By Sarah Atherton

MP for Wrexham

As a veteran myself, it was wonderful to welcome thirteen Wrexham Royal Navy and Royal Marine Veterans to Parliament last Saturday. The day after, they marched through scorching London as part of the Naval Associations biennial parade! During their Parliamentary tour, it was a pleasure to discuss the day-to-day running of our democracy and exploring the history of the Houses of Parliament, not to mention the great passion we all have for Wales’ buzzing new city.

The group was interested to hear about the rich military history that runs through the fabric of Parliament. I thoroughly enjoyed hosting the group and the tour was topped off by drinking Wrexham Lager on the terrace on a sunny Saturday afternoon.

Last Tuesday, I was delighted to attend the Local Veterans Champion reception at Number 10 Downing Street with our very own Kevin Hackett, Chairman of the Royal Naval Association Wrexham Branch. During the reception at No.10, Kevin spoke with the Minister of State for Veteran Affairs, Johnny Mercer MP, about the current support for veterans and how it could be improved. This was an excellent occasion to champion our Welsh military footprint and Wrexham’s large community of veterans. Nominating Kevin for this award was an easy choice! Keep up the excellent work in leading our thriving Royal Naval Association Wrexham Branch. And let’s hope we have a ship associated to Wrexham very soon.

As a member of the Defence Select Committee, I was pleased to attend the Defence and Security Equipment International (DSEI) last week. DSEI connects Governments, armed forces, defence industry and the entire defence & security supply chain on a global scale. During the visit, I was pleased to get up close and personal with the Archer Mobile Howitzer and talk to Qioptic, based in St Asaph and Deeside-based Triumph, an industry-leading solutions provider for system and aftermarket services to the global aerospace market. Collaboration between Government and industry is vital for strengthening our defence capability and boosting local economies, including the contribution Airbus makes to North East Wales.

Last week, I was delighted to champion Wrexham’s very own Magic Dragon Brewery Tap at the All-Party Parliamentary Beer Group’s Welsh Beer Reception in Parliament. This was an excellent opportunity to show Lords and MPs Wrexham’s bright brewing potential particularly, as Magic Dragon recently won CAMRA North Wales pub of the year. We are lucky in Wrexham to have such a successful brewing heritage.

As everyone will be aware, the Welsh Labour Government’s 20mph blanket speed limit on roads across Wales, has now been implemented. For months, I have been campaigning against this ludicrous policy that has been ‘cooked-up-in-Cardiff’ and will inevitably slow Wales down. In fact, 94% of respondents to my Transport Survey disagreed with this policy! Again, the Welsh Labour Government does not prioritise spending money where it really matters. Just this year, the Welsh Government wasted £361,500 worth of taxpayers' money on a 20mph policy that an overwhelming amount of Wrexham residents did not want! This is in addition to £35,399.15 claimed towards 20mph implementation in the last financial year. Across the whole of Wales, the policy is set to cost the taxpayer around £32million.

However, as it is now in place, we must all drive within the new speed limits. GoSafe mobile speed vans will visit multiple locations in Wrexham this month and static speed cameras will be recalibrated. To see a full list of areas where the GoSafe van will be visiting, please head over to the ‘News’ section of my website. Going forward, I will continue to press the Welsh Labour Government for details on how they plan to assess the success of the policy once implemented.

Lastly, if you are a resident in the current Wrexham constituency, and need my help with any issue, please don’t hesitate to contact me by email at