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Monday, March 27, 2017

llanblogger takes a short break

llanblogger is taking a short break and will be back into about a week's time with the latest in local news.



Llangollen Railway steams back to 1957




* In May Llangollen Station will go back to eisteddfod week in 1957.

Llangollen Railway will soon be turning back the clock to the golden days of Eisteddfod Week in 1957.


During its Victorian Weekend on May 13 and 14 when it will be recreating how things were on the railway more than a century ago, the heritage organisation also has a second time-travelling event planned.


It is taking visitors back half a century to the late 1950s when the platforms were alive with people coming to and from the town’s world-famous international eisteddfod.      


Event organiser Peter Dickinson said: “The key concept of the Victorian Weekend is based around a perceived time-travelling experience from the present day back to the 19th century, so that each section of the journey brings new experiences, opportunities or attractions for our visitors.  


“Walking down the station ramp at Llangollen, the initial stage involves a fictional 60-year change from 2017 back to 1957.


“The next 60-year gap back to Queen Victoria's Diamond Jubilee year of 1897 is achieved by boarding a steam-hauled train from Llangollen to the next station at Berwyn.”


He added: “With the International Eisteddfod at Llangollen celebrating its 70th anniversary this year, this means that in 1957 it  was its celebrating its 10th anniversary.


“Back then, huge crowds of visitors and competitors would have arrived at Llangollen station by train bound for the Eisteddfod.


“The station staff went out of their way to decorate the station in preparation for the event, with bunting and flags adorning the station platforms. It was known for performances to be made on the platform intermittently, as passengers waited for their train to arrive or as new competitors arrived.


“I have already received support from the Llangollen Motor Museum, who have committed to providing suitable 1957 vintage vehicles for display on the station ramp.


“Likewise, the Llangollen Male Voice Choir have agreed to perform on the platform at regular intervals on the Saturday, with the station being resplendent in bunting and flags once more to recreate the 1957 Eisteddfod Week.”


* Further details on the Victorian Weekend can be found at: http://www.llangollen-railway.co.uk/event/victorian-weekend-14th-may-2/

Sunday, March 26, 2017

County launches new volunteering website


* Councillor Hugh Irving and the Little Tern volunteers
helping Countryside Services at Gronant Dunes.


Denbighshire County Council has unveiled its new and improved volunteering website.

The launch will enable the council to significantly build on the time that volunteers give to the local authority. 

A wide range of volunteering opportunities have been identified across the organisation and the roles will suit all kinds of skills and interests. 

Anyone can volunteer, whatever age, and people from all backgrounds and interests are welcome.

Councillor Hugh Irving, Lead Member for Communities, Customer Care and Libraries, said:  “For many years volunteers have been successfully engaged across a diverse range of Council services and have given thousands of hours of their own time. Volunteers have supported the work of countryside services, the arts, leisure services, youth centres and housing services to name just a few. 

“Volunteers have provided the added value and complemented the work of staff to enable the council to deliver better and more effective services.

“Volunteers also gain positive satisfaction from helping others and gaining new skills and making a contribution to their life of their community.”

Volunteering is a worthwhile exercise, according to Sam Mackie, who is a Denbigh High school work placement student.

“Having the opportunity to be assistant coach at 5x60 clubs has really helped to improved my confidence and communication levels with the students at school, something which I really wanted to improve on," Sam said. 

Gareth Evans, Active Young People Officer who provided Sam with his opportunity, said: “Over the past 18 months I have had several volunteer sport leaders who have helped me to deliver full-time 5x60 timetables within my two part-time secondary school roles.

"Not only that, one volunteer has refereed in a local community football league for five years. With the right support and guidance, volunteers can be invaluable to the work we do – without them and their support of projects, very little is sustainable in the long term.

Visitors to the website can access a host of opportunities including coppicing at Loggerheads Country Park and helping to contribute towards the successful delivery of our Sportzone programme.  All volunteers must register on the new website by visiting www.denbighshire.gov.uk/volunteering 

Saturday, March 25, 2017

Superfast broadband roll-out ends in December

A scheme to roll-out superfast broadband will come to an end later this year.

Denbighshire County Council is informing residents that the first phase of the Welsh Government’s Superfast Cymru project will finish in December.

