and encouraging sustainable development. The overriding objective is that 60% of participants will secure longer term employment through their involvement in the “Advice Works” project.

We are now closed to new participants with the project due to end in January 2018. We have engaged 13 participants on the project. Of the 6 participants who have so far completed their engagement 5 have entered into employment and 1 into volunteering.

Citizens Advice European Funding

Have your say on well-being in Conwy and Denbighshire

Conwy and Denbighshire Public Services Board are inviting local people to get involved and have their say on a new Local Well-being Plan.

The Conwy and Denbighshire Public Services Board (PSB) is a collaboration between public bodies who are working together to improve economic, social, environmental and cultural well-being in Conwy and Denbighshire.

Over the last year the PSB has been working with local communities to develop a draft Local Well-being Plan; it sets out priority areas where the PSB can make a significant contribution, focusing on:

  • The First 1,000 Days from conception to the child’s second birthday
  • Promoting community hubs
  • Promoting mental well-being for all ages
  • Promoting resilience in older people
  • Promoting environmental resilience
  • Raising resilient and aspirational young people

Bethan Jones of Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board is currently Chair of the PSB, she said: “A lot of work has already taken place to get us to this point, but this is only the start. The draft plan gives an outline of what we would like to achieve, and we would really welcome some feedback.Well Being Plan Photo

“We’d like to know if you agree with the priorities; let us know which priorities we should focus on; have we missed something or perhaps something in the plan needs changing.”

If you would like to give your views on the draft Local Well-being Plan, you can do so until 22 January 2018 at www.conwyanddenbighshirepsb.org.uk 

If you would prefer to submit a response on paper, if you have additional accessibility requirements, or if you would like more information about the consultation, please contact 01492 574059 or email county.conversation@conwy.gov.uk

The final Local Well-Being Plan will be published by May 2018.

BCUHB Winter Health Tips

BCUHB Winter Health Tips English

Community planning information portal in Denbighshire goes live online

A free online resource and information for community groups and  city, town and community councils in Denbighshire has gone live.

The online resource has been produced to help community groups and organisations to access information and advice they can follow to improve lives and the quality of life in their communities.

Practical details include:

  • How to set up a Committee 
  • Links to Wales Council for Voluntary Action (WCVA) information sheet inc. information on registering as a charity
  • Evidence to support grant applications including the Conwy and Denbighshire Wellbeing Assessment Website
  • Links to local CVCs
  • Links to external funders
  • Benefits of having a plan
  • Links to DEWIS Cymru, Denbighshire Local Development Plan and external statistic websites

Councillor Richard Mainon, Cabinet Lead Member for Developing Community Infrastructure, said: “Community Resilience has been identified as a high priority across the whole of Denbighshire with the emphasis on communities taking the lead in shaping their futures, looking at what they could themselves to improve their communities.

“This community planning web resource provides tools needed by groups and City, Town and Community Councils see their aspirations turn into a reality”.  

As well as the free online resource the project will offer officer time and support to communities who wish to create their own plans and bid for funding, signposting to appropriate grant provider. Support will also be given to member so that they also could offer advice and guidance to their respective communities.

The information can be found online at: www.denbighshire.gov.uk/communityplanning.

Christmas Advice

Spare a thought for the vulnerable this winter

Be a great friend or neighbour and keep an eye on the vulnerable this winter – that is the appeal from Denbighshire County Council as it prepares to deal with the wintry weather being predicted for later this week.Vulnerable

Denbighshire Social Services is highlighting how it is really important to make sure that your elderly neighbours are OK when temperatures start to drop, especially those who are house-bound, or who may not have family to pay them regular visits.

Councillor Bobby Feeley, Cabinet Lead Member for Well-being and Independence, said: “It’s estimated that more than a million elderly people will spend winter alone in the UK.  It’s particularly important to look out for elderly neighbours if you live in a rural area where access to amenities, shops and services could be limited or cut off to those who find it hard to walk or drive.

“We are encouraging families, friends and neighbours to support older people and others who are vulnerable with everyday tasks, such as shopping. A friendly telephone call or a visit to see that everything is well is also important to protect people’s well-being.

“Keeping warm is also extremely important for the vulnerable and elderly during the cold weather and at least one room at home should be properly heated and people should also wear enough clothes to maintain body heat and make sure they eat properly.

“Of course, it’s important to keep an eye on the vulnerable all year round and a friendly call or an occasional visit to see that everything is well can make a world of difference to the health and well-being of individuals”.

If you are concerned about the well-being of an older person or someone who is vulnerable due to ill health or disability, you should contact Social Services on 0300 456 1000.

Online Shopping

Denbighshire Trading Standards officers have provided some handy tips for consumers to consider when shopping online this festive period.Online Shopping

  • Start your shopping early to ensure that presents arrive before Christmas. The law says that, unless otherwise agreed, online retailers have 30 days to deliver your goods.
  • When shopping online, you usually have the right to change your mind and cancel your order for up to 14 days from when you receive the goods. Please note there are some exceptions such as perishable items or personalised items, or items bought from a private individual.
  • If you do cancel your order, online retailers must refund the full cost plus the original delivery charge, although you may be required to pay the cost of returning the item. Traders are not entitled to charge restocking or administrative fees if you cancel within the 14 day cooling off period.
  • Don’t know the company? Before you buy online, take a minute to search for company reviews on the internet.
  • Avoid counterfeit goods – they are usually poor quality and could be unsafe. Try using www.brand-i.org which directs you to trusted websites.
  • Avoid “spoof” links to fraudulent sites sometimes found in spam emails. If you know the website address you want, type it in your browser directly, rather than follow a link. If you hover your mouse over a link, the address will be shown at the bottom of the browser – does it look right?
  • Only order from secure sites with the padlock symbol in the address bar. The address should begin with https://. Make sure the padlock is on the address bar and not in the web page itself.
  • Check there is a postal address and telephone number on the website. Do not assume that a company is in the UK just because it has “.uk” in the web address.
  • If something does go wrong and the goods you receive are not of satisfactory quality, you now have a 30 day right to reject them and get a full refund. Also, if you pay for an item worth between £100 and £30,000 with your credit card, your credit card provider is jointly liable.

Councillor Tony Thomas, Cabinet Lead member for Housing, Regulation and Environment said: “It is important for everyone to understand and abide by their rights and obligations, it is good for the trader as a positive impression gives repeat business and it is good for the consumer to buy from trusted traders.  Mr Jones did have a few words of caution however for those on the lookout for a bargain, “Remember – if it looks too good to be true, it probably is”.

For advice on your consumer rights call the Citizens Advice Consumer Helpline on 03454 04 05 06 or 03454 04 05 05 for Welsh Language or online via www.citizensadvice.org.uk/wales

Know your rights this festive season

In the run up to Christmas Denbighshire’s Trading Standards team are reminding shoppers of their rights to in order to help them have a worry free festive period.

