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Title Department/ service area Start date End date     
View more details for consultation Council Tax Premiums Consultation Council Tax Premiums Consultation Wrexham County Borough Council 14 Aug 2023 17 Sep 2023
Why are we doing this?

Currently the Council levies a premium on properties which are classed as long term empty properties and second homes. The premium is 50% of the standard Council Tax for the property, so in cases where the premium applies, 150% Council Tax is paid.

This consultation is seeking views as to whether the Council should increase the premium levied on  long term empty properties.

In 2022/23, the premium collected from long term empty properties was £163k. During the year, 465 properties were subject to a premium. In a number of cases, properties may only be subject to a premium for a short period of time e.g. 3 months, whereas others may be for the full financial year.

When considering whether or not to amend the premium levels, the discretion given to local authorities to charge a premium is intended to be a tool to help local authorities to

  • Bring long-term empty homes back into use to provide safe, secure and affordable homes; and
  • Increase the supply of affordable housing and enhance the sustainability of local communities. 

There are a number of scenarios where a property could be subject to a premium levy, but then exempted for a number of reasons. This includes the property being actively been marketed for sale or let. In such scenarios, exemptions are time-limited.

As at 11 July 2023, there are currently 287 properties being charged a premium.

Welsh Government have amended regulations which allowing Councils greater flexibility to vary the rate of premiums charged.

Whilst increasing the premium rate may generate additional income, the level could not be guaranteed. However, if the premium is working successfully it should ideally help to bring more properties back into use, thus increasing numbers of properties available within Wrexham for sale or rent.

What we found out

This consultation received 138 responses, indicating general support for the council’s proposals for Council Tax Premiums for long term empty properties from 1st April 2024 and beyond.   

Section 6 of the report accompanying the decision made at full Council on Wednesday 27th September 2023, includes details of the consultation findings.

What difference has it made?

Wrexham County Borough Council has approved an increase on the level of premium on Long Term Empty Properties from 1 April 2024 from 50% to 100%.  Properties which had been empty for over 4 years would be subject to a further premium of 50%, so would have a 150% premium. The premium should also increase from 1 April 2025, by a further 50%, so from 1 April 2025, this would increase to 200% and a further 50% should the property be empty for 4 years.

Title Department/ service area Start date End date     
View more details for consultation Wrexham's proposed exemptions to the default 20mph speed limit Wrexham's proposed exemptions to the default 20mph speed limit Wrexham County Borough Council 10 Aug 2023 01 Sep 2023
Why are we doing this?

With just over a month to go until the default 20mph speed limit for Wales is adopted, Wrexham Council is at the next key stage - when you can have your say on the proposed roads that will be exempt from the default 20mph, and also roads that are proposed to drop to 20mph by Traffic Regulation Order.

Welsh Government has approved the default 20mph speed limit to come into effect across Wales on September 17, 2023. All councils in Wales must therefore implement this initiative, which will result in most of the current default 30mph roads being reduced to 20mph later this year. As a general rule, it will apply to roads where street lighting is currently in place.

The consultation only relates to roads where a Traffic Regulation Order is required to change the speed to 20mph, or retain the speed at 30mph. All other roads that are currently at 30mph, will automatically drop to 20mph by default on September 17th 2023.

  • As part of the process of adopting the default 20mph speed limit for Wales this September, Wrexham Council has identified current 30mph roads that are proposed to be exempt from the changes as they do not meet the relevant criteria set by Welsh Government.

In total, 10 roads have been identified and, if agreed, these roads would retain a 30mph speed limit after September 17. These are primarily buffer zones, where there is a drop in speed from national speed limit to 20mph. 

  • Also, as part of the process of adopting the default 20mph speed limit for Wales this September, Wrexham Council has identified current 30mph roads that meet the relevant criteria set by Welsh Government, and are required to drop to 20mph by means of a Traffic Regulation Order.

