By Lesley Griffiths

MS for Wrexham

The Hightown Barracks has a proud association with the town dating back to the 19th century. After a challenging few years where its future was under some threat, I am pleased the military installation has recovered and is moving from strength to strength. I recently toured the Barracks with Lt Col Nick Lock to discover more about the future plans. A new mental health clinic is scheduled to open soon which will serve military personal across the wider region. The Defence Mental Health Team will be based permanently at the Barracks, employing 4 fulltime clinicians, and a major revamp of the building is taking place to ensure the new facilities are up to standard. There is also a training college that engages with the younger generations and there is work ongoing supporting military veterans. Thankfully, the future is looking bright and the investment in Hightown Barracks is helping preserve Wrexham’s proud military tradition.

In my previous column, I mentioned I recently conducted my latest meeting with the Chair of Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board. These meetings take place regularly, enabling me to raise any local issues and ensure the authorities are aware of patients’ day-to-day experiences. I was pleased to learn an extra £1m is being used by the Health Board to assist with recruiting staff in the Emergency Departments at the three main hospitals across North Wales – Wrexham Maelor, Ysbyty Glan Clwyd and Ysbyty Gwynedd. Having successfully employed a new Nurse Consultant, the Health Board is now focused on recruiting consultants for the Emergency Department at the Wrexham Maelor. I’m sure this update will be welcomed and I will continue to work with the relevant bodies to ensure local residents receive the best possible health services.

Families in Wrexham could be eligible to sign up to receive free healthy food and vitamins. Healthy Start offers families a pre-paid card that is topped up every four weeks with credit to buy healthy food, such as fruit, vegetables, milk and infant formula. The scheme is available to those who are more than 10 weeks pregnant or have a child under 4, and are in receipt of certain benefits. Its estimated around 40% of people within Wales who are eligible for the scheme are not claiming what they are entitled to. The escalating cost-of-living crisis is affecting many local families and I want to ensure people are aware of the support that is available. Healthy Start will not only help financially, it also encourages people to live healthier lifestyles. To find out if you’re eligible visit