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    The challenge is now down for the Save the Groves backers — you got the listing now tell us all what you want to do with the building


    The Monitor

    Use it for Education Purposes as stated in the Covenants. It makes perfect sense, and the present school meets 21st Century Criteria. It is also structurally sound. Incidentally, the report on is somewhat correct, But, there is one vital fact omitted. That fact is that Wrecksam County Borough Council had already had an Asbestos survey carried out. That Asbestos Survey was entitled “Pre-Demolition Asbestos Survey”. What is more telling is that the survey was dated 2013. So who pulled out of the deal with Coleg Cambria???? It is obvious that Wrecksam had already decided and encouraged by various Council Officers, that they would demolish the School. As it is, asbestos has to be removed PRIOR to demolition so the cost of that exercise was a meaningless point in the arguement. It should also be noted that asbestos was not used in UK buildings until After World War 2, the school was built in 1938.

    How do I know, I do my research, I also have a copy of the Asbestos Report, and roughly 120 photographs of the interior of the building. Photographs taken between 2014 and 2016 (could be exact on this if I had the time).

    So, use the school for what it was intended, and Why the Covenants were put in place originally. The land for the school was pretty well gifted to Wrexham and the covenants put in place to protect and respect the help to the Wrexham people by the donation. The School was a recognition of Womens’ Suffrage, and the growth of the need for education for young women of the area. USE IT AS A SCHOOL, USE IT FOR EDUCATION.


    That is an unfair challenge Derek.

    The Save the Groves backers come at this question from several different angles (Heritage, Education, Tourism, et al) but who ever they are, they are people who shell out a considerable amount of money for other people to undertake a job on their behalf.

    Personally, I want the building to be used for Secondary Education but, more importantly, I want the Council to set up a Commission to look at Secondary provision in the town (and Borough) with a particular focus on the following mystery………..where have all the children gone? If, when I began teaching in the early 1970s, there were 7 viable Secondary Schools within the town itself catering for Secondary provision (with some youngsters also going to the Tech), how is it that the expanded population of the town is now serviced by a mere 4. Whilst I understand that some youngsters in those schools back in 1970 were 6th formers, the extraction of these and the creation of Yale/Cambria can’t possibly explain away the contraction.

    If Wrexham Councillors actually care a hoot about Education and if they genuinely want this town to prosper, if they conduct this exercise they will answer their own question. The town needs more Secondary provision but the current framework has disguised that very fact



    Alun very surprised with your idea for new Secondary school, at present both Rhosnessni and Clywedog designed with a 5/6 lass entry but only have 3 due to drop in pupils selecting other schools there is huge spare capacity. With Barkers Lane and Plas Coch expanding town centre primary education is covered.
    Best idea that brings ideas together would be new Travelodge with a link to Coldg Cambria hospitality and catering students for a real life training centre.


    Hi Derek

    I’m sure that you understood the nature of my post as you have actually added to the substance of what I put in it. Why have 7 schools wasted away to 4 and why have the 2 superschools themselves shed pupils and are way under the projected intake levels?

    There has been an underlying trend in the way in which Secondary Education in Wrexham has moved and there is a classic example of cause and effect in play. If we can determine what constitutes CAUSE we can determine EFFECT (the drop in schools overall and the drop in pupil numbers in the rump)……and do something to reverse the drift.

    I know this might be counter-intuitive to the untrained mind (lol) but the logic of the scenario in play is not to further reduce the school place capacity in the town but reverse the leakage and put the Groves back into commission.

    By the way Derek. If I was reflecting on a falling turnover in my shop and concluded that I was doing less turnover on the same stock as the previous year I would be foolish to merely contract the stock levels to reflect the turnover. This would only compound the problem because I had failed to look at why the falling sales had occurred in the first place. I trust that you follow



    As if Travelodge is going to take on the Groves site.

    1) It’s not close enough to any of the A483 exits – strategically that’s where they’ll be looking to make a placement.

    2) It would cost them far too much – many millions to convert the inner structure of the Groves into hotel rooms – cheaper for them to put up a modern building from scratch

    3) It’s too close to St John’s House – now this on its own is not too much of a problem but given the fact that a homeless camp ended up on the Groves site nearby with concerns over drug usage. Anyone with commercial sense will flag this up as a red alert over the levels of homeless and drug taking activity that would be considered undesirable to those looking to stay at the Travelodge.

    Don’t get me wrong some of these issues would also affect anything else being put there also. However, the state of affairs that has occurred which has led to the site becoming completely undesirable is wilful mismanagement of the site as led by the current Executive Board who have dedicated many millions in mothballing & legal challenges to allow it to rot as a tantrum to not being allowed to demolish it.

    Alun is right in the respect that we need to completely reverse the major educational failings in the town centre for secondary education as we are continuously failing the next generation of workers.

    If you can’t afford to get your children to somewhere like Penley every day then you are forced to send your children to piss poor secondary schools located in town that don’t have enough funding despite continuously increased budgets from both the council and the WAG. They can’t attract teachers of a sufficient standard. It is basically a massive poverty trap and those who claim to be running the town should be hanging their heads in shame at the grave failings they have instilled on our younger generations and the less well off.


    Ioan y Ffin

    So the education authority can spend years deliberating on how to use the buildings and then suddenly say “We expect any bidder to come up with a fully costed business case and forward plan in a matter of weeks, despite the fact that with all the resources of the public sector they themselves have failed to manage such a task in the decade or more since the school closed.” In short, get us of the mess we have created for ourselves or we’ll press the big red button! This is the Theresa May/Donald Trump approach to government… on our own doorstep.



    I believe the reason for the ‘activity’ about the site is that the Council Education Department have declared it is redundant for their purpose and internally it has gone onto the Economic Development Department to dispose of. If a Developer offered a £1 to take it off the Councils hands they would have significant funds to spend on fighting the legal issue over the covenant- or the Council will have gone to the High Court to get the principle of the covenant moved to an alternate school site- this then has the ability of the Council still having land protected by a covenant by at a different location.
    This method of transferring the ‘intention and spirit ‘of a covenant has often been used.

    The issue over the actual building is separate and negotiations with Cadw about what elements of the building are worth retaining as a listed feature could progress — look at how the old Ware Memorial Hospital frontage was preserved.



    The Art School and Arts Centre should have been located there after Coleg Cambria pulled out . Possibily a Lands Tribunal application to remove covenant and the building turned into flats. With a good architect something aesthetically pleasing could be created.


    What I like about Matt’s posts is that, agree or disagree with him, he identifies issues and wants results.

    I hear what you’re saying Derek. You may well be correct in your narration of intent. Of course, any solution for this drain seems acceptable to some rather than a diagnostic approach and a policy adjustment in respect of Education delivery.

    Short-termism and expediency may be cheap in the immediate future but Wrexham needs an ambitious approach to what is one of the most fundamental aspects of transforming this town.

    It’s no wonder that people despair when they see the City Status debate rear its head

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