Tempers flare as Wrexham leisure centre plan fails

Published date: 27 February 2014 |
Published by: Garth ApThomas 
Read more articles by Garth ApThomas  Email reporter


COUNCILLORS were labelled “scum” and “back-stabbers” as a budget plan which campaigners said would help to keep Plas Madoc Leisure Centre open was rejected.

Instead, Wrexham Council last night agreed to pass a budget of £227,333,60 which includes savings measures that put Plas Madoc at risk.

Wrexham Council says the decision means it will be able to cap the council tax rise at three per cent. The rate for a Band D property will be set at £965.40.

There were 31 votes in favour of the successful proposal, 15 against and four councillors abstained.

A large group of members of the public fighting to keep Plas Madoc were left dejected at the end of a lengthy Guildhall meeting.

Former Wrexham councillor Marc Jones, a member of the Save Plas Madoc campaign, slammed the outcome. He said not enough time was being given to plans to keep the leisure centre going.

During the highly charged meeting a man stormed out of the public gallery shouting: “You have let people down. You are back-stabbers. I don’t want to be in the same room as you scum.”

Cllr David A Bithell, of the Wrexham Independents group, explained how the amended budget would work if passed.

Cllr Bithell said the amendment would involve tackling three key issues of reduced council spending: grass cutting, bus subsidies and leisure review.

The amendment to the budget would provide an additional £100,000 to grass cutting, £100,000 towards bus subsidies and £400,000 towards leisure review.

The extra money would come from a variety of sources, including reduced spending on consultants, cutting back on costs of the mayor’s office and a 0.5 per cent larger council tax requirement, the equivalent to an extra 9p a week.

However, deputy council leader Mark Pritchard, leader of the Democratic Independents, said: “I won’t support it. It is too late in the day. We could get into serious hot water here.

“Drawing up the budget is a long process. What about other services we have cut. If you support this, it is unfair.”

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