Ian Lucas

Your Labour Member of Parliament for Wrexham

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A Growth Deal for North Wales is moving forward – but needs the support of the Chancellor and other Ministers.

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I met Ken Skates, the Welsh Government Secretary for Economy and Infrastructure, in Westminster to catch up this week. He joined a meeting of the Mersey-Dee North Wales All Party Parliamentary Group to tell us about the work his Government has done.

A North Wales Growth deal, and improvements to our transport system, are crucial in giving our region the infrastructure it needs for the 21st century. There is a lot of work to secure a deal, and it needs engagement at each level of Government – from local councils up.

The All-Party group has been working closely to raise the profile of the issue with Ministers in Wales and London, and with politicians across the region. It was good to catch up with Ken, and to hear  that he, too, has been working with fellow politicians – including the newly-elected ‘metro Mayor’ for Liverpool, Steve Rotheram – to develop our region.

It was good, too,  to hear the work that the Welsh Government are already doing to boost our infrastructure – with around £600 million of transport improvements in the pipeline for North Wales and £50 million put towards developing the North Wales Metro.

We discussed the work that local authorities can do to help make the Growth Bid a reality, and the work which we expect to see from the UK Government in the coming months.

As the Autumn Budget approaches, it is clear that the Welsh Government is committed to a North Wales Growth Deal. Our region expects to see a similar commitment from the Chancellor and other UK Ministers on November 22.

Building the case for North Wales' Growth Deal

A Growth Deal for North Wales is moving forward – but needs the support of the Chancellor and other Ministers.

A united front against job losses being pushed on Wrexham is vital in making the Government think again.

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That is why I’ve called on the Tory/ Independent group on Wrexham Council to make clear their view on proposals to take hundreds of jobs away from the town. Under the proposals put forward by Conservative Ministers, the town’s tax office will be close and moved to Cardiff.

I’ve opposed the proposals since they were first uncovered and am working with a cross-party group of MPs in Parliament to try to halt them. While the fight to keep jobs in Wrexham has received support from a wide range of local people, the ruling council group have yet to make their position clear.

I’ve written to the council to ask the current ruling executive to join the fight to keep jobs in the town.

There are more than 300 jobs at stake here – plus, of course, a Government investment into our town and a prime Wrexham site.

Wrexham people know that these jobs are important and they expect local politicians to fight for them. That’s why I’ve met with staff and unions from the site and taken their concerns directly to Ministers.

We need a united front on this issue to help keep up the pressure on the Government. Now that council elections are out of the way and the council term has restarted, I am calling on Wrexham Council’s Tory/ Independent executive to make clear their views and to join the fight to save these jobs.

Let's unite to save Wrexham jobs

A united front against job losses being pushed on Wrexham is vital in making the Government think again.

I've backed a bill aimed at ending Holiday Hunger.

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The School Holidays (Meals and Activities) Bill will be presented to Parliament by Birkenhead MP Frank Field today, the first day of Parliament after the summer recess. The Bill has secured the backing of 120 cross-party MPs. It places a legal duty upon local authorities to ensure free meals and fun are provided for children who would otherwise go without during the holidays. Under Mr Field’s proposed bill, the Government would ring-fence £41.5 million – just ten per cent of the money raised by the sugary drinks levy – to help local authorities pay for their provision.

In Wrexham, a scheme helping feed hungry children over the summer holidays has just finished – with more than 2,500 meals prepared by volunteers. I worked to help set up the group some years back alongside the Church in Wales and a group of volunteers, was among those who helped out this year – and am set to join in again when the project runs a similar scheme over the Christmas holidays.

The work that that small group have been doing in Wrexham was one of the first schemes of its kind when set up – and the Wrexham project remains an inspiration for me.

Speaking with other MPs about the issue, it became clear that this issue is one which affects children across the country. That is why I have been pleased to be able to lend my support to Frank’s bill today – and why I hope that the Government will listen to the proposals put forward.

I know that Wrexham’s project will continue to work to help people.

I will continue to work with volunteers here and with fellow MPs in Parliament to do all we can to tackle this issue – both on the ground and by ensuring the Government starts to take action to help.

Backing for Holiday Hunger bill

I've backed a bill aimed at ending Holiday Hunger.


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