Forum Replies Created
Matt said “
Agreed Alun that it is unlikely to work getting big businesses to pay, especially not in the UK under the current economic and political climate. I was just throwing it in there as something that has happened as an idea of something in terms of tackling homelessness elsewhere in the world as I came across it reading the news.
It’s all incredibly frustrating because few years back we didn’t have this problem in our town – we’d always been very low on actual people persistently on the streets either sleeping or begging and probably more out of sight than it is now drug and alcohol abuse issues. Now we’ve got zombies on the street and we had a shanty town that made the national press.
So for us to be able to move onwards and upwards 12 months, 2 years, 5 years down the line we need to work out like you said how to boost our retail/business ecosystem and get these people off the streets somehow.
I really feel that with the current lack of funds police, council, MPs, AMs etc… etc… everyone is clueless and powerless to defeat the beast of the latest failure in the war on drugs and a continued squeeze on those worst off that pushes impoverished people and their problems over the edge into being everyone else’s problems out on the streets” (end quote)
My last contribution on this one Matt (hopefully) because I think it’s played out. Through all of the Thatcher era (and beyond), we never had this sort of thing on the streets of Wrexham. If the “Broken Window Theory” is valid then I hope that you would agree that irrespective of the causal linkage, the fact that people have been allowed onto Wrexham’s streets to indulge in all sorts of stuff has emboldened the same people to go further and further and encouraged others to join in. This has led to a legal Apartheid system to come into play where the legal requirements applicable to most of us have been disregarded when it comes to others. Which leads me to the following. Firstly, we need to apply every possible remedy to the issue and turn around what appears to be broken lives (assuming that this is what the involved individuals want…….and the jury is out on that one Matt!!). Secondly, WCBC, The Police, the Community…..all should expect minimum standards of behaviour on our streets and the law should be applied without fear or favour in the interests of all (those dissuaded by its’ application as much as anyone else)
Thanks for the whole-hearted concern about my doorway folks. Haven’t had the pleasure yet….though one of my old Phase One staff has reminded me that on Day One of his employment he was given the task of removing a monster one from by our back door. At this point I normally move into Sheefag country and request that people be deturd from doing the aforementioned…….but I won’t.
Best of luck Matt on the idea of getting big businesses to wade in to the rescue. Not the most practical idea that you’ve thrown out there……and you are a man who has so many really good comments…..usually.
This is an intractable problem and I suspect that we need to agree on what can’t be tolerated……and then try to come up with a solution. It is intolerable that a town should be hi-jacked by people committing anti-social acts of a proliferating kind, individuals being allowed to be given a free pass where the law is concerned and prevent the rest of us trying to build something better. That said, there should be strategies in place to turn around lives and help people to overcome their current circumstances
Like most humane people Matt, I ignore the ignorant comments of people who try to compress a complex problem into a few glib phrases. That said, I think that you are on the wrong track. What you are missing here is a few greater good aspects of this issue. Firstly, whilst you write in a concerned way about people who are on the streets begging, you seem to ignore the weight of arguments emerging from the main national Charities about giving money to beggars in the street. Google the phrase ‘Charities against begging’ and see what comes up. There is an interesting piece of research in Northern Ireland (Belfast) for example and many Charities make the persuasive case that giving money actually incentivises all sorts of bad practice not the least drug consumption and dealing. Most Charities suggest giving time and advice to those who beg. Secondly, you seem to be totally ignoring the wider ramifications of begging upon the wealth of a town like Wrexham and the job prospects therein. Businesses are being really damaged by the range of street negatives, shoppers and tourists are being put off coming to Wrexham, and the begging proliferation will cause more job losses and more job layoffs. Even a superficial glance of social media will tell you all you need to know about people coming into Wrexham because of anti-social street occurrences. There is a vicious circle now in play, people are being emboldened in their begging and whilst I have every sympathy with those who hit hard times, we should never tolerate the intolerable
It absolutely breaks my heart to read some of the comments above, especially about the Nimby mentality. It also concerns me that people are questioning who might be complaining about the various issues of begging on Wrexham’s streets. The simple answer to who is pushing for something to change on the begging issue is a mixture of people from across the community and many traders within the town. Just to address Matt. Every person I talk to is concerned about the homeless issue, poverty and associated problems. That said, when like me they put their body and soul into opening a business and are confronted day by day with a variety of issues, many too unpleasant to outline, then it is natural that they want to see things improve in the town. Many of the traders stump up a huge amount of money to run a business in town, pay high levels of Rates, and hope that are given a fighting chance of surviving as businesses. The common factor at the moment amongst many of those pressing for a change of policy is that if things don’t change, they will close. Many have already closed.
- This reply was modified 1 week, 4 days ago by Alunh.
I’m a bit confused here Jimbow. You state that the old Peoples Market had 58 stalls which could, if let, produce a potential revenue return of £145k at 100% occupancy. ADDITIONALLY, there were the Arcade shops which, if fully let, would bring in revenue of £78k and that the two together could previously bring in at 100% occupancy £223k. Add the Car Park and the Revenue and there is a quite mouth-watering potential in the previous. It does seem odd that WCBC has placed its bets on such a risky punt and even on their own figures, would I be right in assuming that the old Market was generating more as it was run down?
