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'It's a marathon not a sprint'

Council leaders have today welcomed the First Minister’s cautious approach in taking modest steps to gradually ease the lockdown in Wales.

From Monday, individuals from separate households within the same locality will be able to meet outside whilst maintaining the 2-metre social distancing rule.

All residents in Wales will be required to observe the new guidelines set out by the Welsh Government.

 Councillor Andrew Morgan (Rhondda Cynon Taf), WLGA Leader said: “I welcome the cautious approach set out by the First Minister in outlining the next steps in unlocking society. We know that many will have been concerned about not seeing family and friends over the last few months. The slight adjustment from Monday will enable people to have more interaction, but we must all continue to act responsibly and to adhere to the guidelines set out by the Welsh Government.

As we move into the next phase of the response, our nascent work to test, trace and protect will become critical to eventually overcoming the disease.

People across Wales have been brilliant in heeding the rules set out by the Welsh Government over the past few months, which has enabled us to flatten the curve. But the fight against coronavirus is a marathon, not a sprint, and it still represents a threat to all of us. The R rate in some parts of Wales is still understood to be close to 1, which is why we still need to exercise caution.

The steps outlined by the Welsh Government today offers limited permission for us to interact responsibly, rather than being an open invitation to behave recklessly. The choices we make now will have a great influence on our success in halting the spread of the disease. Don’t be the person who, in years to come, wishes they had done things differently. We must all act sensibly and responsibly to keep Wales safe.”

Councillor Ian Roberts (Flintshire), WLGA Education Spokesperson said: “We know many parents and guardians will be worried about schools, which is why local authorities continue to work closely with the Welsh Government, Teaching Unions and other stakeholders. The safety of children, teachers and staff remains our top priority, and the Education Minister has consistently made clear that any decision taken will be guided by the latest scientific evidence.

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Scores of wildflower meadows to be created in Denbighshire

A number of wildflower meadows will be created in Denbighshire as part of a pilot to increase biodiversity.

Denbighshire County Council has identified 21 sites including highway verges, footpath edges, cycleways and amenity grasslands, which will now be managed to create wildflower meadows.

Meadow management prohibits grass cutting between March and August each year, giving wildflowers enough time to grow, flower, and set seed.

These sites will be monitored and borders cut around the sites to ensure there is no impact on the highway network or road safety.

The pilot includes sites in Prestatyn, Rhyl, Corwen, Cynwyd, Denbigh, Henllan, Llanferres, Llanrhaedr, Pwllglas and Ruthin which will all be given a ‘full cut’ in early September.

Cllr Tony Thomas, Lead Member for Housing and Communities, said: “Ensuring these 21 sites, which amount to 62 acres, are to be managed in a more environmentally friendly way which will help increase biodiversity, creating thriving habitats in areas previously cut back.

This work is in addition to our rural grass cutting policy which sees all non-principal roads within Denbighshire, cut once per year.

This is part of our work to enhance and protect the environment under our Corporate Plan as well as the work around the Climate Change and Ecological Emergency that has been declared by the Council.

We would like to reassure residents these sites will be managed in a way as to not impact motorists.

The Council has secured funding from the Welsh Government’s Enabling Natural Resources and Wellbeing grant, matched by funding from the Council’s Climate Change and Ecological Emergency budget, to purchase specialist equipment to manage the sites.

Kate Petty, Road Verge Campaign Manager for British conservation charity Plantlife, said: “Denbighshire County Council’s progressive moves to better manage road verges and greenspace as part of their Corporate Plan and Ecological Emergency declaration is wonderful news for wild flowers and the wealth of wildlife they underpin.

We’re delighted to see Denbighshire exemplifying the best practice verge management promoted by Plantlife and demonstrate the practical and cost-effective ways all councils can change grass cutting regimes to benefit biodiversity and brighten up people’s lives whilst keeping roads safe.

Signage at each site will identify it as a Bee Friendly area and include information about wildflower grassland management.