Councillor Tony Thomas, Lead Member for Housing, Regulation & Environment in Denbighshire said “Knowing your rights can take some of the stress out of shopping.  Shoppers who know their rights shop with confidence, saving time and money, which is good for all concerned.

“Nobody wants to give or receive a defective product but it is important to know how to resolve any issues, should they arise.”

If you have bought goods after 1 October 2015, the Consumer Rights Act 2015 applies and it is now easier to understand and enforce your consumer rights.

Here is a summary of the main changes to the law and tips for a happy Christmas shopping experience:

Refunds for poor quality goods – If you bought goods after 1 October you have the right to a full refund within 30 days of purchase if the goods you have bought are faulty, not fit for purpose or don’t match their description.  If goods have a fault within six months and they can’t be repaired or replaced, in most cases you are entitled to a refund.

Returning unwanted goods – your rights are different depending upon whether you bought from a shop or through distance selling (online, over the phone or mail order) - If you have bought goods from a shop and there is nothing wrong with them and you’ve simply changed your mind, you do not have any rights to a refund although some shops do have a refund policy, so always check the terms of the refund policy before buying. 

If you’ve bought online, over the phone or by mail order - The new law states that if you change your mind you now have 14 days from the date you received the goods to tell the seller you have changed your mind and obtain a refund.  Once you have told the seller you have another 14 days to return the goods.

There are a few exceptions, such as personalised items or goods that will deteriorate quickly.  Make sure you know what your cancellation rights are and how much it is going to cost you to send goods back before you buy.  If the goods are faulty the seller must refund the return postal costs.

Extra costs - If you are buying online, over the phone or by mail order check any additional costs, such as delivery and any other charges. This information must be made clear and you will not be responsible for costs you were not made aware of before you entered into the contract.

Finally, don’t get scammed and watch out for fake goods; always buy from a genuine and reputable retailer. If the price sounds too good to be true – it probably is!  If you are buying online, ensure you check the seller and the website out. Check that the contact details and address is real, do a price check and read online reviews and see whether the trader is part of a recognised association, such as Buy With Confidence (www.buywithconfidence.gov.uk). Check to see if the website is a legitimate stockist by visiting www.brand-i.org.

For advice on your consumer rights call the Citizens Advice Consumer Helpline on 03454 04 05 06 or 03454 04 05 05 for Welsh Language or online via www.citizensadvice.org.uk/wales .  Reporting a fraud can also be done through Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040 or on the website at www.actionfraud.police.uk/report_fraud .

Advice on your consumer rights

Denbighshire’s Trading Standards officers are advising consumers of their rights when shopping and have compiled a list of useful tips for shoppers.

The list gives shoppers dos and don’ts covering everything from the law on returning faulty goods to how using a credit card can save the day on expensive items.

Lead Member for Housing, Regulation & Environment, Councillor Tony Thomas said: “At this time of year when everyone has a big shopping list and are on the lookout for bargains it is important to understand their rights before visiting their local high street or buying online to avoid disappointment.

These top tips for shopping can help avoid being stuck with unwanted or faulty items this Christmas and New Year.”

Top tips include: 

  • Always shop around to get the best price
  • Pricing should always be clear with the original price displayed along with the sale price
  • A shop is not obliged to refund or exchange an item you picked up in the sales unless it has its own returns policy
  • Shops often have sales throughout the year so do not feel pressured into buying items at Christmas or New Year
  • Some retailers provide a “gift receipt” so that the item bought can be changed by you or someone else without the price being revealed
  • If the goods you bought are faulty you have 30 days to return them under the Consumer Rights Act 2015
  • Watch out for pop up shops that may have disappeared by the time you attempt to return any faulty or unwanted items
  • If you buy goods over £100 consider using a credit card as you will get additional protection under Section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act
  • When buying online ensure that the locked padlock symbol is visible when paying and be wary of websites that ask for personal information and are not high street names
  • You have 14 days to change your mind if you have bought goods online but not if they have been made specifically for you

For advice on your consumer rights call the Citizens Advice Consumer Helpline on 03454 04 05 06 or 03454 04 05 05 for Welsh Language or online via www.citizensadvice.org.uk/wales .  Reporting a fraud can also be done through Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040 or on the website at www.actionfraud.police.uk/report_fraud .

Keep children safe this Christmas

Denbighshire Trading Standards are reminding businesses and shoppers to help keep children safe by selling and buying toys that are deemed safe.

Councillor Tony Thomas, Lead Member for Housing, Regulation & Environment in Denbighshire said: “Trading Standards officers across the county keep watch for unsafe toys being sold or imported.  Officers regularly inspect shops to check that toys on sale meet current safety legislation.”

“Retailers must only supply toys which are safe and meet stringent safety standards.  If the toy is labelled with the ‘CE’ mark it means it meets the requirements of the Toys (Safety) Regulations”.

“Toys are generally much safer than they used to be, but there are still non-compliant toys being sold which is why Trading standards is offering the following toy safety tips to keep your children safe:

  • Don’t buy toys without a genuine “CE” mark
  • Always buy from reputable shops and traders
  • If buying over the internet, buy from reputable web sites to reduce the risk of being supplied with unsafe and possibly counterfeit toys
  • Look for safety signs in addition to the “CE” mark (e.g. the British Toy and Hobby Association ‘Lion mark’)
  • Don’t let children play with broken toys as they may no longer comply with safety standards
  • Don’t forget to keep older children’s toys away from the toddler or baby
  • Always remove plastic bags before giving a toy to a child
  • For electrical products, always ensure the plug is a three-pin, made to BS 1363. If it doesn’t include this information, then don’t buy the product. Any safety advice should be always be in English, and should advise on both charging the product and how to use correctly.

For advice on your consumer rights call the Citizens Advice Consumer Helpline on 03454 04 05 06 or 03454 04 05 05 for Welsh Language or online via www.citizensadvice.org.uk/wales .  Reporting a fraud can also be done through Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040 or on the website at www.actionfraud.police.uk/report_fraud .

Counterfeit Goods

With the festive season upon us,  we would like to give its residents a heads up about the purchase and sale of counterfeit goods.

What are Counterfeit Goods?

Counterfeit goods are fake or unauthorised copies of products. Examples of this are pirated DVD’s, CD’s and games. During Christmas, you may be hunting for a bargain, and if a deal seems like it is “too good to be true”, then it probably is!

