A  councillor who has been suspended for four months says he was 'speaking up for his community' and has vowed to return.

Last week, the Leader reported that Councillor David Metcalfe had been suspended from Cefn Community Council until June 9 for a Code of Conduct breach.

Cllr Metcalfe, who has been a community councillor since 2017, bought the Ebenezer Chapel in Cefn Mawr in 2021.

It had remained unused for eight years until he and the Plas Kynaston Canal (PKC) Group took over with the aim of finding a new use for it within the community.

The breach of the code of conduct mainly relates to Cllr Metcalfe failing to declare a personal interest in a matter relating to the chapel during a council meeting held in May 2021.

A Public Services Ombudsman for Wales investigation was carried out following a complaint made and, as a result, Cllr Metcalfe was found to have conducted himself in a manner which could be regarded as 'bringing his office or authority into disrepute'.

He has now been suspended until June 9 of this year and must also attend further Member Code of Conduct training.

However, speaking to the Leader this week, he confirmed that he will 'absolutely' be returning to his role as a councillor once that suspension is over.


He said: "If speaking up for the community that I live in and try to represent is a breach of the Code of Conduct for Cefn Community Council or any council for that matter, then that makes a farse of the Code of Conduct."

Cllr Metcalfe claims that he asked for a deferment of a public presentation by Cefn Community Council on Ebenezer Chapel due to low public attendance.

But, the presentation went ahead regardless.

He added: "I asked for a letter of support to retain the Ebenezer in public ownership for the community that I would be fully responsible for, for our community.

"I did not ask for the community council to change their minds on the decisions they had made totally without my input. Therefore, since I have not sought to influence community council decision at any point in regard to the Ebenezer, I have simply not broken the Code of Conduct."

Cllr Metcalfe, who also runs the Holly Bush pub in Cefn, said that he and late wife Iona made a bid to buy the Ebenezer Chapel at auction in 2021.

As this was during the Covid-19 pandemic period, the pub and guest house had been closed for extensive periods of time during the lockdowns and their finances were 'extremely limited'.

He said: "To our surprise we managed to secure the Ebenezer at auction but had to borrow heavily from our family and extend the mortgage on our house to pay for it.

The Leader: PIC: Cefn Mawr's Ebenezer Chapel.

"This was a major effort that could have easily been avoided if Wrexham Council had been willing to work with us and our community and grant the lease as offered to others.

"Our Public Consultation was held in July of 2021, just as my wife started to succumb to a second recurrence of cancer. She lost her ability to walk for a while and her condition continued to deteriorate over the next two years.

"This was whilst we had to deal with the case being brought against myself. My wife eventually passed away on November 23, 2023.

"However, all is not lost, I will continue with our plan to bring about Economic Regeneration for our community at the centre of the Pontcysyllte World Heritage Site through a practical application of Sustainable Tourism Development.

"The next step on that road is to put our community on the tourist map, and the Ebenezer is a key element in being able to do so."

Asked about whether or not he will return to his role as a councillor with Cefn Community Council once his suspension expires, Cllr Metcalfe said: "Absolutely. I'd like to point out also that this 'fallout', if you like, is to do with a small section of Cefn Community Council.

"I've had people in the village come up to me and ask what's going on since they've heard about the suspension. I've helped a lot of people in my community and I only want what's best for them."

The Ebenezer will open once again in May of this year, with its main purpose being to serve as a Climate Crisis Mitigation Centre, Art Gallery and Visitor Hub for the Cefn community.