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Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Campaigners slam Plas Madoc closure decision

The save Plas Madoc Leisure Centre Campaign has condemned the council's decision to close Plas Madoc within six weeks.

Darrell Wright, for the campaign, said: "The executive board had an opportunity to give the community trust a lifeline until October the 1st, but they blew it. The additional cost would have been £144,000 and still they refused.

"Our concern as a community campaign is that closing the doors on April 28th will make it virtually impossible for a community enterprise to make the centre a success from the outset.

"Reasonable pleas for the council to provide some help in the short term were ignored, as we're warnings that children would now go to swim in the river with all the additional dangers.

"These councillors, with one honourable exceptIon, should hang their heads in shame for their lack of vision and ambition for our area. Why are they more willing to listen to discredited consultants and officers than the people and also an independent surveyor, whose survey of the building revealed only minor works was needed?"
 
The campaign committee has pledged to continue the fight and says it will consider all possible options before Thursday's public meeting at the Air Products club.
 
* Martin Crumpton, chair of Keep Llangollen Special, has commented on the Plas Madoc decision.
 
He said: "The first day a building is ‘mothballed’ is when entropy takes control and decay sets in. The disappearance of electricity, of humans to monitor and effect running repairs, guarantees than that the next £50,000+ consultancy will have all the justification Wrexham wishes to have to condemn the building, and thus another valuable community asset is converted to cash.
 
"The first tile that drops and smashes because the grouting has dried, condemns every tile. Consultants will see to that. Vandals will ensure every window needs replacing, bugs and vermin will arrive with the drug addicts and squatters. Before the fire engines arrive, goods stolen from the sheltered housing opposite will barely make it to the nearest auction house (or pub, as most people call them).
 
"By October 1st, it will be barely fit enough for safe demolition.
 
"No, there isn’t a chance of Plas Madoc being run by a Social Enterprise. It takes around eighteen months to get one up and running. But surely Wrexham’s doughty councillors know this? Those who do, neglected to mention this. Those who don’t, listened to those who do but asked no questions.
 
"As the ripples from this inept, unwarranted and ill-advised closure spread out, we in Llangollen can only shake our heads sadly. We’ve seen it all before. So many times. To this day, the sham consultations, the freelancing in office, the box-ticking, the self-guided consultancies who just happen to be affiliated with the construction industry, those we elected treating planning law as optional extras – they still reign over us, usually with crocodile tears, but mostly with our money.
 
"We haven’t said goodbye to Plas Madoc yet, but the odds were stacked against us from even before the beginning."

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