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Hundreds turn up to the "No To City Status" protest

December 4th 2021, 4:02 pm by Arran Hodges

Calon FM's Arran Hodges observed the "No To City Status" protest that was organised by Plaid Cymru Councillors.

The protest opposes plans presented by Wrexham Council to submit a bid to apply for city status. The executive board of the council will be making the final decision on Tuesday.

The potential socio-economic impacts of the award of city status were detailed in a report prepared for Wrexham County Borough Council. These include:

  • Helping to boost local pride which, in turn, may have economic benefits
  • Providing a new platform to promote the city and raise ambitions
  • Creating opportunities for anchor institutions, economic clusters, and sectors to raise their profile.
  • Enabling some cities to attract major projects such as a university and enterprise zone, which
    they might not otherwise have secured as towns
  • Allowing relationships to be developed with other cities and helping them to collectively ‘punch
    above their weight’, securing both public and private investment and collaborating with
    Government on strategic issues, particularly in Scotland
  • Providing a reason for, and focus for re-branding campaigns
  • Perceived successes in attracting inward investment - attributed to city awareness and the
    infrastructure and facilities they offer e.g. business incubator, high-profile local businesses and
    organisations, alongside city status
  • Higher expectations of placemaking with cities thought of as more vibrant places to live, work,
    and invest
  • Cities with an accessible rural hinterland are seen as very attractive places

In a speech at the protest, Cllr Marc Jones broke down the key points from this report, and responded to the benefit regarding increased local pride:

I don't know about you, but I'm very proud of our town already. I don't need a new label to be proud of our town. What I'm not proud of is that (pointing to the Guildhall), what's going on in there.

Carrie Harper told us why she was there today.

Signs that were held by protesters include "No To City Status", "Our Town Not City", "Stop Wrecking Wrecsam" and "Up The Town".

Cllr Marc Jones also said that:

"Has anyone noticed over the last 12 months, the attention we have been having internationally, as a brand, as a town. Everybody in the world has heard about Wrecsam through Ryan and Rob. We don't need city status to promote us."

One person was asked why they have came to the rally.