In total, 28 roads have been identified and, if agreed, these roads would drop to a 20mph speed limit after September 17. These are residential areas and locations with street lighting.

The consultation period is open now and will close on the September 1, 2023, therefore please ensure any representations are made by this date. To find out where the proposed exemptions are, and have your say, please visit the survey.

Cllr Hugh Jones, lead member for environment, said: “Welsh Government’s introduction of the default 20mph speed limit it a big change for Wrexham, and for Wales, and it is important that residents are able to have their say when it comes to these exemptions. I encourage as many residents as possible to take a look at the exemptions Wrexham Council are proposing and to let us know their thoughts.”

If you would like to provide the feedback to the proposed Order in writing, stating the reasons for your views or objections, email for the attention of: traffic@wrexham.gov.uk  or by post to The Chief Officer Environment and Technical Department, Wrexham County Borough Council, Abbey Road South, Wrexham Industrial Estate, Wrexham LL13 9PW.

If you want to find out more about the default 20mph speed limit, you can take a look at the following links to the Welsh Government website:

What we found out
  • The findings showed an overall negative response to the Welsh Government 20mph Scheme, in which this was fed back in follow up meetings with Welsh Government in the meetings following the rollout on 17th September 2023
  • Responses were primarily generic to the 20mph Scheme, rather than the specific locations in the Traffic Regulation Orders in the Survey
What difference has it made?

As the project related to a change in legislation by the Welsh Government, Wrexham Council were unable to make significant changes to areas, following the criteria provided.

The Scheme is to be allowed to settle in for 12-months (September 2024) before any significant changes may be made.

Data collection will enable Councils/Highway Authorities to understand the impacts of the change on roads and routes across different areas. The data will be reviewed after 12 months along with public feedback received via local ward members and through correspondence.  This evidence will then inform locations where, further interventions (such as speed management, or enforcement in discussion with Go Safe) may be required to reinforce speed limits and which areas should be targeted and prioritised for these interventions, based on robust evidence.

Title Department/ service area Start date End date     
View more details for consultation Open Space in Wrexham Open Space in Wrexham Wrexham County Borough Council 21 Jul 2023 01 Sep 2023
Why are we doing this?

The declaration of a Climate and Biodiversity Emergency by Wrexham County Borough Council, and the publication of our Decarbonisation plan demonstrates WCBC’s commitment to improving the land in our ownership, for the purpose of carbon reduction and carbon sequestration.   

 

The Council is the custodian of a wide range of ‘open space’, which is used for a variety of purposes.  Whilst over recent years WCBC have begun the gradual move to a more biodiversity-led approach to our land management, it is vital that we accelerate, this shift in focus; and ensure that our open spaces are managed and used appropriately – depending on their intended use. 

 

Through a range of project work and grant-funded initiatives, the Council continue to work with communities to involve them in the improvement and effective use of open spaces, increasing their skills and understanding; whilst creating a deeper connection to the natural environment where they live. 

 

WCBC acknowledge the key role that open spaces, nature and the local environment play in the lives of individuals, families and communities.  Therefore we are developing a new ‘Open Space Strategy’ which sets out our vision and objectives for how we manage, use and protect these spaces now, and for the future.

What we found out
What difference has it made?
Title Department/ service area Start date End date     
View more details for consultation Unpaid carers survey 2023 Unpaid carers survey 2023 Wrexham County Borough Council 05 Jun 2023 31 Aug 2023
Why are we doing this?

This survey is for people who provide unpaid care to a friend, family member or neighbour, who could not manage without that support. It’s an opportunity for unpaid carers to say what is working well and what could be better.

What we found out
What difference has it made?
Title Department/ service area Start date End date     
View more details for consultation Renewal of the Dog Control and Dog Fouling Public Spaces Protection Order (PSPO) 2023 Renewal of the Dog Control and Dog Fouling Public Spaces Protection Order (PSPO) 2023 Wrexham County Borough Council 04 Aug 2023 28 Aug 2023
Why are we doing this?