The project, managed by BT, has helped increase the number of properties in Denbighshire with access to superfast broadband.

Areas still waiting for the roll-out will find out by June if they will be covered by this phase of the project.

Rebecca Maxwell, Denbighshire’s Corporate Director for the Economy & Public Realm, said: “Superfast broadband is available in 71 per cent of Denbighshire premises and by the end of the year this will have increased to more than 90 per cent.

“The council is working with the Welsh Government to ensure as many properties as possible still without superfast broadband will be included in the second phase of the project which will begin in 2018.

“We will also be working with them to make sure lessons can be learnt from the first phase, that there is better communication to residents and better targeting of premises.

“It is also important to remember that once your property is connected to superfast broadband you will still have to contact your internet provider to have the service switched on.”

Residents who would like access to superfast speeds before the second roll-out can apply for the Welsh Government’s Access Cymru Broadband grant, available to individuals and businesses, or the Ultrafast Connectivity Voucher which provides funding for the installation of ultrafast connections for businesses.

During the roll-out period the council has been working with businesses to make sure they are able to take advantage of the commercial benefits from being online by providing 45 hours of free digital training to more than 100 businesses as part of its Digital Denbighshire scheme.

Digital Denbighshire is part of the council’s work on developing the local economy to support healthy private businesses, create higher paid jobs and link these with residents to increase household incomes.

Friday, March 24, 2017

Probe for underground structures at castle


* Castell Dinas Bran where the survey is taking place.

Denbighshire County Council is carrying out a geophysical survey at Castell Dinas Bran in Llangollen to see if there are any structures underground.

The work is being done thanks to funding from Cadw and The Castle Studies Trust.

A geophysical survey involves the use of probes and magnetism techniques which will allow the council to get a picture of what is within the castle and hillfort without disturbing the ground at the protected monument and site of special scientific interest.

Work started this week and is being undertaken by specialist company Tigergeo and the results should be available within a few weeks.

County archaeologist Fiona Gale said: “This is a great opportunity for us to try and find out more about this fantastic site which has been an important place in the Clwydian Range and Dee Valley Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty for thousands of years.

“It will be intriguing to know whether any remains of the 2,500 year hillfort are evident or did the castle obliterate it all? We think there must have been more buildings within the castle walls but we’ll have to wait and see whether there are any hints of their remains.

“Hopefully, the work will allow us to know a little more about the castle and that will help us care for it in the future and interpret it to enhance the visitor experience.”

Jeremy Cunnington, chair of trustees at the Castle Studies Trust, said: “We’re delighted to co-fund this survey work to advance our understanding of Dinas Bran which is an iconic and vitally important native Welsh Castle."

* To learn more about these and previous projects the trust has funded people can visit the Trust’s website:  www.castlestudiestrust.org

Thursday, March 23, 2017

County to swoop in on ways to tackle seagull problems

Denbighshire County Council is to investigate a raft of measures to tackle issues with seagulls across the county.

The authority will also work on a major public awareness, education and enforcement campaign.

Whilst seagulls are seen by many as being a nuisance due to public safety, noise, damage and littering issues, there are limitations to what actions are open to the council to control and manage the seagull population.

Members of Denbighshire’s Communities Scrutiny Committee, meeting in County Hall, Ruthin today (Thursday) supported recommendations to  explore a number of options to reduce issues with seagulls in the county.

One of the key suggestions was to arrange a campaign to educate people not to feed gulls, to look at the possibility of introducing a by-law to ban such activity and to work with businesses and residents on preventative measures that could be taken.

Other suggestions included:

·         The introduction of a variety of methods to “scare”birds in certain problem areas
·         The introduction of netting/ bunting over public spaces
·         To discourage birds from perching on street furniture such as lamp-posts
·         To adapt existing Council  buildings to help make them seagull proof
·         To reduce availability of waste food through the Council refuse collection

Graham Boase, Head of Denbighshire Planning and Public Protection, said: “The council receives complaints from residents and visitors about the seagulls issue on a regular basis and it is an issue that’s causing us real concern.

“The situation is not unique to Denbighshire by any means and there are no simple quick fixes. We have tried innovative solutions to try and address the issue, but we cannot do it without support from the public.

