Calls for hosts for UK resettlement programme in Denbighshire
The Council is calling on people living in the county to get in touch with Welsh Government if they can offer a home for those resettling in the UK as a result of the atrocities in Ukraine.
The Council has worked closely with Welsh Government to welcome families and individuals to Denbighshire and teams from the Council have been working to carry out checks at properties put forward as a sanctuary. Teams are also working to support people’s health and well-being needs, as well as supporting families to find places in school for their children.
Welsh Government has now renewed its call for more hosts that can offer a home to come forward and the Council is supporting them to share information and reach local communities.
To offer a home in Wales for refugees from Ukraine you must:
- live or own residential property in Wales
- have not been matched with guests from Ukraine
- be able to offer a spare room or separate home for at least 6 months
- have leave to remain in the UK for at least 6 months
- not have a criminal record
Councillor Rhys Thomas, Cabinet Lead Member for Housing and Communities, said: “Denbighshire has a long history of accommodating and supporting refugees and over the last five years the Council has resettled 25 families, made up of 95 individuals, predominantly in response to the refugee crisis in Syria and Afghanistan.
“We are pleased to have been able to welcome families and individuals arriving in Denbighshire from Ukraine over recent weeks and that work continues.
“The Council is working to ensure the relevant support is available for families once they arrive in Denbighshire, this includes our education team processing applications for school places.
“Through Home Office funding, we are well placed to provide the necessary support and have a working group to manage the programme, as well as a dedicated team working directly with families, and additional support from partners in the third sector and from local volunteer groups.
“A number of Denbighshire residents have come forward to offer accommodation to those who have been forced to leave Ukraine due to the ongoing conflict and on behalf of the Council I would like to thank them for their generosity.
“However, we need those individuals or families who can provide a home to get in touch with the Welsh Government."
If anyone has any enquiries, or would like to offer accommodation, they should visit: www.gov.wales/offerhome.
Award for anti-social behaviour initiative at town gardens
A joint project between the Council, North Wales Police and the Friends of the Botanical Gardens to tackle anti-social behaviour has been honoured at an award ceremony.
The Council’s Streetscene team has worked closely with the Friends of the Botanical Gardens and police, as well as local county councillors, schools, Denbighshire Youth Service, the Community Safety Partnership and the local MP and MS to address the issues which were causing concern locally.
The project was shortlisted for the North Wales Police POP (Problem Orientated Policing) awards and reached the final where the project was awarded second place. Those behind the project were awarded at a recent presentation.
Over recent months, there were issues reported with anti-social behaviour at the location, including groups of young people gathering which people found intimidating and vandalism which included damage to the bowling green.
A series of measures were introduced after discussion with partner organisations. They included additional and improved CCTV coverage, gates closed at night, a fence installed around the bowling green, enhanced local police patrols and improved lighting in parts of the park.
Councillor Barry Mellor, Cabinet Lead Member for Environment and Public Transport, said: “The Botanical Garden in Rhyl is an asset for the local community and we want people to be able to enjoy the surroundings in a safe manner.
“I’m delighted that additional measures have been put in place to try and reduce the anti-social behaviour from a minority of individuals. We will continue to monitor the effectiveness of the project”.
Councillor Rhys Thomas, Cabinet Lead Member for Housing and Communities, said: “This is a great example of partnership working that exists in the town and it really shows how solutions can be found to issues when people sit around the table for discussion.
“This is one of a number of initiatives where we work closely with North Wales Police and other partners to make Rhyl a safer place to live in, work in and visit”.
North Wales Police Inspector for Denbighshire Coastal, Jason Davies said: “Partnership working is key to solving the issue of anti-social behaviour. We are grateful of the work from both the Council, and the Friends of the Botanical Gardens, which has resulted in a reduction in incidents.
“We will continue to target ‘low level’ crime in order to protect our communities, whilst working towards making north Wales the safest place in the UK.”
Council honoured by the Ministry of Defence
The Council is delighted to be one of 12 Welsh employers amongst 156 national organisations honoured with a prestigious Ministry of Defence Employer Recognition Scheme (ERS) Gold Award for its outstanding support towards the Armed Forces community.
Representing the highest badge of honour, the Employer Recognition Scheme Gold Award is awarded to those that employ and support those who serve in the Armed Forces, veterans and their families.
The 12 winners based in Wales will be invited to receive their award later in the year at a special event in the Principality Stadium.
