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News from Johnstown

20MPH Area Wide Zone Set to go ahead 1st July 2013

The 20MPH zone for Johnstown will become legal from 1st July which will cover the following streets. Bangor Road (from the Railway Bridge) up to and including the 20MPH Zone outside Johnstown Junior School, Brandi Brook, Stryt Las Road, Cwm Glas, Park Street, Stablegates, all streets around the Post office area and the whole of the Nant Parc estate.

I was pleased to have helped secure funding for this project from TAITH last year and hope that speeds will be reduced around residential streets in Johnstown and support the existing 20MPH outside both schools.

St Davids Day

St David's Day Parade ~ ~ Friday 1 March 1.30pm—2pm ~ ~ From Lambpit Street to Llwyn Isaf ~ ~ ALL WELCOME

St. David’s Marke ~ ~ t Saturday 2 March 10am—4pm ~ ~ Queens Square, Wrexham

Stalls selling Food and Crafts, Wrexham Champion Sausage Competition, Cookery Demonstrations ~ Come in Welsh costume and receive a FREE gift
.

click here for full details

Rugby Days

Why not come along and join the Stiwt Theatre who have teamed up with Wrexham Lager to show the main Six Nations Games in the theatre auditorium with fully stocked bar, waitress service and kids activities.

Includes

  • Free Entry
  • Kids Entertainment
  • Fully Licensed Bar
  • Table Service
  • Hot Food
  • Live Music

Saturday 2nd February - doors open at 12:30p.m. Wales v Ireland (1:30p.m.) England v Scotland (4:00p.m.)

Saturday 9th February - doors open at 1:30p.m. Scotland v Italy (2:30p.m.) France v Wales (5:00p.m.)

Saturday 23rd February - doors open at 1:30p.m Italy v Wales (2:30p.m.) England v France (5:00p.m.)

Saturday 9th March - doors open at 1:30p.m. Scotland v Wales (2:30p.m.) Ireland v France (5:00p.m.)

Saturday 16th March - doors open at 1:30p.m. Italy v Ireland (2:30p.m.) England v France (5:00p.m.) France v Scotland (8:00p.m.)

click here for full details

Proposed Development Vauxhall Industrial Estate

Wrexham County Borough Council have today (29th January 2013) announced their support for Capital & Centric Plc’s proposed supermarket development which will serve Ruabon and Rhos. The application, recommended for approval in a Council report, will be heard at a planning committee meeting to be held on February 4th 2013. The report follows a number of consultations and independent surveys with local public, political and business stakeholders during 2012 which found that around 93% of people supported the proposals. The 46,000 sq ft store is to be located on the main Ruabon Road between Ruabon and Johnstown and will serve a catchments of around 29,000 people creating new jobs in construction and in the actual store of 164.

The site identified is the former Griflex factory which has lain empty for 14 years and would require a significant investment to bring it back into effective use. Following comments raised during the consultation, Capital & Centric Plc’s plans also include improvements to the junction onto Ruabon Road to ensure that there is no detrimental effect on local traffic flows.

Developer Adam Higgins, Director at Capital & Centric Plc said ;

“There is clearly a real need for a supermarket to service the people of Rhos, Johnstown, Penycae and Ruabon because for years they have had to travel to other towns such as Wrexham to do their weekly shop. “The support for a foodstore in this location at public consultation was unprecedented and the planning officer’s report also bears this out. It is very unusual to find such a large catchment population without an appropriately sized store to service the community.”

For further information, please contact Justine McGuinn of Just PR & Marketing on 07903 661228 or Justine@justprm.co.uk. www.justprm.co.uk

Woodland Improvements Hafod Country Park

Wrexham council are currently in the process of improving the woodlands within our Country Parks, as such were planning to complete works within the Hafod Country Park. Within the next 4-8 weeks Local Forestry Contractors will be thinning each of the woody compartments to improve the conditions for the remaining trees and to allow light to penetrate the forest floor.

In addition to the thinning works we will be establishing a small amount of saplings around the outer boundary of the woody compartments to help improve the biodiversity of the site. During the planned works, we will post warning signs at the entrances to alert visitors to the presence of contractors.

Invitation to Apply for a Start-Up Grant for Lunch Clubs in Wrexham County Borough

As part of the Day Services Development Programme, the Adult Social Care Department at Wrexham County Borough Council is offering one-off small grants to support the development of new lunch clubs in Wrexham County Borough.

Proposals are invited from individuals or organisations who wish to develop new lunch clubs. For an information pack and a grant application form, please contact : Yvonne Kelso, Adult Social Care Department, Crown Buildings, 31 Chester Street, Wrexham LL13 8BG, Tel : 01978 298617 or e-mail : commissioning@wrexham.gov.uk

Grant Applications must be submitted by 5pm on Thursday, 28 February 2013.

 

 

Police Meeting

The next Police Focus Group Meeting will be held on Wednesday 20th February 2013 at Johnstown Infants School at 6pm where the police will be on hand to answer any questions or concerns and give an update on local policing issues.

Age Concern

Age concern North East Wales does the vast majority of its work in the communities of Flintshire and Wrexham. They support older people to live independently in their own home for as long as they choose to do so. If you think that age concern can help please contact them on 0845 054 9822.

Parking Restrictions

Following a consultation process a new legal order is now in force on the Junction of Merlin Street/Offa Street to address parking concerns at the Junction. Please be aware that this area is being monitored by the council's enforcement officers.

Speed Limit of 30MPH

I have been working to reduce the speed limit from the Junction of Vauxhall Industrial Estate to the Junction of Stryt Las which has now been reduced from 40 MPH to 30 MPH, this is will ensure that speeds are consistent thorough the village from Vauxhall Industrial Estate to Wrexham Road.

Many residents had raised concerns on the differing speeds in a built up areas of the village especially from Brandi Brook to the Junction of Stryt Las.

30 speed limit

Healthcare in North Wales is Changing – Responding to the Feedback from the Consultation

Following the recent consultation on changes to the NHS, I made representation on behalf of the Wrexham Independent group. The Health Board have written back below on what the next steps are in the process.

The Health Board’s Consultation on proposals for changes to healthcare services in North Wales – “Healthcare in North Wales is Changing 2012” formally closed on 28 October 2012. The Consultation considered proposals in four key areas:

• Healthcare Services where you Live (Localities and Community Services)
• Older People Mental Health Services
• Neonatal Intensive Care
• Vascular and Major Arterial Surgery

Because of the level of interest, we have already agreed to include any letters or e-mails with responses that were received up to 2 November 2012. We have been pleased with the level of response received. Feedback has been good, and in particular there have been many detailed responses.

I am keen to ensure that we can give proper and thorough consideration to these responses. By doing this we can make sure that the Board makes decisions fully informed by the evidence we have, the views of the people who have responded to the Consultation and any further information or alternative proposals that have been put forward.

In view of this, the Health Board now proposes to hold the Board meeting at which the outcome of the Consultation will be considered in January 2013.

If the Health Board decides to go ahead with proposals, changes will start in early 2013 with the aim of finishing the changes by 2015, subject to approval of the necessary business cases by Welsh Government.

MARY BURROWS
CHIEF EXECUTIVE

Top Tips When Dealing With Cold Callers

• NEVER agree to have any work done as a result of a cold call. Don't make snap decisions and don't be pressurised into having the job done.
• If you think work needs doing to your home, get quotes from 2 or 3 traders. Ask friends and relatives to recommend a reputable business.
• Fully check the trader's details BEFORE considering dealing with them. Never rely solely on a mobile phone number. Remember some traders provide false addresses and telephone numbers.
• Remember that when you agree to enter into a contract with a trader at your home, you automatically have a 7 day cooling off period, in which you can change your mind about the contract.
• Ask for a written quotation detailing all the proposed work and a final price for the job.
• Only pay once the work is completed to your satisfaction. Don't pay cash. Don't pay money up front for trader's materials. NEVER allow a trader to take you to your bank or building society under any circumstance.
• Check the identity of all callers to your home. Ask for photo identification even if the caller claims to be from a utility company, the police or local authority. Check it carefully with the telephone number in the phone book, NOT the number on the ID.
• Do not keep cash in your home no matter how well you think it is hidden. Never pay traders in cash as this is an indication that you may have more cash on the premises.
• ALWAYS report incidents of doorstep crime to Trading Standards on 08454 04 05 06 OR North Wales Police 101 or 999.

A HERITAGE trail at a former Wrexham mine Hafod is now complete

The ribbon has been cut on the new trail at Bonc yr Hafod Country Park, formerly Hafod Colliery. The £43,000 project to improve the park and remember its mining heritage has been a year in planning and construction.

About 80 children from Johnstown Infants School joined ex-miners, project organisers and Mayor and Mayoress of Wrexham Ian and Hilary Roberts for a first look at the educational trail.

Despite the recent inclement weather, the party all took the walk to the top of the hill as the miners told the children about their experiences, with help from the new interpretation boards around the site.

Project Manager Huw Crompton said: “Today was about the meeting of two communities – the old and the very young.”

Earlier this year sculptures commemorating the site’s mining heritage were put in place at the start and end of the trail, along with wooden carvings along the way.

Now interpretation panels have been added explaining the history in pictures, from the formation of coal, through how it was mined, to how the site was turned into a wooded park after the mine closed in 1968.

At its height the mine employed nearly 2,000 people, mainly from Rhos, Ponciau and Johnstown.

In the mid 1990s the spoil heap from the mine was landscaped, with trees and grass planted, and is now a rich and varied habitat for wildlife, in particular Great Crested Newts.

The trail is also a nature walk, with information about what can be discovered around the site.

The Mayor who cut the ribbon said: “The weather was quite unpleasant at one point, but what a lovely walk and what a lovely experience. “The school children were brilliant.

“There were eight to 10 miners there who actually worked at Hafod. They all had their reminisces and one (Keith Edwards) gave a talk at the end. “It’s our heritage, and this is lovely way to celebrate what is our history. “It’s a beautiful area and completely different to what it was 25 years ago.” I was pleased to have played my part in the project which has taken over 1 year to complete

. Funding for the project was from Cory Environmental, Rhos Community Council, Wrexham Council and local company Brother.

Click here to view the article covered in The Leader

Wrexham Independent Group Response Health Care in North Wales is Changing

A consultation is being undertaken which closes on October 28th on proposed changes to the NHS in North Wales and Wrexham, on the provision of services. This has raised many concerns in the local media and our group submitted a motion to the council's Executive Board asking that this was debated in more detail which we did on the 9th October 2012. I have attached a copy of our response to the consultation.

Dear Mr Laing,

I am writing to respond on behalf of the Wrexham Independent Group to the consultation document Heath Care in North Wales is changing.

We oppose the moving of Neonatal Intensive Care from Wrexham to Arrowe Park on the following grounds:

  • The ratio of neonates to nurses in Arrowe Park is 2:1 whereas in Wrexham and Glan Clwyd it’s 1:1. The ratio in our hospitals is in line with the BAPM (British Association of Perinatal Medicine)
  • Arrowe Park currently only has 4 intensive care unit (ICU) cots, which it plans to double if the N Wales contract is won.
  • Glan Clwyd currently has 6 ICU cots and Wrexham has 4.
  • The current cost of caring for Welsh babies in the neonatal unit at Arrowe Park is £1024 per cot per day but Wirral University Teaching Hospital Trust will increase that to £1240 a day if the plans by North Wales NHS bosses are approved. Likelihood of further increases if service is moved.
  • Transport poverty means many will be unable to visit their sick babies so far from home. Journey time from Anglesey to Arrowe Park is three hours. No consideration of physical and mental strain on mothers and the wider family of not being able to travel.
  • Breast feeding will not be practical if mothers and babies in separate hospitals.
  • In 2011, the Arrowe Park unit was closed to new patients for 20 days
  • In the year to date (2012), 10 babies have died on the neonatal unit – a significant rise on the 6 recorded in 2011.
  • The proposal is for BCUHB to buy 791 bed days and transfer all babies expected before 27 weeks gestation AND all babies delivered at 27 weeks and all babies with a birth weight of 1000g or less. The current NIC bed days in North Wales is 1232 so around 45% of neonatal intensive care babies would stay in North Wales, although it’s unclear where.
  • Arrowe Park was designated a Level 3, i.e. neonatal intensive care, in 2007. The only other one in Cheshire and Merseyside is Liverpool Women’s Hospital. If capacity is reached at Arrowe Park, neonatal babies will be moved further out of the region.
  • BCUHB is already planning to bring back 500 births a year currently going to Chester. This will save £2m annually and increase the births at Wrexham Maelor by 20%. Babies who would also have gone to Shrewsbury from North Powys are also now coming to Wrexham. There is a growing birthrate in North Wales and this needs to be factored into any changes to service.
  • Downgrading of Chester and Shrewsbury SCBUs to Level 2 means fewer choices across the border and more opportunity for Wrexham to become a centre of excellence for the area.
  • A Level 3 service is essential if we are to continue to be accredited to train pediatricians.
  • Availability of Ambulances and stabilization cots in the ambulances, no mention anywhere of agreement/contract with Welsh Ambulance Trust.