“Many seagulls are protected and we need to be mindful that many see them as being an integral and traditional part of our coastal communities.

“What we want to see is a change in people’s behaviour so that gulls are not fed from food and refuse left on our streets.  This would certainly help our position, but one size does not fit all and we will need to work on a raft of options to hopefully make a difference."
 

County decides against drones ban

Members of Denbighshire’s Communities Scrutiny Committee have agreed not to proceed with efforts to ban drones over public spaces in Denbighshire.

A report discussed by councillors at County Hall, Ruthin today (Thursday)  followed a Notice of Motion that called for a report to be provided on the regulatory framework relating to drones and the powers, if any, for the council to introduce further restrictions.

In order for any ban on the use of drones to be effective, it would need to be enforceable. Merely passing a resolution banning drones would have no legal effect and the only way in which the council could bring a ban into legal effect would be to pass a by - law to regulate the use of drones.

However, the committee agreed that introducing a ban would be unenforceable and that national legislation already in place to regulate the use of drones was adequate. It was agreed that no further action was needed from the council.

The Government has recently been consulting on the legislation around the use of drones. As a result, the council will be keeping a ‘watching brief’ on the outcome of that consultation.
 

Cinema history in the frame at Hand antiques fair


* Some of the items on offer at Sunday's antique fair at the Hand Hotel. 

A slice of Llangollen social history will be among the items on offer at the town’s new antiques fair, taking place at the Hand Hotel this Sunday (March 26).

Film enthusiasts might also be interested in the collection which relates to the old Dorothy Cinema in Llangollen.

The Dorothy Cinema opened on Castle Street in 1931 and operated until 1965.

The collection to be sold at Sunday’s fair comprises programmes from the Dorothy, dating from the 1950s.

The programmes advertise showings of films such as ‘A Girl in Every Port’, starring Groucho Marx and William Bendix, and ‘Prisoner of Zenda, with Stewart Granger and Deborah Kerr.

Fair organiser Robert Bellis said: “We’ll have a wide variety of interesting antiques and collectables on offer but for a local history, or indeed a film memorabilia collector, these should be of particular interest.

“They date from the 1950s which, I suppose, was the latter heyday of the local cinema when everybody would get dressed up and congregate to watch the latest Hollywood blockbuster.

“The Dorothy was where the cafĂ© and large second hand bookshop are on Castle Street today.

“In fact, you can still see, quite clearly, the evidence of the building’s days as a cinema upstairs in the bookshop.

“People in Llangollen still speak fondly of The Dorothy and, in fact, the name has been resurrected in the New Dot cinema nights which are now regularly held in the town hall.”  

The antiques fair takes place at The Hand Hotel in Llangollen, this Sunday, March 26, from 9.30am until 3.30pm.

Refreshments will be available and admission to the fair is 50p per person.

Parking at the hotel is limited so patrons are asked to use nearby public car parks when appropriate.   

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

MP still locked inside Parliament praises police over London terrorist attack

Clwyd South MP Susan Elan Jones is amongst those still locked inside Parliament for their own safety following this afternoon's terrorist attack outside the building.

But she has warmly praised the emergency services for the way they have been handling the emergency.  

Media reports say at least two people are dead after a terror attacker brought carnage to central London, mowing down pedestrians on Westminster Bridge before attacking police with a knife in the grounds of the Houses of Parliament.

At least 10 people were been hit by a vehicle on the bridge after a 4x4 drove into pedestrians and cyclists before crashing into the gates of Parliament.

An intruder then managed to break into the grounds of the Parliament and stabbed a police officer before he was shot and injured.

It is reported that the policeman is feared to have since died.

Ms Jones has just texted to llanblogger and confirming she was safe and said: "Police and security have handled things. We can't leave Parliament building yet, though."

She added: "My thoughts and prayers are with those injured and the families and friends of the people who have been killed.

"Huge thanks to our superb police and security services.

"The terrorists must never be allowed to win."    

Town council explains 38% precept rise


A llanblogger reader recently queried what he understood to be an increase of 38% in the precept element of the local council tax which goes to help finance Llangollen Town Council. Here, Town Clerk Gareth Thomas explains the situation:  

Your reader is correct as the precept will increase by 38% but his only equates to an annual increase of £21.37 on each band D property.  The rationale for this increase is detailed below.

