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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