North East Wales

Wrexham MP says political campaigning ban idea dropped

Llwyn Isaf, Wrexham
Image caption Llwyn Isaf was one of the areas where political campaigning could have been banned

Wrexham MP Ian Lucas believes plans to ban political campaigning in areas of the town centre may have been dropped.

Wrexham council last month deferred a decision on plans which would ban "activities or events held to promote parties, groups, organisations or individuals for political purposes" at Queen's Square or Llwyn Isaf.

Mr Lucas says he has seen a new draft proposal which makes no mention of banning political campaigning.

The council has been asked to comment.

Wrexham council reviewed its protocol for events in the town centre after the English and Welsh Defence Leagues indicated two years ago that they planned to hold marches there.

A report discussed in April said: "During 2009 when the English and Welsh Defence League indicated that it was planning to march into Wrexham, the emergency planning team requested that the protocol should be reviewed in order to ensure that any future political events may be robustly denied access to Queen's Square and Llwyn Isaf."

The report added: "The chief legal and democratic services officer believes that the protocol should be amended to include a clause that strengthens the council's position by stating that 'no activities or events can be held to promote parties, groups, organisations or individuals for political purposes or for canvassing.' "

The plans received no public backing from any of the four main political parties, and Mr Lucas described them as "outrageous".

He said: "If the council has decided not to ban political events on Queen's Square, that can only be good news.

"However, it is disappointing that it took a public outcry before councillors realised the folly of these plans.

"When questioned, no representative of any political party asked backed these plans, which were ill-thought out - even if they were well meant."

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