This work builds on the highway verge at Plas Lorna, Rhuddlan, which has created 1.5 acres of wildflower meadow protecting native local plant and animal species.

Source

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Rhyl Air Show 2020 Cancelled due to Covid-19 Concerns

Sad news today about this year's Rhyl Air Show, but amid the growing concerns of the Covid-19 Pandemic it was inevitable that the show would be cancelled and earlier today Denbighshire County Council and Denbighshire Leisure Ltd made the announcement that the award-winning Air Show, now in its 11th year, will not go ahead this August Bank holiday as planned.

Last year’s show was regarded as being the best ever and won the prestigious ‘Best Crowd Puller Award’ at the North Wales Tourism Awards.

Councillor Bobby Feeley, Chair of Denbighshire Leisure Ltd, said: “Over recent weeks we have been monitoring government advice closely, and after much discussion and careful deliberation we have arrived at this inevitable conclusion. Our decision has been made in light of the challenges presented by Covid-19, and the continuing expectation of social distancing measures. Unfortunately, we feel we would not be able to guarantee the safety of staff, volunteers and visitors attending such a major event, or wish to risk putting additional stress on the emergency services at such a difficult time.

We had hoped to make this years’ show event better, with the prestigious Red Arrows and Battle of Britain Memorial flights booked for both days. The entire events team are naturally disappointed, but will now set their sights on making next year’s event better than ever. It is disappointing having to cancel events that contribute so much to the Rhyl visitor economy, but we stand committed as a company to work with all stakeholders and businesses in Rhyl to ensure that the destination emerges from this crisis with a strong and vibrant tourism offer in 2021.

Councillor Hugh Evans OBE, Leader of Denbighshire County Council and Lead Member for the Economy, said: “It is with much regret that we announce the cancellation of this year’s Airshow. We understand this will be a huge disappointment to all those involved, and to the thousands of residents and visitors who attend, many of whom return year after year. We also appreciate the effect this cancellation will have on the local business community, who benefit each year from additional trade generated by the Airshow. We would like to thank all our partners for their patience and support in these unprecedented circumstances. Our team will now be focusing on developing a fantastic programme for Rhyl Airshow 2021.

It is such a shame that the event has had to be cancelled but safety is key in these times of the Covid-19 Pandemic, we will bring you more news here on Phase Radio Wales as and when we have it with regards to the new dates for 2021.

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Denbighshire to continue with significant investment in housing

Tenants of council homes in Denbighshire are reaping the benefit of a five year programme of investment in its housing stock and its communities.

Denbighshire now has the 5th lowest rent levels of the 11 stock retaining councils in Wales and charges the lowest average social housing rent in Denbighshire and of neighbouring authorities. 

Over the last five years, the Council has invested in properties:

  • £1.9 million on estate and neighbourhood improvements,      including 17 new play areas.
  • £1.6 million in disabled adaptations.
  • 1,000 properties properties painted externally
  • 350 new roofs have been installed.
  • 350 properties have been rendered
  • 675 kitchens and bathrooms have been fitted.
  • 325 sets of windows have been replaced.

The Council is investing in 170 additional homes over the next three years, securing quality homes and services well into the future.

Meanwhile, contractors working on behalf of the Council will be continuing with external works at properties in Bryn Garth and Maes y Goron (both in Denbigh), Maes Gruffydd Estate (Trefnant) and Pant Glas (Ruthin). The works are due to begin the week commencing Monday, May 25th and the programme will be completed by the summer.  Contractors will be adhering to social distancing measures.

Councillor Tony Thomas, Cabinet Lead Member for  Housing and Communities, said: “We are delighted to have been able to continue to invest our properties and our communities over the past five years, making sure our tenants have modern, fit for purpose properties for them and their families.

Income from rents is used in its entirety to fund the work of Denbighshire Housing.  It does not receive any funding through council tax, nor does it subsidise any other council service.  Funding is also received from Welsh Government to support and maintain housing stock.

We have not only invested in the structural works, but we have also invested in neighbourhoods through improving our  open spaces whilst supporting the health and well-being of communities, organising regular roadshow events around the county and supporting people with fuel and financial advice, and helping more people get online”.