Vascular Services
Require more information of which acute hospitals in North Wales will provide for adequate services as depending on where this is located could be detrimental to families of patients and incur additional travel costs

Health Care Services where you live
Not enough information is provided in the consultation document on how these services are going to be delivered in the future.

Llangollen Community Hospital
We oppose the closure of Llangollen Community Hospital until the proposed Health care centre has been completed to ensure no services are lost.

Closure of Chirk Minor Injuries Unit

We have concerns on the closure of this unit and what impact this will have at Wrexham Maelor Hospital.

How to complain about your Water or Sewerage Company

The Consumer Council for Water has a statutory duty to represent your interests. We are entirely independent from the economic regulator Ofwat and the water and sewerage companies. Our service is free of charge and confidential, except for our contact with your company.

Click here to view the leaflet

Wales in Bloom Results

Johnstown who had taken part in this years Wales in Bloom route welcomed the news that their community has played there part in this years Wales in Bloom result which has seen a sliver gilt awarded to Wrexham and 1st place in Wales for the second successive year.

I am really pleased that Johnstown Community Gardens and Stryt Las Country Park had been involved in this years official route and a lot of work had been undertaken by Children from both the Junior School and Infant School. Having a nice environment makes such a difference and a more pleasant place to live and I am really pleased.

Children from Johnstown Junior School have been working with artist Victoria Crompton to restore the Newt statue in Stryt Las, they have also been taking part in litter picks and have helped plant up twelve new planters on Bangor Road. Johnstown Infant School have also been involved by building hibernaculars and taking part in litter picks in Stryt Las.

The route was gardens including Johnstown Community Garden, Stryt Las, Wrexham Crematorium, Nant Mill, Bellevue Park, Smithfield Community Garden and Wrexham Town Centre.

Community Gardens

Visiting Warden Service

Wrexham council has now extended the warden service to Johnstown which supports people to live independently at home for as long as possible. The service will offer a visiting warden service which was previously only available to sheltered housing. So weather you rent or own your home you might be interested in finding out more. This new service is available to people aged over 60 and will eventually roll out to all communities in the county borough.

What does the Visiting Warden Service offer?

Our wardens are experienced in giving advice and support on the many circumstances and issues faced by older people, so they can: Call regularly to see that you are well to help you look after your overall health and well being. Help you to contact health services, agencies or anyone else, if your health or well being should change. Advice and support in how to get involved in things that interest you. Give information and advice on services that are available to you. The current charge for this service is £3.00 per week. You will need to be connected to one of our telecare services for your pendant/alarm service which is £2.75 per week. You may be able to have financial help towards these costs.

If you would like more details on the scheme for or would like more information contact the Sheltered Housing Team on 01978-315300, or email housing@wrexham.gov.uk post to Housing and Public Protection Department, Ruthin Road Wrexham LL13 7TU.

Care Forum Wales

Click here to view the Care For Wales E-Newsletter

Johnstown Children Enjoy New Facilities

Children from Johnstown Junior School have taken part in a number of training sessions visiting Johnstown Bowling Club following the club's successful grant application to obtain funding for set's of Junior Bowls and equipment. Johnstown was also the venue for the first time in the club's history recently where a County Match was played in the village green between Wrexham Veterans and Gwynedd.

At present the club run eleven teams in the Wrexham and Oswestry leagues and for the first time this season have been able to register a team consisting of juniors with the oldest being fourteen years with excellent support from their parents of which some have also taken up bowling. The club are now working with the Junior School hoping to improve on the success of this year’s junior section and encourage new members to take part.

Since Johnstown bowling Club was formed in 1994 members have for a number of years improved the facilities many of which has been funded by there own fundraising to erect two shelters and earlier this year extended the kitchen. Working with Wrexham council the club obtained a grant for floodlights and a water irrigation system which have now been installed making excellent facilities in Johnstown.

Bowls

 

Wrexham Industrial Estate Link Road Opens

I was pleased to have played my part in supporting the new link road which opened on Monday 16th July following several years of lobbing and obtaining Transport Grants from the Welsh Government. The new road will improve road links to the Industrial Estate and motorway network at a cost of 30.3 million.

Wrexham Industrial Estate dates back to 1940's and now is employing around 7,500 people. The road was completed on time and was fully funded by the Welsh Government via Transport Grants obtained from the council. The scheme provides duel two lane carriageway access to the estate from the A483 which in turn provides access to the national motorway network. In the south there is a single lane carriageway which links the estate from the A525.

During the course of the construction there has been a number of environmental considerations which needed to be taken into account to protect a number of species, including great crested newts, badgers, bats and nesting birds.

CENSUS 2011

The 2011 Census were published by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) on Monday 16 July.

The key points to Wrexham are below.

1. Response Rate
Wrexham had a 93% response rate (compared to 91% in 2001) which means that as many people were counted as could be given that there will always be occasions where someone does not respond. This is important, not least because government funding is based on population numbers.

2. Overall Population Numbers
The population of Wrexham CBC stands at 134,800 which means that we remain the second most populous County Borough in North Wales, after Flintshire (152,500). The figures for the other North Wales Councils are: Gwynedd 121,900, Conwy 115,200, Denbighshire 93,700 and Anglesey 69,700.

3. Overall Population Growth Rates

The population of Wrexham is 4.9% higher than in 2001 (128,500). Comparable figures for population increase are: England and Wales 7.2%, Wales 5.3%, Conwy 5.0%, Gwynedd 4.4%, Anglesey 2.8%, Flintshire 2.6% and Denbighshire 0.6%.

4. Age Groups
The percentages for the most age groups (or 'cohorts') in Wrexham are largely similar to Wales and England & Wales. Notable exceptions are: 6.5% of the Wrexham population are aged 0 to 4 compared to 5.8% in Wales and 6.2% in England and Wales. 16.9% of the Wrexham population are aged 65 and over compared to 18.4% in Wales and 16.4% in England and Wales.

5. Households
There are 57,000 households in Wrexham, compared to 63,800 in Flintshire, 52,500 in Gwynedd, 51,200 in Conwy, 40,500 in Denbighshire and 30,600 in Anglesey.

Johnstown takes part in Wales in Bloom

The Wales in Bloom route starts at Johnstown Community Gardens week commencing 9th July then moves onto Stryt Las Park, Johnstown, Pentre Bychan Crematorium, Nant Mill Visitor Centre, then back into the Town area, visiting Victoria Juniors, two private gardens at Rhosddu, Crescent road Community Garden, before moving into Wrexham Town Centre and finishing at the Guildhall.

The route highlights work carried out by local communities, such as at Johnstown Community Garden and Crescent Road gardens, showcases two outstanding private front gardens and shows our commitment to environmental educational, through the work of Victoria Juniors and Johnstown Infants and Juniors. The judges will see Stryt Las Park managed for conservation and Nant Mill Visitor Centre, as an example of one of our good quality Green Flag Parks. The Judges will also meet some of the businesses supporting the Wales in Bloom work, small businesses from the Town Centre and Brother industry who have carried out considerably community improvement work.

This is the 5th year the council have entered the Wales in Bloom competition and last year we received the silver gilt award in Wales in Bloom and Britain in Bloom, where we competed against cities across the UK.

Many resident have commented how well the area looks and the new planters in Bangor Road and High Street. These planters will remain in the village for future years.

Playwork Provision 2012

Click on the link below to view the full PDF version of the Playwork Provision Projects 2012 leaflet

play

Little Angels Johnstown

Bonc Y Hafod Country Park

I have been working with the Country Park Rangers to secure funding to improve the park and also remember the mining heritage of Hafod which closed in 1968. In its hey day there were nearly 2,000 people working at Hafod many of whom lived locally in the area. The project was set up last year and we have been working with local miners to produce a sculpture at the entrance of the site to the County Park. Other aspects of the improvements include new pathways within the park, interpretation boards, and a website which will be completed later this year. The project costs were £43,000 from Cory Environmental, Rhos Community Council, Wrexham Council and local company Brother.


FRAUD – How to Report it

Wrexham County Borough Council is determined to stamp out fraud and has a dedicated Benefit Fraud Team to prevent housing benefit and council tax benefit fraud. It is a criminal offence to commit benefit fraud and if we think that someone is fraudulently claiming benefit, or helping someone else to do so, we will investigate their circumstances with a view to sanctioning them or ultimately prosecuting them. Last year the Benefit Fraud team sanctioned 195 fraudulent benefit claimants and successfully prosecuted 31 claimants. In order to keep up this excellent performance the team need your help.

If you suspect that someone may be committing fraud or are advised that someone may be committing fraud against the council you can contact the team in a variety of ways:

By Phone: 01978 292728
By Text: 07808787558
By Email: stampoutfraud@wrexham.gov.uk

All information received will be treated in the strictest confidence.

Visiting Warden Service

From August this year Wrexham council will be extending the warden service to Johnstown which will support people to live independently at home for as long as possible. The service will offer a visiting warden service which was previously only available to sheltered housing. So weather you rent or own your home you might be interested in finding out more. This new service will only be available to people aged over 60 and will eventually roll out to all communities in the county borough.

What does the Visiting Warden Service offer?

Our wardens are experienced in giving advice and support on the many circumstances and issues faced by older people, so they can: Call regularly to see that you are well to help you look after your overall health and well being. Help you to contact health services, agencies or anyone else, if your health or well being should change. Advise and support in how to get involved in things that interest you. Give information and advice on services that are available to you. The current charge for this service is £3.00 per week.

More details on the scheme for Johnstown will be available in the near future but if you are interested or would like more information contact the Sheltered Housing Team on 01978-315300, or email housing@wrexham.gov.uk post to Housing and Public Protection Department, Ruthin Road Wrexham LL13 7TU.

I will provide more information in my next newsletter on this scheme.

20 MPH now in force in Melyd Avenue

The 20mph zone is now in force in Melyd Avenue, access to Johnstown Infants School following consultation with local residents

More off Road Parking

I have been working with housing officers for more off road parking to assist local residents and this work will continue this year from the Junction of Heol Hafod into Heol Ddyfrdwy and then it will follow around into Moreton Avenue. Not all properties will be completed this financial but those not completed will continue on a rolling programme.

Road and Pavement Improvements

The following streets in Johnstown will be resurfaced this finiancal year.

Roads
Y Gesail
Heol Y Cyngor
Heol Offa
Cwm Glas (Rear of flats)

Footpaths
Maes Isaf
Doran
Glasfryn
Heol Offa

Street Lighting Column Replacements
Bangor Road
Berwyn
Doran
Y Fron
Ffordd Pentre
Glasfryn
Plas Hafan
Plas Tirion

Community Council Elections Johnstown Ward

I would like to thank residents who voted for me, Joe and Catherine in the Local Community Council Elections on May 3rd for Johnstown. I have been re-elected along with Steve (Joe) Jones and Catherine Allot. Thanks for your support and we will endevour to assist and continue to improve facilities in Johnstown.

Owl Helping to Beat Crime in Johnstown

The following documents give information on how to set up email alerts on Crime in your area NEW – OWL Online Only – Residents & workers in Wrexham and Flintshire areas can now receive OWL alerts, without having to set up a watch scheme. This is new and is only available online ...It is FREE!! Alerts can be sent to advise residents of issues of anti social behaviour, bogus callers, criminal damage, suspicious persons/telephone calls, theft of vehicles, forthcoming NPP meetings, thefts etc.

Officers Guide to Setting Up Watch Schemes Jan2012

OWL Safer Neighbourhood

Officers OWL fact sheet how to and why guide

OWL – How Can OWL Help You?

OWL can send your messages to any type of Watch scheme, including coordinators and members by telephone, e mail, fax, mobile phone almost in an instant.

Message circulation:

  • OWL can send an alert to the whole of Wrexham or Flintshire, or just certain wards, or even specific addresses.
  • OWL is a quick and effective way of informing thousands of people across Wrexham and Flintshire of burglaries/incidents that have occurred, or are occurring in their areas.
  • OWL is a quick and effective way of appealing for witnesses to an incident you are dealing with
  • OWL is pro active, and reactive where necessary. Reaching those people who have agreed to assist you and are the willing eyes and ears of your community. Police officers cannot be everywhere at once so why not let THEM keep a look out in their community for you?

Here are just Some Examples of how OWL has Helped Officers Who have sent Alerts

  • Part registration numbers of vehicles circulated by officer following suspicious activity – Full registration numbers and current locations phoned in – vehicles dealt with by reporting officers
  • Reports of criminal damage to property – information received and passed on to officers
  • Vehicle description only circulated of vehicle thought to be responsible for BOTD, vehicle was sighted by OWL alert recipient, police informed and vehicle stopped. Vehicle seized as no insurance (no evidence regarding the BOTD)
  • Appeal following an attempted abduction - information relating to the suspect came in and was passed to officers dealing
  • A notorious alarm company was flooding the area with telephone calls, NWP were receiving calls from concerned residents. This particular company offer an alarm system to be fitted for free, or £1 but then later the customer has to sign in to a ‘monitoring’ contract costing them around £9,000. An alert was sent advising residents to be aware of this company. Our OWL members received calls from this company who told the company not to phone people in the area as they were aware of this company. The calls stopped. Another excellent result of this alert was that we received many notifications from members of OWL that, as a result of the alert, they had cancelled appointments that had been made with the company.
  • Following several reports of thefts of scrap from peoples gardens an alert was circulated requesting information of vehicles seen acting suspiciously. Numerous registration numbers were received and passed on to reporting officer.

