County Voice

News

Strong turnout at Council's climate emergency meeting

Over 60 people attended a public meeting held at County Hall, Ruthin recently and 104 people watched online as the Council talked through its plans to become a net carbon zero and ecologically positive Council by 2030.

In July 2019, the Council declared a climate and ecological emergency and has called on the Welsh and UK governments to provide assistance and resources to enable the Council to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

The public meeting was the latest step in the process of engaging and consulting with residents and those interested in environmental issues.  The meeting was also broadcast live on the Council’s website.

The meeting discussed two key themes: the first being carbon reduction, the second being around biodiversity and carbon capture. Issues raised at the meeting varied from trees being built on school grounds to the Local Development Plan, council houses, grass verges, reducing carbon emissions through greater use of public transport, tackling river pollution, as well as the need for regular engagement with the public on how the Council is progressing with its proposals.

The Council outlined what it was already doing to respond to climate change, including the introduction of electric vehicles, reduction of carbon in our own buildings, encouraging more staff to work from home, planting trees and encouraging biodiversity through the creation of wildflower meadows.

The Environment is a priority in the Council’s Corporate Plan which was launched in 2017 and so far more than 9,000 additional trees have been planted while the Council has undertaken work to reduce its carbon emissions.

The Council now only uses renewable electricity for its own buildings after switching to a renewable only energy provider for its schools, leisure centres, libraries, council offices and depots.

The Council has also secured Bee Friendly status from the Welsh Government for its work to protect pollinators and to increase biodiversity in the county while the 35-acre Morfa wetland in Prestatyn has been saved for community use for generations to come after the Council secured Welsh Government funding to purchase the site to protect its status as a natural wetland resource.

The Council has also agreed proposals to reduce the use of plastics within Council offices, following a Notice of Motion last year.

Councillor Brian Jones, the Council’s lead member for Waste, Transport and the Environment, said: “We wanted to hear what people thought about our plans as a Council to reduce carbon, increase carbon capture and improve biodiversity.

“We reiterated the fact that the environment is one of the key priorities of our Corporate Plan and that the Council has achieved a lot over recent years in making our county cleaner, greener and more environmentally friendly.    It was great to hear some feedback from the audience, but also ideas and initiatives that the Council could possibly take forward over the coming years”.

Councillor Tony Thomas, Cabinet Lead Member for Housing and Communities, said: “We were very pleased with the level of engagement.   57 questions were sent in to the Council in advance, with plenty of issues and questions being raised by the audience on the evening, as well as some submitted via Twitter and Facebook. It was very clear from the meeting that people are very concerned about the state of environment

Councillor Graham Timms, chair of the Climate and Ecological Emergency Working Group, said: “This was a good opportunity for people to have their say and there was plenty of debate and suggestions put forward.  There were representatives from all corners of Denbighshire and it was clear that there’s plenty of passion around the need to play our part in trying to halt the climate emergency.  Some of the ideas put forward were already consideration by the Council, others were more challenging and would need more detail and serious thinking.

A summary of all the questions raised and the response from the Council is being compiled and will be made available on the Council’s website at a later date.

If you'd like to watch the meeting again, then please visit our website.

Education Matters

First day at school for pupils at Ysgol Llanfair Dyffryn Clwyd

Pupils in Llanfair Dyffryn Clwyd have started lessons at their brand new £5.3million school for the first time.

The new bilingual church school opposite Bron y Clwyd opened on February 26 after moving from the previous building on Wrexham Road.

The project was jointly funded between the Council and Welsh Government as part of the Welsh Government’s 21st Century Schools and Education programme, in partnership with the Diocese of St Asaph.

The school will provide new classrooms, additional learning areas, a reflection area, hall, community room, external play areas, new vehicle access and car parking with a drop-off area.

Bodelwyddan-based Wynne Construction was the main contractor for the project.

Helen Oldfield, headteacher, said: “The school and governing body are delighted with the new school. Today’s opening heralds a new era for a generation of pupils at Llanfair Dyffryn Clwyd.

“The works provide pupils with an amazing learning environment, which the students will benefit from for years to come.

“I would like to thank the project team and Wynne Construction for their hard work on the project.”

