By Sarah Atherton

MP for Wrexham

We recently saw the biggest rail strike hit Britain in 30 years.

As Kelloggs is based on the Wrexham Industrial Estate, I was meant to be hosting the Kellogg’s Breakfast Club Awards in Parliament to honour the 5,000 schools and their teachers who diligently run Kellogg’s breakfast clubs, which aim to tackle food insecurity. Thanks to the strikes, the awards were cancelled, and teachers were not given the recognition they deserve.

I raised my disappointment in Parliament with the Secretary of State for Transport, Grant Shapps, who responded by agreeing with me that innocent school children and Wrexham-based Kellogg’s have lost out due to unnecessary strikes. It is extremely disappointing that by the RMT striking for more, they have taken away from the many.

Whilst the UK Government was fully immersed in last-minute talks to avert the strikes, the Shadow Secretary of State for Transport was busy circulating false information that in Labour-run Wales, strike action by train staff had been avoided. This was strictly untrue: fewer than 10% of normal services in Wales ran on strike days. Following these false claims, I called for the Shadow Secretary of State for Transport to correct the record so that my hard-working constituents in Wrexham would not be further inconvenienced by misinformation.

The UK Government has listened to concerns about the cost-of-living crisis and announced a new £650 cost-of-living payment for 9,600 families in Wrexham. On top of the nonrepayable £400 energy bills rebate set out by the Chancellor in March, this extra support includes an automatic £650 payment for households on means-tested benefits starting in July, a separate £300 payment for pensioners, and a £150 payment for eligible disabled people.

Once again, the UK Conservative Government is dedicated to supporting hard-working individuals and families in Wales through a total of £37 billion worth of support across the UK so far this year.

In other news, I was immensely proud that Wrexham was at the heart of celebrations for North Wales Armed Forces Day on Saturday 18th June. As a veteran myself and a member of the Defence Select Committee, it was great that Wrexham was chosen to host the events for the whole of Wales. Wrexham’s long and proud military heritage shone through by chatting to veterans, charities, personnel and their marvellous families throughout the day.

Ahead of UK Armed Forces Day, I visited No. 10 to celebrate the Armed Forces and acknowledge the contribution of those currently serving in the Armed Forces, as well as Veterans. In addition, it was an honour to attend the Speaker’s flag raising ceremony at Parliament for Armed Forces Day, where we raised the Union flag, Armed Forces Day flag, and the Tri-Service flag whilst listening to the wonderful Voices of Armed Forces Children Choir.

I was pleased to pay my respects at the Welsh Guards Memorial at Bodhyfryd in Wrexham on Saturday 25th June for UK Armed Forces Day. Wales has a strong military history with the Falklands War, and with so many Welsh Guards sadly losing their lives at the attack on the Sir Galahad on 8th June 1982, and so I am pleased that there will be events to commemorate the Falklands War specifically for Armed Forces Day this year.

In other defence news, I strongly welcomed the disciplinary action taken by Chief of General Staff, General Sir Patrick Sanders in response to the recent sexual activities with a civilian woman at Merville Barracks. This shows leadership and strong direction by the Ministry of Defence of stamping out inappropriate behaviours in the military. There is still a long way to go but I look forward to meeting with General Sir Patrick Sanders soon to discuss tackling the ‘laddish’ culture in the military and the further changes that were inspired by my Defence Select Committee report.

You can read my Defence Select Committee report in full here:

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