County Voice


Corwen Leisure Centre to be renamed in tribute to popular councillor

An extensively refurbished Corwen Leisure Centre will reopen after lockdown with a brand new name in honour of much-loved Councillor, Huw ‘Chick’ Jones.

Denbighshire Leisure Ltd and the Council are proud to announce the renaming of Corwen Leisure Centre to Canolfan Hamdden Huw Jones, in tribute for the popular local and County Councillor who sadly passed away in February 2020.

The exciting refurbishment of Corwen Leisure Centre, delivered in partnership with the Council, is now complete and includes a new pool hall, changing areas, viewing area and new state-of-the-art fitness equipment.

Councillor Jones was a very well respected, hard-working Councillor, who was involved in many, community groups and projects in his home town of Corwen. He also acted as the Council’s Lead Member for Leisure from 2013 until 2017 and had a strong belief in the importance of leisure and its effect on improving health and wellbeing.

During Councillor Jones’ time as Lead Member, the focus on leisure within Denbighshire was rapidly growing, and he played an important role in the development of Denbighshire Leisure Services, from a small County Council Service into a busy, thriving Company.

Huw’s personal passions and interests centred around sport, particularly football. He will be perhaps be most remembered in Corwen for his work with Corwen Football Club and was committed to developing girls and women’s football in the area.

Jamie Groves, Managing Direct of Denbighshire Leisure said “Huw was a popular, kind and trusted man, who wanted the best for everyone in his community and his county. When he was appointed as Lead Member for Leisure, we were beginning a journey with many challenges ahead of us. Without Huw’s commitment and loyalty, many of the achievements we realised would have otherwise been impossible. From my personal point of view, his enthusiasm and his unwavering support will never be forgotten. We feel this is a very fitting tribute for the many years Huw devoted to his local community and his County.”

Councillor Bobby Feeley, Lead Member for Well-being and Independence at the Council, said: “When Huw sadly passed away, his fellow Councillors lost a loyal friend and colleague and his community lost a trusted councillor, who served his residents with integrity and to the absolute best of his ability. Huw had a wide variety of interests and was passionate about many local projects, but sport and leisure was something very close to his heart. We feel renaming Corwen Leisure Centre in his memory, is a very fitting tribute for the many years Huw devoted to his local community.”

The first floor fitness space in Canolfan Hamdden Huw Jones has also been refurbished with a range of new first-class functional equipment installed. This refurbishment will ensure that Corwen residents have the same exceptional standard of equipment that Denbighshire Leisure provides to all its members across the county at all 7 leisure centres.

This project follows on from other recent installations and refurbishments in the Dee valley, including a 3G pitch and new state of art fitness facilities in both Corwen and Llangollen.

Canolfan Hamdden Huw Jones will reopen for members and the public once the current Welsh Government guidelines allow.

If you would like to know more about Leisure Services and what they offer, please visit their website.

Care home visiting booth allows friends to reunite

A visiting booth has been installed at a Denbighshire care home.

The booth, installed at Dolwen in Denbigh which is managed by the Council, was designed and built by staff member Erfyl Jones, who is a support worker at the home.

The booth has allowed residents at the care home, who have been unable to mix since December, to reunite.

Once restrictions around visiting care homes have been changed, the booth can be used by families and friends visiting loved ones.

Dolwen residents Olwen Lloyd and Janet Kenyon Thompson were the first to use the booth after it was installed last month.

Councillor Bobby Feeley, the Council’s Lead Member for Well-being and Independence, said: “I would like to thank Erfyl for his work designing and building the visiting booth which has been a great boost for residents. 

“It has helped residents interact with friends from different sections of the home, which for safety reasons have been kept separate.  I’m pleased to see how much joy this has brought to our residents.

“Once the regulations around visiting care homes change, this booth will provide friends and family the chance to visit their loved ones in a safe way.”

Queen’s Buildings redevelopment – Rhyl

A Rhyl Town Centre masterplan was developed by the Council, Rhyl Town Council and the business, community and voluntary sectors, to develop a vision for Rhyl. The masterplan will provide the town with a sustainable future by the delivery of realistic and achievable actions.

Following this, in March 2019, the Council acquired a number of adjacent buildings in the town centre fronting onto the seafront promenade, known collectively as Queen’s Buildings. The buildings were in a dilapidated state, with no active uses on upper floors and significant void levels on the ground floor.

As part of the wider regeneration strategy for Rhyl, the Queen’s Buildings were acquired with specific aims of:

  • Addressing the eyesore nature of the partially derelict and dilapidated site to improve the physical appearance of this key area of the town centre, providing a much more positive image of the town for shoppers and visitors;
  • To provide a new mix of uses on the site to help reinvigorate the town centre, with a clear focus on returning the site to a productive economic use and providing new business and employment opportunities;
  • To improve confidence in the town centre, increasing footfall and helping to stimulate further private sector investment in the town.