Cllr Huw Hilditch-Roberts, the Council’s Lead Member for Education, Children's Services and Public Engagement, said: “Seeing the children’s reaction to their new school was fantastic. They are thrilled with their school which will give them a first-class environment so they can get the best out of their education.

“Thanks to partnership working pupils have the opportunity to achieve their full potential in both Welsh and English. This is yet another example of Denbighshire’s commitment to invest in education facilities and is part of our work to make sure young people have the best possible start in life.”

Rosalind Williams, Director of Education and Lifelong Learning for the Diocese of St Asaph, said: “We are delighted the new bilingual church school in Llanfair DC has opened its doors. This has been a great partnership between the Welsh Government, Denbighshire County Council and the Diocese of St Asaph working together to achieve the best for the children. This fantastic new facility will significantly improve bilingual provision for the village and the surrounding areas.”

Urdd Eisteddfod

Urdd appeals for a lending hand

Do you fancy lending a hand to the organisers of Eisteddfod yr Urdd in Denbighshire, to make sure this is the best event ever?

Fancy seeing yourselves in a bright fluorescent jacket?

Well, you can tick both boxes as Eisteddfod stewards ! As we approach the last stages of the Eisteddfod preparations and years of hard work, the Chair of the Denbighshire Urdd Executive Committee has appealed for some help during the week.

“The truth is that we need an army of stewards for the whole week to ensure the event runs smoothly and without incident, said Dyfan Phillips. “We need stewards all week, from Sunday 24 May through to Saturday, 30 May. If you can offer some help, either for an hour or the whole week, the Eisteddfod would be delighted to hear from you and the local committee would really welcome the support as they try and put in place the arrangements for the week”.

Contact Ruth at the Eisteddfod Office on 01678 541012 or e-mail: ruth@urdd.org

 

 

Eisteddfod yr Urdd is on its way – and there’s less than a 100 days to go!

The 100 day milestone was celebrated with a photo shoot on the site at Kilford Farm on the outskirts of Denbigh, as well as a live broadcast from Denbigh Library when children from Ysgol Pen Barras, Ruthin performed.

Now, as the Eisteddfod enters its final stages of preparations, the Council is also busy making arrangements its marquee for the maes. Discovering Denbighshire is the theme for the marquee and we will have plenty of activities and information for the whole family.

We will be having a dedicated arts and crafts section where we will be inviting children and young people to get involved in creating a piece of art that will be created during the day.

We will have a theatre space where choirs and individuals can perform or take the opportunity to rehearse for competitions.

There will be a space promoting tourism businesses in Denbighshire with plenty going on to give you a taste of what’s on offer in the county.

Countryside Service are arranging some activities to promote their work, so watch this space for more information a bit nearer the time.

Hundreds of children and young people are also heavily involved in preparations for the eisteddfod’s primary and secondary school age group shows.

All in all, it’s a busy time … and we must not forget the tremendous support provided by Denbighshire communities. They have worked tirelessly to raise funds for the Eisteddfod through numerous fundraising events and activities.

Come and see us at our marquee – it would be great to see you.

Recycling, Waste and the Environment

Recycle and keep up with the Jones'

The Council is the latest authority in Wales to join in the national Keeping Up With the Jones’ campaign, aimed at encouraging more people to recycle.

The campaign focusses on those households that currently rarely recycle or do not recycle at all and is one of a number of recycling initiatives launched in the county ahead of major changes to waste and recycling collections being introduced in 2021.

Leaflets that inform residents about the campaign have been delivered through letterboxes.   The leaflet explains why people should recycle, how to recycle and how people can access recycling receptables/ food bags if they don’t have any.

Over the coming months, those properties that do not recycle will receive a letter, querying the reasons and offered information and support to change their recycling behaviour.  Council staff will also be working in communities to show people how to sort and recycle properly.

The Council will have the option of issuing fixed penalty notices to individuals who continue to avoid recycling, but that will be the last resort

As part of the enforcement process residents who are reported as not recycling will be visited to offer support.  On occasion, the Council may identify a vulnerable or elderly householder who may not be able to recycle all the things expected of them and teams can work with them and their families or carers to recycle what is possible  and ensure that no enforcement action is taken under certain circumstances.