To win an award from the Ministry of Defence, organisations must show that they provide 10 extra paid days leave for reservists and have supportive HR policies in place for veterans, reserves, Cadet Force adult volunteers and spouses and partners of those serving in the Armed Forces. They must also advocate the benefits of supporting those within the Armed Forces community, by encouraging others to sign the Armed Forces Covenant and engage in the Employer Recognition Scheme.
Councillor Julie Matthews, Cabinet Lead Member for Corporate Strategy, Policy and Equalities, and who is also the Armed Forces Champion, said: “This is truly a great honour for Denbighshire.
“We have made a firm commitment in the Council to support our armed forces communities and we are thrilled that our approach to creating a supportive and inclusive environment where people feel supported has been recognised by the Ministry of Defence.
We have signed the Armed Forces Covenant as a declaration that the Council will ensure that those who serve or who have served in the Armed Forces, and their families, are treated fairly. We look forward to strengthening and developing our links with armed forces individuals, communities and organisations and continue to be a supportive and inclusive organisation”.
Work begins to expand accommodation provision for older people in Denbighshire
Grŵp Cynefin has embarked on a £12.2 million expansion plan to update and extend their Extra Care Housing Scheme at Llys Awelon, Ruthin.
The project will involve a complete redevelopment of the site to create a modern, low carbon, bespoke scheme to meet the needs of older people in the Denbighshire area. Grŵp Cynefin’s Extra Care Scheme offers unique independence, neighbourhood and support within purpose built buildings with independent flats for the residents and communal areas such as gardens, lounges, restaurant and a hairdressing salon.
It offers a great opportunity for older people to benefit from an independent lifestyle in a safe and homely community with support and care when they need it.
Grŵp Cynefin has five schemes in Holyhead, Bala, Porthmadog, Denbigh, and Ruthin. At Llys Awelon, Ruthin, an additional 35 one and two bedroom flats and brand new facilities will be added to the existing 21 flats.
The project is a partnership between the Council, Grŵp Cynefin and the Welsh Government and is supported by £7.1 million of Welsh Government Social Housing Programme funding.
According to Mel Evans, Grŵp Cynefin’s Director of Innovation and Growth: “We are proud to be able to work closely with Denbighshire Council and the Welsh Government to be able to offer the highest standard of service at Llys Awelon, Ruthin, which will be a modern, valuable resource for the area.”
Shan Lloyd Williams, Grŵp Cynefin Chief Executive adds: “Such projects bring together Grŵp Cynefin’s best qualities – expertise in Extra Care Housing and important principles – innovation in our construction methods using materials and technology to achieve low or zero carbon and our ability to bring partners together to deliver ambitious and innovative schemes for the benefit of our communities.”
“As well as extending the choice of care and accommodation provision to older people in the Ruthin area, the scheme will help regenerate the site, investing money in the town and surrounding communities.”
Councillor Elen Heaton, Lead Member for Health and Social Care, Denbighshire Council says: “We are pleased to be able to continue to work with Grŵp Cynefin on such an important project as Llys Awelon, Ruthin to help Denbighshire residents.
“Projects like this support our residents to live independently and provide them with high quality housing that meets a wide range of needs.”
New long range green taxi goes live
A new addition has been added to a pilot taxi scheme in Denbighshire.
Following feedback gained through the hosting of the only North Wales pilot of the zero emission green taxi scheme, the Council has introduced a new longer range electronic vehicle.
The Welsh Government, who are funding the scheme, recently set the goal of de-carbonising the taxi fleet entirely by 2028.
The Council is one of a select few Welsh authorities taking part.
Since it began in the County during autumn 2021, 59 taxi drivers have got behind the wheel of four wheelchair-accessible Nissan Dynamo E-NV200 taxis to use as part of the ‘try before you buy scheme’.
Hackney licensed taxi drivers can try the vehicle free of charge for 30 days, including free electric charging at specific locations in the county, vehicle licensing, breakdown cover and insurance.
Up to now the taxis have covered 56759 miles and have operated across Prestatyn, Rhyl, Bodelwyddan, St Asaph, Denbigh, Ruthin and Corwen.
And now following input from drivers using the scheme the current fleet will be joined by a Kia EV6.
The Kia can cover up to 328 miles on a single charge and is designed to allow taxi drivers to confidently work a complete shift including airport transfers without the need for charging.
