Christmas Newsletter 2017

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Dear Resident,

I was shocked and saddened to hear of the untimely death of our AM Carl Sargeant.  He had lived all his life in Connah’s Quay and was proud to have been a Town Councillor and then Assembly Member.  Also he was a Minister for over 10 years.  His work helped shape many of the Assembly’s policies and was a loyal fighter for his Alyn and Deeside constituency.  My thoughts go to his wife Bernie, family and all his close friends.  This has been a very sad time for the Labour Party.

Also we lost a long standing member of the County Council, Cllr. Ron Hampson who sadly passed away.  He will be missed by all.  There has been a by-election and Cllr. Andy Williams (Labour) is now the member for that ward.

I want to welcome all new residents and if you want to be a volunteer for any of our events, please contact me.

General Election –  Mark Tami was re-elected  for Alyn and Deeside with over a majority of 5,000.  Mark works very hard for our communities and he has asked me to thank all those who came out to support him on polling day.  He said he will continue to give his best in representing the people of Alyn and Deeside irrespective of whether you voted for him or not.  For advice or time of surgery please contact him on 01244 819854

Flintshire County Council Elections  -  Cllr. David Williams and myself were unopposed.  It was the first time our ward has never had an election.  I have been very proud and privileged to represent you over the past nine years and will do my best to support you over the next five years.

The political landscape is as follows – Labour Group 34 Councillors;  Independent Alliance 14 ; Conservative Group 6; Independent Group 5; New Independent Group 6; Lib Dem Group 5.

Cabinet Members are The Leader Aaron Shotton,  Finance, Deputy Leader Bernie Attridge,  Community and Enterprise; Billy Mullin, Corporate Management and Assets; Ian Roberts,  Education and Youth; Christine Jones, Social Services; Chris Bithell,  Planning and Environment, Carolyn Thomas,  Streetscene and Transportation and Derek Butler, Regeneration.

Budget  - This is a difficult time for FCC.  We are facing a cut in our Welsh Government grant and have no protection against the costs of inflation and the increasing demands for services such as social care.  We are facing a budget gap of around 13 to 14 million.  This is on the back of successfully achieving budget efficiencies of around £80m over the past decade.  It is unreasonable for councils to be put in this position.  Governments have a responsibility to properly fund councils to provide local services to meet the needs and entitlements of communities and citizens.  FCC has very difficult decisions to make and unfortunately because of the shortfall in our budget, a decision has been made to pay £30 a year for our brown bin waste.  It is with heavy heart I agree to this, I did not at first, but I use this service and with the other recycling more than anything (along with many other residents) and I would rather keep it than lose it. Unfortunately FCC has to save somewhere, there is no other choice.  There are still more cuts to come in the New Year which could see the closure of local facilities.  We are in a very sad situation.  Our Council Tax only makes up for just 20 to 25% of the money for all our services, the rest comes from the main Government, Welsh Assembly and funding.

Community Council -  The new Committee is - the Chairman  Cllrs. David Williams, Vice Chair, Jeff Priddin, members of the Council, Margaret Jones, Edwina Davies, Linda Vidamour,  Sarah Kenworthy, Mark Rothero, David Walker, Alan Wight, Richard Bestwick, Roy Wakelam and myself.  All these members bring so much knowledge, different ideas and have different political persuasions, which all makes it good for our ward’s future.

Ysgol Penyffordd  -  It is very good news for the village that we are having a new school built.  I have been asked by many residents about which sites were considered and could there not have been a brand new site available.  The funding for the new school has come from the Welsh Assembly and Flintshire County Council.  WAG insisted that Flintshire owned land should be used.  The Education Development Team looked at three sites, Penyffordd Junior, Youth Club and Abbots Lane.  They felt that the Junior site was too small, the youth club was prone to flooding and too small and it was earmarked for a play area and junior football pitch.  In my own view it was the busiest road in the village and too small.  Cllr. David Williams strongly favoured the youth club  but finally it was decided that Abbots Lane was the most suitable environment for children.

This site does have its faults and the Traffic Assessment has now been published.  It is 349 pages long but I was not happy with some of this document and I have challenged Flintshire County Council over it. They have now taken on board some of the resident’s concerns. The building needs not to be too overbearing for its neighbours.