Councillor Brian Jones, Cabinet Lead Member for Highways, Environmental Impact, Waste and Sustainable Travel said: “Denbighshire’s recycling rates has reached 64% and we are amongst the best recyclers in the UK. That is great news for the environment and we thank residents for their great efforts.

“However, we expect the recycling target to increase to 70% and may even go further than that in future, so we need to be doing more.  There is greater expectations on Denbighshire to make sure it recycles more and that can only be done through working with communities and changing the recycling behaviour of those who do not recycle.

“The cost to the Council of not recycling is significant, but also completely avoidable. When items that could be recycled end up in the bin, everyone in the community loses out. These are the reasons we’re focussing on those few households that – for whatever reason – have ignored the need to recycle so far.

“We’ve made recycling easy. There are fortnightly collections from right outside the door for many items, including paper, card, cans, bottles, plastic pots tubs and trays, glass jars, aerosols, foil and food. When we roll-out our new waste collection model, we will increase this to a weekly collection.  There are also recycling parks at Rhyl, Denbigh and Ruthin, as well as monthly collections in Llangollen and Corwen.

“It really doesn’t take much time or effort to sort your items into the correct bags, bins and boxes, so we really hope that Denbighshire residents get behind us”.

Budget

Council sets its budget for the next financial year

The Council has approved its budget for the 2020/2021 financial year, with an increase of 4.3% in council tax for the county’s residents.  

The draft settlement announced by Welsh Government last December showed an increase of 4.3% in the budget for Denbighshire and this is one of the highest increases seen for the Council since 2007/2008. In cash terms this means an increase of £6.2 million.

However, in setting the budget, councillors considered the fact that there are £12.41 million budget pressures facing the authority, including continued pressure on social services, education, school transport, waste services and pay increases. The settlement from Welsh Government would have needed to be an increase of 10% to cover these pressures.

In light of the better settlement, the Council has been able to keep the increase in council tax as low as possible, with this year’s increase of 4.3%. which is lower than last year’s increase of 6.35%.

The budget for the 2020/ 21 financial year is £208 million.  This includes a £1.5 million increase for education and children’s services; £2.8 million for schools; £2.6 million for adult social care;  £1.4 million for waste; £600,000 for school transport and £200,000 for climate change.

Councillor Julian Thompson-Hill, Cabinet Lead Member for Finance, said: “The Council has a legal duty to set a balanced budget for the forthcoming financial year and I must commend councillors and staff who have worked tirelessly to get us to this position today where we can officially set the budget. They have come up with proposals to balance the books and have scrutinised and deliberated over the figures before coming up with the budget agreed at Full Council.

“A lot of work has gone on behind the scenes to identify more efficient and effective ways of working within the Council and the savings we have identified, together with the better settlement than expected, means that we have been able to keep the council tax levels low.  The public has told us that they did not want to see large increases and we have listened to their concerns and worked to find alternative ways of finding savings.

“The other good news is that we have been able to protect essential frontline services that people want and expect from the Council.   The cuts we are taking forward this year will have little if any impact on the public and that has been a crucial part of our thinking from the beginning. The Council has a strong track record of doing this and we have tried to lead by example by being as efficient and effective as possible, reducing our budgets and making savings through not replacing some posts and identifying better ways of working or stopping some things altogether.

“Moving forward, we will continue to host discussions with Welsh Government to provide a more sustainable footing for local authority finances in the future”.

Your council tax bill for the year ahead will be arriving through the letterbox in the coming few weeks.

For information as to whether you are eligible for a reduction in your Council Tax, visit our website.

Business Section

Denbighshire’s annual business month returns

The Council’s March for Business month returns for its fifth year offering a mix events, training and workshops for the county’s traders.

Events include social media training covering Pinterest, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, as well as workshops with Business Wales and the Development Bank of Wales.

The Denbighshire Support Provider Network event will provide tips on how to take your business to the next level with a keynote speaker, workshops and the chance to speak to advisors and professionals.

Other highlights include Blas Lleol, a showcase of local food and drink suppliers, a celebrating enterprising women event and the annual Federation of Small Businesses networking dinner.

Councillor Hugh Evans OBE, Leader of the Council, said: “Our March for Business programme is designed to meet the needs of businesses in the county and offers a chance to network and get expert advice around issues that matter to them.

