Posted: Mon 13th May 2024

Calls to improve Wrexham’s roads after councillor “attacked” in her own home by angry motorist for people living in or visiting the Wrexham area

A councillor was subject to an ‘attempted assault’ at her home because a member of the public “was angry that her car had been damaged by potholes in a local road”, the leader of the local Plaid Cymru Group has said.

The details have been revealed as it has emerged compensation payouts by Wrexham Council have almost trebled in just a year, with largest sums for highways maintenance – amounting to £361,000 of the total of £1.3 million over the past two years.

The data has emerged following a Freedom of Information request from Plaid Cymru councillors that shows total compensation payments went up from £339,997 in 2021/2 to £955,455 in 2022/23.

Cllr Marc Jones, who submitted the FOI request, said: “Some of these payments date back to claims made in 2013 but there is a clear rise in claims in recent years.

“It’s fair to assume that increased claims are being made because roads are not being maintained and, as a result, more damage is being caused to cars and motorists are putting in claims. Wouldn’t it make sense to spend more on resurfacing the roads rather than paying out compensation?

“Plaid Cymru councillors have raised the issue of road maintenance time and time again with the council.

“We understand that money is limited because of central government cuts but this is not a good use of money – even after paying out the compensation the roads still need bringing up to standard.

“Being pro-active in fixing potholes and resurfacing roads that are a danger to cyclists and motorists is a long-term investment.

In an incident that the Cllr Jones is specifically linking to Wrexham Council’s pothole policy he has detailed an “attempted assault” on a councillor.

Cllr Davies commented on the incident on her Facebook page after what was described as an ‘attack’: “Yesterday a lady hammered my door, I was home with my granddaughter.

“She physically tried to hit me because of damage caused to her car on Summerhill Road. I’ve been a Councillor for almost two years, the roads have been neglected for decades.

“I’m fighting for a Summerhill Road resurface – we will know in the coming weeks if we are successful. In the meantime I can’t do anything more.”

Cllr Jones said: “The failure to deal with potholes and poor surfacing has other consequences – on Friday evening (May 3) Cllr Annette Davies, a Plaid Cymru councillor, was interrupted while having a family meal with her grand-daughter by a female banging on her door.

“The woman attempted to assault Cllr Davies because she was angry that her car had been damaged by potholes in a local road.

“This is despite Cllr Davies and other Plaid councillors locally working non-stop behind the scenes to try to get the council’s highways department to take action.

“It’s deeply distressing for a councillor to have to face that kind of physical abuse when they’re doing so much to try to solve the situation.

“Annette is a wonderful hard-working local representative and doesn’t deserve having valuable family time interrupted in such a violent and aggressive way.

“It’s a growing problem I’m afraid, with female councillors in particular being subjected to abuse in person and online from people who are frustrated by diminishing council services.

“This is the direct consequence of 14 years of Tory cuts and a local failure to prioritise funding to the right places.”

The FOI also details other compensation claim total cost to the council, including:

One ‘car park’ claim totalling £19,652
One ‘parks’ claim totalling £20,276
One ‘noise’ claim totalling £18,788

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