A GIANT TV screen which could cost Council Tax-payers more than £200,000 has been defended by Wrexham council leader Cllr Neil Rogers.
The BBC has already installed massive city centre screens in Liverpool, Manchester, Birmingham, Glasgow, Hull and a number of others towns and cities.
The Corporation is now looking to place a screen in either Swansea or Wrexham, and Wrexham Council has agreed to the scheme in principle.
If the town is selected, the council will be expected to contribute up to £75,000 per year - for a minimum of three years - to the screen's rental.
Despite the council's Executive board voting in favour of the plan, there were a number of dissenting voices who claimed the financial restrictions the council faces made the idea impractical.
Cllr Rogers said the screen would be an important tool to get messages across to people.
'We will be able to use the screen to remind people of the benefits they may qualify for, but do not claim,' he said. 'It is possible we could get North Wales Police involved to help out with the funding, then they could post anti-social behaviour warnings or remind shoppers to lock their cars.
'To place adverts with messages like that in the media costs a lot of money. Criticising the decision due to finance implications is not fair.
'If we get this screen, we will fund it out of current budget provisions, not additional ones.
'These screens are also attractions, entertainment for shoppers. It would show that Wrexham is moving towards being more cosmopolitan and I think the people would value it.
'There are people in the council who thought the Children in Need concert was a bad idea and look at how that went. In fact, if we had had a giant screen we could have got 5,000 more people watching in Queen's Square.'
Cllr David Broderick, who asked his objection be formally recorded in the Executive board minutes, said there were better ways to benefit the taxpayer with the money.
'There are plenty of projects around Wrexham that need money that are more worthwhile,' he said.
'For example, Alyn Waters Country Park needs public toilets and a shelter in case parents and children are caught in a shower while using the play area.
'Money is supposed to be tight and we don't know if our financial settlements are going to get better or worse in the future. If the screen is up for 10 years, the rent will be three-quarters of a million pounds. A lot more good could be done with that than renting a giant television.'