News The Guildhall balcony was almost as packed as Llwyn Isaf

Residents in Wrexham were invited take part in a major consultation that was been launched by the Local Service Board (LSB). Although this may sound quite dry the plan’s title is “Our Plan – Improving Quality of Life for the People of Wrexham” and in theory it could make a difference to everyone living in Wrexham between now and 2024.

The Local Service Board is a partnership that brings together organisations that provide services in Wrexham. Its membership includes Wrexham Council, North Wales Police, North Wales fire Service and the Association of Voluntary Organisations, Glyndwr University, Yale College, Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board, Public Health Wales and the Probation Service.

The Plan has three priorities to make sure:
1. Wrexham is a place where people live independently, are healthy and active.
2. Wrexham is a place that is economically strong, resilient and responsible
3. Wrexham is a place that is safe and inclusive.

We reported on the plan back in October (here) and gave a sample of the wording used which was quite informal. The findings of the consultation are now out which covers replies from around 500 people, and will be presented to Councillors later this month.

The full report is here (PDF), with the appendices at the bottom of the document containing the draft plan consultation report, which has responses in full from the consultation.

The report addresses questions on the style and methodology of the consultation, for example “There is a need for a better title to the document. SIP or Single Integrated Plan does not give enough information as to what the document is”.

At several places in the report feedback that is irrelevant to the report itself but relevant to improving the town has been passed to other departments inside the council.

One method of consultation was a straightforward postcard that asked “If you could change one thing to improve your quality of life in Wrexham, what would that be?” To give a flavour these are some of responses:

  • Clamping down on crime and vandalism within Wrexham
  • Sort out and improve the traffic grid lock
  • More street patrols by North Wales Police
  • Stamp out the crime in Caia with burnt out cars and youths on motorcycles tearing around with no concern to others. Keep people safe and protect the elderly and young children in Wrexham from violent crime
  • Clean the town up and cut the cost of bus fares
  • Recognise the status and role of carers in Wrexham and ensure that they are not financially disadvantaged
  • All things in Wrexham can be improved
  • Provide more housing for homeless and work opportunities
  • Clamping down on vandalism and clamping down on young children on the streets

There was some criticism of the postcard method, with it being said “The postcard consultation method was seen to be problematic for agencies and they felt that it did not give them the opportunity to have their say on the plan as a whole.” Timing for the consultation was tight, with feedback also saying “It was felt that the process had been conducted back-to-front as the question on the postcard should have been asked prior to the plan being formulated; it
was felt that it was too late in the day to ask this question now.”

At the launch of the consultation the style and manner of the plan raised eyebrows as it was very informal. It appears this was loved and hated in equal measure with some feeding back “It looks like it’s been written by someone from
Wrexham” but others saying it was “patronising,” “too friendly” and “written solely for a younger audience/age
group.”

Members of the Partnership and Collaboration Scrutiny Committee will be invited to read and debate the issues raised and make comment on them.

You can see the forum thread on this topic here!