Thursday, 27 January 2011

Plaid councillors plan mini-referendum on City status

Councillors intend to hold their own mini-referendum on city status for Wrexham to gauge popular opinion.

Plaid Cymru councillors will ask people in the popular Monday market their views on whether or not Wrecsam council should apply for city status, because they have concerns that the council isn't hearing grassroots opinion.

Volunteers will hold a stall in Queens Square on Monday 31st January from 11am to 12.30 pm. Local people will be given the opportunity to register a yes or no view and the results will then be passed onto Wrecsam council.

Cllr Marc Jones, who represents the Whitegate ward, said:
"The council is quite rightly consulting with local people before making any decision on bidding for city status. Our concern is that the consultation is limited to those with internet access, which tends to exclude the elderly, infirm and poor. Everyone should have their say in this process and that's why we're opening it up with a street stall in the Monday market.

"It's not a scientific poll but then neither is the on-line survey. At least this will enable us to ask hundreds of people their views and confirm what we're hearing in our patches. I met with residents and tenants in my ward this week and there was genuine anger that the council was considering spending £20,000 on the bid.

"I've looked at the evidence from Newport - the most recent Welsh town to become a city in 2002 - and there is no concrete proof that city status has brought any tangible benefits. In fact, Newport is in something of an economic down spiral at the moment. I'm ambitious for Wrexham's future but I don't believe the town needs window dressing such as calling itself a 'city' to sell itself to the wider world.

"Many politicians and business leaders have already expressed their views quite publicly but we are keen to ensure that local people's voices are also heard loud and clear. As a group we do not support City status but this issue will affect everybody in Wrecsam and therefore it is only right that local opinion should decide the matter once and for all."

Cllr Carrie Harper, representing Queensway ward in Caia Park, added:
"There is a lot of propaganda for City status but the benefits are unclear. What we want to establish is what the people of Wrexham want. Of course this will be a sample of opinion but in conjunction with other polls and other consultation exercises it should help present a picture of local opinion, which should be the deciding factor in my view. I hope people will come along and register their views."


Royston Jones said...

When I was a boy I used to support Swansea Town, now it's Swansea City. And there may even be other benefits . . . um . . . I'll get back to you.

Gaz E said...

I suppose you could argue that views of a minority will be manipulated quite easily.

Same thing happened with the Brymbo residential and retail planning application. I heard from a community councillor that the Brymbo liaison committee were quite critical of Plaid Councillors tonight.

a cahil said...

"Everyone should have their say in this process and that's why we're opening it up with a street stall in the Monday market"

...everyone except those people that work.

Well done.