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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.

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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Surgery warns of "collapse" over doctor shortage

Patients of a large GP practice in Denbighshire which is struggling to fill vacancies are being urged to protest to politicians.

A GP practice in Denbighshire says a shortage of doctors could see it collapse. Credit: PA

Doctors at the Pendyffryn Medical Group at Prestatyn have warned that they are under such pressure that they may have to cut back on some services offered and that patients will have to wait longer for appointments.

Last week one of the practice’s partners, Dr Eamonn Jessup, who is chairman of the North Wales Local Medical Committee, warned that the shortage of GPs in North Wales was so desperate that the region’s service was “only three years from collapse”.

The Pendyffryn practice used to have nine partners but there are now only five, and three of them are over 58 years of age.

In a note to patients they apologise for delays in fixing appointments, explaining that they face “extreme difficulties” in replacing GPs who have left.

“The resolution of this is beyond the influence of the practice or indeed the local health board by itself. If you wish to support a sustainable GP service in Prestatyn we would be most grateful if you could discuss this with your local politician."

The British Medical Association “GP cares campaign” is calling for a long-term, sustainable investment in GP services and the RCGP has an on-line petition which the Prestatyn patients are urged to support.

Hopes for hovercraft on north Wales coast

Hovercrafts like this one are already being used to carry passengers in Scotland. Credit: Michael Boyd/PA Wire

A hovercraft service could soon return to the north Wales coast after more than 50 years, if proposals go ahead.

Bidding is currently underway from two companies, to operate crossings between Rhyl and the Wirral.

If plans go ahead, it could mean passengers could use the scheduled service, and complete the trip in just 30 minutes.

Draft licences have already been granted by Denbighshire County Council, but a full licence is needed in order for the hovercrafts to land on Rhyl beach.

It's been more than 50 years since the world's first commercial hovercraft service made its maiden voyage from North Wales.

The 'flights' ran on a 19-mile route on Rhyl and Wallasey on the Wirral.

It took 24 passengers, and cost £2.

Nova Centre redevelopment takes a step forward

Denbighshire Council has released artist's impressions of what the redeveloped site could look like Credit: Denbighshire Council

Plans to redevelop the Nova Centre in Prestatyn have moved a step closers after Denbighshire Council approved its investment in the project.

The council has now approved investment of £108,864 to help the £3.6million redevelopment project reach the 'detailed design stage.'

The project will now move on to the 'detailed design stage.' Credit: Denbighshire Council
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