Penycae Community Centre – Difficult Decisions Lie

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  • #140323

    Matt
    Participant

    I have been speaking to a number of fellow people in Penycae and they were not aware that the consultation states

    #140324

    Matt
    Participant

    Not sure how this posted before I was able to complete it, but the basic jist is that in the difficult decisions document, it mentions that Penycae and 2 other community centres are currently not used so there are plans to demolish or dispose of the buildings.

    However, in the case of Penycae, this is a flat out lie that I am not sure how they have gotten away with putting into an official document. The community centre is in constant use, with the local playgroup using it 5 days a week along with community council meeting there and a number of other regular groups. It’s also used for private functions such as parties.

    What I want to know is how many councillors are aware that this is a fully functioning community centre that is part of essential services to the village? It became alarmingly clear when I posted into the local Penycae Facebook group – currently 67 comments – that the local residents had no idea their community centre was under threat from closure and possible demolition. In fact even one of the community councillors was not clear on its fate.

    Now if this particular lie has made it through into the consultation document what other false information has also made it in to further the slash and burn cuts?

    It is apparently clear that in general local Wrexham people have no idea what services are at risk in their areas until they are closed.

    It’s all very well telling people to fill out a massive survey online after reading a 33 page document – the average person in Wrexham isn’t going to bother to do that when they don’t even bother to vote locally.

    #140326

    Council Watcher
    Participant

    First you need to call both of your Council Members to account as they surely should be discussing the potential closure with all of the existing users. Cllr Joan Lowe as a Member of the Council Executive.

    You need a FULL breakdown of all income and expenditure on the Centre that is externally verified as certain cists tend to creep in on Council budget lines that may not be applicable to this Centre.

    This will not be the first time they have tried to close a building based on false information — take a look at Spalshmagic– £850k loss yet it will be three years in January for it to have survived.

    You also need to check if any housing developer would benefit from this plot of land as access to a bigger plot – look beyond the obvious as income from land sales is crucial to this Councils plans.

    Check with your Community Council about what information they are aware of that perhaps they haven’t shared either.

    #140327

    bubble
    Participant

    First you need to call both of your Council Members to account as they surely should be discussing the potential closure with all of the existing users. Cllr Joan Lowe as a Member of the Council Executive.

    You need a FULL breakdown of all income and expenditure on the Centre that is externally verified as certain cists tend to creep in on Council budget lines that may not be applicable to this Centre.

    This will not be the first time they have tried to close a building based on false information — take a look at Spalshmagic– £850k loss yet it will be three years in January for it to have survived.

    You also need to check if any housing developer would benefit from this plot of land as access to a bigger plot – look beyond the obvious as income from land sales is crucial to this Councils plans.

    Check with your Community Council about what information they are aware of that perhaps they haven’t shared either.

    It seems such a shame that we cannot rely on our councillors to act honestly. I appreciate that they cannot represent the views of everyone in their constituency, but it feels like they don’t even try to act in their constituents’ best interest. It’s as if their allegiances are to businesses or to themselves.

    #140328

    Nen
    Participant

    Are you sure the document doesn’t refer to the other community centre in Penycae, the one that is no longer used as one? In fact I think that the one you are talking about does not even come within “Penycae” Ward so I assume it must be.

    How can you say that people are not aware of this though, when it’s stated clearly in the consultation document?

    #140329

    JaneJ
    Participant

    Nen your point about it being in the consultation document is clearly correct — but what percentage of residents will take the trouble to read it and even fewer to complete the survey that will take a good 30 minutes.

    I think the point is that when there are local Councillors elected surely they have a duty to inform and communicate effectively with their electorate.

    Hope it is the one that you have referred to that is proposed closure which gives a different slant on the original issue

    #140330

    Nen
    Participant

    Nen your point about it being in the consultation document is clearly correct — but what percentage of residents will take the trouble to read it and even fewer to complete the survey that will take a good 30 minutes.

