By Sarah Atherton

MP for Wrexham

Sarah Atherton ‘My View’ – 23rd September

First and foremost, I want to say well done Ijazz Indian Restaurant for their recent success in the National Curry Awards; it was an honour to be invited to celebrate with them at a special event in the House of Lords in Parliament last week. Well done also to Holt, for their success in the 2021 Wales in Bloom competition too!

You may have seen that I recently quit Twitter, an action that followed months of online abuse and harassment, bringing me to recognise that Twitter was not doing enough to protect users. As such, I wanted to use my position to make a stand and to make clear that inciting violence online, and abusive bullying by faceless people, is unacceptable. Indeed, having seen inappropriate, violent, or hateful content remain on the platform for too long, despite repeated attempts to report and remove it, I have also worried about the impact of Twitter’s inaction on our young people too.

I am grateful to those that have subsequently contacted me about the issue in support, or to highlight the issues they have faced themselves and I was particularly touched by the comments from those who do not agree with me politically, but nonetheless deplored the abuse and harassment I have faced. Going forward, I will be fully supporting the UK Government’s ‘Online Safety Bill’, which is progressing through the House of Commons as I write and will help crack down on dangerous online content.

In better news, last week I was offered a new role as a Parliamentary Private Secretary (PPS) to the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office and the Government Equalities Office. This means I will be supporting the Secretary of State, Liz Truss MP, and the Ministers from both departments in their Parliamentary roles, promoting and developing our global Britain agenda and international aims, whilst also forwarding this Government’s equalities policy. I will, in addition to my new role, continue to stand up for the interests of Wrexham and Wales in all my Parliamentary work.

Over this past week, I have also continued my work to push through improvements in the town centre, which I know many constituents would like to see. Over the summer, businesses along the High Street came to me explaining that they would like to have the opportunity to expand their outdoor seating areas into the street, creating an attractive outdoor dining and hospitality area. Following this, I contacted other businesses and traders in town to hear their views, and I opened a survey on my website to hear from residents too.

The results of this consultation showed a clear wish from hospitality businesses for alterations to the High Street to promote outdoor dining and a safer street scene – a fact of particular importance during the evenings. However, it was recognised that the convenience of the High Street for pick-up and drop-off during the day is significant and some traders noted concerns that any changes to the High Street might detrimentally impact day-time trade. As such, I have urged the Council to consider all points of view in any decisions they make.

As we continue to recover from the pandemic, I want businesses to have the opportunity to continue to grow and contribute to our local economy. In this instance, through listening to what town centre businesses want from Wrexham, I am helping to create such opportunities.

As always if you are resident in Wrexham and need my assistance with any local or national issue, please make contact with me by emailing