Becca Martin – Plaid Cymru – 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.

Answers to the Q&A…

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?

I feel the main issue for people are surrounding the NHS and social care: Lack of accessibility to GPs, long waiting lists, cancellations for treatments and excessive waits in A & E. Not to mention a lack of support once discharged that inevitably ends with repeated re-admissions.
In my role as a county councillor I have advocated for people struggling with getting appointments and the care they need but this is merely fire fighting.
The entire NHS here in Wales needs a complete overhaul.
Plaid Cymru’s plan is to hire, and train 500 GPs to ensure accessible appointments, an uplift in pay for NHS workers to encourage retention and a more integrated health and social care system meaning better care within our communities.
Addressing the lack of community social care – whether in your own home or in community hospitals – frees up hospital beds and staff and that, in turn, releases ambulances from queuing outside the Maelor.
More accessibility to GPs means fewer people going to A & E and fewer people needing hospital admissions. Although health is devolved under Labour here in Wales, there is also a massive issue with privatisation in England. Underfunding the NHS over the past 14 years is down to Westminster so we need an MP that will fight for fairer funding for Wales in order to make the changes needed.

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?

The cost of living crisis is hitting people hard. Nationally we need to be demanding fairer funding for Wales.
On a practical level locally it’s about forging relationships with advice and support services for quick and efficient signposting. Ensuring that communication between these services and more vulnerable residents is established is also important.
Financial issues can often be quite a sensitive topic for people and so being approachable and available is also incredibly important; I would want residents to know that in me they will always have an available, confidential and non-judgemental space and I will always do my best to connect people to the right services and help in any way I can.

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?

Social housing is so badly needed here in Wrexham. We have 4000 people on the waiting list and no plan to provide for them. Instead there are currently plans for more 3000 houses to be built with minimal “affordable” housing. These houses are, in the main, 3 and 4-bed executive houses with price tags upwards of £300,000. These are just unaffordable on an average wage in Wrexham which is why Plaid Cymru locally are opposing them – we need house building to be for local need not for developers’ greed. They will build to maximise profits and we need to build the affordable and social housing we so badly need.
We need more focus on truly affordable housing for the residents of Wrexham with an additional focus on creating more social housing. We should be utilising derelict land and bringing empty properties back into use by renovating them and converting them to fit local needs.

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?

Over a long time children and young people’s services have been slowly eroded into non-existence. Again, it’s a legacy of 15 years of Tory austerity. We need a more
complete and accessible mental health care, which lies within the much needed NHS reforms.
This care needs to be available to those referred and those who self refer and should be tailored to the individual as there is no “one size fits all”. The same goes for children and young seeking support with neurodiversity.
Personally, I have worked closely with members of Wrexham’s play and youth teams who do an incredible job trying to fill those gaps that have been created though, they too are massively underfunded and that’s something that needs to change.
We also mustn’t forget the role our green spaces and recreation have on mental health for people across the board – we need to fight to keep those spaces.

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?

I have addressed some of this in the first question. We need complete reform of our health care system with a more integrated approach with social care. I personally, and Plaid Cymru as a party, stand in solidarity with our healthcare workers (literally on the picket lines at times). Wage restoration pledges must be implemented as an urgent priority. The NHS is nothing without its staff and so we must show that we value and support them. This is essential for both recruitment and retention of health care professionals. Plaid Cymru would also look to recruit 500 more GPs by restoring funding to 8.7% of the Welsh health budget.

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? 

Climate change will affect the whole world in the future – we’re already starting to see the extreme weather events and nature emergencies caused by it across the globe –
flooding, droughts, forest fires to name a few. We need to be implementing plans for renewable energy sources; community owned to take control of our own resources and in turn lowering energy bills as well. We need to focus on preservation of our natural areas and reverse nature loss as a priority; already 1 in 6 species in Wales are threatened with extinction! Plaid Cymru is committed to reaching net-zero targets in Wales by 2035 and reversing biodiversity decline by 2030.

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

Migrants play an important part in society – particularly in our health and social care sectors. As a country we should have the power to manage our own visa schemes
and our own shortage occupation list.
In terms of people fleeing persecution or conflict in their home countries; they are also deserving of help and support with a proportionate dispersal and responsibility across the UK. We need quicker and more efficient claim processing because the current, desperately slow process is literally leading to deaths at sea.
As a mother myself, I cannot begin to comprehend the desperation someone must feel to lead them to believe their best option is trying to cross the channel themselves with their children. These are vulnerable, scared people who need support and we should be offering a hand of humanity.

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

I think we need more devolution – I am a believer in an independent Wales. At the moment Westminster controls our purse strings. An example of this is HS2. Wales had no choice in paying more than £4bn towards HS2 – a train track that goes from London to Birmingham and not a single inch in Wales. Imagine the difference that funding could make to our own transportation networks, or our NHS or even simply divided between our 22 councils here in Wales – they certainly wouldn’t have been needing to put up people’s council tax by nearly 10% if that was the case.
We also have the Crown Estate. Valued at £853 million in Welsh assets, the revenue from rents of the offshore windfarms currently goes entirely to the Treasury with 25%
going directly to the King. These offshore windfarms could generate £43bn in rents and that could be used to tackle poverty and improve public services such as the NHS
should it be devolved. We need devolution of the Crown Estate and we need the autonomy to make our ownfinancial decisions as a country.

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

When Russia first invaded Ukraine there was an outpouring of support from all the countries of the UK. Politically they were supported by both Westminster in London and the Senedd here in Wales. Ordinary people came together and rallied around donating much needed essentials – toiletries, nappies, dried foods, clothes. I volunteered at the warehouse on the industrial estate sorting through the donated items and packing them ready to go to Ukraine. The sheer amount of stuff was overwhelming; lorry after lorry after lorry coming in from all over the UK.
I think we need to continue our support of the Ukraine but we also need to look at the disparity between the support offered to Ukraine and the support offered to Palestine.
We have a situation where innocent civilians are being killed daily, their children are being killed in their thousands, they are being herded into refugee camps which are then
being bombed, their hospitals are being targeted, there is mass starvation, inhumane conditions. And still the leaders of the two of our main UK political parties are refusing to give their full support to Palestine and continue to try and justify and condone these atrocities.

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?

Trust in politics is low and for good reason. For too long now we have been represented by the same two parties going backwards and forwards and nothing changes. We see the same old broken promises time after time. We build up trust by doing. We do what we say we are going to do, we are active and we represent residents as we say we will. Through my time as a county councillor I think I have proven that I am someone who will do.
I want to truly represent the people’s views, to advocate for Wrexham and all the residents of this constituency in Westminster. I am home grown, born and bred Wrexham. I am proud of our town and it’s where I am choosing to raise my own family. My family live here, my friends live here, it’s my home town – it matters to me what happens here and so I would give my all to represent us. People are fed up, people are ready for change and I really believe I can deliver that real change.

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