Wrexham Council currently has a dog control and dog fouling Public Space Protection Order (PSPO) which cover the entire County Borough. It is due for renewal as it ends on 30th September 2023. The intention is to renew and update the current PSPO covering the County Borough.

The existing dog fouling requirements for owners to remove their dog’s faeces forthwith from public areas, the exclusion zones for dogs on bowling greens, marked sports pitches and  play areas (apart from owners with assisted dogs), the dogs on a lead by direction which allows an Authorised Officer to instruct owners to place and keep a dog on a lead when necessary, dogs to be on a lead on public roads and pavements and to be kept on a lead around defined areas of parks such as visitor centres and car parks and for the person who is in control of a dog, to be carrying an appropriate receptacle or bag to remove their dog’s faeces forthwith will continue.

We are therefore contacting you as part of the required consultation process, we encourage you to look at the prohibitions suggested in the enclosed order and would be interested in your views on the matter.

The consultation period will be open on the 4 August 2023 and will close on the 28 August 2023, therefore please ensure any representations are made by this date.

If you would like to provide the feedback to the proposed Order in writing, stating the reasons for your views or objections, email for the attention of: joanne.rodgers@wrexham.gov.uk  or by post to The Chief Officer Environment and Technical Department, Wrexham County Borough Council, The Guildhall, Wrexham, LL11 1RA

Alternatively, If you have any comments regarding the proposed Dog Control and Dog Fouling PSPO then please click here.

What we found out

Statutory consultation indicated broad support for the renewal of the PSPO in its current format.

The report to Executive Board 19th September 2023 ‘Renewal of the Public Spaces Protection Order – Dog Control and Dog Fouling’ provides further information. Appendix 3 of the report includes full details of consultation responses.

What difference has it made?

At Executive Board held 19th September 2023, Wrexham County Borough Council agreed to renew the Public Spaces Protection Order (PSPO) for dog fouling and dog control until 30th September 2026.  This PSPO covers the whole of Wrexham County Borough.

Title Department/ service area Start date End date     
View more details for consultation Mobile network coverage in Wrexham city centre Mobile network coverage in Wrexham city centre Wrexham County Borough Council 05 May 2023 14 Jul 2023
Why are we doing this?

We would like to gather some specific information to feedback to the mobile network operators to try and improve mobile network coverage in Wrexham city centre.

If you have experienced mobile network issues within Wrexham city centre, we would be grateful if you could answer four questions to help us provide the relevant feedback to network operators.

What we found out

This was a great help to provide more evidence to the mobile network operators, this will hopoefully identify the need for improvement in mobile coverage in Wrexham. The additional information from the survey will give us some real time insight into the problems our residents have with poor connectivity. 

This has been shared with mobile network providers to give them a better understanding of the problem 

What difference has it made?

BT have shared that they are planning to upgrade 6 mast sites to bolster netwok strength.

The Local authority are looking at ways where current infrastructure can be shared to provide better digital connectivity.

Title Department/ service area Start date End date     
View more details for consultation Respite service review for Carers Respite service review for Carers Wrexham County Borough Council 12 Jun 2023 03 Jul 2023
Why are we doing this?

The Council has appointed an independent consultancy, HICO, to review current arrangements and suggest models for the future. As part of this, they will be talking with users and carers about what is important to them and what they might want to see changed in the future. They want to get as many views as possible and will be feeding these back to the Council to help them shape future support.
 

What we found out
What difference has it made?
Title Department/ service area Start date End date     
View more details for consultation Day and Work Opportunities Services Review Day and Work Opportunities Services Review Wrexham County Borough Council 09 Jun 2023 03 Jul 2023
Why are we doing this?

Wrexham County Borough Council is looking at the way it provides day and work opportunities and respite services for people with disabilities. There have been changes over the past few years and the Council wants to make sure that people receiving care and support and their carers have a genuine say in how things look in the future. 

