Request for Investigation by Well-being Commissioner

Wellbeing of Future Generations Logo

Introduction

The ongoing assault on the Well-being of the Community is giving rise to Rossett Focus Group having major concerns about the mis-use of the Well-being of Future Generations Wales Act 2015. This has been brought into sharp focus with the recent perverse Planning Decision here on Bellis Site in Rossett and also examples across in Flintshire. We are concerned that the Planning Inspectorate always claim that their decisions meet the requirements of this act by including a paragraph such as (IR97) in the granting of the Rossett Appeal. (Full Report)

In coming to this conclusion, I have considered the duty to improve the economic, social, environmental and cultural well-being of Wales, in accordance with the sustainable development principle, under section 3 of the Well-Being of Future Generations (Wales) Act 2015 (WBFG Act).  I have taken into account the ways of working set out at section 5 of the WBFG Act and consider that this decision is in accordance with the sustainable development principle through its contribution towards one or more of the Welsh Ministers well-being objectives, as required by section 8 of the WBFG Act”.

RFG regard such statements as hollow and insulting to the readers and what is seen to be a misleading interpretation of the Legislation when the actions clearly create further damage to the Community. RFG are so dis-satisfied with the way the legislation is being used to justify perverse decisions that accompany Planning Appeal Decisions that we have written to the Well-being Commissioner for Wales to investigate our complaints and concerns.

Nature of Our Concerns

There are a number of issues that relate to the holy grail claimed above as the “sustainable development principle” that seem to be conveniently overlooked as the Appeal Planning Inspectors push forward housing in unsuitable and unsustainable locations.

We have several major concerns as follows:

    1. The loss of Best & Most Versatile Agricultural Land on Rossett Site is a serious matter, once this is built out it will be lost to future generations for ever. This BMV Land is supposedly protected under Welsh Planning Law but the Welsh Government have published documents to the contrary to undermine any protection of this valuable land in Wrexham. 
    2. Welsh Planning Law requires that where adequate primary Health Care is not available planning applications should be refused. We all know the problems being faced by Alyn Family Doctors and the damage to the Doctors Practice by increasing patient numbers is creating but again this aspect of Community Well-being is ignored by Planning Inspectors and WCBC Planning Officers alike.
    3. The risks to flooding are completely dismissed by the Planning Inspectorate, prompted by WCBC Planning Officers and acquiesced to by NRW. This together with the Planning Guidance on Flood Insurance which is at a premium or not available in the vicinity of the Bellis Site is being totally ignored when this has a very real impact on the Well-being of the Community.
    4.  Unilateral declarations that footways and pathways are to be altered to suit a developers Active Travel Plans, even though they fail to meet Government Guidelines (Tan18) and the Manual for Streets and totally act against the Community interests especially the disabled or those persons with Protected Characteristics.  
Wellbeing of Future Generations Logo
Wellbeing of Future Generations

Request for Investigation by the Commissioner

We have requested that the Commissioner investigate all the above issues and the way the Well-being Act is being mis used and misquoted by The Planning Inspectorate to justify their decisions when there is obvious harm to communities.

In addition, we have requested that our evidence on the wrongful claims put out by WG on the taking without question of BMV Land in Wrexham be fully examined. We have drawn attention to similar Well-being problems occurring in Flintshire and have provided evidence to show that Rossett Planning Decision is being held up as beacon for any site with less constraints than Rossett and should be granted planning consent.

As a result, we have provided a substantial level of background evidence and reference material to support our request for a major review of mis-use of the Well-being Act in the Planning Appeal System and whether now it is fit for purpose.

We await a response to our letter of 25th June 2020.

Postscript: Equality and Human Rights Commission

In addition to placing a Well-being review request with the Wales Commissioner we have referred the matter of the defective Footway proposal on Rossett Road to the Wales Equality and Human Rights Commission to examine whether they are satisfied that it complies with the Equality Act 2010. A reply to the inquiry is expected by the end of June 2020 which was sent in March but the response was delayed due to the Covid 19 curtailment of investigations.

Boundary Commission Suspends Consultation

Map showing boundary changes between Rossett ward and the adjacent new ward of Llay/Burton

An update from the Chief Executive of the Boundary Commission in relation to the Wrexham changes.

See previous post about the Rossett/Burton village meeting to discuss the implications of the changes to the boundary.

Announcement

The Boundary Commission has decided to suspend its consultation in relation to its draft proposals for the future electoral arrangements for the County Borough of Wrexham. 

The Commission published its draft proposals on 7 January 2020. The 12-week consultation period in relation to the draft proposals commenced on 14 January 2020 and was due to close on 6 April 2020. 

