AMBITIOUS plans for an emergency services super-hub in Wrexham are hanging in the balance.
An option for the fire service to pull out of establishing a joint fire and ambulance station in Wrexham was set to be considered yesterday at a meeting of the North Wales Fire and Rescue Authority at the Guildhall.
Members of the press and public were asked to leave when the proposal was set to be discussed as a private matter.
After the meeting assistant chief fire officer Paul Claydon said: “At the meeting authority members were presented with the latest detailed information in relation to the proposal.
“As the full audit of this project requested from the Welsh Audit Office has not yet been completed, members voted to await this information before taking a decision on the future of the project and, at the same time, to take the opportunity to consult the appropriate Welsh Government Ministers.
“A decision will be made at the next authority meeting.”
Minutes have revealed deep concerns over the proposals.
A meeting of the authority’s executive panel in February received a report with an update on the proposals.
Two recommendations were to be made to yesterday’s meeting. The first was for the authority to withdraw from the project unless it is able to bring it within budget and deliver a station which meets the authority’s needs within a definitive period and commences work on a viable alternative, namely a redevelopment of the Bradley Road site or another suitable site alternative in the Wrexham area.
The second was to appoint an external auditor to undertake an audit of the project to date.
Members noted the option carried financial and reputational risks to the authority, based on factors highlighted in a report to the executive panel.
In December a meeting of the North Wales Fire and Rescue Authority discussed the project, again in private.
Among the outcomes from that meeting it was resolved to note the cost of developing the site to required standards had resulted in a significant investment into the infrastructure.
In order to deliver the project in collaboration with the ambulance service a increase in the approved budget would be required.
Costs for the buildings had been minimised to save money, potentially resulting in an aesthetically unappealing structure, but one which would fulfil operational needs.
The minutes showed Mr Claydon had talked about flooding issues with the current site on Croesnewydd Road.