Wrexham Council have resurfaced a car park used predominantly by council staff and councillors, four months after we were told it would categorically not happen.
Back in March we were told a man, with obligatory clipboard, was seen in the councillors’ carpark and when asked what he was up to he related that he was part of an exercise relating to the possible resurfacing of it, and in effect gathering information to quote for the work.
A month later in April we reported how finally councillors will pay (a discounted rate) for their car parking, and mentioned the car park could be due for a resurface.
Within a few hours of the article appearing we were contacted by the Leader of Wrexham Council Cllr Mark Pritchard to ‘categorically’ state the car park would not be resurfaced, “…the members car park will not be resurfaced. There will be some re-marking of white lines and a little bit of work, but no resurfacing. The roadway to the back of Llywn Isaf needs a little bit of work and could be done.”
Today contractors were on site with a surface layer removed and a full layer of fresh tarmac being placed down in a full car park resurface.
Work is also taking place at the road leading in to the members car park, as previously trailed and confirmed by the Leader of the Council.
We asked Wrexham Council who decided to resurface the carpark and when, and what changed to prompt the u-turn from the position only a few months ago.
The work is being carried out by the Environment and Transport section of Wrexham Council, although Lead Councillor Cllr Bithell was made aware of the questions it was left to Chief Officer for Environment & Technical Darren Williams to respond.
Mr Williams response is at odds with the Council Leader’s comments in April, indicating that the work has been long planned even back at the time of the statement, “The resurfacing work has been planned for some time, and has appeared on our published forward work programme since the start of the financial year in April.”
Mr Williams went on to give further details for the reason for the resurfacing works: “The works will address the deteriorating surface condition of the car park, along with Health and Safety concerns around pedestrian entry and exit at the car park.
“The car park also provides a pedestrian thoroughfare throughout its lengths, especially for students, with access to Lambpit Street via the arch and on to Queens Square.
“We have to ensure the safety of pedestrians using that route, as well as access to the car park.
“The scheme sits alongside a number of other planned works for this year – including those to highways – and was timed to minimise disruption, during the summer holiday period.”
We also asked Wrexham Council why a predominantly members carpark has been prioritised for such works over public car parks, and highways in the county borough.
Mr Williams responded: “This scheme has not affected the provision of other public highways works, and it has not been unduly prioritised over other work.
“We have already completed a number of schemes this year including, major works such as those at Gresford Roundabout, and have a significant number scheduled to be carried out later in the year.
“This includes a major project at Tesco Roundabout, which we have begun to discuss with businesses in the area – again, to minimise disruption.
“The forward works programme is an operational matter devised by the engineering team, and is based upon our risk-based approach and the policy defined in our Highways Asset Management Plan.”
The Tesco roundabout, which is about 260 metres away from the freshly tarmaced councillor car park, has had a rough patch in some of the craters in the last day or two, along with other holes in the highways such as the gaps in the A483 bridge by the B&Q roundabout. In May the Tesco roundabout works was touted as being an overnight job.
The resurfacing today has raised eyebrows with several councillors we have spoken with who encountered the works as they arrived in town today.
One councillor who was happy to make a public comment, Cllr Gwenfair Jones, described the works as ‘disgusting’, adding: “I am ashamed. There are areas in town and in my ward that really desperately need resurfacing, whereas they are doing the Guildhall car park. I just can’t believe it!”
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