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Archives for September 2006

Let us die in peace!

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Nick - Web Team Nick - Web Team | 09:34 UK time, Friday, 29 September 2006

It's quite an emotive expression, but that's what the older people in Flint appear to be saying about the plans to remove NHS beds from the local hospital.

The sentiments were made by some of 70 or so people who protested outside a meeting of Flintshire Local Health Board when the decision was taken to 'go out to consultation' regarding plans to move the beds from Flint Community Hospital as part of plans to revamp the heathcare provision in the town.

The local newspaper, the Evening Leader, spoke to protesters like Joan Hampson who said: "If anyone on that board knew what it was like to have a relative who wanted to die there they would not be treating us with such contempt.”

They also spoke with Janet Oare: "What right do the health board have to take away people’s right to spend their last days where they want?”

Meanwhile, the Daily Post newspaper reports that one board member, Flint councillor David Wilkes, resigned over the issue. The newspaper goes on to say the health board wants to build a state-of-the-art health centre, claiming it will cater for Flint's health needs into the 21st Century as the population is predicted to grow dramatically.

Health watchdog Clwyd Community Health Council agreed to write an article for this website to clarify the situation regarding planned changes in the region's health service. Take a look...

Bon appetit!

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Nick - Web Team Nick - Web Team | 07:55 UK time, Friday, 29 September 2006

The first Mold Food Festival gets underway tomorrow and includes a novel idea, a supper trail, where you can eat a meal with different courses in different restaurants around the town.

The festival site is being held at New Street, Somerfield Car Park, over the weekend. Bon appetit!

They closing our hospital?

Nick - Web Team Nick - Web Team | 08:56 UK time, Thursday, 28 September 2006

There has been much on the news lately about the shake-up in local health care as so-called Local Health Boards in each of our counties announce plans to 'modernise' the health service on our doorstep and which some have read to mean 'close down the community hospitals'.

To be honest, we felt it was becoming confusing so we asked Jean Mead, public involvement officer for the Clwyd Community Health Council - they provide advice and support if you have a problem or a complaint about NHS services - to explain the situation regarding the planned shake-up.

You can also post your views or ask questions on the page, Local health service - shake-up explained.

Old photos reveal resort's heyday

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Nick - Web Team Nick - Web Team | 08:43 UK time, Thursday, 28 September 2006

Rhyl Prom & Pier, c1880s
This rare photo shows Rhyl Prom as viewed from its former pier in the 1880s. It's just one of a series of photos reproduced in a new book showing how the resort used to look from the Victorian era. And, in a word, it looked 'impressive'. We've been given permission to use some of the photos so see for yourself, Rhyl's heyday. Today's visitors often get in touch to recount their holidays and say how much the town has gone downhill since the '60s.

By coincidence, the latest comment came in overnight from Joan who was born in Rhyl but emigrated to New Zealand and who writes: "I have been back three times but I really don't think I will return. It was so depressing to see what Rhyl had become, I wish that I hadn't returned so I could remember it how it used to be."

Get your kit off!

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Nick - Web Team Nick - Web Team | 08:34 UK time, Thursday, 28 September 2006

What do you reckon to news that pub landlords will have the right to refuse entry to anyone wearing sportswear, hooded tops and caps at night in a crackdown on pub crime in Rhyl?

BBC Local News has been following the story but the issue of club and pub dress codes has been raised time and again by customers and bouncers alike on this website. Check out their latest comments, Bouncers: The fashion police!.

You got a spare half million?

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Nick - Web Team Nick - Web Team | 08:27 UK time, Wednesday, 27 September 2006

Wrexham FC is receiving a £500,000 loan from Wrexham Assembly Member Dr John Marek AM who is vice president of the club.

Dr Marek said he would "abide by the rules" on declaring the loan as an interest in the Assembly, adding "I'm not going to make a penny out of it," reports www.sportinglife.com

My friends would find it hard to club together to raise £100 and I reckon the only thing my family will leave me are their debts!

Rhyl Lifeboat - busiest in UK

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Nick - Web Team Nick - Web Team | 10:49 UK time, Tuesday, 26 September 2006

Spare a thought for the Rhyl Lifeboat crew the next time you dip your toes in the sea off the North Wales coast.

Apparently, they the busiest lifeboat team on the UK coast, according to a report in today's Eastern Daily Press.

Don't jump you dummy!

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Nick - Web Team Nick - Web Team | 11:34 UK time, Monday, 25 September 2006

Llangollen Bridge - submitted by Mal today
A dummy was dropped 60ft into the River Dee from Llangollen Bridge and then "rescued" to highlight the danger of bridge jumping which has become a deadly summer time pursuit. The operation was staged by North Wales Fire and Rescue Service after a real jumper was hurt in the craze, reports http://icnorthwales.co.uk. Films of the stunts have appeared on www.youtube.com.