“They can then take this knowledge forward and help grow their business, making a real difference to the county’s economy.

“I’d encourage local businesses to take advantage of the varied events held during March for Business by booking online.”

March for Business is part of the Council’s work on developing the local economy to make sure the county’s communities are resilient and residents have access to goods and services.

For more information or to book visit our website.

Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty

North East Wales Countryside Officer Forum

On 23 September last year, the North East Wales Countryside Officer Forum (NEWCOF) reconvened for its second meeting of the year, this time hosted by the National trust at the beautiful Chirk Castle estate.

A tour of Chirk Castle grounds

NEWCOF was established as an opportunity for networking and the sharing of best practice between the Countryside Officers of Wrexham, Denbighshire, Flintshire and Conwy County councils. The Forum has now expanded to include a number of other public and third sector organisations such as the RSPB, Welsh Water, Natural Resources Wales, Arc (Amphibian & Reptile Conservation), North Wales Wildlife Trust, WildGround and the National Trust - who hosted the forum for the first time this year.

Historically these meetings have been hosted all throughout North East Wales, with different authorities and organisations taking turns to host. In the last two years alone, it’s travelled to Plas Newydd House Museum and Gardens, Great Orme Country Park, Wepre Park and Loggerheads Country Park. Because of this, the forum is a great opportunity to learn about other areas and the projects that different organisations are working on. The meeting in September was kicked off with presentations from both the Halkyn Mountain and the Landscape Solutions Projects and in the afternoon, one of the Chirk Castle rangers lead a tour around the castle’s 480 acres of estate parkland.

The travelling nature of the forum also affords varied training opportunities, generally offered by one of the rangers to share skills across the countryside services. In the past we have had heather burning, moorland management and tree safety training, to name a few. Next season we will be looking at best practice controlling invasives, assessing the quality of ffridd habitat, and habitat management for Reptiles.

Having these regular forum meetings means we can not only share skills between all of our services, but also exchange knowledge and ideas. At the last NEWCOF back in March we had an equipment demonstration of a new Flailbot on Moel Famau, and in September we heard from the Halkyn Mountain rangers on their trials of different methods to convert areas of thick bramble back to limestone grassland. Furthermore, these meetings have the added benefit of creating cohesion. Through regular contact and communication, we create a more connected countryside service throughout North East Wales.

Out and About

A spontaneous walk across our windswept heather moorland or through our river valleys can help you unwind, give you a tremendous sense of tranquillity and put you back in touch with the real you.

But sometimes you might like something a little more organised.  You might be craving fun and company, and you might even want to bring the kids along.

That's why every year they produce an events programme called "Out and About".  It's crammed with family events, guided walks and practical projects, and they won't cost you a penny.

So if you want to see a hillfort, pick a bilberry, watch a meteorite, detect a bat or hunt some bugs - visit their website to download the booklet.

There's an event for everyone in there.

To book a place or to find out more, call the team on 01352 810614 or email loggerheads.countrypark@denbighshire.gov.uk.

Countryside Services

Nature for Health: the Wellbeing Benefits of Volunteering

Denbighshire Countryside Service and Denbighshire Housing have collaborated for the ‘Nature for Health’ project.  Claudia Smith, who works for Countryside Services tells us a bit more about the project.

Originally funded by Natural Resources Wales since its 2018 launch, this 18-month pilot project has been granted a year’s extension with help from Denbighshire Housing and Social Services. Its focus is to improve wellbeing using social prescribing: healthcare professionals and other organisations can refer service users to take part in conservation and healthy lifestyle activities.

“The project provides on the doorstep opportunities to help people live healthier and more fulfilled lives through improved access to the natural environment” – Emily Reddy, Community Development Coordinator for Denbighshire Housing.