Councillor Barry Mellor, Lead Member for Environment and Transport, said: "This is one of a number of projects the Council is running on electric vehicles which will help create healthier surroundings and reduce carbon emissions across the county.
“We have had a lot of positive and useful feedback from the drivers who have taken part in this scheme to try out these zero emission taxis and learn about their benefits. One of areas suggested was to look at bringing in longer range vehicles to assist with transport outside of the county and back.
“This vehicle will provide a spacious, modern and luxurious environment for passengers with comfortable surroundings, no noise, vibrations or tailpipe emissions.
“It also helps us continue to source feedback on the use of zero emission vehicles during day to day taxi operations without compromising on service delivery and also demonstrate the fuel savings and impact against climate change that electric vehicles currently offer.
“We are looking forward to listening to the experiences of drivers using this taxi to help us continue to map out the future of this green scheme.”
The vehicle will only be available to those drivers that have already participated in the scheme without serious incident and spaces are currently limited to 10 x 30 day hires over the next 12 months. Expressions of interest to participate will be done the same way, through the Denbighshire website, and will open toward the middle of August.
Home of the Little Terns maintains Green Flag Status
A home for a famous Little Tern Colony has maintained its Green Flag Status.
The Council has welcomed the news that Gronant Sand Dunes has kept its Green Flag status for 2022/23.
The Green Flag Award is a sign to the public that a park or green space boasts the highest possible environmental standards, is beautifully maintained and has excellent visitor facilities.
The dunes were first awarded Keep Wales Tidy’s prestigious Green Flag Award last year which provides a national quality standard and framework for green space.
The group of Little Terns 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 percent of the entire UK breeding population as well as supplementing other colonies.
Councillor Win Mullen James, Cabinet Lead Member for Local Development and Planning, said: “Our Countryside Service is really proud that the Gronant Dunes Site of Special Scientific Interest has kept the Green Flag Award.
“The dunes are a fantastic area in terms of the landscape, character and its important biodiversity value. They are also home to a thriving Little Tern colony thanks to the support of our staff and volunteers.
“A lot of continued effort has gone in to supporting the infrastructure at the site to give visitors and residents a real flavour of the natural beauty whilst keeping disturbance to a minimum and I would like to thank all who work very hard to make this possible.”
The Fflecsi transport scheme operated by an electric bus can be personally booked by yourself to travel in Ruthin and the surrounding area, more details here.
Director of Social Services Annual Report
The Director of Social Services Annual Report which gives a summary of our performance for 2021 – 2022 has just been published on our website.
The Annual Report covers both adults and children’s services and highlights what we have achieved over the year but also covers what we still have to do, moving forward.
Draft Conwy a Sir Ddinbych Well-being Plan – Tell us what you think!
Conwy & Denbighshire Public Services Board (PSB) have produced a draft Well-being Plan for the region and want to hear people’s views on our chosen objective and the approach we want to take.
Every 5 years, following an Assessment of Local Well-being in its area, the PSB must agree Well-being Objectives for the benefit of its communities, and the steps it proposes to take to meet them.
The document outlines the content of the PSB’s future Well-being Plan for 2023 to 2028, where the Board will focus on making Conwy and Denbighshire a more equal place with less deprivation.
This is a significant challenge, and will require all the collective resources of partners to address. We will strive to apply the sustainable development principle established under the Well-being of Future Generations (Wales) Act 2015, and contribute to all the national Well-being Goals.
This document provides only the outline of our plan, and it is through this consultation that we are seeking you views on the direction we are taking and the steps that we propose to take, which will then better inform a final version that we will approve in the Spring, 2023.
Click the logo (left) to see the draft Well-Being Plan and share your views. To request a paper copy please get in touch through our contact us page. Alternatively, you can also send any comments or suggestions on the Well-being Assessment to firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 01492 574059.
The closing date for our survey is 9 November 2022.
Living Wall installed in Rhyl as part of Green Infrastructure project
A living wall has recently been erected on the Rhyl City Strategy (RCS) Hub building on the corner of Wellington Road and Elwy Street.
The Council has been working with Rhyl City Strategy in Rhyl to secure a living wall to the exterior wall of the building. The development includes twelve metres square of vertical planting in a modular system, has an irrigation system which will provide water and feed to the plants automatically. A tank beneath the living wall will also allow for the water to be recycled.
This project supports the delivery of the Council's wider Rhyl Regeneration project and has been funded by Welsh Government’s Transforming Towns funding as part of a wider town centre greening initiative and commitment to make the authority net carbon zero by 2030.
