Over the past few months, I have had meetings with the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Michael Gove MP and the Secretary of State for Wales, David TC Davies MP, in Parliament to make a strong case for Wrexham to become an Investment Zone. This could bring approximately £80m of investment and tax incentives to the local economy, providing more high quality and better paid jobs. Wrexham is Wales’ newest city, we have the largest urban settlement in North Wales and one of the largest trading estates in Europe, employing over 10,000 people. The benefits of an Investment Zone will only serve to make Wrexham an even more attractive proposition for businesses to invest in.

Last Wednesday, I was pleased to further discuss Wrexham and Flintshire’s joint bid for an Investment Zone with both the Chancellor and the Welsh Secretary in Parliament. It is clear that the UK Government wants to invest in Wrexham and North East Wales, as demonstrated by the recent £20 million from the Towns Fund and £22.4 million from the UK Shared Prosperity Fund that has been sent to Wrexham Council. Moreover, it is very pleasing that the UK Government remains open to the possibility of two Investment Zones in Wales.

Despite this, I am very concerned that the Welsh Labour Government is dragging its feet on Wrexham’s joint bid, which is conditional on the Welsh Government’s support, as Wales is a devolved nation. Last month, I wrote to the Welsh Government to seek assurances on its support for our bid and their response was non-committal. Rather than throwing its full support behind Wrexham, the Welsh Government is playing politics and holding back the potential of our people and city in the process. In contrast, I am continuing to bang the drum for Wrexham. As the global spotlight continues to shine on our new city, now is precisely the time for us to seize every opportunity – especially those that will enhance our potential and facilitate increased inward investment into our local economy.

Last week, we received the brilliant news that North Wales Fire and Rescue Service has dropped proposals to significantly cut Wrexham’s fire service. I want to thank the overwhelming number of residents who signed my fire service petition and also those who joined me in taking a stand at Queen’s Square. Our collective efforts paid off.

Whilst I am relieved that the proposals have now been dropped, the fact the Fire and Rescue Service felt they had to consider these cost-cutting measures is concerning. It is the responsibility of the Welsh Labour Government in Cardiff to provide strong public services across Wales which are adequately funded, yet these planned cost-cutting measures would have resulted in less firefighters and left Wrexham with just one full time fire engine. Wrexham is a growing city - Welsh Government should be considering increased cover rather than reducing it. I will continue to stand up for Wrexham and I am extremely pleased that, collectively, we sent a strong message to protect Wrexham’s fire service.

Lastly, I was delighted that here Wrexham is home the best tree in the UK! The tree is 480-year-old chestnut tree in Acton Park and has been crowned Tree of the Year and will now represent the UK in the European Tree of the Year contest. Well done to everyone who cast their votes!

If you are a resident in the current Wrexham constituency, and need my help with any issue, please don’t hesitate to contact me by email at sarah.atherton.mp@parliament.uk.