The Nature for Health team have been working across Denbighshire, involving Nature Reserves managed by Denbighshire Countryside Service. Conservation and walking sessions have been running in Rhyl, Prestatyn, Llangollen and Corwen. As a Ranger based in North Denbighshire, my role is to deliver conservation activities in Rhyl and Prestatyn. Volunteers have been involved in the maintenance of two reserves in particular; Glan Morfa in Rhyl and Coed Y Morfa in Prestatyn, both former landfill sites now transformed into green spaces. In Rhyl, volunteers have been involved in the nationwide ‘Plant!’ project, with 1350 trees planted so far this winter. Volunteers have been involved in viewpoint maintenance, fencing, bench installation, hedgelaying, wildflower habitat creation and Keep Wales Tidy’s ‘Spring Clean Cymru’ month. In Prestatyn, we have planted and maintained a 300-metre long hedgerow, in partnership with Keep Wales Tidy’s Long Forest Project, during a number of well-attended sessions. Our volunteers have also been involved in woodland improvements on the site, as well as wildflower planting and nest box building. We have been working closely with Pete Harrison and Steve Ford from the Morfa Gateway Project to transform the site entrance into a welcoming green space, which can be enjoyed by wildlife and people alike!

Tree planting at Glan Morfa, Rhyl

We have been leading other types of sessions: craft activities are popular with volunteers and are seen as a reward for their hard work! They also encourage participants with mobility difficulties to get involved, and introduce new attendees to volunteering. Our willow-weaving, felting, mosaic and wreath-making sessions were very successful. Volunteer trips have proved very enjoyable, including the north team joining forces with the south team at the Corwen allotments, and a visit to Gronant’s little tern colony. Over the summer, we provided a variety of family activities and fun days, including woodland skills, camp cooking and wildlife talks, engaging local children with nature. Furthermore, our training events have provided volunteers with new skills, including hedgelaying, dry-stone walling and walk leader training.

Volunteer trip to Corwen allotments

Public engagement with the Nature for Health project has continued to grow. The activities bring communities together, and encourage local residents to take pride in their local green spaces. It provides an alternative form of exercise for those who wouldn’t usually use a gym, in an outdoor setting, improving mental and physical wellbeing. Our participants enjoy meeting new people, and the activities act as an ice-breaker for those who find social situations difficult. The social aspects are particularly important for volunteers with disabilities, who enjoy coming together with the community. Additionally, the three-hour Nature for Health sessions have proved a success with those new to volunteering. Many of our volunteers have since gained the confidence to attend our full-day activities. Other volunteers who started attending the healthy walks received training and now lead walks themselves, developing their leadership skills. Volunteers have developed new skills through the activities, which has improved their job prospects.

I have put my volunteering experience down on my CV and by doing so, it has helped me gain full time employment… I still meet the Nature for Health group on my days off as it’s a great way to keep active and healthy” – Ben Haworth-Booth, Nature for Health volunteer.

Mosaic-making at the Phoenix Centre, Rhyl
Credit:  Katrina Day

Nature for Health has benefitted our work within the Countryside Service. Many new volunteers started out attending the Nature for Health project, and now regularly volunteer with our general conservation sessions. A number of these volunteers attended our annual hedgelaying competition in December! Contacts within other organisations have been involved in introducing new volunteers to us: we have had referrals from GPs as a way of alleviating mental and physical health issues. New contacts in Working Denbighshire have sent volunteers our way, as well as supported living organisations. The production of promotional films to be shown in GP surgeries has further increased awareness of the project. Social media has been an effective tool: many attendees find out about these sessions through our Facebook page. As a result, our volunteer hours have increased dramatically, and we have been able to develop our work on Countryside sites.

Hedge planting in Prestatyn

We plan to continue with the Nature for Health project over the coming months in the target areas, with the aim of engaging more people in local communities. We hope that the use of nature to promote wellbeing will be picked up by organisations beyond Denbighshire to encourage communities to get involved in their green spaces.

Please contact claudia.smith@denbighshire.gov.uk, call 01824 708313, visit their website or check out the Denbighshire Countryside Service Facebook page for more information on how to get involved with the Nature for Health project.

Easter fun for all the family at Loggerheads Country Park

Come along to our Easter Trail, available throughout the Easter holidays. Just call into the Visitor Centre to pick up your trail, there is a charge per child and a prize at the end of it.

Come and have some fun and learn about nature in the park!

Our Picturesque Landscape

Horseshoe Falls Improvements

Our Picturesque Landscape has embraced the start of the second year of delivery with the installation of new heritage railings at the Horseshoe Falls viewpoint and canal intake.

