VANDALISM and anti-social behaviour is likely to increase in the area if Plas Madoc Leisure Centre closes, councillors have warned.
Cefn Mawr community councillors shared their concerns about the knock-on effect of the impending closure of the leisure centre with PCSO Tom Dewberry at their March meeting.
The centre, which has been the focus of one of the most high-profile opposition campaigns in the county in recent years, is set to close next month.
A newly-formed community trust is bent on making a success of a takeover bid, with an extension giving it until October to finalise its plans.
But members of Cefn Mawr Community Council said they fear an increase in anti-social behaviour in the area if youngsters no longer have access to the facility.
Their comments come after an arson attack at The Land play facility in Plas Madoc over the weekend.
Cllr Malcolm Hughes said: “This is an example of why we should press to see the leisure centre kept open.”
PCSO Dewberry explained Wrexham Council would be responsible for footing the bill for any rise in anti-social behaviour in the area.
Town councillor Paul Blackwell added: “The council will end up paying the price, through vandalism, of closing the leisure centre.”
Cllr Ken Bathers said that if the centre closes he would like to see security stepped up.
He said: “As the nights get lighter they will definitely be drinking in Ty Mawr Park again. We will need extra security if they decide to mothball the leisure centre.
“We have great concerns anti-social behaviour will increase once Plas Madoc closes, and we have held these fears for a while.”
Earlier, PCSO Dewberry had warned the community closing the leisure centre could leave young people with less to do and suggested a solution could be to set up a youth club.
He said: “I’m not saying we don’t have any problems with anti-social behaviour at the moment, but we will need something.
“It would be a good idea to put pressure on the youth service to see if a youth club could be set up. There used to be one for four nights a week. Kids are getting bored now and turning to other things. The kids that would be supervised at a youth club are now on the streets.”
Cllr Blackwell said: “It is an issue of funding. There are hardly any youth clubs in the county borough area. “We’ll do what we can to put the pressure on regarding a