Wrexham Council’s decision to close Plas Madoc is set to be scrutinised next week after Councillor’s called in the Executive Board’s decision.
On Wednesday 26th February the Customers Performance and Resources Scrutiny Committee will meet to discuss the Leisure Review, in particular the recent decision to close and eventually demolish Plas Madoc.
Two weeks ago seven members of the Council Executive Board voted in favour of the closure and demolition of Plas Madoc, stating that the building was in poor condition and that the cost per visit to the Centre is more than the national average.
The meeting will take place just hours before Wrexham’s 52 Councillors meet to discuss the budget in the Full Council meeting.
Earlier this week Wrexham.com reported that Councillor David Taylor for the Cefn Ward had requested that Councillors reconsidered the decision to close Plas Madoc Leisure Centre.
For an Executive Boards decision to be successfully called in, five non-Executive members must submit a completed ‘Notice of Call In’ the Head of Corporate and Customer Services within five working days of the date of publication of the relevant decision.
From this a meeting of an appropriate Scrutiny Committee must then be convened to consider the Notice of Call In within seven working days of receipt of the notice.
The five necessary signatures to ‘call in’ the decision of the Executive Board have been obtained, with Cllr Taylor, Cllr William Baldwin, Cllr John Pritchard, Cllr Ronnie Prince, Cllr Arfon Jones and Cllr Pat Jeffares all signing.
On 18 February 2014, the Head of Corporate & Customer Services received a Notice of Call In of the Executive Board decision of 11 February 2014 to implement the Leisure Review.
However a call in of the decision would be the last chance Councillors would have to review the decision before the Full Council decide on the final budget decision for the next 12 months.
Speaking earlier this week Councillor David A Bithell Leader of Wrexham Independent Group said: “Five Non-executive members of our group have decided to call in the decision and hold the seven Executive Board members who voted to close Plas Madoc to account. It’s quite clear from our members and that of the Wrexham public we need to hold the Executive Board to account. They are put in office by the public and voted out of office by the public.”
In the Appendix of the Scrutiny Report it states that a total of 1,508 written comments regarding the proposed closure had been submitted, along with over 700 comments on the range of facilities at Plas Madoc.
Appendix Three, which begins on page 60 of the report, lists the five signatures required for the Call In, along with a number of points the ‘undersigned’ believe should have been considered by the Executive Board meeting and Lead Member for Health and Adult Social Care.
These points include the health and well-being of the local population, the lack of input from partners of health and the lack of due consideration given to possible Trust Funds.
The closure of Plas Madoc is one that has been highly debated by the public and Councillors since proposals of its closure were first announced last year. Campaigners have joined together to create the ‘Save Plas Madoc’ group, and tonight at 7:30pm an open meeting will be held at the Air Products Social Club.