County Voice

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Recycling and refuse collections continue throughout Christmas

As Christmas Day falls on a Tuesday this year, most Denbighshire residents will find that their recycling and refuse collection days will change during the festive period. Only residents who normally have a collection on a Monday will be unaffected.  Bin with snow

The changes to the collection schedule over the Christmas period are set out below.

Subscribers to the garden waste collection service are reminded that collections will take place over the holiday period.

Full details of collection days are on the calendars which were delivered during November and are available on our website.

USUAL COLLECTION DAY ACTUAL COLLECTION DAY
Monday 24 December remains the same Monday 24 December
Tuesday 25 December changes to Wednesday 26 December
Wednesday 26 December changes to Thursday 27 December
Thursday 27 December changes to Friday 28 December
Friday 28 December changes to Saturday 29 December
Monday 31 December remains the same Monday 31 December
Tuesday 1 January 2019 changes to Wednesday 2 January
Wednesday 2 January changes to Thursday 3 January
Thursday 3 January changes to Friday 4 January
Friday 4 January changes to Saturday 5 January

ENQUIRIES

If you have any queries on the festive collection arrangements, please contact the Customer Contact Centre on 01824 706000.

Christmas and New Year Information

For all the information which you may find helpful over the Christmas and New Year period, please visit our website.

Message from the Chief Executive, Judith Greenhalgh

I’ve now been with you here in Denbighshire, as your Chief Executive, for eight months. The time has really flown by and I feel tremendously lucky and privileged to be working and living in such a beautiful part of Wales and the UK. Denbighshire is geographically quite a small county but we really have everything here – stunning beaches and coastline, historical market towns, thriving village communities and our wonderful countryside – all within a short distance of each other.CEO

Proud of working for Denbighshire

I am very proud of the Council. We have been a consistently high performing Council for a number of years now but in my early months I have been looking at everything we do to examine whether it can be done more efficiently and effectively, as there is always room for improvement. With the continuing budget cuts and growing demands and expectations of our services, we need to make sure we are using all of our resources as well as we can. This will include looking at income generation and at new and innovative ways of delivering our services; recently we have consulted with our residents on changes to our waste model that will increase the number of collections and should increase the amount we recycle. Over the coming months, we will be bringing forward projects to improve our internal efficiency and projects that will change how we deliver our services. I am working with my managers to at look these not just to meet the budget challenges we face but also because I think we can improve our services further.

Working to deliver our Coporate Plan

When I joined Denbighshire, the Council Leader and his cabinet tasked me with delivering their corporate plan, which was put together in 2017 following the extensive ‘County Conversation’, where our residents were asked to express their views on what was important to them. I am happy to say that we are making good progress in delivering these priorities; housing, connected and resilient communities, environment and young people. It is still early days in the delivery of our plan but I am confident that we will be able to make a difference in the areas that you told us mattered to you. Alongside our corporate plan, there are the important services that the Council delivers day to day on your behalf; both at an acute level to our most vulnerable residents and more universally to a wider section of our population. The latter will include things like our libraries and leisure centres, which we know are very important to you and in which the Council has invested a considerable amount of money and are now truly amongst the best in their class. If you haven’t had the chance to visit in a while, please do, I am sure you will be pleasantly surprised.

Looking ahead

The new year, 2019, will bring many challenges and opportunities for us. In the early part of the year, we are hoping to finalise the terms of the North Wales Growth Deal which will, if approved, bring hundreds of millions of pounds of investment in to our region, creating jobs, developing houses and businesses, funding skills development and improving our vital transport and digital infrastructure. This really is a once in a lifetime opportunity for North Wales, will be a massive boost to our region and help us to tackle many of the problems and issues that you tell the Council that you face. I will be working hard alongside other leaders and chief executives across the region to make sure that this happens for us.

My best wishes to all of you, your friends and families, for a merry Christmas and a happy and peaceful new year.

Green light for waste and recycling changes in Denbighshire

Plans to change waste and recycling collections in Denbighshire have been given the go-ahead.  The changes will include:

  • a new weekly collection for recyclables such as paper, glass, cans, and plastic
  • a new weekly collection for nappies and incontinence wear
  • a weekly collection for food waste
  • a new fortnightly collection for clothes and small electrical items
The aim is to encourage more recycling on top of the Council’s current rates (64%) to meet the Welsh Government’s 70% target by 2025, with an expectancy that the target will rise to 80% in future.

If residents use the recycling service correctly, it should only result in a minimal amount of residual waste being created.  As a result, the Council will be changing the collection of non-recyclable waste to every four weeks for the majority of households.

Residents will be issued with a  bigger black bin if they need one, but overall, households would have more capacity each week for managing their waste than they have with our current service.  The new weekly recycling service (using a Trollibloc system) would provide more capacity for recycling when compared to the current fortnightly collection with the blue wheelie bin.  

Residents will be able to free up even more space in their black bin by using new kerbside recycling services for textiles, small electrical goods, batteries and where needed, nappies and incontinence waste.   

The Welsh Government has already committed £7.9 million towards the service. This funding would be used to develop the infrastructure necessary to enable the council to change the service. 

Welsh Government are supporting the changes as the proposed changes mean that the carbon footprint of the new service would be much less. We would be using less fuel, recycling more waste and producing higher quality recycling suitable for use in the UK manufacturing industry, avoiding, where possible, the use of virgin materials sourced from the Earth’s diminishing resources.

Councillor Brian Jones, Cabinet Lead Member for Highways, Planning and Sustainable Travel, said:  “This has been a big decision for the Council and these proposals have been explored and considered at great length.

“Whilst we are delighted that the change has been approved, the hard work of preparing for the changes and working with communities begins today. We have taken on board the comments received as part of a consultation we arranged and we want to make the transition to the new service as seamless as possible.

“This proposed new way of working will certainly make the county more environmentally friendly, it will make residents consider what and how they recycle and will also save money through implementing a more efficient and effective service”.

Over the coming months, the Council will be launching an information campaign to keep residents informed of the changes and any impacts on them and their community. The new facilities that are needed to support the service should be in place early 2021, with the aim of the whole county being moved across to the new service by July 2021.

Further information will be included on www.denbighshire.gov.uk/recycling

Hospice to benefit from carol service collection

Thank you to those of you who attended our charity carol service, helping to raise £400 towards St Kentigern’s Hospice.

The service, held at St Asaph Parish Church included performances from Côr Cytgan Clwyd, Côr Sain y Sir (made up of Council staff), soloist Owain John from Ysgol Glan Clwyd, harpist Angharad Huw from Ysgol Brynhyfryd and a rousing performance from the Denbighshire Music Co-operative brass ensemble to end the service.

Chairman, Councillor Peter Scott, said: “Our carol service has long established itself as one of the first services of the carols season.  It was a truly magical evening, made up of traditional and modern performances. Staff and councillors presented the Christmas story through readings and the musical items entertained the congregation and really added something special to the evening.

“I would like to thank everyone for their generous contributions and look forward to passing the collection on to St Kentigern’s Hospice”.

Denbighshire Music Co-operative brass ensemble

 

Funding available to help those in work further their careers

Employees looking to upskill in order to further their careers can get a helping hand, thanks to a Council scheme.

The Council’s young person employment bursary is open to employed people aged 18-35 in Denbighshire and funding is available to pay for training courses to help progress within a current workplace or gain a higher paid position with a new Denbighshire employer. 

