Matt

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  • in reply to: Difficult Decisions? #140593

    Matt
    Participant

    Schools budget
    For a number of years the Council has protected school budgets. It is proposed
    that schools’ budgets are protected and given the same allocation as 2017/18 but
    not increased over the next two years. This means that schools will be required to
    meet growth pressures and inflation which are currently estimated at £1,158,000 in
    2018/19 and a further £1,408,000 in 2019/20. This proposal has been consulted on
    with the School Budget Forum.

    Clarification on this as well – school budget apparently protected, but effectively it is a cut if the same financial allocation is given for 2018/19 and 2019/20 as 2017/18 and schools themselves are expected to deal with inflation and growth pressures.

    In real terms schools are facing shortfalls in the latter 2 academic years (getting quite hefty by 2019/20) – however we can’t see the shortfalls here because for some reason the document decided it would be under no obligation to tell us the actual budget for 2017/18. How is anyone expected to work with this document?

    Where are schools going to find the shortfall funding? Everyone going to have to start taking in their own money for pens, like in some schools in England?

    Education is not being protected at all. The correct amount of money to be allocated to schools is the amount they need to educate the number of pupils they have in the school effectively and pay for the appropriate amount of staff. Dishonesty again.

    in reply to: Difficult Decisions? #140590

    Matt
    Participant

    One thing I am struggling to understand about the additional income streams being quoted, how do they have any context whatsoever without the overall costings being shown to us?

    School meals
    Current charges for school meals are £2.30 for infants and £2.35 for juniors. A 2%
    increase will be applied for 2018/19 which will increase the charges by 5p. In 2019/20,
    the charges will be brought in line with each other, which will therefore only see
    the infants’ fee increased by a further 5p. This is an increase which is applied to
    school meals every year, as the costs of providing school meals (e.g. supplier costs)
    increases. This will not affect Free School Meals entitlement. It is estimated this
    could generate additional income of approximately £15,000 in 2018/19 and a
    further £7,000 in 2019/20.

    Surely in this case, the additional income is going to cover the additional costs they mention from the supplier, but this is suggesting a surplus £15,000 over what is available in the budget now to be applied elsewhere?

    What someone needs to ask the council is: i) Will there be an extra £15,000 available to allocate to elsewhere from the budget from the price increases in 2018/19 and an extra £7,000 in 2019/20 or will this extra income be entirely absorbed by the increase in supplier costs and therefore not represent any increase in income to the overall budget whatsoever?

    ii) If the additional income is actually going to the budget (after covering the increased costs), why are paying for dinner parents being unfairly levied above the actual supplier cost increases – schools and education are not for profit generation from hard working families.


    Matt
    Participant

    Very pleased to hear that the phone boxes are now being removed, as I’ve never seen anyone use them to make a phonecall in years, but looked like a hotbed for dealer activity.

    in reply to: 20 difficult to let properties demolished #140531

    Matt
    Participant

    This was the article about these particular ones. Although the council report seemed to have completely contradicted itself:

    “it was noted that the properties were ‘generally unpopular and difficult to let’. The report also stated: “Of the 22 properties proposed for demolition, 18 are currently tenanted.”

    22 Properties Set For Demolition as Part of Estate ‘Modernisation’ Plans

    in reply to: 20 difficult to let properties demolished #140530

    Matt
    Participant

    Are they referring to the flats in Plas Madoc? If so, I believe they were considered a fire hazard because of the way they were built – only 1 entrance – if blocked by flames – no other way to get out.

    Although ones built in a similar manner in the area are not currently planned to be demolished as they have sitting tenants.

    Unless this is a completely different set of houses.

    in reply to: Difficult Decisions? #140516

    Matt
    Participant

    It technically shouldn’t be the case that these groups are being targeted, but then not represented by the rest of Wrexham. Surely, everyone has parents, children and grandchildren – likewise many families have someone with disabilities or knows someone who relies on support services, so why aren’t enough people stepping up to the bat and saying ‘leave these things the f*ck alone?’. If you are going to be protective over your kids or elderly relatives if someone malicious targets them in person (a con artist, a bully, a paedophile, a dodgy care home nurse) – then why not apply it vigorously in terms of protection from the state or local public authorities? You are basically failing to protect in this case.

    The bottom line is people just don’t care. Even Clr Pritchard doesn’t care – he’s reported to have evidence that there’s “chock-a-block” needles all discarded behind places in Wrexham town centre, but because it’s on private land the council are not prepared to do anything. If a restaurant serves dodgy food, health and safety comes and shuts them down, if someone slips and falls in a shop, there’s potential criminal or civil responsibility. If drug addicts throw loads of needles about that kids or anyone could get a needlestick injury from, there’s no action taken.

    in reply to: Penycae Community Centre – Difficult Decisions Lie #140438

    Matt
    Participant

    Just a note: Had a clarification on this from Wrexham Council, who said the consultation is in relation to the centre on Hall Street in Penycae.

    Thanks for the clarification Darryl, this is very much what everyone in the community suspected. Which begs the question how can the consultation document have been allowed to contain a statement which was a blatant lie? If they are lying about this, what else have they been dishonest about?

    in reply to: Penycae Community Centre – Difficult Decisions Lie #140341

    Matt
    Participant

    I should also have said…if it is the Community Centre where the playgroup is held then the Council should absolutely be held to account if they are lying in the consultation document, in fact I’d go so far as to say that the consultation would need to be restarted.

    Well I certainly agree with you on that. Which is why it will be interesting what the outcome is. I was expecting someone to turn round and say – “yes, that’s the old community centre they are talking about and there are plans in place to have the local community council to take over the running of the current working centre” – but those involved locally have stated no agreement has yet been made with the council to ensure that it remains open.

    Anyway my next line of constructive enquiry is to get in touch with Cllr Philĺips and Lowe to see what information they have.

    in reply to: Penycae Community Centre – Difficult Decisions Lie #140340

    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.

    I think you just need to ask the Council which CC they mean rather than speculate and post on Facebook. I still think it will mean the other one – the one that is actually in Penycae Ward and that is disused as far as it’s intended purpose – it may simply be that the Council has decided it would rather demolish it and sell the land in order to get the cash now rather than rent and rates spread over several years.

    All I did on the defacto Penycae group of over 1,700 members – so the easiest way to ask my local community was this ask the following question – after comments about the community centre were repeated in the Leader: “This article is confusing it states there are plans to transfer or demolish/dispose of Penycae community centre because it is disused, which is obviously not the case. Is there an old community centre somewhere?”

    http://www.leaderlive.co.uk/home/2017/11/09/gallery/no-sacred-cows-in-budget-promises-wrexham-council-leader-99383/?ut=20171109084355975

    Logic would dictate that asking a sensible question on a social media site where people who have local knowledge is the first port of call. The resulting further information from respected members of the community council and also from the playgroup leaders who I know personally as my daughter recently attended, has pushed me to ask further questions so that I can seek a clear answer for everyone concerned.

    It clearly shows a fault of the council’s delivery of information that no-one can clarify which community centre is under threat. It is in mine and the community’s best interests to seek clarity. If people were to just sit and rest on their laurels we’d have lost Plas Madoc leisure centre. So you’ll have to excuse me for not blindly trusting the council in terms of acting in the best faith and interests of the community.

    in reply to: Penycae Community Centre – Difficult Decisions Lie #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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