Dangers Of Counterfeit Goods

  • Fake – Fake products such as car parts can result in you spending much more than you intended. Additionally, they can be unsafe and poor quality.
  • Crime – Sales of counterfeit goods can fund organised crime such as drug dealing and sex trafficking.
  • Tax – Counterfeit sales are conducted without the payment of tax. That means YOU, the tax-payer are being effected directly.
  • Returns – Unlike a licensed product, you will not get a receipt from the purchase of counterfeit goods. If your product turns out to be faulty, good luck getting a refund!
  • Originals – By not getting the genuine product, you hurt the original retailer. This could result in losing your favourite brands due to business failure!

How To Spot Counterfeit Goods

Always buy from a reputable vender, and always get a receipt. If the seller seems dodgy or refuses to produce a receipt of sale – the goods are probably counterfeit.

Check the price and the packaging. Does it seem right? If you are unsure, check the product online or contact the Citizens Advice Bureau - 03454 040506.

Be Safe At Christmas

We wish all of our residents a merry and safe Christmas. Remember, counterfeit goods are not simply a cheaper alternative. They are illegal to buy and sell. If you suspect anyone of selling or producing counterfeit goods, please contact the Citizens Advice Bureau - 03454 040506, or speak anonymously to CrimeStoppers - 0800 555 111.

Let's Talk Turkey

Talk Turkey English

With two thirds of UK households choosing to have roast turkey for their Christmas dinner1, the Food Standards Agency (FSA) is offering tips on how to you can safely prepare turkey at home.Turkey List English

From buying turkey, right through to storing leftovers, there are a number of food hygiene tips that you can follow to protect your loved ones over the festive period.

Top turkey tips

  • When Christmas food shopping, take sufficient bags with you so that you can separate out raw and ready-to-eat foods to avoid cross-contamination.
  • Check the guidance on your turkey to ensure you have enough time to fully defrost it – it could take as much as 4 days.
  • Don’t wash raw turkey; it just splashes germs onto your hands, clothes, utensils and worktops.
  • To work out the cooking time for your bird, check the instructions on the packaging. Check that: the meat is steaming hot throughout; there is no pink meat visible when you cut into the thickest part and meat juices run clear.
  • You can use previously cooked turkey (even if it was frozen) to make a new meal, such as a turkey curry. This new meal can be frozen, but make sure you only reheat it once.

Food Standard Agency Explains

Cross-contamination

Cross-contamination is what happens when bacteria or other microorganisms are unintentionally transferred from one object to another. The most common example is bacterial transfer between raw and cooked food – this is thought to be the cause of most infections.

For example, when you’re preparing raw chicken, bacteria can spread to your chopping board and knife. If you then use the same board and knife to prepare a ready-to-eat product such as bread, this could cause food poisoning.

That’s why it is so important that you either use separate knives and chopping boards, or wash them thoroughly between tasks.

The Danger Zone

The FSA advises that the safest way to defrost food is in the fridge overnight. Bacteria will grow at temperatures above 8°C and below 63°C; this is known as the ‘Danger Zone’ for microbial growth. By defrosting in the fridge, which should ideally be at 5°C or below, the food should never enter the ‘Danger Zone’. Some bugs such as listeria monocytogenes can grow at lower temperatures than 8°C.

Cooking methods

Food cooked in an oven cooks through three heat transfer methods:

  • Radiant or direct heat, where the flames at the back of a gas oven or the element in an electric oven cook the food.
  • Conduction, where the heat travels through the shelf, into the baking tray / dish and then into the food.
  • Convection, where the air within the oven is heated and travels over and through the food (particularly important in fan-assisted ovens – this is why they cook foods faster).

If the bird is stuffed, the convection cooking method is severely hampered. That is why the FSA advises that birds be cooked unstuffed, with any stuffing cooked in a separate tray or dish.

Different cooking times for poultry

We advise that you cook geese and ducks at higher temperatures than chicken. This is in order to help render the fat. Unlike chickens, ducks and geese are waterfowl and have a thick layer of fat under the skin to keep them warm and aid their buoyancy. To remove this, the birds must be cooked at higher temperatures.

Dr Kevin Hargin, Head of Foodborne Disease Control at the FSA, comments: “Every year, there are an estimated 1 million cases of food poisoning in the UK; the easiest way to protect your family this Christmas is to ensure you store and cook food safely.

“We have put together the ‘Let’s talk turkey’ guide, which offers tips around chilling, cleaning, cooking and avoiding cross-contamination, while also explaining some of the science behind our advice.”

Tony Thomas, Lead Member for Housing, Regulation and Environment said: “For many of us, it wouldn’t be Christmas without turkey. However, cooking for a crowd can be a lot of pressure, from having to think about various defrosting and cooking times, to ensuring that all the food is stored safely. Raw and undercooked turkey can cause food poisoning and have serious consequences especially for children, people already in ill-health and older people. 

“This is why the Council is supporting the Food Standards agency in helping you to cook your festive bird with confidence this Christmas.”

For more food safety information this Christmas, visit https://www.food.gov.uk/enforcement/enforcetrainfund/enforcework/lets-talk-turkey-local-authorities-toolkit or follow @denbighshireCC  @FSAWales #LetsTalkTurkey on Twitter for tips and advice throughout the festive period.

Stay safe in taxis this Christmas

With the festive period nearly upon us, the Council is urging residents to stay safe and book taxis in advance of their evening out.

Unlicensed taxis are a common problem across the country and with the Christmas party season in full swing it is important that you know how to tell an unlicensed taxi from a licensed one.  All vehicles will be identified by individually numbered plates front and back with hackney carriage vehicles also having a roof sign.  All drivers will carry ID badges

Unlicensed taxis may seem to offer a better deal but it's not worth risking your safety to save a few pounds. These vehicles are not insured as taxis and the drivers have not gone through the rigorous checking involved in the licensing process.

Licensing officers will be carrying out checks to ensure no unlicensed taxis are operating in the area. Never get in a taxi without first checking that it's the one you have booked or that it's a legitimate Hackney Carriage or Private Hire Vehicle.

When the party is over and you need to get home, remember these guidelines about council licensed taxis:

  • Hackney Carriage Vehicles have a plate attached to the front and rear of the vehicle displaying the vehicle details and licence number
  • Hackney Carriages can ply for hire from designated taxi ranks and can pick up passengers who flag them down
  • Private Hire Vehicles have a blue sign attached to the rear doors of the vehicle showing the licence and a plate at the rear of the vehicle displaying the vehicle details and licence number
  • Private Hire Vehicles can only be booked in advance through an operator

NEVER get in to a vehicle that does not display an appropriate plate at the rear. It is not insured and may not be licensed. Ensure that the driver is displaying a council approved driver's badge. For your own safety, always take a council licensed vehicle - the driver and vehicle have both been vetted.

