WREXHAM Council has completed a U-turn on a decision to raise prices at a leisure centre that is due to close.
Yesterday Johnstown councillor David Bithell raised concerns the authority had increased prices at Plas Madoc Leisure Centre on Tuesday, April 1, by two per cent, in line with price rises across the county’s leisure centres, despite the fact the centre in Acrefair is set to close on April 27.
However, the council has overturned the decision to increase prices, stating their initial decision was “insensitive and should have been avoided”.
The price increase meant an adult swim at Plas Madoc had been costing £4.75 for non-members and £3.95 for members since Tuesday, but prices will now revert to their 2013-14 levels for the remaining 24 days the facility is open – non-members £4.60 and members £3.85.
Price increases of two per cent remain unaltered at Wrexham’s other leisure centres.
Despite widespread protests, Wrexham Council made the executive decision to close the centre in order to make substantial cuts for its 2014-15 budget.
The Plas Madoc Community Group last week said the centre could be rebranded sPLASh Magic if the volunteer-led rescue bid is successful.
The centre will be mothballed from the end of April until October, to give the community group time to complete a takeover.
Cllr Bithell welcomed the decision to overturn the price rise.
“Plas Madoc is closing in 25 days and that is punishment enough for the users, without hiking the prices,” he said.
“This would have been a final kick in the teeth for the centre, so I welcome the council’s U-turn.
“The community group is trying its best to take it over and the price rise was only going to make its task harder.”
A Wrexham Council spokesman said: “As of April 1 the council increased prices at all of its leisure centres by two per cent.
“Wrexham Council’s financial regulations indicate that fees and charges should increase each year in line with inflation.
“With the centre due to close to the public at the end of this month, we recognise that increasing prices in line with our other facilities was insensitive and in hindsight, should have been avoided.
“As a result, prices at Plas Madoc Leisure Centre will now revert back to the level they were before April 1.”
l THE next meeting of the Plas Madoc Community Group, formed after the first public meeting on March 13, takes place on Tuesday at Air Products Social Club in Acrefair at 7.30pm.
Chairman Darrell Wright, who lives in Trevor, said: “We had a fantastic turnout of between 150 and 200 people at the first meeting and we’re hoping for the same again. We need as many as possible to show their support.
“We are asking supporters to let us know through our Facebook and Twitter pages what they think of sPLASh Magic as a new name for the centre – or can you come up with something better?
“There is also a short online survey we need as many Plas Madoc users as possible to take part in which will help the committee keep the public up to date with developments and which could help applications for funding – visit www.survey monkey.com/s/ PMFUTURE.”