OWL is a 2-Way Communication Tool – Valuable Information is received in too. Some Examples of information Received in direct from members of OWL

  • Full registration of vehicle seen in an area going door to door for scrap, acting suspiciously. Neighbourhood policing team informed. Occupants were of interest to Police and information used for a bulletin
  • Information regarding a cloned or stolen registration plate received
  • Full registration numbers of vehicles acting suspiciously in an area, information passed to police
  • Full registration number of vehicle seen acting suspiciously (occupants going into peoples gardens and removing items), information passed to police

Office contact details Tel 01352 708118  internal ext  08118    Fax 01352 754055
OWL Helpdesk direct line internal ext 84144 or e mail owlalerts@fnwa.org.uk

The OWL/WATCH system is managed by Flintshire Neighbourhood Watch Association www.fnwa.org.uk


Information on Reach for Work

Click here to view a poster advertising a fantastic new outreach service provided by the Reach for Work team that is due to come on line on Tuesday 25 April 2012 at 10 am.

5mph bus takes to pedestrianised Wrexham streets

I have been working to bring back the buses to High Street Wrexham to assist shoppers.

A new shoppers' bus service started on March 26th which will see its speed cut to 5mph in pedestrianised streets.

It will run between the main railway station and shopping areas. Its speed limit will be reduced when it goes along the red-brick pedestrianised areas.

The pilot service comes after calls for a return to buses on the High Street near the Eagles Meadow shopping area which is at the opposite side of town from the bus and railway stations.

It will stop at normal stops and will operate as a "hail and ride" in the pedestrianised areas.

Wrexham council started the service after offering free parking to shoppers after midday at the People's Market and Crescent Road car parks.

The half hourly bus service will run from Wrexham General Railway Station to King Street bus station, Hope Street, High Street, Eagles Meadow, Market Street, and Queens Square, concessionary fares are available. on this services. It will operate between 09:15-14:45 Monday to Friday, and 09:15-15:15 on Saturdays.

click here to view the SIOPA 101 SHOPPA leaflet.

Major Rail Improvements for Wrexham

It was announced this week that £36m is to be invested in the railway line between Wrexham and Chester, which will cut journey times and increase train services. Parts of the new track will have speeds of up to 90mph.

The news from the Welsh Government that the railway line between Wrexham and Chester is to be redoubled after 30 years has been welcomed by Wrexham Council.

The scheme is being delivered under the Welsh Governments National Transport Plan, as part of the North-South Wales journey time enhancement project.

Between Saltney Junction and Wrexham General, seven miles of track will be redoubled, having been singled in the 1980’s and the line speed will be increased to 90mph on some sections. The costs of the proposed redoubling and line speed works are estimated at £36.66m.

Redoubling of this line has been one of Wrexham Councils strategic rail objectives and has been a priority of Taith, the regional transport consortia for some time.

‘The news of the investment from the Welsh Government is excellent and indicates the importance of this route. This has been one of our strategic rail objectives and our elected members’ rail group has lobbied directly and through Taith for investment and improvements to this section of railway.’ ‘When these major improvements are completed we will have the capacity on this route to investigate the potential for new stations and for increasing the number of trains from hourly to every 30 minutes. With the consistent rise in passenger numbers at all our stations we will continue to press for increased services to more destinations’.

The scheme, funded by the Welsh Government, will also deliver further journey time benefits by raising the line speed between Gobowen and Shrewsbury to 90mph at a further cost of £9.8m.

Seven miles of track, which has been a single line since the 1980s, is being re-doubled as part of the north-south Wales journey time project funded by the Welsh government. The works are expected to be completed by early 2015. Members of Wrexham council have for many years lobbied for this and I am pleased that this investment will give Wrexham options to increase services.

New Facilities Opened at Johnstown Bowls Club

Johnstown Bowls Club has officially opened its new facilities in time for the start of the new season.

Click here for full details (which are on the improvements page)

Cuts to Bus Grants and Fuel Duty to Bus Operators

I have recently raised concerns to the Welsh Government's Minister Carl Sergeant on proposals from 1st April 2012 on cuts in funding for bus services in Wales and the inadequate notice about them - compared to the 18 month notice period in England.

I have written to the Minister Carl Sergeant calling for a Welsh Government to delay these cuts to allow local authorities time to plan and look at alternate provision. Concern has also been expressed by the Confederation of Passenger Transport Wales and  Councils that the Welsh Government‘s cuts to the bus service operators grant (fuel duty) and the local transport services grant were too large, that inadequate notice had been given, and that it could have a significant and detrimental impact on bus users. In his response, the Minister said that, in Wales, there had been a more generous bus service operators grant than in England, but he was happy to enter into discussion with bus service operators.
Wrexham Council responded to the Welsh Government plans to substantially reduce the Local Transport Grant by 27%. Currently the Council receives £462,733 and the reduction means this will go down to £336,533, a total reduction of £126,000 in the amount available for next year.

 In a my statement::
 "The massive cut in the grant has come without any warning or more worryingly without any consultation with councils, bus operators or bus users.  I have written to the Minister Carl Sergeant and local Assembly Members outlining my concerns about the implications this will ultimately have on subsidized bus service users.  The council's subsidized bus services are an essential part of rural and community life and allow independence to many people who would otherwise be isolated and unable to remain independent in their own homes. It allows people to get to work or education and to access health and medical facilities.  

Bus usage helps keep down our carbon footprint and it will be extremely difficult to promote the benefits of bus transport when increased fares make them very unattractive.  Wrexham bus station currently sees 4 million passengers a year who could all see either a rise in fares or a cut to the service they use.  The cuts announced also coincides with a similar reduction in the amount of grant given to bus service operators that has been available for almost 50 years which will also impact massively on commercial services. 

Ultimately it is the user who will again be asked to pay more for the service and have met with Arriva Buses Wales to find out the implications the cuts mean for them. All councils are looking at ways of reducing their budgets and are making adjustments for reduced grants from the Welsh Government.  This reduction, however, feels like we are having the rug pulled from under our feet and I will be strongly encouraging the Minister to reconsider his decision and to talk to us about the implications the speed of the reduction will have on people not only in Wrexham but throughout Wales."

Further discussions have taken place across Wales and I met the Minister on 9th March where positive discussions took place to reduce the impact and the inadequate notice period given. I am awaiting a formal statement from the Welsh Government.

Energy Saving & Renewable Energy Event - Saturday March 17th 2012

Click here to view the details of the event being held at Glyndwr University.

Wrexham Industrial Estate Access Roads Scheme

Construction work on the Wrexham Industrial Estate Access Road Scheme reached another milestone which will saw bridge beams placed on the new Tarmac Quarry access road bridge at Holt Road, part of the northern access road.

This is a key activity in taking works forward as completing the new bridge will allow the new section of dual carriageway A534 Holt Road to be completed between the Holt Road Roundabout and the new Gourton Hall Roundabout. Work remains on programme to complete which is due for completion in August this year.

Wales in Bloom comes to Johnstown in 2012

Johnstown Community Garden and Stryt Las, are part of the official route for Wales in Bloom this year.

Stryt Las

Public Consultation Event - Proposed Food Store Development (Vauxhall Industrial Estate)

Capital & Centric Plc has announced a public consultation event to be staged twice (30 January and 2 February 2012*) in relation to a proposed food store development at the Vauxhall Industrial Estate between Ruabon and Johnstown.

The proposed location is on the site of a disused industrial building which has been empty since 1999 and would require a significant investment to bring it back into effective use. The plan would be to demolish what remains of this building and replace it with a brand new food store of approximately 40-45,000 sq ft with the potential to create over 250 jobs.

The occupier marketing for the food store will be aimed at one of the big four supermarket chains; Asda, Morrison, Sainsbury’s or Tesco.

The public consultation events are scheduled:

  • 2-8pm on Monday January 30th 2012 at Ruabon Village Hall, Ruabon, LL20 8BB
  • 2-8pm on Wednesday 1 February 2012 at Stryt Lydan/Broad Street, Rhosllannerchruog, Wescsam/Wrexham LL14 1RB

The purpose of this consultation is to obtain initial feedback from stakeholders including local residents and businesses which will be fed back to the developer and local stakeholder representatives including local Councillors and the planning department. The development team will be in attendance and both events to answer any queries the public have in relation to the proposals.

Attendees are asked to provide feedback at the event in the form of a brief questionnaire. An opportunity for further comment will also be provided.

Adam Higgins, Director of Capital & Centric Plc states; “We have spoken to a number of local residents, many of whom have indicated that a new food store would be welcome due to currently having to travel long distances to undertake their main food shopping.” These consultations are being held in advance of the preparation of a formal outline planning application to Wrexham County Borough Council which will is anticipated to be submitted in the coming months.

Everyone is welcome to attend one or both of these events to gather information and provide feedback which the team can then incorporate into their strategy around the planning application for the development.

For further information, please contact Justine McGuinn of Just PR & Marketing on 07903 661228 or Justine@justprm.co.uk or website can be found at www.justprm.co.uk

Basic Computer Course on Offer to Johnstown Residents

I am pleased to support a computer course in Johnstown and local residents are invited to take advantage of a free course . The 11 week course starts on the 26 January between 12.45 and 3 pm at Johnstown Community Centre.

It is aimed at total beginners and covers basic internet and computer skills.

For further information and availability details or to find out if courses are available in your area contact Janie on 01978 298330.

The course is offered by Wrexham County Borough Council as part of their regeneration strategy. The Council, in partnership with Yale College, are aiming to make learning more accessible in familiar surroundings for people who might be returning to work or who just want to build up their confidence with computers.

Compostable Food Waste Bags

Compostable Food Waste Bags are available in Johnstown, in the Shop in High Street and Nant Parc.

Further details available by clicking here.

Advice on Shed Security

Many people may have received bicycles for Christmas, or other items that may be stored in sheds. This time of year can sometimes be the time when sheds get targeted.

Please see below advice on shed security.

Ensure the shed is in good condition.

Replace any damaged or rotten areas with new wood. Fit 2 heavy duty pad bolts or hasps; a third down from the top and a third up from the bottom.

Use threaded coach-bolts with large washers or ideally backing plates to prevent the bolts being pulled through the wood; screws can easily be pulled out of the thin doors.

Use large, quality padlocks with hardened shackles.

Fit key operated locks on the corners of each opening window, or consider screwing them permanently shut from the inside if you never open them.

Fix mesh or bars on the inside of the windows.

Extend your house alarm if the out-house is attached to your building or purchase an inexpensive battery operated shed alarm.

Thread a chain through all garden tool handles, lawn mowers, cycles and other items and use a strong padlock.

Shed alarms can be purchased for as little as £10

Wales in Bloom 2012 - Includes Johnstown Community Gardens and Stryt Las Country Park

Wrexham Council's Environment Team are calling on residents and community groups to get involved with next year's entry into Wales in Bloom. With the success of winning Silver Gilt and First place last year the team are eager to start planning the 2012 entry.

The 2012 route the judges will visit calls at several venues and gardens including Johnstown Community Garden, Stryt Las, Wrexham Crematorium, Nant Mill, Bellevue Park, Smithfield Community Garden and Wrexham Town Centre.

Wales in Bloom aims to make Wrexham environmentally friendly by eliminating graffiti, dog fouling, fly posting and promoting sustainable planting and floral displays to make Wrexham a more beautiful place to live and visit.

Wrexham Council are constantly trying to find ways to finance the Wales in Bloom campaign and one way is through its Roundabout Sponsorship Scheme. The revenue obtained from the sponsorship of roundabouts will contribute to improving the quality of the landscaping and maintenance of roundabouts and helps support Wales in Bloom activities within the Borough.

There are also opportunities for businesses to sponsor planters or purchase hanging baskets. All sponsors will be acknowledged in related Wales in bloom publicity which is an excellent advertising opportunity for your business as well as improving the environment in Wrexham.

If you are interested in helping with the Wales in Bloom Campaign or in sponsoring a roundabout or planter then please contact Nicola Ellis on 729638 or email at nicola.ellis@wrexham.gov.uk

Chirk Station to get £1.2 million access funding

£1.2 million has been allocated to Chirk railway station is to improve its access. The funding was announced by the Department for Transport as part of increased investment to provide improved access to stations throughout the country. The work will be completed by March 2014.

Working with the North Wales Regional Transport Consortia, Taith, these enhancements will compliment a series of improvements to Rail infrastructure throughout Wrexham area that have seen improvements to passenger information services on the Borderlands line, improved parking facilities at Ruabon and Chirk Stations, accessibility improvements at Wrexham General Station and the proposed introduction of CCTV at Chirk Ruabon and Wrexham General Stations.

Senior Rail Card Savings

Wrexham County Borough Council have available a limited number of Senior Railcards, for sale at the discounted price of £24.50, a saving of £3.50 off the current recommended retail price.

Senior Railcards are valid for 12 months from the date of issue and allow the cardholder 1/3 off all Anytime, Off-Peak and Advance fares across the National Rail Network.

The offer is exclusively available to all persons aged over 60 years, and who are residents of Wrexham County Borough. Senior Railcards can be purchased from Contact Wrexham, 16 Lord Street, Wrexham, by showing proof of residence and age.

