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Thursday, January 31, 2008


Fire at Hewitt's Barn behind the butchers

Click images to enlarge

Fire started about 6.45. ? At first I thought is was a house on fire. Firebrigade turned up at about 6. 55 pm. Three fire tenders I think. Also in attendance in plain clothes North Wales Police Inspector Alun Oldfield who said hello.
Two Police officers in attendance, may be from Buckley. Not PC Chris Pullen who was perhaps off duty.
Local young man who lived not far from the fire was angry because he thought local youths had probably started it. Took the fire brigade about 15 minutes to get blaze under control.

In one of the images the leylandii can be seen on fire. The nearest houses were down wind of the barn, then there were the very tall leylandii trees and then the houses. The houses seemed less than 75 yards from the burning building. With the severe winds blowing towards the houses there appeared to me a danger to the houses if the fire brigade had not acted so quickly.
Local butcher Steve Vaughn went to see if he could contact Mr Hewitt who owns the farm.
The farm building are in the area where local youths have been causing trouble. Three weeks ago they trashed the phone box. Is it the same youths?
Police helicopter turned up 7.40 pm and did some hovering for 20 minutes.

90 minutes after the start the fire brigade are still there trying to totally extinguish the smouldering building which I think contained hay. The buildings are part of what you used to be the turkey farm.
120 minutes on the firebrigade still struggle to put out smoke.

Link The Evening Leader

Wednesday, January 30, 2008


The excellent Paul Flynn MP
Link here

Two tales of MP innocence are circulating here.

One Welsh MP is freely sharing his own embarrassment. He had a call from a local newspaper, ‘What do you think of the amount of dogging that is going on in your constituency.

‘I strongly support it,’ he helpfully suggested, ‘There should be more.’

The bemused reporter pressed for more details of the MP's enthusiasm. The MP was under the impression that dogging meant clearing the streets of stray dogs. It was delicately explained to him that there was another meaning to the word. His enthusiasm was withdrawn.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Penyffordd Neighbourhood Forum Feb 2007

The next forum date is the 8th February 2008, at 7pm. PC Chris Pullen will be in the chair.
Chris is North Wales' Police answer to Robocop. He has to duck through doors to avoid head damage or perhaps door frame damage. Very polite and friendly but not one to try it on with.

Access to Healthcare Fears for Penyffordd

Traffic Update

I found a letter from Nigel our Clerk to the Penyffordd Community Council over the weekend acknowledging my complaint about speeding. I notice it is One Year and 25 days ago.
So we have all these people killing themselves on the roads over the last month. The speed they killed themselves at are the speeds that vehicles fly through Penyffordd by the 1000 daily. We have some Police Inspector from up the coast who is going to investigate why these people are killing themselves. Just platitudes to the masses. I can write a 5 minute blog on what kills these people.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Showtime at Penyffordd British Legion

The North Wales Branch of the George Forbmy Society will be at The Legion on Friday 1st February at 7.40 pm. Admission 50 p. Call Alison Nadin on 01745 330668 for further information.


Anastasia Dobromyslova was crowned the winner of the 2008 BDO World Professional Darts Championship. Anastasia practices in The Penyffordd British Legion. The BBC are coming down to do some filming. Maybe 2nd of February. Plz check with Legion.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Complaints and Enquiries to Flintshire County Council

With regards 2000 cars speeding through our village each day. I have started a formal complaint against Flintshire County Council. We are in the first phase where the complaint is looked at and an agreement or action made to satisfy the complaint is looked for. If satisfaction is not forthcoming I move onto the second stage.

Three FOIE's have been made to Flintshire County Council with regards the council, my county councillors Colin Bithell and David Williams, Chester Road, Welsh Government Assembly, developments that affect Chester Road traffic levels and the late Cllr Derek Darlington.

Your enquiry for Highway and Traffic Management has been passed on to the
relevant people within Flintshire and the call reference number is CC 0108

Monday, January 21, 2008

A Tale of Two Flintshire Villages

Populations Penyffordd 3500
Northop Hall 1600

Traffic Calming Penyffordd None
Northop Hall - Large bumps that make it impossible to speed through the village.

So we give twice as much money to Flintshire County Council for no benefits what so ever to village environment. Penyffordd remains a race track.