The Council has the potential to help up to 80 individuals a year with funding of between £250 and £2,000 per person as part of its work to ensure younger people want to live and work in the county and have the skills to do so.

Councillor Hugh Evans OBE, Leader of the Council, said: “This innovative approach by the Council aims to help young employed people develop their careers and create new opportunities for them.

“We want to encourage younger people working in the county to develop and progress their careers and earn higher salaries, which will benefit the county’s businesses by keeping hold of talented and skilled individuals.”

Funding can be used for further education courses as well as professional skills and training. 

Councillor Huw Hilditch-Roberts, lead member for Education, Children and Young People and the Welsh Language, said: “A small investment in a young person, by paying for a training course, can make a big difference by helping them apply for higher paid jobs, which will increase their earning potential throughout their careers.

“As a Council we are committed to giving better opportunities for young people and this bursary helps us achieve this.”

To be eligible you must be aged between 18-35, living in Denbighshire, earning below the county median salary of £20,326, currently be in employment (minimum 16 hours) and can clearly demonstrate availability of suitable positions with a Denbighshire-based company, once upskilled.

For further details including eligibility and how to apply go to our website www.denbighshire.gov.uk/skills-bursary

 

Denbighshire’s Corporate Plan improving the lives of residents

A five-year plan to improve the lives of Denbighshire residents is already having an impact.

The Council’s Corporate Plan will see £135million of investment in key areas aimed at benefitting the county.

Projects include building new council houses, investing in transport and digital infrastructure, protecting and enhancing the environment and supporting young people to achieve their potential.

So far more than 3,000 pupils have benefited from new school buildings, while thousands of trees have been planted as part of a plan to create green-havens in the county’s towns.

Councillor Julian Thompson-Hill, Lead Member for Finance, Performance and Strategic Assets, said: “Our plan is to deliver changes in our communities that will put foundations in place for them to thrive and prosper in the long term.

“The plan focuses on five key areas; the environment, young people, housing as well as resilient and connected communities.

“We’ve already started building new council homes – all of which will be energy efficient - and we’re committed to working with communities and providers to improve our digital infrastructure.

“So far things are developing at a good pace and to a good standard, and we’re embracing the challenging goals that have been set for us by our residents. This first 18 months of the plan has laid a strong foundation for the ongoing work of the Corporate Plan.

“We’ll also be working closely with our residents to make it easier for them to deal with challenges in their lives, both by improving support and by listening more closely to our communities and helping them achieve their goals.”

As part of the Corporate Plan, which will run until 2022, other projects underway include flood defence work in Rhyl and extra support for those looking to find work or progress their careers.

30 Hour Childcare Offer for Wales

It has been confirmed that the Council’s roll-out of the Welsh Government’s 30 hours a week funded education and childcare in Wales will be introduced in the county in January 2019, with the whole county benefitting from the roll-out at the same time.

Children will be eligible to access the offer from the beginning of the term following their third birthday until the September following their fourth birthday.

Eligible children will be entitled to up to 30 free hours of childcare and early years education for up to 48 weeks of the year with parents being able to choose any registered childcare setting that suits their personal and family circumstance.

To be eligible for free childcare, parents/ guardians must meet a set of criteria: their child must be aged 3 or 4; parents/ guardians work and earn the equivalent of at least 16 hours at national living wage or national minimum wage, or are in receipt of specific caring benefits and they must live in Denbighshire.

Information about how to register for the offer and general information on childcare can be found on our website www.denbighshire.gov.uk/childcare or through the Family Information Service on 01745 815891.

New affordable homes register to help people secure their dream home

Would-be homeowners are being urged to join a new online affordable housing register to increase their chances of securing their dream home.

The Tai Teg register has been launched in a partnership between the region’s housing associations, local authorities, and the National Park Authority to simplify how people apply for an affordable home.

A number of schemes are available for those in employment and earning between £16,000 and £45,000, with some options catering for those earning up to £60,000.

Grŵp Cynefin is leading the project. In addition to Grŵp Cynefin, partners include Snowdonia National Park Authority, as well as seven local authorities: Conwy County Borough Council, Denbighshire County Council, Flintshire County Council, Gwynedd Council, Powys County Council, Wrexham County Council, and Isle of Anglesey County Council.

The other associations involved are Cartrefi Cymunedol Gwynedd, Pennaf Housing Group, North Wales Housing, Wales & West Housing, and Cartrefi Conwy.

An affordable home is one that is provided at less than market value, either for rent or purchase. Tai Teg does not include social housing, with people advised to continue to access the relevant council housing register in their area.

The register will be used to comment on planning applications and support local authorities and housing associations to plan for future developments.

To find out more and register interest in a home, visit the website:  www.taiteg.org.uk

Brand new video debuts to promote safeguarding

A hard hitting video which raises awareness of the need to report concerns of abuse of any kind has been launched by the North Wales Safeguarding Board.

The Launch of ‘Gweld Rhywbeth, Dywedwch Rhywbeth’ / ‘See Something, Say Something’ focusses on two real life scenarios which illustrate a number of different kinds of abuse taking place and how individuals are in a quandary over whether or not to intervene.

The scenes show two individuals who come across some evidence of physical, emotional and financial abuse which is confirmed as the storyline develops.

Jenny Williams, who is the Chair of the North Wales Safeguarding Board, said: "This is a hard hitting video and that is for a reason. We really want it to make people think and we have brought the issue to life through telling compelling stories based upon real life events, it can help professionals from many walks of life understand these complex issues. Understanding and relating to these stories is the first step towards individuals and organisations being better able to support those at risk.

“We want this video to be shared far and wide so that we can make a difference, make people think and more importantly make people act if they have any kinds of concern”. 

Co-operative makes sweet music success in Denbighshire

A ground-breaking music co-operative set up in Denbighshire is continuing to go from strength to strength, doubling in size since its inception in 2015 and has also extended into a neighbouring county.

The Denbighshire Music Co-operative is a not for profit organisation that provides music tuition to schools across Denbighshire and, most recently, Wrexham. The Co-operative was set in response to cuts in the Council’s budget.  Tutors that were previously employed by the William Mathias Music Service worked with the Council to progress with the alternative co-operative model that would allow the music service to continue.

In the last three years, the co-operative has grown with over 4,000 youngsters accessing music lessons - double the number on the books at the start and there are over 50 expert tutors now sharing their experience to benefit current generations of young musicians.

Heather Powell, Head of Service for the Denbighshire Music Co-operative, said: “After the budget cut was announced, the tutors got together and looked at the co-operative model for music services and thought it was a really good model.  It was then presented to the Council who supported us with instruments and some finances to start the service and that’s where it all began.

“It’s been a challenge but over the three years we’ve grown, we’ve got more pupils accessing lessons, we’ve got a lot more tutors now and our pool of tutors in Denbighshire is now up to 50.  We’ve also been able to alter what we offer to schools, providing bilingual supply teachers with music specialisms, performing arts, we’ve got special education needs and more able and talented programmes on offer to schools.

“We’ve also won lots of awards. In the last 12 months we won the Daily Post Judges Choice Award, the Wales Co-operative One to Watch Award and more recently we won the Observer newspaper Top 50 Radical Businesses in the UK honour, so it’s a pretty exciting time for all of us.