Home Security Reminder During the Festive Season

  1. Make sure ALL doors and windows are locked when you are not home; this also includes garages and sheds.
  2. Use timer switches to turn your lights on when you are not home, especially during these dark nights. Why not use timer switches to turn on a radio while you are out, giving the impression someone is home?
  3. If you are going away this Bank Holiday, make sure your home looks occupied. Don't leave your curtains drawn in the daytime, ask trusted neighbours, friends or family to look after your home, taking in mail, free newspapers, etc. Consider leaving valuable items, documents with other family members. Make sure all door and windows are locked, burglar alarm is set and sheds and garages locked and alarmed.
  4. NEVER LEAVE valuable items on show such as laptops, Christmas presents, DVD players, where people can see them through your windows.
  5. Property: Mark ALL your valuable items, take photographs and make note of all serial numbers. You can even property-mark your Christmas presents before giving them. All valuables can be registered on www.MyThings.com/NorthWalerPolice.
  6. NEVER open the door to Cold Callers; if you have a door chain put it on first. If able and have a window that allows you to see the front door, do this first. Always ask for ID if claiming to be from a public / private sector organisation.

Christmas Safety Advice

The following advice is from the Owl Neighbourhood Watch Scheme: As we are well aware, Christmas will soon be upon us and due to this busy time of the year, we forget totally about our own personal safety, home security and vehicle security. Can I remind you all that criminals don't forget and this is an ideal time for them to strike when our guards are down? In order for us not to become victims of crime, can I ask you to take a few simple steps that can avoid you becoming prey to crime this Christmas?

PERSONAL SAFETY:

  1. When collecting monies from Post Offices, Banks or building Societies make sure that you put your money away, preferably while still at the counter in a secure purse or wallet.
  2. Only carry small amounts of cash, take what you need.
  3. Never carry PIN numbers in your purse / wallet.
  4. Always make sure your purse / wallet is placed inside a secure handbag or pocket, always keep your handbag fastened and pockets buttoned or zipped.
  5. When getting money out of the bank machine / cash dispenser, make sure that no one is watching you. If someone is standing too close, politely ask them to move back. Always put your money away before you leave. If you are not happy with persons hanging around cash points then do not use them, go elsewhere. If taking out money and if possible, go during the day.
  6. NEVER leave your handbag in a shopping trolley unattended, no matter how short a time. Thieves this time of the year will be watching and before you know it, your purse will be gone by means of distraction.
  7. Mobile phones - keep them safe, don't flaunt them. Make sure they are property-marked and registered, noting your EMI number.

    owl

Message From Trading Standards - Telephone Scam

A Wrexham resident has been conned out of over £3000 by a caller saying he was from the Ministry of Justice and was told he was owed money as a result of miss-sold payment protection insurance. The elderly resident was duped into making a series of payments over a period of 3 days with different excuses being given each time for why more money was needed. Some of the reasons included the need to pay lawyers and that the sum owed to the resident had increased substantially. In this case the resident called a halt when a further £2200 was requested by the fraudster.

These criminals have been telephoning consumers all over the country, using the Ministry of Justice's name to win their trust. The callers claim to be from the Ministry, and offer to help reclaim bank charges or win compensation but victims have to make payments in order to secure the money they are told is due to them.

In this case upfront payments were made by Western Union transfer or Ukash voucher. These are popular methods for conmen because tracing where money goes is very difficult if not impossible.

Scammers deliberately pose as being from highly trusted organisations in order to catch people off guard.

Organisations whose names have been used to win people's trust include:

  • the Ministry of Justice
  • the Office of Fair Trading
  • HM Revenue and Customs
  • other government departments
  • authorised claims management firms
  • high street banks

Trading Standards in Wrexham are warning people to be on their guard against this type of con. If you receive suspicious calls like this do not under any circumstances make any payments. Report incidents either to Consumer Direct on 08454 040506 or to the Police on 101.

Free Car Parking

I was pleased to support Free parking in Wrexham Town Centre at two of our car parks, the People's Market (multi storey) and Crescent Road car parks (near Eagles Meadow) from 12 noon every day. Anyone using these car parks in the afternoon is required to obtain a ticket to display. Standard parking charges will still apply in both car parks up to 12 noon.

Rail Passengers Continues to Grow

Rail passenger numbers in Wrexham County Borough continue to rise. The 5 stations in the County Borough are Wrexham General, Wrexham Central, Gwersyllt, Ruabon and Chirk. Data from the Office of the Rail Regulator shows that all Wrexham County stations have shown an increase in rail journeys by an average of 49% since 2005. At Ruabon where a bus rail interchange was created the passenger increase has been an impressive 79%.

In the last year car park extensions at Wrexham General, Chirk and Ruabon have been completed and work on extending the CCTV coverage at Chirk Station car park and Wrexham General Station will also be undertaken in the next few months together with a full CCTV system for Ruabon station. Work is currently taking place at Wrexham General Station to provide lift access to platform 4, the Borderlands Line to Liverpool, through the National Stations Improvement Programme at a cost of £1.5m’.

Over £2.3m has been invested in Wrexham stations during the last 5 years on improving facilities for passengers. Rail is an important part of our transport strategy and the improvements are part of a long term plan to ensure passenger needs are met’.

As a Member of TAITH, the council has been pressing for some time for improvements to be made at our Stations and I am pleased this has resulted in better facilities at our Stations for the travelling Public.

ORR data as follows: Increases from 2005 to 2010 (latest figure available)
Number of passenger journeys

Ruabon Passenger Journeys
2005/6 39854
2009/10 71346
Increase 79.02%

Chirk Passenger Journeys
2005/6 36295
2009/10 56310 
Increase 55.15%

Wrexham General Passenger Journeys
2005/6 401242
2009/10 584176
Increase 45.59%

Wrexham Central Passenger Journeys
2005/6 16211
2009/10 23338
Increase 43.96%

Gwersyllt Passenger Journeys
2005/6 22433
2009/10 32036
Increase 22.44%

Man fined £1000 for dog fouling

Pick up after your dog fouls or risk a hefty fine. That's the message from Wrexham Council who successfully prosecuted a local man who received fines and costs of nearly £1,000.

Thirty seven year old Mr Richard Paul Brereton of Ruabon was originally issued with a £75 fixed penalty for a dog fouling incident witnessed by an Environmental Enforcement Officer from Wrexham Councils Housing and Public Protection Department. He gave the officer a false name but was witnessed again failing to pick up dog waste two weeks later and issued with another fixed penalty notice.

When neither fixed penalty was paid Mr Brereton was prosecuted for the two dog fouling incidents and for providing false details. Fines and costs were awarded totalling £982.

“The majority of dog owners in Wrexham are responsible and comply with the law by removing their dog's waste. This case demonstrates the council's commitment in identifying offenders and following cases through to court where appropriate. The amount of the fine will send a clear message to others that dog fouling is a serious matter.”

Please contact 01978 298989 to report dog fouling in Johnstown.

Johnstown Community Gardens

I was pleased to have worked with local people to create 30 Community Gardens in Johnstown. Johnstown Community Wildlife assisted with the project undertaking work to northern perimeter to provide a series of shrubs and hedges for wildlife species.

Local Company brother have just assisted with the creation of a new raised beds and seating around the tree together with a garden shed which will assist Johnstown Junior School.

For further information please contact Johnstown Community Garden Secretary Kelvin Jones on 01978 820673. Funding for this project was provided by Tidy Towns Grant via Wrexham Council
.





More off Road Parking

I was pleased to support more funding for off road parking in Heol Maelor and Heol Kenyon which reduces cars being parked on the road following similar schemes have been carried out Heol Offa and Heol Kenyon over the past 3 years.

The money for these schemes comes from the Housing Environment Improvement Scheme and I am continuing to work on a rolling programme for more off road parking where it is feasible and affordable. The new lay-bys in Heol Kenyon have assisted local residents especially at weekends when football matches are being played.

Heol Kenyon

Wrexham & District 2011 National Eisteddfod

Click on this link to view the latest information regarding the 2011 National Eisteddfod

New Puffin Crossings Johnstown

I have spoken to two or three local residents who have asked asked me for clarification on the new Puffin Crossings which have been installed in Johnstown and the operation of the crossings etc

Click here to view the Traffic Advisory Leaflet which is produced by the Department of Transport for guidance.

Please do not hesitate to contcat me should you have any issues or concerns.

Wrexham Industrial Estate Link Road

I was delighted to welcome the Welsh Government Minister Carl Sergeant to the official turf cutting which heralds the start of the work on the new Link Road to Wrexham Industrial Estate. The need for the new road was identified in the 1970's and funding for the major project finally became available. Since that time extensive preparation works and a public enquiry have been undertaken to bring this project to its long awaited start.

Birse Civils Ltd will be carrying out the work which is expected to be completed by late summer 2012. The scheme will provide new and improved North and South access from the major road network into Wrexham and has been funded by the Welsh Government. As Lead Member for Environmnet and Transport I will continue to work with officers to ensure the project is completed.

New Dropped Crossings

Three new dropped crossings have been constructed in Stryt Las, Bryn Avenue and Melyd Avenue to support pedestrian access at these busy locations and to address local concerns.

Wrexham & District 2011 National Eisteddfod

Click on this link to view information regarding the 2011 National Eisteddfod

AVOW Newsletter

The latest AVOW newsletter can be found by clicking here.

Car Park Improvements Ruabon Railway Station

I was pleased to support new car parking facilities at Ruabon Railway Station working as Lead Member for Environment and Transport and a member of TAITH (North Wales Transport Consortia) who funded the project.

The car park is very popular and Rail travel from Ruabon has increased on average by 17% since 2004 .

Car parking facilities have also been increased at Chirk Railway Station which also includes a new bus hub to support more integration between Rail and Bus services.

New Pedestrian facilities

I was pleased to support new Pedestrian facilities and work includes upgrading the footpath and crossing at the top of Bangor Road, widening the corner of Park Street and moving the traffic signals further back. Work was also undertaken at the Junction in High Street (by the New Inn) to upgrade and install new traffic signals.

A new Pedestrian crossing has been installed opposite the Chemist which will assist local residents and address concerns raised to me when crossing the road especially to and from the bus stop and the Nant Parc direction.



Work Starts on Community Gardens

Over the past twelve months I have been working with local residents to create 30 Community Gardens. Johnstown Community Wildlife has assisted with the project undertaking work to northern perimeter to provide a series of shrubs and hedges for wildlife species. All of the Community Gardens have been allocated which includes local schools. There is now a waiting list and for further details please contact Johnstown Community Garden Secretary Kelvin Jones on 01978 820673. Funding for this project was provided by Tidy Towns Grant via Wrexham council.


Fundraising Concert at The William Aston Hall

The Rotary Club of Wrexham presents the Second Annual Fundraising Concert on Saturday March 26 2011 at The William Aston Hall, Glyndwr University, Wrexham with Cantorion Colin Jones and Glyndwr Brass in aid of St Christopher’s School, Wrexham, Nightingale House Hospice.
Doors open at 6.30pm for 7pm start.
Tickets £10.00 from Glyndwr University Box Office (01978 293 293)

Community Garden Project Takes Shape

Work on the Community Gardens to fence the site is nearly completed and the local group will be starting work in creating their Community Gardens. Johnstown Community Wildlife officer has also assisted in the project undertaking work to northern perimeter to provide a series of shrubs and hedges for wildlife species.

All of the 30 Community Gardens have been allocated and there is now a waiting list. For further details please contact Johnstown Community Garden Secretary Kelvin Jones on 01978 820673. Funding for this project has been provided by Tidy Towns Grant via Wrexham council.

New Pedestrian Crossing and upgrades to take place

I am pleased to support new pedestrian crossing and upgrades which will take place in the near future the work includes upgrading the crossing at the top of Bangor Road, widening the corner of Park Street and moving the stop signals further back to allow access from Park Street. Work is also being undertaken at the Junction in high Street (by the New Inn) to upgrade all the traffic signals which will also include a new Pedestrian crossing opposite the Chemist.

New Layby

I have been working with officers at Wrexham Council to address local concerns and I was pleased to support a new Layby which has been constructed on the slip road in Bangor Road.

This will assist local residents and parents especially during the afternoons when Children are collected from School. New guard rails and bollards on the island have also been installed as part of the scheme to make pedestrian access and parking more safer.

Wrexham & District 2011 National Eisteddfod

Click on this link to view information regarding the 2011 National Eisteddfod

2011 Census

In March 2011 a Census will be carried out, a successful Census is vital to the Council, its partners and the community because the data that are obtained will shape the delivery of local services and underpin central government calculations of the amount of financial support that the Council and other public bodies will receive for local services.

The Census will, for example, show the age profile of the County Borough, any need for new housing, allow Government and businesses to plan education, healthcare, transport and employment investment, provide information on place of employment and travel to work to aid public transport planning and identify the location and characteristics of minority groups to aid the promotion of equal opportunities.

Any underestimation of population numbers and characteristics could result in significant reductions in Government funding. This was demonstrated in Manchester in 2001 when inaccuracies in address records and a loss of Census forms resulted in 14,000 households being missed and a consequent loss of £120m of Government revenue.

