New Leader and Deputy elected in Denbighshire
The Council has elected a new Leader and Deputy for the authority.
Councillor Jason McLellan (Labour – Prestatyn North) is the new Leader and a co-operation agreement with Plaid Cymru has been negotiated to form a ruling partnership.
A former Prestatyn High School pupil, Jason McLellan has lived in Prestatyn most of his life. He qualified in Law from the University of Liverpool before working as a legal aid lawyer across North Wales for many years. He then worked for a Member of Parliament and two Members of the Senedd and is a former Denbighshire councillor, having served one term.
Councillor McLellan said "I believe that Labour and Plaid Cymru have a mandate from the electorate to form a cabinet and deliver for the people of Denbighshire. I am looking forward to working with Plaid and we have so much in common in terms of policies around economic regeneration, addressing housing issues and promoting the Welsh language and culture."
Meanwhile, Councillor Gill German (Labour- Prestatyn North) has been elected Deputy Leader.
Councillor German is also from Prestatyn and a former pupil in the town. She worked as a primary school teacher for over 25 years, with the majority of those years at Ysgol Penmorfa.
One of her biggest wishes is to work on creating greater equality in education.
New Cabinet announced for Denbighshire
The Council has announced a new Cabinet for the authority.
The new Cabinet is as follows:
- Councillor Jason McLellan, Leader and Lead Member for Economic Growth and Tackling Deprivation
- Councillor Gill German, Deputy Leader and Lead Member for Education, Children and Families
- Councillor Gwyneth Ellis, Lead Member for Finance, Performance and Strategic Assets
- Councillor Elen Heaton, Lead Member for Health and Social Care
- Councillor Julie Matthews, Lead Member for Corporate Strategy, Policy and Equalities
- Councillor Barry Mellor, Lead Member for Environment and Transport
- Councillor Win-Mullen James, Lead Member for Local Development and Planning
- Councillor Rhys Thomas, Lead Member for Housing and Communities
- Councillor Emrys Wynne, Lead Member for Welsh Language, Culture and Heritage
Councillor Jason McLellan, Leader and Lead Member for Economic Growth and Tackling Deprivation, said: “Following my election as leader I am pleased to announce my Cabinet. The authority faces a number of challenges ahead. My priorities are reflected in the strong team I have selected from both the Labour group and in working with Plaid Cymru.”
Councillor Rhys Thomas, Plaid Cymru group leader and Lead Member for Housing and Communities, said: “This will be a way of implementing Plaid Cymru policies on matters of vital importance to the residents of Denbighshire.
"Such is the common ground between our two groups that we can now drive forward the policies that will deliver on matters like financial priorities, housing and supporting all our Welsh communities whether rural or urban.”
A link to the list of meeting dates plus lot of other information can be found on our website.
New Chair and Vice Chair for Denbighshire
The Council has elected a new Chair and Vice Chair for 2022/ 2023
At a meeting in Ruthin, the Council elected Councillor Arwel Roberts (Rhuddlan) as the Chair for the next year.
Meanwhile, Councillor Peter Prendergast (Rhyl South West) has been elected Vice Chair of the authority.
During the meeting, former Chairman, Councillor Alan James was thanked for his two years in office as Chair. He had been a Chair for two years after the Council decided to extend his Chair for an additional year due to Covid. Amongst his fund-raising achievements was a sponsored bike ride from John O’Groats to Lands End over 12 days, which managed to raise over £4,000 towards Macmillan.
Work has started on Rhyl’s new youth centre
The Council has appointed a contractor to carry out the full refurbishment of the former East Parade Café to create a modern youth centre in Rhyl.
The modern youth centre will create a comfortable environment for young people to develop skills and access tailored support through activities and training.
Contactors Adever who has worked with the council on previous projects will begin to carry out refurbishment works to the building which are expected to take six weeks to complete with a view to open in September 2022.
Plans for the work include creating a chill out zone, games area, training, a multi station kitchen for independent living skills and training as well as a bespoke therapeutic space.
A consultation group made up of young Rhyl residents have been attending meetings at the property to input their ideas and choose décor for the centre.
The Youth Service is working with a variety of partners and departments to put in place support for young people with their social, emotional and education needs including Welsh language provision.
Councillor Gill German, Deputy Leader and Lead Member for Education, Children and Families said: “I am pleased that works to create a modern youth centre in Rhyl are progressing.
“The centre aims to act as an opportunity hub to assist our young residents overcome a variety of barriers and allow them to achieve their potential.
“This is another project that plays a part in the Council’s wider Rhyl Regeneration Project. I am looking forward to continue watching it progress.”
To find out more about the Council's Rhyl Regeneration programme visit our website.
Volunteers give support to Gronant Tern colony
Volunteers are helping a Denbighshire bird colony thrive on the coast.
The group of Little Terns found at Gronant beach near Prestatyn is the largest breeding colony found in Wales.
This beach site is internationally known as it contributes to over 10 per of the entire UK breeding population as well as supplementing other colonies.
The local colony has been getting a helping hand of support from a volunteer group: the North Wales Little Tern Group. They have helped Denbighshire Countryside service staff put up four kilometres of fencing at the beach to create pens for the birds to safely nest in.
Little Terns at the site have also been seen in greater numbers over the spring with a recent count recording over 200 adult birds, with nests now confirmed at the site.
Councillor Barry Mellor, Lead Member for Environment and Transport, said: “We are really grateful to the volunteers for their work in helping us protect this important colony of Little Terns at Gronant to give them a thriving future at the site.
“If you do wish to see the colony, we encourage people to either come to the viewing platform or the visitor centre with a pair of binoculars to reduce any disturbance to the nesting birds.“
If anyone is interested in volunteering to support the Little Terns colony, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org for further information.
This project is funded by the Landfill Disposals Tax Communities Scheme.
Photo credit: Michael Steciuk
Community Ownership Fund
Alongside the UK Community Renewal Fund and Levelling Up Fund, UK Government have launched the Community Ownership Fund.
The fund is for voluntary and community organisations to bid for match funding to support the purchase and/or renovation costs of community assets and amenities. Proposals will need to prove the value of the asset to local people and demonstrate that the asset can be run sustainably. Unfortunately, town, city and community councils are currently not eligible to apply.
Up to £250,000 match funded capital will be available for all eligible types of assets. In exceptional cases, bidders will be able to make the case for up to £1 million match funding for assets related to sports facilities.
The Community Ownership Fund launched the updated prospectus on 27 May 2022 with the first bidding window commencing 10 June 2022 and closing on the 19th August. There will be two more bidding windows before March 2023. Exact dates will be announced in due course.
Further detail about the fund can be found online here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/community-ownership-fund-prospectus
If you would like support to develop a community project or idea please get in touch with our Community Development Team via email: email@example.com.
Prestatyn High School honoured for ground-breaking campaign
The Council has congratulated four Year 11 pupils from Prestatyn High School for their award winning campaign around anti-discrimination.
The pupils were recognised at the North Wales Police and Crime Commissioner’s Community Awards ceremony, hosted on Thursday 16 June and were honoured for their ‘ Discrimination. It stops with me’ campaign.
The school has started a new curriculum called Social Responsibility in response to the need for more education around this area and addressing matters proactively, the school has amended its procedures for dealing with discrimination, improved monitoring of discrimination and has held a festival of culture and diversity this year. The students have met weekly with a youth worker and have shaped the work that is being done.
Neil Foley, Headteacher of Prestatyn High School, said: “The young people came up with the campaign's advertising materials, they have presented to pupils lower down the school to get their interest in the campaign, they have visited primary schools to educate younger children around discrimination and promote the high school's campaign. It has been through their work with other pupils in the lower school that the idea of the festival grew.
“They have conducted surveys with pupils and with staff and have also presented to school governors and as a result, the governors have half termly feedback on the progress of the campaign.
“These pupils really are incredible. They are dedicated and motivated to impact change. Working with these amazing young people is an absolute privilege in the face of what's been the hardest couple of years in education for pupils and staff, these pupils are striving to make our community a better place whilst at the same time as preparing for their GCSEs. We can't stress enough how brilliant these young people really are. They deserve recognition for their work. Their school is so proud of them and their community should know what truly inspirational young people they are.
Councillor Gill German, Cabinet Lead Member for Education and Children’s Services, said: “This is a fantastic achievement. I have been really impressed with this initiative right from the start and this award is hugely deserved.
“There is a lot of ground-breaking work going on at Prestatyn High around community and social responsibility and it is really exciting that this work, led by the young people themselves, has been recognised as best practice.
“This is a wonderful example of the enthusiastic and committed approach that our children and young people are taking in their bid for everyone to be treated equally and fairly. This work really is inspirational and I must thank and commend Prestatyn High for their efforts in getting this important campaign off the ground, particularly during what has been such a challenging period for education as a whole.”
Construction contract awarded for phase one of the Queen’s Buildings project
The Council has now awarded the contract for phase one of the Queen’s buildings project in Rhyl.
Two new CGI images show plans for the Queen’s buildings, a key catalyst project in the councils wider Rhyl Regeneration programme.
The first phase will see the construction of a new indoor market hall, event space and external landscaped area, along with the refurbishment of the Queens Chambers – the red brick building on Sussex Street.
Although phase one was already due to have begun, due to birds nesting on the site this will now begin in the summer. Professional teams are closely monitoring the site to discourage further nesting and to ensure that birds already nesting are protected.
The funding for the development has been provided by the Council, the Welsh Government Transforming Towns programme and the European Regional Development Fund, and Wynne Construction has been appointed through the North Wales Construction Partnership (NWCP) framework to construct the building.
Councillor Jason McLellan, Leader and Lead Member for Economic Growth and Tackling Deprivation said: “I am very much looking forward to watching this key development progress.”
“The Queen’s Buildings will bring multiple jobs, and a unique retail offering for Denbighshire residents and visitors from further away.”
“People now use their town centres differently. This project will keep us modern and be a real asset to not just Rhyl but the whole of the County and its local economy.”
Signage has recently been installed around the building to showcase other projects associated with the wider Rhyl Regeneration project including Rhyl High School, Christ the Word, The Rhyl Coastal Defences, SC2, 1891, Greening Rhyl, Rhyl Harbour, Costigans Co Working space and Edward Henry Street.
For the most up to date information about projects involved in the Rhyl regeneration programme, please visit our website.
The Cynnig Cymraeg: Celebrate your use of the Welsh language
The Cynnig Cymraeg (Welsh Offer) is a new scheme by the Welsh Language Commissioner. It recognises companies and charities working bilingually.
By working with the Commissioner's Hybu Team to create a Welsh Language Development Plan, your business may be eligible to apply for recognition for your Cynnig Cymraeg. The purpose of the Cynnig Cymraeg is to make it clear to the public what services you can offer in Welsh. It is an opportunity for you to show clients that you take pride in the Welsh language and are ready to use it. The Cynnig Cymraeg helps you to promote and increase the use of Welsh language services available.
How does it work?
- The first step is to contact the Hybu Team for a conversation and to complete a self-assessment about your current use of the Welsh language.
- We will then work with you to put together a Welsh Language Development Plan; set targets if your provision needs to be increased, and ensure that everyone in the company is aware of what you offer.
- Once your Plan is ready, we will work with you to identify your Cynnig Cymraeg: what are the headlines of your Welsh language services?
- Submit to the Commissioner for official approval
- Celebrate and promote your Cynnig Cymraeg
One company that has received the Cynnig Cymraeg is Hill & Roberts from Ruthin who said: “We feel that accepting the Cynnig Cymraeg recognises our hard work and commitment to the Welsh language and gives confidence to new clients looking for an accountant. The Welsh Language Commissioner has a reputation for high standards and therefore we feel privileged to have received the Cynnig Cymraeg and encourage any other businesses that are eligible to apply.”
Contact the Hybu Team for to discuss further: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Update on cost of living support payments in Denbighshire
The Council has administered over £3.2 million of cost of living support payments being funded by Welsh Government.
21,535 people in the county have already received the one off £150 payment. The Welsh Government’s Cost of Living Support Scheme is in place to help residents with cost of living increases and payments will be made to those with properties in Council Tax bands A-D.
Payments will also be made to residents who were in receipt of Council Tax Reduction Scheme Support on February 15, 2022, irrespective of the Council Tax Band, and those with properties in Council Tax Band E where the property has had modifications for disability, reducing the chargeable value to Band D.
Now the Council is encouraging other residents to apply for the funds and an email or text message will be sent to people where the Council has their contact details and a mailshot is being issued to all other qualifying residents, inviting them to apply.
Applications can be made on the website: www.denbighshire.gov.uk/costofliving.
Councillor Gwyneth Ellis, Cabinet Lead Member for Finance, Performance and Strategic Assets, said: “The Council is administering this scheme on behalf of the Welsh Government and we have been working as quickly as possible to make these payments to our customers.
“Many people have already received payments, but we want to make sure that all those eligible for the payments submit their applications as quickly as possible.
“Payments will be made automatically to the majority of residents paying via direct debit, with the remainder of customers needing to complete a short form on the Council’s website.
“The cost of living continues to challenge all of us it is vitally important that our residents claim what is due to them and I would encourage people to apply for the support payment.”
Flag ceremony to mark Reserves Day and Armed Forces Day
The Council has marked Reserves Day and Armed Forces Day
The Welsh and English Armed Forces flags were raised during a ceremony at County Hall.
Armed Forces Day took place on 25 June, and is a chance to support the men and women who make up the Armed Forces community, from currently serving troops to service families, veterans and cadets.
Reserves Day celebrates their contribution to the Armed Forces and took place on June 22.
Attending the ceremony were Councillor Arwel Roberts, Chair of the Council, The Lord Lieutenant of Clwyd, High Sheriff of Clwyd, and several civic dignitaries.
Councillor Roberts said: “The Council is showing our support for Armed Forces members past and present who have risked their lives to keep us safe and who continue to do so. We are paying our respect to the Armed Forces community by flying these flags at County Hall.”
“We are also honouring the vital contribution many reservists make to our Armed Forces.”
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