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Tuesday
23  July

Anger after committee bypassed over Wiggly Path and Skatepark

 
04/07/2024 @ 10:48

 

A Welshpool Town Council committee responsible for steering the Wiggly Path and skatepark projects has demanded to know why it is now being bypassed in the decision-making process.

At last night’s Strategy, Policy and Development meeting, councillors were outraged to be told that the two key issues were no longer their remit and would be discussed by full council instead.

It didn’t go down well, with Committee Chair, Cllr Phil Pritchard, fuming: “As far as I am concerned it is a ridiculous situation we have got ourselves into. And I do believe this committee should have a recommendation to council if we are to do anything.”

Councillors were informed by a Town Council officer that the two matters would be on the full council agenda instead later this month, despite agreeing last month that updates would be provided at last night’s meeting by those responsible.

“We (Town Council) don’t need the Wiggly Path. Our operations staff have told us they wouldn’t have enough staff to upkeep it anyway, so I want to make a proposal to full council that we do not proceed with anything to do with the Wiggly Path unless we have a full public meeting,” added Cllr Pritchard.

“As for the skatepark, I am fed up with hearing the same old thing every month that ‘we have been in touch with Canvas (company responsible), and waiting for Canvas to come back to us’. That’s all I have heard for the last three or four months. The skatepark is ultra-important and these are summer months coming. This has been five years and there isn’t any sign of a skatepark.”

Cllr Billy Spencer questioned whether there was any point in having sub-committees if they were not being consulted on specific issues, while Cllr Chris Davies said: “We need to speak to whoever is responsible for doing the skatepark and find out where the hell we are at?”

Both issues have been rumbling on for some time and at last month’s meeting, councillors requested the updates after becoming frustrated with the slow progress.

However, last night’s agenda item number 8 told them: ‘Members to note that the Wiggly Path and the Skatepark will now be added to the Full Council agenda.’

It didn’t go down well at all and councillors agreed that Cllr Pritchard would urgently meet with the Acting Town Clerk to find out why they were now being bypassed.

“They have no right to do this. Standing orders say things come here first to committee for recommendation,” he said.

“We strongly object to the way this is laid out. We feel we have been put in a corner and we shouldn’t be, and we bring it back onto the next meeting agenda.”

The Wiggly Path, below the former Ardwyn School links Red Bank to the town centre but its owners, Powys County Council, are keen to offload it with Welshpool Town Council offered first.

The skatepark has been one of the big issues for the town since the original was closed during the pandemic due to health and safety issues. The council has made it a priority, but while drawings have been submitted by Canvas (PICTURE), there is still no idea of its cost, or where the money to pay for it will come from.