A Plaid Cymru councillor has challenged Wrexham council to protect frontline services by streamlining its management and bureaucracy.
Councillor Arfon Jones, who represents Gwersyllt West, called for some “blue sky thinking” on how to make savings whilst minimising the effect on front-line services.
He said Wrexham Council had failed to act on recommendations of a Welsh Government Advice Services Review published in March this year.
This report highlighted how many organisation provided advice services in Wrecsam County. Councillor Jones said,
"I was shocked when I read this report and to find that there were over 35 organisations in the County Borough that provided advice in one form or another and that 15 of these advice services were provided by Wrecsam Council itself. “Most, if not all, of these organisations receive public money and there is a massive duplication in the management of these services provided. Why, for example, do we need three different advocacy services? These services provided by the council are all separate stand-alone services and have their own bureaucratic management structures."
Cllr Jones went on to say,
"I wrote to Wrecsam Council back in June this year asking for them to look at the cost of these separate services but received no reply."
Cllr Jones called for an urgent review of Advice Services within the County Borough:
"We need an urgent review as to how much these duplicated services cost the taxpayer. All the Council advice services should come under one roof with one management structure; this would provide an expanded service for less money. We should also consider whether it is more effective and efficient to commission advice services from not-for-profit organisations like Citizens Advice and Shelter. “Whatever we do, I believe there is huge money-saving potential without affecting the actual frontline services that we provide. As an authority we should be seeking to squeeze out inefficiencies and not wholesale decimation of community services such as libraries, school crossing patrols and play areas."