The major changes in the content of the Census since 2001 are new questions about migration, citizenship, second residences, language and national identity.

The major changes in how the Census will be conducted are:

  • 95% will be by postal questionnaires delivered by Royal Mail.
  • Census Enumerators will only visit hard to reach groups, areas and buildings or to follow up on a poor response rate
  • Questionnaires will be tracked using a barcode
  • On-line completion of the Census will be possible

Once the Census has been taken there will be a quality assurance exercise to ensure that the data are fit for purpose, involving a series of stakeholder events.

The Council will need to be involved in this exercise. The Census will be published in late 2012

Community Garden Given “Green Light”

I have working with a local group Johnstown Community Garden Association who plan to create up to 30 Community Gardens on public open space rear of Heol Y Cyngor. Planning permission has been granted and work will be starting to create garden plots.

Both local schools have been allocated plots which will support Children and Young people with the ECO projects the schools are working towards. More and more people are now interested in growing vegetables, fruit and herbs and there are over 170 people on the council’s waiting list in Wrexham area.

Community Garden Update

Work on the Community Garden in Heol Y Cyngor will be commencing in late October where fencing will be erected around the site which will allow Community garden plot holders to start working on the site.Johnstown Infants and Juniors will also take part in making a Community garden.

Remani Jones from the Johnstown Community Wildlife is also assisting in the project and will be undertaking work to northern perimeter to provide a series of shrubs and hedges for wildlife species.

All of the 30 Community Gardens have been allocated and there is now a waiting list. Please contact Johnstown Community Garden Secretary Kelvin Jones on 01978 820673 for further details. Funding for this project has been provided by Tidy Towns Grant via Wrexham council.

Johnstown Doctors Surgery

Following concern raised by residents on the opening of the doctors surgery in Johnstown, I have recently written and clarified the position with the Ruabon Practice Manager. Johnstown surgery is open each Tuesday and Friday morning with all other services provided from Ruabon. For further details please contact Ruabon on 01978-824142.

Housing Improvements

Painting work is due to be carried out to the bungalows in Y Gesail and Heol Y Cyngor from 27th September which also includes replacement facia boards.

Road Resurfacing

Carriageway and footpath resurfacing to Tan Y Clwydd and footpath works to Maelor Road have now been completed. Resurfacing work to the carriageway in Heol Hafod is due to take place on 16th October.

Co-Op opens after revamp

The former Somerfield store in Johnstown has now re opened following a £200,000 revamp to the Co-op. The store Manager Lee Dryden and staff were present at the official opening. Over 40 staff work at the store most of which are employed locally and I wish them well for the future.

Co-op

Need up to Date Travel Information?

Plan your journey by bus, coach or train with Traveline Cymru. Visit the website www.travelinecymru.info or contact our call centre on 0871 200 22 33.

Traveline Cymru is funded by the Welsh Assembly and the purpose is to offer a one stop shop for travel information in Wales to include Bus, coach, rail, air and ferry. The website includes a number of methods to get the information you need for your journey, like finding you nearest railway station or bus stop and timetable information.

Johnstown Community Policing Team

To contact you Community Beat Manager for assistance or advice please contact PC Matthew Rogers on 07896171757 or by email on Matthew.Rogers2@nthwales.pnn.police.uk you can also contact the PCSO (Police Community Support Officer) on 07976 091186 or by email on stuart.roberts@nthwales.pnn.police.uk for non urgent messages.

You can contact the Police by calling 101, which is a 24 hour number provided by the four Welsh police forces to deal with non emergency calls. In Cases of emergency Dail 999.

Weekly Food Collections Started

Weekly food waste collections have started in most parts of Johnstown where residents will be able to use compostable food waste bags into the new kerbside caddy. Each householder has been provided with a starter pack of bags and residents will be able to purchase further bags from a number of retail outlets across the County. This new collection vehicle has been added to the fleet allowing weekly food waste collections as well collecting plastic, glass, paper and tins and will serve approximately 6,000 households. Households not on the weekly collection round will shortly receive a starter pack of compostable bags which can be placed in the green bin which is collected fortnightly.

Please click here for retail outlets, two of which are in Johnstown.

More roads and Footpaths to be resurfaced in Johnstown

As part of the resurfacing programme for 2010/11 the following roads and footways will be resurfaced this year. Carriageway resurfacing will be carried out Heol Hafod and Tan Y Clawdd together with footway resurfacing in Worsley Avenue, and Tan Y Clawdd.

Policy on Public Open Space

Following a motion submitted to the Executive Board in June by myself and Councillor Mark Pritchard calling for a policy, on public, recreational, and informal open space, The council's executive board have agreed on the 3rd November 2009 a clear and transparent policy
which will protect public and recreational open space where there is an overall deficit in a ward or community whichever is the smaller. The survey carried out excludes school playing fields, parks and private public open space which is not genuinely available to the public.

I have also attached an extract from Executive Board meeting on the 2nd February 2010 which refers to the consultation on the Local Development Plan.

The protection and provision of public open space remains a high priority. Policies in the Deposit Plan have been informed by the Public Open Space Assessment 2009 which looked at the provision of open space on both a ward and community basis and which have been discussed at Executive Board meetings in July, October and November 2009.
The redevelopment of public open space is not permitted unless there is an overall surplus of open space in the ward or community (whichever is the smaller) and subject to other restrictive criteria.

Overall in Wrexham there is a shortage of -80.16ha of Public Open Space compared to the (FIT) Fields in trust “6” acre Standard. The policy covers the four areas of public open space to give a combined total below.

Johnstown Ward

1. Outdoor sport -1.067
2. Children’s equipped playgrounds - 0.683
3. Informal playing space 0.763
4. Playing Fields - 0.080

Overall the 4 component types show a deficit of the combined total of -1.067ha of Public Open Space.

The Johnstown ward has an overall deficit of Public Open Space which means areas of Public Open Space will not be included for future housing development in the local development plan. The playing fields at Heol Kenyon and Worsley Avenue already been protected and have "Owain Glyndwr Status" under the Fields in Trust initiative.

Hafod Quarry Update

Please click on the link to see what work is going on at Hafod Quarry following recent complaints and representation I have made, the information has been complied by the Environment Agency.

Link to the Environment Agency information.

Bullies Out

Bullies out is an anti-bullying charity based in Cardiff (but not covering the whole of Wales) established in May 2006 to provide help, support and information to individuals, schools, youth and community settings affected by bullying.

I am sure that you are aware, bullying is something that affects many of our young people today and is a major concern to parents. I have been sent 12 booklets which gives more information on the work they do or would like any help and support.

You can also visit the website on www.bulliesout.com or email on mail@bulliesout.com

Bogus Callers

Trading Standards Officers in Wrexham have received several enquiries from householders who report telephone calls out of the blue from a trader offering them a free survey and the chance to buy an intruder alarm at a bargain price. Several have reported being given the impression that the alarms are in someway endorsed by North Wales Police which is unlikely to be true. They advise householders to ask yourself, Is the company really able to offer an expensive system so cheaply? Do customers taking advantage of the offer have to sign up for a long term expensive maintenance or monitoring agreement ?

If you do receive a call, offering a free demonstration please :-

Remember that you have a seven day cooling off period to give you the chance to compare product and price and to discuss it with someone you trust. Insist on a detailed written quotation.

Compare the price with that charged by other businesses for a similar product. Insist on using your seven day cooling off period and Don't pay cash - you can trace a cheque.

Don't agree to have any work done inside the seven day period. Your cancellation rights may be reduced if you agree to have work done.

Consider whether you want the product. If you do, use reputable, established companies who you will be able to contact if things go wrong. Ask relatives and friends for recommendations.

If you are worried about unsolicited calls or if you would like further advice please contact Consumer Direct Wales 08454 04 05 05 (Welsh) 08454 04 05 06 (English).

Rhos and Johnstown Play scheme

A FREE open access Play Scheme will be running for ages 5 to 15 years on the Moreton Estate Circle during all school holidays (except the first week of the summer holiday and Christmas) between 2pm and 5pm on Mondays and Tuesdays. For further details please contact Wrexham council's play scheme on 01978 340740 or email play@wrexham.gov.uk .

Post Office Card Account

Residents who now have a Post Office Card Account can now use that card at the FREE to use external ATM cash machine at Johnstown Post Office. Any problems please contact Dave or Angela at the Post Office during office hours.

More People using Rail Services

Wrexham County Borough Council is very encouraged by the recent information regarding use of rail services and our stations, released by the Office of the Rail Regulator last week.

The figures, relating to the year ending 31 March 2009, show that passenger use of Wrexham General station rose by almost 16% year on year from 487,713 to 565,408. Wrexham General station is the 16th busiest station in Wales by passenger volume, a rise of two places from the previous year. The other stations in the County Borough have recorded similar results with Ruabon passenger numbers up by more than 20% at 65,500, Chirk increased by over 11% with 56,562, Gwersyllt improved by over 18% with 28,246 and Wrexham Central saw a rise of 2.8% to 20,286.

The overall picture for all the County Borough Rail Stations is that in 12 months ending March 2009 total passenger numbers have increased by over 99,000.

More 20 MPH Zones for Wrexham Schools

I am pleased that 12 more schools in Wrexham have benefited from 20 mph speed limits which have been introduced which includes Johnstown Junior School.

The completion of works means that 28 out of 77 of Wrexham's schools now have 20 mph speed limits.

During the next financial year funding from the Welsh Assembly Safe Routes in the Community Transport grant includes works at Ysgol Penycae Infants, Black Lane CP and Ysgol Tanyfron which will be complemented by a further 6 highlighted below by Wrexham council.

It is hoped that by the end of next year 50% of schools in Wrexham County Borough will have 20 MPH speed limits making Wrexham schools a safer place which will encourage more sustainable travel choices by providing safer environments outside schools.

The schools which have been completed this year

  • Johnstown Junior
  • Eyton Controlled
  • Ysgol Rhiwabon
  • Ysgol Penrhyn, New Broughton
  • Park CP, Llay
  • St Mary's RCP
  • Borras Schools
  • Ysgol Heulfan, Gwersyllt
  • Ysgol Clywedog
  • Wat's Dyke CP
  • Bwlchgwyn CP
  • Rhosnesni High
  • The indicative programme for next year

  • St Giles Controlled
  • Gwersyllt Support Centre
  • Dodds Lane Student centre
  • Ysgol Bodhyfryd
  • Bryn Alyn High
  • Ysgol Y Grango

North Wales Police Authority

To view the latest newsletter from the North Wales Police Authority click here

Community Beat Manager

Johnstown now has a new Police Officer PC Richard Jones who has started in his role of Community Beat Manager, Richard will be assisting PCSO (Police Community Support Officer) Stuart Roberts in patrolling on the beat in the village of Johnstown.

To contact the Community Beat Manager for non urgent calls, Richard Jones can be contacted on 07896 172823 or by email at richard.jones4@nthwales.pnn.police.uk

PSCO Stuart Roberts can be contacted on 07854 356 003 or email stuart.roberts@nthwales.pnn.police.uk

Wrexham Council's Recycling Park

Johnstown Infant school has been one of the first schools to visit the county's brand new educational facility that is open at the Recycling Park on Wrexham's Industrial Estate.

Over 70 Year 1 and 2 pupils visited the Recycling Park over 3 days and Education Officer, Caroline Pollitt was on hand to introduce them all to waste awareness and recycling using practical and stimulating activities in the new education room.

"This is a first class facility and I know the children have gained a lot from their visit. This new facility is available to all schools and I hope as many as possible are able to come and take advantage of the resources available to learn more on recycling and further reduce the amount of waste we send to Landfill.


Support Given for 20 MPH in Bangor Road

The consultation for a proposal for 20 MPH zone in Bangor road Johnstown has been completed and a overall 88% who responded were in support of the scheme. I will be liaising with Transport department in the next few weeks to see when the works and new Traffic Regulation Order will take place. The council have supported the introduction of 20 MPH zones outside all schools in the county borough and Johnstown is one of ten schools included this financial year.

A 24 Hour police non emergency number for Wales.

When its less Urgent than 999

Anti-social Behaviour ?
Harassment ?
Need to speak to the Police ?

If you don't want it 101 it.

A 24 Hour police non emergency number for Wales.

Inspector Lisa Surridge is the District Inspector for the South Wrexham, writes:

"With the autumn evenings now here the Community Safety Partnership and North Wales Police is keen to encourage residents in the County Borough to focus on keeping their homes safe. It is a fact that every year as the evenings draw in and the clocks are turned back there is an increase in the number of early evening burglaries. This is a national trend which is mirrored in Wrexham. Although incidents of Burglary have reduced significantly during the last three years. Operation Twilight aims to encourage residents to keep their homes secure this winter. Posters and information leaflets will be distributed to public at venues across the County Borough providing advice and guidance to residents on how to keep their homes safe. This work will also be supported by a radio campaign on Heart Radio promoting the message and encouraging people to leave lights on in their homes in the evenings during the inter months.

