A FORMER WREXHAM MP has condemned the actions of the Welsh Government, claiming the people representing the north are ‘poodles to South Wales’.
Dr John Marek, who served as Labour MP for Wrexham from 1983 to 2001 and as an Assembly Member from 1999 to 2007, believes the Labour Government in Cardiff “look after South Wales first” and claims Labour politicians in the north do not “defend North Wales”.
He also calls into question the redoubling of the railway between Wrexham and Chester, citing the South Wales electrification as further evidence the south is better looked after.
“It must now be clear to everyone a Labour Government in Cardiff will look after South Wales first, and the north will come second. Besides buying the loss making Cardiff airport for around £40 million, the Welsh Assembly Labour Government has committed itself to paying for the airport’s annual losses.
“North Wales doesn’t benefit at all except for a twice-a-day air service from Anglesey to Cardiff, used by people who don’t have to pay for their ticket out of their own money.
“There have been quite a few improvements to the rail services in South Wales but nothing to speak of in the north. We are promised a partial redoubling of the Wrexham to Saltney line, but that still is not the double line we had some 25 years ago.
“South Wales will have electrification, even though it makes sense to complete the north west electrification by electrifying Crewe to Holyhead. Now the South Wales-orientated Labour Government is to spend some billion and more on a bypass around Newport.”
Dr Marek said he believes Labour AMs and MPs are not standing up for the rights of people in North Wales.
“Not one Labour AM or MP has come out publicly to defend North Wales and demand it has a fair share of development,” he said.
“What is the point in voting Labour in North Wales? I can see the point of doing so if you live in the south, but, to me, this issue is more important than playing party politics.
“It’s about standing up for the people that elected you. We are in a democracy where we can change things at the ballot box. I hope electors will not vote for a party that will continue to elect members in North Wales, simply to act as poodles to a ruling majority elected in the south.”
The Welsh Labour group has responded, with a spokesman claiming Dr Marek had “delivered nothing” for people in North Wales.
They said “the Welsh Labour Government invests right across Wales”, with recent transport investments in the north including £44m on improving the north–south rail link, providing more trains and faster times. More than £40m is being spent on A55.
“Locally, we’ve invested more than £30m for the Wrexham Industrial Estate link road, £8.4m for a new joint Ambulance and Fire Services Resource Centre, and more than £10.5m has been announced to target regeneration project in Wrexham under the Vibrant and Viable Places programme,” added the spokesman.
“In addition, over 400 young people in Wrexham have been given a good job placement thanks to our Jobs Growth Wales programme.”
Current Labour politician and Wrexham MP, Ian Lucas, did not want to comment.
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