By Sarah Atherton

MP for Wrexham

For myself and thousands of veterans, service personnel, and service families, the month of November is particularly poignant for us all in Wrexham. This time allows servicemen, women, veterans, and their families and the public to come together and remember. Even though Remembrance Sunday has just passed, I thought it would be fitting to share how I paid my respects on behalf of Wrexham in Parliament and locally this November.

As we approached Remembrance Sunday, I was honoured to plant my tribute on behalf of Wrexham in the Garden of Remembrance in Parliament, at a service conducted by the Speaker of the House of Commons, Sir Lindsay Hoyle. This year marks the 70th anniversary of the Korean War and this fitting ceremony gives recognition and allowed me, on behalf of Wrexham to thank all those who have and continue to serve in our Armed Forces.

Locally, I supported the Royal British Legion’s Poppy Appeal by helping gather donations in Asda, alongside cadets from The Royal Welsh (RWF), based at Hightown Barracks. Wrexham has a long and proud military history and having secured the future of Hightown Barracks, it was pleasing to hear about Wrexham’s strong and growing cadet and Army Reserve presence at the Barracks. The generosity of Wrexham people in supporting the Royal British Legion’s Poppy Appeal never fails to amaze me. Our city’s true sense of community spirit and generosity undeniably shines through as a beacon of light in this time of commemoration.

On Remembrance Day itself, it was humbling to attend and to see so many at the Armistice Day Ceremony at Queen’s Square in Wrexham. To be amongst so many residents gathered was heart-warming. The day after, alongside Wrexham’s numerous veterans’ associations, I was honoured to attend a service at the Normandy Veterans Memorial and lay a Parliamentary wreath at the R. W. F. Memorial, Bodhyfryd in Wrexham, paying tribute to our service personnel past and present. We will remember them.

Over the past few months, I have had many meetings with the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Jeremy Hunt MP, the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Michael Gove MP and the Secretary of State for Wales, David TC Davies MP, making the 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.

It is clear that the UK Government wants to invest in Wrexham, as demonstrated by the £13.3 million for Wrexham’s Trevor Basin Levelling Up Bid given to Wrexham Council, the recent £20 million from the Towns Fund and £22.4 million from the UK Shared Prosperity Fund. Moreover, the UK Government is open to the possibility of two Investment Zones in Wales.

Recently, I wrote to the Welsh Government to seek assurances of its support for our bid and disappointingly, their response was non-committal. This was particularly concerning as Wrexham’s joint bid with Flintshire is conditional on the Welsh Government’s support, as Wales is a devolved nation. However, a couple of weeks have rolled by, and I am glad to share that the Welsh Government has finally warmed up to the idea and agreed to a second Investment Zone in Wales. Given how clear the benefits are, it is unfortunate that the Welsh Government has held back and taken 6 months to come to this view. On top of this, the Welsh Government has attached many conditions and has unreasonably demanded that the UK Government should turn this around in time for the Autumn Statement in a couple of weeks. Although the Welsh Government has delayed progress, following the news of their support, I met with the Chancellor and the Levelling Up Secretary to continue to bang the drum for Wrexham and Flintshire’s joint bid.

Lastly, I was delighted to attend the first-ever Wrexham Business & Community Awards. After months of preparations and build-up, we came together to celebrate our exceptional local businesses, both small and large, for their invaluable contributions to our now-thriving city. With Wrexham's new city status comes exciting opportunities for job creation and growth, and businesses continue to thrive here. They are the backbone of our local economy and are truly deserving of this recognition. Huge congratulations to all the winners, your success illuminates the path to a brighter future for Wrexham.

As always, if you are a resident in the current Wrexham constituency boundary and need my assistance with any local or national issues, please contact me by emailing