* The recent Plas Madoc protest.
Calls have been made for Wrexham Council to fund Plas Madoc Leisure Centre for five years while a community enterprise is set up to run the centre – otherwise it will be gone in 60 days, it is claimed.
“But, as someone who was involved in setting up a community venture from scratch, I know from experience how much time it takes. Before the community and staff can make any meaningful decision on this, we need to have a full structural survey, a comprehensive repairs and maintenance schedule, details of employment rights and responsibilities and a fully costed business plan.
“There’s also the little matter of finding a way to bridge the current £500,000 annual deficit. Yes, there may be grants available but grants are dependent on business plans. They will not be available in 60 days.
“I note that the council leader says that Wrexham Council doesn’t have the capability to run the centre. With that in mind, I have to ask him how he thinks a community enterprise with no additional income stream would do so. I’m concerned that the council is setting the community to fail and would rather have guarantees that it will continue to fund the centre.
“If it won’t do that and the council genuinely wants Plas Madoc to stay open and succeed, it has to provide a parachute to enable the community to make this scheme work.
“When the council was withdrawing funding from The Venture and Caia Park Partnership, it did so over a number of years with a gradual taper. Why isn’t this being proposed for Plas Madoc? Why is Plas Madoc only being offered 60 days’ notice?”
Llyr Gruffydd, Plaid Cymru’s North Wales AM, said: “Like the rest of the local community, I want to see Plas Madoc stay open and with a clear funding structure to help it stay open. The strength of feeling from campaigners suggests there is the appetite for a community-run centre but that would clearly take some time to set up.
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