AN EXTRAORDINARY meeting of Wrexham Council held this evening descended into chaos as a significant amendment was made to the original motion to move to reject a bid for city status.

As a result, just 10 members of the executive board will now make the final decision on the bid after 36 members of the council voted in favour of the amendment.

Alongside other towns, Wrexham has an opportunity to apply for city status as part of the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations.

The original motion presented this evening, moving to reject the bid, was signed by five Plaid Cymru councillors; Marc Jones, Carrie Harper, Gwenfair Jones, Becca Martin and Phil Rees.

Cllr Marc Jones began the meeting by explaining that, in July, the Executive Board had agreed to explore the costs and benefits of city status and make a decision on that report.

He added that the consultant employed for that 'found no evidence of economic benefits' for Wrexham.

However, an amendment put forward by Council Leader Mark Pritchard threw a spanner in the works and lead to a half-hour adjournment taking place.

The amendment to the original motion requested that the 'full council invite the executive board to consider a bid for city status at the next scheduled meeting' which takes place on December 7.

Cllr Pritchard said potential city status would 'improve Wrexham as a place and improve North Wales as a region'.

Concerns were then raised firstly by Cllr Marc Jones, who felt that the amendment negated the motion initially put forward.

Legal officer Linda Roberts then cited a fuller constitution and added that the amendment was allowed and the meeting proceeded.

Mayor Ronnie Prince raised his concerns that the amendment would 'disenfranchise' 42 councillors, effectively bypassing them. He then rejected it, adding that holding the meeting just to refer it back to the executive board was a 'complete waste of time and money'.

Deputy Leader Cllr David A Bithell challenged the Mayor on this refusal before the Legal Officer said the amendment was 'following the correct procedure under the Constitution'.

Cllr Pritchard suggested an adjournment of the meeting so group leaders, mayor and legal officer can talk privately. This lasted for around half an hour.

Upon the meeting being resumed, Mayor Cllr Prince accepted the Amendment but added that he felt it was 'undemocratic'.

Councillors were then given the opportunity to put forward their views on the city status bid and whether or not they would be supporting the amendment put forward by Cllr Pritchard.

Labour group leader Cllr Dana Davies began by saying that she was 'shocked' by the meeting which had unfolded and added that the 'public have real and genuine concerns and have no confidence in this council delivering for them'.

She called for the amendment to include details of the benefits city status would bring to the people of Wrexham and how it would 'positively influence their lives'.

Cllr Carrie Harper then said she believed the amendment 'negated' the original motion. She said it 'is shocking that you're trying to avoid having that debate'.

She also warned that the 'council leadership is in danger of going viral for the wrong reasons'.

She added: “Who’s really talking the town down because this town has a rich history and heritage as a proud working class market and stretching back over many, many years.

“And who wants to get rid of that identity as a town against the wishes of most people live here? That is actually the council leadership.

“Now of course we all want to see investment, we want to see indigenous businesses grow as well. I want to see our markets thrive, I want to see our town centre bustling again.

“But you don’t have a monopoly on ambition for our town and how we can take Wrexham forward and accusing all those people, who disagree with you of lacking ambition or talking the town down is quite sad.”

Cllr Geoff Lowe backed the Mayor's views adding: "People must be wondering what the heck is going on in Wrexham Council when we perform in this way. This is not a good reflection on us."

Cllr Malcolm King said the amendment, whilst 'technically legally correct' was 'dodgy in terms of democracy'.

He added: "The council's method is detached from its own councillors. let alone the people of Wrexham. The number one priority for our residents at the moment is how they are going to make ends meet with poverty increasing in constituencies like mine."

Cllr Phil Wynn said he was backing the city status bid as it would mean Wrexham can 'demand the same rights as Cardiff, Swansea and Newport'.

He also made it clear that the bid was 'not about our generation, but for the younger generation' and added that the meeting's debate, whilst 'disappointing' had 'shown passion for our town'.

Cllr Beverley Parry-Jones, also in favour of the bid, said: "What message do we send to children if we do not grasp this opportunity by the scruff of the neck and run with it and drag Wrexham into the 21st century?"

36 members of the council voted in favour of the amendment, nine voted against and one councillor abstained.

Mayor Cllr Prince added that he was 'very disappointed' that the decision on the 'very important issue' would be going back to the 10 members on the executive board.