REDUCING the number of young people in unemployment should be one of the key priorities in the next year, according to Wrexham Council’s leader.

Cllr Aled Roberts said over the next 12 months the local authority would focus on its already-agreed priorities.

But he went on to add that given the number of job losses among young people, the council should focus on attracting more employment opportunities to the county.

Over the past 12 months, major employers such as Air Products have shut for good while other firms, such as JCB Transmissions, have continued to make redundancies.

Cllr Roberts said: “Obviously we have got our corporate priorities which we are working hard on. Those look at dealing with problems with youngsters leaving school without qualifications which means we are not equipping them with jobs.

“Other priorities are providing affordable homes for young people and reducing the carbon footprint.

“Given the job losses over the past 12 months, we have got to concentrate our efforts on providing employment opportunities.

“Job losses among 16 to 24-year-olds have been very considerable. In fact the number of young unemployed has more than doubled.

“Our position as a council is that we have very little external assistance as a council through government grants.

"It means it is very much up to the council to emphasise Wrexham is a good place to come to.”