The Commission was made aware that Wrexham County Borough Council was focusing its resources on the emergency response to the COVID-19 pandemic and it was unable to respond the Commission’s draft report. The Council requested that the Commission take steps to enable the Council to respond once its normal operations were restored. 

In the light of this request and the potential difficulties for other consultees due to the current pandemic, the Commission suspended the consultation in relation to its Wrexham draft proposals. 

The Commission will re-start this consultation on 1 July 2020 and will close on 13 July 2020.

Map Of Proposed Boundary

Proposed Boundary between the Rossett and new Llay/Burton Ward

Brush-Off by Wales Planning Inspectorate

Planning lies from the Welsh Government

Well we have the final brush-off by the Welsh Planning Inspectorate (PINS). It appears that they don’t want to hear from us again! Our experience of using the “NON-INDEPENDENT” complaints procedure aimed at the Planning Inspector and PINS has been somewhat as expected. It goes to show that a government body that regulates itself cannot have an independent viewpoint. It is basically a cover-up.

Summary

We regard the whole complaint process as an example of the wishes of the local community being discounted and totally ignored and that the stated policies of the Welsh Government can be casually treated by developers and their advisors to their advantage against the interests of the local community.

We do not intend to write further to PINs as all we will achieve is either no reply or a further attempt to justify the perverseness of the decision. We will now concentrate our efforts to frustrate the development as and when it comes forward with a developer at Planning Reserved Matters. We also intend to make representations to WCBC regarding the inappropriate use of SoCGs that undermine the Committee decisions.

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RFG Commentary on PINs Replies to Our Follow-up & Complaint Letters

Choice of Procedure

It appears that the Welsh Government had not asked for the procedure to be varied from an Oral Hearing to Written Representations but this was the decision of the Inspector. In the original PINs Response, it was stated “they are considered in light of whether what they raise are material considerations in planning decision making or not, and then how relevant the decision maker finds that consideration to be in the particular case before them”.  We can only conclude that our representations on behalf of the whole community of Rossett were not considered relevant.

Contrary to the claim made by the Appellant that he had spoken to a friendly inspector to have the procedure changed PINs advise they “can find no evidence that the appellant or their agent contacted the Inspector directly regarding the choice of procedure. I am satisfied that there was nothing improper in the choice of procedure in this case”.

 The Planning Inspectorate place information on their Portal (ACP) as a gesture to the public. We are advised the Inspector works off a separate system of files from those viewed by the public.

It would appear from the latest comments that little or no weight is given to Interested Party representations, although it is stated “and all representations submitted would have been available to the appointed inspector”. Whether the Inspector actually looked at all or any representations is not clear from the reply.

Accepting Statement of Common Ground

PINs response states “that the Inspector was entitled to rely on the evidence presented to him”. Quite clearly the Statement of Common Ground (SoCG) contributed to the undermining of the decision of the Council Members and the Officers actions in promoting a roadway were in contravention of the provisions of the Manual for Streets, Tan 18 and WCBC Planning Policy GDP1(d). In such an appeal determined by Written Representations, we consider SoCGs should form no part but this happened and cannot be changed.

Emerging Local Development Plan

The lack of an up to date Local Development Plan counted heavily in favour of approval in the recommendation by the Inspector. PINs acknowledge our view that the emerging Local Development Plan (LDP) and the extant Wrexham County Borough Council Unitary Development Plan (WCBC UDP) have been ‘cherry picked’ by the Inspector to justify his decision. PINs advises “that if you consider the Inspectors handling of the weight to attribute to the LDP and UDP is legally flawed you should address the matter in the High Court”.

We think such an action is ill advised because in the unlikely success in the, high cost, High Court the matter would be referred straight back to the decision maker (Welsh Minister) to make the same decision.

It appears to us that the Welsh Government sets out to grant speculative development as a penalty for a Community where a Council has not performed diligently to create a Local Development Plan. In Wrexham case we have been waiting for a new LDP since 2011 and this might happen in 2021 if we are lucky and the Inspectors find in the plan sufficient grounds for it to be approved. Until then more speculative development in Wrexham & Flintshire can be expected as neither Council has an up to date LDP.

5-year Housing Land Supply

PINs advise “where an LPA does not have an adopted LDP, or where an adopted UDP is outside of the plan period as in this case, it will not be able to produce a JHLAS and therefore will not be able to demonstrate a five-year supply of land for housing.”  This JHLAS provision of TAN1 has now been revoked but little help to us.

