University under fire over potential spending in Caia Park

Reporter:

Staff reporter (Leader Live)

A UNIVERSITY is coming in for criticism over potential plans to take on a community centre.

On Monday the Leader reported Glyndwr University is looking at reopening Kingsley Circle Community Centre in Caia Park, which closed last month due to Wrexham Council financial cuts.

Caia Park Community Council chairman Marc Jones said the university had “ambitious proposals” to reopen it for the community and use it as a Glyndwr base, a training centre for its youth development work.

But the University and College Union (UCU) yesterday expressed concern about the timing of the prospective rescue plan – when the university is cutting staff.

Plans to cut up to 60 jobs at the university’s main campus were mooted in recent months.

Bosses have said a “significant number” of staff taking voluntary redundancy had temporarily staved off compulsory job losses.

A university spokesman said its interest in the centre is currently a “preliminary exercise”. No cost for reopening has been made public.

The UCU said it welcomed efforts to keep the centre open, but questioned how the university’s plans squared with proposed job losses.

Kate Wagner, UCU branch secretary at Glyndwr, said: “This latest move reinforces our concerns about the ability of the vice-chancellor and board of governors to make strategic decisions in the interests of our university. Vice-chancellor Michael Scott needs to sit down with us and explain the rationale for such large expenditure."

A Glyndwr spokesman said: “A member of academic staff is exploring the possibility of a future partnership with Caia Park Community Council, but no commitment has been given. This is a preliminary exercise only at this stage with key partners and potential partners. It has yet to receive university approval.”

Previously Prof Scott said the reorganisation process – including possible job losses – will deliver an improved organisation which is cost effective, with solid foundations and a bright future.

See full story in the Leader

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