Licensing Trade this Christmas

Denbighshire Licensing Section and North Wales Police are urging licensed premises to be well prepared for the festive period

Inspector Alwyn Williams said “Good planning before we get into the weeks and days before Christmas and New Year can help make it a successful and safe time for everyone”

Licensees are reminded to ensure the intended activities are covered by your licence/certificate or an exemption and any extended hours planned are within those permitted by your licence.

Emlyn Jones, Public Protection Manager for Denbighshire said “Licensees will be aware of their licence conditions but they should just take time to check their conditions to ensure there are no restrictions on the proposed activities.  If there will be any unauthorised activities then they will need to obtain a temporary event notice.”

The latest day for a standard Temporary Event Notice to be received by the Council, Police and Environmental Health Officer for an extension of hours on the Friday before Christmas (23rd December) is 8th December. Consideration can be given for a “late” Temporary Event Notice after this date although there may not be sufficient time to make changes if there is an objection to that “late” Notice.

Other points for licensees to consider include:

  • Ensure that any temporary staff are fully trained in their responsibilities and that they are authorised to sell alcohol.
  • Refresher training is recommended for all existing staff as a reminder of their responsibilities, which can be overlooked during busy periods.
  • Remind staff that they should not sell alcohol to under 18’s or to persons who appear to be drunk. All premises should implement an age restriction policy, such as Challenge 25, and keep a refusal s book.
  • Be aware that any proposed drinks’ promotion does not breach the mandatory licence conditions.
  • Ensure that any door staff employed are licensed with the Security Industry Authority and wear their badges.
  • Take steps to prevent any activities causing a nuisance to neighbours, including regular monitoring of noise levels.
  • Check the CCTV system is operational
  • Have a list of call out numbers, not just for emergency services but to ensure the premise can operate throughout (electrician, plumber CCTV etc.)

If you require advice or guidance on Licensing matters please contact a member of the licensing team on 01824 706342 or licensing@denbighshire.gov.uk to discuss your requirements.

 

Eating out this Christmas and New Year: Look before you book

If you are booking a restaurant for Christmas or New Year, make sure you choose a venue that is taking food hygiene seriously. So “look before you book” this festive season and check the food hygiene rating.Food Hygiene Scores

Make the right choice

There are plenty of restaurants to choose from that take food safety seriously and have achieved a high rating, so there is no need to risk food poisoning while eating out this Christmas. Our latest figures show that 84% of Denbighshire’s food premise have a rating of 5, the highest rating available. They also show that 95% of all food business in Denbighshire have received a rating of at least a ‘3’.

Look for the black and green sticker

We are encouraging you to check the ratings on the website www.food.gov.uk/ratings or if you’re out and about, check for the green and black sticker. You can also download the app for iphone, android or windows 8.

Legal Requirements

It is mandatory in Wales for all business who have been issued with a rating to display it and advise a customer verbally of their rating if asked e.g. over the phone. Business who have promotion material that details the price and description of foods and how a customer may purchase food other than by visiting the premises, must by law include a statement which signpost the customer the Food Hygiene Rating Website. www.food.gov.uk/ratings

How does the scheme work?

The Food Hygiene Rating Scheme is run by the Council's Public Protection Service, it applies to all food businesses including restaurants, pubs, and cafes.

Each business is given their hygiene rating when it is inspected by an officer from the Food Safety Team. They will check how well the business is meeting the law by looking at:

  • how hygienically the food is handled – how it is prepared, cooked, re-heated, cooled and stored;
  • the condition of the structure of the buildings – the cleanliness, layout, lighting, ventilation, pest control and other facilities;
  • and how the business manages and records what it does to make sure food is safe.Better Business for AllFor more information visit https://www.denbighshire.gov.uk and to report a problem relating to Food Safety or Standards at any of our premises contact us on food.safety@denbighshire.gov.uk or phone 01824 706000.
  • A higher rating can bring huge benefits to any food business: a sticker in the window or badge online will reassure your existing customers and help win new ones.
  • At the end of the inspection, the business is given one of the six ratings from ‘0-5’. The top rating of ‘5’ means that the business was found to have ‘very good’ hygiene standards. Any business should be able to reach this top rating.

Call time on fake alcohol

When vodka is cheap - really, really, cheap, it probably isn't vodka.

Made with chemicals used in anti-freeze, screenwash or nail polish remover, counterfeit booze can leave you blind, in a coma or even worse.

Don't take a risk on fake alcohol.

The 4 Ps

It's important to know how to spot - and avoid - fake alcohol if you do come across it. Always remember the 4 Ps.

Vodka is the most counterfeited spirit. Watch out for fake versions as well as brand names you have never heard of.

If the price looks too good to be true, it probably is.

Watch out for poor quality labelling including spelling mistakes and tampered bottles.

Buy from a reputable off-licence premise.

If you know someone selling fake booze, you probably know the people who will buy it.

Made with chemical used in anti-freeze, screenwash or nail polish remover, counterfeit booze can leave you blind, in a coma, or even dead.

For advice on your consumer rights, or to report the matter to Trading Standards, call the Citizens Advice Consumer Helpline on 03454 04 05 06 or 03454 04 05 05 for Welsh Language or online via www.citizensadvice.org.uk/wales . Reporting a fraud can also be done through Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040 or on the website at www.actionfraud.police.uk/report_fraud

Countryside Services / AONB

Leete Access Improvements

It has been a busy few months at Loggerheads Country Park working on a project to improve the Leete Path to Devil's Gorge.

The Leete Path is of important local historical significance as it follows the line of the channel of water which was taken from the River Alyn at Loggerheads and carried all the way to Rhydymwyn to operate waterwheels within the lead mining areas. On the ground it is possible to see the trough that carried the water in this porous limestone area. We know that this area was such an important part of the lead mining industry and had a huge impact on the local area in terms of industry and employment opportunities within the community.

The Leete Path project is part of a wider programme of work along the Alyn Valley that includes access improvements to Devil's Gorge, woodland management, limestone grassland improvements and the restoration of other archaeological features within Loggerheads Country Park.  The Leete Path is probably one of the most popular paths in the Clwydian Range and Dee Valley AONB and, with help from Natural Resources Wales, we have been able to invest in some of the features that make it so special.

As well as the above, the project has also focussed on making the route much more accessible for everyone to enjoy. For example, we have resurfaced many areas of the path including widening part of the route by adding revetments to make it more accessible for visitors using prams and wheelchairs as many had previously found it difficult. Furthermore, we have also replaced one of the gates to provide easier access. Therefore we hope that this will enable the public to connect further with their local history whilst enjoying the natural environment that surrounds it.

Leethe Path Collage

Clwydian Range & Dee Valley AONB Annual Forum

The annual lecture from the Clwydian Range & Dee Valley was recently held at Llangollen Pavilion.  This year’s lectures focussed on ‘Recreation in Designated Landscapes’.