Living walls are often used in urban areas to deliver a number of benefits including improving air quality, increasing biodiversity to provide nesting space for food birds and insects whilst also improving people’s health and wellbeing.
Councillor Barry Mellor, Lead Member for Environment and Transport said: “This initiative will offer multiple health and wellbeing benefits to people living and visiting Rhyl whilst also adding attractive green space.
“Living walls are of most benefit to areas with lots of urban infrastructure and limited green spaces as the plants help clean the air we breathe.
“Thank you to everyone involved for developing this project, it puts us another step closer towards the Council's commitment to a net carbon authority and creating our wider vision for Rhyl.”
Joanne Bartlett-Jones Head of Resources at Rhyl City Strategy said: “It is fantastic to be able to host the living wall on our premises as part of the town centre greening initiative.
“We are very keen to be able to play our part toward increasing biodiversity in the area, not only does it look fantastic and improve individual wellbeing, it is also helping the local insects and birds!”
The Town Centre greening initiative has enabled Countryside Services to promote and support volunteering opportunities in the Town Centre. If you are interested in becoming a Countryside Volunteer or a Community Champion please email email@example.com.
Initiative helps set up new Denbighshire care and support micro-providers
Denbighshire residents can now access a number of new local micro-providers for care and support.
Thanks to the support of a partnership between social enterprise Community Catalysts and the Council, 16 county residents are now working for themselves offering care and support to older and disabled people in their local communities.
Community Catalysts offer free professional advice to help people work for themselves offering care and support across the county.
The micro-providers they have helped create have so far supported over 70 people within Denbighshire to get the support they need in their own home, whether that be help around the house, companionship, helping someone get out and about or providing personal care.
With a further 25 micro-providers coming through the programme, in the future more people in Denbighshire will be able to utilise these services to help them be happier and safer in their own home.
Nick Hughes Community Catalyst for Denbighshire, said: “We have helped a range of established micro-providers to include live-in carers, personal care, practical help at home and a range of other services designed to help people remain safe and well in their own homes.
We are always looking for more people to set up their very own micro-provider enterprise. So if you think you could offer people in your community some support, get in touch to find out more.”
“It’s a pleasure working with people passionate about helping others in their local communities. It’s great to see people put their own personal touches to the way they offer their services and to see the amazing benefits they have in people’s lives.”
Councillor Elen Heaton, Lead Member for Health and Social Care, said: “We are really pleased to be working with Community Catalysts on this great initiative to help people bring their ideas to life to provide more support to the older and disabled population. This is a fantastic programme which can really help caring entrepreneurs support and help local residents.”
“I would like to thank all the 16 micro-providers for their commitment to care and look forward to seeing the support the further 25 micro-providers will provide when they fish the programme.”
For further information about Community Catalysts and how they can help you become a micro-provider visit - https://bit.ly/3bTwcka
If you want to see some of the micro-providers who are operating in Denbighshire, check out the Small Good Stuff Directory.
Major stage in Rhyl regeneration project reached as work begins on Queen’s Market
Work to transform a historic Rhyl site into one which can be enjoyed by the local community, visitors, and businesses has commenced, thanks to the Council and a grant from the Welsh Government’s Transforming Towns programme and European Regional Development Fund.
Bodelwyddan-based Wynne Construction has been appointed by the Council to carry out the design and construction of the brand-new Queen’s Market in the first step of the transformation of the wider Queen’s Buildings which sit along the town’s promenade.
The project is the latest stage in the wider regeneration vision for Rhyl and will see the site transformed into a space for the community to enjoy, with work on the Queen’s Market expected be completed by Summer 2023.
Wynne Construction is currently carrying out the groundworks on site, which includes putting in place a piled concrete solution on which the building will sit.
The development will see the construction of a new indoor market hall containing a mezzanine for additional seating and pop-up vendors, as well as a versatile event and commercial space, and a landscaped external realm.
As part of the project, Wynne Construction will maintain the character of the historic Queen’s Chambers on Sussex Street, preserving the traditional stone detailing at the old entrance of the building which dates back to 1902.
Traditional brickwork and signage will also be installed to ensure the building sits comfortably into the local surroundings.
The project includes additional sustainability measures to reduce energy usage and create a low-carbon footprint for the development such as installing photovoltaic panels on the roof and an all-air heating and cooling system, which regulates fresh air and temperature throughout the building.
