Posted: Fri 17th May 2024

A view from Wrexham’s Member of Parliament

Wrexham.com for people living in or visiting the Wrexham area

Wrexham.com has invited Wrexham & Clwyd South Members of Parliament and Members of the Senedd 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 Wrexham’s MP, Sarah Atherton writes:

Recently, the Welsh Government’s new Cabinet Secretary for Transport announced that he is open to making changes to the 20mph blanket policy, urging councils in Wales to exempt roads from the 20mph speed limit.

This means that from September, councils across Wales will have the authority to reinstate 30mph on certain roads.

To ensure that residents can have their say on which roads they would like to be exempt from 20mph, I have launched a survey.

The results will be forwarded to Wrexham Council. To share your thoughts, go to ‘20mph – Road Survey’ on www.sarahatherton.org.uk.

Whilst I appreciate the new Transport Cabinet Secretary’s effort to appease Wrexham’s drivers, it is a dereliction of duty for the Welsh Government to pass responsibility for their disastrous policy to Wrexham Council.

I sincerely hope that the cost of changing roads back to 30mph will not be forced onto Wrexham Council, especially given the recent 9.9% council tax increase whilst services are being cut. People feel they are paying more for less.

Rather than making Wrexham Council deal with the aftermath of Labour’s anti-car and anti-driver policy, the blanket policy should be scrapped. I will continue to call on the Welsh Government to do exactly that.

Recently, the Type 45 destroyer HMS Dragon was officially twinned with Wrexham. HMS Dragon, recognisable for its roaring Welsh dragons, emblazoned across its bows, played a starring role in the 2021 James Bond film ‘No Time To Die’, where it fired missiles that destroyed a target, apparently killing 007 in the process.

During the Second World War, ships were linked to Wrexham thanks to the Warship Week campaigns, which involved cities, towns and villages adopting military ships by raising cash for the vessels. It saw HMS Veteran – sunk in 1942 by a German torpedo – affiliated with Wrexham, while HMS Begonia and HMS Anemone were sponsored by local villages from the surrounding area.

For over a year, I have been lobbying the Ministry of Defence and collaborating closely with Wrexham Council’s Armed Forces Champion to secure formal affiliation between Wales’ newest City and a Royal Navy ship.

The response from our local veterans, veterans’ associations in Wrexham, and the wider community has been overwhelming.

This marks not only an exciting chapter for Wrexham but also for those who will serve on board.

Many residents are aware of the threat facing the Metastatic Cancer Nurse position at the Wrexham Maelor due to underfunding by the Welsh Labour Government, which is responsible for health in Wales and has been for the past 25 years.

Upon hearing the news that this post may lose its funding; I launched a campaign calling for the permanent funding of this crucial role.

Recently, officials from Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board (BCUHB) provided me an update, agreeing the funding for the Metastatic Cancer Nurse in Wrexham will be extended to the end of March 2025.

While I appreciate BCUHB’s recognition of the strength of feeling on this issue, this only offers short-term relief.

The indispensability of this role warrants permanent funding, sparing it from recurring uncertainties.

As a former nurse myself, I know how vital the support provided by specialist Metastatic Cancer Nurses is to cancer patients and their families at the most difficult of times.

The incredible nurse at Wrexham works with patients to coordinate their treatment and aftercare, provides emotional and psychological support for cancer patients and is a direct point of contact for any questions or concerns.

If you have not done so already, please sign and share my petition by clicking on ‘Save Our Cancer Nurse’ on my website: www.sarahatherton.org.uk. Thank you to all who have already lent their support.

Let’s send a strong message that we need a permanent Metastatic Nurse based at the Maelor.

I was delighted to attend Wrexham’s first Armed Forces Community Hub at the University. This collaborative effort brings together the Council, Woody’s Lodge, Wrexham Football Club, and the University to provide a welcoming space where veterans can gather for a cup of tea and a friendly chat.

Anyone is welcome to go along, whether you are a veteran or working to support veterans.

Please see the list below of future dates, all taking place at Wrexham University:
•         Friday 24th May from 11:00 to 13:00
•         Friday 7th June from 11:00 to 13:00
•         Friday 21st June from 11:00 to 13:00

If you have any questions, please get in touch by emailing: [email protected].

Lastly, if you are a resident in the current Wrexham constituency boundary and need my assistance with any local or national issues, please contact me on: [email protected].



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