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Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Chain Bridge talk planned for Monday

Chain Bridge @chainbridge2014 has just tweeted that Dr David Gwyn will be giving a talk on the subject of Llangollen's Chain Bridge within a wider World Heritage Site setting at Llangollen Town Hall next Monday, starting at 7pm.


Stand-up comedy returns to Pavilion

Llangollen Pavilion plays host to a night of stand-up comedy this Friday, September 19.

Following sell-out shows earlier in the year, Llangollen Comedy Club returns to the venue after its summer break with a line-up of acts fresh from the Edinburgh Festival Fringe.
Opening the show will be Irish comedian Andrew Ryan (below left). Having made his comedy debut in 2008, he has since performed two shows at the Edinburgh Fringe and boasts TV appearances on BBC Three's Russell Howard's Good News and Edinburgh Comedy Fest Live 2014.
North West favourite Mick Ferry (right) will be headlining the show.
One of the most sought after comics on the circuit, Mick was voted Best Live UK Stand Up 2013 at the UK Comedy Awards.
Alongside appearances on BBC One's Michael McIntyre's Comedy Roadshow, he has written for John Bishop's Britain and supported the likes of Sean Lock, Peter Kay and Al Murray on tour. 
As well as performing his solo show in Edinburgh this August, Mick starred alongside Phil Ellis in the critically acclaimed 'Funz and Gamez', which won the coveted Panel Prize in the 2014 Fosters Comedy Awards.
Introducing the acts will be regular host, Silky, who will also present some up-and-coming talent from the comedy circuit in the middle section of the show.
Event organiser Paul Brown says: "We've been overwhelmed by the response to Llangollen Comedy Club since we launched back in January, with several sell-out shows. All of the acts have commented on how fantastic the Llangollen audience are.
"This month's show is another cracking line up. I'd encourage anyone who has never been to a gig like this to come along and experience live comedy for themselves - it really is a brilliant night out."
Doors open at 7.30pm and the show starts at 8pm. Tickets, priced £9, are available from Llangollen Pavilion and Gales of Llangollen or online at

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Independent councillors' successful conference

The first conference for independent councillors in Wales was held recently at Llandrindod Wells where over 60 delegates attended.

In a statement, Cllr Hugh H Evans, leader of the WLGA Independent Group, said: "Whilst there was a broad discussion, there was a consensus of opinion and concern on the impact of the present cuts faced by local government on residents and our communities, the impact of the Williams Report and the changing nature of politics in Wales together with the impending threat to local democracy. 

"As independent councillors represent over half of the population of Wales, agreement was reached that we invite the new Minister for Local Government for urgent talks on the future of service provision in Wales.

"It was agreed Independents could substantially improve the political landscape in Wales by working closely on the national agenda, in encouraging new members, and give serious consideration to standing at the next Assembly elections."

Fundraisers go extra mile for Plas Madoc campaign

* Cyclists (l-r) Anthony Roberts, Darrell Wright, Cliff Bennion,
Colin Hayward and Greg Ogden. Colin was the team’s designated driver and
back-up, transporting equipment and preparing food etc.

A team of fit fundraisers have raised around £2,000 for the reopening of Plas Madoc Leisure Centre by cycling more than 300 miles.

Splash Community Trust chairman Darrell Wright and director Greg Ogden joined Anthony Roberts and Cliff Bennion for the gruelling team trip from North East Wales to Birmingham

The challenge began in the early hours of September 4, with Darrell and Greg setting off from the Trevor basin and Anthony and Cliff leaving from Llangollen.

Greg said: “At first there were good tracks, a light mist steeling over the canal and wildlife stirring – it began beautifully. However, things got tougher after we passed the Lion Quays.

“The terrain was uneven and there were several miles of boggy ground, it got very precarious in places and we had to do everything we could to avoid falling in the canal!

“However, after some minor scrapes, a puncture and a few wrong turns, we completed a combined 322 miles and we are estimating that between us we’ve raised around £2,000.”

Clwyd South AM Ken Skates (left), a founder member of the Splash Community Trust, also ran the Erddig 10k on Sunday to raise money for the campaign to reopen Plas Madoc.

The Trust is holding a public meeting at Air Products Social Club in Acrefair at 7pm on Thursday (September 18) after Wrexham Council recently said it was minded to support the volunteer-run group with a £50,000 cash injection.

Darrell said: “There is a lot to discuss and a lot of planning and hard work still to come, but we are now finally in a position to look to the future with optimism.

“I would call on anyone who wants to play a part in Plas Madoc’s future to come and show their support. Despite the fantastic progress we’ve made, we cannot succeed without the help of the public – and we’ll need it now more than ever.”

Council tax arrears appeal

Denbighshire County Council is urging any county resident experiencing difficulties in paying council tax to get in touch, so that special arrangements for payments can be made.

