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More time to have say on Wrexham leisure centre future

Published date: 07 January 2014 |
Published by: Staff reporter
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THE window for the public to have its say on the proposed closure of a popular leisure centre has been extended.

The future of Plas Madoc Leisure Centre in Acrefair had been due to be decided at a meeting of Wrexham Council’s executive board on January 14.

But after campaigners voiced their anger at the lack of time given to respond to the initial public consultation period, the deadline for replies has been put back until January 31.

Labour councillor for the Plas Madoc ward Paul Blackwell said the massive public response would be discussed at a member workshop on February 4, before going to the executive board for a final decision on February 11.

Cllr Blackwell said: “No decision regarding the closure of Plas Madoc has been made. We want people to come forward with ideas as soon as possible so that they can be discussed by members on February 4.”

“I would like to thank the protesters for keeping up the fight.

“We have all been working hard over Christmas to get some kind of positive resolution.”

Wrexham Council, which faces budget saving targets of at least £45 million over the next five years, has outlined plans to build a leisure centre to replace Waterworld in the town centre by borrowing an estimated £11.9 million and closing Plas Madoc Leisure Centre in Acrefair.

Consultants believe an estimated £857,000 will be saved by closing Plas Madoc, as well as shutting gyms at Ysgol Clywedog and Queensway Leisure Centre and handing back dual use facilities to schools, with the exception of the Ysgol Clywedog swimming pool.

But there has been widespread criticism of the plans from councillors, sports stars and users of Plas Madoc, some of whom plan to gather in a protest at the centre on Saturday.

Cllr David A. Bithell, leader of the Wrexham Independent Group, said: “Maybe the current administration need to start cutting from the top rather than cutting public services and facilities.”

But Cllr Bithell welcomed the decision to extended the consultation.

He added: “There has been an overwhelming response from people over the Christmas period.

“I think it is a sensible decision given the level of concern from the Wrexham public.

“It will give more opportunity for better options to be put forward for Plas Madoc Leisure Centre.”

Last month campaigners gathered outside Wrexham’s Guildhall to voice their displeasure at the potential closure of the facility.

They have questioned the council’s savings predictions and slammed the £50,000 cost of employing external advisors  The Sports Consultancy to undertake its leisure review

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

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