In considering the draft budget for 2017/18 the Members of the Finance Working, in liaison with the Town Clerk consider a number of factors. 

The Town Council’s financial regulations state that the Council shall consider annual budget proposals in relation to a three year forecast of revenue and capital receipts and payments including recommendations for the use of reserves and sources of funding. 

The Good Councillors Guide also suggests that good practice to follow the PBP principle; Policy creates the Budget that determines the Precept. The Working Group therefore embarked on the production of a draft business plan, a statement of the Town Council’s vision for the town, its purpose, values, objectives and key priorities over the next five years.

The Working Group also consider that a well-run authority should have a prudent approach to setting its budget, and in each year it should consider its level of general balances. These general balances will also need to be supported by earmarked reserves for specific needs and commitments. In coming to a view on the adequacy of the Town Council’s reserves, account needs to be taken of the risks facing the Council in terms of any significant unforeseen spending commitments. 

Given the Town Council’s commitment to the refurbishment of the Town Hall, with the support of external funding, the working group were of the opinion that the Town Hall reserve needs to be continually strengthened with support for under-spends in the repair and renewal funds. 

In addition to ensure that adequate provision is maintained for other assets most notable the chain bridge , then a new repair and renewal fund needed to be established for that purpose, and again under-spends would be transferred to this specific reserve at year end.

In addition to the influences of the above, a number of growth items need to be budgeted for in 2017/18.  The first is the potential cost of an election (£4,000) as a result of the Local Council Elections 2017 and subsequent Member training (£770), the increases in NNDR following the revaluation of the Town Hall (£2100), and the new requirement to contribute to a workplace pension scheme (£550).

One other factor that needed to be considered was how to fund the proposed works to the Royal Gardens and the War Memorial. The estimated sum required by the Town Council would be £48,000 of which £3,000 was available from reserves.   The funding of the remainder could be achieved by either a loan from the Public Works Loan Board or from the revenue budget.

In respect of a loan, the original funds for the purchase of Royal Garden’s ends in December 2016 and therefore the budget line for loan repayments will reduce significantly in 2017/18 a new loan could be applied for but clearly with interest the cost of the loan would be an additional £1,624. 

Another option suggested was funding via the precept with other cost centres being withdrawn and the funds would be diverted to support project funding.  It was this option that the Town Council resolved to support and therefore this would place a one off increase of £13.85, in addition to other growth items on the precept, for 2017/18

The breakdown of the cost increases are shown below


Band D Per annum
After single occupancy discount
Weekly
After single occupancy discount
Band D
£21.37

£0.41

Statutory cost increases.




Election cost
£2.34

£0.05

Member Training
£0.45

£0.01

NNDR
£1.05

£0.02

Total
£3.84
£2.88
£0.07
£0.05
Growth Items.




Insurance
£0.29

£0.01

Telecoms
£0.47

£0.01

Staff Training
£0.29

£0.01

Christmas Lighting
£1.17

£0.02

Contribution to Chain Bridge reserve
£1.46

£0.03

Equipment
£0.59

£0.01

Total
3.68
£2.76
£0.09
0.07
War Memorial Project (Centenary  Square)
£13.85
£10.39
£0.25
£0.18

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Llan cinema raises awareness of refugees


* From left, Jen Sandiford, Jan Wallis and Sue Hall. Picture: New Dot Cinema.

New Dot Cinema Llangollen was joined by members of the Llangollen Refugee Support Network at its latest screening.

The film was a  heartwarming French comedy called 'Le Havre' about a young refugee boy.

To complement the film, Jan Wallis from the Support Network talked briefly about the work they do.

They are currently supporting a Syrian family in the local area.

New Dot secretary Jen Sandiford said: "It's great to hear that local people are so warm and welcoming to those in need. We're pleased to be able to help raise awareness of their good work."

The film was very well received with positive comments heard when the lights came up.

Thanks to the continued attendance of it's loyal audience, New Dot was able to make a donation of £50 to the network.

New Dot screens monthly in Llangollen Town Hall. The next film is a dark sci-fi starring Scarlett Johansson, called Under the Skin on Friday April 7.

