Posted: Fri 18th Mar 2016

Council Urged to Consult With Public Before Rushing Into Groves Demolition for people living in or visiting the wrexham area
This article is old - Published: Friday, Mar 18th, 2016

Wrexham Council’s controversial handling of the proposed demolition of the former Groves School has been raised in the National Assembly for Wales. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

In the Senedd earlier this week, First Minister Carwyn Jones, noted that Wrexham County Borough Council do not need to demolish the iconic building before they apply to Welsh Government for funding for a new school, dismissing an argument which had been put forward by the Local Authority. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

The First Minister was made aware of the ‘controversial decision’ after visiting the site with Wrexham’s AM Lesley Griffiths last month. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

Ms Griffiths has also received correspondence from Welsh Government’s Minister for Public Services, Leighton Andrews AM, which made it clear that currently, the decision lies in the hands of the Local Authority and the Welsh Government cannot intervene in the process. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

Last month, campaigners from the Save Our Heritage group contacted Cadw, the Welsh Government’s historic environment service, to obtain listed building status to stop the school from being demolished. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

Lesley Griffiths AM said: “From the very beginning, the handling of this whole process has been questionable and the lack of consultation and effective communication from Wrexham Council has been well documented.” ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

“The First Minister and Welsh Government have made it crystal clear the responsibility belongs to the Local Authority and rushing through the demolition of the building will not affect the future chances of securing funding from the 21st Century Schools programme.” ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

“A decision of this magnitude, which has clearly upset many of my constituents, should not be rushed or forced through. The latest developments have created the ideal opportunity for Wrexham Council to listen to the people and undertake an open, transparent consultation regarding the future of the site in order to achieve the best possible outcome for the town.” ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

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