Keynote addresses were received  from Rob Dingle, Offa’s Dyke Path National Trail Officer; Hannah Arndt Countryside Access Officer; Ian Owen One Planet Adventure Director; Mair Huws, Head of Warden and Access Service, Snowdonia National Park. Katrina Day, Walking for Health Officer  & Helen Mrowiec , DCC & AONB  Senior Recreation Officer. 

The hosts for the evening were Andy Worthington OBE, Chair of the Clwydian Range & Dee Valley Partnership and Dewi Davies Chair of the AONB Partnership Recreation, Tourism & Business Working Group.

It was a most interesting and informative evening with good attendance.

AONB Forum

Denbighshire caves on camera

A television series being broadcast on S4C in the new year will feature a historic site in Denbighshire whether the oldest human remains were discovered.

The remains of 19 Neanderthal teeth, dating back 230,000 years were discovered at the Pontnewydd Cave near Cefn Meiriadog following excavations which took place over many years.

Neanderthals were a different species of humans who use to live within this landscape. Studies have shown that the teeth found have come from at least five individuals ranging from children to adults.

Around 1,000 hand axes were also found, together with the remains of other animals, such as a brown bear skull, making it one of the most significant archaeological sites in Wales.

The cave is protected for its geological and archaeological interests. During the Second World War the Cave served as a munitions store and a wall was built across the cave entrance. 

Pontnewydd Cave 1Pontnewydd Cave 2

Responsible Moorland Access Campaign

Ride North Wales and the Clwydian Range and Dee Valley AONB will be launching an online campaign highlighting the sensitive nature of some of our most sensitive habitats in the AONB.

Ruabon Moor, which stretches from the Horseshoe Pass towards Coed Llandegla and along to World’s End is one of the UK’s finest examples of heather moorland and blanket bog in Wales. Around 80% of the Welsh Black Grouse population live on this moorland, alongside many other ground nesting birds such as skylark, golden plover and hen harrier. The moorland is sensitive to recreational access and this can sometimes have a negative impact on the entire area.

Degradation of heather and bilberry through trampling can lead to the loss of ground cover, which in turn leads to the loss of soil particularly in winter through the harsh conditions faced at altitude. In spring, the area is teeming with ground nesting birds, breeding, nesting and raising their young.

The responsible access campaign will highlight the routes to access the moorland by foot, bike and on horseback in order to minimise the impact to the habitat. Look out for the videos, photos and facts on our social media pages @RideNorthWales and @Clwyd_Dee_AONB to find out more about this fascinating and fragile landscape.

Discovering Limestone Landscapes

Limestone is a special feature of the Clwydian Range and Dee Valley Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) and forms some of the most scenic and remarkable landscapes in Denbighshire, places like Loggerheads, Eglwyseg Escarpment, Prestatyn Hillside and Bryn Alyn.

A new publication produced by the Clwydian Range and Dee Valley (AONB), celebrates these landscapes and provides an introductory guide to how limestone was formed, it special geological features, associated archaeological features, industrial and natural heritage, together with a series of suggested walks to encourage people to experience the best limestone landscapes within the area. A copy of the booklet can be viewed at http://www.clwydianrangeanddeevalleyaonb.org.uk/geodiversity/ , or pick up a copy from Loggerheads Country Park.

The special heritage of the limestone landscape at Loggerheads Country Park has also been captured in a short film created by pupils from Ysgol Tir Morfa in Rhyl working with artist Rob Spaull of Mediapod. (click here to view the film I need to send you the link – just waiting for one logo to go on). The pupils became film writers, producers, presenters, illustrators and camera crew, with fantastic results. A second film shows the children interviewing John Morris, the Park’s Warden about the park and his work, which has a surprising twist at the end (click here to view this film). 

In a second art project, the Community First Walking Group from Rhyl have created a beautiful mosaic designed by Julie Rogers of Illuminarte. The piece captures what is special about Loggerheads, the limestone, the Park’s industrial past, mining, plants such as herb paris, rockrose and bloody cranes bill, the birds and butterflies that are found and also the connection of the area with Liverpool and the Crosville Bus Company.

These two art projects were delivered as a partnership between Denbighshire Countryside and Art Services. The projects were only made possible through the support of the funders Natural Resources Wales, Art Council and the Sustainable Development Fund who have supported various elements of the work, delivered as part of two wider projects, Active Alyn Valley and Limestone Legacy. Limestone habitat management and access improvement works have also been completed under these schemes. We hope that these projects will show people what fantastic geological heritage we have here on our doorstep, increase people’s awareness and understanding about limestone and hopefully help care for its special features in the future.

To receive updates about the work of the Clwydian Range and Dee Valley AONB, like our facebook page.

Christmas at Loggerheads

Christmas spirit has well and truly reached Loggerheads Country Park. We have a magical Christmas experience this year where children, guided by Elfie will meet Mrs Clause in her living room to receive a story and a little message from Santa, complete a Mrs Clausewoodland trail challenge around the Park, do some craft and decorate a biscuit, before receiving a small gift to take home. Public visits start from December the 9th and can be booked at£8 per child (target age 4-8 year olds) at http://plasderwforestschool.co.uk/product/christmas-visits-loggerheads/

Why not come down to Loggerheads to do some Christmas shopping at Loggerheads Centre which has a great range of Christmas gifts available, including local food hampers. Complete your visit with breakfast, lunch, cake, tea or coffee at Caffi Florence.

And when you feel full of turkey, sprouts and mince pies, we will also have a New Year Trail to get the family walking in the New Year.

We hope to see you during the festive season, Merry Christmas from all at Loggerheads Country Park.

To receive information about future events and activities at Loggerheads Country Park follow us on facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/LoggerheadsCountryPark/

Christmas at Loggerheads Collage

AONB Christmas Gifts

Looking for some inspiration for gifts for Christmas?  How about one the AONB’s Dee Valley posters? 

AONB Collage

We have a range of scenes from Llangollen to Corwen, including the railway in A3 and A2 sizes.  These are available from Llangollen Tourist Information (01978 860828) or make enquiries at Loggerheads Country Park (01824 712738).  You can view the full collection at www.clwydianrangeanddeevalleyaonb.org.uk/dee-valley-posters/

Alternatively, you could pick up one of our Local Produce Hampers which are now available in the shop at Loggerheads Country Park!

Hamper 1     Hamper 3

Business Section

Denbighshire businesses remain positive about the future

Businesses in Denbighshire remain positive about the future, according to a recent survey.Business Survey Article English

The Council's annual Business Survey had more than 470 responses, with the majority saying they are more confident about the future than ever before.

The annual survey feeds into the Council’s March for Business month, which offers a wide range of training, networking and advice sessions to the county’s traders, based on feedback in the survey.

