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BREXIT and TWINNING

Whatever happens after Brexit, whether we are in or out of the Single Market etc. we in St.Asaph will still have our good friends in the community of Begard in Brittany, France. A few of us have been involved with the twinning from its beginning 22 years ago, others have joined along the way. At first, our visits were on alternate years – we visited Begard one year, and they came to us the following year. Eventually, in order to ease a little on the organising, it was decided to arrange our twinning trips every two years.
Throughout this period, some people in St.Asaph thought that the whole ‘twinning thing’ was just for a select few! This is certainly not the case, and we are constantly looking for other citizens to join us in what we can only describe as a very pleasant and enjoyable experience. Young families with children studying French in school will be paricularly welcome!
The lack of ability in speaking the French language, or even the Breton language, has never been an obstacle. Our friends in Begard are similarly affected by their fluency in the English or Welsh languages, although their grasp of English is normally far superior than our grasp of French!
Visits to our respective communities are usually held over four days. We are next due to travel to Begard in 2019, but in the meantime, our twinning friends are coming here during the August Bank Holiday period of this year! They arrive by coach on Friday 24th. and depart on Tuesday 29th. So, we appeal, to you our readers, to come and join us and be happy to receive Breton friends to your home.
A programme of events is in the process of being organised, which means that our visitors are usually with you on a bed-and-breakfast basis. Our Official Dinner will be held on the Sunday at the Bod Erw Hotel, and a tour to places of interest in North Wales, or even the North of England, will occur on the Saturday or Monday. Funds are available to cover these costs. Other events will be held locally, and there will be times for families to do their ‘own things’ as and when they please, should they wish to do so! Our visits to Begard follow a similar pattern. Our Chairman/Secretary is Elwyn Roberts, but he is currently out of the country, and therefore, should you wish further information on these fun visits, please get in touch with Austin or Vera Savage on St.Asaph 582866.

Businesses Offered Rate Revaluation Support

Denbighshire County Council is helping traders find the right support following the business rate revaluation.
The revaluation, which came into effect on April 1, will form the basis of business rate liability for the next five years.
It has been seven years since all non-domestic properties in England and Wales were revalued and the 2017 revaluation was based upon rental levels on April 1, 2015.
The Council will be applying any relief schemes automatically to businesses’ bills where possible as well as informing them of the help available.
Rebecca Maxwell, Denbighshire’s Corporate Director of Economic & Community Ambition, said: “Because 2017 is a revaluation year some businesses may see a large increase or reduction in their rateable value from their current valuation. In other cases the values will be broadly static.
“Denbighshire County Council is automatically applying rate relief where it is able to and publishing details on our website and social media for businesses, informing them of what schemes are available.
“It is vital businesses check to see if they may be eligible for a relief scheme and we would encourage any businesses who feel they are, to contact us for help and advice.”
Support from the Welsh Government includes Small Business Rates Relief, which offers a 100 per cent discount for businesses with a Rateable Value below £6,000 and a reducing tapered relief up to £12,000 as well as a Transitional Relief scheme to help protect small businesses from the impact of the revaluation.
A High Street Retail Relief scheme designed to help qualifying high street retailers where the business has had a significant increase in their bill is also available.
Denbighshire County Council collects business rates on behalf on the Welsh Government and then returns the funds to them.
The Council does not set the rates, the rateable value is assessed by the Valuation Office Agency, which is part of HM Revenue and Customs and Welsh Government sets the multiplier on which business rate bills are based.
If you would like the Council to review your eligibility for any of the relief schemes you can contact businessrates@denbighshire.gov.uk or 01824 706326 or for more information visit www.denbighshire.gov.uk/en/business/business-rates