“We cover every Denbighshire school with specialist vocal and instrumental tuition, so that ranges from your singing lessons to harp lessons. We also run theory and oral music lessons which is on offer to all of our pupils and we support lessons for GCSE and A Level music as well. We also run a range of after school ensembles- we’ve got choirs, brass bands, jazz band, guitar and percussion groups. At the moment we have 4,000 pupils a week accessing the service. This is double the size to when the service started.

“We’ve started running the service in Wrexham, supporting them and we know that a number of other local authorities are looking into the model – which is really exciting. We hope to keep expanding, keep improving what’s on offer to schools and keep engaging more pupils across Denbighshire.

Councillor Huw-Hilditch Roberts, Cabinet Lead Member for Children, Young People, Education and the Welsh Language,  said: “The budget pressures on the service provided an opportunity to find an alternative solution that would allow the music service to continue, but in a different way.

“We looked at the Co-operative idea with the tutors and thought that it was a practical and viable solution. With practical and financial support from the Council and a lot of commitment and enthusiasm from tutors, ably led Heather and the team, the Co-operative was born.

“It has gone from strength to strength and we are delighted that new generations of pupils are able to access music lessons and meeting a clear demand out there.

 

Nature for Health

Are you looking to get active and learn new skills in 2019?  Would you like to meet new people and explore your local area?  Then why not take part in our free weekly walking or countryside volunteering sessions?  They run in Rhyl, Prestatyn, Llangollen and Corwen, so there’s lots to choose from!  Find your local session below, we look forward to meeting you in January.

Weekly walking sessions:

Where?                       Meeting Point                                When?

Llangollen

Llangollen Pavilion

Tuesday

1pm – 3pm

Corwen

Corwen Leisure Centre

Tuesday

10am – 12pm

Prestatyn

Morfa Gateway

Thursday

1pm – 3pm

Rhyl

Glan Morfa, Marsh Tracks

Thursday

10am – 1pm

Weekly volunteering sessions:

Where?                     Meeting Point                                  When?

Llangollen

Pengwern Community Centre

Tuesday

10am – 1pm

Corwen

Corwen Leisure Centre

Wednesday

1pm – 3pm

Prestatyn

Morfa Gateway

Thursday

10am – 1pm

Rhyl

Glan Morfa, Marsh Tracks

Thursday

10am – 1pm

These sessions form part of the Nature for Health project, with the aim to help improve people’s lives through health and wellbeing activities. We want to help individuals and communities in Denbighshire connect with the countryside and adopt healthy habits for life. 

Denbighshire Housing is working in partnership with Denbighshire Countryside service to deliver the project with support from Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board and Bangor University This 18-month pilot project will run in Rhyl, Prestatyn, Llangollen and Corwen.

Recycling and Waste

Recycling Parks: Opening hours over Christmas

The permanent Recycling Park facilities at Denbigh, Rhyl and Ruthin, will be open to the public as normal every day except 25 December, 26 December and 1 January. Winter opening hours are:

Denbigh and Ruthin:  Mon – Fri 10am - 4pm. Weekend 9am - 4pm.

Rhyl: Everyday 10am - 6pm.

RECYCLING - CORWEN AND LLANGOLLEN

The Saturday recycling services at the Pavilion Car-Park, Llangollen will take place as normal on Saturday 22 December.

However, there will be no Saturday morning services at all on either 29 December or 5 January 2019. This is because all available staff and vehicles will be working elsewhere due to the revised recycling and refuse collection schedule.

Saturday recycling services will recommence as normal at Corwen on 19 January between 9 - 11am and at Llangollen on 12 January between 9 - 11am.

COMMERCIAL RECYCLING & REFUSE COLLECTIONS

Businesses services from the Council will follow the same unaltered pattern as the household services (see below).

USUAL COLLECTION DAY ACTUAL COLLECTION DAY
Monday 24 December remains the same Monday 24 December
Tuesday 25 December changes to Wednesday 26 December
Wednesday 26 December changes to Thursday 27 December
Thursday 27 December changes to Friday 28 December
Friday 28 December changes to Saturday 29 December
Monday 31 December remains the same Monday 31 December
Tuesday 1 January 2019 changes to Wednesday 2 January
Wednesday 2 January changes to Thursday 3 January
Thursday 3 January changes to Friday 4 January
Friday 4 January changes to Saturday 5 January

ENQUIRIES

If you have any queries on the festive collection arrangements, please contact Denbighshire County Council’s Customer Service Team on 01824 706000.

Christmas Features

Peter Daniels joins Denbighshire’s winter salt & maintenance team ahead of this year’s season

It’s ironic as I join the Denbighshire winter maintenance team planning for this coming winter that it’s on a sticky and humid day in mid-summer. “We usually carry out our preparations during the hottest days of the year” said senior manager Tim Towers, with a smile.

Keeping the county’s A and B roads open is a major task. Last winter was the longest and the worst since 2010. Denbighshire spread over 170,000 cwt of salt, or nearly 9,000 tons’ worth—about twice the usual amount. Last winter started very mildly but increasingly frosts and ice resulted in a long gritting season, with twice the number of runs than usual. In 2017/18, we had three significant snow events. During the winter before, there was none. There was a major snow event in December 2017 but it was the last week of February and the first week in March 2018 that people will remember.

Tim Towers recalls commenting at the beginning of March, “Winter was due to finish but it felt like it was only about to begin”. By this time, spreading crews had already worked long, hard, over-night hours and were tiring, having been out more often than usual and sometimes around the clock. Crews face challenging conditions with or without ploughs fitted and, at night, operate their entire shift under the continual hypnotic distraction of the reflection on the road surface ahead of them of their flashing amber beacons. There’s no escaping it. “It’s a headache in every sense of the word”, said Tim.

Air temperatures in late February went down to –9°c, the lowest since 2010. This is below the temperature when salt begins to lose its effectiveness. On St David’s Day, fine snow on strong easterlies caused drifting on high and even lower ground. It is during times such as these that officers have to patrol to spot, report and direct crews to the worst affected areas.

Although most comments on social media praised Denbighshire’s snow response, there were a few who criticised Denbighshire’s management. Complaints usually revolve around questions like, “So, just where were the gritters?”.

Spreaders cannot, of course, be everywhere at the same time. They can get stuck thanks to abandoned vehicles. They are not even immune from sliding off the road, as a report of a Denbighshire gritter in December’s Daily Mail proved. Tim said: “During heavy daytime snow, spreaders join the queues of slow-moving traffic that inevitably quickly build up along main roads as, ironically, motorists all at the same time take to the roads they know will be treated”. As complaints come in, we respond. It’s a case of checking the gritters’ trackers to prove when roads were treated & when, diverting managers away from the business of moving resources in real time.

While the drivers themselves are rightly praised for the work they do, Denbighshire’s winter maintenance management is no less vigilant and no less hard-working. Managers work overnight at need, alongside their drivers. They spend long hours on-call in rotation, 24 hours a day over a seven day period. They are probably the most experienced team in North Wales. The Ruthin-based duty officer alone has 35 years’ experience. Even with ever more sophisticated satellite imagery and modern forecasting, a lot depends on the skill and judgement of those on duty, in calling in resources, in judging exactly at what height above sea level to treat, in considering the type & spread rate of salt and when exactly this should be during the day. Or night. Or both.

