Denbighshire County Council and the Clwydian Range and Dee Valley AONB have put plans in place to ensure countryside sites remain safe as travel restrictions ease.
The Welsh Government is removing the stay local guidance from Saturday, March 27 and work has taken place at sites across Denbighshire, including Moel Famau and Loggerheads country parks, to ensure measures are in place to keep visitors safe.
These include improvements to the car parks at Moel Famau and the upgrading of paths at Loggerheads and works at Horseshoe Falls to improve access.
Huw Rees, Denbighshire County Council’s Countryside and Heritage Services Manager, said: “We know it has been a difficult period for residents not being able to enjoy the countryside here in Denbighshire and I would like to thank all those who have been following the exercise from home rules.
“The Council and Clwydian Range and Dee Valley AONB have been preparing for the change in restrictions. However, it is vital visitors play their part when returning to our countryside sites.
“It is important visitors know what restrictions and guidelines are in place before travelling and to keep themselves and others safe they should avoid busy times, check ahead to see if facilities are open and where possible access quieter sites and walks during the initial period of re-opening. This will help avoid busy periods and parking issues.
“It is also important visitors respect the countryside and act responsibly during their visit and this means keeping dogs on leads and not to litter.
“We would like to reassure residents we will continue to work with North Wales Police and with partners to spread the message that cross-border travel is still restricted.”
A list of alternative walks in the county can be found at http://www.clwydianrangeanddeevalleyaonb.org.uk/projects/community-miles/
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The Mobile Covid Testing Centre will be back in the County Hall car park as from the 9th February and it will be open from 9.30am to 3.30pm each day, seven days a week. You can drive in or walk in but this time you must make an appointment via 119 and when you make the call you should state that you want to go to the Ruthin centre otherwise you may be booked a slot elsewhere. Again, you should only book an appointment if you think you have Covid symptoms. The good news is that Covid cases continue to fall in Denbighshire but even if you have received the vaccine you need to follow the Welsh Government guidelines and stay at home and do not mix with people, family or friends other than those family members who actually live with you.
The Vaccine roll out is now continuing at a pace after a slow start here in Wales. Most residents over seventy are now being contacted by their GPs or the NHS to arrange appointments. Please remember to still stay at home after your vaccination until the Government says otherwise. This is to help protect yourselves, other people and to support the NHS.
If you are eighty and over you should have been offered the Covid Virus Vaccine by now. Please let me know if you have not.
If you have been affected by the Covid pandemic and you are worried about losing your home the Charity Shelter Cymru has a help line and you can call them on 08000 495 495 from Monday to Friday between the hours of 9.30am and 4.00pm.
More help for businesses has been announced. Please check to see if this support can help you by visiting
The Mobile Post Office has changed its opening hours after including the village of Llanbedr in our service. The Mobile Service will attending the following villages on a Thursday at the following times.
Llandegla 11.15am - 12.15pm
Llanarmon Yn Ial 12.45pm - 1.45pm
Eryrys 2.00pm - 2.30pm
Llanbedr 2.45pm - 3.30pm
Llanferres 3.45pm - 4.30pm
Support for Storm Damage
The Welsh Government have announced a support package for anyone affected by Storm Christoph. If your “home” was flooded you can claim a grant of £500 and a further £500 for those residents who did not have home insurance. Please contact Denbighshire County Council on 01824 706000 if you were affected and want to make a claim under this scheme.
Woodlands Trust Hack
If like me you are a subscriber to the Woodlands Trust you will have been informed that their membership records have sadly been hacked. As always please take care if you receive any calls purporting to be from your bank. Never give any details over the telephone and always tell them you will call them back to verify the call. End the call and then call your bank using another phone (if the call was received on your land line call your bank using your mobile phone or vice versa). Never call them back on the same line because they may have kept it open as part of the scam.
Denbighshire Digital Buddies
Denbighshire has set up a new service called Denbighshire Digital Buddies. This is a collaborative scheme between Denbighshire Voluntary Services, Digital Community Wales and Denbighshire CC to help develop support for residents who are struggling to use computers, smart phones, etc. The scheme pairs up volunteers with digital skills who will be DBS checked, with those residents who need help. The use of digital equipment has become so important in these Covid times even if you are using it just to order groceries or to shop on line.
For further details or to volunteer please call Gareth Jones at the DVSC on 01824 702441
There has been an attempted break-in at the Loggerheads Garage.
Please remember to report any suspicious activity in your area to the police immediately on 999 if you believe it is urgent or via 101 if you see any strange vehicles cruising your area.
Where possible please try and get the vehicle registration number.
Local Development Plan and Affordable Housing
The County is currently in the process of putting together the next LDP (Local Development Plan) which will set the development boundaries and style of development for the next fifteen years. This process has been delayed because of the Covid virus and because public meetings and consultations are restricted at this time. As we look at the type of housing required it is important to understand how many people are looking for affordable housing in our villages. If you are looking to rent property through Social Housing or you are looking to buy and just want to get on the housing ladder it is important that you register an interest via the Counties Web site by searching: “Applying for
Affordable Housing”. The number of people on the register may influence the type of houses to be built in your area in the future. I believe that there may be movement soon on the building of two affordable houses by the Grwp Cynefin Housing Association on the Glebe Field in Llanferres. Watch this space.
