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Council Tax rise for Denbighshire

Credit: Joe Giddens/PA Wire

Denbighshire County Council has confirmed its budget for the 2015/16 financial year, meaning that council tax bills will increase by 3.09% in total.

This means that the average council tax bill for a Band D property will be £1,422.40, compared with £1,379.73 in 2014/5.

We have tried to keep council tax increases as low as possible, as Denbighshire residents tell us regularly that is what they would like to see happen.

We have set and agreed this budget at a time of severe financial constraints, with protection for education, substantially protecting funding levels to social services and putting additional funding in to the corporate plan.

This budget is set at a time of unprecedented change for the organisation. However, we are pleased that we have been able to agree a budget that sets clearly how we are going to manage our finances over the next 12 months.

– Councillor Julian Thompson-Hill, Cabinet Lead Member for Finance

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Last-ditch attempt to save Prestatyn cinema

The Scala opened as the first all digital cinema and arts centre in Wales in 2009 Credit: ITV News

A bid to reopen Prestatyn's Scala Cinema will continue tonight, as campaigners come together to discuss funding ideas.

The centre closed its doors last week, in what's been described as 'a final attempt' to save it.

It comes after bosses learned they would lose its funding from Denbighshire County Council from April.

The Scala Trust are inviting members of the public and local businesses to come forward with fund-raising ideas.

Great British baker Peter nears 100,000th scone

Baker Peter Wright with his latest batch of scones and almond tarts Credit: Ceidiog

A 94-year-old baker from Denbighshire is nearing an impressive culinary milestone - 100,000 scones.

Retired policeman Peter Wright is Llanbedr DC's answer to Mr Paul Hollywood, and has been baking cakes for charity for years.

Peter estimates he bakes over 3,000 scones a year, and now he's decided to enter his next batch into his local Village Show.

Usually, Peter's scones and cakes have been made for charity, helping to raise money for Cancer Research, the British Heart Foundation, and other local and national causes. But when he's not baking for charity, he spends time delivering cakes and scones to his neighbours and family, including his 10 grandchildren.

Peter's scones are famous around here and whenever someone is holding a coffee morning they beat a path to his door.

He must have helped raise thousands for various charities and it's great to see him putting his cakes in for competition in the show at the Village Hall -you can bet there won't be any soggy bottoms on display from him.

– Chairman Huw Williams, Denbighshire County Councillor for Llanbedr

Peter's passion for baking goes back to his childhood in Lancaster, where his Aunt was a keen baker, but it wasn't until he retired at 65 that he really got stuck in.

Peter's scones are famous in the village Credit: Ceidiog

If anyone is having a coffee morning or other event they seem to come along and ask me and I will usually do two dozen each of scones, filled butterfly cakes, plain butterfly cakes, almond tarts and ten apple pies.

I start baking at about half past six in the morning and I'm still at it at nine at night but I enjoy it and it can help then raise £50 just from cakes and tarts.

– Peter Wright

Peter will show off his scones at this year's Village Show at Llanbedr, near Ruthin on Bank Holiday Monday.

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Deepcut inquest was 'extremely limited and had flaws'

The first inquest into the death of soldier Private Cheryl James who died at Deepcut barracks in 1995 was "extremely limited and had flaws," Judge Peter Thornton QC said.

Deepcut barracks in Surrey Credit: Tim Ockenden/PA Wire

Pte James was undergoing initial training at Deepcut when she was found dead with a bullet wound between her right eye and the bridge of her nose.

The first inquest was completed less than a month after she died. An early assumption had been that she had taken her own life.

"Her rifle was not examined forensically. No fingerprints were taken from it. No gunshot residue tests were made," Judge Thornton said.

Only a limited number of witness statements were taken. Very few witnesses were called to give evidence, and it was not surprising that the scope of the inquest was "circumscribed", said the judge.

The then Surrey coroner concluded with an open verdict after saying he was not able to find that suicide was proved beyond reasonable doubt.

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Soldier's family welcome new Deepcut inquest

The family of a soldier from Denbighshire who died at Deepcut barracks in 1995 have welcomed the news that there will be a fresh inquest into their daughter's death.

Pte Cheryl James, 18, was found dead from a single gunshot wound in November 1995. An inquest recorded an open verdict.

Cheryl James was undergoing initial training at Deepcut Barracks when she was found with gunshot wounds in November 1995 Credit: Family photo

She was one of four soldiers who died at the Surrey barracks between 1995 and 2002 amid claims of bullying and abuse.

Her parents, Des and Doreen James, applied through human rights campaign group Liberty for a new inquest after the Human Rights Act was used to secure access to documents held by the authorities about the teenager's death.

Mr and Mrs James said they were "delighted" to have a fresh inquest but "a meaningful inquiry into Cheryl's death is almost 20 years late".

Fresh inquest ordered over Deepcut soldier death

The High Court has ordered a fresh inquest into the death of soldier Pte Cheryl James who died at Deepcut barracks in 1995.

Cheryl James was undergoing initial training at Deepcut Barracks when she was found with gunshot wounds in November 1995 Credit: Family photo

Pte James, 18 and from Denbighshire, was undergoing initial training at Deepcut Barracks when she was found with gunshot wounds in November 1995.

She was one of four young soldiers who died at the barracks in Surrey between 1995 and 2002.

Family tribute to 'wonderful son' killed in A55 crash

The family of a man who was killed in car crash have paid tribute to their 'wonderful son'.

Gary Ratcliffe, 41 and from Manchester, died after a collision on the A55 at Rhuallt Hill.

Gary Ratcliffe died in a collision on Sunday afternoon. Credit: Family / North Wales Police

His mother, Eileen said: "He was a wonderful son, brother and uncle, who had lots of friends.

"Gary was a larger than life character who lived life to the full and he will be deeply missed by everyone who knew him."

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