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Drakeford and Starmer to present offer to the north on visit to knife-edge marginal of Wrexham

22 Apr 2021 4 minute read
Keir Starmer picture by Rwendland (CC BY-SA 4.0). First Minister Mark Drakeford. Picture by the Welsh Government.

Labour’s Westminster leader Keir Starmer and First Minister Mark Drakeford are visiting key the key knife-edge marginal of Wrexham today.

They will present Welsh Labour’s offer to the north on the visit ahead of May’s Senedd election, as well as drop in on some of the area’s local businesses and take part in doorstep campaigning.

The Labour incumbent Lesley Griffiths has held the seat since 2007 and is defending a majority of 1,325 against Conservative challenger Jeremy Kent.

The seat, which is part of Labour’s so called ‘Red Wall’, fell to the Conservative Sarah Atherton at the 2019 Westminster election.

The incumbent also faces a challenge from the left in the form of Plaid Cymru’s Carrie Harper, who believes she can harness dissatisfaction with the status quo, and ride a wave of increased support for independence, to take the seat.

Welsh Labour’s offer to the north at the Senedd election – Moving North Wales Forward – includes a promise new jobs and green growth across the region.

The party is pledging to harness the natural assets of the north, as well as its industry, its landscape and its culture, in order to create new prosperity.

Welsh Labour says it will provide green infrastructure and renewable energy and help create the green jobs of the future.

The party pledges to create jobs through a new National Park in the Clwydian Range and Dee Valley, and says it will develop new tidal and wave energy across the region and continue to help key sectors like aerospace and tourism to thrive.

It is promising to establish a new Medical School in the north to train the next generation of health professionals across the region.

On the sport and culture front, it is pledging to establish the Football Museum in Wrexham, deliver a major £25m redevelopment of Theatr Clwyd, and support the slate landscape of North West Wales as a World Heritage Site, to develop economic and tourism opportunities.

‘New investment’ 

Labour’s Westminster leader Keir Starmer said: “Mark Drakeford and I are committed to creating jobs and bringing new investment to North Wales.

“Welsh Labour’s plan will keep moving North Wales forward. It’s a plan for big investment in healthcare with a new medical school, building new homes, guaranteeing young people a job or training, and modern public transport.

“Our offer is about the future. Together, we will invest in renewable energy, celebrate cultural and sporting success, and promote this great region around the world.”

Welsh Labour Leader and First Minister Mark Drakeford said: “We have an ambitious plan to recover from the pandemic and to re-build fairer, leaving no one behind as we move North Wales forward.

“We will invest in new green infrastructure and support the regeneration of our town centres after Covid; we will make sure businesses have the finance they need to thrive and invest in the green industries of tomorrow – innovative housing, renewable energy, and new digital technologies.

“We have set aside a £15bn capital investment programme for the next term, which we will use to create jobs right across North Wales and the rest of the country.

“Our offer to North Wales is the return of economic prosperity, new green jobs and establishing this beautiful part of the country as a world class destination for tourism.”

Welsh Conservative candidate for Wrexham, Jeremy Kent said: “Labour have let down the people of Wrexham for the past two decades and a visit from Sir Keir isn’t going to change things.

“From their failure to create a stronger economy to their disastrous management of the NHS in North Wales, Sir Keir should use his visit today to apologise to people across the region, and particularly for Labour’s tragic mishandling of Betsi Cadwaladr Health Board.

“Wales needs to turn the page on a Labour Party that has taken communities across North Wales for granted for too long, and only the Welsh Conservatives will build a better Wales with more jobs, better hospitals and first class schools.”

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