City Status consultation map provides uncensored views on areas of Wrexham
Criticism over Eagles Meadow, claims of the “worst flyover in the UK’ and claims of ‘dogging hotspots’ have been added by members of the public to Wrexham Council’s city status consultation.
The local authority revealed in July it was considering entering a competition for UK towns to upgrade their status as part of plans to mark the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee next year.
Senior councillors have argued Wrexham has a strong case as the largest town in North Wales, despite missing out on city status in 2000, 2002 and 2012.
Wrexham Council is so far the only Welsh local authority actively considering to bid for city status after Merthyr Tydfil withdrew its campaign after receiving a negative response.
To help gauge the public mood last week the local authority launched a public consultation asking residents of Wrexham, “How strongly do you feel that Wrexham deserves to be a city?”
The questionnaire is being run by independent consultants Owen Davies Consulting from Abergavenny, which is posing a range of questions to you that fit the bid submission.
As part of the consultation a ‘features map’, which encourages members of the public to “post photographs of permanent features that give the best impression of Wrexham and the town centre (rather than events or people), with brief captions describing what is shown”.
Since the map went live earlier this month only a handful of submissions have been made by members of the public – some less serious than others.
At the launch of the consultation a couple were already pre-filled and active, including praise for the “hustle and bustle” in the Ty Pawb food court. Other positive markers note the pedestrianisation between the town centre and Eagles Meadow makes Wrexham “easily accessible” unlike other towns of similar size and how the town is home to St Giles Parish Church.
Others have used the opportunity to feedback issues with the town centre and surrounding areas, such as a lack of parking at the Wrexham Maelor Hospital, a lack of public toilet facilities at Bellevue Park, the appearance of the bus station and the long-term derelict land at Bridge Street.
Submissions also include a suggestion that Wrexham Council use the long-term vacant Groves site to house a new primary school, instead of going ahead with controversial plans to use Nine Acre that are due to appear in December.
The flyover at A525 Ruthin Road has been described as “the worst in the UK”, with the submitter writing: “I can travel from London or North Yorkshire non-stop only to be held up by these terrible lights.
“Expect dangerous tailbacks onto dual carriage at peak times.
“Elderly rolling backwards into you and people doing 50mph on dual carriageway between junctions.
“Simply put, the worst flyover in the UK.”
Eagles Meadow has been described as a “poor effort of a shopping area” by one person while another has said issues with business rates and a trend to e-commerce have contributed to issues there. That person has suggested that the former Debenhams store is converted into an open space market or entertainment.
Of the few submissions that have been made, including praise for the likes of Erddig and Llwyn Isaf, there is a theme of a desire for more public and green space in the town.
Outside of the town centre contributions include a car park at Moss Valley Country Park and The Flash in Gresford, where submitters have described the areas as alleged “dogging” spots which need more police patrol.
The map may have also been abused by fans of Flintshire’s second biggest club eleven year old “Chester FC”, with the Racecourse tagged with a note stating “Every season their fans dream of a return to the Football League but it never happens and never will”.
We’ve asked Wrexham Council whether the features map is being monitored for new additions and for information on how many people have taken part in the public consultation.
You can have your say on whether Wrexham Council should apply for city status here , and leave your images and comments on the interactive map here. The consultation closes on October 29.
A decision on whether to press ahead with the bid was due to be made by Wrexham Council via an Executive Board decision on November 9th, however that could alter with rumours of a Full Council meeting being called via a Special Meeting, with a formal submission made in December if either routes approve the idea.
The results of the UK towns that have been awarded city status will not be unveiled until next year.
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