Indeed, salt at the wrong time and it may get washed away. Salt too late and you risk crashes. It’s crucial to get salt down before snow falls but this never guarantees that it will prevent settling snow. No amount of salt will do that in heavy, persistent snowfall. On the other hand, chasing after heavy, isolated snow showers while trying to predict the exact location in which they fall is tricky.

A and B roads are the priority but officers will respond to particular circumstances. Farmers who are running short of just-in-time feeds are among those who ask for—and usually get—a positive response from managers, on animal welfare grounds.

Spreading at 1 a.m., 4 a.m., 8 p.m. and 11 p.m. plus during the day are all part of a public service usually taken for granted.

As neck ties come off in the summer heat, it’s difficult to imagine managers and staff working around the clock in freezing conditions to keep our roads open. But that’s what they’ll begin doing from from this month onwards, till March.

Snowy Statistics 2017/18

  • Amount of salt used in Denbighshire: 170,000 cwt
  • Amount of salt used on the Ruthin area: 65,000 cwt
  • Total mileage operated: 98,000
  • Mileage in Ruthin area: 39,000
  • No. of days during which spreaders in action in 17/18: 184
  • No. of days in action during typical winter: 70
  • Pool of duty managers: 5
  • Pool of supervisors: 10
  • Pool of drivers: 35

 Credit to Peter Daniels and the Ruthin Civic Association for the article

Licenced premises urged to be well prepared for Christmas

North Wales Police and the Council are urging licensed premises to be well prepared for the festive period.

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

Chief Inspector Andrew Williams said: “Everyone has a part to play in ensuring a safe and vibrant nightlife across Denbighshire. 

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

Cllr Tony Thomas, the Council’s lead member for Housing, Regulation and the Environment, said: “Licensees will be aware of their licence conditions but they should just take time to check their conditions to ensure there are no restrictions on the proposed activities. 

“If there will be any activities outside the scope of their licence then they will need to obtain a temporary event notice.”

Other points for licensees to consider include:

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

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

 

Keep an eye on the vulnerable in Denbighshire plea

With the arrival of winter, we are urging people to be a good neighbour and keep an eye on the elderly and vulnerable.

Councillor Bobby Feeley, Cabinet Lead Member for Well-being and Independence, said: “We are asking people to take care of our most vulnerable by keeping an eye on them and making sure they are safe and well.

“If people have neighbours, friends or relatives that are unwell, they are encouraged to visit, making sure they have everything they need and to offer with any daily tasks such as shopping. It is also important to check they are eating properly and keeping their property warm.

“You may be the only visitor they will have so it is a question of being kind and considerate. The severe weather is getting closer and is likely to last for another two to three days, so we want to make sure people do not feel vulnerable or isolated.

“Showing care and compassion towards the elderly or vulnerable will really make a difference to their quality of life”.

“This message is very poignant at this time of day, especially around Christmas when it can be a lonely time for those living on their own.

If you have any concerns about a vulnerable person, please call the Single Point of Access, on  0300 456 1000, or for out of hours, the Emergency Duty Team, on 0345 0533116. 

Reminder about the Free after Three parking initiative

The Council’s free parking after 3pm is running every day until December 31st, to encourage more people to use their local high street for shopping in the run up to Christmas and New Year.

The Free After Three initiative is available in the following car parks:

Corwen:        Green Lane

Denbigh:       Barkers Well Lane; Crown Lane; Factory Ward; Post Office Lane; Vale Street

Llangollen:   East Street; Hall Street; Market Street; Mill Street

Prestatyn:     Lower High Street; Post Office; Railway station

Rhuddlan:    Parliament Street

Rhyl:              Morfa Hall (Disabled bays only); Morley Road; Queen Street; Sky Tower; West Kinmel Street.

Ruthin:          Crispin Yard; Dog Lane; Market Street; Park Road; Rhos Street; St Peter's Square; Troed y Rhiw.

St Asaph:      Bowling Green

 

Stay safe and book taxis this festive period

With the festive period nearly upon us, we are urging residents to stay safe this Christmas and book taxis in advance of their evening out.

Unlicensed taxis are a common problem across the country and with the Christmas party season in full swing it's important to know how to tell an unlicensed taxi from a licensed one. 

All vehicles will be identified by individually numbered plates front and back with hackney carriage vehicles also having a roof sign, while all drivers will carry ID badges.

Councillor Tony Thomas, the Council’s lead member for Housing, Regulation and the Environment, said: "Unlicensed taxis may seem to offer a better deal but it's not worth risking your safety to save a few pounds.

“These vehicles are not insured as taxis and the drivers have not gone through the rigorous checking involved in the licensing process.

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

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

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

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

Councillor Hugh Irving, chair of Denbighshire’s Licensing Committee, said: “Don't let a good night out be ruined by an unlicensed taxi. Always book in advance or make sure you have the number of several local taxi firms stored in your mobile phone before going out.

“Before getting in a taxi ensure the driver knows the destination and always sit in the back. Make sure that you're picked up and dropped off somewhere familiar and well lit, however if you feel uneasy with the driver ask him to stop at a busy, familiar place and get out.”

Business Section

Extra support for local shops this Christmas

Denbighshire has its own ‘Queen of Shops’ to get the county’s retailers match fit for the vital Christmas selling season.  Retail expert Helen Hodgkinson has been working with shop and business owners alongside the County Council’s Economic and Business Development Team on how to make the most of the festive season. 

Helen, a former fashion retailer and college lecturer herself, has been holding one-on-one sessions with businesses and is keen to get out the message that the county’s shops have plenty to offer shoppers for Christmas. 

It’s part of the Council’s #LoveLiveLocal campaign to encourage people to use their local shops and services and for businesses to promote themselves and for everyone to use social media platforms Twitter and Facebook to share their positive experiences of Denbighshire as a fantastic place to shop. 

She said: “Businesses have to be ready for Christmas with their plans in place because this is the most important time of the year and you have to get the basics right to reap the rewards. 

“There’s a great offer in Denbighshire, lots of unusual, quirky, specialist independent shops offering great products and service but they still need a plan and know how to sell themselves. 

“People want to buy something that’s a bit different, not mass manufactured, and provenance is important, where it’s from and how it’s made and is there a story behind it because all that adds value.” 

Helen, from Dyserth, began in retail for supermarket chain Fine Fare in Buxton in Derbyshire and then went on to work for health food giants Holland and Barratt in Buxton and Stockport before moving to North Wales where she opened an ethical clothing business in Llandudno.  She then taught at Rhyl College where she set up FE – for Further Education – Retail as a small business within the college where students could gain experience of selling.  She also taught a series of courses by the high priestess of retail, TV star Mary Portas, on successful retailing and launched a Retail Academy at the college which worked with Denbighshire County Council.

Now the Council has called on Helen’s skills again and Council Leader Hugh Evans OBE said: “We want to help promote our local traders this Christmas as part of our work to create resilient communities. 

“The #LoveLiveLocal 2018 campaign is a celebration of the diverse and vibrant shopping experiences we have in our County and is aimed at encouraging consumers to use the hashtag #LoveLiveLocal to promote businesses in Denbighshire across all social networking platforms. 

“We are helping to highlight the great retail offer right here in Denbighshire and encourage shoppers to see what is on their local high streets. 

“Not only do our businesses offer great value for money and a wide range of products, they also provide excellent customer service and we want to play our part in showcasing the fantastic businesses we have throughout Denbighshire.”

