My personal views on why I believe a city status bid would be good for Wrexham

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  • #211140

    Alunh
    Participant

    I’d just like to thank Councillor Wynn for his response and, more importantly, the tone of his response. I must take issue with the argument put forward in Point 4 as well as support some of the other observations made by other contributors.

    Councillor Wynn’s argument runs along two lines. Firstly, he states that despite the trends in play “there are still national retail chains who will seek to invest in localities that match their selection formula; To this end I believe Wrexham will be better placed to attract national chains to Wrexham if we brand ourselves as a city rather than as a market town”. I agree with part of this. There are chains who will invest in town (and thank goodness). Unfortunately, towns and cities that are in the second tier across the UK have been so badly impacted by a range of factors, Internet included, that as National/Multiple investment materialises in one place within a town, it disappears elsewhere. National/Multiple traders have no loyalty to an area and the approach adopted is understandably results driven and/or strategic. In many cases companies like HMV and M & S will create polar branches to service a wider area and whilst a town like Wrexham lost its HMV (to the advantage of Chester), another town like Rhyl lost its M & S (to the advantage of Prestatyn). This is standard retrenchment, retreat and consolidate, and whilst Wrexham might continue to receive the attention of some Nationals, things don’t look too bright on that front>

    Councillor Wynn’s second line is that “whilst Wrexham has retained a market town brand over the years the loss of the cattle-market, the relocation of the Beast Market to Waterworld and finally to Queen Square, the deeply saddening demolition of our Vegetable market has very much diluted our market town credentials. Whilst you and I may have fond memories of shopping in these markets, the world has moved on and I would confidently say our markets are not a natural retail destination for the majority aged forty or younger”. Unfortunately, this line whilst true is totally misleading. I quite agree with the words carefully selected. 2021 is not 1980 and a Cattle Market brand is not fit for purpose in 2021. Unfortunately, this is not what either the local advocates of a Town Brand or the very body who were brought into Wrexham to advise on Retail turnaround are suggesting. The Manchester Metropolitan College, the experts on the High Street have been quite clear in their Markets Matter documentation, and various other Reports that Markets and the Independent sector are a vital element of moving forward for a town like Wrexham. Why? Firstly, because of underlying Multiple trends. More importantly, because in the age of the Internet it will be local, personal, service orientated, diverse, small-scale and interesting that will see a town’s revive. It will be around local Craft, local Art, local Markets et al that towns will be revived. Take Mold. Vibrant. Oswestry. Vibrant.

    No one is suggesting retaining Markets that are outdated and irrelevant. What people are calling for is for WCBC to get a grip on the Market concept and copy the likes of Bury and Altrincham in facing the future not the past. This isn’t rocket-science. It just takes some vision and a lot of hard work. It also works best in the Town Brand theme

    • This reply was modified 2 weeks, 6 days ago by Alunh.
    • This reply was modified 2 weeks, 6 days ago by Alunh.
    • This reply was modified 2 weeks, 6 days ago by Alunh.
    #211144

    JaneJ
    Participant

    Perhaps PW will respond to Jimbow on what has happened to all the funding that has come to Wrexham for the markets yet clearly there has been no investment — Perhaps PW would like to put on record how much of the funding intended for the markets has actually gone into propping up the finances in TY Pawb?

    #211148

    billycoen
    Participant

    I’m not fussed either way,town or city,but this fella called Matt don,t half get himself all worked up.Go and have a cup of tea la,and calm down.

    #211168

    Phil Wynn
    Participant

    Evening Jimbow

    I will take up your questions about the indoor markets refurbishment work with officers and come back to you.

    #211169

    JaneJ
    Participant

    PW ask how much is it costing to run Ty Pawb compared with budget and where has the funding come from to cover the shortfall?? How many traders in Ty Pawb are on rent free or reduced rent to maintain occupancy? These points interlink with the bigger marketing budget Jimbow refers.

    #211170

    Phil Wynn
    Participant

    Evening Alan

    I am all for a mixed offer to attract increased footfall in our town-centre and a greater number of independent shops is equally necessary as national chains. There is no reason why they can’t trade happily next to one another.

    Vibrant markets are part of that mix but in the end it is up to traders to offer a retail experience that folk want and value. Over the years shoppers have expected more than is the current offer….if that wasn’t the case then we wouldn’t be having this exchange.

    The impact of Covid on town-centres is not lost on anyone and as a Council we have offered free parking after 11am to tempt Wrexham shoppers to use their town-centre and moving forward we want to make Wrexham more of a social meèting place alongside a retail one.

    Pre Covid I was hopeful town-centre traders would go for BiD status, thereby giving themselves a structured forum to influence how the centre is promoted. Hopefully this will be looked at again.

    City status in itself is a worthless prize but if it can be used to promote inward investment into the Borough then surely that is no bad thing.

    Newport were awarded City status back in 2002 after two previous bids; Reading the following article I’m sure we can use the process to our advantage:

    https://www.southwalesargus.co.uk/news/15154044.newport-has-been-a-city-for-15-years/

    I appreciate others hold countering opinions and wish to promote Wrexham as a market town….I look forward to learning about how they propose to make this happen.

    I’d be interested to learn your thoughts on what are the barriers to independent traders wanting to setup business in Wrexham and what type of shops we are missing in Wrexham. I would like a mens outfitters who sell brown trouser braces.

    Phil

    #211171

    jimbow
    Participant

    Evening Phil Wynn, thanks for the reply.
    My question to you concerned your reply to katy. “I hope you will accept WCBCs ruling coalition are ambitious and want to see things improve for all.”
    I pointed out the market set up as an example of a situation that as far as I am concerned is far from ambitious given the time it has taken to reach fruition. It is now five years and the project has yet to start.

    #211172

    Phil Wynn
    Participant

    Apologies Alun not Alan. Time to call it a day.

    #211183

    BenjaminM
    Participant

    Very interesting to read the ‘personal’ views of Cllr Wynn regarding the benefits of applying for city status but it seems to reflect the views already expressed by other members of the ‘Independent’ parties of WCBC.
    Would it be remiss of me to entertain the possibility that his quite well written missive was decided in a caucus of like minded Councillors?

    #211184

    JP
    Participant

    Wrexham Council, in one guise or another, has had ambitious plans to restore the glory days of 25~30 years previously to the town, for the entire of my life: I am 53 in a couple of weeks.

    The Council seems to have a split personality, half the people I have dealt with can not do enough to help or promote the town; most of the rest seem to exist only to prevent the first half doing their job.

    Honestly how many people do you need to employ to repeat “we cant do that”?

    As for the elected councillors, too many have police mug shots; others manage to look like they belong as extras in a Guy Ritchie film.

    The recent interest in the football club, was originally quoted as involving a £2million investment. In the grand scheme of things that is a fairly small sum, the pavlovian reaction it has created, just shows how small minded and financially destitute the town actually is.

    Never mind city status; town may take some effort at the moment.

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