Well done Tony Sharps of Northop Hall. A county councillor with vision for village environment

Friday, January 18, 2008

Traffic Update to Inspector Alun Oldfield of North Wales Police

Dear Alun,
Hope you are well
I see we in Flintshire are currently having "an accident a day" in the speeding traffic department sometimes with fatalities.
Perhaps an epidemic?
The traffic here in Chester Rd, Penyffordd continues to fly through all day.
So the accidents are of little surprise.
I note that the traffic through our village has the ability to do 60 mph along
a route to school.
As you will be well aware my request for the traffic data has been denied.
My claim of 2000 speeding cars a day unable to be proved.
The figures are completely embarrassing and show that Flintshire County Council
have no idea what so ever with regards traffic calming in villages.
I have made an appeal against the refusal to supply data.
The refusal to show data just hides the complete inefficiency of Arrive Alive
with regards speeding traffic in villages.
I think it true to say that with their current resources they are unable to help much
with the current epidemic of speeding in North Wales
Airbus had a publicity piece in The Evening Leader about safe driving last Friday.
Their shift workers however continue to plough through our village from
before shift start to shift end.
Some of the speeders are Raytheon but I have an idea most are Airbus.
If the Arrive Alive data is looked at with shift patterns of Airbus and Raytheon
it will be immediately apparent that they are a major problem in the village.
Airbus' public relations piece has no relation to "the reality" what so ever.
The solution to Chester Road is the inability of vehicles to do more than the speed limit.
Wrexham Council the masters, Flintshire Council the dunces.
kindest regards
Colin Hughes
ps I wonder if the new Corporate Responsibilty laws coming in April will have Flintshire County Council and the Welsh Assembly putting Safety before Leisure with regards how they spend our money?

Thursday, January 17, 2008

How The Internet changed news

Technology means that any talented trouble maker with a modem can achieve Karl Marx's dream: ownership of the means of production and distribution. The internet requires no printing presses, delivery vans, distributors or news stands. No editorial restrictions, no proprietor, no once-a-day news cycle.

Link Guido

A car accident in Penyffordd

Doesn't say which Penyffordd. The only Rose Lane I know is in Buckley. My 2 penneth at the bottom. Their form will not let you put the word impotent in.

Link: The Evening Leader.

Postscript: My 2 penneth removed by The Evening Leader because I called Flintshire County Council, Arrive Alive and North Wales Police impotent with regards speeding traffic.
I think a little unfair.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Darts Match Penyffordd British Legion

Next up will be the Scottish Open on February 16 and 17, while Clwyd will host North Wales rivals Gwynedd at Penyffordd Legion on February 3.

Link here
Also here
and here

Airbus land Driving Safety Award whilst 100's of their shift workers speed through our village everyday

Click image to read.

In The Evening Leader last Friday. Airbus win driving safety award. They refuse to acknowledge that 100's of their shift workers some with illegal exhausts plough through our village each work day. The proof lies with Flintshire County Council and Arrive Alive who will not currently allow me to have the full data.
Quote Jim Gallagher " The award recognises Airbus's commitment to road safety at all times - not just when employees are on site.
Perhaps Jim should do a site visit to Penyffordd before shift start, changeover and finish. Tea and sandwiches will be freely available from my wife Lisa. Jim and I can watch the racing through the village.

keywords: Paul Mckinley (Airbus HR), Mark Stewart (Airbus HR). corporate responsibility, corporate irresponsibilty, corporate manslaughter, Jim Gallagher, Darren Collins, apprentice training adviser, transport manager, Wales National Road Safety Awards, Hugh Jones Arrive Alive Safety Officer, Flintshire County Council, Colin Everett Chief Executive, Dave Faulkner Director for Regeneration and Environment, Charles Hughes Head of Engineering,
Gerwyn Powell, Councillor Gareth Williams, Buckley, Brian Fleet, John Gillbanks, A380, Broughton, Chester, River Dee, Mostyn, EADS, Raytheon, Louis Gallois, 140001 certification, A320, A340,
CEO, A350 XWB, Toulouse, Thomas Enders, Hans Peter Ring, John Leahy, Fabrice Bregier, Lockheed, McDonnell Douglas, A300, A310, Deeside College, David Jones, A321, Boeing,

This is a recognition of Airbus' application of a robust environmental management system (EMS) to continually monitor and minimize the environmental impact of its production processes.
Not really fellas.

Link: Airbus Corporate Environmnet Statement

Link: Flintshire County Council

Sunday, January 13, 2008

I've found some more traffic for Chester Road

In The Evening Leader
A 13-acre site alongside the Saltney High Street has been earmarked for a 70,000sq ft retail development and 100 town houses, aimed at rejuvenating the town centre.