Sadly, in these difficult times we have seen a rise in domestic abuse.
If you are looking for advice about domestic abuse please contact the Live Fear Free help line on 0808 8010 800 now or visit https://gov.wales/live.fear.free
It has been announced that the Westminster Estates are conducting a Scoping Exercise with a view to extending the life of the Burley Hill Quarry in Pant Ddu. The planning permissions for the Quarry expire in September this year and “if” this becomes a planning application they are looking to extend the Quarries life by a further fifteen years. The scoping exercise involves an Environmental
Impact Assessment and all interested bodies are asked to comment at this time. The Scoping Assessment looks at such things as Screening, Noise, Dust, Vehicle Movements, Environmental impact, etc. It asks if all these things are up to current modern standards and what would be the impact today. This is normally followed by a public consultation exercise before any application can then be submitted for planning permission. To comment or just view the first stage in this process please visit the Denbighshire Planning Portal and search application number 21/2021/0052.
Welsh Water Community Fund
Did you know that if Welsh Water has undertaken repairs in your area you can apply to the Welsh Water Community Fund for grants for local projects up to £1,000. If your organisation is looking for funding for a local project this may be worth looking into. Visit Welsh Water/ Dwr Cymru website for further details.
Deep Vein Thrombosis [DVT] is something you would normally associate with long haul flights but you can get these by just sitting around or being inactive for long periods of time. It is important that you do take regular exercise by going for a walk each day or by ensuring that you get out of your chair and walk around your garden or home several times each day.
It appears that the Community of Graianrhyd is getting closer to an upgrade to a fibre optic telephone and Broadband service [FTTP]. Although BT/Openreach are reluctant to confirm any dates they are busy working in the area and the signs are good.
There are still 929 premises in Denbighshire that are unable to receive broadband speeds of a minimum of 5mbs and some are as low as 2mbs. Our thanks go to Kevin Patterson and Sue Jones for identifying residents who want the upgrade and for driving this forward. I would also like to thank our SM Darren Millar for all his help behind the scenes with BT and Openreach. We have been very successful in getting Broadband upgraded across the ward but there are still small pockets of
premises that are not getting a reliable service. If you and your neighbours are still struggling with Broadband there are Central and Welsh Government grants available for small community projects and for more information and help you should contact the Counties Digital Officer Philip Burrows via firstname.lastname@example.org
If I can be of any assistance please drop me an e-mail or give me a call.
Happy New Year.
I hope that you all had a good Christmas Break in whatever form it took and I have no doubt that like my family it was not a normal Christmas because of the restrictions on contact with family members and friends. Hopefully with the vaccine rollout next Christmas will be better but I feel that even with the vaccine things will not get back to the normal we all desire for some time.
I would like to once again thank the Community Shops and the Spar in Loggerheads for all their help and support given to our Communities over the last twelve months. These shops, their staff and volunteers have provided a life line during the Covid Pandemic. Llandegla Community Shop has just held their AMM and they have produced a set of healthy accounts for 2019. 2020 will have been a much more difficult trading year for everyone and so please support your shops so that they can continue to support us.
If you can volunteer please contact the Community Shop management teams or their shop managers.
Surprise, Surprise! There are a number of new scams about some involving Covid Vaccinations.
If you get a call it should only be for a vaccine appointment and they should only confirm the time of the appointment and where you should go. They will not ask you for personal details especially your bank details etc. Some scammers ask for a deposit for the inoculation which they state will then be returned to you by the NHS when you attend the appointment. All vaccinations are free and do not involve you paying for them in any way.
Although the roll out of vaccines appears to be slower in Wales, most of our residents are being called by their GP practices starting with those over eighty and those in high-risk categories. The calls also appear to be in alphabetical order and the timescales will depend on vaccine supplies and the organisation locally. There was a mass vaccination on Saturday 24th in Ruthin and the County Hall car park was open for those visiting the Plas Meddyg surgery.
Church Plastic Waste
A plea from the various Church and Community Council grave yards. Please do not put plastic flowers, plastic bags, metal wreath holders, etc in the Green Bins. If they are contaminated with plastics they will not be collected.
Country Parks Public Toilets
Sadly, over the Christmas and New Year break we had thousands of visitors from far and wide and the County could not risk spreading the virus. Locals can still visit the parks but you should not drive to take exercise and so all the car parks are closed until further notice. You should only take exercise from your front door and only with one other adult member of your household. Younger family members can still walk with you.
The County has closed all public toilets including those situated in our Country Parks. This has been done because the Covid Virus remains on most surfaces for some time.
The Mobile testing centre moved from Llangollen to Denbigh about ten days ago and is now based in the DCC car park at our Caledfryn building next door to the Morrison’s Supermarket.
