Thursday, 15 September 2016

Council to honour Wrecsam raised Welsh hero

Great news, I had an e-mail passed to me confirming that Wrecsam council will be flying the flag of Owain Glyndwr from the Guildhall tomorrow to mark Owain Glyndwr Day.

On 16th September 1400, Owain Glyndwr was proclaimed Prince of Wales at Glyndyfrdwy near Corwen, making him the last true Prince of Wales. 

Welsh Braveheart Glyndwr, who was brought up in the Wrecsam Maelor area, led a 15-year war of Independence against the English crown and also set up Wales' first parliament 600 years ago. He sacrificed everything for a free Wales with its own national institutions. 

Don't forget to raise a glass tomorrow to a true Welsh hero! 

I Gymru. 

Rate relief 'a missed opportunity' for small businesses

The Cardiff Labour Government's decision to maintain the current business rates relief has been described as a missed opportunity by Plaid Cymru.

Small Business Rates Relief is the largest scheme helping businesses in Wales. It provides 100% relief for properties with a rateable value of £6,000 or less, and tapered relief for properties between £6,001 and £12,000.

Around 51% or 56,000 non-domestic properties in Wales are eligible for 100% relief and a further 19% receive partial relief.

According to the latest figures, over 4,250 business properties are liable for non-domestic rates in Wrexham.

However, most businesses in Wrexham town centre do not qualify for this rate relief because their rateable value is far higher, due to the system not having been reviewed since the economic downturn.

Responding to the Welsh Government announcement on business rates, Plaid Cymru Shadow Cabinet Secretary for Finance and Economy Adam Price said:

“The business sector in Wales will be extremely disappointed to see the Labour government row back on one of its top manifesto pledges for this year’s Assembly election. Despite business owners being promised a better deal after the election, what the Labour government has given them is business as usual. In these uncertain political times businesses need support that they can depend on, but Labour is clearly unwilling to deliver it. As we made clear in our Programme for Opposition, reduction in business rates remains a key issue for us and we will be seeking to press this home in our discussions with the Welsh Government on future budget priorities.”

Plaid Cymru's plan would take far more small businesses out of paying rates, enabling them to spend money more effectively on improving their businesses and employing more staff.

Wednesday, 14 September 2016

Wrexham's drug problem - address the causes not the symptoms

A private meeting for the town's traders was held in the Guildhall last night. The aim of the meeting was to discuss the ongoing problem of drug and alcohol misuse in the town centre and associated anti-social behaviour.

One of the people present have asked that this post is removed. 

I have removed all reference to what was discussed at the meeting but will end by retaining what I said in conclusion to my original article:

There are solutions to the drug problem blighting Wrexham as a whole. They're not easy and would take a united front involving politicians, police and all other agencies.

What's clear is that treating it with a sticking plaster rather than addressing the underlying problems will not work - the PSPO is just moving the problem on.

Thursday, 8 September 2016

Council opposes fire engine cuts plan

Caia Park Community Council has become the first local council to oppose plans to axe one of Wrexham's two fire engines.

The community council was particularly concerned that the ongoing problem of arson attacks in the area would only be made worse if there was reduced cover.

Councillor Carrie Harper, of Plaid Cymru, said: "If this happens and the one fire engine is sent out to an incident then what happens if there's a fire somewhere else? Response times will increase and that's quite scary."

Councillors unanimously supported the motion and agreed to contact other community councils in the area to support the opposition to the proposal.

“This council opposes North Wales Fire and Rescue Authority’s plan to save £1m by cutting 24 firefighters’ jobs and one of Wrexham’s two fire engines.
Wrexham’s fire services are already dealing with 43% of all North Wales arson and a large proportion of the road traffic accidents across the North. As community councillors, we are very aware of the work being done in terms of fire prevention that needs enhancing to pro-actively stop fires, but there will always be a need for a comprehensive emergency service that has the firefighters and appliances available to deal with any incident.
This proposal comes at a time when £15m has been spent on a brand new combined station in the town with the ambulance service.
This makes even less when you consider that the Welsh Government is anticipating a 20% rise in the borough’s population over the coming years and the new prison opens in 2017.
Both will inevitably mean more work for our fire service.
This council calls on the NWFRA to scrap its plan to cut Wrexham’s fire service and supports proper funding of this essential emergency service.

This council also resolves to ask other community councils in the Wrexham area to support the motion.”

Friday, 2 September 2016

Cutting fire engine would endanger lives - Plaid

Plans to cut one of Wrexham’s two fire engines and 24 firefighters’ jobs would endanger lives says Plaid Cymru – the Party of Wales.

 Plaid Cymru’s Wrexham spokesperson Marc Jones, who has organised a street petition against the proposal for tomorrow opposite the Horse and Jockey in Wrexham town centre between 10-12am, said: 

“The Fire Authority’s plan to save £1m by cutting 24 jobs and one of the town’s two fire appliances defies logic. They’ve just spent £15m on a brand new combined station in the town with the ambulance service.

“Why cut the service to the bone now?

“This makes even less when the Welsh Government expects there to be a 20% rise in the borough’s population over the coming years and there is a huge new prison opening in 2017.

 “We also have an ongoing arson problem in the area with Wrexham’s fire services are already dealing with 43% of all North Wales arson and a large proportion of the road traffic accidents across the North.”

  “In these circumstances, cutting the service would endanger lives. This is the reality of years of cuts and budget freezes - it's now affecting frontline services.”

Plaid Cymru is calling on the Fire Authority to re-think its proposal before cutting services in the largest town in the North.

Mr Jones added:  "Hundreds have already signed our online petition and we want to give people in the town a chance to show their opposition so that we cane challenge the North Wales Fire and Rescue Authority’s decision, which is currently out to consultation."