* For more information go to: http://www.NewDotCinema.org or Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/NewDotCinema/

Monday, March 20, 2017

Council sends out fish seller warning

Denbighshire’s Public Protection officers are warning consumers across the county to beware of salesmen trying to persuade householders to buy fresh fish.

There have been reports to Denbighshire Trading Standards and North Wales Police in the last week of traders selling door to door in the Dee Valley area, asking residents, including older people, if they would like to buy fish.


Emlyn Jones, Public Protection Manager said: “We have concerns regarding the matter, especially as to whether the fish sellers are registered as a food business operator which is a legal requirement for all food businesses, and indeed if they are adhering to all food safety and hygiene regulations which applies to such businesses, including the display of the relevant food hygiene rating for the business.
“When buying fish from door to door salesmen, the purchaser very often has no way of knowing how the fish have been stored and whether they are safe to eat.
"These type of sellers commonly use non-refrigerated vans, and there may be issues with the labelling, quality and descriptions of the fish and they may pressurise residents to buy more than they actually need.
“As with any doorstep caller we would urge people not to be tempted to buy and ask them to leave. The best place to buy fish is from a reputable fishmonger at an established shop or stall or even with a trader with a regular pre-arranged round.”
* Anyone wanting advice on doorstep trading, or to report an incident, can contact the Citizens Advice consumer service on 03454 04 05 06 (03454 04 05 05 for Welsh language) which gives free, independent and impartial advice on all consumer issues, or the police on 101. 

The council says any person feeling intimidated or threatened by any doorstep seller should shut the door and call the police emergency number 999. 

Plas Newydd gearing up for April 1 opening


* Plas Newydd opens for the new season on April 1.

Three of Denbighshire’s popular heritage attractions are gearing up to open their doors for the 2017 season.

Plas Newydd in Llangollen, Ruthin Gaol and Nantclwyd  y Dre in Ruthin will open to the public from April 1 and have a number of exciting family-friendly events lined up over the coming months.

Ruthin Gaol and Nantclwyd y Dre have retained the Visit Wales Hidden Gem Award  for the second year running and Ruthin Gaol and Plas Newydd also got the thumbs up from TripAdvisor users, having achieved a  Certificate of Excellence following a host of positive reviews from visitors in 2016.

Final preparations are now underway to ensure the venues are looking their best for the season opening.

Denbighshire’s Heritage Service says it would like to thank all the volunteers, including pupils from Ysgol Tir Morfa in Rhyl, who have helped tend the gardens at Nantclwyd y Dre and Plas Newydd throughout the winter months.

First event of the year will take place at Plas Newydd this Saturday March 18.

The pre-season Primrose walk around the grounds with the gardener costs £3 and includes a primrose to take home.

Nantclwyd y Dre will host its first event a Beastly Bug Hunt for all the family on Monday May 8.

Ruthin Gaol hosts Captured on Camera on Thursday June 1 where visitors will have the opportunity to create their own ‘WANTED’ poster. 

In the run-up to the opening in April and to celebrate Year of Legends in Wales, the gaol is sharing stories of some of its most colourful characters via an online blog at www.ruthingaolblog.wordpress.com.

* More information about the venues and forthcoming events can be found at:

Friday, March 17, 2017

Cigarette blamed for hillside blaze near Llan

A discarded cigarette has been blamed for the huge fire which ripped through a hillside near Llangollen earlier this week, reports the Leader today (Friday).



* For the full story, see: http://www.leaderlive.co.uk/news/173826/cigarette-to-blame-for-huge-gorse-blaze-near-llangollen.aspx

Fringe returns for 20th edition this July

Llangollen Fringe Festival will return for its 20th edition this July.

From its small beginnings back in 1998 the festival will see over 5,000 people visit the town for 11 days of music, theatre, dance, literature and more.


