Have your say on Wrexham's bid for city status

Reporter:

Phil Robinson

WREXHAM people are to be given a fresh chance to have their say on whether the town should bid for city status.

Although the council’s official application to land the title to mark the Queen’s diamond jubilee next year has already been lodged with the UK Cabinet Office, a leading councillor strongly opposed to the move now says he is planning his own test of public opinion.

Cllr Mark Pritchard, Independent member for Esclusham and lead member for housing, says council chiefs went ahead with the bid despite their own consultation exercise showing the majority of people were against it.

He is now planning to take two petitions - one for the bid and another against it - around the borough.

Cllr Pritchard is also expecting to meet Cabinet Office officials soon to brief them on the Wrexham situation.

And he says he will present his petition results to them at the same time.

As the Leader revealed last month, Cllr Pritchard threatened to disrupt the bid after council leader, Cllr Ron Davies, urged people to get behind it.

He said: “The bid was made after a survey of the people of Wrexham in which the majority who took part were against it, which is wrong and undemocratic.

“As a keen supporter of democracy we are now planning our own test of opinion.
“During the first couple of weeks of September we will take round a petition, which will include two forms - for and against city status.

“We are hoping to have a stall in the town centre and also have a presence at some of the larger supermarkets in the area.

“I am expecting thousands of people to have their say, which I will then report to the Cabinet Office in London.

“I’m not expecting many people to be in favour of city status because I must have had 500 or so emails and phone calls in the past few weeks, every one of which was against it.”

Cllr Ron Davies said: “Is he planning to ask all 130,000 people in Wrexham what they think?”

Cllr Davies said last month that the executive board decided to go ahead with the bid as they felt the numbers responding to the consultation exercise weren’t representative of the people of Wrexham.

“But there was a lot of support for the bid from MPs and others.

“I was not on the executive board at the time but I supported the bid and still do.”

See full story in the Leader

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