The Twilight Burglary campaign encourages the combined use of low energy Light bulbs and timer switches in homes to create the impression that a property is occupied, deterring burglars. Funding from the Home Office has enabled the Partnership to purchase a significant number of timer switches for the campaign and the Energy Efficiency team at Wrexham Council has supported the campaign by contributing energy efficient bulbs for dissemination. The bulbs and timer switches will be distributed by Police Community Beat managers and PCSO's, to those properties and individuals in the County Borough deemed to be most vulnerable. Here in Wrexham South we are fully supportive of this campaign and are working closely with Wrexham Community Safety Partnership. Contact Stuart Roberts Johnstown’s PCSO for further details on 07854 356003".

Plas Madoc Household Recycling Centre Re-Opens

Plas Madoc's brand new household recycling centre has officially opened its doors to residents in the area following its opening by the Mayor of Wrexham, Cllr Arwel Gwynn Jones.

The purpose built facility has improved recycling facilities and easier access to skips. One significant improvement is that residents no longer have to wait whilst skips are emptied as all HGV's will be separated from the public using the site. Residents can recycle newspapers, magazines, plastic and glass bottles, cans, clothing as well as wood, cardboard, rubble, scrap, garden waste, batteries, oil and white goods. The facility forms part of the new contract which was signed in 2007 and was constructed by Waste Recycling Group who will run and maintain the site on behalf of Wrexham County Borough Council.

Motion for 20 MPH Zones Outside All Schools in the County Borough

I am pleased that following my motion to the council's executive board earlier this year for the introduction of 20mph speed limits outside all schools in the county borough a report was presented to members in September for a set of robust criteria for approval to be used to develop a definitive prioritised list of schools at which treatments should be targeted. The agreed criteria included a number of measurable attributes relating to safety, transport and demographic factors. I am pleased that this financial year a total of 10 schools will be completed which includes Johnstown Junior School. Consultation will be undertaken with local residents and the school on the proposals to be introduced and all work will be completed by April 2010.

New Traffic Orders in force From Monday August 10th 2009

Work has been completed on two new traffic regulation orders in Johnstown, double yellow lines have been introduced from August 10th 2009 on the Junction of Park Street leading to High Street, together with the existing Traffic Regulation order in Merlin Street outside the Launderette in Merlin Street, where a new 30 minute waiting time has been introduced to assist people dropping off and picking up.

I have been working to support these orders for some time which have been a particular concern to local residents and local businesses
.

Johnstown Recycling Action Day

Johnstown will be holding a Recycling Action Day on Wednesday 19th August in Heol Kenyon Cark Park Johnstown.

The day will consist of a general tidy up of the village which includes litter, weeds, overgrown hedges etc together with information on dog control orders together with dog fouling enforcement by the council’s amenity wardens. A dog micro chipping service will be available on the day which is an essential component of responsible dog ownership and allows the dog to be quickly traced and a small fee of £10 will be charged.

The local North Wales Fire and Rescue Service will also be on hand and will be visiting local residents to carry out Free Fire Safety Checks and offer advice on Fire Safety in the home.

Wrexham council’s recycling officers, street scene and Housing Department will also be available with Recycling materials and skips to enable residents to bring along those unwanted items and to recycle even more.

Wrexham County Borough Council wins fields in trust (FIT) Cymru Award

Wrexham County Borough Council is the 2008 winner of the annual ‘FIT Cymru Playing Field Protection Award’ sponsored by the Royal Mail accepted the award from Andrew RT Davies AM in a special ceremony at the FIT Cymru stand on the Royal Welsh Agricultural Show ground on Monday, 20 July 2009. It is the second time that Wrexham has won the Award following its success in 2006.

Mr Ceri Preece, FIT Cymru Chairman, congratulated Wrexham on its award, and said: “Winning this Award for the second time in three years reflects Wrexham’s continued commitment to the establishment of protected land for play, sport and recreation. No one should underestimate the importance of this achievement. It should be an example to other local authorities.”

The award is in recognition of the local authority or community group that has established the largest amount of protected recreational land in the previous year in partnership with FIT Cymru. Wrexham County Borough Council won the award for establishing three Owain Glyndwr Fields at Chirk, Johnstown, Worthenbury. These follow on from previous dedications at Marchwiel, Johnstown and Rhostyllen.

As well as the direct protection of land illustrated above, FIT Cymru campaigns and lobbies to protect playing, recreation and open fields, FIT also offers technical advice to field managers. It encourages play, recreation and leisure in schools and the community.

Digital Switchover

The switch over to digital television will be taking place in the Wrexham area later this year.

Wrexham Council’s Trading Standards Officers are warning people to be on their guard against cowboy contractors who may try to exploit them by charging exorbitant amounts for installing equipment or carrying out unnecessary work.

Trading Standards are aware of cases where residents have been advised that if they do not have their aerials replaced they will lose reception after the switch over. These claims were untrue. Ofcom estimates that only five to ten per cent of households will need a new aerial to receive TV after switch over. People can check the strength of their existing aerial by visiting Teletext page 284. The typical cost to replace a standard aerial varies from £60 to £180.

Officers are also concerned that distraction burglars may use the switch over as an opportunity to gain entry to houses under false pretences to commit theft.

Digital UK - the independent, not-for-profit organisation leading switch over - has teamed up with Trading Standards to encourage residents who may need a new aerial to use contractors who are Registered Digital Installers and who display the ‘digital tick’
logo. This means they are approved and security checked, with relevant qualifications and insurance.

Authorised engineers will not make unsolicited calls to your home. A full list of registered digital installers in Wales can be found online at www.rdi-lb.tv or by calling the Digital UK helpline on 08456 50 50 50.

Trading Standards advise you to be wary if anyone does call door-to door to tell you that you aerial or other television reception equipment needs upgrading. If you do agree to have work carried out by someone calling unannounced at your home, you should be aware that, as with most contracts made at your home, you are entitled to a seven day cooling off period. During this period you can change your mind. It is advised you
do not give the go-ahead for work to be carried out during the cooling-off period and to use it as an opportunity to check whether the work really does need to be done.

People over 75 and some people in receipt of benefits are entitled to financial assistance with the switch over. Many members of the public will recently have received letters from the Digital Switchover Help Scheme (DSHS) explaining the benefits available and requesting information so they can help. Trading Standards can confirm that DSHS
is a legitimate organisation and that it is likely to be in your interests to reply to them.

If you are concerned about anyone calling at your home offering equipment or services or you are dissatisfied with any work that has been carried out you should contact Consumer Direct on 08454 040 505 (Welsh language line) or 08454 040 506 (English language line).

Calls provided by BT to the Digital UK helpline are charged at 2p per minute daytime and 0.5p evenings plus 6p BT connection charge. Rates may vary for other providers.

To find out which transmitter you receive your TV signal from and when it’s going to switch from a terrestrial to a digital signal, go to www.digitaluk.co.uk/postcodechecker.

Concessionary Travel

If you are a Concessionary Travel Pass holder living in Wales, you should have received a new smart card.

From Friday 31st July 2009, only the new Concessionary Travel smart cards will be valid for free bus travel.

Your old pass will no longer be accepted.

If you have not received a new pass, please contact your local authority for a replacement.

If you live in the Wrexham County Borough area and are:

Aged 60 years or over; or

In receipt of Disability Living Allowance (with HIGHER rate mobility content); or

In receipt of a war pensioner's mobility supplement; or

Registered blind, partially sighted or profoundly deaf; or

Without arms or without the use of both arms; or

Without speech; or

Registered as having a learning disability; or

Unable to drive a motor car due to a medical condition other than on the grounds of persistent misuse of drugs or alcohol

You will be entitled to a pass, which will enable you to travel free on all local bus services. Your free travel pass will be valid from the date of issue and will be valid all day, every day not only in Wrexham, but also for travel throughout Wales.

Where and when can I use my pass ?

Your pass will be valid for cross border journeys into England provided that your journey is unbroken and starts or finishes in Wales.

If you are unable to travel independently and need assistance to make use of public transport, an additional concession may be issued for a necessary traveling companion. You will normally need to supply independent medical evidence to support this.

Will my pass cost me anything?

Your travel pass will be issued free of charge, however there is a charge for replacing any lost or damaged passes.

How do I use my pass?

Travel, using your pass, is subject to the rules and regulations of the operators providing the service. You will need to show your pass to the driver when you board the bus to receive your concession. It must be shown to an inspector if requested. Failure to show your pass will
result in the concession being refused and the fare for the journey being charged.The pass does not give you any rights other than those enjoyed by any fare-paying passenger.

Your pass remains the property of Wrexham County Borough Council and may be withdrawn by the Council or the operator if misused.

How do I obtain my pass?

You can apply in person at the Bus line enquiry office located at the Bus Station. You will need to take with you the following.

A completed application form.
A recent passport size photograph. (Full face)
Proof of residence such as a Council Tax bill, phone bill or gas bill.

Proof of entitlement (see below).
If you are over 60 you will need to verify your date of birth
If you are in receipt of Disability Living Allowance you will need to show your valid entitlement award letter
If you are registered blind, partially sighted, or profoundly deaf, you need to obtain proof of this from Social Services
If you have a Learning Disability you will need to refer to Social Services, the Community Learning Disability Health Team or the Education Department.
If you are without speech or without the use of both you will need to supply medical evidence to support your application.
If you are unable to drive due to a medical condition you will need to supply a letter of verification from the DVLA or your doctor.
You can also apply by post, print off the application form and send with copies of your proof of entitlement to:

Concessionary Travel,
Wrexham County Borough Council
Transport Co-ordination,
Crown Buildings,
Wrexham LL11 8BG

or call in 16 Lord Street Wrexham for full details.

Wrexham Pond Week

Wrexham Pond Week will be held again this year at Stryt Las and Hafod Country Parks between the 3rd and 8th August 2009. This will be another course of volunteering activities throughout the week to create ponds and winter hibernacula for wildlife, work will also be carried out to improve the existing ponds in the Johnstown area. Strong boots or wellies will be required together with a packed lunch and waterproofs.

For further details please contact the North East Wales Wildlife on 01352 742238 or 01352 742115 or email Remani Jones on Johnstown@newwildlife.org.uk

Crime figures in Wrexham South

Inspector Lisa Surridge is the District Inspector for the South Wrexham area and writes :-

In response to the Evening Leader Poll carried out recently which revealed 70 per cent of people think that crime is a problem in the Borough. I appreciate the results are from casual questions asked in the street to a small number of people as opposed to a structured poll, but nonetheless I am concerned that some people living in my policing area may have similar concerns. National news and media can distort the perception of crime through articles whilst valid are not always representative of the area in which you live.It is important that people who live, work or visit the area I serve are aware of the facts about crime and the challenges to delivering policing in such a large and diverse region, so that they may form a balanced opinion as to how safe they feel.In the South Wrexham we saw an increase of crime in the first half of last year and following a dedicated and structured response we saw crime begin to fall. This trend has continued and we are now at a point where overall crime has reduced by 15% compared to this time last year. Similarly can be said of the numbers of crimes we are detecting, at our year end in April we had detected 35% of all crime which contributed to North Wales Police being on of the top performing Forces in the UK. Already this year we have increased the number of crimes detected by 8.5% on this time last year, an improvement I will endeavour to sustain or even improve as the year goes on. On the subject of detected crime I must also point out that performance would be higher still but for victims who choose not to support a prosecution.

The South Wrexham area covers approximately 150 square miles with a population of approximately 41, 500. It is largely rural with several large suburban towns and villages, not to mention iconic landmarks and attractions. Balancing the needs of our rural and suburban communities is very important and that is why we have Neighbourhood Policing Teams dedicated to responding to the needs of you as an individual. Through continued consultation with your town, community, parish councils and elected members no community is overlooked. The area also borders 2 other Force boundaries which causes us to be ever vigilant to traveling criminals, officers patrol the extremities of the area late at night and in the early hours often in conjunction with officers from West Mercia and Cheshire. This is just one example of our activity which often goes unseen but all contributes to making the Wrexham South area a safe place to live, work and visit.

Motion to Executive Board for Policy on Public Open Space

I am pleased that the Motion I submitted to the council's executive board to consider introducing a policy in Wrexham on Public Open Space was agreed which includes recreational and informal open space in the county borough. Officers have now been requested to bring a draft policy to the Executive Board on 14th July for consideration.

So far in Wrexham the following areas of public open space have been protected under the Owain Glyndwr Fields initiative which I have been supporting. The initiative endorsed by the National Assembly for Wales, aims to establish an Owain Glyndwr Field in every unitary authority in Wales. A total of 6 fields have been protected in Wrexham which include Marchwiel, Heol Kenyon and Worsley Avenue in Johnstown, Rhostyllen, Worthenbury, and Chirk. A further three sites are currently being protected this year following the 2008 nominations at Minera, Ashfield (Rhosddu) and Bangor on Dee. The Owain Glyndwr Field initiative assures local communities of the protection of their playing fields in the name of the last Prince of Wales, and the sites at are the have the privilege of having a field dedicated in his name. Each site also displays a distinctive plaque.

Wrexham & Shropshire Train Company NEW FARE Structure

Wrexham & Shropshire, the train company which runs services from Wrexham, through Shrewsbury and Telford to London Marylebone, becomes the first rail operator in the UK to banish confusing ticket options. Wrexham & Shropshire’s new flat fares sweep away the confusion by introducing a fixed price ticket valid all day.

