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Fears Plas Madoc Leisure Centre may have to close

Published date: 28 November 2013 |
Published by: Staff reporter
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A FLAGSHIP leisure centre could be under the threat of closure, a councillor has warned.

Plas Madoc Leisure Centre could become a victim of swathing cuts to Wrexham’s Council’s leisure services budget – according to Plas Madoc ward councillor Paul Blackwell.

Cllr Blackwell spoke out about the potential closure of the swimming pool and sports centre yesterday after a crunch meeting with Wrexham Council’s head of assets Steve Bayley, where he said he was told the bad news.

“The outcome is the leisure centre could potentially close,” said Cllr Blackwell after the summit.

“The meeting discussed leisure provision throughout the county.

“I am devastated. The leisure centre has been up for closure twice before and on both occasions that was stopped.

“If closure goes ahead now it would be a big blow for the staff and customers.”

Cllr Blackwell said staff at the Acrefair leisure centre were updated about the situation by the council this week.

Wrexham Council did not comment on Cllr Blackwell’s claims yesterday.

Consultation is ongoing on plans to make £13.9 million of savings from the council’s budget next year. It is understood a separate public consultation will take place for any specific changes or closures to leisure centres.

The Plas Madoc Leisure Centre is promoted as a flagship attraction on Wrexham Council’s website and attracts visitors from all over the North West, Shropshire and North Wales.

It has a swimming pool, squash courts, badminton courts, indoor football, outdoor multi-use games area, indoor climbing wall and trampolining facilities.

“We will try to fight the plans,” added Cllr Blackwell. “I will do my utmost to get the best outcome for Plas Madoc.

“The big problem is there is an unprecedented black hole in the finances.”

Cllr Blackwell said the issue was due to be discussed at a meeting of the homes, environment and communities scrutiny committee next month.

“At present I can’t go into full details,” he added.

“This week members of staff at Plas Madoc were told the situation by the council.

“It is not just Plas Madoc Leisure Centre that could be under threat. There is a whole leisure review and other facilities could be affected as well.”

The mooted proposal comes as council chiefs face unprecedented financial pressures.

The council has announced £400,000 of planned savings from leisure services among cuts totalling almost £13.9 million for the next financial year.

The council is also planning to trim £311,000 from the leisure budget the following year, making a total cut of £711,000 over the next two years.

A council report into the budget cuts said: “The council is exploring alternative options for the management and operation of leisure services, to reduce the cost of providing these services, as well as reviewing the number of facilities that the council operates, which may entail closures. It is estimated that this could save £400,000.”

A Wrexham Council spokesman said: “The council is running a consultation that gives members of the public the opportunity to submit their views on the draft budget proposals for the 2014/2015 financial year.

“The consultation can be accessed via our website www.wrexham.gov.uk/budgetproposals. Paper copies of the consultation will also be available in Contact Wrexham, Wrexham Library and the Guildhall Reception.

“People can feedback their views on the draft budget proposals by completing the online feedback form https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/ReshapingServices, sending an email to telluswhatyouthink@wrexham.gov.uk (marking it ‘budget consultation’) or writing to us at 3rd Floor Annexe, The Guildhall, Wrexham LL11 1AY (mark your letter ‘budget consultation’).”

The deadline for responses is December 11.

For more news from across the region visit newsnorthwales.co.uk

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  1. Posted by: Mr.Gobbi at 10:37 on 28 November 2013 Report

    Flintshire is looking at initial savings from its management structure and its priorities are maintaining services. Wrexham are saying services will be cut, now it could mean that Flintshire is top heavy with managers so okay but it looks as if they want to maintain as many services as possible,Wrexham is cut,cut,cut. Similar sized councils yet different attitudes towards this financial meltdown personally services should be saved and Wrexham should follow Flintshires ideas.

  2. Posted by: oneof150 at 11:01 on 28 November 2013 Report

    Totally agree with the previous comment, even before all the recent cuts programme, Wrexham Council have been making disastrous decisions in all aspects of Wrexham and this just follows the pattern that has been going on for many years now, and I see no change now as to the choices Wrexham Council are about to make...

  3. Posted by: Wilson23 at 15:13 on 28 November 2013 Report

    It always appears that the outline villages are first hit by cuts not Wrexham town, why not close Waterworld?

  4. Posted by: a cahill at 18:44 on 28 November 2013 Report

    Amazing isn't it...cuts with threats of closure or sale of leisure facilities...but still planning to borrow £130m to bring housing up to Welsh Housing standards with the obvious high interest rate on repayment...if WCBC are that cash strapped will any bank want to lend to them

  5. Posted by: toolio at 16:30 on 30 November 2013 Report

    If Wrexham Council want to save money then for goodness sake stop this ridiculous practice of putting down totally unnecessary traffic calming measures down in places they are not needed, outside schools yes but many of the others are just a total waste of time and money, and I speak on behalf of over 99% of local drivers

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