'We need to restore confidence in our town'
Plaid Cymru councillors have called on Wrexham Council to invest a £583,000 underspend from last year on making Wrexham's streets safer and cleaner.
Plaid Cymru group leader Marc Jones, who represents the Grosvenor ward that covers part of the town centre, said:
"Plaid Cymru's group are all new councillors elected in May. We understand the financial pressures facing the council but we also understand the greater pressures facing our town centre businesses due to anti-social behaviour and the drugs problem.
"Shoppers are now keeping away from parts of the town due to ongoing problems that have been widely publicised.
"We need to restore confidence in our town centre and I know there's a lot of good work being done behind the scenes. Hopefully that will come good in the coming weeks and months.
"However, making our streets safer is something that needs to happen now.
"Traders are at their wits' end, businesses are losing money due to this and we need to restore the balance. We know the police have faced drastic cuts in recent years and that is something we need to reverse but in the here and now what we as councillors can do it make the case for council funding to be spent where it's most needed
"The £583,000 underspend on council services should therefore be invested in an immediate physical presence in the town centre areas most affected by anti-social behaviour. That's the Lord Street, Queen Square and King Street area of town.
"The council already has security at the bus station and one lone worker in the rest of the town. For his safety and for greater reassurance, we want to expand that security so that people can see a visible presence but also deter anti-social behaviour.
"Plaid Cymru's group of councillors also wants to see a pilot to attract more shoppers to town by varying parking charges. Unless we try something different by lowering parking costs and making it free at certain times to ensure our car parks are full rather than half empty, the town will continue to struggle. Town centre traders need every bit of help they can get at the moment and this is another part of that jigsaw.
"We also need to see a greater focus on cleaning up our streets. Weeds growing out of pavements and litter left uncollected adds to the sense of neglect. We want to work with the council to restore pride in our streets but that means investing in services.
"Let's use that £583,000 to kickstart a real change that brings confidence and pride back to Wrexham."