The school Governors and the Head also favoured this site.  There have been meetings with Education, the developer Wynne Construction and Flintshire Council Chief Executive to raise resident’s concerns.  Wynne Construction have taken on board what residents views were and have come back with another design that is better but some residents feel the apex is too high and needs dropping.  Unfortunately it would be impossible to please everyone, I wish we could.  There was a request from the Senior Football Club and Cllr. David Williams for showers and dressing room in the new building but as it would have a detrimental effect on the children’s space it was agreed by Governors that this should not happen.  If there was space on site or at the back of the bowling green then the facility could be used for both organisations or if that was not feasible just one.

Suggestions have been made to me about car parking and whether a one way system through the estates would be a viable option.  All these issues have been put to FCC whether its residents or myself. 

Our MP has asked whether an increase from the 40 car parking spaces would be feasible.  All in all when everything is sorted out our community needs a new school or pupils will have to go elsewhere.  It is common sense that our children should go to school in the village and I do thank the Welsh Assembly Government and Flintshire County Council for giving us the opportunity.

Park Crescent  -  It is most important that the residents of Park Crescent have a space to park and for emergency vehicles so please have some consideration  when picking up your children that you leave the parking bays for them and do not block anyone’s drive.  You would not like it outside your home.   Thank you

Village Functions  -  The Institute and Penyffordd Area Community Association (PACA) had a very busy all day breakfast.  Many people worked very hard (not only on that day but the day before to set up).  I would like to thank all volunteers for taking the time to help out, also the younger people and Guides.  We could not do without you.  A special thank you to Claire for organising it.  Lesters donate the tomatoes, eggs and mushrooms, the Spar – Bread and Milk,  Vaughan’s Butchers – bacon and sausage at a reduced cost.  Jemoley’s, Red Lion and Millstone give a prize for the draw.  If I have missed anyone out, I do apologise and thank you as well. We raised approx. £1,200 which is for the community.  Also I would like to thank those who attended

Carnival  -  It was absolutely a gorgeous day and very well attended.  Thanks to Claire, once again, who organised it, the Carnival Committee and all volunteers that worked so hard.  It was nice to see our M.P Mark Tami, who always attends this function.  Just over £5,000 was raised.

Recycling  -  FCC is delivering leaflets to explain the new recycling changes.  Hopefully, you all should have received them by the time my Newsletter is delivered.

Public Meeting, Wednesday, 27th September, 2017  - 

First of all I thank Cllr. Alan Wight, Clare Huber and Cllr. Roy Wakelam for all their hard work and we do not forget their wives or husband for supporting them. The following three main points were discussed:

1.     New School  -  Wynnes gave a very good presentation on the new school.  They have listened to a number of residents, Councillors, Governors and have changed the plan that was given out to a more suitable building to fit in with the area except that some residents feel that the apex is too high.   The roads around the school are a concern to the residents.

2.     Hanson Cement – Dave Quick, Manager (it was very kind to give us his time) gave a very good presentation.  Residents still have concerns about the new mill and noise from trains in the future. 

My view is that Hanson’s will not just stop at three trains because in the future they will want to manufacture more cement, which is expected,  so that means more trains and what impact will the noise level have on the village and when will those trains run, will it be day and night.

3.     Planning Applications -  Alan and Clare gave an update on all the planning applications in the village –

There is a Public Inquiry for the Hawarden Road development on 16th January, 2018 at Theatr Clwyd, Mold starting at 10 am and scheduled for three days. There is another planning application in for a retirement village on Rhos Road.  Once again this needs to be turned down and in the LDP.  The application which has been passed on Rhos Road has not got, in my opinion, the correct mix of houses and they need to be changed.  It needs a re-think before the developer builds any houses.   They all took questions from the floor

Further Application  -  I have also had an Inquiry for a development to be built on Vounog Hill.  I cannot believe it.  This is in its infancy but yet another one to fight against.

Institute  -  This is the only building that the village owns and it is where the majority of organisations use it most days and nights and, of course our yearly events.  The War Memorial plaques are inside this building where we have our Remembrance Service. There needs to be money spent on it to bring it up to standard but it would have to be in two phases.  The Section 106 money has been passed by the Community Council to help the Institute update the building.  Most residents I have spoken to have agreed to this proposal.

Chris, Trish and The Ramblers  -  Over many years Chris, Trish and The Ramblers have raised thousands of pounds for different charities and what we do without them.  They should all be recognised for their hard work.  This year it was for Betsi and we all hope everything goes well with her treatment.

Forthcoming Events – There will be a Pensioners Party at Institute on Saturday 16th December, between 2 and 5 pm, buffet and entertainment.  Christmas Carols for the family at the Institute on 24th December at 7 p.m.

