WREXHAM is at 'tipping point' over cuts to frontline services, the council's new chief executive has warned.

Ian Bancroft has been in the top job at the local authority for four days after moving from his role of chief officer at Flintshire Council, and believes it is currently underfunded by central government.

Mr Bancroft, who lives in Ruabon, admitted it was a challenging time to be in a leading role in local government, but has pledged to lobby for more money on behalf of residents.

He also said it was critical that services such as education and both adults' and childrens' social care are protected.

He said: "We're beginning to reach a tipping point in terms of the level of cuts we've had to make as public services and local authorities.

"It's really important in the future that we get a balance between being prudent and efficient as a council, and protecting services that are of value to local residents.

"What we musn't be doing is making cuts to services that are critical for local communities and residents and ultimately means that we're not meeting local need.

"We have to be lobbying nationally to get a fair funding deal moving forward, we are low funded as a council when you look at the per head of population funding that we get.

"I think if we weren't articulating the risk to local services for local residents back nationally and the implications, we would be failing our moral obligation."

Wrexham Council has had to make savings of approximately £52 million from its budget since 2008 and is expected to make a further £13 million in cuts over the next two years.

But despite those pressures, Mr Bancroft believes there is potential to expand the area's economy and will be taking a lead role on the Economic Growth Board, as well as being involved in the North Wales Growth Bid.

He also described it as 'an honour and a privilege' to work on behalf of residents in the area he lives.

He said: "Wrexham is unique as a place, it's different to anywhere else in the world.

"It's absolutely a magical place and we have many of the components of a city in terms of the institutions we've got.

"It's my home, my children go to school here, my wife is a public servant in the area and I will be here for a very long time.

"That is really important for me. I also think it brings a flip side because it brings a level of expectation that as a local resident I will do things that are right for local residents.

"That's a reasonable expectation, but clearly in the role as chief executive things are never that simple."

He added that explaining difficult decisions made by the authority to residents was a key priority.

Controversial proposals to force a merger between Wrexham and Flintshire councils were recently abandoned by Local Government Secretary Alun Davies.

But having had a foot in both camps, Mr Bancroft said he believes there is still a willingness to work closely with neighbouring areas.

He said: "I think my appointment in itself makes a statement about that.

"First and foremost I am a Wrexham resident and will do what's right for Wrexham.

"If it's right to work with Flintshire, we should work with Flintshire, if it's right to work with Denbighshire, we should do that and if it's right to work with Cheshire, we should do that as well.

"We are a major place in north Wales and we need to be punching above our weight."