Your car an easy target?

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Nick - Web Team Nick - Web Team | 08:20 UK time, Friday, 22 September 2006

You ever had your car broken into by thieves? Or, worse, was it stolen? In Wrexham, North Wales Police say top of the car thieves' list is the Vauxhall Corsa, Vauxhall Astra, Ford Escort and Rover Metro.

To combat the problem police are offering remote car alarms to all drivers for £17. They go on sale from Monday at Wrexham Police Station. More info from www.north-wales.police.uk

Bar staff fined - for serving drinks!

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Nick - Web Team Nick - Web Team | 08:46 UK time, Thursday, 21 September 2006

Staff at three unnamed pubs in Denbighshire were given on the spot fines by police for serving drinks to drunken customers, reports The Publican.

The crackdown was part of Operation Uncork, in which plain clothes officers from North Wales Police and Denbighshire Council licensing officers visited pubs during a four-week period over the summer.

Also, underage test purchasers, aged 14-16, were sold alcohol on 22 occasions giving a failure rate of 58 per cent among the 11 pubs and 27 off licences visited as part of the crackdown, reports the trade paper.

Council website criticised

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Nick - Web Team Nick - Web Team | 08:36 UK time, Thursday, 21 September 2006

The Flintshire Council website [www.flintshire.gov.uk] has been named as one of the worst out of 100 monitored over a three month period checking basic levels of performance, according to reports on media company website www.vnunet.com.

Police v Press - a balanced fight?

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Nick - Web Team Nick - Web Team | 09:07 UK time, Wednesday, 20 September 2006

The war of words between the local media and North Wales Police continues today with the Daily Post striking the latest blow. In today's newspaper they show how they used the Freedom of Information Act to glean that the police had not disclosed more than 1,500 incidents over a single weekend to the Press and, therefore, the local community, including a sex attack and a suspicious death.

Yesterday, Chief Constable Richard Brunstrom used his blog to take issue with the BBC's approach to 'balanced journalism' on BBC Radio 2, specifically regarding a recent interview he did on The Jeremy Vine Show about new needle exchange dispensers. Mr Brunstrom labelled the interview an "on-air ambush", claiming the show used "‘antis’ to ask me questions on air in order to create controversy".

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Scala back in the news

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Nick - Web Team Nick - Web Team | 14:32 UK time, Tuesday, 19 September 2006

The people of Prestatyn have been given two months to prove that they can make a success of turning the former Scala Cinema into a centre for community arts projects. A press release issued by Denbighshire Council says the authority decided unanimously at a meeting today to give Prestatyn Town Council and residents until November before again discussing the long term future of the building.

Aussie fest

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Nick - Web Team Nick - Web Team | 09:18 UK time, Tuesday, 19 September 2006

A group of Aboriginal actors will kick-off a special Australia festival at Llangollen Royal International Pavilion.

The Yanagai! actors tell the story [Saturday, September 23, 8pm] of their people’s fight to reclaim land rights after the longest running case in Australian legal history.

Serious stuff aside, TV personality Germaine Greer is appearing on September 29, and comedian Adam Hills on September 30. To learn more about the Australia Festival or to book tickets, visit the pavilion's website [www.royal-pavilion.co.uk].

Denbigh hospital - homes plan back on?

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Nick - Web Team Nick - Web Team | 08:49 UK time, Monday, 18 September 2006

The on-off saga of the former Denbigh Hospital redevelopment plan looks like it's now back on as last-minute wrangles between the owners and the council have been resolved, according to http://icnorthwales.co.uk.

That won't necessarily be regarded as good news by some sections of the local community who wanted to see the building converted into a museum or community facilities. But surely it's better to safeguard the Victorian building in some shape or form rather than lose it forever as it has been empty and decaying for 20 years now.

A weighty problem

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Nick - Web Team Nick - Web Team | 08:42 UK time, Monday, 18 September 2006

What have the London & the separate Madrid fashion week got to do with NE Wales? Well, the girls and women who frequently get in touch with our website to discuss weight and being body conscious may be interested to know that doctors were on hand at the opening of the Madrid fashion week to ensure all models had a body mass index of 18 or more - with 18 being considered a far cry from being a waif. But there was no such policy today for the launch of London fashion week, sparking a row.

Roll out the red carpet for Bollywood

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Nick - Web Team Nick - Web Team | 14:21 UK time, Friday, 15 September 2006

There's a red carpet ceremony in Wrexham tonight for the premier of a Bollywood movie that was shot in the town as well as India.

