Wednesday, 22 May 2019

Why is Wrexham Council planning to 'gift' land to Glyndwr University?

News that Wrexham Council plans to "gift" land to help Glyndwr University push forward a housing development on Dean Road in the town has been described as "incredible" by Plaid Cymru spokesperson Carrie Harper.

She said: 
"The matter was raised by local councillor Mike Davies at Acton Community Council last night. The piece of land at Dean Road is publicly owned by the people of Wrexham, the council's Executive Board has a duty to act in all of our best interests and it's very difficult to understand how giving away a public asset to facilitate a private housing developer fulfils that duty in any way, shocking. It's incredible that, at a time when the council leadership says it's got no money, the council is proposing to give land away to Glyndwr University to help it make money from this housing development.  
"I'd like to know more about this gifting and wonder whether the council's Executive Board, which will discuss the matter next month, has managed to get any concessions from the University in response. As ever, the Executive Board is running the show and failing to keep elected members in the loop."

Glyndwr University is bringing forward plans to build 70 houses on playing fields at Dean Road later this summer. It does not own all the site, which is currently accessible via council-owned land, and local objections spearheaded by local Rhosnesni councillor Mike Davies to the loss of playing fields have already been made.

Cllr Harper added: 

"The Tory-Independent Executive Board is effectively throwing its support behind this housing development if it gifts the land to the University. Rhosnesni, like many other parts of Wrexham, suffers from a lack of Public Open Spaces and building on one of the few remaining playing fields - which is well used - would go against the Wellbeing and Future Generations Act as well as the council's own policy on Public Open Space."

Wednesday, 15 May 2019

Scandal of Wrexham's child poverty

Three of worst four wards in Wales in Caia Park

Three of the worst four wards in Wales for child poverty are in Wrexham.

Almost half the children in the Queensway, Wynnstay and Cartrefle wards in Caia Park are in child poverty, a fact that local Plaid Cymru councillor Carrie Harper said needs urgently addressing.

The shocking statistics reveal Wales as the only nation in the UK to see a rise in child poverty - the overall figure has risen to almost 30%. However three of the five wards in Caia Park estate are at 47.9%

Cllr Harper, who represents the Queensway ward, said: 

"Employment levels are at their highest in a generation so a lot of this is in-work poverty. Low wages, zero-hour contracts and insecure employment through agencies and temporary contracts is contributing to this scandal of child poverty.

"There's no doubt that Universal Credit, which has been a disaster introduced by the Tories, has contributed as well. It makes my blood boil when I see that the Department of Work and Pensions are about to embark on a PR campaign to promote Universal Credit. The disconnect between the policy spin and the reality on the ground is infuriating. 

"I think we've all had enough of slick marketing campaigns by clueless politicians trying to gloss over the misery they are creating with their policies. I'm sick and tired of seeing families suffering while billions of pounds are being wasted on ferries that don't exist, nuclear weapons we don't need and high-speed trains of no benefit for Wales.

"The fact that Wales is seeing a rise in child poverty while countries like Scotland are heading in the other direction makes it clear that we need to break free of the shackles of the UK Government's failing welfare policies. I want to see welfare policy devolved to we can start to improve the lives of the next generation rather than condemning them to poverty.

"As things stand, I have no faith that this current Labour Government in Cardiff will make a difference. That's why we urgently need to see a change in government and put Plaid Cymru in power, so that we can tackle these issues head-on."

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Tuesday, 14 May 2019

Wales Comic Con relocates to Telford - a failure of vision and ambition

Time for Labour Welsh Government to invest in Wrexham

In response to news that Wales Comic Con was relocating to Telford, Carrie Harper, Plaid Cymru's spokesperson for Wrexham, said: 

"This is more than disappointing - it's a disgrace.
"Wales Comic Con was an incredibly popular event and brought thousands of people to Wrexham. It's now re-locating to Telford.
"It emphasises the need for Wrexham to have better facilities to attract similar events in future. Better conferencing facilities for example.
"The Welsh Government and Wrexham Council should reflect on this failure... where is the ambition to make Wrexham the capital of north Wales? Where is the vision to build on these sort of unique events?
"Contrast this with the support given by the Welsh Government for a project in Newport.
"The International Convention Centre near the Celtic Manor is 50:50 partnership with the Welsh Government, which pumped £42m into the build. On top of that it has provided £2m in grants and loans to improve a nearby hotel.
"On top of that it has provided £2m in grants and loans to improve a nearby hotel.
"Show me a similar investment by the Welsh Government in the capital of the North. For 20 years this Labour Government has mouthed bland platitudes about investing in The Racecourse and creating 'the Millenium Stadium of the North'. The reality is that we've had no investment and The Racecourse remains a three-sided ground with no conferencing or additional facilities.
"We're getting crumbs rather than a fair share of the loaf. That's why Plaid Cymru would legislate to make sure that every part of Wales got a fair share of capital funding."

Monday, 13 May 2019

'No nukes is good news' for Wrexham

Petition pressure persuades Wrexham Council to oppose nuclear dumping

A petition signed by hundreds of local people has helped persuade Wrexham Council to oppose any nuclear dumping in the borough.

The petition was launched last month by Plaid Cymru due to concerns that the council had failed to state its views on dumping nuclear waste in the area, something the Welsh Government is actively seeking support for in local communities. 

