By Sarah Atherton

MP for Wrexham

Quite rightly, the past week has been dominated with the news that Wrexham has been shortlisted to the final four for City of Culture 2025. I was particularly pleased to be able to mention the Wrexham City of Culture 2025 bid to the Prime Minister in PMQs last Wednesday.

As a town with a strong football heritage, it seemed fitting that we should celebrate Wrexham’s shortlisting success by watching Wrexham AFC’s victory against Dover at the weekend.

I had the pleasure of watching the rollercoaster game against Dover Athletic at the Racecourse on Saturday. After going down 2-5 in the second half, the Red Dragons roared back scoring three goals before a dramatic 98th minute winner raised the roof at the Racecourse. The club has now moved to second in the Vanarama National League table.

Before the game, it was an honour to meet and chat to the Wrexham AFC legend, Mickey Thomas, who reflected on his past days as a player at Wrexham in the old Second, Third and Fourth Divisions, and looked forward to the club’s promotion push this season.

Wrexham’s push for promotion will temporarily pause this week as the club turns its attention to the Buildbase FA Trophy semi-final on Saturday against Stockport County. In what promises to be a competitive clash between the top two sides in the National League, Phil Parkinson’s men will be looking to build on the momentum gathered in the league as they look to book their ticket to Wembley in May. I am sending my best wishes and good luck to all of the players, staff and everyone associated with the club for this Saturday’s game. Come on you Reds!

In other great sporting news, as part of a £25 Million UK-wide investment, the UK Government announced over £140,000 in grassroots football funding for organisations in Wrexham. Rhosnesni High School and Brickfield Rangers FC received the funding from the UK Government, delivered through the Football Association of Wales. It is great news that the Welsh Government has also opted to invest over £1 million to improve grassroots facilities this year across Wales.

I know this funding will be a huge boost to all the students and many young people in Wrexham who will benefit from this grassroots sports money and improved facilities which will have a positive impact on physical health, mental wellbeing and community spirit across our town.

In other big news this week, in his Spring Statement, the Chancellor announced plans to ease cost of living pressures by slashing fuel duty by 5p per litre and increasing the National Insurance threshold to £12,750 from July, which will benefit 1.2 million Welsh workers and save hard working families an estimated £330 a year. He also announced that from 2024, the basic rate of income tax will also be cut by 1p in the pound allowing hard-working people across the UK to keep more of what they earn.

I strongly welcome the UK Government’s measure of providing the Welsh Government with an additional £27 million on top of their block grant through the Barnett formula as a result of measures in the Spring Statement. It is essential that the Welsh Government spends this wisely to support families and ease the pressures everyone is experiencing.

Finally, as always, my healthcare campaign continues. I was able to highlight some of the major healthcare concerns from Wrexham residents during a speech in the Chamber last Thursday. If you would like to send a message to the Welsh Government that healthcare needs improving, please do so on my website:

As always, if you are resident in Wrexham and need my assistance with any local or national issue, please make contact with me by emailing