Due to the extremely poor state of the site, a significant number of the buildings will need to be demolished, before any development commences. Contractors Wye Valley Demolition started demolition on site in January and are scheduled to finish this summer.

There are plans in place to preserve as many items throughout the refurbishment of the site as possible. One exception to the demolition is the red brick building which fronts onto Sussex Street, an attractive red brick façade which is within Rhyl Town Centre Conservation Area, which will be retained and restored, forming one of the entrance to a new event space and market hall.

The site will be developed in phases, the first of which is due to start later this summer. Phase One will involve: 

  • The development of an indoor market hall to accommodate hot food kiosks, permanent market stalls, temporary market stalls and seating for up to 200 people dining. The focus of this will be good quality local/Welsh produce;
  • The development of a flexible indoor space which could accommodate a range of events including speciality markets, exhibitions, music, theatrical and film performances;
  • Toilets and a bar area which will serve both the above spaces; and
  • External market / event space and high quality public realm/landscaping.

Future phases for the sites development include potential commercial units and seafront residential.

A planning application has been submitted and is currently in the process of being determined. This can be viewed on the Planning Portal, application reference 45/2021/0040.

Photo credit: B.C. Photography

Foster carers ...... we need you

The Council are looking to recruit Foster Carers throughout the Denbighshire area to meet the needs of some of the most vulnerable children in our society.

Fostering involves looking after children from birth to 18 years old, however foster carers in conjunction with their social worker can decide on the age of a child/children which would best suit their family. We are looking for people who can provide a safe, secure, loving and nurturing environment for children and young people who for many reasons are not able to live at home. Foster carers can provide short term care, long term care, respite or emergency care, or short breaks for children with additional needs.

Are you over 21, with the time and skills to care for children or young people, do you have a spare bedroom, but most of all do you have room in your life to make a difference to a child’s life?

Denbighshire Fostering Service have a very close and supportive relationship with their carers, training, support and a financial allowance are all part of being a foster carer.

Should you wish to have an informal discussion with either a Fostering Social worker or a foster carer, please contact Julie Fisher, Fostering Service Manager 01824 712821 or Penny Moran 01824 712287 Placement and Commissioning Officer.

How should health and social care be provided in Denbigh in future?

The Council and Betsi Caldwaladr University Health Board will be drawing up options for investing in the future of health, social care, housing and community services in Denbigh and the surrounding area in the coming months.

First, they want to know how citizens experience current provision, and understand what their future preferences or needs might be. This includes the whole range of support, for example, from community based support, sheltered and extra care housing, voluntary transport, group activities, GP services, through to full time care and support.

How has the pandemic changed the way we view and access these services, how has this affected people’s wellbeing, and what can learn from this moving forward?

Cllr Bobby Feeley, the Council’s Lead Member for Well-being and Independence, said: “There may be opportunities in Denbigh to invest in buildings, to bring additional services into the locality, to re-organise the way we deliver services in the community, and to make effective use of technology. But we need to build this vision out of a clear understanding of what the people of Denbigh and the surrounding areas want and need.

“I would encourage as many people as possible to take part in this consultation so the Council and Betsi Caldwaladr University Health Board can get residents’ views.”

How can you join the conversation?

The council and health board have asked Practice Solutions – an independent community engagement specialist – to gather people’s views on these topics during February and March. Given social distancing, they will be doing this through several different methods.

Practice Solutions have made contact with a range of professionals, elected members, representatives of community and faith groups in the local area, many of whom have agreed to put us in touch with citizens.

If you would like to be involved, or could help us reach others, please contact Rhian (in English or Welsh) at or on 07468 484003.

Census 2021

Census 2021 will provide a snapshot of modern society.

Households across Denbighshire will soon be asked to take part in Census 2021.

The census is a once-in-a-decade survey that gives us the most accurate estimate of all the people and households in England and Wales. It has been carried out every decade since 1801, with the exception of 1941.

It will be the first run predominantly online, with households receiving a letter with a unique access code, allowing them to complete the questionnaire on their computers, phones or tablets.

A successful census will ensure everyone from local government to charities can put services and funding in the places where they are most needed. This could mean things like doctors' surgeries, schools and new transport routes. That's why it is so important everyone takes part and we have made it easier for people to do so online on any device, with help and paper questionnaires for those that need them.

Census day will be on March 21, but households across the country will receive letters with online codes allowing them to take part from early March.

The census will include questions about your sex, age, work, health, education, household size and ethnicity. And, for the first time, there will be a question asking people whether they have served in the armed forces, as well as voluntary questions for those aged 16 and over on sexual orientation and gender identity.

In Wales, households will also be asked a specific question about their Welsh language skills. And those who wish to complete the census in Welsh can do so both online and in paper form. There are "Cymraeg" and "English" buttons to switch between languages at any time online, and on paper you can use Welsh and English on the same form.

Results will be available within 12 months, although personal records will be locked away for 100 years, kept safe for future generations.

For more information, please visit the Census 2021 website.

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