PROTESTERS trying to save the last playing field in Acton have been out in force to demonstrate their opposition.
Acton and Maesydre Tenants' and Residents' Association is trying to stop Wrexham Council building an £800,000 youth centre on Acton playing field.
On Saturday demonstrators gathered on the field to express their concerns and opposition to the plan. They were supported by local councillor Geoff Lowe, Assembly Member John Marek and MP Ian Lucas, who all believe the field should be saved.
'It was a great event and it has given us more confidence to take this fight to the council because despite the harsh weather people still felt strongly enough to turn out,' said tenants' association chairman Brenda Williams, who lives in The Laurels just around the corner from the field.
'We are not against the youth centre, we are against the use of the field as the site for it. This playing field has been a leisure area for hundreds of years. Both William Aston and Sir Foster Cunliffe left instructions in their wills that the field not be developed.
'So far it has survived. This is partly due to a covenant that William Aston's bequest imposed that protected the site from development in law.
'However we have now been told by councillors who support this scheme that Wrexham Council lifted the covenant some time ago. Now we are trying to find out when and how it was lifted and what our options are.
'It is sad to see what is happening to Acton. I am nearly 70 and when I came here many years ago, Acton was a very rural area. Now this field is our last patch of green and we want to protect it.'
Playing field campaigner Lynne Hayes was there on Saturday.
She said: 'This is not against a youth facility, it is about retaining a facility for everyone, a playing field. Everyone from six months to 60 years and beyond use playing fields for walking, running, sports, even sunbathing or picnics. There is no need to build on this field.'
Brenda claims even the youths the centre will be aimed at don't want it.
'One person who came along on Saturday saw a group of youths at the shops beforehand and asked them what they thought of the plans,' Brenda said. 'They told her quite plainly that they didn't want it and had no interest in it.
'The problem is that Wrexham Council asked youths what they wanted by circulating a questionnaire to every pupil at Rhosnesni High School, then called St David's. Unfortunately most of those pupils are from outside the Acton area so they were making decisions that had no effect on them.'
The tenants' association is due to meet Wrexham Council leader Neil Rogers on Wednesday, March 23, at 6pm in Acton Community Centre, to discuss the proposals.