Design manager at Wynne Construction Richard Beatson said: “The new Queen’s Market has been designed with community interaction at the forefront, and we are thrilled to get work underway to bring this modern development to the historic Rhyl promenade.
“The site will be great addition to the wider regeneration of the town and will bring a fresh interpretation to the market hall experience. Whilst benefitting from the goods and services offered by vendors, visitors can enjoy high quality local food from a variety of outlets.
“As part of all our builds, we will also look to work with the local supply chain to offer learning opportunities for apprentices and those looking to enter the industry as well as engage directly with the community over the life of the construction process.”
As part of Wynne Construction’s community engagement, the firm will be hosting two community-facing events at Rhyl Pavilion on Thursday 22 September.
The day will see a ‘Meet The Buyer’ event open to subcontractors who are interested in joining the supply chain, as well as social enterprise and third-sector organisations looking to provide goods and services during the construction phase.
A job fair for the public will also showcase what will be involved on the scheme as well as highlighting the local career opportunities the project will offer.
Councillor Jason McLellan, Leader and Lead Member for Economic Growth and Tackling Deprivation said: “We are very pleased to be working with Wynne Construction to deliver the first phase of the Queen’s Buildings which is a key catalyst project within the Councils wider regeneration programme for Rhyl.
“The project is already providing career opportunities for local people including apprenticeship opportunities, work experience and placements via the Council’s Working Denbighshire project.”
“This building will be an asset to the county, I am glad to see it progressing.”
Following Wynne Construction’s development of the Queen’s Market, the Council are continuing to progress with plans to further develop the remainder of the Queen’s Buildings site.
The funding for the development has been provided by the Council, the Welsh Government Transforming Towns programme and the European Regional Development Fund.
Deputy Minister for Climate Change, Lee Waters, said: “This transformation of Rhyl’s iconic Queen’s Market means the people of Denbighshire can support local businesses on their doorstep and make good use of a welcoming space to hold community events.
“I am pleased to see Denbighshire County Council making good use of our Transforming Towns funding and look forward to seeing the revitalised promenade.”
Wynne Construction has been appointed through the North Wales Construction Partnership (NWCP) framework to construct the building.
To book an appointment for Wynne’s ‘Meet The Buyer’ event, please contact social value manager Alison Hourihane on firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information about Wynne Construction visit http://www.wynneconstruction.co.uk/
Denbighshire prepares to welcome the Wales and the Battle of Britain Exhibition
An exhibition telling the story of Wales’s contribution in the largest air battle ever recorded is coming to Denbighshire later this month.
The Wales and the Battle of Britain Touring Exhibition was created by the RAF’s Air Historical Branch (Dr Lynsey Shaw) together with Air Commodore Adrian Williams, Air Officer Wales, to commemorate the 80th anniversary of the Battle of Britain in 2020, but was delayed due to Covid.
The exhibition is now touring Wales and it will be at Rhyl Town Hall on Friday, 30 September (3pm-6pm); Saturday, 1 October (10am-5pm) and Sunday, 2 October (10am-4pm). Admission is free.
Air Commodore Adrian Williams stated: “I’m delighted that, following on from the official opening of the Wales and the Battle of Britain 80th Anniversary Exhibition in Cardiff, the exhibition is now touring Wales and will be hosted in Denbighshire.
“The exhibition tells a story that will enable Welsh people, of all ages, to come along and find out more about what happened in the skies and on the ground during wartime. Uniquely, it focuses on the Welsh aircrew who fought, telling their stories and heroism to a modern Welsh audience”.
Councillor Julie Matthews, Denbighshire’s Cabinet Lead Member for Corporate Strategy, Policy and Equalities, and who is also the Armed Forces Champion, said: “We are very proud to play host to this important exhibition, created in honour of those that sacrificed their lives and to learn about the part that people and communities across Wales played in this historic event.
“We have strong links with the Armed Forces communities and a proud tradition of supporting them through our Armed Forces Covenant. This is a declaration that the Council will ensure that those who serve or who have served in the Armed Forces, and their families, are treated fairly.
“To be able to reflect the history of Wales and the Battle of Britain is an honour”.
Featuring a series of large, prepared panels and a number of artefacts, the exhibition will include photographs and narrative to tell, for the first time, the story of how Wales featured in the Battle of Britain and what happened in the skies and on the ground during wartime.