I had submitted apologies that there would be no Our Heritage article this month as a result of my own period of hospitalisation which resulted in the fitting of a pacemaker. However the fact that Kath Graham is retiring as Editor of the magazine is something that really must be commented upon. In an ideal world I would have liked to have sat down and interviewed Kath to get her own views of the work which she has done on the Magazine for the last 26 years. It has transformed the Magazine and given it a broader community focus. The Magazine has reached out to 500 households and even had an impact overseas. It has become an established part of Our Heritage which enriches community life. It has also, for the last eight years, given me an opportunity to celebrate and comment upon the rich heritage of our locality. Thank you Kath for all that you have done.
We will all be delighted to learn that Rebecca Morgan and Claire Olsen are taking on the work of the Magazine. They both do have other commitments and it is a challenging but worthy task which benefits so many readers. I would like to wish them well in continuing with this work.
There are some other things which are changing within our community which will impact upon what we have come to regard as an established part of Our Heritage. Unfortunately the on-going financial challenge faced by Flintshire County Council has impacted upon some of the rural buses which have been a familiar feature along our country lanes. Penyffordd residents have been angered by the news that the 3A Arriva bus service between Mold and Chester is to be lost and have raised a petition to fight for its retention. Meanwhile news of the loss of the valued DB1 service has hit residents in Hope and Caergwrle hard, as specially as several of them depend on the service in order to access work. This copy of the Magazine may just reach readers in time to publicise the public meeting which is being called about the loss of the DB1 service. It will be in the Masonic Hall, High Street, Caergwrle at 7pm on Thursday 12th April. County Councillors for Hope and Caergwrle have arranged for this meeting to be chaired by Askar Sheibani, Chair of the Deeside Business Forum. It is understood that Steve Jones, Flintshire’s Head of Streetscene and Transportation will also be in attendance.
There is also the constant change which is impacting upon our countryside and open spaces as a result of housing development. Unfortunately speculators are taking advantage of the fact that the County does not yet have a Local Development Plan in place and cannot fulfil the requirement that it has identified a five-year supply of land for housing development. This gives developers a distinct advantage in getting applications passed. There are, and always will be, differing views about the need for housing development. In a previous article attention was drawn to the sad decline of the village pub which is often attributed to the lack of affordable housing for young people who wish to stay within a community and whose contribution would help to sustain shops, pubs and amenities. However those who have been used to living where there has been an open space often see the development as a loss of part of their heritage. There have been a large number of planning applications which have impacted upon the Penyffordd community in recent years. Meanwhile residents of Abermorddu are now learning of application number 058163 for up to 80 houses on land alongside Wrexham Road and have vowed to oppose this tooth and nail.
May I express my thanks an appreciation to the many members of the community who have expressed their kind regards to me following my surgery. I am making a strady improvement and your kind thoughts are appreciated.
The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not reflect the policy of Flintshire County Council. Readers are welcome to contact the author with any news or views on the local heritage at DHealey204@aol.com or by telephoning 01978 761 523.