As we mentioned earlier, Bhavishya: The Future, was put together by Nikhil Kaushik, 56, a Wrexham Maelor Hospital consultant ophthalmologist and includes cast members drawn from the hospital.

The film is to be shown from 6.30pm at NEWI until September 22. Tickets from Wrexham Tourist Information - tel. 01978 292015, and The League of Friends Shop at Wrexham Maelor Hospital or pay on the door.

BBC Wales Today will have a report on tonight's show which can be viewed online [from 6.30pm] until the next news programme is broadcast [Saturday, 5.45pm].

Hafod protesters risk losing support

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Nick - Web Team Nick - Web Team | 09:27 UK time, Thursday, 14 September 2006

Blogger Gareth Griffiths, a councillor in Coedpoeth, writes that fellow members of Wrexham Council - who did not vote against using Hafod Quarry as a landfill for rubbish from Merseyside - are receiving menacing phonecalls.

The protesters have had a degree of support locally and many of the protesters themselves are 'ordinary' people but the minority who take such action could cost the protesters their support from the wider community.

Our GP surgeries are Wales's worst

Nick - Web Team Nick - Web Team | 08:29 UK time, Thursday, 14 September 2006

Flintshire has the most sub standard GP surgeries in all of Wales. I couldn't find the actual hard figures but that's the findings of a survey by Pulse, the newspaper for family doctors, which asked primary care trusts, local health boards, and NHS boards, to say how many of their GPs' premises were below the set minimum standard. You can read the full story in today's society.guardian.co.uk.

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Why should we live in fear?

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Nick - Web Team Nick - Web Team | 07:57 UK time, Thursday, 14 September 2006

My wife is a keen runner and with the autumn and darker nights upon us she has limited time to go out and run. She carries a mobile phone and a rape alarm. The alarm is actually carried in her hand, finger poised on the release button. She's just a flicked switch away from calling for help. It shouldn't have to be like that whether you live in a big city or a small town like ours.

Fear of crime is a big and serious issue and it impacts on people's lives. It holds them back. But is the perception of becoming a victim of crime and actually becoming a victim poles apart? I'm sure it is but are you prepared to take the chance?

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'Modernising' the NHS in Wales - will it work?

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Nick - Web Team Nick - Web Team | 14:54 UK time, Wednesday, 13 September 2006

The thing that I keep hearing about all these planned changes to our local hospital services is that it's part of a bigger picture, a grand plan, and one that the powers-that-be are calling a 'modernisation of the NHS in Wales'.

Now I'm certainly no expert on hospital and health care management but, on the face of it, the 'changes', albeit still in the planning stages, don't appear to be for the best or else why would so many people come out in protest against them?

Is it the change we fear most or are people's concerns - mainly about reducing local services in favour of an improved central service - legitimate? I'd be interested in what you thought.

- Apparently, all the changes are being considered as part of The Welsh Assembly Government health strategy, Designed for Life.

The ships, the smells & down on the farm at the asylum

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Nick - Web Team Nick - Web Team | 10:07 UK time, Tuesday, 12 September 2006

We've just received three great articles from contributors that really help to bring to life the region's history.

Former Shotton Steelworks crane driver Vic Marland recorded the comings and goings of ships to the works' jetty between the 1960s-80s and his results show just how busy the Dee once was.

Meanwhile, brothers David & Robert Frost grew up at Victorian asylum, Denbigh Hospital, as their father worked there when it was self sufficient Stories from their childhood include the patients, the staff and several hundreds pigs on the working farm.

Finally, you can read or listen to a fascinating poem by Lawrence Curphey which recalls the smell that used to emanate from the former Monsanto's plant in Cefn Mawr. Despite what you might think, it seems people didn't mind it!

Landfill anger goes on

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Alys - Web Team Alys - Web Team | 09:14 UK time, Tuesday, 12 September 2006

The protest at the dumping of Merseyside's waste in the village of Johnstown continues and it's interesting to see how the internet is being used as part of the campaign. Seren reports on a protest attended by 150 people at the site yesterday and in turn links to hafodquarry.blogspot.com/ whose blog contains detailed reports and photos of the ongoing protest. This blog provides a link to wrexhamcc.co.uk, a new website which describes Wrexham as 'Liverpool's dustbin' and criticises Wrexham Council for their part in allowing the landfill to happen. [These websites contain adult language which may offend.]

The bulldozers coming?

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Nick - Web Team Nick - Web Team | 08:55 UK time, Tuesday, 12 September 2006

Denbighshire Council has just made available online its Local Development Plan [LDP] which outlines draft proposals for future building in the county and it's well worth a look to see if plans might be considered close to where you live. The most interesting section for me was the links to the documents which shows all villages and whether any land could be earmarked for building.

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What you got to be so happy about?

