Posted: Mon 26th Feb 2024

A view from Wrexham’s Member of the Senedd for people living in or visiting the Wrexham area
This article is old - Published: Monday, Feb 26th, 2024 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 Member of the Senedd, Lesley Griffiths, writes:

The ballot is now open to decide who will replace Mark Drakeford as Welsh Labour’s Leader and First Minister.

I am backing Jeremy Miles MS and, as part of his campaign team, I recently welcomed him to The Venture and The Happy Hedgehog café where he met with local residents.

Mark will be a tough act to follow but having worked closely with Jeremy, I am convinced he has the credentials, experience and leadership qualities to take Wales forward.

Welsh Labour members and members of affiliated organisations will vote in the coming days and weeks. The ballot closes on 14 March with the result announced on 16 March.

While it is extremely disappointing there is a need for foodbanks to exist at all, there is no doubt they provide an invaluable lifeline to people, particularly during this cost-of-living crisis.

The staff and volunteers at Wrexham Foodbank have experienced a hectic few months. As well as organising appeals and collections ahead of the busy Christmas period, the team was forced to leave its former premises at Felin Puleston and moved to a new warehouse on the Rhosddu Industrial Estate.

I recently visited the new HQ to speak to the hard-working volunteers, trustees and new Foodbank Manager, Amy Jones.

Despite the high profile appeals in the run up to Christmas, the cost-of-living crisis is impacting Wrexham Foodbank as donations in recent months have dipped and stocks are lower than in previous years.  Wrexham Foodbank is currently spending around £2,000 per month on purchasing food for the parcels.

Stock is lower as demand is increasing. Since 1st April 2023, Wrexham Foodbank has given 9039 parcels out which is an increase of around 33 % from the previous 2022/23 statistics.

Wrexham Foodbank is a charity and relies on the local community to function. It supports people all year round and any donation, whether it’s dropping off items or offering a financial contribution to help towards rent or general upkeep, is always warmly welcomed.

Further information about Wrexham Foodbank, including how you can get help or offer a donation, can be found here.

Several constituents recently contacted me regarding staffing changes at Pen y Maes Surgery in Summerhill.

I made urgent representations on their behalf to the Chair of Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board (BCUHB) and I am grateful for his speedy response and explanation.

Following a Welsh Government directive, the Health Board is in the process of recruiting more salaried GPs to its managed practices.

While the clinical expertise offered by locum and agency GPs is valued, the temporary nature of their employment coupled with the higher cost implications for the NHS mean the model is unsustainable.

As a result of BCUHB’s campaign, a total of 5 Clinical Lead GPs and 18 Salaried GPs have been recruited across Wrexham and Flintshire.

Three of the Salaried GPs have been offered roles at Pen y Maes Surgery to join the existing Clinical Lead GP and Advanced Nurse Practitioners.

These actions will hopefully lead to a more resilient workforce and, therefore, an improved service for patients.

I have shared the latest information with my constituents, which I hope has provided some reassurance, but if anyone remains concerned, please do not hesitate to get in touch.

The wonderful Maelor Voluntary Service (MVS), which provides crucial support to patients, visitors and staff at the Wrexham Maelor Hospital, turns 30 later this year.

The team of volunteers operate the cafes situated across the site and all the funds raised over the years have enabled the Maelor to purchase new medical equipment.

I recently caught up with the charity’s Chair, Jenny Griffiths, alongside Wrexham’s Welsh Labour Parliamentary candidate, Andrew Ranger.

If anyone has any spare time and is interested in volunteering, there are always opportunities with the MVS.

In the Senedd last month, I sponsored an event celebrating 20 years of McDonald’s Fun Football Programme.

Working alongside the Welsh FA, the sessions offer every child, no matter their background, gender or ability, the opportunity to enjoy the beautiful game – for free.

Supporting grassroots football and encouraging children to play and venture outdoors is so important.

I hope to be able to offer free footballing equipment to a club in the constituency in the not too distant future and if anyone knows of a particularly worthy recipient, please get in touch.

If you’re a constituent in Wrexham and there is anything I could help you with, please email me: [email protected] or call 01978 355743. You can sign up to my regular e-newsletter by clicking here.

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