A FIERCE row has erupted over funding for community centres after Esclusham councillor Mark Pritchard accused the county borough of discriminating against Rhostyllen.
He highlighted his concerns that Rhos Community Centre only receives around £2,000 per year in support funding from the council while the George Edwards Hall in Cefn Mawr receives £13,160.
'I would like to ask the chief legal officer Trevor Coxon if we could challenge this on a legal footing,' he said. 'I and the people of Rhos feel this is discrimination against Rhos. Why is our community worth less than Cefn?' The council annually allocates £20,000 to the five voluntary community centres in the county as well as supporting its own centres elsewhere in the borough.
More than half this money goes to George Edwards Hall with Rhostyllen Village Hall, Black Park Community Centre, Garth and Trevor Community Centre and Froncysyllte sharing what is left.
All the centres apart from George Edwards Hall got large grants in the 1970s to get them up and running.
As George Edwards Hall was set up without financial help from the county, it originally got a lesser grant.
But as time went on and other centres had their funding cut, George Edwards Hall retained its extra money.
Now Cllr Pritchard wants to see the council establish a more level playing field, but Cefn councillor Warren Coleman OBE hit back when the matter was raised at the executive board.
'I feel this is a personal attack by the councillor,' he said. 'The people of Cefn also contribute to that community centre.'
In the meeting, it was estimated that since 1996, the centre had received around £134,000.
Chief Leisure, Libraries and Culture officer Alan Watkin said there was no record of figures before 1996.
'The lack of figures means that in the time Rhos and other centres have received tens of thousands, George Edwards Hall may have received a quarter-of-a-million pounds,' said Cllr Pritchard.
But Cllr Coleman insisted that whatever has been spent was worth it and claimed his centre should receive more.
'I shouldn't be defending the funding the centre gets, I should be asking for more money. We need £21,000 not £13,000 in order to maintain and improve.'
Mr Coxon said there was no legal footing to challenge the grant as the allocating of such funding was at the council's discretion.