Dog Fouling  -  I notice that this still is a real problem in the village and I feel so sorry for the responsible dog owners who do everything right.  For those who do not clean up their dog’s mess or if you are walking someone else’s dog please think and say to yourself if I do not pick this up I could make a child really ill or blind, so please pick your dog mess up and make our village dog dirt free.  Thank you.

The Dog Control and Dog Fouling Public Space Protection Order will require dog walkers to:

·       Remove dog waste immediately from the ground at all public locations

·       Put their dog on a lead when directed to do so by an authorised officer.  This only applies to any public land where a dog is considered to be out of control or causing alarm and distress

·       Keep dogs on leads in cemeteries;  Have a means on their person to collect dog waste from the ground if asked by an authorised officer;  Dogs are excluded from entering - Equipped children’s play areas

·       The playing area of specific sporting or recreational facilities;  School Grounds;  The playing areas of marked sports pitches;  Dogs will be able to be exercised in areas surrounding the marked sports pitches, there is not a blanket ban on dogs in areas with marked sports pitches.

·       Breach of any of these conditions will result in the issuing of a Fixed Penalty Notice of £75.

School Transport  -  Unfortunately this year at the beginning of term the transportation  to different schools caused real problems.  The procurement process began in March 2016 and took 18 months to complete.  This is due to the complexity of the process and the need to ensure that all of the existing operators were fully engaged.   There was then too much demand for some services on the opening days of the new arrangements.  The comprehensive review of the transport provision in September resulted in a number of key improvements for the future being identified.  These will be implemented jointly by the Integrated Transport Unit and Education to minimise future risks to the quality of the service.  This will avoid a large scale re-procurement exercise during a summer recess and improve practice in meeting deadlines for renewal; actively promoting parental responsibility for applying for passes in good time and this message being reinforced by schools. 

Police  -  There has been a number of anti-social behavior incidents, one being a fire in the community garden.   After it was discussed at Community Council, Cllr. David Walker and myself went to see surveillance cameras in Saltney.  We felt that they would be very useful for keeping an eye on our valuable equipment on the playing fields and garden.  Cllrs. David Williams, Jeff Priddin and myself met with two gentlemen that had installed cctv in Hope and we discussed where best to put the camera.  It is not far from being finished.  Dial 101 for an incident number for anti-social behaviour

Wales Match and Wales Rally G.B.  -  If you like football or not I am so proud to see that a young man, Tom Lawrence, from this village score the only goal for Wales to win the match.  It is a great honour for him to represent his country.  Well done Tom.  Unfortunately Wales’ other game did not qualify them for the World Cup.

One of our Community Councillors, Richard Bestwick, was a co-driver in the Wales Rally G.B. but unfortunately they just missed out on finishing.

Cancer Research -  I attended a function at the Red Lion for Cancer Research.  Thanks to all those who helped and raised money for this worth-while cause.  They all worked really hard and it was a lovely afternoon tea. The sandwiches, cakes, etc. were gorgeous.

Community Transport -  This has now started and in the bus stops there is the timetable.  There is one by Wats Road, on the grassed area by Bilberry Close, New Road, Dobshill and Little Mountain Road.  This will take you to Buckley for the doctor’s surgery or picking up a bus that can take you to other areas.

Parking  -  When Parking outside your house please make sure a pram or wheelchair can get through otherwise you are obstructing the pavement.  Thank you.

Village Caretaker -  Alan has a lot more work with the play area as a lot of litter is not put in the bins but strewn all over the field.  Please try and put your litter in the bins.  Also there are quite a number of jackets being left.  I went down the other week and there were six.  Please make sure you take them home.

Remembrance Sunday-

Remembrance Sunday this year was really well attended, thanks to everyone who came. To improve things for next year, if anyone knows of a band that would be willing to help, please get in touch.

Chester Road Redrow Development-

I  attended the Public Inquiry into the Development submitted by Redrow for Chester Road but unfortunately you can never tell which way it is going to go.  All we hope it is not passed.

I WISH YOU A HAPPY CHRISTMAS AND ALL THE BEST FOR THE NEW YEAR

Cllr. Cindy Hinds
Labour
47 Berwyn Avenue
Penyffordd
Nr. Chester
CH4 0HS

Tel: 01978 761354

E-Mail: cindy.r.dennis@gmail.com

Alan Wight