Although we submitted details before the deadline to the Planning Inspector that WCBC had announced they had a 5-year land bank and referenced LDP Document BP08B detailing this, PINs advise “that it was not incumbent on the Inspector to seek any clarification in regard to Council Document BP08B.  Paragraph 17 of the Inspector’s report is clear: “where an LPA does not have an adopted LDP, or where an adopted UDP is outside of the plan period as in this case, it will not be able to produce a JHLAS and therefore will not be able to demonstrate a five year supply of land for housing.”

As a result, this speculative development was granted because the Council have not got an up to date LDP.

Previous Application

The PINs response on the lack of information on previous Planning History Ref ROS 17649 is totally wrong. The Paragraphs referenced in the Inspector Report (IR62), (IR66) and (IR96) in no way relate to the complete previous planning history of Planning Application ROS17649 which was shown in full in RFG representation documents. This points again to the fact that representations from interested Persons such as RFG receive little or no consideration. In this context no consideration was given and the Inspector confirms this in his report (IR18) “Residential development and the construction of new vehicular and pedestrian access was refused planning permission under LPA Ref: ROS 17649. No further information has been disclosed.”

The Inspectorate’s Handling of Various Planning Issues

It is quite clear from PINs response that “You may not agree with the Inspector, but this does not mean the Inspector arrived at his findings in anything other than a fair and impartial way.  They were conclusions he was entitled to reach using his professional judgment”.

RFG still consider the final decision to recommend granting approval was perverse, bearing in mind the Inspector totally endorsed the Planning grounds on which the Council Members refused the application and does not award costs against the Council but still goes on to allow the appeal.

It is quite clear that RFG will never accept that the handling of the various planning issues was ever done properly to conclude with the decision it did, which we claim was against the weight of evidence submitted.

Validation of the Appeal

PINs reply on this matter is very interesting. When an appeal is lodged Appellants are advised that there is up to 7 weeks required to validate an appeal. The question arises from the PINs response “The requirements needed to make a valid appeal are listed at Article 26 (3) of the DMPO. The substance of an appellant’s grounds of appeal are not a validation requirement “.

The question therefore arises why PINs tell applicants that the grounds of the application must be validated when there is no provision for such in the Town & Country Planning legislation. If the matter is that simple why does the validation process (grounds not required to be demonstrated) take about 7 weeks and what are all the staff doing taking this long. This is just a question for another arena!

Evidence Placed Before the Minister & Inspectors
2 Different Decisions on LDP Soundness

On the PINs response to these issues the silence is deafening.

Failure of Planning Policy Wales

1.30 Managing New Development 

Development management is the positive and proactive approach to shaping, considering, determining and delivering development proposals through the process of deciding planning applications. It is led by the planning authority, working collaboratively with those proposing developments and other stakeholders including the local community. It must be undertaken in the spirit of partnership and inclusiveness (using the five ways of working) and supports the delivery of key priorities and outcomes (contributing to improving the social, economic, environmental and cultural well-being). 

Planning lies from the Welsh Government

Lesley Griffiths – Cabinet Secretary for Energy, Planning and Rural Affairs
Also MS for Wrexham – You couldn’t make it up!

Rossett in 1939

Following our recent post about the 75th anniversary of VE Day and Rossett War Memorial, it seems a good opportunity to list all the residents of the village back in 1939. Information relating to this period can be obtained on-line through a number of genealogy sites that have agreements with The National Archives (TNA). The data collection is known as the 1939 Register.

Historical Context

The 1939 Register provides a snapshot of the civilian population of England and Wales just after the outbreak of the Second World War. It was taken due to the onset of war with the purpose of producing National Identity Cards. The register later came to be multi-functional, first as an aid in the use of ration books and later helping officials record the movement of the civilian population over the following decades and from 1948. it was also used as the basis for the National Health Service Register. There was a legal requirement to carry an Identity Card right up to 1952. Name changes due to marriage etc. were recorded up until 1991 when paper based records were discontinued.

Example Page from the Register

What is in the Records

Rossett, in common with everywhere else, had enumerators visiting each property in the village to collect the name, date of birth, address, marital status and occupation of every person in the household. Rossett represented just a fraction of the 41 million people to be processed. It is important to know that the 100-year rule applies to the records. Roughly a third of the people recorded have their records closed until their death has been verified. Many of the blacked-out (redacted) names would have been children, and many are still alive today.

You may be able to find the following information (where available):

    • Name
    • Gender
    • Address
    • Date of Birth
    • Marital Status
    • Occupation
    • Whether Visitor, Officer, Servant, Patient or Inmate
    • Inferred family members
    • Other members of the household

Sometimes, you may see extra information on the right-hand side of the image, such as whether an individual had volunteered as an air raid warden. Some records include names crossed out with another name written in an annotation above or at the side, signifying the tracking of the population over time with the addition of women’s married names and other name changes over the years.