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Nick - Web Team Nick - Web Team | 14:51 UK time, Monday, 11 September 2006

Moel Arthur & Moel Famau from the summit of Moel y Cloddiau

For me it's countryside like this, the Clwydian Range, and it's on the doorstep, but Clark needs some convincing. He's a new arrival and he's concerned that after reading a few negative comments about Buckley on this website it could mean he's made the wrong decision in relocating his family from Anglesey.

Clark, let me be among the first to welcome you to our area. You'll find the folk up there in Buckley are a friendly bunch and us lot down in Mold aren't bad either. Remember, we all shout loudest about the things that get us going and not the things that make us happy.

I reckon there is a lot more good than bad about Buckley and the surrounding area. Two things stand out for me; the people and the fantastic countryside.

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Sorry is the hardest word!

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Nick - Web Team Nick - Web Team | 07:36 UK time, Saturday, 9 September 2006

I have to draw your attention to the Leader comment in the Daily Telegraph in which it takes a pot shot at our very own [love-or-loathe-him] Chief Constable.

It comes after the North Wales Police Force made a public apology for arresting the wrong man when he was in the wrong place at the wrong time during a robbery at McDonald's fast food restaurant in Ewloe.

Perhaps I should point out the robbery happened in 2002 and the apology was printed as an advert in the Daily Post newspaper on Friday - four years after police apparently burst into the man's home in nearby Queensferry armed with sub machines to arrest him. Do you reckon the apology is better late than never?

How do we make them listen?

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Nick - Web Team Nick - Web Team | 11:02 UK time, Friday, 8 September 2006

So, says today's Daily Post, an amazing 30,000 people have signed petitions against downgrading some of our local hospitals - but still the powers that be don't listen. What will it take?

Watch again last night's Wales Today for a full report and reaction to news that Llandudno, Abergele and St Asaph hospitals are to have their services reduced - and that this is just the start of the modernisation of Wales' health service. [Note. You have until 6pm today before the Wales Today report is updated]

Are you a complainer?

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Nick - Web Team Nick - Web Team | 07:40 UK time, Thursday, 7 September 2006

We've always been good at complaining - mostly between ourselves rather than offically registering our disquiet - but now, it seems, we really know how to stand up for ourselves. It's like everything else, I suppose, the more you do it the better you get.

My neighbour regularly gives the postman what for if he dares to take a shortcut over the lawn and my wife is a thorn in the side of customer service departments everywhere - most memorably when there were no brazil nut caramels in her tub of chocolates. If you don't ask, you don't get.

On a more serious note, what has struck me recently is the type of people I've seen protesting, fighting their corner for what they believe.

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Into the Dragon's Den

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Nick - Web Team Nick - Web Team | 13:06 UK time, Wednesday, 6 September 2006

Spare a thought for Stephen Bellis from Wrexham who goes into the Dragon's Den, tomorrow from 8pm - that's the BBC2's series where people pitch their business ideas to win cash from a panel of entrepreneurs who have no problem in saying what they think, reducing some aspiring millionaires to bumbling wrecks.

Stephen is asking for investement in his 'Nuts' poker pub league. The league is named 'The Nuts' because that is what you apparently call a good poker hand. According to the BBC publicity department, Stehpen's already attracting some big online poker names and he's hoping for up to £60,000 investment from the dragons to build his business idea.

- Last month, Matt Morgan, also from Wrexham, won $51,000 in a world poker contest in Las Vegas, as was reported by http://icnorthwales.co.uk.

Landfill decision is the pits!

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Nick - Web Team Nick - Web Team | 08:10 UK time, Tuesday, 5 September 2006

The fact that the people of Wrexham - due to environmentally pro-active Wrexham Council - have been working hard to recycle more waste now accounts for very little.

Think about it!. Despite the doorstep collections of recyclables from homes in Wrexham vastly reducing the volume of waste being tipped in landfills - the rubbish of Merseyside is being dumped here instead.

There's a cruel irony in that, don't you think? We're tipping less and yet other people can come here to dump their rubbish. What a stinker.

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Cool Cymru's back!

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Nick - Web Team Nick - Web Team | 07:11 UK time, Friday, 1 September 2006

I don't know if you agree but contributor Lewis got me thinking that so-called 'Cool Cymru' is back.

And you know what, people like Big Brother's Glyn and singers Cerys Matthews and Charlotte Church have something to do with it.

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Pushing up daisies

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Nick - Web Team Nick - Web Team | 07:01 UK time, Friday, 1 September 2006

Holywell's Pet Cemetery is the only animal cemetery left in a competition to find the UK's Cemetery of the Year due to the attention to detail given to the dearly departed creatures great and small, including a Rolls Royce hearse and personalised service, according to the Western Mail.

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