WREXHAM Council could take over post offices at risk of closure to generate income and stave off cuts to frontline services.
Last week the leader of Wrexham Council, Cllr Neil Rogers, told how the authority could be facing cuts higher than the estimated £35m over five years when the Welsh Government announces its provisional local government settlement on October 16.
And a report due to go before the authority’s executive board today titled ‘Reshaping Services to Meet the Financial Challenges’ outlines a worst-case scenario for Welsh local authorities including potentially having to close museums, libraries and leisure centres.
But Gwersyllt West councillor Arfon Jones has called on the council to look at ways to generate additional income rather than cutting frontline services.
One idea he put forward was for them to bid to run Gwersyllt Post Office.
The post office was recently saved from a move to the Spar and service station on Mold Road in the village after stern local opposition – but a long-term solution is still being sought for the facility.
"This report brings clarity to what we as a local authority are facing in the future and its good that the report is in the public domain,” said Cllr Jones.
“While I accept there is going to be less money in the spending pot, this report seems to think that the only way to reduce spending is to drastically cut frontline services.
“There are other ways of protecting services and one of those ways is by generating additional income by thinking outside the box.”
Discussing his idea for the council to take on post offices, he said: “The fact that many of our post offices are at risk of closure or relocating provides the council with opportunities.
“For example, why don’t the council bid to run Gwersyllt Post Office from the council-run resource centre?
“This would provide Wrexham Council with much-needed income and ensure that an important community benefit business remains at the village’s heart.
“This would be a win-win situation for the council, the Post Office and the community.”
He added: “This need not be restricted to Gwersyllt but could be extended to other parts of the county borough where threatened community centres could be utilised in a similar fashion and which would ensure their long term viability.
“I really believe the administration should consider this as an option.”