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Sunday, July 23, 2017

County urges people to check broadband speeds

People in Denbighshire are being urged to make sure they are getting the best broadband speeds.

The county council is asking residents and businesses to test their broadband connection speeds via Ofcom’s website and to check with their Internet Service Providers when their current non-superfast contracts are due to end.

The council has also written to residents who it understands will be unable to access superfast broadband after the end of the current Superfast Cymru programme in December, providing them with advice on alternative solutions to improve speeds.

The Welsh Government’s website hosts a checker to confirm which premises have access to superfast speeds.

Councillor Hugh Evans OBE, leader of Denbighshire County Council, said: “Unfortunately broadband providers don’t always update customers about the full range of products available to them. The Welsh Government checker is an independent source which can tell residents and businesses if they can access superfast broadband.

“It is also easy to forget when your contract is due for renewal and people who could get superfast may find themselves unnecessarily tied into slow speeds for a further year if they automatically renew existing contracts.

“Helping residents and businesses to access superfast broadband is part of the council’s work to unlock the economic benefits high quality broadband can bring to communities and businesses.”

Councillor Richard Mainon, the council’s lead member for Developing Community Infrastructure, said: “The council has previously expressed its disappointment at information released by the Welsh Government on which properties in the county will not get access to fibre broadband through its Superfast Cymru programme.

“Although a second programme is due to get underway next year, there are no guarantees properties currently unable to access superfast broadband will get this opportunity in the next phase.

“The Council has identified properties in the county that cannot access superfast broadband and is helping residents and communities access information on available funding at”

The Welsh Government’s superfast broadband availability checker is at

Saturday, July 22, 2017

MP wants to hear from attacked emergency services staff

* Susan Elan Jones MP, fourth from right, outside Parliament
with emergency staff, Chris Bryant MP and other co-sponsors of the
Crime (Assaults on Emergency Staff) Bill.

Clwyd South MP Susan Elan Jones, who is co-sponsoring a ground-breaking parliamentary bill, is calling on local emergency workers to contact her if they have ever been attacked in the course of their duties.

She is a co-sponsor of Rhondda MP Chris Bryant's Assaults on Emergency Workers (Offences) Bill.

It aims to make attacks on emergency workers such as police, fire and ambulance crews an aggravated offence.

Ms Jones said: "Although it's already an offence to attack a police office in the course of their duties, there's widespread acknowledgement that few people get prosecuted and the sentences that are handed out are far too weak.

"Doctors, nurses and paramedics don't have additional legal protection at all which is dreadful when a survey last December showed hospital staff in Wales were physically attacked more than 18,000 times at work over the last five years.

"I invite any constituent who works in emergency services and who has ever been assaulted in the course of their duties to email me in confidence on if they'd like me to speak in Parliament about what happened to them.

"No-one should be attacked when they're just doing their job - and the criminals who attack our emergency service personnel should have to face tougher sentences. I think it's high time our law did more to protect the people who work so hard in our emergency services."

Friday, July 21, 2017

Art competition prizes are presented

* The Mayor, Cllr Sheena Burrell, with painting category winner Terence Edmonds and his picture entitled Blue Myfanwy.  

* The photograph category winner Mystical Dinas Bran. Its creator, Dawn Field, wasn't present.

* Amongst those highly commended was Jillian Handley for her painting Modern Day Legend, depicting well-known Llan character Wyn Hughes. She is pictured, right, with Sue Hall of Plas Newydd.

* Colourful entries in the children's category now on display.

Town Mayor, Cllr Sheena Burrell, presented prizes to the winners of this year's Picturesque Art Competition at Y Caban in Plas Newydd yesterday (Thursday) afternoon.

Once again the competition was organised in conjunction with Llangollen Fringe.    

This year it linked in with the Welsh Year of Legends and extended to the whole of the Dee Valley as represented by the Area for Outstanding Natural Beauty. 

Organisers were looking for any photo or painting/sketch from children or adults with a link to a myth or a legend in this area. 

Entries were judged by local professional artist Tikki Lowe.

Winner of the adults' photograph category was Dawn Field for Mystical Dinas Bran and the prize was lunch for four people at Caffi Florence in Loggerheads Mold.

The adults' painting first prize went to Terence Edmonds for his picture Blue Myfanwy. His prize was lunch for four people in Plas Newydd Tea Rooms.

Legend has it that Blue Myfanwy of the Dee is a greedy, lustful goddess who is up for anything and loves a bacon sandwich. She is also said to favour the International Eisteddfod and the Fringe Festival.

Highly commended for their paintings were Jan Murray (Celtic Legend), Jillian Handley (Modern Day Legend), Mike Flory (A Flash in Time), Irene C Bingham (Bran), Tina Rogers (Quest for the Grail) and Richard Buxton (The Salmon of Knowledge). Commended photographer was John Pugh (Maeneg Ellylyn - Foxgloves and Fairies).

Children's prizes were also presented. In first place was Mathilda Sutcliffe, aged eight, for Steve Your Soup is Legend. Her prize was a £25 voucher donated by the Friends of the Clwydian Range and Dee Valley.