Councillor Hugh Evans OBE, Leader of Denbighshire, said: “I’d like to thank the businesses that took the time to complete this survey.

“It is important we continue to listen to the needs of entrepreneurs in the county and offer help and support based on their needs. That way we can offer training and support to businesses that will be a real benefit to them in pursuit of growth.

“I’m pleased so many businesses feel confident moving forward. Denbighshire is here to support businesses and we have a wide-range of projects to help and support businesses within our Economic and Community Ambition Strategy.

“I’m particularly pleased with the feedback on training needs, which shows we have been ahead of the game with our digital skills focus over the past couple of years.”

The survey, conducted by the Council’s Economic and Business Development team, found more than 70 per cent of respondents said their business is stronger than it was in 2016 while only 1 per cent said it was weaker.

More than a quarter expect to increase staff numbers, while 63 per cent are expecting sales to increase.

The survey also found more businesses have taken up broadband and superfast broadband in the last 12 months, recognising that a digital presence and the skills to exploit this are crucial to future business success.

Last year March for Business saw 400 attendees take advantage of 13 events across 10 locations with the benefit of access to 45 business experts.  The 2018 programme of events will be announced early in the new year.

For more information contact econ.dev@denbighshire.gov.uk or telephone 01824 706896.

 

Businesses share their tips in first issue of Denbighshire magazine

High street traders across Denbighshire have been sharing their tips for success.Business Magazine Town Business

The Council has been continuing its policy of talking and listening to local businesses by producing the ‘Town Business’ e-magazine based on what they had to say.

Businesses gave their hints and tips for success as well as advice on important topics facing traders in the county, such as networking and promoting themselves through social media.

Town Business also lets them know what help and support is available from the Council and other organisations.

It has been distributed electronically to businesses in the county and is also available to view on the Council’s website as well as on the #LoveLiveLocal Facebook page.

Councillor Hugh Evans OBE, Leader of Denbighshire, said: “This magazine gives Denbighshire businesses a platform to share their knowledge and tips for success.

“Our ambition is to support a healthy private business sector that delivers good levels of employment and income for business and residents in all of our towns and communities.

“The Council is committed to supporting Denbighshire’s town centres, each of which has its own unique character, and you can see this coming out in the conversations we had with businesses.

“This e-magazine highlights just some of the great range of businesses and business groups we have on our high streets in Denbighshire to give a flavour of all the things we can be positive about.

“Small local businesses offer so much to our residents and visitors and make a huge contribution to the local economy and we are delighted to have been able to give them a voice and share their stories.”

Town Business also offers traders information on the #LoveLiveLocal campaign which encourages businesses and shoppers to shout about great local products on social media.

You can view Town Business in PDF format here  www.denbighshire.gov.uk/townbusiness

Free parking in town centre car parks after 3pm

Shoppers in Denbighshire will be getting a helping hand this festive period.

The Council is providing free car parking in all of its town centre car parks after 3pm throughout December.

Free After 3 aims to support Denbighshire’s town centres and encourage shoppers to take advantage of the wide range of traders on the county’s high streets.

The scheme provides free parking in all Council-operated pay and display car parks in town centres after 3pm every day until December 31.

To find a list of all the car parks included visit www.denbighshire.gov.uk/parking

 

Courses to help businesses get to grips with social media

Another programme of social media training courses for local businesses is being run by the Council.

Following the enthusiastic response from sessions earlier this year, more Facebook and Twitter courses will be delivered in the county.

The new programme includes both advanced and introductory sessions following requests from businesses attending the last set of sessions.

Tutor Helen Hodgkinson, of Grwp Llandrillo’s Retail Skills Academy, will be providing the courses on behalf of the Council.

She said: “The separate advanced and introduction sessions will mean we can focus on the important topics pitched at the right group.

“In Denbighshire there are some great examples of businesses using social media to build their customer bases and the advanced sessions will help them make the most of that audience using very effective but more technical methods.

“The ‘Basics’ sessions will cater for those new to using social media for business purposes, and put them in a stronger position to start engaging existing and new customers online. Turning engagement into potential sales is what theses course are about.”

The popular interactive courses will be held at venues in Rhyl, Denbigh and Llysfasi in January and February.

You can find out more about the courses at www.denbighshire.gov.uk/businessevents

Tourism Update

Tourism Forum Attracts Record Turnout

Denbighshire Tourism Forum, set up to keep tourism businesses, students and anyone with an interest in tourism, up to date with the latest developments in the Discover Denbighshire Logoindustry took place recently and attracted a record attendance.

The event offered a great opportunity for delegates to network and share experiences, knowledge and ideas. Key speakers included the Cabinet Secretary for Economy & Infrastructure, Leader and Corporate Director of Denbighshire County Council, Pro Kitesurfing and Ride North Wales.

Speaker Simon Jones, Owner of Pro Kitesurfing in Rhyl, said: “I really enjoyed the opportunity to highlight the work we do here at Pro Kitesurfing and share our plans for the future with the sector. Obviously, all the exciting developments happening in Rhyl at the moment will have a huge impact on the area and I hope we can all capitalise on this to bring more visitors to our region.”

The latest round of tourism funding to help private and public sector work together to develop and deliver innovative projects to support Visit Wales’ Year of the Sea was announced at the Forum by the Economy Secretary.

The new Denbighshire Destination Management Plan 2017-20, which co-ordinates all aspects of a destination that contribute to a visitor’s experience was also launched at the Forum. The Plan has been produced by the Denbighshire Destination Partnership with support from the Council, Visit Wales, private sector businesses and the wider public sector.

Tourism Forum Collage

For the latest tourism news and to view the Destination Management Plan, please visit www.discoverdenbighshire.wales

Denbighshire Celebrate at Tourism Awards

The Go North Wales Tourism Awards, sponsored by Traveline Cymru, in partnership with Heart, took place on Thursday, 16th November 2017 at Venue Cymru, Llandudno.

The awards celebrated and recognised excellence in the region’s hospitality and tourism sectors, as well as showcasing and celebrating the achievements, hard work and dedication of those working in the industry.

The North East Wales Tourism Partnership (Denbighshire, Flintshire and Wrexham), sponsored the ‘Best Newcomer’ Award.

Denbighshire were celebrating after picking up 4 awards; making a total of 6 from the North East Wales region.

  • Best B&B – Manorhaus Llangollen
  • Best Restaurant – Manorhaus Ruthin
  • Magnificent Crowd Puller (event attended by over 7.5k) – Llangollen International Musical Eisteddfod (LIME)
  • Young Tourism Person of the Year – Tommy Davies, Coed-y-Glyn Log Cabins
  • Best Use of Digital – FOCUS Wales
  • Magnificent Crowd Puller (event attended by under 7.5k) – Underneath the Arches

The winners will now go onto represent North Wales at the National Tourism Awards for Wales 2018 organised by Visit Wales on 8 March at the Celtic Manor Resort, Newport.