As part of the #LoveLiveLocal campaign, the Council will be rolling out a series of short video clips to highlight what the county has to offer shoppers and the campaign will encourage people to support local independent businesses by using the hashtag on Twitter and Facebook to share good experiences they’ve had as well as promote products and services locally they have ‘loved’.  The videos will appear on social media throughout the Christmas period to help promote shopping locally.  Helen added: “Ten years ago retail was still retail but things have moved on so much since then and retailers have to move on as well.  “It’s vital to get involved with events happening locally and to look to mix up your offer so that on many high streets businesses add a café on their premises, provide samples, hold evening classes and get involved in social media.  “I’ve been around all eight towns in Denbighshire and things are happening on the high streets, they’re changing for the better with new businesses opening up and offering that something different that attracts shoppers.  “They’re thinking outside the box and inspiring their customers because there are a lot of very talented people out there and lots to celebrate on the Denbighshire retail scene.”

Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty

Celebrating Our Picturesque Landscape

Since the eighteenth century people have been attracted to the Dee Valley and what is now the World Heritage Site, to enjoy the landscape and engage in art and poetry.

Our Picturesque Landscape Partnership scheme centres on the landscape of the Dee Valley and the Pontcysyllte Aqueduct and Canal World Heritage Site and takes as its theme the inspirational journeys that have and continue to be a feature of the area which is crossed by the Canal, Telford’s A5, the Llangollen Railway and the River Dee.

A new and exciting five year project, follows these inspirational journeys recognising that this is a landscape under extreme and growing pressure, with high and increasing numbers of visitors attracted to some of our most fragile sites. The Partnership aims to conserve and protect this unique area by;

  • Conserving views, heritage and habitats
  • Improving access to key sites
  • Engaging people and communities with our special landscape.

A Partnership Officer, Community and Engagement Officer and Admin and Social Media Officer are working with partners from the Clwydian Range and Dee Valley Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, Pontcysyllte Aqueduct and Canal World Heritage Site, Wrexham County Borough Council, Denbighshire County Council, the Canal and River Trust, Shropshire Council, Natural Resources Wales, Cadw, Cadwyn Clwyd, Aqueducks (Friends of the World Heritage Site) and the Friends of the Clwydian Range and Dee Valley.

Dark Skies

The AONB Team recently took a trip to the North Pennines AONB to learn about their Dark Sky Discovery Sites. As you may have heard the Clwydian Range and Dee Valley AONB have big Dark Sky ambitions! We would like to apply to the International Dark Sky Association (IDA) to gain official recognised for the quality of our Dark Skies, which are among the best in Wales. 

Like ourselves the North Pennines have not yet applied to the IDA, they have however invested in a number of Dark Sky Discovery sites.

Dark Sky Discovery Sites are places that are away from the worst of any local light pollution, provide good sightlines of the sky, have good public access and are generally freely accessible at all times.

Innovative interpretation, hammocks, stargazing festival and an observatory are just some of the things the North Pennines have achieved as part of their Dark Sky work – no pressure for the Clwydian Range and Dee Valley then.

In the next issue of County Voice you will meet the new Dark Sky Officer for North Wales, a partnership post between the protected landscapes of Snowdonia National Park Authority, Anglesey and Llyn AONB’s and ourselves.

The learning journey was kindly supported by 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 and administered by Cadwyn Clwyd.

AONB Annual Forum – Sustainable Tourism and Business Engagement

 

Every year the Clwydian Range and Dee Valley AONB host a forum and this year’s theme was Sustainable Tourism and Business Engagement.

When planning such an event there was only one place to go – straight to the businesses themselves, in particular the Clwydian Range Tourism Group, Clwydian Range Food and Drink and the Llangollen and Dee Valley Good Grub Club. Having been involved with the establishment of each group they were naturally the go to businesses of choice.

We partnered up with the tourism group who hosted their autumn meeting between 3-5pm before an hour of showcasing the delicious local food producers. Guest speakers included;

  • Julie Masters and Jane Clough introduced us to Stay, Eat and Do a new exciting opportunity for businesses in the area to form marketing clusters.
  • Peter McDermott, Denbighshire's Tourism Manager who have us an update on the Denbighshire Tourism Strategy.
  • Anna Bowen from Development Bank Wales on the financial opportunities for businesses.
  • Sarah Jones, Cadwyn Clwyd regarding the innovative North East Wales Digital Trails project available in many communities.

A couple of highlights from the evening included;

  • Cillian Murphy from Loop Head Tourism Association who really enthused the crowd with quotes about Sustainable Tourism such as “Tourism itself is not the goal, it is just a tool we can use to build a sustainable community” and “Tourism needs to be measured not by visitor numbers, but by its efficacy in creating prosperity, employment, a healthy environment and benefits to the destination” something extremely relevant for our next guest speakers;
  • Graham Randles and Rebecca Armstrong from New Economics Foundation who have been commissioned by the AONB to undertake research of the value of some of our honeypot sites such as Moel Famau Country Park and the Horseshoe Falls (the findings will be included in the next issue of County Voice) not only in economic terms but also in health and well-being terms.

The event attracted over 80 people and really drew attention to Sustainable Tourism in the Clwydian Range and Dee Valley.

A huge thank you to all who were involved in such a great event – da iawn!

The event was kindly supported 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 and administered by Cadwyn Clwyd.

Countryside Services

Denbighshire fundamental to little tern survival in UK

The little tern – one of our rarest and smallest breeding seabirds – nests on open sand and shingle beaches around our coasts between May and August each year. Monitoring of the birds across the UK showed that their numbers had declined by almost a fifth since 2000 due to reduced breeding success and to the many threats they are exposed to on our beaches. A funding bid, with the RSPB as lead partner, was successful and began in September 2013.

In mid-November a national conference was held in Norwich to celebrate the success of the five year EU-funded project to protect little terns – the UK’s second rarest sea bird. The ‘EU Life+ Little Tern Recovery Project’ is a partnership project with 11 organisations (including Natural England, the National Trust, the Wildlife Trusts and several AONBs) and is 50% match funded.

Susan Rendell-Read, the RSPB’s little tern project manager said: “We achieved what we set out to do laying the foundations for long-term recovery but the future for little terns is by no means secure. Further funding is urgently needed to build on the lessons learned over the past five years and to make sure that our coasts remain a welcoming place for this wonderful seabird.”

Adrian Hibbert, spoke on behalf of Denbighshire Countryside Service at the conference event and added “One of the sites that benefitted greatly from this project was the nature reserve at Gronant Dunes. This summer saw 171 breeding pairs of little tern, the most ever recorded at Gronant. Looking at current trends it could soon accommodate one-tenth of the UK breeding population in a few years time. This is fantastic news and we should be very proud that Denbighshire are helping to lead the way to their recovery.

Little terns do not have an easy time and Storm Hector caused a lot of damage this year. Despite this, here on the Welsh coast, the birds recovered and fledged a remarkable 192 chicks. Predators were kept at bay with more electric fencing to stop foxes and the diversionary feeding of kestrels working extremely well. We also trialled laser hazing for the first time and that deterred crows at the start of the season. More eggs and chicks would definitely have been lost without intervention.

With a grant bid to the Welsh Government not decided until March then it will be a long wait to see if the same level of protection can be given next season. The North Wales Little Tern Group though has reached 200 paid members this year so one positive in the fight to help this endangered seabird.

