Posted: Sat 9th Mar 2024

A view from Clwyd South’s Member of the Senedd for people living in or visiting the Wrexham area
This article is old - Published: Saturday, Mar 9th, 2024 has invited Wrexham & Clwyd South Members of Parliament and Assembly Members to write a monthly article with updates on their work in their respective Parliaments and closer to home – you can find them all here. ‌​‌‌​​​‌‍‌​‌​‌‌‌​‍‌​​​‌​‌‌‍‌​​​‌‌​‌‍‌​​‌‌‌‌​‍‌​​‌‌‌​​‍‌​​‌​‌​​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​​‌‌​‌​‍‌​​‌‌‌​​‍‌‌​​‌‌​‌‍‌‌​​‌‌​​

In this month’s column Clwyd South’s Member of the Senedd, Ken Skates writes: ‌​‌‌​​​‌‍‌​‌​‌‌‌​‍‌​‌​‌‌​​‍‌​​‌‌‌‌​‍‌​​​​‌‌​‍‌​‌​‌​‌‌‍‌​​‌​‌‌‌‍‌​​‌‌​‌​‍‌​​​​‌‌​‍‌​‌‌‌‌‌​‍‌​​​‌‌​‌‍‌​​‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌​‌​‌‌‍‌​​‌​‌‌‌‍‌​​‌​‌‌​‍‌​​‌‌​‌​‍‌​​​‌​​‌‍‌​​‌‌​‌​‍‌​​​‌‌​​ ‌

In my last column, I said I had written again to Wrexham Council to ask for an urgent update about work on the Newbridge landslip as I was still receiving regular emails asking what is happening.

As most readers will know by now, the Welsh Labour Government awarded the council £2.8m in April 2022 to carry out the repairs and reopen the road. The matter has been in the council’s hands since.

Following my email to Wrexham Council on January 17, last week I received the response below which I am copying in full to keep people informed.

“Wrexham County Borough Council have been fortunate to have been awarded grant funding by the Welsh Government for the numerous tasks required towards implementation of a scheme of repair within the particularly challenging environment that it is in and around the landslip area.

“In collaboration with Atkins Consulting Engineers who have been appointed to support Wrexham Council Borough Council, and our Design and Build Contractors, Jones Bros Ltd, ground investigation work has been completed and the resulting detailed report on the findings has enabled design options to be developed for a scheme of permanent repair to the embankment and road.

“Whilst we are conscious that the relative lack of visibility on site may be perceived as lack of progress being made overall, we are pleased to confirm that significant progress has been made and the details of the permanent repair is now almost finalised.

“As planning progresses towards the main repair works, on Monday February 19th the road closure order for the affected section of road was extended to also apply to pedestrians and cyclists.

:From this week onwards, Jones Bros will be commencing their advanced works. This will include diverting existing services, and forming the temporary access road that is required to enable the permanent repair to the landslip itself.

“As a result there will be increased activity on site from now onwards, and as the repair scheme progresses further stages will follow towards a full re-opening of the B5605 when any closures will finally be removed.

“The detailed programme of works is progressing well, but is yet to be completely finalised, however regular updates continue to be posted on Jones Bros’ Facebook page that is dedicated to the Newbridge landslip.”

The contractors are now issuing regular updates on the Newbridge Landslip Remediation Scheme page on Facebook, which can be found here.

I enjoyed visiting St Mary’s Church in Chirk on Friday to find out more about the fundraising campaign to restore its 200-year-old bells.

The team of volunteers led by Tower Captain Peter Furniss is hoping to raise £60,000 to not only maintain the existing six bells but add two more.

There have been bells in the tower of St Mary’s since 1519 and the present ring of six have been part of the soundscape of Chirk since 1814.

They continue to be rung regularly by the enthusiastic and committed band of ringers, but over two centuries of regular use has taken its toll and the bells require major restoration – and expenditure – to ensure that they continue to ring in future.

I was invited to St Dunawd’s Church in Bangor-on-Dee in 2021 when they launched their own campaign to save their bells, and I hope the St Mary’s fundraising effort will be just as successful. I have written to the Welsh Government to see how it can help.

There will be a fundraising event at the church hall on Saturday March 16, starting at 2pm, which will include a presentation about bells and bell ringing and the history of the bells at St Mary’s.

Last week in the Senedd I highlighted increasing violence against staff in Welsh schools.

There are various challenges in education that have been intensified as a result of the pandemic, and one is the sharp increase in abuse of teachers and teaching assistants. Attacks have become more frequent, including – alarmingly – in primary schools.

I met with the Wrexham Primary Headteachers’ Federation late last year and this was one of a number of issues raised.

The First Minister agreed teachers and all school staff should be respected and said abuse and violence towards them should never be tolerated.

I also met with the Education Minister, Jeremy Miles; Wrexham MS Lesley Griffiths and headteachers from across Wrexham last week regarding cuts to school budgets. I thank Jeremy for his time and for listening to the heads’ concerns, and have asked to be kept updated on any progress on the points raised.

I have made personal representations to the Minister on this issue, and have also invited him to meet with me and a delegation of parents in Clwyd South so he is able to hear first-hand their concerns and the impact these measures would have on their children and local schools.

If you need support or advice, please email [email protected] or call my office on 01978 869058. You can also follow me on Facebook and subscribe to my e-newsletters by emailing me.

Spotted something? Got a story? Email [email protected]

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