For more information on North East Wales, please visit www.northeastwales.wales

Tourism AwardsPictured:  Tommy Davies (Coed y Glyn Log Cabins) and Ian Lebbon (representing LIME)

Denbighshire Literature Distribution Service

Denbighshire Tourism Team runs a quarterly Literature Distribution Service for all tourism related businesses in and around Denbighshire.

This free service allows businesses to order as little or as much of the leaflets on the distribution request form and have them delivered free of charge to their business to help them provide their customers with local information.

If you would like to join the free distribution service please email tourism@denbighshire.gov.uk and we will add your details.

The 2017 distribution service saw 110,496 leaflets being requested by 223 businesses.

The current distribution requests close on the 31st December 2017 with literature being delivered week commencing 8th January 2018.

 

Education Matters

Denbighshire Schools learning crucial lifesaving skills

Schools in Denbighshire have been getting involved in a partnership project to learn crucial lifesaving skills.

During October, various professional health partners worked with schools in North Wales to teach lifesaving skills and provide fundraising packs, to enable schools to put defibrillators in place.

The project aims to place of a defibrillator in a cabinet outside schools so that not only the school, but the whole community will have access to this lifesaving equipment in a cardiac arrest emergency.

Backed by the Council, the School Project has gathered further momentum, using the using the Welsh Ambulance initiative “Shoctober” to launch their appeal to schools in Denbighshire, resulting in more schools coming forward to take part in this ongoing project .

Gary Doherty, Chief Executive Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board said: ‘I am very impressed with how this partnership is working to teach lifesaving skills and help schools put defibrillators in place.’

The national Cardiac Charity SADS UK are supporting schools in North Wales to buy an AED, by providing free fundraising packs, online fundraising platforms and promotional items to help the school raise the money they require.

Dr Eduardus Subkovas Consultant Cardiologist for BCUHB said: During the month of “Shoctober” at least 6 patients have been admitted to YGC following an out of hospital cardiac arrest and have all survived due to bystander.

If your school would like to get involved or for more information please contact SADS UK, email: info@sadsuk.org or tel: 01277 811215

Rhos Street Video Shoot

Schools Saving Lives

Schools Update

Progress has continued over the last months in delivering the 21st Century Schools and Education Programme by Denbighshire, in partnership with the Welsh Government.  We look back at the progress made over the last few months and look ahead to what will be delivered during  what should be an exciting 2018 for Education in Denbighshire.

Ysgol Glan Clwyd project completed

The final elements of the project at Ysgol Glan Clwyd have now been completed and the full buildings and site have been handed back to the school.  The last areas to be completed were the new car park and coach area to the North of the site, the refurbishment of the last teaching areas, the creation of a new Leisure area and the provision of a new Multi Use Games Area for the school.

These works have transformed the teaching and learning environment at the school and have also increased the capacity for Welsh Medium education in the north of the County.

Glan Clwyd Collage

Looking ahead to 2018

2018 will see some significant milestones for the 21st Century Schools Programme in Denbighshire. 

In the town of Ruthin, the Glasdir development which will provide new buildings for Rhos Street School and Ysgol Penbarras will be completed for Easter 2018.  Groups of children recently visited the site to see the progress being made and they were excited to see the progress being made for their new school home. The Council will be working with the two schools very closely in the coming months to ensure a smooth transition between the old and the new.

Elsewhere in the Ruthin area the spring will see works commencing in Clocaenog for the new building for Ysgol Carreg Emlyn whilst plans are being developed for works to commence in Llanfair Dyffryn Clwyd for the new replacement building for Ysgol Llanfair.

The spring of 2018 could also see significant progress for the new 3-16 Catholic School in Rhyl.  The planning application has now been submitted after a positive pre-planning consultation which saw parents, pupils and residents attend a number of consultation events in the town.  The business case will be considered by the Welsh Government early in 2018 and subject to approvals for the Business Case and the Planning Application, works could commence on site in the late spring.

Schools Update Collage

To keep up to date with all the developments don’t forget to follow the Education in Denbighshire blog.

Cafe R

Cafe R

 There is still time for you to book your Christmas lunch at Café R. You can ring them on 01824 708099 to book a table. Cafe R Christmas Menu

They also serve afternoon tea.

 

 

Leisure Services

Spotlight on Denbighshire Community Sport Awards 2017

Denbighshire has celebrated the cream of sporting talent in the county at a glittering awards ceremony held on the 9th November at Llangollen Pavilion.

Out of 150 nominations, the judging panel drew up a final shortlist of three for each category. The winners were announced on the night:-

The winners were:

          Junior Sports Performer - Sacha Didcote

          Young Inspiration - Jonathan Dawes

          Sport in School Award - Ysgol Llywelyn

          Disability Sport Award - Anastasia Blease

          Sports performer - Lesley Wilde

          Team/club of the year - Prestatyn Running Club - Super Vets     Leisure Logo

          Coach of the Year - Corey Williams

          Volunteer of the Year - Izzy Retout

          Lifetime achievement - Ian Price

Councillor Bobby Feeley, Lead Member for Well-being and Independence paid tribute to the wealth of sporting talent in Denbighshire:  "I am delighted to have been part of the celebrations at the award ceremony. The standard of the nominations this year was outstanding. It is fantastic to see how many talented people we have here in Denbighshire. I pass on my congratulations to all of the winners and runners up”.

Most of the nominees and winners give up their own time to help improve community sport in Denbighshire. They work closely with the officers in Strategic Leisure, including the Disability Sport Officer and the Active Young People team.

Denbighshire Leisure would like to thank event sponsors Alliance Leisure, alongside category sponsors Technogym, Denbighshire Education and Children’s Service, Denbighshire Community Housing, Sport Wales, Disability Sport Wales and Arriva Trains, Glyndwr University and the Young Ambassador programme for their support in making the event possible.

To see the videos of the nominees and winners please visit the Denbighshire Community Wellbeing You Tube Channel https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC-SXAl1Vcw4Ej3h5liaYnWQ or visit their Facebook page for lots more photographs.

Sports Awards 4

 

Housing Matters

New Denbighshire homes meet local demand for quality housing

There is celebration for families in Denbighshire, as twelve new homes have been allocated to local people in Llangollen, thanks to a local lettings policy.

Grŵp Cynefin housing association and Denbighshire County Council representatives recently visited the new tenants at their new homes at Llys Brân and Trem yr Orsaf in Llangollen, Denbighshire.