New research from You Gov shows that 71% of all people who travel by train believe that train companies should simplify the number of ticket options. 34% of people who travel by train find buying tickets on the day of travel confusing, with more than a third (34%) also reporting
that they find it stressful.

Interestingly for an industry recently in the headlines for having the most expensive fares in Europe, and for a Government continually seeking a reduction in car usage, 66% of passengers polled said that they might use train travel more often if there was a simple flat fare.

Wrexham & Shropshire the first to make fares simple and great value, it has also introduced a “buy on board” policy. Whereas most companies put barriers up to stop passengers getting onto their trains without a valid ticket, Wrexham & Shropshire will be encouraging people to buy on board.

From 23 March passengers will be able to purchase the new Wrexham & Shropshire tickets for a fixed price, valid for travel from 30 March on any train, any day, any time. See the website for more details - www.wrexhamandshropshire.co.uk.

Return fares from either Shrewsbury or Telford will be just £40 all day, compared with Virgin’s ‘Anytime’ £163 from Shrewsbury and £149 from Telford. Indeed, in a move that really highlights the difference in value, even the new First class fare with Wrexham &
Shropshire will still cost less than a Standard class Virgin ticket.

News of the flat fares has been welcomed by Simon Pickering from Passenger Focus, who said: "Wrexham & Shropshire passengers will appreciate this move as it gives them a clear idea of how much their journey will cost from the outset and confidence they can use a
different train if their plans change."

For as little as £10 for a single journey direct to London Marylebone, passengers can continue to take advantage of Wrexham & Shropshire’s Advance fares. These bargain fares are available at www.wrexhamandshropshire.co.uk

New Fencing for Bungalows

Work is soon to start on an Environmental improvement scheme to erect wrought iron fencing to the Bungalows in Heol Y Cyngor and Y Gesail, a local contractor will be carrying out the work and will be completed in March.

Proposed New "Puffin Crossing" Point

A new "Puffin Crossing" signal controlled will be installed on B5605 Ruabon Road Johnstown to assist local residents to cross the road at this busy location.

It is hoped that the crossing will be installed in March.

Road Safety Eyesight Campaign

Recent tests carried out by Specsavers Opticians measured drivers’ long distance vision in North Wales and uncovered some shocking results. Findings indicate that more than one third of drivers in North Wales are putting themselves and others at risk because of poor and uncorrected eyesight. As many as 40% of drivers are unlikely to meet the required standards for safe driving and that over half (57%) had not had an eye test in the past two years as recommended by experts.

Drivers should have the ability to read a normal car number plate from a distance of 20.5 metres in order to comply with the law. The North Wales Road Safety Group, North Wales Police, together with the support of Specsavers have launched a campaign to encourage drivers to have regular eyesight checks, as well as wear their prescribed spectacles or contact lenses for driving.

Road Safety Officers will be out promoting the campaign throughout the coming months in order to raise awareness and encourage everyone who drives to take a regular eye test.

Improvements to Plas Madoc Household Recycling Centre

Plas Madoc Household Recycling Centre will close for six months on Tuesday 31st March 2009 and will re-open at the end of September.

The closure will allow extensive refurbishment and modernisation of the existing site to take place which will see Plas Madoc with a new and improved facilities for residents to use.

The current site is too small to serve the needs of the surrounding communities and improvements will also help increase recycling targets in Wrexham County Borough.

The benefits of the new facilities will be:

increased recycling facilities
more skips for more types of waste
different routes for HGV and private cars
the site will no longer need to be closed when skips are being emptied
split level design means no longer have to climb ladders to access skips which is safer and quicker

Whilst the site is closed residents are advised to use the Household Recycling Site at Bryn Lane, Wrexham Industrial Estate or if more convenient, the newly refurbished Brymbo Recycling Centre which opens to residents on 1st April 2009.

Wrexham Car Parks

As Lead Member for Environment and Transport I am pleased to support a reduction in long stay Car Park Charges from 1st April 2009.

Under the new pricing structure, All Day parking at the upper levels of the Peoples Market Car Park will be reduced from £4.00 to £2.00.
All day parking at Waterworld and the Crown Buildings (Sat/Sun) will be reduced from £4.00 to £3.00. Crescent Road car park will offer 3hr and All Day parking tariffs at £1.00 and £1.50 respectively.
A new 2hr tariff will replace the 3hr tariff at car parks at the library, Guildhall (Sat and Sun) and Market Street, priced at £0.60 pence for one hour and £1.20 for 2 hours. These car parks operate above the desired occupancy levels which lead to queues and overcrowding. Short stay car parking also alters at Waterworld to 2hrs and 3hrs at £1.00 and £1.50 respectively.

The upper levels of the Peoples Market's occupancy level are currently 53% so longer stay rates have been reduced to encourage long stay parking. The Library, Guildhall and Market Street and Crescent Road car parks all operate above the desired 85% occupancy levels and new tariffs introduced will make them more efficient.

There will be no change to the tariffs at St Giles car park, St Georges and the lower levels, short term stay at the People's Market.

Upvc Door Replacement Scheme

The Upvc door replacement scheme is due to be completed by the 31st March 2009 and includes properties in Hafod Wen, Heol Hafod, Cwm Glas, Heol Bronwydd, Heol Ddyfdwy, Heol Maelor, and Moreton Avenue Johnstown.

Johnstown Sports Pavilion

Johnstown football club has been successful in a bid for funding for improvements to the changing areas of the Pavilion buildings, this includes two new changing rooms and new toilet and shower facilities to support local football teams in the area. Planning permission was granted in December 2008 and work is expected to start in March 2009.

Biting back at loan sharks

Wrexham Council will be biting back against loan sharks, thanks to support from a specialist all-Wales unit.

Trading Standards Officers from Wrexham will support the Illegal Money Lending Unit, which is staffed by local authority experts and a seconded Police officer. The Unit has backing from the Welsh Assembly Government and the Department for Business Enterprise and Regulatory Reform.

In the months since it was launched, the all-Wales unit has already demonstrated the support it can offer Wrexham residents. Intelligence received via its dedicated 24-hour hotline has led to operations being launched against illegal money lenders ranging from small-time loan-sharks to organised and violent financial criminal operations. Loan sharks usually charge extortionately high interest rates and target the most vulnerable members of society.

As well as working to protect residents from loan sharks, the unit will increase awareness of the problems of illegal money-lending, promote support for legal lenders and provide assistance for victims. The team is already supporting victims, helping them with financial inclusion schemes and welfare support.

“Residents should be aware that there are alternatives, including the Wrexham County Borough Council Credit Union”.

Cheaper Rail Travel for Older People

I am pleased to support SENIOR Railcards for the over 60s are to be offered at a discounted rate to County Borough residents.

Those people who are eligible have until Tuesday, 23rd December to register their names with Wrexham County Borough Council for the new scheme, although payment is not due until February 2009. The Executive Board recently approved a new initiative to encourage people over 60 to benefit from reduced rail travel across the UK.

Senior Railcards will be made available at a discounted cost of £19.99, instead of the normal price of £24. The passes will be valid for 12 months from the date of issue and allow the cardholder to a third off all adult fares including advanced tickets.

For further information or to reserve a Senior RailCard contact Wrexham County Borough Council’s Public Transport Information Line on (01978) 266166.

Pubwatch launched in Wrexham Villages

People working in the pub trade in Ruabon, Johnstown, Rhos and Penycae can be assured of a safe and crime free working environment from today (19.11.08) when the Wrexham South Pubwatch scheme was launched.

The scheme in partnership between local landlords, Wrexham Council and the Police who will regularly discuss problem clients with a view to putting them on a "banned" list which will be circulated to all pubs in the area. The scheme also promotes awareness of binge drinking, spiking and drug awareness. It is an excellent way to ensure that staff have the
protection they are entitled to when they are going about their work. It is important that we work in partnership with local landlords and the police to identify those individuals who are causing problems and ensure their behaviour will no longer tolerated in licensed establishment."

Darren Whibberley, Neighbourhood Policing Sergeant for Wrexham South commented

"Pubwatch is fully supported by North Wales Police, it compliments ongoing police activity using the drugs dog Molly on licensed premises and joint operations with trading standards targeting underage drinking. We look forward to working more closely with licensees who partake in the scheme to encourage responsible drinking. If you have any concerns over any licensed premises in the South Wrexham area, please get in touch with your local Community Beat Officer , Police Community Support Officer or contact myself directly on 01978 348266, or by email darren.whibberley@nthwales.pnn.police.uk "

Opening of Owain Glyndwr fields at Worsley Avenue

Three new fields in Wrexham are to be formally opened for public use as part of the network of Owain Glyndwr Fields established across Wales by the National Playing Fields Association on Monday 24th November 2008, one of which is Johnstown's Worsley Avenue recreational area. The dedication of this field will commemorate the life of Wales’ hero Owain Glyndwr.

A plaque will be unveiled and the local community can be assured that Worsley Avenue will remain a part of their community for ever more, allowing future generations to continue to use them and enjoy the public open space.

The National Playing Fields Association has arranged full legal protection for the fields, which means they can never be built on. The initiative, which has been endorsed by the National Assembly for Wales, aims to establish an Owain Glyndwr Field in every unitary authority in Wales.

Roads and Footpaths

I have continued to work with highways over the last four years and supported additional investment in our roads and pavements. Many roads and footpaths have been resurfaced in the village and this year in 2008/09 carriageway improvements will be improved to Linley and Bryn Avenue, together with footpath improvements in Snowden Drive, Rosse Avenue, and Plas Hafan.

Wrexham Council can now , RECYCLE YOUR TELEPHONE DIRECTORIES!

TELEPHONE directories, including Yellow Pages can now be recycled in the regular Recycle With Michael weekly collections.

Many people are currently receiving new Yellow Pages and Wrexham County Borough Council wants to remind residents about the new arrangements.

Residents are encouraged to include the directories in their green sacks along with their newspapers and magazines, residents can place them in the weekly green bag for collection. Their bulk also means that their inclusion will significantly add to the amount that the County Borough recycles as a whole.

Below are the items that can or can't be included in the green bag for paper recycling.

Acceptable Materials

Newspapers
Magazines
Junk Mail
White envelopes
Catalogues
Brochures
Phone directories
Yellow Pages
Greetings cards without glitter
Store directories
Office paper
Shredded paper only if you can't compost it at home, put in carrier bags so as to prevent windblown litter
Other paper that when torn reveals white or grey fibres.

Unacceptable Materials

All of the following can cause production problems if they get into the process:-

Unbleached brown card, both flat card and corrugated card
Brown paper bags
Waterproof or papers coated in plastic or metallic film
Food contaminated or wet paper
Burnt materials
Paper older than 6 months (except phone books that are alright)
Anything other than paper.


Kerbcraft DVD Launched at Johnstown Infant School

Johnstown Infant School has been involved in a number of road safety initiatives that have seen the school benefit from £35,000 of funding secured under the Safe Routes to Schools awarded by the Welsh Assembly Government.

Works to improve road safety included new access at the school gate in Melyd Avenue, a 20 mph zone in Maes Isaf, traffic calming measures, new pedestrian crossing access, new signage and "gateway effect road markings have been incorporated into the scheme.

Kerbcraft training has also been carried out by Wrexham Council's Road Safety Team and this will continue in subsequent years. The Road Safety Team have also launched a new kerbcraft dvd, featuring children from Johnstown Infants, which aims to promote the pedestrian safety for 5 - 7 year olds. Schools across the county borough will be invited to take part in the initiative.

School Children Name a locomotive

Children from Froncysyllte County Primary School attended a special ceremony with Wrexham and Shropshire Railway Company to celebrate winning the name a locomotive schools competition.

Dyfrbont Pontcysyllte ( Pontcysyllte Aqueduct) was chosen from a number of entries. Managing Director Andy Hamilton said, that Dyfrbont Pontcysyllte built by the world renowned civil engineer Thomas Telford was a fitting tribute especially as there is a very good chance the aqueduct will gain World Heritage Status next year. The locomotive, named 'Dyfrbont Pontcysyllte' will been seen traveling between Wrexham and London on one of the 5 daily services.

£600,000 Investment in New Sewage System

I am pleased that residents will see improvements to solve the long standing problem of flooding in Bangor Road, Linley Avenue, Worsley Avenue and Heol Orsaf. Dwr Cymru Welsh Water is investing nearly £600,000 into a scheme that will alleviate the risk of flooding to homes in Johnstown. I have been working with Welsh Water for over 2 years following many complaints from residents and hopefully these measures will address residents concerns.

The main sewer on Bangor Road has grown inadequate as Johnstown has developed, putting a strain on the system so that people living in Bangor Road, Heol Orsaf, Linley and Worsley Avenues end up with sewage in their gardens and driveways after a lot of rain.

Work will also be carried out to upsize a section of sewer pipelines and associated manholes along Bangor Road and Heol Orsaf to deliver considerable benefits to those local residents who have experienced occasional flooding during extreme weather conditions. Bangor Road will be closed for the duration of the scheme and there will also be road closures in place on Heol Orsaf in the later stage of the project.

Major Changes to Wrexham's Bin Collection Days

Major changes to Wrexham's bin collection service start next month on 4th August.

Members of the Executive Board have agreed the changes that will mean up to 60% of households will have their bin collection day changed. The decision follows a review of the efficiency and capacity of the current service.

