Andrew Ranger – Welsh Labour – Wrexham General Election 2024

 

This is a candidate page for the Wrexham constituency – the full list of candidates are: Paul Ashton, Sarah Atherton, Charles Dodman, Becca Martin, Andrew Ranger, Tim Sly, Tim Morgan.

You can view our Election 2024 homepage here.

Supplied bio:

I have lived in Wrexham for 25 years, firstly in Cross Lanes and then in the Offa area of Wrexham since 2002. After a 27 year career in the hotel industry – beginning as a Kitchen Porter and ending as a Hotel General Manager – I now work as an Accountant and Business Consultant helping SMEs from start-ups to more established ones.
Serving as an elected Community Councillor for the area in which I live, I work together with the community and as a member of the council to deliver services, community events and to tackle issues that affect the daily lives of those that live there.

I have actively been involved in politics since 2011 when I joined the Labour Party to campaign against the austerity measures being imposed by the Conservative government in Westminster. Since then, I, along with colleagues, have campaigned across Wrexham on various issues – such as fighting to save our local Citizens Advice Bureau, as well as helping in successive UK, Welsh, and local election campaigns.

Wrexham.com Q&A Answers…

1. What is the top issue you feel the people of Wrexham will want you to represent them on, and what is your position on it?

Since January 2023 I have been visiting and listening to thousands of residents across the new Wrexham constituency to learn about their lives, aspirations, and concerns. Without doubt the top issue that they tell me about consistently has been the cost-of-living crisis – stagnating wages and rising bills – and the challenges that brings to their daily lives. The feeling that the UK economy is broken and does not work properly for everyone whilst public services have been stretched to breaking point – is one that has been conveyed to me repeatedly and consistently for the past 18 months. When I ask people the question “Are you, your family and your community better off after 14 years of Conservative government?”, the answer is always “No!”.
The key to tackling this is bringing the stability and growth to our economy so that we can then invest in our public services, our infrastructure and businesses will have more confidence to invest too – creating the skilled jobs of the future. This will lead to greater productivity and improved pay. We need to fix our broken housing market so that having a home is truly affordable for everyone and that we provide the homes to buy and rent that people need. I will work both in Parliament and locally to ensure that this is brought about – working to bring communities, businesses, the third sector and elected representatives together to deliver for the people of Wrexham.

2. Cost of living is up, mortgages are up, food prices are up, energy costs are up, rent is up – all with inflation still increasing. What can you practically do as an MP to help people in Wrexham with this in the future?

Following on from my response above, should the people of Wrexham elect me as their MP I will work both in Parliament and locally to address the cost-of-living crisis. This two-pronged approach is about ensuring that we get the right conditions across the UK to stabilise and grow the economy. Working in partnership with businesses and investors to improve both public and private investment across the whole of the UK, including in Wrexham, so that we can rebuild our failing infrastructure; give businesses the confidence to grow and create more, better paid jobs. We then need a national industrial strategy and work force plan to ensure that we maximise the opportunities for people across the UK to access the learning and skills needed for the jobs of the future – in the green economy, in artificial intelligence and technology, in health and social care and in construction. We also need to tackle the broken housing market and build more, truly affordable homes including more social housing – to buy or to rent – so that people can build their lives in the places that they grew up in, close to family and friend networks. We also need to make work pay so that people can earn a genuine living wage as well as end the precarious nature of too many jobs so that we can give people security and a route out of poverty.
Locally tackling the cost-of-living crisis is about bringing organisations and communities together so that people can be signposted to get the help and advice they need. As Wrexham’s MP I would ensure that the services of the constituency office are available to those that need them. I would work together with people, organisations, businesses, other elected representatives, and the council to ensure that Wrexham gets its fair share of the benefits of a growing economy whilst also making sure that those who need help receive it.

3. Social housing waiting lists are high, private home ownership is more and more unattainable with people in their 20s and 30s still living at home with their parents. In your view, how can this be resolved?

Everyone should have a place called home with access to warm, good quality housing in their local communities – whether they are renting or buying. Welsh Labour is investing in social housing and will deliver 20,000 new homes for social rent by 2026, with all new builds being carbon neutral. This builds on the successful delivery of more than 20,000 affordable homes over the previous Senedd term. For those that wish to buy then the Help to Buy scheme helps people buy a house with a low deposit and an interest free loan to cover part of the purchase price. Local authorities need to identify affordable housing led sites where at least 50% of the housing is truly affordable. Along with building the homes that people need in Wrexham we must also ensure the delivery of sustainable, thriving communities working in harmony with the natural environment and placing the emphasis on both green and traditional infrastructure.

4. Young people are often an afterthought during election cycles and after years of disrupted education, along with closure of youth facilities and lack of mental health support. What do you think needs to be put into place to support them?