Created by a Welsh blacksmith, the railings have opened up the ‘nose’ area of the viewpoint previously closed off to the public and created an interesting and accessible feature of the start of the 11 mile Pontcysyllte Aqueduct and Canal World Heritage Site.

Horseshoe Falls Improvements

Corwen Museum Exhibition

Corwen Museum are hosting a new exhibition for 2020 based to celebrate the artists who were drawn to the Edernynion landscape of the Corwen area and the Our Picturesque Landscape project is supporting this exhibition.

We are working with local schools to develop landscape paintings.

An art competition is planned as part of the project and a landscape painting event for the public planned for 20th June.

Pop into the museum from 29 February to 1 November to have a look and discover more about the interesting characters drawn to the area in the past!

Further information can be found on their website.

Watch this Space!

Look out for lots of new things due to launch over the next couple of months including a new website for the Clwydian Range and Dee Valley Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, the first in a new series of promoted walks in the Dee Valley – Walking the Picturesque and a new digital trail to discover Llangollen’s Heritage which has been created in partnership with Llangollen Museum and will be found on the North East Wales Digital trails App.

Scan the below QR code to find out about these trails across the area.

Housing Matters

Significant investment in Denbighshire housing continues

Tenants of council homes in Denbighshire are reaping the benefit of a five year programme of investment in its housing stock and its communities.

Denbighshire now has the 5th lowest rent levels of the 11 stock retaining councils in Wales and charges the lowest average social housing rent in Denbighshire and of neighbouring authorities.

Income from rents is used in its entirety to fund the work of Denbighshire Housing. It does not receive any funding through council tax, not r does it subsidise any other council service. Funding is also received from Welsh Government to support and maintain housing stock.

Over the last five years, the Council has invested in properties:

  • £1.9 million on estate and neighbourhood improvements, including 17 new play areas.
  • £1.6 million in disabled adaptations.
  • 2,525 properties properties painted externally
  • 350 new roofs have been installed.
  • 350 properties have been rendered
  • 675 kitchens and bathrooms have been fitted.
  • 325 sets of windows have been replaced.

The Council is investing in 170 additional homes over the next three years, securing quality homes and services well into the future.

Councillor Tony Thomas, Cabinet Lead Member for Housing and Communities, said: “We continue to invest in activities to work with our communities.

“We have a number of projects on-going, these include projects to improve our open spaces whilst supporting the health and well-being of communities, organising regular roadshow events around the county and supporting people with fuel and financial advice, and helping more people get online”.

For more information, please visit their website

Foundations laid for 2020 housing awards in Denbighshire

Denbighshire Housing is launching its second annual Tenant Awards, to recognise tenants’ achievements and commitment.

The awards will celebrate the achievements and participation of tenants, their work within the communities in which they live and projects that are happening across Denbighshire. They are also proud to announce that the main sponsor for this year’s awards is G Parry of Ruthin, a local building company who has been operating for over 40 years and employ a local skilled workforce. 

This year’s event will be hosted at 1891 in Rhyl on 20 May and over 80 delegates are expected to attend, including key housing professionals, tenants and members of our communities and tenants.

This year’s award categories will include:

  • Tenant of the Year
  • Housing Resident / Community Group of the Year
  • Customer Services Award for Denbighshire Housing
  • Young Tenant of the Year
  • Garden of the Year – Community Area
  • Garden of the Year – Tenant
  • Garden of the Year – Communal Area
  • Community Projects of the Year
  • Denbighshire Housing Award

They are proud to launch two new awards for this year; 'Community Hero of the Year' and 'Good Neighbour of the Year'.  These awards are open to anyone who is a neighbour of or has helped a Denbighshire Housing tenant. We are honoured and delighted to be launching the 2020 awards and look forward to another night to remember in May and to award those that go the extra mile in creating a great environment for our tenants and communities.

Councillor Tony Thomas, Cabinet Lead Member for Housing and Communities, said: “Improving housing is a priority for the Council and hosting events like this is a great way of honouring individuals and communities for their commitment.  Our tenants and our own colleagues provide a tremendous amount of work and commitment out there and are great ambassadors for Denbighshire Housing."

