Will Labour retain its hold on Wrexham?

Reporter:

Matt Sims

THE Wrexham constituency was created in 1918, electing one member of Parliament.

In 1983 major boundary reorganisation saw large areas removed to form the new constituency of Clwyd South West, later to become Clwyd South.

Traditionally viewed as a Labour stronghold, since 1935 constituents have voted in an MP from the party at every General Election.

Since then, the only non-Labour representative has been Tom Ellis, who passed away recently and who helped set up and switched allegiance from Labour to the SDP (Social Democratic Party) in 1981 after becoming disillusioned with his party.

At the last election in 2005 Ian Lucas returned to Parliament with an overall majority of 22 per cent.

Second place went to Liberal Democrat Tom Rippeth.

A pretty radical swing of 11.22 per cent this time around would be required to unseat Mr Lucas.

Mr Lucas’ fortunes contrast starkly with the Labour group on the local authority, which was nearly halved in size following the last council elections in 2008. The county council is currently led by a Lib Dem-Independent coalition.

Until the economic downturn, Wrexham was perceived as a major success story with huge investment coming in to the town.

Companies such as Sharp, in Llay, which manufactures solar panels have been held up as world leaders in their field, and Wrexham Industrial Estate, the second largest in the UK in terms of size, has recently been boosted with news that a vital link road can now be built.

But there have been numerous job losses in the last couple of years, most recently Home Delivery Network on Rhossdu Industrial Estate.

Another hot topic is the possibility of a prison being built on one of two sites on the industrial estate, which has been opposed by Mr Lucas on the basis that any North Wales jail should be located more centrally.

The constituency is also home to some of the poorest areas in Wales, with Queensway named as one of the top five most deprived areas in the country in the last Welsh Index of Multiple Deprivation published in 2008.

See full story in the Whitchurch Herald

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