    I think the point is that when there are local Councillors elected surely they have a duty to inform and communicate effectively with their electorate.

    Hope it is the one that you have referred to that is proposed closure which gives a different slant on the original issue

    I’m sorry but if people can’t be bothered to spend 30 minutes reading and having their say on issues that affect everyone in Wrexham, then they can’t complain later when things are cut that they value. They probably spend more than 30 minutes a day reading and posting meaningless stuff on Facebook!

    #140335

    Matt
    Participant

    Are you sure the document doesn’t refer to the other community centre in Penycae, the one that is no longer used as one? In fact I think that the one you are talking about does not even come within “Penycae” Ward so I assume it must be.

    How can you say that people are not aware of this though, when it’s stated clearly in the consultation document?

    Nen, I’ve been doing my background checking and the other community centre you mentioned, based in Afoneitha has been shut down as a community centre for years and now has a hairdresser/beauty salon in it. So I assume this will be generating business rates and therefore doesn’t fall into the remit of a disused building. This was my original assumption that it was the old community centre, but there is a distinct lack of clarification from the council as far as the fate of the other community centre is concerned.

    1) The council names and lists the active community centre as Penycae on its site, so there’s no ward confusion, even if it is in Penycae and Ruabon South.

    http://www.wrexham.gov.uk/english/community/community_centres/index.htm#centres

    2) Alyn Thomas who has been involved in trying to secure the future of the community centre has stated the following:

    “I should just like to clarify from the perspective of the Community Centre in the Top of Pen-Y-Cae firstly, in the difficult decisions documentation it highlights that the Community Centre will be effectively taken down and the land sold. Pen-Y-Cae Community Council is not taking over the running of the Community Centre. Over 12 months ago a small group of the community worked together to put forward a plan for the running of the Community Centre to keep this as a hub. It is proving a challenging task and the Community Council along with the management group are working hard in conjunction with Wrexham to ensure a lease with a pepper corn rent is agreed. The Community Council has sought an answer from the Relevant Managers with regards to the Comment and hopefully will find a resolution”.

    3) As I said before in my original post, people are not aware of the threat to closure because they don’t read the full consultation or fully understand its implications to their specific local area. As council watcher stated Cllr Lowe and Cllr Phillips both have affected people in their ward yet neither of them have engaged with the community and warned of any issues or even responded to say in the Penycae group that the main in use community centre is safe.

    My point was that its easy for people to say that the council forewarns about its budget plans but the current consultation does not effectively engage sufficient volumes of the general public. As Cllr Pritchard implied – it only seems to be political activists who mostly respond to consultations. What he means there is people in tune to what is going on in Wrexham who disagree with him.

    #140336
    Rob
    Rob
    Keymaster

    For reference the bit on Community Centres is on Page 7 of the consultation PDF http://www.wrexham.gov.uk/assets/pdfs/consultations/budget/2018-19/difficult_decisions_2018-20.pdf

    “Disposal of community centres
    A number of community centres across the county borough are now run by
    Community Councils. However, there are some community centres which are no
    longer in use, but which are still owned by the Council. It is proposed that these
    remaining community centre buildings (i.e. Kingsley Circle, Abenbury and Penycae)
    are either transferred to a third party by 31 March 2018 or considered for disposal or
    demolition. It is estimated this could generate savings of approximately £3,000
    in 2018/19 and a further £11,000 in 2019/20.”

    It does say ‘some’, but then later does specifically name Penycae as one that is proposed to be transferred / sold off / knocked down.

    (Wrexham.com'er - email us on news@wrexham.com)

    #140337

    Matt
    Participant

    Thanks for posting up the link Rob. I was trying to copy/paste in the relevant part from the PDF on my phone last night, but it was proving to be a pain.

    The whole thing just doesn’t add up. The implication is that disused community centres are where the cost savings will be found – then used as a justification to transfer, sell off or demolish etc… Penycae community centre building that is in daily use.

    How can they state that something ia disused when a daily playgroup runs in there? Along with several other weekly functions.

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