Geraint Parry of G Parry, Ruthin, said: “We are delighted and proud to be supporting this year’s Denbighshire Housing Tenant awards as main sponsor. Whilst contractors such as ourselves have a major part to play in building and construction work on properties, it is often the unsung heroes that work to manage individual properties and estates. There are lots of examples of good work across Denbighshire and we would urge people to get nominating and give us an opportunity to recognise their achievement."

For more information about the awards or to make a nomination, please contact Denbighshire Housing on 01824 706000 or via e-mail housing@denbighshire.gov.uk or visit their website.

Closing date:  3 April 2020

Working Denbighshire

Working Denbighshire

www.denbighshire.gov.uk/workingdenbighshire

Tourism

Denbighshire Tourism Ambassador Scheme

We are delighted to announce that all 11 modules have now been launched of the Denbighshire Tourism Ambassador Scheme.

The modules are:

  • Welcome to Denbighshire
  • Denbighshire Towns & City
  • Walking in Denbighshire
  • Cycling in Denbighshire
  • History & Heritage in Denbighshire
  • Welsh Language and Culture
  • Arts in Denbighshire
  • Pontycysyllte Aqueduct and Canal World Heritage Site
  • Clwydian Range and Dee Valley Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty
  • Coastal Denbighshire
  • Food Tourism

This free scheme is designed to improve the visitor and local experience for people who work in tourism, work with visitors, live or study in the area. A series of interactive online training modules with quizzes have been produced. There are 3 levels of awards – bronze, silver and gold, depending on the amount of modules completed. Each person will receive a certificate, pin badge and window stickers on completion of the awards.

Become a Denbighshire Tourism Ambassador today!

The project has received funding through the Welsh Government Rural Communities - Rural Development Programme 2014-2020, which is funded by the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development and the Welsh Government.

The North Wales Way

The Wales Way is three distinct routes – The North Wales Way, The Coastal Way and The Cambrian Way.

The North Wales Way runs for 75 miles past mighty castles into the island of Anglesey.

North East Wales takes in 25 miles of the North Wales Way from the English border to Rhyl. This section offers sandy beaches, wooded river valleys, medieval castles and handsome market towns as well as iron Age hillforts, industrial heritage and the stunning Clwydian Range and Dee Valley Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

Find out more about the North Wales Way and suggested itineraries on different themes – heritage, adventure, walking, landscape, golf and food & drink.

Keep posted on tourism news

Would you like to hear about the latest tourism news in Denbighshire & North East Wales?

Click here, so sign up.

 

Ruthin Craft Centre

'The Craft of Wellbeing'

There's lots happening at Ruthin Craft Centre this March.

News

Denbighshire Community Development Support

Since the last issue of County Voice, Denbighshire’s Community Development Team have been working hard to support community groups and organisations from across the County to develop project ideas and offer community funding advice.

The first round of the Brenig Windfarm fund proved highly competitive as expected, but with a large proportion of the successful applicants being Denbighshire based projects there was a positive outcome for local communities. We now eagerly await to hear the outcome of the Brenig Windfarm Fund’s second round and look forward to the launch of the larger Clocaenog Windfarm Fund (worth around £758,000 per annum, index linked).

Of course there are many other funding opportunities for community projects in Denbighshire and so we have listed below some key upcoming funding dates for your diary:

  • Denbighshire Community Endowment Fund: An educational fund for individuals and organisations in Denbighshire. Next deadline: 31st March (fund opens 6 weeks before)
  • Education Fund for Denbigh and Surrounding Area: An educational fund for individuals and organisations in Denbigh and surrounding villages. Next deadline: 31st March (fund opens 6 weeks before)
  • Gwynt y Môr Windfarm Fund Large Grants: Capital and revenue funding available for community projects in North Denbighshire. Next deadline: 31st March
  • Burbo Bank Windfarm Fund: Capital and revenue funding available for community projects in North Denbighshire. Next deadline: 1st April

As well as offering tailored one to one support for groups developing community projects in Denbighshire, the Community Development Team also organise various events. Be sure to take note of what’s coming up:

West Rhyl Tidy Town Community Event Monday 20th April, 5-7pm at the Foryd Centre, Princes Street, Rhyl, LL18 1LS.