In the coming weeks you will receive calendars and bin stickers stipulating their new collection day. The changes will be communicated through local media and within the communities.

To ensure a smooth changeover all households are asked to put out their general waste, (black or blue bin) along with their recycling boxes and bags during the week of August 4th by 7.30am. The following week will be as shown on the calendar.

The review has been necessary to improve efficiency and meet the demands of new housing developments. Existing rounds are operating at maximum capacity with little room for expansion.

By maximising the efficiency of the rounds the Council can reduce the overall mileage covered each day, saving 1,000 miles per fortnight and reducing the authority's the carbon footprint.

Dog Fouling

In order to remind people of the ongoing enforcement action Wrexham Council will be publishing monthly enforcement figures for dog fouling offences witnessed in the Borough.

Dog owning residents are being reminded of the need to be a responsible pet owner and always use a bag to remove their pets waste. Enforcement Officers regularly issue fixed penalty notices of £75 to those who fail to remove their dogs waste. The bags should be tied securely and placed in any available litter bin. Supplies of bags for the purpose are now
in stock and can be purchased at Crown Buildings in Wrexham, Alyn Waters and Nant Mill Country Parks and most local Estate offices.

For the months of April and May, 32 dog fouling penalties were issued by Enforcement Officers throughout the Borough. The areas of Gwersyllt, Cefn and Caia Park each recorded four fixed penalty notices. Three notices were issued in both the Llay and Rhos areas with other action recorded in Acton, Broughton, Esclusham, Gresford, Offa, Penycae,
Johnstown, Ruabon and Chirk.

Free Concessionary Travel on the Wrexham - Bidston Rail Service

From Sunday 18th May 2008 rail journeys between Wrexham railway stations and Shotton Station on the Wrexham Bidston Line will be free to Wrexham & Flintshire concessionary travel pass holders. The concession is valid on all services on the line except the first train into Wrexham which arrives at 8.34 a.m. The announcement which allows bus passholders to make free rail journeys between Welsh stations on the line. This pilot, for an initial one year period with Wrexham County Borough Council's support, compliments the free bus travel concession.

More information can be found at:-

http://www.wrexham.gov.uk/english/travel/bus/concessionary_travel.htm

http://new.wales.gov.uk/topics/olderpeople/news/freerailtravel/?lang=en

Customer Information Screens for Rail Passengers

New customer information screens have been installed at both Ruabon and Chirk Railway Stations. The screens on both platforms show live train running information and supplement the current public address system, giving valuable information to passengers on arrivals and departures. The project was funded by TAITH by utilisation of Transport Grant from the Welsh Assembly Government, through Wrexham County Borough Council.

The Customer Information Screens show scheduled and real time information on the next three or four services in the direction of travel, scrolling to display the stations which the next service will call at as well as its destination and the train operator. As from June 2nd 2008, Wrexham to Llangollen bus services will call at Ruabon Station.


Johnstown's Welsh Dresser on National Website

Following the launch of the Welsh Dresser Project on the 10th November 2007 in St Fagans National History Museum in Cardiff, Johnstown's Community Dresser Project is now being displayed on the National Museums website. An integral part of Oriel 1, the exhibit is currently on display and will be coming to Wrexham in the next few months.

Objects which were chosen include a Johnstown 2000 key ring, a miner's helmet, a commemorative tile, a present from South Africa and a fencing foil by Caroline Benson who has represented Wales in the Commonwealth games and more recently came second in the U20 British Championships. Caroline's aims to represent Great Britain in an Olympic Games.

The collection also includes one of Mark Hughes' Welsh shirts, on loan by kind permission from Wrexham County Borough Museum. Mark Hughes opened a Community Centre in Johnstown in July 2007 and used to play for a Johnstown junior team.

The contemporary dresser in Oriel 1 - curated by Johnstown Youth Management Committee - is a modern-day response to the traditional Welsh dresser. Oriel 1 focuses on what it means to be Welsh and to live in Wales today. Owain Rhys Curator of Contemporary Life said, 'Working with Johnstown community has been fantastic and we're pleased their efforts will be on view for others to appreciate.'

To view the website click on the following link: http://www.museumwales.ac.uk/en/rhagor/dresser2/

Parking Regulations

On 1 March 2008 a major change will be introduced to the way in which the County Borough's parking regulations are enforced.

What will happen on 1 March?
On that date Wrexham County Borough Council will take over responsibility from North Wales Police for managing parking enforcement throughout the County Borough. From then on parking attendants employed by the Council will be on patrol on the streets and Council car parks.

Why the Change?
The new parking enforcement arrangement is not about raising revenue.
There are a number of reasons all of which will benefit people living in, working in and visiting the County Borough.

Encouraging safe and sensible parking.

Improving safety for pedestrians and drivers.

Improving the general flow of traffic and journey times through the County Borough.

Preventing emergency and public service vehicles from finding their routes blocked.
Improving the general environment.

Freeing the police to concentrate their resources on issues felt by the public to be more directly their responsibility.

Over 220 local authorities around the country are already managing parking enforcement in their areas and have seen the benefits; many other local authorities will take on this responsibility in the future.

The official name for these changes is 'decriminalised parking enforcement' and means that parking enforcement by the Council stops being a criminal offence and becomes a civil contravention.

If you want more information about the new enforcement scheme then contact the parking services department:

By Post
Parking Services
Transportation and Asset Management
Crown Buildings
Wrexham
LL13 8BG

By Phone
01978 292042

By Email
parking@wrexham.gov.uk

"Owain Glyndwyr" Worsley Avenue - Johnstown

I am pleased that following a report to the council's executive board on 18th December 2007, Worsley Avenue in Johnstown has met the criteria under the "Owain Glyndwr Scheme" Fields in Trust initiative. Its introduction is intended to commemorate the 600th Anniversary of the Welsh Statesman to protect land for recreational use in perpetuity for the benefit of local communities. This now involves the council entering into a deed of dedication or transferring the freehold in order to protect the land for recreational use in perpetuity. I am particularly pleased that following the protection of Heol Kenyon last year Worsley Avenue has now met the criteria following my nomination.

Wrexham Council Launch Pride In Your Streets

There is now one phone number for residents to ring and report environmental concerns that may range from incidences of Graffiti to dog fouling and street lighting. A full list of all the services covered is available on Wrexham Council's website at www.wrexham.gov.uk.

The initiative will be accompanied by a high profile publicity campaign and the 01978 298989 number will appear on all council vehicles connected with Pride in Your Streets, to make sure as many as residents as possible get the message quickly and efficiently.

Pride in Your Streets brings together over 200 staff from several different departments within the Council who will work together to ensure that we all live in areas that we can be proud of.

I am constantly being told that having streets and communities which are clean, green, safe and well cared for is of paramount importance to residents, we all want to live in places we can be proud of. However, the public's enjoyment of our areas and the appearance of many streets is often spoilt by nuisances such as litter, fly posting, fly tipping, graffiti, dog fouling, overgrown hedges and refuse that's left out inappropriately.

Please use the telephone number on 01978 298989.

Services include Abandoned cars and cars for sale on the roadside, Amenity Areas, Cleanliness of Car Parks, Cleanliness of Street Signs, Dead Animals, Dog Fouling, Enforcement, Flooding, Fly Posting, Fly Tipping, Graffiti Removal, Grass Cutting, Gulley Emptying, Hand Bills, Landscaping/flower beds/trees, Leaf Clearance, Litter, On/Off street parking, Reactive Highway Works including Winter Maintenance, Recycling Bases, School Sites and others, Sharp Objects/Needles, Street Cleansing, Street Furniture/Fences/Railings, Street Lighting, Street Name Signs, Street Trading, Toilet Cleaning and Waste Collection.

Wrexham Wins Fields in Trust Cymru Award

Wrexham County Borough Council is the 2006 winner of the annual 'FIT Cymru Playing Field Protection Award' which is sponsored by the Royal Mail and was accepted by Wrexham Council at the the award from Arfon Haines Davies in a special ceremony at the FIT Cymru stand on the Royal Welsh Agricultural Showground recently.

The award is in recognition for the local authority or community group that has established the most amount of protected recreational land in the previous year in partnership with FIT Cymru. Wrexham County Borough Council won the award for establishing three Owain Glyndwr Fields at Marchwiel, Johnstown and Rhostyllen.

The Welsh arm of Fields in Trust, which is the new name of the National Playing Fields Association, was established in order to widen FIT's work throughout Wales. As well as campaigning and lobbying to protect playing, recreation and open fields, FIT also offers technical advice to field managers. It encourages play, recreation and leisure in schools
and the community.

Additional Bin for Large Families of 6 or more

I have recently supported a review of household refuge collection at the council's Executive Board where I supported a reduction from 8 people to 6 people eligible to apply for an additional wheelie bin in one household. In the first instance you should contact Wrexham Council who will arrange for a visit by the recycling officers to ensure that households continue to recycle. The Chief Environment Officer has delegated powers to decide on individual applications and a charge of £10 is applied if the application is granted. For further information or to arrange a visit by the council's recycling officers please contact Wrexham Council on 01978 292040.

What is Victim Support ?

I recently attended a presentation on Victim Support at Wrexham South Police Safety Group I attend. Victim support is a branch of the National Independent Charity dedicated to helping victims of crime. It is a group of local volunteers who are specially trained to support victims in the Wrexham and Flintshire area. The service is:

Free
Confidential
Independent

Available to all victims of crime without exception

What can Victim Support do to Help? Victim support can offer a range of services that includes

Emotional support
Practical advice
Help with criminal injuries compensation claims
Information about attending court as a witness
Accompanying people to the police or court Liaison with other organisations on behalf of victims

If you would like to speak to someone in confidence please call 01352 751538 or leave a message if the office is unattended.


Deputy Chief Constable Clive Wolfendale Visit to Johnstown (13th June 2007)

Clive Wolfendale
This is what the Deputy Chief Constable Clive Wolfendale said on his visit to Johnstown. A few days ago I made a visit to the south Wrexham area of the force, focusing on two very different areas: Johnstown and Froncysyllte. A walk round the former was an unexpectedly pleasant experience. I have rarely seen publicly maintained grassland so carefully tended. The trick is to co-ordinate grass cutting and litter collection.
Anyone who's ever accidentally strimmed a single paper tissue will know what a mess can be made; and yet all across north Wales you can find public lawns and verges where the shredded litter tattily mingles with the grass cuttings - simply because the maintenance services aren't joined up. They've got it right in Johnstown and, as a result, the whole area looks a treat.

Stiwt Theatre Rhos

I have been asked by the Stiwt Theatre for feedback on the services they provide to Johnstown residents. The theatre serves the whole of North East Wales, particularly Wrexham residents. The Stiwt are always interested in receiving feedback on the events and programmes offered and invite you to tell them if they are providing what you would like to see and hear. Contact 01978, 844053 or fax 01978 846191 or email, theatr@stiwt.co.uk with your comments.

Local Company Supports School Safety

A local delivery parcel service in Wrexham, McDonald Transport Services based in Whitegate Industrial Estate has donated 100 yellow High Visibility vests to Johnstown Infant School to help raise the profile of Road Safety. Many thanks to McDonald Transport for this kind donation. www.localdeliveryonline.com.

Warm Wales Scheme

Warm Wales is still available to residents and insulation is free to householders who are receiving qualifying benefit (housing benefit, income support, DLA, attendance allowance, pension credit etc) Local authority tenants or residents spending more than 10% of their income on fuel. All householders in the County Borough can also take up the offer of cavity wall insulation for £149 per household or loft insulation for £149 irrespective of house type i.e. semi detached or detached. For further information or to see if you qualify please contact 0845 026 1135.

Mobile Phones and Driving Don't Mix

Points on your Licence

It is illegal to use a hand held mobile phone when driving and the penalties are going up. From 27th February 2007 you will receive a £60 fine and three penalty points on your licence. If you get six points in the first two years after passing your test, you will lose your licence under the new drivers act. You can also be prosecuted for using a hands-free mobile phone if you are not in proper control of your vehicle. The penalties will be the same as for using a hand held phone. And the penalties for driving carelessly or dangerously when using any phone can include disqualification, a large fine and up to two years imprisonment.

Are there exceptions?

Yes- a driver may call 999 or 112 in response to a genuine emergency when it is unsafe or impractical to stop to make the call. The best advice is to switch off your mobile phone before you drive off.


Key facts on the smoking ban in WALES

The new law banning smoking in enclosed public places in Wales is due to come into force on 2nd April 2007. The aim of the smoking law is to protect workers and the general public from the harmful effects of second-hand smoke.

The law creates three specific offences:

* Failing to display no-smoking signs in premises covered by the law
* Smoking in a smoke-free place
* Failing to prevent smoking in a smoke-free place.

Similar legislation has already taken effect in Scotland and is proposed to come into force in England and Northern Ireland in 2007.

Very few exemptions are proposed to the smoking ban. The new law will affect most public premises, including restaurants, pubs, bars, shops, cinemas, shopping centres, leisure centres, other enclosed workplaces and public transport. For further information contact Wrexham County Borough Council on 01978 292040 or email smokefree@wrexham.gov.uk or visit www.smokingbanwales.co.uk .