We asked young people to make huge sacrifices during Covid to protect older generations. It is now time to repay them for that sacrifice and help them recover from the significant disruption that they experienced to their education and development. Young people are the future of our country – so we must ensure that we break down the barriers to opportunity that they face and give them the best start in life.
Welsh Labour have delivered free breakfasts to primary school children, the roll out of universal school meals to all primary school children, support with the School Essentials Grant to help with the cost of uniforms and other equipment and the Educational Maintenance Allowance for 16 to 18 year olds in further education.
Mental Health and wellbeing are increasingly important and Welsh Labour will ensure that all pupils from age 6 and above have access to a school counselling service. We must also continue investing in youth services in our communities to meet the changing needs of young people and help them build confidence, connection, and valuable skills.
It is also important that young people have a say in their future – in Wales, 16 and 17 year olds can already vote in elections. This should be extended so that they can also vote in UK General Elections.

5. Health is devolved, but there is a link to Westminster and England in many ways. People are waiting longer for GP appointments, hospital waiting times have risen, staff are poorly paid and overworked. In your opinion, how do you think the issues in the NHS need addressing?

A Labour Government in Westminster working in partnership with the Labour Government in Wales will cut waiting times for NHS care. The record of the last UK Labour government on the NHS in Wales speaks for itself – the shortest waiting times on record and the highest patient satisfaction in history.
Welsh Labour will continue to invest in and protect health and social care in Wales. They will deliver reforms that ensure faster access to new treatments, new state of the art equipment and digital technology, and move care closer to home. They are building the NHS workforce of the future with the new medical school in North Wales opening this year and we will work in collaboration with NHS staff to deliver improvements for them and patients, with the social partnership model. Long waiting times are improving, and the Welsh Government is working hard to deliver improvements across the board. NHS waiting times will be cut by targeting those who have been waiting the longest and who are in the most need, paid for by cracking down on tax avoidance and non-dom loopholes.
Social care also needs to be reformed with the establishment of a National Care and Support Service to help those that require care to live happy, independent lives as close to home as possible. Care workers already receive the Real Living Wage in Wales but we will also continue to improve the terms and conditions in the sector to improve retention and recruitment of the workforce. We must also recognise the huge contribution that unpaid carers make and ensure that they get the financial support, and wellbeing support that they need such as respite breaks.

6. How do you think climate change will affect Wrexham in the future, and what as a local MP can you do on the matter?

The climate and nature crisis is the greatest long term challenge that we face. We have already seen the impacts of this in Wrexham with more regular extreme weather events such as heatwaves and flooding. We must act urgently to tackle this before it worsens. A major part of this will be the move to net zero as quickly as possible – by generating clean power from renewables. Labour will set up GB Energy, a publicly owned company that will invest in clean energy generation across the UK whilst at the same time reducing people’s energy bills; create highly skilled, highly paid jobs; and increase our energy security. We must also make homes more energy efficient with a programme of insulation and other measures. Locally we can work together on local power generation schemes from which local communities will benefit directly.

7. Do you think migration is a big issue to the people of Wrexham, and if so, why? Summarise your views.

Wrexham is enriched by its diversity of population and cultures. There is a long history of people choosing to come to Wrexham and make it their home from across the world. Migration has a positive influence on our economy, public services, and communities. It is only right that we manage our borders and immigration effectively – so that migrants are treated fairly, people fleeing persecution and conflict are offered safe haven, and that we manage our visa and short occupation list schemes to meet the needs of our country. It is also vitally important that we stop the deaths and exploitation of vulnerable people by the smuggling gangs.

8. What are your views on the current devolution arrangements from Westminster to Cardiff, and what change if any, would you support?

I believe in devolution, and it is one of the significant achievements of the last UK Labour Government. Devolution is a journey not an endpoint, and we have seen greater responsibilities and powers devolved to Wales as the last 25 years have progressed. I would like to see this continue with more decisions that affect Wales being made in Wales. I also want to see Wales being respected more than it has by the current UK government over the past 14 years. We need the governments in Westminster and Cardiff working together for Wales – delivering fairer funding for Wales, decisions about how that funding is allocated made in Wales, and greater representation for Wales on UK-wide bodies.

9. What is your view on Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, and what future path would you like the UK Parliament to take?

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is completely unacceptable and should never have happened – it is a symptom of the failure of international institutions and diplomacy. I believe that the UK should maintain its steadfast support for Ukraine and its people to help them liberate their country and bring an end to the conflict that is devastating too many lives. The UK should work with its allies across the world to hold Putin to account for his actions but also to bring the war to an end – and then help the Ukrainian people to rebuild their country and their lives.

10. Finally, it feels trust in politics is at an all time low. How will you rebuild that trust, and why should voters put their faith in you

Restoring the trust and faith in politics and our democracy is important to me. Whilst not perfect, politics is everything and everything is politics. It is how we make things happen and how we will improve the future for Wrexham and beyond. Part of the reason I am standing as a candidate is that I feel as let down as many others and I want to work to fix it.
Restoring trust requires leadership. Should the people of Wrexham elect me as their MP then I will always be open and honest with them. I will consult and listen across the whole constituency – working with communities, organisations, businesses, other elected representatives, and the council. I will be accessible with an office presence in the centre of Wrexham as well as holding regular surgeries and public meetings across the constituency and communicate regularly via social media. I will do and deliver what I promise to.

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