Browse and Search the Rossett Records …………..

Welsh First Ministers Response to Rossett Community

Introduction

In a previous post we set out our complaints to the relevant Welsh authorities. We had been directed towards these channels by the official complaint procedures on the Welsh Government website. It would appear from our experience that these channels are just methods for what you would call an initial “brush off” or as we see it “let’s sweep it under the carpet and they will go away”. Further details of the complaints can be read here:

We have already responded back to the complaint brush off by the planning Inspectorate (PINS) with a further detailed request to respond in earnest. We await their response.

The complaint against Julie James AM, The Minister of Housing and Local Government, according to protocol, had to be sent to the FM Mark Drakeford. Our complaint consisted of 11 pages clearly explaining the case, together with 13 pages of 3 appendices that had been referred to in the complaint. In addition we sent a further 10 appendices (250+ pages) of supporting information.

Response from First Minister

Considering the amount of evidence and information laid before the Mr Drakeford we were expecting a detailed rebuffal of our claims. What we actually received is shown below.

Apart from the fact he can’t spell received our evidence has obviously not been given any consideration, thus making the complaint procedure a farce.

RFG Response Back to Mark Drakeford FM

Today (3 June 2020) we sent our response back to Mr Drakeford…………..

Dear Mr Drakeford,

Complaint against the Minister of Housing & Local Government

Your response to our complaint against the breach by the Minister for Housing and Local Government Julie James of the Ministerial Code of Conduct is acknowledged. It does not however address the Complaints we have made. While we accept that the Ministerial Code relates to personal standards and behaviour you have taken no notice of the fact that in the Senedd on the 29th January 2020 she proclaimed her support for the Wrexham LDP and the number of houses allocated in the LDP stating were about right. She then goes on to make a decision on one of those sites on the 14th February 2020 on the spurious grounds that as the Local Authority do not have an adopted LDP they are deemed not to have a 5-year land Bank under TAN1 JHLAS. In the Welsh Minister Decision letter there are no less than 20 references to the emerging LDP so it is clear that her earlier reference to the support of the Wrexham Deposit LDP placed her in conflict with Paragraphs 3 & 4 of Propriety Issues in Relation to The Ministerial Decision Making on Planning Appeal and Called in Applications (Disclosure Document List 002). As her Officers were present at the housing numbers hearings, she knew that they had a 5-year land bank as at 3rd September 2019 long before the decision was made on the 14th February 2020. This we would aver is in breach of section 1.3 and in particular the Seven Principles of Public life notably Objectivity and Accountability of the Ministerial Code.

We are advised that the only documents she had before her when that decision was made was the Inspectors Report a couple of copies of the draft decision for her to sign and a couple of procedural documents hardly the best evidence (section 1.3 and Objectivity) and we have seen nothing to suggest her department were any better informed. If the decision is being made by the Welsh Ministers, surely, they should be aware of all the arguments not just rely upon the report of the PINs Inspector without question.

Because of the size of the site, this was an application which had to be placed before the Welsh Ministers for decision therefore Collective responsibility comes into account here including your own. (1.3 (v)).

Your comment that she had acted at all times properly on the basis of the professional advice that she had received, does not assist her. The Ministerial Code makes Ministers responsible for the policies, decisions and actions of their departments and agencies (1.3 (i)). This Ministerial responsibility for the decision is clearly set out in Paragraphs 11 and 12 of the Notes on the Processing of a Planning Appeal/Application following the submission of Inspectors Report to the Welsh Government Planning Division (Document release Item 001e). In this case she has breached Paragraphs 3.54 and 3.55, 3.69 to 3.71 and 6.3.11 of PPW10 and a host of provisions in the Wrexham UDP which remains the adopted Development Plan for Wrexham at this point in time. 

The PINs recommendation was made on the 14th November 2019 and the Ministers decision on 14th February 2020 and these decisions were made nearly 7 months and 4 months ago respectively and Wrexham Council have been given until 31st August 2020 to try to make the Plan sound on Gypsy and Travellers. The EiP Inspectors have not even indicated their wishes yet on housing or housing numbers. So at the time this speculative development was approved this site was outside the settlement boundary, in a green barrier, in a Special Land Scape Area, on BMV land, (southern site 100% grade 2 and 3a Northern site grade 2 and 3b) where this whole Community says the site floods and the doctors and schools cannot cope. The Minister also approved “improvements” to the pavement of an approach road which cannot be shown to be safe or to comply with the Manual for Streets. The decision was the Minister’s decision for which she must accept full responsibility. In other words, the “buck stops with her” or with the Collective responsibility of the whole Cabinet.

