By Sarah Atherton

MP for Wrexham

I hope everyone had an enjoyable bank holiday with family and friends!

Last week, the Type 45 destroyer HMS Dragon was officially twinned with Wrexham. HMS Dragon, recognisable for its roaring Welsh dragons, emblazoned across its bows, played a starring role in the 2021 James Bond film ‘No Time To Die’, where it fired missiles that destroyed a target, apparently killing 007 in the process.

During the Second World War, ships were linked to Wrexham thanks to the Warship Week campaigns, which involved cities, towns and villages adopting military ships by raising cash for the vessels. It saw HMS Veteran – sunk in 1942 by a German torpedo – affiliated with Wrexham, while HMS Begonia and HMS Anemone were sponsored by local villages from the surrounding area.

For over a year, I have been lobbying the Ministry of Defence and drawing on my military connections, whilst collaborating closely with Wrexham Council’s Armed Forces Champion, Cllr Beverley Parry-Jones to secure formal affiliation between Wales’ newest City and a Royal Navy ship.

This occasion was particularly poignant as it came recently after the Defence Secretary committed to a significant increase in defence spending, raising it to 2.5% of GDP, equivalent to £75 billion.

Just over a week on from Wrexham’s twinning with HMS Dragon, the response has been overwhelming from our local veterans, veterans’ associations in Wrexham, and the wider community. This marks not only an exciting chapter for Wrexham but also for those who will serve on board.

Recently, the Welsh Government’s new Cabinet Secretary for Transport announced that he is open to making changes to the 20mph blanket policy, urging councils in Wales to exempt roads from the 20mph speed limit. This means that from September, councils across Wales will have the authority to reinstate 30mph on certain roads. I am actively engaging with Wrexham Council to obtain and share their guidance on this matter.

To ensure that residents can have their say on which roads they would like to be exempt from 20mph, I have launched a survey. The results will be forwarded to Wrexham Council. To share your thoughts, please click on ‘Which roads do you want exempt from 20mph’ on my website homepage:

Whilst I appreciate the new Transport Cabinet Secretary’s effort to appease Wrexham’s drivers, it is a dereliction of duty for the Welsh Government to pass responsibility for their disastrous policy to Wrexham Council. I sincerely hope that the cost of changing roads back to 30mph will not be forced onto Wrexham Council, especially given the recent 9.9% council tax increase whilst services are being cut. People feel they are paying more for less.

Rather than making Wrexham Council deal with the aftermath of Labour’s anti-car and anti-driver policy, the blanket policy should be scrapped, and I will continue to call on the Welsh Government to do exactly that.

Recently, the National Eisteddfod came to our City, and I was delighted to join the parade and see the crowds gathered in Wrexham. In case you are not aware, the Eisteddfod is a celebration of Wales’s culture and language, where poets, writers and musicians come together to showcase Wales’ talent. This is just yet another good story for Wrexham!

Lastly, I was delighted to attend Wrexham’s first Armed Forces Community Hub at the University. This collaborative effort brings together the Council, Woody’s Lodge, Wrexham Football Club, and the University to provide a welcoming space where veterans can gather for a cup of tea and a friendly chat.

Anyone is welcome to go along, whether you are a veteran or working to support veterans.

Please see the list below of future dates, all taking place at Wrexham University:

• Friday 10th May from 11:00 to 13:00

• Friday 24th May from 11:00 to 13:00

• Friday 7th June from 11:00 to 13:00

• Friday 21st June from 11:00 to 13:00

If you have any questions, please get in touch by emailing:

If you are a resident in the current Wrexham constituency boundary and need my assistance with any local or national issues, please contact me on: