By Sarah Atherton

MP for Wrexham

Last week, I was extremely concerned to hear that the North Wales Fire and Rescue Authority (NWFRA) is consulting on the provision of fire service emergency cover for Wrexham. One option sees our third appliance under threat once again and would leave around 60,000 houses in Wrexham covered by only one fulltime and one retained appliance and crew. This is not acceptable for a city the size of Wrexham. If this decision goes ahead, the safety of Wrexham residents will be compromised. The Welsh Labour Government manages the fire service in Wales. If the fire service needs more money to be able to offer an adequate emergency service, then instead of risking people’s safety, the Welsh Government should step up and give the fire service the resources they require.

I would urge everyone in Wrexham to make their voices heard and respond to the consultation, which can be accessed via my social media and website.

To send a strong message to NWFRA, I have launched a petition to save Wrexham's firefighters and our second fulltime fire engine. To sign the petition, please click ‘Fire Service Petition’ on my website homepage, I will present this petition to the NWFRA as part of the consultation process. Please feel free to share with your friends and family, as the more signatures we can gather, the stronger our collective voice to the NWFRA and the Welsh Government will be!

As Wrexham residents are sadly all too aware, Transport for Wales (TfW) operates a North-East cross-rail service which is overcrowded; using dirty, old rolling stock; fraught with severe delays and cancellations; and with poor communication from the train operator. In fact, during a recent meeting with a Transport for Wales representative, I was told that the situation involving the rolling stock was a ‘perfect storm – with each different train class experiencing its own problems. Following concerns from Wrexham residents and Rail Users’ Associations, and after raising the issue on the floor of the House of Commons, I wrote to the Welsh Government Minister with responsibility for Transport, Lee Waters MS, to call for an independent review of TfW’s service in North Wales.

Unfortunately, whilst admitting that Wrexham passengers are not receiving the level of service they deserve, the Welsh Government Minister does not feel that an independent review is required. It is deeply disappointing that the Welsh Labour Government continues to back a failing rail service for North Wales. I will continue to push for service improvements and urge TfW as an operator to get its act together.

Since being elected, I have been contacted by many Rossett residents concerned about the lack of decent mobile coverage in the area. The issue is well known locally, with some residents complaining that if they want to send or receive texts, they must go upstairs in their homes. I know personally how frustrating the various mobile ‘not-spots’ and signal dead zones are – particularly near the Rossett roundabout where my signal always drops. Ofcom’s “mobile checker” app predicts most Rossett postcodes are “ok” and “good” for indoor and outdoor voice coverage. Clearly, there are differences between the predictions and the reality, as this is not the reported experience of Rossett residents.

In addition, the lack of good broadband coverage is also frequently raised as an issue in Rossett. Indeed, the Rossett area ranks in the worst 30% of areas in the UK for Superfast and Gigabit availability, and for being unable to receive decent broadband. If you are a resident in Rossett affected by poor mobile coverage or slow broadband, I want to hear from you. To share your views, please email and share as much detail as possible, including when and where you experience connectivity issues.

If you are a Wrexham resident in the current Wrexham constituency boundary and need my help with any issue, please don’t hesitate to contact me by emailing