By Sarah Atherton

MP for Wrexham

As a veteran myself and a former Defence Minister, it was particularly special to judge and give out an award at the ‘Soldiering On Awards 2023’ last week. Congratulations are in order for our neighbours, the Newtown Army Cadet Force, Gwent and Powys, which won the Education, Training and Development Award. This was an excellent occasion to champion Welsh military footprint and Wales’ proud armed forces community. Well done to everyone involved, bring on next year’s awards!

Back at home, Wrexham came together to honour the 266 men that lost their lives on the 89th anniversary of the Gresford Mining Disaster. We keep all of their families in our thoughts. Wrexham has a long and proud mining history, and last week, I was pleased to see so many residents and representation from nine local schools at the old pit wheel during a poignant service to reflect on our history and the lives that were tragically lost in the disaster.

Earlier this month, plans to build more than 1,500 houses on land at Lower Berse Farm were submitted to Wrexham Council. Following the initial publication of the plans in June, I have supported many residents who have contacted me to express their grievances. In addition, I encouraged residents to engage with Redrow’s pre-planning consultation at the time of its release.

Back in June, Wrexham Council’s elected councillors gathered at the Guildhall and represented their constituents as they refused to adopt – for the second time – the Local Development Plan (LDP). I fully support Councillors exercising their democratic right in rejecting to adopt the LDP. Despite this, Redrow’s plans, which as I understand are included in the draft LDP, could be imposed on Wrexham by the Welsh Labour Government. There is no doubt that Wrexham faces significant challenges with housing. However, more housing requires improvements to existing infrastructure, such as hospitals, roads, GP surgeries and emergency services.

Unfortunately, public services and infrastructure are managed by the Welsh Labour Government, who has stopped all new road building, has failed to address the major problems regarding access to healthcare services and most recently, have imposed a default 20mph speed limit which has caused further chaos and congestion on our roads.

Without the proper investment in infrastructure or a democratically-adopted LDP, I cannot support a housing development of this size. These plans will only serve to exacerbate the existing challenges that my constituents continue to face on a daily basis as a result of Welsh Labour Government mismanagement.

Last Tuesday, there was a public meeting regarding Redrow’s plans which was attended by residents and representatives. Disappointingly, I didn’t receive notification of the meeting from the event organisers. Nevertheless, I look forward to providing a full response to the consultation which will be published on my social media and website in due course.

Recently, I was delighted to spend a sunny Saturday at Wrexham Feast with hundreds of residents. The turnout was incredible, and Wrexham Feast is fast becoming one of the most popular festivals in North Wales. The festival was an excellent opportunity to chat with many local businesses and purchase some local goods – the chilli jam was a particular hit in my household! Well done to Samantha Harris and to everyone involved – we are already excited for next year’s event.

The buzz surrounding Wrexham’s growing businesses and employment opportunities is palpable! On Friday 10th November 2023, people will come together to celebrate the best of Wrexham businesses at Wrexham’s first Business and Community Awards (WBCA). If you were not already aware, the WCBA application process has been extended. Whether you are a micro business, working from home, a sole trader, SME or one of our region’s giants, the WCBA wants to hear from you. There are eight categories to enter so you have a chance of success regardless of your business’ size. To enter the awards or to buy tickets, follow this link:

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