The appeal comes after the Council  recovered debts of £23,000 through the issuing of Charging Orders.

Councillor Julian Thompson-Hill, Cabinet Lead Member for Finance, said: "These Orders are very much a last resort for the Council, as they mean that residents cannot re-mortgage or sell their properties without paying their council tax arrears first.

"The majority of residents do pay their council tax on time.  Some people do experience difficulties in paying, whilst others wilfully do not pay their council tax without a valid reason.

"We have a duty to recover the council tax owed to us and our appeal is  for people experiencing real difficulties to get in touch at the earliest opportunity. This will mean there are options available and there may be a special arrangement that can be put in place, taking into consideration people's personal circumstances."

To discuss, please call the Recovery Team on 01824 706321 or 706436.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Event showcases Llan's rich history

* A realistic-looking model of a Victorian prisoner in the reconstructed
lock-up cell at the Old Armoury. 

VISITORS with an eye for history made their way to Llangollen at the weekend to take advantage of Denbighshire’s latest Open Doors event.

The annual celebration of history and architecture in the county saw a number of the town’s tourist attractions offer free entry to the public and there were also a number of special exhibitions.
Among the most popular locations was the Old Armoury which was bought and extensively refurnished by Sue Hargreaves before being opened to the public in 2012.

Sue and her team of helpers were on hand throughout the weekend to give guided tours of the historic building which in its time has been used as a magistrates court, a police station and a lock-up gaol.    
Over at the Memorial Hall in Market Street there was an exhibition detailing the history of a number of important houses in the Llangollen area, including Pengwern Hall and Trevor Hall.

Plas Newydd, home of the famous Ladies of Llangollen, turned over the exhibition area in its grounds to a timeline of the house’s development from a humble cottage into a mini stately home.
Tours of the house were offered on Saturday and Sunday.   

On both days there were tours of the engineering sheds at Llangollen Railway and Ysgol Dinas Bran opened its doors to the public on Saturday.
* A recreation of the 1830s police station at the Old Armoury.

* A visitor browses a display on important local houses at the Memorial Hall.  

* Plans for a remodelling of Plas Newydd in the 1960s on display at the
exhibition in the grounds of the famous house.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Safer roads campaign launched

A new "20mph Rule Outside Schools" campaign has been launched focussing on making roads safer in communities.
Photograph of the Go Safe campaign launch at Ysgol RhiwabonGoSafe - The Wales Road Casualty Reduction Partnership - will be enforcing in 20mph areas and educating drivers about the importance of adhering to the relevant limit. 
The campaign is principally aimed at reducing risk
to young persons and supporting local communities with September being a key time for children at the start of the academic year.

20mph areas, both zones and limits, have been around for a considerable time, it is important that drivers understand that those 20mph areas are there to improve safety, and that failure to keep within the limit puts children at risk, and leaves drivers liable to prosecution.

GoSafe will be focusing enforcement around 20mph areas outside schools in September.  Better enforcement within these areas will increase compliance to the speed limit and contribute to the safety of the roads in Wales.

Slower speeds in communities have also been shown to support people to become more active, through increased cycling and walking.  According to the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (ROSPA) while there is a 20% chance of fatal injury when someone is hit by a car travelling at 30mph, this reduces to just 2.5% if the car is travelling at 20mph.

Chris Hume, Partnership Manager, GoSafe, said: "The launch of 20mph Rule Outside Schools will help road users to stop, think and kill their speed, encouraging all local people who use the roads to have greater respect not only for one another but also their surrounding community. 

"We will continue to work together with our partners on community engagement activities to make the streets outside schools safer.  Our aim is for everyone in Wales to understand the effects that those exceeding the 20mph limit can have on families and friends.

"The motoring public should be aware that we will also continue to enforce both the limit and other traffic offences such as mobile phone and seatbelt use which will link in with the TISPOL and Think campaigns scheduled for September."

Chief Inspector Darren Wareing, North Wales Police said: "North Wales and GoSafe will be conducting enforcement outside North Wales schools focusing upon mobile phone usage, non-wearing of seat belt and excessive speed.  This enforcement will also be conducted outside schools located within 20mph limits.  This forms part of a supports a national campaign across Wales to heighten awareness of working within our communities to reduce the risks of collisions outside of our schools."

Susan Storch, Chair of Road Safety Wales said; "Children are potentially amongst the most vulnerable road users because of their age and lack of experience in certain situations.  Reducing speeds outside schools will encourage children to walk and cycle to school, reduce congestion and improve the residential environment.  Working with our partners in GoSafe we want to remind drivers and riders that lower speeds provide a safer road environment.”

GoSafe adheres to Welsh Government and ACPO guidelines, but would ask all drivers to be aware - there are no enforcement free times and no enforcement free locations.  All enforcement sites are dealth with on a case by case basis.