Did Cllr Colin Bithell gives the thumbs up to this

So now we have coming our way shortly.
1. A55 Warren Hall exit (Chester Rd a great short cut)
2. Warren Hall Business Park - 5000 employees
3. Broughton Retail Park
4. Wrexham UDP
5. Saltney Shopping Centre
6. 300 houses Penymynydd.

How many extra millions extra per year?

By the way we have a by-pass.

Regeneration without Environment.

Link : Saltney Retail Park

Meet my new Teacher of Protesting

Link: Comedian Mark Thomas
The Protester's Protester

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Further Details on the FOIE Refusal - My reply

Enquiry Reference FOI Dec 07.03

Request for information

1) A copy of the speed data survey carried out on Chester Road, Penyffordd during 2007.

My answers to the refusal in RED and BLUE

The Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) is designed to give a general access to information to the public and releases information into the public domain. However, the FOIA makes provision for withholding information that is crucial to maintaining the core activities of a public authority.

Information will not be released if it will affect the ability of the organisation in question to undertake its key functions. Or information that embarrasses the organisation.

Some exemptions are ‘absolute’ and no release is required under Freedom of Information legislation. Other exemptions are ‘qualified’ and we must undertake a public interest test to decide if disclosure should be made.

In the case of your request qualified exemptions apply and therefore a public interest test has been completed.

The exemption(s) being applied:

FOIA Section 31: Law Enforcement - a qualified and prejudice based exemption.

FOIA Section 38: Health & Safety – a qualified and prejudice based exemption

Harm Test

The information requested has been obtained for the purposes of assessing a site of community concern for safety camera enforcement. Whilst details are placed in the public domain as part of the usual business, to place maximum speeds and individual vehicles speed/times, patterns of speeding have been assessed to be operational information which could compromise law enforcement and the safety of the public. It has been shown that members of the public focus on the maximum speed which could be just one vehicle – possibly Police or other emergency response vehicle.

Yes the release of full speed data would be a huge embarrassment for Arrive Alive and Cllr Colin Bithell.

Release of the maximum and individual vehicle speeds could encourage some members of the public to start their own campaign against drivers who speed/or drivers who are perceived to speed. This could compromise the safety of drivers who are assessed to be exceeding the speed limit and the safety of any person who wishes to challenge speeders, placing those individuals in a position of harm with the potential to cause unrest within the community.

Members of communities start their own campaign's due to the failings of Arrive Alive, County Councillors, North Wales Police and county councils such as Flintshire.

Public Interest Test

Considerations Favouring Disclosure


· Accountability of the Safety Camera Partnership to respond to community concern of excessive speed.

Your current response is of little benefit to the huge numbers of vehicles that speed through Chester Rd Penyffordd.

Public Awareness:

· Ensuring public awareness of the issues in relation to vehicles found to be speeding in North Wales.

You hide behind average statistics which disguise the true scale of the issue such as that in Chester Rd, Penyffordd.

· Reassuring the public that relevant action is taken if excessive speed is shown.

Your reassurance does nothing to residents of Chester Rd and Penyffordd.

Considerations Favouring Non - Disclosure

Efficient and effective conduct of the force

· Speed survey results are already placed in the public domain, however, this does not include maximum speeds nor the speeds of individual vehicles with times.

The full data should be available to any community that asks for it.

· Explanations are given to members of the community as to why a site has been included for safety camera enforcement, or why a site has not been included.

· The release of operational information will potentially have a damaging impact on public confidence and hamper the prevention and detection of crime carried out by the Police and Partnership.

Most certainly it will have a damaging effect on the Arrive Alive Partnership.

· Partnership members’ work together to ensure the best processes are used to protect the public and that all legal requirements are met.

Chester Road, Penyffordd remains a race track for well in excess of a 1000 vehicles a day.

You have been aware of this fact for 24 weeks.

Exemption Provisions

The information being withheld is exempt by virtue of:

FOIA Section 31: Law Enforcement - a qualified and prejudice based exemption.

FOIA Section 38: Health & Safety – a qualified and prejudice based exemption

Balancing Test

Information has been released in relation to this request and it is only the details of maximum speeds and individual vehicle speeds/times shown in the survey which have been deliberated under the Public Interest Test.

It is felt that accountability has been achieved via the disclosure already made and actions taken as a result of the speed survey.

Accountability should be full and frank. The actions taken so far have been of very limited benefit to Chester Rd residents.

