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Monday, December 22, 2014

Silver Band plays at church carol service

* The Silver Band plays at the carol service.

Llangollen Silver Band provided the perfect musical accompaniment to the annual Christmas carols by candelight service at the Methodist Church on Sunday evening.

A programme of traditional carols, readings and prayers preceded the announcement of the winner of this year's Christmas tree competition at the church, which was the one decorated with items of rubbish collected by Llangollen Tidy Town Team.

All the trees into the competition will remain on display the church until after Christmas.

* The Tidy Town Team's novel Christmas tree which was
chosen as the winner of the church's annual competition

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Bishop encourages generosity this Christmas

The Bishop of St Asaph is encouraging a spirit of generosity in his 2014 Christmas message. 
In it, Bishop Gregory Cameron (pictured left) explains that at Christmas we remember that Jesus was given freely by God with no strings attached and asks if we are willing to give as generously?
You can read the whole message below:
"There has been rivalry on the telly for the most touching Christmas advert.  A tale of two penguins competes with an impossibly long Christmas table from a budget supermarket and another chain store’s marauding fairies.
"These adverts hint at the Christmas that everybody wants: a jolly family time where everyone gets the present they desire (£199.99 at all the best stores), plenty of food on the table, burning logs on the fire, and all’s well with the world.  Could anyone dare criticise these good feel adverts without being accused of becoming Scrooge?
"Well, I could point out that this won’t be the Christmas experience of many in the world, even in our own country, this year.  And we should remember that these adverts have only one goal: the stores want to make as much money as they can out of us.  The real point behind Dickens' famous story, A Christmas Carol, is not that there should be no brakes on the indulgence, but that there should be no brakes on the generosity, because He who had all things gave them up for our sakes.
"If I was to single out one aspect of a Christian celebration of Christmas that might be distinctive, then it would be “generosity”.  The Christian story behind Christmas is that God gives his love to us in Jesus without strings attached.  Therefore, anyone who wants to celebrate a real Christmas should copy God’s generosity.  I’m sure that we’ll all be generous to family and friends; but what about generosity to the unlovely? 
"Jesus once said: `If you love only those who love you, what reward do you have? Don't even the tax collectors do the same?' (Matthew 5.46)
"This Christmas, perhaps in remembering that Jesus was given freely by God, we can also think: what gifts could we give this year, generous and freely given, to those who are in need, and without any strings attached?  For to give without any hope of getting back is the sort of love that reflects the true spirit of Christmas."

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Traffic measures will be in place "before health centre opens"

TRAFFIC calming measures on the busy main road outside where Llangollen’s new health centre is being built will be in place before it opens its doors to patients.

That’s the assurance the area’s county councillor Stuart Davies says he has been given by Denbighshire highways officers.
A number of local people have raised concerns that  vehicles entering and leaving the health centre site in Mill Street will have to contend with traffic speeding along the A539.

Cllr Davies promised earlier this year to ask council officers to come up with a package of traffic calming measures to make the access point safer.
However, nothing had been heard for some time.

Now Cllr Davies said: “I have chased up officers to make sure that traffic calming measures are going to be implemented at the same time as the health centre is being built.
“I have been assured that the Betsi Cadwaladar University Health Board (BCUHB), which is building the new centre, has commissioned a traffic consultant to undertake the design of a signal controlled crossing for them and my officers agree with me that any highway improvements should be implemented before the new centre opens.”

Building work on the new centre is now quite advanced and the next stages of the project will include the work needed to provide electrical and water supplies to the building, divert water mains, construct a pavement alongside the new building, provide drainage to the road, install bus stops, relocate the 30 mph zone and provide additional street lighting.

This work is planned to start on January 5 and continue for five to six months.  

While it takes place the road past the site will at times be restricted to a single lane, with traffic lights in place to control vehicles coming into and going out of Llangollen on the A539 (Mill Street) road to Ruabon.  Bishop’s Walk will also be affected.

The main contractors, Read Construction, and the health board are currently working with Llangollen Railway to co-ordinate the movements of locomotives along Mill Street during the period that these lane restrictions are in place. 

No lane closures will take place during the following holiday periods: 3rd - 13th April, 1st - 5th May, 22nd May - 1st June.
BCUHB has apologised in advance for any inconvenience caused by these temporary traffic control arrangements and asked for “patience and understanding” from road users whilst the work goes ahead.

Once complete in mid-2015 the health centre will bring together the town’s GP practice and community health services run by the BCUHB with services provided by Denbighshire County Council and the voluntary sector.

Friday, December 19, 2014

Re-opened Plas Madoc calls for new members

* Ken Skates receives his Splash membership card from 
centre manager Claire Duffy.
Also pictured is Aaron Durban from Hashtag
Marketing who have been working alongside the Trust.

Volunteers who saved and reopened Plas Madoc Leisure Centre are urging the public to help make it a success by signing up for monthly memberships.

The Splash Community Trust, which runs the popular facility, wants residents in Wrexham and further afield to take advantage of ‘very competitive’ prices and ensure Splash Magic, as it is now known, has a prosperous 2015.