Therefore, to ignore the complaint we have made and to summarily dismiss the same without due consideration makes the complaints procedure somewhat farcical. Your endorsement of the Welsh Minister’s action has created precedents that clearly place the whole of PPW10 and Tan 6 in jeopardy and the Well-being of Future Generations is meaningless.

We await your further response in due course on these key issues of protocol and procedure.

Yours Sincerely

On behalf of Rossett Focus Group

We await a more appropriate response from the First Minister of Wales.

Rossett Complaint against Planning Inspector and Welsh Minister of Housing and Local Government

Proposed site in foreground

The Community of Rossett has been angered by the recent decision by the Welsh Minister Julie James to approve development of up to 132 houses on land owned by Bellis Bros to the North & South of Lane Farm Rossett contrary to the needs of the Community and in spite of the  refusal by the Wrexham Council Planning Committee and stiff opposition from the whole community represented by the Rossett Focus Group (RFG), the Community Council, the Ward Councillor and even Councillors from neighbouring communities.

Proposed site in foreground
Proposed Site In Foreground

The Rossett Focus Group has made a formal complaint about the way the Planning Inspector had handled the Appeal and the way in which the decision was communicated to the Welsh Ministers. Since then a further complaint  has been made against the Minister for Housing and Local Government, Julie James, claiming a breach of her Ministerial Code of Conduct in determining the Planning Appeal APP/H6955/A/19/3231048 and interference with the Wrexham Local Development Plan (LDP) presently the subject of an Examination in Public which should have resulted in disqualification of the Minister to make the decision.

The Rossett Focus Group has been concerned for a number of years that there has been something radically wrong with the Planning System in Wrexham and the way in which inappropriate developments have been forced through by Planning Officers who have been undermining Appeals against the decisions of the Planning Committee. 

In endorsing these complaints County Councillor Hugh Jones said regarding the Bellis Development:

“The perverse decision by the Welsh Government Ministers to overturn the overwhelming decision by Wrexham Council Planning Committee and grant approval for the destruction of our Green Barrier is a devastating blow to our community. Their report clearly shows all the evidence leads to a conclusion to reject the appeal, yet contrary to all local and national planning policies and contrary to their recently declared Climate Emergency, they have granted permission for uninsurable housing on land that floods”.

Read More………..

Nuisances in Rossett Green

Map of Rossett Green Area

Wrexham Advertiser 25 August 1866

Nuisances were a different matter back in this era. Rossett Green though seemed to have more than its fair share in the Wrexham area.

Rossett Green Area

In his book Reflections of a Bygone Age Raymond Lowe says by 1830 The Green had been totally enclosed by Chester Road, Chapel Lane, Holt Road and the short Lane above the children’s playing field. He goes on to say that at the lower part of the Green was a pond 60 yds by 55 yds.

Boards of Guardians were created by the Poor Law Amendment Act 1834, replacing the parish overseers of the poor established under the old poor law, following the recommendations of the Poor Law Commission.

Boards administered workhouses within a defined poor law union consisting of a group of parishes, either by order of the Poor Law Commission, or by the common consent of the parishes.

The first incarnation of the environmental health inspector was the Inspector of Nuisances, tasked with prowling poor neighbourhoods and stamping out insanitary habits.

Transcription

WREXHAM BOARD OF GUARDIANS.
THURSDAY, AUGUST 23, 1866. 

Present: T. Edgworth, Esq., in the chair; Mr Wright, Ruabon, vice-chairman Mr Whaley, Allington; Mr Rasbotham, Llay Rev. T. Williams, Broughton; Rev. J. Jones, Gwersyllt; Mr Edwards, Wrexham Abbot; Mr Lester, Bersham; Mr Jones, Erddig Mr Davies, Abenbury Fechan; Mr Newns, Gresford. 

NUISANCES

From Mr E. Morris, relieving officer, Caergwrle:— On property belonging to Watkin Williams, of Shordley, and occupied by John Lewis, there is a foul and offensive privy, the matter therefrom penetrating through the wall into the house of the said John Lewis. 

On property belonging to Henry Wilbraham, and others, occupied by John Youde, farmer, Caergwrle, the matter from the farm yard, and also from the dairy and kitchen overflows on to the township road for want of proper drainage, and is therefore very offensive and injurious to health.” 

Rossett Green, Allington. John Liversage has re- moved his midden, and his place is quite clean.

