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Wrexham Council vote pulls plug on leisure centre cash lifeline

Published date: 06 August 2014 |
Published by: Staff reporter
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A MOTION to grant a £50,000 lifeline to help reopen Plas Madoc Leisure Centre has been voted down.

Wrexham Council’s executive board voted by six to two to reject a motion submitted by Wrexham Independents councillors David A. Bithell and Joan Lowe at yesterday’s executive board meeting.

The proposal to extend the demolition date until the end of October was also denied as part of the same motion.

The vote comes weeks after reports that the Labour group on Wrexham council voted to support the motion at a closed meeting.

Political opponents called the rejection a “kick in the teeth”.

Heartfelt pleas were heard from councillors at the meeting asking the executive board to back to cash support proposal.

Cllr Bithell said the motion made financial sense given the potential cost of demolishing the centre to the council, believed to be between £250,000 and £300,000.

But Cllr Hugh Jones said he had to resist the motion because the council was not in a strong financial position and any grant would mean cuts elsewhere to the leisure budget.

Cllr Jones said a detailed business plan, submitted by Splash Community Trust last week, was being scrutinised by council officers ahead of being brought before the executive board in September.

And if the plan is deemed viable, Cllr Jones said the council would “do all it can” help secure the future of the Acrefair facility.

He added: “It costs us £10,000 each month Plas Madoc remains mothballed but if a lease was agreed following the due diligence process, I can assure you the council will do all it can to facilitate the lease being carried out.”

Cllr Derek Wright, who represents Cefn, raised fears about the increasing number of children swimming in the River Dee since the centre closed at the end of April.

He said: “In the Cefn and Trefor area there has been a noticeable increase in the number of people playing unsupervised in or around the River Dee.

“I have not seen numbers like this since the 1970s. One of the initial reasons for the centre being built was to stop young people drowning in the river.”

Cefn councillor Dave Taylor echoed Cllr Wright’s concerns and said reopening the centre was “crucial” to the area.

He said: “How is it going to look if one of the children has an accident or, god forbid, dies in the river?

“For an extra £10,000 to give the trust an extra month and £50,000 to help them obtain funding makes common sense.”

Cllr Malcolm King, lead member for policy, finance, performance and governance, said it was in the community’s “best interests” to see the trust succeed in taking over the facility.

But he raised concerns about investing in an organisation which could turn out not to be viable.

He said: “I am totally supportive of the sentiment put forward today but I do feel it is slightly premature.”

Cllr Jones will present a report on the trust’s business plan for consideration at the next executive board meeting, to be held in September.

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

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  1. Posted by: touchwood at 09:48 on 06 August 2014 Report

    well the council have been saying theres no money for any thing and theres been big cuts every where in Wrexham and its good to see councillors not saying yes to this just to get voted back on the council now lets see a stop to all the money councillor Malcolm King is getting off Wrexham council as the peoples council tax as been keeping him in a job for yares and with all the cuts I think its time for that to stop to with him being a labour councillor I don't think that will be

  2. Posted by: sandrobe2001 at 10:26 on 06 August 2014 Report

    God forbid, that the people of Wrexham should have an alternative to Waterworld. The Council would much rather award their top officers obscene pay packages and spend lavish amounts of money, like £100 million paid for Eagles Meadow. But ask them to help fund a Leisure Centre, OH NO. The River Dee is fast and dangerous but the Council would see a person drown rather than help Plas Madoc re-open. SHAME ON THEM!

  3. Posted by: touchwood at 11:02 on 06 August 2014 Report

    lets see the people of Wrexham vote ukip at the next Election look what labour is doing with its welsh government to the n h s look what its doing to Wrexham council if the people want a better Wrexham get rid of Ian Lucas and all labour councillors its time to vote labour out what Wrexham needs is a person like john marek to tel the people how it is

  4. Posted by: worldsgonemad at 12:12 on 06 August 2014 Report

    It seems to me the WCBC are determined to wipe this facility off the map at any cost? Whether there`s an ulterior motive at work I don`t know? Anyone with a grasp of simple maths could tweak the massive budget available and find the meagre amount the Trust is requesting imo. The Wrexham Council should stop wasting money for starters, as in ripping out perfectly servicable kitchens & bathrooms when a property becomes empty.

  5. Posted by: Mr.Gobbi at 18:42 on 06 August 2014 Report

    Wrexham Council run and managed by muppets cuts to this service cuts to that service close this building close that building forget the local communities but keep the 'perks'. And if the rumour is correct another £4,000,000 cut in nexts year's budget and a possible 5% council tax hike Pay more and more for less,less and less services. Its becoming one big joke.

  6. Posted by: 1massey at 00:32 on 07 August 2014 Report

    ive recently heard that wrexham council are doing to exactly the same to the council farms,hard working tenant farmers they are to.

  7. Posted by: Mr.Gobbi at 08:01 on 07 August 2014 Report

    Times are tight no money they keep telling us so why is this new job advertised Organisation Development Lead Officer £42,930-£48,444,the post holder will play a lead role as the specialist in identifying,designing and developing organisational development initiatives to positively contribute to the delivery of the council's plan. If this is not bull I don't know what is.

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