By Sarah Atherton

MP for Wrexham

My View:

Back in June, most of Wrexham Council’s elected councillors gathered at the Guildhall and represented their constituents, as they refused to adopt – for the second time – the Local Development Plan (LDP). I fully supported Councillors exercising their democratic right in voting to reject the LDP. Having gone to judicial review last week, it was announced that Wrexham Council has been forced to adopt it - a plan imposed on us by the Welsh Labour Government in Cardiff and Labour Councillors and Senedd Members.

Despite raising my concerns on many occasions, we will now see development proposals which could mean up to 8,000 houses being built on land across the Wrexham Borough. There is no doubt that Wrexham faces significant challenges with housing and, whilst I am not opposed to more housing, the infrastructure must be in place to support this. As such, major improvements are needed with Wrexham’s public services, particularly ensuring that there are sufficient school places and that dentists, GPs and Emergency Services are accessible at the point of need. Wrexham’s road network and drainage systems also need to be upgraded to cope with any additional housing.

Public services and road infrastructure are managed by the Welsh Labour Government, which has stopped all new road building and continues to ignore the major problems regarding access to healthcare services. Labour has also imposed a default 20mph speed limit which has caused further chaos, congestion and frustration on our roads.

Wrexham’s LDP, cooked-up by Labour in Cardiff, will only serve to exacerbate the existing challenges that my constituents face on a daily basis with regards to inaccessible public services and the shocking state of our roads, which the Welsh Labour Government simply refuse to acknowledge and address.

In Parliament, I was delighted to meet with the team from Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board (BCUHB) who won an award at the Venous Thromboembolism (VTE) Awards for their highly successful thrombosis improvement plan. This small team set out to reduce the preventable Hospital Acquired Thrombosis (HAT) and make improvements to the uptake of education and understanding of prevention of VTE. This work is in addition to their ‘day jobs’ and it was impressive to learn that this preventative work is reducing incidents of HAT and has saved BCUHB approximately £500,000. I will be writing to the Chief Executive of BCUHB, Carol Shillabeer to highlight their life-changing work which helps many residents in Wrexham.

Back at home, I was delighted to be invited to have a look around the new Marks and Spencer at Plas Coch in Wrexham the night before their official opening! Marks and Spencer have partnered with Wrexham AFC for the next three seasons. In fact, this is Marks and Spencer’s first-ever partnership with a local football club, putting Wrexham yet again on the map. There is a fantastic range of products, including from local businesses such as Wrexham Lager and Village Bakery. It was also great to speak to the staff members, who have transferred over from the old site in Eagles Meadow. The store opened last Friday, so this allows residents to get their Christmas shopping started early!

In the run-up to Small Business Saturday (2 December), I ran a ‘Small Business Saturday Survey’ on my website to ask residents to nominate their favourite Wrexham small businesses. I want to thank the many residents who took the time to shine a light on the wonderful small businesses in Wrexham. It was heart-warming to see everyone spreading their appreciation and support for our local small business heroes.

Whilst every entry deserved to win, the business that received the most votes was Making Memories and Scents! Last Friday, I was delighted to visit the owners, Michelle and her daughter Stephanie, and award them with a bottle of House of Commons champagne. As we approach Christmas, I highly recommend residents pop down to Charles Street in Wrexham and see what they have to offer, including personalised gifts, candles, and other festive treats. I was also proud to highlight all the nominated small businesses on social media to share their contributions to our community and encourage people to continue supporting and shopping local!

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: