UPDATE – September 18th 2017

Like other AMs I will return to formal business in the Senedd this week after the very welcome opportunity for spending quality time around the constituency. I am often asked “what do you do over the summer?”, and if you follow my social media (twitter and facebook) you will hopefully have had a flavour of the many events I was able to attend and support. Each and every one of these occasions provides the opportunity for a conversation, or to meet people with information or stories that help to illustrate the successes we achieve, or the challenges that remain to be met.

It is always a great pleasure to catch up with local community groups, organisations and the many individual volunteers who do so much great work to help others, and to improve the quality of life for so many people. Thanks to them all for their fantastic work and it is my greatest pleasure to support you as the local AM.

I also joined Gerald Jones MP in offering a number of advice and street surgeries as we both like to make sure we get out and about together on a regular basis. We had a great Jobs Fair and were really impressed by the number and quality of jobs becoming available across the constituency.

I have also taken in a number of sporting and cultural events and with the start of the new football season enjoying good company at Penydarren Park. I have to say what a fantastic resource the football club now is with great community facilities, the Martyrs Business Network, lovely social facilities and the football team making a decent start to the season. Best wishes to Gavin Williams and the team in the months ahead. They are also working with Merthyr Rugby Club and I welcome the efforts to bring even more sporting success to the town.

Return to business

With our return to the Assembly I know there are many months of serious business ahead. We will soon start the process of deciding how the Welsh Government should spend its Budget in the coming period. Sadly we already know that the UK Government has not yet ended austerity budgeting, and yet again there will be tough decisions to be made about spending priorities. It is a testing time with everyone from the NHS, Social Services, Voluntary groups and the two local authorities in this constituency pressing their claims for extra spending.

So many good causes need financial support but the amount the Welsh Government gets from the UK Government to distribute remains limited. As always I will speak up for the constituency and for the priorities that my party was elected upon in May 2016.

The discussions about leaving the EU will continue and I am taking a keen interest in the proposals about the future arrangements as they emerge. People voted to leave the EU, but there is so much detailed work the UK has yet to achieve and time is getting ever shorter. This is a big challenge for everyone concerned.

We clearly face some arguments over rail and transport investment for Wales as the electrification of rail from Cardiff to Swansea was cancelled by the UK Government. I am keen to see that the planned South Wales Metro is not derailed!

As always get in touch via the office or by email, and keep up to date with my work on facebook and twitter.