The £1.2million investment saw the former Cottage Hospital site in the town developed to create the new homes.

“We are keen to try and meet local demand for our new developments,” explains Rhiannon Dafydd from Grŵp Cynefin. “Our local lettings policy means there are conditions regarding who can apply for these new homes, giving people who have lived and worked in the area for at least five years the priority on the new homes.

“We are grateful to the new tenants for allowing us to visit the site and to see for ourselves the hard work and effort that has gone into developing the former hospital site over many months into six wonderful new homes and six flats for local people,” explains Councillor Tony Thomas from the Council.

Prior to developing the site, a special bat sanctuary was developed on-site, to safeguard a colony of soprano pipistrelle bats before work progressed. The bats have settled well into their new home, which also serves as a communal storage building for the new tenants.

“Quality, cost efficient homes are what we strive for as one of the leading housing associations in north Wales,” continued Rhiannon Dafydd from Grŵp Cynefin.

“I’m delighted that the new tenants here at Llangollen have achieved just that, comfortable warm homes that ensure they can continue to live and work here in their locality.”

Heritage

Winter Curator Work

Over the winter Carly Davies, Denbighshire’s new Heritage Curator, has been busy working across all sites carrying out object audits.

The purpose of an object audit is to give a quick and clear overview of the museum collection, allowing basic checking of accession numbers, location and condition. Such auditing helps to highlight any discrepancies relating to numbering, location, display and storage, helping to identify any future work and projects that will need to take place. For Denbighshire Heritage Service the object audit is very relevant as we are an Accredited Museum and will be investigated on our museum standards March 2018.

‘As a new member of the Heritage Team carrying out an object audit over all sites is very beneficial for me as I am getting to know the collection. I also have the opportunity to work closely with members of staff on the various sites, who have real in-depth knowledge and passion for the historical places they work with. Hopefully we can discover some hidden gems and untold stories to incorporate into any future development of Denbighshire heritage sites.’

Denbighshire Heritage has a fascinating collection with a whole range of different objects, just a few of those that have been recorded so far have been:

Rhyl Museum Swimsuit

From Rhyl Museum –Swimming Costume. Made from cotton. These would have been regular beach wear for holiday makers to Rhyl in the 1920’ and 30’s. Visit Rhyl museum for an insight into the history of Entertainment, the promenade and Heritage of Rhyl.

Plas Newydd Dog Collar

From Plas Newydd – Dog Collar – This iron chained dog collar is lockable and looks rather uncomfortable by modern standards. The brass plate says ‘Plas Newydd’ and it is believed to belong to Chase who was a stray Sarah Ponsonby rescued after it was found wondering the grounds of Plas Newydd. Visit Plas Newydd to discover the fascinating story of Sarah Ponsonby and Eleanor Butler, see rooms decorated with intricate wooden carvings and take a stroll through the historically listed garden.

Ruthin Gaol Oakum Picking

From Ruthin Gaol – Oakum picking bench – Oakum was the fibre produced from picking apart old ropes, usually those used in shipping which were heavy and often covered in tar. The laborious task of ‘Oakum picking’ was regular work for those incarcerated in Victorian prisons. It could be carried out by children and the old so no prisoner was spared the task. Visit Ruthin Gaol to discover what other punishments Victorian prisoners were given and imagine what it would have been like to be an inmate at a Pentonville Victorian Prison.

These objects and many more will be on display at our museums when they reopen in Spring 2018. Opening times and prices will be available for all sites on our website www.denbighshire.gov.uk/heritage.

Keep up to date with what’s going on in Denbighshire Heritage by following us on Facebook @heritagedenbighshire

Plas Newydd

Plas Newydd House Llangollen was ‘put to bed ’for winter in November by Heritage Assistants Janis Deves and Gail Forrester assisted by Denbighshire’s new museum curator Carly Davies.

The work involved putting delicate items into storage for winter, deep cleaning the fantastic wood panelling and checking the condition of many items that have been on display through a very busy 2017 season.

Curator Carly said It’s been very interesting seeing the house being put to bed for the first time and witnessing the care and consideration taken to keep the house and its contents in tip top condition over the winter months’.

Plas Newydd will re-open to the public in Easter 2018 but before then Carly, Janis and Gail will be back in for the biggest spring clean in Llangollen!

Plas Newydd

Winter Group Tours

After a fantastic season across all sites Ruthin Gaol, Nantclwyd y Dre and Plas Newydd are now closed to the public for the winter. However pre booked group tours are still available at Ruthin Gaol and Nantclwyd y Dre.

Throughout 2017 the Gaol in particular has increased in popularity as an attraction for school groups and the number of visits have more than doubled this year from 2016. Tours are led by our very own Victorian warders who give children a hands on insight into Victorian prison life offering a fantastic educational resource and a fun learning experience for children. Activities have included towing the line, a spell in the dark cell, trying out ‘the crank’ and a prisoner hunt!

At both Ruthin Gaol and Nantclwyd we provide tours for all ages and interests. Over the year we have welcomed coach tours, university groups, historical societies, primary schools and secondary schools.

Here are just a few of our visitor feedback comments from the Gaol and Nantclwyd over the 2017 season:

Excellent! Interactive and hands on activities thoroughly enjoyed by our children. Diolch yn fawr.’ Ysgol y Gogarth, Llandudno (Ruthin Gaol)

‘A fascinating insight into prison life in the 19th century. Very well presented, thank you!’ Andy, Holywell (Ruthin Gaol)

Full of wonderful stories, history at its best!’ Greens and Kights, Leicester (Nantclwyd y Dre)

A hidden treasure indeed. Fascinating history and a very beautiful garden. Thank you.’ Mitchell family, Crewe. (Nantclwyd y Dre)

 If you have a group who would like to explore either Ruthin Gaol or Nantclwyd y Dre then do get in touch by either calling 01824 706868 or emailing heritage@denbighshire.gov.uk.

All sites will reopen to the public in Spring 2018. Opening times and prices will be available for all sites on our website www.denbighshire.gov.uk/heritage

Keep up to date with what’s going on in Denbighshire Heritage by following us on Facebook @heritagedenbighshire

Ruthin Gaol Collage

 

 

 

Features

The recent snowfall in Denbighshire

Below are some pictures of Denbigh and Ruthin after the recent snowfall.  We've also included the gritting video which we hope you find informative.

Pictures of Ruthin snowPictures of Denbigh Snow

What's On / Events

What's on in Denbighshire

January - March 2018

To find out what's happening in Denbighshire from January to March 2018, click here for the most recent booklet.  You won't find yourself short of ideas about what to do in Denbighshire.Whatson English

 

The brochure for October - December 2017 is still available.  To view the brochure, click here.

You can find the brochures and much more on the discoverdenbighshire website.

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