Ian Lucas MP

Member of Parliament for Wrexham

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Dee Valley Water workers are paying the price of multi-million pound salaries paid to senior executives of their new parent company, Severn Trent Water.

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Figures I have uncovered show that, in 2015-16, Ian Plenderleith, the then Chief Executive of Dee Valley Water, the water company which served the Wrexham area until its recent takeover, was paid £217,000 in the year.

However, in the same period Liv Garfield, the Chief Executive of Severn Trent Water – which recently took over Dee Valley Water – was paid more than ten times that amount at £2,433,2000.

It emerged last week that 14 Dee Valley Water workers could lose their jobs following the recent hostile takeover.

I opposed the takeover so strongly because I knew this would happen. Severn Trent wants to cut costs to maximise its profit and its senior executives are paid on the basis of maximising return to shareholders. The interests of workers, customers and the local community are secondary, if considered at all. The amount of money that some large firms pay their Chief Executives is truly staggering. The head of the large corporate giant which recently took over our local water firm was paid ten times more than the head of the firm she took over.

What that takeover means for Wrexham is that 14 jobs are already under threat, and local people who paid into a local firm are now seeing their money go towards a multi-million pound annual salary for a utilities giant where decisions are taken a long way from the communities they affect. And we all have no choice but to contribute to salaries through our water bills.

I fail to see how such a culture of boardroom excess benefits my constituents. We need a reform of takeover rules to allow businesses to take into account the interests of local communities – not just shareholder profit – when decisions on the future of monopoly providers of essential utilities are concerned.  And we need regulators who do not simply rollover and accept takeovers at the behest of the utility giants.

Water company bosses' pay packet shock

Dee Valley Water workers are paying the price of multi-million pound salaries paid to senior executives of their new parent company, Severn Trent Water.

Wrexham people with disabilities are among thousands left housebound without transport after controversial changes to disability help.

 

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I have campaigned for changes in the way the Government helps people with disabilities, and personally dealt with cases where people had had specially adapted cars taken away after changes to their support.

Changes to the support some people with disabilities received were brought in five years ago, when the Personal Independence Payment was brought in. The payment replaced the Disability Living Allowance – but the assessment process has proved flawed and been criticised by people with disabilities, charities and campaigners.

The way assesments are carried out mean that people with complex conditions are assessed by people who are not medical professionals. I’ve sat in surgeries and listened to people describe how their assessments were flawed – with assessors even making claims people did things they were physically incapable of doing.

These assessments can be challenged and, when they are, people are often successful. Unfortunately, the original decision has a series of knock-on effects, which include the loss of support such as Motability vehicles. This means that people lose cars and other vehicles, some of which are specially adapted to their condition – even if the original decision is found to be wrong.

This is a serious failing in the system and I have raised the issue in the Commons and met with Ministers and with Motability directly to push for changes.

The current system is failing the very people it is supposed to help.

This Government is failing those who need support

Wrexham people with disabilities are among thousands left housebound without transport after controversial changes to disability help.  

A free fun day will run again this Easter in Rhosddu Park.

 

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The free event will be held on Tuesday April 18 between 11am and 2pm with a whole range of activities planned. It follows a series of similar events last year, which I organised with a group of local community organisations.

Among the attractions this time will be an Easter Hat competition, to be judged at 1pm; storytelling at noon; an egg and spoon race, an Easter treasure hunt, a free bouncy castle, arts and crafts and free refreshments.

Organisations involved include AVOW, St James Church Rhosddu, the Salvation Army, Sprouts nursery, Wrexham Community Church, the Cunliffe Centre, Rhosddu Community Council, Rhosddu Spar and North Wales Police.

These events show that our community can come together and put on positive and welcoming events. This event those last year, which brought local people to use our park for fun, family-friendly events.

I’m delighted that, once again, so many different local organisations have pitched in to offer help and to work together to put a great programme of events together.

The fun day is free and open to everyone. All ages are welcome so do pop down if you can.

Fun day for Wrexham park

A free fun day will run again this Easter in Rhosddu Park.  


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