MP wants Wrexham Council office closures rethink

Reporter:

Claire Gallagher

AN MP has asked Wrexham Council to reconsider closing two housing estate offices in her constituency.

In a bid to save £300,000 a year a council committee recommended the closure of the Broughton office on Darby Road, Brynteg and the Rhos office on Brook Street.

Clwyd South MP Susan Elan Jones said: “This will have a huge impact on my constituency.

“It will affect council tenants who live in Broughton, Brymbo, Coedpoeth, Minera, Penycae and the Rhos area who, in some cases, won’t even have a direct bus route to where they need to go.”

The plan includes keeping offices at Plas Madoc, Caia Park, Gwersyllt and Lambpit Street in the town.

At a recent meeting the council’s executive board proposed to merge the Rhos office with the Plas Madoc office and set up a housing surgery service at Rhos Library.

It also proposed merging the Broughton office with the Gwersyllt office, with a housing surgery service at Brynteg Library.

The offices let council tenants seek help about repairs, housing benefits, a garden maintenance scheme and sheltered accommodation.

Ms Elan Jones said: “I fear that closing housing offices will have a really serious effect on communities.

“It will make it harder for the council to chase up rent arrears and will in some cases mean long and expensive bus journeys for tenants.

“Then there is also the problem of anti-social behaviour which makes some people’s lives a misery.

“After two months as an MP I have encountered some cases of anti-social behaviour and neighbours from hell that are as bad as any I had to deal when I was a councillor in Peckham.

“I already think that the council needs to be tougher in this area but I worry that if you take council staff away from the local community then the problem gets even worse than it is at the moment.”

The proposals to close the offices have been referred to the local authority’s transformation board.

See full story in the Leader

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