Wrexham’s taxpayers are in for “more of the same” after another Independent-Tory alliance was “hatched” to run the council.
That was the verdict of Cllr Dana Davies, leader of the opposition Labour group, after it was confirmed another coalition of Independents and Tories – who have been running the Guildhall since 2014 – will be in charge until 2022.
Previous council leader Mark Pritchard and Cllrs Hugh Jones and David A Bithell, respectively leader of the authority’s Conservative group and the Wrexham Independents, released a statement earlier this week announcing their fresh power pact.
“They’re calling it a ‘new’ administration, but it’ll be the same two people – Mark Pritchard and Hugh Jones – in charge who were running the council before the election, so the people of Wrexham can expect more of the same,” said Cllr Davies, whose Labour group is the authority’s second biggest with 12 seats.
“It also looks like we’re going to get more of the same in terms of the lack of transparency within the Guildhall which characterised the previous administration.
“Why aren’t we allowed to know who will be in the lead roles?”
Cllr Davies continued: “I’m sure the taxpayers of Wrexham will be as keen as the Labour group is to hear what the Independent-Tory council’s policies and direction will be, seeing as we didn’t see any pre-election manifestos.
“I would certainly challenge Cllr Pritchard’s assumption that this is ‘the best coalition for the people of Wrexham’. Based on the election results, the people of Wrexham voted for the Independents and Labour to work together in running the council.
“We have already seen how a Tory agenda puts our public services at risk and the Labour group will be committed to providing alternatives to the council’s policies of ‘cut, stop, close and outsource’.
“We need a council with vision which embraces the true meaning of partnership working to deliver for the people of Wrexham.”
Cllr Davies contacted Cllr Pritchard after the election to discuss a potential alliance.
“It became apparent very quickly that he was forming another administration with the Tories and didn’t want to negotiate a potential alternative with the Labour group,” she said. “As a result, no negotiations with him took place.
“I can assure the people of Wrexham that Labour will continue to listen to them and work with all groups to deliver the best results we can for them in opposition.”