Council chief says everyone must back Wrexham city bid

Reporter:

Phil Robinson

STRONG support from the business and public sector, as well as the community, is vital if Wrexham is to make a bid for city status, a report argues.

That is the message members of Wrexham Council’s executive board will get from a report into the controversial issue due to be considered at their meeting next Tuesday.

Towns across the UK are being invited to enter the race to win city status to mark next year’s 60th anniversary of Queen Elizabeth’s accession to the throne.

But – unlike the last competition in 2002 when Wrexham lost out – there will not be four new cities chosen from Wales, England, Scotland and Northern Ireland – just one for the whole of the UK.

Deadline for bids, which must be submitted by local councils, is this May.

But, so far, Wrexham has made no commitment to entering the competition.

Officers of the authority have prepared the report to fully brief councillors on what making a bid would entail.

Council leader Aled Roberts said: “We understand it will be a lot less involved than 2002 when Wrexham’s last bid was made, although it would still have to be a quality bid. There would also be a need to show local business and community support.

“In the report the officers also deal with the views of what city status has meant to those areas which were successful in 2002 and address the concerns expressed through the media about the downsides of becoming a city.

“For instance, there is no suggestion there would have to be any wholesale rebranding of signs or local council vans and that this could be done over a period of time.”

Cllr Roberts added: “The report also identifies the fact that because there will only be one candidate area for the whole of the UK, the threshold is going to be a lot higher.

“Therefore, the support of industry, public sector agencies and the community would be necessary.

“People should be under no illusions – it will be tough going for city status.”

See full story in the Leader

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