Council Watcher

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  • in reply to: Sprouts and Council project management #155837

    Council Watcher
    Participant

    Ioan – the principles of both a nursery and arts facility are the same — they both need a budget. One expects to earn sufficient income through fees the other has income but needs a top up from grants or Council funds. The issue I have with Ty Pawb is that the level of subsidy going into Ty Pawb starts at one figure pre-opening of the building then as each fiasco unfolds there is more and more subsidy going to be required to keep the door open- surly as ratepayers and tax payers we cannot give a project such as this an open cheque book.

    If a Nursery was not making money in the private sector they would close – surely the same principle should apply to Ty Pawb.

    in reply to: Rhosnesni School #155689

    Council Watcher
    Participant

    Perhaps one option to pilot would be for Coleg Cambria to take over one of the Secondary School in Wrexham- it would certainly shake up the secondary school market and offer a different choice. At prsent there are very large numbers of young people being bused to schools over the boredr into England or Shropshire.

    The Coleg Cambria ‘brand’ and proven track record would certainly help to retain these pupils in Wrexham. Something has to be done soon as we are failing young people- the sad thing is that you can’t turn something like this around over night and many of those in secondary schools now are heading for failure- it needs to tackle issues from Primary school- success may take 10 years.

    in reply to: Rhosnesni School #155687

    Council Watcher
    Participant

    GWE – here is an interesting article that shows the School Improvement service itself was not up to par at one time when Estyn inspected — https://www.dailypost.co.uk/news/north-wales-news/school-improvement-consortium-back-education-13909363

    Matt the point you make about London schools and improving standards is actually replicated in a number of inner city schools – Birmingham being another with their schools outperforming Wrexham despite all of the classes dealing with a multi-racial mix of children and most not having English as a first language- what binds them and gives motivation is their culture is determined to do better than a previous generation. Do we have that type of motivation in many of our local school children?

    in reply to: Rhosnesni School #155681

    Council Watcher
    Participant

    Is this really a need for more finance – if it was how come Maelor School in Penley achieves such good results with their pupils?
    Making young people more aspirational has to be a start – this is more to do with those who live at home and if they are in work or daily TV couch potatoes (apologies this is just a general term and not reflective on large numbers of parents at Rhosnessni or Clywedog). The whole home context in which young people live is crucial to the support level they have and the family motivation.

    It i also unfortunate but a close look at the teaching staff and management needs to be carried out – staff standards play a significant part in the standards and educational development within a school. Failing schools, equals failing pupils.

    Key to the improvement should be GWE – which is the North Wales School Improvement Service — what are they doing to help?

    in reply to: Sprouts and Council project management #155570

    Council Watcher
    Participant

    The Ty Pawb interim report is due shortly, if it follows the Sprouts process there will be delays due to HR related matters that need investigating, Financial figures will be unavailable as the Finance Officer can’t produce them till after the end of the financial year (copying Sprouts), the project management hasn’t used the new Tool Kit because this has been produced before Ty Pawb started.

    You could almost write the entire report in advance by substituting Sprouts for Ty Pawb.

    The Leader Cllr Pritchard has now put a marker down about subsidy. I wonder what political fallout there will be when the Deputy Leader Hugh Jones insists that Ty Pawb is wonderful and art is worth a subsidy to the tune of many £100’s thousand pounds.

    Not that long ago when Plasmadoc Leisure Centre was due for closure and there was a split in the ranks in the Labour Party Members based on fund or don’t fund the centre. This resulted in 10 Labour Councillors moving to the Independents.
    How will the Conservatives vote on a similar issue this time round – can Hugh Jones keep them united or are his days as Leader of the Party and Deputy Leader now numbered -?

    Watch this space as the fighting behind closed doors starts that will inevitably lead to some casualties – with officers and Council Members.

    in reply to: The last rites for Eagles Meadow #155455

    Council Watcher
    Participant

    One of the failings for Eagles Meadow is that it is a shopping centre which has a dead end – the lack of purpose to go anywhere as it is a destination shopping area only. When the destination shops have closed why would you want to go there as you are not walking to anything else.

    This latest round of closures plus those already empty units looks like an overall closure of over 30% – or put another way a 30% reduction in the reason why anyone will shop there.

    There have already been many financial announcements about M & S and Debenhams – if one of these go then the place will fall like a pack of cards and will truly be a ghost zone – possible with no retail then the ‘undesirables’ from the town centre will relocate giving the town centre a better atmosphere.

    Debenhams and M & S are probably waiting for the Christmas trade period – if that proves to be poor then closure notices are bound to be up within the first two weeks of January.

    in reply to: Glyndwr planning applications #155349

    Council Watcher
    Participant

    Nen I disagree with you regarding lack of infrastructure so applications won’t be passed- it is very unusual for any application to be turned down on these grounds — what will happen is that the developer will be asked to make a Section 106 or Community Benefit contribution. Wrexham is actually very poor at negotiating the levels and extremely poor in implementing the collection with a number of developers still going back for a number of years.

    It is also normally the case that these funds will go to Council projects – it is almost non-existent for any Council to contribute to any Health services. Nen I disagree with you regarding lack of infrastructure so applications won’t be passed- it is very unusual for any application to be turned down on these grounds — what will happen is that the developer will be asked to make a Section 106 or Community Benefit contribution. Wrexham is actually very poor at negotiating the levels and extremely poor in implementing the collection with a number of developers still holding back for a number of years.

    It is also normally the case that these funds will go to Council projects – it is almost non-existent for any Council to contribute to any Health services.

    in reply to: Ty Pawb – Very disappointed :-( #155339

    Council Watcher
    Participant

    The total lack of any financial cost information is a clear giveaway that this is an Architects PR story only. Design and build is all they are interested in, not the actual activity that takes place.

    in reply to: Ty Pawb – Very disappointed :-( #155333

    Council Watcher
    Participant

    It should be noted that this ‘positive’ review has been written purely from an architectural perspective for the Guardian – it would be interesting to see if the Guardian sent an arts or business reporter to visit what their take on Ty Pawb would be.
    The success of any arts building is not what it looks like but what is actually going on with displays and activities, none of which are covered in the article. There are very few galleries that can claim people are visiting to see the architectural features.

    in reply to: EasyCoach #155320

    Council Watcher
    Participant

    It’s a good job that the Council have not leased the Bus Staion to Ariva or one of the large companies as they would drive out competitionn by increasing the charges to drop off and pick up. This has occured in other parts of the country when a Council leases to the big guys and the smaller operators are foced out of business.

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