Starting out in a tent on a farmer’s field Llan Fringe, as it is affectionately known, has grown to encompass the entire town and over the years has gained a reputation for attracting famous and sometimes controversial names to its picturesque corner of North East Wales. 
Tracy Emin and Damien Hirst were both early guests at the Fringe, with the latter giving a workshop in ‘spin painting’ – some of the works produced have since gone on to sell for thousands at auction.
As well as numerous performances from famous bands and musicians from around the world, including Gruff Rhys, The Buzzcocks, Wilko Johnson, Cerys Matthews, Charlotte church, Yat Kha and Lee ‘Scratch' Perry (pictured), the Fringe was also one of the first events to host a performance by notorious international drug smuggler Howard Marks, as well as a photographic exhibition by the German terrorist gang member, Astrid Prohl, both creating considerable controversy at the time.
The festival has evolved quite considerably in the past 20 years.
Whilst still boasting a prestigious line up of acts and celebrity names, its events take place in many locations in and around the town centre – this year for example, you can catch a play at Plas Newydd stately home, a jazz quartet on the Canal Boat, a Soul Band on the Steam Train or a magical concert at Llangollen Town Hall or Valle Crucis Abbey.
The first acts will be revealed on Friday April 7, with a limited amount of early bird festival tickets going on sale the same day.
Head to http://www.llangollenfringe.co.uk and sign up for the mailing list to receive an exclusive chance to buy early bird tickets before the 7th!
Llangollen Fringe 20th Anniversary Festival takes place from Thursday 13th to Sunday 23rd July.

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Llan photo club helps enhance Wrexham's image



* An image on Wrexham captured during Positography.


* One of the pictures taken during the event of Wrexham town centre.

More than 50 photographers both professional and budding amateurs spent  last Sunday morning taking positive photographs of Wrexham.

Organisers from Llangollen Friendly Photography Club  set up the event to counter what they describe as the recent national negative media coverage of the town.

Their aim was to promote Wrexham's positive side and they called the event “Positography”.

The club's Andy Humphriss said: “Photographers came from far and wide to attend the event, with a wide range of ages from eight to 80, different  skills, different interests and a wide spectrum of cameras, phones and  tablets. Everyone was so positive and focused on achieving fantastic
images of the town.

“We hope to have a pop-up gallery of images in the not too distant future.

"We must thank King Street Coffee Company for opening up their shop especially for our event and Wayne Price at Calon FM for the fantastic publicity.

"I’ve made so many new friends all with the same ambition - to add a little light to Wrexham.”

When asked if this will become a regular event, the club's Paul McNulty said: “I certainly hope so. We we had some very enthusiastic interest from one of the local tour guides on the day.

"He saw the opportunity to promote the tourist side of Wrexham’s economy and has invited us to a walking tour of the local area.

"Everyone from Sunday’s event really enjoyed themselves and are all wishing for another day out in Wrexham, camera in hand.”

* For more information on joining the next “Positography” event or to view their work, contact the organisers on Facebook via their “Llangollen Friendly Photography” group or the “Wrexham Matters” Facebook group.

Outstanding viewing figures for chamber website

Llangollen Chamber of Trade and Tourism's new website has achieved some impressive figures.

At their recent annual meeting chamber members were told that the site attracted over 200,000 unique visitors during 2016 and notched up over five million hits, which they described as "outstanding".

The website features Llangollen’s wide range of businesses together with a popular diary which is used by local organisations to publicise their events.

Chamber chair David Davies said: “We are delighted at the attention our website attracted in 2016 and this shows a great investment on behalf of our members.

"The annual subscription is £52 so for just £1 a week members are featured on a top-ranking, international website. The address Llangollen.org.uk is also displayed on our street banners along the A5 and Castle Street, which has helped generate further interest.

"Members are being reminded they must renew their subscription by the end of the month to ensure they still feature on the site and, of course, new members are always welcome.

"We are currently establishing both Facebook and Twitter accounts and members are being offered courses in social media to fully exploit their potential.”

* The website can be viewed at www.llangollen.org.uk and membership details can be obtained from Rodger Honey, membership secretary, contact@cambrianhouse.plus.com

Firefighters tackle hillside fire




The BBC is reporting today (Thursday) that firefighters have been tackling a large blaze on a hillside above Llangollen.

For full details see: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-north-east-wales-39287355

More information is now available at: http://www.dailypost.co.uk/news/north-wales-news/firefighters-battling-huge-llangollen-heather-12748691

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Warning over bogus council tax phone calls

Residents  in Denbighshire are being urged to be on their guard against bogus telephone calls claiming to be phoning regarding council tax.