Rossett Green, Allington. On the property of John Moore, farmer, Harding Moore, occupied by Thomas Taylor, shoemaker, Rossett, the muddy ditch complained of by me last week has been partially remedied, still there is a quantity of stagnant matter. The land- lord, Mr Moore, has been to inspect the premises and says the road surveyor ought to fill it up. I consider this is the worst nuisance in that neighbourhood, and may be altered at a little expense. 

On the premises occupied by Thomas Thomas, blacksmith, Llay Smithy, there is a midden used by Thomas Thomas, Edward Jones, William Growford, John Finchett, Thomas Weatherby, and Robert Williams. This midden is within a short distance from these houses, and the liquid running on the side of the turnpike-road. W. Sisson, Llay Hall, rents these cottages. This will be removed.

In the High Lane, Llay. On the property of Elizabeth Tilston, occupied by Edward Kenrick, George Williams, and Ellis Williams have pig-sties built on the side of the highway. The liquid from these sties and the middens runs on the highway, which is very offensive to persons passing by. I am, gentlemen, your obedient servant, ED. LAWLEY, Inspector of Nuisances, Gresford. 

From P.C. Lawley, Inspector of Nuisances for Gresford : ” I beg leave to report that some of the nuisances previously complained of are abated.

Rossett Green, Allington. On the property of John Jones, Neptune Inn, Saltney, occupied by Thomas Price, Samuel Carwright, James Liversage, and Thomas Gibson, three middens have been removed, and Mr Jones is having cesspools made so as to prevent filth being deposited on the highway and is also having a large hole where the manure was kept filled up. 

Gun-street, Rossett, Allington. Mr Peters, of Brynyorkin, has drained his houses at the back, and has done some little at the pig-sties, but has not completed them yet.

Rossett Green, Allington. On the property of Ann Edwards, shopkeeper, Rossett, occupied by Elizabeth Gilham, Mary Gibson, and Robert Griffiths. The muddy surface drains complained of by me have been filled up with gravel, and two cesspools made, which is not complete yet. The middens are also removed and a cesspool made to contain the liquid from the pig-sties, which is not compete.

Rossett Green. William Taylor is filling up the ditch at the side of the highway, but is not quite completed.”

VE Day – 75th Anniversary

War Memorial

End of WW2 in Europe

The 8th May this year marks the 75th anniversary of the end of WW2 in Europe.

On 4 May just east of Hamburg British Field Marshall Bernard Montgomery accepted the unconditional surrender of German forces in the Netherlands, northwest Germany and Denmark. On 7 May, at his headquarters in Reims, France, Supreme Allied Commander General Eisenhower accepted the unconditional surrender of all German forces. 

The act of military surrender by Nazi Germany was first signed at 02:41 on 7 May 1945 in SHAEF HQ at Reims and a slightly modified document was signed on 8 May in Berlin.

Rossett War Memorial

Service men and women from every corner of the UK played their part in the victory. The UK had 450,700 military and civilian fatalities.

Many residents of Rossett took part and some paid the ultimate price.  The War Memorial at the front of Christ Church commemorates those unfortunate few.

The Rossett War Memorial was designated a Grade II listed building by Cadw in 1996.

Names on the Memorial Panels (1939-1945)

Information where available includes: Rank, Name & Service Number, Served With, Date Died, Age, Details of Parents, Cemetery or Memorial, 1939 Register Information