Features

Think you can become a Foster Carer?

Fostering in Denbighshire

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, however foster carers in conjunction with their social worker can decide on the age of a child/ren 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 Sue Colman Fostering Service Manager 01824 712279 or Penny Moran 01824 712287 Placement and Commissioning Officer.

Council Arts Service honoured for its creative dementia project

Samuel West, star of stage and screen took centre stage at a presentation of a prestigious award given to the Council.

The actor, who is the chair of the National Campaign for the Arts' (NCA) presented a Heart For The Arts Award to the Council, named Best Local Authority Arts Project Encouraging Community Cohesion for its Lost in Art project.

Lost in Art is a visual arts project for people living with dementia and their carers. The aim of the project is to explore the role of visual arts in addressing issues that can affect people with dementia, including social isolation, confidence, communication and quality of life.

The project, created by the Arts Service, was developed with the support of the Arts Council of Wales and the Dementia Services Development Centre at Bangor University and its Dementia and Imagination research project.  There are two groups running in Denbighshire at present one in Rhyl and the other at the Ruthin Craft Centre.

Samuel, whose parents are well-known actors Timothy West and Prunella Scales has personal experience of dementia.  His mother has been diagnosed with the condition.

Councillor Bobby Feeley, Lead Member for Well-being and Independence said:  “We are delighted to be picking up this honour, which recognises the tremendous amount of work going on in this worthwhile project.

“Research has shown that taking part in creative project can improve mood and confidence and an increased sense of belonging to a community for those taking part.

“The intergenerational element with local schools is also a wonderful addition. To Lost in Arts and those who take part take great pride in making a real difference to the quality of life for people with dementia.

“I would also like to acknowledge the wonderful work of the Arts Service and the Lost in Art team who have devised a project that has proven health benefits for participants.“

Housing Matters

Top honour for Gina

A Rhyl resident has been honoured at the prestigious Wales Housing Awards for service to her community.

Gina Jones is the Chair of the Marsh Community Association and Co-ordinator of the Phoenix Centre in Rhyl.  The nomination, put forward by Denbighshire Housing recognises the commitment, dedication and sheer hard work from Gina in turning around the fortunes of the local neighbourhood centre, which had been in decline over a number of years.

The Centre’s fortunes began to transform when a small group of volunteers, led by Gina Jones starting working with Denbighshire Housing and outlined their plans to turn the Centre around.  The Phoenix Centre reopened in Spring 2017, providing a fresh start for everyone.  Since the restart, Gina and other volunteers have strived to deliver a Centre the residents wanted, a friendly relaxed environment offering a wide range of activities and clubs.  Residents say the centre is always welcoming “the Centre is so much more inviting that it used to be, so more people use it now”. 

With the support of Nikki Jones, one of Denbighshire Housing’s Community Development officers and other external organisations, Gina has now extended the Centre’s programme to offer advice sessions and skill development.  Residents attending the Centre can now benefit from Homestart courses, Llandrillo College courses, Job Club, Housing surgeries and cooking sessions.  The Phoenix Centre has now become a hub where residents can improve their health, wellbeing and their future prospects.  One resident commented “it is extremely helpful to have free use of computers and the internet for job searches, and universal credit.  I don’t have a computer or internet access at home, so having this so close to home is brilliant.”

Even with limited space Gina wanted the centre to offer something for everyone, not just courses and information.  She wanted to create a centre where people would choose to come in and socialise or make new friends.  Gina and the volunteers now run a number of clubs and organise trips and social evenings including movie nights, knitting/sewing club, CV writing, coffee mornings, children’s arts and crafts, rock painting, gardening club, community fun days, days out, children’s parties and homework club.

A recent day out provided some delighted local children with their first ever visit to Chester Zoo, but Homework Club is the area that has seen the biggest impact on the children in the community.  One child says “I don’t have anyone at home that can help me with my homework, so I come here to get it done and I don’t get into trouble at school.”  Another child has said “I have nothing to do after school so I come here instead of hanging around on the street.”  Encouraging children to take part in the homework club is invaluable to their education but is also having a positive impact on anti-social behaviour in the community. 

Residents say “Gina and the volunteers are approachable and easy to talk to about any problems we have and they’re able to give us advice and point us in the right direction of support.  They always have a smile on their face and create such a friendly and welcoming environment” 

Councillor Tony Thomas, Cabinet Lead Member for Housing, said: “To be recognised with the Housing Champion honour at the prestigious national awards is recognition of the commitment, dedication and sheer hard work put in by Gina and her volunteers to make a real difference to the quality of life in the area.

“This radical turnaround of the community centre is down to Gina’s vision, hard work, passion, commitment and drive to improve the lives of the people in her community.  With the support of Nikki and the help of external partners, Gina has turned her vision into a reality and given her community back their Centre.

Over the last 18 months, Gina and her volunteers have worked tirelessly to turn an unused, unsupportive community centre into a busy, welcoming environment meeting the needs of its community.  Due to the real difference that Gina has made to the lives of people in her community, Denbighshire Housing cannot think of anyone more deserving of this award. We are truly delighted and cannot think of anyone more deserving for this award”.

Tourism

Tourism Leaflet Distribution Service

We run a free quarterly tourism leaflet distribution service for businesses to order leaflets and brochures. This information is produced to encourage visitors to the area, and to enhance their experience once they are here.Tourism Leaflets

Products include:

  • Town Trail leaflets
  • The 5 Journeys brochure
  • Denbighshire Digital Adventures
  • Ruthin Craft Centre brochure
  • Heritage leaflet

Who can order?

You can order from the leaflet distribution service if your business is in and around North East Wales and you come into contact with visitors.

How to order?

You can order from our Tourism Leaflet Distribution Service online. We will arrange for our distribution company to deliver to you, free of charge. 

What happens next?

If you do not receive your literature within 2 weeks of the closing date please email us tourism@denbighshire.gov.uk.

Our distribution company will deliver the stock to you the week following the closing date.

Tourism campaign launched to attract tourists to North Wales this winter

Tourism Campaign

Local Authorities in North Wales are collaborating on an exciting campaign to encourage tourism across North Wales during the winter season. 

‘Get Wrapped Up’ targets audiences outside of Wales; particularly Manchester, and promotes the array of adventure, food and drink, accommodation, and events on offer across North Wales during the winter months.  

The campaign is funded by the Welsh Government Regional Tourism Engagement Fund (RTEF).  Conwy County Borough Council lead the project and are joined by Denbighshire County Council, Flintshire and Wrexham (North East Wales), Gwynedd Council, and Isle of Anglesey County Council (IACC), to boost tourism interest all year round, working closely with Visit Wales. 

This joined-up approach is one of the first of its kind for the region, with all six local authorities coming together to work on one regional campaign for the benefit of the North Wales economy to help bring new visitors at what can be the most challenging time of the year for the tourism industry. 

It will include radio campaigns, social media promotions, travel and trade opportunities for journalists and a range of resources for businesses to use. 

There has already been a positive reaction to the campaign from businesses across the region, with many already supporting the campaign. Businesses large and small across North Wales are being urged to get involved to promote their own products and services to a wider audience this winter. 

Councillor Hugh Evans OBE, Leader of the Council, said: “We’re delighted to be involved in this project and would encourage as many businesses as possible to get involved in the campaign.