What we found out
What difference has it made?
Title Department/ service area Start date End date     
View more details for consultation Placemaking Plan Placemaking Plan Wrexham County Borough Council 20 Feb 2023 16 Jun 2023
Why are we doing this?

WHAT IS THE PLACEMAKING PLAN?

The Placemaking Plan is about improving the centre of Wrexham and encouraging people to re-imagine and influence how it should look, feel, and function. Specifically, we want placemaking to promote better design and development, and help establish more appealing social, cultural, economic uses and activities.

The final version of the Plan will include a comprehensive delivery plan reflecting wider consultation and involvement. It will include agreed priorities for both the Council and its partners, identifying the level and sources of funding and governance structures that will steer the Plan’s delivery.

In June 2022 Wrexham County Borough Council became a signatory of the Placemaking Charter in Wales. We apply the principles of the Charter to the whole County Borough, and they provide a framework for delivering our ambitions of becoming the UK City of Culture and other plans such as the Destination Management Plan, the World Heritage Site Masterplan; the Council Housing Strategy; the Active Travel Plan, and the emerging Digital Plan.

WHY ARE WE DOING THIS?

Wrexham is a place with a unique and proud identity. Currently, it is one of the most talked about places in the UK and has a growing international profile. Our growth and ambition have been raised significantly through the award of City Status for the whole County Borough, advancing to the final stage of the 2025 City of Culture, and there’s also the global spotlight on Wrexham following the Hollywood takeover and recent successes of Wrexham FC. This has resulted in increased opportunities and interest for investment in Wrexham and has boosted local pride in the centre of the city that serves the whole community.

What we found out

The survey was completed by 229 individuals and 584 comments were received as part of the public engagement exercise, that has enabled us to revise the Placemaking Plan in line with the feedback we received as well as shaping how we will communicate going forward.

 

We found that comments were very supportive of revitalising Wrexham and the need to create a destination city centre with cultural, heritage and family experiences.

 

Green Infrastructure and public realm proposals were well received as was the creation of welcoming spaces and positive links between green spaces adjacent to the City Centre.  Parking was referenced regularly in the responses and there is a feeling that there is a lack of parking spaces for shoppers, particularly spaces for parents and babies / young children and people with disabilities. The range of different parking offers and their management regimes was found to be a frustration. Public transport linking the City Centre and wider County Borough was considered poor.  Eagles Meadow was also mentioned on a number of occasions and comments indicated support for a focus on family entertainment and good quality restaurants

What difference has it made?

160 of the 584 comments received have resulted in material changes/additions to the final place making plan. All comments and demographic data from your voice were published for consideration by scrutiny committee and executive board.

 

A number of comments received also highlighted the ease of use to feedback on the Your Voice platform regarding the Place making plan

Title Department/ service area Start date End date     
View more details for consultation Electoral Services Public Engagement Survey Electoral Services Public Engagement Survey Wrexham County Borough Council 01 Apr 2023 31 May 2023
Why are we doing this?

This short survey will help us understand what services are needed from our electoral services department to ensure that residents of Wrexham understand where and how to take part in our democracy by registering to vote, and voting, in elections.

What we found out

The survey results were very encouraging, with consistently above 80% awareness of local, national and UK elections and nearly 93% of participants already being registered to vote.

Areas to focus on are raising awareness among young people and foreign nationals.

What difference has it made?

The results of the survey have given us focal points for future promotional work.

While we will continue to promote our services to all residents, the questionnaire shows that there is work to be done in raising awareness among young people and foreign nationals. As a result, we will be focussing on these various relevant groups on social media as well as working with third-sector organisations.

The results have also informed HOW we will do this. Respondents told us (overwhelmingly) that they prefer to access information via our website (76%) so we will be ensuring that information is sent out when the website it updated.

65% of respondents use social media with 88% using Facebook. We now know that this is an excellent platform to reach people with relevant messages.