For more information, please click here.

Source

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Good News: Conwy's Household Recycling Centres will be reopening next week

Brilliant news just in as it has been announced that Conwy’s household recycling centres will be reopening next week. Residents will need an appointment to go to the centres and there are some other changes.

Conwy County Borough Council has announced that its two Household Recycling Centres in Mochdre and Abergele will reopen on Tuesday 26 May. The sites will be operating a strict appointment system, with slots released for the next 4 weeks, 7 days a week.

Visits to the recycling centres will be restricted to cars (and vans with permits), but no trailers are allowed. Each household is allowed one visit, to make sure that everyone who wants to use the centres can get an appointment.

To help prevent delays and reduce contact at payment machines, the Council is waiving some of the usual charges for non-household waste. Residents will not be charged for up to 3 bags of rubble, soil or wood. Because some companies which usually process waste are not operating, the sites can’t accept carpet or bric-a-brac at the moment.

We are pleased that we’re able to reopen the recycling centres for residents in a way that makes sure that staff and the public can be safe,” said Cllr Greg Robbins, Cabinet Member for Environment and Transportation. “But we’re asking people to consider if they need to make this trip and to only bring items which are not safe to store at home and which they can’t put out for the recycling and bin collections.

As well as being a practical operational solution, waiving some charges is also a gesture of thanks to residents. We would like to thank them for keeping hold of their unwanted items until we could reopen the centres,” he added.

Residents can book an appointment for the recycling centre online from Thursday 21 May 2020 at www.conwy.gov.uk/recycling or call Conwy’s Environment Advice Team on 01492 575337.

The Council is also taking bookings for bulky waste collections from Thursday 21 May, with the service due to restart on Monday 1 June.

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Businesses in Denbighshire urged to follow social distancing guidelines by Council

Denbighshire County Council is urging people and businesses to continue to follow public health guidance for social distancing.

With some businesses in Wales being allowed to re-open, such as garden centres, the Council is reminding residents and businesses that Welsh Government guidance is clear and that people should generally stay at home and only go out for exercise locally and shopping for essentials.

Social distancing requirements must be followed at all times.

Cllr Mark Young, the Council’s Lead Member for Planning, Public Protection and Safer Communities, said: “Whilst we all want to see a return to normal as soon as possible it’s vital that we follow the guidance from Welsh Government.  Social distancing is a key part of controlling the virus and businesses can play their part by ensuring social distancing is maintained in and around their premises.

All businesses permitted to open must implement procedures to ensure a distance of two metres between people, staff and customers, and proprietors should be reminding staff to only come to work if they are well and no one in their household is self-isolating.  

To protect staff and customers, it is wise to manage entry into the premises, only allowing a limited number of people at any given time. 

Signage should be clear and remind customers with symptoms not to enter as well as to remind staff and customers to always keep two metres apart while on the premises or waiting in a queue.

Regular hand washing and cleaning of surfaces should be common practice and business owners should consider any measure that removes the need for close contact such as contactless payment and plexiglass barriers.

Councillor Young added: “It seems social distancing will be around for some time and we should all play our part.  Although we have focus on the retail sector these measures apply to all businesses whether they are public facing or not, large or small, retail or manufacturing, and also to the public when they have left home.  We ask everybody to adhere to the requirements and respect others around them.

Officers from the Council’s Public Protection teams will be monitoring compliance at businesses over the coming weeks. 

Anybody wishing to raise concerns about social distancing at a business premises can report it via 01824 706000 on or online at www.denbighshire.gov.uk

 
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A SONG of support for the NHS has been recorded by a council staff choir and friends

The recording of Simon and Garfunkel’s ‘Bridge Over Troubled Water’ features Canu Conwy, the staff choir of Conwy County Borough Council, joined by NHS workers and professional singers from the area in a message of hope and of thanks to the staff at Ysbyty Enfys, the temporary field hospital at Venue Cymru, Llandudno.

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