Denbighshire has great walks, mountain biking, historic towns, coastal activities, and a variety of events which can all be enjoyed over the winter months.

Being only an hour away from Manchester and Liverpool, Denbighshire is well positioned as an accessible destination for a relaxing short break in stunning surroundings. Having an all year offer is also key to attracting more people to work in the tourism sector and make a real impact on the economic prosperity of Denbighshire.”

Follow the campaign for all of the latest events, news and exclusive competitions by searching #DiscoverNorthWales / #DarganfodYGogledd on social media or visit http://www.northeastwales.wales/

Looking for places to visit over the Christmas Break?

Looking for places to visit this ChristmasNeed a bit of inspiration? For ideas of things to do and places to visit in our stunning corner of North Wales, take a look at www.northeastwales.wales/5-things-to-do-christmas/.

And don’t just take our word for it - these bloggers have all visited North East Wales recently and experienced a whole host of activities. Read all about where they visited and see what they have to say about places right on your doorstep!

http://www.northeastwales.wales/category/bloggers/

Keep posted on tourism news!

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

If so, it’s easy and simple to sign up – www.denbighshire.gov.uk/business-sign-up-for-tourism

Merry Christmas & Best Wishes for the New Year

We would like to take this opportunity to thank all our visitors, businesses, groups and partners for contributing to the tourism agenda across Denbighshire and North East Wales during the year. Tourism is the biggest industry in Denbighshire and it’s important we plan for a sustainable future for everyone that lives, works, studies and visits our beautiful region.

Rhyl Developments

Breathing new life into Rhyl town centre in spruce up challenge

A brand new initiative aimed at sprucing up some town centre buildings in Rhyl is being launched by the Council, as part of on-going efforts to breathe new life into the town.

Over recent years, some buildings have fallen into a poor state and are in need of renovating.  The retail area in particular has seen significant changes over the years, but the potential exists to enhance town centre buildings to encourage more people to shop and do business there.

Following consultation led by the Council, businesses and the general public have identified the poor state of some town centre buildings as a key issue in attracting investment, tourists and shoppers.

As a result,  the Council wishes to address this concern and this initiative will involve working with owners/occupiers of town centre properties; those which show evidence of unauthorised development, those which fail to meet advertisement controls and those properties which have fallen into disrepair through neglect, or which have simply been allowed to become untidy.

Leader of Denbighshire, Councillor Hugh Evans OBE, said: “The feedback from local businesses and residents has been extremely useful, as it has reinforced the Council’s view that work needs to be done to spruce up the town centre.

“There are clear long term benefits for property owners and businesses to be gained by investing to improve their properties and bring them to an acceptable standard.   By working together, we can really make a difference to the visual impact of the town centre and encourage more people to make Rhyl town centre their locati0on of choice for shopping, entertainment and to do business.

“We believe this is a unique project and there are no similarly focused projects with dedicated staff on-going within North Wales. It is hoped that our partnership approach will be met with understanding and an acceptance by property owners to make a contribution, when required, towards improving the town centre for the good of all.”

Prakash Lad, a senior building surveyor for Yorkshire Building Society, acknowledges the importance of properly maintaining their buildings. The Society has recently undertaken an extensive refurbishment of their building in High Street, which is to be applauded.

Prakash said: “We manage a programme of planned projects to keep our national retail branch network up to standard and aim to review and carry out external repairs every five to seven years. Anything the Council can do to encourage other owners of town centre buildings to properly maintain their premises should be welcome.”

Nadeem Ahmad from Jean Emporium and Chrome clothing stores in the town centre said: "A well presented and welcoming town centre is integral to the regeneration of Rhyl. It is essential that improvements are made where necessary and standards are kept to a level that will complement the ongoing projects on the promenade.

“Whilst economic conditions are tough, it is important that businesses and the Council work together to make a difference and create an environment where people are happy to visit."

As the initiative progresses dedicated Officers of the Council’s Planning and Public Protection Service will be assessing town centre properties and seeking to work with property owners and in doing so taking an open, helpful, proportionate and consistent approach. The intention being to provide guidance on what action is required and what steps are necessary to remedy the situation. When necessary formal planning enforcement powers will be used.

The first ‘Junior TAG’ structure in the UK is coming to Rhyl next Spring

TAG

SC2, the new waterpark and adventure zone coming to North Wales next year, is excited to announce that that alongside their much anticipated TAG Active arena, there will be a Junior TAG structure which is the first of its kind in the UK.

Junior TAG is a multi-zone obstacle course similar to that of the main TAG structure, however this is for 5 to 8 year olds only and will challenge younger players to test their own strategy, speed, agility and bravery, whilst promoting fun, fitness and competition.

The two structures form the full TAG Active arena currently being built at SC2, the new £15m waterpark and adventure centre on the promenade in Rhyl, opening on April 5th next year.

On both the Junior and Main structure, players will wear electronic wrist bands when they take on the high energy course with over 40 targets to hit on eight levels, a cross between Ninja Warrior and Total Wipeout.

The aim of Junior TAG and TAG Active is to hit a matrix of computer controlled targets across multilevel zones and compete on time and targets with friends and colleagues, or to beat your own scores, giving both adults and children a unique experience on the North Wales coast.

Leader of Denbighshire, Councillor Hugh Evans OBE, said: “We are delighted that there is so much excitement and anticipation ahead of the opening of SC2 and we are very excited to be bringing the first Junior TAG in the UK to Rhyl. It will be a first class attraction for the whole of the North Wales coast.”

Rhyl Mayor Councillor Win Mullen-James said: “There’s an exciting buzz surrounding TAG Active, as well as the whole development of SC2. This is something that this area has never seen before and we’re thrilled that it is coming to Rhyl.”

Jim Jones, MD North Wales Tourism, said: “SC2 is without a shadow of doubt a game changer for Rhyl, it is another huge boost for our tourism economy and yet again demonstrates the confidence in North Wales as a destination to invest in. The Junior TAG which is the first in the U.K. is exactly the target market we want to cater for. Tourism is worth over £3 billion to our Economy of North Wales and with attractions being developed like this, we are set to see that increase further for both Denbighshire and North Wales.”

For more information please visit www.sc2rhyl.co.uk or visit our social media pages. Full ticket prices go on sale early January 2019. 

Heritage

Winter visits to Ruthin Gaol and Nantclwyd Y Dre

Ruthin GaolRuthin GNantclwyd y Dreaol Museum and Nantclwyd Y Dre House & Gardens (Ruthin) are both open for pre-booked private or group tours or special events throughout winter (when they are closed for general visits).

Please contact us for more information / to book at: heritage@denbighshire.gov.uk or call 01824 706868.

 

 

Ruthin Gaol’s Halloween Spectacular

Ruthin Gaol Museum had a very busy Halloween Week this October, celebrating all things spooky.

The Gaol was decorated with jack o’ lanterns, skeletons, bats and spiders, and creepy music added to the eerie ambience in our Victorian prison.

Our wonderful team put on Halloween-themed activities for visitors to enjoy, including mask-making, quizzes and making scary spiders and bats.

In the ‘Halloween Hunt’ visitors searched for ingredients to the witch’s broth hidden around the Gaol to help her finish her spell.

Over 400 visitors of all ages enjoyed the festivities and we were happy to see so many in costume turn up, plenty of people getting into the Halloween spirit this year!