Bennion, Alfred
Private 13050627. Died 12/03/1944 aged 29.
West Yorkshire Regiment (Prince of Wales’s Own).
Rangoon Memorial, Myanmar (Burma).
1939: Alfred was living at 8 Pultation Cottages with his Widowed Mother Ellen, Brother Thomas and Sister Beryl.
Bolton, Thomas Gilbert Benson
Lieutenant 71457. Died 31/08/1944 aged 27.
Indian Electrical and Mechanical Engineers.
Son of Edward John and Florence Maude Bolton.
Buried Gauhati War Cemetery, Assam, India.  
1939: Thomas’ mother Florence was living in Rossett Hall
Brotherton, George
Seaman LT/JX 303176. Died 23/11/1943.
Royal Naval Patrol Service – HMS Santa. 
Lowestoft Naval Memorial.
1939: George was living at Briar Cottage, Vicarage Lane, Gresford with his parents William and May; and his brother John
Chapman, Frank William
Sapper 1895293. Died 21/05/1943 aged 24.
Royal Engineers.
Son of William and Elizabeth Mary Chapman.
Buried Medjez-el-Bab War Cemetery, Tunisia.
1939: Franks parents William and Elizabeth were living in Main Road Cottages, Lavister; together with his 3 brothers Oswald, Wilfred and Clement.
Davies, Reginald A.
No details known.
Finchett, Ernest
Private 4200996. Died 23/09/1944 aged 29
2nd Airbourne Battalion, South Staffordshire Regiment.
Groesbeek Memorial, Gelderland, Netherlands
1939: Ernest was living at 38 Waverley Crescent with his widowed mother Sarah and 3 brothers Charles, Thomas and William.
Finchett, Thomas Henry
Private 14657839. Died 12/04/1945 aged 21.
2nd Battalion Worcestershire Regiment.
Buried Maynamati War Cemetery, Bangladesh.
1939: See above.
Hawkins, Ralph Hamilton
Sergeant 1462088. Died 24/11/1943 aged 23.
Royal Artillery.
Son of James and Charlotte Hawkins.
Buried Christ Church Churchyard, Rossett.
1939: His parents and 2 sisters Muriel and Dorothy and brother William were living at Newhaven, Chester Road.
Jackson, James Henry
Private 3718668. Died 12/07/1944 aged 26.
Devonshire Regiment.
Son of Frederick Charles and Ada May Jackson.
Buried Tilly-sur-Seulles War Cemetery, Calvados, France.
1939: Living at 8 Cromer Crescent with his parents, sister Dorothy and 2 other siblings.
Johnson, Arthur
Gunner 958456. Died 12/06/1944 aged 25.
Royal Artillery.
Son of Frederick and Alice Johnson.
Buried Bayeux War Cemetery, France.
1939: Arthurs parents were living at 5 Waverley Crescent with his siblings Harold, Leonard and Beryl.
Lowe, Ralph Frederick Manley
Major 13132. Died 05/01/1946 aged 48.
Royal Artillery.
Son of Francis Manley and Beatrice Mary Lowe; husband of Margaret Lowe.
Born Freshwater, Isle of Wight.
Buried Christ Church Churchyard, Rossett.
Connection with Rossett unknown.
Lucking, Kenneth Stephen Bamfylde
Captain 42126. Died 19/05/1940.
Cheshire Regiment.
Buried Isieres Communal Cemetery, Hainaut Belgium.
Connection with Rossett unknown.
A Lucking family were living in Darland Hall at this time. 
Phoenix, George Dennis
Sergeant 2215390. Died 11/04/1944.
Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve.
Son of George Phoenix and of Annie Phoenix.
Buried Poix-de-Picardie Churchyard.
1939: Georges parents and siblings were living at 12 Cromar Crescent.
Roberts, Ernest Verdun Carnoy
Lance Corporal T/172870. Died 04/04/1941 aged 22.
Royal Army Service Corps.
Alamein Memorial.
1939: Ernest was living with his parents Charles and Elizabeth, and sister Dorothy at 4 Pultation Cottages, Rossett Road.
Samuel, Frank Blelock
Flying Officer 104454. Died 08/01/1943 aged 20.
Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve.
Son of Harold and Helen Samuel.
Alamein Memorial.
1939: Frank was living with his widowed father Harold and 2 siblings in Darland Cottages. He was still at school.
Sprent, William Swanson
Sergeant 1133844. Died 13/09/1942 aged 20.
Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve.
Buried Yatesbury (All Saints) Churchyard.
1939: William was probably living with his widowed mother Agnes at Bodalyn on Chester Road.
Suckley, Harry L.
Private 366370. Died 06/06/1944 aged 23.
Parachute Regiment.
Son of Mr and Mrs Arthur Suckley; husband of Beatrice Violet Suckley of Dover, Kent.
Bayeux Memorial.
1939: Harrys parents were living at 18 Harwoods Lane with 4 siblings Nellie, Arthur, Gwendoline and Gladys.

Sources:


1939 Register:
The 1939 Register was taken on 29 September 1939. The information was used to produce identity cards and, once rationing was introduced in January 1940, to issue ration books. Information in the Register was also used to administer conscription and the direction of labour, and to monitor and control the movement of the population caused by military mobilisation and mass evacuation.

The records of the 1939 Register were subsequently used by the National Health Service at its inception in 1948 and became the NHS Central Register, transferred to the Health and Social Care Information Centre (HSCIC) in 2007, and now called NHS Digital.

The records remained with the NHS up until 1991 – therefore most changes of name between 1939 and 1991 are listed in the records. Although all changes of name or address should have been notified, this did not always happen, and it was no longer a legal requirement after the National Registration Act was repealed in 1952. Changes of address were recorded only at the local level, and so do not appear in the 1939 Register.

TNA – The National Archives
Commonwealth War Graves Commission
Clwyd Family History Society
Ancestry
Find My Past
Welsh Newspapers Online 

St Peter’s Well

Location Map of St Peters Well

Is it now time for this medieval Holy Well associated with the lost St Peter’s Chapel to be reinstated as an additional tourist attraction for our village?

