Posted: Mon 7th Jul 2014

Community Trust Could Take Over Wrexham’s Cultural Services for people living in or visiting the wrexham area
This article is old - Published: Monday, Jul 7th, 2014

The establishment of a Community Trust that would take over Wrexham’s cultural services, could be enforced as early as April 2015 if recommendations are passed. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

In a report due to go before the Executive Board tomorrow, it is proposed a non profit distributing organisation (NPDO) or trust is established for the management of designated cultural services. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

The report notes: “In the context of the need to make significant budgetary savings, the Council has begun to evaluate alternative service delivery models, such as trusts, as a means of ensuring a continued service at a reduced cost. The Council’s need to make savings has resulted in the recent closure of libraries and community centres.” ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

If recommendations are passed a full business plan would be presented to the Executive Board in October. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

The costs for the establishment of a NPDO will need to be calculated but an initial estimate is that the establishment will cost in the region of £50k. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

A portfolio of services being considered for inclusion in a Culture trust includes:-
– Heritage Services Wrexham Museum, Holt Castle, Bersham Heritage Centre & Ironworks, Minera Lead Mines, Archaeology, Archives
– All libraries currently operated by the Library Service but excluding any closed or transferred premises
– Community resource centres which are managed by the Library Service: Acton, Brynteg Memorial Centre, Gwersyllt and Plas Pentwyn in Coedpoeth (with further evaluation in the business plan as to whether the Llay Park Resources
Centre, which is currently managed by Youth Services, should be included in the Culture Trust).
– The Arts Service and Oriel Wrecsam. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

Community centres are excluded from the Community Trust as they are ‘all are either fully funded by their respective Community Councils or being transferred to voluntary organisations.’ ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

The Memorial Hall, which has been mooted for demolition is also not included in the Culture Trust, with the report noting: “The Memorial Hall will remain outside the scope of the Culture trust for the time being to allow further consideration of its unique position.” ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

The proposals come as part of the ‘Together in Wrexham’ scheme, which we first reported on last month. The scheme is intended to ’empower communities to take more responsibility and more control for improving services’, and would see communities take charge of some services in their area. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

‘Together In Wrexham’ was met with a mixed response from councillors last month, with Councillor Joan Lowe saying that Wrexham Council would need ‘magic wands’. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

The Executive Board will meet at 2pm tomorrow to discuss the report (and many more!) in the Guildhall. The meeting is also set to be recorded and eventually put online, so anyone who can’t make it can hopefully relive the experience later on in the day. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

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