  • Would you like see improvements in West Rhyl? How about having a say in the future of your community? Would you like to find out what others are doing and how to get involved?
  • Come along to our free open event where you can meet like-minded residents and speak to organisations who are creating projects to help make West Rhyl a cleaner, greener place to live and work.
  • Free prize draw entry for all attendees, create and take home your own hanging basket or planter, bling your bin (bring along your blue recycling bin and a local artist will help you decorate it for free), light finger buffet and refreshments provided.

Organising Community Events Information Workshop Tuesday 12th May, 6-8pm at Rhewl Pavilion, Rhewl, LL15 1TN.

  • Come along to our free information workshop, themed around the topic of hosting and organising small to medium sized community events in Denbighshire.
  • Network with other event organisers, learn about key considerations, hear about the Denbighshire event notification process and event toolkit, ask questions and seek advice for your own event, share good practice and key challenges, learn about the Council’s event infrastructure and equipment inventory project. Light refreshments provided.

Community Engagement and Evidencing Support Information Workshop Wednesday 1st July, 10am-12.30pm at Eirianfa Community Centre, Denbigh, LL16 3TS.

  • Come along to our free information workshop, themed around the topic of gathering and demonstrating community engagement and support for your project. A key requirement for many funders.
  • Further details to be confirmed.

North Denbighshire Funders Fair Rhyl, date and venue to be confirmed.

  • Come along to our free funders fair. Meet local and national grant funders, find out what funding is available, seek advice for your community project and discuss grant applications with the funders directly.
  • Further details to be confirmed.

If you would like support to develop a community project or idea please get in touch with our Community Development Team via email: communitydevelopment@denbighshire.gov.uk or ring them on 01824 706000.

For more information on funding availability and community development please visit our community planning webpage.

Progress with Welsh Language Centre development

You may have noticed as you drive past Ysgol Glan Clwyd, St Asaph that work has begun on building a Welsh Language Centre on site.

The former science block at the school was made redundant as part of the £16 million brand new school development on site and will now be home to the brand new Welsh Language Centre.

The Centre will be used to provide provision for pre-school pupils, support latecomers to Welsh medium education, a facility for the development of Welsh Language resources, as well as a facility that can be used for adult learning outside of school hours.

The development will provide additional car parking capacity for 40 vehicles.  

The plan forms part of the commitment the Council has made towards contributing to the development of the Welsh language in the county and towards the Welsh Government’s target of a million Welsh speakers in Wales by 2050.

We will keep you informed of progress.

Community Green Pledges Initiative

The Conwy and Denbighshire Public Services Board (PSB) has launched a Community Green Pledges initiative to help community groups and organisations make changes which could have a positive impact on the environment.

The Conwy and Denbighshire PSB is a collaboration between public bodies who are working together to improve the economic, social, environmental and cultural well-being of Conwy and Denbighshire.

One of the Board’s priorities is supporting environmental resilience.

The PSB recognises that Climate Change is one of the defining issues of our time and the biggest threat to our well-being - globally and locally.

To help support this priority, and make a difference locally, the PSB has developed a Community Green Pledge initiative which identifies 5 Green Pledges that community groups and organisations can make to reduce their impact on the environment. Each pledge includes suggestions, possible opportunity for funds and guidance on things which can make a difference.

This scheme is free and open to anyone to join - such as community groups, sports clubs, villages, towns, charities, businesses and social enterprises. 

You can find out more about the pledges by visiting their website.

Heritage

VE Day Celebrations in Ruthin

This year marks the 75th anniversary of Victory in Europe, marking the end of WW2 in Europe.

To commemorate this historic event, Ruthin Gaol is having a special celebration and asking people to share their memories.

During 1946, Ruthin hosted a programme of special celebratory events and to recreate this we would love to hear stories of peoples’ recollections of those Victory celebrations. Do you or your family have memories, artefacts or photos of relating to VE day? If you do please contact heritage@denbighshire.gov.uk or 01824 706868 / 708259

Ruthin Gaol was used as a munitions factory from 1942 until the end of the war and as such had a special part to play in the war effort and the community of Ruthin. To mark this important time in history, we are holding a special VE Day event on Wednesday 27th May 2020. Come and see what life was like in wartime Ruthin, hear stories of land girls, the home front and the munitions workers here at the Gaol.

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