St Peter’s was a private chapel of the Lord of the commot of Marford.

It was pulled down at the end of the 18th century and the bell was taken to Trevalyn Hall.

The following article is reproduced by kind permission of Ian Taylor.
Ian is the author of the Well Hopper website.
(Exploring the ancient holy wells and healing wells of North Wales).

St Peter’s Well Rossett by Ian Taylor

Article dated –

There could be those who don’t want you to visit St Peter’s Well at Rossett. It may not be protected by a strange force field or guarded by a secret society of mysterious albino monks; but the spring is surrounded by lengths of severe rusty old barbed wire half hidden in the undergrowth. The field in which the well lies is further surrounded by an insurmountable barbed wire fence, and the padlocked field gate has similar wire wound around all the cross bars. St Peter’s Well does not welcome visitors these days.

The Report of the visit by the CPAT archaelogists in 2011 states 
“The owner could not be located, and the field access has a locked and barb-wired gate prohibiting entry”. [1]

Whatever happened to the Indiana Jones spirit?

The coflein record describes St Peter’s chapel well as “450yds North West of chapel, now choked, but spring still flows”. This remains an accurate description. It was impossible to identify the precise spot at which the spring rose in the dense undergrowth; however the water does still flow, and produces a stream which flows along to  Llyndir Lane forming the boundary between two fields.

Somewhere in the mass of undergrowth and wire below is the spring

The stream flowing out from St Peter’s Chapel Well

rossett3

Francis Jones records St Peter’s (Ffynnon Bedr) as being – possessed a reputation for the cure of sore eyes and sprained limbs, and was still being visited at the beginning of the present (20th) century. I suspect it is rarely visited for any reason now.

[1] CPAT Report 1090 April 2011. See links page for CPAT website.

This Article – All text and photographs (c) Ian Taylor

Flood Risks & Household Insurance in Rossett

Alyn Pub 3 March 2020

RFG members have been following up on Item 2 from the meeting held on 8th March. We have now had a response from the Association of British Insurers regarding our query in the LL12 0DS area (Bellis Site location). We are advised that as ABI are the trade body for insurance companies, they are unable to comment on coverage for individual properties. However, we hope you find the information they have provided below useful. 

The ABI Commented

The insurance industry worked with Government to develop Flood Re, a world first insurance scheme which creates a competitive market for high flood risk homes by enabling householders to access affordable flood cover.  Further information on Flood Re is available on their website www.floodre.co.uk and there is a list of eligible insurers here

However, it is worth noting that for a property to be eligible for the scheme it must be built before 1 January 2009.  This specific criteria was agreed with Government in an effort to not incentivise developers building in areas of flood risk. Residents can check there whether their property can qualify for Flood Re here

 Improving the planning process to prevent inappropriate developments in high flood risk areas and including sustainable drainage systems (SuDS) in all new developments have long been key campaigning asks the ABI has made to the Government. While there is a clear need for affordable homes, it is short sighted to build them in areas at high risk of flooding and SuDS will help to mitigate the risk of surface water flooding. 

 Finally, if you or any other residents are struggling to find cover, as well as speaking to insurers directly, you can use an insurance broker. The British Insurance Brokers’ Association (BIBA) runs a ‘Find Insurance’ service, which can be contacted at https://www.biba.org.uk/find-insurance/ or 0370 950 1790. A broker will be able to discuss options regarding insurance coverage.

The Focus Group View

RFG view regarding the Flood Re insurers list is that, it may be useful to those people who cannot get Insurance. Bear in mind that 5 insurers on that list have already declined insurance cover locally on houses built before 2009. If you are not insured with them already they are not obliged to quote. From our knowledge we have found that properties with postcodes LL12 0HB, LL12 0ED, LL12 0EJ and LL12 0DZ, have been refused Flood insurance by Allianz, AXA, Direct Line, LV= and NFU. These are just 5 of the Companies on the list refusing flood insurance to the property postcodes listed, but there may be others of which we are unaware.

Response to Welsh Govermment (TAN15)

We have responded to the Welsh Government Consultation on Flood Risks (TAN15) and along with the ABI we are hoping for significant improvements in the way Flood Risks and the Issue of Flood Insurance Consultations are handled.

We have recommended much greater Planning involvement with the Insurance Industry and utilisation of historic local flood records to alleviate future flood risk problems.  We are advised that the updated TAN 15 should be published very soon possibly in April 2020, but this might be delayed in the current pandemic circumstances.