Interesting detail Carol. I wonder how the budgeted Rental Income and the expected rental Incomes compare with the same Incomes immediately before the closure of the Market some 17-18 months ago and (say) a couple of years ago. I’m also wondering whether the figures provided exclude or include the units in the South Arcade and other. The figures seem very low when compared to the figures that I’m assuming were noted several years ago. I’m guessing that the resident figures man, Jimbow, might provide some interesting facts. When I was in the South Arcade, my single unit was let at a rent of £760.00 a month (£9120.00 per annum) and it would only need some 15-16 lots of my old rent to hit the current expected rental return. Interesting
- This reply was modified 3 weeks ago by Alunh.
Something that gets continuously mentioned and compared to Ty Pawb is the success that the Altrincham Market has had in turning things around for a town centre. However, what I wasn’t previously aware of was the fact that the Altrincham refurbishment project cost £175,000 vs Ty Pawb’s £4.5m. If it’s possible to improve a space at a significantly lower cost, how on earth can Ty Pawb have cost that much to refurbish with so little in terms of value being currently shown?
You raise a really interesting question Matt. Prior to the decision to opt for an Arts Hub in Wrexham, there was considerable pressure to “reconfigure” Wrexham’s Markets. Many people presume that this means spending loads of dosh on them, but this isn’t necessarily the case. Whilst refurbishment always helps, the real challenge for Wrexham a couple of years ago was to reinvigorate the Markets by applying the best practice noticed nationwide. That’s why the presence of the Manchester Metropolitan College in Wrexham was so important. Their academic team fronted by Professor Alan Hallsworth, Nikos Ntounis, Professor Cathy Parker and Simon Quin had already produced a key report on Markets (‘Markets Matter’) had already shown the ways in which well organised Markets can turn the fortunes of a town around and this can be read online. You mention Food in Altrincham, and one of the main features of a popular modern Market is locally sourced Food and the mixture of Butchers, Fishmongers, Delicatessens, and restaurants (et al) in a successful Market. This also HAS to have a Car Park/Access because people will no longer cart food across a town. Some towns have made a Food-hall the centrepiece of their Markets, whilst others have gone down the Arts and Crafts route with an emphasis on production and retail. Things like a Pottery and Kiln and Studios with Easels and Artists in situ are features. Unfortunately, I suspect that we have still not grasped the nettle where Markets are concerned and whilst I am fairly optimistic that Ty Pawb can be successful, I am pessimistic about the success of the Markets generally in Wrexham until we look again at the Met reports. Whilst we have a Market component in Ty Pawb and two other Market units, there is little coherence about what they offer and who they are pitched at. There is negligible Access to the two central Markets and little identity to them. Once the dust settles on Ty Pawb, perhaps these will be looked at
Hi Matt; excellent post once again.
I was one of the many people who was attacked aggressively for being apparently “negative” on the Ty Pawb matter. Whilst I personally found the points being made laughable, others might not if they were not as thick skinned.
I run a business and have done for years. To succeed, or even to survive, you have to discuss the best way forward with all and sundry, absorbing the criticism and reflecting on the positives as you go along. This is actually part of Marketing and successful operations actually pay for feedback. There are a group of individuals associated with the Arts fraternity who appear to be behaving like attack dogs, determined to stifle discussion and input. Apparently when anyone makes a comment that even feels like it is negative, they descend. Wow!!
Despite that, I ventured along today and was more impressed than I thought I would be. I’m not sure if that was because there were so many people attending the Hub or because of what I saw on show. The Hub is clearly not yet finished and it feels like no one has really done a brass tacks Marketing exercise identifying the optimal target market(s) and the necessary steps taken to service it(them)…….but there is potential. I hope that much fine tuning takes place and that my old Market trader friends enjoy prosperity over the next few months. they deserve it
- This reply was modified 1 month, 2 weeks ago by Alunh.
Whether there are mergers or not, there are parts of our local Government system that could be improved by rationalisation. In Wrexham we have an office of Mayor which costs considerable amounts of money but carries no power. That part of our local Government that is both the ‘Executive’ and ‘Legislative’ arm is rolled up in one body with few checks and balances (bar the occasional election). There is (or was) an officer termed the ‘Chief Executive’ who is the appointee of the elected Council and, in a sense, the Executive function is shared between the appointed and the elected, often to mutual disadvantage. This needs to change.
Scrap the offices of Mayor and appointed Chief Executive and create a new paid office which is elected by the people every couple of years. Endow that office with certain powers so that they can be used to check and balance the actions of the Council. Let the elected officer be the titular head of the Council and sit in the chambers as normal Council business is conducted. Do not have the equivalent of Mark Pritchard because the new directly elected officer will fulfil that role
- This reply was modified 2 months ago by Alunh.
It’s brilliant that the town already has the ideal facility for the extra demand on secondary schooling. This will save the Council a fortune!!
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