The test centre is well signposted through the town centre and the opening hours are 9.30am to 3.30pm daily. It will be in Denbigh for another week. You do not need an appointment but you should only go if you think you have Covid symptoms. Do not forget that you can still book a test by telephoning 119 and I would ask for the Deeside Business Park Testing Centre.
Great news - the Welsh Government has finally given permission for the flashing speed limit signs at Loggerheads. This has taken nearly two years from the original approval and the Trunk Roads Agency have consulted the Llanferres Community Council about their locations. Darren Millar has asked a question in the Welsh Parliament about similar signs on the A494 through Llanferres and speed measurements have been undertaken. Watch this space.
AONB Sustainable Development Fund
The AONB Sustainable Development Fund has doubled from £50k to £100k for the new financial year 2021. For the grants criteria visit the Clwydian Range and Dee Valley website and search for Sustainable Development Fund or for further information call Ceri Lloyd on 01824 712757.
Green Bin Collections
The charges for Green Bin collections will be going up from the 18th January 2021. A standard service collection will now cost £30 and the enhanced service £45. Please visit the DCC website for further details.
It looks as if Denbighshire Council tax will rise by 3.8% this coming year after a Welsh Government settlement of 3.6%. These are very difficult times and although the rise is not as high as previous years the pressure is still on Local Authorities to find more savings.
The Graig Quarry in Graianrhyd near Llanarmon Yn Ial is reopening for approximately two months after Tarmac won a contract to provide crushed rock for a project in the North West. This will mean that there will be approximately one hundred vehicle movements a day, five and a half days a week.
Wheel washers and crushing equipment have been delivered to the quarry and blasting will take place on the 27th of January. I have spoken to the Quarry Manager and asked him to ensure that Haulage Contractors keep to the speed limits at all times. I have also asked DCC to ensure all roadside hedges are cut back to keep vehicles on the correct sides of the road. Vehicles will use the B5430 to access the A494 and the A5104. Please let me know if you encounter any issues during this period.
Care Home Volunteers
There has been an appeal for volunteers to work in Care Homes across the County due to staff sickness and staff having to self-isolate. These volunteers need scrubs. Could you help by making these? Please contact the DCC Care Home at Dolwen in Denbigh who are coordinating this appeal on
Due to fewer people using the Bus Services at the moment and town centres being virtually closed because of Covid restrictions there is a new bus timetable for the foreseeable future. You will find details at the bus stops or on line via the Denbighshire County Council website. Hopefully this will be a temporary measure until movement and shopping restrictions are lifted.
Over the Christmas and New Year break thousands of visitors broke the Covid regulations and travelled to our Country Parks with even more people arriving when it snowed. These visitors created grid-lock in the Moel Famau Country Park and we encountered similar problems on the Horseshoe Pass, Llandegla Forest, Nerquis Forest and in places such as Bryn Alyn all of which are in our ward. How people felt it was safe to join thousands of people on Moel Famau rather than walk from their homes never ceases to amaze me!! I spoke to the police and Countryside Services just after Christmas because I was concerned about the potential for even more trouble on New Year’s Eve when traditionally hundreds of people walk up Moel Famau to see the New Year in. This is normally not an issue but these are not normal times and with pubs closed and New Year’s Eve parties cancelled the thought of the Covid super spreader event on the top of Moel Famau on New Year’s Eve was extremely worrying. The Police and the park Rangers were fantastic and the police closed the roads to Moel Famau and turned people away until 3.00 am New Year’s Day. Did you know that Moel Famau got a mention on the BBC and Sky News!! The police also visited Cadole when people started to arrive and park on the A494 to sledge in the usual field. Once again people climbed over the fences despite the Police and DCC no trespassing signs and into a field full of sheep
who were more than likely pregnant at this time of year!! A number of £200 Covid fines were handed out by the police and the visitors were moved on.
This January if it is not snowing then it is raining and this last week, we saw flooding across the County and also here in our ward. Fortunately, I have received no reports of properties being flooded but there were some close shaves. With climate change we are seeing more of these extreme weather events and it may be a good idea to take some precautions. If you live in a high-risk area for flooding it may be prudent invest in a bunker to store and keep sand dry and to also purchase or make cloth sand bags. You can also get carpenters to make and install wooden flood boards for your doors. These and sand bags can be the differences between being flooded or staying reasonably dry.
Please check all the gullies in your area and if you think they are blocked please let me know and I will get the Council to clean them. On the day in rains may be too late to get help.
You will have noticed that the last remaining speed bumps in the main street in Llandegla have been removed. Sadly, speed bumps on a hill in a village that is prone to snow in the winter was not a good solution or combination. The snow ploughs had already damaged or removed many of them and some of them were becoming a hazard in themselves because of protruding bolts. Please note that the speed limit is still twenty and we will look at other traffic solutions when life returns to some
form of normality.
Finally, the new strain of Covid is here in North East Wales and so please all do your bit by staying home, wearing a mask in public places and washing your hands more often than you normally would. If I can be of any assistance please drop me an e-mail or give me a call. If you are struggling financially because of the Covid Pandemic you can get free advice from CAB on 0300 3302 124.
Do not leave it to long to ask for help because there is often support you can get to help you through these difficult times.
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