The actions of the Safety Camera Partnership are already accountable to the Welsh Assembly Government and the Department for Transport, and the provision of this operational information will not provide any further benefit to the public.

Yes it will . It will show the large gap between public perception and what is actually happening in villages similar to Penyffordd in North Wales.

It is the opinion of the safety camera partnership that the circumstances outlined in favour of non-disclosure of the requested information outweigh the benefits in disclosure.

The only benefit to non disclosure of the full information is to the Arrive Alive Partnership.

It disguises the perception of Arrive Alive being successful when in fact as far as Chester Road, Penyffordd is concerned Arrive Alive is not being successful.

The full information requested will therefore not be disclosed.

The bottom line being that this is a traffic calming issue for Flintshire County Council similar to that in the neighbouring council of Wrexham.
Below ar good examples of villages calmed.
Villages such as Rossett, Cefn Mawr and Rhos.

Flintshire County Council are wasting the resources of Arrive Alive. They know the scale of the issue. They have plans for a further million or so vehicles to use our village because of a poorly made bypass.
Flintshire County Council are being very mean spirited. They intend to allow Chester Rd to be the 2nd bypass as the current network will not cope. I expect Chief Executive Colin Everett not to go along with this deceit of Penyffordd village which he has inherited.

I intend to pursue this issue until it is fully satisfied.
We do have some good councillors amongst the very dead wood.
Compulsory 20 mpg for village centres and route to schools will also be campaigned for.
My non county councillor status should not be an issue.
It's the message not the messenger that is important.
Protests only start when you are ignored.

I notice new corporate manslaughter rules come into force April 2008.

A Letter from Arrive Alive Management with regards my FOIE

9th January 2008

Our Ref: FOI Dec 07.03

Dear Mr Hughes,

Further to your request for information I can now provide the following reply.

I understand you have requested a copy of the data following a speed survey carried out on Chester Road, Penyffordd during 2007, our ref SCFL26. According to the terms of the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) 2000 I can inform you that the information is held.

The survey data is interrogated by a specialist computer programme and provides detailed information. Some parts of the information are restricted and used for operational policing purposes but other information is routinely provided. Results show:

  • some 16854 vehicles were monitored between 26.04.07 and 02.05.07
  • an average speed of 32 mph
  • an 85th percentile speed of 38 mph. The 85th percentile speed is a road engineering measurement used by the Department for Transport and shows the speed at which 85% of vehicles travel at or below.
  • there are some peaks in speeding at approximately 0700 hrs and 2230 hrs
  • a higher volume of traffic at about 0830 hrs and 1730 hrs.

Operational information includes the maximum speed and individual speeds of vehicles/time etc. When assessing release of this information potential harm was identified, please see attached Harm and Public Interest Test. This therefore represents a refusal to provide this additional information under S31 Law Enforcement and S38 Health and Safety of the FOIA.

Chester Road, Penyffordd has been identified as an area of community concern and since a suitable parking location has been identified, Arrive Alive safety camera enforcement has been carried out. In addition, the area has been visited by the Community Beat Manager and Hugh Jones for educational visits. As you see there is effort taken to raise driver awareness of the speed limit but these measures are shared between growing numbers of sites.

It is planned to carry out another speed survey at the same site later in the year to show speed before and after enforcement and educational efforts.

I trust this information is helpful, however, in the event that you are not satisfied I have enclosed details of the FOI complaints procedures.

Yours sincerely,

Essi Ahari (Insp.)

Manager, Arrive Alive

North Wales Road Casualty Reduction Partnership

cc Hugh Jones, Arrive Alive Safer Roads Officer, Flintshire
encl: FOI complaints procedure

PIT test

An email to County Councillor David Williams with regards traffic increase levels

Hi David,
Hope you are well and your father stable.
Last night Community Councillor Linda Vidamour read out a letter at the Penyffordd Community Council meeting from Flintshire County Council with regards I think increased traffic levels for Chester Road, Penyffordd after future developments.
The Flintshire County Council response which I think was from Charles Hughes is an absolute disgrace.

As my elected representative I would like you to ask Flintshire County Council the following questions.

1. Traffic levels through Chester Road, Penyffordd 5 years ago.

2. Projected traffic levels post :-
a. New A55 Warren Hall exits
b. Warren Hall Business Park
c. Broughton Retail Park Extension
d. Future Wrexham UDP developments that will affect Chester Rd, Penyffordd.

I know that current levels are 2800 a day and rising.