Second prize of £10 to spend in the Craft and Hobbies Shop, donated by shop owner Rob, went to Lily Anderson, 13, for her Branwen ar drudwy, and third prize, £5 in cash donated by local artist Mike Flory, was awarded to Madison Byers, nine, for her picture Giant.

All entries will be on show in The Potting Shed exhibition space in the grounds of Plas Newydd until Saturday August 5.

Thursday, July 20, 2017

County offers free cyber security help

Businesses are being offered free help to protect themselves from the growing threat of cybercrime.

Denbighshire County Council is providing a workshop to businesses on Cyber Essentials, a UK Government backed, industry-supported, foundation for basic cybersecurity.

The one-day course will be delivered by Ruthin-based cyber and information security specialists Safonda and covers the Cyber Essentials framework, best practice to mitigate cybersecurity risks  and understanding external and internal cyber threats to businesses.

Denbighshire businesses are being offered a free place on this course, normally £70 per person.

Cllr Hugh Evans OBE, Leader of Denbighshire County Council, said: “National and global reports of IT security breaches are now unfortunately becoming common place.

“While attacks are increasingly sophisticated, businesses of all sizes remain vulnerable because they are failing to follow simple security measures.

“The course is relevant to any size of business and is intended for company directors, business and finance managers and any staff responsible for the security of IT systems and software.

“This is part of the council’s work on developing the local economy by helping local businesses understand what they can do to make themselves resilient to the growing threat from cybercrime.”

The course will take place at Caledfryn, Smithfield Road, Denbigh on July 27, starting at 9.30am.

Mayor to present art competition prizes

* Plas Newydd where the art competition entries will go on show in Y Caban.

Town Mayor, Cllr Sheena Burrell, will present prizes to the winners of this year's Picturesque Art Competition at Y Caban in Plas Newydd at 2pm today (Thursday).

People will also have the chance to winning entries at a special exhibition.  

Once again the competition was organised in conjunction with Llangollen Fringe.    

This year it linked in with the Welsh Year of Legends and extended to the whole of the Dee Valley as represented by the Area for Outstanding Natural Beauty. 

Organisers were looking for any photo or painting/sketch from children or adults with a link to a myth or a legend in this area. 

There are many myths and legends abounding in these beautiful hills and valleys, from King Arthur and the Holy Grail to Giants, Dragons  and magic cauldrons.  

There were two categories this year, one for photos and  one for paintings/sketches.  Both were open to adults and children.

Entries will be on show in The Potting Shed exhibition space in the grounds of Plas Newydd until Saturday August 5. 

Prizes were awarded for children up to 16 and adults in both categories.  

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

County issues traveller floods warning

Denbighshire County Council is urging people to be extremely cautions if they are travelling in northern parts of the county.

The council says it has seen an increase in the number of calls late this afternoon as a result of the storms affecting northern parts of the county. This is due to the amount of rain that has fallen in a short space of time.

There are reports of flooding affecting parts of Rhyl, Rhuddlan and Prestatyn.  Roads in Rhuddlan have been described as being “impassable”.

Reports have been received of roads affected by flooding:
·        Waterfall Road, Dyserth
·        Pen y Maes, Rhyl
·        Garford Road, Rhyl
·        Ffordd Derwen, Rhyl
·        Vale Road, Rhyl
·        Cefndy Road, Rhyl
·        Oakhill Drive, Prestatyn
·        Ffordd Penrhwylfa, Prestatyn
·        Ffordd Parc Bodnant, Prestatyn
·        Vicarage Lane, Rhuddlan

The council has closed parts of Rhyl  Leisure Centre and Nova, Prestatyn as the storms on the coast have caused water to enter the buildings via the roof and also up through the floor drains which have been unable to cope with the volume of water in such a short space of time.

Prestatyn Leisure Centre will be closed this evening due to flood damage.

There are also problems with flooding at Prestatyn High School, with two classrooms and a corridor affected. The school will be closed on Thursday as a result.

There are also reports of problems at Ysgol Clawdd Offa.

Staff from the council are working with colleagues from the emergency services to respond to the situation and  will monitor weather forecasts for the latest updates.

Railway swings back to the sixties this weekend

* A 1960s Triumph on show at last year's classic car rally at Glyndyfrdwy Station. 

Llangollen Railway is heading back to the Swinging Sixties this weekend.

Saturday and Sunday  will see the eighth year of its special 1960s-themed event, featuring a classic car rally at Glyndyfrdwy Station, free vintage bus rides plus an intensive timetable of steam, diesel and rail cars.

Dr Beeching’s real ale bar will be open all weekend in the Henry Robertson suit on Llangollen station serving nine draught ales, bottled larger, wines and much more.

Saturday evening will be the highlight of the event when musical group Sixties Retro will play live on platform 2 at Llangollen station.

Sharp suited and booted, the group will bring on back the good times with all the hits of the decade, including numbers by The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, The Small Faces, The Byrd’s, The Searchers, The Beach Boys and many more.