New audio tours for 2019 at Ruthin Gaol and Plas Newydd (Llangollen)

Interactive Tours

Visitors to Plas Newydd (Llangollen) and Ruthin Gaol have enjoyed interactive audio tours at these historical sites for years. However, new information about the history of the buildings and people that used them has stimulated a grant funded project to add more stories to the tours and change to simpler, more lightweight technology. They will also feature a special children’s tour for younger visitors, containing fun and interactive storytelling and an educational quiz…more for the kids to do whilst the grown-ups enjoy their visit!

The new audio tour system will be live for the 2019 season.

Highways

Improvements to Public Transport in the Bryneglwys Area

With effect from Monday, December 3, 2018, the Council has made its own drivers available to residents in the Bryneglwys and Llandegla areas who currently rely on volunteers for essential public transport journeys. 

The service will be available Mondays to Fridays between 0930 and 1430 to local residents principally to connect at Llandegla to the X51 bus service for onward travel to Ruthin or Wrexham.  Other journey opportunities may also be available including direct transport to Ruthin. Passengers are asked to contribute £2 return to the cost of travel. 

The service is provided with the help of the South Denbighshire Community Partnership (SDCP). 

To book, passengers should contact the SDCP on 01490 266004 up to 1500 on the day before travelling. Monday journeys require a booking on the preceding Friday.  Journeys need to be within the scheme guidelines, available from the SDCP on the above number or the Council's Passenger Transport department on 01824 706982.   All journeys under the Council scheme are subject to the conditions of travel and driver availability (i.e. drivers may be used in other areas).  The Council continues to provide a return taxi link on Mondays, Wednesdays and Saturdays for any resident from Bryneglwys at 0925 to Llandegla for the X51 bus for Wrexham.  This is operated by AAA Taxis of Ruthin and passengers will no longer need to book this: it will now operate without the need to telephone the operator ahead.

 

Road signs to be installed to warn drivers

Signs will be installed warning drivers of hazardous conditions on a steep section of road.

The Council will install three signs on the road between Prestatyn and Gwaenysgor warning drivers of icy conditions.

Over the last five years there have been 45 accidents linked to wintry road conditions in the area and the signs will be deployed when conditions are hazardous and will instruct drivers to avoid the route.

Councillor Brian Jones, the Council’s lead member for Highways, Planning and Sustainable Travel, said: “These signs, which will only be visible when conditions are hazardous, will warn drivers to use an alternative route.

“Conditions on this stretch of road can become very dangerous, even just with frost, and drivers should not use the road when the signs are in operation. Drivers who use the route when conditions are hazardous could be putting lives at risk.

“Due to the gradient of this stretch of road it is unsafe for the Council to deploy gritters to the area.”

The warning signs are due to be in place by the end of November.

The alternative route is Allt y Graig in Dyserth, a section of road which is gritted by the Council when conditions require.

 

Parking Services

Vale Street Car Park, Denbigh: Improvement Works

We plan to improve all of our car parks over the next 5 years to make them more user-friendly for residents and visitors to our towns. We recently undertook some improvement works to Vale Street Car Park in Denbigh. Works included installing a new pay and display machine, tariff board and making the car park more accessible for people with reduced mobility. Below are some photos of the completed works.

What's Next

Free parking bays – Morley Rd and West Kinmel Street Car Parks, Rhyl

Following the success of the free parking for 1 hour bays in Denbigh and Ruthin we will be rolling out the scheme to Rhyl. The bays will be located in West Kinmel Street Car Park and Morley Road Car Park The bays will marked as free parking with associated signs.

New pay and display machines

We will be replacing 14 of our existing pay and display machines before the end of March 2019. The new machines will have the option to pay by card. The car parks identified for the new machines are:

  • Factory Ward, Denbigh
  • East Street, Llangollen
  • Market Street, Llangollen
  • Mill Street, Llangollen
  • Park Road, Ruthin
  • Nant Hall Road (Central), Prestatyn
  • Nova Rear, Prestatyn
  • Kings Avenue, Prestatyn
  • Morley Road, Rhyl
  • Railway Station, Rhyl
  • Crispin Yard, Ruthin

Nant Hall Road (Central) and Fern Avenue Car Parks, Prestatyn

From the 1st January 2019 new tariffs will apply in the above car parks. The new tariffs are:

  • Upto 4hrs – free (Prestatyn Town Council are subsidising this)
  • Over 4hrs - £3.50

For customers that use these car parks daily permits can be purchased from Prestatyn One Stop Shop, further options for applying can be found on our website >>> www.denbighshire.gov.uk/parking.

Tariff board replacement project

We will soon be commencing a project to renew all of our tariff boards. Example of the new tariff board is shown below.

Advertise on the back of our Pay and Display tickets

The Council has some opportunities coming up for businesses to advertise on the back of our pay and display tickets. For more information please contact James Parson on 01824 706889 or email james.parson@denbighshire.gov.uk.

Leisure Services

Transformation of Rhyl Leisure Centre complete

As part of a £2.5 million investment by Denbighshire Leisure into its facilities this year, exercise for members of Rhyl Leisure Centre has now been transformed. Customers are delighted with their new look centre, which has seen the gym become the first in North Wales to have the full Technogym Skill Line available.   An exciting series of fitness zones has also been created and the changing areas have been refurbished to the highest standards.

A former drama room on the site has been dramatically redesigned to provide a functional training area offering suspension trainers, punch bags, and plyometric boxes amongst others. Also a range of equipment for a programme of the popular HIIT training has been introduced.

Fans of group cycling are also enjoying new virtual classes in their dedicated cycle studio.

Interested in joining? Contact the Centre on 01824 712661.   

Investment continues across the County

The past five years has seen an unprecedented level of investment into Denbighshire’s leisure facilities, and projects are continuing to be delivered across the County.

Ruthin Leisure Centre are on are schedule to reopen their swimming pool in January 2019, following a £450k+ refurbishment of the pool hall. In addition to the hall upgrades, which have included a new roof and installation of new LED lighting, the changing rooms have been completely remodelled and will now include a village style area, new group changing and a new accessible changing area with hoist and easy access to the pool.

Prestatyn Leisure Centre have recently opened their new changing areas, with both sets of facilities being completely refurbished in a £160k investment.

SC2

Denbighshire Leisure’s new flagship attraction SC2 is due to open in Spring 2019.

The website is now live and for your chance to win a free family ticket, register now!

Rhyl Pavilion Theatre

Pavilion Theatre, Rhyl are looking forward to the launch of their pantomime Aladdin which will run from 11th December to 5th January.

Future shows for 2019 will include Max Boyce, Jason Manford and Joseph - look out for the Spring Programme which will be released in January.

Full details are available on the Theatre website http://www.rhylpavilion.co.uk/category/whats-on/

Leisure Card

Leisure Cards provide discounts on activities at Denbighshire Leisure facilities and other selected outlets, Cards are available for adults, juniors, students, over 60’s and groups. If you are registered disabled, claiming unemployment benefit or income support, you may be entitled to a free Leisure Card. Visit http://www.denbighshireleisure.co.uk/ or ask a member of staff for details.

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year

Happy Christmas and a Happy New Year

The staff and members of the Council would like to take this opportunity to wish you all a very happy Christmas and a peaceful new year.

Côr Sain y Sir

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