Cllr Marc Jones, leader of the Plaid Cymru group, had written to the council's chief executive six weeks ago seeking assurances on the matter before launching the petition. Hundreds of local residents signed the petition and Cllr Jones has now written to them thanking them for their support.

Cllr Jones said: 
"As a party we had concerns about Wrexham being used a nuclear waste dump and failed to get assurances from the council's leadership. There were strong views expressed by those signing the petition and I'm therefore delighted that the Executive Board on Tuesday will be recommending that the council does not 'host' a geological waste repository for radioactive material.  

"It seems it has now been persuaded by our pressure to take a strong stance on this matter. No nukes is good news for Wrexham."

Friday, 10 May 2019

The pot hole plague

Prince Charles Rd - Caia Park
Wrecsam’s pot hole problem is escalating as are residents complaints. With council leaders struggling to tackle the issue, Plaid Cymru are calling on the Labour Welsh Government to recognise the scale of the problem and provide more funding, and for the council to look at a new strategy focusing on more cost effective repairs.

Plaid Cymru councillor for Queensway ward in Caia Park Carrie Harper said: “We have some stretches of road in the borough that are disintegrating at the moment and several substantial pot holes that simply keep opening up despite many temporary repairs. I’m getting complaints from local residents about the damage these are causing to cars, as well as safety concerns raised by cyclists”

“We all understand that money is tight and that a decade of cuts have decimated the overall road maintenance budget along with the staff resource the council has to tackle this. The most recent estimate is that there is currently a £36m backlog for road maintenance across Wrecsam which is eye watering.”

“In a nutshell, funding is the root of the problem and we need to put pressure on the Labour Welsh Government to recognise the seriousness of the issue and to make it a priority going forward.”

“The council has a statutory duty to ensure the road network is safe and with insufficient funding to do that effectively, I am sympathetic they’re in a no win situation as it stands.  I also understand that temporary patching is one way to try and meet the statutory duty given there isn’t enough money for more substantial repairs but let’s be honest, it is only firefighting the problem."

" At a recent meeting about this we heard that one Cllr has had the same pot hole filled 37 times. That simply isn’t sustainable and ultimately can’t be cost effective either, we need a different approach with a focus on more longer term repair work ”.

Wrexham residents can report pot holes to the council at:, or ring 01978 298 989.

Saturday, 4 May 2019

A 21st Century vision for the oldest international stadium in the world

Labour politicians should stand up for Wrexham - or stand aside

Plaid Cymru AM Llyr Gruffydd is calling for greater action from the Welsh Government to secure land behind the Kop to ensure the regeneration of the Racecourse ground.

The land is also a vital part of Wrexham council's emerging masterplan for the railway station / Mold Road area. It would be unforgiveable to allow the land in question to be lost, when it is so strategically important. It would also be a huge waste of the consultant's time and money.

The Welsh Government has been less than open about its part in this debacle. It has had opportunities to take ownership in recent years but squandered them, often because one department didn't know what the other was doing.

It is not the fault of Glyndwr University that it is having to consider a higher bidder when offers were made to the Welsh Government. It would be unfair to pin the blame on them.

Llyr Gruffydd, Plaid Cymru's North Wales AM, has challenged minister over this - urging them to invest in the North in the same way as they have done in projects along the M4 corridor.

We know that political pressure from Plaid Cymru is one clear way to get this Labour government to do the right thing in this case. It was a Plaid Cymru initiative that persuaded the Labour government to even consider a National Football Museum and we argued successfully that it should be here in Wrexham. Plaid Cymru secured funding for the museum and we will continue to push for this to be opened in Wrexham as part of the regeneration of this key gateway area to the town.

Wrexham as a town deserves far more from the failed Welsh Government. Wrexham AFC deserves far more too... and a redeveloped Racecourse with modern facilities (including conferencing, meeting rooms, food and drink facilities, a bigger club shop, a museum and retail outlets) would provide more income for the club year-round.

The oldest international stadium in the world needs a 21st Century vision. 

If those in power - whether in Government in Cardiff Bay or Wrexham Guildhall - don't share that vision, they need to get out of the way and let people who have vision and ambition for the club and the town get on with the job.

Friday, 3 May 2019

Plaid gain seat from Labour in Caia Park

Plaid Cymru has gained a council seat from Labour on Caia Park Community Council in Wrexham.

Keith Gregory won a by-election in the Whitegate ward last night with 47% of the vote against two other candidates. The by-election was called after a Labour councillor resigned from the community council but the party failed to field an official candidate.

Cllr Gregory, a former county councillor and well-known community campaigner, said: 
"I'm delighted to have won and would like to thank the Plaid Cymru team who helped me during the campaign. I'll do my best for all the residents of Whitegate and make sure they have a voice on the community council."
Cllr Carrie Harper, who leads the Plaid Cymru group on Caia Park Community Council, said: 
"It's great to have Keith back on the community council. He has a wealth of knowledge about the local area and knows how to get things done locally. It was striking how many people in Whitegate ward knew him personally and, now he's been elected, I'm sure they'll hear much more from him."

Among the people attending the count was Cllr Malcolm King, the Labour chair of the community council, who was there to support one of the other candidates Phil Owen.

The result means Plaid Cymru now has four councillors on Caia Park Community Council.

Keith Gregory     116 (47%)
Phil Owen             98 (40%)
Dorothy Mitchell  33 (13%)