This morning the Town Centre Forum met for its regular monthly meeting – here is our usual summary of business!
Inspector Paul Wycherley from North Wales Police attended to give updates on shoplifting and the forthcoming bubble match between Chester and Wrexham.
The meeting was told there was a ‘slight increase’ in shop lifting in town. The context was given both regionally and nationally, where Wrexham’s increase was the smallest in North Wales, and overall nationally the trend is shoplifting is on the rise.
A new policing model is being used in town where previously uniformed officers would have been used to catch shoplifters now undercover patrols are being used. The aim appearing to be to target known shoplifters to deter and remove prior to a crime rather than wait and then apprehend. This was explained as being a more cost effective way of policing as it can be expensive to process shoplifters, so challenging and deterring is preferred.
Similarly a new policy is being rolled out for Wrexham’s night time economy, where uniformed officers are being used earlier in the evenings to identify possible misbehavers and to deal with them earlier, rather than reacting to trouble later on in the evening.
The issues with McDonalds that we reported on here were mentioned, with a note that the business is now helping deal with the problem. It was mentioned that issues have been reported there as late (or early!) as 4am.
Inspector Wycherly spoke about the forthcoming ‘bubble’ match between Wrexham and Chester football clubs, saying he wanted to make it absolutely clear regardless of comments from football fans that the safe transport system (bubble rebranded!) was due to a request from the clubs not the police.
There was praise from the Forum for Inspector Wycherley for doing a Q&A on Wrexham.com (!) you can read it here, with another planned for August.
Kevin Critcherly fed back that although WrexFest was affected by the weather, with some stalls having to be moved inside, the foot traffic through Eagles Meadow was up on the Saturday. Therefore it is probable that the event still had a positive effect for the town. There were also several comments of how the event went well despite the challenging conditions.
Some visitor stats were given for St Giles, with around 2000 visitors recorded in June this year.
The church also issued an attractive a5 leaflet showing a number of events taking place there through to November – you can see it at the footer of this page.
Coach Drop Off
The Council’s Destination Management representative Joe Bickerton reported to the Forum that the new coach drop off in the High Street has had a ‘successful start’ and they intend to develop the idea and promotions further in the forthcoming year.
Again the issue of town centre car parks was discussed, with concern raised in the Forum and repeating anecdotal accounts of how there appears to be a larger number of empty spaces in council run car parks. The meeting was told that after internal permission from line managers it is possible stats, that Wrexham.com have FOI’ed to get, will actually now be released.
Alun Hughes of Bank St, raised again the ideas for a ticket initiative that could be setup by independent traders where costs are refunded or partially refunded for those shopping in town. He said he is trailing such a system and is pleased with results and there is a group that will again look to take the idea further.
As we were by the Guildhall we noticed that the play day sand was being delivered to Queens Square, with the event due to have go karts, volleyball, amaze, water fights and slides!
We also were told that signage was being placed on the old Scotts club in Brook Street, so popping down we saw this being placed on the building by a man from Kidderminster – it would imply that the student development ( prior article here ) could be a longer way off from being built than first thought! We have found the listing on RightMove (here) however it uses the artists impression rather than a view of Brook Street, so those inspecting the site could be in for a shock!