- Posted by: Ken Skates MS
- Category: News
Wrexham Council has been urged to decide whether cash seized from a convicted criminal will be returned to the community it was stolen from.
The Splash Community Trust is hoping for a windfall through the Proceeds of Crime Act to boost the coffers at Plas Madoc Leisure Centre, now known as Splash Magic.
The group put in a bid to be one of the beneficiaries of money recovered from criminals by North Wales Police for redistribution to community projects, but has yet to hear from the council, which is holding the money.
Clwyd South AM Ken Skates, a founder member of the trust, said: “I have written to Wrexham Council to ask what is happening, and I remain hopeful the money will be passed on to Splash Magic so the people of the estate and the wider area can benefit.”
In October 2011 Miriam Beard, the former co-ordinator of Plas Madoc Communities First, was convicted of stealing more than £53,000 from the organisation. She was jailed and later ordered to repay £22,000 – money which Splash hopes to receive.
Plas Madoc Leisure Centre was reopened in December as Splash Magic after a community trust was set up in the wake of Wrexham Council’s decision to close the facility, which was reportedly operating at a £400,000-a-year loss.
Splash chairman Darrell Wright said: “We have been waiting a long time to find out what’s happening, so we just want them to tell us really.
“We’re not sure what the hold-up is, but I do know that this money belongs to the people of Plas Madoc and I can’t think of a better use for it than helping a volunteer-run group turn around the fortunes of what was an ailing facility before we took it over.”
Mr Skates added: “This kind of money would make a huge difference to Splash and would be reinvested into improving the facilities. I look forward to the situation being resolved soon and something good coming out of a terrible wrong against an entire community.”