THE LEADER of Wrexham Council has called for the 20mph speed limit to be scrapped as authorities in Wales face "dark times" over budget cuts.

Cllr Mark Pritchard said the cost of the project is "unforgivable" as councils across Wales scramble to make cuts to achieve budgets in the coming months. 

Ahead of Wrexham Council's Executive Board meeting next week, where proposed cuts to education are set to be raised, the authority is facing a budget gap of £22.6m for next year. 

The cuts to education and other financial tightenings will leave the gap at £10.5, which members have vowed to find.

As the authority deal with the "hardest budget we've ever had to deal with", frustrations amongst the lead members arose about the recent Welsh Government settlement. 

The Leader: The Guildhall - home of Wrexham Council and inset, Councillor Mark Pritchard, leader of the councilThe Guildhall - home of Wrexham Council and inset, Councillor Mark Pritchard, leader of the council (Image: Newsquest)

Cllr Pritchard said: "It's the most difficult time for local authorities, there's going to be job losses, redundancies, not just here but across Wales. 

"These cuts have been forced upon us, none of us come into these roles for this. 

"We want to be funded appropriately so we can deliver services to residents. It's a dark time for local authorities. 

"We know we're in for a difficult time, but there's not a lot we can do, we've got to find these savings but there doesn't seem to be any support coming."

When quizzed on where else the leader of the council would take funds to support councils across Wales, there were calls to cut the 20mph limit


Cllr Pritchard added: "My message to Vaughan Gething would be scrap the 20mph, the cost is unforgivable with all the cuts we're making.

"The 20mph project was driven through, Welsh Government need to listen to people. 

"They have to prioritise what is right in times like this. The authorities are angry with what's going on. 

"We're being let down dramatically, Welsh Government is not listening to us otherwise this wouldn't be happening. 

"Do they want to fund vanity projects or do they want to fund local authorities?

"I'd be surprised if there are any non-statutory services in three years."

Wrexham Council's Executive Board meet on Tuesday, January 23.