Saturday, 29 April 2017

Labour's porky pies over Plas Madoc

Labour's attempts to re-write history over their council's decision to close Plas Madoc Leisure Centre are reaching epic proportions. And no wonder given their pathetic role in closing the popular pool and leisure complex.

Back in 2014 the Labour-run council voted to close the centre after an expensive consultants' report recommended a drastic cut in funding for leisure services.

Public protests were ignored by both Labour, Tory and some Independent councillors who voted for the closure.
Plaid Cymru and some independents voted against the closure, arguing that leisure centres were an important resource and service that should be supported.

Now the election is upon us and those councillors who made the decision are in the firing line from campaigners, who vowed to remind voters how their councillors voted over Plas Madoc.

Among those copping flak was Plas Madoc's own councillor Paul Blackwell, who abstained on possibly the most important issue the ward has faced for a decade.


His leaflet was equally bizarre, claiming the leisure centre was closed to save other vital services being cut. Ah, so that's alright then. 

Vital services such as the mayor, councillors' iPads or perhaps the £2.1m paid to consultants?

Cllr Blackwell apparently had the foresight to see that closing the centre would result in it being re-opened by a community-run venture.



Retiring (in the sense of standing down) Labour councillor Andrew Bailey then stepped in... 
Andrew Bailey So Marc you would cut £1/2m elsewhere - please let us know. ,
LikeReply120 April at 21:05
Marc Jones Let's see... £100,000 from cllrs pay rises per year, £138,000 from the mayor, a small slice of the £2.1m spent on consultants and throw in a few iPads for good measure.
LikeReply720 April at 21:07
Marc Jones You were happy enough to give £100,000 to the trust, so that's £400,000 a year savings to find.
LikeReply220 April at 21:08
Andrew Bailey absolutely happy to give the trust £100,000 loan over two years to get them going. The painful truth is that Plas Madoc had been ignored by the coalitions in charge of WCBC for years including the one you served on 2008-2012 and was costing the council...See more


Cllr Bailey wasn't giving up and attempted the re-write history by blaming Plaid Cymru councillors... for keeping it open!

In another Facebook comment he claimed: 

"Plaid, as part of the 2008-12 coalition did nowt then to 'save our services' as Plas Madoc was in a poor physical state and losing £500k when they lost their seats. On a much better path now!"

A devastating critique. Except that the coalition, of which Plaid was a part, kept it open.

How fortunate that he, like his fellow Labour councillor, had the foresight to close the centre in order to save it.

The centre was finally closed in March 2014 and only opened in December 2014 after a huge effort by community campaigners. It could all have been so different had the Labour council listened to campaigners and looked to make savings while keeping it open. 

Of course, there was money available for some people - Capita, a notorious consultancy firm, was paid £140,000 for its report advocating the closure of Plas Madoc.

Can you ever trust Labour councillors who'd rather listen to consultants than the community?


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