I await a copy of correspondence from Dave Faulkner Direct. Regen FCC that you promised me.

regards Colin Hughes

ps. we still have 2000 cars a day speeding through Chester Rd, Penyffordd

Penyffordd a hick village?

Last night Community Councillor Linda Vidamour read out a letter from Flintshire County Council with regards traffic increases post Warren Hall and Broughton Developments. From what I can gather the answer was basically meaningless.
Flintshire County Council have something to hide perhaps.
FCC thinks Penyffordd a soft touch.
More councillors are needed like Linda.

hick meaning: gullible, a soft touch

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Cllr Colin Bithell on speeding traffic

The following article in The Evening Leader explains why it has always been a waste of time even talking to Cllr Colin Bithell about traffic calming. He just doesn't see all this speeding traffic as an issue in the centre of a village. He has absolutely no idea about village environment. He has been a politician for over 30 years, his quotes I feel are ill judged, we shall see.

The article starts:
By Petra Barnby A COUNTY councillor whose village is plagued by speeding drivers has condemned the use of night-time mobile speed cameras, branding North Wales Police's latest initiative against speeding as "overkill".

Click here for the rest


Only the bats and the badgers are left.

Penyffordd Panto

Click on Image

Frankenstein The Panto by David Swan

Traffic Speed Enforcement

An article in The Daily Post

“We in North Wales are determined to reduce collisions. Together with other agencies, we have adopted a strategy which includes education, engineering, engagement and enforcement,” explained Sgt Hughes.

When an area is identified as being a potential problem a speed survey will be carried out over a period of about a week to assess how serious the problem is.

Click here.

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

GPS may kill Penyffordd children

Certainly the growth of satellite navigation technology has turned residential streets in cities and villages around the world into rat runs.
Click here

Monday, January 07, 2008

Speed Protest 2008 Update

So here we are 2nd week into 2008.
My illuminated protest sign back in the hedge for 3000 drivers a day to see.
Just to remind.
We are a small Welsh village with a By-Pass. Unfortunately it's much quicker coming through the village instead of the By-Pass. Our two Flintshire County Councillors Colin Bithell and David Williams see little issue with many many 100's of speeding cars and lorries passing through the middle of our village which is a major route to school for young children. The village centre is also well used by OAP's and horses.
Many of them that work at Airbus and Raytheon have illegal exhausts that make the village centre sound like a race track.
Arrive Alive have been ineffective.
Flintshire County Council hold a grudge because I upset Head of Engineering Charles Hughes with comments on my blog.
By the way at a meeting with Charles Hughes he sat opposite me knowing fully well that 2000 cars were speeding through the village. He offered us an extra 30 mph sign and half a rumble strip.
I currently have a FOIA request for the traffic data taken before the meeting.

North Wales Police have had limited success in slowing traffic but the total solution requires civil engineering.

We currently get 1,022,000 vehicles a year through Chester Rd even though we have a by-pass.

Penyfordd village has currently been set up (shafted) to receive maybe 2 million extra cars a year. Flintshire County Council refuse to protect Chester Road, Penyffordd even though they have passed plans for
1. Broughton Shopping Park Extension
2. Warren Hall A55 exit construction
3. Warren Hall Business Park (5000 employees)

The above will add maybe 2 million extra vehicles through the village.
Our By-Pass poorly constructed on a shoe string cannot deal with current morning rush hour.
Hence drivers make use of Chester Rd which is now the 2nd By-Pass for Penyffordd
Wrexham UDP will also add more through traffic.

So the Welsh Assembly Government are going to "improve" local communications by dumping perhaps an extra 2 million cars through our village.
So much for the WAG's Manual for Streets.
Meanwhile our county councillors know this
(or should) and just sit on their hands.

Link : BBC The Late Derek Darlington

Thursday, January 03, 2008

Wrexham AM attacks 'council tax hypocrisy' - HAVE YOUR SAY

I think Lesley Griffiths AM ill advised.
"THE leader of Wrexham Council has hit back at allegations by the town's AM that the council is "short-changing" its council tax payers."

Click here

My 2 penneth in the comments at the bottom.

The running of Wrexham Council seems fine to me. A surplus in accounts and excellent traffic calming in villages such as Cefn and Rossett with compulsory 20 mph. Meanwhile here in Flintshire our village continues to be used as a 50 mph by-pass for over a 1000 short cut merchants each day. Our County Councillors sit on their hands. Chester Road in the hands of the law breakers.
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