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Campaigners resolute in fight to save Wrexham leisure centre

Published date: 13 February 2014 |
Published by: Charlie Croasdale
Read more articles by Charlie Croasdale


 

HOPES have been raised that a community group could be formed to take over the running of Plas Madoc Leisure Centre.

Wrexham Council’s executive board voted to close the facility on Tuesday and doors will be closed to the public in March.

An extension was agreed by the executive board to allow campaigners until June 30 to form a community social enterprise to take over the centre in Acrefair, but failure to agree a takeover will result in the demolition taking place as early as July.

However, campaigners will not be deterred in their bid to keep the centre open and interested parties have agreed to meet this weekend to discuss the possibility of forming a community venture.

Clwyd South AM Ken Skates, Plas Madoc councillor Paul Blackwell, Save Plas Madoc Leisure Centre campaigner Alison Roberts and a Wales Co-operative Centre member will meet to discuss the viability of forming a social enterprise group.

Cllr Blackwell said he was “upset and disgusted” following Tuesday’s decision, which returned seven to two votes in favour of closing Plas Madoc.

“I was naturally very annoyed and upset following the vote,” he said. “It is disgusting and if I’d had a vote I know which way it would have gone.

“I’ll be meeting with campaigners, Ken Skates and representatives of the Wales Co-operative Centre this weekend to discuss if we can find a solution.

“I’m disgusted by the council’s attitude towards a facility in such a deprived area, but we’ll fight to the end.” Cllr Blackwell added the idea of an extension to September 1 to form a social enterprise – proposed by Labour colleague Cllr Dana Davies during Tuesday’s meeting but rejected – might have provided campaigners with the time required to form a new community venture. “I just hope it’s not too late”, he said.

“Any indication at the meeting that we can form an enterprise group will have my full backing.”

Cllr Blackwell hopes a public meeting can take place before the full council meeting on February 26, where the closure is expected to be rubber-stamped.

Mr Skates said last night: “I will be meeting council bosses on Friday and am anxious to discuss Tuesday’s decision with residents at the weekend, as there are serious, understandable and increasing concerns in the south of the county borough over the possible loss of this valued community facility.”

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

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