Voice your views on big city debate

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Staff reporter

WREXHAM residents are again being urged to have their say on whether their town should become a city.

A senior councillor who claims the council did not hold a proper public consultation on the idea earlier this year says he will begin his own “fairer” test of opinion.

Mark Pritchard, Independent councillor for Esclusham and lead member for housing, is planning to go out on to the streets in the town centre with two petitions – one for the bid and another against it.

He then aims to hand the results over to officials of the UK Cabinet Office, which is currently considering bids from towns around Britain - including Wrexham – to be designated as a city to celebrate the Queen’s Diamond Jubillee next year.

Cllr Pritchard says council chiefs went ahead with the local bid despite their own consultation exercise showing the majority of people were against it.

He pledged to disrupt the Wrexham application 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.

“Starting from next Monday, I plan to start a month-long consultation process of my own on this issue.

“I will hopefully be having a stall in the town centre – possibly Queens Square – where people can sign either of the two petitions.

“I will have a team of people helping and they will also be taking the petitions forms around the town.”

He added: “I am strongly against a bid for city status by Wrexham as I think it is the wrong time and there are better things we could be spending our money on.

“We have always done well as a town, attracting some big-name companies such as JCB and Kelloggs.

“They have come here not because Wrexham is a city but because of the people we have.

“What has made me really angry is that politicians on the council put in this bid without properly asking the people what they think – so that is what I intend to do now.”

Cllr Ron Davies has said the council’s 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.

However, he pointed out there had been a lot of support for the bid from local MPs and others and that he fully backed it.

See full story in the Leader

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