A resident received a call advising her that her council tax band had been reduced for 13 years and there was a credit due on their account.

The caller then requested bank details, to arrange for the refund to be credited to the account.  

The resident rightly refused to give her details and ended the call before contacting Denbighshire’s Council Tax team to inform them of the call.

The call came from the Dundee area of Scotland.

Denbighshire County Council says it would like to emphasise that it would never instruct an external company to contact residents directly and people should never give out personal details in response to unexpected calls of this nature.
 

County joins new Buy with Confidence scheme

A partnership project aimed at protecting consumers in North Wales will be officially launched today (Wednesday, March 15th).

Trading Standards from the region’s six local authorities have joined forces to deliver Buy With Confidence (BWC) and ensure that people can access reliable services and businesses.

The North Wales Buy With Confidence Scheme will be officially launched at Eirias Park in Colwyn Bay. The launch also marks World Consumer Rights Day.

The nationally recognised trader approval programme was originally  designed to ensure businesses operate in a legal, honest and fair way, and tackle ‘rogue traders’. It also provides consumers with a list of local businesses which have given their commitment to trading fairly.

Speaking ahead of the launch, Richard Powell, Chair of the North Wales Heads of Trading Standards Group, explained, “Buy With Confidence is an important scheme which enables Trading Standards in North Wales to showcase reliable businesses we are proud to recommend, and then allows consumers to make educated choices and avoid getting ripped off.”

The scheme is open to any manner of businesses wishing to apply to advertise themselves as “Trading Standards  Approved”, and must take part in a series of detailed checks by Trading Standards which will then be continually  monitored for their quality of service.

North Wales BWC is eager to attract more of the region’s businesses in paticular those in the home maintenance and gardening sectors, domestic cleaners and general skilled tradesmen.

Emlyn Jones, Denbighshire’s Public Protection Manager,  said, “North Wales Buy With Confidence is a great example of partnership working by local authorities on behalf of the consumer.

“All prospective members are thoroughly vetted by Trading Standards staff before being allowed to join the scheme and we also continuously monitor the performance of the BWC members. In the unlikely event that concerns are raised about a member we take appropriate action and if necessary will remove them from the scheme.”

Individuals working in domestic properties will also undergo Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) checks as part of the BWC accreditation, providing customers, and especially those most vulnerable in our communities, with added reassurance.

If you want to promote your business as approved by Trading Standards or want to find an approved trader, please visit www.buywithconfidence.gov.uk or the North Wales Buy With Confidence Facebook page.

The first Buy With Confidence Scheme was set-up in by a partnership of local authorities in the South of England.

Have your say on learner transport policy

Denbighshire residents are urged to have their say on a revised Learner Transport Policy for pupils across the county. 


The current Home to School Transport Policy came into force from September 2015, after agreement by council in 2014, with a review of the policy planned after 12 months of operation.
Councillor Eryl Williams, Denbighshire’s Cabinet Lead Member for Education, said: “The council recognises that there were pockets of concern regarding certain elements of the current policy and we have addressed these concerns as and when they have arisen. 
"The council agreed when it implemented the policy that it would be reviewed after one year of operating.  
"That review has now taken place and has taken into consideration feedback from schools, parents, councillors and advice through legal discussions.
“The current policy states that home to school transport will be provided to the nearest suitable school. 
"Some concern has been raised in some communities about this issue, and it is now being proposed that school transport to secondary schools will be based on nearest suitable school or whether the pupil attended a designated primary feeder school.
"Transport on the basis of feeder will be provided under discretionary arrangements.
“Clarity is also proposed relating to pick-up points and hazardous routes, with a previously separate guidance note being incorporated into the latest policy.
“As with the current policy, the council would continue to provide free transport to the nearest suitable Welsh language or faith school, if this was the parental / carers preference."
* The amended document can be found on the council’s website: www.denbighshire.gov.uk/consultations, by phoning Education Support on 01824 706000, by writing to: Education Support, Denbighshire County Council, PO Box 62, Ruthin, LL15 9AZ or by e-mail: admissions@denbighshire.gov.uk

Copies of the consultation documents are also available at all Denbighshire libraries.

The consultation begian on March 13 and ends on April 30, 2017.