Chairman Darrell Wright, from Trevor, said: “The New Year is always the time when people make a concerted effort to do more exercise and sign up for all sorts of expensive gym memberships.

“Instead of paying huge sums to national companies, why not help a local volunteer-run venture and save money at the same time? A full membership, which includes use of the gym and swimming pool as well as instructor-led classes, is £26. It’s very competitive indeed when you look at what people pay elsewhere.”

There are currently between 150-200 Splash members, but Trust secretary Stella Matthews said they need 600 to balance the books.

Clwyd South Assembly Member Ken Skates, another founder member of the Trust, received his membership card this week.

The Labour AM said: “I’ve loved being back at the centre again and I’d encourage everyone who wants to get in shape in January to use Splash Magic. Memberships, paid monthly by direct debit, are by far the cheapest way to go and are incredible value compared to the big chains.

“It’s been a phenomenal year when you consider how far we’ve come, and the challenge is to make next year even better by making Splash the success story we all want it to be.

“The Trust volunteers have worked wonders and have more than done their bit – now it’s time for everyone else who wanted Plas Madoc saved to do theirs.”

Apart from Christmas Day and Boxing Day, Splash is open throughout the holidays.

Darrell said an incredible 2,287 volunteer hours in November alone helped get the centre ready for its December 6 reopening, but the Trust are still keen for more individuals to come forward and be part of the team in 2015.

* For more information visit or call Darrell on 07882 947804.

AM's concern over cancer treatment figures

Since the beginning of the year more cancer patients have been forced to wait longer for treatment, claims North Wales Assembly Member Aled Roberts.
“In February the Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board achieved the Welsh Government’s 95% target for newly diagnosed cancer patients being seen within 62 days or 9 weeks,” he said.
“But since then this figure has declined to 83.6% in October 211; this means 17.4% started their treatment over 9 weeks after being diagnosed.
“I believe that this delay in treatment is not acceptable and I worry that some patients’ cancer is not being treated quickly enough to give them the best chance of beating the disease.
“The figures for the Betsi Cadwaladr Health Board show a significant increase in treatment delays between May and June of this year. Between these two months cancer treatment within 62 days for patients newly diagnosed dropped from 90% to 81.7%.”
“I have seen constituents who appear to be waiting long periods before they start their cancer treatment and I will pursue this issue with the health board officials to find out the cause for these increasing delays.”

Dinas Bran scoops six awards in bands battle

Ysgol Dinas Bran from Llangollen scooped a sensational six awards in the prestigious Battle of the Bands 2014 Awards held recently at Rhyl Town Hall.

The venue was rocking to the rafters as 12 acts from Denbighshire schools competed  before a packed house. 

The band This Way Down from Ysgol Dinas Bran took the overall winner’s award and Equanimity from the same school landed the People’s Choice award.

This Way Down had earlier taken the prizes for the DJ-ing Masterclass for Secondary School Students + Guest DJ at School Prom, Recording Studio Access, their Gig at Llanfest 2015 (Llangollen July 2015) and their set on the S4C stage at Llangollen International Eisteddfod.

This was a unique event, designed by young people for young people. 

The backdrops to the bands’ performances was a graffiti mural designed and produced by pupils from Prestatyn and Rhyl High Schools. 

Music ranged from modern to original rock compositions. 

There was a mix of performances from soloists, duos, 3-6 piece rock bands, with participants ranging from seven-18. 

Judges included DJ Rusty, aka Richard Jenkins, and Welsh Actress Gemma Lawman.

All proceeds raised at the event will be reinvested in future Enrichment activities. 

Organisers say the audience response was phenomenal and that they are now planning next year’s event. 

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Start date given for Corwen Pavilion demolition

Denbighshire County Council has announced that contractors will be on site at Corwen Pavilion from the 5th January 2015 to start the demolition process.

The aim is to complete the work by mid to late February 2015.

Works will initially involve a soft strip-out of internal areas of the property including the safe removal of asbestos.

The council took the decision to close the Pavilion in April 2010 after a structural survey confirmed there were numerous issues with the roof structure and deteriorating foundations.

The site also suffered with wet rot, dry rot, furniture beetle infestation, inadequate heating systems and asbestos.  

Local councillor, Huw Jones said: “I understand that this will be a sad day for some as the Corwen Pavilion has been a key feature in the town but such a building was always going to have a limited life span and surveys carried out in 2010 showed it had finally deteriorated beyond economic repair.

"Following the conclusion of a protracted court case in which the court found in favour of the Council, we are now in a position to begin demolishing the building and I look forward to establishing a new future for the site.

"The land will be transferred back to the community but given the condition of the building, we made it very clear from the outset that we could not transfer the land with any liabilities, meaning that the site needed to be cleared and made safe in order to allow any transfer to go ahead."

Jamie Groves, Head of Communications, Marketing and Leisure, said: “The council remains fully committed to transferring the title of this land over to the community and we will be pleased to continue to support them to move forward and find the necessary funding for a sustainable building.”